I picked this up from Lauren at One Bright Corner. It’s a great tag meme to get into. Why not hop over yourself and join in? I’d certainly be interested in your answers so I’m sure Lauren and Mikaela will be too!
Bibliophilia Tag Questions:
1. Which book are you currently reading? And why did you choose that book?
I am currently reading “The Tarnished Chalice” by Susanna Gregory. It is the twelfth book in a series of which I read the first nine or ten a couple of years ago. I got this one from the library last week and I picked it because I wanted to reacquaint myself with them. They are murder mystery/thrillers set in the 15th Century Cambridge and feature an apothecary monk, Matthew Bartholomew, and his sidekick Brother Michael. They investigate murders in and around Cambridge and I love them because not only are they well written and well plotted with cracking endings, they also give an awful lot of historical information about the way Cambridge University was built up, about the patronages of the colleges within the University and because they focus on the everyday lives of everyday people, rather than the royalty and nobility that some other works do.
2. Have you ever bought a book just for the cover? And if so which one?
I have bought books by the way the cover looks, yes (who hasn’t??). It tends to be when I go to the bookshop for a browse that I will be drawn to a book on the shelf or the pile because of its cover and then I’ll buy it because it looks good. Shamefully shallow I know, but it generally works for me. If the cover’s good then the story is likely to be good too! I can’t think of a particular one offhand, but it’s something I do frequently. Now I’m not in the position to indulge my passion for buying books at the moment I find I do the same with books in the library instead. Yes, book covers do matter!
3. Which book-to-film/TV show transition did you think was done the best?
Taking into consideration all the murders, thrillers, crimes, historical, romances etc that I have read and then all the TV shows and films that I’ve seen, I have to say that the best I’ve seen has got to be the way the BBC handles Dickens. For example, this Christmas they screened a three-part adaptation of Great Expectations. It was as true to the book as it could have been and for me it was far better than the black and white David Lean version of the 1950s.
4. If you are a writer, where does your inspiration come from?
Real life. I am a fully signed up “people watcher” and I love sussing out people, their relationships, what makes them tick, what makes them angry, what stirs them up etc. I am quite skilled at seeing below the surface of people and I don’t generally accept that what you see is what you get. My writing reflects those bits of people’s actions, thoughts and words that conflict with how they try to portray themselves.
5. Who do you think is the funniest or most villainous character Jane Austen ever created?
I’m not a Jane Austen expert, but I thought the funniest character she wrote about was the vicar cousin of Elizabeth Benet. He was so obsequious and pompous he is almost a caricature of the traditional English parish priest. Horrible man!!
6. Which author do you own the most books by?
Hmmmm…..good question. I own a lot of books (thousands!) and there are quite a few of series’ within my collection. I have kept up with all of Mark Billingham’s books, as I have with Christopher Fowler and Ian Rankin. Kevin and I were avid readers of Stephen King back when he was at the height of his output so I guess it would be between those. I suspect Stephen King would have the edge, just because we both read them and we had our own copies of each one: I like to keep my books in pristine condition and do my utmost not to break the spines or to get crinkles in the covers but Kevin used to read his at work…when he was a mechanical engineer…on night shift….and spent his time covered in oily substances…..*shudder*.
7. How many books do you own?
Thousands….!! Many are boxed up and stored away but if I had my own house and could have it 100% my own way I would have bookshelves on as many walls as were needed so that they could all go out instead of hiding away. I think I might have a disease…!
8. Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of Jane Austen’s books? What is it and why?
As I said earlier, I’m not really a Jane Austen expert so I can only speak from my limited experience. What I would say about her applies to all of the female writers of her time, and that is that the women in the books tend to be a bit weak and passive. I know there are obvious exceptions (Jane Eyre didn’t really fit into the “weak and passive” bracket) but generally speaking, the women were quite happy to be shunted around by their menfolk. I know that it was a reflection of the society that they were living in, but still… a bit weak and weary for me.
9. What is your favourite genre of book?
Without doubt I am a crime/thriller/murder mystery type reader. The very first books I read as an independent reader as a child were the Enid Blyton books which were all about adventure and mystery, and then I started to read all of Agatha Christie’s works as a teenager. You could say that the die was cast when I was about 10 years old and found myself with the Famous Five on Kirrin Island! I do like reading all sorts of other genres too – I am fond of a bit of horror and a bit of romance from time to time – but my “go to” book of choice is always a puzzle of some kind.
10. What is your favourite Jane Austen quote?