I’ve been summoned

Everyone’s favorite Emily , also known as Queen of the Meme, summoned several of us via facebook and tagging to follow her command and help restore the blogosphere, if only for a minute or two, to something of its former glory before we all became friends on facebook and twitter (I’m not on twitter yet but it’s only a matter of time) and started writing in clever, pithy shorthand to one another.  I do think blogging for me, as well as for others, sometimes takes a back seat to easier communication methods (hi, Pinterest! hi! hi!) but I still truly love to blog and reading other people’s blogs (except for those of you who have gone all Babble on me – God, those posts are annoying. I’m slowly eliminating every single one of you from my blogroll).  Anyway, I am delighted to take part in the Queen’s summons, although I won’t be adhering to all of the rules. The idea is to answer 11 questions posed by the queen, create 11 questions of your own, and then tag 11 people to answer them.  I have decided not create questions of my own simply because the following 22 are so outstanding that there is no way I could  top them, and Emily tagged the people I was most likely to tag. That said, if you are reading and would like to participate, please do so! And if you read this blog and I don’t link to you,  let me know and I will quickly rectify the situation!

So here you go – 22 questions answered.

1. What is your favourite place in the world? the dock at our cabin – it stretches out just a bit onto the lake and it is my very favorite place on earth. I love to linger on it for hours in the evening, watching the sun sink behind the trees as the stars come out until finally it’s time to head up to the cabin and think about preparing dinner.

2. Have you ever visited an author’s home, and did the experience live up to your expectation? No…and I’ve never wanted to. As an avid reader, is that weird? I don’t even really care for pictures of writers’ workspaces, or anything like that. I’m beginning to realize this is a bit unconventional, actually!

3. Do you read biographies of authors you like, or do you prefer to let their words speak for them?
I am *mostly* a fiction fiend but I occasionally read a biography of authors I like – most notably a couple on William Butler Yeats (if S. would approve of a tattoo, which he most emphatically does NOT, I would get a certain few lines of Yeats on my shoulder).  I’ve enjoyed biographies about Jane Austen and the Brontes as well…nothing too far from the norm or interesting, though.
4. Do you have a comfort food? Well, I certainly love food but I don’t think I have one thing I turn to over and over again…when I’m missng my grandma I like to make beef stroganoff or chili and crescent rolls, and every once in a while S. and I will fall into some fried chicken and macaroni and cheese – I also adore perogies.  Donuts twice a year or so. Chocolate cake…okay, I am going to stop now…I love food but try very hard to not turn to it as “comfort.”
5. Do you have a favourite classical author?
I can’t help it – I know it’s trite – Jane Austen. She is definitely my favorite classical author.
6. Do you prefer to watch the movie first, or read the book first?
A big downside to seeing the movie first is that I tend to lose interest in reading the book at all, whether or not I liked the movie.  I definitely think it’s a very good general rule to read the book before seeing the movie!
7. Do you have enough bookshelves? (I know this question is a cheat, because really do any of us have enough bookshelves?) Not to be a contrarian but actually, yes. This is because we actually have a rather large closet that we turned into a “book room,” so my answer is more the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of it…

Is there an author that you are planning to read this year for the first time?
Not intnetionally but all three books I’ve either read or attempted this year were written by new-to-me authors.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t slog my way through A.S. Byatt’s Possession – I finally quit on it last night, turned to the last page, and checked out the ending. From what I read of the ending, it reaffirmed my decision to quit mid-way through, something I rarely do.
9. Do you have a favourite historical period, and why is it your favourite? I enjoy reading about a wide variety of historical periods but I really have a deep and abiding love for books that take place in California before it became so terribly overpopulated and the orange groves were decimated, and the American West. If I could go back to any period in time (as long as I didn’t have to stay there!) I would want to see the Great Plains as Willa Cather saw them, and the beach towns that dotted the California’s Pacific Coast before traffic became what it is today.

10. Name a book that you are anticipating reading that is being published this year.
 Totally stealing this from Emily because I completely agree: Tana French’s Broken Harbour. Can. Not. Wait.

and just because I [Susan, although Emily loves this question, too] like this question so much:
11. Prince of Tides, Pride and Prejudice

1. Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what movie(s)? You know, I honestly don’t think so. I’ve been wracking my brain over this question for a while now and I can’t think of a single instance where the movie has been better than the book!
2. __Patrick Sweany______ opening for __Pearl Jam
________ would be a dream concert. Fill in the blanks. (You can fill them in with performers dead or alive.)
3. If you’re making dinner and don’t need to take into account anyone else’s tastes but your own, what do you find yourself having over and over again?
Either a salad with a spinach base topped with any combination of seafood, chicken, goat or blue or parmesan cheese, walnuts or pecans, extra veggies, olive oil and viniagrette or eggs on toast.
4. You get to interview the author of the book you are reading right now. What’s the first question you’d ask?
Ms. Byatt – how are you? Asked because I just officially gave up on Possession after 200 pages and I feel a little ashamed I quit it…
5. If the world becomes one in which all new novels are only published in digital format, what will you miss most?
Honestly, I don’t want to live in such a world. I have an ipad and I don’t even use the library on it – I love books with my whole heart and am in no way interested in digital reading. But I guess mostly I would miss their physicality – curling up one on the couch, the heft of a book in my purse the satisfying turning of the page…
6. If you had been gifted to play any musical instrument brilliantly, what would you choose to play? (Or maybe you are so-gifted. If so, what do you play?) Ha – I am not musical at all unfortunately but if I were I would choose to play the guitar brilliantly – rockstar brilliantly.
7. The “war between the sexes” has been around since the beginning of time. What do you think is the biggest problem between the sexes today?
A week ago I would have said equality in both the public and private sphere but I’m all fired up about all these damn Republican men trying to legislate my body so right now I would say the biggest problem is men wanting to have sex with us while  at the same time not wanting us to use birth control OR have abortions but, you know, also not staying home with the inevitable babies that come along. I seriously can’t believe how much we are regressing as a country – I’m honestly frightened and trying to figure out what role I can play in all of this.
8. If you could switch places with any celebrity for three months, with whom would you like to switch places?
Tina Fey – I would love to spend three months writing for 30 Rock (and whatever else she’s working on) and living in New York City. Also, she is wicked smart and hilarious.
9. You can eat at any restaurant in the world. Where would you eat?
I seriously am not aware of any famous restaurants…oh, I hear of them but they  never stick in my head in any kind of real way, and while I very much enjoy food I generally find myself annoyed by very earnest foodies…I guess if anything I would like Doc’s Place in Pittsburgh to come back.  S. and I had such wonderful times there and we still feel its loss acutely – not for the food which was basic bar food but for the ambience and just how comfortable we were there.
10. What book do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time reading last year?
I loved everything I read last year, actually. I do wish I hadn’t wasted nearly three weeks on the first 200 pages of Possession because I was convinced I *should* like it.
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8 Responses to I’ve been summoned

  1. Stefanie says:

    Enjoyed your answers. However, the fact that you have plenty of bookshelves tells me you need to go shopping for some more books 🙂

  2. Anne Camille says:

    Great answers. Great comment — totally concur — from Stephanie!

    And the friggin’ let’s-legislate-against-birth-control politicians are pissing me off big time. And, being of a certain age, it isn’t even a factor in my life! What is wrong with these people???

  3. pvreader says:

    Thanks for playing. Hard to believe, isn’t it, that we can already talk about the “good old days of blogging?”

    You’ve confirmed for me what I’ve always suspected, which is that I don’t need to read Possession (also, thanks for confirming that I’m the only literate person in America who hasn’t read it. I guess there are others of us). I didn’t think of Tina Fey (my answers to these questions are coming soon, I hope) but what a great choice. We’ve been saying it for years, but one day, we need to get together and eat eggs on toast with each other.

  4. Emily Barton says:

    P.S. That was me, going incognito as PV Reader (too many blogging identities. Sigh!).

  5. “I would say the biggest problem is men wanting to have sex with us while at the same time not wanting us to use birth control OR have abortions but, you know, also not staying home with the inevitable babies that come along.”

    THIS. We need to have a rant-filled lunch very soon before my head explodes over the ridiculousness that is Rick Santorum.

  6. litlove says:

    I loved your answers! I still have mine to do, must get to them soon. And I can’t believe the birth control/abortion thing is back on the political agenda. Shall we start a competing crusade to give men vasectomies at puberty, or to put birth control chemicals in their beer? Perhaps limiting male virility might give men some idea of what it’s like to have others impose control on their bodies!

  7. Your description of the dock at your cabin is so lovely. I want one of my own. And I am with you on a world without books. Oh my, I don’t even want to think of it.

  8. Courtney says:

    Stefanie …I think you might be on to something, there…
    Anne – I have no idea what’s going on with all of this “let’s legislate women’s bodies” but it is truly frightening. You know it’s a disturbing time when Mitt Romney doesn’t seem “that bad” compared to his rivals…
    Emily …yeah, don’t bother with Possession, at least in my opinion. It truly felt like a slog to the finish. And I would love to someday eat eggs on toast with you!
    Carrie – I would love a rant-filled lunch, about this or any other thing, sometime VERY soon!
    Denise – it would be a barren and heartbreaking world, indeed!

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