Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Book survey meme

I wasn't going to do this because I just don't have good answers for a lot of the questions. But I decided I do have enough to make it worthwhile.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

I'm not sure, since my mother threw a lot of my stuff out when she moved while I was overseas. The Molesworth books, I think, or my Asterix books, acquired here when I was at uni, and overseas.

2. What is your last read, your current read, and the book you'll read next?

Last read: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. This was great--interesting SF premise and characters--and I'm going to order the sequels from the library.

Current read: Strawberries with the Führer by Helga Tiscenko. This is a weird one. I got this purely on the strength of having known Helga when I was about 9 or 10. She was a friend of my parents and often came round to our place for dinner, and I thought her and her Russian husband Nick two of the most fascinating and exotic people I knew at that time (along with the Greek/Hungarian couple from Egypt whose kids I played with). Nick taught me some Russian, and I must have got at least one thump on the arm from my mother for Mentioning The War to Helga because I wouldn't have been able to resist. I don't remember her ever saying anything though, and that's hardly surprising now I've read most of her book. Wow, I had no idea. Her father was an SS general and both parents were party members, and she says it took her a very long time to come to terms with the beliefs of her beloved parents. The book's a fascinating read; she had an exciting and often scary life as a child and teenager during and after the war, and met a range of interesting and eccentric characters. As for Hitler, she met him twice. Yes, she did have strawberries with him as a child of about five, after giving him some flowers, and she shook his hand once as a teenager. I wonder if my parents knew; I doubt it very much. I was creeped out by her honest description of how she'd have died for him back then, not knowing what she knew later.

Next read: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. I'm finally at the top of the queue and I'm picking it up tomorrow.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

I'm not sure. I read a couple of chapters of an Anne Rice vampire book a friend pressed on me before I gave it back and said I hated it, but I wouldn't say everyone liked those.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

I can't think of any. I do have unread books I own, but I'll get to them.

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

Why would I do that? If I want to read a book, I'll do so (if I can get hold of it). Roll on a standard book reader I can easily and cheaply download to.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

I will look at the last page if the book's so boring or unpleasant in some way that I doubt I can force myself to read any more. And Silvia Engdahl's Children of the Star was a very recent one (boring and long-winded and preachy) in spades.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I used to read those out of a sort of sense of duty, but I can't be bothered now unless they're short and pithy and catch my eye.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

I'd have said none, but I realise that I'd swap with the one I was named after: Nicola Marlow. She's intelligent and good at sport and competent and only has the rigours of school to deal with, and does so fairly well too. I'm not sure how I'd handle having an adolescence spanning decades though, Forest having set each successive book in the then current time.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

Asterix? The German ones remind me of when I lived there, and the earliest ones of when I used to go baby-sitting when I was a uni, as that's where I first came across them.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

Pass. Unless you count swapping one SF book for The Dispossessed in a Roman pensione catering to young people; they had a book swap shelf.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I gave a pop-up Star Trek book to a friend after her step-father died, just to give her a smile.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

The Asterix books I bought in Germany, since they've been half-way round the world with me.

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad ten years later?

I was lucky that I quite liked the books I read, except for Lord of the Flies which I loathed. I never read it again because I wouldn't like it any better.

14. What is the strangest item you've ever found in a book?

I don't think I have.

15. Used or brand new?

I mainly read used because I go to the library for most of my fiction, but I'll buy books I know I'll read again.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

I've never read any of his. I don't like horror.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

I know I have, but can I think of it now?

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

I like most of the films I've seen, and can't really speak for the ones I haven't.

19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Those books by people who go and live in Provence or Tuscany.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

Everyone's tastes are different, but I'll read anyone's rec or book posts, even if the reasons they like something are the ones I'd hate it.

Tags: books, meme - books
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