A’s HoBks Q&A

Mostly BookbrainsI blame Simon for this!  😀

Just over a week ago, my pal and co-editor of Shiny New Books decided to ask his readers if there were any questions that they wanted to ask him in a post here. A few days later, he published his answers here. It was fascinating reading, and Simon’s answers were really thoughtful.

Now for the catch… He suggested he’d like to see other people have a go too!

DSCF1910So here is my invitation to you.

Ask me anything you want … it doesn’t have to be about books, book groups or blogging – cats, science, working in a school, the Oxford environs – anything.

In a few days time, I’ll post my answers.  (I reserve the right not to answer any rude or over-prying questions!)

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17 thoughts on “A’s HoBks Q&A

  1. I’ll play!

    1) Why is it still perceived to be uninterested in science but not OK to be uninterested in literature (if you wish to be seen as an “educated” person)? How did we get to that point in our world?

    2) Why are so many readers of fiction keen to say that they don’t read “Science Fiction” (or indeed “Romantic Fiction”)? Surely there are good books, average books and poor books and some deal with romance and some with a different sort of imaginary world. Why the desire to categorise and is it ever helpful?

    • This intrigues me, as I move in circles where it is deemed very acceptable to be uninterested in literature! “I don’t have time to read” is a sentence which drives me mad and which I hear all too often. You must be lucky in your choice of friends and acquaintances, Peter!

      • Lucky? Or just selective? I do not know. I grew up with two scientists for parents but they read literature (from Hardy to Proust, from Austen to Bellow and almost everything else in between) for pleasure every day of their lives.

    • Those are good questions. I’m a scientist (was, once upon a time). I love it when an author writes convincingly from a scientist’s point of view, but sadly I am always surprised when I see it.

  2. If you had to (or even could!) pick one desert island book, what would it be?

  3. Can you recommend science writers for readers like myself who are reasonably intelligent but ignorant of the sciences? I realise that its far too wide a subject to recommend for all branches of science. Thanks!

  4. Some more questions…

    –Which book do you think is the most underrated?
    –If you had to go on the same holiday every year for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    –Who would play you in the film of your life?
    –Which is your favourite Oxford college?
    –What’s your favourite chemical element?

      • If I had a favourite chemical element, I think it would change periodically!

        My question for Annabel – and apologies if you have already blogged about this and I cannot remember – do you prefer to read in silence or with some kind of background noise, be it birdsong or The Birdie song? (Actually, it is difficult to imagine anyone reading anything with that 80s novelty hit playing.)

  5. Is there now, or has there ever been in your life, somebody whose book recommendations you absolutely trusted? If they say “read this” then you read it straight away, no questions asked?

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