1) What author do you own the most books by?
Without looking at my bookshelf, I can't be sure, but I think it's probably Anne Rice. I know, that's embarrassing. I went though a vampire phase when I was younger, what can I say?
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don't own more than one copy of any book. There are plenty of short stories and poems that appear in more than one anthology I own, but no single book appears more than once in my collection.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
I didn't notice it, but now that you mention it......
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
hmmm, I guess I'm pretty good at separating fiction from reality ;)
5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
I'm not sure. The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice. Or Tolkein's LOTR trilogy (since I read it the first time at a young age). I go back to escapist favorites like that, with their associated memories of the past, when I'm bored or depressed.
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Probably something by Betsy Byers.
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
hmmm.... Probably a scifi novel I picked up at the library solely for it's title: Till Human Voices Wake Us. I loved the Eliot reference, but the book did not interest me at all.
8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
I am loving Claudia Emerson's poems in Late Wife!
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
That's not my style. Read what you love.
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
uhm, I feel like I should probably have an intelligent suggestion here, but I don't.
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Nothing comes to mind. I generally don't like book to move adaptations.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Anything by Dan Brown. Keep him away from me and next to airport toilets! Gracias! (Lol! I'm keeping this answer directly from Tory, because it's funny, and I agree!)
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
hmmm..... none come to mind.
14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I read plenty of fantasy and scifi, "genre fiction" if you will. Can't say just one book. I did read the Harry Potter series, but I have however NOT read Twilight. I grew out of my vampire phase when I was about 19.
15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
oooh, good question. Uhm, The Sound and the Fury, or Vanity Fair? Those are the first that come to mind.
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
hmmm, I've never seen anything too obscure. Maybe Much Ado About Nothing?
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
18) Roth or Updike?
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
That is a toss-up. I've really not read much of either.
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare, of course!
21) Austen or Eliot?
Eliot. Go ahead and take away my chick card. It's okay. I admit it: I don't love Jane Austen.
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Probably Medieval/Renaissance. And nonfiction. And my complete lack of a background in theory. I fear this will haunt me in the coming years.
23) What is your favorite novel?
The God of Small Things, by Arundahti Roy. If I have to pick just one.
A Doll's House, by Ibsen. Maybe. Or, this isn't a play per se, but Twilight Los Angeles, by Anna Deveare Smith, is absolutely brilliant, and a crazy-important historical document about race and class and violence in the 90s.
How about book of poetry? Rilke's Duino Elegies (David Young's translation). Hands down. Going back to question 9, if I could tell everyone to read one book, this might be it. It speaks so beautifully about life and death and what it really means to be human and to be an artist.
"A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf, if I have to pick one. That's a classic. I read a lot of contemporary essays on politics, culture, gender issues, gay issues, globalization, environment, etc.
27) Short story?
I haven't read much short fiction lately, so I'm not sure I can answer this. I will say though that I read "Brokeback Mountain" years before it was made into a movie and found it a wonderful, moving story. This is an improper comment for a writer, but short stories are perhaps my least favorite genre. I much prefer my fiction at novel length.
28) Work of nonfiction?
Kurt Vonnegut, Man Without a Country
29) Who is your favorite writer?
Oh, goodness.... Most anyone I've mentioned here already. Plus Whitman, Yeats, Edith Wharton, Michael Chabon, Salman Rushdie, Richard Hugo, James Wright, Carolyn Forche, uhm, etc, etc, etc.....
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Meh, everyone sees value in different things.
31) What is your desert island book?
The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Plenty of variety, and thousands of pages, to keep me busy.
32) And... what are you reading right now?
Late Wife: Poems, by Claudia Emerson (wonderful)
A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright (wonderful)
American Sublime, by Elizabeth Alexander (meh)