I came across the below asks on Tumblr, and I thought I’d go through them. Some of them might be a bit difficult for me, since I don’t read very much fiction, so I might get a bit cheat-y at times if I have to. Remember kids, when things are hard, just cheat!
- 1: Currently Reading
Right now I’m reading The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie was just awesome! I really wanted to learn more about the world of Mad Max.
- 2: Describe the last scene you read in as few words as possible. No character names or title.
- 3: First book that had a major influence on you
Goosebumps: Why I’m Afraid of Bees. I got it from a book fair at school, and it was the book that first really got me into reading. I ended up owning over a hundred Goosebumps books before I finally stopped.
- 4: Quick, you’re in desperate need of a fake name. What character name do you think of first?
- 5: Favorite series and why
I’ve got a lot of series I really love. Probably my absolute favorite is the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. But there a lot of others that I especially enjoy, as well. James Bond, Arsene Lupin, Sherlock Holmes, &c. When I was younger, Goosebumps was my first favorite, and then I was really into Animorphs for a while. I really want to finish reading of the Lupin stories, though. I’ve already completed the other series.
- 6: Public library or personal library?
Public library. I really want an extensive, fancy personal library someday, but most likely, I’ll have already read everything in my own library. I can find a lot more new books at a public library.
- 7: What is the most important part of a book, in your opinion?
I guess for me, and this may partly be due to my interest in history, it’s the characters. I think interesting characters make a book enjoyable, even if a lot of other parts are weak. If you’re really interested in a character’s journey, they can still be interesting even when doing fairly mundane things.
- 8: Why are you reading the book you’re currently reading?
Because Mad Max: Fury Road was incredible, and I want to know more about it. It’s really neat seeing all the concept are, and seeing how the characters developed and evolved. Plus, I’m currently planning to be a War Boy for Halloween, so I can consider it research, even.
- 9: If you were to publish a book what (besides your real name) would you use for your author name?
Probably John Kutensky…
- 10: Do you listen to music when you read? Make a mini playlist for one of your favorite books.
I don’t like to. If there’s any English in the music, it just becomes extremely distracting. I always used to listen to this music while reading Arthur C Clarke, though.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFz5DMhrxTs
- 11: What book fandom do you affiliate yourself with the most?
Probably the Discworld fandom, just because there aren’t really any other series I like that have big fandoms. Not only do I not read much fiction, but I don’t read many books that are recently published. There’s not an enormous Judge Dee fandom in the Anglosphere…
- 12: Tell one book story or memory (what you were wearing when you were reading something, someone saw you cry in public, you threw a book across the room and broke a window, etc.)
Hm, I don’t really think I have any good ones… I’m pretty sure I’ve never thrown a book. Books rarely make me cry. I don’t care what I wear when reading. But let’s see… When I was a kid, I had this beautifully illustrated book about dinosaurs. I loved that book. It might still be buried in a bookshelf somewhere, actually. I just remember going through that book over and over. It definitely ignited my love of dinosaurs.
- 13: What character would be your best friend in real life?
I mean, that’s kind of up to them, too, isn’t it? I’d love Lupin as a friend, just because I think he’d involve you in a lot of fun and interesting stuff. As for people that I think I’d really get along with, were they real? Probably the Librarian, from Discworld. I love orangs, I love libraries, and I’ve had quite a few librarian friends already. I think we’d get along.
- 14: Favorite item of book merch
I don’t think I own any book merchandise… I guess just by default, it’s probably a little plush Sesshomaru, from the Inuyasha manga.
- 15: Post a shelfie.
Here it is! Finally unpacking books. I still have to read a few of these, but almost all of them are completed. The Bees is probably the most unusual of the bunch, and I’ve got some other shelves to unpack, but I figured this was a good start.
- 16: Rant about anything book related
Don’t write in library books. Don’t dog-ear the pages of library books. Don’t mistreat library books, you ungrateful bastards. Keep them pristine for the next reader. I’ve seen books with pages exacto’ed out to prevent other readers from seeing them. It’s crazy what people will do to library books. They don’t belong to you individually. They belong to all of us a society, and when you check them out, they’re being entrusted to your care. You wouldn’t be happy if your babysitter tattooed your kid, would you?
- 17: What do you think about movie/tv adaptations?
I like them. They’re a good way to introduce a lot of people to things that they may be missing out on. I most likely wouldn’t have started reading Arthur C Clarke without 2001: A Space Odyssey. Games of Thrones has definitely gotten a lot of people into the books, too. They’re not perfect, but hey, what is? It’s nice to have a quick, visual version of your favorite books to watch and enjoy whenever you want.
- 18: Favorite booktuber(s)
I have no idea what this means. I assume it’s someone on Youtube who discusses books? If so, I have none.
- 19: Book that you call your child.
I mean, I treat all my books pretty well, but there’s none that I’d call my child.
- 20: A character you like but you really, really shouldn’t.
This is how I feel about a lot of ancient personages. I really admire their deeds and actions, but I can’t help feeling that if I lived back then, with my political sensibilities left intact, I’d think most of them were dicks. The Romans could be extremely uncompromisingly douchey, especially. It’s easy to just look at the good sides of things 2300 years later, but I’d probably be really bothered by Scipio’s destruction of his ledger’s from the campaign in Asia at the time.
- 21: Do you loan your books?
Extremely rarely. I let an acquaintance borrow a library book in 5th grade and he lost it. Ever since then, I’ve been much less likely to loan out books.
- 22: A movie or tv show you wish would have been a book
I tend to just take things as they are. I do wish that the Monk books felt more like the show. I tried reading one and it just didn’t do it for me.
- 23: Did your family or friends influence you to read when you were younger?
My family did. They’re not big readers, but they definitely encouraged me, which is a good thing. I hope my future kids end up being big readers, too. I’ll definitely read to them a lot!
- 24: First book(s) you remember being obsessed with
Goosebumps. As I said before, I owned over a hundred of them. It’s strange to look back on how much I used to love horror stories. I still like them, but they’re not my favorite. Goosebumps probably got me into paranormal and supernatural stuff, though.
- 25: A book that you think about and you cringe because of how terrible it was
Frederick the Great’s Anti-Machiavel. Fritz is one of my favorite historical figures, and I really like Machiavelli, but the Anti-Machiavel was just mediocre. It’s a shame, because I was really hoping for something brilliant from this idealistic young prince who would end up being forced to embrace the sort of Machiavellianism that he decried in his youth, but it just wasn’t very good.
- 26: Do you read from recommendations or whatever book catches your eye?
Both. Especially back when I was in college, I used to just wander the stacks in sections I knew I liked, mostly history, and pick up anything that looked interesting. I do that a lot more rarely now. A lot of times I just come across a reference to an interesting book while reading something, and I make a note of it for later.
- 27: How/where do you purchase your books?
Mostly Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I’m awful, I know. I do like local bookstores when I come across them, though. I just generally don’t buy much, though. I mostly use the library. It’d be way too expensive to buy everything I read.
- 28: An ending you wish you could change
I’m going to cheat and use an anime instead, but Dusk Maiden of Amnesia managed to completely ruin a satisfying ending in five minutes. It was going so well! It had a bittersweet ending, a good climax was reached, and then bam! Surprise! No bitterness. Everything’s awesome! Candy and blowjobs for everyone, without any hard work or sacrifice! Ugh. If I hadn’t watched the last few minutes, I would like that series so much more.
- 29: Favorite female protagonist.
Ann Burden from Z for Zachariah. She’s left alone after a nuclear war, and manages to eke out an existence for herself. I haven’t seen the recent movie, but I don’t plan to. How on earth you can read that book and think it needs a fucking love triangle is beyond me. But in the books, she’s a capable, intelligent, determined young woman, and she’s great.
- 30: One book everyone should read
Plutarch’s Lives. I think that it’s important for people to have some sort of shared cultural background. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Shakespeare or Star Wars, but it’s useful to have something for people to reference, to draw inspiration from, &c. I think the Lives are a wonderful source for that sort of thing. There are so many wonderful history lessons and personalities in them. I believe that society would be enriched if everyone read Plutarch at some point, giving us a common historical bedrock, as it were, a foundation that we all shared.
- 31: Do you day dream about your favorite books? If so, share one fantasy you have about them.
Not really, unless you count history books. If so, then I sometimes fantasize about being able to experience life in ancient Rome, during the glory days of the Republic.
- 32: OTP or NoTP?
Well, history books don’t leave much room for OTPs… I guess I’ll go with Most von Lipwig and Adora Belle Dearheart from Going Postal. I really love Adora Belle Dearheart; her traits have definitely found their way into a few characters. I think they make for a really good couple.
- 33: Cute and fluffy or dramatic and deadly?
I tend towards cute and fluffy. There are definitely times for dramatic and deadly, too, though. Depends on my mood, I suppose. I feel like most of the stories I write here tend to be bleak and depressing, so maybe that should be my selection.
- 34: Scariest book you ever read
I can’t really think of any books that have really scared me. I guess if I have to choose, I’ll say the Nuclear War Atlas, by William Bunge. It’s a collection of maps about nuclear war and its effects. It’s pretty chilling, especially stuff like showing how much of New England would be covered in nuclear bombs, and how since most hospitals are in cities, not only would a nuclear attack kill and wound a lot of people, it’d also disproportionately kill doctors and destroy hospitals. I think I read that after Hiroshima was bombed, only a single hospital wasn’t destroyed, and one of its doctors survived. I’ll have to do a post about William Bunge, because I love his maps.
- 35: What do you think of Ebooks
I’ve nothing against them, but they’re not for me. I like having a hardcopy that I can hold and touch and feel.
- 36: Unpopular opinions
I think Mardonius from Herodotus’s Histories is pretty awesome. I get he’s supposed to be evil, but there’s something about his straight-forward, practically brutal worldview that I really love. His argument for the Persians invading Greece was basically, “Look, we invaded all these other countries for no reasons. How can we not invade Greece after they actually did something to deserve it?”
- 37: A book you are scared is not going to be all you hoped it would be
The Secret History of the Mongols. I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time, and I’m worried it’s going to be very dry and boring or just not what I’ve hoping for.
- 38: What qualities do you find annoying in a character?
I especially hate when people think intentionally annoying is cute or funny. It very rarely is. Intentionally annoying is still annoying. You see it in bad comedy or “satire” a lot. For some reason people think that just having someone be bluntly annoying is somehow comical, and they’re wrong. It’s awful. As for specific qualities, though, I really dislike when characters are just amazing without trying or deserving. Jack Black characters tend to fall into this category. I was rooting for that cannon-making peacock the entire movie. Great job stopping the Chinese industrial revolution, you stupid panda.
- 39: Favorite villain
Does Lupin count? I mean, he steals a lot of stuff. Just because he doesn’t kill doesn’t mean he isn’t a villain. When I was younger, it would probably have been Sesshomaru. Another one I really like, and one who’s definitely a villain, is Kronsteen, the chess master from From Russia With Love. I like the thought of someone being able to use their analytical skills in order to plan plots the way he does. I probably have a bias because I’m a chess fan, though.
- 40: Has there ever been a book you wish you could un-read?
I wish I could un-read The Boys from Brazil and forget everything I know about it, because I feel that the impact of the book was kind of ruined for me because I already knew the twist. I wish I had been able to discover the truth along with the characters. So if you’ve never read The Boys from Brazil and you like thrillers, read it right now without any further research!