Posted by: Kirsty | April 12, 2009

The Literary Note Meme

Thanks to Ruth for this one… I do like a good meme.

1) What author do you own the most books by?

Oh gosh, I’m not sure. I own every novel by Charles Dickens, except one, so he’s a possibility. I have a lot of Virginia Woolf too.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A Penguin Classics, an Oxford Classics, an illustrated edition, a 1912 edition, and the graphic novel version.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

Actually no. It should have, probably.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Heathcliff. A very un-feminist guilty pleasure.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?

It’s probably pretty equal rankings between Jane Eyre and Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old?

Matilda by Roald Dahl. It’s still my favourite kid’s book.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Really quite depressingly awful. Before that, it was another Booker nominated novel from a couple of years ago, Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan.

8 ) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

That’s a toughie. I’ll have to have several. The Victorians by A.N. Wilson; Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope; The Yellow Wallpaper and Selected Writings by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The Nether World by George Gissing.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

Only one? Jane Eyre because it’s always even better than you remember it. Failing that, I think more people should read Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

I agree with Ruth that Margaret Atwood must be in the running. I’m not sure that they’ll ever top Doris Lessing in terms of writers still living.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

I have a morbid fear of books-as-movies. Also, I don’t like going to the cinema very much, so do you mind if I pass?

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

All of ’em. See above.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

Hmm. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had one. How odd.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

I suppose it depends on your definition of lowbrow. I do love a bit of crime fiction now and then, so it was probably Ian Rankin or something.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Again, difficult to whom? I’ve read Ulysses (more than once!), which was a bit of a slog the first time at least. I’m sure I still don’t get the vast majority of it.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

I haven’t *seen* any obscure ones, though I’ve read quite a few of them thanks to the Shakespeare module during my undergrad.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Hmm. I love Zola. But then, I’ve very much enjoyed the two Dostoyevsky novels I’ve read. I think Scandanavian literature is underrated.

18 ) Roth or Updike?

Neither, particularly.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Sedaris, at a push.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?


21) Austen or Eliot?

Eliot, any day of the week.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Never having finished Vanity Fair, given that I’m nearing the end of an MA in Victorian Studies.

23) What is your favorite novel?

Joint top: Jane Eyre and Mrs Dalloway.

24) Play?

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams; The Tempest by Shakespeare; I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright.

25) Poem?

Mirror by Sylvia Plath; Raisin Pumpernickel by Marge Piercy; Christabel by Coleridge; Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold; more or less anything by Carol Ann Duffy.

26) Essay?

Of course, it has to be A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.

27) Short story?

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

28 ) Work of nonfiction?

The Victorians by A.N. Wilson

29) Who is your favourite writer?

I have lots. Woolf; the Brontes; Sarah Waters; Ali Smith; Jonathan Coe; Emile Zola; George Eliot; Haruki Murakami; David Mitchell…

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

That bloody Twilight woman.

31) What is your desert island book?

I’d like to wrangle one-volume edition of The Complete Work of Dickens. That would keep me going. How huge would that be? If not, then War and Peace, as Ruth suggests. Would be an ideal opportunity to read it.

32) And… what are you reading right now?

I’ve been reading lots of chapters and articles and essays for my uni work. Other than that, Wise Children by Angela Carter.



  1. chartroose will steal this and give kirsty credit. Chartroose still really enjoys your blog.

  2. Agree totally with your feelings on Jane Eyre. I would make everyone read it if I could.

    I am currently ‘in love with’ Richard Hannay as I am going through a John Buchan phase. He is just so stiff upper lipped, patriotic and brave and you get the feeling he would sweep the little woman right off her feet. Great stuff

  3. Heathcliffe!!!?!! I’m shocked!


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