This is a super idea and I am grateful to you, Litlove aka Victoria aka Tales from the Reading Room for nominating me. I enjoy following your blog and now replying to the questions you’ve posed. Here we go then.
1) What do you think of literary prizes? Good or bad?
Over the years Mr Carmichael has given me many gifts, notable for both goodness (citrine and gold earrings) and badness (Tuscany From the Air, a coffee table book that needs more than coffee to resuscitate it) but the most thoughtful present I have yet received from my hubby was hardback editions of the 2000 Booker shortlist the day it was announced. This was neither a high day nor a holiday. He just wanted to get them for me because for a moment he had seen into my soul (at least that’s what I choose to think). How can I argue with literary prizes after such a millennial meteor shower of kindness?
2) If you could write any sort of book what would you write?
Hmmmmm. I have two thoughts. First off I would like to return to and finish the YA novel I drafted a handful of years ago. It’s gobbling dust in the bottom left hand drawer of my desk and needs much revision but I think the story’s still good. Being a ‘completer achiever’ (that’s what the psychometric tests say anyway) I need to do this to attain nirvana and obtain a peaceful soul.
Secondly, I have thoughts for a memoir with a twist.
3) Describe your ideal home library/study
I grew up in a house where books piled themselves upon books crammed onto shelves, into cupboards and along hallways. I have trained myself not need them like that. This training is a work in progress and, to date, I have hundreds of the blighters on shelves, in cupboards and in the attic. Oh and magazines too. So by way of contrast, I would like my working area to be tidy, clear and white. I would like crispness in decoration to instill the same in mind.
I would like my desk to be able to see daylight. I want a painting or print by Eileen Cooper on the wall. Her subjects are quirky and busy and make me smile. I want a fancy pants chair like this that describes comfort, style and a serious intent to write. I want good light and a view.
4) Name two authors whose work will last the test of time and explain why
My first choice is Vikrim Seth. If asked, I usually say the A Suitable Boy is my favourite novel. I would like to read a page or two of it for the rest of my life. In this book he manages to convey both the scope and the minutiae of life in equal measure and with equal vibrancy. There is a lyrical balance to his writing. An Equal Music, so different yet so good.
William Boyd is my second nomination. I have loved so many of his novels. Armadillo, Any Human Heart, Brazzaville Beach and Ordinary Thunderstorms count among my favourites. He is a master storyteller and in the end isn’t that one of the most important things an enduring read should have, a great story? I think so.
5) Which books do you hope to get for Christmas?
Dear Santa, If I am really good, clean the house and cook my family yummy meals that they all like every day could I please have Julius Shulman’s, Modernism Rediscovered. I will try and be good between now and the 25th December. I understand that this is an expensive request, more coffee table than coffee table book, but it’s what I want and I do think, when everything’s considered, that I’m worth it.
6) What’s the last book you did not finish and why?
I wrote this before I read more of your blogroll, Victoria but am going to plough on regardless.
My book group met last night. We had two set texts for the previous month. Sexing The Cherry by Jeanette Winterson and The Lighthouse (Booker shortlisted) by Alison Moore. The latter was hotly tipped to win. She didn’t. The former I couldn’t finish. I think I got to page twenty twice. It’s just not my bag. I don’t like fantasy. Maybe, having read your review I will try again because I have been wrong before. As a child I could never get beyond page two of The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Dodie Smith) fearing for the puppies’ lives but this, I think, is different.
The Lighthouse, on the other hand…………………..
7) Would you accept twenty books that were absolutely perfect for you and a dependably brilliant read, if they were also the last twenty books you could ever acquire?
No. My definition of perfection has been known to change. Mr Carmichael is a case in point.
Now for my seven questions:
1) Is there a book you would never want to be parted from? Why?
2) Which six authors, living or dead, will you invite to join your new reading group?
3) Book or Kindle? Would anything change this decision?
4) If you could study full time or study full time again what would you choose to learn about?
5) Who would you write a biography of? What’s so special about them?
6) You’ve been asked to write an article for Condé Nast’s Traveller magazine on your favourite holiday destination. What is your opening sentence?
7) If you had to paint every wall in your house one colour what would it be? Why? I do not allow you white or magnolia.
And I tag……….
and anyone else who would like to join in too. I’m excited to read you replies.