I’ll take any excuse to talk or write about books. I’m one of those people that will actually read the books you leave in the loo. The first thing I’ll do in a house is assess how many books are around – a home is useless without them, in my opinion. Whether it’s fact or fiction, I buy, read and re-read books at a rate of knots and it pains me that I don’t have enough time to just sit down and indulge in one cover-to-cover in one sitting. So this ‘tag’ thing is all new to me, but when my wonderful friend AJ tweeted to say she’d nominated me, I thought I’d give it a go.
Which book did you recently not finish?
I’ll try my damn hardest to always finish a book, just in case it turns out to be better than expected. However I could not get through even the first Game of Thrones book. I tried! Hell, I even re-tried recently, but my word that thing is convoluted and ridiculous. SPOILER: Everyone dies. I figured that out and realised I didn’t need to read much more.
Which book is your guilty pleasure?
Harry bloody Potter. People forget that at 26, I was the target audience for these books when they first came out, so I really did grow up with them. I will happily go back to them again and again, and not be ashamed to have the kid’s covers out and proud on the tube.
Which book do you love to hate?
People get annoyed with me when they realise I don’t like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. Maybe I just don’t like authors with beards and double middle names, who knows? Seriously though, I’ve really tried with both these series, but I cannot get into them. Fantasy for me can come in any form of literature, I don’t need white walkers and Gollum to make my imagination churn. In fact, they just make it all seem a bit absurd.
Which book would you throw into the sea?
Eat My Heart Out by Zoe Pilger. I’ve just finished reading it and it is the most arrogant, faux-feminist, utter bullshit thing I’ve ever read. Completely unbelievable protagonist, storyline to make your toes curl, characters and conversations that make you want to punch yourself in the face. I’m sure someone in Dalston thinks it’s inspiring and verging on biographical, but I thought it was awful.
Which book have you read the most?
The Time Traveler’s Wife is beautiful – ignore the film, it’s tripe. I’ve probably read it 10/11 times, as well as To Kill A Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights and Emma.
Which book would you hate to receive as a present?
Chick lit. A lovely woman sat next to me on my way to Sydney donated me her copy of The Rosie Project when she got off at Singapore and I obviously smiled politely and took it. I read the first couple of pages and swiftly used it as a floor decoration for the next seven hours.
Which book could you not live without?
I’ll go against the expected curve here and say the recipe book that my Mum made for me when I first left home. It’s extremely precious to me as she hand wrote all my favourite home cooked meals in there and I’ve added to it over time. I go back to it on a weekly basis and would certainly be very hungry without it!
Which book made you the angriest?
Fifty Shades of Grey. Yep, I read it. Bloody hell, that is not a book, it’s a travesty. Appallingly written, completely unbelievable characters, really ridiculous plot. I can’t believe it spawned such a cult following. For god’s sake, take a trip to Ann Summers and read a Joan Collins book instead.
Which book made you cry the most?
I cry at everything. The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games – they all set me off. Although I think Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness affected me the most. It is an astounding memoir of a girl in her twenties who descends into madness. It is only found out weeks later that it’s due to an aggressive auto-immune disease that had only been diagnosed in under 100 people in the world. It was terrifying and fascinating, but the way she wrote about her relationships with her family and boyfriend hit me the most. I was a blubbering mess while reading it.
What book cover do you hate the most?
Any book that’s been turned into a film and subsequently has the lead actor peering out at me from the shelf. I am all for judging books by their covers and believe their illustration is a really fine art. So keep the Hollywood A-listers off them please.
I’m not going to tag anyone in this, but let me know if you do it too! I’d love to see your responses.