Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When I Get a Little Money, I Buy Books...

When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. -- Erasmus

Because I am a DIY-er through and through, and because I've got books on my mind, I am going to write my own meme. I am sure it won't be that original, just like the title of this post, but I'm going to live dangerously and not even look to see if it's been done before.

If love books the way I do; if your palms start to sweat and you breathe a little faster when you walk past a bookstore; if you never turn down a free book, even it's about gastrointestinal health or in a language you can't read; if you remember the names of characters in books you read when you were ten better than you remember the names of people you went to college with; or if you just want to fill out the meme, then please do, and let me know.

(I know these answers are mostly fiction titles, but I have plenty of nonfiction books I love as well.)

Favorite Book(s): Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, A Wrinkle in Time and And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle, Song for the Basilisk by Patricia McKillip, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Emily's Quest by L.M. Montgomery, Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee

Favorite Author(s): Madeleine L'Engle, Patricia McKillip, L.M. Montgomery, Orson Scott Card, Charles de Lint, Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris, Isabel Allende, Tom Robbins, Ivan Klima (in no particular order)

Favorite genre(s): Fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, espionage and old-fashioned British mysteries (by Margery Allingham and M.M. Kaye). But really? I'll read anything.

Best beginning to a book, ever: Well, that's a hard one to answer (I know, I wrote the question), but I like these two lines:

"If I had cared to live, I would have died," from Silverlock by John Myers Myers.

"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it," from The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Best ending to a book, ever: Water for Elephants, by Sarah Gruen

Book pilgrimages you've made: To DeSmet, South Dakota (Little House on the Prairie) and Cavendish, Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables)

Funniest book(s) you've read: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club, by Laurie Notaro.

Book that picks you up when you're in a bad mood:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman or anything by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Book that most surprised you: I had to read a book about the Peloponnesian Wars when I was in middle school, that I thought would be so boring -- I mean, it was a nonfiction history book about war, which was not a subject my girly-phase preteen self found all that interesting -- but I could not put it down. Absolutely captivating. Wish I could remember the title.

Book everyone else loves but you can't finish: Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and, um, I am embarrassed to admit it, but I can never make it past the halfway point of The Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I keep trying, though.

Most memorable book you just happened to buy on a whim:
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, edited by Bruce Sterling. A Wrinkle in Time aside, this is the first science fiction book I remember reading, and it kindled a passion in me. And I just bought it because I liked the bright and colorful cover. Tsk Tsk.

Book you mistakenly judged by its cover: The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams, by Frederic Clement. I was working at B. Dalton in Newport Beach and this book was on the counter for months. I thought it was so ugly. One day I finally picked it up, said out loud, "Who would buy a book with such an ugly cover?" and promptly bought it. Amazing, wondrous, marvelous, splendid book!

Best recommendation you've received: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and Silverlock by John Myers Myers

A random recommendation: Tell me about yourself, and I'll recommend a book. Fiction, nonfiction, cooking, fantasy, business, history, whatever.

Books from your childhood that you still re-read: The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin, and anything by L.M. Montgomery or Madeleine L'Engle

Book you're reading now: The House on the Strand, by Daphne du Maurier

Book you've been actively reading for the longest time: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman

Favorite guilty pleasure book: Anything by Judith McNaught. I'm not a romance reader, but I love her books. Total escapism.

Number of books you own: About 1,500 (Al keeps trying to talk me into getting rid of some, but I bet the total weight of my books is less than the weight of his beloved motorcycle. Okay, maybe not, but it can't be that much more.)

Number of books you own that you've never even read: About 100

Other random bookish fact about you: I collect copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in different languages as souvenirs when I travel. When I was six, the other kids called me Alison Wonderland. Drove me nuts back then but now I think it was, and is, totally fitting.

Al bought this for me in Spain.


tinker said...

Oh yes, book lover here. I'm blessed (though some might think otherwise) in that I married a fellow book lover and the resulting library, was somewhat like the alliance of two kingdoms...I swear I didn't marry him for his books - well, not only ;-)
I see we have lots of books/authors in common here - Tom Robbins, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Madeleine L'Engle and L.M. Montgomery...Water for Elephants and the Time Traveler's Wife - and Alice in Wonderland - BIG favorite, still to this day...

OK, I'll pause for a breath, from that run-on sentence now, lol.

I have to say though - as childhood nicknames go, that has to be one of the best!

SarahKelley said...

I did you meme, and I'm waiting for that promised recommendation:)

paintandink said...

Tinker, that must be quite a marvelous library!

Sarah, I will have a recommendation for you shortly.

paintandink said...

Okay, Sarah, here it is!

I had hoped to read more of your blog, all the way through, but I'm out of time, so here are my recommendations (and by the way, I loved Alistair MacLean's books when I was a teen, and had completely forgotten about him until now...):

Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay (Sword-and-sorcery fantasy thriller, heavy on the international intrigue and light on the gooey fantasy, i.e. made-up words)

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler (somewhat fast-paced, post-apocalyptic sci-fi with a very strong female protagonist and religious overtones, not always agreeable but always interesting)

I have lots of other possibilities on my list, but let me know what you think of these recommendations first, and if you've already read them, I'll come up with more.

jess said...

Uh huh, all sounds very familiar! I've even read most of the same books!