Day 01 – The best book you’ve read in the last year: right now it's a battle between Emile Zola's The Sin of Father Mouret and Don Robertson's By Antietam Creek. It's been a good year, so this is a tough call. I love both books for different reasons.
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times: Coming through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje jumps to mind first. this book changed the way i approach writing and i often return to it just to dip my toes in that inspiration.
Day 03 – Your favourite series: not much of a series readers. the Montmorency books by Eleanor Updale are perhaps my favorite?
Day 04 – Your favourite book of your favourite series: Montmorency on the Rocks (which is Book 2). not sure how a book about a drug-addict thief and dead babies made it to through the editors of children's books, but i am sure glad it did.
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy: The Romance of Rosy Ridge by MacKinley Kantor. i think i smiled through the whole thing.
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad: The Judas Field by Howard Bahr. i applaud his tough choices, but this one made me very sad with regard to what happens to the characters.
Day 07 – Most underrated book: probably everything i have already named would qualify. i would add S. Weir Mitchell's Far in the Forest, which, though a bit overwritten, is just a great story.
Day 08 – Most overrated book: anything by J.K. Rowling.
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving: Coming through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje. it was given to me by a friend and i thought: gack, what do i care about some jazz trumpeter from the 20s? despite being totally out of my element, the book blew me away. also, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. refused to read it in high school. couldn't stop reading it in college.
Day 10 – Your favourite classic book: depending on my mood it's either Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, or Ulysses by James Joyce.
Day 11 – A book you hated: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. no commentary. i could run a long list here, but it's kind of a drag of a question. would rather focus on the good stuff!
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore: this is a more interesting question. i loved loved loved The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub when i first read it. in the last decade i tried going back to it and couldn't get past chapter one. weird.
Day 13 – Your favourite writer: can't really say i have one. maybe Alan Moore, but that's a strange choice. i do love, without exception, everything by Stephen Crane, so maybe he qualifies.
Day 14 – Your favourite book of your favourite writer: from Alan Moore it's From Hell. From Stephen Crane it's The Red Badge of Courage.
Day 15 – Favourite male character: Javert and/or Valjean from Les Miserables are the first, most obvious choices. i would add Roland Deschain from Stephen King's Dark Tower series of the more recent things that i have read. he is absolutely priceless.
Day 16 – Favourite female character: probably Eponine from Les Miserables. women characters are tough for me. maybe Jo March from Alcott's Little Women? how sad is that? i can't even think of any.
Day 17 – Favourite quote from your favourite book: geh? too brain dead to even produce such a thing.
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you: most anything by Neal Gaimen has disappointed me, some of Sandman being the exception. The Silent by Jack Dann was hugely disappointing (and has the infamy of being the reason i almost never buy new books at full price). also, Geraldine Brook's March gave me cause to quibble. i will also throw in Pat Conroy's Prince of Tides, which is an amazing book save for the final page. i gave it as a gift once and cut out the offending matter, but once read, you can't unread things, alas.
Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie: incidentally turned into a movie or does the movie have to be good too? oddly, the one that leaps to mind is Bambi by Felix Salten. also Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. just because i think these are good adaptations.
Day 20 – Favourite romance book: not a genre i read, but The Romance of Rosy Ridge by MacKinley Kantor would count, i suppose. also, i would include Silk by Alessandro Barrico.
Day 21 – Favourite book from your childhood: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. also Bambi by Felix Salten.
Day 22 – Favourite book you own: i own most of my favorite books, so assuming the question is asking about the artifact rather than the text itself, i would have to choose non-fiction items: Lincoln and Episodes of War by William E. Doster, and John Wilkes Booth Himself by Richard Gutman. also i would throw in Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries by Bradley Bengston & Julian Kutz. there are others. i am choosing these because they are rare (and pricey) birds.
Day 23 – A book you’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t: i "save" books on purpose when i know an author only has limited work available. included on my save self are books by S. Weir Mitchell, Don Robertson, and Howard Bahr. one day it will rain and i will have wondrous things to read!
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read: i wish more people would read the authors i have mentioned throughout this list. but if i had to pick one, i wish more people would read Don Robertson. he is a lost gem (and he doesn't just write about the civil war). of the living authors, i wish more people would read Eleanor Updale. she is totally underrated.
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most: most everyone in Les Miserables (except Marius and Cosette because they are silly ~ sorta like this question).
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something: Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. also his letters.
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending: not sure it was a surprise, really, but wow it did me in anyway: Prayer for the Dying by Stuart O'Nan. also Jerzy Kozinski's The Painted Bird. hooo boy.
Day 28 – Favourite title: Coming through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje. i loved this title so much i named my second novel From Slaughter's Mountain.
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked: maybe a lot of what i read would fall under this. maybe most obviously some of the classics like Moby Dick by Herman Melville?
Day 30 – Your favourite book of all time: i used to be able to say Les Miserables without reservation, but it really depends on my mood. right now i keep Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen by my bedside along with Silk by Alessandro Barrico, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, and Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman. does that make them my favorite? i actually haven't read The Red Badge of Courage in over a year, but i think it might be close to no. 1. that's pretty good for a book i hated quite passionately in high school.