Got this one because someone thinks I’m a literary geek. As I go through the questions, I’m beginning to wonder about that, I’m afraid … I’m only tagging folks I think might want to see my answers. No one’s on the hook here — this took me forever to answer, so I won’t subject anyone else to the time sink. The original also said not to bother with italics … so I’m not.
1. What author do you own the most books by?
Strangely, I’m going to say Terrance Dicks. We have a ton of Doctor Who novelizations. Not counting that, probably Harlan Ellison.
2. What book do you own the most copies of?
As far as I know we only have multiple copies of one book at the moment: Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean.
3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not in the least bit. (Hearing Douglas Rain’s voice there.)
4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
At least three but none of them have been widely published as yet.
5. What book have you read the most times in your life?
Probably The Lord of the Rings. With The Hot Zone a close second.
6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth.
7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
I haven’t read any books I’d consider genuinely bad in the past year, so I’ll take a pass on this question.
8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Don’t know if it’s the best, but Against All Enemies by Richard A. Clarke is probably the most important. And I definitely enjoyed reading it.
9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I wouldn’t want to force anyone (because who would enjoy the book then?) but I think if you read either The Wild Trees by Richard Preston or Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson, you would not be disappointed.
10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
I have no freaking clue. Honestly I don’t read much of the literature that gets one awarded a Nobel Prize.
11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston — but only if done as a documentary, not fictionalized.
12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
The Prisoner: Shattered Visage, by Dean Motter & Mark Askwith. This story does just fine in its original form, and some “franchises” should just be left alone.
13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I’ve had a couple where the point of view shifted between myself playing an RPG and the actions of the characters in that game as it was being played. Pretty wild stuff.
14. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I have read a handful of Harlequin romance novels. For research. Seriously.
15. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
The Seidensticker translation of The Tale of Genji. Still working my way through it.
16. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
The ones I’ve seen are considered the most well-known ones.
17. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I haven’t read enough of either to fairly judge.
18. Roth or Updike?
Don’t think I’ve read any of either.
19. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
I’ve had some Sedaris read to me, which I enjoyed a lot.
20. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare all the way. (Not that I’ve read a lot of Milton or Chaucer.)
21. Austen or Eliot?
I’ve read “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” … oh, I bet you meant George Eliot. Haven’t read either.
22. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
See answers to questions 17 – 21, above.
23. What is your favorite novel?
I can’t decide the answer to this. I’ve tried. I just can’t.
The Zoo Story, by Edward Albee. Stumbled on it by chance in high school, didn’t understand it at all then, but was blown away anyway. After having seen it performed once, and having read it a few dozen more times, I think I’m finally beginning to get my head around it.
I think there would have to be at least ten of these. So for today let’s say: Grass, by Carl Sandburg.
You, Too Can Speak Gaelic, by Isaac Asimov. Everything I know about pronouncing long scientific names comes from there. First runner-up: The chapter about Hillsborough in Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby.
27. Short story?
A Quantum of Solace, by Ian Fleming. A James Bond story in which Bond is nothing more than the listener of a tale related by someone else — this story makes some very insightful points about human relationships.
28. Work of nonfiction?
The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston. It’s approaching LOTR for the book I’ve read the most times, and it still manages to scare the snot outta me.
29. Who is your favorite writer?
30. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
31. What is your desert island book?
Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy.
32. And… what are you reading right now?
Thank You, Mr. Moto by John P. Marquand; The Secret Life of Houdini: the Making of America’s First Superhero, by William Kalush and Larry Sloman; Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower; several RPG rulebooks