I knew there would eventually be a post in which this gif would be sadly relevant.
I know I spent most of it working. In the early part of the week I designed a survey which is going to be sent out to digital forensic investigators. It includes a couple of questions that relate to some research I’d eventually like to do on the psychological effects of working full-time (or part-time, or at all) in a role that requires you to see some of the most awful things humans do to each other.
My job’s a bit of a conversation stopper. When I say “forensic investigation”, people generally think it’s incredibly cool. When I specify “computer forensics” they make reference to Garcia from Criminal Minds, or (if they know me well enough) to Lisbeth Salander.
1:What is your favorite book? Just one?! Bastard. I refuse to follow your rules. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, because it was my teenage bible. Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, because he’s an amazing writer and I swear he’s read every book in the world. Twice. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, because it’s funny and moving and wonderful. And The Humans by Matt Haig, because it describes how I see the world.
2:What was the last book you read? The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
3:What is the worst book you’ve ever read? Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.
4:Top 7 book characters. Stargirl from Stargirl, Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton’s alphabet series, John Rebus from Ian Rankin’s books, Don Tillman from The Rosie Project, Catherine Cordell from The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen, Dumbledore from Harry Potter.
5:What is your favorite genre? Crime fiction.
6:Book you cried the hardest reading? I read The Love Verb by Jane Green at a point that was very poignant, so it broke me a bit. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes was also pretty heart-rending.
7:Book you laughed the hardest reading? The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, because Don Tillman sums up my world view so very perfectly.
8:Which book character(s) do you most relate to? See above! Don Tillmann, Andrew Martin from The Humans, Lisbeth Salander from TGWTDT, Stargirl.
9:Favorite author(s)? Umberto Eco, Hermann Hesse. I also can’t resist new releases from Ian Rankin, Karen Rose, Tess Gerritsen, and Jane Green.
10:Do you judge books by their covers? Yes.
11:What is your favorite quote from a book? Again, fuck you with your ‘just one’.
“Anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what’s heaven? What’s earth? All in the mind.” – On The Road, Jack Kerouac
“…he was a night prowler. The morning was a bad time of day for him. He feared it and it never brought him any good. On no morning of his life has he ever been in good spirits nor done any good before midday, nor devised any pleasure for himself or others. By degrees during the afternoon he warmed and became alive, and only towards evening, on his good days, was he productive, active and, sometimes, aglow with joy… There was never a man with a deeper and more passionate craving for independence than he. In his youth when he was poor and had difficulty in earning his bread, he preferred to go hungry and in torn clothes only to preserve a tiny bit of independence.” – Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse
“I now saw that I had, strangely, taken both Bardia’s explanation and the Fox’s (each while it lasted) for certain truth. Yet one must be false. And I could not find out which, for each was well rooted in its own soil… But I could not find out whether the doctrines of Glome or the wisdom of Greece were right. I was the child of Glome and the pupil of the Fox; I saw that for years my life had been lived in two halves, never fitted together.” – Til We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
“”So much focus on the egg – it is life, it is food, it is answer to a hundred riddles – but look at its shell. The secrets are writ on its walls. Secrets lie in the entrails of things, in the dregs.” – Tithe, Holly Black
12:Which book do you recommend to friends and family most? The Rosie Project. Anything by Eco.
13:Which book is so special to you that you don’t share it with others? Stargirl.
14:Do you have any signed books? Yes, one signed by Tess Gerritsen (The Silent Girl), which my friend gave me, and a copy of The Rosie Project that’s been double-signed by Graeme Simsion.
15:Have you met any authors? Graeme Simsion.
16:Buy books new, used, or go to the library? All of the above! Most often, I buy them used, though.
17:Where is your favorite place to read? I’ve been known to read pretty much everywhere, but there’s nothing quite like my favourite two places: in a bubbly bath surrounded by candles, or finishing a book in bed late at night by lamplight.
18:Prefer books set in the past or the future? Future.
19:What 5 elements would your ideal book have? A strong protagonist who does what they think is right despite putting themselves in jeopardy; a lack of romance/sex; a touch of humour; a really strong friendship; a realistic ending.
20:Do you ever hope to publish your own book? Yes.
21:Prefer stand alone or series? Don’t mind.
22:Do you mark/highlight/dog ear your books or keep them in perfect condition? I used to be a perfectionist about this, but I have been known to turn down a page corner when there’s something I really want to be able to return to.
23:Hardbacks or paperbacks? Paperbacks, they’re easier to transport and they’re less heavy to hold up in the bath.
24:Do you watch any booktubers? No.
25:Have you read The Hunger Games? Yes
26:Do you like twist endings? Yes
27:Do you reread books? Only the most special ones.
28:E-readers or physical copies of books? Physical copies. I just can’t bring myself to try ebooks.
29:A book that makes you feel comforted? The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. It was one of my favourite books as a child and reading it feels like hot chocolate and fireplaces.
30:Would you rather read any ending that makes you feel happy or sad? I tend to like endings that are realistic, and often that doesn’t mean things working out perfectly.
31:Favorite villain in a book? The surgeon from The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen.
32:Do you like to write reviews when you finish a book? Yes, if it’s good.
33:Do you experience “book hangovers”? Oh hell yes.
34:Favorite book cover(s)? Stargirl.