Eva Joy tagged me in this fun bookish tag! Thank you, friend!

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I just moved all my Dear America and Royal Diaries off my bookshelf and into a “common bookshelf” upstairs. I’d had them in my room for…gosh…fifteen years, at least? I’ve definitely outgrown them at this point, but I’m keeping them in case any of my little sisters want to read them one day. So far, nobody’s been nearly as interested in fictional diaries as I was.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Well…I just started reading Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, and my last read was Conversations with Major Dick Winters, and the one before that was Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters himself. Am I bored with my subject? No. Is this a problem? Noooooooooooo.

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I know I used this picture in my last “Currently” post, but I’m still just inordinately proud of the way this photo turned out. It was one of those “when the sun hits that ridge just right, these hills sing” moments.

On the other hand, I have no clue what I’ll read next. Is that a problem? Very much so.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

A Wrinkle in Time and Swiss Family Robinson. Neither of those books made sense to me, I’m afraid. Oh, and I did not like Divergent at all.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

It’s gotta be a classic of some sort. The Count of Monte Cristo?  The Scarlet Letter? The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

What is this “saving for retirement” nonsense? No no no, you read all the books you want to read NOW, even if it takes you a few months to get through them! If I’m “saving them for retirement,” they’re most likely those books I keep telling myself I’ll read but probably won’t.

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I am notorious for peeking to the end of a book, no matter what I’m reading.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I always read acknowledgements, especially if they’re written by somebody whose writing I thoroughly enjoy anyway. You never know what little gems you’ll find tucked in there. (I’m lookin’ at you, Stephen Ambrose.)

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8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Juliet Ashton from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

My copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel will always remind of my friend Emily, who loaned me her copy after my baby sister was born. That book was so well-written, peeking ahead offered me absolutely no answers! The Spoiler Queen was thwarted. I really thought for a long time that Sir Andrew was the Scarlet Pimpernel. It sounds silly, but I just couldn’t imagine that a guy named “Percy” could be a swashbuckling hero! (Which, I’m sure, was the good Baroness’ whole point.)

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

My other copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel has a very interesting story! I found it in an antique store; it was obviously very old, but in remarkably good shape. I flipped to the first page to check the copyright…and my mouth fell open when I saw words “Copyright 1910.” The book is OVER 100 YEARS OLD. Since the authoress, Baroness Orczy, originally wrote it as a play, it also contains photographs from the immensely popular production. And get this: IT WAS FIVE DOLLARS.

I bought that thing faster than you can say “We seek him here, we seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere.”

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11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

For good?! Nooooooooooo. I’ll give them their own copy, though.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

Probably any of those Lord of the Rings visual companion books. I used to tote those around everywhere I went as a kid. They contain some really beautiful photos. Now my younger brother is reading them; every time I see them lying around, I get very nostalgic.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I don’t think so. I didn’t really hate much of my required reading, and the ones I did hate I probably won’t be reading again. (I’m thinking of Dante’s Inferno right about now…)

14. Used or brand new?

Brand new. Although I have no qualms about buying used books, especially if they’re out of print and I want them desperately.

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15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

The who-what-now? Oh, the Da Vinci Code dude…nah.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

I don’t think so.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

There was a line in All the Light We Cannot See…something about peaches tasting like wet sunshine, if I recall correctly…and it was beautiful. It made me taste those peaches.

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18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My mom gives excellent book advice! I’ve enjoyed several books on her recommendation (Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry comes to mind). My friend Rachel gives great book advice, too. I probably wouldn’t have even picked up The Lunar Chronicles if she hadn’t recommended the series to me.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

All the Light We Cannot See and The Book Thief. Yes, both are set in World War II and that’s never been odd for me, but the writing styles are quite different from what I usually read, and certainly far different from what I write: fragmented sentences, questionable grammar, highly poetic imagery, etc. Nevertheless, I consider them two of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read (although it took two reads of The Book Thief for me to really love it).

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from The Book Thief

What are some good books you’ve read lately?

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