The New York Times By The Book Tag


I’m going to try my hand at a book tag. I really liked the sound of this one. It was created by Marie Berg on YouTube. Let’s get started.

1. What book is on your nightstand now?

Recently I was having the problem of being in the middle of too many books. It was all part of a slump I was going through, and I would start things and not finish them. I’ve narrowed it down though, and I’m focusing my efforts on The Secret Books of Paradys I and II by Tanith Lee. I did order My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix yesterday, so when that arrives, it’ll probably replace it. But generally that is what I’m reading.

2. What was the last truly great book that you read?

I actually just finished a truly great book that has become a new favorite. Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I get that “truly great” is meant to invoke this idea of classics and literature, which I also have a lot of love for, but I’m not afraid to say that this genre novel has greatness in it. Structure, plot, character development, theme, pace… It’s fantastic. I have zero complaints.

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

Kurt Vonnegut. I can’t say I’d want to know anything in particular. In reading his books I’ve learned so much already about who he was and how he viewed the world. Also general life lessons, because he was cool like that. It’s more that I’d want to hang out with him and talk. Let the conversation go where it will, because he was a very wise man. Chances are just by talking and sharing I’ll learn a lot.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I have struggled with this question. Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised at all by the eclectic nature of my shelves. That there’s pulp SF and classics and horror and literature and Star Trek books and Salvador Dali art books and a huge Stephen King collection and graphics novels and kitschy books “researching” dragons and time travel. If you know what a proud weirdo I am, it will all make perfect sense.

5. How do you organize your personal library?

“Does that fit there? All right.” I wish I could say it was by author or alphabetical or even by color (which I don’t really get, since it seems more confusing, but to each their own). But I have a very limited space, so it’s mostly about maximum storage.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

I don’t think anyone should ever feel embarrassed about not reading certain books. Getting that out of the way first thing. Because we all have different tastes, and if a book doesn’t interest you, there’s no reason for you to feel obligated to read it. “Embarrassment” is not the word I’d use, though there are books I want to get to and I’m not happy with myself that I keep putting them off. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has to be the biggest one. And it’s fear. Not of tackling it or that it’ll be hard. All my friends love this book so much. What if I don’t? I don’t want to face having a different opinion on this one. It’s a silly thing, and I’ll get over it, but I think it’s what’s holding me back.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. A very ambitious piece of work that was absolute hell to read. I love McCarthy. I hated this book. And I definitely feel I should’ve loved it, which makes it more disappointing.

The last book I put down was Wool by Hugh Howey. I wasn’t impressed enough with it to keep going. The writing style was serviceable, the characters were serviceable, and the story was serviceable. It was a chunker of a book for it to be only meh, so I stopped. It’s actually taken me years to be comfortable with not finishing a book. I’m the sort that doesn’t like leaving things unfinished, but there are too many books in the world for me to read a super long one that I don’t even like.

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I like the weird stuff. If it sounds like something off-the-wall that I’ve never encountered before, then I’ll be pulled in. On the flip side, if it sounds like the same old, warmed-over stories and characters we’ve all seen again and again, I steer clear.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

It’s safe to say that Obama is a much more well-read individual than I am. I doubt seriously that there is anything I could recommend that he hasn’t already read. In fact, I think I read somewhere that he recommended everyone read Sula by Toni Morrison, and if I were going to nudge a book on anyone because of how important I feel it is, it would be that one. So Obama and I would like you all to read that book, please.

10. What do you plan to read next?

My TBR pile is immense, so it’s hard to say. Aside from what I mentioned being on my nightstand, there’s City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled by Harlan Ellison. I have a lot of things calling my name right now, and the hard part is going to be settling for just one.

Try out this tag for yourself, as it’s a good one to get the brain gears turning. If you liked this article, check out my Redbubble shop. There are tons of designs, some of them bookish, to be found there. And as always, happy geeking!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s