Booking Through Thursday: Serial

Series? Or stand-alone books?

I’m personally fine with both. A lot of the books I read are stand-alone novels. And sometimes I wish that there could have been more when I’m finished. But, at the same time, sometimes I like those endings to stand-alones because it lets me imagine my own future for the characters.

But I also love series. I find it easier to read series after they are all written. Sometimes it’s just because I don’t like so much time to go by between the installments because I want to know what happens next NOW! 🙂 But sometimes it’s just because I feel like I forget a lot of the details before the next book. That might not be a problem if I didn’t read so many books between those installments.

Nevertheless, I love Harry Potter. I love the Mysterious Benedict Society. I love the Pink Carnation books. I love the Hunger Games. I love Across the Universe (this series just started and I just finished the first book). And I love these just as much as some of my favorite stand-alones: The Count of Monte Cristo, Stardust, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Pride and Prejudice.

Booking Through Thursday: Multi-Tasking

Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?
Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?
(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

I do not multi-task while reading. On occasion, I can read while the television is on. But for that to work it has to be something I’ve seen many time or am completely uninterested in otherwise it distracts me too much to read. Even having certain types of music on can distract me while I’m reading (I’m not good at blocking outside noise). So I prefer to do nothing but read. Actually, one of my favorite ways to spend some time in the evening is to read while my husband plays Halo on his Xbox. That doesn’t distract me because I have no interest in it whatsoever 🙂

 

Booking Through Thursday: Heavy!!

What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?

I have to say that I think the largest book I’ve ever read was a Harry Potter book. Now, I don’t know off hand which is the biggest and heaviest. But whichever is, that’s the biggest, heaviest book I’ve read. However, my nice edition of The Count of Monte Cristo, which has 1400-some pages, is by far the largest, heaviest book I own. And, while CoMC is my favorite book, since it’s so long, I haven’t reread it since I bought that edition. I just can’t seem to put aside new books long enough to reread my long favorite book 😦

Oh, and the longest Harry Potter book was for pleasure 🙂

Booking Through Thursday: Annual Review

What’s the best book you read this year (2010)?
Worst?
Favorite?

Best: I think this one is a tie.

Worst: I don’t finish books if I don’t like them, but this is the one book I put down quickest and with most relief.

Favorite: Wouldn’t the book(s) I thought best would be considered my favorites? But I really REALLY enjoyed this reread and think Jim Dale is amazing!!

 

Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?
(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?)
And, DO you return books you borrow?

For me, it doesn’t really matter who I borrow a book from. With friends I feel like I can borrow it for a longer period of time than I borrow one from the library–my new library only lends out books for 3 weeks (I miss my old library, which lended them out for 4 weeks. And they would hold requests for 9 days, meaning I could go only once a week, where my new library only holds them for 3 days, so I have to go lots 😦 Anyways…)

My friends do trust me with their books, but I am apprehensive to lend out my own books. All four of my Twilight books are out floating amongst my three sisters 🙂 And they have been for over a year now haha But I honestly trust my friends with my books more than my sisters, since my friends will be more careful with them and return them whereas my sisters may just keep them forever, since I’ll always be in contact with them.

Of course I return books I borrow!! I have rarely “stolen” a book from the person I borrowed it from–the exceptions being a couple of books I never returned to my fifth grade teacher (yeah, 11 years ago). And those books are actually still some of my favorite books that I continue to reread on a rainy day 😀

 

Booking Through Thursday: War Stories

It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …

Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

Yes, I read war stories. One of my top five books is actually All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, a WWI semi-autobiographical novel 😀 Although, I tend to read more Holocaust fiction/non-fiction than any other war stories–and those are more about the Holocaust than the actual war itself. I didn’t really enjoy We Were Soldiers Once…And Young by Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway, which was a non-fiction account of the Vietnam War. There was just too much military strategy and the like to make it interesting enough for me 😦 For this reason, I think I’m more drawn to the fiction or, at least non-military-esque non-fiction.

Now I would just like to include an idea about war, which I found in AQotWF, that I think rings true for many people:

A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends. At some table a document is signed by some persons whom none of us knows, and then for years together that very crime on which formerly the world’s condemnation and severest penalty fall, becomes our highest aim. But who can draw such a distinction when he looks at these quiet men with their childlike faces and apostles’ beards. (p105)

And, because I can include it, here is a conversation, also about war, which I really like from AQotWF:

“But what I would like to know,” says Albert, “is whether there would not have been a war if the Kaiser had said No.” “I’m sure there would,” I interject, “he was against it from the first.”

“Well, if not him alone, then perhaps if twenty or thirty people in the world had said No.”

“That’s probable,” I agree, “but they damned well said Yes.”

“It’s queer, when one thinks about it,” goes on Kropp, “we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who’s in the right?” “Perhaps both,” say I without believing it. “Yes, well now,” pursues Albert, and I see that he means to drive me into a corner, “but our professors and parsons and newspapers say that we are the only ones that are right, and let’s hope so;–but the French professors and parsons and newspapers say that the right is on their side, now what about that?”

“That I don’t know,” I say, “but whichever way it is there’s war all the same and every month more countries coming in.”

Tjaden reappears. He is still quite excited and again joins the conversation, wondering just how a war gets started.

“Mostly by one country badly offending another,” answers Albert with a slight air of superiority.

Then Tjaden pretends to be obtuse. “A country? I don’t follow. A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat.”

“Are you really as stupid as that, or are you just pulling my leg?” growls Kropp, “I don’t mean that at all. One people offends the other–”

“Then I haven’t any business here at all,” replies Tjaden. “I don’t feel myself offended.” (p.110-111)

 

Booking Through Thursday: Skeletons

In honor of Halloween this weekend:

What reading skeletons do you have in your closet? Books you’d be ashamed to let people know you love? Addiction to the worst kind of (fill in cheesy genre here)? Your old collection of Bobbsey Twin Mysteries lovingly stored behind your “grown-up” books? You get the picture … come on, confess!

I honestly aren’t usually ashamed of anything I read. I don’t usually care what other people think about the books I read. If I actually did read romance novels, I would be slightly embarrassed when others could see–just from the cover–that I’m reading cheesy romances. But, as I don’t read romances, I don’t have that problem. I don’t mind admitting to reading or when people see that I read books such as The Mysterious Benedict Society series or other tween-aged books. Some of my favorite books are books I have loved since elementary school, which was over a decade ago. I’ll read Ella Enchanted any day, and not be bothered if people might see me reading it.

In short, I just don’t care what people think of the books I read and the books I love. Why should I? I bet those who would judge others by what they read most are the people who don’t even read a book a year 🙂 Or those who stick to purely the NYT best-selling lists…or Oprah’s Book Club haha

Booking Through Thursday: Foreign

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

Most of my favorite books take place and are written by foreign authors. My all time favorite novel is The Count of Monte Cristo, set in France, by Alexandre Dumas, a Frenchman. I also love Jane Austen’s works, which are all English/British. I think I tend to read more American-authors/American-based books than I really believe I do. I haven’t often cared for the American lit classics (Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, etc.), but more recent works by American authors have been catching my eye lately. Reading is somewhat of a vacation for me, so I guess subconsciously I attempt to read more foreign-based books because they take me where I couldn’t as easily travel physically/literally.

Booking Through Thursday: Travel

When you travel, how many books do you bring with you?
Has this changed since the arrival of ebooks?

I guess it depends on where I’m going and what I expect to do. I go to my family’s cottage for a week every year and when I’m there, it’s more or less for relaxation–we don’t really go out and do much but hang out on the lake. So I take many books there, since I know I’ll spend a lot of my time reading. However, if I’m going somewhere else where I have lots of things to do and see, I take fewer books because I know I won’t read as often, if at all.

I at least always bring the book I’m reading currently and another book for if I finish it. So, at least always two books. On a relaxation vacation, for a week, I’d probably take a total of five books; for a busy-doing-things vacation, for a week, I’d probably take no more than three total.

As far as ebooks go, I can’t bring myself to buy an ebook reader. I know they’re pretty reasonably priced now, like the Kindle, but nothing can compare to the feel of a book in my hands. Plus, I often take library books on vacation, so with an ebook reader that wouldn’t really work. And, another thing, I’d always be afraid to take an ebook reader to some of my vacation locations, like to the lake–I just think I’d ruin it with sand or water or something.

Booking Through Thursday: Series

Suggested by Jennifer:

If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?
And, do you keep reading anyway?

I have to admit first off that I didn’t know what “jumping the shark” was before I Googled it. I have never heard that particular saying. So, if anyone’s like me, I’m told it means “an idiom used to describe the moment of downturn for a previously successful enterprise (in this case series)”.

Alright, now to answer the question. No, I don’t think I’ve ever read a series where the author does something crazy and completely different from the other books. Most of the series I read are by authors who pretty much know what they want out of the whole series, such as JK Rowling with Harry Potter or Gail Carriger with the Parasol Protectorate quintet. Granted Carriger has only written three of the five for this quintet, she has her plans for the quintet as a whole. I think that when authors go into a series this way, they don’t have as much crazy stuff or big disappointments.

On the other hand, my favorite continuing series, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, is one I think doesn’t have a definite plan. Willig has never said if she has a plan for the series or where it’s really going. But I love it anyways! She still does a wonderful job and I don’t think I’ve ever not loved on of her books.

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EDIT: I can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier. I did find Rowling’s last Harry Potter installment, HP and the Deathly Hallows, to “jump the shark”. I love all of the first six books and loathe the seventh. It’s possible that the end of the HP series was lurking in the back of by subconscious, but I really just didn’t like it. And I pretty much know why–it was completely different from all of the previous books. Where most of the characters have fought in large groups for good or evil in the past, #7 just seemed to me to be a bunch of individuals running around fighting each other. I guess I got too comfortable with the typical storyline of the first six and the difference just made me dislike it. Of course I will still watch the movies when they come out on DVD from the library. (I refuse to play into the scheme to make Rowling and the movie companies/theaters even more money by seeing each movie separately–what a scam! LOTR didn’t separate it’s books into different movies because they were “too long”, so why should HP be able to?! (A rant for another day…))