Saturday, January 9, 2010

Book Survey

1. 1. What is one of your favorite genres? Dystopian novels… one day I will teach a college course about them!

2. What is your least favorite genre? Romance novels.

3. What is your all-time favorite book? Too many… some of my top ones ever: Peter and Wendy, Sunset Song, The Road, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, The Death Gate Cycle, Hounds of the Morrigan, Endurance, The Poisonwood Bible, The Graveyard Book….

4. What is the first book you remember reading? Some Peewee Scouts book.

5. Do you prefer books or audio books? Books! And no, not Kindles!

6. Who are your favorite authors? Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Cormac McCarthy, William Sleator, Brandon Sanderson, Lemony Snicket, C.S. Lewis, Dave Barry…lots. Wow, where are the girls on this list??

7. How many books do you read in a year? Probably way, way too many.

8. Do you buy books or borrow them from the library? Both. I get a lot from the library. But I have no problems buying them since I figure I’ll want to own all the books on my to-read list eventually anyway.

9. How many books do you own? We have three bookcases… and every time we get a new one, it’s full in a matter of months.

10. What is your most prized book? The Secret of the Unicorn Queen series, which is totally lame because they’re pretty weak sauce books, but I was obsessed when I was a tween (I mean, come on, it’s about unicorns!), and so I bought them this year on Amazon, where the cheapest each one could be found for was like $20.

11. What are the worst books you have ever read (or tried to read)? I hate The Great Gatsby, which offends friends and family members every time I say it, I know, but I just can’t catch the fire. I also found this short story by Tolkien called Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham… ugh, so terrible!!

12. Have you read any modern day sequels you liked? Umm…. I don’t know if I’ve read any… or what this means exactly.

13. What is your favorite quote from a book? There is a part from The Rape of Lucrece that my dad and I always love to quote… it’s beautiful. But I’m not sure that counts as a book, since it’s a long poem. Okay, a few others: I love the scene in Jacob Have I Loved where she goes on about the old man’s hands—I guess that may be weird and creepy, but I think it’s beautiful. I also love En La Ardiente Oscuridad, when the protagonist keeps repeating more and more vehemently “Yo quiero ver!” And there’s an article by Dave Barry called “A Million Words,” about his father’s death, which is absolutely genius, understated and beautiful.

14. Who is your all-time favorite male character? Probably Alfred from the Death Gate Cycle. But Holden Caulfield is a pretty great second—a very entertaining downer!

15. Who is your all-time favorite female character? Definitely Chris Guthrie from Sunset Song. And a very close (and hilarious) second is Father Damien from The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (yes, I read the question right—this is a female character).

16. What highly recommended book have you not liked? I’m not a big fan of Tuesdays With Morrie, sorry. I have a hard time with books that push emotion on the reader—I feel that the story and writing should do that without extra coercion, you know? So yes, I’m heartless, but there it is. Although I didn’t hate it… it was just nothing to crow about.

17. A character you love to hate? Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. The housekeeper in Rebecca (I don’t even remember her name). Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (though Phoebus really isn’t any better).Ooh, and Annie Wilkes from Misery… yikes! And the father in The Poisonwood Bible—not sure if he’s really a villain, but you definitely hate him. Probably more…

18. Do you belong to a book club? Yes, two: My old ward’s book club; and the Scottish Literature Club at BYU—they still let me attend, even though I’ve graduated. Yeah for nerds!

19. What was the last book you purchased? I bought The Host for my sister-in-law.

20. What are you reading now? Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ© by Fannie Flagg. It’s great! I also just finished Princess Academy by Shannon Hale—that was mid-survey.

21. What book made you cry the hardest? I bawled in Walk Two Moons (in my defense, I read it just two months before my mom died, so.). More recently, I cried in Sunset Song, which surprised me because it had been years since I cried over a book. Lovely book—one of my favorites.

22. What book made you laugh the most? Oh geez, definitely Good Omens—that book had me rolling all week! I also crack up every time I read The Goblin Companion or anything by Dave Barry.

23. What is your favorite children's book (one you would choose to read to your kids)? Whoa, just one?! Not possible… Let’s see… Skippyjon Jones—fabulous! Any Dr. Seuss classics. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. The Olivia books. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie (Edwards) Andrews. The Monster at the End of This Book. In a Dark Dark Room. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, or anything really by Jon Scieska. Oh man, I could go on and on….

24. If you were to choose a book to give as a gift, what would it be? Probably The Road, because it could appeal to many types of readers. And it is incredible.

25. List 5 books you have read more than once: The Little Prince, Brave New World, The Death Gate Cycle, Jacob Have I Loved, Interstellar Pig.

26. What is your favorite book made into a movie? I think they did a fabulous job with The Princess Bride. I love Holes. And the 5 hour-long Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.

27. Did you like the book or movie better? Actually, with these three, I liked the movie better, which HARDLY ever happens!

28. What book would you like to see made into a movie? I have always wanted the Jim Henson group to make The Hounds of the Morrigan into a movie, because it would be totally awesome! Most of the other ones I can think of are already movies… and others I would never want made into a movie.

29. Do you prefer hardcover or softcopy? Softcover—it’s cheaper.

30. Do you leave the dustcover on while you are reading a book? No, because they always get bent and curled, which bothers me.

31. Where do you usually read? In my bed or on the living room couch… sometimes in the bath.

32. When do you usually read? Whenever Coren is napping.

33. Do you keep a TBR (to-be-read) list? Yes!! I’m always adding to it, so it seems to be getting longer instead of shorter. And is the BEST!

34. Do you usually have more than one book that you are reading at a time? Sometimes—I will always read a regular book along with a poetry collection, because you can’t do straight poetry; there needs to be the occasional break.

35. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Nope. I just know I’ve been reading since I was three years old.

36. Who do you tag? Oh, anyone that’s interested. I didn’t actually get tagged, I just liftd the survey off Rachel’s blog—Thanks, Rachel!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

Coren Alma Brooks is 1 year old!

Well, he was actually a year old 3 days ago... but I'm a Sorensen; things are late.

It was a simple little party, which is how we wanted it... Chad and I aren't big fans of the "giant birthday bash for the one year-old who doesn't even get it anyway"... um, no offense to my lovely friends who are believers in that--you still rock! :)

Although now, in retrospect, I wish I had at least put up streamers--that was just a complete mind blank. Oh well, no streamers.

Grandma Brooks made delicious enchiladas (more for Coren's pregnant mother, who was craving them, than for himself, really).

Then we gave him his presents--unwrapped because he could care less about wrapping paper. Our rule this year was that his gifts had to be homemade. So Chad and I made some pretty rad little Spanish alphabet blocks, and he's been enjoying knocking down the towers we make with them. His Aunt Summer knitted him this fabulous little scarf that fits him just perfectly! And he loves it! Okay, Grandma and Grandpa Brooks bought him a wagon full of Lego-type blocks, but only because their homemade gift isn't quite done yet. So we let it slide... Ha! No, he loved the wagon--especially dumping out the blocks and riding inside it!

Then it was cake time. This year we did Mr. Noisy, inspired by the Mr. Men book he got from his cousin, Cian, for Christmas. It was a pretty fun and hilarious experience making the cake. Luckily I had my cake-making expert mother-in-law there to coach me on the filling (delicious raspberry pudding goo!) and the frosting. And then we remembered... does anyone ever get red food coloring to actually produce red frosting? Because I think it always comes out pink. So there. My son got a pink cake. But once we got the hands and shoes and black piping on, he looked a little less feminine. And... he was delicious!

Ironically, Coren hated this part of the celebration. He couldn't figure out why we wanted him to stick his hands in the gooey frosting. So I tried to help him along, see if I could get him enthused about it. Nope. Once his hands were covered in the stuff, he started crying and trying to shake it off. Not his favorite thing. So we ended that, cleaned him up, and gave him some ice cream--everything was better with the ice cream. My child is an ice cream fiend... not just a normal Sorensen ice cream fiend! This is really the only time he becomes an angry beast--when we don't shovel it into his mouth fast enough! Wow. What have we created?!

So that was the night. It was really just right for the Dude. Start to finish. Some of the things that Coren does these days that bring me joy:

-He does a killer Stevie Wonder impression. Everyone should see it.
-He must have one foot up on the table when he eats... can we say OCD?
-He grins and dances to "Fireflies" by Owl City, his favorite song.
-He has learned to say "uh-oh" and loves using it.
-He loves brushing his teeth--LOVES it!
-When Dad comes home, he is all smiles and laughter--tender!
-Periodically, all throughout the day, he will interrupt his playing, walk over to me, climb in my lap and hug me--just briefly--then he's off to play some more. I guess it just recharges his batteries. This is my favorite thing of all.