The Ultimate Book Bash, hosted by Austenitis! All of my answers to her questions below the cut.
Name three books you love.
Off the top of my head ... Howl's Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones), Going Postal (Terry Pratchett), and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke).
Name two books you enjoy, but that most people probably haven't heard of.
The Moorchild and Dark Lord of Derkholm. Moorchild is about an elf who is exchanged with a human baby, loses her memories as she grows, and has to deal with being a very strange person in a small country village. Dark Lord of Derkholm is a complete deconstruction/parody/subversion, with tourists being taken all over a country which is forced to pretend to be from a schlocky fantasy novel. And I have to add a third - Shades of Grey, by Jasper Fforde. It's far-future dystopic speculative fiction that reads like it was written by PG Wodehouse. SO GOOD.
Name three series you love.
Discworld, Harry Potter, and A Song of Ice and Fire. Boring and mainstream, I know! But I like them all very much in different ways - Discworld for humor and unexpected meaningfulness, HP for the characters and world, and ASOIAF for some of the characters, subversions of many things I dislike, and the epic scope.
Name three authors you love!
Terry Pratchett, Susanna Clarke, Diana Wynne Jones.
How about three adventures or mysteries?
All the Wimsey books by Dorothy Sayers are fantastic (set in 1920s/30s England), and I also like the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters (Victorian archaeologists in Egypt!). The most adventury thing I can think of is Game of Thrones, in the ASOIAF series ... I don't read a lot of adventure novels.
We Two, about Victoria and Albert's difficult relationship - difficult because of the tension about who was in charge, not because they disliked each other, of course. American Nerd: The Story of My People, by Benjamin Nugent - about all kinds of nerdery and hipsterism and such. It's very, very good. Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution is my third, and I think we all know it.
Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys? Which book in your favorite set is your favorite?
NANCY DREW. I used to love The Case of the Whistling Bagpipes because it was about her own family's mystery rather than someone else's.
Narnia or Harry Potter? Name your favorite from the series you like best.
HARRY POTTER. Favorite ... maybe Prisoner of Azkaban? I love Remus and Sirius best, and there's still the hope at the end that Sirius and Harry will live happily together later. ;_;
A cookbook or a how-to-sew book?
Cookbook, honestly, my mother is my how-to-sew book. I have two really nice cookbooks focusing on afternoon tea, one is all 1930s and assume you're having picnics and children's parties and sitting by a fire.
Historical fiction or fantasy? Name three books you like from the genre you chose.
Historical fantasy! It is the best genre. Three examples: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Magicians and Mrs Quent (which, okay, I didn't really like that much, but it has its good points), Sorcery & Cecilia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, and for a bonus, Betraying Season. Kind of heavy on the YA, but I find that YA authors are more willing to cross genres than adult writers.
Hardcover or softcover?
Can't decide. I like holding a hardcover better and of course it will often hold itself open for reading while eating, but paperbacks are so much easier to travel with. Trade paperbacks with beautiful matte covers are my compromise.
Louisa May Alcott or Lucy Maud Montgomery? Name your favorite book by the author you chose.
I think I have to go with LMM. My favorite of hers might be the Emily books, I think they're the most adult.
Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte? Name your favorite book by the author you chose.
Haha, srsly? Austen. I think Persuasion may be my favorite. I feel like it has the most romantic tension.
Would you rather read historical fiction about the sinking of the Titanic, or the Civil War?
Hm. On the one hand, I have little interest in the Civil War fiction I've read. On the other, I Titanic'd myself out in third grade, when I read every Titanic book I could get my hands on. (This was before the movie.) I'm going to take "Civil War" as meaning "English Civil War" (US-centrism!) and go with that.
What's your favorite classic? Why?
I don't think I have one. My favorite books are all newer than what most people consider classics. :/
Little Women or A Little Princess? [Fine, Blogger, I'll stop trying to make words bold.]
A Little Princess all the way! Maybe that is my favorite classic. There are plenty of problematic elements to it - racism, classism - but it's such a good story and Sara is such a wonderful heroine. I love characters who stick out their chins and refuse to let nasty people get them down, but who also occasionally crumble and show their humanity.
What's your favorite time period to read about?
!!! Very hard to choose. I don't think I can choose. At the moment, I'm very into things influenced by the Wars of the Roses.
G. A. Henty, J. R. R. Tolkien, or Charles Dickens? What's your favorite book or series by the author you chose?
I have never ever heard of Henty. Hmm. Both Tolkien and Dickens have a serious lack of female characters, which makes me relatively uninterested in them, but I do love The Hobbit and Nicholas Nickelby. Tie.
Ivanhoe or Ben-Hur?
Neither. I don't know Ben-Hur and Ivanhoe would be great if Rebecca or Rowena were the main character. I'm still not sure whether I'm supposed to think Ivanhoe should have ended up with Rebecca.
Name three books everyone should read.
Something from Pratchett; Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; Howl's Moving Castle.
Name two books we wouldn't have expected you to enjoy.
I think people would be surprised at how much I like straight-up romance novels. A Duke of Her Own and This Duchess of Mine, both by Eloisa James, are fantastic (although you need to read the whole series to get just how fantastic - the former stars an ex-rake who appears in each book as a rival and the latter stars a married couple whose stories span a few books).
Name three books that have good movies to go with them.
North and South,
Any books coming out soon that you're looking forward to?
I don't think so. I do want to get onto Pottermore, though.
Name two authors you'd like to talk to.
JK Rowling and ... maybe Gail Carson Levine? Diana Wynne Jones if I can penetrate the veil.
Science fiction or a fairy tale?
Very hard to say. I've read a lot of bad SF and a lot of bad fantasy. The bad SF tends to be too "hard" (very scientific) or too Western, and the bad fantasy tends to be complete Tolkien quest ripoffs or bizarre Cathrynne Valente "poetic" ridiculousness. Assuming the two options are equally good - fantasy, fairy tale.
A classic book you haven't read is...?
SO MANY. Moby Dick, for one. Guy Books, for the most part.
Shakespeare or George Bernard Shaw (who wrote Pygmalion)?
Nrrrr ... I kind of want to say Shaw just because I know so many people who would say Shakespeare. I need to read more of him, though. I read Pygmalion ages ago, and The Chocolate Cream Soldier and Mrs Warren's Profession.
Name a movie (or two) where it's actually better than the book.
Little Dorrit, if only because it's exactly the same but faster. Ballet Shoes, I think. Oh, Tenant of Wildfell Hall was kind of plodding, but I love the movie.
Where is your favorite place to read?
Everywhere! I read all the time. The beach, in bed, during breakfast and lunch, lying on the couch.