Day 20 – Favorite kiss
I can’t answer this one. My memory fails me.
This meme is really reminding me of just how bad my memory is. (Ha.) I mean, I remember going all gooey over Sorry and Meg kissing in The Changeover, and I was all FINALLY when Lizzie and Darcy got it on… did Hazel and Owen ever actually kiss? I don’t recall. But… yeh. I like teh kissing, but for whatever reason it doesn’t tend to stick in my head.
Day 19 – Favorite book cover
I don’t own of them, but the new Penguin covers have me pining for more shelves and the money to buy all of them, just because they look so pretty together.
I’ve also been trying to upload an image of Feminist Philosophy and Science Fiction, but on that task I have FAILED.
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Another impossible question for me to answer, because I really don’t tend to pay that much attention to opening scenes. That is, obviously they’re important, because a bad scene will put me right off. But I still have a niggling sense that starting a book means finishing it, so I probably give books more leeway than perhaps I ought. Pawn of Prophecy, the first book of the Belgariad, starts off in a seriously boring way, but I still kept reading… several times.
That said, when you realise that Jane Austen is actually writing from an ironic point of view, the classic “It is a truth universally acknowledged…” sets the scene of Pride and Prejudice brilliantly. Especially in light of Mrs Bennett. And Tansy Rayner Roberts’ opening scene of Power and Majesty – a young girl waking up to see naked men falling out of the sky – is certainly an attention-grabber.
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
New Space Opera 1, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Gardner Dozois, 2007
Discovering that there was a name for my favourite sort of sf was a major revelation. It turns out I adore good space opera. You get social drama and galaxy-spanning adventures and, usually, some awesome explosions. Winner! NSO brings together a whole bunch of very awesome writers with quite different takes on the genre, and it creates a rather heady mix of galactic civilisations, marvelous characters, and twisty crunchy plots.
Daughters of Earth, edited by Justine Larbalestier.
A collection of women’s science fiction from the twentieth century, basically one a decade from the 1920s, accompanied by a critical essay examining it in the context of its times and its impact on the field as a whole. It’s marvellous and introduced me to amazing stories, more writers I need to read, and incredibly interesting ways of thinking about science fiction as a field.
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
There is basically no competition here, for me.
Holy Sonnet No.10, John Donne
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
I used to know this off by heart. I should remind myself of it more often.
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Depends entirely on my mood and why I need comforting.
I’ve recently been reading all the Eddings I can get my hands on; that’s been pretty comforting.
Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret are comforting because they’re so easy to read and I love the characters – and the romance.
Hmm. You know what? Embarrassing admission: I think the comforting books are the ones with romances I enjoy. So, in movies I like Han&Leia, I like The Fifth Element for all the awesome action and explosions but so much for the love-angle… and this goes on, and on, in many of my favourite flicks. So I think the same thing applies to books (see previous posts – The Changeover etc). However, I’ve realised in thinking about this question that actually, my recent re-reading of Eddings aside, I haven’t done much comfort RE-reading in a long, long time. I tend to read new stuff instead – new for me, anyway. Which is… interesting. Although I am now feeling the love of the re-read, and am wondering about diving back into the Deathstalker series….
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book
This is an impossible question to answer!
Beldin – for being so rude, and so utterly wonderful at the same time. I wish Eddings had put in some actual profanity.
Lizzie Bennett – well, duh. I want to BE her.
Aragon. Just because.
Lady Macbeth – so strong, so loving, so loved, and so utterly tragic.
Kassa Daggersharp – she has a birthmark the colour of dried blood.
Kristy Thomas – because not being fashionable, and being a loud-mouth, doesn’t prevent you from having friends and being really quite awesome.
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
The Changeover is up there… as is The Neverending Story. The Changeover is awesome because it portrays a fairly realistic girl, and her relationship with her little brother is also very realistic. And then there’s Sorry, the witchy boy who comes to her aid… and his mother, who is just brilliant.
The Neverending Story is way, way better than its film adaptations, much as I quite liked the first one (and watched the second because of a Jonathan Brandis crush). Complex and sympathetic characters, things going wrong at every turn, but ultimately a marvelous resolution. And the writing is so vivid and entrancing, it amazes me that it’s in translation.
Also, I’d like to put in a plug for Avocado Baby. Most awesome picture book in the world (closely followed by Where is the Green Sheep? and Myrtle the Turtle, which I cannot find ANYWHERE.) Feed your babies avocado, people, and they will become superhumanly strong!
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Lord of the Rings – once a year for a few years, less often more recently.
I know, I know… lots of you will be rolling your eyes… but I. Don’t. Care.
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Terminal World, by Alastair Reynolds
I could just send you to my review over here… Basically, I adore everything else Reynolds has every written, so when this didn’t live up to my hopes I was mildly devastated. I put it down to it not being set in space. And he wasn’t sure how to go about ending it: the conclusion went nowhere, and left way too many questions.