Saturday, September 5, 2015

Curious Wren Blog Party Tag

 My Twitter writing friend Annie Hawthorne set up shop in the blogosphere the other week. Curious Wren, her blog, promises to be filled with reading and writing chats of epic proportions and I heartily recommend that you hop over there and get acquainted. She gave away stuff- sorry, this didn't go up soon enough to advertise the giveaway- and has created this wonderful book-themed blog tag.

1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it? The last book I finished was It Took a War by Emily Ann Putzke— a Civil War story of growing up and family relationships. I would heartily recommend it to people of all ages. It's a good one.

2. Describe the perfect reading spot. Well... it all depends on the weather and amount of insects infesting my backyard. When it's warm out, there is nothing quite like sprawling out on a quilt in the backyard and burying yourself in a good book. But if insect and weather forbids, I will read pretty much anywhere inside the house— at my desk, on the floor, on the sofa, on my bed, on my parent's bed, or sitting on the kitchen counter.

3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers? Again, it really depends on the weather. I have been known to drink all of those while reading and writing. Well, except for that last one. ;)

4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
   "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

   "They were right upon him, a thunder of hooves that seemed to fill the universe; black manes streaming against the sky; the team that he had called his brothers, only two days ago. He hurled his shield clanging among them, and side-stepped, looking up into the grey face of Cradoc, the charioteer. For one splinter of a time their eyes met in something that was almost a salute, a parting salute between two who might have been friends; then Marcus leapt in under the spearman's descending thrust, upward and sideways across the chariot bow." - The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

   "He floated out, and I leaped three feet. A dashed difficult thing to do, when you're sitting in an armchair, but I managed it.
   "'Jeeves!' I yelled.
   "But he had gone, leaving not a wrack behind." - The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse

   "We make art because we like art. We're drawn to certain kinds of work because we're inspired by people doing that work. All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction." - Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic? My favorite fantasy would definitely have to be The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. I love that book. Dystopia? I don't think I've ever read anything that classifies in that genre. There are a few I am considering trying at some point, though. Contemporary? Excuse me, while I wrack my brain for a moment. Ummm... I don't think I have a favorite contemporary novel. I have only read a few and those didn't strike me well enough to become a favorite. Better read up on that genre too. Sic-fi? *raises hand* Does Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans by Walter R. Brooks count? That is one of my favorites from the whole Freddy the Pig series. Classic? Dear me. There are too many to count. I recently finished Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens and that made my favorites list, so I'd like to mention it. I also have great affection for Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from. First, without a shadow of doubt, is Agatha Christie. I have three volumes of five-in-one editions, a slew of old paperback editions, and a mix of reprints. Second, is Brock and Bodie Thoene. I own their WWII series and I'm missing only one book from their Zion Chronicles series. Third, would probably have to be Marguerite Henry.

7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature? I am still sorting my thoughts out on this. I was fine with the way C.S. Lewis handled magic in his Chronicles of Narnia. He was very definite about good and evil, and I like those lines to be very clear. Tolkien handled it pretty well, too. Overall, though, I don't run into magic a lot in literature because I mainly read historical fiction.

8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images. Oh, I do love a good book cover! Anyone else go to Barnes & Noble to gape at the beautiful covers of the new releases? Or spend hours drooling on Goodreads? Well, I firmly believe a good cover is essential to any book's success. Let's face it, if you like the cover there is a higher chance you're going to pick it up and read the back cover blurb. I have enjoyed some of the newer covers I've spotted over the last year. There has been a trend towards minimalistic covers and I've loved a number of those. But, I'm usually pretty varied. I just cannot stand most book covers from the 1970s/80s/90s. Sorry. Just, no. Here are a few covers that have captured my attention. (Quick disclaimer: I haven't read two of these books and, therefore, can't say whether I would recommend or endorse them. If I've read it, I'll post the link to my review or Goodreads rating below.)

pictures via Goodreads
My review of The Prince of Fishes
My rating of The 39 Steps

9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this. Richard Hannay. I think this is heavily influenced by the fact that I just posted the cover of The 39 Steps above and my mother just finished reading the book. Anyhow, he was a good chap in that book and I am on the hunt for the second book in John Buchan's Richard Hannay Series.

10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies? I have only lent out a book to someone outside of my family once. Let's just say I anxiously awaited its safe return. Generally, I don't go around letting people borrow my books. Well, to be honest, I've only been asked if someone could borrow a book once. I prefer not to.


  1. So I just found your blog and it's so pretty and gorgeous and I'm in love with it already. <3
    (I love the highlights of the yellowww. :D)

  2. Aw, thank you so much, Katie! Design credit, though, goes to my older sister. Didn't she do a great job?


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