So I found this tag over at The Quaint Book Nook, who got it from the creator at Bookforager. Both are fine bloggers who you should read, and I enjoyed reading their answers so much I decided to do this tag myself.
What’s that in your bag? (Also, what kind of bag do you carry? No bag? What’ve you got in your pockets?)
Hmm. Right now it contains a few old receipts, a handful of change, my oyster card (public transport thing for London for those not in the know), some zinc oxide tape, a couple of plastic shopping bags, and the book I was going to give a friend last time I saw them.
In my defence, my bag is a rather big black rucksack with a ton of compartments. The book fell into the very well padded laptop sleeve, so I never even felt it until checking for this tag. See how useful it is? Thanks people!
Of course, once upon a time my bag contained a lot more. That was before I went to working from home, and it became solely used as a looting sack for visiting shops. In the before times it would have often contained my laptop, a few USB chargers, a book or two, maybe some leftover lunch, a waterbottle, painkillers… but alas, the looting sack is a more lonely beast now.
(Also do you keep a notebook, and if yes, can I see it? What do you keep in it?)
I do have a number of notebooks that mostly contain story or work notes. I don’t use them them much. My laptop or phone gets all of those. There’s a notebook by my bed in case I wake up and want to scribble stuff down. I used it once. Now instead I have great ideas and forget them, like nature intended.
What’s the one book you recommend remorselessly to anyone who’ll listen?
Well I don’t really have that, as my brain seems hardwired to contrarian and soft-assumes others will be that way and therefore likely to not read remorseless recommendations. There are many books I will talk about endlessly, but clam up the moment you go “so should I read them?”
However, it is amazing how many reasons I can find to recommend Saad X. Hossein’s The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday.
Tell me a funny story about yourself (extra marks if it involves books)
You mean other than the fact I couldn’t find a book to give to a friend because I’d already packed it?
Hmm. Some rapidfire hits (mostly not involving books)
Once when sailing as a teenager, our boat (well, very small yacht – boats capsize, yachts sink, it would have sunk) run aground on some mud. Our very elderly skipper calmly commanded me to take my trousers off and jump over the side to push us off. I had to find a discrete way to explain I wasn’t wearing anything under my trousers. Spoiler – there wasn’t any.
Once on my way home from school, a pigeon shat on my head at the train station. There was this horrible noise and then laughter, and I looked around to see one kid I know creased up and going “I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you, but that was really funny”. With which I could not argue.
Do you have any favourite words?
Because people hate it.
Otherwise… I know I do have them, but cursed if I can think of them quickly. I like the various calm -y words; melancholy, serenity, tranquillity. Ecstasy is a great word too. I also really like swear words. Particularly when shoved together with other words. I do not call enough people fuckwits.
Tell me about a favourite book from your childhood
Well I’ve talked a lot about them here; Tolkien, Redwall, Asterix, and so on. So let me tell you about one I don’t mention too much.
Sam the Cat Detective.
Sam’s a cat and, er, well, a detective. Yup. He prowls the streets of some city in America, hindered by the humans who can’t understand him. But that doesn’t stop Sam. He grew up in a police precinct you see. So when some cute little thing comes in asking to find out who’s burgled from her owners, before the handyman gets sent down for it, it’s Sam to the rescue with a bunch of friends and street cats. It’s great fun.
Do you like the smell of books?
Due to allergies (I think…) I have a nigh permanently blocked nose, so I don’t really know book smell that well.
What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read? (And would you recommend it?)
Hmm. Well. The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday is up there and I do recommend that.
But the weirdest? The absolute weirdest? I dunno. But my sense of what’s weird is pretty wide. There’s some weird comics. The webcomic Kill Six Billion Demons and the comic Slaine are pretty weird. The Invisibles, yup, up there. But… they’re all kinda normal to me. Weird is normal! Normal is normal! Everything is normal!
So I honestly can’t pick a weirdest. But read weird books, my friends.
Sooo … how do you feel about dragons?
Seriously. I like dragons. I am a fan. They’re iconic. I like all the types, from the friendly to the bestial to the malevolent. But it feels like they’re everywhere to the point and overshadow everything. Where’s the love for giants? Demons? Griffons?
What are you looking forward to right now?
Me and the missus are off to Dubrovnik for a few days at the end of the month and it should be great. Need some time to decompress.
Book wise… there’s a few blog projects I’m hoping to advance. And two of my projects are beginning to take shape in good ways. But I’ll be able to talk about them a lot more enthusiastically for that holiday!