Well Read 2011 – Mad About Books

Below are fellow readers (and authors) answering a few book related questions…

An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…

If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?

Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…

Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?

Anything else to add…

It all ties in with our sponsored family read for Surrey Young Carers

Stoke City supporter and author of ‘Tie Me To The Mast’, David Johnson

The first and latest book you have read…

I remember snippets, but not the titles, of lots of books from an early age. One of the first I remember reading myself is Stig of the Dump by Clive King. The latest is The Hidden by Tobias Hill
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Beautifully, sensually written, and deeply moving in an understated way – all of which make it essential reading on the effects of war on ordinary people.
 
An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…

Stephen King may not be exactly unknown, but his On Writing isn’t one of his big sellers. I’d recommend it as a really approachable introduction to creative writing.
 
If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?
 
The Cat in the Hat. Mischievous, magical and always gets away with it.
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…

Raging Bull by Jake La Motta made a great film. I have never read Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein, and, thanks to the truly abysmal film, I never will.
 
Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?

Paper, because I don’t own a Spindle, or whatever they’re called. Besides, you’ve got to put something on your shelves.
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GRTR! reviewer and freelance journalist Joe Geesin

The first and latest book you have read…

As a kid – can’t remember, but very probably Charlie And The Chocolate Factory or something of that ilk.
Most recent – Others by James Herbert – for the 4th or 5th time.
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?

Charlie and the chocolate factory – because it’s one of the greatest children’s books ever written. Also Sepulchre by James Herbert. Beyond and more mature than his early bloodlust, it is an extremely brilliantly written chiller that is intelligent, well researched, and lots of twists and turns. Herbert at his very best.
 
An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…

Joe Dever and his Lone Wolf series. Wonderful fantasy in a wonderful and well written/planned out world. Draws you in, addictively.
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…

Dune. I think David Lynch’s film is brilliant and very underrated. It captures a long, excellent and complex book with lots of appendices as well as possible in the time given, great effects, and is infinitely better cast than the Sky version.
As for not allowed – I don’t know about book but AVP should never have been allowed beyond the comic stage. There isn’t anything about AVP or AVP2 that isn’t just dreadful.
 
Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?
No Brainer – Book. Like an LP (or, at a push, a CD), you are holding a work of art, an artefact. There’s just something about the feel, the touch, the smell.

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GRTR! reviewer Nick van der Meulen

The first and latest book you have read…

First: Jack and the beanstalk when I was 6 (I think).
Latest: Robert Rankin’s “Da-da-de-da-da Code”

A book you think everyone should read and why?

Tolkien’s “Lord of the rings”.  It’s a great adventure, beautifully written in a way no movie (no disrespect to Peter Jackson) can replicate, with a “good vs. evil” moral.

An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…

Terry Pratchett.  He’s very famous, but not famous enough 🙂


 
If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?

Aragorn – he’s brave, wise, good and a worthy king.  Nice characteristics to have…

Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…

Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” was a good film…but even though it is vastly different from the book, Gaiman wrote the screenplay 🙂

Douglas Adams’s “Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy” should never have made it to the movie world…

Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?

Definitely paper…no substitute.  I prefer books that entertain me and provide escapism.

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Musician Robb Johnson
The first and latest book you have read…
CAN’T REMEMBER THE VERY 1ST BOOK I READ…MAY HAVE BEEN BEATRIX POTTER. OR AA MILNE. I DID LATER READ LOTS OF BIGGLES, ALL THE CS LEWIS “NARNIA” BOOKS EXCEPT “THE LAST BATTLE” BECAUSE, HAVING BEEN VERY SADDENED BY THE LAST EVER WINNIE-THE-POOH STORY, I DIDN’T WANT THE MAGIC TO END. ALL THE LESLIE CHARTERIS “SAINT” BOOKS (& I DO MEAN ALL, TRACKED THEM DOWN IN 2ND HAND SHOPS FOR SEVERAL YEARS). THE LATEST BOOK I HAVE READ WAS “GIMME DANGER”, BY JOE AMBROSE, A PRETTY GOOD IGGY POP BIOGRAPHY THAT BALANCES A REALISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON IGGY’S MANY OBJECTIONABLE OR STUPID MOMENTS WITH AN APPRECIATION OF HIS REAL ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENTS.
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?
THERE ARE SO MANY… THE NETHERWORLD, &/OR NEW GRUB STREET BY GEORGE GISSING… THE PLAGUE BY ALBERT CAMUS (& MAYBE ALSO THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS TOO)… THE ONCE & FUTURE KING BY T H WHITE…THE CRIMINAL BY JIM THOMPSON…. THE LONG GOODBYE BY RAYMOND CHANDLER….BRIGHTON ROCK, OR MAYBE THE HUMAN FACTOR, OR MAYBE MONSIGNOR QUIXOTE BY GRAHAM GREENE (WELL, EVERYTHING BY GRAHAM GREENE REALLY)…WATCH OUT KIDS BY MICK FARREN ….ENOUGH!!!!!!!
 
An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience..
GEORGE GISSING
& PATRICK HAMILTON (20,000 STREETS UNDER THE SKY PROBABLY SHOULD BE IN THE ABOVE CATEGORY TOO).
 
If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?
OH THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE PHILIP MARLOWE, FOR BOTH THE INTEGRITY & THE WISCRACKS.
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…
WELL… LATELY BRIGHTON ROCK ON BOTH COUNTS – THE 1ST VERSION IS BRILLIANT, THE LATEST VERSION VERY CLEARLY ISN’T…..
DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL DOES MAKE A GREAT FILM, EXCEPT THAT NO VERSION GETS IT AS NEARLY RIGHT AS THE CREAKY OLD ALASTAIR SIM VERSION, & WITH EACH NEW VERSION, THE FILMS DO THE BOOK INCREASINGLY LESS JUSTICE.
& JOHN LE CARRE OFTEN SUFFERS FROM DISAPPOINTING FILMS THAT CONCENTRATE ON PLOT RATHER THAN CHARACTER & LE CARRE’S CHARACTERISTIC WORLD VIEW.
 
Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?
PAPER. A KINDLE … WHY, YOU CAN’T TOUCH & HANDLE & FLICK THROUGH & FEEL THE WEIGHT OF THE THING. MY FRIEND SHOWED ME HOW YOU CAN ELECTRONICALLY UNDERLINE OR TURN A PAGE DOWN – BUT IT WAS SUCH A PATHETIC, EMOTIONLESS PROCESS.
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Andrea Richardson
The first and latest book you have read…     The Girl WIth The Dragon Tatoo currently.  I honestly cannot remember the first book I read (apart from “Janet and John”!) but it was likely to be Enid Blyton’s Famous Five
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?     George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, both for their reflection on the time and the satire.  A Clockwork Orange for it’s humour and violence.  And all the Terry Pratchett novels cos he is bloody brilliant!
 
An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…   Hmmm, can’t think of anyone cos I read so many.  
 
If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?   No one specific, but I would like to be the sexy bad girl in some bodice-ripper bonkathon by Jilly Cooper or Jackie Collins!
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…   Cabaret was an amazing film and had a massive influence on me.  Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was film disaster – boring and badly scripted, which is a shame as I loved the book.  And some of the Harry Potter films have been a bit dodgy but make up for it in style rather than substance.  Lord of the RIngs was pretty good, mainly for the cinematography rather than the story. 
 
Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?   PAPER!! You have to hold a book to enjoy it. 
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Julia Hill
 
The first and latest book you have read…
First: I don’t know the name of it, but my Dad taught me to read a book that began: “The big red lorry went up the hill. Pots and pans, pots and pans.”
Latest: Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?
If everyone read ‘Birdsong’ then there wouldn’t be any more wars.

An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…
Barbara Kingsolver doesn’t seem to be nearly as well known and loved in the UK as she oughta be……
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…
Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet did good things with Revolutionary Road. Nick Cage in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, on the other hand…..

Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?
I don’t feel a particular loyalty to one or the other. Electronic for portability, paper for choice and cost.
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Jon Bullock
 
 
1st. Enid Blyton – Five Go Mad in Dorset.
Latest – Lee Child – 61 hours
 
A book you think everyone should read and why?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance = Change your life perspective
 
An author and/or book that deserves a wider audience…
Graham Hurley
 
If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?
Jack Reacher – nothing is impossible 😉
 
Which book has been turned into a good film and which book should never have been allowed to the movie world…
Atonement – good film
Captain Corelli`s Mandolin – bad film
 
 
 

 

Paper or electronic? Which type of book do you prefer and why?
Paper – more personal
The first and latest book you have read…

One Response to “Well Read 2011 – Mad About Books”

  1. […] Read some people’s replies to the Mad About Books questions here and the BBC has launched a Year Of […]

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