Seven Bookish Virtues Tag

Patience, the left-hand lion of the New York Public Library

I haven’t done a tag for a long time, but this one caught my eye — borrowed from Calmgrove, who borrowed it from Re-enchantment of the World. Countering the seven deadly sins, what are the bookish virtues we can consider?

Which author, book or series do you wish you’d never read

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In fact, I wish this book did not exist.

Alternate question (suggested by Lizzie in the comments): What special book have you saved for the right time to read?

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I’m so glad that unlike LOTF, this was not spoiled for me by being forced on me in school — and that I waited till I had a certain amount of maturity to appreciate it.

Which book or series did you find so good that you didn’t want to read it all at once, and you read it in doses just to make the pleasure last longer?

I don’t think I have ever done this! Temperance is obviously not a virtue of mine.

Which book, series or author do you tirelessly push to others, telling them about it or even giving away spare copies bought for that reason?

Nobody who has followed my blog for any length of time will be surprised when I answer Diana Wynne Jones.

Which series or author do you follow no matter what happens and how long you have to wait?

It used to be DWJ but sadly, she is no longer with us. Likewise with Ursula K. LeGuin and Robertson Davies. I would eagerly read another book by Susannah Clarke (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) but she seems to be no longer writing books.

**Addendum: Jenny told me in the comments that Clarke does in fact have a new book on the way!**

Hmm, what else…. there’s the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. I think the last one is coming out soon, and I’ve never been disappointed by these.

Is there an author, book or series you’ve read that improved with time the most, starting out unpromising but ultimately proving rewarding?

When I started Mrs. Dalloway I was not sure at first that I could manage with Virginia Woolf’s impressionistic style. But then something clicked for me and I enjoyed the music of her language. I still could never get on with To the Lighthouse, though.

Which fictitious character would you consider your role model in the hassle of everyday life?

Tenar in the Earthsea chronicles by Ursula K. LeGuin. She is wise and modest and kind and brave, and knows the magic that may be found in everyday life.

Which book, series or author do you find most under-rated?

Recently I have read some works by Helen Keller that really impressed me. Most people don’t know anything about her beyond her amazing breakthrough from blindness and deafness to discovering the power of language. But she wrote many books through her eighty-plus years, with much to say of insight and wisdom. The World I Live In and Light in My Darkness are two examples.

What would your answers be?

The Bookish Time Travel Tag

Jane of Beyond Eden Rock tagged me, and I was honored to think that she would be interested in my answers! Here we go…

The Manor at Hemingford Grey (“Green Knowe”) – By Jason Ballard, via Wikimedia Commons

What is your favorite historical setting for a book?

This question makes me think of the settings I would actually like to live in — I may enjoy reading about late Imperial Rome or Revolutionary France, but they would be a bit dangerous to inhabit.

One type of setting I love is a wonderful old house that’s been lived in for many generations, and gathered much history and character. The Green Knowe books by Lucy Boston provide one example (and this is even a real house that you can visit – see Jean’s recent tour here).

Another is a nostalgic trip back to a warm family setting, as in the Deep Valley books by Maud Hart Lovelace. I know the past wasn’t really this simple, but it’s nice to enter those rosy memories for a while anyway.

Louisa May Alcott at age 20 (public domain)

What writer/s would you like to travel back in time to meet?

I would love to meet Louisa May Alcott and talk about how women’s lives have changed since her time. I’d also warn her not to take the calomel that ruined her health.

What book/s would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?

I wish I’d had a chance to read and love Henrietta’s House and The Valley of Song by Elizabeth Goudge when I was younger — they would have been even more magical then.

What book/s would you travel forward in time and give to your older self?

As I age, I want to keep reminding myself of the important messages in Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

dispossessedWhat is your favorite futuristic setting from a book?

Ursula K. LeGuin’s vision of peaceful interplanetary colonization and interaction in her so-called “Hainish” books.

What is your favorite book that is set in a different time period (can be historical or futuristic)?

It’s impossible to choose just one favorite — so many of my favorite books are set in different time periods! But I’m going to give a nod to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, largely because I think she does a brilliant job at capturing the Regency period (with a magical slant). There are so many books nowadays with this setting, and very few are truly convincing.

Spoiler time: Do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book just to see what happens?

Yes, I do, and I feel no shame about it. Sometimes the tension is too much for me and I just have to know the outcome; then I can go back and see how we got there. Spoilers don’t bother me, obviously. But everyone is different — if you don’t want to know the ending ahead of time, I certainly respect that.

If you had a time turner, where would you go and what would you do?

There are many places I’d like to have a peek — Hilda’s monastery in Whitby, the theater of Dionysus in Athens, a Regency ball… I think I’d soon be glad to get back to modern sanitation, medicine, and women’s rights, though. (Even though it’s tempting right now to find a nice corner of the past to go hide in.)

Illustration by HR Millar from The Story of the Amulet – source

Favorite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in different time periods?

The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit made a strong impression on me as a child. Nesbit’s depiction of different times and places (from ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Britain to more fanciful visions of Atlantis and the London of the future) might not stand up to modern scholarship, but it was rich with detail and woven into an exciting quest narrative. It’s where my love of historical fiction began.

What book/series do you wish you could go back in time and read again for the first time?

Funnily enough, I don’t have the feeling that I wish I could read books again for the first time. I often enjoy reading them for the second, third, or twentieth time just as much, though it’s a different experience. I only wish I had more time to do that!

Tagging next…

I’m tagging Wendy of Falconer’s Library because she says nobody ever tags her, and I hope she might like this one. Otherwise, please feel free to take it up if you’d like to, and be sure to let me know if you do.

Tagged: I Mustache You Some Questions

Katie of Bookish Illuminations tagged me for this post. It seemed fairly painless, so here are my answers!

Four Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name
1. Lorelei
2. Loris (as in slow)
3. Lore
4. Lorig (pronounced with a soft “ch” sound, as in German e.g. “honig”)

Mercer Island Library, where I worked in HS

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Library page (high school)
2. Bookstore gift wrapping department (Christmas break in college)
3. Proofreader for Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia (remember CD-ROMs?)
4. Editor and book designer (still doing this)

Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. The Wizard of Oz (of course!)
2. Singin’ in the Rain
3. A Room with a View
4. When Harry Met Sally

Ah, Florence…

Four books I’d recommend: 
1. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
2. What’s Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies
3. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Four places I have lived:
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
2. San Francisco, California
3. Northampton, Massachusetts
4. Seattle, Washington

The old Elliott Bay Book Co., my favorite Seattle bookstore

Four places I have been:
1. Paris, France
2. Florence, Italy
3. Yorkshire, England
4. Bern, Switzerland

Four places I’d rather be right now:
1. Seattle
2. London
3. Christchurch, New Zealand
4. Any place where I don’t have to shovel snow

Enough snow already!

Four things I don’t eat:
1. Chocolate
2. Cheese
3. Oranges
4. Cashews

Four of my favorite foods:
1. All of the above, except I can’t eat them. (Migraines.)
2. Falafel
3. Really good wood-fired brick oven pizza
4. Pfeffernusse cookies

At least I don’t live in Alaska.

Four TV shows that I watch:
Um, I don’t own a TV. Some shows I used to watch at one time or another:
1. Northern Exposure
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation
3. Frasier
4. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Four things I am looking forward to this year (2015):
1. Visiting family in Seattle
2. Visiting family in Switzerland
3. Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week in April
4. Witch Week in October/November

From our last Seattle visit.

Four things I’m always saying:
1. Where did I put my book?
2. Where are my keys?
3. What should I read next?
4. Did you brush your teeth?

Four People I tag: (If you’ve already done this, no worries!)
1. Susie from Girl with Her Head in a Book
2. CGrace from With My Book and a Quilt
3. Charlene from Bookish Whimsy
4. You — if you want to join in, feel free!