I Dare Ya book tag

I’ve seen this little survey on various blogs – I got it from Kristin, but Tanya and Audrey have also done it. I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but I wanted to play anyway.

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I have a lot of books I was given when I was little and I obviously can’t remember which one was first, but I’m going to go with The Wind in the Willows. I’ve linked to a random version. Mine has a different illustrator. Also, I’ve lost the dust jacket.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Currently reading The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler. The last book I read was Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling, book two in the Haunt series. And as for next read… do you seriously expect me to know that already? Let’s just go with it will be one of these:

to-read shelves

Or one of the ones that have crept onto the shelf above because apparently two to-read shelves aren’t enough?

What Books Did Everyone Like, but You Hated?

The Catcher in the Rye – although I am starting to find a few other people who disliked it now. I spent the entire book waiting for the story to start but then nothing ever actually happened. I was in my 20s when I read it so maybe you have to be a teenager to understand? I also hated Wuthering Heights. I read half of it three times before finally finishing it then immediately giving it to a charity shop.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Most of the books on my non-fiction shelf. I am absolutely terrible at reading non-fiction, even if it’s a subject I’m really interested in.

What book are you saving for retirement?

Um, none. I mean I plan to read as much as possible once I retire but there are no books I’m saving specifically for that time. Maybe I’ll finally get to all those classics that really intimidate me?

Last page: read it first or wait ’til the end?

I have a colleague who always reads the end first then only reads the rest of the book if she likes how it ends. I just don’t get that. I would never read the last page before even starting the book!

Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Hmm, I don’t think it’s a waste of paper necessarily but some of them are so long. If it’s like a little paragraph I might read it, but an entire page just listing random people? Eh, no thanks.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Lucy from the Narnia books. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but when I was little I was convinced Narnia was a real place and I was desperate to go there.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (place, time, person)?

The Chalet School books remind me of my grandma’s house because that’s where I fist discovered them – one of my aunts had left a couple there from when she read them as a child and I found them one visit and devoured them. My grandma then let me keep and thus my collection was born. I have most of them now but there are still gaps. Also, Agatha Christie reminds me of my step-mum but that’s mostly because I inherited her collection. I never actually discussed them with her when she was alive or anything. They’re currently all in boxes at my dad’s house but I will get them over here one day.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

My dad used to work for a recycling plant, specifically on the belt sorting the stuff that could actually be recycled from everything else – you wouldn’t believe the crap people put in their recycling bins! And I don’t just mean as in “yes pizza boxes are theoretically cardboard but we don’t recycle things that are covered in grease and old cheese”. There are people out there who just use them as an extra rubbish bin – many dirty nappies came down the belt and my dad once told a story of a dead rabbit in a carrier bag. Like, what? Anywaaaay… many, many people throw their unwanted books in the recycling bin (😢😢) and my dad “rescued” tonnes of them from the belt. I got my pick of which ones I wanted. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett and Bridget Jones’s Diary are two I remember. Some were in not the best condition but others you could barely tell had been thrown away.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason/to a special person?

I… don’t know? I give people books all the time. Almost everyone gets books from me for Christmas and birthdays. But for a special reason? Not sure. I was planning to give Jan Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada last Christmas as a silly joke present, but since there were no babies there was also no book.

Which book has been with you to the most places?

Presumably any of my childhood books that moved with us while we were in the army. Ooh, I’ve just remembered I have these two personalised books my grandparents got me – “Beverley and Father Christmas on a Sleigh Ride to the Moon” and “The Pussy-Cat’s Picnic” (I’m not 100% sure on the title of the second, but it’s something like that). My address at the time is mentioned in the stories and it’s the one from before me moved to Northern Ireland so those ones. And those should probably have been my answer for question one too. Oh well. Also I know I picked them up from my dad’s last time I was there but I have no memory of unpacking them or putting them anywhere so now I need to figure out what I’ve done with them…

Any ‘required’ reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I actually liked everything we read in high school. There are a few books other people read in high school that my class never did but I have read since and didn’t particularly enjoy – specifically The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies, but they don’t count since I didn’t read them in school (and also still don’t like them). Ohh, wait… I hated Andorra by Max Frisch, which we read for A-Level German. I’ve never re-read it though so no idea what I think now.

Used or brand new?

I don’t mind, as long as it’s readable. Most of my books are used – I could never afford to buy all the ones I read brand new. Especially living in Switzerland! And I don’t own a Kindle, mainly because 99.9% of Kindle books on Amazon tell me they’re not available in my country.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

My grandma bought Jan four Dan Brown books for Christmas one year so of course I read them all. I liked some better than others. They’re quick reads anyway.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

High Fidelity works so much better as a film!

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

The Chocolat books by Joanne Harris always make me want chocolate. Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier made me crave Indian food. Basically any book that has detailed descriptions of people making delicious food makes me hungry.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have one good in real-life friend (who also happens to have a blog) always manages to buy me books I’ve a) never heard of and b) end up loving – one of my favourite books of last year was a book from her. I also always get loads of book recommendations from the Show Us Your Books link-up.

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. outside of your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I very surprisingly ended up loving The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It involves boxing. I could not care less about boxing. But I did very much care about the main character in this book. I would never have even picked it up if it weren’t for the BBC Big Read!

That’s all the questions. If you feel like doing this let me know and I’ll come and have a nosy – I would particularly love to see Kezzie‘s answers to these questions.

Would you rather…? (Travel version)

I’m sure we all remember the old game where you’re given a choice between two difficult (or disgusting!) things and made to pick which one you would rather do if you had no choice. Well, I saw this travel version over on Diana’s blog a while ago and was immediately intrigued, but I’m only getting round to stealing it now. So, without further ado, the questions…

Madeira sunriseScenario: you have a €10,000 budget for your vacation.
Q: Would you rather fly first class for €5,000 and stay in mediocre accommodation; or stay in luxury accommodation for €3,000 and fly economy?
Hmm, luxury accommodation isn’t that important to me (I only use the room for sleeping and showering!), but then again neither is flying first class. Unless I was flying to Australia or something, in which case a more comfortable seat might help. I think I’ll pick the luxury accommodation option though purely because that leaves me with extra money to spend on experiences during my holiday (I’m just assuming luxury accommodation+economy flight comes to less than first class flight+mediocre accommodation).

Q: Would you rather have an all expenses paid trip to a small town in the Netherlands with your best friends or an all expenses paid trip to your dream destination with your frenemy?
Well, I’m not sure I have a “dream” destination – there are many places I’m desperate to go to – and I had a fabulous time when I visited my friend in Delft a few years ago. Plus I don’t actually live in the same country as any of my friends right now, so the choice is pretty simple. Give me the small town in the Netherlands with friends please!

Q: Would you rather have a cup of tea with Jon Hamm or Josh Homme? (Diana changed this question to “Would you rather have a beer with the cast of parenthood or the original grey’s anatomy cast?” but I’ve never watched either so I’ve reverted back to the original question).
I’ve never actually heard either name, but googling tells me Jon Hamm stars in Mad Men (never watched it) and Josh Homme is the lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age. I like Queens of the Stone Age so I choose him 🙂

Q: Would you rather never take the train or never take the aeroplane again?
(Sorry, but I had to change airplane to aeroplane!). This is actually really difficult! Never be able to quickly get to England again if there was a family emergency or no more day trips? I suppose I’d have to choose never taking the train again and then learn to drive so I can get to the office once a month! I’m assuming trams also count as trains, but luckily I can also take the bus into town from where I live.

Q: Would you rather spend a full day with a thief or with a beggar?
Beggar. I would get them a shower, new clothes and a hot meal and ask them how they ended up in that situation. After having my purse stolen in Paris (with the only photo I owned of my step mum!) I would probably punch the thief!

Scenario: you have won a prize with two options, and you can choose either but not both.
Q: Would you rather spend a year in the USA with a monthly stipend of $1,000 or be ten minutes on the moon?
I have no interest in going to the moon, but a whole year in America sounds like a lot (sorry Americans!). What if I get ill? Would my §1,000 stipend include health insurance – I’ve seen ER guys, I know what happens to uninsured people! I would still choose the US though, and spend the entire year travelling.

Q: Would you rather wake up without your wallet or without your passport and phone?
I had my purse (that’s British English, so it means money holder not handbag!) stolen in Paris and it was horrible! However, cancelling cards, etc. was more annoying than anything else and passports are expensive so I suppose I’d have to wake up without my purse and hope I’d just lost it and it would actually get handed in somewhere!
Q: Would you rather be left behind in the bush on an African safari or Be left behind in the water on a scuba trip?
Both options sound terrifying, but I’m not a great swimmer so the bush would be the better option. I might get mauled by a lion but at least I wouldn’t drown! And hopefully another safari group would eventually come by and find me.
Q: Would you rather loose your luggage but land on time OR land 12 hours late with your luggage intact?
Assuming the late landing was because of a late take off and not because we’d been randomly flying in circles for 12 hours, I’d pick the latter. I’m also basing my answer on the assumption that I’d actually be allowed to leave the airport and wouldn’t be stuck in departures for 12 hours!
Q: Would you rather bike across the US from New York City to San Francisco, or bike across China from Beijing to Tibet?
Umm, I’d really rather not bike anywhere to be honest. I hate cycling! However, since I have to pick one, I want whichever involves the least cycling on the road!

Scenario: you’re stuck on a deserted island, and can only take one book.
Q: Would you rather take the Unbearable Lightness of Being or Dracula?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being because I’ve already read Dracula. I would prefer to have something new (then I’d have to ration myself to only a few pages a day to make it last longer!)

Q: Would you rather be able to teleport to places you’ve been to or only be able to teleport to places you’ve never been before?
Places I’ve already been. Much as I love visiting new places, being able to quickly teleport home if a family member was seriously ill, for example, decides this one for me. If I wasn’t so far from home the decision would be more difficult…


Q: Would you rather be stuck on a seven-hour delay, or turn up at the airport and realise your flight is tomorrow?
Turning up a day early actually sounds like something I would do! Hmm, I think I’d prefer the embarrassment of being early to being stuck in an airport for seven hours. I just hope it would either be the flight out (so I could just go home) or I’d be able to easily find a new hotel room in whichever city I was in.

Phew, finished. That was hard work! If you feel like doing the tag, please let me know in the comments so I can see your answers! The tag originally appeared here.