Cart 0

A to Z Book Survey

Heidi Shenk "books"

There has been a lot of discussion in my world about reading lately, mostly because I've recently been getting back into reading. Now that I have spare time to actually sit down with a book since I'm not teaching anymore, I've been reading a lot more. Recently, both Paige and Kristen posted this A to Z Book Survey, so I thought I'd join in with my own responses. I'm interested in what others are reading these days because I want to add to that list of books to read!
Author you've read the most books from:

Gertrude Chandler Warner. Who the hell is that?! I know that's what you're asking yourself, but let's face it, when I was a kid, I read just about every Boxcar Children book that existed. If we're counting adult books, probably Sherman Alexie.

Best sequel ever:

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I know this is going back to my childhood again, but the entire series of books by Mildred D. Taylor is incredibly moving. I would still recommend reading this and the others (Song of the Trees, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, The Road to Memphis, and The Land) as an adult. I read these around 4th and 5th grade, though they actually deal with fairly adult material, and I tended to read books several years before my peers. (I know, I was an advanced reader aka nerd.) Either way, incredibly compelling books that need to be read!

Currently reading:

Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser. I bought this for vacation reading while in Australia and am still reading it. It's a long one!

Drink of choice while reading:

Wine. I read the most during the fall and winter, and I often read at night or after dinner and often bring my glass of red wine from dinner with me while I read.

E-reader or physical book:

I have a Kindle and use that a lot simply because books are more affordable in that format. However, I really enjoy being able to have the physical book in hand much more so than an electronic device. Every now and then, I still splurge and buy the physical book for that very reason. Sometimes I read a really good book on my Kindle and then instantly regret not being able to add it to my physical library.

Fictional character you would have actually dated in high school:

Hmmm. I can't think of any. I'm not one to get all gushy about characters in either books or movies, so I can't even think of one!

Glad you gave this book a chance:

The Hunger Games. I thought it was going to annoy me, but a friend convinced me to read it anyway. I ended up reading the majority of it in a day while I sat in jury duty and then decided to teach it to my students a month after I read it. The adult themes of a dystopian society as well as the issues of desensitization were enough to hook me amid the sappiness of the romance. I will admit, however, that I still have a few chapters left to go in Catching Fire and I still haven't read Mockingjay. So, that being said, it didn't hold my attention as much as I thought it was supposed to.

Hidden gem book:

The Black Crusade by Richard Harland. Harland is an Australia author, and I picked up this book for a literature class I was taking while living in Australia. This novel is a darkly satirical statement about they way our world works-- very cynical and right up my alley.

Important moment in your reading life:

When I was a kid, I always made sure that I was the first to get the newspaper. I'd hear it hit the porch and then I would immediately run out to get it. Our public library was only a block from our house, so I have memories of walking there with my mom and sister during the summer and carrying home a huge pile of books. We'd go back then next week or in a few days and restock. On super hot days, we would just stay at the library and read for hours to escape our hot house without air conditioning.

Goshen Public Library
Just finished:

The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I've always like Louise Erdrich, but this one just depressed me. I had a hard time getting through it for that very reason. My mom, who has also been a fan of Erdrich's books,  mentioned something about Erdrich recently dealing with some fairly depressing situations in her life, so maybe she carried that with her into this latest book of hers. I'm not quite sure.

Kinds of books you won't read:

Most science fiction, sappy romance novels, and horror-ish books (if you know what I mean). I don't read a lot of non-fiction either-- it has to be a really good read for me to get into it (i.e. Fast Food Nation, Savage Inequalities). I also don't really do many of the classics. They bore me. (I know! Gasp!)

Longest book you've read:

Questions of Travel is almost 600 pages. Also, The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver was up there. I'm not really sure. I think I read a lot of 500+ page books to be quite honest!

Major book hangover because of:

Any story line that makes me think beyond just the story will really get to me. I find myself deconstructing texts to find meaning in themes and symbolism and then having to go back and reread sections in order to understand that bigger picture. Maybe that's the English major in me. It's hard for me not to analyze literature in that way since I spent four years doing it in college and another six teaching my students how to do the same.

Number of bookcases you own:

Only one small one at the moment. We don't have enough space in our tiny row house. We did install built in shelving in our basement though so I guess I started putting a few books there. At our old apartment, we had an entire wall of built in shelving where I stored my book collection. I had to trim down the collection and sell a lot of them and now others are stored in milk crates and boxes in a closet. :(

One book you have read multiple times:

The Book Thief. I've read it probably about five times. There are so many new things that I pick up or notice each time I read it.

Preferred place to read:

I like to curl up in one of our big sofa chairs with a blanket.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:

Uhhhhh. I don't do well with these kinds of questions. I don't go for specific quotes, though I know there have been plenty of times where the writing that I was reading was just so perfect that it made me smile and gave me shivers.

Reading regret:

Can't say I've had one yet. I try to steer clear of the books I know I'll regret reading!

Series you started and need to finish (all books in series are out):

Considering my admission about The Hunger Games series, I suppose that'd be a good answer for this one.

Three of your all-time favorite books:

Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Anything by Sherman Alexie or Nick Hornby. Their wit and humor get me every time! I get excited when either of them come out with a new novel, especially Alexie.

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

I usually snatch up the new Sherman Alexie books as soon as I can. He doesn't have anything new out at the moment (his last was a collection of short stories from about a year ago), but he publishes fairly regularly so I can only hope!

Worst bookish habit:

Not finishing books. Sometimes books just don't quite cut it for me so instead of giving it a chance, it just sits unfinished. Sometimes life gets in the way of a good book, so I just don't finish it. I need to make that stop.

X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. The title also doubles as a music album title, so get your minds out of the gutter, people! ;)

Your latest book purchase:

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I was looking forward to the release of this book. Can't wait to start reading it after I finish my current novel!

Zzzzz-snatcher (the last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I just couldn't put it down!

And now, I'm curious about you! What do you love/hate to read? Any really good books you have read lately? I'm a HUGE fan of contemporary literature-- not the stuff that isn't that great of writing, but sells. Rather, those authors of recent that just blow my mind away with incredibly surreal writing. The ones where you're like, where have you been all my life?! Suggestions? Please leave them in the comments!

Older Post Newer Post