Fun for Monday: The Seven Deadly Sins

Fun for Monday

I was tagged to do this by the wonderful Winged Cynic of Tomes of the Unknown whose blog I absolutely love. Please take a look if you don’t already know about her, and definitely start with her About page because it’s awesome!!

So, here we go …



What is the most expensive book you own? Which is the least expensive?

Ermm … I can’t say I really know the answer to this one as I don’t buy super expensive copies of things and don’t really go in for swanky hardback copies of books anymore mostly because they’re harder to carry around. Now as long as they’re readable I’ll buy anything. If we’re talking about my most valuable book, rather than my most expensive, then I guess that’d be my childhood copy of the Hobbit that I bought at a school book fair (everything about that copy brings back memories: the smell of the pages, my name written in my awful nine-year old handwriting in the front, the tape repairing the spine). Then there are my late Nana’s collection of Georgette Heyer novels, also tied up with memories.

As for my least expensive book, (not counting gifts and freebies I’m assuming?), that’s too hard! I’ve got books I paid 20p and 50p for, but I couldn’t tell you which ones they are because I tend to buy books by the armful. *ashamed*

But if we’re talking about greed: I keep books I want to read again and books that I’ve yet to read. Currently, the to-read pile is about two thirds bigger than the to-read-again pile. Now that’s greedy.

And then, of course, there’s all the library books I have at home …



What book or books have you shamelessly devoured many times?

Pratchett Covers

Well, apart from The Hobbit and Tam Lin by Pamela Dean which I have mentioned before, I reread a lot of Robin McKinley (Chalice, Beauty, Spindle’s End and Sunshine – even though it’s a vampire story! – most often), Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett (I kind of read the Discworld books on a cycle, start to finish by publication then back to the beginning and go again; sometimes I skip The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic and start in with the witches *sorrynotsorry*). And when I’ve finished digging through everything Connie Willis has written I plan to go back to the beginning and start all over again with her too.

I’m also fond of reading the dictionary. Not from start to finish or anything, I like to let it fall open sometimes and browse for words I don’t know or use. Sometimes I just like to read the etymologies. Other times I just like to read words out loud to hear how they sound.

I’m not weird.



What attributes do you find most attractive in your characters?

Related image

I love characters who are not afraid to be entirely themselves. This is what I admire most in both fictional characters and in people IRL. Granny Weatherwax doesn’t give a fig what anyone thinks of her and she is my all-time hero because of it.

I love characters who have a way with words. Vlad Taltos is proving to be one of my new favourites, Mori in Jo Walton’s Among Others is a very different example and an older favourite. For some lighter reading I recently picked up Soulless by Gail Carriger and her heroine Alexis Tarabotti has got some great lines (often punctuated with blows from her parasol – very amusing).

Essentially, I love characters who are everything I’m not: brave, funny, smart, able to deliver witty putdowns and comebacks. Those who have a strong sense of self and no concerns that they are lacking.



What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

Pretty Fantasy Masterworks
so pretty I think my eyes may bleed …

Oh my goodness, I would love to receive all of the Fantasy Masterworks books (particularly some of those with the B-E-A-utiful new cover designs *swoon*). And everything on my tbr list. Ooooo, and that beautiful new hardback edition of Ursula Le Guin’s Tales of Earthsea, not because I don’t already have the books, but just so I can drool over Charles Vess’ illustrations and its overall loveliness.

(And if everyone could stop sharing pictures of their bookshelves, I’d be super grateful, because I want everything you all have!! *despairing sob*)



What book or books do you bring up when you want to sound like an intellectual reader?

Ermm … I don’t think I do that. Wow! I really hope I don’t do that! I mean, I’m not really an intellectual reader, so why pretend?

I did used to read things I thought I should read, but it was very boring, so I stopped. I think I’m old enough now to just embrace what I love and ignore the rest. After all, I’m not going to live forever and there are an awful lot of books out there.



What book or series have you neglected out of sheer laziness?


*deep breath in* The Princess Jellyfish manga series by Akiko Higashimura, the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson (I started The Alloy of Law but have so far failed to finish it, don’t know why), the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake (although I do genuinely intend to pick that back up again); the Invisible Library books by Genevieve Cogman, the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, , the Horatio Lyle books by Catherine Webb, the Earth’s Children books by Jean M Auel (laziness and a big dose of prudishness here – how many times do you have to write about sex before you’re really writing porn, I wonder?); the Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn, Gregory Maguire’s books, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters, Rick Riordan, Ransom Riggs, David Eddings, David Gemmell, Elmore Leonard …

You get the picture, I’m lazy. Also, as I get older I’m less tolerant of series that seem to get trotted out mechanically (thus a lot of the above are junior and young adult series/authors). And I definitely get bored easier now too.



What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

That’s a hard one. I don’t think … oh, no, wait. Neil Gaiman. I came to Gaiman late. Strict home environment, sheltered, rural childhood, lack of friends and no internet until I was in my late teens etc etc. So when I finally read American Gods I was blown away. It was so, so great and I loved it so, so much (still do), that I hunted down all the Sandman comics and then Stardust and Neverwhere and Coraline and loved it all … and then, just as I’d discovered him (alive and fairly young, so plenty of writing still left in him) he seemed to run out of steam. The Graveyard Book left me very, very disappointed. Followed by Odd and the Frost Giants, the Interworld books with Michael Reaves, and Fortunately, the Milk. I read them all faithfully wondering all the while: What was all this kids’ stuff after the brilliance that had been American Gods?!


The Ocean at the End of the Lane and the collection Trigger Warning made me feel a bit better, but I’ve never got back to that absolute admiration I felt for Gaiman. I loved him so much I wanted to be him. Heck, he was friends with Terry Pratchett and Tori Amos, he seemed to be rewriting the rules on how to be a successful writer, everything he was involved in seemed to have an air of cool about it, who wouldn’t want to be him? And I think that’s where the hate hides – because when you admire someone so much you put them up on a pedestal they will naturally, humanly, do something you think they shouldn’t have done, or not do something you think they should have, and you’ll be disappointed. Because they’re just people too, like you, like anyone, doing what’s right for them.

So now … I am still a bit of a Gaiman fan. I love some of his stuff and it forms a big part of my frame of reference. Some stuff of his, I’m not so keen on. And that’s OK.


So, that’s me. Anyone else want to have a go at this? I’m nervous of tagging anyone because I think everyone I want to tag would politely decline … but if this is something you’d like to do I’d very much like to read your answers so please throw a link to your post in the comments.


And thank you Winged Cynic! This was a blast!







21 thoughts on “Fun for Monday: The Seven Deadly Sins

    1. They really do. 😀 Especially when you’ve been working all weekend and not had time to read anything, let alone write down thoughts.
      Fancy giving this one a go Bookstooge? I’d be interested in your answers … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh this looks like fun 🙂 I might tag myself in when I see a quiet week coming up!

    I am ambivalent about Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere, Stardust and The Ocean at the End of the Lane are absolutely my jam; but I was less fond of The Graveyard Book and Anansi Boys and outright bored by American Gods (don’t hate me!) – which at least has kept me at the healthy end of fandom, no pedestals in sight 😉 Maybe I just relate more easily to British mythologies than American ones (…which is hardly surprising being a Brit) – or maybe I just get on better when he flirts with Faery rather than wholesale invention? I don’t know. At some point I feel I should make Sandman my first ‘proper’ graphic novel though (I’ve never ventured into those waters) – I don’t think I know anyone who has read it who didn’t love it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh I’d love to read your answers for this tag! 😀
      Yeah, Gaiman. I hear what you’re saying about American Gods. Mmmm, Sandman though – if you only read one graphic novel series in your life time, make it this one. He did some pretty cool stuff with both the story and the medium. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice 🙂

    Personally, I want to have all the books, so obviously that included the Fantasy Masterworks series, although I prefer the old covers. So far – I have almost a shelf of them, more to come, I’m sure 😉
    I have a few copies of Earthsea, including the Folio version of the first one, so I fought with myself a bit, but ultimately bought the Vess-illustrated volume, it’s just so pretty 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s fun! And I learned a lot about you, incidentally, which is also very cool 😀 I totally understand your love/hate relationship with Gaiman, I’m more like, “Man, can you learn to properly finish your books with, you know, a solid ending??” And I agree, there are series that just drag on too long, a blatant money grab if there ever was one… Cool post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Okay, I’m going to borrow this meme (with acknowledgements) and post about it soon, what a fantastic approach to bibliophiliac discussion it is! Fascinated to to see your choices, so I’ll respond to a couple of things.

    First the Fantasy Masterworks series: I’ll go with those as there’s so much I’ve yet to explore. The cover designs are alright, but as I hate too much uniformity I think they may get on my wick after a while. And if anyone wanted to visit SF Masterworks on me instead or as well I wouldn’t say no…

    Gaiman: I’ve never been overboard with him — sometimes I think he’s been spot on with his creations, and I admire his admiration of fellow writers, not just Pratchett but also Diana Wynne Jones who is one of my absolute favourites. But occasionally he strikes a false note, as when he includes gratuitous sex — I’m not particularly thinking of American Gods because I think there’s probably a symbolism there I haven’t yet got — but there’s one particular story in the collection Smoke and Mirrors where I thought ‘Why? Just why?’ Also, now and again the pace of his storytelling falters. That said, Ocean I thought was almost perfect, and Graveyard pretty good (must reread for a review) — I’ll see if the first volume of Sandman is as good as everyone says!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I look forward to seeing your post. 🙂
      Yes, I do think Gaiman’s appreciation of others is an awesome thing (OMG Diana Wynne Jones – her books are truly gems, I love her to pieces).
      I am doing a slow re-read of The Graveyard Book right now with a view to a post, because I honestly don’t remember much of the story, only that I was disappointed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d be interested to see your review of Graveyard when you post it. That first chapter I thought had quite the most chilling character he wrote since Croup and Valdemar in Neverwhere; I think he originally published it in Smoke and Mirrors.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! I remember the first time I read it I was so impressed with that opening chapter: “There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife …”(kickass first line!) 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I try not to go for the super expensive books either because once I start collecting them, I’ll be greedy to make my shelves more and more fancier (ah, such is human greed…) And YES, people do need to stop sharing their beautiful bookshelves–seeing so much beauty actually hurts me that my own shelves are no comparison at all lol.

    Reading the dictionary…that strangely sounds appealing? Gotta give that a go. 😂

    Hmm, I’ve yet to finish the Alloy of Law trilogy myself. I can’t work up the motivation for some reason either, and it’s driving me mad! 🤔 As for Gregory Maguire, I’m a fan of his first three Wicked quartet books, but I do feel like his other works get a pretty mixed reception on the whole; I’m thinking about trying Hiddensee next though.

    Ooh, Neil Gaiman…I can’t say much about him since I’ve only read Good Omens (definitely going to try American Gods since my friend is an avid fan), but I think I know what you mean. I became a Harry Potter fan only after Goblet of Fire, and I feel like the series shifted tone drastically after that one, which disappointed me as a late fan. But like you say, one learns to suck it up. 😉

    Aww you’re very welcome by the way! I love reading your thoughts (as always!) 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Motivation is the problem sometimes … that, and all the other lovely shiny books whispering “read me read me”. 🙂
      Ha! Sucking it up! Yeah, that’s what we do best!! 😀


  6. That’s an interesting tag!
    I love re-reading Discworld novels as well and do it chronologically at the moment. Next one in line is ‘Moving Pictures’ I think 🙂

    Jean M Auel… oh gosh…I have to admit.. when I was a young teen I read it BECAUSE of all the sex scenes -.- But ask me something about the story and I don’t remember a thing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK. Guilty secret confession time: that’s exactly why my best friend and I read the first two books as well. Because I guess you’ve got to pick up your outlandish expectations from somewhere, right?! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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