February 18, 2010

Time for 20 Questions with Susan of The Book Chook!

Welcome back to 20 Questions, where we get to know our fellow book bloggers a little better!

Today I would like to present to you Susan of the awesome kidlit blog, The Book Chook! Not only is Susan a passionate book blogger, but she also puts out the Literacy Newsletter, Literacy Lava, which has great tips for parents and very interesting articles. Be sure to check it out!


1. Last book you bought: Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

2. Last book you got in the mail: Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (Recommended by Jen Robinson)

3. The first book you read over and over: The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann R. Wyss.

4. Children’s book every child should read: I don't believe in "should" with reading. Choosing their own material will motivate kids far more than telling them what they should read.

5. Favorite place to read: a shady place by the water where I can stretch out.

6. A book you bought just for the cover: People really do that? Seriously? The closest I would get is picking up a book because of an intriguing title. But it is most likely I will buy only after reading the blurb, and dipping into the book. Most of the books I read, and all of the books I review, I research thoroughly first. I LOVE writers with an online presence who let me read a first chapter or peek inside.

7. Scariest book ever read: Insomnia by Stephen King. I loved it, but most of his horror is just too scary for me.

8. Most romantic book ever read: I love all of Georgette Heyer's historical romances. If I had to choose one right now, I guess it would be The Grand Sophy.

9. Book that changed your life in some way: The first book I read that changed my life was Riders in the Chariot by Patrick White. I was in a train, and I remember looking out the window and really "seeing" grass as if for the first time. It was like I'd taken some hallucinatory drug, and I still have no idea why.

10. Book you’ve re-read the most times: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

11. Book you needed the Cliff’s Notes for: Not sure who Cliff was.

12. Book you needed the dictionary for: I tend not to read any book I will need a dictionary for. The fictive dream is very important to me, and a dictionary would throw me out of it.

13. Book you like that no one else seems to: I haven't met anyone else who adores Three Men in a Boat, mentioned above in 10.

14. Book you don’t like that everyone else seems to love: I have skimmed a lot of reviews about vampire books, but nothing has made me want to read any.

15. Number of books you own (you can guess): Probably only about 1500. I try to give them away. Some won't let me.

16. Number of books on your TBR list (that you have not acquired yet): hundreds! Mostly these are books for adults that I read about in the bookblogosphere. Because I review children's books, I so rarely get the time to read adult books.

17. Must-have reading accessories: my glasses/spectacles.

18. Literary Destination You Want to Go to: I have fantasized about tracing all the places Peter Mayle talks about in A Year in Provence.

19. Top Three Favorite Authors: I think you don't mean children's authors, which is just as well, as I'd never be able to narrow it to three. Here are three adult authors I turn to if I am ill, and need a read to comfort and distract me: Bill Bryson, Dick Francis, Barbara Kingsolver.

20. Three Bloggers You Want to See Featured in the Future: any three children's book bloggers. They are such a fascinating bunch!

I love your answers, Susan! And, you could have answered that with children's or adult's authors. It is up to you always! I also think the sights from A Year in Provence would be lovely. I haven't read the book yet, but I am in love with Italy. You have made me want to pick up Riders in the Chariot so I can look at grass in a whole new way. :)

Check below to see who is appearing on 20 Questions next! There's a great lineup!:

~Kristen of We Be Reading
~Jill of Fizzy Thoughts
~Michelle of Galleysmith
~Trisha of eclectic/eccentric

~Natasha (aka Vasilly) of 1330v
~Staci of Life in the Thumb

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, plus a photo if you want me to put a different one than your blog's profile picture. I will then e-mail you and let you know when you will be featured! Thanks!


  1. Great questions and answers! It looks like I need to take Three Men in a Boat out for a spin.

  2. Oh Susan! I love love loved 3 Men In A Boat - To Say Nothing of the Dog!!! I just read it last year and thought Jerome Jerome surely must have been Bryson's inspiration.

  3. I'm not sure I know Three Men in a Boat. Vampire books don't appeal to me either.

  4. My husband loves Three Men in a Boat, and I've never quite understood why!
    We went to the south of France this past summer and considered going up into Provence and trying to recreate some of the Mayle experiences...except that when we got there, we realized that our French wasn't good enough and our timetable wasn't leisurely enough. You have to get to know Provence to see it as he does.
    Since all the food in France is absolutely heavenly, we didn't feel too deprived. We only went as far north as St. Paul du Vence, a little tourist town that Mayle may have been thinking of when he said at one point that they'd gotten down into the part where the tourists from the Riviera come.

  5. WOW! I am so excited to meet others who know the books and understand my quirky needs!

    Andi, it's truly worth searching for. Written and published way back in 1889, but still holds up today.

    The Bumbles: YAY! Of course, I love Bryson too, but never thought he may have been inspired by Jerome. Lovely thought. Have you tried Three Men on the Bummel? Worth a look. And there's my other huge fave, Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.

    bermudaonion: nice to know I am not alone in my vampire boredom!

    Jeanne: it is incredibly funny in that wry, understated and what I tend to think of as British way. How lucky you are to even dip your toe in Provence! The only thing that worries me, I honestly don't think i could face an olive oil tasting!

  6. I loved reading about your passion for children's books!! Grand Sophy was such a delight..I loved every single moment of it!

  7. Yay again! I wonder why we get so genuinely excited when others love the same books we do??? Maybe because most people's eyes glaze over when we rave about our beloved book friends?

    Staci, i first met Heyer as a thirteen year old in my high school library. I don't really read romance as a genre, but i have read all of her books, including the crime ones, probably 20-30 times each. I have whole sections of dialogue down pat! So glad to hear you love Sophy. I will never forget that scene with the baby ducks running everywhere.

  8. *Waving* Book Chook. I share your love of Dick Francis and Georgette Heyer. :) The other books have me intrigued...

    Great to SEE you! Meet you Monday night on the Wave.

  9. Hey, Kat! (Kat is Kathryn Apel, Australian author and one of my writing partners on Google Wave, where we share critiques and chat about our works in progress.)

    Yet another visitor with impeccable taste in books!

  10. I spent a semester abroad in Provence. Well, actually it was right between Provence and the Cote d'Azur. Both are very nice places to visit, although I prefer Tuscany.

  11. The Grand Sophy is my next Heyer read!

  12. Bill Bryson is one of my go to authors too!

  13. I know that I am super late in responding (I will get caught up on my Reader someday!), but I was so excited to Susan for 20 Questions!! She is one of my fave kidlit blogs!!

    I've been wanting to read Bryson, but have not yet gotten around to it!! I even have a couple of his books! Can't wait to try him out now!!


Thank you for visiting! Leave a comment and share your thoughts with me!