A Borrowed Blog

I follow a blog called Southern Roots and Northern Blossoms by my friend Shannon Anderson.  She is a wonderful writer and blogger. (I copied that line directly from her blog about Jodie Llewellyn, but hey, it’s true!) Shannon saw a post on Jodie’s blog that Jodie originally saw on a blog called Brin’s The Book Blogger Test.

It’s a series of questions about books and reading. I enjoyed Shannon’s responses so much, I thought I’d adapt it and share my answers here today.

I like to fill out online quizzes because I like the challenge of consideration, but really I like reading the responses. I’m interested in others’ experiences, how they see, think and feel. So please, leave a comment and share your answers to the questions!

What are your top three book beefs?
1. It drives me crazy when there is no story blurb on the jacket or cover of a book. Or if I have to search for it. Here’s an idea, stop telling me what everyone else thought about your book and tell me what it’s about!

2. Being disappointed by an author I truly adore, respect, and look forward to reading. Loved Fault in our Stars by John Green, wondering how Paper Towns got published. Stephen King has tripped me up, too. Love SO MANY of his, disappointed in a few (enough to make me sad and sometimes leery.)

3. I have a true aversion to shitty people. In real life and in books. I hated Gone Girl, I was not a fan of Under the Dome. I don’t like stories full of feel-bad for no fricking reason other than the characters suck.

Describe your perfect reading spot.
Anywhere. I don’t have a perfect spot. Inside, outside, standing, sitting, reclining. Doesn’t matter. Of course, truth be told, most of my reading is done in the bathroom, either in the tub or on the pot, ;).

Tell us three book confessions.
1. My mother taught me how to read when I was four. Early on my favorite books to read were THE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF WALT DISNEY 4 Volume Set.

I loved those books!
My young adult readinghood waaaay predates YA so I just read the Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul books my dad read and passed along.

2. I don’t like non-fiction. I’ve tried. I can appreciate the value of a well-rounded reading assemblage, but no, I don’t like non-fiction.

3. I have not read MOST of the “classics.” No Jane Austen, no Charles Dickens, no Oscar Wilde. But I did have a literary appreciation class at NIU where I read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Plague by Albert Camus, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and my most favorite that I’m so glad they made me read, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’m not opposed to the “classics,” it’s just that there are so many other books to choose!

When was the last time you cried during a book?
I was pleasantly relieved that Fault in our Stars did not make me blubber. That’s not to say I didn’t cry, because I did, but the book is about so much more than kids with cancer. (Shannon, you should read it.)

How many books are on your bedside table?
Just the one I’m reading now. I recently finished Paper Towns (begrudgingly) so my new bedside read is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

Are you a one-book-at-a-time reader?
Oh, no. I am always in the middle of several books. Besides Bel Canto, I’m also reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Enemy by Lee Child.

What is your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?
I don’t think of eating when I’m reading. I actually think it’s a weird question. I’m not opposed to a cup of coffee or tea while I’m reading, though. Or a bottle of water, all that page turning can make a reader parched.

Name three books you would recommend to everyone.
1. My all-time most favorite book is The Monster at the End of this Book featuring Lovable Furry old Grover. I don’t care how old you are, if you’ve never read this, you should.


2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

3. I honestly can’t recommend The Fault in our Stars enough. I know that sets you up for disappointment, but it’s the first book in a really long time that resonated so strongly with me.

Show us a picture of your favorite bookshelf on your bookcase.

Of course I have a lot of bookshelves, but really, my favorite books are in a stack that grows and shrinks at about a 3:1 ratio. I add to it faster than I can read. Selecting my next read is like playing Jenga.

Write how much books mean to you in just three words.
Books are sustenance.

What is your biggest reading secret?
I almost always finish a book I’ve started. Even ones I detest. I can probably count on one hand how many books I have begun and not completed. I feel like there is something to learn from even the baddest of books. But truth be told, I’m an optimist and I always hope it will get better, that there will be an awesome reason for the bad.

Optimist? Or glutton for punishment? LOL
Reading a bad book is akin to being in the wrong grocery store check-out line. Yes, there are much better books (lines) to choose from, but I’m invested. I will stick it out.

Okay, your turn!
Follow the links above to read the others answers. Repost in your own blog or on Facebook or whatever your social networking choice may be. And please leave answers in the comments below. Questionnaires like these help open a dialogue, let’s discuss!

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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