July 29, 2010

Elena of With Extra Pulp Answers My 20 Questions

Today I am pleased to welcome Elena of the book blog, With Extra Pulp! Thanks so much, Elena! Beautiful photo of you, by the way!

1. MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF READING: I'd just watched my first movie ever in the cinemas. Disney's Bambi. My mother caught onto my love of it and bought me the book adaptation. So Bambi holds the special place of being my first ever movie and first ever book.

2. THE FIRST BOOK I READ OVER AND OVER: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (I was about 11 or 12 when I first read it). It's about a 17-year-old Sicilian girl living in Sydney, in her final year of high school, who deals with the stigma of growing up with a young, single mother, feeling displaced by her school and society because of her ethnic background, as well as dealing with the 'normal' stresses of life- boys and finals. It was a book that spoke to me on so many levels, and one of those great stories about self-acceptance, and self-discovery.

3. A CHILDREN’S BOOK EVERY CHILD SHOULD READ: The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Expupery. Do I really need to explain why?

4. THE BOOK I HAVE RE-READ THE MOST TIMES: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read it when I was about 6 (an abridged version), read the full version when I was 9 or 10, and have read it almost once a year since. To give you an indication of how many years, I'm turning 22 in September.

5. MY FAVORITE PLACE TO READ: By the beautiful lakeside in Maleny, a wine valley-town just a couple of hours drive north from Brisbane, Queensland. I moved cities, and miss it to bits. But there's a gorgeous little park down the road from where I live now that is perfet on a wintry Sunday afternoon. That is, if you're not easily distracted by cute dogs running around.

6. MY MUST-HAVE READING ACCESSORIES: Pencil and/or post-its. Bookmark of sorts (bookmarks have been known to take the form of receipts, old train tickets, unidentifiable scraps of card paper, and pieces of string).

7. THE NUMBER OF BOOKS I OWN (YOU CAN GUESS): I'm terrible at numerical estimations. In the low hundreds, I suppose...but I have books in 3 different houses at the moment which makes estimation even more difficult.

8. MY BOOKSHELVES ARE: No longer in order. I spent hours when I first moved organising the books according to size and genre. It lasted less than a week.

9. THE NUMBER OF BOOKS ON MY TBR LIST (THAT I HAVE NOT AQUIRED YET): I'm not sure of the exact number, but I can assure you that it exceeds the number of books that I actually own.

10. THE WAY I KEEP TRACK OF BOOKS I WANT TO READ: I have a physical pile next to my disorderly bookcase, and a constantly updated list in the back of my Moleskine.

11. THE LAST BOOK I RECEIVED/BOUGHT: A friend just lent me East of Eden by John Steinbeck, but I'm assuming I'm going to have to return it at some stage. So I guess I'd say Burning In by Mireille Juchau, a brilliant, brilliant book. Given to me by a friend.

12. A BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IN SOME WAY: I know it's lame and probably a little predictable, but Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was the first book I read that seriously impacted the way I looked at the world. I read it around the same time I'd taken up Modern History as a subject in high school, which was taught by one of those fantastic teachers who open up your mind and encourage independent thought and skepticism, and all these things sort of came at the same time to pique my interest in politics and media. This led me to study journalism at university. Being critical of the media and of governments in general is something that I consider really important, and I think Nineteen Eighty-Four had a lot to do with it.

13. A BOOK I LIKE THAT NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO: I actually get quite a lot of grief about loving Jane Eyre so much.

14. A BOOK I DON’T LIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE: As much as I love On the Road by Jack Kerouac for introducing me to the world of Beat writing in general, I have to say, as a book, it was quite a pain to read. I think I loved what it represented, rather than what it actually felt like to me, and when I recently made my change of heart known to my friends, the general reaction seemed to be one of shock and indignation.

15. A BOOK THAT INTIMIDATES ME:Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I want to read it so bad! But I'm not an experienced sci-fi reader, and have you seen the size of it?!

16. IF I COULD GO TO ANY LITERARY DESTINATION I WOULD CHOOSE: Without thinking, I'd have to answer Hogwarts. But, well, if I think back over my entire reading life, I'd choose Faraway Tree. With Moonface and all those other beloved Enid Blyton characters.

17. THREE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS: Richard Brautigan (a relatively new discovery), William Burroughs (because he is my favorite Beat writer), and Vladimir Nabokov (because he is one of those rare writers whose prose I find exquisite, without spiraling into a jealous hole of despair that I will never reach that level of literary genius).

18. I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING ABOUT BOOKS SINCE: March 2009. Life has been significantly more enjoyable since March 2009.

19. MY BOOK BLOG STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD BECAUSE: I don't just review books, I also review literary journals and zines. I also go to lots of book launches and gate-crash the post-launch dinner with authors. Nobody has told me to hook off yet (or at least, they decide not to when they find out that I'm going to blog about the event) but I often embarrass myself in front of talented, published writers whom I admire. I'm not sure if this is a good reason to stand out or not...

20. THREE BOOK BLOGGERS I WOULD LIKE TO SEE FEATURED IN THE FUTURE: J.T. Oldfield from Bibliofreak, Will K from Boomerang Books' blog and Uncertain Principles from Another Cookie Crumbles.

I have to say that a book that changes your life, no matter what book it is, can never, ever be lame. Actually, 1984 had a huge impact on me as well, for much the same reasons. I am impressed you have read Jane Eyre so many times. I have yet to read it. It is one of those books that I always want to read but never get around to because so many other books are floating around. I would love to organize my books again, but like you, it doesn't last nearly as long as it really, really should. If I ever get the chance to come to Australia, let's crash a post-book launch dinner! I'm totally for that.

Coming Up Next on 20 Questions:

Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?


  1. I can't imagine anyone giving her grief over loving Jane Eyre.

  2. Rebecca thank you so much for allowing me to prattle on about books. Great fun it was.

    Bermudaonion: I still have trouble believing it :p

  3. Ha ha! Foiled! I have already answered Rebecca's questions! Though it was some time ago, so I forgive you for not remembering and/or thinking I am so awesome I should do it again. ;)

  4. Woo hoo ... The Little Prince! If you've seen my blog, you know I'm a fan. ;-)

  5. Great Answers! I love The Little Prince as well and love Jack Kerouac but agree that On The Road was not an easy read. Try Dharma Bums...it's a little easier. I would love to crash an author party as well-how fun!

  6. What?! Who's giving you grief over Jane Eyre? Let me at 'em! ;)

  7. J.T.: I'm too slow!

    Stephanie: Your blog sounds awesome *runs off to read and subscribe*

    Peaceful Reader: I've read a couple of other Kerouac works: "The Beat Generation: A play" and "And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks" which he cowrote with William Burroughs. But I'll give Dharma Bums a try, on your recommendation :)

    Heidenkind: Oh, people I've come across here and there. Little do they know I now have a growing army of Bronte-loving Bibliophiles at my service :P

  8. I agree 100% on The Little Prince, but I can't quite agree with you on Jane Eyre. I guess I'll have to give you a smidgen of grief. : )


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