Stolen freely from sparksfromacombustablemind who stole it from purpleslobinrecovery and finally, from Patience of Willow

I’m not much of a rule-follower. I don’t think it’s rebellion, exactly. More like retirement. I followed a lot of rules for a long time. Now, I don’t have to, so I don’t.  You can check out the rules on some of the earlier followers of this page, but I’m going to suggest simply if you like this, then take the questions and write your own answers. I like books, so this appealed to me.

1. What are your top three (3) book pet peeves?  

When character behave out of character. This is especially annoying in a long series. I expect character development and welcome a character finding new ways to behave, but when out of the blue, he or she completely alters the way they act because the author needs it to move the series along, I get annoyed. If I get very annoyed, I stop reading and move on.

I hate fake endings. You can’t just drop an ending in from space. An end should have something to do with the rest of the book. A lot of books seem to run of ideas before the conclusion.

Good writing matters. That sounds so basic, but it isn’t. There are a lot of really dull writers out there. I have no patience with boring books. There’s too much else to read to waste my time. Write well — and find something new to say. I am so tired of books that are copies of other books. I don’t need another fake “Lord of the Rings.”

2. Describe your perfect reading spot.  

Perfection? My living room recliner. But anywhere I am will do in a pinch.

3. Tell us three (3) book confessions.  

A) I rarely read words on pages. These days, I mostly listen to audiobooks. My eyes got very tired and can’t focus for long on a page. I will read pages for the few books I love enough to not miss (even in print), but it is difficult to keep focused for more than a few minutes at a time.

B) I don’t like realistic books. I’ve had more than enough realism in life. Reading is entertainment. I want to be entertained, so it’s usually some version of science fiction or fantasy, mysteries, histories, and occasionally science.

C) I won’t read anything depressing. I won’t read about cancer and disease, the holocaust, genocide, or slaughter of any kind. I won’t read about torture and I don’t find violence sexy. Actually, I often don’t even find sex particularly sexy unless it is very well-written … and that is rare.

4. When was the last time you cried during a book? 

The last of Terry Pratchett’s books when the final old witch died after dancing with her bees.

5. What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?  Cherries.

6. How many books are on your bedside table?  

Like so many others, there is a Kindle on my night table. On it are probably 500 or more books, audiobooks and print.

7. Name three (3) books you would recommend to everyone. 

I could never do that. Individual tastes are so varied, so how could I? I would suggest that everyone read at least one good history because we should know where we come from. Everyone should also know some science. But which books? That’s not for me to say.

8.  Show us a picture(s) of your favorite bookcase or bookshelf. 

9. Describe how much books mean to you in just three words. 

Totally, absolutely essential.

10.  (Added by Embeecee)  Who was responsible for your love of books?  A parent, a teacher…or were you born that way? 

I think I was always kind of bookish, but my mother was a big encouragement. Neither my brother or sister were big readers. My mother read everything she could get her hands on. It made up for the education she never got. When she realized I was a reader too, she fed me books. Lots and lots of books. Crates of books. Rooms full of books. There was never a limit to what I could read, no age limit on anything.

I’m not sure I’d have survived childhood without books.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

22 thoughts on “ALL ABOUT BOOKS – A FOLLOW-ON”

  1. I also almost entirely read audiobooks, but I do keep a regular book onhand for times when a Kindle or computer with thumb drive isn’t around. Or when the electricity goes out. Haven’t figured out how to put books on my iPhone. Hopless with phones. I, too, can’t take violence and find most sex scenes uninspiring. I also hate books where thing after thing goes wrong. Too much like real life! I like biography, character-driven tales, humor, happy endings, romance but not of the Harlequin variety. Love Southern authors. Read mainly women authors at present with some exceptions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup. Sounds like me. I did manage to (briefly) get the audiobooks on my phone, but I hate my phone and anyway, I couldn’t find any of the stop points on the phone. I could start a book, but I couldn’t pause it. The Kindle is good. I have little speaker that I use with it, so the sound is pretty good. I also run them on my big computer which has decent speakers, so I can process photographs while I listen. I download the books so as long as the battery is charged, I can listen anywhere, even if there’s no wifi. I delete them as soon as I finish them to avoid overloading the Kindle. I usually have four or five audiobooks on the device … the rest are on the audiobook website.

      My ability to focus on print has diminished and is getting worse. First, I thought it was chronic eye strain from too much computer-work, but my eyes won’t stay focused. They bounce around and sometimes, I’m cross-eyed.

      I like romance — when it’s romantic. I need sex to be in context of a relationship. I need the soft lighting and a bed. I laugh hysterically at shows where supposedly grown up people are doing it on the desk or the kitchen table. Garry just winces. OUCH.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t read/listen as much as you do these days. I confess to being a TV addict in retirement. Something I promised myself during my working years. I love watching old movies and some old TV shows. Some of those fondly remembered old TV series do not age well and are quickly dispatched to TV Boot Hill.

        I still read REAL newspapers (and some on line) because I like the experience of reading the printed word at my own leisure (now much slower pace and shorter reading periods). Sports comes first, beisbol is numero uno. I slowly scan and devour box scores and stats. It’s a lifetime habit. Next obits. I check to see if I’m listed and then scan for familiar names. I already made the Boston Globe Obit section years ago. There never was a correction. I scan the entertainment section, usually quickly because there’s little that appeals to me these days. I do an obligatory check of the front pages (on line also) to stay up to date on world affairs.

        I have two books going right now. I’m halfway through Bob Schieffer’s auto biography, “This Just In”. It’s particularly enjoyable because Schieffer covered many of the same stories I did. It’s fun to compare memories of major news events — Race riots, Vietnam and the ’68 presidential conventions for example. Interesting maybe not fun on second thought.

        I’m also deep into a memoir written by a former TV News colleague. It is very well written and I am absolutely enjoying my friend’s recollections of his youth and coming of age years.

        Reading began at a very early age. Our home had an impressive library and I devoured books which began a lifetime appreciation of good story telling. I also had an early introduction to history which would fuel my curiosity through the years.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If it weren’t for audio books, I would never have been able to get through my English comp exam. Some books are just meant to be heard, not read. ^_^ My eyes are getting to the point where it’s difficult to focus too. Thank goodness for digital screens where we can make the print bigger and/or smaller — depending on the need!

    This was a fun one, wasn’t it? ^_^


    1. It was fun. Books have always been really important to me … and thank GOD for audiobooks! I can read print for short periods, but sustaining it gets harder with each year. It’s either late developing ADD or it’s age related. Garry has the same problem. The Kindle does help. At least it has a back-light so I’m not always trying to find a night light that works … and making the print bigger is a huge help. I have a big 9″ kindle. I have a couple of smaller ones, too, but the big one gives me a lot more screen to work with. It also has better sound, especially with a blue tooth speaker!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I would describe reading as a “window on the world”. It allows you to get into the mind of the writer, go places you’ve never been and experience events of times gone by.
        I remember seeing a movie that I had never seen before. For some strange reason I knew what was going to happen. Then I realized I had read the book.


        1. He was always shy. Unless there was a camera. He was NEVER shy if the camera was rolling. He may be shy, but he is a ham. Oddly, I think in retirement, Garry has finally come out of his shell. Something about retirement just relaxed him. And maybe, all these years of marriage helped too. He has come a very long way over the 53 years I’ve known him.


          1. I think I’m the opposite. I’ve become worse. Of course, I’m not yet retired. That will come by the end of the year. Then, we’ll see.


            1. Garry and I got to talking about it last night. Something happened. He says retirement was like getting a new life where work wasn’t the core of his life. Whatever happened, he likes to talk these days and he isn’t shy. He has conversations with strangers and enjoys them. I, on the other hand, have gone the other way. We do keep changing.


  3. Books are a daily necessity for me. My biggest problem today is knowing what to read next. I must admit I have never read an audio book, but am more than happy with my Kindle. One of my biggest problems today is knowing which book to read next.


    1. I don’t have a series at the moment. When I finished Terry Pratchett, I haven’t found anything as good. He is going to be hard to beat. Well, I guess I have been reading one series — Dana Stabenow, who has an adventure series that takes place in Alaska. It’s good. Not great, but I’m very interested in the lifestyle. And they are entertaining. Very light. I’ve got “After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley” by Rob Reid which is his new novel. the only one since “Year Zero” which is one of my favorite books. Also, if you have read anything by Anne McCaffrey, her dragon books are great and ALL of Roger Zelazny and the world of Amber are really good. Just suggestions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How lovely! I KNEW I ‘liked’ you! And our book tastes are very similar (from the last response you wrote)…I loved Anne McCaffrey but had to stop at one point, I just couldn’t keep up any more. If you like Alaska themed mysteries..there’s a new(ish) author (I guess)..who is on Kindle and has written three so far..I’m waiting anxiously for his next..his name is Brent Purvis and his first in the series is “Mink Island”. If you read it, let me know what you think. As you mentioned, we’re all diverse in our tastes and what appeals to one might not appeal to the next person. And thanks for the nod! I love the book community that’s appeared from this one post! 😀


    1. I’ve read so much, I’m just looking to find something that sort of hooks me. I like anything with a lot of ecological stuff and Alaska is a world different from anything I’ve lived with, so while the characters may not be brilliant, the location IS a character.

      The first four or five of McCaffrey’s books were great. Then they started to “stretch” and by the time she wandered into “dragonsingers” and miniature dragons, I abandoned the books, too. The first two or three were brilliant though — and I loved those dragons!

      I was hoping I’d never run out of Terry Pratchett, but eventually, I did. Jim Butcher hasn’t written anything worth reading in several years and Kim Harrison has not found a new series yet. And I think James Burke is done with Dave Robicheaux too. I’m hoping Mike Carey goes one more round with Felix Castor. I love Jodi Taylor’s time travel books, but she only writes one per year, so I eat them up and then have to wait another year. Gretchen Archer has a new book “in the hopper” and that will be nice. But there are no new series for me to really bite into right now. Hopefully, something will come up. DO let me know if you find something. Meanwhile, I’ll check out Purvis.

      We seem to be a rather bookish group, as a whole. It’s nice to know we are still here, reading our little hearts out!


  5. Don’t sell yourself short on the ‘recommendation’ thing Marilyn… the only two books i’ve managed to finish after starting in the last 6 months have been 12 Ft Teepee and Year Zero! 🙂 (both of which we’re very enjoyable).



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