Mocking Cursor

Book Memes - ANSWER THEM

Meme #1:

Total number of books owned:
Hahahahaha... like I even know. I'll say in the realm of 1,000. Not having most of my books here in CA makes it difficult to know. Also, the thought of how many books I may one day inherit... scary.

Last book bought:
Andy Riley's new book - D.I.Y. Dentistry...

Last book read:
See above

Five books that mean a lot to you:
Dracula by Bram Stoker - duh. I used to have whole sections of it memorized. I don't anymore, and that makes me sad. First read when I was 17ish, and I think I must have read it a dozen times or more.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - when you're a tiny, glasses-wearing, shy, book-wormy, smarter than most people around you girl, Matilda can very easily become your idol. I still haven't completely let go of the hope that I will someday be able to summon the powers of telekinesis.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - the single most terrifying book I've ever read. And not because of all the violent, pea-soup spewing stuff. The pacing of the story, and the detail-oriented, methodical process by which Regan's possession is examined makes all the 'supernatural' elements so much more impactful. I came away from this book physically afraid to read for several weeks because of how deeply this shook my thoughts on the nature of evil and what happens when you deny it. It's intellectual and visceral in a way I haven't found many book, especially 'horror' novels to be.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy - the writing is flawed, as on the surface it's like the 1905 version of a Harlequin romance. But if you scratch the surface and just accept the writing as a portal to the characters, it really is the basis for every dual-personality hero in the modern age. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, secret agents, spies... they would be nothing if it weren't for Percy Blakeney. And Percy is a hell of a lot more adept at masking himself than most.

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson - yeah, it's a comic strip that was bound first into different compilations and finally into a gorgeous three-volume complete set. But if I had to pick one single childhood influence on my humour, my outlook on the world, my imagination, it would probably be Calvin & Hobbes. Also, it taught be one of my favorite words: somnambulist.
Find me another long-running, successful, funny, comic strip centered around a family that uses words like that. And shows you some of the best things ever to do with snow...

Tag five people to continue this meme:
Everyone in the group

Meme #2:

1. One book that changed your life:
Cahrles & Mary Lamb - Tales from Shakespeare
I read my mom's copy when I was maybe 8 or 9 the first time. By 12 I was reading whole plays. By 15 Shakespeare was my favorite playwright (still is) and one of my all-time favorite authors (still is).

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Lost count, really, but it has to be over 12 times.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
Other than 'How to build a boat'? Or anything BUT 'Robinson Crusoe'?
Complete works of William Shakespeare.

4. One book that made you laugh:
The Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

5. One book that made you cry:
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
I know I cried when I read Bridge to Terebithia, I know I cried when I read the Anne of Green Gables series. But the first gut-wrenching, visceral bawlfest I remember is reading A Wrinkle in Time.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
I NEED another Thursday Next book. Need. Must. Be. Written.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
There are so many... I think Joseph Andrews is the most asinine piece of tripe I've read (I have not been subjected to Pamela), and the only book to sustain more damage whilst reading it than Wuthering Heights.
I have a litany of 'classic' American books I wish didn't exist because I think they're the most overrated novels of all time...

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Cornelia Funke - Inkdeath
I really need to finish this. I want to finish it. I'm just too damn busy/tired all the time to read. Grrrrr

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Matthew Lewis - The Monk
There are hundreds, literally, that I want to read. But this is one of the cornerstones of gothic lit, and I still haven't read it. And I feel horribly guilty about it. I own a copy. I've made that step...

10. Now tag five people:
Everyone in the group
Mocking Cursor

Book Reading Meme - I've read 46

1) Look at the list and put an 'X' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you love.
3) Star * those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total of books read in the subject heading

46 Read

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X +
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X +
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series X +
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X +
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman *
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller *
14 Romeo & Juliet - Shakespeare X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier *
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X +
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger *
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot *
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams *
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh *
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 The Awakening – Kate Chopin X
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen *
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving X
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X +
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood *
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan *
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert *
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen *
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold *
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas *
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac X
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville X
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens *
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X ++++
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray *
80 Possession - AS Byatt *
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X +
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert *
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom X
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas *
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X +
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo *
Mocking Cursor

BOOK MEME - right up our alley

Book meme (from gothayesd51708)

1. Do you prefer to read hardcover or paperback books?
If I really like the book, I want it in hardcover. As nice and pristine as I can get it. Which means just for reading, I prefer paperbacks.

2. Do you have a favorite place to read in your home?
There's not a lot of choices in my current place. So I usually read in bed. Occasionally I read out on my balcony. Very soon though I will probably curl up to read on our pull-out couch, or outside in our nice, big L-shaped yard :)

3. Do you have a favorite place to read away from, or outside of, your home?
It doesn't entirely count, but I love reading on my parents' couch. Other than that, I like reading in quiet coffee shops or any comfortable place outside when the weather is nice and mild.

4. Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
Sometimes. Usually it's a snacky food - chips, cereal, popcorn, sunflower seeds. I prefer above all else though to have a hot beverage next to me when reading.

5. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
It doesn't horrify me, but I hate writing in the only copy of a book I have, though I did it in college all the time. I have been known to occasionally keep a notepad next to me and the book to write down really good quotes.

6. How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I'll dog ear a mass-market paperback. If I need to leave the book for just a minute or two I'll leave it open. Hardcovers always get bookmarks, or I memorize what page I left off on.

7. Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Primarily fiction. I like history and reference books that don't read like stereo instructions.

8. Hardcopy or audiobooks?
Hardcopy, though I do own a couple of audiobooks and wouldn't argue with a few more. If the reader is someone I enjoy, that makes me want it - it's like a radio play of the book.

9. Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I usually prefer to read until I reach the end of the chapter, but sometimes if something comes up, or if I am just too tired to finish the chapter, I will put the book down before then. (same answer as previous entrant)

10. If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? Write it down to look it up later? Just try to infer what it means from the rest of the sentence, and keep going?
I'm usually able to keep going, but if it's really unique and/or bothering me, I'll look it up right away.

11. What are you currently reading?
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke, the third book in the Inkworld trilogy

12. What is the last book you bought?
I just got Andy Riley's new book: D.I.Y. Dentistry and Other Alarming Inventions in the mail today.

13. What is your all time favorite book?
Bram Stoker's Dracula, followed closely by Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel and Richard Matheson's Hell House.

14. Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can read more than one at a time?
Depends on my mood. From high school through college (ESPECIALLY in college) I had to read more than one book at once. I still do it sometimes now. It depends how much focus is required per book. The Inkworld trilogy has so many characters and plotlines I haven't really been able to supplement reading them with anything else.

15. Do you like re-reading books?
Sometimes. There are so many books on my to-read list I often feel bad wanting to re-read something, but I do get the urge every now and then (and occasionally follow through on that urge).
Mocking Cursor

Posty McPosterson...

Hey all - post about books! What are you reading right now? Have five minutes to spare? Tell everyone about it. When there's finally some chatter again, we'll talk about picking a new book to read. Just want to take a pulse and make sure someone besides me is still breathing first.

On a related note: I just finished Inkspell and am moving on to Inkdeath. Anyone who loves books, young adult fiction, and/or fantasy I recommend picking these up for a good read.

And on a related note to that: What book(s) have you read where flaws in the writing/pace/construction/whatever have been diffused because of one or two really strong, interesting characters who mask other flaws and make the whole experience of that book(s) worthwhile?
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Mocking Cursor

Writer's Block: More Island Time

You're packing your bag for that other desert island—the one with no electricity—what 5 books do you take with you?

Bram Stoker - Five Novels: Hopefully someone else is carrying my luggage. This gives me Dracula (an absolute necessity) plus other Victorian gothic/horror lit (also a necessity).

Baroness Orczy - The Scarlet Pimpernel: If there's a huge volume with more than one Pimpernel book, I'd bring that. In lieu of that, must have this one. I must be able to lie on the beaches, in my hut, in my self-made hammock and read about the prefect hero.

Stephen King - Lisey's Story: It's the right balance of fantasy and horror. It's got a strong female protagonist. It's creative, beautiful, terrible, haunting, romantic, epic. I didn't expect this to be the one Stevie novel to take if I could only have one.

Bill Watterson - Complete Calvin & Hobbes: Yeah, someone else is carrying my luggage. If I'm spending lord knows how long on this rock, I want my Calvin & Hobbes.

William Shakespeare - Complete Works (Riverside Shakespeare): Elizabethan history and insight, every play, every sonnet, lots of footnotes. Enough reading material to fill years. Plus, I could do puppet theatre, stick figure theatre, painted rock theatre, musical reed theatre, wacky coconut theatre, stuffed bird theatre, clam theatre, one-woman-show theatre... the possibilities are endless. And as a good NRA man once said about doing Shakespeare again and again and again: because you never completely get it right.
Though I think the coconuts might come close...
Mocking Cursor

Hello All!

Hey, members of defunct book club. Let's not be so defunct anymore! Let's talk about books. Books books and more books. Let's even try to read some books together!

But first let's just get the ball rolling, get to know each other again (or for the first time). What are you reading right now? How are you liking it? What have you read recently that you enjoyed (or hated)? Do you have any reading goals for this year ('cause we here in the book club may be able to help with some of those)?

You're not going to make me go first are you? Oh yes, of course you are. Ok, fine. Here goes:

I'm currently reading Cornelia Funke's Inkspell, book two in the Inkheart trilogy. Thus far I enjoyed Inkheart more, but I'm liking the series overall. Excepting the fact that I spoilered myself and found out something I feared would happen does happen. And so for a while I figured I wouldn't be reading Inkdeath. Then I snuck a peek into that book (hey, so long as I'd confirmed one suspicion, why not keep going) and, well, suffice to say I now own Inkdeath and will be reading it.

My goal this year is to try and read 50 books, not including plays (since I just read/saw over 20 this past week. Oy.). I started out well but am not progressing as well as I'd like. Time to ignore those damnable plays and go back to fiction.

I read two books in (what I hope is) a series at the start of this year: Bloodline and Reckoning. They are terrible, teen-emo, po-mo books about 'Dracula' (and related characters) during and after WWI. I wanted to hate them, or at least merely be amused at their absurdity. In some ways I do hate them. And I am highly amused by their absurdity. Alas I am also now hopelessly addicted to them. To make matters worse, the author spends the vast majority of her writing time writing the Warrior Cats series. *headdesk* I'm obsessed with cheesy Dracula books written by a woman who primarily writes about warrior cats.

So that's about it for now. I've read more, but I want to hear you all speak up as well. Otherwise I'm just a loony writing to myself.
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dead men tell no tales

Review: The Castle of Otranto

I imagine it would have been an easier read if:

1.I'd opted to buy the book instead of take advantage of google books and it had been a more modern paragraph style.
2.I'd read it when i was supposed to have free time and not while I was supposed to be doing homework,

Other than the odd paragraphs that went on for ever, and the substitutions of 'f' for 's' on odd occasions, I really enjoyed the story. Especially the giant helmet and sword. If that didn't freak people out when it was first written, I don't know what would. The plotting men seemed a little cliché, but i'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt. I haven't read enough other period literature to know if that was a gothic invention, but i kind of doubt it.

I wish for a happier ending. But, then, I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to fiction.
Mocking Cursor

Review 3 - Hell House

His teeth are those of a carnivore. When he bares them in a smile, it gives one the impression of an animal snarling. His face is white, for he despises the sun, eschews the out-of-doors. He has astonishingly green eyes, which seem to possess and inner light of their own. His forehead is broad, his hair and short-trimmed beard jet black. Despite his handsomeness, his is a frightening visage, the face of some demon who has taken on human aspect.

No, it's not Dracula... it's an actual, human character in Richard Matheson's Hell House. I re-read it this past weekend. Took me two days. One, because I'd read it before. But really, because it's so engrossing and well-paced that you can fly through it, and yet still be fully involved in the story.
I think as far as flat-out scary, this book for me ranks right behind The Exorcist. A lot of Uncle Stevie's stuff scares me on a deep mental and emotional level, which The Exorcist did as well. But Hell House is (mostly) about the gotcha's and the realistic occurrences - well, realistic for anyone into ghost stories. Let's just say that very little that occurs in this book could be seen as 'out there' for anyone with a lot of paranormal explorations under their belt. The characters in this book are the most developed of any of Matheson's pieces I've read (granted, I have read any of the heartrending tales like Bid Time Return or What Dreams May Come), and the story is great. And it is seriously terrifying on a deep, primal level, as well as an intellectual one.

My one sadness about this book, is that when they made the movie, they set it in England, with British characters. And while there are some good performances (and a good script, seeing as how Matheson wrote that one himself), one of the great things about the book is that it's so thoroughly an American ghost story. I mean, for gosh sakes' one of the protagonists (and my personal hero) is named Benjamin Franklin Fischer.
In any case, both the movie and the book are good, but, as usual, the book is better. I just wish someone would make a more faithful movie adaptation...