1. What are three of your favorite books and why do you like them so much?
For variety's sake I will count the entire His Dark Materials trilogy as one book. Written by Philip Pullman these books have been my very favorite since I first read The Golden Compass in 1997. Pullman an amazing writer whose characters and worlds come to vibrant life every time one reads his books. It has gotten to be difficult to peg down exactly why I love these books so much - is it the idea of a daemon? is it the mind opening ideas that are presented? is it the combination of fantasy and realism in such a skilled way? is it something else all together? Pretty much, though, they are my basis of all literary comparisons that I make (I just try not to compare too often).
Another book that I love is Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Even though it was written so long ago the story is one that can be enjoyed thouroughly by modern readers. I've always wanted to be like Elizabeth Bennett, so witty at every turn and able to be herself no matter how different that made her. On top of that, she's really quite smart! And of course there's Mr. Darcy, who is probably one of the most attractive men ever created in literature.
Finally, a third book that I love to bits and pieces is This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen. Lots of people to compare McCafferty to Dessen, and I can see why - they both are amazingly good at capturing the trials and tribulations of the teenage years within their writings. In my opinion, This Lullaby is the best of Sarah Dessen's books so far (all of which are good, just so you know). Remy is an amazingly complex character, written in a way that makes her feelings felt by readers themselves.
2. What particular genres (fantasy, romance, sci-fi, etc.) do you read the most?
Fiction in general. I'm not big on romance and I only read the higher quality, less cliche fantasy and science fiction stories. I am a complete sucker for any and all books written in diary/letter format. I read mostly realistic fiction but can get into most anything.
3. What is a book that you absolutely hated and why didn't you like it?
Oh god...Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger. I will always like a book for what it is, even if I read it in school. This book was the only one on my 11th grade reading list that I couldn't deal with. In fact, I can't believe that I got through it at all! Probably only because my English/History teacher isn't someone to mess with. In short, the story is cliche, the writing of the lowest quality, the dialouge insipid, and the point non-existant. I can't see how it was even relative at the time of its publication!
4. What are five to ten authors whose books you really like?
Philip Pullman, Tamora Pierce, Roald Dahl, Jane Austen, Cornelia Funke, Meg Cabot, Darren Shan, Megan McCafferty, Avi, and Anthony Horowitz.
5. What do you consider to fall into the catagory of "children's literature"? What about "YA literature"?
The line is blurry, first of all, because nothing is ever that simple (make sure to watch DONNIE DARKO). The quality of the writing is immaterial. There are beautifully written children's books just as there are beautifully written YA books. The subject matter is really the defining charactaristic. Ideas that are more complex are usually found in YA literature. Also, quite obviously, YA literature can openly contain sex, drug, and alcohol references whereas children's literature cannot for "sheltering" purposes. Then again, books such as Tuck Everlasting are both simple and complex and amazingly beautiful so where do you put those? Basically, here's how I see it: it will always depend on the individual reader. Nothing is clear cut and simple, and classifying books hinders their appeal.
6. What are the last three to five books that you read for pleasure and, briefly, what did you think of them?
I recently finished a book called Quadehar the Sorcerer by a French writer named Erik L'Homme. Fairly decent, though certainly not spectacular. It took me a long time to figure out why the combination of interesting characters, an original setting, and an exciting quest wasn't turning out to be as impressive as it usually does: there's not enough detail! A shame, really.
Before that, I read all four of the Alex Rider books written by Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker, Point Blanc, Skeleton Key, and Eagle Strike). These books are absolutely fantastic! Boys and girls of all ages will enjoy them - younger readers because they're good adventure stories, older readers because they'll get into the psychological parts of the stories and understand a lot more of the jokes and James Bond spin-offs (which are openly intentional so there's no issue of Horowitz ripping off Fleming). I highly recommend them all, though I don't think Eagle Strike is out in the US yet.
7. Would you have any problem with writing up semi-detailed coverage on any books you read (synopsis, comments, recommensation, etc.)
Quite obviously not - I do it informally all the time!
8. Why do you want to help out with Dodecahedron, how much time can you put into it, and how long do you think that you'll be able to help out?
Now I just feel silly answering these questions.... I want to help out with Dodec. because it was my idea and is now under my supervision. I can put quite a bit of time in to it since I'm a loser who dropped out of public high school so as to go back to homeschooling. I will stay with the project for as long as it is running.
9. What kind of "job" would you like to have with Dodecahedron - reading, reviewing, articles, interviews, etc. (put down whatever comes to mind - everyone has brilliant ideas, no matter how cheesy they may sound).
First off, I'm the E.I.C. by default and that's proving to be work enough. However, I also have a poll question, book review and Top Five list ready to go should they be useful AND I am planning on writing an article about what makes the H.P. books so amazing and popular and why it's difficult to emulate them. I'm going to do as much as I can in each one month time span.
10. Please tell me anything else you'd like me to know - it doesn't have to be books related and could be written in list style for all I care. +smile+
-I want to study history in college
-I think Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter and Lyra and Will should be played by Colin Firth, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Keisha Castle-Whatsit (the girl from "Whalerider") and Jamie Bell, respectively. In the movie of "The Golden Compass," that is.
-I was introduced to Alan Rickman the other day. Yes, the Alan Rickman.
-I want to go to NYU, but might take a year off between "graduation" and my first year of college. This will be esp. true if I can get a position at a NY publishing house. :-)
-I love baseball with every fiber in my being
-And finally yes, I do think that The Princess Diaries is an absolutely hysterical book - I mean, c'mon, Norman the Foot Fetishist??? *lol*
11. What is your name (first with last initial), birthday (month/day/year), and location (city, state/province, country)?
Anna H., 07/14/1986, London, England, UK (current)/Oakland, CA, USA (usual)
12. What is your e-mail address?
For Dodecahedron stuff: email@example.com
For other stuff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank god that's out of the way. Sorry if I was a bit long winded - I actually kind of like surveys, though obviously they're better when someone else has come up with the questions. Oh well.