15 Books for 1 Year Meme

Rules: What 15 books would you take with you on a year-long stay on a godforsaken isle with no Internet and no bookstores?

The isle I’m imagining sounds like a remote heaven. I’m not sure if I will be reading all 15 books – there would probably be too many beautiful sites around it to explore. That said, I’d bring the tomes along just in case.

1. Jilly Cooper’s Score! or Wicked!
Long drawn-out chick lit with hilarious puns and colourful characters. It’s like reading a soap opera.

2. Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World
I’ve been meaning to complete reading this book. Hopefully the island would put me in a pensive mood enough to enjoy a philosophical read like this.

3. Alexander McCall Smith’s The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom: The Von Igelfeld Trilogy
It’s well-written comic, just what I need when I’m feeling homesick or some entertainment.

4. Malba Tahan’s The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures
This book has a special significance to me, but that aside, it is a pretty interesting read. The title kind of says it all.

5. Roald Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald
My favourite author, I just have to take one of his books, haven’t I? I chose this because it’s bawdy – I figured I prefer books that crack me up over the ones that make me cry.

6. S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders
What I said before this does not apply to one of my all-time favourite books. I never fail to cry when I read the hospital scene.

7. Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle
This is the ultimate romantic book for me. I’m sure that godforsaken isle will put me in the mood for this anytime.

8. Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind”
A real blockbuster historical romance. I much prefer this sequel to the thousand-page-odd classic.

9. Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None
Set on an island, so it’s rather fitting that I read this while stuck on an isle, right? Or maybe ill-fitting, since the story ends with everybody on the island dead!

10. Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon
A beautiful sci-fi novel. A real tearjerker, but one that makes me cry in a good way!

11. China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun
A great YA fantasy I’ve discovered this year. I would love to reread it again, I’m sure.

12. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
Another great YA read complete with funny illustrations.

13. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book
Yet another awesome YA book but hey, I need good books to last me through a year in a godforsaken isle right?

14. Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife
I’m just throwing this in, can’t think of what other good books to bring.

15. An empty notebook
For me to jot down my days at the isle. 🙂

What about you? What 15 books would you bring to a godforsaken island?

Talking about myself in book titles

Using only books you have read this year (2009) answer the questions, without repeating a book title.

Describe yourself: Book Lover – Jennifer Kaufman & Karen Mack

How do you feel: A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon

Describe where you currently live: Honk if You’re Malaysian – Lydia Teh

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Arctic Diary: Surviving the Thin Ice – Sam & Richard Branson

Your favorite form of transportation: The Gatecrasher – Madeleine Wickham

Your best friend is: Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella

You and your friends are: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate – Alexander McCall Smith

What’s the weather like: The Sky is Crazy: Tales from a Trolley Dolly – Yvonne Lee

You fear: Coraline – Neil Gaiman (as in literally – it’s one creepy children’s book!)

What is the best advice you have to give: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be – Paul Arden

Thought for the day: Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite – Paul Arden

How I would like to die: Drop Dead Gorgeous – Linda Howard

My soul’s present condition: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg

The Book Stalking Process

Taken from here.

Phase 1: Where are they?

* Where does you bookshelf live in your home? Is it in an obvious place or are you hiding it?
My bookshelf is in my room, which could be a hideaway of some sorts since it is not visible to visitors. It’s not that I’m not proud of my books, but the books are mine and so they go in there, as I’m still living with family. It also ensures nobody disturbs my books. If I have my own pad someday it’ll be in the living room for sure. Or if I’m that rich – in a room designated as my private library!

* Is the bookshelf built around the room or vice versa?
The former. What to do?

* Do you have a room specifically for books?
Read the answer two questions above.

* Can I see your bookshelf after you’ve sat me down with a glass of wine?
If you want to, sure!

* Did you spend money on your bookshelf or is it an IKEA atrocity?
It is an IKEA “atrocity”. I put it up myself, so I’m pretty happy with it!

Phase 2: How are they arranged?

* Have you committed to a pure bookshelf?
What does it mean to have a ‘pure’ bookshelf? I put my books on the bookshelf. I also put an audio book there and clear plastic wrapper for the new books I want to wrap.

* Is the arrangement chaotic or calm? Is this is a shrine or a utility?
I arrange my books in alphabetical order according to the authors’ surnames. It looks a little chaotic but there’s system in it. To me, it is very precious.

* Vertical or horizontal stacking? What’s the rule? Is there a rule?
Vertical, of course. I used to have a shelf that wouldn’t fit my books vertically so I had to put them horizontally. It did make searching for titles much easier as I didn’t have to tilt my head to read the titles at the spines of the books.

* Is it full?
I have two bookshelves next to each other. One is full and the other is half full.

* Does your book arrangement tell a story?
No story, just a typical system.

* Do you use bookends? Are they functional or ornate? What’s their story?
I have one plain old bookend but I would love to have fancy ones if I ever come across some affordable ones. The really nice ones on the ‘net are crazy expensive!

Phase 3: And what do you read?

* Are these the books I expect based on what I know about you?
Yes, they are books I typically read.

* Do these books represent your entire life or just right now?
I don’t think they represent my life, just my taste.

* Can I tell, at a glance, the three most important books?
No, you couldn’t. But I like most of the books on my shelves so they are all pretty much just as important to me.

* Which books are you… hiding?
All my books are on the shelves or around it. If I have to hide any books it would only be my personal journal, and that’s a blog!

* How do you react when you see me stalking your bookshelf? What’s the first story you’re going to tell?
I’d ask if there’s any book you’d like to borrow. I love to recommend books but sadly not many like to try my recommendations. 🙂

* Is there a glaringly obvious book that does not belong?
Susie Orbach’s Fat is a Feminist Issue. Don’t ask.

The Twenty Questions Book Meme (And Then Some More)

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Roald Dahl, who is my favourite author and never fails to entertain with his writing!

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
I only keep single copies of books I like, but I did pick up an extra copy of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith from book sales. They were going pretty cheap for such great reads.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not really.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Err, nobody? He’s not real at the end of the day!

5. What book have you read the most times in your life?
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton? I think so. That’s one of my favourite books.

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Can’t remember but I think I reread many of my Enid Blyton books.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read?
The most recent was Holly McQueen’s The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder. Shudder.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Hard to pick. A good book was Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. The book that entertained me the most was Bootleg by Alex Shearer. A book that inspired me was Paul Arden’s It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.

9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Bootleg by Alex Shearer. It’s really fun!

10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
Roald Dahl? But I’m biased, haha.

11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, which is the sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.

12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Err, none? I like to watch movies, even if it’s only to compare how the book was so much better. 😀

13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
None that I can recall.

14. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I read lowbrow books all the time. My favourite genres are young adult and chick lit, some people might think it’s shallow to read such genres.

15. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I got through book one and two, but gave up in three.

16. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
Shakespeare is not my cup of tea!

17. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
French, I suppose. I rather learn French than Russian as it is!

18. Roth or Updike?
Neither.

19. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Neither!

20. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
If you force me to choose, I’d say Shakespeare reluctantly.

21. Austen or Eliot?
I suppose Austen, even though I haven’t finished Pride and Prejudice. Yet.

22. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I haven’t had a gap as such, as I’m always reading something, but sometimes I do take a while to finish a book if it’s difficult to read. That said, nothing embarrasing about that – just makes reading seem arduous!

23. What is your favorite novel?
Gah, how to choose just one? One of them would be S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, which I’ve said like a million times for every meme that asks a similar question.

24. Play?
I don’t fancy plays or drama, so none.

25. Poem?
I’m not much into poetry either, but I like Wordsworth’s She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways.

26. Essay?
Who reads essays? I don’t so I don’t have any that I like.

27. Short story?
Roald Dahl’s ones, of course!

28. Work of non-fiction?
I like to read biographies of famous people, trashy or otherwise.

29. Who is your favorite writer?
Roald Dahl, duh. (This meme is really kinda long!)

30. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Cecelia Ahern. I am not one of those who squealed over PS I Love You.

31. What is your desert island book?
I don’t know yet but it has to be a big tome of a book. Probably a Jilly Cooper novel. It’s gonna be my sole source of entertainment if I were on a desert island, after all!

32. And … what are you reading right now?
Beginner’s Greek by James Collins. Kinda draggy but I’ve just only started. I take a while before I get into a story for most books.

15 Books in 15 Minutes

Got this from here.

The Rules:

1) You may only take 15 minutes to complete this exercise – no edits allowed.

2) List fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you.

3) Post your list on your blog and drop a link into the comments here.

I’m not sure if this list represents books that will always stick with me, but they’re the ones that I remember off the top of my head.

1. The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
2. Danny, Champion of the World – Roald Dahl
3. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
5. Score! – Jilly Cooper
6. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenigger
8. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
9. Bootleg – Alex Shearer
10. Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
11. The Music of Dolphins – Karen Hesse
12. Scarlett – Alexandra Ripley
13. Shopaholic series – Sophie Kinsella
14. Bridget Jones’s Diary & The Edge of Reason – Helen Fielding
15. A Year in the Merde – Stephen Clarke

Phew, this meme is harder than it looks! I keep recalling books I recently read rather than the ones I really treasured. And I had a hard time remembering some titles!

Did I make it in 15 minutes? Dunno, I wasn’t counting. 😀 And I was distracted by Facebook a lot!

The Shakespeare Meme

What was your first introduction to William Shakespeare? Was it love or hate?
My first proper introduction to Shakespeare was when I was 16 and studying for my Literature in English class – Macbeth. It was mostly dislike because I couldn’t understand it!

Which Shakespeare plays have you been required to read?
I had to read Macbeth for my O-Level equivalent of English Literature and Hamlet for my A-Level equivalent.

Do you think Shakespeare is important? Do you feel you are a “better” person for having read the bard?
I suppose it’s undeniable that Shakespeare contributed largely to English literature and is therefore important. I also suppose I am a ‘better’ person for having read two of his plays because then I could say I did. 😆

Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?

I have only read those two, so between them I would prefer Macbeth. I have read abridged versions of other Shakespeare plays but I don’t think that counts.

How do you feel about contemporary takes on Shakespeare? Adaptations of Shakespeare’s works with a more modern feel? Do you have a favorite you’d recommend?
When I studied for Macbeth and Hamlet, we used a book that has the original text on one side and the Modern English equivalent on the other. It really helped a lot in understanding Shakespeare’s archaic language. So yes, I think contemporary takes would appeal to the younger generation, especially since in essence Shakespeare’s stories are timeless.

What’s your favorite movie version of a Shakespeare play?
I think I’ve watched Macbeth and Hamlet movies during class, and there’s that recent famous Romeo and Juliet movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and I have also watched another older version)… I think I like the Hamlet one among them. It starred Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, if I’m not mistaken.

Bookish Christmas Wishes

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This time, the FAIL blog got it kinda right about books (sorting)! (Previously they thought book rental stores are a stupid concept.)

That aside, so what books are you wishing for Christmas? And what books do you plan to give out for Christmas?

My List

Give
Any Roald Dahl book

Get
Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
Any books by Edward Monkton
Quidditch Through the Ages – Kennilworthy Whisp (Trying to complete my Harry Potter collection, heh) Got it from warehouse sale, yay!

Penguin asked the same question to a group of authors recently. Here’s what they chose: More

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