Mark Terry

Friday, September 03, 2010

Book Brahmin

September 3, 2010
An e-newsletter I get, Shelf Awareness, usually has an interview with an author called Book Brahmins, where they ask the same questions. Because I haven't been asked them yet, I'm going to ask myself them. Hell, I can crash a party.

On your nightstand now:
Crashers by Dana Haynes and Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist by Donald P. Ryan, PhD. Both are wonderful in their very different ways. Crashers is a thriller about a plane crash investigation and well, Beneath the Sands of Egypt is what it says it is. I usually read a novel and a nonfiction book simultaneously.

Favorite book when you were a child:
"Child" covers a lot of ground, but I'm inclined to cite The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle, although that was probably middle school and senior high. Go back a little further and I was big on the Hardy Boys and other mysteries.

Your top five authors:
A cruelly unfair question, but I would probably say Robert B. Parker, Dick Francis, JK Rowling, John Sandford and, hmmm, I've got to stop here? I've noticed these have changed a bit over the years. Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, Sue Grafton... stop, stop, stop!

Books you've faked reading:
Howard's End by EM Forster. It was the final book in my high school lit class, Literature of the Western World and we didn't finish reading it, but I never made it through the first chapter. Shame on me.

Book you're an evangelist for:
Ah, so many. I push my friends' books a lot, so I can honestly push The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish and the upcoming thriller, Pocket 47 by Jude Hardin, but also the Magickeeper series by Erica Kirov for kids. I'm pushing Crashers by Dana Haynes for people with a strong stomach and I usually recommend Stephen King's Bag Of Bones. I also strongly recommend anything and everything by Mike Lawson.

Book you've bought for the cover:
Almost all of them. The cover and the title gets me to pick up the book and read the blurbs and the jacket copy and then I'll read the first couple sentences to see if the author's voice grabs me. Yeah, guys, that's how much time you have to catch my attention.

Book that changed your life:
Fear Itself: The Horror Fiction of Stephen King, edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller. There's a Foreword by Stephen King titled "On Becoming A Brand Name" that inspired me to try writing, which is where I found my true north. Changed my life for better or worse. For better, I think.

Favorite line from a book:
For the longest time I would offer the first line from Elmore Leonard's Glitz, which is still the best first line of a novel I've ever read: The night Vincent was shot he saw it coming. Still, today I was thinking of a line from Dick Francis's To The Hilt (one of my favorite novels): Some are born weird, some achieve it, others have weirdness thrust upon them.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Okay, your turn.


Blogger Kath Calarco said...

Nightstand now: Times' "Benjamin Franklin" and Good Poems for Hard Times Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor. (Yes, I am a literary geek).

Child Books: Bobbsey Twins.

Fake Reads: Gore Vidal's The Judgment of Paris (although I haven't let it beat me yet).

Top Five Authors: Christopher Moore, Charles Bukowski, David Sedaris, Isabel Allende and Gail Tsukiyama.

Evangelist for: Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. It's so unlike his others.

Covers: None and all. Covers suck me in, but it's the innards that count.

Book that changed my life: Julia Cameron's Artist's Way. Taught me the value of great writing.

Favorite Line: It was from Black Swan Green, and it's not in my possession, so I'll paraphrase. "At the end of the world I don't want to be the last one. That would be the most frightening thing."

First Time: Kite Runner.

This was fun, Mark. :-)

10:24 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Thanks for the shout out!

3:10 PM  
Blogger JaxPop said...

Nightstand: Drummer Boy by Scott Nicholson

Favorite as a kid: The Outsiders - S E Hinton (I was 11) & anything by Mark Twain.

Books I faked reading: The Road (couldn't get 'into it' after 3 tries)

Favorite Authors: Wow, that's tough. I'll stick w/ contemporary. Harlan Coben, Vince Flynn, Lee Child, Ted Bell, J K Rowling
(Stephen King - sometimes).

Cover: No clue. I find authors I like & read everything they put out. I'll say my own book cover - since I paid for the damn thing.

Evangelist for: Dirt - An American Campaign by Mark LaFlamme. Hostage Zero & No Mercy by John Gilstrap.

Book that changed me: The Parsifal Mosaic by Robert Ludlum. Bought it in an airport & rediscovered reading - that was in 1981. Writing snuck up on me in 2008.

Favorite 1st line: Hell, I just bought a book (paper version) yesterday that I'd already read. (Happens wayyyy too often.) 1st line? I'd like to recall the titles!

Have to admit - I have only read the work of 3 female authors. JKR S E Hinton (at the time thought it was a guy) & Stephenie Meyer (to see what all the fuss was about. I learned that Edward's chest was always cold & it rains all the time in Forks & it seemed to take chapters & chapters to describe what could be described in 3 paragraphs.)

Non Fiction - Mostly History & Biographies.

Cool post. Thanks for testing my brain after my 320 mile drive home.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

\Nightstand now; Harlen Coben, Karen Slaughter, magazines, Stephen King (The Dome-hardcover-the darn thing is so big it's taking me forever to read because its too big to carry around)
Fav child book; Tom Sawyer. I had this big book of stories and Tom Sawyer was the first one I read. I loved that book. I wonder where it went?
Fav authors: Stephen King, Harlen Coben, Karen Slaughter, Konrath, Poe.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Dan Olsen said...

Nightstand Now: Dangerous Doses by Katherine Eban, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, The Machinery of Life by David Goodsell.

Favorite Childhood Books: Xanth Series by Piers Anthony, anything by Pat McManus, Stephen King, James Herriot

Top Five Authors: Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, David Sedaris, Donald Platt, Bill Bryson

Faked Reading: Great Gatsby. High school lit class, just couldn't make myself do it.

Evangislist for: Buddhism Plain & Simple, by Steve Hagen. Probably the best book I've ever read on the topic.

Covers: None, really. I AM a sucker for the title, which gets me to read the jacket, and thumb through a few pages.

Favorite Line: From Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes: "For, after all, there indeed was silly Will and his silly old janitor dad racing like gorillas knuckle-dusting the meadows, their faces a puzzlement."

Book I'd like to re-read for the first time: Stephen King's entire Dark Tower series.

6:44 AM  

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