March 22, 2021
The 20 Questions Book Tag
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Do you enjoy book tag posts or do you enjoy writing them? I always enjoy reading them and appreciate the tags, but I don’t have a stellar record in responding to them! Thanks Kimberly @ My Bookish Bliss for the tag!
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
1. How many books are too many books in a series?
I’m easily addicted to a series, so the more the merrier for me! I love returning to a familiar world and relaxing into the read because it’s a world and an author I know and trust. It also solves the dilemma of “what to read next.” Probably my most favorite series is the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache/Three Pines series by Louise Penny. I’ve read sixteen installments in which each one is creative and fresh and compelling. Another long series I’ve read is the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve read all twenty-one installments and some are stronger than others. What is your favorite series? Have you read a series with over ten installments?
2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
Hummmm…..I usually don’t like cliffhangers. Even in a series, I feel that each installment should be able to be read as a “stand-alone.” For example, Louise Penny’s most recent installment, All the Devils Are Here is a great read but I doubt if readers would want to read the previous fifteen installments before reading it! I appreciate the series because although there are overarching themes that carry through, each installment has a self-contained mystery to solve and a satisfactory conclusion. I recently read Ghost by Jason Reynolds (MG) and although I knew it was part of a four-part series, I thought I could read it as a stand alone. I was surprised at the end of the book to find a minor cliffhanger…..so onto book two! Same….onto book three. Same….finally I read all four books in the series because I just had to know what happened! The cliffhangers were actually cleverly done and I admire the author’s ability to gently encourage the reader to read the next book!
3. Hardback or paperback?
For a few years now, I’ve read exclusively on my kindle. However, when I bought physical books, I preferred hardbacks because they look nicer on a bookshelf. When traveling, of course, I preferred paperbacks….most of the time I would leave them behind in airports, restaurants, or hotel lobbies for other readers!
4. Favorite book?
This is like asking me to name my favorite child! An impossible question! First, I’d ask “Which Genre?” My favorite genre is historical fiction and the book that hooked me on histfic and gave me my first book hangover was Gone With the Wind! However, in recent years, the histfic book I recommend most often is Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. My favorite complicated family drama is A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. My favorite epistolary is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. My favorite mystery is the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. A couple of old favorites are Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I’m busy creating a lifetime favorites list in my mind which I’ll publish on the blog one of these days.
5. Least favorite book?
I don’t usually like to bring attention to books that are not my favorite because I feel like no two persons read the same book, and my favorite might be your least favorite and vice versa. I also don’t relish hurting an author’s feelings. To answer this question though, I’ll mention a few books that did not provide me with great reading experiences. I generally don’t appreciate heavily character-driven books where nothing happens! I remember the first time I realized this about myself I was reading Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. The Accidental Tourist also bored me. (sorry Anne Tyler fans!) The last book I was terribly disappointed in was Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak. I highly anticipated a great read because of the author, but the story was all sadness, too much offensive profanity, and too long. I also don’t like books that are too dark. Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever comes to mind. I was engaged with the mildly thrillerish aspect of the story until near the end when she included an icky child abuse scene that appeared to be included simply for shock value. I vowed to put her on my “authors I might want to avoid list” because her stories are a bit too dark for me. One book that I actually hated only because of the ending is Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I was tempted to throw that book across the room because of the twist at the end where I felt “punked” by the author. The last book I’ll mention disliking is American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s fan fiction about Laura Bush (wife of President George Bush), and I thought it was crass and not reflective at all of the gracious and lovely person. I’m embarrassed for her that it was written. Yes. I do have strong opinions about books that never make it to the blog! I’m sure some of you are screaming at your screen right now because I have mentioned one or more of the books you’ve loved. All I can say is that reading is a personal experience, and no two persons ever read the same book.
6. Love triangles, yes or no?
Honestly, I generally feel that love triangles are an overused trope. I would rather read friends to lovers or enemies to lovers or second chance romance. One book I read with a well done and memorable strong love triangle is One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
The most recent book I started and couldn’t finish was Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This was a highly anticipated read because I strive to read more diversely and hadn’t read anything Native American for a while…plus I love nature and I’ve read some good reviews. I was sure this was a perfect fit for me. However, within the first few pages I encountered strong agendas by the author and this is an immediate turn off for me. I just wasn’t in the mood to endure her opinions and didn’t last more than a few pages. Author agendas are problematic for me and I have a few authors I’m careful about.
8. A book you’re currently reading?
At the time I started a draft of this post, I was reading Open by Andre Agassi. It took me a couple of weeks to finish this post and publish it, so there are have been several books in the meantime!
9. Last book you recommended to someone?
Recommending is one of my favorite activities and I always have numerous recommendations ready for those recommendable moments. The last nonfiction I recommended was Open by Andre Agassi and the last fiction (histfic) I recommended was Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan.
10. Oldest book you’ve read?
Well, I’ve read many classics and in school I read some Shakespeare, but the oldest book I own is The Bobbsey Twins, a childhood favorite! This is my copy.
11. Newest book you’ve read?
I read a multitude of new books because I read a great number of ARCs (advanced readers copy). I frequently read books before their publication date. Currently, I have several ARCs in progress.
12. Favorite Author?
Favorite author has got to be Fredrik Backman! I’m a completist and have read all his work. Here are a few Backman related posts: Reasons I’m Thankful For a Favorite Author, Beartown and Us Against You, The Deal of a Lifetime, Things My Sons Needs to Know About the World, Anxious People.
13. Buying books or borrowing books?
I no longer buy physical books, but I do buy an occasional kindle book. Last year, 77% of the books I read were either ARCs or library books. Because I read 131 books last year, I rely on as many free books as I can get my hands on!
Library = 50%
ARC = 27%
Bought on Kindle = 22%
14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?
I have a few that fall into this category, but the one that always comes to mind is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon! I know….I can hear your protests! I thought because it was histfic that it would be a good read for me…plus I suffer from FOMO. Mainly, I was annoyed by the condoned violence toward women. A woman from modern times travels back two hundred years, falls in love, and is occasionally beaten by her husband (per the custom of the day). She excuses this assault and accepts it even though she is from modern times and knows better. This leads me to believe that she condones physical abuse toward women.
Another example of a popular book that I disliked is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I finished it, but it just bored me and I never recommend it.
15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
My favorite bookmarks are the small magnetic ones that come in a variety of styles! I’m less likely to lose them! If I own the book, I’m not against dogearing! What is your favorite bookmark?
16. A book you can always reread?
If I put a book on my lifetime favorites list, it’s a book that I could always reread. Two books that I recently reread were Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I would love to reread A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza some day. I do have The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom on my “want to reread this year” list.
17. Can you read while listening to music?
I can read anywhere, any time! I can read in a crowded restaurant (reading at Panera Bread…pre-COVID…is a favorite location), listening to music, watching TV, at the ballpark, at the beach, in any waiting room or line, at Disneyland (yes I read an entire Danielle Steele novel one day while my children scattered to various attractions….they knew where to find me!)…..I can read anywhere!
18. One POV or multiple POVs?
In recent years, I have become so used to multiple POVs that I now find I miss the format when reading from only one POV. I often wonder what the other characters are thinking and feeling. Multiple POVs certainly offer a more challenging and rich reading experience.
19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
I LOVE to binge read a book! I remember when my children were very young and it was difficult to find good reading time that I often stayed up most of the night to read my book. I’m a fairly fast reader and if I’m engaged, I can usually read a 300+ page book in one day (it helps to be retired and a nightowl!). Longer and denser nonfiction books I will read in chunks over several days.
20. Who do you tag?
Do we share any similarities or differences?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.