The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Reading Whys, Whats, and Hows: A 2012 Retrospect

         This post has been languishing in my blog line up for a couple of years.  The end of the year seems like as good a time as any to do this.   I originally found this at Kimberly Loomis's The Perpetual Writer and thought it might be of use someday.  It seems I'm on a reading related roll at the moment--see my next few posts coming up.

          To spare you readers, I'm going to cut the original line of questions in half.  Fifty-five questions were a bit much.  I'll give my answers to twenty-six of them.

A Brief Overview of my Reading Interests, etc:

1. Favorite childhood book?   When I was in second grade my parents gave me The Way, the Truth, and the Light, an art book of religious paintings by Ralph Pallen Coleman.  I spent many an hour studying the illustrations and reading the text.  I still have this book and it is in my office bookshelf.

Pirate Latitudes

2. What are you reading right now?   I've just started Pirate Latitudes by Michael Chrichton.   I found the hardback copy for a dollar at my local Dollar Tree store.   I couldn't resist the bargain especially considering that I almost purchased it for full price when it first came out.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?    A while back I used to always have books and videos on request at my local library.  Currently they are building a new library and I don't care to go to the next closest one.  Actually I have so many unread books here at home that it may be a while before I get any library books.  I don't think the building will be finished for another year anyway, judging from the progress they've been making.

4. Bad book habit?     My bad book habit is not reading them enough.  I'm a slow sporadic reader.

5. Do you have an e-Reader?    No e-Reader, but I do occasionally read a book on my PC when someone sends me one for review.   I really do prefer real books that I can keep.

6. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?   With my limited mind power and ability to remember I prefer to stick with one book.  If I am reading one on the computer I'll usually have a hard copy book to read when I'm not on the computer.

7. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?    Actually yes, I've been reading more books, partly because I've been reviewing them.   But I still read as slow as I ever did.

8. Least favorite book you’ve read this year?   This is something I won't go into here since I don't want to name names in this respect.  I admire anyone who has put an honest effort into a book fully believing in what they were doing.  This year every book I recall reading fits that description.  They are all winners in one way or another.

Bohemia9. Favorite book you’ve read this year?   I went on about this one in my last post.  The book that I read in 2012 that was most to my liking was Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby.  It's a matter of personal taste.  This is the kind of style and story that I can most appreciate.

10. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?   Probably half the books I read these days would fit in this category.  I like to be a well-rounded reader.   Now with authors sending me books for review I've been reading more books that I would most likely not have read on my own.  See my post upcoming on Friday for more on this topic.

11. What is your reading comfort zone?   Whatever reads with flow and doesn't insult me, my intelligence, or beliefs that I hold dear.   I'll give just about anything a chance and I try to read with an open mind.

12. What makes you love a book?    A book that makes me think, stimulates my imagination, and sticks with me long after I've finished it--that's the kind of book I love.

13. What’s your favorite fiction genre to read?   Literary fiction that is not overly pretentious and certain Christian fiction.

14. Favorite biography?   I enjoy good biographies.  Two that come to mind are Born Standing Up by Steve Martin and a biography about Al Jolson that I forget who the author was.

15. Have you ever read a self-help book?  This is a category for which I have a weakness of sorts.  I used to buy them frequently, but actually have only read a few of the ones I bought.

16. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?    Andrew Leon offered a nice Tossing It Out guest post on this topic back in the summer.  Later I followed up with my own thoughts.   Bottom line is that I'll do negative when it's called for, but I try to put as positive spin on it as I can by looking for the good as well as the bad.  I think honesty is important.

17. Favorite poet?   Yvonne Lewis of course!  You can find her at Yvonne's World of Poetry.

18. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?  I always bring at least one book about writing (just in case), a Bible, and a few novels that could vary in genre (whatever strikes my fancy when I'm packing).

19. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?  The computer and blogging.  Then there's my biggest reading nemesis--getting sleepy.

20. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?  First ones that come to mind are Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and James Dickey's Deliverance.

21.   Most disappointing film adaptation?  I loved the book Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins.  I was so let down by the movie version.  It was a stinker as I recall and I've never tried to watch the whole thing again.  It was on television a few months ago, but I could only watch a few minutes of it.

22. The most money I’ve spent at a bookstore at one time?  When I had greater economic liquidity I spent a good amount through mail order--often as much as $100 at a shot.  I don't think that I ever spent much more than $50 in a book store unless I was also buying things like DVD's.  Now I don't buy many books unless I find ones that I want at Dollar Tree or some such place.  Five books for $5 isn't too bad of a deal.

23. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?   I get kind of obsessive about finishing what I start so I have rarely stopped halfway through a book.  If a book is really, really, really boring and annoying I might give up, but that has rarely happened.

24. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?   I won't say I've been avoiding it, but for some reason I've yet to get around to reading it.  Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is within arm's reach of my writing desk and I've owned the book since high school.  I think I need to finally read this. It's not even as long as Stephen King's Under the Dome and I read that one relatively fast and reviewed here.

25. Name a book you didn’t expect to like, but did.   Dee Ready's Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats & Their Humans, which has now been reissued in a revised edition as A Cat's Legacy: Dulcy's Story, didn't sound very appealing to me since I'm not a big fan of cats.  This book turned out to be a big surprise.  You can read more about my thoughts on this book at the post "A Surprising Book".

26. A book you expected to like, but didn’t?    The Shack:  You can read my thoughts on this here.

          As I've mentioned, I will be discussing reading and genres in my next few posts including the #IWSG post coming on Wednesday.   In the meantime---

Have a Slam Bang Heck of a Happy New Year!!!

Me?  I'll probably be going to bed early for New Year's Eve.   Thanks for spending so much of 2012 with Tossing It Out.

        What's your New Years plans?   Any thoughts about reading or genres?

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  1. Excellent answers to so many questions and a BIG THANK YOU for the mention, much appreciated.

    I too will be in bed as 2013 makes it's entrance so likewise HAPPY NEW YEAR.


  2. Oh Arlee, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only slow reader out there! And yes, sleepiness is my arch enemy, too. I don't care how exciting or how good a book is, I just can't read very long without eyelid droopage. I think it's because I'm getting older - when I was young I could read all night. But then, I could do a lot of things all night back then!!! Speaking of which, I'll be lucky to stay up past midnight to see the new year in.

    Here's hoping 2013 brings many, many good things to you, Arlee! Thanks for being such a positive internet presence and a friend to so many. Happy New Year!

  3. I always keep my library book request list as full as I can - we're allowed up to 5 holds at a time. :)

    I've got a breakdown post of the Standout books I read in 2012 coming later this week. It was fun to look back on the ones I really enjoyed.

    Happy New Year!

  4. That's a whole lot of book thoughts!
    Not a fast reader either. And way too many books waiting for me on my iPad.
    Bible always travels with me, as it's an app on my iPad.
    And I confess I don't like Asimov. I find his work boring and dry. Good luck reading his trilogy.
    Happy New Year, Lee!!

  5. Foundation is definitely worth reading. Pick it up now!

    Wishing you a great 2013.

    Moody Writing

  6. Happy New Year, Lee, and don't you just love it when you find a book you wanted to buy, but for a cheaper price!

  7. Happy New Year!

    I'm just a slow reader and if I really like the book I draw it out because I don't want it to end or I want something to happen.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  8. LEE, that was interesting. I liked the questions, and I enjoyed reading your answers.

    Maybe you should consider posting the other questions that you omitted from this blog bit and your answers to them in another, future blog bit.

    Happy New Year to you, McBuddy!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: If you find the time, maybe check out my latest blog bit, 'ANOTHER CHIRISTMAS STORY' (Or, 'I SENSE DEAD PEOPLE'), at 'F-FFF'. I think you might find it intriguing.

  9. Oh, The Shack! Just the mentioning of it makes me cringe. See, I'm cringing!
    Um... I was gonna say something else, but I think The Shack made me forget.

  10. Oh, and Happy New Year! (which is not the thing I am not remembering.

  11. Yvonne -- We have to boost your following again!

    Cathy -- Come to think of it I used to be able to read for much longer stretches before getting sleepy. Thanks for the kind words.

    Madeline -- Too many books and not enough time--a common dilemma for many I'd say.

    Alex - Asimov is such a sci-fi icon, but I've read so little of his work that I don't recall what it's like. Maybe after looking at the first page I've always been reluctant to move on.

    Mood -- A negative and a positive recommendation for Asimov one after the other. I'll have to try to read it soon.

    Dezmond -- I love finding cheap books. When books first come out they can be so expensive!

    Shelly -- I'm probably slow because my mind starts wandering as I think about what I'm reading and then get sidetracked by associated thoughts.

    StMc-- Most of the other questions were fluff or variations on the ones included here. Not much point in going on with them unless I get extremely desperate for blog material which I don't think will happen.


  12. Andrew--- Yeah, I know that you and I had similar reactions to The Shack. And thanks for the happy wishes.


  13. me and reading are at odds with one another at the moment--i don't know when it happened---love this post :)

  14. In my opinion this has been a great year for Tossing It Out and I really can't wait for 2013 to bring more of the same. Great answers too buddy, I'm the same when it comes to E-Readers haha.

  15. Lee-

    I read the Foundation books back in the 70's and liked them then...but science fiction does not hold my interest any more now that I am a cynical and grouchy adult! it's not enough to BUY the self-help also gotta READ them? That's too much work for me...

    See you in '13!


  16. Very interesting to get a look at your eclectic reading list. Not that I need more on my reading list - like you, I'm a sloooow reader and that rather stinks when there are so many books I want to read.

    Happy new year, see ya in 2013. ;)

  17. Lynn -- I always seems to be fighting a losing battle with reading.

    Yeamie-- Thanks, Matthew, for always being here with a good comment. I can always use more like you.

    Larry -- I've kind of become the same way about sci-fi. I like more realism in what I read and it's become more difficult for me to suspend disbelief. I've grown cynical I guess. Yeah, actually reading the self-help crap seems like a bit much doesn't it.

    Nicki -- I'm beginning to feel a bit more secure about my slow reading skill after seeing what good company I am in. Of course, this may not speak well of my generation and those after me.


  18. Fantastic list, Arlee. My favorite poet is probably Sylvia Plath. But I do love poetry. I haven't read that book by Michael Crichton (I've read quite a few of his others). I miss, Michael (gone too early).

  19. thinking you thought that all out... great post to the end of 2012. wishing you the best in 2013.


  20. And there were 29 more questions?? Whew...that was some retrospection. I must say I have picked up reading again as a habit now that I have my Kindle Fire.

    Looking forward to the A-Z! Have a great New Year's, Lee (even if you are going to bed early).


  21. I too loved Born Standing Up. I think it's among the very best celebrity memoirs I've ever read.

  22. Michael -- No one poet that I read regularly. I don't think I've ever read another Crichton book, but I've seen movies based on them.

    Jeremy -- Sometimes the throwaway posts involve the most work.

    Chuck -- Yeah, this was a lot of questions here. To go further was a bit much.

    Kelly -- I'm usually not interested in celebrity memoirs but Steve Martin is a renaissance man whose art and wit I have always enjoyed. The book was a bit short though--I could have read more.


  23. Happy New Year!
    Have the best 2013 ever :)

  24. Happy New Year to you, Lee! Thanks for posting such great things for us all to read! Now I have a bunch of your older posts to check out, after following links from this one. hehe

  25. I'm also a very slow reader, and wish that I could get around to more books. You certainly haven't let it get in your way. It's great that you've written so many reviews, and have been so
    encouraging. Happy New Year Lee!

  26. Carol-- Thanks for your many visits.

    Trisha-- Thank you for following the links and leaving comments. Doesn't happen that often. I'll be sure to leave a response to each comment.

    Julie -- I wish I could read more books as well. I guess I tend to savor them. Thanks for the words of encouragement.


  27. Hi, Lee,

    These are some great questions. I enjoyed learning more about you from your answers. I find it interesting what other writer's preferences are when reading.

    I hope you have a happy and HEALTHY new year. ALL The best for 2013!

  28. Interesting stuff across the board. I did buy an eReader, the Nook, after Christmas and I'm glad I did. I can't see me using it for a lot of books but there's lots of stuff I acquire some way or another that works just great on the Nook. Course I just bought a large, 685 page book that I'm wishing I'd bought on the Nook instead because this sucker's heavy. :-)

  29. Michael -- That's what I like about these memes. You learn a bit more about the bloggers out there.

    Jerry -- I'm already off to a lousy start, but I'm looking forward to the best.

    Mitch -- I think the ereaders would be especially useful for the books that are sent to me to read on the computer.



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