Thursday, October 09, 2014

Reading Questionnaire

Reading Connections 
& Time

I ran across the following questionnaire five years ago at kiss a cloud where it was placed in response to the original (I believe) at Savidge Reads. Connections can be found everywhere when pursuing reading blogs.  While I wrote a response at the time I thought after five years I might update my thoughts about these questions.
Anyway I think that today, with its sunny skies and and cool October weather is as a good as any one for curling up with a good book. But before I get too settled on the couch I append my answers to the "timely" questions about reading and Time with thanks to Simon and Claire. 

What time do you find the best time to read?

For me it is the first thing in the morning for about an hour.

What are you spending time reading right now?

I am beginning to read two large novels, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; the latter is for a read-along on the Web and the former is for a class I am taking at the University of Chicago.  Other novels are also on my reading docket including Maps by Nurruddin Farah and The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings and, for another study group, The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil.  That last title is a reread and it happened to be on my reading docket five years ago.

What’s the best book with time in the title you have read?

Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time would have to top the list and it has become a favorite over the last half-decade.

What is your favourite time (as in era) to read novels based in?

While I have read and enjoyed books from the preclassical era (The Epic of Gilgamesh) to the Postmodern (Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell), the Victorian era is my favorite time with Bronte, Dickens, Eliot, Trollope and Hardy among my favorite authors.

What book could your read time and time again?

There is not one book that I could put above others in my reading experience and there are many that I have read more than once.  Several candidates for this book would include Jane Eyre, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Middlemarch, War & Peace and David Copperfield.  I should add that not a year goes by in which I do not read some Shakespeare.

What recently published book do you think deserves to become a classic in Time?

Two that might make the grade that I have read are Embers by Sandor Marai (1942 but rediscovered in 2002) and the above-mentioned Cloud Atlas  (2004). The closest to a time theme for me would be Immortality by Milan Kundera (1990).

What book has been your biggest waste of time?

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai is still at the top of this short list;  being a tremendous waste of a book filled with uninteresting characters and narrated in an unnecessarily convoluted manner. So many better books have been written about India (most recently The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga).

What’s your favorite read of all time?

This would be a tie between Jane Eyre and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Who is your favorite author of all time?

Marcel Proust.


Brian Joseph said...

I love these bookish type questions and answers.

It is neat that you went back to this set years later for another go.

Interesting that you listed Jane Eyrie as a book you can keep rereading. I am also beginning to see its appeal.

James said...


Thanks for your comments. I enjoy this type of questionnaire as well. It is hard to choose my favorite book so I went with the two that I have enjoyed the longest and have returned to over several different times in my life.