Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Book-A-Day June

In June, while I was away, I started noticing lots of tweets going around all tagged #BookadayUK.

When we got home, and I'd recovered from the jet lag I looked into this and discovered it was an initiative from Borough Press to get people talking about books on Twitter.  Each day a question about books was given and people from all over the world answered.

I didn't take part as by the time I found out about it the month was more than half gone, but since then I've been thinking about it and decided that all in one go I'd answer the questions.

1st - Favourite book from childhood? 
Has to be Little Women, I still reread it at least once a year and the sequel Good Wives can still make me cry.

2nd - Best Bargain? 
This would be when I found a hardback copy of Two Sams at the Chalet School in pristine condition for just £5, copies are on sale currently for £250!!

3rd - One with a blue cover? 
Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The cover is mostly blue and the book wonderful, just don't expect the film to be faithful to the book.

4th - Least favourite book by a favourite author? 
The Wildflower Path by Sarah Harrison. I loved the detail of Flowers of the Field and A Flower That's Free but this one was slight and just a re-write of the first two books. Long awaited but disappointing.

5th - Doesn't belong to me? 
A huge pile of library books, my library card is often maxed out.

6th - The one I always give as a gift?  
A bit of a cheat but I generally give book tokens so that people can pick their own. 

7th - Forgot I owned it? 
Any number of titles as my shelves are all double stacked. I have got 3 copies of Regeneration by Pat Barker so I do keep forgetting I own this.

8th - Have more than one copy? 
Does it count having a paper copy and an eBook version...

9th - Film or TV tie in? 
My copy of Chocolat is the film version, and possibly also one that I prefer the film to the book.

10th - Reminds me of someone I love? 
This would be any of the space history books around the house as I'd never have become so interested in this topic without Mr Norfolkbookworm.

11th - Secondhand bookshop gem? 
About 70% of my books are secondhand but I think it has to be the aforementioned Two Sams at the Chalet School.

12th - I pretend to have read it?
 I'm not too embarrassed about admitting to have not read things but I've never read 1984.

13th - Makes me laugh? 
I find the most inappropriate things funny but Bill Bryson's books about America always raise a smile, his ones about Europe and Australia are a bit xenophobic but I love the US ones.

14th - An old favourite? 
I'll often re-read the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, I think I must nearly know some of them by heart now.

15th - Favourite fictional father? 
Struggling with this as so many books I like need an absence of parents for the plot. Probably the Swallow's father from Ransome's Swallows and Amazons.

16th - Can't believe more people haven't read? 
Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. A real epic in the Homeric style which I think puts people off but a real sweeping story about Greece, Turkey and World War One.

17th - Future classic? 
Too hard to predict but I do think that the Harry Potter books will survive in the way that Hobbit / Lord of the Rings have done.

18th - Bought on a recommendation? 
Numerous books, last one was probably Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore which I adored.

19th - Still can't stop talking about it? 
The President's Hat, great fun all the way through and one that I seem to recommend and defend in equal measures.

20th - Favourite cover
Probably the grey covers from Persephone books as they are just beautiful but don't influence your thoughts of the books as they give nothing away.

21st - Summer read? 
Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Set in snowy Alaska and a real escapist read in a humid, sticky English heat.

22nd - Out of print?  
At least 50% of my books fall into this category and thanks to specialist publishers more are coming back into print. I'll pick many of the Mary Renault books but they are being reprinted in August so they only just count!

23rd - Made to read at school? 
There weren't too many of these but I still don't know the ending to Stig of the Dump as we didn't get to the end of it when I was in the 2nd year of primary school.

24th - Hooked me into reading? 
I can't remember a time when I couldn't read but early favourites were the Garden Gang series of books.

25th - Never finished it? 
Watership Down, tried so many times but the warning given by a teacher that it was a "bit hard" when I was about 7 and it keeps stalling me.

26th - Should have sold more copies? 
The President's Hat. It is very funny but I think that being in translation put many people off.

27th - Want to be one of the characters? 
Generally the book I am currently reading if I am enjoying it.

28th - Bought at my favourite independent bookshop? 
I love all bookshops equally so can't pick a favourite.

29th - The one I've reread the most often? 
Probably Little Women but the Tamora Pierce books are a close second.

30th - Would save if my house burned down? 
I think that eventually most of my books could be replaced but my signed astronaut biographies would be the irreplaceable ones and so the ones I'd save.

The publishers Doubleday have taken up the baton and the same thing is happening through July and again I keep missing these so will do a round up again in August. If you are on Twitter then do check the hashtag as I am creating huge long list of recommendations!

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