Five Questions

This week’s Booking Through Thursday

1. Do you have a favorite author?

My favourite writers are Virginia Woolf and F Scott Fitzgerald. Not only because I respect and admire their writing, but also because I am fascinated by their lives.

EDIT: I can’t believe I forgot so many! There’s also Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, just to name a few. And I might as well throw in J K Rowling, since I have that fetid – and completely unhealthy – obsession with Harry Potter.

2. Have you read everything he or she has written?

I think I prefer to name favourite books (i.e. individual works) rather than the collective ‘favourite authors’, because I’ve never read the complete works of any author. I’ve read two novels by Woolf – Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse – and a collection of her short stories (Monday or Tuesday) as well as extracts from her journals. As for Fitzgerald, I’ve only read The Great Gatsby and a couple of his short stories.

3. Did you like everything?

Almost. Mrs Dalloway and The Great Gatsby are among my favourite books, but I detested To the Lighthouse.

4. How about a least favorite author?

Probably Ernest Hemingway; although I can’t really say because I never really gave him a fair go. I once attempted A Farewell to Arms and was less than enamoured, but it was during exams and I didn’t allow myself to really concentrate on what I was reading. I’ll be reading more Hemmingway in the coming year, so I’ll just have to wait and see.

5. An author you wanted to like, but didn’t?

Henry James, without a doubt. No matter how hard I tried to like A Portrait of a Lady and What Maisie Knew, I just found him incredibly dense and boring. Dickens used to fall into this category, but he’s starting to grow on me.

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21 thoughts on “Five Questions

  1. Funny thing about Hemingway, I’ve read all of his novels; I had to for a college course. I did not like any of them. However, I’ve read most of his short stories, and I love those!

  2. Sally – that’s interesting. I’m always the opposite – love the novels, feel so-so about the stories. I think I’m just not a short story person :)

    Sher – I felt bad about it too! That’s why I’m going to try and read more of him next year~

  3. Hemingway wasn’t horrible… it just was a lot of discussion about traveling in a foreign country where he went, what it looked like, what it tasted like, about these characters around the narrator that really… i don’t know… they were interesting but they just didn’t have an intriguing enough of a tale to them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book and I’m glad I read it… just, I envisioned so much more.

    S

  4. Well I guess I’m also fascinated by the author’s life, that made me liking Cecilia Ahern. It’s inspiring ya..
    Have a great Thursday & Happy Reading!!!

  5. Poor Hemingway! I’ve only read ‘The old man and the sea’ (nice and short!) and it was great.

    I’m glad you found ‘To the lighthouse’ difficult too. I found that incredibly difficult, even by Woolf standard. I didn’t like ‘The Great Gatsby’ but I find Fitzgerald’s life fascinating too. To live in the decadent era… I have ‘Tender is the Night’ on the TBR pile and Penguin has just released a new volume of his short stories with ‘Benjamin Button’. (no, i don’t work for Penguin…i wish…)

  6. Sher – actually, your description makes Hemingway sound very intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading his work now :)

    Marianne – thanks for dropping by; happy BTT to you too~

    Kat – Hm, maybe I’ll try the short stories then. I’ll take him in small doses first!

    Beth F – I think I’m starting to like Dickens too, and I like the idea of James. I’m pretty sure Hemmingway will grow on me.

  7. JonJon – Don’t think I’ve ever heard of Cecilia Ahern, but yes. Sometimes I find the writers’ lives just as inspiring than their novels..

    Yvonne – I don’t suppose I can really say I’ve read Hemmingway either, seeing as I gave up on ‘A Farewell to Arms’ after one half-hearted attempt :)

    aspiringgeek – I know! He’s had quite a battering today. Ugh, yes. To the Lighthouse; I tried so hard to like that book after reading Mrs Dalloway but the characters frustrated me so much I couldn’t keep going. And yes, I think that’s what I loved about Gatsby. The way he captured the decadence of the Roaring Twenties.. Tender is the Night is also on my TBR list! (I wish I worked for Penguin too – their cover designs are gorgeous)

    bluestocking – just checked your list; seems we have a lot in common! Can’t believe I forgot Austen. *rolls eyes*

  8. Like you, I’m interested in the lives of writers, sometimes to the exclusion of their actual writing :) Woolf is one of those – her journals are among my favorites. Her nephew Quentin Bell, wrote quite the definitive biography, if you’re interested in that.

  9. Becca, I think I put down Bell’s biography for the 2009 Themed Readng Challenge – my theme is ‘nonfiction writings by/about artists’. I’ll also be re-reading Woolf’s journals for that challenge :)

  10. I hate to say I don’t read Virginia Woolf and F Scott Fitzgerald enough. I’ll set to re-read Mrs Dalloway because I want to re-read The Hours.

  11. Gatsby is another book I keep thinking I should like because it seems like everyone adores it, but I just didn’t. I have yet to make it through a Virginia Woolf book I’m ashamed to say. Her style doesn’t fit with me. But your other favorites I adore! Enid Blyton’s Adventure series is still one of my favorites:)

  12. gautami – I know! I felt the same way when I realised I’d forgotten her

    The Social Frog – that’s what I love about books: there’s always more to explore :)

    Matthew – considering they’re my favourite writers, I don’t read enough of them either! I’ve been meaning to read more of them, but my TBR piles just keep growing taller and taller ….

    Mary Beth – I’ll admit I didn’t care much for the characters in Gatsby (except Daisy; I really liked her for some odd reason), but Fitzgerald’s writing is so divine.

    As for Woolf, I have to make an effort with her because I find my mind wanders easily when reading stream-of-consciousness, but again, her writing is so wonderful.

    Ooh, I loved the Adventure series too! Those, and the Magic Faraway Tree books!

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