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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Literary Maven

I found these questions on Susan Higginbotham's blog (and she found them here). Thought it might be fun:

1. What author do you own the most books by?

Sharon Kay Penman -- though I'm sad to say I've only read one of them (Sunne in Splendour). The rest are on my must-read list, though.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?

Does the Bible count? I have lots of different versions.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with a preposition?

No. What the hell for?

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Not so secretly -- Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding children's picture books)?

I don't re-read -- I look up favorite passages sometimes but there are too many books out there to read ones I've already read.

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

Any of the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. I also loved the Misty of Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry.

7. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?

I wouldn't dare say. But there was one.

8. What is the best book you've read in the last year?

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

9. If you could force everyone to read one book, what would it be?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Some good lessons there, for any era.

10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?

I doubt if any of the books I read would be nominated -- however I really don't know the criteria.

11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

Probably none of my favorites because I'm afraid the movie industry would murder them.

12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

Outlander -- for the above reason. I think it might end up being a travesty.

13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

I think I dreamed about Jamie Fraser once -- but it could have been Jonas Fletcher who was standing in for him in one of my own writing creations.

14. What is the most lowbrow book you read as an adult?

One by Bertrice Small -- but I can't remember the name. But I sort of hate calling someone's work lowbrow. I mean, if it's not your thing, it's not your thing.

15. What is the most difficult book you've ever read?

I tried to read Anna Karenina but had to put it down. It had so much detail I felt as if I were suffocating.

16. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've ever seen?

I'm trying to remember if I've ever actually seen a Shakespeare play. Or does this count movies, too? In that case, I still don't know, though I have seen a few.

17. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Well, does this mean as a nation or in books?! I'll take it to mean books so I'll say the French -- I'm quite fond of the French Revolution period.

18. Roth or Updike?

Neither. Not my style.

19. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Again, neither.

20. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

I'd have to say Shakespeare simply because I'm more familiar with him.

21. Austen or Eliot?

Austen. I would say something intelligent here but I can't think of anything. But I think I might be in love with Mr. Darcy a little bit, too.

22. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Life is too short to read books I don't like so I don't worry about it.

23. What is your favorite novel?

Modern -- Voyager by Diana Gabaldon -- probably because it has my absolutely favorite scene in any novel I've ever read. Classic -- A Tale of Two Cities or Pride and Prejudice

24. Favorite play?

I'm not really big into plays, quite honestly. I get antsy sitting through something really serious -- at least, with a book, you can put it down and come back later. Musicals? Now we're talking!

25. Favorite poem?

How bad would it be if I said it was one I wrote myself?

26. Favorite Essay?

Don't have one. Probably because I haven't read one. Probably have but didn't know it.

27. Favorite short story?

Haven't read too many short stories. Maybe I should.

28. Favorite work of nonfiction?

The Wars of the Roses, edited by Elizabeth Hallam.

29. Favorite writers?

Classic -- Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell
Modern -- Diana Gabaldon, Sara Donati, Susan Higginbotham, Brian Wainright, Elizabeth Chadwick, Colleen Gleason

30. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Not going there but I'm still mystified how some books get published in the first place.

31. What is your desert island book?

"How to Make a SOS Signal That Works"

32. What are you reading now?

A Year and a Day by Virginia Henley. It's a romance, which I don't read many of -- nothing wrong with them -- I just don't gravitate toward them in my old(er) age, but it's set during a time and place I'm interested in (medieval England & Scotland).

I'm adding one of my own:

33. What book have you read that you thought you'd have to put down but you pushed through and were glad you did?

Possession by A.S. Byatt. I'd heard so many people say this was an absolutely wonderful book but it took me about halfway through before it kicked in for me. However, I haven't had any desire to read any of her other novels.


  1. Enjoyed your answers--and your added question as well!

  2. Great answers, Lynn! My favorite Gabaldon book is Dragonfly in Amber. I'm still haunted by the scenes where Claire lost her baby. Plus, it's the volume mostly set in France!

  3. "A Christmas Carol" -- what a perfect answer to that question! I wish I'd thought of that. I haven't posted all my answers yet, but Outlander came up in my list, too.

  4. OUTLANDER always comes up for me -- I've had a lot of books recommended and many fall short (not because of the writing but because they just end up not appealing to me) but the whole OUTLANDER series just did it for me (although, I'll admit, I like the earlier ones better than the later ones).

    I love A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- I've seen so many filmed versions of it, as well -- and it's just timeless.