Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
Since everyone else is doing it, at least in the 8 hours I can see in my feed...
1. What book is on your nightstand now?
I have at least fifty on my nightstand, which is actually a bookshelf. This includes some old favorites, but includes my currently reading (like SPQR), my kindle (with sixteen pages of unread books), as well as a number of unread paper books I own, which wave at me and mutter "read me first!" These include Dark Angels, Restoration, a couple of random Spenser for Hire novels, volume 3 of William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill, Theodore Rex, A Place of Greater Safety...
My mother is convinced it's all going to collapse on me in the night and kill me! But what a way to go.
2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
My only new read this year that has gotten 5 stars from me was Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, which is about women in the American Civil War. (My other 5-star read this year was a re-read, Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers.)
3. If you could meet any writer - dead or alive - who would it be? What would you want to know?
William Shakespeare. Were you actually the author of the plays, or the Earl of Oxford, or someone else? Are there any plays we've got labeled as yours that aren't, or vice versa?
I'd have a lot of questions, actually.
4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I'm not sure that folks here know that I have a small collection of volumes of pre-1950 children's literature. Some of it comes from having grandparents who never threw anything out, and others I've had as gifts from friends, or found in book sales and other random places.
5. How do you organize your personal library?
By genre - the largest by a considerable margin is "history." Within history, general categories ("British" or "American," for example), and then chronologically. If I have several by an author in one time period, I group those together. There's also a "miscellaneous" history section, for areas I don't have enough holdings in to drill down further.) Literature shelves (we have British, American, and Southern) also get this treatment. There are also shelves that are highly miscellaneous, largely because Bob feels the need to shelve books and doesn't pay any attention to where they ought to go, so we end up fishing 1215 out of the Southern lit shelves. (The lit shelves have had this format as long as I can remember; my parents are both English professors. Their professional books had to be ruthlessly organized out of necessity.)
6. What book have you always meant to read and haven't gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed not to have read?
My mother feels embarrassment for me in some cases, or so she tells me! Most recently "how did I not make you read Death Comes for the Archbishop when you were growing up?" (My answer to that one was "because we've never had a copy, and the library only has one and it's in Mauldin." Note: requesting holds from other branches was a royal pain then.)
I mean to get around to reading more of the French and Russian writers, at some point. I have a pretty good coverage of British and American writers, up to about 1950. I'm not particularly keen on modern literary fiction.
7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
Well, I don't technically DNF very often, but sometimes a book can linger down my "currently reading" list for a very long time. Others there I will get back to at some point.
Disappointment or overrated?
Classics section: A Tale of Two Cities and 1984.
More modern stuff: The Secret History, The Magicians, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, The Last Wife of Henry VIII (Carolly Erickson actually managed to make the Tudors boring), The Boleyn King, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.
8. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I have a real fondness for non-fiction history, historical fiction, mystery, and historical mystery (I can eat those like popcorn). You'll also find me reading science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction science, or historical romance, and maybe middle grade or YA (I believe in reading books I give to kids).
Not a huge fan of horror or westerns. I don't know that I've read a graphic novel.
9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
President Obama is pretty well read. We could compare reading lists.
10. What do you plan to read next?
No idea. I don't pre-plan reading very much at all. I keep being distracted by shiny new book.