A book-oriented email I get regularly features “The Writer’s Life”, interviews with authors which includes a Q&A. I think the standardized Q’s are interesting and for a lark decided to give my own A’s. Enjoy.
*On your nightstand now:*
I don’t do nightstands. I do, however, cart books all around the house at all hours and the one that’s currently doing duty as “Bedtime Reading” is Mary Doria Russell’s “Children of God”, the sequel to “The Sparrow”. which I have also re-read recently.
Astonishing books, beautifully written and full of compassion, insight, and savage lyricism. I am rediscovering the reasons I loved them the first time round.
*Your top five authors:*
Oh, not fair. But if I have to pick… JRR Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ursula Le Guin, Howard Spring, Sharon Kay Penman.
What do they have in common? Vivid worlds, immersive stories, characters who walk off the
page to yank you straight into their books right alongside them.
*Book you’ve faked reading:*
I don’t fake read.
*Book you’re an evangelist for:*
Guy Gavriel Kay’s “Tigana”.
I don’t know how that man knows what it feels like to lose a country, but he does, and he broke my heart with this book. It’s luminous. It’s an essential read for every human being.
*Book you’ve bought for the cover:*
Covers may play a role in attracting me to take a longer look at something… but I have never bought a book “for the cover”. Not ever. Not once. Sorry.
*Favorite book when you were a child:*
All of them
*Book you hid from your parents:*
None. They may not have been entirely sympathetic to my reading tastes but they never tried to control them and so there was no need to hide anything away.
*Book that changed your life:*
“Lord of the Rings”. I had not realized that it was possible to create an alternate world that was so real. It blew my writing horizons wide open.
*Favorite line from a book:*
You’re kidding, right? I mean, how much time do we have here?
*Five books you’ll never part with:*
My signed copy of the first book in the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny; the handful of books of my grandfather’s poetry, some of which was for kids and in which I feature by name; my well-thumbed copy of “Lord of the Rings”; the Wales trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman; Rebecca West’s “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.”
*Book you most want to read again for the first time:*
Oh, I don’t do that. I read every book I love again “for the first time”, in one sense, because I rediscover the joy I had for it in the first place.
But if I have to pick one… “Fool on the Hill” by Matt Ruff.
A bone-deep understanding and an unmatched love
In a Readalong on YouTube, book vlogger Matthew of MCS books is doing an amazing job of looking at my “The Secrets of Jin-shei” in a detailed analysis that can only be done by somebody who has a bone-deep understanding of the material and an unmatched love for it. At one point he suggests that when you have completed the book, you should go back and re-read the prologue for, he points out, you will be reading it in quite a different light. So true.
This Readalong will be followed by two others (it’s a long book) and interactive Twitter discussion sessions.
Listen to this talented booklover vblogger HERE