This meme comes from Booking Through Thursday.
What was the last book you bought?
I was sitting in the Admiral's Club in Philadelphia and wasn't happy with any of the books I had with me, so I turned on the antenna on my Kindle, connected to Amazon.com, and purchased Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris. Not only does the Kindle give me the ability to carry many books with me, but it also enables me to buy a book at any time and any place.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
The most recent re-read was Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I'm not sure I'd say "fundamentally changed", but there's a scene in A Canticle for Leibowitz that sticks with me. Near the end of the book, during a short lull in a world-wide atomic war, an Abbey offers shelter to refugees fleeing the regions affected by fallout. A doctor from the a government emergency response team brings his euthanasia van to the Abbey, but the Abbot refuses to allow the doctor to park the van at the Abbey. A long argument results and the doctor finally sighing and saying that he might agree with the Abbot's beliefs regarding the sinfulness of suicide if he believed that he had an immortal soul. To which the Abbot replies, "But you don't." To the doctor's surprised look, the Abbot continues, "You are an immortal soul; you have a body.
That one concept resonates so much with me. What is me is my mind and soul. The body is just what houses the essence of me.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
All of the above. I love browsing the shelves -- real or virtual -- and looking at all the lovely books.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction, definitely fiction. I have only read one non-fiction book in the past two years: The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Plot and characterization are particularly important, but if the writing isn't at least attractive, it can spoil the book for me. Yesterday, I started reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I haven't gotten far enough into it to know if the plot is gripping, but I have read some of the most lovely words.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Now that's difficult. To date, I've read 109 books this year and I don't think any of them sported a character that I have particularly loved or thought memorable. I definitely liked many of the characters—particularly the recurring characters in the several series that I have read. I guess I'll ponder this question and see if some character of note comes to mind.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
I don't leave a book on the nightstand. I take it with me when I get up and bring it back to the bedroom when I turn in at night. I'm currently reading Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank. I knew I was going to enjoy it—as I have all her other books that I have read—but I'm now quite caught up in it. Speaking of characters, there's a very minor character named Father John whom I would love to meet in real life.
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
I finished reading Living Dead in Dallas yesterday. I thrashed around most of yesterday trying to find something to read. I had both the Kindle and the Sony with me and any number of books loaded on both. Eventually, I got into The Night Life of the Gods, a classic by Thorne Smith, Cryptonomicon, and Full of Grace. I'm about 3/4 of the way through Full of Grace and should finish it tonight or tomorrow.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Rarely. I used to think it was shameful to give up on a book without finishing it. However, after I had struggled through Lord Foul's Bane thinking that surely it would get better, only to discover that it never did get better, I backed off from that opinion. Most recently, I abandoned Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I did note the page number, some 500 pages into the 800-page tome in case I decided to tackle it again.
This was fun. Having just discovered the Booking Through Thursday site, I definitely plan to go back from time to time and pick up a prompt for my blog.