Questions for You: Literary Edition

1) What is your favorite novel of all time? (fiction)

2) What is your favorite non-fiction book?

3) Name a book you just quit reading in the middle, something you just could not get through.*

4) Is there an author that you have read everything that he or she has written?**

5) What book made you laugh so hard you embarrassed yourself?

* I pretty much stole this idea from ‘Twas Brillig

** Assuming they have written more than one book.

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  1. Aprylsantics says:

    1~”Catcher in the Rye”
    2~”My Life in France” Julia Child (only because it’s the most recent non-fiction book I’ve read. I also like to read cookbooks. Makes me sound like a foodie, but, I’m more like Sandra Lee.)
    3~”The Accidental Connosieur” Bor-ing in the kind of way that you would be through with a page and realize you were thinking about laundry.
    4~Judy Blume
    5~”Joel’s Journal and Fart Book”

  2. 1.Best books Ive ever read: A Prayer for Owen Meaney (John Irving), The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath), She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb). Fave all time is Bell Jar.

    2. Dont read much non-fiction.

    3. Im about 65 pages into Infinite Jest and I want to quit. Not because I dont like it, but because its so long and I dont ever foresee getting to the end. But Im no quitter.

    4. I’ve read and loved everything by Wally Lamb (all of his books are answers to question #1, really) and Phillipa Gregory (read all, loved most).

    5. Cant recall anything that made me laugh so hard…but I’ll be checking back to see if others have any :)

  3. 1) Black Beauty – beautifully descriptive, not dumbed down, yes it’s kids’ lit but I’ve read it more times than I can count

    2) I Sleep at Red Lights

    3) Pride & Prejudice

    4) Mary Kay Andrews, Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, W.E.B. Griffin

    5) most recently – Two for the Dough, Janet Evanovich

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
    Nicholas and Alexandra- I was obsessed with Russia for a while there.
    Oliver Twist. And many others.
    There are several but for now I’ll say Sarah Dessen
    I can’t think of one right now.

  5. 1) The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery

    2) I’m not sure I have a favorite non-fiction, though I do read it. Right now, I guess I’ll say “Picking Cotton” by Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson. Fascinating story about Jennifer’s eyewitness id of Ronald as her rapist, an id discovered to be false 11 years later when DNA found the real rapist, confirmed by a confession. The two are now so close, they’re like family.

    3)A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. It really ticked me off when it drifted into a “hot topic” story, far from the King Lear base it was supposed to start at.

    4)Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott (if you’ve never read her “adult” novels, check out “A Long Fatal Love Chase”)

    5)”Chocolate Jesus” by Stephan Jaramillo.

  6. 1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
    2. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
    3. Atonement
    4. Charlaine Harris. I get obsessive when I start reading an author. I’m on Laura Lippman now, which may take a long time.
    5. I don’t know. I don’t read much that’s funny. I like murder mysteries, which aren’t too heavy on the LOLs.

  7. 1). It’s so cliche but really, To Kill A Mockingbird

    2). Seabiscuit. Oh yeah.

    3). Like Water For Chocolate and it KILLED me to quit but I just couldn’t take it any more!

    4). I was about to say Roald Dahl but now that I think about it he has some adult books that I haven’t read. But I’ve read all of his children’s books and his autobiography.

    5). I’m drawing a blank but I KNOW it exists. Maybe a Stephanie Plum? Those are FUNNY.

  8. 1) Time Traveler’s Wife (I haven’t seen the movie)

    2) My Turn by Nancy Reagan

    3) The Da Vinci Code

    4) John Grisham, Jennifer Weiner, Lolly Winston

    5) Judy Blume books

  9. 1) What is your favorite novel of all time? “Of all time” is hard to say, but American Gods by Neil Gaiman is definitely in my top five.

    2) What is your favorite non-fiction book? I really liked The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. English nerdery FTW!

    3) Name a book you just quit reading in the middle, something you just could not get through. The Scarlet Letter *yaaaaaawn*

    4) Is there an author that you have read everything that he or she has written? Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Haven Kimmel

    5) What book made you laugh so hard you embarrassed yourself? OOH, that is a great question. I’m sure there have been many. I often snort inappropriately when reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books.

  10. 1) The Stand by Stephen King

    2) The Longest Walk by I really can’t remember, but it’s about 7 people that escape from a Russian Gullag in Siberia.

    3)The DaVinci Code – it’s utter crap.

    4) Several: Terry Brooks, Clive Cussler, Robert Heinlein, Stephen King,…

    5) There was a series of books, really short ones, by Craig Shaw Gardner I believe. They were hilarious, at least I remember them to be, about twenty years ago. :)

  11. 1. To Kill a Mockingbird
    2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    3. The Secret Scripture…just couldn’t get into it. Moved too slowly
    4. John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, Ken Kesey
    5. I can’t really remember off hand.

  12. 1. Pride and Prejudice
    2. Non-fiction? What’s that? 😉
    3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – so many people recommended it but I just couldn’t get into it.
    4. Raymond Feist, Nora Roberts
    5. All of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. They are laugh until you pee yourself books.

  13. 1) Dances with Wolves
    2) Don’t really read non-fiction
    3) The Terror by Dan Simmons. I forced myself 2/3 of the way through the 800 or so pages and just can’t seem to finish it. Nothing annoys me more than leaving a book unfinished, no matter how bad.
    4) Working my way through all of Harlan Coben’s books.
    5)Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy

  14. 1. The Poisonwood Bible
    2. Personal History by Katherine Graham
    3. The Corrections
    4. I think I’ve read all of Wally Lamb’s stuff
    5. It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. I can’t think of a single one.

  15. 1) The Lovely Bones

    2) What is your favorite non-fiction book?

    3) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell…i was pregnant and my mind wouldn’t work, but i do plan on trying again after all of my kids stop sucking the life out of me.

    4) v.c. andrews (shut up! i was 12)

    5) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Dude is funny

  16. 1) It’s a tie – Either The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or Grapes of Wrath

    2) Hm. Probably Kingdom Of Matthias by Paul E. Johnson – I love reading about freaky cults.

    3) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. Blech. I hate the way he writes.

    4) I believe I’ve read all of Nick Hornby’s stuff. I kind of love him. I guess J.K.Rowling would also count…

    5) Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Oh good God, it’s HIGH-larious.

  17. 1. Impossible to answer.

    2. Abusing Science by Philip Kitcher, and Pack of Two and Drinking: A Love Story, both by Caroline Knapp

    3. Anything by John Barth. I’ve tried several. (I loved the Corrections by Franzen, by the way.)

    4. To name a few: Ian McEwan, John Fowles, Paul Bowles, Lee Child, David Sedaris, PD James, Sue Grafton.

    5. All of David Sedaris’s early works. I also do not laugh out loud much from reading, but he is great. (His more recent books are more somber.) Also, the Spellman Files series. Seriously entertaining, and different in a great way.

  18. 1. The Stand, by Stephen King.
    2. Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson for serious; Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx for funny.
    3. Oh yeah – Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson. I liked the Fear and Loathing books, but this one was too weird, even for The Duke.
    4. Many: PG Wodehouse, Janet Evanovich, Robertson Davies, Elmore Leonard, Jill Connor Browne, Rita Mae Brown, David Sedaris…
    5. Holiday on Ice, by David Sedaris; Summer Lightning, by PG Wodehouse; Harpo Speaks, by Harpo Marx.

  19. Oh, fun!
    1. Gone with the Wind
    2. Getting Things Done (I know. Geek)
    3. Anna Karenina. I tried so hard.
    4. Jodi Picoult, except for her most recent because I’m so behind on my reading list
    5. Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster. She is hysterical.

  20. 1) A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

    2) Any Tudor-era biography by Carolly Erickson

    3) The Girls – don’t remember the author. I also hated Cold Mountain and put that down after about 100 pages.

    4) Not everything, but more than most: Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel

    5) See #1

  21. These questions are way too hard!

    1. There are at least ten I’d like to name, but I’ll say either Middlesex or The Grapes of Wrath.

    2. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck’s account of crossing the U.S. in a tiny camper with his standard poodle. Yes, I am a Steinbeck nut.

    3. Oh, there are many. I give them 20 or 30 pages and if they don’t grab me, I’m out. Unless I have a very good recommendation from an impeccable source telling me to soldier on.

    4. Again, many. John Steinbeck, Anne Tyler, Jane Hamilton, Jane Smiley . . .

    5. The Big Five-Oh, by Bill Geist

  22. 1. A tie between The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice.

    2. The New Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman–explained why my family made me like I am (i.e. a neurotic first-born.)

    3. Last book I abandoned: To Hell in a Handbasket by H.Allen Smith, a journalist’s memoir from the 1930s and 40s. Recommended by Nancy Pearl of Book Lust fame, who did not know what she was talking about when it came to this boring book.

    4. When I fall in love with an author, I always read all their books. Some are: Jane Austen, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Alice Munro, Elizabeth Berg, J.D. Salinger…

    5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

  23. 1. – The Winnie the Pooh Books (love that bear)
    2. – The Song Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave
    3. I can’t think of one….
    4. Wally Lamb and Marcus Zusak
    5. I guess I can think of more books that make me cry in public than laugh – isn’t that weird?

  24. 1. For the Roses by Julie Garwood (it’s a romance novel, but it’s really a story about family), although I loved Pride and Prejudice , once I got into the right frame of mind for the time period.

    2. Currently: Take Me To Your Leader by Ian Harrison (it’s a trivia book)

    3. I couldn’t make it past a few paragraphs of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

    4. Julie Garwood (all but her latest, and I want to read that one)

    5. I don’t know.

  25. 1) What’s Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies

    2) Tuxedo Park by Jennat Conant

    3) Beloved by Toni Morrison and the Time Traveler’s Wife which I HATED.

    4) Many. Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Garrett, Robertson Davies, David Lodge, Jane Austin, Naguib Mahfouz, W. Somerset Maughm, Ruth Rendell, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis. Jen Lancaster

    5) Anything by Al Franken, Jen Lancaster, or David Sederis.

  26. 1. Gone to Soldiers – Marge Piercy Crossing to Safety – Wallace Stegner
    The Shipping News – Annie Proulx
    Little Women – L.M. Alcott

    2. Among Schoolchildren – Tracy Kidder (changed my life)

    3.Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl – Susan McCorkindale. It was funny at first, and might have made a good blog, but the shtick got old fast. I never finished it and I was on vaca with plenty of time. I never finished Beloved either. I tried a couple of times.

    4. Wallace Stegner, Madeline L’Engle, Bill Bryson (see below)

    5. When I was a teenager it was the Hitchhikers’ Guide Series – Douglas Adams, The Lost Continent – Bill Bryson OMG, I fell off the couch laughing!

  27. I’m only answering one question because it is the only one that doesn’t require me to think.

    I stopped reading Howard’s End about 2/3 of the way through, mostly because you told me I should stop reading it if it was that bad.

    Thanks, that was great advice. That book was one big crap-fest!

  28. 1. Time Traveler’s Wife or Water for Elephants – Can’t decide
    2. Um….
    3. Reading Lolita in Tehran
    4. Nope
    5. Marley and Me

  29. 1. The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and The Time Traveler’s Wife (with books it’s sooo hard to narrow to just one!)
    2. ? I like reading dictionaries…especially language dictionaries..and check between the two languages to see if words are being translated the same back and forth.
    3. There’ve been a couple…I’ve blanked them out because they were so worthless…yet published.
    4.Laura Ingalls Wilder; Jodi Picoult (stop. I don’t care if she’s a serial writer…there’s just something there for me)…
    5.The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

  30. 1. A Winters Tale by Mark Helprin. The great American novel.

    2. Tough call… any of a number of Bill Bryson, Roger Angell or Jon Krakauer books could easily make the cut.

    3. I’ve been beaten – really and truly beaten – by only two novels: Joyce’s Ulysses and Wallace’s Infinite Jest. At some point, I’ll go back and give Infinite Jest another shot, but Ulysses? Nope. Not in this lifetime.

    4. This is actually a surprisingly long list, but I’ll throw Dennis Lehane out there and leave it at that.

    5. The single funniest book I ever read – which actually left me gasping for air with tears streaming down my face, despite the fact I was sitting on the subway – may have been Gary Paulson’s Winterdance. It’s about a guy who makes the spectacularly poor decision to run the Iditarod. Hilarity ensues. Seriously.

  31. 1) Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara, 1812 by David Nevin, Ender’s Game by Card

    2) The Arnheiter Affair by Neil Sheehan, In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Howard Rutledge.

    3) If it was that bad, then I doubt I would remember it. I haven’t had any like the recently.

    4) Jeff Shaara and David Nevin

    5) Hmmmm… don’t remember any like that.

  32. The Princess Bride
    On Cooking and Food
    Autumn of the Patriarch (page 14)
    Lots of them. Anne Lamott springs to mind
    Almost anything by Bill Bryson

  33. 1) I have too many favorites to name all of them: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Poisonwood Bible, Middlesex, The Bell Jar, The Corrections, Gone with the Wind, Grapes of Wrath. I could go on and on.

    2) In Cold Blood, A Wolf at the Table.

    3) The Kite Runner and Water for Elephants.

    4) David Sedaris, Laurie Notaro, Jennifer Lancaster, Augusten Burroughs. Do you notice a pattern?

    5) I read Holidays on Ice on a plane once, and kept laughing out loud. The person next to me was annoyed then, but got REALLY annoyed when I got the hiccups from laughing so much.

  34. Ooooh Misfithausfrau, I loved The Corrections!

    1) The Subterraneans comes to mind.
    2) Animal Vegetable Miracle
    3) Middlesex (this shames me)
    4) Margaret Atwood and Oscar Wilde
    5) David Sedaris

  35. 1) Firefly Lane-Kristin Hannah

    2) Eat, Pray, Love

    3) The Genius-Jesse Kellerman (not as good a writer as his parents!)

    4) David Baldacchi, Sue Grafton, John Grisham, Jonathan/Faye Kellerman, Lisa Lutz, James Patterson, Stephen White (Wow I read alot!!)

    5) Revenge of the Spellman’s-Lisa Lutz

  36. 1- A Prayer for Owen Meany. My best friend from high school recommended it and even though the book makes me cry, I think of her every time I reread it.
    2- the music dictionary. Because I am that much of a dork.
    3- Lord of the Rings the third one. I tried. I really did. I didn’t even understand the movie.
    4-David Sedaris.
    5- Holidays on Ice.

  37. 1- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry pratchet.

    2.-Band of Brothers, Ambrose

    3.-I’d rather not say

    4.-Ridley Pearson

    5-. Good Omens (see # 1).

  38. Ooh I like this one! (I majored in English Lit… thank you Cliff Notes)

    1) Once an Eagle -Anton Myrer (could probably list about 50 others)

    2) Blackhawk Down – Mark Bowden

    3) Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

    4) David Sedaris

    5) When You Are Engulfed In Flames – David Sedaris

  39. 1) A Prayer for Owen Meaney – john irving
    2)rage against the meshugenah – Danny Evans
    3)No matter how many times..moby dick
    4)John Irving
    5) I hope they serve beer in hell – tucker max

  40. Ignoring the first two questions (I can never answer those “favorite” questions)…

    3) Kiss of the Spider Woman

    4) Ann Patchett (Bel Canto is among my favorite books)

    5) Everything is Illuminated (Jonathan Safran Foer).

  41. 1) To Kill A Mockingbird

    2) A Walk In The Woods

    3) Next by Robin Cook

    4) Hemingway. I own everything he’s ever written

    5) Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell. Some seriously funny stuff.

  42. 1. Alice in Wonderland

    2. Dang, I can’t remember the title but it was about the chimpanzees that learned how to use sign language.

    3. I can’t remember the name!

    4. Augusten Burroughs

    5. “You Suck, A Love Story”, by Christopher Moore, but only the AUDIO version!

  43. 1) The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

    2) uhhh….umm…

    3) Snow Falling on Cedars

    4) Jodie Picoult; Anita Shreve; Dennis Lehane; Jennifer Weiner

    5) Dry by Augusten Burroughs

  44. 1. The Book Thief
    2. Animal Vegetable Miracle
    3. The Shack
    4. Roald Dahl
    5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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