This tag has been circulating on the BookTube having been started by Marie Berg and the questions were just pretty interesting, and I hunted down the New York Times columns which were really interesting so I figured I’d share my answers here.
At the minute, I have Why Nations Fail by James Robinson & Daron Acemoglu which I’m currently on pause in my reading as whilst the contents are really interesting, the writing is a tad unengaging and I’m finding that I need to be reading something engaging after work. Then there’s Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth which is kind of a retelling of the Rapunzel story, so far it’s okay; still mostly scene setting. Then I’ve also got a couple of magazines, Glamour as its one of the only ‘women’s magazine’s’ that I can read without feeling rubbish and then The New Statesman.
2) What was the last truly great book that you read?
‘Great’ is such a massive word! I would say that the last ‘five star’ book I read was So You’ve Been Publically Shamed by Jon Ronson which I thought was just brilliant, and prior to that was probably Animal Farm by George Orwell which is such a skilled satire. Or maybe even Quiet by Susan Cain which was so important in terms of helping me feel good about my personality but is maybe not the best-written book? Who knows-all three are definitely worth a read!
Whilst this might not be such a surprise now, I have a lot of musical theatre related books floating around. Including both of Stephen Sondheim’s lyric collections/memoirs and a Broadway yearbook. It’s a real love.
I don’t! Sorry internet.
6) What book have you always meant to read but haven’t? Anything you feel embarrassed to have never read?
There are a lot of books languishing on my TBR shelf, some of which I’ve literally had for about five years which I’m definitely embarrassed not to have read them.
7) Disappointing, overrated & just not good: what book did you feel like you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
I’d say the last book I was really disappointed not to like was probably The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, because I so wanted to like it. Aside from Why Nations Fail, the last book I gave up on was Nobody Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, which was just a little too quirky for me.
I read all sorts of things, anything that just has an interesting premise really sucks me in. I do like multiple narratives and a sprawling time period. And stories with a bit of a gothic vibe.
9) If you could require the president/prime minister to read one book, what would it be?I don’t feel like I’ve read enough important, message books that I feel like political leaders could really learn from, but perhaps We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because I am tired of male politicians just not getting it at all.
I think Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is up next, he’s a favourite author of mine so I’m excited.