- What author do you own the most books by?
J. K. Rowling. I have three copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, two of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, two of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, one of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I *think* two each of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and three of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We were unable to share around my house, and some of them are audio books or different versions.
- What book do you own the most copies of?
I don’t own more than three copies of any book, so I guess the aforementioned Harry Potter books.
- Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
No. That’s an idiotic grammar rule concocted to make English work more like Latin. English, however, is not Latin, so it’s silly to go through machinations like avoiding ending sentences with prepositions and splitting infinitives to make it work like Latin.
- What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Jamie Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Also, maybe, just a little, Nick Carraway. If I were a little younger, I might like Edward Cullen, too.
- What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
The Harry Potter series. With so little variance in my bookish life, I’m afraid this meme will bore you.
- What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Let’s see, that was fourth grade for me. I’d say I was probably still very into Judy Blume’s Superfudge, which definitely was my favorite in third when I was nine.
- What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber (review here).
- What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
That’s kind of tough because I have enjoyed a lot of them. From April 2008-April 2009, then? The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (review here). It was a finalist for the Pulitzer. Great, great book.
- If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Probably To Kill a Mockingbird or The Great Gatsby. Or maybe The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Of course, I’m influenced by the fact that I’m an English teacher, and I consider each an essential text.
- Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
I honestly don’t know. I know what I like, and I kind of keep track of awards, but ultimately, I’m not sure they mean all that much. Too many deserving authors don’t ever win, and too many undeserving ones (in my opinion) have won awards (not necessarily Nobel, but you get the idea).
- What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I thought after reading the Thursday Next series that it might be a fun movie, but the moviemakers would never do it justice.
- What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Because it’s on my mind from a previous question, A Plague of Doves. It’s a multigenerational saga that would not translate well to film. Film doesn’t have the nuance.
- Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I’m sure I’ve had one, but now that I’ve been asked, I can’t remember one.
- What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I tried to read Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower. It was recommended to me by my English department chair years ago. I can’t believe it. If I didn’t finish it, does it count as read? Yuck. OK, let’s be fair and pick one I finished. Highland Desire by Joyce Carlow. Blech. Romance novel. Out of print. I had to comb through my old Amazon reviews to recall the title of that one.
- What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
I suppose it would be Moby Dick, although reading it in small installments through a DailyLit subscription made it easier.
- What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
That I’ve seen as opposed to read? Well, A Comedy of Errors, I guess.
- Do you prefer the French or the Russians?Either. Neither. Both. It depends. I really like the British.
- David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
I haven’t read Dave Eggers, but I do enjoy Sedaris.
- Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
All three, please. However, if I have to pick, I can’t do without Shakespeare.
- Austen or Eliot?
Never read Eliot, but I love dear Aunt Jane. I’m sure I’d feel the same way even if I’d read Eliot, so I’m going with Austen.
- What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I actually don’t think I have really embarrassing gap, but I haven’t read enough Dickens to be as old as I am.
- What is your favorite novel?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Well, really the series as one long book.
King Lear or Othello. Tough to pick.
Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem” (“What happens to a dream deferred?” as opposed to “Here on the edge of hell / Stands Harlem.”
“A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift.
- Short story?
Right now, at this moment, it’s “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, but that one changes a lot.
- Work of nonfiction?
At the moment, either The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester or How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster.
- Who is your favorite writer?
J. K. Rowling. Also love Jane Austen and William Shakespeare a lot.
- Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Is Dan Brown overrated? If so, him.
- What is your desert island book?
The Harry Potter series. We’re calling that one book.
- And… what are you reading right now?
Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (which I am really enjoying) and Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde.
Roth or Updike?
Never read novels by either, but I read “A&P” by Updike. OK. I don’t feel qualified to pick.