These questions were appropriated (ahem, stolen) from Hey! Teenager of the Year's blog. I’m fairly sure she pilfered them from someone else in turn, so it’s all good. Check out her answers here. Oh, and the answers below are MINE (imagine the seagulls from Finding Nemo chanting Mine! Mine! there).
Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? Honestly?
Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. I liked the first of the series, Wicked Lovely, but hated Ink Exchange, so now I’m afraid to continue. I’ll probably never read it (well, unless there happens to be a copy lying around the next time I’m at the dentist’s office).
If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Social event: game night (cards, Scrabble, Monopoly, Who Killed Dr. Lucky?), and I’d invite Aziraphale & Crowley from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, and Suzy Turquoise Blue from Garth Nix’s The Keys to the Kingdom (Mister Monday, etc.) series. Why? Because they’d all be side-splittingly hilarious and there’d be cheating and counter-cheating, and most especially – there’d never a dull moment. Also, everyone’s energetic and resourceful and canny at this party. And probably we’d get in all sorts of after-party trouble, too…sporking, gnome-stealing and tp-ing neighbors’ yards. Ha!
You are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy or Middlemarch by Eliot. I’ve tried both and quit after about 20 pages.
Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
For a long time I faked having read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was coaching the 12&Unders on the swim team, and that book was the mainstay of many a summer conversation. I couldn’t look at those expectant (and earnest) little faces and say I hadn’t read it. I’ve since read the series at least two times through.
As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?
Yes. I actually owned two copies of C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and was sure I’d read it. Then I picked it up one day and it blew my mind. I definitely hadn’t read it before.
You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader themselves). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?
Non-reader, huh? I’d give them Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book, probably. Lots of subtle humor, some horror, and enduring themes like family dynamics, dealing with love and loss, and coming-of-age. Or maybe Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, if the VIP is female. I know people are skeptical about the universal appeal of fantasy, but neither of these is all about magic, and both deserve the title of ‘literature’ rather than plain ‘fiction’ (if you don’t believe me, check the kinds of awards they’ve won).
A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
French. As long as it doesn’t muddle my Spanish and Portuguese reading comprehension, that is. And a non-Romance language? Mandarin Chinese.
A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.
That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead—let your imagination run free.
First, I’d magically replace all the books I purged/gave away three years ago when I graduated college.
And I love the idea of a leather-bound library. But when it comes down to it, those books are heavy and unwieldy. So I’d probably want a library with three copies of every book. The hardcovers all signed by authors (though I don’t care about editions), and the trade paperbacks all dog-eared and well-loved, and copies of everything in digital form on a laptop, as well. Hey, this is a dream library! Can I request a coffee bar in the corner and comfortable leather armchairs, too? And I’d probably end up with so many books that every wall would be covered, floor-to-ceiling in bookshelves – just like the library described in Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart. I think it’s Inkheart, anyway.
Great questions, yeah?