August 23, 2013

An A to Z Survey

Two weeks ago, The Perpetual Page-Turner created an A to Z survey on all things book-related and encouraged other bloggers to take the survey themselves. When I was a young teen I loved participating in various surveys and questionnaires about anything (although most were related to some fandom or another). I thought it would be fun to participate in this as well! Once again, credit for the creation of this survey and graphic above goes to The Perpetual Page-Turner. Here goes nothing!

Author you've read the most books from:
I was never into super long series at any point, so my best guess here would be Tamora Pierce. I've read all of her Tortall series to date (Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Daughter of the Lioness, and Beka Cooper); that's 17 books total from her.

Best sequel ever: 
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. This sequel just upped the stakes to such an incredible degree. And each subsequent book in the series since then has continued to do so. 

Currently Reading:
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Drink of choice while reading:
Nothing, generally. When I'm reading I don't want to be distracted with food, drink, noise, or anything, really. 

E-reader or physical book:
Physical books! I love my Kindle and the ease of ebooks, but it's never going to get read as much as physical books will. I love being able to pick up old books and flipping to certain passages. I like to refer back to earlier chapters or scenes as I'm reading. Neither of these habits translate well to ebooks, and the whole DRM/licensing issues that ebooks currently face make me wary. 

Fictional character you probably actually would have dated in high school:
I suppose the wording of this question means that my answer should refer to a book that takes place in a contemporary setting. That limits my potential options significantly. But hmm, I think I'd have to go with Jessie de Silva from Meg Cabot's The Mediator series. He's attractive, quite the gentleman, and I loved how he always called Suze "querida." I want to be called querida. I had a legit crush on him when I was a teen and the series he's part of is modern-day, if not completely contemporary.

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Dairy Queen, The Off Season, and Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. These books are about the daughter of a dairy farmer in a small town in Wisconsin who plays football and basketball. Sports are not really my thing, nor are contemporaries. But a few trusted reviewers raved about this series and I liked the fact it's set in my current state, so I gave them a try. So very worth it!

Hidden gem book: 
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst. I actually have no idea what sort of reception/awareness it has with readers, but being a standalone fantasy puts it at a distinct disadvantage. Not many bloggers I know of seem to have read this, but I will continue to sing its praises until it gains the recognition it deserves.

Important moment in your reading life:
Discovering the Harry Potter books along with my fourth-grade class. One of my classmates had gone to London and returned with copies of the first two books, which my teacher proceeded to read aloud to us. Not only was I super early to the Harry Potter craze, but the stories really spoke to me. I just loved everything about them, and it was then that I began reading primarily fantasy and was inspired to start writing myself.

Just finished: 
Austenland by Shannon Hale. Now I have a craving for some Jane Austen, but unfortunately I'm away from my collection. I'll have to read one of her books shortly after returning home!

Kinds of books you won't read:
Erotica. Biographies or auto-biographies. Hard science fiction. Most non-fiction. There are certainly exceptions here, but for the most part I tend to know what I'll like in books and what will turn me away. I just don't want to have to spend time reading a book I'm not that interested in from the beginning.

Longest book you've read: 
I've read my fair share of chunksters. This isn't really a surprise as I have already professed my love of lengthy novels. My best guess, according to Goodreads and scanning my shelves would be A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (1177 pages).

Major book hangover because of:
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. As soon as I finished, I realized that I couldn't just move on to another book--I needed to re-read it and piece everything together myself.

Number of bookcases you own:
Only one! I've never been a huge book-buyer; well, at least not before I started my blog. And I've been fine with leaving my current favorites on my shelves and then moving the rest into easily-accessible boxes in our storage room. Recently, though, I've been looking into buying another bookshelf.

One book you have read multiple times:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This is my absolute favorite fairy-tale retelling ever and I find such comfort in returning to Ella's story over and over again. 

Preferred place to read:
My bed. Nine times out of ten, this is where I'll be found while reading.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” 
 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

I think basically any Dumbledore quote would work just as well here.
Reading regret:
My biggest reading regret is always going to be the knowledge that I cannot possibly read every book I want to, and that some that I would in fact love are going to get passed by.

Series you've started but need to finish (all books are out in the series):
The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. In 2012 I read and enjoyed Finnikin of the Rock enough to buy a copy of that, along with copies of Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn. I plan on doing a series binge and reading all three in a row.

Three of your all-time favorite books:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Graceling & Fire by Kristin Cashore.
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.

Unapologetic fangirl for:
The Lord of the Rings series. I'm not as big a fangirl as I used to be, but I have read the original trilogy, the its prequel The Hobbit many times, watched the film versions countless times, own dozens of board game and book tie-ins, and have a shrine devoted to Orlando Bloom as Legolas... Okay, the last one was a joke. But there was a time not that long ago where I devoured everything LotR-related that I could, and I still have a heavy appreciation for Tolkien's epic fantasy saga.

Very excited for this release more than all the others: 
Shadowscale by Rachel Hartman. February, come sooner!

Worst bookish habit:
Probably how anal I am about the maintenance of my books. I get upset if I own books from series in different formats, different sizes, different editions, etc. It also upsets me when my book spines get broken, so I end up reading trade paperbacks opened as little as possible. These OCD tendencies many times lead me to spend extra money on books (I'd rather have new and matching) and super judgmental of the conditions of others' books. The only exception here is with library books, whose varying conditions don't bother me. 

X marks the spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: 
The Oxford Book of American Poetry edited by David Lehman. I bought this chunkster for a poetry-based creative writing course. I've read only a small fraction of its contents, but I do love returning to poetry when I'm in the right mood.

Your latest book purchase:
Preordering Rae Carson's The Bitter Kingdom! I'm looking forward to reading the final two Fire and Thorns installments back-to-back. 

Zzzzz-snatcher book. Last book that kept you up way too late:
I don't really end up staying up super late to read books anymore. I have work during the week and on the weekends I still am used to going to bed at a relatively decent time and then waking up on the early side. So I'm guessing the last one was Neal Schuesterman's Unwind. After that one scene, I needed to see how everything resolved. Also, I knew that if I fell asleep after reading that I'd have nightmares.

That was fun. If you've also done this, please link me up to your survey! 
author image


Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. I think every blogger prefers physical books and that makes me happy :D I love my e-reader, but paperbacks are the best. I really want to read Vessel. Discovering HP was an important moment for me too. No book-buyer? Wow, I applaud for you. I buy way too many books :p


    1. Reading is such a physical experience, really. I think basically anyone will agree to that! (Or at least any serious reader.)
      And Vessel is phenomenal. I highly recommend it.
      Blogging has definitely made me worse in buying books more frequently haha. But I'm trying to be good and not buy too, too many. :)

  2. I love your responses, Amanda! Yay for giving DQ a chance and loving Fire, not to mention I'm a total LotR fangirl as well. ;) Also, I need another bookshelf as well. I only have one and that is BAD. My books are in boxes all around my room, which is driving me up the wall. Anyway, I love this questionnaire! I still have to finish mine, but it's so much fun!(:

    1. I kind of wish I was into blogging when I was LotR crazy. It would have been fun. But then I realize that I probably would have posted far too many cringe-worthy things haha. So it's probably for the best. But still my favorite movie series ever and I love the books. :)
      Yeah, at least I don't keep my excess books in my room...makes me think I have my books under control haha.
      It was definitely fun to do. I look forward to reading yours!

  3. Hey, thanks for this meme. I am actually a regular reader of your blog, and your post inspired me to put up my own survey here:

    1. I'm glad this post helped inspire you. And thanks for speaking up - I'll definitely stop by your post and blog!

  4. Ooh, Jessie's a really good choice for book boyfriend. A lot of Meg Cabot's male characters would have been good to date in high school!

    I've still not read Ella Enchanted, I must put that on my list.

    Here's my survey.


    1. I know, right? Jessie is perfection. I haven't read too many other of Cabot's books, so I can't really speak to them.
      And please do! Ella Enchanted is fabulous. I get as much out of it now (or even more) than I did when I first read it at 10 years old.

  5. I still kind of wish I had done this survey because it does look like it's fun--but I think it's too late--it's all passe now;)

    Your reading tastes in what you WON'T read are similar to mine. I have read a couple of erotica books-just to see what the fuss was about--but they'll never be my thing, and most biographies and memoirs bore me to tears. Hard sci fi and non fiction aren't faves either.

    I love the Dumbledore quote. I agree with you on Dairy Queen even if I've only read the 1st book. I like to read in bed too, but I do stay up very late sometimes reading books:) I only own one bookcase, but I recently re-arranged it and actually got all my books off of the floor in front of it, hooray! I'm excited for Shadowscale too! And the mention that that one George RR Martin book is 1177 pages long is just another reason why that series scares the crap out of me :)

    Fun reading your list!

    1. Psh, you can totally still do it, Heather! You should consider it. :)
      My one bookshelf goes through near-constant rearranging haha. Literally every few months. I need to have my favorites there ready to be reread at any point in time!
      I am weird in that long book don't freak me out at all - I think it comes from being a lifelong fan of high fantasy. You've got to expect some lengthy tomes reading that genre. BUT I still think you should give Martin's works a try. They're easy to read and fast moving, considering their length.

  6. Great survey!
    And you're so right about quotes by Dumbledore. I can't remember any of them to carry along with me, but I know he definitely makes a kid think :)

  7. I haven't read anything by Tamora Pierce and I feel like I'm a huge failure! I think I need to make her a priority. Where do I begin, though? So much goodness on this survey. I felt exactly as you did after Jellicoe Road. It is a forever favorite. MWT is an amazing author, though I prefer book 3. And I hope you love books 2 and 3 in back to back. That's the way to do those for sure. I LOVE the series so much, and I hope you do too!

    1. Start at the beginning with Pierce - with the Alanna series! And you need to read her stuff, it's all so good.
      And thanks! I plan on it. So much Marchetta goodness to be enjoyed. :)

  8. Oh my goodness! I, too, had a major book hangover after finishing Jellicoe Road. That book was just such a surprise for me. I knew everyone raved about it, but I had no idea what I was in for with that one.

    Also, I laughed about how specific you are about the condition of your books! I can be like that, which is why I almost never loan out books. And if I do? It's typically a book that I didn't love because if I loved it, it's not going home with anyone else. Haha!


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I strive to make my blog the very best it can possibly be and I appreciate each and every comment on here.