Get to know the reader

So this is something a little different – someone tagged me on my kdrama tumblr in one of those listicle things about reading, and it was actually quite fun to fill up, so I thought I’d share it on here as well:

What’s the most recent book that you’ve read and absolutely fell in love with?

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir was such a strange book but so incredible! I read the blurb at the bookstore, but I had an uncharacteristic amount of self-restraint that day and didn’t buy it…. but then it kept haunting me, so I finally caved and bought it. And I’m so glad I did. 

It’s hard to give a summary of the book because it’s just such a different book – it’s like… fantasy, but sci fi, but goth, and also written in just the most confusing but captivating manner. I’ll give it a shot though: basically, this all takes place in a world with nine planets populated by necromancers. Each planet’s style of necromancing is slightly different, and their ‘champions’ are all brought to the emperor’s… castle? palace? Place of residence? Where they have to…. accomplish something? In the midst of all this, there’s Gideon, who acts as a sort of bodyguard to the necromancer of the ninth planet (hence the title). 

The characters really grow on you, and while I struggled at first to get into the flow of this, it was so so so rewarding. The second book in the series should be out soon, but I’m afraid to read it because then it will be over and I’ll have to wait for the third and ugh why do I pick up ongoing series when I know I’ll just be torturing myself like this.

Do you keep track of how many books you’re reading every month?

Yes! I started using my goodreads account quite religiously when I was in library school, because it helped to keep track of things for a semester long assignment I had to do on picture books, and it sort of became a habit after that. 

What’s your stance on the debate as to whether or not we should dissociate the artist from their art (artist = writer in this case)?

I try to do this as much as possible, but sometimes it’s not so easy. It started from a place not so much of enlightenment or awareness, but a selfish desire – I started following the blog of an author I really liked, and after a while found that I just… couldn’t. Their personal opinions and inane blathering took away some of the magic that their books had given me thus far, and any new books they put out just didn’t hit me the same way anymore. (aside to say that I love inane blathering in other settings!)

As I started to learn more about the world around me, and the injustices in the world, and the very very male eurocentric wash everything has, I feel a personal responsibility to myself to try to seek out art from artists of varied backgrounds, from people who mainstream media may not be giving the boosts they deserve. At the same time though, I’m aware that it’s not fair to impart that label of representation on any artists – just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you should automatically be considered a spokesperson for women everywhere, you know?

On the whole I try to assess a piece of work on its own merit – and I’m a basic ass bitch, so when I say assess, it’s mostly just “do *I* like this? Does it fit my preferences?”. 

Many of my favourite authors were groundbreaking females, and I am continuously discovering minority authors whose works I love. At the same time many of my old favourites were very problematic human beings ( ´△`)

What do you do when you can’t focus on a book?

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I often just put it down and then don’t ever pick it back up again. 

I’ve probably missed out on so many books that I just didn’t meet at the right time, but I console myself with a quote I once heard about relationships: “If he’s not Mr. Right Now, then he’s not Mr. Right”.

There are so many books out there, that I generally don’t carry too much guilt about missing out on things, because there will always be something else in the future.

Do you pay attention to the gender/ethnicity/race/sexuality of the authors you’re reading, aka do you actively try to read books written by diverse writers?

Oops, I already answered this two questions ago. This is why teachers always tell you to read all the questions on the exam before starting.

Paperback or hardcover?

Hardcovers for books to keep in my own collection – they’re so PRETTY. But in general I buy paperbacks because a) cheaper and b) more portable for reading on commutes etc.

Which language would you like to learn just to be able to read its untranslated literature?

Every Japanese translation I’ve read has had infinite layers of beauty. I imagine it must be even more complex and poignant pre-translation.

I’d also love to be able to read Urdu or Hindi to experience the stories of my culture in their intended manner.

Pick up the book that is closest to you. convince me to read it in less than 10 sentences.

Well the only book I keep in my study where I’m “working from home” is my journal from the past couple of years. It does have some really scintillating accounts of office politics and family drama though, plus my pre-marriage jitters and post-marriage bliss, so I suppose it might make an interesting into the psyche of me if you were curious?

Not tagging anyone, but please tag me if you do this, because it was so cute!

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