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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Question Time--Now With Answers! (Part One)


I'm offering a bonus entry in my Blogiversary Giveaway to anyone who asks me a question (and you can still enter until this Saturday, if you haven't already!). Since several people took me up on that, I thought I'd answer some of the questions today. Others will be addressed next week, so stay tuned.

Several of the questions I've received specifically addressed blogging, so I'm going to field all of those in their own post. Today I'm responding to some of the more random ones, like "favorite things"...including books!

I usually have a hard time giving just one answer to "favorites" questions, but I actually do have just one response to UnfinishedPerson's question:
What's your favorite ice cream?
This question is easy for me to answer because I really don't like ice cream very much (Yeah, I know, how un-American of me.) But when I do eat ice cream, I want chocolate, preferable with other chocolate things embedded in it (cookie or brownie bits preferred) and with warm chocolate sauce over it. But in all honesty, I'd prefer the brownie with the warm chocolate sauce. You can add a little of the ice cream as garnish if you want, though. Are you buying?

This is exactly the question I'd have expected my theatre-loving friend April to ask:
What's your favorite musical? :)
I've had two since I was a kid, in this order: The Music Man and My Fair Lady. The latter is in large part because of the great dialogue, which largely comes from the show's origination in the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion; the show's concept is, honestly, kind of irritating to a 21st-century feminist. The Music Man is as all-American as it gets--it has some terrific classic songs, and the lead female character is a librarian!

As for more recent shows, I love Wicked (much more than the book), and Spamalot is the funniest musical I've ever seen--that includes the songs, too!

Adrienne was wondering:
When do you find so much time to read?
It's honestly not as much time as it may appear to be, especially during the week, but I do read every night before I go to sleep. Also, I never go anywhere without a book, so if I find a few minutes, I can squeeze in a few pages. I manage to get in a few hours of solid reading time most weekends, and when I do have the time (and the right book), I can read pretty quickly. I can have two books going at once if one of them is an audiobook. And I don't get out very much.

These two questions basically have the same answer, so I'm putting them together. Pearl asks:
What is your favorite ever book?
And Kim's question is:
If there's one book you could make everyone read (or at least try to read), what book would it be?
Actually, I did try to get everyone to read it a couple of years ago. If you were around then, you might remember my evangelizing for Mary Doria Russell's genre-crossing literary masterwork, The Sparrow:
"There aren't many books that I'm an evangelist for. I'll tell you what I like, and I'll make suggestions and recommendations, but I don't often state outright that 'You HAVE to read this.' I will go out on that limb for The Sparrow, though. You have to read this.
"This is a very hard book to pigeonhole. You may not care for science fiction; this is SF free of technobabble. While the primary plot concerns interplanetary exploration and first contact with a non-human species in another solar system, the focus is on character and the setting doesn't require contortion of the imagination. You may be wary of fiction with religious overtones; this novel prominently features several Jesuit priests among its characters, but the last thing it does is preach. The novel explores Big Ideas of faith and God and humanity and the Meaning of Life in the way that many of us would - in far-ranging conversations with friends - and doesn't beat you over the head with them. You'd never guess that this is Mary Doria Russell's first novel (previously, she wrote scientific articles and technical manuals); the writing is very accomplished, and yet it doesn't call attention to itself at all. What other arguments can I shoot down for you?"
Anna asked:
What is the best book you've read that your probably wouldn't have read if it weren't for other book bloggers?
I don't think I can narrow it down to one book, but I can definitely single out an author I now love and wouldn't have discovered without book bloggers: Beth Kephart. Thank you, book bloggers!

On a sort-of-related note--well, it's another reading question--Kailana (Kelly) asks:
What are 5 blogs that you read that you think more people should be checking out?
To be honest, I really don't know what blogs other people are (or aren't) reading, and some of my regular reads may not be what y'all would think of as "blogs," because they're not one-person operations like this one. But they're in my feed reader, so I'm counting 'em, even if I don't read all their posts all the time:

The Mary Sue--geek culture with a girl twist
Monkey See--NPR's pop-culture and entertainment blog, and source of my favorite podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour
The Broad Side--women playing politics
Social Dialect--talking about the ins & outs & ups & dens of social media
Pop Culture Nerd--"pop culture" here includes books

And from Serena, a question that sounds more like a challenge:
If I recommended a book of poetry, would you read and review it on your blog?
Yes. OK. But please make it one that's short and not too complicated, and DO give me a deadline so I don't keep putting it off!

Got a question? I might have an answer--and if you ask it by March 31, on the form embedded in this post, I'll enter you in my Blogiversary Giveaway!