BTT this week is about fictional characters:
Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?
What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?
I don’t think I have tried to emulate any character specifically, I have admired and respected some characters as I would some people in real life. For some reason, the narrator in Gilead comes to mind. Also, when I was very young, I did want to be some of the characters in books like Wendy in Peter Pan if only because I wanted to have adventures.
As for who I am like, this is difficult to answer. I’ve read so many books with so many characters. There hasn’t been an instance where I feel a character is a GPOY or Gratuitous Picture of Yourself (Myself). I once took a Jane Austen quiz and it told me I was Elizabeth Bennet and I do agree that Lizzie and I have the same sense of humor. Along the line of the classics, when I read Jane Eyre, I saw a bit of myself in her mostly in terms of her pragmatism and her sensitivity. I can’t be like these characters though in terms of their romantic lives. It is actually a bit limiting to encapsulate myself from one character in a novel. Most stories don’t even tell you everything about the character or their journeys. So it is a bit apples to oranges for me.
I am back to reading again, though the recovery from such a busy two months has not been easy to transition. I’ve been watching more movies lately than reading as a result. I am a bit restless, but I have gotten back to it. I have four books going right now. I’m not usually a book polygamist, but circumstances have let it happened.
I haven’t really read Othello in weeks, and I’m taking a break from Count of Monte Cristo because I had to return the library book. I started Gilead by Marilynne Robinson last Sunday when I was on the road home, but I’m actively reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life this weekend.
Food books and memoirs are not foreign to my literary diet, but this is actually my first Kingsolver book. I bought The Poisonwood Bible last November during a book sale, but like many books I own, I have yet to read it. I like her style, though her fiction may be slightly different than her nonfiction. I do enjoy the idea of gardening and having the abilities to produce one’s own food. I share a secret dream of owning chickens for eggs and meat, and of course, a large, varied garden.
I will probably finish the book tomorrow if all goes according to plan, and I want to finish Gilead and Othello before next Sunday as well. When I started Gilead, I was in a vulnerable state, and it very well written. I was easily affected by the prose; it’s interesting how our emotional and literary lives converge. I am not in that same state now, and the words are less impactive as they were when I started. I’ll see how it is when I return to it in a couple of days.
Tina tagged me for this meme:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to Gannsâ€™s blog (heâ€™s the one who tagged me) once youâ€™ve posted your three sentences.
I am using Gilead:
And he looks me right in the face, as though he wants me to know he knows it is a performance and he’s amused by it. I suppose an attempt is a performance, in some sense. But what else can I do?
Feel free to be tagged.
Off I go to read more Kingsolver and maybe take a late afternoon walked. It rained yesterday evening, and while people seek the sun, too many dry April days worried me. Until next week, fellow Salonists.
The Telegraph’s 50 Best Cult Books
1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
No such movie exists. I don’t rewatch movies all that much, and there are a few that I do, but more or less the same amount.
2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
I saw Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone twice because I went with different people. Wasn’t worth it; I don’t want to watch a movie in theatres multiple times again.
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
There are many, but I still weigh it against the likihood of a bad or boring movie. For dead people, I’ll watch anything Audrey Hepburn. For current ones, I’m inclined to Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Ioan Gruffudd, Daniel Craig, basically half the British actors in the world, and a few others.
4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Also many: Sienna Miller, Lindsay Lohan, Adam Sandler, Robin Williams (all his new stuff), Nicholas Cage, and to some degree, Keira Knightly though she is unavoidable and picks some good movies.
5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
A friend and I quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail a bit. Otherwise, The Princess Bride.
6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
None. I know a lot of songs, but not all the lyrics to all the songs.
7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
Singin’ in the Rain, Sound of Music, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (well not really), Moulin Rouge (kinda)
8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
Any movie by Hayao Miyazaki.
9. Name a movie that you own.
I got this meme from Chris.
What kind of soap is in your shower right now? LUSH Fig N Leaves. Very moisturizing.
Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? Not in this cold season.
What would you change about your living room? I’m going to agree with Chris that it needs more bookshelves, and a Persian rug.
Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? We don’t have a dishwasher.
What is in your fridge? Food.
White or wheat bread? Whole Wheat.
What is on top of your refrigerator? Cereal boxes. I don’t even eat it.
What color or design is on your shower curtain? It’s white with multi-coloured bubbles. It’s from Ikea.
How many plants are in your home? At least two.
Is your bed made right now? No.
Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet because I also don’t know what Soft Scrub is.
Is your closet organized? Relatively so.
Can you describe your flashlight? It’s cheap and red.
Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? I usually drink out of a white mug.
Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No.
If you have a garage, is it cluttered? No garage.
Curtains or blinds? Both.
How many pillows do you sleep with? One.
Do you sleep with any lights on at night? No. I like sleeping when it’s pitch dark.
How often do you vacuum? Not very often.
Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard. I wish I had electric.
What color is your toothbrush? Clear and pink. It’s the one the dentist gave me.
Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? A mat, but it doesn’t say anything.
What is in your oven right now? Nothing.
Is there anything under your bed? Nothing.
Chore you hate doing the most? Vacuuming.
What retro items are in your home? Well. I guess maybe a piece of stereo equipment or two.
Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? No, but I would if I had my own house.
How many mirrors are in your home? About 5-7.
What color are your walls? White with beige trimmings. I didn’t choose it.
What does your home smell like right now? Nothing.
Favorite candle scent? Don’t burn many candles here.
What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? None at the moment.
What color is your favorite Bible? I don’t have a bible; I wish I did. I think it would be nice in brown.
Ever been on your roof? No.
Do you own a stereo? Yes.
How many TVs do you have? 2.
How many house phones? 3. Though 2 of them don’t always work.
Do you have a housekeeper? No, we wish.
What style do you decorate in? Our home style.
Do you like solid colors or prints in furniture? Solid.
Is there a smoke detector in your home? Yes, it’s illegal not to have an active one in every floor. We have two I think.
In case of fire, what are the items in your house which youâ€™d grab if you only could make one quick trip? My laptop, journals, and photo albums.
What is your favorite carnival/amusement park ride?
I haven’t been to either in years. I’m not big on them. I’ve never been on a roller coaster either. I use to like the merry go round as a kid.
How do you react in uncomfortable social situations?
I usually try and excuse myself and run away to be alone or find a friend/ally.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy discussing deep, philosophical topics?
It depends on with which people because “deep, philosphical topics” varies between people. In general, I’ll say an 8.5.
Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, do you plan to?
No, I have not gotten a flu shot for a few years. I’ll get it if the opportunity to go to a flu clinic or whatever, but generally no.
Approximately how many hours per week do you spend watching television?
Since the WGA strike, I watch a couple hours less. At present, I will say about 5.
how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist? – BTT
Preservationist. I don’t really like writing in books and leave them as they are. If I wanted to leave notes about them, I’d blog it or write in one of my notebooks or journals. I also can’t stand when people leave notes in library books. I once read a Bill Bryson book where someone had written in the margins complaining about the editing of the French words in the book.Â Some people have too much time on their hands. I will say that I like when books are personalized. When I buy a used book or take out a book that used to be owned by someone, I actually like reading the first page, “To J from M, December 1965” or something to that effect. No one has ever done that for me, but I wouldn’t mind it if the book and person were close to my heart.
Reading Meme found via Dewey’s.
1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? English is not my first language, and I had learned to read in that first language when I was really young, about four or five. I’m illiterate in that language now, but have plans to pick up again. As for English, I learned the alphabet when I was around five. I remember reading small kids books or being read to in grade 1/age six and seven.
2. What do you find most challenging to read? Like Dewey, I find French challenging to read mostly because I never liked French grammar, and I’ve lost all the diction I learned when I was in immersion.
3. What are your library habits? I love my public library even when they sometimes charge me wrongly. I go once a week, on the same day (it’ll rotate next December probably). I request stuff online, and sometimes I browse through Express Reads and new books. Mostly my TBR list is just too long for that.
4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger? I use to go to the library in the summers, and only occasionally during the school year, but starting in high school, I went at least once a week. Sometimes I went twice, just to browse, pick up requested books and dvds, but not to hang out or anything. The library helped get me through high school I think.
5. How has blogging changed your reading life? I’ve been blogging on and off for seven years. It use to be more important to me. This blog has been nice to get me back into reading and discovering some books, but not drastically. I still read a lot less than I did three-four years ago. The reading challenges are really good motivators. I like making lists like that. I also didn’t intend for this blog to be focussed so much on books or expect it would attract the book blog crowd, I’m quite pleased though. Everyone is smart, interesting, and I really don’t have many bibliophile friends. It’s nice knowing about other people who read books like I do.
6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?Â On an average year, I’d say 1-5% is from a new book store because I can’t really afford new books. I don’t really go to second hand book stores, but I do buy bookfair used books. I don’t read them as much as the library books, but I’ll say 20%. I borrow books from friends so that’s another 5-10% sometimes, but it changes. The library has always been my main source of books so it encompasses the remaining 65-75%.
7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about books? Sometimes. I just read Slam by Nick Hornby, and I’m not sure when I review it. I also didn’t review The Road last June. I think it comes down to my mood at present, sometimes my lackluster desire to talk about the book because I feel I’d be going in circles or not sure what to write about it.
8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? The copy of Rebecca I had from the library had page 311 partially ripped out. It was horrible. I also don’t like when people write notes in library books or do anything to library books. Eating with books is okay, but don’t eat with your mouth over it. Ugh.
9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? Sometimes I read at school. I have no time to read at work. I use to in my previous jobs.
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them? Well, I’d like to consider I give them books they would like. I don’t really buy many books fullstop, but I’ve given a bookstore gift certificate before too. There is no shame in a gift certificate in a book store if you know they buy books. Like knitting, I only give books if I know they’ll read, enjoy, and appreciate them or with highly likelihood they would.
Appetizer -NameÂ a great website you would recommend to others.
Soup – On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?
10. I’m a dreamer. I even lucid dreamed I was flying in San Francisco this morning. It was fun.
Salad – Did you have a pet as a child?Â If so, what kind and what was its name?
No, I had a couple of goldfish that kept dieing.
Main Course – If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?
No idea. If I were a celebrity, I wouldn’t want to advertise things either. I would advertise for someone if they gave me a lot of free stuff like books (okay, no ads for books), clothes, bags and shoes, etc.
Dessert – WhatÂ is your favorite kind of hard candy?
I ‘m not much for candy, but I love chocolate.
Do you have â€œissuesâ€ with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) â€œromanticâ€ scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin) – BTT
Not really. I take them in stride, and I first started reading books intended for adults when I was a preteen. That was a surprising, but I learned to take it in stride. Censorship in books is rather an anathema for me. I usually like the books I read so the writing works with these elements or around them to make a decent book. I have looked for these books before, but I’m usually let down by the result. Overly explicit “romantic” books can be rather overrated in the published world.
Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: Itâ€™s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, youâ€™ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think youâ€™re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read? – BTT
If that really happened, I wouldn’t be reading. But if I was, I’d want something light. I’d want chicklit. If I didn’t have that around, I usually go for a good, ol favourite classic such as Jane Austen. I can be stressed quite often so I do want lighter books. I like fiction that I have a feeling won’t be too dark or with an ending too bleak. I usually have a good instinct about books. I also like going through knitting patttern books and cookbooks when I don’t feel up for a real book to cheer me up.
There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we donâ€™t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit? – BTT
We were talking about this on the Ravelry group Yarnwords. I’m not surprised at all since I am one of the biggest readers I know. Most of my friends do read a few books every year, but they do not have the compulsion for it nor do they get the anxiety that I do when I have not read a book for a few weeks. As I said last week, my parents aren’t big readers anymore. I have never seen my mother read a book. I have a couple of friends that read as much as I do. Most don’t. It can be rather isolating because you have no other people to recommend books.
At a big used book sale last year, my friend Annie (who is one of the biggest reading friends) and I went. At one point, we began discussing books with a lot of random people. I was convinced by an older gentleman than Anthony Trollope is better than Charles Dickens and promptly gave me a few of his books to buy. They are on my shelf TBR now. In the contemporary books section, this woman and I began discussing books we had read and she showed me this huge pile she had chosen and asked if I had read any of them and my thoughts. I had read more than half of her books and told her my thoughts. All this was very liberating and wonderful if you can tell. I just don’t talk about fiction with most other people.
When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.) – BTT
My mom doesn’t read books. My Dad is the reader of the two, but of late, he doesn’t read books as much as he did before. He always reads newspapers, and my mom does sometimes when she’s bored. When I was younger, my dad took me the library which is where I spent summers so I’m fond of the library as a result. I’m the big reader in this family which is fine because of cultural differences, I’m quite different from my parents even if I’m close to them. My parents did not read to me, but I definitely will when I have children.