Sunday 18 August 2013

A-Z Book Survey

A writer friend of mine, Ang, brought this survey to my attention, which was started by Jamie, of Perpetual Page Turner blog fame. Then as more of my writer friends did others I had put mine together. 

I love finding out what my writer friends read - even though often I have no idea of the books or authors. Here's those I've managed to catch so far.

Ang, Laura, Eric, Lisa, James, Jeff, Beth, Nick, Jenn, Andy, Jules, Leslie, Kate

Author(s) you’ve read the most books from:

Stephen King, James Herbert, Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, Raymond Fiest, Agatha Christie.

Best sequel ever:

‘Domain’, by James Herbert.

The last in the Rats, Lair, Domain, trilogy. Superb book, great crescendo and wraps it up perfectly!

Currently reading:

‘11/22/63’ – Stephen King


(bit behind, still catching up on his latest)

Drink of choice while reading:

I tend to read in bed, so I don’t tend to have a drink, but it would be water if I did.

E-reader or physical book?

Physical paperbacks are my favourite book type. I did get an ereader for Christmas, which was great because I could download a lot of books that are only available as ebooks - and also finally read The Plant, by Stephen King, which I’d had for 10 years already!

But travelling with an ereader is not practical, as the battery time is too short, and also when flying you have to put it away during take off and landing, which is when I need a book the most! So I will always pick the paper version over the ebook when I can.

Fictional character you probably would have actually liked to have dated in high school:

The only one that comes to mind is Ruarc from ‘Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive’, by Cara Michaels. Total heart-throb!

Glad you gave this book a chance:

‘The Da Vinci Code’, by Dan Brown

Totally hyped book, but I am glad I decided to read it. The writing could have been better, but then his wife is a publisher so it didn’t have to be! But the story was good.
Hidden gem book:

I have to go to a self-help book for this really. I had this book in my possession for ten years before actually reading it.

'Unlimited Power' by Tony Robbins.

It teaches you how you can change and/or take control of your thinking to be more successful in any way you choose. Although I am not sure I would have been ready ten years ago for it.

mportant moment in your reading life:
Back in the early 1990’s, when I was writing my first novel, a new friend read the first few pages of it, and asked me ‘Do you read a lot of Stephen King novels?’ I then showed him the bookcase full! But it told me that I was copying a style and this was not a good thing, as I needed to find my own voice, so this made me realise I needed to read other authors.

Besides that and my brother handing me a copy of The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks, saying ‘Read this, cuz you read too much of that horror stuff’ – clearly he hadn’t read it, as it is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read, and put me off the author completely! (well, I lie, I have two of his Sci-Fi novels under Iain M Banks sitting on my shelf, but as yet unread).

ust finished:

‘The Selkie Spell’, by Sophie Moss.

Brilliant book, totally gripped throughout.

Kind of books you won’t read:

Non-Fiction, stories about people’s lives in any given situation – unless autobiography of someone I am interested in.

Catherine Cookson, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte – those type of historical romance, or ‘life as it was then’ type of books. They just don’t rock my boat. I struggle to read those types of books. I have done so when studying English Literature at college, but I would not choose them for enjoyment.

Vampires, anything romantic vampire related – with the exception of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

Anything religious based, with a religious theme/message, such as ‘Christian books’.

Longest book you’ve read:

Probably ‘The Stand Uncut’, by Stephen King at 1168 pages.

The Stand (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Although ‘Under the Dome’ was not far off at 1072 pages.

Major book hangover because of:

‘We have to talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver

I started attending a book club to try and diversify my reading, by reading other authors and genres. When we read this my first child was a young baby, and the story moved me so much I used to just go and stand by his cot and look at him, and think about how my actions, or non-actions, as a mother could affect who he turns out to be. It was a brilliant book, and I would recommend it.

I have never seen the film, besides not being a fan of Tilde Swinton, I also do not like seeing films adapted from books – especially after reading the book. Seeing the film ‘Misery’, based off Stephen King’s book, killed the main character I had in my head after reading it, although ‘The Green Mile’ & ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ were brilliant films and books.

Number of bookcases you own:

There are three here in the loft, and a giant one in the lounge. And my kids have one each in their bedrooms too!

One book you have read multiple times:

I never have time to re-read books - I don't know how other people do! I still have over forty unread books on my shelves! But, I did read ‘The Waste Lands’, and ‘Wizards & Glass’ twice.

The third and fourth novel in the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, in preparation for the next three from the series he brought out ten years later!

Preferred place to read:

In bed before sleeping, or on a train.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

‘Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things — as no more than an atom in a blade of grass.’ – The Gunslinger, Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King.

The relativity of size; it blew my mind!

‘The killer of life is not death, but disenchantment.’ -  from a short story in Cemetery Dance Magazine, (I think – still trying to find it!)

This quote changed my perception on life entirely!)

Cemetery Dance Magazine Subscription

‘We dream of a world we could have, and wake up in the world we have.’ The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness by Craig Stone.

The accuracy of this resonated completely with me, and I am hell bent on making the world I desire my reality.


Reading regret:

I just don’t have much time, so not many I regret. Only one comes to mind ‘Cupcakes and the Centre of the Universe’, by Whitney Moore – although the concepts were good, it was a lesson in bad writing.

And despite loving several of Dean Koontz’ books, he tends to repeat characters and character dynamic from book to book. Makes for shallow reading and gets a bit tedious.

Series you started and need to finish:

The Foundation series, by Issac Asimov. They are so political, and hard to get into; I’ve only managed three of them.

The Seal Island Trilogy, by Sophie Moss, read the first one – ‘The Selkie Spell’, now need to read ‘The Selkie Enchantress’ and ‘The Selkie Sorceress’

Three of your all-time favourite books:

All time?  Oh god...ermmm...

‘The Talisman’, by Stephen King

‘Weaveworld’, by Clive Barker|

‘Nobody's True’, by James Herbert

Nobody True

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Self-help books. I have a large quantity of them. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, - even Dr. Phil in my collection. Life has led me to them as I have needed their contents to survive, and now they are my life blood. 

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

‘Gaea’s Chosen: Heavenly Bodies’, by Cara Michaels. I seriously can. not. wait.!

Worst bookish habit:

Book sniffing! I just have to!

X Marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf & pick the 27th Book:

‘Rama II’, by Arthur C Clarke & Gentry Lee

This is from the Rama Series which consists of four books. It’s the most brilliant series I have ever read!! If you love Sci-fi of any kind, this is worth reading.

Your latest book purchase:

‘Joyland’, by Stephen King

Zzzzz… Last book that kept you up way too late:

All books keep me up late, because otherwise I will never finish them!

*NB. All covers are of the copy I have, which are often old ones.


  1. Wow, great stuff! Must have taken you ages!

  2. I love the disenchantment quote...very true! Also loved Craig's 'The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness' too!
    I avoid movies made from books too, been disappointed too many times...

  3. I had no idea you were such a huge King fan. Great article and very interesting. I'll have to check out Herbert's Nobody's True. Loved the Talisman!

  4. It took me AGES Susi! - to find all the book covers, and put them in, especially with the formatting issues in Blogger. But I think a visual helps - it's all about the visuals for me!

    And yes, J, he is my biggest inspiration. But you MUST get Nobody's True, one of Herbert's finest. He went a little off with his writing for a while, but from Haunted on, things got better, and this was exception.

  5. What a FUN read!! I love how these let us peek into another reader's soul!! :)

  6. hehe apart from the Self Help and Dan Brown this could be something I've written. Amazing how many similarities we have, and love the idea of using the covers, so nicking that for my post lol

  7. 1. Have I mentioned I *heart* your unadulterated love of self-help books? Cause I do. Just like I'm SURE you love my adoration for "those type of historical romance or life as it was then type books." ;)

    2.After reading all these surveys I'm realizing how lacking I am in the area of Mr. King. This shall be rectified soon and publicly. The end.

    3. As a writer, I read to see what works and what doesn't for me. What makes someone compelling? What makes a story immersive? What makes it impossible for me to put a book down? And also to find my voice. As a reader, I don't care about any of that and just want my next fix.

    4. The Selkie Spell is on my to read list this year!! My to read list is monster and gonna be the death of me!

    5.And I *heart* this list! So many great books to spy on! THANK YOU!!

  8. I love the cover for Joyland and was tempted by it as have long wanted to read Stephen King after watching the Langoliers. I think I was put off by the book cover he had with the fetus on it when I was a teen :)