Monday, 21 October 2013

A-Z Book survey

I saw this on another blog, that saw it on another blog, that got it from a different blog (this is like six degrees of blogging), but agree that it's a good bit of fun. Here is my A-Z book list survey:

Author you've read the most books from

Probably Terry Pratchett. I have most of the Discworld books in hardback, but just sold a couple of the first editions to a friend who collects them. I've read all the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child and embarrassingly, I also have an awful lot of very badly written, very repetitive books from a low budget post-apocalyptic survival adventure series. They are the kind of books that describe one of the characters in four paragraphs, three of which are discussing the guns they are carrying, but the books are my brain candy. I can switch off most higher functions as i read them, and plough through one in a couple of hours. 

Best sequel ever:

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie - it's a sequel to his First Law trilogy and is outstanding. When you realise who one of the characters is, things just click all of a sudden and this sense of sinister threat or looming danger appears in just a few words.

Currently reading:

Atomic - The First War of Physics by Jim Baggot
Homeland by Cory Doctrow
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Drink of choice whilst reading

Builders tea. Two teabags in a giant mug. Strong, with one sweetener.

E-reader or physical book:

Both. I still buy some books in hardback, although AGG would be happy to have everything in e-book. I still like to have some things in my hand. 

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:

Stephanie Patrick from Mark Burnell's The Rhythm Section. As written she was the same age as me, from the same background and from the same-ish part of the country. Of course, she then goes on to become an international assassin...

Glad you gave this book a chance

Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold - this was recommended to me by three different people and I didn't bother to read it for ages. When I finally started, I couldn't put it down.

Hidden book gem?

All my Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman - it's only 100 or so pages long, but this book made me smile when I first read it. It's a love story about a man who is a normal and whose superhero girlfriend has been hypnotised not to see him by a jealous ex. Brilliant. I bought it for AGG before I knew she was really as geeky as me to try and ease her into my world of geek. Fortunately, she turned out to be just as geeky as I am. 

Important moment in your book life

Reading Plague Ship by Andre Norton. My first proper science fiction book. Started a lifelong love.

Just finished:
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch. The PC Grant series is modern, urban fantasy with a nice, gritty edge. Urban fantasy always sounds a bit wank to me, and has shades of Twilight and bit-lit, but these are very grounded and sensible and Mr. Aaronovitch steers clear of the cheesy archetypes and instead goes for a modern take on things like how the River Police deal with the spirit of Old Father Thames.

Kind of book you won't read

Self Help books. I don't mind instructional books, I have a few Dummies Guide To..., but I really cannot be doing with a book that tells me the bleeding obvious over 400 pages, or, even worse, tells me why I'm crap and should do better over 400 pages.

Longest book you've read

I had some monster text books at Uni, and excluding collected works, like the complete Lord Of the Rings, it's probably something like an Iain Banks or Alastair Reynolds sci-fi epic.

Major book hangover because of

Disappointing endings. Recently read Redemption Arc by Alaistair Reynolds and felt it just fizzled out. Put me in a funk for days.

Number of bookcases you own:
7, but the one in the kitchen just fell down through accumulated weight of Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, Hugh F-W et al.

One book you've read multiple times:

Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams or Mort by Terry Pratchett

Preferred place to read:

Long train journey. I can read on a train or bus, but not when I'm a passenger in a car. I think that there is a feeling of almost being cut off when travelling on a train that really means you can set everything else aside to really get into a book.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read

"Tough, and competent" from Failure is Not an Option by Gene Kranz. Kranz was the mission controller for Apollo 13, but had a long and prestigious career with NASA before and after. One of his jobs was to look at how the mission controllers worked, and his maxim "Tough, and competent" meant that he expected the guys he worked with to be the best they could be - to understand the systems and processes that used, but also to expect that from the people they worked with. He said that you can be tough with others when you know that you are competent at what you are doing.

Reading regret

So many classics I haven't read.

Series you started and need to finish

Bleh. Lots. I'm a bit of a magpie. I've been about halfway through the Ancient Blades trilogy for ages. 

Three of your all-time favourite books:

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie, Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan.

Unapologetic fanboy for:

Charlie Stross, Cory Doctrow, Richard Morgan, Ben Aaronovitch, William Gibson, Iain Banks 

Very excited for this release:

The Rhesus Factor - the next Laundryverse book from Charlie Stross.

Worst bookish habit:

Buying books on a whim and then forgetting about them. I have many, many unread books because of that.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K Gann.

Your latest book purchase:

Atomic - The First War of Physics by Jim Baggot

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waay too late)

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch - also a "nearly missed my stop" book too.


David said...

I will give this a go at some point soon - thanks for sharing

David said...

Managed to do my list tonight

Vladdd309 said...

Great stuff. I've had to do the same on my blog too! Thanks for the list!

Consider Phelebas is very good, but not among Banks best works (imho!)

GJD said...

I like Consider Phelebas for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first Banks I read and finished. I had tried Against A dark Background before but always lost interest about 2/3 of the way through. Secondly, I like that it's a Culture novel that has very little of the Culture in it.