book tag

NY Times By the Book Tag

I was tagged in the NY Times by the Book tag by Katie over at Bibliophile, check out her blog, it’s a favourite of mine.

1. What book is on your nightstand now?
I never put a book on my nightstand, but my current read is Blackout by Chris Ryan, so if there was to be a book on there, it would probably be that.
2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton was the last truly good book that I finished. I completely fell in love with Lily Bart, and was blown away with the style that Wharton just bled on the page.
3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
I’d love to have a dinner party with Jack London. There’s something about his stories and life that really intrigues me. There’s nothing I would want to know, per se, more I would just wanna hang. And ADVENTURE!
4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves? 
A fairly substantial selection of educational theory? I never talk about the books I read for my education degree or my work as a teacher, but about a quarter of my shelves are full of this sort of material. I don’t talk about it on Ranty Runt of a Reader because it’s not what I read for enjoyment.
5. How do you organize your personal library?
So… my personal library is kinda chaotic. I have four different sections – Read, classics, education and everything else. I don’t organise by alphabet, but I do usually keep series together. I don’t keep books for their aesthetic, so I don’t really mind what my shelves look like or what editions I have. On my read shelf, I only keep books that I have yet to review, are favourites or possible contenders for a reread. It’s about 30 books. I only buy books I will likely love, and donate everything I don’t.
6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t got round to yet?
Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
I love the good war book, and consider myself an enthusiast of the war genre, that I haven’t read Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a little weird.
7. Disappointing, over-rated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing? 
Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut. I hated it. I can’t remember if I have it one or two stars, but I really wanted to put it down and pretend like I hadn’t read it. The style was so antagonistic to the style I enjoy and the content was so backwards that I just didn’t like it.
8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I’m drawn to plot driven thrillers and military fiction, stories of survival, anything in which mortars are falling on the protagonists. I also enjoy classics that have a twist or really evoke a time and place. I avoid most modern romance  (and a lot of romance classics) contemporary and erotica, they don’t really give me much pleasure. I also avoid YA, as I enjoy more complicated writing styles or ‘adult’ topics. Also, if a book has a love triangle I will generally hit the abort button.
9. If you could require the president Prime Minister to read one book, what would it be? 
The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I think our PM needs to pull his head out of his ass when it comes to the experience of newly migrated Australians.
10. What do you plan to read next?
The Fighting Season by Bram Connelly. A military thriller written by an Australian? Sign me up.
I’m not going to tag anyone to complete this, but if you want to give these questions a whirl, then please link me so that I can read your answers! 🙂

The Classics Booktag

I’ve seen a couple of wonderful blogs doing The Classics Booktag and I thought I better jump in and put my own two cents in! I’d seriously recommend checking out Bellarah’s tag that I shamelessly stole this from!

1. An overhyped classic you really didn’t like:
Pride and Prejudice by Austen. It’s a load of cow crap, book-ified. I’ve had to read it twice for uni, and hated it the first time, considered book burning the second! To be honest, I didn’t even bother finishing it the second time, just relied on the residual hate from the first reading carry me through.
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2. Favorite time period to read about:
Any book set between July 1914 to November 1918, September 1939 to September 1945, November 1955 to April 1975 and August 1990 to February 1991. More a theme than a period, possibly. But maybe we could say 20th Century?
3. Favorite fairy-tale:
Probably Alice in Wonderland, being that it is the only one I have read.
4. What is the most embarrassed classic you haven’t read yet:
Classic – Ulysses. Modern Classic – Lolita.
5. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon):
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Ulysses
The Secret Agent
Jane Eyre
Heart of Darkness
6. Favorite modern book/series based on a classic:
Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
7. Favorite movie version/tv-series based on a classic:
CLUELESS! It’s based on Emma by Jane Austen. My mind was blown when a uni course made that connection for me.
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8. Worst classic to movie adaptation:
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin. SUCH A GREAT BOOK, ruined by a horrible movie. It included a 3 minute pillow fight between two characters, that never happened in the book! They also cut  out nearly all of the good stuff, so you hardly realise that Syb is a writer!
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9. Favorite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from:
I’m currently working on collecting more from The Popular Penguins which are awesomely orange, and one day I will have to buy myself a beautiful set of Harvard Classics… 51 old hardbacks… mmm.
10. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin – I was suprised by how much I enjoyed it, it has quite a few similarities to Jane Eyre, but is set in Australia… and written by an Australian teenage girl many moons ago! PICK IT UP AND READ IT!