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The New York Times “By The Book” Tag

Another month, another Book Tag. I initially found this one at My Paper Infinity, and through some searching, traced it to Nerdy Talks Book Blog and then finally to its originator, booktuber Marie Berg (it was also done by Rincey Reads). This Tag is inspired by the By The Book column in The New York Times, and each blogger has a slightly different version of this Book Tag, so my version will also be slightly varied. I recommend checking out those blogs, posts, YouTube channels, and column (before or after you read my answers below). Here we go.

What book is on your nightstand now?

There are three: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, and The Norton Anthology of Poetry.

What was the last truly great book you read?

Hmmm, I don’t want to pick just one…but I guess it would have to be Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (I just read it for the first time in October). It. Is. So. Good.

If you could meet any writer (dead or alive) who would it be, and what would you want to know?

Charlotte Brontë, and in addition to J.K. Rowling, Mindy Kaling and Mark Haddon. OKAY I know that’s more than one but I can’t choose just one. I’d want to know more about their ideal writing environment(s), and what they read or listen to when they get writer’s block.

What book(s) might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I don’t think there is one…

How do you organize your personal library?

I have one bookshelf that is filled with books, and those are organized alphabetically by the authors’ last names. My other bookshelf holds my Book of the Month books and hardbacks that don’t fit on that first bookshelf. Most of my books, though, are scattered in random piles throughout my apartment.

What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten around to yet?

There are so many, but I’ll give this one to Animal Farm by George Orwell. Some English classes in my high school read it, but my class did not, and I’ve wanted to pick it up ever since.

Disappointing, overrated, or just not good: what book do you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (or any of Jane Smiley’s books, really). I read A Thousand Acres in college and just couldn’t get into it – even just to appease my Shakespearean professor. I purchased her Last Hundred Years trilogy thinking I would like that (read: thinking I could force myself into liking Jane Smiley), but again, they didn’t grasp me. Nonetheless, I will try rereading these books until the end of time (why am I the way that I am?!).

Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Ugh, yes. The Curtain Falls by Meg North. Victorian Portland, Maine! A curious young girl desperate to learn her mother’s past! A magician! A potentially haunted, deserted theater! A local author! The perfect recipe for a spellbinding novel, but I just couldn’t stick with it. Between the shifty dialogue and the tell-don’t-show patterns in the text, this book really disappointed me.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

I love historical fiction (another reason I was saddened by my dislike for The Curtain Falls), short stories, fantasy, creative non-fiction, and lately I’ve been really into dystopian fiction. Political memoirs may be the only kind of book or story I don’t voluntarily seek out.

If you could require the President to read one book, what would it be?

If I thought he actually read books, could comprehend metaphor and other literary devices, and wouldn’t spend all his time thinking about how small his hands look when holding a book, I would recommend one.

What do you plan to read next?

I have just started reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman, but honestly I am currently reading too many books to plan for another.

There you have it. Let me know what you think about my answers below, and if you do this Book Tag leave a comment so I can read your answers, too!

There's Something About a Book Tag


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