Today I am going to do Annie Hawthorne’s tag from her newly launched Curious Wren blog here. It’s a lovely blog; please head over there and check it out.
- What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
Oh ho! The last book I read was one I wrote, and I DO recommend it! But it’s only the first draft yet, so I had better think of another one…. I’ll do Pendragon’s Heir, by Suzannah Rowntree; I read that one last week. For starts, I definitely recommend it; it has one mature plot line, but it is very well handled. It’s basically a retelling of the King Arthur legends, but in novel form with a great set of protagonists and plenty of twists and turns, even for those familiar with the legends. If I could use a few words to describe it, they would be: gripping, majestic, bittersweet, and epic. I am always impressed with this author’s ability to write a good story…her stories stick with me after I’ve finished them, and that is a big accomplishment.
2. Describe the perfect reading spot.
Ooh, a window seat or chair beside a window, preferably with rain outside. And if it’s chilly, with a blanket or heater nearby.
3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers?
I probably like coffee the best, nice and hot, but I won’t turn down hot chocolate or a good cup of Irish Breakfast Tea or Chai.
4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
Suiting the action to the word, John Browdie just jerked his elbow into the chest of Mr. Squeers who was advancing upon Smike; with so much dexterity that the schoolmaster reeled and staggered back upon Ralph Nickleby, and being unable to recover his balance, knocked that gentleman off his chair, and stumbled heavily upon him. –Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself on this one…I just love seeing Ralph Nickleby falling off a chair!
And this is not really from a book, but I loved it anyway.
Under the wide and starry sky, dig the grave and let me lie: glad did I live and gladly die, and I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you ‘grave for me: here he lies where he long’d to be; home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill. –“Requiem”, by Robert Louis Stevenson
And here are two proper quotes:
Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver, until at last it was rolled back, and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise. ― The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
It may be that the night will close over us in the end, but I believe that morning will come again. Morning always grows out of the darkness, though maybe not for the people who saw the sun go down. We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind. ― The Lantern Bearers, Rosemary Sutcliff.
- What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic?
Fantasy: It would probably be The Lord of the Rings, though the Narnia books are close behind.
Dystopia: I’ve never really cared for any of the dystopian stories that I’ve read, but I’ve not given up on the genre yet if anyone has any suggestions.
Contemporary: I really enjoyed Linda Nicholls’s books At the Scent of Water and Handyman.
Sci-Fi: I’ve never actually read a sci-fi book as far as I can recollect.
Classic: There are too many to count. I like almost everything by Robert Louis Stevenson and I really enjoyed Nicholas Nickleby recently.
- List three authors you’ve collected the most books from?
Rosemary Sutcliff, Marguerite Henry, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw.
- What are your thoughts on magic in literature?
I don’t read a lot of books that deal with magic, but if it’s straightforward (like in The Lord of the Rings) and it isn’t either too weird or witchcraft that is used or condoned by the protagonists, I don’t mind it.
- What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images.
I like covers with bright colors and either action or something symbolic to the story. Here are a few examples:
- Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this.
Thormod, from Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff. It’s been a long time since I’ve read that book, but he was alive. There are very few characters in books that have seemed that alive to me, but he was one, and I loved him to bits.
- Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies?
It depends on the book. I will lend now and again—I like sharing the books I love. (Especially if you have twelve copies of the book already. True story!) However, there are some books that I hold on to either because they are really old or because I don’t want to be separated from them, and with those it would be like giving away my babies.
Thanks to Annie for the wonderful questions—I loved answering them!