Time to fight through my lack of inspiration by working a book meme, which I got from Sheila.
What was the last book you bought?
Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais, which I reviewed here.
Name a book you have read MORE than once.
I like to come back to my favorite books - I treat them like comfort food.
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
L.A. Confidential, by James Ellroy
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
It, by Stephen King
The Narrows, by Michael Connelly
The Bill James Baseball Abstracts
That's just a sampling.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life?
I've thought about this for a couple of days, and I'd have to say no.
How do you choose a book (e.g. by cover design and summary, recommendations or review)?
Once I find an author that I enjoy (Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, John Sandford, James Ellroy, John Irving...) I ride that horse to the ground. Back when the Vintage Contemporaries series first got started back in the 1980s, I used to buy books based solely on the cover, and ended up with a lot of books that looked great on the shelf but didn't provide me with a lot of enjoyment. My late Aunt Lenore had a good read on what I liked, and since she read about 7 books a week, she used to recommend a lot of stuff. And I discovered some - most notably Michael Connelly - through a review.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I read a lot of both - in addition to a ton of novels, I own a lot of books about baseball, music and politics. The Power Broker by Robert Caro is one of my all-time favorite books.
What's more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Plot, because sometimes it takes me a while to recognize the writing. I usually have to go back and re-read stuff to truly appreciate that aspect of a book.
Most loved/memorable characters:
Harry Bosch, from the Michael Connelly books
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, from the Robert Crais books
Myron Bolitar and Win Horne, from the Harlan Coben books
Lew Archer, from the Ross McDonald books
Gus McCrae, Lonesome Dove
Skink, who appears in several Carl Hiaasen books
Luna Lovegood, from the Harry Potter books
Owen Meany and Hester, from A Prayer for Owen Meany
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Dancing Bear, by James Crumley
Basic Brown, by Willie Brown
What was the last book you read, and when was it?
Basic Brown. I finished it a couple of weeks ago. It's still on my nightstand because there are a couple of parts I've been re-reading.
Have you ever given up on a book halfway in?
Yes. Underworld by Don DeLillo, and Until I Find You by John Irving come to mind. In the former, after the Polo Grounds section, I literally had no idea what was going on. With the latter, I just didn't care what was going on.