1. Pick a number. (I picked 12.)
2. Go to your bookshelf and count that many books until you
reach your number. Answer the question with that book.
and answer the next question.
Darwin and Capt. Robert Fitzroy and their life-altering expedition to Tierra del
obsessions that tore it apart, leading one to triumph and the other to
disaster. This is my actual review of the book.
4. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Who’s your favourite character in this book and why?
You can’t really side with someone in an allegory, but I’d choose the narrator, Utterson; the sort of rational view in the book – who exposes Hyde’s evil and Jekyll’s two-facedness (see what I did there?) Or Poole, the ever faithful butler. I don’t like Jekyll as much as I didn’t like Victor Frankenstein, which, I know, was the point.
5. Papillon by Henri Charriere
Recommend the book to a fellow blogger you think would like it.
I remember loving the book when I read it, but that was way, way back then. I’d have to to re-read it to really recommend it. As the story of a convicted murderer and his attempts to escape, the book is thrilling, harrowing and it’s true (or not, there’s a whole controversy) and there was a time I’d have recommended to all fellow bloggers. So why not just try it, right?
6. Love on the Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhankher
How long ago did you read this book?
Funny story, this was the very first book I got for review on this blog. The naive review I wrote for it and the long list of pending reviews on my e-reader right now, makes it seem like an awfully long time has passed since. Turns out I read it in May 2011, though. Go figure.
7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Name a favourite scene from this book. (NO SPOILERS)
With way this book dives right into the action, there is little chance of avoiding spoilers. But I remember this scene, among the narrator’s many musing recollections, because the very description pops into my head ever since, every time I feel a cat purr.
“The dread had not left my soul. But there was a kitten on my pillow, and it was purring in my face and vibrating gently with every purr, and, very soon, I slept.”
8. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Open to Page 87 and pick a random quote to share. (NO SPOILERS)
“She looked at him in the exact moment when he turned to look at her. They stood very close to each other. She saw, in his eyes, that he felt as she did. If joy is the aim and the core of existence, she thought, and if that which has the power to give one joy is always guarded as one’s deepest secret, then they had seen each other naked in that moment.”
Oh, how typically Ayn Rand. I did adore Hank Rearden.
9. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
How did you hear about or discover this book?
I was an unapologetic John Grisham fangirl. I still am! And I’d already read the bunch of legal thrillers at the store, so I got this. Playing for Pizza, a book about an NFL blah-blah quarterback, no less. And even though almost everything in it about football whooshed right over my head, I almost enjoyed this strange, inconsequential little book. The descriptions of Italy, the culture and the oh-so-delicious food made it worth the while.
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
If you could redesign the cover, what would you do?
I hate all the covers of my Harry Potter books, except maybe The Order of the Phoenix. All the rest have weird-looking Harrys on them. The adult covers are so much better. But the fact is, I’d have loved it if it was either a close up of the Hungarian Horntail, like her eye and scaly face or something, with no Harry in the picutre. Or a beautiful shimmering Goblet. Or, or, a creepy graveyard, without letting it be a spoiler.
11. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Name your least favourite character in this book and why.
The Witch of the Waste is the villain of the book; she wants revenge on Howl for not loving her back (even though she disguised herself as a beautiful woman for him.) But it was Sophie Hatter, the ‘heroine’, who spent most of the book as a withered old woman because of the witch’s curse, who most often irritated me. She is a much stronger character in the rest of the Moving Castle series.
12. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
If you like (fill in the blank), then you should try (your book.)
Well. If you like bizarre, inane, often oddly lewd, albeit biting social satire, disguised as fiction, then you should read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.
I have to add, in nonsense is strength.
13. Born Free by Joy Adamson
Name one cool thing about this book (under the dust jacket, map, font, photograph, etc.)
I pretty much grew up listening to the story of the ‘lioness of two worlds’ from my grandma, who loved the movie. Elsa was an orphaned lion cub who was successfully set free in wild Kenya (for the most part, anyway, she later died; but this story ends earlier, and so, on a happy note.) The book gets bogged down by the details in some places, but the evocative photos make up for it. The photos show Elsa the lion cub, with her cub sisters and the rock-hyrax Pati-pati and later, the lioness all grown up, and still acting like a house cat. She is adorable and the pictures are really cool.
14. The Ghost of Flight 401 by John Fuller
Where is it set, and would you ever want to visit that world / place?
Would I like to be on the Eastern Airlines jumbo jet flight 401, which crashed, killing 101 people? No. Nor would I like on the ships which are haunted by the dead pilot and crew. The writer does mention a cozy writer’s retreat-ey place, where works on his books and it seems like the most pleasantly calm place. I’d love to go there!
15. Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A. S. Byatt
Who is it dedicated to?
“For my mother,
Who gave me Asgard and the Gods.”
2 thoughts on “The Random Number Survey (Or, A Stroll Through My Bookshelf)”
What an interesting post! I would like to try this if I get chance. Loved reading your responses.
Lindsay – Thanks for stopping by! A word of advice: it takes a lot longer than you'd think!! 🙂