Remember last Wednesday, when–uninvited and unannounced–I did the How I Choose My Books Tag? Well, I’m back this week with another book tag and a little more propriety, since Holly at Nut Free Nerd actually did tag me for this one. I love Holly’s blog–she reviews a wide variety of books, including classics (my favorite!) and talks about her adventures studying abroad at Oxford–so you should definitely give her a follow if you haven’t already!
Now then, to business.
20 Questions Book Tag
1. HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A BOOK SERIES?
Interesting question. I think that the better the series, the more books the author can get away wtih. But as a general rule of thumb, when a book series goes over 5 books, we’re in dangerous territory.
2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?
I’m gonna have to copy Holly on this one: cliffhangers are a great device to keep you reading, but please don’t use one to end your series or stand-alone book!
3. HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?
If it’s a book I’m going to be reading a lot, hardback. I’ve had too many paperbacks fall apart on me (looking at you, Prisoner of Azkaban). But otherwise, I’ll settle for paperback.
4. FAVORITE BOOK?
Just one? I legitimately don’t have one favorite book. I’m gonna pass on this question.
5. LEAST FAVORITE BOOK?
Jurassic Park isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but I cherish a special resentment for it. Despite all the action, I find it incredibly boring and difficult to read because of the flat characters and awkward prose. Sure, the themes are cool, but I think that it’s way overrated. (Read my review for more specific reasons for my dislike of Jurassic Park.)
6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?
No. They’re overused as a shortcut to drama.
7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T FINISH?
I rarely DNF books. But a few months ago, I tried to re-read A Wrinkle in Time, and I just… couldn’t do it. I pushed to about the third chapter before I’d had enough. Madeline L’Engle’s writing style grated on me, and I found the dynamic between Meg and Calvin thoroughly unconvincing. I remember liking A Wrinkle in Time as a kid, but it didn’t do it for me this time around.
8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?
T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets. It make my head spin. I’m not sure if I’m meant to understand it or not.
9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. It’s a short but brilliant graphic novel that intertwines Chinese, Christian, and American mythology to explore what it’s like to be caught between two cultures as a kid of an immigrant. (Notice the “Transformer” on the front cover?) It resonates with me so much, and I feel like it could be the defining book for a generation of multicultural kids.
10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*
I’ve read parts of Gilgamesh but not the whole thing, so I won’t count it. The oldest whole book I’ve read is the Iliad. It was written around 762 BC, give or take 50 years, according to Google.
11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*
I think that would be The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz, which came out in 2016. It’s a wonderful middle grade novel that explores race, religion, and truth in the Middle Ages. I don’t agree with everything the author says, but it’s a worthwhile read.
12. FAVORITE AUTHOR?
C.S. Lewis, all the way. I love everything I’ve read by him (except for Perelandra but it wasn’t bad, just not my cup of tea), and he was such a good man in his own right.
13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?
If it’s a book I’m going to want to write in–buying. If it’s a book I don’t think I’ll like–borrowing. Otherwise–I’m good either way.
14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE?
I’m going to have to go with A Wrinkle in Time again here. Heck, it has a Newbery Medal, and so many people loved it growing up. But I don’t think it’s that good.
15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?
Bookmarks all the way. If I don’t have a bookmark, I’ll just try to remember where I left off. I refuse to dog-ear my pages.
16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS REREAD?
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall. I first read this when I was seven or eight, and I’ve read it at least twenty times since then. It hasn’t lost any of its charm.
17. CAN YOU READ WHILE HEARING MUSIC?
Yes. When your sister is always playing the banjo in the same room that you’re trying to read in, you have to adapt.
18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POV’S?
One POV is perfectly fine. Multiple POVs are hit-or-miss. I hate books that alternate POVs, but both are in first person. It’s so hard to keep track of who’s speaking. I also don’t like books in which the chapter titles tell you whose POV the upcoming chapter will be. But what I love are books with a main character but a third person omniscient narrator who can sort of enter everyone’s mind and tell you what everyone’s thinking, like in Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer (can you tell I really like middle grade?). Those are fun to read and even more fun to write. Also: books where the narrator isn’t the main character, like the aforementioned Inquisitor’s Tale. Those are awesome.
19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?
My favorite way to read a book is reading it in one sitting at first, then rereading it right away at a slower pace. But I can’t always do that for everything. I usually read books for class one time over multiple days, because they’re often too dense to read more quickly.
20. A BOOK YOU’VE READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER?
I can’t think of one. I don’t usually do that. However, there are plenty of books I haven’t read because of the cover!
What do you think about my answers? How would you answer these questions? Let me know in comments!