monk VS. psych

Comparison posts = awesome fun (for me at least; if y’all are getting tired of them, let me know please).  This time, I’ll be contrasting two of my all-time favorite TV shows: Monk and Psych.  I’ll try to not to have any spoilers throughout, except in the ‘Villains’ and ‘Finale’ category (duh).

This post is probably going to be crazy long, but….you’ll thank me later.

// Premise //

Monk: An former police detective who has major OCD works as a private investigator in San Fransisco while trying to find out who murdered his wife, Trudy.

Psych: A fake psychic and his best friend solve crimes and goof off (not necessarily in that order).

// Characters //

Monk: Well, for starters, you’ve got the man himself.  Adrian Monk is brilliant, but can often be infuriatingly annoying (he throws away all that food! he tries to fix that curtain when everyone’s stuck in the jury room! and tons of other stuff that I can’t think of right now!) but when the chips are down, he always comes through.  With all of his problems, tics, and quirks, it’s only natural that he should have an assistant – first Sharona, then Natalie.  Of the two, Natalie is my favorite, with her down-to-earth approach and genuine affection for ‘Mr. Monk’.

As for the other characters, they’re a mixed bag of great (Captain Stottlemeyer, Randy, and Dr. Bell), weird (Harold Krenshaw and Jack Monk, Jr.), blah (Dr. Kroger), and sweet (Kevin, Ambrose, and Trudy).

Psych: Shawn is a five-year-old at heart (and in mind as well).  That’s about the best description of him I’ve got.  Occasionally, you catch glimpses of his more mature, serious side (usually a feels-inducing moment, by the way) but it’s mainly nonsense throughout the whole show.  And Gus is only slightly better.  Shawn’s dad, Henry, keeps the two of them grounded in reality at times, but, honestly, it’s a rather futile endeavor.

At the police station, you’ve got the Chief (I like her), Lassiter (close to being my favorite character, even though he can be just plain weird at times), Juliet (<3), Woody (blech), and Buzz (*grins*).  Shawn’s mom also makes a few appearances; I love how she calls him ‘Goose’.

// Villains //

Monk: The only major villain (aka, one that appears in more than one episode) in this show is Dale the Whale and he’s gross and I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about him.  So I won’t.  Patrick Kloster, Steve Wagner, Theresa Scott, Ethan Rickover, and The Great Torini are also notable baddies.

Psych: Okayyyyy.  There’s some pretty great villains in Psych (great as in ‘really worthy opponents’).  Yin, Yang, and Pierre Despereaux (aka Royston Cornwallis Staley) stand out the most.  Yin/Yang are simply freaky.  Despereaux (played by a still-adorable-even-though-he’s-middle-aged-or-something Cary Elwes) is debonair and dashing and I love how he kinda sorta turns out to be good in the end, though you’re never quiiiite sure about that.

// Episodes //

Monk: The two-parter, ‘Mr Monk Is On The Run’ is EXCELLENT.  All the Christmas episodes are great (especially the secret Santa one) (and with the exception of the one with Monk’s dad).  I love the thread of Trudy-ness running through the whole series.  ‘Mr Monk’s Other Brother’ makes me grin and ‘Mr Monk’s 100th Case’ is seriously the best for someone new to the show – it explains everything.

Psych: Psych.  The Musical.  PSYCH THE MUSICAL.  Are you hearing this???  There’s a musical!  How insanely cool is that?!  (Also, they’re coming out with a Christmas reunion movie this year, people.)  My favorite part of the series, in all probability, is the Yin/Yang trilogy which is super dramatic and serious compared to the rest of the show. (My favorite of those three episodes is the second one, ’cause the feels are huge and it’s Hitchcock-themed so what’s not to love?).  Also, all the parody/tribute episodes are swell. (Like ‘100 Clues’ and ‘Dual Spires’ and ‘Heeeeere’s Lassie’.)

// Theme Song //

Monk: The first season had a jaunty little instrumental theme that played during the opening credits, but season two (and onward) had the Randy Newman song “It’s a Jungle Out There” for its theme.  It’s a funny song that accurately describes Monk’s near-constant state of mind, but I usually skip it.  It was changed up only once, for ‘Mr. Monk and the Rapper’.

Psych: LOVE this theme.  The energy is great and the clips make me grin (especially the Season 6 opener, which I’ve HTML-ed in above).  Psych gave its theme song a new twist several times, depending on what the episode was about.  You can get a full list of the changes here, my personal favorites being the Christmas one and the a capella one.

// Guest Stars //

Monk: Stanley Tucci, Sarah Silverman, Howie Mandel, Enrico Colantoni, Sean Astin, Jennifer Lawrence (in a very small, maybe even un-credited, role), Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Bernie Kopell…it’s a pretty great list, right? (And I didn’t even get everyone!)  Probably my favorite guest appearance was Bernie Kopell, ’cause he’s in Get Smart and it’s just so cool, that connection between two of my favorite TV shows (and from totally different decades, at that).  I believe Stanley Tucci got an Emmy for his role in ‘Mr. Monk and the Actor’ – he’s my second favorite guest star.  However, I don’t think Monk’s Hall of Guest Star Fame can really compare with…

Psych: John Cena, Anthony Michael Hall, C. Thomas Howell, Val Kilmer, Christopher Llyod, Ralph Macchio, Lou Diamond Phillips, John Rhys-Davies, Kevin Sorbo, George Takei, William Shatner, Lesley Ann Warren, Cary Elwes, Curt Smith…and, again, that’s not even half of the great guest stars Psych managed to pull in over the years.  Favorite guest star?  William Shatner, who’s not just a great actor, but a great character in the show as well (playing Juliet’s estranged dad).  But Ralph Macchio is, of course, right up there, too.

// Finale //

Monk: Ohhhhh, man.  You’d better have ten boxes of tissues for this two-part end to the series because it’s intense and feelsy and an incredibly amazing/satisfying end to such a good show.  To give you an idea of how powerful it is, I’ve got to tell you that I watched the finale quite early in my obsession with Monk and even though I didn’t know the characters all that well, I was definitely moved.  I still tear up every time.  It’s the show at its absolute best.

Psych: A good finale.  It does the job of ending the show in a bittersweet-ish way.  But it’s not phenomenal in the way that some TV show finales are phenomenal (Flashpoint comes to mind).  The best bits are Shawn proposing to Juliet and the little reference to Monk at the end.  LOVED that bit.  And Dobson’s identity finally gets revealed, and it’s pretty epic considering all the references the show made to Val Kilmer throughout its eight year run.

// Overall //

As much as Monk will always have a really special place in my heart, the winner of this contest is Psych.  The characters are wacky, but I love ’em.  The episodes are endlessly inventive.  The humor never gets old.  Still, several episodes of Monk will never fail to grab me, and the emotions are real.  In the end, I’d say that both shows are excellent and highly recommended.

PINEAPPLE!

Eva

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the robin hood week tag

As many of you probably know, there’s a Robin Hood blog week going on right now, hosted by Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell….  So far, the event has been lots of fun – fun that, I’m sure, will continue throughout the week.  In honor of the occasion, Olivia has created a great tag, and here are my answers.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

~What was your first exposure to Robin Hood?

That is so difficult to pin-point.  For movies/TV shows, it was either Disney’s animated adaption (#nostalgia), the 1938 version, or a super old black & white TV series.  For books/stories, it could’ve been the Great Illustrated Classics version, the Robin Hood story in my grandma’s Disney anthology (based on the Richard Todd film), or the classic Howard Pyle stories.

~On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you?

Seven or eight.  Surprisingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of Robin himself (in any adaption/re-telling except Disney’s animated), but there are lots of things about pretty much any version that I love.  Mainly, the other characters and historical coolness and all the different legends.

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~How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced?

MAN.  Do you know how hard that is to answer?  Let me see…

  • 1938 Errol Flynn movie
  • 1973 Disney animated movie
  • 1952 Richard Todd movie
  • BBC TV series
  • A few episodes of the 1950’s TV show
  • 2012 Tom and Jerry Robin Hood movie (this one is rather awful, but some of the songs are good and Robin Hood is voiced by Jamie Bamber who also plays my dear Archie on Horatio Hornblower, so there are some good points about it)
  • Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Paul Creswick’s The Adventures of Robin Hood: An English Legend
  • Great Illustrated Classics The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (adapted from Howard Pyle)

That’s all I can remember for right now.  I’ve read/seen some versions of Ivanhoe as well, but I don’t remember Robin Hood in any of those.

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~What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)?

Robin Hood (1973) with BBC’s modern TV series and Paul Creswick’s novel as second and third favorites.

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~Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?)

Of course.

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~Who is your favorite Merry Man?

Depends on what adaption I’m watching. (I don’t really care much in the book versions I’ve read.)  In the 1938 movie it’s Will or Littlejohn.  In the 1973 movie it’s Robin Hood himself.  And in the BBC series, it’s Will in the first two seasons and Allan in the third.

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~Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian?

Another tough one!  Olivia de Haviland is Maid Marian, in my opinion, but Lucy Griffiths’ portrayal is one of my favorites as well.  And in Disney’s animated film, Marian is such a sweet, gentle lady…it’s very difficult to decide.  I think Olivia de Haviland wins, however.  She is radiantly perfect as Robin’s lady love.

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~Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery?

No and no.  However…

Isn’t exactly true for me, of course, but the point still stands.

~Fact or fiction — which do you think?

I’m going to go with something along the lines of what my British Literature textbook said: that there were probably a bunch of guys who did similar things to what the legendary Robin Hood did and, sure, there may have been a few songs written about them, but I think it’s mostly just a bunch of stories that sprang from people’s imaginations.

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~Do you think Robin Hood has been “done to death,” or are there still new twists that can be found?

I don’t know how many new twists there are (I do dearly want to watch ‘Robin and the 7 Hoods’, though!) but I’m not tired of the Robin Hood story yet. (There’s tons of adaptions and re-tellings waiting for me to discover anyway.)  And even if every movie and book and and novel followed the same legends every time, there would always be new actors and actresses, new scriptwriters, and new writing styles.  I don’t think the classic stories and characters will ever truly grow old.

Thanks for the tag (and the blog week), Olivia!  I’m lovin’ it. 🙂

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Eva

the adventures of robin hood (1938) VS. robin hood (1973) VS. bbc robin hood

Olivia from Meanwhile, in Rivendell… is hosting a Robin Hood week and, naturally, I had to join in the fun.  I’m an ardent fan of Robin Hood – the character, the books, the movies, and the TV shows (yes, there is more than one).  It was a bit difficult to decide on what I should write about, as my options were almost limitless, but since movie (and TV show in this case) comparison posts are so much fun, I thought I’d do another one.

-Story-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: I think many people view this re-telling of the Robin Hood story as the definitive version, and it’s quite easy to see why.  Many of the plot points from the original legends are brought to the screen in glowing Technicolor – from Robin and Littlejohn’s battle over the bridge to the archery tournament to the return of King Richard.  While the film can be episodic at times, it flows together well.  Two thumbs up!

Robin Hood: This adaption is more a series of entertaining, swashbuckling vignettes than a cohesive whole – and I’m fine with that.  It’s good, solid, entertaining fun.  Not until Prince John calls in all the taxes and Friar Tuck is put in jail does any real plot come together (besides the thread of Robin + Marian throughout).  Still, like I said, it’s good fun and a great interpretation of the Robin Hood legend.

BBC Robin Hood: How do I go about describing the story?  It’s a three-season TV show, so there’s lots of plots and subplots and romances and drama and all that good stuff.  I will say, however, that in terms of accuracy to the original Robin Hood stories, BBC’s adaption falls short.  Very, very short.  Don’t get me wrong; the episodes are still awesome.  They just don’t stick close to all those thrilling tales of old.

-Robin Hood-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: Errol Flynn seems born to play the role of Robin Hood and he makes the part his own with his customary swagger, feats of derring do, and more than a few glimpses of Robin’s romantic nature (in his scenes with Maid Marian, of course).  Flynn’s delivery of Robin Hood’s speeches stirs the heart and he never misses a beat in the entirety of his performance. (Those sword fights…)

Robin Hood: In many ways, this Robin Hood (appropriately enough, a fox) differs little from Errol Flynn’s portrayal (nothing wrong with that). After all, Robin is supposed to be the brave, bold, daring leader with a dash of cheekiness and plenty of heart.  This Robin has all of that, and more, and there’s something about either Brian Bedford’s voice acting or the animator’s skills (or my own mushy, gushy feels – or all three) that makes me love this Robin Hood the most of any portrayal I’ve seen.  I mean, seriously, when he says “Keep your chin up.  Someday there’ll be happiness in Nottingham again.  You’ll see.” I get this close to crying.  Every. Single. Time.

BBC Robin Hood: For whatever reason, a lot of the show’s fans don’t much care for Robin himself.  I guess I can kind of get that, ’cause he can be a jerk and all, but Gisborne is a murderer and everyone loves him, so… Anyway, Jonas Armstrong’s Robin Hood is much darker than either Errol Flynn’s or Brian Bedford’s.  He’s also a deeper character, more nuanced, more interesting, which only makes sense – it is a TV show, after all, with much time to develop its characters.  I don’t wholeheartedly like this Robin Hood, but I sympathize with him and I can respect him.

-Characters-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: You’ve got most of the classics here: Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy, Maid Marian, Littlejohn, Will Scarlett, Friar Tuck, Much, King Richard…these are staple Robin Hood characters, and each is portrayed about as perfectly as you can get ’em.  Love it.

Robin Hood: There aren’t as many classic characters in this one – and all of them are talking animals (there’s nothing wrong with that, but I feel like it should be pointed out). Skippy & Co. take up a relatively large chunk of the movie, and the only member of Robin’s band that makes it into animation is Littlejohn. (Mayyyybe Friar Tuck.)  There is Allan a Dale, though, which is nice.  And Maid Marian and Prince John and the Sheriff.  And King Richard.  You could say Sir Hiss is a counterpart of Sir Guy, but I don’t see much resemblance.  Overall, in terms of accuracy-to-the-originals, it’s not as good as The Adventures of Robin Hood, but not quite as bad as…

BBC Robin Hood: Okay, sure, a lot of the characters have the same name as their legendary templates, but that’s about where any similarities end.  Marian is a feisty action girl.  Friar Tuck is a warrior priest.  Allan is a trickster.  Much is Robin’s former manservant.  Will Scarlett is a carpenter.  The Sheriff, Sir Guy, and Prince John are appropriately villainous, but BBC gave them each a life of their own.  King Richard is a jerkface (well, at least that’s accurate) and there’s lots of new characters, too.  Like Edward and Djaq and Kate and Isabella.  I do adore most of the characters, though.

-Music-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: Erich Wolfgang Korngold captured the essence of the story of Robin Hood with his incredible score.  It’s bold and daring and instantly recognizable.  Plus #nostalgia for me, especially the bits of scoring when Robin and his men attack the treasure/taxes procession and also when Robin and Littlejohn fight on the bridge.  It’s an awesome score.

Robin Hood: This being an animated Disney film, there are songs.  My favorite is ‘Love’ (I’m still going to do a BBC Robin Hood fan-vid to it someday) – it beautifully encapsulates Robin and Marian’s relationship.  And all the other ones are great, too.

BBC Robin Hood: Okay, so there’s the main theme (this being a TV show) that just is Robin Hood to me.  Plus a great soundtrack throughout the show, plus two songs that are first sung aloud and then used for the duration of the series in their instrumental forms and it tugs on the heartstrings, y’all.  First the song that Alice sings to little Littlejohn, and then the one that Eve sings to Much.  Music is my thing and I love how the show reuses its musical themes to great – and often emotional – effect.

-Love Story-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: The traditional Robin + Marian romance.  Errol Flynn and Olivia de Haviland were paired in a bunch of movies, most of which I haven’t seen, but I doubt anything could match the chemistry they have in this film.  At first, Marian doesn’t care much for Robin (an understatement) but after seeing his true motivation, she quickly falls for him (after all, it’s an under-two-hours-long movie).  A sweet, gentle love story.

Robin Hood: Another lovely romance.  Robin and Marian get a love song, fight side by side at the archery tournament, and get married.  No tragedy, no heartbreak (well, except when Robin’s about to get executed – my heart!), and plenty of shippable moments.  The only complaint I have is that Marian disappears after ‘Phony King of England’ and doesn’t return until the last scene.  Apparently, there was an alternate ending in which Marian found the wounded Robin and hid him/nursed him back to health, which would’ve been EPIC, but anyway…

BBC Robin Hood: *bawls* Sure, they’re annoying in the first season, but adorable in the second.  AND THEN SHE UP AND DIES.  It’s so unfair.  Still, I wholeheartedly ship BBC Robin and Marian.  They’re wonderful together. (And I love all the other ships, too, like Will + Djaq, Much + Eve, and Guy + Meg.)

-Ending-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: King Richard comes back and squelches Prince John, Sir Guy, and the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Everyone else gets pardoned and lives happily ever after.

Robin Hood: King Richard comes back and squelches Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham (+ Trigger + Nutsy).  Everyone else gets pardoned, Robin and Marian marry, and “that’s the way it really happened”. (I refuse to believe differently.)

BBC Robin Hood: King Richard gets captured and imprisoned (I HATE HISTORY), almost everyone dies, and nobody lives happily ever after.  Ugggggh.

-Overall-

It’s a tough choice because each of these versions of Robin Hood is so different.  One is a 1938 Technicolor show-stopper, one is a little-known Disney flick, and one is a uniquely modern BBC production.  It’s difficult to chose!  I think that The Adventures of Robin Hood is closest to the spirit of the original legends.  Disney’s animated adaption is the most fun (definitely) and has the added attraction (for me, at least) of being hugely nostalgic.  And BBC’s Robin Hood is, in turn, enormously awesome and frustrating.

However, I’m going with Robin Hood (1973) as my favorite of the three.  Because I love, love, love it (even more than BBC Robin Hood).

NEVER FORGET THE OUTLAWS.

Eva

mini movie reviews {#2}

Some of the awesome (and not-so-awesome) films I’ve watched in the last several weeks…

Pete’s Dragon (2016) – It started out so good, with the songs and the scenery and all that, and then it devolved into stupidity and boredom.  Plus, Wes Bentley creeps me out. (Ditto for Robert Redford.)

The Sheepman (1958) – Westerns + Glenn Ford = perfect combination.  Shirley MacLaine is growing on me as an actress, too.

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The Shop Around The Corner (1940) – My favorite Jimmy Stewart role of all time; he’s an absolute sweetheart in this!  The story is fun and romantic and wayyyy too adorable.

North by Northwest (1959) – One of Hitchcock’s finest, though not a personal favorite of mine.  James Mason is TOPS, though, and seeing Martin Landau in something other than Mission: Impossible was neat.

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Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) – Boring.  And there was that freaky thing near the end that makes you wonder just how sane Disney was.  Only thing I liked about this one was Sean Connery.

Pride and Prejudice (1940) – And all the Jane Austen fans say “What?!”.

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) – One of my mom’s favorites and, like The Four Feathers (also 2002), I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  It was dark and gritty and rather awesome.

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How many of these movies have you seen?  What films have you watched recently?

Eva

the writer’s tag

I know I just did a tag, but…whatever.  Hamlette tagged me and here are my answers.

1. What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

While I’ve flitted around from genre to genre over the years (ranging from historical fiction to dystopia to fanfiction) I’ve come to settle into westerns.  Louis L’Amour’s stories have inspired me, as have so many of the western films that I love.  Westerns are my happy place, my sweet spot, and I love writing them.

Styles?  I don’t really know.  Sometimes I tend to copy-cat whatever author I’ve read most recently – consciously or unconsciously – especially ones with a strong voice, like Suzanne Collins.  Obviously, that’s a problem.  I can’t really define my writing style/voice/whatever, but that’ll probably come in time.

Topics, topics, topics…I have this weird fascination with the idea of someone being thought a traitor but actually isn’t, or someone who is, in fact, a traitor, but then changes their ways.  Is that an actual topic?  I’ve written a couple of things centered around that, but mostly the stuff I write is all over the place.

Indeedy!:

2. How long have you been writing?

I don’t know exactly how long, but it’s been several years.  The big thing that pushed me into writing was when I read Northanger Abbey in my pre- to early teens.  I became obsessed with all things Jane Austen + Regency, so I started writing my own Regency novellas (they. were. wretched.) and then it branched out from there.  But even before then, I’d write stories.

3. Why do you write?

1) God has given me my ability to write (however small that ability is) and I want to use that talent as best I can to bring honor to His name.  So that when people compliment my writing I can turn it all back to Him.

2) It’s just plain awesomeness.

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4. When is the best time to write?

For me, personally?  When I write, it’s usually sometime in the mid- to late-morning.  My brain’s not trying to wake up anymore and it’s not crammed full of things I’ve done during the day either.  Though writing in the evening has a certain charm about it as well.

5. Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate.

I love thinking.  Thinking about how the plot could fit together, thinking of crackling, witty dialogue and lovely, brave characters who are wounded in some way, at some time, but still able to do What Needs To Be Done.  I love all that.  And I love listening to cool beans music as I write.

What I hate is actually sitting down and writing and realizing that all those plot twists and dialogue bits and brilliant characterization has flown from my head and all that’s left is the wreck of whatever I tried to write yesterday. (Okay, it’s not that bad.  But sometimes it’s pretty close.)  I also dislike writing dialogue; I feel like I can never get it to sound natural.

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6. How do you overcome writer’s block?

Ignore it and hope it goes away?  Usually, I pray.  Then I switch back and forth between the two major projects I’ve got going right now (more about those in a minute) or I write some fanfiction.  Eventually, it all works out.

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

Yup.  Well, I’m not actively working on it at this very moment and I haven’t written anything in a few days, but I’ve got some things in progress: two western novels – Reese and The Bounty Hunter – and then a spot of 3:10 to Yuma fanfiction.  I literally have no idea where I’m going with the fic ’cause the movie wrapped up so neatly, but I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH THESE CHARACTERS. (With *cough* one character in *cough* particular.)

8. Writing goals this year?

Write every day.  Seems unreachable, but I haven’t been trying hard enough.

you bet!:

Feel free to snag this tag if you want to.  It’s open to anyone, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

Eva

book lover tag

Kate over at Once Upon An Ordinary tagged me in this tag when she said “I happen to know you are a fellow book-lover (why else would you be reading this?), so I would love to see your answers to these questions!”.  So here are the questions and my answers. (I feel like I talk about movies more than books on this blog, even though I love books better.  Must rectify that.)

~Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.

Well, I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed about this, but I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Sandition yet, even though I’m an ardent Austenite.

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~What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

No idea.  Most of the time, I either use a bookmark or try to remember whatever page number I was on. (Which rarely works.)

~Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?

The first totally yellow one (besides the title, of course) was Shane by Jack Schaefer. *heart-eyed emoji*

~If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?

Jane Austen.  Duh.

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~Name an author who deserves more readership.

JACK CAVANAUGH.  Seriously, people.  Though my obsession with his books has cooled slightly (he’s no longer my favoritest author ever) he is still a genius in the world of Christian fiction.  And historical fiction in general, for that matter.  If you want to know where to start, I suggest The Victors.  It’s part of a series, but you can easily read it and not be confused in the least.  He’s a great author and his Songs in the Night series has impacted my life probably more than any other.

~Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmark.  Sometimes a library receipt, but usually a real bookmark.

~Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?

If I absolutely have to, I can stop anywhere, but it’s so much more comfortable to finish the chapter.

~One book at a time or several?

I used to be a ‘one book at a time’ girl, but not so much anymore.  For instance, recently I’ve been reading a book for school, a Christian historical romance, and a Suzanne Collins book, all pretty much at once.  But if I come across an epic book, chances are I’ll ignore all the others until I’m done that one.

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~Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I don’t read ahead and the only reasons I have for skipping pages are: 1) an inappropriate scene or 2) I’ve read the book before and I know of a particularly boring part that I don’t want to re-read.

~Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

If it’s a paperback (especially a cheap one), I’ll probably end up breaking the spine.  It doesn’t really stress me out to see cracked spines (unless pages are falling out, or something) ’cause it’s usually the sign of a well-loved favorite.

~What book do you regret reading?

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  Just no.

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~On average, how many books do you read per year?

2014: 268 books read.  2o15: 167 books read.  2016: 107 books read.  2017: 58 books read (so far).  So I have no idea.

~What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

Emma by Jane Austen, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and anything by Suzanne Collins.

~What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

Unless we’re talking about the Bible (in which case, there are probably dozens of lessons) it’s hard for me to say.  I really don’t know.

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~What is the most recent book you’ve read?

Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins.  An awesome conclusion to an awesome series.  For a week or two each year, I live in the world of the Underland – if you’ve never read the series, you need to because it’s an incredible experience.  Just don’t ever make a bad movie out of it, Hollywood.  Please.

~What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

Major spoilers for Gregor and the Marks of Secret.  Y’all have been warned.

[Hazard’s almost-bond, Thalia, has died.  Howard tells him of his own bat, Pandora, who was killed earlier.]

“You’re not crying about her now,” said Hazard.
“No,” said Howard.  “I have become used to carrying her in my heart.”

“My heart is crowded already,” whispered Hazard.  “But I’m sure the other will make room for Thalia.  She is not a very big bat.”  And with that, he drifted off to sleep.

Don’t worry about me.  It’s just FEELS.  It’s stuck with me for so long, too, that quote.

~How many books do you own?

No idea.  Probably over two hundred, though, counting what I’ve got on my Kindle as well.

~In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

I’m not sure exactly what year this question refers to.  In 2016, it was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  This year, so far, it’s Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray even though I hated the ending.

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So, those are my answers.  If you love books and want to participate, please do!

Eva