Monday, May 25, 2009

Literature Quiz (this was actually quite fun!)

This is a "quiz" I came across on facebook, and because I enjoy reading so much, I decided to take the time to answer the questions. It was really beneficial for me to do since it brought back a lot of memories of books I had forgotten about, and it allowed me to assess the type of book I want to read more of. I posted it as a note on facebook and tagged several friends, and thought I would share it here on my blog too. Feel free to comment!

1) You own the most books by what author?
I own a lot of books by C.S. Lewis; he is my favorite author. Literary, theological, intellectual, poetic, amusing... you just can't get much better than that.

2) You own the most copies of what book?
I have four different translations of the Bible, three of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and I own two or three copies of many books I read in high school. Sometimes I would buy two copies so I could write and highlight in one and also have a clean, untouched copy. Yes, I am a bit of a word nerd.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
I actually fixed the questions so they don't end with prepositions. :)

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
My response to this question is quite long, so prepare yourself.
This is my first one because I just finished reading Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Of all of the Austen men, Mr. Darcy will always be my favorite. This speaks for itself: "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." Sigh.
Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables is also at the top of my list. He was a loyal friend to Anne for years before anything romantic developed, and truly cared about her-such a gentleman.
Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby is great. I promise I don't have a thing for sketchy literary characters with the inability to cope with their feelings for girls. I just love Gatsby because you had to go through a lot to figure him out, but his life was really centered around Daisy. So sweet!
Laurie Laurence in Little Women is another favorite. Little Women has a special place in my heart because it was the very first novel I read in the second grade. I had a completely mental crush on Laurie while I was reading that book. Jo was my favorite character in the book, and I always wanted her to be with him. He was charming, sweet, and just a great childhood boy to fall in love with. It was an estrogen filled book, so there wasn't much to choose from. From one of my literary mentors, Jo, I realized that I needed to follow my heart, and not a man.
I also have a small crush on Sherlock Holmes-sexy, sexy brain!

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
I prefer to read books once, but I have read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy a few times through. I have also read Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper three or four times. When I was younger I read Charlotte's Web about ten times, I am embarrassed to admit. I was so mesmerized by that story as a child. I have read Bridge to Terabithia two or three times-such a good story. I also used to read L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables books over and over in elementary and middle school. Those books will never grow old, and I most definitely want to share them with my own children someday.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
My favorite book at that age was a book called Half Magic by Edward Eager. I also loved Matilda by Roald Dahl. Humorous fiction books really got me excited, it was like a whole new world to explore.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
This is a tough one to answer. I always try to research a book before I read it, and even if it doesn't tickle my fancy I can usually find some redeeming quality. I guess I would have to say The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker, although I didn't make it through the whole thing. I love Walker, and I liked how she brought in characters from The Color Purple, but this one didn't do it for me. It was a bit too controversial. I really want to read The Color Purple though! I just saw the musical and it was wonderful.

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
One book I am reading right now is, in a word, remarkable. It is a biography about Eudora Welty by her friend Suzanne Marrs. Her life was fascinating and has truly inspired me. I recommend it to anyone.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is by far one of the greatest fictional stories ever told, and one of the most popular and influential written works in twentieth century literature. Once you pick up the first book, you’ll read them all.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Greg Mortenson, who wrote Three Cups of Tea. In addition to writing this bestselling book, he has dedicated his life to promote community-based education and literacy programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially for girls. I haven't read his book yet, but I can just tell he deserves it. :)

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I would love to see The Hobbit made into a movie, although I am pretty sure this one is already in the works.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
I don't have much of an opinion about this. I would prefer to see books made into musicals or plays over movies! :)

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
One dream I recently had involved myself and some of my friends walking through downtown New York City on New Years Eve. We were walking from the upper tip of Central Park towards Times Square so that we could watch the ball drop. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye made an appearance, although he didn't have a huge role in my dream. He was just there walking with my friends, and it seemed like we had known him for years. I have tried to figure out what inspired this dream, and I think it may be because I really want to go back to NYC and just be there in the city. I have thought a lot about the last trip I just took there in December and how much I enjoyed being there with my friends. I have also started re-reading The Catcher in the Rye, so Holden is probably just on the forefront of my mind. Who knows.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
As much as I enjoyed the sweet stories of Sparks's The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, I was frustrated by Message in a Bottle. My opinion of him has changed a lot in the past few years. I admire him for continuing to write, but I think he is largely a good storyteller and not a good writer.

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I have never cried so much in one sitting. It changed my life, but it was difficult because I am really sensitive to sad stories.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've read?
Titus Andronicus, one of his earliest tragedies. If you read it, you would understand, although I do not recommend it. Read Hamlet instead. :)

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Honestly, I can't read either language, so I don't have much to say. I enjoy some of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, so I guess I would have to go with Russian.

18) Roth or Updike?
Updike, if for only his Rabbit novels.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Most definitely Eggers. I haven't read much of his stuff, but I admire his support of teachers and local public schools.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales.

21) Austen or Eliot?
Austen, of course! What female doesn't enjoy Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, or Emma? :)

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I have yet to read Life of Pi by Martel. It has been on my book list for a couple of years, and I just haven't got ahold of a copy yet-I hope to get on that this summer.

23) What is your favorite novel?
I don't have a favorite, although I do have a favorite time period! I love novels that were written in the 1920's. I'm convinced that era would have been a good fit for me.

24) Play?
Am I allowed to pick a musical? :) I really enjoyed The Color Purple-I saw it last week and I was so impressed, and I would love to get ahold of the screenplay. I also loved "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" play and book when I was younger.

25) Poem?
I really like "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou and "There is Another Sky" by Emily Dickinson. I'm not much of a poetry connoisseur.

26) Essay?
The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment by C.S. Lewis, because I am really interested in the topic of capital punishment. I also read an essay by Ezra Pound that I really enjoyed. It was about music, but I can't remember what he titled it.

27) Short story?
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, and Flowers by Alice Walker.

28) Work of nonfiction?
Now we're talking! Nonfiction is my kind of reading. I love, love, love to read biographies, especially about women who changed the world like Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Eudora Welty, and Elisabeth Elliot. There is something empowering about them, and they are always interesting to bring up in conversation. I also enjoy reading books about photography, music, interior decorating, cooking, marketing, social work, psychology, diseases, journalism, travel, ghost stories, politics, apologetics, theology, etc. I have recently been drawn to books about New York, New Zealand, and Kenya, probably because I want to live in all three places at some point in my life. :)

29) Who is your favorite writer?
C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are two of my favorites. I want to write a doctorate dissertation about them someday, if I make it that far in school. Did you know they shared a legendary friendship? :)

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I apologize to those who enjoy her books, but I have to say Danielle Steele. What a load of rubbish.

31) What is your desert island book?
I assume this is referring to that book you pick when you need to escape from the rest of life, like a book you would read while you are on the beach. I would have to say my journal is my desert island book. I journal all the time, and have filled up dozens in my lifetime. I think I would go crazy if I couldn't write my thoughts down on paper!

32) And... what are you reading right now?
I'm one of those people who reads twenty books at one time. I have good intentions to finish them all the way through, but sometimes I get sidetracked and end up picking up another book. It's something I'm working on. :)
Right now, I have a stack of about fifteen books that are required reading for divinity school awaiting me. I have already started two or three and I'm loving them so far, which is a good sign. I'm really intrigued by two books by Foster called Devotional Classics and Celebration of Discipline. I also came across a list of books written by Dr. Braswell and Dr. Hoyle in the Campbell Divinity school that I want to get ahold of and read this summer.
I am also reading a biography about Eudora Welty's life, and I literally cannot put it down. I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for the past few months and I'm almost finished. I have also been working on several books by Elisabeth Elliot. I am currently reading informational books about Lake Norman and Buies Creek that I bought at the beginning of the summer. I think it's important for me to be in the know about the communities I am living in. That's all I can think of right now!

I could go on and on but I think this is a good stopping point. I hope you enjoyed reading some of my thoughts! Good thing it was only about literature and books, and not another topic like music, because this thing would have been twice as long. :)

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