Stop. It's Survey Time.

I don't normally do survey questionnaire blog posts, but this one, passed along by Rory at Fourth Street Review, seemed like a nice time-suck, so here we go.

What are you reading right now? What are you reading next?
I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (fantastic) and am about to start Catch-22 for the first time ever (for shame!). Technically I'm still rereading The Odyssey, but we'll have that conversation later.

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven't gotten around to?
1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (soon to be rectified)
2. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
3. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
4. A biography on Howard Hughes
5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What magazine do you have right now?
I've curbed my magazine reading immensely lately, but at various places around the house I have In Style and an old New Yorker.

What's the worst book you've ever read?
The most poorly written books I've ever read goes back to my middle school and high school days when I read Mary Higgins Clark, Nicholas Sparks, and Danielle Steel. 

What book seemed really popular but you didn't like?
Probably The Hunger Games series. I also didn't love The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I need to force myself to read the other two, since I bought them as a set). 

What's one book that you always recommend to everyone?
Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle; the compassion it brings to the issue of illegal immigration is something so many people would benefit from reading. 

Where do you usually get your books?
Amazon. Sorry, but there are few independent sellers where I live and I'm on a budget.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?  
I read whenever I could- at home, church, in the car, wherever. I also brought my books outside to recess sometimes; I was torn between trying to be social and finishing a good read. 

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading?
I don't remember the last time I stayed up extraordinarily late just to read. During the school year I'm up at 5:45- sleep comes first when you have to face over a hundred teenagers. 

Have you ever "faked" reading a book?
In college I tried to read The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet without really reading it. I remember studying for the final with my now husband, and he told me to make sure to remember something about it because it was sure to be on the test- it was and I totally forgot (that's what I get).

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
I've never bought a book without knowing what it was about; an aesthetically pleasing cover might pique my interest, but I'm to wary to buy blindly.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Charlotte's Web by EB White was my absolute favorite, but I was also a huge fan of The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High, the Nancy Drew books and anything I thought might be too scandalous for my age. 

What book changed your life? 
I'm not sure if there is any one in particular; I think just being a reader has changed, and defined, me. 

What are your top five favorite authors?
Jeffrey Eugenides
John Irving
Isabel Allende
TC Boyle
Colum McCann

*I hate to admit that I haven't read (Eugenides being the exception) any of these authors' entire bodies of work. 

What book has no one heard about but should read?
Open Me by Sunshine O'Donnell (more for the sheer randomness of the topic: professional mourners)

What book are you an "evangelist" for?
A times I feel like I'm more into preventing people from reading certain book (50 Shades, for example). I definitely push people towards Tortilla Curtain, Let the Great World Spin, A Picture of Dorian Grey, House of the Spirits, The Selected Works of TS Spivet, and Cloud Atlas

What are your favorite books by first time novelists? 
I'm having a bit of a memory lapse here, but here are a few off the top of my head (many of these have since written books):

The Selected  Works of TS Spivet by Rief Larsen 
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
The Brief and Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz 

What is your favorite classic book?
Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoyevsky
A Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

I'm not going to tag anyone, but please, if you feel urge go for it!





  1. I also mentioned Larsson's Millenium trilogy for that question about not liking novel(s) that were popular. I think it's a mix of the writing and the subject matter...

    I've been meaning to re-read Love in the Time of Cholera and Catch-22, lol, hope you enjoy both titles! :)

    Great answers, I enjoyed reading them :)

  2. I like this - I might do one too!

  3. Nancy Drew would rule the world if she was real. She's like the McGuyver of female detectives.

    I won't lie about it, Pynchon tires me out. I've only read two of his novels, but good grief...

    I completely forgot to list Eugenides among my favorite authors, but he is certainly one of them.

  4. Surveys are so much fun. Thanks for sharing it.