Tag | Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Folks, it’s Thursday again, and we all know the drill by now, right? It’s time for another Tag Thursday! I saw this tag over on (can you guess?) the lovely Thrice Read and, as the middle of the year is quickly creeping up on me, I thought it was high time to do this tag and reflect on how my reading has gone in this first half of the year. All in all, I think this year’s reading has been good so far but let us ponder some more searching questions and see, shall we?

Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Based purely on star-ratings (and discounting re-reads) it would be the following: Wishing for Birds by Elisabeth Hewer, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. All brilliant for their own reasons and come highly recommended from me. (And no I couldn’t pick just one because that would be like making a parent choose which child was their favourite!)

Question 2 – Your favourite sequel of the year

Definitely A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. As the final book in a trilogy, it made me feel ALL THE THINGS and it was as equally hilarious and heartbreaking as I have come to expect from Schwab’s writing. It all turned out alright though in the end, didn’t it? I’m still not over it but it’s ok, we’ll get through it together.

Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to

It depends entirely on what constitutes as a “new release” I think so I will chose two answers: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor which actually was released back in April (I bought it then, I just haven’t got to it yet) and the recently released The Gender Games by Juno Dawson (which I have heard so many wonderful things about but haven’t bought yet).

Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Definitely the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s my favourite of the Harry Potter films and quite possibly of the books (I used to say my favourite was OotP but, on re-read, I think POA has the edge) and I’m really excited to see how it is depicted visually.

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Tag | Summertime Madness Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all, to another Tag Thursday!

*a moderate round of applause*

This week, I was all excited to bring you a summery tag since Britain was enjoying a spate of bizarrely nice and rather apt weather… the emphasis here is on the word was because, true to form, it has now turned rainy and windy and not at all summery. (Seriously, today, I experienced 3 weather conditions at the same time – blinding sunshine, wind, and storming rain – PICK ONE!) Still, let us all have our delusions as I bring you the Summertime Madness Book Tag. Quelle surprise – I found this tag via the lovely ladies over at Thrice Read so be sure to check out their blog too. Let’s dive into the tag…

1. Show a book with a Summery cover! i.e Sun, Beach etc.

I don’t have very many summery books, since I tend to read fantasy, but I think these contemporaries below do fit the bill for sun-drenched, summery looking covers:

  

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by e. lockhart – so summery that it hurts that it’s actually raining outside now and I want to dive into all of these books instead.

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Tag | Pride and Prejudice Book Tag

Welcome folks, it’s that time of week again – it’s Tag Thursday. This week I bring you a brand spanking new tag, courtesy of Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library and Laura @ The Book Corps. I was kindly tagged by Emma and I must say thank you for that because I adore Pride and Prejudice so a tag based around it is right up my street! Without any further ado, let us proceed onwards with the Pride and Prejudice Book Tag

Here’s how it works…

  • link back to Emma and Laura’s original posts so we can see all of your answers.
  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Answer the questions (a no brainer really)
  • Tag a maximum of 10 people.
  • You can also use the graphics if you would like to.

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Tag | Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Welcome one, welcome all, to another round of Tag Thursday. This week’s tag was found over at Thrice Read (will I ever not start a tag post with that phrase?), and it is called the Spring Cleaning Book Tag. This tag couldn’t have come at a more apropos moment in my life because I desperately need to do some proper spring cleaning of my wardrobe and (more importantly) my books. I’ve been itching to unhaul some books that I just will not get around to reading, despite how optimistic I’ve been about them in the past. But, to procrastinate doing that terrible task of letting books go… I’ve done this tag instead – enjoy!

1. The struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size.

Once upon a time I would have instantly answered with The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss or Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin but, alas, I have started both of these series… the drive to continue them, knowing how long the books are, however…

Likewise, I instantly make excuses for finally getting round to reading any of my longer “project books” (they’re project books for a reason, guys!), mainly Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Luminaries, War and Peace, and The Count of Monte Cristo. 

  

2. Cleaning out the closet: a book and/or book series you want to unhaul.

When I look at my shelves, there are books that I instantly relegate to the back stack of my double-stacked shelves – I kind of feel like, if I don’t want/need it within easy reach, then there’s probably a reason why. Books of this sort include The Lonely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. The first two I’ve read and found somewhat ‘shrug’, the second two, I’m not entirely sure why I even acquired them. I have a lot of stray books like that.

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Tag | My Life in Books Tag

You know the drill – it’s Thursday, time for another Tag Thursday etc. etc. I was somewhat struggling to find a tag this week, so I went onto some of my favourite blogs and discovered this short-but-sweet tag courtesy of Stephanie at Adventures of a Bibliophile. This is the My Life In Books tag and let us all just get going on the tag because life is short and there are books to get reading!

Find a book for each of your initials.

E – (The) Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
L – Longbourn by Jo Baker
B – Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?

I’m 24 and my 24th book on the top shelf of my bookshelf is *drum roll please*… The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Pick a book set in your city/country.

I’ve only just (relatively speaking) moved to Liverpool and no one writes books about the town I’m actually from so… let’s just broaden that to books set in England so that I have many to choose from, though I’ll at least try to stick to picking a book about the North of England. I’m going to pick North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell because Milton is totally Manchester.

Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

There are so many places I want to see, but Italy is pretty damn high on my list – y’know, on account of wanting to see Venice before it completely sinks. So the book that represents that (and that lodged this desire to see Italy in my younger, pre-teen brain) is City of Masks by Mary Hoffman, the first in her Stravaganza series. It’s about a boy who is able to travel to an alternate history version of 16th-century Venice when he falls asleep holding a Venetian diary.

Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

Well I have two favourite colours – one is lime green, for which I choose Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre (because the spine is horrendously bright and it’s glorious), and the other is teal so I choose All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (whose cover is just stunning).

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Matilda by Roald Dahl probably? This also ties into my obsessive rewatching of the film when I was a child. Imagine, a girl who reads so much and finds herself the odd one in the family because she does so, then finding herself valued and appreciated by a teacher who then nurtures her love of reading and education. No I have noooo idea why that appealed to me.

And then all of the Harry Potter books, obviously, but I feel like that’s a given for the majority of my generation.

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy… the “peace” bits with the society stuff I’m fine with, the war bits are incomprehensible to me because my knowledge of history is shockingly bad, especially military history.

whispers I finally shelved this book as ‘put aside for now’ which really means ‘I don’t want to DNF this indefinitely because then I’d have to re-read like 300 pages but also by the time I get around to trying it again I will definitely have forgotten what happened in those first 300 pages’.

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

See above? But, for another answer, I suppose… Moby Dick by Herman Melville or perhaps The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – both are long and complex, I’m told, but rewarding if you stick with it. Someday I hope to have the drive to do just that but, until then, I’ll continue to just mention them in tags like this.

That was it – that was the My Life in Books tag. If you are reading this and feel the urge to do this tag then, please, by all means consider yourself tagged by yours truly! If you do the tag, please link to it in the comments below as I am nosy and would love to see your answers.

NB: After writing this tag post, I realised that I actually did this tag before, back in 2015, (click here to view) but my answers are different so that’s fun to realise that my take on these questions has changed since then!


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Tag | Feelings Matter Book Tag

It’s Tag Thursday time everyone! (Have we made fetch it happen? Is “Tag Thursday” an accepted feature on my blog?) That means I bring you my weekly tag post and this week’s tag (as is so often the case) comes courtesy of the lovely ladies at Thrice Read whose post you can see here, and who have also reliably informed me that the original tag video can be viewed here. This week’s tag is called the Feelings Matter Book Tag.

lotoffeelings

What book made you feel confident, either about yourself or your life?

In a strange way, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I was hitting an uncomfortable period in my life where I felt lost leading up to graduating from university and not knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and The Interestings helped me to realise two very sobering things: that some people “make it” based on nothing more than sheer dumb luck and that some people might look as if they’ve “made it” and are doing so much better than you but you have no idea what is going on behind that veneer of success. We’re all just mostly floundering along in life – it’s time more people admitted it openly and this book kind of did.

What book made you feel sympathetic or sympathise greatly with the characters?

I tend to read fantasy so, um, not so much with the sympathy with characters off gallivanting on quests. However, it is skillful of a writer to make you feel sympathy towards a character with which you have precisely zero in common and who maybe don’t deserve sympathy (cough Cersei Lannister cough), but let us stray from that avenue of thought and back to the question. One thing that does stick in my mind is how much this quote hit me, from It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane and I still remember it, a year later: “Instead of trying and failing, Delia never tried. She told herself that failure was inevitable and she’d only look silly in the process. It was fear, cloaked in rationalisations and self-deprecation.” Girl, I feel you.

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Tag | Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Tag Thursday time folks! And I decided to have a pop at this tag on this fine Thursday afternoon as I’ve semi-recently seen the new Beauty and the Beast film and really loved it and it would be a shame to let this one pass by so… it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight and now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair… (I couldn’t resist)… let’s go:

Rules

“TALE AS OLD AS TIME” – A POPULAR THEME, TROPE OR SETTING YOU WILL NEVER GET BORED WITH READING

Hmm how about characters that bicker but obviously really love each other obviously? Or smol badass girl and tol guy who is stupidly and completely smitten with this smol ball of anger and badassery and just a little bit in awe of her general ‘take no prisoners’ vibe… I’m a huuuge sucker for that one (I also forum RPed that one for years so, yeah, no surprises this one lingers for me).

BELLE – A BOOK YOU BOUGHT FOR ITS BEAUTIFUL COVER THAT’S JUST AS BEAUTIFUL INSIDE TOO

As mentioned in my very recent Top 5 Wednesday post on my Favourite SFF covers, I adore the cover for The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and I’d say that the story within its pages definitely matches up to the beautiful cover art. If you haven’t read it, go read it, please.

BEAST – A BOOK YOU DIDN’T EXPECT MUCH FROM BUT PLEASANTLY SURPRISED YOU

Embarrassingly, you know what book I immediately thought of? My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – I make no secrets of the fact I’m not the biggest YA contemporary fan (where’s the fun and magic?!) so I was very pleasantly surprised by just how much fun I found this book, I mean, come on, I somehow gave it 4.5 stars after my momentary high of reading it.

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Tag | Book Buying Habits Tag

I saw this tag post over on Emma’s blog, A Dreamer’s Library, and I thought I would give it a little go on this fine Thursday afternoon since it is Tag Thursday after all (yes I’m still trying to make it a thing, shush).

Perhaps doing this tag will also make me re-evaluate some of book buying habits in the process because, let’s face it, I buy too many books considering the rate I consume them at – but I like having my own little library, so sue me. And whilst you’re preparing to sue me… let’s see about this tag shall we?

1. Where do you buy your books from?

Honestly? Amazon. I’ve completely been swayed by the lure of Amazon Prime delivery (the TV is a nice added bonus) and it’s just so quick and convenient. I feel slightly bad when I do order from Amazon but I’m just not financially in a position where I can buy hardback new releases at full price from an independent bookshop, and I won’t feel bad for choosing an alternative for now. I tend to order used books a lot from Amazon too, or else buy them from Oxfam bookshops which is slightly better on the moral front in my eyes.

Although I occasionally allow myself to splurge and buy books from Waterstone’s now that I have a big and very lovely branch easily accessible to me in Liverpool One.

2. Do you ever pre-order books and if so do you do this in store or online?

I don’t think I’ve ever pre-ordered a book in-store but I do know my grandma used to pre-order the Harry Potter books for me from book 5 onwards, to make sure I always had a copy waiting for me on release day. How sweet is that? But if I am in charge of the pre-ordering I tend to do it via Amazon… more accurately, I usually end up pre-ordering then the day before release day my book still hasn’t dispatched so I end up cancelling the pre-order and re-ordering it so it will be delivered the next day. No I don’t know why Amazon is so slow with pre-orders sometimes but I don’t really trust it anymore to actually get a book to me on release day. The only things I’ve really pre-ordered have been my auto-buy authors’ next books, i.e. Samantha Shannon and V.E. Schwab.

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Tag | Reader Confession Tag

Another week, another Thursday dawns, which means it’s time for another tag! I saw this tag over on Thrice Read (don’t I seem to start all my tag posts saying that?) and I couldn’t resist doing it myself, so let’s just get started on the Reader Confession Tag.

Have you ever damaged a book?

Not intentionally. I may have slightly ripped a page corner or creased a spine or two in my time as a reader. I also dog-ear pages to my heart’s content now so I mean… I guess some people consider that ruining a book?? I’m kind of not sorry about it any more though – they’re my books, I’ll do what I want with them. And I’d much rather be able to enjoy a book fully and annotate or dog-ear to my heart’s content – if I want a pristine copy I’ll buy it new and in a fancy edition but if it’s just for reading’s sake then yeah I “damage books”.

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

I don’t think so. The only books I ever really “borrow” are from the library and handily they put those protective plastics covers on them so it’s nigh-on impossible to really damage them. I haven’t yet borrowed a book from my friend Liz but I’ll be sure to be considerate when I do.

How long does it take you to read a book?

Depends entirely on the book. If I’m really invested in it and it’s about 300-350 pages then maybe 3 or 4 days, if it’s a long fantasy book or a classic I need to take my time on then it could take me closer to 10 days. That being said, it definitely just depends on the book and not necessarily the genre because I’m pretty sure I finished a re-read of A Gathering of Shadows in like 2 days and it’s easily a 500-page book.

Books that you haven’t finished?

I’ve definitely DNFed books, more than my DNF shelf on Goodreads would suggest. Some just fall of my radar and then I come across them months later at the back of my bookshelves and remember I was reading them at some point because there’s a bookmark left in there. My most personally shameful DNF is probably Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene or John Milton’s Paradise Lost, both of which I enjoyed but never actually read to the end. (My MA was in early modern literature, just so you have some context as to why it’s remotely embarrassing to have not completed these books!)

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Tag | The Ultimate Book Tag

It’s Tag Thursday time! (Just look at all that alliteration, huh?) Tag Thursday completely isn’t a thing on the Internet but I have decided to try to post any tags I want to do on Thursdays because… well because it begins with a T too. Is that sufficient explanation? I think so, let’s get down to business…

This week I bring you The Ultimate Book Tag. I saw this recently over on Thrice Read and it seems like fun so I thought I’d give it a go myself.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Absolutely, yes. Although, the only car I’ve ever tested it out in was driven by my dad and I have a sneaking suspicion my dad’s driving style just makes me feel sick since I’ve never felt generally car sick whilst riding in anyone else’s car but his. Sorry, padre. Curiously enough though, I’m fine reading on trains now, I think I just forced myself past nausea because I wanted to read.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I struggle with this question because most authors have their own distinct voice. However, I would say Neil Gaiman and/or Maggie Stiefvater. Both have very compelling and magical writing styles, completely unlike anything I’ve read before, and I would say they’re very distinct so that they just do not work for some people whilst others love them.

3. Harry Potter series or the Twilight saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter. 3 points to defend my answer? Ok…

  1. It’s a freaking wizard school in Scotland that teaches a generation of wizards that co-exist alongside us muggles. (That completely beats sparkly vampires. Sorry Edward)
  2. Remus Lupin (HP‘s portrayal of werewolves shits all over Twilight‘s. Sorry Jacob.)
  3. Hermione Granger (I’m not even going to bother comparing her to something/someone in Twilight because I mean, come on.)

I don’t even hate Twilight, I really enjoyed the first book when I read it and I will defend anyone who wants to read it to get into reading. But also I still feel traumatised by the knowledge that Edward fucked Bella so hard she hit her head and blacked out and then she had his little half-human/half-vampire baby and he got it out of her womb by biting the amniotic sac. It’s been years since I read it and I still remember it vividly… it haunts my nightmares…

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