Tag | The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

Welcome to another Thursday and another Tag Thursday! As we’re in the middle of Blogmas I thought I’d bring you another festive-themed book tag to stay in the Christmassy mood. I can’t believe we’re a mere four sleeps away from Christmas Day, that seems so crazy to me since I feel like December only just stared but, alas, here we are. Before I need to go away and have a semi-panic about the presents I still need to get, let’s get to the business of the day, the tag.

I found this via (and considered myself tagged by) the girls over at Thrice Read so let’s just dive on into the tag which is called The Joy of Christmas Book Tag!

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

I really should look at new book releases because I honestly have no idea what’s coming out soon, I’m so out of the loop. But how far in the future are we talking? Because I am highly anticipating Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars though I’m not sure when it’s released. Likewise anything and everything V.E. Schwab and Samantha Shannon are scheduled to release, as per usual.

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

Well I think if you look at the answer above you will see some authors whose praises I cannot sing enough, in fact I’m rarely able to get through a book tag without alluding to a book written by one of them! Also this year I’ve been singing the praises of more non-fiction than I expected, specifically Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking and Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

I’m always spoilt for choice with these kinds of questions because so much of what I read is fantasy-based but I’m going to have to say George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. He does an amazing job of juggling so many characters and settings and every single one is unique and distinct so you can immediately picture what the landscape is like of, say, Winterfell or Highgarden.

But you know who builds a great setting not necessarily in terms of physical place but in terms of tone? Maggie Stiefvater in her The Raven Boy’s quartet. I can vividly “feel” her books which is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

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Tag | Christmas Cracker Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all, to a festive edition of Tag Thursday! This week’s tag is the aptly named Christmas Cracker Book Tag and it was apparently originally created by Lucy from Queen of Contemporary but I think her original video has unfortunately been taken down now?? (If I can find the original video later, I’ll be sure to link it here!) I found this through my good friend Liz over at Travel In Retrospect so be sure to have a peek at her blog if you want to see her answers. Now, without further ado, let’s get right into the tag…

dancewithdragons2Pick a book with a wintry cover

Pick a book you’re likely buy as a present

 

If I were buying a book as a present I’d be likely to check a person’s wishlist out or their bookshelves to see what kind of novels they read. However, if I couldn’t do this and I was judging it blind then I’d probably buy them a nice edition of a classic – the Penguin Clothbounds, the Penguin Classic Deluxe Editions, and Penguin English Library paperbacks are beautiful books to gift, as are the Vintage Russians and Brontes series. Basically, there are some beautiful editions of classics out there specially designed for gifting to a book lover and I fall for them (hook, line, and sinker) every single time.

penguinclothbounds

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Tag | The Christmas Song Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all, to another Tag Thursday. This Tag Thursday is somewhat special as it’s the first Tag Thursday taking place during Blogmas, which means I made sure to pick a Christmassy book tag for today. It is fortuitous that I didn’t have to look very far to find something fitting the bill! And, yes, I am a broken record by now but I found this tag over at Thrice Read so be sure to head over there to check out Eden’s answers too! Let’s not waste any more time – let’s just get straight to it!

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

I wonder how many Leigh Bardugo and V.E. Schwab books I can mention in the course of this tag…

… let’s start, shall we? He wouldn’t think he’s a villain by any means (and the best villains never do) but the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy fits the bill nicely, I feel. Also the Dane twins from V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic because they’re just horrifying but they have SO much twisted fun with it (“hello, flower boy”).

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

I purposely didn’t buy this as soon as it was released just so that I could be gifted it at Christmas – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition. How can I be so sure I will see it under the Christmas tree? Well, I bought it on my parents’ behalf for them to gift it to me – it’s fine, they came up with this arrangement with me a couple of Christmases ago and it seems to be working out quite well for us all! If I don’t see this under the tree this year then something has gone spectacularly wrong.

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Can we talk about the character development and growth of Paige Mahoney in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series? It’s going to be a seven-book series but the growth of her character from book 1 to book 3 is already astounding. I’ve loved Paige from the start but I can’t help but love how strong she has become over the course of The Bone Season, The Mime Order, and The Song Rising – the latter in particular made her grow up and fill some boots very quickly and under pressure and she did it in very trying circumstances and I can’t wait to see where she ends up by book 7 of this series.

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Tag | The End of the Year Book Tag

Welcome everyone to another Thursday and (that’s right) another Tag Thursdsay! This week’s featured tag is The End of the Year Book Tag. As November quickly slips away from us and December looms, the end of 2017 is coming ever closer – where has this year gone ? Seriously though. Now seems like a good time to have a little freak out and then take stock of the time I have left in the year and what I can realistically read in what remains of 2017 so this tag comes at the perfect time. This tag was originally created by the ever-wonderful Ariel Bissett, but I actually spotted this over at The Pewter Wolf so be sure to go check out his blog and his responses as well as Ariel’s!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

*glances wearily at War and Peace*
Yep, that’s a pretty significant one.

Likewise, I’d like to have finished the A Song of Ice and Fire series by the end of the year so I’m all caught up with that – I just have A Dance with Dragons: Volume 2 to get through, I say “just” but it’s a hefty book in its own right.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

ravenboysaudiobookNot particularly, since I don’t tend to “read with the seasons” (I even did a blog post about that!) but I definitely find myself reading more atmospheric/evocative things in the autumn. For some reason I think The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater makes for a great read in sort of September/October because it’s slightly hazy and spooky, especially if you listen to the audiobook as read by Will Patton.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

poaillustratedI’m still waiting to buy the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban which was released a little while ago now but it’s the sort of book people like to gift at Christmas so I’ve held out until now for it. I’m pretty sure my parents are going to gift me it for Christmas and when I say pretty sure I’m 100% sure because I buy books on their behalf and they wrap them up and I try to act surprised on Christmas morning… it’s just how we do things.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Apart from the ones I mentioned in answer to the ‘books I’ve started’ question, there are quite a few others I’d like to get to. Off the top of my head, though, I’d like to read The Good Immigrant, an Austen re-read (maybe Persuasion?), and Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster. I’m sure once I move on from this question several more pressing titles will pop into my head but, for now, those are the ones I can think of.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

At this point in the year, it’s highly unlikely, to be honest, since most releases that I was excited about have already been and gone, and I’ve have a pretty stellar reading year already… but I’m happy to be proved wrong!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Assuming I do actually finish Tolstoy’s War and Peace then I’d like to make a point of picking one classic “big book” a year (at least) and making a little reading project out of it. I’ve started to think about what my next one will be – I’m thinking either Anna Karenina or Doctor Zhivago (if I haven’t tired of Russians) or maybe Les Miserables. Does anyone have any particular opinions about any of these? I’m leaning towards Les Mis because I did my undergraduate dissertation on it but never actually read it cover-to-cover, so I’d like to correct that!

That’s all, folks! If you haven’t done this tag and would like to, please feel free to consider yourself tagged by me – and be sure to leave your blog post in a comment below if you do the tag because I’d love to see your responses!


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Tag | Finally Fall Book Tag

Welcome to another Thursday and another Tag Thursday! Lately I’ve been struggling to find newer tags to do but this one in particular felt timely when it saw it in my sub box on YouTube since I spent today watching a storm outside as it whipped crunchy golden leaves from the trees – this is the Finally Fall Book Tag! I saw this on Amy aka shoutame’s channel, originally created by Alina aka Tall Tales – please do check out their videos if you have time because they’re both delightful!

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

I’m going to have to name Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – it is so atmospheric and evocative that it was as though I could feel the biting Icelandic winds roll across me as I was reading it. The setting is definitely a central character of the story in its own right and I think it will be a long time until I read something that is quite as vivid as that novel.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

I’d say All the Light We Cannot See is pretty damn heavy in its topic and beautiful in its execution.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I don’t read much non-fiction really, and the non-fiction I do read tends to be more of the memoir sort than straight-up non-fiction. However, I suppose both My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff and In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park opened my eyes in different ways – the first to the literary agency/publishing scene in 1990s New York, a world away from my own job at a university press in England, and the second to a completely different world that is North Korea. I can’t get over some of the horrific things contained within In Order to Live and I still think about passages from it, even though I read it a good couple of years ago now.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I have three answers for this because I just refuse to narrow it down. I’d love to be part of the Weasley family from Harry Potter, or to hang with Blue and her Raven Boys in The Raven Boys, or to be a member of Kaz’s gang of merry misfits from Six of Crows – I’m not sure if I have any sort of criminal skill to be a useful member of the Dregs though!

5. The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

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Tag | Burn, Rewrite, Reread #2

Guys, guys, another week has passed, including another Thursday so welcome to this week’s Tag Thursday. This week is a little different because I’m going to do the Burn, Rewrite, Reread tag. This is just like the Kiss/Marry/Cliff game (cough Shag/Marry/Kill for the older among us), but book-related! I did this tag a while ago but I was reminded of how much fun it is to do when I saw Kelly’s Rambles do this tag recently. So I’m doing it again and I’m calling it Burn, Rewrite, Reread #2.

Rules

  • Randomly choose 3 books (Tip: Use the “Sort > Random” option on your Goodreads’ Read shelf.).
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread (a lot like Kiss, Marry, Kill).
  • Repeat until you completed three rounds (or six).

Round One

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Tag | Time Bubble Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all – we all know the drill here, it’s Thursday which means it’s time for Tag Thursday. This week’s tag was found, as always, at Thrice Read but it was originally created by The Book Loving Pharmacist – check out both of their wonderful blogs! And now, let’s jump right on it with the tag which is called the Time Bubble Book Tag.

Picture this, you’ve encountered a bubble or portal which, if you step through, can manipulate the time inside. With this, you can read all the books you want and when you step out of the bubble, no time has passed in the real world. You can finally make time for all those books you’ve been ignoring. So, now that you’ve stepped through the time bubble, answer the following questions:

WHAT BOOK (OR AUDIOBOOK) HAVE YOU BEEN MEANING TO READ FOR A LONG TIME BUT HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO READING:

Book – Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. I will apparently really enjoy it, but I’m scared if I don’t and it turns out to be a disappointment. But I’ll never know if I never try so it’s silly of me to keep putting it off! Also The Raven King, the fourth/last book in the Raven Cycle series, by Maggie Stiefvater. I don’t want to read it because I don’t want it to be over but I had it on pre-order as soon as I could and got it on release day.
Audiobook – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, as read by Simon Prebble. I love audiobooks read by Prebble and he has a great voice for this kind of historical period. However the book (and therefore the audiobook) is very long so it’s somewhat daunting.

A BOOK YOU’VE BEEN MEANING TO REREAD BUT HAVEN’T:

I seem to be forever re-reading so many books could fit this bill but I’m going to go with Persuasion by Jane Austen which I ADORED the first time I read it but I’m anxious to read it again in case I don’t like it quite as much.

A BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU DON’T NORMALLY READ BUT HAVE BEEN MEANING TO TRY AND GIVE IT A CHANCE:

My genre of choice as of late is confined to fantasy, or at least a story with fantastical elements. Aside from that, I read classics occasionally, sometimes historical fiction, and sometimes contemporaries if I want something easier/more fun, but that’s it really. So I’d perhaps say something like Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi is probably as far away from my usual metier as possible – it’s a murder mystery so would be a rare dip of my toes into the waters of the crime/thriller genre.

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Tag | 20 Questions Book Tag

Hola everyone, welcome to another Thursday and another Tag Thursday. This week’s tag was nabbed from Thrice Read but you can find the original post here. Let’s waste no time, let’s get right on with the 20 questions which make up the aptly named 20 Questions Book Tag.

1.How many books is too many books in a book series?

I have to say, I’m becoming a fan of duologies because most trilogies feel like they’ve been stretched out for the sake of more sales. Mostly I hate unnecessary series of books, like where the story probably could have been told in a book or two but instead NEVER SEEMS TO STOP. (Yes, I’m looking at you SJM.)

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I like my unambiguous closure but, if a book is part of a series of some sort, chances are it will have at least a vague semblance of a cliff-hanger, to pique your interest for the subsequent book. I’ve made my peace with it now; providing the next book’s publication date isn’t 10 years in the future then I’m fine.

3. Hardcopy or paperback?

I’ll take either – both have their merits. For portability and ease of reading, however, the mighty paperback wins. For pretty, shiny deluxe editions, hello hardbacks.

4. Favourite book?

That’s like asking me to pick my favourite food… ok, I have a list, are you ready? Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice & Persuasion by Jane Austen.

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Tag | Look What You Made Me Do Book Tag

As you may or may not know, I’m a not-so-ashamed Taylor Swift fan. There, I said it. Frankly, I’m getting sick of the arguments on either side of who’s the snake or whatever – I know some questionable things have been said by all but it’s all oh so dramatic and I don’t have time for that.

thisnarrative

All I know is that, instinctively, I quite like her and her attitude towards policing her public image. And I quite like her music too, so that helps a lot. Let’s not dwell on that though, let’s just focus on this brilliant book tag, inspired by Look What You Made Me Do, that has been created by Caitlynn at Thrice Read – you can find her original post here. I love the originality of this tag, so I had to do it.

“I don’t like your little games” | Favourite villain

You knew this was coming because I can’t not mention this trilogy in any given tag but I adore the Dane twins, Astrid and Athos, in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic – they’re so twisted, especially Astrid, but I kind of love that about them.

“I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red underlined” | A character with a glorious hit list

Given all the shit that her family has gone through, I’d say Arya Stark from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has a few bones to pick with various people. She even handily recites their names to herself, no need to write them down!

“Ooh, look what you made me do” | Best revenge plot

I’m going to be purposely vague with this one lest I spoil the entire duology but let’s just say Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom has a pretty damn satisfying dose of revenge.

“All I think about is karma … maybe I got mine but you’ll all get yours” | A character who got what was coming to ’em

Ding, ding! Here comes the predictable Harry Potter answer – it wouldn’t be a tag without it. I’d say Bellatrix Lestrange pretty much got what was coming to her, and I’m SO glad that it was at Molly Weasley’s hand whilst yelling “not my daughter, you bitch!”

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Tag | Guilty Reader Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all, to yet another Tag Thursday! Every Thursday (disclaimer: when I remember), I like to post a fun little tag post to mix things up a bit. This week’s tag is courtesy (once again) of the lovely ladies at Thrice Read and it’s called the Guilty Reader Book Tag. (I’m not sure of the originator of the tag but if you know please do let me know because I’d like to credit them!) Let’s not waste any more time since life if short (and I have a tonne of posts to try to write and schedule before I leave for the US this weekend), let’s dive right on into the tag.

The Questions

 

1. Have You Ever Regifted A Book That You’ve Been Given?

Nope! Probably because very few people gift me books in the first place – they tend to give me Waterstones vouchers or money to spend on Amazon – so I have very little occasions to then regift to someone else.

2. Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?

I may have not entirely read a book I did my undergraduate dissertation on but, in my defence, it was Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and it is bloody long so I read the sections I needed to use for my argument and then skipped over the rest. One day, I will read it cover-to-cover though, I’m determined, and after I’ve finally finished War and Peace no book will ever seem quite as daunting – one day, I will!

3. Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

Accidentally, yes. I borrowed a copy of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis from a friend at school who now doesn’t live in the area we grew up in, and neither do I for that matter. Next time I see her I will try to give it back but I’m very unlikely to remember it – yikes, I’m a bad book borrower!

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