It's been fun catching up on the blogosphere, and following a link from Quilly I ended up at insanity prevails where was posted a reading meme, so here's my version....

1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
I can't remember a time when I didn't love reading, at school I used to (metaphorically) devour books, and read them again and again - I used to love the imagination that went into comic books (especially Marvel & DC) and just read and read and read and read.

2. What are some books you loved as a child?
I used to read the professor Branestawm books, Harry Harrison's 'Men from p.i.g. and r.o.b.o.t', there was a lot of sci-fi in my early reading, and I had read H G Wells' 'The War of the Worlds' about a dozen times before leaving Primary School. I did like Roald Dahl books, though I tended to read things like his short stories rather than his children's books! As mentioned above I read lots of comic books and particularly enjoyed Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America & Captain Britain, Fantastic Four and the Hulk.. I don't remember reading children's books of the Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter type, I probably read more of them now with my own children than I did when I was younger.....

3. Do you have a favorite genre?
I still love Sci-Fi and fantasy, particularly funny stuff like Pratchett and Robert Rankin, but also read a lot of philosophy and Theology. I like a good thriller, and have discovered lots of contemporary Novelists which I enjoy and which will appear in the last question here. I do like reading Postmodern stuff (whatever that means) eg Douglas Coupland and of course read lots of the Bible, so a huge number of genres there. Every now and then I will pick up a poetry anthology and remember just how much I love poetry - one of the great things about the internet is that I have found lots of sites where I can look up poems easily!

4. Do you have a favourite novel?
How long do we have? I love lots of novels, but I think 'Time's Arrow' by Martin Amis is an exceptional novel, quite profound. I have recently read 'The Book of Dave' by Will Self which I enjoyed very much indeed.

5. Where do you usually read?
Everywhere! I do have a weakness for reading in the loo, but my favourite place is in the sitting room when no one is around and I can wrap myself up in a good book. I also love reading in coffee shops. I will read anything and everything, if having breakfast alone with nothing in reach I will often read the cereal packet!

6. When do you usually read?
All day, and sometimes in the evening, never in bed as I tend to go to bed after my wife and the light is already off!

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
I never have less than half a dozen on the go at once, I like to have lots of different styles going on, so a bit of 'pop theology' along with a couple of novels, maybe some philosophy, a couple of review books, some funny stuff.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
It depends what it is and why I'm reading it. When i have written essays and longer talks and done research for them I read at a desk in order that I can quote and cite the material. I will often have a pencil handy when reading nonfiction books in order that I can underline and make notes.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
I buy most of them, quite often in charity shops or at Church fetes and the like, and though I keep lots of them, I also give lots away or redonate them to charity shops. If I have read a book I liked which was lent to me, I will buy a copy in order that I might lend it too! We have lots and lots of bookshelves around the house, and I have a study with a few hundred (at least) books in it.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Ah, I seem to have answered this already...

11. If you have children, what are some of the favourite books you have shared with them?
My children seem to love reading even more than me! I am enjoying 'The Worst Witch' series by Jill Murphy and some Roald Dahl that I've not read before, like the BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox. There are also some great children's versions of Bible stories which are fun, like Mick Inkpen's 'stories Jesus told' series.

12. What are you reading now?

Saturday, Ian McKewan
Sowing, Reaping, Keeping- People centred Evangelism, Lawrence Singlehurst
Return of the Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson
Jean de Florette et Manon Des Sources
Hey Nostradamus, Douglas Coupland
Prayer, Philip Yancey
Messy Spirituality, Mike Yakonelli
a random Doctor Who book i picked up at a fete called 'The Clockwise Man'

13. Do you keep a To Be Read list?
No, just piles of books I keep topping up and then carry around with me for a while so I can read them whenever I have a few spare moments, then they get put on bookshelves or recycled by being given away/donated/lent

14. What’s next?
I've got three or four books to review which I really must get around to.
Fury, Salman Rushdie
Preaching what we practice by Schlafer & Sedgwick
Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels
Loving the Church You Lead, David Hansen
Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf
Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman

15. What books would you like to reread?
I would like to get through Church Dogmatics by Karl Barth as I've only ever dipped into them. I would like to read Terry Pratchett's discworld books again, and 'Good Omens' which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman, Robert Rankin's books would be worth revisiting and Joanne Harris' novels.

16. Who are your favourite authors?
I have many, and amongst them are Louis De Berniers, Will Self, Alexander McCall Smith, John Ortberg, Walter Wangerin, Karl Barth, C S Lewis, Philip Yancey, Mike Yakonelli, H G Wells, Joanne Harris, Ian McKewan, Peter David, Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin, Miroslav Volf, Karl Rahner, Rowan Williams, Douglas Coupland, Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Stephen Clarke, Jules Verne, and amongst poets I like Stewart Henderson, T S Eliot, Mike Starkey, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Coleridge, William Owen and much much more...


Anonymous said…
I have a poem for you, Alastair:

How The Platypus Came To Be

“It is done”, God said,
“It’s time to take a rest.”
The angels marveled at the sun and stars,
Jesus liked the Earth the best.

God’s workshop was a jumble,
And Gabriel started to clean.
He found a pile of extra parts,
And caused some kind of scene.

“You know I can’t stand waste, Lord.
“You’ve got to use these bits,”
“Can’t be done,” God told him.
“Nothing left there fits.”

“You’re the Lord!” Said Gabriel,
“Ain’t nothing you can’t do.”
So God jammed the bits together,
And made the platypus and YOU.

Melli said…
Alastair, Alastair, Alastair... Quilly snitched on you! Here you stole my meme and didn't even comment in my blog! You Lurker, you! *shakes a finger at Alastair!* Shame on you! :)

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