Thursday 5 November 2009

The Reading Lamp: Guy Fawkes edition

This installment of The Reading Lamp actually has nothing to do with Guy Fawkes but as it is Guy Fawkes Day, I encourage you to remember, remember the fifth of November for I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.

I also know that you should read Celine's interview below and enjoy it AND not set anything on fire tonight. - Colleen

Your name: Celine Kiernan

What are you currently reading?
Houdini!!! The Career of Erich Weiss by Kenneth Silverman. (Also just started Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.)

Where are you reading them?
'Til now, mostly in snippets on trains and in the toilet because I’ve been so busy. But I’m done with the edits on the trilogy and the book fest season is over now, so for the next little while I intend to snuggle on my sofa with my big red blankie and my books and luxuriate in some head-space.

How did you discover these books?
Houdini: Been lusting after it forever. It’s usually out of my price range. But I recently found it cheap as chips on Amazon and snapped it up!

Symmetry: Been vacillating over it since it came out. Was afraid it wouldn’t live up to The Time Traveler's Wife.

What do you think of them so far?
Houdini: By far the best Houdini bio I’ve read so far. No aggravating flights of fancy (unlike some I could mention).

Symmetry: Only 24 pages in and I already love and envy Audrey N. for having lived up to my expectations.

What is the one book you love so much that you can’t be objective about other people not loving it as well? Have disagreements ever come to blows? There are quite a few – but I must tighten my jaw against harsh words if folks diss Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels.

How do you choose what to read next? I’m very often researching my own work so that is a factor in my non-fiction reading. But for fiction I usually go by friends'/trusted book-bloggers' recommendations; occasionally I choose a book at random from a bookshop shelf. I’ve recently started listening to audio books (for non-fiction only) so that I can get some exercise while researching. (Currently listening to William Wilberforce: Life of the Great Anti-slave-Trade Campaigner by William Hague.)

What is your favourite indie bookstore? Why? The Crannóg in Cavan Town (Ireland). It’s a bloody gorgeous little shop and the owners/staff treat each customer as if they were the only person who mattered.

What book have you hated so much you wanted to cause it or its author harm? I’ve only ever struggled through one such book (life’s too short to read books you hate and I usually put them down, but I stuck with this one to the long-protracted end.) I won’t publicly diss another author, so the book shall remain unnamed. Suffice it to say the dude was on the radio shortly after I had endured his waffle; he was so smugly pleased with himself that I wanted to drag him through the speakers and throttle him until he gave me back the week of my life I had wasted on his drivel.

What is your favourite either unknown or underappreciated book? Well it’s hardly unknown or underappreciated, but I think Animal’s People by Indra Sinha is a wonderful book which no-one I know has read and which, therefore, I’ve no-one to talk to about. This makes me go WAH!


Celine said...

Hmmmm - can I set things on fire? Considering I'm the interviewee? ( thanks for the interview! and also for fixing my abysmal punctuation!)

Bookphilia said...

I should have responded earlier - of course you can. Guy Fawkes Day is for letting loose your inner pyromaniac.

Celine said...

Too late. I sat all night with matches in hand weeping for lack of permission. (I jest entirely. I'm Irish and so our night for setting things afire is Halloween (Oct 31st) or, if you're from the West of Ireland, St John's eve (June 23rd)beside, lawless bunch of pagans that we are, the Irish ask permission for naught. )

Celine said...

Oh dear. I’ve started to just not like Fearful Symmetry. I want to like it, I really do. I’m working hard to like it. But the constant in-paragraph head hopping is pissing me off; I simply can’t warm to the twins; and perhaps most disappointingly I can’t lose myself. I find myself simply not believing in any of it! WAH. I’ll keep reading though. Maybe I’m tired ( well, there’s no maybe about that, but maybe I’m too tired to get into it?)