August 25, 2009

20 Questions- Featuring Amanda of The Zen Leaf

Welcome back to my new feature, 20 Questions, where we get to know our fellow book bloggers a little better. Today I would like to present to you the awesome Amanda of the blogs The Zen Leaf and The Ramblings of a Hopeful Artist... She will be answering the 20 Questions today. Thanks, Amanda!


1. Last book you bought: My husband recently bought me Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson. I know that's not the same thing, but the last time I bought books it was a whole bunch so I thought this would be an easier answer. :)

2. Last book you got in the mail: I won Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler from Lizzy at Cornucopia of Reviews. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it!

3. The first book you read over and over: Goodnight Moon. I used to get it every time we went to the library when I was a toddler. I later graduated into reading chapter books on repeat: Judge Benjamin - Super Dog Rescue, Ghost Cat, The Egypt Game...I'm one of those people who reread a lot, I guess. :)

4. Children’s book every child should read: I'm drawing a blank here. I could put in Goodnight Moon or Go Dog Go or Are You My Mother or a million other books I loved as a kid, but I'm not sure any of those are *should* reads. I don't think it matters much what children read as long as they're reading.

5. Favorite place to read: I suppose I read most often on my couch. I don't really have a designated reading place, though - I just sit down wherever feels comfortable at that moment. What I would really love is a hammock, but I'd have to move up north again for that...

6. A book you bought just for the cover: I'm not sure I've ever bought a book solely for its cover. Covers influence me to look at what the book's about, sure, but I don't think I've ever bought a book without checking out the storyline and author's other books first. I also don't buy books very often.

7. Scariest book ever read: Not really scary in the traditional sense, but The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon gave me a lifelong fear of coma and/or amnesia.

8. Most romantic book ever read: Possession by AS Byatt. I know, I know, the romance falls apart, but the leadup is just so beautiful!

9. Book that changed your life in some way: Mrs. Craddock by William Somerset Maugham. I'd stopped reading books outside of school for a decade or so, and read this book a few months before my 22nd birthday. It helped me to realize that not all classics were boring and stuffy, and that I could read for pleasure again. It helped me find a type of book I loved, when all I knew before this book was various genres of fiction that I'd tried but didn't like (horror, mystery, romance, etc). If it weren't for this book, I likely wouldn't be a big reader today.

10. Book you’ve re-read the most times: If I don't include children's picture books (see answer to #3), then I've probably read the first six Harry Potter books more than any others. I've read each of them at least 25 times.

11. Book you needed the Cliff’s Notes for: I've never actually used Cliff's Notes, but if I were going to attempt to read James Joyce, I would definitely consider using them.

12. Book you needed the dictionary for: Anything by Nabokov. That man had an incredible vocabulary.

13. Book you like that no one else seems to: I don't know if I have a good answer for this. The closest, I suppose, is Lolita by Nabokov. Yes, some people love it like I do, but many people really dislike it or are too uncomfortable to read it.

14. Book you don’t like that everyone else seems to love: Groan. The Stupid Time Traveler's Wife. I hate that book. Hate with a capital H. I only know of one other person who didn't like it, though. Everyone else raves about it. It ends up on peoples' top-5 lists a lot.

15. Number of books you own (you can guess): Several hundred. There are 8 bookshelves of various sizes in my house.

16. Number of books on your TBR list (that you have not acquired yet): I don't generally acquire books on my TBR list. I'm a big library patron. But to answer the question, my Goodreads to-read count is currently over 300, and probably only 50 or so are on my shelves waiting for me, so I'd say 200+?

17. Must-have reading accessories: I don't really have any accessories. I use bookmarks when I'm not reading, but even those aren't necessary.

18. Literary Destination You Want to Go to: Okay, I know this is going to sound kind of stupid, but if I could go anywhere - including places that only exist in books - I'd love to go into Harry Potter's world. I would love to see Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. There, you can laugh at me. I'd also like to go to the alternate historical reality of 1985 in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. That would be a LOT of fun.

19. Top Three Favorite Authors: Oh, this is hard. Hm. Vladimir Nabokov, Scott Westerfeld, and maybe Deb Caletti? Or Lois Lowry? Kafka? I'm not sure I can narrow it down to three! If you asked me this tomorrow, I'd probably come up with a whole new answer.

20. Three Bloggers You Want to See Featured for 20 Questions in the Future: Just three?? Oh from Trish's Reading Nook, Kay from The Infinite Shelf, and Andrea from The Little Bookworm. I put in the first three that came to mind and I already feel guilty thinking about all the people I didn't nominate because I'd love to see them all on here...

Check the schedule below to see who is appearing next on 20 Questions!

Thursday, August 27th- Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century
Tuesday, September 1st- Tif of Tif Talks Books

Do you want to be featured on 20 Questions? Send me an e-mail (which you can find on my Blogger profile) with your answers to the questions! Please include questions and answers together, which makes it easier for me to post. I will then e-mail you and let you know I received them and will e-mail you again on the week when you will be featured!


  1. Wow! Amanda sounds a lot smarter than me!

  2. Amanda really likes those authors that are deep!! I loved the movie Possession and thought about reading the book but several people have warned me against it...hmmmm, maybe I should try it since it's Amanda's most romantic book ever!!

  3. I'm very grateful to Somerset Maugham... what would we do without your blog, Amanda! And I don't think it's stupid - I'd totally jump into Harry Potter's world if I could too.

    PS: Staci, read Possession! It's an AMAZING book.

  4. Um I we basically already pretend that's what we do (living in HPs world haha). Great answers Amanda! Loved getting to know a little bit more about you!

  5. Great answers Amanda. I especially enjoyed the 'Literary Destination' answer - I'm thinking how amazing it would be to go to Hogwarts.

  6. Fun post, as always with the 20 Questions! I loved Goodnight Moon too, even though I never saw it until my 30's! I also love all the spoofs on Goodnight Moon. I have two of them - Goodnight Gorilla and Boom Baby Moon. But I know there are several more.

  7. Thanks guys, and thanks Rebecca for featuring me! You guys are all so sweet. I'm not smarter at all!! Staci - definitely read Possession. It's difficult, but a million times better than the movie!

  8. I spent all holiday looking for The Painted Veil by Somerset Maughan and couldn't find it. I am desperate to read it,but managed to get two other Somerset Maughan books instead.

    Great answers Amanda.

  9. I would love to go into Harry Potter's world, too. How much fun would that be???

  10. I am on Year 6 of the Harry Potter series now- I can definitely see myself re-reading them over and over (just bought copies of the first three for that purpose) I will have to read Possession, too I suppose.

  11. Visiting Hogwarts would be so cool!

  12. Totally agree with you about Hogwarts!! :)

  13. great answers. I can't agree or disagree about the Time Traveler's Wife. I haven't read it yet.

  14. Late to respond, but no one mentioned the plans for a Harry Potter theme park...closest we'll come to being able to go to his world? Or too Disney-fied? Only time will tell.

    Also I'm not a fan of the Time Traveler's Wife either.

  15. Jeanne - Awesome! It's good to find another non-fan of TTW. :D


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