In honour of the book’s launch next week, Kate created the following meme about books. I think it was supposed to be about books you read as a child, but I cheated here and there.
1) You are facing an epic journey. You may choose one companion, one tool and one vehicle from any book or film to accompany you. Or just one of the three. It’s up to you. What do you choose?
For a companion, I’ll go with Stryder (a.k.a. Aragorn) from Lord of the Rings. He’s an expert traveller, he’s a great swordsman, he knows the way to anywhere. He can light a fire, cook, and rides a horse. And also: HOT. For my tool, I’ll bring Harry Potter’s wand. My vehicle will be Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder (but only if there’s enough room in the back for the horse).
2) You can escape to the insides of any book. Where do you go, and why?
I’m off to the Hundred Acre Wood. I love the Winnie The Pooh stories — although charming for children, they are truly hilarious for adults. The quiet harmony of the woods and the sweet company of Pooh and Piglet sound awfully good to me these days.
3) You can bring one literary character into your current life. Who do you choose, and why?
At this point in my life, I’d want someone who is going to make me laugh, clean up my life, and clean up my house. I’d pick Dorothy from the book Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — she’s Lorelei’s sensible, sassy, brunette best friend. She’d slap me around and make me a martini and dazzle the kids into submission without breaking a sweat.
4) _________________ is my go-to book. I could read that book fifty-seven times in a row without a break for food or a pee and not be remotely bored. In fact I’ve already done that but it wasn’t fifty-seven times. It was sixty-four.
This question was the hardest on this quiz to answer. My reading list is so very, very long, and opportunities to read are so very hard to come by, that I rarely get a chance to re-read books, even favourites. Certainly, in the last 15 years or so, there’s been fewer than five books that I’ve read more than once, and none that I’ve read more than twice. Even as a teenager, I had a huge appetite for reading and would go through book after book after book, rarely returning to the same novel again. So I wouldn’t really say I have a “go to” book.
The only book I can think of that I have read many times is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I adore Ellen Raskin — I have all her books, and all of them except for The Westing Game are now out of print, so they’re among my most prized grab-in-case-of-fire possessions. I like all of them and have read most of them at least five times, but The Westing Game in particular is a beloved favourite. It’s the story of many disparate families brought to live in an apartment building under curious circumstances…and then they all find out that they have some sort of relationship to a recently deceased millionaire. He’s set up a sort of puzzle/game for each of the families to figure out who will inherit the fortune. I can’t recommend it enough to the 10-12 year olds you know.
5) Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most enviable?
Pippi Longstocking. The very idea of living alone in a house all your own, taking care of yourself, was both thrilling and terrifying. I thought about Pippi a lot — how I would behave in her situation, and whether or not I’d have enough spunk (and enough hair) to carry it off.
6) Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most frightening?
I was going to say Darth Vader here, but truth be told, when I saw Star Wars for the first time as a six-year-old, it was Chewbacca who freaked me out. All that growling! All that fur! Scary.
7) Every time I read _________________, I see something in it that I haven’t seen before.
This is going to sound weird, but for this question I choose the Zoe books by Barbara Reid. They’re toddler books, a series of four featuring Zoe and her visits to the park in different seasons. The books have just a few words in them, but the illustrations are amazing — carved out of plastercine, they’re full of depth and detail. I’ve read these books at least a hundred times with each of my kids and they love them — there is so much to notice and talk about every single time. We’ve given the set as gifts to every new parent we know and I love them. We’ll be putting these into the baby keepsake bin when the babies are all grown up for sure.
8) It is imperative that _________________ be made into a movie. Now. I am already picketing Hollywood for this; but if they cast _________________ as _________________, I will not be happy. I will, however, be appeased if they cast _________________.
Every time I read a book, I cast it in my mind. I’m always looking for just the perfect actor or actress to play the characters in my imagination, and I’m always thinking about how the book could be made into a movie. I think maybe the book-to-screenplay adaptation writer is one of my dream jobs. Anyway, when I was a kid I was obsessed with the books of Alexander Key (most famous for writing Return To Witch Mountain), and I’d love it if they made a movie out of a book of his called The Forgotten Door. Loved that book. It’s about a teenaged boy from another world who falls into ours — I’d prefer to cast an unknown in the role of Jon (the boy), but maybe Taylor Lautner from the Twilight movie would probably be a good second choice.
9) _________________ is a book that should never be made (or should have never been made) into a film.
They’ve been trying to make The Life of Pi into a movie for several years now. BAD IDEA. The story of a boy and a tiger on a boat for months, with only the boy’s internal monologue for action? Only Anthony Minghella could have done it, and he’s dead. GIVE IT UP.
10) After all these years, the _________________ scene in the book/movie _________________ still manages to give me the queebs.
Roald Dahl managed to distub me on more than one occasion. He has one short story about a boy who is harassed by bullies — first they make him lie on train tracks, and when he survives the passing of a train, they cut the wings off of a swan they find, make him climb a tree, and try to fly (the story is called “The Swan” — thanks internet!). Anyway, that story still gives me the shivers just thinking about it. The other one that comes to mind is the scene in The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, in which the protagonist pulls the black marble. If you’ve read the book, you KNOW what I mean.
11) After all these years, the _________________ scene in the book/movie _________________ still manages to give me a thrill.
I’m a Star Wars girl, and the scene where Luke blows up the death star still KICKS ASS. Even after a hundred viewings.
12) If I could corner the author _________________, here’s what I’d say to them one minute or less about their book, _________________:
My favourite book right now is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. If I could talk to her for just one minute, I’d tell her that her characters moved me; that her storytelling was perfectly balanced and gripping; and that her exerpts from The History Of Love (a book inside the book) were the most beautiful, deep paragraphs I’ve ever read. I’d tell her that she inspires me to write, and my dream is to be as good as her someday.
13) The coolest non-fiction book I’ve ever read is _________________. Every time I flip through it, it makes me want to _________________.
I’m not a non-fiction reader. The only non-fiction book I read multiple times as a kid was the atlas of the world. I love maps and atlases, and yet I hate travel. I know, I’m an enigma!
Want to play along? You can find the original copy of this meme here and if you fill it out, you could win a copy of Kate’s book.