I’ve seen this series of questions floating around the ‘net the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!

What was the last book you bought?
The last book I bought was The Matter at Mansfield by Carrie Bebris. I’ve had a few other books come into my home since then (library books and reivew copies of books), but that was the last book I purchased. I should have waited for it to come out in paperback, but I’m antsy and didn’t want to wait a year (it just came out last month).

Name a book you have read MORE than once
The obvious answer here would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It was my first Austen, and it remains my favorite (though I love all six novels and will happily re-read them or praise the relative merits of each). I’ve also re-read books in series, such as the Harry Potter books or the Twilight books (or my current favorite adult series, the Ivy League books).

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
This is possibly going to sound cliched, but I think To Kill a Mockingbird might be a book that has changed the way I see things. I think it was the first book to really show me the importance of fairness and giving everyone a chance, as well as the harsh reality of racism and unfairly judging someone.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
I read a lot of books because of reviews or recommendations. Recommendations make me a tad hesitant when I don’t have the same taste in books as the recommender (for example, one of my best friends prefers books that are fantasy or really trashy romances, and I don’t like either genre), but I am willing to give almost anything a try.

However, summaries are very important to me, and I use those when deciding whether or not I want to read a book most of the time. Cover art is only a factor once in a blue moon. Or if there is multiple editions of the book to choose from, cover art might be a deciding factor in deciding which copy to get.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
The short answer is fiction. I read significantly more of it, and enjoy the escapism that it (sometimes) provides.

The longer answer is that I do love non-fiction on the right terms as well. I studied history all throughout college. It’s the love of my academic life. And I love it when I find a well-written history book that tells a story factually without becoming too dry.

What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
It really depends on the book. For the most part, I’d say beautiful writing. It has got me through many books that I’ve really loved. But some books require a gripping plot in order to keep me reading.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
I have to say Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. I see so much of Lizzy in myself. And I know a ton of people say that, but I think my sense of humor is quite a bit like hers- playful and occasionally snippy, but never really mean. We both enjoy a variety of activities, some more pedestrian than others.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Hitler and Mars Bars by Dianne Ascroft, and The Believers by Zoe Heller. Both are review books.

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The last book I finished was Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata this past weekend. I should have my review for it up later today or tomorrow.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
All the time. If it doesn’t hold my interest, why bother? I have more than 300 other books at my home waiting to be read.

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