I saw this tag over on Kristin’s blog, and couldn’t resist giving it a go. You all know how these things work by now, so let’s just jump right in, shall we?
1. What was the last book you DNF?
Call me a glutton for punishment, but I almost never DNF a book, no matter how much of a slog it is. Thankfully, I pick up very few that I hate enough to want to DNF in the first place, but the last one I can remember being simply unable to suffer beyond the 100-page mark was Being a Beast by Charles Foster; a book of pretentious, self-serving waffle thinly veiled as nature writing.
2. Last book you reread?
I’m not often a big re-reader either. I have been gradually making my way through the Harry Potter series again, as and when the new illustrated editions come out, so it would either be The Prisoner of Azkaban, or else Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which I’m so glad I revisited in 2017, as it went on to become one of my very favourite books.
3. Last book you bought?
Mercifully, after not visiting one for about a month (which might be a record for me), I was in a bookshop earlier today, and I more than made up for lost time. I bought The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge, and a couple of the new Faber Stories; Mr Salary by Sally Rooney, and Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath.
4. Last book you said you read but didn’t?
I don’t think I’ve ever done this, actually. Even back in my school days, I was always pretty good at getting through the required reading. If there was a really well-known book that I hadn’t read yet, but felt like I should have by now, I’d be far more likely to simply admit to it, in an attempt to shame myself into finally picking it up. *cough* Jane Eyre *cough*
5. Last book you wrote in the margins of?
I like to keep my books looking neat and tidy, so when I’m reading for pleasure, I don’t write on them. I can’t call to mind a specific title, but the last book I wrote in would have been a textbook of some kind whilst I was studying.
6. Last book you got signed?
I’ve only had two books signed during a face-to-face meeting with an author, and both were at a book fair years ago. The last book I purchased a pre-signed copy of was Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James, which is a beautiful book inside and out, and one I would recommend to any bookworm.
7. Last book you lost?
For a while, I thought I’d lost my very battered but much beloved copy of The School Cat, a children’s book that I adored when I was young. Thankfully, it has since resurfaced.
8. Last book you had to replace?
I like to collect a certain edition of Agatha Christie’s novels, and whilst ordering The Mysterious Affair at Styles online, I was sent the wrong copy three times by three different outlets. You better believe I returned each and tried again until I got the right one.
9. Last book you had an argument over?
The ‘disagreements’ I’ve had over books have luckily been few and far between. The most memorable incident is when a straight man (isn’t it always a straight man?) messaged me in response to my positive review of Jenni Fagan’s The Sunlight Pilgrims. He had evidently taken umbrage with the fact that there is a young trans girl in the novel, an element of the story which I felt was handled beautifully. He (as a straight man, don’t forget) proceeded to tell me what kind of representation gay/trans people do and don’t need in books. His main argument was that they should never be the main focus of a book, as most people are straight and cis, and therefore can’t possibly be expected to relate, and that a recent increase in queer rep had become ‘disproportionate’ to the number of actual queer people in the world. I politely explained that, on the contrary, he was simply an idiot.
10. Last book you couldn’t get a hold of?
Tying in nicely with an answer from earlier, I really want to try some of Mary Shelley’s short stories, but previous collections have become tricky to get hold of. Excitingly, I found a new bind-up of three of her gothic tales which is being published later this month by Alma Classics, under the title, Transformation.
There we have it! Since I wasn’t tagged myself, I’ll leave this open to anyone who’d like to give it a go. Let me know if you do, so I can check out your answers!