Thursday, July 5, 2012

Liebster Survey

A little award-survey game has been going around the biblio-blogging community, one in which participants are tasked with answering eleven questions and then charged with fashioning eleven questions of their own and firing them at another batch of people. Well, I've been tagged twice, one by Doodlebug and today by BookMusings, so I have twenty-two odd questions to answer! Now, as much as I like answering questions, I'm not so keen on the idea of tagging people. (I responded very poorly to chain mail as a kid...)  So, I'm going to change things up a bit and answer 22 questions plus my own eight (an even thirty) and open the entire set up to whomever wants to respond. It is not in keeping with the rules, but as anyone who reads Teaser Tuesday can tell you, I rarely do that. Besides, the essential fact about "memes', these little genes of culture, is that they change with time. Consider this it a bit of memetic engineering.

Oh, and I have to lead off with eleven facts about myself. So, in short order: I have green eyes. I'm partial to furniture in the Queen Anne style, especially of those bookcases with the glass doors. Today I helped a lady trapped in an elevator. I enjoy wearing hats, and this summer am sporting a straw fedora. I start my mornings off with a walk in the neighborhood. I have the oddest itch to learn French recently, even though if I had the time to start learning another language (in addition to building on my altogether rudimentary German) I'd be better served recovering my high school Spanish, especially given that there's no way to check my pronunciation of a tongue in a language where it famously matters. I enjoy playing PC games, but dislike those which require online activation and Steam accounts, so mostly I play older games from before ~2006. (Right now I play The Sims 2, Sid Meier's Railroads!, and Civilization III.) I don't know how to swim, but I'd like to learn.  My favorite singer is Frank Sinatra, my favorite author Isaac Asimov, and my favorite contemporary artist Jack Vettriano.

Okay, now for the questions!

From BookMusings: 
1.  How do you feel about the reading you were assigned in school?  Dislike?  Appreciate?
I remember most of it fondly, even though some titles were distressing at the time. I remember Where the Red Fern Grows reducing me to angry tears.

2.  Is there a book you have read so many times you almost have it memorized?
Ducky, Diary 1 from the California Diaries series (Ann M. Martin) and various Star Trek paperbacks (especially John Vornholt's TNG Dominion War duology) share this distinction. 
3.  What's your favorite non-fiction genre?
Why, history, of course!

4.  Do you listen to many audiobooks?  Why or why not?
I see audiobooks as a way of rexperiencing books I've already enjoyed. It adds another aspect to the story for me. So far I've only experienced the Harry Potter series, Bernard Cornwell's Lords of the North, and a collection of sermons by Martin Luther King Jr this way.  

5.  What's your favorite movie based on a novel?
So many movies have been made from novels, but off the top of my head....A Series of Unfortunate Events.  
Do you talk books with anyone in real life?  Who?  Or is your blog your only avenue?
I work at a library! While going through the morning setup this a.m, my boss and I chatted merrily about a book I've read (Bringing up Bébé, a book she wants to read (French Women Don't Get Fat), and the connections between the two, and when it came time for me to change out my American Independence display, I was in the mood for a food culture theme.  Before I started working at the library, I had begun visiting a lunch-based book club in town. There are several friends both in life and online who I chat about books with on a regular basis, but I'm interested in finding a book circle with meetings that I can attend. 
7.  Is there any book you associate strongly with a particular place or time in your life?
Well, sure! Name a year and I can give you a book that evokes the memories of that year. 2006? Theories for Everything. 2007? Harry Potter. 2008? Foundation. And so on. 
8.  Where and when do you do most of your reading?
I've started waking up an hour early just so I can sit in my chair with a cup of coffee and read, with no need to hurry. Most of my reading probably happens in the mornings now. 
9.  What period in history have you read the most about (either fiction or non-fiction)?
Probably the late 19th century or early 20th. I'm fascinated by societal change, and the industrial revolution created a pile of it. 
10.  What kind of poetry (if any) do you read?
I have an odd relationship with poetry. I don't think of myself as having a poetic mind, but I do seem sensitive to hearing it, and I enjoy memorizing certain poems and then reciting them. Experiencing something in the course of a day, and then connecting it to a poem and adding to the experience myself by performing it  is an absolute pleasure for me. A few months ago, for instance, while walking in the late afternoon, some geese flew overhead and I stopped to admire them. Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese" came to mind, and I couldn't help but recite it.

I suppose I like poetry that is pleasurable to recite, though my favorite to read for pleasure is Kahlil Gibran. 
11.  What is the funniest book you've ever read?
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Max Shulman

From DoodleBug: 

1. Social networking is key to blogging, Which is your favorite, i.e. twitter, facebook etc?
The only social website I use on a regular basis is Facebook, and lately I've been distancing myself from it after realizing it was claiming more time and attention than its contributions to my life warranted. Now I treat it like Wal-Mart, like a raid: I go in, I get the information I need, and I get out.

2. How did you get introduced to blogging?
Way back in the Stone Age, the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was this thing called LiveJournal. That got me used to the idea of broadcasting my thoughts to the internet, though I didn't start a blog with a purpose until 2006 or so, when I started using blogger as a way of sharing some philosophical thoughts of mine with multiple friends online, in a format easier to access than email.

3. Where is your favorite place to read?
It used to be a particular tree on my university campus, but as I no longer live on said campus,  I've taken to my yard swing in the early mornings and late afternoons. I should prefer that it squeaked less, but swinging and reading, especially with a hot muffin and a cup of coffee, is an experience that can't be lessened by a little racket.

4. Let's face it, sometimes you judge the book by its cover, what is most likely to grab your attention?
If a book features the author prominently on the cover, I'll probably avoid it on the contention that the book is more notable for its author than its content.

5. Favorite book store? Large chain or mom and pop?
I don't have a local bookstore, alas, unless you count the supermarkets. I usually  buy from little stores online via Amazon's marketplace. Amazon gets its cut from every transaction, of course, but I figure it's better to support the little guys than a big box. I used to be quite fond of a WaldenBooks in a mall an hour or so away, though.

6. What is the most money you have spent at one time on books?
$300 or so, for university texts my freshman year when I was silly enough to buy them from the campus new condition.

7. Drink of choice?
Coffee in the morning, tea at lunch and supper, water throughout the day, and maybe a little wine after supper with a good book.

8. Favorite Restaurant?
There's a little place across the street from the library which I've started patronizing. I haven't been there enough times to call it a favorite, though. They gave me a taste for squash, though, which astounded my parents and sister.

9. If you could travel anywhere you wanted for 1 day, where would it be?
I'd say Paris, but considering I don't speak French, Oregon might be a better choice.

10. Favorite Disney movie? come on you know you have one!
The Lion King. Did you know Rowan Atkinson did the voice for Zazu? I was astounded to learn this.

11. How do you keep track of what you've read and what you want to read?
Why, I keep a book blog! I also keep a little notebook with me to write down promising book titles.

From Me:
1. If you could hand one book to every president, prime minister, chancellor, chief judge, supreme potentate, etc -- which would it be?
2. What's a book you earnestly hope will live in in the history books, which will have a lasting impression upon the minds and hearts of people of future generations?
3. If you were to write a book, factual or fiction, what kind might it be?
4. If you were to give a loved one one book that would give them insight into why you are the way you are, which would it be?
5. Do you prefer to read outside or inside?
6. What is your local library like? Do you visit it often?
7. Are digital readers a bane or boon to literature?
8. What is your favorite word learned from a book in recent memory?

There you are, an even thirty. Answer any of them or all of them as you wish.


  1. Excellent list of questions. I particularly liked your:

    If you were to give a loved one one book that would give them insight into why you are the way you are, which would it be?

    Now *that's* really going to get me thinking!

    Oh, and not that surprising really - but we do have some interesting tastes in common (or almost).

  2. Hey, I didn't know you were a fellow German learner! And I envy you working in a library--that's sort of a dream job for me--and talking books with coworkers. You're one of the few bloggers I read whose blog isn't their only outlet for that. I'll answer one of your questions here: a book that gives insight into why I am the way I am is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Bis spater...

  3. I am! I took four semesters of German at university, and now I try to retain it using various language guides..I also have a German-language book (Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen) to practice with.


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