The New York Times By the Book Tag

1. What book is on your nightstand now? For right now the only books on my nightstand are the three I mentioned on this blog.  I am hoping that after this week I will have finished one.


2. What was the last truly great book that you read? Maybe because I just recently discovered Amor Towles and am still enamored of him I will have to say Rules of Civility is one for the memory books — no pun intended.

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?  How boring of me, but I would have to say Amor Towles.  I think I would have to ask him about how he manages to write such flowery prose and yet sound so interesting and funny.  I have never felt so drawn to description as when I am reading his books.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves? Perhaps there is one book which will probably surprise everyone. When I was a child my parents had a complete collection of the most prominent Portuguese authors.  Obviously those books were not something we brought with us to the States when we immigrated but I managed to bring my favorite with me.  I guess because when I got on that plane back in 1981 I was reading it.  But I have a copy of Eca de Queiros book “As Propinas to Senhor Reitor.”

5. How do you organize your personal library?  Hahaha right now it’s organized in boxes.  We moved over and over again and I never bought book shelves.  Now we are finally in a our own house and we have, little by little been renovating.  As soon as I can get some decent book shelves (or have them made) I will unbox all my books.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrased never to have read?  There are a few but the one that I really want to read and am absolutely petrified of reading is Anna Kerenina by Tolstoy.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didnt? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?  For some strange reason I always thought that I was supposed to like Animal Farm.  Big disappointment.  Although I understand the premise and I see why I thought I would enjoy it I absolutely hated it.

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?  I am very varied in my reading.  Having said that, I don’t read any sappy love stories.  Love stories make me crazy.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?  Great question and again I’m going to be really boring but at least I am consistent.  I am still reading it but I think everyone should read “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.  I sound like a broken record.  I think his writing is so appropriate for everyone.  He manages to make prose and description sound so poetic and not in a “barfy romantic nonsensical way.”  The book, in particular, is helpful in bringing up questions that we should all be asking about what is important and what isn’t but it’s not the kind of book that slaps you in the face with obvious statements or makes you feel stupid for not thinking about it before.

10. What do you plan to read next?  I have two books that I need to get to before the end of the month.  The next one is going to be The Sellout by Paul Beatty.  A satirical novel very appropriate to today’s times. Take a look at my November TBR post and you will see why I think that.



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