The School Subjects Tag…
One of our newer bloggers, notsomoderngirl, has come up with this great idea for a tag, and I’m delighted that’s she’s tagged me! My own schooldays are…ahem… a few years ago now, but fortunately I don’t think my answers are going to be graded, so even the Chemistry section doesn’t intimidate me!
1. Maths – What’s a book that left your head spinning in circles?
It’s got to be Children of Dune! I loved Dune and Dune Messiah, but this third one is seriously weird. My suspicion is that it wasn’t only the characters in the book that were indulging in mind-altering substances. This extract from my review will give you an idea of my befuddlement…
…has Paul really died in the desert? Who is the mysterious Preacher who keeps popping up and calling Alia names? If he is Paul, why is he trying to undermine his family’s rule? Why do Leto and Ghani want to get to Jacurutu? How come Leto is having prescient dreams if he’s not taking spice? What is the Golden Path that Leto keeps banging on about as the way to save something? Save what? Or who? Seriously – if you know the answers, do tell – personally I’m baffled!
2. English – Which book do you think has beautiful written expression?
Oh, so many! Hmm… I think I’ll pick this beautifully crafted metaphor from John Knowles’ book about boys preparing to go off as soldiers in WW2, A Separate Peace…
Winter’s occupation seems to have conquered, overrun and destroyed everything, so that now there is no longer any resistance movement left in nature; all the juices are dead, every sprig of vitality snapped, and now winter itself, an old, corrupt, tired conqueror, loosens its grip on the desolation, recedes a little, grows careless in its watch; sick of victory and enfeebled by the absence of challenge, it begins to withdraw from the ruined countryside.
3. Physics – Who is your favourite scientifically minded character from a book/film?
4. Biology – Who is your favourite book/film/series character?
That would have to be Andy Dalziel, and frankly they don’t come much more biological than him! I love his attitude to life and his larger-than-life persona. But even though he does things his own way , he’s by no means a stereotypical maverick. And I love the way he and his junior colleague Peter Pascoe develop an unlikely friendship over the years, despite being almost polar opposites to each other in every way.
5. Chemistry – Who is your favourite literary couple?
Oh, come on! This can’t even be multiple choice!
6. French – What is your favourite foreign book/film/programme?
Oh dear, if there’s one thing reviewing has taught me, it’s that I’m incredibly insular when it comes to books, and with films 99.999% of everything I watch is either British or American. But I do have a real weakness for Indian novels, even though again they feel like a bit of a cheat since a) they’re written in English (the ones I read, that is) and b) I most enjoy them because of India’s connection to us via the British Empire and later the Commonwealth. I’ve enjoyed some Nordic crime in translation, though I’m not quite as hooked as a lot of the crime reading community. A difficult one… I’m going to say…
7. Art – Have you ever judged a book by its cover, even if you weren’t meant to?!
I truly don’t think I’ve ever picked a book purely on the basis of its cover. But I’ve rejected millions! All those cheesy romances with bare-chested men dressed in everything from kilts to cossack outfits – ugh! And the fifty-seven million identikit “psychological thrillers” with a girl (oh yes, never a woman!) in a red jacket walking or running away, and a giant sticker saying “the next Gone Girl/Girl on a Train etc” – double ugh! If they can’t be original on the cover, what hope is there for the content?! But here are a few covers I love…
8. History – What was the last historical book you read?
Hmm… that would be The White Guard again, so I won’t duplicate. And the one before that I didn’t like, so no to it too. Which takes me back to…
…The Death of Kings by Rennie Airth. I really enjoy this crime series set just after WW2. Slower and more thoughtful than a lot of current crime fiction, and with a definite nod to the Golden Age. (Oh, and I adore this cover, too!)
9. Drama – What’s a book that you think has a lot of over-dramatic hype?
Nearly every new psychological thriller!
“A brilliant new original thriller that’s just like that last great thriller you read and has 48,932 twists including one that involves the supernatural because the writer couldn’t get out of the hole she’d dug without ghostly intervention!”
It always come with quotes from authors who share a publisher with the author of this book, and are desperate to hang on to their book deals…
“This author’s use of language is brilliantly innovative! She completely ignores the rules of grammar (and spelling, and the correct definition of words) and uses the “f” word in ways that will astound you!”
“Brilliantly original, the angst-ridden, alcoholic, drug-addicted protagonist of this story must battle sexism, racism, and homophobia while trying to recover from the grief of losing her entire family and six friends in a freak tornado in Auchtermuchty!”
“I loved this book so much – who’d have guessed that the dog actually contained the spirit of the murdered child back from the beyond to lead the police to the murderer? What a brilliant twist!”
10. Geography – Which literary destination would you really like to visit? (They can be real or fictional!)
I’d love to go for a night out in The Green Dragon pub in Hobbiton – hobbits seem to know how to have fun!
Ideally that would be the one in Middle Earth, but if for some reason I couldn’t get there, I’d settle for the one on the movie set in New Zealand…
Join me? Bloggers Night Out – BYOB*
*(Bring Your Own Book).
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Thanks again, notsomoderngirl – I had fun doing this! And as usual, I tag anyone who’d like to answer these questions… 😀