Friday, January 11, 2013

Five on Friday - Ian Rankin

I have a few house-keeping things to go over and it'll be quick because I'm bubbling over about my Five on Friday guest today.

First thing, tomorrow is the actual day of the 5th blogiversary of Jen's Book Thoughts. Good lord, where has the time gone? Thanks for hangin' out with me all these years and not getting sick of hearing me talk about books all the time. I don't normally post on the weekends, but in honor of the occasion, I'll be starting a contest tomorrow. So, be sure to look for that. I will also have one on the Facebook page.

The Christian Science Monitor has this great article featuring five of crime fiction's fine femmes. Definitely worth taking a gander.

I think most of you know that I contribute my "Nerdy Special" recommendation each month for Pop Culture Nerd's blog. You can check out my January recommendations. One will be no surprise, the other might just happen to be written by today's featured author....

I'm going to try not to be too giddy about the fact that my first Five on Friday of 2013 is Ian Rankin. I know at least some of you out there understand the excitement of discovering a wonderful author. For me, that's happened with Ian. I have been missing out for years on this man's amazing work, but I've rectified that. I read STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE. I know I will be recommending this book all year to everyone, so I apologize up front if I tell you more than five times that you need to read STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE. But I'll save the review-type stuff for another day. Today, let's hear from Ian on the responses to his Five on Friday:

At the 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival
1.  If I could give my 16-year-old self a piece of advice it would be: Don't worry, be happy.  I look back at the scribblings in my diary from that time and I seem so full of doubt, apprehension, fear.  Scared of the future and scared of life.  Hunched over in my bedroom, writing stories and poems, hiding them away whenever my parents came knocking. I spent too long inside my own head and not enough in the real world.

2.  A skill I've always wanted: to be able to play a musical instrument.  We had a piano in the house when I was a kid, but I never could learn to play it.  As a teenager I bought a guitar and a 'Teach Yourself' book, but got nowhere.  In my 20s I loved jazz, especially tenor sax, but I was too scared to try to learn to play anything.  There's a character in the film 'Withnail and I' who says it is terrible as an actor to realise you are too old to ever play Hamlet.  I'm too old to learn to play music...

3.  The most daring thing I've tried: okay, so many of you won't think this daring, but here goes.  I am scared of heights.  Don't ask me to peer over the edge of a tall building.  Yet a few years back my wife bought me a helicopter flight over Edinburgh as a birthday present.  I did it but was terrified the whole time.  Fast forward to a few months back.  My wife and I are on vacation in New Zealand.  She has never been in a helicopter and really wants to take a trip in one.  I swallow hard and agree to it. And suddenly I'm back in a chopper and the fear hits me all over again.  I'm staring hard at the roof, the control panel,anything but the outside world.  Bits of the trip were okay, but much of it was not.  I did it though.  And I lived.

4.  When I'm feeling under the weather I: well, it depends what you mean.  If I'm hungover, I reach for the Irn Bru.  This is an orange-coloured fizzy soft drink that it very popular in Scotland.  It also seems to help with hangovers.  If I have flu, on the other hand, I will retreat to bed with a hot drink and a good book - and feel sorry for myself.  If I have a general feeling of 'the blues', I might go for a walk.  Edinburgh is a great city to walk around. It takes your mind off things and may even help you find an answer to what's been troubling you.

#1 on my Bucket List: test-drive a snazzy car, maybe a Bentley or Jaguar or a top-of-the-range BMW.  I've always in the past tended to buy/drive safe conservative cars, but have been thinking recently that it's time for a change.  Maybe a test-drive would be enough; maybe I wouldn't feel the need actually to own one of these big beasts, but you never know.  It's my mid-life crisis right? Yeah, thought so... 

O.k. I like the man even more than I did before this Five on Friday. AND, I'm going to meet him later this month during his US book tour. I am SO excited about it. In the meantime that book comes out on Tuesday, STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE. Did I mention I think you should read it?

Happy Friday all and happy reading!


rhapsodyinbooks January 11, 2013 at 7:41 AM  

Delightful interview, and so fun (and the number one on the bucket list - so like a guy! LOL)! Thanks for sharing it!

le0pard13 January 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM  

Wonderful, Jen. And an early congratulations for your fifth blog anniversary! Many thanks.

Anonymous January 11, 2013 at 11:22 PM  

Having Rebus back is wonderful! Love his other books as well but something about Rebus is like putting on your most comfortable piece of clothing. Thanks Jen.

Deep Hollow January 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM  

Hi Jen-I'm glad you've discovered Mr. Rankin! I had faith it would happen...He has been a hero of mine for many years. I wonder if it is coincidence I have a son named Ian? ---Steve Weems

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