When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. -- Erasmus
Because I am a DIY-er through and through, and because I've got books on my mind, I am going to write my own meme. I am sure it won't be that original, just like the title of this post, but I'm going to live dangerously and not even look to see if it's been done before.
If love books the way I do; if your palms start to sweat and you breathe a little faster when you walk past a bookstore; if you never turn down a free book, even it's about gastrointestinal health or in a language you can't read; if you remember the names of characters in books you read when you were ten better than you remember the names of people you went to college with; or if you just want to fill out the meme, then please do, and let me know.
(I know these answers are mostly fiction titles, but I have plenty of nonfiction books I love as well.)
Favorite Book(s): Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, A Wrinkle in Time and And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle, Song for the Basilisk by Patricia McKillip, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Emily's Quest by L.M. Montgomery, Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee
Favorite Author(s): Madeleine L'Engle, Patricia McKillip, L.M. Montgomery, Orson Scott Card, Charles de Lint, Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris, Isabel Allende, Tom Robbins, Ivan Klima (in no particular order)
Favorite genre(s): Fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, espionage and old-fashioned British mysteries (by Margery Allingham and M.M. Kaye). But really? I'll read anything.
Best beginning to a book, ever: Well, that's a hard one to answer (I know, I wrote the question), but I like these two lines:
"If I had cared to live, I would have died," from Silverlock by John Myers Myers.
"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it," from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best ending to a book, ever: Water for Elephants, by Sarah Gruen
Book pilgrimages you've made: To DeSmet, South Dakota (Little House on the Prairie) and Cavendish, Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables)
Funniest book(s) you've read: Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club, by Laurie Notaro.
Book that picks you up when you're in a bad mood: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman or anything by Guy Gavriel Kay.
Book that most surprised you: I had to read a book about the Peloponnesian Wars when I was in middle school, that I thought would be so boring -- I mean, it was a nonfiction history book about war, which was not a subject my girly-phase preteen self found all that interesting -- but I could not put it down. Absolutely captivating. Wish I could remember the title.
Book everyone else loves but you can't finish: Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and, um, I am embarrassed to admit it, but I can never make it past the halfway point of The Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I keep trying, though.
Most memorable book you just happened to buy on a whim: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, edited by Bruce Sterling. A Wrinkle in Time aside, this is the first science fiction book I remember reading, and it kindled a passion in me. And I just bought it because I liked the bright and colorful cover. Tsk Tsk.
Book you mistakenly judged by its cover: The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams, by Frederic Clement. I was working at B. Dalton in Newport Beach and this book was on the counter for months. I thought it was so ugly. One day I finally picked it up, said out loud, "Who would buy a book with such an ugly cover?" and promptly bought it. Amazing, wondrous, marvelous, splendid book!
Best recommendation you've received: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and Silverlock by John Myers Myers
A random recommendation: Tell me about yourself, and I'll recommend a book. Fiction, nonfiction, cooking, fantasy, business, history, whatever.
Books from your childhood that you still re-read: The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin, and anything by L.M. Montgomery or Madeleine L'Engle
Book you're reading now: The House on the Strand, by Daphne du Maurier
Book you've been actively reading for the longest time: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman
Favorite guilty pleasure book: Anything by Judith McNaught. I'm not a romance reader, but I love her books. Total escapism.
Number of books you own: About 1,500 (Al keeps trying to talk me into getting rid of some, but I bet the total weight of my books is less than the weight of his beloved motorcycle. Okay, maybe not, but it can't be that much more.)
Number of books you own that you've never even read: About 100
Other random bookish fact about you: I collect copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in different languages as souvenirs when I travel. When I was six, the other kids called me Alison Wonderland. Drove me nuts back then but now I think it was, and is, totally fitting.