Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A-Z Reading Survey: Part 1

This is one of those questionnaires that's going around,  It originates here - not a site I frequent, I promise.  It's aimed at fan girls, but there's some  nice questions, so here goes.

Author you've read the most books from:

I'm a bit of a completist and have to read everything I can get once I'm into an author.  So the question comes down to who is the most prolific.  I was going to say Anne McCaffrey's Pern books or Patrick O'Brian, but realised that the answer is of course Terry Pratchett.

Best sequel ever:

Hm, what does 'sequel' mean?  Any book in a series that's not the first?  The second book?   Sharing the same characters, etc?

In the looser sense, The Use of Weapons, the second of Iain M Banks' Culture Novels is probably one of my favorites.

As an actual sequel?  Well, it has to be The Eye in the Door, the second of Pat Barker's incomparable  Regeneration Trilogy.  If I could only recommend one book in this post, this would be the one.

Currently reading:

Paul Vallely, Pope Francis, Untying the Knots
John Baxter, A Pound of Paper
Cressida Cowell, How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel

Drink of choice whilst reading:

Rooibos.  The Wife's grandfather was South African.

E-reader or physical book:

Book.  Haven't got my head around e-readers yet, possibly because I've spend too much of my life looking at computer screens.  And I like the smell of books...

'Bidi, bidi, bidi!'
Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:

Never thought about this.  Obviously one of the questions aimed at fan girls...  Well, me dating while at school would have been fictional anyway.

Assuming Fiesta doesn't count as fiction (every word of those letters was true!), I'd have gone for Col Dearing from 'Buck Rogers in the C25th'.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

Actually, I avoided Pratchett for a long time.  I was put off by the Josh Kirby covers and thought they were for saddoes.  I didn't read The Colour of Magic until my mid-20s, a little late for the average Pratchett reader, I suspect.  But after five years of almost exclusively reading church history, I was ready for a break.

Hidden book gem?

Loss and Gain by John Henry Newman.  Actually quite a cutting satire on the Oxford Movement.

Important moment in your book life:

  • Deciding that I was fed up with the Janet and John books at primary school.  Instead I found a book on the Risorgimento and read that.

  • Joining the Library.  The first book I took out of the public library was one of the Worst Witches.  The first I took out of a school library was Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the I took from my secondary school library was Starman Jones.

  • Deciding to stop reading a book - it was something by one of the Sitwells (possibly Sacheverell).  Up to then, I thought duty-bound to plough through and finish.  I had a similar break-though half way through the fifth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series when (after about 4,000 pages!) we were introduced to another bloody claimant to the throne.

Just finished:

The last book I finished was Patrick Moore's autobiography, 80 Not Out.  That was ages ago, I'm afraid.  My opinion of it is here.

Kind of book you won't read:

There are books I wouldn't read of course, but nothing immediately springs to mind.

Longest book you've read:

Probably Lord of the Rings.  I've a nagging feeling that that shouldn't count though.


  1. great stuff Edwin, will have to look at this one for myself
    Peace James

  2. Interesting. My reading of books has slowed down considerably. I also may have to give this a try.

    1. Mine too.

      I think that after I finish the alphabet I might sit down and do a post about what reflections it's prompted.


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