An A-Z Survey About Books

Earlier this week, I found a blog post about a bookish A-Z survey written by Brittany. If haven’t found out her blog yet, go check it out. It’s great. She does a lot of book reviews, as well as other book-related stuff. I haven’t regretted one minute spending over there so be sure to take a look.

I had seen the concept of an A-Z survey before but seeing it applied to books made me itch to try this out myself. So stay tuned for 26 revelations about books and me.

AUTHOR YOU’VE READ THE MOST BOOKS FROM

This is not a tough question. As a teenager, I’ve spent my time reading all the books of Stephen King. Who hasn’t read books from him, right? Well, after I finished Rage – which was published under his false identity Richard Bachman – I was sold. I have been a fan ever since.

I’d like to present you a few honourable mentions. After reading Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files, he’s second on my list. Gregg Hurwitz, Peter Clines and Clive Barker finish the top five.

BEST SEQUEL EVER

So just for clarification here, I’m looking for a book that continues on the original story. Not for book three, four or five of a series, but number two. I just have to make this clear to not have The Dresden Files win by a long shot.

This is a difficult question. I narrowed the list down to six books, then to two. The conclusion is that The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King is the best sequel I’ve ever read. I loved it back when, and still do. After the first part of the series, this is the book that got me spiked up to read it in entirety. A close second was The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz. Also worth checking out.

CURRENTLY READING

The easiest question, amiright? Black-box Thinking: Why Some People Never Learn From Their Mistakes – But Some Do by Matthew Syed. Up until now I’m really happy to read it.

DRINK OF CHOICE WHILE READING

Difficult question, as I read most of books while on the road. And I hardly drink when on the road. But if I have to make a choice, I’d go for Coca Cola. Zero or normal, I don’t really care much. Just not Light or Cherry or whatever.

E-READER OR PHYSICAL BOOK

While I listen to a lot of audiobooks and read most of the others on my Kindle, it might come as a surprise that I still prefer physical books. Nothing beats the scent of a freshly bought book. And nothing is as fulfilling as flipping a last page.

FICTIONAL CHARACTER YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY DATED IN HIGH SCHOOL

Does this probably mean like ‘most likely’, as in this would have worked out really well or is it probably as in ‘I wish’? Let’s go for the latter as I don’t think I’d find one for the first category.

I guess I’d go for Shannon Azzi from the Brilliance Saga. She’s smart and has her heart in the right place. She’s a badass and from what I’ve read her looks are great too. It’s the perfect package, really.

GLAD YOU GAVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. It was really much better than I expected. What is even more fun is that after I read it, I kept seeing people running around with this book.

HIDDEN GEM BOOK

I do not understand how Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt can get a rating of only 3.74 on Goodreads. In my opinion, the book should get a rating of 4.99 minimum. It is truly the best modern horror story I’ve read. Spine-chillingly good.

IMPORTANT MOMENT IN YOUR READING LIFE

I guess this is probably four or five years ago, when I had to drive almost three hours per day to my job and back. I got fed up with traffic and that reflected on my personal life. I was advised by a colleague to try an audiobook and I haven’t stopped since. If you want the full story, I once explained it on a different blog.

JUST FINISHED

The Secrets of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps.

KINDS OF BOOKS YOU WON’T READ

I’m stealing Brittany’s answer here. Definitely historical fiction… I’ve tried it. I didn’t like it. It just didn’t work out between us.

LONGEST BOOK YOU’VE READ

With 1153 pages or about 48 hours of listening time, this one stands out: The Stand by Stephen King.

MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER BECAUSE OF

Psychological screw-overs. You know, the ones that make you question existence. Also, unfinished threads in great books. Keeps me wondering what happened with those storylines.

NUMBER OF BOOKCASES YOU OWN

Since I’m a big audiobook fan and ride the train along with my Kindle, I must admit I only have one real bookcase. But of course, digitally I have two more. Does that count?

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES

The Stand by Stephen King. A few years after reading it, I wanted to read it again to understand things I might have missed as well as fully appreciate the way King tells his story.

PREFERRED PLACE TO READ

On vacation. I really love spending some time next to a swimming pool or on the beach with a book. Yep, I’m that kind of guy.

QUOTE THAT INSPIRES YOU/GIVES YOU ALL THE FEELS FROM A BOOK YOU’VE READ

Peter Clines has written some great books called the Ex-Heroes series. In the first one, there’s a quote about what being a superhero is all about.

“The Doctor didn’t have superpowers or weapons or anything like that. He was just a really smart guy who always tried to do the right thing. To help people, no matter what. That struck me when I was a kid. The idea that no matter how cold and callous and heartless the world seemed, there was somebody out there who just wanted to make life better. Not better for worlds or countries in some vague way. Just better for people trying to live their lives, even if they didn’t know about him.” – St. George.

That’s near the end of the first book. A great quote if you ask me. If you want a funny one, read this.

“Mindless violence against the undead? Count me in.” – Zzzap

READING REGRET

Probably the simplest one: not reading enough. I think I could read a lot more. But I have to work too, you know. Finding the right balance is difficult. Another thing is that instead of buying and reading all the books, I could also get into that whole ARC thing. Might be worth registering myself on some websites.

SERIES YOU STARTED AND NEED TO FINISH (ALL BOOKS ARE OUT IN SERIES)

This is a difficult question. I finish most of the series I read. So let me go to Goodreads and find out.

I have found some, but I guess I stopped reading them because I didn’t like the first books a lot… But I can finish them, right? Maybe I ought to… Here they are.

THREE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

What’s this now? Did we put all the difficult questions at the end now did we? Well, the joke is on you. This was actually quite simple after I’ve looked at everything I’ve read and spent five hours debating with myself.

The Thief of Always is a book I’ll always remember as great. It shows Clive Barker can write children’s tales as well. Although I wouldn’t give it to a six-year old, I do think schools should give this as literature. There are wise lessons in this child-proof book.

11/22/63 by Stephen King is one of the first books that had an ending that I found absolutely perfect. I remember closing the book and thinking “damn, this was so awesome”. This might also be the book that got me back into reading after a long period.

I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction books. One self-improvement book that in my opinion should be mandatory for everyone to read is Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute. Really, this stuff is great!

UNAPOLOGETIC FANGUY FOR

You know, I like Brittany’s answer a lot. Let me just quote her.

“Mystery and suspense and dark, morbid stories. Send them all my way please.”

VERY EXCITED FOR THIS RELEASE MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS

Argh. Until a few days ago, I would have said Ex-Tension by Peter Clines, but he recently shared that it is moving to a back burner. Give me a second, I just need to cry a bit now.

As I’m a great Orphan X fan, I am really looking forward to Out of the Dark, due by January 29th 2019. Gregg Hurwitz has a real gem with the Orphan X series. Have a look if you haven’t yet. It’s awesome.

WORST BOOKISH HABIT

Multi-reading: starting different books at the same time with the intent of finishing them all. This just confuses the hell out of me sometimes. On other times, it slows me down. I should really stop doing this.

X MARKS THE SPOT: START AT THE TOP LEFT OF YOUR SHELF AND PICK THE 27TH BOOK

I went to the bookshelf and counted. Blood Guilt by Ben Cheetham. I am so gonna read that one during my next holidays.

YOUR LATEST BOOK PURCHASE

Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love by Richard Sheridan.

ZZZ-SNATCHER BOOK (LAST BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP WAY LATE)

This is a very difficult question for me. I hardly read late. So I need to go back in time a bit… The closest I’ve come up with is Lion by Saroo Brierley. I read it on an airplane from Calgary to Amsterdam while I was supposed to get some sleep. But I started it and just couldn’t stop before I finished it. It’s the gesture that counts, right?


There we have it! This was a fun thing to do. If you’re interested in what the list would look for you, give it a try. Send me a link to your A-Z survey by leaving a comment below!