book habits & other book-related things


Sometimes, when people I meet find out I am an English teacher, they ask my favorite book. I always feel very "on the spot" in these situations because I enjoy reading and there are so many books I love, but also because I feel that I am supposed to express my affinity for capital L literature or at least a well-known book. I have a range of interests that fuel my reading, but there are books I come back to again and again because I want to fall in love once again, be reminded of my first readings, or get lost in a place I can spend an afternoon or two. I often re-read books because I am teaching them or want to see if I still feel moved by the story and characters. There are also authors I just can't get into, even after trying several times. I've tried, for example, to read Jane Austen's various novels a number of times. But I just do not enjoy them. I am also not a fan of the Bronte sisters. Here are some other book habits of mine, in response to a survey/meme on Lindsey's blog.  

Author you’ve read the most books from (as Lindsey reminds the grammer nerds in us: from whom you have read the most books ): Dennis LehaneScott Westerfield, Alice Hoffman, Ian McEwan, David Sedaris

Best Sequel Ever: Catching Fire is my favorite in a series, so far. 

Currently Reading: The Shadow Girls by Henning Mankel

Drink of Choice While Reading: tea, usually iced, but sometimes hot green tea

E-reader or Physical Book?   I most often read on my iPad but occasionally I read library books. 

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: I don't know. But, I think I would have slapped Holden Caulfield.  

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:  The Racketeer by John Grisham. I had not read one of Grisham's books in a while and reading this one reminded me what it was I liked about his characters and style. It never lulled or felt overly done or complex but the twists and turns were perfect. 

Hidden Gem Book: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I highly recommend it for its interesting, thoughtful characters but also the way it provokes emotion. The story is much more than family dynamics, sibling rivalry and being misunderstood, it's about all the things we never feel like we can say and the questions we don't know how to ask. 

Important Moment in your Reading Life: Reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. And then later, reading The Awakening.

Just Finished: Hemingway's Girl by  Erika Robuck

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: I don't read romance novels and I don't read a lot of historical novels. 

Longest Book You’ve Read: I'm making my way through the Game of Thrones series and those are pretty long. Because I read on my iPad now, I don't have to worry about the length and heft of the physical book. 

Major book hangover because of:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series; I had such mixed emotions when I read the 3rd book. I was deeply invested in Lisbeth Salander.

Number of Bookcases You Own: Four, though one of them houses DVDs and Blu-rays right now. 

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: I used to read The Sun Also Rises every year. I've read Frankenstein four maybe five times now. To Kill A Mockingbird is one I've read multiple times throughout my life, which is the best way, I think, to read books that move you: read them as versions of yourself, at different ages and experiences. The most recent time I read TKAM was aloud to M and it was an excellent way to share the first book that really mattered to me. 

Preferred Place To Read: I will read anywhere but I like reading on my couch and in bed. 

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. It is one of my favorite lines from literature and firmly at the center of my beliefs about storytelling, about experiences, and about the things that make us. 

Reading Regret:  I regret waiting so long to read The Hunger Games and that I don't devote more time in my schedule to read. 

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): I want to start Scott Westerfield's Leviathan series 

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: As sad as it was I was mesmerized by Ian McEwan's Atonement. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but Frankenstein is definitely one of my all time favorites.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: The Hunger Games

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: I feel behind on reading these days, so the only book that I know is coming out soon is Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series.

Worst Bookish Habit: Queuing a bunch of books in my digital library cart and forgetting about them

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Your latest book purchase: I check out most of the books I read from the library, even the ones on my iPad. I downloaded Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" recently, but it was free, being in the public domain and all. 

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): This summer The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was so entertaining that I read it long after I should have been asleep.