Tuesday, 10 February 2015

50 questions about books

It's been a while since I did a thing like this. So here we go :) (Still trying to break my streak of Dragon Age related stuff).

1. Which is the last book you read?
I haven't started reading this year yet. Been too caught up with Dragon Age and TV shows to actually start a book. So the last book I've read is the last book I read in 2014: Svavelvinter by Erik Granström. It's a Swedish high fantasy novel written in a sort of old fashioned way.

2. Was it any good?
It was a bit hard to get into, so I struggled a bit to begin with (plus the text is really small and it's almost 600 pages long!), but when I got into it I really liked it.

3. What was it about it that was good?
I've missed reading a fantasy novel with a lot of living legends, political intrigues, cunning plots, and very morally grey characters. Loved it! Got the second book in the series for Christmas.

4. Would you recommend it to others?
When I told my best friend that I was reading it she told me that she had tried and failed. But I think I'm more into high fantasy than she is, it's also based off of an RPG world and that may contribute. But I would recommend anyone interested in high fantasy with complicated plots to at least give it a try.

5. How much do you read?
Last year I read 46 books. But that was including univeristy course literature, and some children's books that didn't take me more than a few hours to read. But I'd say about 30 books a year, which isn't a lot really (I know people who read a lot more than that - my mother for one).

6. Do you like to read?
Yes! It was the first form of escapism that I encountered. I remember learning to read, and as soon as it clicked into place I haven't been able to stop.

7. Which was the last bad book you read?
Probably Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.

8. What did you dislike about it?
I had such high hopes for it because I love Disney's version and I went to see the musical back in 2008 when I was in Edinburgh - and it was great. But the book was just boring. I know it's old and children's books have evolved a lot just in the past 50 years. But I loved The Wizard of Oz and that's way older. There was no substance to anything in Mary Poppins, which disappointed me.

9. Do you want to become a writer?
Yes! I've actually sent my first manuscript to a bunch of publishers! Fingers crossed :)

10. Is there any book that has influenced you a lot?
Harry Potter. There's no way around that, is it? I've talked about Harry a lot on this blog. Here's the latest one in which I describe what that series means to me.

11. Do you read fan fiction?
Yes. Mostly Harry Potter, and most of it filling the gap between the end of book 7 and the epilogue Nineteen years later. That's a lovely gap which fans can fill with their own version of things.

12. Do you write fan fiction?
I can't say I haven't tried. But no. I don't. Anymore...

13. Do you have a favourite book?
I read fantasy so I tend to have favourite series rather than favourite books :P I can't pick just one. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. The Wild Hunt by Elspeth Cooper. Burton & Swinburne by Mark Hodder. The Belgariad by David Eddings. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

14. Which is the worst book you've read?
Fördömd by Johanne Hildebrandt.

15. Do you prefer physical books or do you have some form of e-reader?
I prefer physical books. Mostly because my eyes get really tired from reading on a screen, but also because I love the smell of books and because you can see how much love a book gets - the more tattered the more loved.

16. When did you learn how to read?
I think I knew a little before school started, but I learned properly in first grade, which normally (in Sweden) is the year you turn 7.

17. Which is your favourite book of the ones you were forced to read in school?
I hated reading in school. 1-3 grade we'd have a book that we'd read together in class and I hated it because everyone else read so slowly :P Then in 4-6 grade we'd vote on a book that our teacher would read to us. In 7-9 grade we really didn't do that thing (not that I can remember) In 10th grade we had to choose a book to read and write a review on it for Swedish class. I picked Across the Nightingale Floor by Liam Hearn, because I love Asian things. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but at least it was the best one I was forced to read in school.

18. Which is your favourite series?
See question 13.

19. Who is your favourite writer?
Neil Gaiman. Sorry, Jo.

20. Which is your favourite genre?
Fantasy. Since I was 12.

21. Who is your favourite character from a book series?
Sand dan Glokta from The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, whose cynism I absolutely adore,

22. Has a book ever made you feel like you're somewhere completely different?
My answer to question 6 was that reading was the first form of escapism that I encountered. So yes, many times. If a book can't take me from reality to somewhere amazing, then it's usually not a book that I like very much.

23. Which book do you wish had a sequel?
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie. I loved Monza Murcatto and didn't really want to leave Styria when the book ended.

24. Which book do you wish did not have a sequel?
I rather wish that The Belgariad did not have a sequel quintology :P The ending was perfect in The Belgariad and continuing on in The Malloreon felt quite forced.

25. How long does it take for you to read a book?
That completely depends on the book! I could read a normal-sized 300 page book in less than a day if it's good enough that I can't put it down. Most of the books I read, though, are between 400 and 800 pages long and if I do other things than read it usually takes about 5-7 days for one book. Unless it's a short story anthology, because those can take me forever.

26. Do you like when books become movies?
Generally not. But then again Disney's Mary Poppins was a lot better than the book...

27. Which book was ruined by it's movie adaptation?
I've said it so many times but - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It's one of my favourite books in the series and they completely ruined it. It's supposed to be about finding out Voldemort's past, what he came from and what he's done etc etc. Instead it's some cheesy high school romantic drama thing. Eugh!

28. Which movie was true to its book?
I've been so turned off about book-movies since Half-Blood Prince, but possibly Neverwhere. Then again that was a movie first, then the motives changed and it became a TV show, which became a book. Maybe Coraline...?

29. Do you read the news paper?
Not a physical one, but I do follow the news on news papers online.

30. Do you read magazines?
I have a subscription on Doctor Who Magazine! So yes, I do :)

31. Do you prefer news papers or magazines?
Magazines, definitely. But preferably the geeky ones. I don't do women's magazines.

32. Do you read in bed?
Oh, yes.

33. Do you read in the bathroom?
Nope. I do my business and get out.

34. Do you read in the car?
No. I get motion sick so very easily in cars. Every other sort of vehicle is fine, but I can't with cars. I need my eyes glued to the window.

35. Do you read in the tub?
What if my book gets wet? D:

36. Are you a fast reader?
Fairly so.

37. Are you a slow reader?

38. Where do you prefer to read?
In bed.

39. Do you find it hard to concentrate when you read?
If I read in the sofa and the telly is on, I do. But otherwise, no.

40. Do you need to be in a quiet room to be able to read?
Actually I prefer reading while listening to music.

41. Who gave you your love for books?
I can't imagine a life without books. But my family is big on reading. My grandparents read a lot and my mum reads a lot. My mum has a lot of books and I've had books for as long as I can remember. My parents always read bedtime stories for my sister and me, and I started my own collection as soon as I could read. To me, not having at least one bookshelf full of books is as weird as not having a TV.

42. What book is next on your to-read list?
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.

43. When did you start reading chapter books?
Don't know. But I think it was before Harry Potter. So possibly around the age of 7-8?

44. Who is your favourite writer in children's literature?
I want to say J.K. Rowling because technically Harry Potter is a children's series, but I've never been so hooked on children's stories as when I read The Wolves in the Walls, Fortunately the Milk, and The Graveyard Book, all by Neil Gaiman.

45. What writer would you love to interview?
Sometimes I really wish that Lovecraft was still alive... I'd really like to know his own thoughts on his stories and what he thought when he wrote them.

46. What writer do you think you could be friends with?
I have no idea. I haven't met that many and the image you get via interviews and media tends to be angled in some way, and I can't help wondering if it's them we're getting or their work persona. But I'd love to at least get together and have a proper none-fan based conversation with Neil Gaiman. Just a cup of tea.

47. Which book have you read many times?
I've read the entire Harry Potter series as well as The Belgariad more than 3 times each.

48. Which books do you think are classics?
Books whose writers or titles people recognise no matter what literature circles they belong to. You don't have to be a fan of Dracula or Frankenstein to know those titles (or their authors). You don't have to be a fan of Jane Austen to know about Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy. You don't have to be a fan of French literature to know of Voltaire and Les Misérables. And you don't need to be Swedish to know about Pippi Longstocking ;)

49. What books do you think should be read in all schools?
Well, I tend to only read fantasy, and that's actually not considered important enough anywhere to be in schools. And I also know from my own experience that students tend to hate on books they're forced to read. But sometimes the school only wants the students to read to practice their reading not to actually pull the story apart and analyse it, and what better way to do that than to have something light and fun to read? And that's where Skulduggery Pleasant comes in. It's easy enough to read for 9-10 year olds to manage it, and it's fun enough that teenagers will enjoy it.

50. What books should be prohibited in all schools?
Books shouldn't be prohibited. The only way to learn and grow and form opinions is through experience. Books can offer that experience as well as understanding.

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