Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Quiz

Again, this quiz was shamelessly stolen from Jaquandor

Worst Books Ever, or Five Hours of My Life I’ll Never Get Back
Pope Joan - I don't like historical fiction in general, with a few exceptions, and Pope Joan has everything that makes me want to throw a book out of the window. And people actually believe that they are reading facts...I think that's what annoys me most of all. I had the same problem with Dan Brown's books.

Books I Have Lied About Reading
None, I think. I even read all the books I was supposed to read in school. I read very fast, even faster when I only skim a text, so I got lucky there.

Books I Have Lied About Liking
um, none. Not even books I was given as a gift - I can't remember a single book gift I didn't like.

Book-to-Movie Adaptations Where, Frankly, the Movie Was Better
Angels and Demons and DaVinci Code. The books are awful, but I had a lot of fun with the movies. The story is still stupid (antimatter, Priory of Sion..) but I don't have to put up with Brown's lack of writing skill and I can switch my brain off and enjoy the pretty pictures (plus, Ewan McGregor in a cassock is seriously droolworthy).

Books I Used to Love, of Which I Am Now Ashamed
I'm not ashamed of anything and I can see why I liked them even with books I now find unreadable. I used to love the Dolly series, which I now find way too girly.

Best Book Titles of All Time
Skullduggery Pleasant - that just sounds awesome
Thud! - best Discworld title ever
Der satanarchäolügenialalkohöllische Wunschpunsch by Michael Ende - try saying that three times in a row (no, it doesn't get much easier when you actually speak German). It's called the Night of Wishes in English.
I Shall Wear Midnight - all the Tiffany Aching novels have great titles, but I like this one best


Books That I Expected to Be Dirtier
Hm. I've been waylaid by some books that I didn't expect to involve sex (or so much sex or sex in that particular form), but so far not the other way around.

My Real Guilty-Pleasure Reads, and Not the Decoys I Talk About Openly
I read fan fiction. I can't say that I feel guilty about it, though.

Books You Must Read Before You Die, but Would Rather Die Than Read
Der Zauberberg by Thomas Mann. Thomas Mann had amazing talent and wrote the most elegant German - but I still can't get past the first two hundred pages or so of the Zauberberg (or his other books). It's weird, I can admire his style and I certainly agree that he's one of the best German authors ever, but I still can't finish his books.

Books I Refused to Read for a Long Time Because too Many (or the Wrong) People Recommended Them
Harry Potter. I was so annoyed by the hype and by the constant "you must read this" that I refused. I caved with the third book and then read all three in one weekend. I've loved the series ever since and I never again refused to read something for that reason.

Books I Read Only After Seeing the Movie
So many. Planet of the Apes, The Fly (highly recommended!), Welcome to Wellville, I read Neuromancer after seeing Johnny Mnemonic, I started reading Shakespeare after seeing Peter Greenaway's The Tempest ect. I often discover good books and authors through movies (and the other way around).

Books I Most Often Try to Persuade Other People to Read
The Demon-Hunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan ... critical thinking is important and I know no better book about it.
The Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman - the best vampire novels I know, except for Dracula of course and it's such a lot of fun to try and identify all the historical and fictional characters that appear in the books.
And lately Little Brother.


Authors I Wish Had Written More Books Already
Carl Sagan. You can never have too much Carl Sagan. William Somerset Maugham should have written even more short stories.

Overused Plot Points That Drive Me Nuts
The oh so emancipated woman who goes all housewifey over a man at the end of a book. Especially when used by female authors who wanted to create strong female characters.

Books in Which I Liked the Secondary Characters Better Than the Main Character, or Books in Which I Wanted to Beat the Main Character Senseless with a Tire Iron
Homo Faber by Max Frisch. The main character got on my nerves so much. Oh, and Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane.

Books I Lied About Reading and Then Wrote an A+ Term Paper On
Like I said, I read all the books I was supposed to read.

Books I Lied About Reading/Liking Solely to Look Smart/Pretentious
None. I AM that smart, sorry . Seriously, whenever I talk with people about books, I get the feeling that I'm something of a freak, either because of the sheer number of book I read or because I actually read classic literature or because I read about WWII (as a woman...gasp). I like that.

Books I Wish I Hadn’t Finished, or Worst. Ending. Ever.
nothing comes to mind, actually

Books I Read after Oprah Recommended Them
I will replace Oprah with Marcel Reich-Ranicki here, he's Germany's most influential critic. But I still don't read books just because he recommend them or because he hates them ... which is most of the time, the man really knows how to hate a book with style and aplomb. I just don't like book critics.

Books I Will Never Read Precisely Because Oprah Recommends Them
see above

Literary Characters I’ve Developed Crushes On
Charles Beauregard from the Anno Dracula series

Books I Only Read to Impress Other People
none

Best Books Not to Read from Start to Finish, or Best Bathroom Books
I tend to read non-fiction books like that if possible. I have a book about the First Ladies that I love to re-read because I can just pick a single chapter. Or a book on diseases called "Kulturgeschichte der Seuchen"...it's over 1000 pages long and while it can be read from start to finish, it's also great just to choose one particular disease. Not good for bathroom reading, though, it's a bit heavy. But I don't read in the bathroom anyway.

Books I Shouldn’t Admit Made Me Cry Like a Baby
And why exactly shouldn't I admit this? Astrid Lindgren can make me cry any time. The Brothers Lionheart is the book that makes me cry every time, but Ronja Robber's Daughter and Mio my Son are books I shouldn't read without having tissues handy. I also cry when Dumbledore dies, every fucking time (usually I make it to the funeral scene and then I loose it). When the Wind Blows is the only graphic novel that has ever made me cry, when Jim tries to phone his son and doesn't even notice that the phone has melted. Oh and Calvin and Hobbes has a storyline with a baby raccoon that dies in the end which makes me cry.

Books I Only Read for the Title
I can't think of an example now, but a good title is a great way to get me to at least take a closer look at a book. But when I don't like the style or the story, even the best title can't safe you

Books I Re-Read When I Have Nothing Else to Read
all the Discworld novels, Walter Moers Zamonia series, everything Tad Williams has ever written and of course The Lord of the Rings

Books People Keep Recommending That, Frankly, Sucked Ass
Twilight. I love vampires, but these vampires are even worse than Anne Rice's vampires. And most of those Scandinavian crime novels.

Books My Teacher Made Me Read That I Really, Really Liked
Lord of the Flies. I had to read a lot of Dürrenmatt in school and I took a solemn vow never to touch the books again. I broke that vow when I switched to a different teacher who actually knew how to make them interesting and these days, he's one of my favourite authors.

Books My Teacher Made Me read That Made Me Question the Value of My Education
Effi Briest. Oh, and ETA Hofmann's Mademoiselle de Scudéri. Hoffmann has written a ton of awesome books (try The Devil's Elixiers) and we had to read the most boring piece of fiction he ever created.

Books That Made Me Want to Have Sex with at Least One Character
Anno Dracula

Books I Actually Read but Got a Poorer Grade on the Paper I Wrote on the Subject Than My Best Friend Who Did Not Read the Book
none, I think. I remember a guy in my class getting an A on a paper on a novel he freely admitted he had never read. He just listened to some parts of the audio book

Books I Read Because the Author Looked Hot
Now that's a way to choose books that hadn't crossed my mind before. I have a slight crush on Neil Gaiman, but that developed only after I had read several of his books and seen him live at a reading.

Books I’ve Read Aloud
I've read to the two daughters of my ex, usually fairy tales (in the original, bloodthirsty version!) and re-tellings of classic legends (if you ever want a challenge, try reading Finnish legends from the Kalevala aloud...Väinämöinen will be the least of your problems). I also try to get my boyfriend to read the Zamonia series aloud and I've read books aloud to myself in parts (Discworld, Anansi Boys, Harry Potter, Osten Ard Saga ect.)

Books I Love Even Though the Last Twenty Pages Made No Damn Sense
If I can think of one, I'll let you know

Books I Have Written a Prequel/Sequel to in My Own Head
none that I can think of. But I often wish that the author hadn't written sequels/prequels to novels I like

Books I Keep Meaning to Read, but Then I See Something Shiny
just about anything Emile Zola and Gustave Flaubert have ever written. And Marcel Proust - somethign about French writers, I guess

Books I Will Go to the Mattresses for, Even Though I Hate the Writer
There are a few authors I recognize as excellent writers, but whose books I just can't read. I already mentioned Thomas Mann. Charles Dickens is another one.

Books You Must Read Because You Must Mock
I don't read books with the intention of making fun of them, but Twilight comes to mind.

Worst How-To Books Ever
Not really a how-to book, but almost all guides to keeping small animals that I know and that are older than two years or so are so full of factual mistakes, myths and bad advice that they are painful to read.

Books That Were on the ‘To Be Read’ List the Longest
too many, I guess

Books I Hated Having to Read in School, But Love Now
anything by Dürrenmatt

Books Whose References Have Worked Their Way into My Household Lexicon
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Zamonia series.

Books I’ve Read Because I Liked Their Cover Design/Font
"Thirteen Reasons Why" - the German cover is red as blood with green tally markings (although the German title doesn't mention the thirteen reasons at all). It caught my eye and I loved the book. I bought it for my school library and the kids love it, too. The Septimus Heap series also has wonderful cover designs that drew me to the first book in the series.

Books Which, When It Comes Right Down to It, I Would Have No Problem Burning
There's this hilarious scene in one of Terry Prachett's Tiffany Aching novels where the travelling librarians (like tinkerers, only with books) are freezing to death and someone asks them why they haven't burned all those books and they just look at the person in total incomprehension. I'm like that. If I really were freezing to death in a library, I would burn the loose-leaf collections first, then books on esoterica and pseudo-science, self-help books and historical fiction. I would start with the furniture, though...something that has amused me to no end in The Day After Tomorrow: why burn books when there are all those wooden tables and chairs around?
I wouldn't burn a book because I don't like it, I can barely bring myself to throw it away. I prefer giving them away. With the possible exception of pseudo-science.


Books Which I Read Only for the Sex Scenes
None. If I want sex scenes, I read porn.

Books I Pretend to Like So People Won’t Think I’m a Snob, or Books I Pretend to Like So I Won’t Hurt Your Feelings
None.

Books with Covers So Embarrassing You Can’t Read Them in Public
I like John Sinclair, a German horror pulp fiction series that has truly awful covers - 50s SciFi movies have nothing on those covers. But who cares, I read them in public anyway. I was highly amused when I found out that there are actually versions of the Harry Potter books with different covers for adults (they are more expensive,too).

Books You Are Sorry You Didn’t Read Decades Ago
I think I would have like to read "Catcher in the Rye" when I was a teenager. I read it a few years ago and I guess I was just too old.

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