Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pointing And Laughing

I've seen this book meme floating around various romance blogs, so I thought "what the hell?" OK, I really thought "Gah, I need blog filler!" I tend to not do very many of these book memes because they only succeed in highlighting how grossly not-well-read I am. But the need desire for blog filler wins out in the end. Here it goes:

1) What Author Do You Own The Most Books By? Susan Wiggs. Somewhere in the ballpark of 25-ish. I discovered her historicals several years back and went on a massive glom.

2) What Book Do You Own The Most Copies Of? A tie between Breathless by Laura Lee Guhrke and The Firebrand by Susan Wiggs. I have two copies of Breathless and two copies of The Firebrand, one of which is an autographed ARC.

3) What Fictional Character Are You Secretly In Love With? Murphy Muldoon from Nora Roberts' Born In Shame and Dillon Hennessey from The Horseman by Jillian Hart. There's something about the genuinely "nice guy" as romance novel hero that just turns my insides to goo.

4) What Book Have You Read More Than Any Other? I don't do a lot of rereading. My TBR Anxiety is that overpowering. Books I've read more than once? I Do, I Do, I Do by Maggie Osborne, The Firebrand by Susan Wiggs and Breathless by Laura Lee Guhrke. If audio books count? Easily the Alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton.

5) What Was Your Favorite Book When You Were 10-Years-Old? Sad to say I wasn't much of a reader when I was this age. My guess? The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger. Although I think I was older than 10.

6) What Is The Worst Book You've Read In The Past Year? Probably A Texan On Her Doorstep by Stella Bagwell. I have a couple other "D" reads I could have chosen, but as a feminist this one pissed me off the most.

7) What Is The Best Book You've Read In The Past Year? Kidnapped: His Innocent Mistress by Nicola Cornick. Harlequin-ized title aside, it reminded me so much of the books I loved and devoured as a teenager. It pushed all the right nostalgia buttons for me.

8) If You Could Tell Everyone You Know To Read One Book, What Would It Be? This is a tough one, so I'll pick the book I was the most obnoxious about in recent memory. Heartsick by Chelsea Cain.

9) What Is The Most Difficult Book You've Ever Read? Hard Times by Charles Dickens. So painful I couldn't even finish it.

10) Do You Prefer The French Or The Russians? Um, neither. Although I'll go with the Russians because they gave the world vodka.

11) Shakespeare, Milton Or Chaucer? Shakespeare - but only the tragedies. His comedies annoy the crap out of me.

12) Austen Or Eliot? Neither. Although I lean more to the side of the Austen camp.

13) What Is The Biggest Or Most Embarrassing Gap In Your Reading? The classics. I'm grossly under-read in "classic" literature. That said, my Lil' Sis was an English major, and she's given me the impression that I ain't missing out on much.

14) What Is Your Favorite Novel? Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck. It's breathtakingly perfect. Flawed characters, evocative setting, so emotional it rips your heart out - all in a story that clocks in at barely over 100 pages. Every single word counts, and Steinbeck says no more and no less than he absolutely has to. The greatest writer America has ever produced. Period. You won't convince me otherwise.

15) Play? The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Taken in context of when it was written, it's absolutely bloody brilliant.

16) Poem? Probably The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

17) Essay? I don't read 'em - so I don't have one.

18) Short Story? I read a lot of anthologies, but nothing really stands out. I don't think I've ever graded a short story an "A." Lots of "B"s, but no "A"s.

19) Non-Fiction? Belfast Diary: War As A Way Of Life by John Conroy. One of the few books I was required to read in college that I actually didn't have to slog through.

20) Graphic Novel? I've never read one. Seriously. I know, I'm bad.

21) Science Fiction? I don't like straight-up science fiction. It's just not my thing. For hybrids, I liked Games Of Command by Linnea Sinclair and I enjoy Susan Grant's work.

22) Who Is Your Favorite Writer? Maggie Osborne. There's a real honesty in her books and she never pulled her punches. I wish she was still writing. The romance genre needs her. Hell, I need her.

23) Who Is The Most Overrated Writer Alive Today? Because I love invoking the ire of romance readers - J.R. Ward. Sorry folks. I can't get past the gawd-awful, horrible, mind-numbing dialogue and can't for the life of me understand how the rest of you can. You feel me?

24) What Are You Reading Right Now? Taking Care of Business by Megan Hart & Lauren Dane

25) Best Memoir? In My Hands: Memories Of A Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Opdyke. Technically "young adult" this story knocks the wind right out of you. I defy anyone to read it and not bawl their eyes out.

26) Best History? The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845 - 1849 by Cecil Woodham-Smith. Can you tell I was a college British history major fascinated with British/Irish relations? Everything you ever wanted to know about the potato famine, and a very accessible read.

27) Best Mystery Or Noir? Right now? A toss up between Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain and Money Shot by Christa Faust. I also have mad love for Loren D. Estleman's Amos Walker series.


Blanche said...

Great book meme and answers Wendy!

Anna said...

Dang, I forgot about The Crucible. That's one of my favorites too.

PeggyP said...

Whendy- Oh, I so agree with your JR Ward comment, 12 yr olds at the mall don't sound as goofy as the Brothers. And based on your previous recs, I have glommed Maggie Osborne and enjoyed every one. I have to check out Chelsea Cain, I have somehow bypassed her books but will seek them out, posthaste! Thanks for sharing.

She Reads said...

This is really interesting - I'm going to do this myself right now.

As for your items- I've got your fave book (kidnapped:) in my TBR right now- it gets bumped up to #1! also I've never read a susan wiggs... guess I have to try her.

Finally- I've not been able to get myself to buy a JR Ward book, so I don't know what the hype is all about. ;-) (no ire here for ya!)

JenB said...

Steinbeck. Really? Seriously? Okay, just checking... o.O

And I kind of agree with the JR Ward thing. Although I loved the first four books, the series overall does kind of annoy me. And her rabid fangirls scare the crap out of me. But her books did inspire a kick-ass Dhemon Sheep story on Twitter, so she ain't all bad, true? ;)

Mayberry Mom said...

Regarding your #3. I love Grayson Thane from Born in Ice for the same reason. Just a genuinely nice guy.

Wendy said...

Peggy: Keep in mind the Cain series is suspense. I think everyone should read the series regardless, but I understand that suspense does squirk some readers out, and I can respect that.

She Reads: I've basically glommed on to Wiggs' historicals. I've tried a couple of her contemporaries, and while I thought they were "good," they just didn't have the same impact on me as her historical "voice" does.

JenB: Steinbeck's genius was that he wrote accessible books about "average" "normal" (and often down-trodden) people. He was largely dismissed by the literati at the time, and yet I think it's his books that resonant just as much today as they did back when they were first published.

On most days I say my favorite book is a toss up between Of Mice And Men and Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. But if I'm honest? Steinbeck wins that race by half a length.

Mayberry Mom: Oh, I loved Grayson too! But Murphy really pushed me right over the edge. I keep hoping he'll materialize and show up at my front door. Alas, I'm still waiting.

Hi Blanche and Anna!

Wanderer said...

Hmm....I don't think I've read any of Susan Wiggs' or Maggie Osborne's work either. Will take a look at their books next shopping spree :)

As for Laura Lee Guhrke - I remember reading a couple of hers, but I don't think I've read Breathless. Does she have a book about some archeological site that the heroine is helping the hero with? That plot came to mind when I saw her name.

Re: JR Ward - I just started the series and definitely see where you're coming from. Her characters really caught my interest when each was described during the meeting after the death of their friend. The fact that they were not your typical 'perfect in every sense of the word' vampire made me want to find out more about them and how they experience the world. But the dialogue between the brothers completely throws me out of the story. I'm still in the early stages of book 1 and will just skim the dialogue as needed :)

Wendy said...

Wanderer: I think the LLG book you're thinking of is Guilty Pleasures, which was her first book with Avon. Breathless is from her pre-Avon days, and one of the easier of her OP books to find.

Maggie Osborne retired after her last book, Foxfire Bride, which I want to say came out around 2004/2005. I suspect that most her backlist is out of print now - but she only has a couple of really hard to find titles.....

Renee said...

OK, I've made notes, and will be looking into some of these books! I like the sound of Breathless and The Firebrand. Will have to look for them the next time I cruise the ubs.

Wendy said...

Renee: The Firebrand is book 3 in a trilogy - but (and trust me on this one) it very easily stands alone. You should also have no problem finding it at a UBS, because I know for a fact that it's been reprinted at least once......

Big Sis said...

10) Do You Prefer The French Or The Russians? "Um, neither. Although I'll go with the Russians because they gave the world vodka."

Yes, but the French perfected it.

Kati said...

10) Do You Prefer The French Or The Russians? "Um, neither. Although I'll go with the Russians because they gave the world vodka."

Not to pile on, but the French gave us the croissant too, which really can't be overstated. ;o)

tvaddictgurl said...

I am so with you in regard to JR Ward. I tried to read the first book and didn't even get 50 pages in before I had to throw it across the room. I couldn't stand to go any further. I just don't see the appeal.

Wendy said...

The French also gave us champagne. Of course the worst hangover I ever had in my life was from champagne....


Lil Sis said...

Big Sis - I agree - I used to be a snob about French vodka but damn, it's good drinking! :) But I pretty much dislike everything else about the French - I think it's the German in me coming out - all the years of hatred in our blood. :)

Wendy - I really should make you a "classics" TBR list...there are some good ones out there. I promise. :)

jmc said...

Oh, The Crucible. I can remember listening to a production of it in English -- I think it was a recording of the original Broadway production. Thank you for reminding me, I should read it again.

Also, your recommendation of HeartSick got me to read it. And then I passed it on to others, who were similarly enthralled.