Posts tagged joanne greenberg

YABM – Yet Another Book Meme. ;)

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Stole this from a friend – I can never resist a good book meme!

What books are your comfort reading–the ones you slink back to in times of stress?
Books are a bit Turret’s like for me—if I read something kind of awful, my own life seems better by comparison, I guess?  So when I’m really stressed, I like to read books about hard times, like Joanne Greenberg’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, or The Joy Luck Club.  That said… I might always lean towards no-brain fun, too.

What was your favorite book as a child, and why?
Mmm… let’s see.  When I was very small it as Who’s a Pest? a book by Crosby Bonsall about a little boy who everyone insists is a pest—even though he says he’s not.  It’s a strange, funny little book, that involves everything from mean sisters to talking animals, and an all-consuming pit.  It’s hard to explain, you’d have to read it.  When I was a little older, though, I was a big fan of Mercer Mayer books, and the Alexander books by Judith Viorst (especially Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday).

What was your favorite book as an adolescent, and why?
Undoubtedly Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume.   That book almost single-handedly got me through the break-up with my first (and second, really) best friend.  Stephanie Hirsch was the first fictional character who I really saw as a reflection of my life—or what my life could be.  She was what Rory Gilmore would be in a few years down the line.  This is also the book that got me serious—at age eleven—about writing young adult books.

What is the most unread category of books gathering dust on your bookshelf–the books you’ve bought but just never get around to reading?
The ones I buy but haven’t read?  Are probably mainly in the non-fiction genre.  There are certain periods of history that I love—love, love, love, like the American Revolution and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, and so I have a few books that I own that cover those periods, but I haven’t read any of them.  Also under that list would be anthologies.  I have a few either from classes (writing on music, etc) and gifts from friends, but I just don’t jump into them very often.

What kind of books would you like to say you read, but never do?
There are a few of them.  I tend to get very comfortable either in classics or in young adult or children’s fantasy… so almost anything outside of that is (embarrassingly) kind of a gray area for me.  The ones that I’d really love to say I read are mystery novels—I feel like I’m missing out on a great genre, and the ones I’ve read I’ve enjoyed, but I just don’t go looking for them.  I’d also like to say that I appreciated a good Grisham—because really, everybody is supposed to like Grisham, but all I’ve read was The Pelican Brief, and that was enforced (high school book report).  I’d like to say I’d read Michener, too.  My mother loves his novels, and I love the look and the idea of them… but I’ve never so much as opened one.

What’s the oddest book you’ve ever read?
Does The Host count?  Because I have likened parts of that novel to a Miyazaki film on crack.  Outside of the illustrious Miss Meyer, however… I would have to say… actually, no.  I really think The Host might be the oddest book I’ve read.

What book were you never able to get through,despite the recommendations of people you respect?
I can’t think of one off the top of my head.  Possibly Wicked?  Maybe Eragon as well.

What’s the book it took you a couple of tries to get into, but was as good as promised once you finally made it?
I don’t do this very often.  The only one I can even remember is Jane Eyre.  Which I started for the first time when I was twelve—I hated the childhood section of that book, and so I kept putting it down.  It remains to this day the only book I’ve ever literally thrown across the room (more than once, I believe) in frustration—and my ugly little orange paperback bears the marks as proof.  It took me months to get through Lowood.  Once I got to Thornfield, though, I was hooked, hooked, hooked, and it is almost definitely my favorite book of all time.

What’s your favorite short story–or do you even have one?
I’m not very good at reading short stories, I’ll admit.  There was one in a literature book of mine in high school, though, called “Chasing Summer,” that I really loved, all about a couple who, after a thermo-nuclear war, chase the patches of light that make their way through the nuclear winter sky.  I also really love “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury… actually, I love his “A Sound of Thunder,” also.  Reason why I’ve always wanted to read more Bradbury (that should go with Grisham and Michener, above).

The desert island. Three books (and collected works don’t count. If you want the Lord of the Rings it’ll cost you all three slots). Go:
1. Jane Eyre… it’s a debate between this and Persuasion, but as yet Jane Eyre continues to have the smallest of edges.
2. Great Expectations—maybe.  Not because it’s one of my favorites (it’s kind of not) but just because I think analyzing it would last me years.  😛
3. Fingerprints: Payback by Melinda Metz.  At least I think I’d pick this one.  One of the last three, at least.  It’d kill me not to have the full series, though.  Mindless fun—well, mostly mindless.  And one of my biggest fiction OTPs.  Yes, I know you’ve never heard of it.

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Fun Book Meme!

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1) What author do you own the most books by?

Easily (if not slightly embarrassingly) Melinda Metz, someone I’m sure very few of you have even heard of. I have all ten Roswell High books (that would be the series the WB show was based off of), plus doubles of at least four of them, and all seven of the Fingerprints novels, her second and vastly better YA book series.  If it were coming out now it’d probably be a hit, but it was sadly before it’s time.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I really only have doubles of anything… Little Women, Little Men, and Jane Eyre, definitely. At one point I had something like four copies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I’m pretty sure I gave at least two of those away.

3) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Secretly? That strikes out quite a few, doesn’t it? Um… Anthony Fascinelli, from the aforementioned Fingerprints series. Expressively so. And then Dicken, from The Secret Garden, and probably Finn from The Books of Bayern, by Shannon Hale.  Not so secretly – Mr. Rochester, Darcy, Gilbert Blythe, Captain Wentworth, Rhett Butler, and Ron Weasley.  What?

4) What book have you read more than any other?

Jane Eyre. That book is like breathing clean air for me. I reread books a lot, but Jane Eyre takes the cake there.  As you can see on my sidebar, I’m rereading it now. 🙂

5) What was your favorite book when you were 10-years-old?

The Secret Garden and The Little Princess. Frances Hodgson Burnett pretty much owned me at that age!

6) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Probably I’d have to say The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum. But most of the books I’ve been reading this past year have been rereads of favorites or ones I’d been waiting some time for, so it didn’t have much of a chance.

7) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Like I said, almost half of the books I’ve read this past year have been rereads. But of new books? Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull. I really cannot speak highly enough of this series. It’s the best high fantasy series of the “talking dragons and fairies” that I’ve ever read. Really. Not that I read a lot of them, because I have trouble taking them seriously. This has never been a problem with Fablehaven.

8 ) If you could tell everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?

I’m going to be predictable here and say I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg. It is just so much about triumph, and basically a true story. Fictionalized autobiography. One of the few books that I’ve ever read that literally makes me feel like a better person for having read it.

9) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Most difficult… possible Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.  I simply don’t care for books that are more about ideas than people.  There have been a few others of similar cases in my college career, but the others are all fairly obscure, so I don’t actually remember their titles.

10) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

The Russians. I love reading Russian literature. Dostoevsky, Lermontov, Pushkin? Yes, please. I should read more French, though.  I’m not half as familiar with them.

11) Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

That is not an effective question. It’s like asking whether you prefer water or oxygen—not in the life-or-death view of it, but in the fact that they’re three things that are essentially huge in the English language, and you can’t just pick between them, because they’re really not that similar. Milton is like… reading genius. You just know that he was one of the smartest men to have ever lived. Chaucer is similar, but I get bored with the bawdiness of it. I do not get bored of reading Middle English, though. The best thing to do with any of these authors is to just read them aloud, until you understand them. But on a day-to-day basis? Shakespeare, of course. There’s so much variety in his works, and just so many amazing characters.

12) Austen or Eliot?

Oh Austen, easily. But then I did read every single word of Middlemarch (which is almost the length of all six Austen novels combined) and was surprised at how much I loved it. Consequently, I’m surprised this question isn’t Austen or Brontë! That’s what you see most often, and it’s pretty unfair, considering how different the works are. Eliot is much closer to Austen’s feel, definitely.

13) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Oh almost anything contemporary that isn’t YA. I’m pretty awful in that I’m either stuck in the past or stuck in high school. Nonfiction, too. I almost never read nonfiction, though I think maybe I’m almost to the point where I’ll start seeking it out.

14) What is your favorite novel?

Jane Eyre, or Persuasion. Or possibly Little Women. But I haven’t read that last in ages, (it’s next in line to read after Jane Eyre!) so I’m interested in seeing how my view of it might have changed?

15) Play?

Oh… I’m going to cheat here and say The Oresteia. Which is actually three plays. But almost any Greek tragedy. I love Antigone, and Prometheus Bound, and just all of it. The Oresteia is just overwhelming, though.  Clytemnestra is just terrifying and awesome and somehow still sympathetic, and Orestes is just trying so hard to be good! I have a flair for the dramatic, what?

16) Poem?

Oh impossible to pick just one. Emily Dickinson—oh just pick one, they’re all brilliant, and I really don’t want to point you to an overly-familiar one just because it’s the one I can remember off the top of my head. That woman was just so smart. And if you think she’s depressing you’ve probably only read the four poems they assign in high school lit, and you should really read more. She is just impeccably smart. I love Sharon Olds, too, though, and one that comes to mind is from Billy Collins—”Marginalia” is sweet, and just a perfect poem.

I didn’t really mean for both of those links to refer back to Emily Dickinson, but it’s just as well that they do. Don’t get distracted by the seemingly random capitalization and punctuation… focus on the words. She knew her words better than anyone else I have ever seen. There are so many gorgeous poets, though. Whitman, Elizabeth Barret Browning. Longfellow, my old favorite. Poetry is kind of a secret passion with me, one I forget about and then it flares up in sudden, unstoppable waves.

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