Text taken from Zezee with Books.
How many books is too many books in a series?
More than three is kinda iffy. I tried to read the entire Discworld series and gave up after book four because I don’t have the patience to track down all 41 of the fuckers, not including the half-step books. The sole exception to this rule is the Redwall series (Brian Jacques), which is 22 books long, and which I could read all frickin’ day; and, of course, I will read every book in the Locked Tomb series, even if Tamsyn Muir keeps going until book 30. I’m also still holding out hope that I will someday finish ASOIAF, but my progress on that series stalled out after book 3 and now I’m waiting to see if books 6 and 7 ever get published. Like probably most of the rest of the world, I don’t actually think they will be and I have no faith that book 7 will be the end of the series, but you never know.
How do you feel about cliffhangers?
They’re not my favorite.
Hardback or paperback?
Hardbacks all the way! They’re significantly more expensive, but they last longer, they pick up fewer fingerprints because I always take the jackets off when I’m reading them, and I hate when my paperbacks start getting those little cracks on their spines. When I win the Powerball, all my books will be hardbacks.
Here’s a list. The one I would rescue first from a fire would probably have to be Cat’s Eye (Margaret Atwood), because that copy has been with me since high school. I had to read it for AP Language & Composition and I fell in love with it, and then my dad took me to Borders to buy it with my babysitting money back when Borders was still a thing, god I miss them. And also I cannot stress how much I hate the new covers they’ve come out with for all of Atwood’s books.
Least favorite book?
Here’s another list. The one I would toss first into a fire is hands down A Companion to Wolves (Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear), a 302-page excuse to write gay gang rape scenes. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ve just remembered the existence of Night Huntress (Yasmine Galenorn), which is probably the worst book I’ve ever read, and which I will not be reviewing because I refuse to reread it.
Love triangles: yes or no?
Oh god no. So much time wasted. So much unnecessary angst.
The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
I picked up Skull Water (Heinz Insu Fenkl) right on the heels of finishing White Chrysanthemum (Mary Lynn Bracht), and it was absolutely not a match made in Heaven. I’m not sure what exactly went wrong: the book was certainly not bad, but I made the decision to DNF after a few pages and only read the first chapter just for the sake of finishing it. I suppose it was a combination of being furious over White Chrysanthemum and just slightly bored for the few pages that I read; and I was still so focused on White Chrysanthemum that I couldn’t settle down and concentrate on Skull Water, and I lost interest in the synopsis when I reread it to make sure I actually knew what the book was about. This is one that I won’t be revisiting later.
A book you’re currently reading?
Right now I’m in the middle of Daughter of the Moon Goddess (Sue Lynn Tan), which I am rereading in preparation for Heart of the Sun Warrior. I bought the sequel the day it came out but have not yet picked it up, lol. And I don’t know why, but for some reason Daughter of the Moon Goddess sat around my apartment for weeks the last time I read it, and I’ve been doing the same thing again during this reread. I started it over a week ago, and yet something has been preventing me from finishing it in a timely manner. It’s bizarre, because I love this book and it reads really quickly.
The last book you recommended to someone?
I’ve recommended Swordheart (T. Kingfisher) to three people so far, and I will absolutely do it again.
Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?
I’ve just gone back through my Classics shelf, and pretty much anything by Shakespeare is the winner.
Newest book you’ve read by publication date?
Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) (Alexandra Petri), which was officially published in April.
The funny thing is that I don’t have an official favorite author because I typically don’t like every single book produced by any given author. Asking me to pick a favorite author is like asking me to name a favorite band: I like certain books, but I usually don’t go for everything written by the same author, in the same way that I tend to like certain songs without actually being an official fan of the artist and/or band. I’m a pain in the ass, but I know what I like. If you asked my friends and/or family, however, they would most likely say Margaret Atwood, and they’d sort of be right. Atwood is the rare author whose books I have collected as a low-key obsessive hobby. I have read every novel she’s published, some of her poetry, and most of her short stories, but even with her I’ve had mixed results.
In terms of more recent favorites, Zeyn Joukhadar (The Map of Salt and Stars, The Thirty Names of Night) has been very consistent so far, but he only has two novels published at the moment, so I’m waiting to see if the trend continues; likewise Madeline Miller (Galatea, The Song of Achilles, Circe). I am also a newly minted Maggie O’Farrell (Hamnet, The Marriage Portrait) fan, but, again, I’ve only read two books of hers, though I gather she has more.
Buying books or borrowing books?
It depends on the book. My habit over the last several years has been to buy first and ask questions later, but my savings account is about to send a Terminator after me, so I’m trying to reprogram myself to look at the library first. Unfortunately the BCPL and Enoch Pratt selections aren’t great, but I did manage to find Swordheart (T. Kingfisher) with no trouble, so I suppose I’ll take that as a positive sign. (On the subject of their selections, I am going to see if I can start donating books to either one of them because this is kind of sad, and I’d rather my unhauls went to a library because I think they’ll be of better use there.)
A book that you dislike that everyone else seems to love?
I will never understand the hype around The Priory of the Orange Tree (Samantha Shannon), not if I live to be 1,000. (Also, I sincerely hope that I don’t.) Quantity does not equal quality. It’s about 300 pages too long, its so-called “diversity” is incredibly sloppy, and its pacing is a pile of hot garbage. The writing is by no means bad and there were a couple of characters I loved, but overall, what a mess. Literally who let this book be this long. It would really have benefitted from a better editor.
Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks. I used to dog-ear my books when I was little, until one of my friends straightened out the dog-ears I’d left on a book she was borrowing from me, and she lost all my places. It’s been years. I am still so annoyed that she presumed to do that without even asking me. PSA: Don’t straighten out your friends’ dog-ears. It is not appreciated.
A book you can always reread?
As I have recently learned, I can pick up the Redwall series (Brian Jacques) at any time and get completely sucked in. I just finished Martin the Warrior (book 6 out of 22), and the series as a whole is making me wish I didn’t have to work five days a week because if I didn’t I would probably be on at least book 11 by now.
Can you read while listening to music?
No, because the music will get between me and the words of the book. I can’t have other people talking or singing while I’m reading unless they’re doing it in a language I don’t know.
One or multiple POVs?
It really depends on the story.
Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Multiple days. As much as I would love to be able to read all day, that is a luxury I currently do not have because, again, work.
A book you’ve read because of the cover?
Honestly, kinda Harrow the Ninth (Tamsyn Muir). I was originally uninterested in Gideon the Ninth and in fact knew almost nothing about it until I randomly decided that Harrow was coming home with me, but I mean, come on, just look at Harrow. That cover is stunning. Of course, if I wanted to read Harrow that meant I had to read Gideon first and things just kinda snowballed from there, so long story short I am in agony waiting for Alecto the Ninth.