Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A to Z Blogger Book Survey

An A-Z of book-related questions, via Legatus:
Author you've read the most books from:

Toughie. I'd hazard a guess that it's Anne McCaffery, not least because I went through a phase of collecting her in signed first edition hardback.

Best sequel ever:

CJ Cherryh's "Exile's Gate". Possibly cheating, but since I read the first three books as one omnibus edition, I reckon it counts :D

Currently reading:

"King of the Air" by Herbert Strang - a slightly steampunky Boy's Own ripping yarn I remember reading as a teenager, I think from my grandfather's shelves. It's out of copyright, and available on Project Gutenberg. (As is not uncommon for me, I managed to rediscover it by a precise recollection of one particular line of dialogue for a Google search!)

Drink of choice whilst reading:

Single Malt. Preferably at least 15 years old. Or Taylors Yorkshire Tea.

E-reader or physical book:

Yes. :D More often than not the former these days, but I'm happy with either.

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:

Ok. That's a tricky one. Petronella Sterling from Malcolm Saville's surprisingly well-written YA "Lone Pine" series.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

Sharon Penman, "The Sunne In Splendour". First historical fiction I think I read, for no reason I can remember. It's a genre I have a considerable fondness for.

Hidden book gem:

The "Outcast Season" series, by Rachael Caine.

This is a followup series to her "Weather Warden" series, which I really enjoyed - her writing is really fast-paced, and this series covers one of my favourite plot tropes, that of redemption.

Important moment in your book life:

Finding André Norton's "Moon Of Three Rings" in the school library. It's probably the first SF/fantasy I read.

Just finished:

The Battle For The Falklands.

Kind of book you won't read:

Anything by Dan Brown, or that aspires to be Dan Brown, gets compared to Dan Brown or whose author is heralded as the next Dan Brown. Unless someone whose opinion I actually respect has read it and likes it.

Longest book you've read:

Single book - probably book 5 of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series.

Major book hangover because of disappointing endings: 

Can't even remember its title :D a Cadfael-esque mediaeval whodunnit I read on holiday one year, and got to the dénouement to discover that the author (not the characters!) had managed to equate Satanism and paganism... I may be a Christian, but several of my friends are pagan, and I was sufficiently annoyed I threw the book across the floor and refused to finish it.

Number of bookcases you own:

Eight. However two of them are 12' long floor-to-ceiling permanently fitted shelves.

One book you've read multiple times:

Just one? :D Lord of the Rings, for starters.

Preferred place to read:

Bed, train, loo, armchair. anywhere there's a book.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:

"...we should always remember that there are sincere people out there who just happen to worship a different god." - Christa, from "Gossamer Axe" by Gael Baudino

Reading regret:

Starting "The Da Vinci Code". It's only redeeming feature is that it proves that you can write like a complete muppet with no stylistic sense and no respect for your reader, and work out your issues with the Catholic Church in public, and still get paid. If I ever get a novel published, Dan Brown may be listed in the acknowledgements section 'for proving even I could do this'.

Series you started and need to finish:

Game of Thrones, believe it or not. And Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series still!

Three of your all-time favourite books:
  • Gael Baudino, "Gossamer Axe" - if you're at all into SF/Fantasy and rock music, this is probably the best book ever. I own the guitar on the cover.
  • CJ Cherryh: "The Chronicles of Morgaine". SF/Fantasy at its best by one of the best. A fantastic study of two characters who fail to communicate - slow starting but amazingly unputdownable once it gets going.
  • Ken Macksey, "Battle!". (This should surprise NONE of my regular readers!)

Unapologetic fanboy for:

Simon Scarrow's Macro and Cato series.

Very excited for this release:

The next of the above :D

Worst bookish habit:

Buying free Kindle books and never getting round to reading them, and impulse purchasing interesting looking paperbacks anywhere and everywhere I see them.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book: 

It's a commentary on the Old Testament book of Esther :D

Your latest book purchase:

Mark Byford (former Deputy DG of the BBC)'s "A Name On A Wall". So new it's not out till Thursday, but I have it on preorder.

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:)

Probably AJP Taylor's "War By Timetable". The one advantage of reading on an iPad Mini is it hurts less when you fall asleep while reading and it lands on your face. Which is one reason I'm not reading Henry Hyde's Wargaming Compendium in bed, and why I haven't finished it to review yet - I'm scared of a concussion!

The wife's was Mira Grant's "Feed". Which almost made it into my top 3, and if you like political thrillers with zombies then you owe it to yourself to read this. And that's entirely aside from the fact that I'm credited for IT/logistical advice.


  1. I wish I was more of a reader.
    My older brother got our mothers reading genes. Unfortunately all I manage is Napoleonic and the odd zombie book.

    Maybe when I retire?

  2. Has anyone ever finished the Wheels of time.... I have tried 3 times I tend to lose the will to carry on about book four
    Peace James

  3. I'm with James on the Wheel of Time.... except I only tried once... :o)

    Hear you on Sharon Penman - you should try her new one on Richard the Lionheart.....


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