I picked this up over at the Literary Escapism blog. As things have been so quiet here at The Word lately, I thought it might be an interesting interlude until I get my life back. (For those that don’t know, my wife and I recently celebrated ten years of marriage with a big party that was essentially the wedding we never had ten years ago. There are lots of overseas and interstate visitors and the party looks like continuing for another week or so yet!)

So this is The Life Counted In Pages Meme, apparently. Fairly self-explanatory, so I’ll let the answers speak for themselves. Maybe you’ll learn something about me, hopefully you might learn of a new book or author that you haven’t come across before.

What author do you own the most books by?
This would have to be Terry Pratchett if we’re talking novels, as I’m a massive Discworld fan. If we can include graphic novels then that might be Neil Gaiman or Kazuo Koike/Goseki Kojima (Lone Wolf & Cub, Samurai Executioner, etc).

What book do you own the most copies of?
Probably the Watchmen graphic novel – I have the original comics that I bought as they were released, then the trade paperback collection, then the leather bound boxed edition, which is still one of my all time favourite books.


What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I think if I have a crush on any fictional character it would have to be Faith from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series. She’s like Buffy, only darker and cooler.

What book have you read more than any other?
Hard to say for sure. I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman cycle several times, and I’ve read Alan Moore’s Watchmen several times. When I was a kid I loved Charlotte’s Web by E B White and Stig Of The Dump by Clive King and a book about a mouse with a toy motorcycle called Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary. He made the motorcycle go by making a brmmm brmmmm noise.

What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
I guess it would be Charlotte’s Web by E B White. Or Stig Of The Dump or Runaway Ralph!


brmmm brmm

What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
I don’t know. To be honest, I haven’t read a bad book for a while that I can recall. Maybe I’ve blanked the trauma from my memory.

What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
I’m currently reading Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy and I’m really enjoying it. It’s the best book/series that I’ve read in a long time.

If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Well, how can I not say RealmShift (being the first of my books)? If it had to be a book I hadn’t written, perhaps I would recommend the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, an epic feat of truly original story-telling.

What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Probably my O-Level maths text book. I’ve never been a fan of maths.

Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
As people? Writers? Chefs? Presumably the question refers to writers, but who picks a favourite by nationality?

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?
Tough call, especially given the bodies of work by each, but I do love a bit of Shakespeare.

Austen or Eliot?

What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I can’t really think of one.

What is your favorite novel?
That’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is. (Although we all know that parents do have favourite children, they’re just not allowed to say so, so the analogy falls down there…) I love all kinds of books for all kinds of reasons. I love the Sandman stories as mentioned above; I think Watchmen is a staggering feat of storytelling; I love The Lord Of The Rings for it’s epic and original scope; the Discworld novels for their irreverance and comedy; anything by Ian Gibson for his stratospheric ideas and incredible prose… I could go on and on.

What is your favorite play?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I love the whimsical silliness of it. Plus, to a mind like mine, there’s a significant darkness to the tale too.


What is your favorite poem?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of The Ancient Mariner or Robert Burns, Tam O’Shanter. Both of those are fantastic stories captured in brilliant poetry.

What is your favorite essay?
Errr… Seriously, I have no idea! Does anyone really have a favourite essay?

What is your favorite short story?
Probably one of Roald Dahl’s twisted shorts. Or perhaps something by H P Lovecraft. Like the novels above, it’s pretty hard to pick one favourite.

What is your favorite non-fiction?
Anything I’m reading for research, I suppose. I read a lot of ancient history, mythology, religion (which is the same as mythology really) and stuff like that to research my own writing and it always fascinates me.

What is your favorite graphic novel?
I guess this is already answered, but it would have to be Sandman or Watchmen. There are so many others, but these two always stand out.

What is your favorite science fiction?
Probably the Culture novels by Iain M Banks. His ideas are just so intricate and original.

Who is your favorite writer?
Again, the list is very long. I couldn’t pick out a favourite writer any more than I could pick out a favourite book or short story. The only reason I got the poetry favourites down to two was because I’ve read so little poetry!

Who is the most over rated writer alive today?
I’m going to be contentious here and say J K Rowling. Her books are hugely entertaining reads and she’s done amazing things to get children reading more. She also has a brilliant ability to name things incredibly well (which is quite a skill), but on the whole she’s not that great a writer. Naturally her writing improves with every book, but she’s really not all that. And so much of the Harry Potter stuff is derivative of other, better fantasy.

What are you reading right now?
The last book in the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.

Best Memoir?
I don’t think I’ve ever read one.

Best History?
Not sure really. I recently read a fascinating book about the Knights Templar as research, but I can’t recall the title or author off-hand. I really must get around to building these book shelves I need so that I can finally unpack all my books. We’ve been in the new house since last August, for goodness sake.

Best mystery or noir?
Anything that starts with a line like, “When she walked into my office, all fishnets and cigarette smoke, I knew she was going to be trouble.” Raymond Chandler all the way.


Consider yourself tagged if you’ve read this and like the idea. If you do copy it to your own blog, leave me a comment so that I can come and have a look. And leave any comments with your own answers to any of the questions above if you can’t be bothered to do the whole thing.