Saturday, November 17, 2012

Seven things

Claire has tagged me with seven bookish questions. (See other answers by Mee, BIP, Nicola, ds, Vasilly, and Lu.)

1. What propelled your love affair with books — any particular title or a moment?
Not a title or a particular moment, but the situation of new motherhood. I'd always been a reader, but under this challenging circumstance my mindset shifted. I read while breastfeeding, 35 hours a day it felt like. I read to stave off boredom, to escape, to step out of my self, to stay awake, to bring myself to stillness and sleep, to consider other lives, to exercise my vocabulary, to stretch my imagination, to engage with the world. I guess that was always the case, but now I gave it more focus and intensity, and a habit was formed.

2. Which fictional character would you like to be friends with and why?
Larry Darrell, from The Razor's Edge, by W Somerset Maugham. We could loaf together.

3. Do you write your name on your books or use bookplates?
No. I used to, as a child and teenager; I don't know why I stopped. These days I try to give books away; I guess I don't feel I own them enough to label them mine. I still write my name in reference books, as these get passed around the office and I want them to come back to me.

4. What was your favourite book read this year?
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Jesuit philosophy, anthropological linguistics, first contact with alien cultures. My favourite things! I'll be revisiting this book in the years to come.

5. If you could read in another language, which language would you choose?
Arabic. I suspect there's a treasure trove of literature that's never been translated, that the West has never heard of. But more compelling than that, it's linguistically interesting. I've taken classes twice but failed to retain much.

6. Name a book that made you both laugh and cry.
The book I'm reading now — Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin — I don't cry easily at books. And I'm laughing too, not just a chuckle at a witty turn of phrase, but heartily and out loud, and often unexpectedly at the sudden slapstick of a situation. And I'm only halfway.

7. Share with us your favourite poem?
"anyone lived in pretty how town," by e.e. cummings.

The Liebster Award, helping others discover other blogs. I'd like to ask Ana, Cipriano, Dwight, Melwyk, Mental Multivitamin, Sara, Tom, and anyone else:

1. What book (a classic?) do you hate?
2. To what extent do you judge people by what they read?
3. What television series would you recommend as the literariest?
4. Describe your ideal home library.
5. Books or sex?
6. How do you decide what to read next?
7. How much do you talk about books in real life (outside of the blogging community)?


Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Thanks for picking me - I've just post my answers. The Sparrow and A Winter's Tale have both been on my wishlist for a long time, and I appreciate being reminded of why I wanted to read them in the first place.

Sara said...

Why thanks for tagging me! I couldn't agree more with how important reading was as a new mother. Interestingly, I couldn't read some really "great" stuff at that time. There was, however, a fair amount of devouring of fluff novels at 2 am feedings.

claire said...

Love your answers, Isabella. Thanks for playing along. Becoming a stay-at-home mom was certainly the catalyst for my taking up reading again, after a long hiatus since I began working. And I love Larry Darell. If I were Isabel I would've gone with him when he asked. I also adore e.e. cummings.

But what I'm really taking away from your answers is the recommendation for The Sparrow. I haven't heard of that book before but "Jesuit philosophy, anthropological linguistics, first contact with alien cultures" . . . those, too, are my favourite things! Thank you, I will seek this book out. :)

Isabella Kratynski said...

Ana, I can't believe I hadn't read either of these books years ago. I hope I can nudge you to read them sooner rather than later.

Sara, I know what you mean. I know that I did read a couple "great" things during that period, but I also couldn't remember what I'd read 5 minutes after turning the page.

I look forward to reading your responses.

Claire, thanks for inviting me to play. I don't do memes very often, and I forget how fun it can be. Do pick up The Sparrow -- you won't regret it.

Dwight said...

Ha, thanks! Hopefully when things settle down here, if they ever do, I can tackle some of those questions.

Mental multivitamin said...

I had to get through the holiday weekend before I could tackle the seven questions, but here are my replies:

I don't know what the "rules" are, but I tagged three other book bloggers with the same questions.

Thank you for including me. Hey, and The Sparrow? One of my favorite books. What a wonder. It should be on my ideal shelf, but that pile got unwieldy quickly. Heh, heh, heh.