Booking Through Thursday — Meme Time

A good meme for BTT today:

What was the last book you bought?
“The Eight” by Katherine Neville and “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Hrrmm… there’s been several, but one book I’ve read more than twice is “The Illearth War” by Stephen R. Donaldson.  Maybe the best fantasy book I’ve read.

The Illearth War

Stephen R. Donaldson

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I suppose that The Bible is the easy answer, but I don’t think that’s the point of this question.  Otherwise, probably not.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Usually by author, if known.  Recommendations from friends, occasionally if it looks interesting sitting on the shelf.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Oh, fiction, for sure.  I’ll read the occasional non-fiction book and enjoy it, but mostly I read for entertainment tending to escapism.
What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Neither one alone can save a book.  .  I will appreciate great writing in a so-so story (“Kite Runner” anyone?) more than the inverse (“The Da Vinci Code” – really interesting idea, dreadful writing).  That’s why they’re called writers, not plotters.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Too many to count: Atticus Finch, Thomas Covenant, Frodo Baggins, Roland Deschain, Edward Feathers
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
The two mentioned above (currently reading and up next) and “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West” by Benazir Bhutto.
 
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
“Old Filth” by Jane Gardam.  I’ve been meaning to blog about it.  It’s superb – especially for those that like sparse English wit – a wonderful story of life, love, sacrifice, the idea of success and that still waters can run very deep.
 

Old Filth

Jane Gardam

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes – in a recent post, I mentioned giving up on “John Adams” rather early on.  I also punted on “It” by Stephen King about half-way through.  I thought it was gratuitously bloated.

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