And I did like this one when I found it at greybon.
What’s a book you most want to read again for the first time?:
Oh, that’s a tough one. I’d probably want to pick something that changed my head in some significant way, which biases the field in favour of things I read earlier in my life–the structures in my head are getting pretty ossified now, so it sadly takes a lot more for a book to change the structure these days. Many of those books, of course, didn’t have their full effect on the first read, at the time, but reading them for the first time now would likely be a very different experience.
With that in mind, I’m going to have to go with Gene Wolfe’s Book Of The New Sun1, which was a tremendously fun read the first time I read it, but which I think I would get a lot more out of reading for the first time now than I did when I actually read it for the first time.
What was one of your favourite childhood books?:
This would depend, of course, on what age we’re talking about.
In the single-digit-age I think my favourite was probably A Wrinkle In Time. This was actually something I was assigned to read in school in Grade 3–well, technically in a kind of enrichment program I was in then–and I loved it. I still do, you know. I am barely holding back from reading it to my daughter, because I want her to be able to read it to herself the first time.
Runners-up: By my early teens I had already discovered John D. MacDonald and would have cited him as a favourite, but I suspect that the individual books I actually talked the most about were Jhereg, When The Sacred Ginmill Closes, Ora:cle, and The Last Coin.
What’s a book that you were assigned in school that you were expecting to be bad, but that turned out to be really good?:
I could have said the above, I guess, except at the time I didn’t really expect anything from it.
I actually had this experience a lot of time in school. I think the most dramatic case was actually The Great Gatsby, which I not only expected to be bad, but actually thought was terrible for most of the time I was reading it. It was only in the last section of the book that things clicked into place for me, and I realized that I had been utterly wrong in my reactions to what I had been reading up to that point.
What’s your “guilty pleasure” read?:
I’m not going to admit to my actual most guilty pleasure reading–I would lose all my litcred immediately. Instead I’ll admit to number two: the works of Brian Lumley, particularly his Cthulhu mythos stuff and the “Necroscope” books. I have a disturbingly wide stretch of shelf full of his stuff, and have even splashed out for a fancy edition of the first Necroscope book.
I’m not defending this–I’ve enjoyed reading them all.
What’s a book you feel you should read, but haven’t yet?:
Right now the one I’m feeling the most peer pressure to read is probably The Windup Girl (which is on the shelf waiting), but since internal pressure is more important to me, I’m going to go with Hespira by Matthew Hughes, since I’ve loved all his previous books and I can’t figure out why I haven’t got around to reading this one yet.
- Yeah, it’s kind of cheating to pick a series(back)