A little book Q&A

Last night was World Book Night, which spreads the joy and love of reading.  To spread that joy a little further, the lovely Sally has created a little Q&A about books and reading which she tagged me into.  I am enjoying a quiet Tuesday night in with a mug of tea and my Kindle so I thought this would be the perfect thing to do whilst I enjoy a bit of 'me time'.

The Rules: 
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you've taken part!

Front cover of 'Pirates Mixed Up Voyage' - always makes me smile as I remember how much I loved how silly (and utterly brilliant) it was as a child.

I tag
my Mum, The Pampered Sparrow, Kate and anyone else who likes reading - but tweet me and let me know you've done it, I love getting recommendations for new things to read!

What are you reading right now?

The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins.  I saw that Kate was reading it last month and thought I'd give it a go - it is such a gripping read, I wasn't expecting a classic novel to have so many twists and turns, it is a genuinely thrilling, brilliant detective story.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I downloaded The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt onto my Kindle a few days ago after seeing it reviewed on the TV book club, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?

Oh Comely and Olive magazine

What’s the worst book you've ever read?

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. Everyone raves on about it but I thought it was badly written and boring. 

What book seems really popular but you actually hated?

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  Again, everyone raves on about it (and it won a lot of awards) but I couldn't get past the first 50 pages (actually, I see a lot of copies at charity shops so maybe neither could anyone else).

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  Undoubtedly my favourite book so I believe everyone else should love it too; it's just so full of mystery, intrigue and darkness, it just swallows you up.  I adore it.

What are your 3 favourite poems?

Scheherazade by Richard Siken
The Hon Sec by John Betjeman
Remember by Christina Rossetti

Where do you usually get your books?

I bought a Kindle a couple of months ago and I've downloaded a lot of the classics as they're free on the Kindle store which is a great way to motivate me to read the ones I've had on my list for ages (ever thrifty!). If I really enjoy books I've borrowed or read on the Kindle I always buy a paper copy for the library I intend on having one day (I've already racked up three large bookshelves so I'm getting there!)

Where do you usually read your books?

I always read before bed, in the bath if I'm not reading on my Kindle or when I get the train to work.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
My Mum used to always read to me before bedtime as my Dad was away at sea a lot when I was very young.  When he came home he used to read with me too, usually a book by Robin Jarvis - I used to cherish those moments as I loved spending that quality time with my Daddy.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  It's one of those books where you have to keep reading to find out what happens.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?

A few in college where I had to write assignments and I couldn't get into the book.  I remember using Spark Notes to help with an assignment on The Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (granted, a play, not technically a book) because I hated it so much.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

No, I am far too thrifty for that! Though I must admit I am very tempted to buy some of the Penguin Classics that have had covers redesigned by tattoo artists.  Valerie Vargas is my favourite tattoo artist ever (cliché I know) and I love her Notes on a Scandal cover, though I already own the book.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
As I already mentioned (and Sally did too), I loved the Robin Jarvis books, Roald Dahl (of course) and before I could read myself I am reliably informed that I loved the Janet and Allan Ahlberg books - The Jolly Postman being a firm favourite (and probably bred my love of receiving post!)

What book changed your life?
I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand whilst away in Thailand and it just blew my mind, I don't think I've ever felt so excited by a book before.  I read it at a time when I was realising a lot of things about myself and the direction I wanted to take my life in and it just made me feel so determined and inspired.

What is your favourite passage from a book?
This was a tough one.  I love all the scenes with May in it in The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami though so I'll go with this one;

“Here's what I think, Mr. Wind-Up Bird," said May Kasahara. "Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I'd really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person. But I can't seem to do it. They just don't get it. Of course, the problem could be that I'm not explaining it very well, but I think it's because they're not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they're not, really. So I get worked up sometimes, and I do some crazy things.” 

What are your top five favourite authors?

Haruki Murakami
Kurt Vonnegut
Douglas Coupland
Chuck Palahniuk
Jonathan Coe

What book has no one heard about but should read?
Once In a House on Fire by Angela Ashworth

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

What are your favourite books by a first-time author?

After You'd Gone by Maggie O' Farrell
To Kill a Mockingbird
 by Harper Lee
The Wilderness
by Samantha Harvey

What is your favourite classic book?
I would have to say Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, I used to love reading that as a child.

5 other notable mentions?

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Magus by John Fowles
The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller 

.... and, on Joseph Heller, the story goes that he was once being interviewed, and the interviewer said - “Since Catch 22 you haven’t written anything nearly as good.” and he replied "No, but then neither has anyone else.” I love that.


  1. Yyessss!The olly Postman had the same effect on me too!!Im so sad how there aren't enough hours in the days for me to read as much as I want go!Plus I drive commute rather than train.I think I obviously should just work part time?!Im still in the process of reading nesbos books which I love.Im really interested in your recommendations too!xxx

    1. I get the train maybe once or twice a week, I'd love to do it more so I could read more but it costs twice as much as driving so I only do it when I can't get a car space at work. I read The Snowman and loved it but I can't get on with The Redbreast so far. Didn't know if you were a reader or not so didn't tag you in - sorry! X

  2. I read The Woman in White when I was in Sixth Form and thought it was excellent! As you said, I was surprised how gripping it was considering it's a classic. I've been so slacking on the reading front lately, I always go through phases where I read constantly and then stop and forget how much I enjoy it! 'The Secret History' sounds interesting, I may have to purchase it! :) xxx

    1. I don't know why I was so surprised that a classic could be so full of suspense but I was, it's got so many twists and it's so action packed! I am exactly the same in that I go through phases of reading a lot and then being really tired and going straight to sleep without reading. The Secret History is so good, let me know if you do read it! xxx

  3. Right, all these are going on the list. I lived the Wilderness too, and the Jolly Postman! Ah love it. Atlas Shrugged sounds awesome in particular. Thanks do much for taking part lady! x

  4. Ah I've wanted to read to kill a mockingbird for SO long. I really need to get around to that. tut! Hope you're well sweetie :) I feel really bad for not reading my book last night now haha xx

  5. I haven't read the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, but I do love Murakami. Have you read 1Q84?

    I loved Cloud Atlas, but it was one of those books I would have to wait a long while before reading again. Maybe that's why so many find their way to the charity shops?

  6. Ooh thanks for the tag, I look forward to doing this tomorrow when I'm home from work and in my pajamas! The Secret History is BRILLIANT isn't it, I rarely come across anybody who's read it so it's nice to be able to share the love. I was also a big fan of the Jolly Postman (I still have it somewhere) and even better - the Jolly Christmas Postman! Glad you're enjoying The Woman in White, I couldn't believe how good it was. Right, enough geeking out over books, time to go to bed and read one! xx

  7. Oi Missy! The Catcher in the Rye - badly writen and boring?!?! Noooo waaaaayyyy!! Oooh you must read The Great Gatsby - I love that book too... although you may not like it in that case! haha, I'm thinking we have very different tastes in books - I hated Sister by Rosamund Lupton. :P xoxo

    Love this tag - definitely going to post my own. :) x

  8. Hey sweetie! You have a very beautiful blog with a lot of inspiring posts! I'd like to invite you to be my friend and follow each other:)

  9. I work in a library so I loved this post, love finding out about other peoples reading habits. I've just read all the Hunger Games books and I'm reading all the Song of Fire and Ice ones. One of my all time faves is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and I love Nick Hornby and Joe Dunthorne, blokey humour type of stuff xx

  10. You should totally try and get chance to read The Great Gatsby, Its such an immense and emotional roller coaster reading that piece. It's incredible.

  11. Oo, love this. Might have to pop a version on my blog because books are kind of my world. Totally agree with you about Catcher In The Rye, full on HATED that, and equally share your love for Murakami! Reading so much love for him on blogs atm, it's ace. That High Fidelity tattoo you linked to is kind of amazing also.

    Rosie xx
    Just Listen

  12. lovely post!
    tha book cover looks nice, so does the book.

  13. Popping up a version of this on my blog :) linking back to you xo

    1. & oh my God, Remember is my favourite poem too! xo

  14. I agree with you about Cloud Atlas, I just didnt get into it! I also loved Room, a real page turner!
    I have added a fair few of your books to my to read list, and Sally tagged me too and my post is here http://bdbrighton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/literary-q.html


  15. What a great quote by Joseph Heller. Catch 22 really is an amazing read.
    Make sure you get round to F Scott Fitzgerald and Gabriel Garcia Marquez! I was especially blown away by Marquez, even though it was a little hard to get into at first. x


Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.