BTT: Autobiographies vs Biographies

btt2BTT is a weekly meme found here.

Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

I don’t think I have a preference, but in searching through some of my favorites, they all tend to be autobiographies/memoirs.  There don’t seem to be any biographies at all.  Maybe I just tend to read more autobiographies than not–I don’t know.  But here are some of my favorites.

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Which do you prefer?

BTT: One Question

btt2 Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that can be found here.

If you could ask your favorite author (alive or dead) one question … who would you ask, and what would the question be?

There is not one specific author that I am dying to sit down and chaat with.  Moreover, I can’t think of one burning question I have.  But if I could choose an author to meet and talk with, these are the ones I would choose.

Dead:

Jane Austen–I love all of her books and her writing has such a sharp witticism about it.  I am guessing she would have been a lot of fun to talk to.  Margaret_Mitchell.295181639_std

Margaret Mitchell–Gone with the Wind is quite possibly my favorite book ever.  Just meeting the person who wrote such a tome would be enough of a reason for me to want to meet Mitchell.  Plus, there is something so tragic about her, perhaps stemming from the way she died.

John Kennedy Toole:  I love Confederacy of Dunces.  Such a hilarious book and Ignatius is one of my favorite literary characters ever.  I would want to meet Toole for that reason alone.  Plus, Toole’s suicide at a young age adds some intrigue.

Alive:

Bret Easton Ellis: His writing is so different from anything I have ever read.  I think he would be immensly entertaining.

Augusten Burroughs: He just cracks me up.  I think we would have a grand old time together.  And I’d like to meet Dennis, Bentley and The Cow.

BTT: Weeding

btt2

BTT is a weekly meme that you can find here.

We’re moving in a couple weeks (the first time since I was 9 years old), and I’ve been going through my library of 3000+ books, choosing the books that I could bear to part with and NOT have to pack to move. Which made me wonder…

When’s the last time you weeded out your library? Do you regularly keep it pared down to your reading essentials? Or does it blossom into something out of control the minute you turn your back, like a garden after a Spring rain?

Or do you simply not get rid of books? At all? (This would have described me for most of my life, by the way.)

And–when you DO weed out books from your collection (assuming that you do) …what do you do with them? Throw them away (gasp)? Donate them to a charity or used bookstore?  SELL them to a used bookstore? Trade them on Paperback Book Swap or some other exchange program?

I haven’t weeded through my bookshelves in a LONG time–a year at least.  When I moved a few months ago, I kept coming across books I didn’t know I had.  I felt like I was seeing some of them for the first time ever.  Who knows where they came from!

I would say 90-95% of the books I have right now I want to keep.  There are a few I could part with though.  When I do go through my books, I usually put the ones I no longer want aside to take to Half Price Books.  I also have used Paper Back Swap in the past.

The only time I’ve thrown books away is if they’re pretty severely damaged and I don’t think anyone would want them.  That happened to a few books in my basement–they had water damage and smelled of mildew.

How does everyone else handle the over-expansion of their libraries?

BTT: Create Your Own Question

WG Book Pile URL_thumb[3]Suggested by Barbara H: I was wanting to try a certain author and wished I knew someone who had read her works so I could get a recommendation when it occurred to me that having a “YOU ask the question” Booking Through Thursday might be fun. Each participant could ask a question they’ve wanted to discuss with other readers. Perhaps, like me, you’d like a recommendation of a certain author’s best work, or perhaps you LOVE a certain genre or series but no one else you know does and you’d just like to discuss it with someone. Or perhaps you want to try a new genre and would like recommendations from seasoned readers. It would help if everyone put some idea of the question or topic in their response comment here rather than just saying, “My post is up” so that those who can’t get around to everyone can see what the topics are and get to those which most interest them.

What a fun BTT! My question is two-fold I suppose. First off, what is a book that is SO different from what I normally read (if you don’t have an idea of what my books generally consist of, there is a tab at the top of my site with the books I’ve read so far this year—it shows a pretty good idea of what I generally choose. Mostly literary fiction with a bit of YA thrown in) that you would recommend for me to read anyway because you think I’d like it. Some genres that I stay away from are sci-fi, fantasy, romance . . . so it could be from one of those.

OR

What is a book that YOU never thought you’d enjoy. A book that was from a genre you’re unfamiliar with but that you read that one time and fell in love with.

Feel free to answer one or both (or neither!) question.

BTT: Unfinished books?

btt2Suggested by Monibo:

Saw this article (from March) and thought it would make a good BTT confessional question:

Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven’t. Have you? Why? What book?

There are two books that come to mind immediately.  I gave both of them immense effort, but it was just  impossible for me to finish either of them.

The first one is A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens.  I am almost always completely honest in admitting that I did not read the last forty-five or so pages.  I just couldn’t do it.  However, I still count it as a book I’ve read, because I did read 90% of it, so that has to count for something, right??

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The other book I count as having read I didn’t get nearly as far as I did in A Tale of Two Cities.  That book would be The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper.  I was supposed to read it for one of my English classes in college but became bored immediately and barely read any of it.  I guess because I had to pretend in class that I had read it, my lie just stuck.  Whatever the reason, I have included this book on lists of books I’ve read when really, it has no business being included.

1355-1Anyone else bluffed about reading a certain book, or am I the only one?!

BTT: Recent Sad

btt2What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?

I honestly feel that I haven’t been reading any horribly depressing books recently.  Sure, almost every book has sad bits in it, but a book that actually strikes me as sad is harder to come by.  One such book that was more sad than not was How it Ends, by Laura Weiss.  I was almost brought to tears, which rarely happens with books for me.  I just was heartbroken over the lapsed relationship between Helen, the older neighborly woman and Hanna, the teenage protagonist.  Helen was dying of Parkinson’s and losing all her faculties, which was very traumatic.  She was also rehashing the previous events of her life, which involved many trials and tribulations.  If you’re looking to get a good cry, this book would be a good choice!

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Another book that comes to mind is Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje.  It’s a very lyric book that is low on plot, but what does occur in the book is very disturbing.  The three main characters, Anna, Coop, and Claire, all have this sense of acute melancholy about them that just permeates the entire book.

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I want to hear from everyone else now–what is the saddest book you’ve read recently?


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