Tag Thursday time, folks! This week’s tag comes courtesy of my friend Liz whose post you can see here, and it’s called The Reader’s Questionnaire. Pretty simple but here are my answers to some bookish and readerly questions, because we all need to know that kind of stuff of every self-respecting book blogger.
1. What is your favourite book?
That’s a tough question to ask any reader, and for the first question up… at least buy me a drink first before pulling that out…
No, seriously though?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Persuasion/Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling… bit of everything really. I’d probably say Rebecca if pressed though. I need to re-read it soon just to check it’s still my fave.
2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?
Goals, what goals? (See my recent post entitled ‘Feeling Goalless’ for more info.) Although, to be fair, I did make New Year’s Resolutions (as seen here) so even though I’m terrible at coming up with bigger, more important life and career goals, I do still set pointless and breakable resolutions every year. So, you know, I’m trying.
3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.
Writer is a very optimistic way of describing my creative endeavours. Not to blow my own trumpet but I was pretty good at researching and writing essays at university – I never really had that much trouble putting together words and sentences that made me sound vaguely informed.
As for the more creative sort of writing, I used to forum roleplay in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and NYC-based forums – not all at the same time, obviously, that would have been quite something – but don’t much anymore (yes, I miss it). Because of this background, I’m good at envisaging characters and character building and putting together dialogue, but I’m less good at fleshing out worlds or plot lines, since these were nearly always dictated by the forum’s initial setup or spontaneously decided. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo previously and never got very far because of this tendency – I need to work on that because I actually really enjoyed my story idea.
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I want adventure in the great wide somewhere… Seriously though, I would go everywhere. I’ve seen so little of the world out there and that needs to change. Top of my list right now is the following (buckle up, kids): New Zealand, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, San Diego, Venice, Rome, Florence, Padua, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Switzerland, Prague, Iceland, Toronto, and the list goes on and on…
So yeah if anyone would like to fund my trips to all of these places that would be great, k -thanks.
5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?
Beauty and the Beast and yeah I really enjoyed it! It wasn’t exactly revolutionary in how it deviated from the cartoon but that’s why I liked it to be honest. Also Lumiere and Cogsworth were brilliant, as was Gaston. Also Emma Watson is basically who I’d love to be so… yeah it was all good. Apart from Prince Adam tbh – like when he transformed back human there was definitely an audible ‘oh’ of disappointment in the cinema from every woman.
6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
Yeah, of course, I’ve DNFed a few books in my time. The main ones I suppose include George Orwell’s 1984, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Sarah J. Maas’ Heir of Fire. Also, most annoyingly for me, as a Jane Austen fan is Mansfield Park – I don’t know what it is about that one but I just… I can’t.
7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
To be honest I’m actually mainly working on trying to get into a routine of regularly blogging – and of writing book reviews during reading/as soon as I’ve finished books so that my reviews are more accurate and carefully considered. However, I really want to try to get back to that NaNoWriMo novel idea I mentioned because I think if I fleshed out the world and characters before November, I’d like to give it a serious go this year.
8. If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?
Living in Middle Earth would be pretty damn cool. I’m very sure that I would be an elf and live in Rivendell since their lives seem pretty comfy to be honest and full of just relaxing in nature, reading, writing, poetry etc. etc. That’s not too shabby, I could do that I think. I’d like to do it without the impending war on the horizon though, that would be great.
9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
I will say it to my very last breath – the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was so spot-on, just perfect tone all around and I loved how stylised it was in comparison to the previous films and I think that shift was perfect all around because that third book marks a turning point when the series got progressively darker in tone.
As for adaptations that I hated… well I’d say quite a few of the BBC Shakespeare adaptations from the 1970s and 80s. They had the great idea to film all of Shakespeare’s plays which, you know, noble mission and all but the problem is that a lot of them are… well… they’re boring adaptations because they’re just the play’s dialogue filmed without much extra flair or oomph. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are the reason a lot of school kids ended up hating Shakespeare having had to sit through those in their English lessons.
10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
On initial look, my thought process goes a little something like this… does it have a pretty and shiny cover and/or french flaps? Is it a fantasy? Yeah, buy it. I’m fickle and like a magpie – I’m attracted to shiny things.
11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?
I’m not an author by any stretch of the imagination but… if I did have some kind of idea, the first thing I would do is scribble it down in probably illegible handwriting. Then I would try to build the world and the characters using Pinterest boards to help me find inspiration. Gathering as many visual cues would help me to get immersed in the world and then (hopefully) write the story that takes place in it.
12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favourites? Any least-favourites?
I really like fantasy, specifically YA fantasy – there are just some really great YA fantasy worlds out there at the minute. I’m really not a fan of straight-up YA contemporary because I just don’t really get it any more… like, now that I’ve read fantasy, I end up reading a contemporary and waiting for the magic to happen… and then nothing happens and I’m like ‘… oh, so this is it?’. I do quite like a historical fiction every now and then too. Romance aint my bag unless it is a subgenre or if it is in the story but not the main focus. I don’t really read a lot of thrillers/crime but thanks to now living with someone who does own quite a few examples of these kinds of stories, I might very well give it a go. Never say never!
13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
My answer hasn’t change since when I did a homework assignment about this when I was 12… I would have liked to meet J.R.R. Tolkien. Why? Because he’s J.R.R. Tolkien. Isn’t that reason enough? Immensely intelligent and creative… of course I’d want to have a conversation with him and chat mythology.
14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Definitely fiction. Reading is escapism for me and so fiction will always be better for that. Occasionally I do pick up a non-fiction but it’s not very often. I should probably correct that and branch out some more.
15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
I wouldn’t say everyone loves her but Celaena Sardothien (or whatever she’s called nowadays) from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Disclaimer: I’ve only read the first two books and gave up on the third halfway through. But ok, so, she’s meant to be the best assassin but she seems pretty shit at actually doing the one thing an assassin needs to do – mercilessly kill someone when ordered to, regardless of who that person is.
As for a character who people don’t really like – Matthias from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom. What can I say? I go for the dramatic angsty ‘oh I love her but I shouldn’t’ tortured sort of souls… also guys who try to be straight-laced and honourable and upstanding but then end up being teased for it and flirted with to try to get them to break. I love that shit, I live for it.
16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
Not a lot to be honest – watching films I’ve seen a billion times before; eating; listening to music; giving way too much money to Starbucks and Costa; the occasional walk etc etc
17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Being remembered in general would be nice. But I’d quite like to leave something creative behind in terms of a legacy, whether that’s writing a book or making books more accessible to others. I just want to help in my own small way to spread great stories into the world and get books into the hands of people who wouldn’t ordinarily read.
18. What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?
Anna and the French Kiss – it’s kind of terrible but it’s like a cheesy rom com in book form so obviously I’m down for it.
19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
Pff, of course. I have the usual arbitrary ‘book a week’/52 book challenge set on Goodreads and I’m doing pretty well so far. I’m also doing a couple of reading challenges (Around the Year in 52 books and Book Riot’s Read Harder) so plenty to be getting on with for now.
20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.
I’m a fairly boring person so I don’t have many interesting facts. My go-to fact if I’m forced to give one up because of ice breakers is that I’ve never (yet) broken a bone in my body. Is that ‘interesting’? It’s all I got, I’m afraid.
Oh and I can speak Spanish allegedly semi-fluently but don’t test me on that because I’m so rusty that I don’t think I could still string a sentence together coherently. Can I still consider this an interesting fact if I’m concerned about the ‘fact’ bit of that phrase? I’ll stick to the ‘haven’t broken a bone’ one instead methinks!
That’s all we have time for – that was the Reader’s Questionnaire. Do you feel like you know me a little better now? Well, let’s turn the tables… if you’re reading this, I hereby tag YOU, please fill in the questionnaire in the comments below or link me to your own blog post.