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55 Reading Questions

I stole this list from tumblr (bad girl).

1.Favorite Childhood Book?
Matilda by Roald Dahl or pretty much anything by Roald Dahl. Dahl is an absolute genius who gets children in a way practically no other author does. I loved Matilda particularly for her voracious love of reading, which I also shared. I also loved Bill Brittain's The Wish Giver, John Masefield's Box of Delights, and Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game.

2. What are you reading right now?
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Brilliant teen chick-lit recommended by a friend. I'm a youth services librarian, hence my reading of teen lit. However, I'm of the strong opinion that teen lit is a genre that is sorely undervalued. Much great stuff to be found.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

4. Bad Book Habit?
Dog-earring books because I never have a bookmark. I also spill food and drink on books often. I'm clumsy. I'm awful. I own it.

5. What do you have currently checked out at the library?
Sloppy Firsts and Brain Jack by Brian Falkner.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
No preference, but I tend to read one at a time. I use to read several at once in my younger days. I stopped because my 30-something brain couldn't retain multiple plotlines anymore.

8.Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Does this count as a blog?

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far)?
Crazy Days: My Autobiography by Sadie Frost. I don't even know what compelled me to read it. Awful stuff. I know she has a more interesting life than this, but she left all the good bits out. Plus, it's horribly written.

10. Favorite book you've read this year?
Broken Harbour by Tana French and The Legacy by Katherine Webb

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Rarely. I should more often.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Fiction, british mysteries, teen and children's novels, and travel novels.

13. Can you read on the bus?

14.Favorite place to read?
My bed or the beach

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I freely lend, but I keep close track of who has what.

16. Do you dog-ear your books?
Yes. Bad librarian.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of books?
Not since school.

18. Not even with text books?
Same as above.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

20. What makes you love a book?
Wonderful writing is paramount. Secondary is either the writer is particularly gifted at creating memorable characters or they have a wonderful sense of place. I remember falling in love with the Harry Potter series, not because I love fantasy (which I don't), but because I grew up in England and it reminded me of home. I also thought JK Rowling did a fantastic job creating unique; memorable characters. I may not remember the minute details of every Harry Potter novel, but I will forever admire Snape. Oh, Snape. Sniff.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I finish the book and I'm still thinking about it 30 minutes later. Also, if a book has a good hook--a concept to draw the reader in.

22. Favorite Genre?
Fiction and British Mystery

23. Genre you rarely read but wish you did?
Children and teen fantasy. I just can't get into it. The Harry Potter series is the exception, but that's very mild fantasy comparatively.

24. Favorite biography?
Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath by Anne Stevenson

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Years ago.

26. Favorite cookbook?
I have a London cookbook that William Sonoma produced that contains classic British recipes. I love that. My husband's the cook in the family, so that's more his arena.

27. Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)
I have no clue.

28. Favorite reading snack?

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience?
That happens most of the time with me. Lots of hype usually has the opposite effect on me. It makes me not want to read a book. I just get sick of hearing about it.  If I had to give an example though: The Da Vinci Code. Maybe it's a good book, I don't know. I just know I resisted reading it for a long time. I still don't get what all the fuss is about. It's mediocre, at best. I know many people love it though, so maybe my expectations were set too high.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is another example. I liked the book, but I didn't think it was as brilliant as everyone else made it out to be. It was just a good mystery--nothing that elevated it to the fantastic.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
It depends on the critic. Michiko Kakutani is so tough that we rarely agree. Publisher's Weekly tends to be more generous. I generally don't read book reviews until after I read the book myself. I prefer to go into a book expectation free. If I read the review first, it tends to color my experience. I do have to read book reviews when I do book ordering for my job. Luckily, I read so many reviews at once, that I generally forget the specifics of them by the time I read the book.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It sounds pathetic, but it depends on the author. If it's an author I've previously loved, I do feel bad. I feel like I'm being disloyal. Otherwise, I don't have a problem.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
Italian! It's so melodic.

33. Most intimidating book you've read?
Moby Dick by Herman Melville because I hated it so much. All those chapters on whaling. Uggghhh. Torture.

34. Most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin?
I don't think I'm necessarily intimidated by anything. I'm sometimes nervous to read something a friend of mine loves, in case I don't feel the same. I don't want to be disappointing.

35. Favorite Poet?
Sylvia Plath

36. How many books do you usually have checked out at the library at a given time?
It varies

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Rarely. I'm a bit obsessive about finishing a book, even if I don't like it.

38. Favorite fictional character?
So many that's it's impossible to pick one. Here are some: Matilda, Katniss Everdeen, Snape, Rebecca, Miss Marple, Harry Potter, Adrian Mole, Bridget Jones, Elizabeth & Darcy, Scarlett O'Hara.

39. Favorite Fictional Villain?

40. Books I'm most likely to bring on vacation?
Whatever I'm in the mood for at the time. I'm a mood reader.

41. The Longest I've gone without reading?
24 hrs when I was in the hospital recovering from gallbladder removal surgery.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish?
It was a James Patterson book. I don't recall which book-- the only James Patterson book I ever attempted to read. Something about brides being murdered on their wedding night. Gory stuff.

43. What distracts you easily when you're reading?
Loud noises, especially overly loud talking.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Chocolat and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

45. Most disappointing film adaptation of a novel?
Aren't most film adaptations of books disappointing? Off the top of my head: Eat, Pray, Love.

46. The most money I've ever spent at a bookstore at one time?
Probably around $70-80.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
80% of the time.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
An inability to become immersed in the story.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, but it doesn't happen. I have very, very limited space. I have big plans for built-in bookshelves for when we have our own, non-rented home. It's my dream. Then, I'll devise a true organizational system.Probably genre-based.

50.Do you prefer to keep your books or give them away once you've read them?
It depends on the book. If I like them, my books become my children. I'd never give them away. If I don't or have no particular attachment, I'm happy to part with them.

51. Are there any books you've been avoiding?
Anything written by Nicholas Sparks.

52. Name a book that made you angry?
Most of the Twilight series

53. A book that you didn't expect to like but did?
The Hunger Games. In fact, it's one of my favorite books of all time. I never read any dystopian lit before and I mistakenly thought it would be too similar to fantasy for me. Also, with all the hype surrounding it, I never thought it would live up to expectation. I ended up loving it. Plus, Katniss was the perfect antidote to Bella Swan.

54. A book you expected to like but didn't?
Cleaving by Julie Powell (sequel to Julie & Julia)

55. Favorite, guilt-free pleasure reading?
Teen books because I can excuse them as being part of my job. That's how I got away with reading all the Pretty Little Liars novels. Also, Agatha Christie novels.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Spec for 3.03--Spoilers included

Based on the preview for next week's episode, I became curious when Lord Grantham exclaims angrily "fashionably late is one thing." The obvious conclusion would be that someone's late for Edith's wedding. However, I wonder if that's an intentional mislead. I looked at the scene a few times, and I'm fairly certain he's talking with Mary. I heard rumblings a little while ago that the Pamuk scandal would be revisited. Could Carlisle have finally printed it and LG has just found out? It's later than the Crawley family assumed it would be printed, so it might explain Lord Grantham's comment.

Also, I thought I heard rumors that Mary actually sells the story in exchange for money to save Downton. The timing makes sense. The attempt to get money from Martha was unsuccessful. From the preview, it appears that Matthew remains unwilling to hand over his inheritance from Reggie Swire. The Crawley Family is even looking at a new house. Mary might feel the situation is desperate and does what she feels she must to save her family home.

Just some thoughts. Of course, I might be totally off-base. I usually am.

Promo for 3X02


Above is a link for the NEW trailer for Downton's next episode.  This trailer is different than the one that played after last night's episode.

Holy hell, Matthew and Mary rolling around in bed together!!!

I think I've just died and gone to heaven. Will I ever get used to seeing them in BED?!! After years of dealing with the hell that is being a 'shipper under a Shonda Rhimes run show, I'm not quite used to such satisfaction. I heart Julian Fellowes It's like he reads my mind and puts whatever I imagine for M/M onscreen. 

Poor Edith and Sir Anthony. They're quickly moving into my #2 couple spot on Downton. I hope Edith continues her take charge attitude and immediately corrects whatever misperception or advice that her father gave Sir Anthony. Go get your man, Edith! 



Hours later, I still cannot come up with a coherent thought. All I can do is SQUEE!!!!

Gotta say though, I've never seen Matthew so BOLD. Mary seemed almost shy in comparison. Before the episode aired, I thought Mary was going to be teasing Matthew, and it was completely the opposite. From the "all sorts of things" scene to "come and kiss me." Holy hell, Matthew's ready for the wedding night. I hope Mary's rested up!

I can't get over the "come and kiss me," scene. It was perhaps my favorite scene of the episode. Matthew seemed so confident and at ease. Mary and Matthew must have had some engagement. The ease at which Matthew said "come and kiss me," makes me think it's not such an unusual request and that Mary has complied many-a-time. With Matthew's outstretched hand, what was he going to do; pull Mary into his lap? Definitely looked like it. And Mary looked so shy and demure. It was like a complete role reversal. Mary had to explain what lust was to Matthew in the CS. Bet he knows first-hand now! LOVED how JFellowes' ended the episode. Mary/Matthew deadpan humor and teasing is so them. The humor and teasing perfectly encapsulates their relationship. They get each other. Sigh.
Matthew: I want us to get to know each other, to learn about who we both are without everyone being there.

Mary: It is quite a big house.

Matthew: It's a lovely house. It's your home and I want it to be my home, too.

Oh, Matthew. We all know what you mean by 'getting to know each other.' Bow Chicka Wow. Wow. 

All Sorts of Things...

Matthew: Are you looking forward to the wedding?
Mary: What do you think?
Matthew: I'm looking forward to all sorts of things.
Mary: Don't make me blush.

Me: Jaw. Hits. Floor.

Oh, to Live in England....

I grew up in London, in fact it's the first place I remember. I spent my early elementary school years there (primary school for you UKers). My younger brother was born there. The lucky bastard has dual citizenship & no appreciation or use of it. Because it's the first place I remember and it's where I spent most of my early childhood years, it's still the place that most feels like home.

To this day, I wish I still lived there. But, circumstances beyond my control have prevented my return for anything longer than a month. What makes my homesickness worse is The Downton Abbey Countdown. Not only does the UK get Downton four months before the US, they're also getting all these lovely magazines featuring Matthew and Mary on the cover. Beautiful; glossy-covered magazines highlighting Dan Steven's dazzling, azure eyes. Despite being able to access these images on the internet, it's just not the same as seeing them in person. I want to watch DA in 8 days on the television (or telly), not on my shoddy laptop. I want to be in England engaging in the Downton Abbey fervor in person. I want to put a 'U' in fervor and not have someone tell me it's wrong (this happened to me with color/colour in my first week in a US school). I want to call an elevator a lift and not have people look at me funny. In short, I want to be in England. I just want someone else to pay for my transport and accommodation.

New Matthew/Mary S3 Pic

I LOVE this picture of Mary/Matthew. Michelle Dockery/Mary looks absolutely gorgeous in deep red which nicely accents her fair skin and dark hair. And I love how Mary's dark red coat and black accessories coordinates well with Matthew's black suit and red tie. My guess is that this photo is from later in the series, after they're already married. After all, everyone knows, coordinated clothing = married. ;)

Downton Abbey Season 3 Trailer


I was losing hope about ever seeing the ITV season 3 Downton Abbey trailer (a slight exaggeration, but still) and then finally it appeared, and it was PERFECTION!!!  Scala & Kolacny Bros. are back, per tradition, with a rendition of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day." An excellent selection, and not one I had seen bandied about on tumblr. Good balance of uplifting and dramatic moments.  Barbs from The Dowager Countess. A couple of longshots capturing Downton's grandeur. And the trailer culminated in an utterly swoon-worthy Mary/Matthew moment with Matthew saying: "I'll never be happy with anybody else as long as you walk the earth."

So, given the TCA clips, it appears that Matthew's reiterating what Branson said to him earlier about not being happy with anybody while Lady Mary walked the earth. Branson's words of wisdom have clearly had an effect. I've never been a huge Branson fan, but this might make me a convert. Anyone who brings together Mary and Matthew, is A-OK by me. And really, isn't everyone, at heart, a Mary/Matthew fan? I mean, even Lavinia came back with a ghostly message from the beyond for them. If that doesn't constitute a 'shipper, I don't know what does ;)

There are so many wonderful Mary/Matthew clips in the trailer. The kiss at the end with Matthew's voiceover. The argument. Such passion.The car ride. I personally love Matthew leaning over Mary's shoulder. He just looks at her with such wonder and adoration. It's the same look he had back in season 1. Despite Mary's worry that she'd be "damaged goods" after she revealed the "Pamuk incident," he still looks at her like she's the most precious gift in the universe. Nothing she told him changed that fact. Sigh. 

It really seems this season is the season of romance at Downton. Mary & Matthew's wedding. Edith & Strallan finally getting it together. Branson/Sybil. Anna/Bates. I loved how Edith glowed when she was with Strallan. She looked beautiful in those scenes. I hope her burgeoning relationship with Strallan and Mary's wedding helps bring the sisters closer together. I'd love to see a true bond forming between them.

It was torture waiting for September 16th before, how will I ever wait now?? I'm counting the days, no the hours... not the minutes.....
Despite being fairly computer illiterate, my dedication to Downton Abbey, and more specifically the Mary/Matthew pairing, has prompted me to join Live Journal. My friends who watch Downton in real life are patient enough (read: not completely obsessed) to wait until January. I'm not. So, unfortunately, I'm left to watch on my own, thus need an outlet for all the insane squeeing that will happen from now through the end of the season. And given what I think is going to happen in the season premiere, it may be the SQUEE to end all SQUEES. And my poor husband thought the Christmas Special would be bad. He should invest in some ear plugs ;)