SIAB Q&A

I don’t know if this will work – that is up to you guys! – but I thought it might be fun to hold a Q&A. I was inspired by the fab 100th episode of The Readers – it’s no secret that I long to appear on the show, only now they don’t have guest presenters – but I thought I can still borrow good ideas from them, one of which is a bookish Q&A. (Do go and listen to their 100th ep, of course.)

So… any questions you have for me about books, reading suggestions, reading habits, my life, my blogging, Shiny New Books, my DPhil, Sherpa… please pop ’em in the comments or ask on twitter @stuck_inabook.  And then, at some point next week, I’ll answer them!

I’d love to see this sort of thing on other people’s blogs too – it’s a great way to interact a bit more.  So, fingers crossed that it works!  I’ve got a busy Bank Holiday Weekend, so I’ll see you on Tuesday…

21 thoughts on “SIAB Q&A

  • May 24, 2014 at 3:41 am
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    Simple question. How do you do it all? It's a bit late for me to start learning Lifemanship, but it still might help if I knew how you organize yourself so you can work, read as much as you do, blog as much as you do, and yet appear recumbant with delightsome friends on Oxford lawns looking like a more intellectual but leisured Brideshead chap? Perhaps just give us a typical Day in the Life. I.e., rise at 8 AM, eat a vegetable, read 46 chapters, go to my day job, blog on lunch hour while eating another vegetable…visit parents, pat Sherpa, read seventeen Christie novels, go to a party…Oh! I think I know. You don't sleep! (Don't mean to sound sardonic, be assured that my admiration is whole and heartfelt!)

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    • May 24, 2014 at 5:51 am
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      Your conclusion made me laugh, Diana. Sleeping is something of a speciality for SIAB … he learnt the skill from Sherpa!

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  • May 24, 2014 at 3:47 am
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    What job would be so fabulous that it could induce you to live in a big city (e.g., London)? And don't just say there isn't one, which would come closest?

    If you had to limit yourself to only reading one novelist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

    Which TV show are you most embarrassed to admit that you watch?

    Would you ever go for a whole month where you only read books that were published this century?

    List one living author that everyone in book blogging circles loves that you have no desire to read.

    Which novel that is least like your life/personal frame of reference/state of grace did you like the most? (And I'm not talking about someone who lives in the wild or in some urban jungle or something superficial like that. Maybe a character who you would never want to meet or who appalls you, but you loved the book anyway.)

    Have you read May Sarton yet? Why not?

    Which Trollope do you prefer? Anthony or Johanna?

    Would you, do you, let your brother recommend books for you to read?

    What was the last novel your mother recommend to you? Did you read it?

    Which family member's reading tastes are most in line with yours?

    If you had to get a DPHil in some other subject what would it be?

    If you had to live in another country for the rest of your days, which would it be?

    Which has been your favorite European country to visit?

    Which European country would you most like to visit?

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  • May 24, 2014 at 4:43 am
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    I'm most eager to hear your answers to Thomas' excellent questions but here are a few of my own, too:

    Sweater vests or cardigans? Do you see your preference changing as you age?

    What do you hope your life looks like 5 years from now?

    If you were to start your own publishing house, what would its focus be?

    What are five out-of-print books you think are most deserving of a reprint?

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    • May 24, 2014 at 11:51 am
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      Oooh, I like the one about Simon owning a publishing house. Maybe we need to start a kickstarter campaign.

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  • May 24, 2014 at 6:26 am
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    Goodness, Thomas has covered a lot of ground. Just one more:
    If you had the chance to write one book, guaranteed publication, what would it be?

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  • May 24, 2014 at 8:14 am
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    I'll ask the perennial favourite – which authors, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?

    Assuming you lived somewhere with other houses close by, which authors do you think would make good neighbours?

    This is such a wonderful idea – you may have started something!

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  • May 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
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    Do you prefer towns or villages in a) real life and b) fiction?

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  • May 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm
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    Billy-Bob, I would be really grateful if you could answer that eternally puzzling question –
    Shakespeare: was he a woman?
    (In no fewer than 2000 words)

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  • May 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm
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    Simon, are you a lark or an owl? A fussy or messy housekeeper? Favorite dinner? Real person(s) in history to invite? Fictional characters to invite? Favorite guilty pleasure TV viewing and snack?

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  • May 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm
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    My question was going to be the one about literary dinner guests but someone beat me to it. So…. if you had a literary time machine which literary world would you transport yourself to?

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  • May 25, 2014 at 2:14 am
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    OK, Simon, I remember you blogging at some point that you've got all of Barbara Comyns' books. Since Birds in Tiny Cages is one of the rarest books in the universe, I'd like to know where you found your copy.

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  • May 25, 2014 at 11:41 pm
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    Dear Simon – how do you see your future blogging self? Is there anything that would make you give it up? I hope not!

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  • May 27, 2014 at 9:45 am
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    I second the question how do you fit it all in!? I can only look on with awe.
    Another question: are you publishing any of your PhD research?

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    • June 7, 2014 at 10:45 am
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      Too late to answer this in the main post, I'm afraid, but the answer is 'maybe'! My viva examiners were very encouraging about trying to turn it into a book, but I'm just not sure I'll ever have time and (more importantly) the energy… I'm so happy to have finished the DPhil that I still can't cope with the idea of going back to it!

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  • June 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm
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    As usual, I am entering the fray very late in the day, so I'm not going to add any questions to the long list you already have to deal with. I just wanted to say what a good idea this was and how much I enjoyed – and indeed, laughed! – reading the questions people came up with.

    Reply

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