This idea came from Cherie over at ThatBlogWhereCherieMovestoGermany, who got the idea from They Call Me Tater, who found it at Ashley’s Blog, who found it at The Boundless Books Blog. Whew! Why not join in, or leave your own answers to a few of these questions in the comments?

Author Youโ€™ve Read the Most From:

In fiction, probably Ian McEwan or Alice McDermott (I try not to miss anything from her; she visited with an online book club I belong to, not long ago, and was as lovely as her prose. #authorswoon.) In nonfiction, David Giffels, who writes about my native NE Ohio with a keen eye and a big heart. In poetry, Ross Gay, who never fails to challenge the mind and delight the senses.

Best Sequel Ever:

I don’t read many series, but Marilynne Robinson’s masterpiece GILEAD, set after JACK, which was most recently published, is one of my all-time favorite novels. (I have yet to read the other two in the series: LILA and HOME, the latter of which is on my nightstand waiting patiently for me.)

Currently Reading:

I’m always reading a few at a time. Right now, I’m reading THE MERCIES by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, set in 1600s Norway; WILD SWIMS, a collection of short and flash fiction from Dorthe Nors, who is Danish; and thumbing through THE KALEVALA: TALES OF MAGIC AND ADVENTURE by Kirsti Makinen, all to inform my own writing of a historical story I’m working on set in Finland.

I’m also reading OHIO APERTURES, creative nonfiction by Robert Miltner; and RUNNING FOR HOME by Edward McClelland, which I plan to talk about here at the blog.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Typical American: coffee. Black in the morning and with a little cream and sugar in the afternoon.

E-Reader or Physical Book:

Physical book. In a pinch, a PDF on my computer, but my hand-me-down Nook (yes, I’m that old) just collected dust, so I never upgraded.

I do love a good audio book, but I was finding that I was filling all my quiet time in the car and on walks with those stories, instead of using that time to hammer my own stories out in my head.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

Well, I was a ballet dancer in high school, so can we change this to “movie” character–and let’s go with Mikhail Baryshnikov in WHITE NIGHTS. (And, let’s change “actually” to “in my dreams.”)

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

I didn’t read much poetry until a handful of years ago, when a friend recommended Marie Howe to me. Her book MAGDALENE is now a favorite.

Hidden Gem Book:

THE NEW MIDWEST by Mark Athitakis is a guide to modern-day fiction of the Rust Belt and thereabouts that was published by a hidden gem press, Belt Publishing, out of Cleveland. I love books set in NYC and L.A. as much as the next reader, but it’s nice to find good ones set closer to home.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

Reading Ross Gay’s THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS, when I thought: Oh, I can write toward joy, too.  

Just Finished:

I just finished Dawn Newton’s THE REMNANTS OF SUMMER, set in a lakeside community in Michigan over two summers–a lovely coming-of-age novel that reminded me of home.

Kind of Books You Wonโ€™t Read:

Never say never, but I’m generally not a romance reader.

Longest Book You Read:

Lately, Caitlin Horrocks’s THE VEXATIONS–and it was worth every single word.

Major Book Hangover:

See above. I was so sad when that book ended, so sad to be thrust out of Erik Satie’s turn-of-the-century Paris, I went to thank the author on Twitter. Then I bought a signed copy from her local bookstore and am anxiously awaiting it. Can’t wait to begin the story again!

Number of Bookcases You Own:

In the house? Lots. There are four avid readers here. In my office, I have three small bookcases made for me by my dad. (Thanks, Dad!)

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

I have read ANGELA’S ASHES by Frank McCourt several times–once just before taking the Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour in Limerick, Ireland, on my honeymoon. It was drizzling and gray that day, as a small group of us traipsed around McCourt’s hometown and saw the sights from his celebrated memoir.

Preferred Place to Read:

On the porch, if the weather’s nice.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book Youโ€™ve Read:

โ€œA crooked way / the world wends, and the rivers, and the prophets.” That’s a line from a poem by Dave Lucas called “River on Fire.”

Reading Regret:

That I don’t have twice (or thrice) the time to read.

Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in series):

See above re: Marilynne Robinson’s books.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

So tough. This week? Novels:

  • Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD
  • SHINER by Amy Jo Burns
  • Ian McEwan’s THE INNOCENT

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Ross Gay. Do poets and essayists have fangirls? I don’t know. But I admire his work greatly and am so thrilled I will get to meet him at my favorite literary festival, Lit Youngstown’s 2021 Fall Literary Festival. Registration is open. Why don’t you meet us there?

Worst Book Habit:

Reading a half dozen books at a time and losing them all over the house.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top LefT of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

Gabino Iglesias’s COYOTE SONGS

Your Latest Book Purchase:


ZZZ-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up Way Late):

I’ve been reading THE MERCIES before bed–it’s so good I wish I could stay up all night, reading it, but also I don’t want it to end!

14 thoughts on “A-Z Bookish Questions

  1. A terrific list! I love the feel of an actual book, although I also have some on my iPad…I read more non-fiction but try to mix a fiction book in a quarter of the time. I love going back to re-experience a favorite book as well…so many great questions you answered….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great answers! It’s nice that you read on the porch. People in the UK don’t often have a porch to read on (seems to me to be an American thing?) but I like reading in the garden in the sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooo. This looks fun and right up my bowling alley; I’ll have to do it!

    And your reread is my unfinished! Couldn’t get through Angela’s Ashes – too depressing. You’re a better person than me ๐Ÿ˜› But I don’t read bodice-rippers either. I mean, if the story has some romance, lovely, yes, please. But those sex scenes and burning loins… even after a few during my teens, I found that I couldn’t keep reading them. But I know they are SO popular … I think maybe I’m too unromantic or something!

    The questions are great, too, and I love getting to know you better. Ballet! There’s a story there, too, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun! I can’t wait to read yours.

      Oh, Angela’s Ashes is polarizing, I think. And maybe it’s partly a Catholic thing, to find joy in depressing stuff. We are a penitential lot!

      And romance novels. Yes, why can’t I write a romance one?! But I suppose I’d have to read them first.

      I’m so looking forward to your answers and seeing what stories you share. Hope you are having a nice weekend–or I guess week, where you are, in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s great to wish friends back in the States, HBD from the future ๐Ÿ˜€

        Some the questions are hard, too! I’ll have to think about them for a bit.

        Take good care, hugs from future land, xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. WOW – that is a fun blog prompt! I have to have another cup of coffee (or more) and regain my at-home versus vacation brain in order to adequately respond. But, I must say you did inspire me to get thinking about how to join in. I so enjoyed your responses, I imagine it came easier to you with all your reading and writing experience?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun, Shelley. Of course, as soon as I posted it, I thought, Oh no, I forgot that favorite book and that one… It’s been fun to see the A-Z questions answered by readers of so many different types! To see where we differ and where we come together. And here’s to keeping some of the vacation-brain, if it means relaxation at home!

      Liked by 1 person

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