Sunday, 10 November 2013

Life in books

I discovered this cool little book quiz via Linda of The Lentil Institution and decided I couldn't resist doing it myself. The books I've read in my life mean a lot to me. I feel like I have to have them by me and that of I didn't I would somehow feel a little incomplete. Almost every book that I've read and really really loved I own a physical copy of (with a few exceptions) - it's almost like having a collection of old friends on the shelf. There are some books that I enjoyed, but would also feel okay if I didn't own a copy, but then there are others that I'm super protective of and don't want to lose or give away. I also have quite vivid memories of reading certain books when I was younger and what was going on in my life at the time - probably because I read less then and was more impressionable.

I also love reminiscing about books I've read and films I've watched.

Here's my list...

Author you've read the most books from: Virginia Woolf.

Best sequel ever: Hmmm I never really read series'...the only series I think I've read the whole way through is Harry Potter.

Currently reading: The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders which I've been wanting to read for ages, Feel The Fear, Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers which I stumbled upon on a Readings sale table and couldn't resist, and still attempting to complete The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments by Andrew Knight (science tends to go right over my head).

Drink of choice while reading: Camomile or English Breakfast tea.

E-reader or physical book: Physical book. I commute a lot and do a lot of my reading on the train and nearly always have a book or two with me which is definitely annoying at times (and makes me look like a bag lady), especially when you're reading a big one, but I still prefer the page to the screen.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school: Patrick Bateman? Just kidding! Probably Ron Weasley or Harry Potter...but I feel so boring for saying that.

Glad you gave this book a chance: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I had to read this for first year uni and at first I really hated it. I remember starting to read it a number of times and then not getting past the first page. But once I actually pushed through and read the whole thing it was amazing and I ended up writing on it.

Hidden gem book: Tongues of Flame by Tim Parks.

Important moment in my reading life: In Primary school we used to have 'silent reading' sessions where we were meant to pick a book and sit and read for an hour. I never really liked this much nor did I like reading much in general because I just found most of the books on offer geared at pre-teens kinda boring. But I also never read at home either because I'd never found a book that I liked (other than Fantastic Mr Fox - love that book!). But I remember rummaging through the boxes of books on offer trying to find something that looked interesting and I stumbled upon I Am David by Anne Holm. I think I was drawn in by the cover which had a boy and a dog on it and I think that was the first time a book had ever utterly engrossed me. I found that book so hard to put down but also very moving.

Just finished: Green Is the New Red by Will Potter, which is about the U.S Government's crack down on environmental and animal rights activists who engage in non violent liberation/sabotage tactics as the 'no. 1 terrorist threat," The Baby Farmers by Annie Cossins, Death at Seaworld by David Kirby and Clay by Melissa Harrison.

Kinds of books you won’t read:  Sci-fi, fantasy, action, romance - I'm really not massively into any genres but have been known to delve into some crime or horror.

Longest book you’ve ever read: One that comes to mind is Andrew Motion's biography of John Keats. I think it's about 500 pages.

Major book hangover because of: Definitely Harry Potter when I was younger, also Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Me and my dusty shelves...

Number of bookcases you own: Only two in my room, which is nowhere near enough. I now find myself stashing books in boxes and piling them up on the floor and on tables.

One book you’ve read multiple times: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I think I've read this three times now. Also The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Preferred place to read: Lounging on my bed or on the couch. I find that if I read in bed I get sleepy.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 
"I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and too them away to a zoo of something. Or if they just flew away." - Catcher In The rye

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - The Great Gatsby 

I studied Gatsby in VCE so I remember our teacher drilling quotes into us.

Reading regret: I usually tend to give up on books that I hate rather than finishing them, but I had to read Sense & Sensibility for my VCE Literature class and really hated it. It took me months to finish that book.

Series you started and need to finish: I started reading Twilight a few years ago when it was big. It was readable and reasonably entertaining but I have no intention of finishing it.

Three of your all-time favourite books: Gah how can I choose only three!? I have way more than three. You can see all of them here.

1. Catcher In The Rye
2. The Bell Jar
3. Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Unapologetic fangirl for: Victorian History.

Very excited for this release: We Animals by Joanne McArthur - a coffee table book of photographs taken by Joanne McArthur documenting the animals who are victims of exploitation.

Worst bookish habit: Unfinished books & my tendency to leave books lying around the house.

X marks the spot (Go to a bookcase and select the 24th book across): Peter Carey: Collected Stories.

Your latest book purchase: Feel The Fear Fear, Do It Anyway and The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J Bourne.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):  I'm not very good when it comes to reading late at night as I tend to nod off, but probably Death at Seaworld by David Kirby. It was very long, but also very engrossing.

So that's my list. Feel free to link back to your book list if you have one in the comments section or just tell me what you've been reading lately. It's always great to see what other people have been reading!


  1. I see some of my favorite titles, and authors, well-represented in your shelves. There's something about paper books, slick or buckam bound, that appeals to the tactile sensation of reading. I usually attribute it to my age, having grown up with books that smelled of my place and of prior places of ownership that put me in touch with a palpable present and people in the past --whose lives were just as real as mine. But it's not age, it's an attitude and sensitivity. I sure like this post, Lizzy.

    1. Thanks Geo. Yes, there is definitely something wonderful about the smell of old books. I always enjoy sharing what I've been reading. Glad you liked it.

  2. Oh gosh I love Jan Brady. Jan Jan Jan! I enjoyed reading your book survey and loving just how many people include Harry Potter (like me) :)

    1. Hey. Thankyou. Yeah Jan is my favourite Brady! I think Harry Potter is basically a classic now isn't it. I'll have to go and have a read of your book survey too :)


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