Annie Hawthorne, a wonderful fellow reader, writer and Christian is starting a blog called the Curious Wren, and it’s sure to be a place of whimsy and encouragement. To celebrate, Annie has held a weeklong celebration with interviews on other blogs, a giveaway, and a tag, which I will be doing today. I hope you enjoy my answers, and when you’re done reading, be sure to go check out Annie’s blog.
1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it? Just yesterday I finished Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and I would definitely recommend it. Jane is a strong heroine and her determination to find her own way in the world really struck me. Besides that, the story has a chilling and mysterious atmosphere and it’s intriguing to see the mystery of Thornfield Hall unfold before you. Oh, and that ending. For a while I thought that the book would end lamely, but the ending was absolutely perfect. I can’t say much for fear of spoiling the book, but it was just such a beautiful ending.
2. Describe the perfect reading spot. I’d say I have several perfect reading spots. One is of course my bedroom. I love to curl up and read on my bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a mess of fluffy pillows and blankets surrounding me. The only thing I have to be careful about is not falling asleep while I read. This, unfortunately, happens a lot. The second perfect reading spot would be at a tiny quiet table in the middle of a huge library in the middle of a huge city. To be surrounded by walls and walls of books in the one silent space in a bustling city sounds so beautiful. And for my third spot, I’d love to read up in a treehouse on a sunny spring day when all the birds are chirping and the air smells sweet and perfume-y. Yes, I’m that weird person that loves both the city and the countryside.
3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers? Hot chocolate! Hot chocolate! Hot chocolate! I am a huge proponent of hot chocolate. It’s in my bio, for Pete’s sake. Water’s good too, because, you know, survival and all that. Oh, and I do like the occasional cup of black tea with milk and honey or honey and lemon. I’ve basically never had coffee. Tears are a bit too salty for my taste, but hey, if my readers cry over my stories I must be doing something right, so I suppose I don’t mind them.
4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
“The only thing I’m afraid of about this country is that its government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn’t be worth living in.” ~ Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” ~ The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
“Incredible. It is just incredible that you can notice something like that when your face is so cold you can’t feel it anymore, and you know perfectly well you are surrounded by death, and the only way to stay alive is to endure the howling wind and hold your course. And still the sky is beautiful.” ~ Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic? Since this is a horribly cruel question, I have decided to break the rules and list more than one favorite for some of these. Sorry, not sorry.
For fantasy, I really love The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
I don’t read much dystopian fiction, but I really enjoyed A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes.
I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary, but there are many MG contemporaries that I love. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Flora and Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo are all exceptionally beautiful.
When it comes to sci-fi, anything written by Ray Bradbury is haunting and beautiful, but I’d say that I really like The Illustrated Man.
I have so many beloved classics so instead I’ll name authors instead of individual books. I love the works of J.R.R. Tokien, C.S. Lewis, Harper Lee, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte…I just love a lot of classics, okay?
6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from. Well, we have tons of Charles Dickens books at my house, as both my dad and I love his books. I also have a million and one books by Laura Ingalls Wilder because when I was little I obsessed over prairie books of all kinds and especially those written by Wilder. I had a serious problem, but at least it was a good problem! We also have quite a few books by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and I’m not sure which one we have more from.
7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature? I’d rather not read books with magic, but that doesn’t mean that I avoid it entirely. The place where I most tolerate magic is in allegorical fantasy books like those of Tolkien, Lewis and Stengl. In these books, magic is often used only by those evil characters who deal with witchcraft and get their magic from deadly, Satanic sources, are clearly shown as bad. Sometimes, as in the case of Gandalf, magic is used by a good character, but it is clear that the magic came from a creator character and not from an occult source, which I am fine with. Another thing I am fine with is light magical realism or light fairytale magic of the kind that you might find in MG. Too me, things like magic ice cream and magically talking flowers are less about magic and more about the wild imagination of a child, and I appreciate the beauty of that.
8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images. There are way too many book covers that I love to include images, but I love artsy covers with bold colors and equally bold stories encased within.
9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this. The first character that came to mind for me was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Maybe I’m being nostalgic or sentimental of late, but I can’t help but think sweetly back on my elementary school self that loved reading about the prairie so much that she wore a bonnet and played pioneers everyday during recess at school.
10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies? Nope. No one really asks me for my books anyway because most of the books I own are classics and I don’t know a lot of people besides my dad that like to read classics.
Thanks for reading and do be sure to go check out Annie’s blog.