Jessica Copying Mia

While I’m working on my Sailing to Sarantium review (which you can expect by this weekend), I thought I’d do, to the best of my ability, this lovely meme that Mia got from Ruby Bastille.

1. What author do you own the most books by? This is hard to say… Maybe Octavia Butler? I own most of her series’ in collected form and have a few of the uncollected. But maybe someone like Mercedes Lackey or Tamora Pierce. Or even J.K. Rowling? No idea, really, and my books are too spread out to tell.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? Again, no idea. I definitely have a couple copies of a couple of the Harry Potters and a couple copies of Wild Seed and other Butlers, but is there any book that I own three of? I’m just not sure.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Heh. Not at all. I’m definitely a descriptivist – that is, I believe that the way a language is actually used is the correct way. People often put prepositions at the ends of sentences, so it’s fine. (Also, that rule in particular was an unnatural insertion into English from Latin and has no business in our language. ;P ) I’m pretty vocal about it and have teased Mia too much over the years for her prescriptivist tendencies. I’m sorry, Mia, I’ve been trying to be less superior about it.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Secretly? I can’t think of anybody off the top of my head. Maybe I’ll just copy Mia and say Sabriel. Or how about Anyanwu from Wild Seed? She’s pretty much a BAMF. This is no secret, but my favorite Austen hero is Mr. Tilney from Northanger Abbey. The way he teases makes me swoon!

5. What book have you read the most times in your life? I’ve read Matilda possibly a million times. Not so much recently, but I reread it often in elementary middle school. A slightly less well-known, but oft reread in elementary school, was The World’s Worst Fairy Godmother by Bruce Coville. I’m not sure why, really. Just a comfort read, I guess.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old? Matilda, definitely.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Yeah. Rain. Who, booooy. For books I finished, probably one of the romances that I didn’t review, though I didn’t keep good enough track to say which one was the worst.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?  I really, really don’t know. The whole “not keeping a comprehensive list” thing makes questions like this hard. Too hard. Moving on!

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? In the interests of picking something, maybe The Last Unicorn. Or Octavian Nothing. Or Tigana.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. Actually, I’d like to see it made into a 1-3 season long TV series, a la Game of Thrones.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Difficult to get through because it’s dense or boring or what?

12. What is your favorite book?  Too, too hard to pick just one. But for a long time my go-to answer has been The Last Unicorn.

13. What is your favorite play? I’m not sure, so let me tell you about my favorite theater-going experience. It was a murder mystery with a cast size of two, though there were much more than two characters. It was hilarious and I know that a huge part of my enjoyment was that I was a. with friends, b. at a matinee where c. most of the audience was seniors who d. didn’t get it and so e. the actors LOVED having us young people there and f. engaged with and performed for us a lot of the time. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the play.

14. Poem? I’ve long loved Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Dirge Without Music. I get a lot of my poetry from Mary, and come to love poems that she studies all the more because of her readings of them. With that in mind, let me share with you one of the poems she’s writing about for her thesis, The Plain Sense of Things by Wallace Stevens.

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things. It is as if
We had come to an end of the imagination,
Inanimate in an inert savoir.

It is difficult even to choose the adjective
For this blank cold, this sadness without cause.
The great structure has become a minor house.
No turban walks across the lessened floors.

The greenhouse never so badly needed paint.
The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side.
A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition
In a repetitiousness of men and flies.

Yet the absence of the imagination had
Itself to be imagined. The great pond,
The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves,
Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence

Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see,
The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this
Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge,
Required, as a necessity requires.

15. Essay? Blarg. When you start counting blog essays, I’ve read too many of these guys to count. Recently I really enjoyed the Social Justice League’s How to Be a Fan of Problematic Things.

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Eh, I don’t know. Dan Brown? :P James Patterson? I don’t tend to read things that are Super Literary and Also Written By White Dudes, so guys like Jonathon Franzen, who I predict I might hate, slip by me.

17. What is your desert island book? Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, because nobody ever said I wasn’t a predictable nerd who copies her friends.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now? My newest book is The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar, which I need to read a third of in the next five hours so I can participate in S. Krishna’s readalong and discussion.


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