Emma over at BluChickenNinja posted this reader questionnaire last week, and tagged everyone who felt like doing it. I think it’s a neat little survey that got me thinking about my reading habits and preferences, and it’s been a while since we had a “Get to know me” kind of post, so here goes nothing!
In turn, I also tag anyone who feels like completing this survey – I’d love to read your answers!
1. What is your favourite book?
Oh god, starting with a difficult one here. I’m not sure I could actually narrow it down to one single favorite book. If we’re judging by number of re-reads, it would probably be The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. But I honestly can’t say I’ve had a favorite singular book since childhood – and even then my tastes fluctuated pretty rapidly. Childhood favorites I could probably narrow down to two, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Prisoner of Azkaban (3rd Harry Potter Book) by J.K. Rowling, with Little Women by Louisa May Alcott coming in at a close runner-up.
2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?
My goals for the year? Well, I’ve got some specific ones that you can read about in my New Year’s Post. For life? Well, that’s another toughie. In the general sense I want to be happy and healthy and live a stable fulfilled life, whatever that may mean in each individual day. I also want to be bilingual.
I’m working on it.
It’s not going well.
3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.
I used to write a lot of fiction back in the day. And when I say back in the day, I mean high school and college. My hand-me-down high school computer (Windows 3.1 baby) was filled with WordPerfect files which I thought were masterpieces of science fiction (but which I now can acknowledge were just a weird hybrid of Gundam Wing and Sailor Moon fan fiction under a thin veil of originality so I didn’t have to actually admit to myself I was writing fan fiction). I majored in English with a writing concentration in college (the closest thing we had to a major in Creative Writing that we had). I mostly produced self-indulgent short stories and dreamt of novels. I considered myself a “writer” though these years.
But then I fell in love with History as a career.
I still write. I write a lot, actually. But it’s still not as much as I should, and it’s certainly a different kind of writing than I ever thought I’d be doing if you’d have asked me at age 18. But I don’t yet consider myself a “writer.” I’m a teacher, I’m a historian, but until I get that first book published, I no longer consider myself a “writer.”
Except I blog. So there’s that.
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Oh man, these are HARD. Okay, here’s another toss-up – Either Japan, England, or back to China*. Most realistically? England, mainly because there’s not too much of a language barrier (I have a kind of thick regional accent sometimes) and I’d like to be able to travel without a tour group/translator package.
5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?
Last movie I saw in theatres was Mockingjay. Twice actually, as has become custom – the first Hunger Games movie was Jim and I’s first movie date (we had been dating more than a year at the time, actually, we had just never gotten around to seeing a movie somehow), and so the two of us have gone to each release since. I get all the crazy fandom feels out of my system with him (I was uhhhh definitely not NOT crying at the end of Mockingjay), and then I go see it a second time with my BFF when he comes home from law school on break. It’s amazing how much I miss in these movies the first time because I’m so overwhelmed.
Oh, and totally worthwhile if you’re a fan of the books.
6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Usually even if I really hate a book, I try to power through to the end – I’m stubborn and it becomes a matter of principle or something. But I just COULD NOT DEAL with these two. I guess I just really do not like the Bronte sisters.
7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
No book at the moment – my big personal project currently is my attempt to learn another language. It’s slow and plodding, but I’m determined.
8. If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?
I guess I’d have to choose the Harry Potter universe. Because how could I not want to go to Hogwarts? I wish I was a Gryffindor, but realistically I’d probably be a Ravenclaw.
9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
I think they’re doing a great job with the Hunger Games Series so far – although I’m going to hold off final judgement until we see the second part of Mockingjay – it baffles me that they’re keeping the rating PG-13, and I’m a bit skeptical as to how they’re going to pull it off.
As for an adaptation I hate? I’m not sure there is one. I guess I’m not as big of a fan of the Harry Potter adaptations as you’d think I’d be – I actually haven’ t seen anything since 5. I can’t really articulate why. I guess I just had such a set vision of what it should all look like and be before the movies started coming out, and I couldn’t reconcile the version in my head with what I was seeing on-screen. Or something.
10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
Topic, topic, topic. Then I look up reviews by historians to see if it’s worthwhile.
I don’t read a lot of fiction anymore.
11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?
As I said before, I don’t really consider myself a “writer” anymore, but I guess the first thing I do as a historian is RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH.
12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favourites?
Pretty much every genre is pretty hit-or-miss for me. I don’t really prefer one over the other when it comes to fiction (although I obviously prefer historical non-fiction over anything else). Romance can be a little dicey for me I guess – never been the biggest fan. Everything else I’ll give a fair shake if it catches my attention.
13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Lora Innes, author of The Dreamer Comic – mainly because I feel like we’d get along. But then again, my social skills in real life are sort of lacking soooo…. maybe not.
14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
Draco Malfoy. Maybe I missed something about why so many girls are obbbssseeessseeedddd by not seeing the last couple films, but just from reading the books I so don’t get it. Dude’s a dick.
16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
I love to knit, crochet, draw, and do other crafty things. I also love love love teaching about History.
So I guess I picked a really good line of work.
17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
For being me.
18. What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?
I read manga when I’m looking for something fun, although I wouldn’t really cite it as “guilty pleasure” because I stopped feeling guilty about it years ago. I like what I like and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. BAM.
Currently I’m in the process of reading the Gundam: The Origin series. I love me some giant anthropomorphic robots.
19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
I do! Check out my post about it.
20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.
I’m a Steelers fan, and I won my fantasy football league this year (much to the chagrin of the rest of the league since I basically make my choices based on whether I like their team or their uniform or their city and know nothing about the actual act of playing football).