Wednesday 30 October 2013

A to Z Blogger Book Survey

Here's another blogger survey doing the rounds at present - the "A to Z Blogger Book Survey".

Steve from Steve's Random Musings, Vladdd309 from Too Much Free Time, Legatus from Legatus' Wargames Armies and Laughing Ferret from Laughing Ferret Lab have all had a go. I don't always get on board with these but my inner librarian can't let this one pass (yes, I have a real qualified librarian locked away who has never been allowed out to play).

So here we go...

Author you've read the most books from:
Hard to say for sure. It would be one of three - Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar series), Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Rifles series) or Peter F. Hamilton (pretty much everything he ever wrote). All three I go back to on occasion and I am just finishing the entire Riftwar series for the third time.

Best sequel ever:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. One of my favourite all time fantasy novels. It even says it's that good on the cover! If you have never read the Clan Wars series I thoroughly recommend them all. In fact I think I might just read them again...

Currently reading:
A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune. Only just started but it looks very good and has great reviews. I haven't read much on Aussies in the Pacific so when I was given this I was quite chuffed.

Drink of choice whilst reading:
Tea, always tea. Beer is for football and parties.

E-reader or physical book:
Both. I am slowly divesting myself of my paperback novel collection and turning to eBooks for those. My history and wargaming collection will remain in paper for a variety of reasons. eBooks are great for text only and never running short of reading on the train BUT they aren't much chop for maps and images, nor do they smell right.

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:
Goldberry. I wouldn't have had a snowball's chance to be honest. Tom Bombadill would have kicked my ass for starters. Still...

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Kitchener's Last Volunteer. A truly amazing story. I don't often lose my well hard manly exterior but I teared up a couple of times reading this.

Hidden book gem:
The Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Cutler. I loved it and apparently so did Simon Winchester.

Important moment in your book life:
The day I came across Don Featherstone's War Game Campaigns. I found it by chance in our local public library when I was about 12 years old. I'd never read anything on wargaming at all beforehand, not even a magazine article. 31 years later and I've got a massive pool of amazing mates (in the flesh and online), a wonderful miniatures collection and a hobby I'll be doing to the day I fail my last saving throw.

Just finished:
Tobruk 1941: The Desert Siege by Timothy Hall. I have far too many books on Tobruk and have no plans to stop collecting them...

Kind of book you won't read:
Self-help, how-to-be-a-better-xxx, trash fiction or pretty much anything a LOT of people tell me I SIMPLY MUST READ. To this day I've not read any Harry Potter, Dan Brown or sparkly vampire crud and I seriously doubt I ever will.

Longest book you've read:
War and Peace. Glad I made the effort but not something I'll be going back to.

Major book hangover because of disappointing endings:
Amtrak Wars series. I have no idea what Patrick Tilley was thinking but there was a distinct "um... and then I woke up" feel about it. His editor should have kicked his ass.

Number of bookcases you own:
Ten(ish). A couple are only half full. I've been cutting down my paperback collection of late so it could easily be more. Doubtless it will be again once I get past the large pile I'm currently working through.

One book you've read multiple times:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. See above.

Preferred place to read:
In bed, or in a beanbag in the sun by my back windows on a Saturday morning. Bliss.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
None in particular. I tend to take a general feeling from books more than individual quotes. For instance, every reading of Don Featherstone reinforces my desire to enjoy my gaming and ensure by fellow gamers do too.

Reading regret:
Game of Thrones. Great books, great story. HOWEVER, George R.R. Martin is one of history's great procrastinators. I've now reached the point where I refuse to buy his books any more. The gaps between were for so long far past reasonable and his excuses for not writing whilst happily doing all sorts of other stuff just annoyed me*. I'm simply going to watch the TV shows now and buy author's other books instead.

* Don't get me wrong, I'm not some crazed reader who demands author's finish works because I bought a book and there is now some massive obligation owed. But still...

Series you started and need to finish:
None I can think of, given my comments about Game of Thrones above. I'm a serial finisher thankfully.

Three of your all-time favorite books:

Demon Lord (see above)
Comfort food in book form!
Cracking stuff!
Unapologetic fanboy for:
Basic D&D. I love it. So sue me...

Very excited for this release:
Anything at all by Peter F. Hamilton or William Gibson.

Worst bookish habit:
Reading at least three books at once. Usually that's fiction for the train, non-fiction for bed/weekends and gaming stuff whenever I can fit it in.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:
Crikey! Which bookshelf? I went with the closest to where I am right now.

Your latest book purchase:
About to start this...

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:)
The Death of Achilles. Akunin writes top-notch historical fiction. If you've not read any of the Fandorin books get into em ASAP.

And that's me done...



  1. Excellent one. I am surprised by how much fantasy and SF wargamers read. I thought it would all be historical fiction!

    1. I think we're all prodigious readers to be honest and need the variety as adults. I also suspect the fiction books are gateways for us as kids into more serious non-fiction.

    2. Seconded.

      Got to say, all the lists for this survey are wonderfully varied; lots of ideas for further reading all round!

      I might have to compile a list of my own...

  2. Had a bit of a laugh at 'Amtrak Wars' since Amtrak is out local train system and I can imagine a war over it being very interesting ;) I've read some Peter Hamilton and enjoyed it, I'm getting the impression I should pick up some more.

  3. heartily endorse your views on Akunin. Great books!

  4. this is good, I really ought to have a go at this!

  5. Yeah, I agree on the Akunin too. I'm surprised how widespread the Hamilton vibe is - for some reason I thought he was just a UK author. I'm glad the Rest of the World has got the benefit too.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great lists, a few I've not heard of. Really struggle with Hamilton's stuff, not because of the length, more the pace of his first two books. Do they get easier to read over time?

    1. That depends on which books you mean by "the first two". His early Greg Mandel trilogy are quite short so I don't think you'd be referring to them as they really race along at times. The Night's Dawn Trilogy are a certainly more lengthy but I didn't have problems myself with the pace. Each to their own I suppose.


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