Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Book Geek Quiz

For those of you not on Facebook, and because I get tired of all the stuff associated with Facebook apps, here's a quiz that Kaye Barley posted on her Meanderings and Muses. I'm fried from a day of census enumerator training preceded by a tense night wondering what upset-tummy Rusty might deposit on the carpet (he is getting better and with late-night and early-morning walks by each of his people, did no damage last night) and this is about all I can manage. Feel free to copy and do your own or respond in comments.

What author do you own the most books by?
Probably Charles Dickens, since we bought a nearly-whole matched set of the Oxford Illustrated and filled in with paperbacks of Bleak House and Edwin Drood. However, for authors purchased book-by-book, I bet it's Patrick O'Brian, because I have the complete Aubrey-Maturin series.
What book do you own the most copies of?
Um. The Bible. Lots of different translations and editions. I'm a little bit of a Bible study geek as well.
Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
That rule is a piece of arrant nonsense up with which I shall not put, as I believe Winston Churchill once said.
What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Richard Sharpe from Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels.
What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
Probably A Christmas Carol.
What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I'd say of books I finished, it would be Peregrine by William Bayer, an Edgar winning best novel. I just hated it.
What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Like Kaye, I find it hard to choose. I thought maybe I could pick one fiction and one non-fiction, but even then.... For non-fiction, I really liked, was moved by, and highly recommend Take This Bread by Sara Miles and Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. For fiction, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear and City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin. These are all from my 2008 reads.
If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver. Or maybe Deep Economy by Bill McKibben.
Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Terry Pratchett. What a hope. Wouldn't it be cool, though? Imagine the acceptance speech!
What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
A Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif.
What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Same one I picked as "Worst Book" -- for the same reasons.
Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I usually can only recall my dreams for a few minutes after awakening. And they usually involve people I know in odd situations rather than anyone I don't know.
What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I read plenty of "lowbrow" books but I'm not going to mention any names, not because I'm ashamed of reading them, but because the authors' feelings might be hurt.
What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
I'm still reading it, and probably will be all year: The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross. New Yorker music critic views twentieth-century serious music and history together. I know little of this music and not much about music theory at all, so it's slow going, but intriguing.
What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
Well, I've watched the video of the BBC's Titus Andronicus.
Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
The Russians I guess, since I know so little of the French beyond The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo!
Roth or Updike?
Updike I guess, but I sure haven't kept up with either.
David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare, but Chaucer a close second.
Austen or Eliot?
Austen, no contest.
What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I've read only very short things by Henry James and William Faulkner.
What is your favorite novel?
Pride and Prejudice, a sentimental favorite because it was the first Austen for me, although I love the others too.
The Importance of Being Earnest.
Very hard to choose just one. Right now I'm thinking of Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Tomorrow it might be different. And then there are the ones that come unbidden into my head, like Animal Crackers and Cocoa to Drink by Christopher Morley, or many of Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.
An Affix for Birds by St. Clair McKelway, from A Subtreasury of American Humor ed. by Katherine Angell and E. B. White. At least I think it's an essay.
And... what are you reading right now?
The Winter Widow by Charlene Weir, The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, White Protestant Nation by Allan Lichtman, and Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett.
What's the best title for a book ever (you don't have to like the book).
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Haven't read it yet though.
Kaye put a lot of nice pictures in her blog, but I just don't have the gumption this evening.


Vicki Lane said...

We share a lot of likes -- O'Brian, Austen, Pratchett, Dickens. This is a neat quiz but I haven't the energy at the moment to do anything with it.

Processing Counselor said...

This would take me a lot of work to do, since my memory is so bad and I would have to look up a lot of things. I do agree with you about Take this Bread (in particular) which I loved and Here if You Need Me.

Kaye Barley said...

Terrific list! You reminded me of books and writers that totally left me while I was doing this.

Crimson Rambler said...

oh lovely. My kids are big Pratchett fans, they would cheer your comments. I think both Faulkner and James benefit from being read aloud (or maybe I benefit from reading aloud)!

Lesa said...

Animal crackers and cocoa to drink!
That is the finest supper I think.
When I'm grown up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these.

Love that poem, and also RLS. I have his collected poems, and, like you, can still recite them. Along with the poem, Christopher Robin, by A.A. Milne.