My Life in Books: A-Z Book Survey

I spotted this a few weeks ago after a few friends did it (including Miranda and Laura), and I vowed I would fill it in when I got the chance. It was one of those things that took a while, but was ultimately worth it for what it actually taught me about my own reading habits… Would love to hear what you think of my eclectic tastes! Please pop over to Ang Writes’ Blog for the original link to the questions… and you should also check out the answers from ‘Book Blogger Extraordinaire’, LizLovesBooks) :

My ridiculously messy bookshelves
Yes, that is a rubber duck reading a book and a mini Connect Four…

Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Stephen King – by a long way (although I have been less keen since I gave up on Cell, I am enjoying Joyland (his current) and am looking forward to Doctor Sleep).

I read a lot of Jackie Collins in my teens. I am not ashamed.

I’ve read a lot of Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson, but I’ve not read anything by either of them for a long time now since I became a bit obsessed with reading stuff by new authors.

I’ve ready almost* everything of Peter James’ (and I am in the current one Dead Man’s Time as PC Susi Holliday after winning a competition!)

In recent times, Mo Hayder, Belinda Bauer and Neil Cross are three who keep me coming back for more.

*Sorry – I tried several times but I just could not get in to Perfect People.

Best Sequel Ever

When I was a student in Dundee, Stephen King released The Green Mile as a series of novellas, released monthly like Charles Dickens style periodicals – I can still remember waiting outside the bookshop on each release day, desperate to know what was coming next. Sadly, I can’t find this collection – I think I might have leant it out and never got it back 😦

Currently Reading

Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood, Joyland by Stephen King and Dodger by James Benmore.

I have started this thing of having several books on the go at once, dipping into each one as the mood takes me. I never used to do this and put it down to my over-busy butterfly mind…

Drink of Choice While Reading

Tea. Always tea.

E-reader Or Physical Book?

Physical. Prefer paperback to hardback. But I do read things on a tablet now, out of necessity sometimes (e.g. galley proofs etc if I am reviewing something).

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School

I’d like to say Patrick Bateman from American Psycho (for the cool, dangerous element) but it would more than likely have been Brian from David Nicholls’ Starter for Ten (especially if he really did look like James McAvoy).

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. My husband bought this for me when we were travelling and we’d gone through a difficult situation. It didn’t look like my type of book, but he had inscribed beautiful words in the front and the book turned out to be incredible and perfectly suited to the sentiment it was meant to convey.

Hidden Gem Book

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. I read it after reading Mo Hayder’s Tokyo and it blew me away. I later visited Nanking (Nanjing) and found the place to be as haunting as the book. The story of Iris Chang’s persecution is a book in itself. Not for the faint hearted, but fascinating.

Important Moment In Your Reading Life

Finding my mum’s box of horror novels when I was about twelve. One had a picture of a woman in the bath and a horrible slug thing coming out of the plughole. It scared the shit out of me. Can’t remember what it was called (and have never been able to find out). This started me on the path to reading ‘horrible’ horror… James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon. Not sure I could stomach some of those now!

Just Finished

Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver. It was great. I love his main character, David Raker. Thankfully he hasn’t been killed off yet as I have threatened Tim with an Annie Wilkes style revenge if this happens. (review coming soon…)

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

I don’t really read much non-fiction as I prefer the escapism of fiction. The exception would be Stephen King’s On Writing, which is part advice for writers, part memoir. I’ve read that several times and often dip back into it. But there’s not much I won’t try (except ‘high’ fantasy… I just can’t get in to that at all).

Longest Book You’ve Read

The Stand by Stephen King. I couldn’t read a book like that now. I like short, fast thrills 🙂

Major Book Hangover Because Of

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Beautiful book. I think I cried all the way through it (sort of like the morning after too much gin).

Number Of Bookcases You Own

A wall and a half in one room, plus some in bedroom and living room. They really need to be sorted out properly… I saved them all in my parents attic for years before my hubby and I bought a house with my much desired ‘book room’. My dad threatened to thrown them all out many times, but luckily, I think he can now see what it was all about…

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times

I don’t have time to re-read now as I have sooo many books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet, but when I was younger and had all the teenage angst, I re-read The Bell Jar, Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird several times each. Actually, I did re-read American Psycho several times when I lived in a studio flat (aka bedsit) in Dublin after moving out of my controlling landlord’s flatshare… not sure if those two events are connected…

Preferred Place To Read

Bed, or on a train.

Quote That Inspires You From A Book You’ve Read

“Reading in bed can be heaven, assuming you can get just the right amount of light on the page and aren’t prone to spilling your coffee or cognac on the sheets. ” – Stephen King (On Writing)

Reading Regret

I don’t have reading regrets since I stopped finishing books I wasn’t enjoying. Life is too short. If it’s an author I like, I’ll go back to it and give it another go – but it’s two strikes and you’re out, I’m afraid! This commenced when I gave in to the hype and started reading Twilight. The first one was ok, I hated the second but finished it eventually. I didn’t finish the third. Are there three or four? I lost track because they were so shit.  I don’t know what happens to the vampire baby. I don’t care either. (sorry, Twilight fans!)

Actually, I need to add Gone Girl to this list – I started it because of the hype – even though I tried to wait… but there was so much info about it, I kind of knew what it was about, and the characters didn’t do it for me. I gave up before the big twist was revealed and looked it up online to make sure I’d guessed right. I had.

Series You Started And Need To Finish

I’ll say Peter James’ Roy Grace novels for this as I am one behind. I’d also like to read all of Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels in order as I have only read a few here and there and not in sequence.

Three Of Your All-Time Favourite Books

God… I really have no idea. That’s an impossible question.

Unapologetic Fangirl For

Mark Billingham. I love all his books and have been lucky enough to meet and chat to him more than once. I’m hoping he doesn’t really remember that though as I’m pretty sure I made a tit of myself every time.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others

Wolf by Mo Hayder, out early next year. I love her writing and the element of creepiness she conveys.

Worst Bookish Habit

I remember my sister’s horrified face when I dog-eared my place in a hardback of Michael J Fox’s first autobiography (which was great, by the way)… ok, it was her book, but…

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 39th book

The original question said the 27th book. Not sure of the relevance so I am choosing my age (as of next Monday) instead. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Fantastically chilling read.

Your latest book purchase

Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood. I pushed all others aside to start it straight away. I’m about two thirds though and loving it.

ZZZ-snatcher book

Both David Jackson and Mark Edwards/Louise Voss’s latest books were both stay-up-all-nighters.

* * *

Right… back to my current read… comments gratefully received (and please don’t hate on me for the Twilight thing… ;))

12 thoughts on “My Life in Books: A-Z Book Survey

  1. Don’t hate you for the Twilight thing, I feel the same way hehe. I was the same over the Green Mile, But I also succumbed and bought the book when it came out as a full paperback – it’s in a box somewhere. So glad you did this, a great read 🙂

  2. Gave up on Cell?! I loved it – but hated how he ended it!! Nightmare cliff hanger.

    I have that Green Mile collection – individual books. If I ‘lose’ books, I rebuy (second hand), it’s obsessive!

    I loved Michael J Fox’s autobiography! Rob Lowe’s was awesome too.

    Oh god, now I want to read all those books you mentioned. 😉

    • Yep, ‘fraid so. Too big, I don’t have the time/patience for long books these days! I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve lost over the years. I only remembered that Green Mile thing because I did this thing! I think MJF has several autobios now, but I only read the one. It’s a nightmare when someone mentions loads of books you haven’t read and you want to read – this is why I have more books in my house than bricks holding it up!! 🙂

  3. Twilight had the same effect on me too…I was ready to rip my hair out on the second book, so tedious, but waded through all four, so I could chat with my daughter about them. Then decided never to waste my reading time on books that I found tedious again!
    So many people have mentioned Peter James around me, so must give him a try soon, and I love that you’re in one!

    • Thanks Lisa – it must have been torture to read all 4, but at least you had someone to discuss it with 😉 I had people at work telling me how great they all were, but I was just so bored! Peter James has got some older stuff too, more horror-ish, before he started the Roy Grace series. Yep, I am pretty chuffed to be in one!! x

  4. That was an incredibly furn article to read. It really gives an insight into your personality using your bookshelf. I may have to do this one on my blog. For the record, I agree with On Writing by Stephen King. Fantastic book.

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