Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reading Questionnaire

Reading Connections
& Time

I ran across the following questionnaire 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.
Anyway I agree with the assessment of today, with its gray skies and snow (in Chicago) as a good 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 entering the final stretch of the first volume of Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities. I am also reading A Question of Upbringing, the first volume in Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. I have other books in process, notably Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson.

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 even though it is not among my favorites.

What is your favourite time (as in era) to read novels based in?
The Victorian era with Bronte, Dickens, Eliot and Hardy among my favorites.

What book could your read time and time again?
Middlemarch by George Eliot.

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 Commissariat of Enlightenment by Ken Kalfus (2003). 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 was 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 favourite read of all time?
This would be a tie between War & Peace and Atlas Shrugged.

Who is your favourite author of all time?
Robert Musil.


Candy Schultz said...

I'm glad you said that about Inheritance of Loss. I couldn't get into that book and never finished it. I haven't started The White Tiger yet. Maybe I will do a similar post on my blog. Would you mind?

James said...

Not at all - I found the questions at so they are not original to me.
Thanks for your comment about the Desai book. A reading group I am in has read many books about India, most of which I have enjoyed, but like you I could not connect with Desai's novel.

Candy Schultz said...

Did you reread Green Mansions yet?

James said...

I've barely started my reading of Green Mansions since our meeting is not for another four weeks and I'm just in the second chapter. It is the April selection of the "classic" reading group at the Lincoln Park Branch of the Chicago Public Library. We have read some very good books over the past couple of years including Giants in the Earth by Rolvaag, Of Human Bondage, The Octopus, The Sheltering Sky and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rilke (those were my favorites).

Candy Schultz said...

I have only read two of those books but I have to say I hated Of Human Bondage and The Sheltering Sky. I even watched the film of The Sheltering Sky for help but it was even more obscure than the book if possible. Bondage just depressed the hell out of me. Although I read it about 35 years ago. Maybe I should reread it. Nope. Too many on the pile already. Hope you enjoy them all.

Savidge Reads said...

James, thanks so much for doing this am really enjoying going and seeing what other people have written. I came up with this yesterday and spent more time on it that was planned but once I started thinking of questions I couldnt stop.

Interesting thought on Inheritance of Loss, I own it but have never tried to read it, I never fancy it! Embers though is one I am going to have to look out for.

James said...

Thanks for for the questions. They made me think about the books I have read and, at this point in time, evaluate them.
And I would highly recommend Embers. Sandor Marai was overlooked until recently when Knopf began reissuing his novels in new translations.