Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A to Z Book Survey: for the love of books and libraries and reading

Aaah...books!  whose wonderful adventures can take you to lands and times far away, or at least away from the present reality. 

Paige did a blog post of this fun survey (link below) which inspired me to write my own.  I'm writing this post in celebration of my new "library."  I always wanted a library--lots of shelves filled with books. 

A to Z Book Survey
Author from whom you've read the most books:                       
I love CS Lewis and the Narnia books.  These books have special meanings dating back to my childhood.  (more later)  I've also read some of his other books. 

Best loved books read as a child:                                                                                               Laura Ingalls Wilder  Little House books.  I wanted to be a pioneer girl so much!
Edgar Eager magic books 
Nancy Drew  I still have some!  I remember sharing these books with my neighborhood girlfriends.
the children's shelves in my new "library"                                                          

Currently reading:                                                                    
I usually have a paper book I'm reading plus one or two I'm listening to-- 
paper book:  Random Harvest by James Hilton.This is my third reading, but it's been quite a long time since I read it last.  I was reading The Butler, A Witness to History but put it down (temporarily) because Random Harvest kept winking at me from the bookshelf.
in the car CD player:  Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer about George Mallory (who attempted to climb Mt. Everest--a subject I'm interested in--vicariously, of course!)  I'm enjoying the book and the reader who does a great job.                                                                     
in the home CD player:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  I have read this book before, but I'm currently listening in order to refresh my memory since it's my book club book for this month. 

Drink of choice while reading: 
not usually.  I read a paper book in bed just before I fall asleep.  If I'm listening to a book in my house I may be cooking or doing a project or tie dyeing.  A drink would be non consequential.

E-reader or physical book:
physical only. or on the CD player.  I don't own an e-reader.  I may consider it though, since I must always have a book with me and lugging several books on vacation can be problematic.

Fictional character you would have actually dated in high school: 
truly don't know.  although Mr. Darcy is a possibility.
a better F--
Fun books:
The Ride of Our Lives by Mike Leonard
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Glad you gave this book a chance: 
What always comes to mind with this question is a past book club selection--To Dance With the White Dog by Terry Kay.  I would have put it down in the beginning if it wasn't for book club.  But I slogged on and ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

Hidden gem book: 
Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Important moment(s) in your reading life:
As a young girl, I was excited to learn how to say the words on the page of a book.  And the pictures were so cool!
Very important was that my mother read to me and my brother, sitting in the hallway between our bedrooms.  I especially remember her reading C. S. Lewis Narnia books and the Bible.
(Maybe this is one reason I enjoy listening to audio books so much.)

Just finished:
Ann Patchett's State of Wonder (for book club).  very interesting and I enjoyed it.  I give it 4 out of 5 *s, maybe 4.5 if I'm generous.  If she writes a sequel I would love to read it.  The ending left me a bit unsatisfied.  If she left it hanging on purpose with a sequel in mind, then great.

Kinds of books you won't read:
basically romance and gory crime

Longest book you've read:
perhaps The Lord of the Rings if you count all 3 books @1216 pages.
trying to think of other long books I've read.  Anna Karenina comes to mind @ 832 pages.  Oh yeah.  Gone With the Wind @1048 pages.  but I listened to it.  so much better than the movie!

Major book hangover because of:
aaahhh...a rarity.  I love a book that won't let me put it down.  sorry.  can't think of any at the moment, not the kind that keeps me up all night.

Number of bookcases you own:
3 small ones and one recently built large one which still needs some touch-up paint.  (Books can live in many places besides bookcases!  just sayin'!)
My new library.  It's not completely finished yet.  For one, I need to decide what to do with the round table.  I'm thinking of getting glass for the top under which I can put changing memorabilia.  leave wood colored?  paint all or part white?  new knobs for drawers?  This was a thrift store find.  
PS:  The clocks are family heirlooms collected by my Dad.

One book you have read multiple times:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe--over 30 times!
Like Paige, I will read a book more than once.  I will listen to a book that I've read earlier, too.  nothing like a good friend!

Preferred place to read:
anywhere and everywhere!
The new chairs get the kitty stamp of approval.  In fact if I sit in one of these chairs Oliver will often come and sit with me.  so comfy and they recline, too!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the good feelings from a book you've read:
Reading makes immigrants of us all.  It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.
~Hazel Rochman

Reading regret:
I don't remember the title, but I kept reading this book thinking it had to get better or have a point that was interesting.  It didn't.  bummer.

Series you've started and long to finish:
Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. a much more sophisticated Nancy Drew.  very fun.  The newest one came out recently and I just got it from the library.
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.  The reader, Lisette Lecat, is so wonderful!  I just finished listening to the newest one.

Three of your all-time favorite books:
tough one.  almost like choosing your favorite child.  almost.  I already mentioned the Narnia books.

Unapologetic fangirl for:
sorry to be boring.  Narnia.  I love the adventure, the settings, and the magic.  (and the childhood memories)

Very excited for this release:
really, just don't know.  I don't tend to look for new releases.    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, read for book club, was interesting.  The author told one of our members she is writing a sequel.  

Worst bookish habit:
starting and not finishing a book.  or laying it aside and going back later only to have to go back a bit to pick up the sense of it.

Writers you've met:
Yep. I'm adding another W!
Nora Roberts--I went to school with her for 4 years.  I saw her about 7 years ago at a book signing and brought our 8th grade graduation photo.  She was very lovely.
Brandon Marie Miller--She was a neighbor.  (I moved away.)  Our kids went to school together.  She writes history books for young adults.  website
Howard Storm--My Decent into Death.  
Jack Kerley--is in a writing group with one of my friends.  He wrote a book that was published, and for which the movie rights have been bought.  Courtesy of my friend, he came to one of our book club meetings.  The Hundredth Man website

X marks the spot!  Start at the top of your bookshelf and choose the 27th book:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  Dare I admit that I have not yet read this book?!

Your latest book to purchase or borrow:
Mr. Midshipman Hownblower by C. S. Forester, the first in a series.  It's been mentioned several times as a favorite, so I ordered it from the library.  I have not yet begun it.

Zzzzz-snatcher.  a book that kept you up WAY too late:
This was not in a good way.  The Frontiersman by Allan W. Eckert.  Although this was a good book, there was a grim part, not good for bedtime reading.  I became more and more awake, then had to put the book down, do something else for a while, and finally pick up another book to read in order to fall asleep.

As if this were not already enough questions, here's one that would've been fun to answer:

If you are in a book club, what are a few favorites the club has read?
so many, but here are a few from the last 3-4 years
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Tender to the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
The Language of Flowers by Audrey Diffenbaugh

I've read almost all of Barbara Kingsolver's books.  She has a fabulous reading voice, too.  (The Poisonwood Bible was short listed for the Pulitzer Prize.)
I loved The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.  

If you love books please consider writing your own Survey post!  And come back and share the link in the comments.

Oh, and if you have favorites, please do tell in the comments!

Paige's POST: A to Z Book Survey

Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Ms Jenny, is so much fun!  This week our letter is  "L"--for Library.  Come visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!  

photos by me  © 2014   all rights reserved


  1. I like the picture of Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, and Puff. Those were the characters I read about in first grade 65 years ago. Can't believe I remember their names.

  2. Yay! I love it when people fill out the book survey! :-)

    We had some similar favorites as kids: Little House and Nancy Drew. I'm also bad about starting and not finishing a book right away. It doesn't happen all the time, but if there are too many things I want to read at once, it gets a little scattered. Haha.

  3. Margaret, we have the same taste in books. Have you read The Goldfinch? I am three quarters of the way through it. I loved State of Wonder, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I have read many of the other books you mentioned. My absolute favorite book is an old one--Deliverance, by James Dickey. The movie was an action film, but the book had begun as an epic poem by Dickey. I have read it at least 10 times. His writing is so beautiful.

  4. Wow, indepth report on your reading!!! Have you read any of Liz Curtis Higgs' books? Her scottish trilogy beginning with "A Thorn in My Heart" is one of my favorites. I also love the Narnia series! Read it to my kids growing up! Also, read any of Jane Kirkpatrick? I guess I just love historical fiction. :)

    I love the coffee table the way it is. I always think that a library needs some wood--it's so rich-- but your idea to put a glass top on it is awesome! Just keep the rest of the wood to match the clocks on the shelves. That's my vote!

  5. What a gorgeous library. I love how your kitty stole the best sitting spot :)

  6. I read a lot so I appreciate your list of books. I also like to read a paper book in bed just before I go to sleep. But I do have an e-reader...for the very same reason you think you might like to get one.

  7. Really cool. I would like to try this I wonder if I can answer all the questions! Thanks for sharing this and yourself. And thanks for coming and visiting my post. See you tomorrow for letter M?


  8. There is a Spanish woman writer I read all his books, his name is Almudena Grandes!

  9. Lots of books ! I love to read too, and now with my Kindle it is so easy especially when I travel I have my library with me !

  10. What a fun book-lovers post! Wow, your new library looks awesome! I LOVE the pattern on the chairs. Oliver looks so cute laying on one of them! Sammy and I won't fit on ours together ;-) I've read and enjoyed Gone with the wind. I prefer real books to audio or kindle. My all time favourite is Life of Pi. And God of Small Things is a wonderful book too!

  11. a great letter L post! And a great library you have! I wish I could build a bookcase like that in my small living room. It would definitely take over the front of my small house, but that's where I spend most of my time, especially during the summer. It's just too darn hot in my workroom. The one book I remember the most is Charlotte's Web. Maybe that's because my mom and I read it a zillion times when I was a girl. I wonder if she ever got tired of it... Probably not! {:-D

  12. Your library is lovely!

    And so is your reading list!

    I found some new authors there I haven't seen so I'm excited!

    Thanks for linking this loveliness to the letter L.



Your comments make my day! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!