I kissed a book, and I liked it

Juhi, long time reader of this blog and all around good person (she donated toward Jingle over four years ago!) at Nooks & Crannies tagged me in this meme.

1. Are you genre agnostic or do you read only specific genres? Why?

I am drawn mostly to non-fiction, mostly memoir, but I love to sink my teeth into a good novel every so often. I don’t tend to read fantasy or sci-fi or romance, or mysteries, or anything too scary but I would never rule out entire genres. Like music, if it’s good, it’s good. Doesn’t matter what genre. I’m game. I love to be surprised and inspired. But if I don’t love it immediately, I won’t continue reading. There are too many other good books beckoning.

2. How and who started you on your love affair with the written word?

As a child, Charolette’s Web opened my heart and allowed me to cry. It felt so good to have a reason to cry that made sense when so much of my world was unfathomable and I literally had to be cut off from so many of my feelings in order to survive.

Also Judy Blume. In elementary school I borrowed the books from a friend, as fast as her mother bought them for her and she finished reading them. I would take the books out to my “fort” in the back of our huge barn like garage, and bring a sandwich (ham and American on a hard roll from Jimmy Roma’s bakery), and a blanket, and snuggle up on a cot and read for hours. A layer of dirt covered everything, including the windows. There were cracks in the walls and in the ancient cement floor, and it smelled like an old auto shop, but it was private and quiet and I was in bliss reading back there.

3. What were some of your favourite books as a tween and a teen?

Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret- Judy Blume.

Forever (very racy) – Judy Blume

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Catcher in the Rye. I could relate to Holden Caulfield’s negativity at the time.

I’m also embarrassed to say I read a couple of those awful V.C. Andrews books.

4. Have you found your reading taste change across the years?

Yes. I’m intolerant of gratuitous anything. I’m very conscious about what I take in as a reader these days. (Same with TV and film).

5. What’s your absolute favourite comfort read? Why?

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. It’s got everything. Every word, perfection. Reading it is inhaling inspiration. On a reader level and a writer level. On a human level. Period.

6. Do you think a love for reading automatically leads to a love for writing as well?

No. I have plenty of friends who devour books but feel no call to write. I don’t understand them, but plenty of them exist. I’ve met them in person, seen them with my own eyes.

7. What’s your favourite book/reading memory?

My favorite book is Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. I love the sophistication with which she writes of the unsophisticated. I love the intelligence she depicts in the uneducated. Having dipped my toe in many worlds(class systems in the U.S.), I know that education does not necessarily equal intelligence, and that money does not necessarily equal class. I love the respect she gives to her poor characters. I love her utter unpretentiousness mixed with an otherworldly talent. I love the hilarity in the book. I love the dialect. I love how truthful and inspiring the book is and I love how Janie lived several different lives within one lifetime. I can relate to that.

My favorite reading memory might be when I sat in a reclining beach chair in St. Croix reading Rachel Naomi Remen’s Kitchen Table Wisdom (in between naps). I’d gone to visit a friend who was working on the island. My daughter was in the worst of her autism at that point and had been screaming non-stop for over a year, plus we had an 11 month old baby. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I found the book on my friend’s shelf, just waiting for me to pick it up. Divinely. The inspiring words, the sound of the water, the sun, the nurturing from my friend, all these things healed me.

Now I believe I’m supposed to make up new questions and tag some folks, so here are my questions:

1) What is the quality in a book that makes you want to dive in and keep turning the page?Name a book that demonstrates this quality.

2) What’s the first book you read that made you cry? Why did it make you cry?

3) How has social media impacted your reading/writing time?

4) Have you ever loved a book so much you kissed it? (Not made out with it, but offered it a sweet kiss on it’s cover, like giving a friend a kiss on the cheek)? Yeah…me neither.

5) Describe the ultimate reading conditions for you. Where? What? When? How? Go big.

6) True or false: (Tongue firmly in cheek)

If you can’t be bothered to read to them, you should not have children.

7) Have you or have you not read Daughter of the Drunk at the bar?

If yes, you have completed this meme assignment. If no, scroll to the top of my blog and hit the button with the little girl on the inner tube to purchase your copy(also available in the Kindle Store). That poor girl will be waiting in that inner tube until you do, and frankly her feet are getting waterlogged and wrinkly, and she’s due for some sunscreen, but whatever…that’s on you. No pressure.

I’ll tag, but even if I don’t tag you feel free to join in on the fun. Answer any and all these questions in a blog post or in the comments. MegCarrieDeeKariHollyeAmyLeah, Jenny.

Oh…one last thing, inspired by Nina Badzin, I’m going to add a new page here, keeping track of all the books I read in 2013. The page is titled BILK (books I’d like to kiss).

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading my blog.


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6 Responses to I kissed a book, and I liked it

  1. kario says:

    Yay! Can’t wait to dig in and answer, but I have to save it for after my work is done (late on two book reviews —whoops!).

  2. Nina says:

    I’m honored to have inspired you! 🙂

  3. Carrie says:

    We like the same kinds of books, and always have, not a shock there! : )

    I do think you should read to your kids or not bother having them, that said, some kids just don’t “take” to it, and after, oh, say, 12+ years of banging your head against the wall, it’s time to give up.

  4. Juhi says:

    So glad you got around to this Michelle! What you shared about Charlotte’s Web and Rachel Naomi Remen speaks to me in that I love thinking of books as a mechanism for releasing any resistance I might have accumulated.

    And I loved your Judy Blume memory! I spent so many of my summer holidays sitting in front of the air cooler, slurping on cold coffee, downing cucumber sandwiches and reading Enid Blyton adventures. 🙂

  5. amber says:

    I love this. I may have to tag MYSELF…*ahem*


  6. Michelle O'Neil says:

    Kari partook! (Seems I’m not the only book kisser around here).


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