I finally - at long last, a month after finishing the book - changed the 'What I'm Reading' at the sidebar. What AM I reading?
"Garlic and Sapphires", by Ruth Reichl. Memoirs from a former New York Times restaurant critic. I worked at newspapers as a young woman, but it was nothing like the snake pit that was the New York Times in the nineties, when Reichl was there. She's a great writer - funny, evocative, entertaining, and did I mention, REALLY FUNNY. She has written other books, I find, and I think I'll get them and read them, too. That's the highest praise I can offer.
I got tagged by Anne for a book meme thingie. I found it more interesting than memes usually are (sorry, but it's true), so here you go.
1. Hardcover or paperback, and why: Mostly paperback, because I'm a cheapskate. Occasionally I will buy books in hardcover, but only because I think I'll die if I wait until the paperback is out. (Generally, this means Harry Potter novels, J D Robb mysteries, and anything by Jaqueline Carey.) This also means I cannot stand the wait list at the library.
2. If I were to own a book shop, I would call it: "The Bleeding Heart", and sell nothing but paperback romances and mysteries.
3. My favorite quote from a book is: This is a hard one. But one of my most-used lines is from the "In Death" series by J D Robb, spoken by character Eve Dallas. "Act like an asshole, get treated like an asshole."
4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with is: J R R Tolkien. Possibly a cliche, but I would love to pick his brain about his books, and what symbolism he was thinking of when he wrote them. If any. Plus I hear he was a nice, interesting guy.
5. If I were going to a deserted island and could only bring one book (other than a survival guide), it would be: Another hard one. Something long. Something long and dense. Tolstoy, maybe, or Tolkien. The complete works of Shakespare in one book? Something like that. The complete works of SOMEONE. Agatha Christie, maybe.
6. I would love for someone to invent a book gadget that: I've got a half dozen book lights of different design, and none of them really work right. I'd like a book light that stays where I put it and lights the page, and doesn't keep the husbeast awake next to me.
7. The smell of books reminds me of: Libraries. I spent a lot of my childhood in libraries. Good memories. If they could bottle the scent, I'd wear it as perfume.
8. If I could be the lead character in a book, it would be: Honestly, I wouldn't want to be the main character of any good book. To be a good book, that means the characters have to go through hell to make a good story. Phedre, of the Kushiel books by Jaqueline Carey, is a very cool person, smart and resourceful and kind. But she goes through a lot of hell I'd rather skip. Even if she does bag a lot of hot men. And women. Haha.
9. The most overrated book of all time is: I've got a problem with a lot of what they call 'classic literature'. Shakespare was a hack whose only claim to fame was thinking in iambic pentameter. Sir Walter Scott desperately needed an editor to cut his work in half.
10. I hate it when a book: Has poorly written characters. If an author spends a hundred pages establishing how independent the heroine is, having her knuckle under at the first sign of trouble will REALLY piss me off. The husbeast has become quite used to me ranting at movies and TV shows when the writers have someone acting out of character. Drives me insane.
There you go. I'm supposed to tag people, but I hate that... Anyone who wants to do this, go ahead. I'd find it quite interesting. Particularly among those of you who are writers and/or formally edumacated in 'great literature'. You know who you are.