This weekend, I was supposed to finish off a book at home, considering War and Peace is taking up all of my subway reading time. Unfortunately, I instead got caught up watching Peaky Blinders (maybe I’ll post about that at some point). So, instead, I figured I would do a book tag I saw floating around! Not sure where it originated from, so let me know if you know, so I can pingback to them.
You must be honest
You must answer all the questions
You must tag at least 4 people
1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
Yikes. I’m seriously guilty of buying books and telling myself I’ll read them but never getting around to them. Maybe…The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe? I bought it way back in high school when I was seriously emo. I realized too late that I wasn’t actually all that into Poe.
2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
I am currently reading War and Peace, a beast of a novel, which is why I haven’t been posting reviews lately. My last reads were The History of White People and This Savage Song. As for what I’ll read next, it will likely be either Little & Lion or The Library of Fates.
3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
I think I just talked about this in the last book tag I did, but I didn’t really hate The Wrath and the Dawn. A book I did hate is Marie Lu’s Legend. I thought it was awful on just about every level, which is strange because I really loved her other series, The Young Elites. Maybe I’m just not into dystopia.
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
Oh man. A whole bunch of classic/literary books, probably. I’ve had The Odyssey on my bookshelf for years and keep telling myself I’ll read it, but…who am I kidding.
5. What book are you saving for retirement?
Well, perhaps not retirement, but I really want to have a lot of time and mental energy on hand when I start Steve Erickson’s Malazan series. It’s such a dense, gigantic series with so many characters and so much rich world-building that I want to be certain I have enough time to devote to it.
6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
Oh my goodness, I avoid this like the plague. Even if I’m gonna check for a glossary or to see how many pages there are in a book, I will literally cover up the rest of the page. You see, I was scarred as a youngster. When Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came out, I accidentally read a page towards the end and was spoiled for Dumbledore’s death. It was traumatic. Now I am always extra careful when flipping through a book.
7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
I loooooooove reading acknowledgments; I legit look forward to them. As an aspiring writer, I really enjoy seeing how authors sum up their work and the effort that went into it. And some authors can be quite witty in their acknowledgements. It’s also very useful to see authors thank their agents, because when you start querying you might want to go find those agents and/or their literary agencies!
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Probably Morgan Rowlands from Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series. Like, that series was absolutely formative for me as a teenager. I loved seeing Morgan go from shy high school teenager to powerful and respected witch. Tiernan captured the beauty of Wicca and magick so effortlessly that I couldn’t help but want to be immersed in all that.
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
Well, I do have a copy of The Stone Sky signed by N.K. Jemisin. I didn’t meet her or talk to her, but I did attend the book launching event for the book, where pre-signed copies were on sale. It was an awesome event; it felt so cool to be in the same room as so many Jemisin fans!
10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
An ARC of The City of Brass! I was just browsing in and around the author’s Twitter when I saw the publisher had tweeted asking if anyone wanted an ARC! They DM’ed me for my address and a couple of weeks later I had the book!
11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
Not a special reason, but I’ve given away some books that I know I won’t be reading again. Mainly old Jodi Picoult books (I was obsessed with her books for a long time).
12. Which book has been with you most places?
Harry Potter, though not the same copies. I’ve lost HP copies to flood and travel throughout the years, so in 2014 I bought a brand new set. But HP, particularly Sorcerer’s Stone, tended to come along with me if I was embarking on any brand new part of my life. So my first day of middle school in Egypt, my first day of junior year back in New York, my first day of college, my first day of work…it brings me comfort. It’s like having a friend with me.
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
Hmm, I actually didn’t hate most of my required reading in high school! I remember liking The Great Gatsby, The Color Purple, The Bell Jar, Pride and Prejudice, and Ethan Frome. What I did loathe was The Scarlett Letter and a whole bunch of short stories.
14. Used or brand new?
Both! I absolutely love used bookstores, wandering the aisles and discovering a steal! But I really enjoy new books as well; I love the smell of brand new books.
15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
Oh, man. He was another one I was obsessed with when I was younger. I was really into The Da Vinci Code. Like, to an unhealthy extent. This was my conspiracy phase, so I got really obsessed with all the history and secret groups mentioned in the books, as well as cryptography.
16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
Twilight, oddly enough. I’m also reasonably sure that I’ll like the movie IT better than the novel. I mean, I’ve never read the novel, but that’s only because I really struggle to get into anything by Stephen King.
17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
Hmm…probably Game of Thrones! GRRM is so descriptive when it comes to food! I know some people are annoyed by that, but I enjoy it.
18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?
Well, I’m about halfway through War and Peace now, and that is definitely miles out of my comfort zone, but I wouldn’t say I love it. I like it well enough to continue reading it, but…I definitely have a lot of frustrations with it too. I guess a better answer would probably be Sister of my Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. It’s very literary fiction of a cultural bent, a coming of age story, about two girls growing up side by side in India. Not something I would ordinarily pick up, but the fact that it was about India specifically drew me to it, since India tends to share a lot of cultural similarities with the Middle East, which is where I’m from. I ended up absolutely loving it mainly because of the bond between the two main characters. I’m a sucker for intense, sisterly female friendships (particularly ones that evolve into more than that, although that doesn’t happen here), and this book delivers. Unfortunately I thought the sequel was terrible and unnecessary, but one day I will go back and read this book, since I read it for the first time way back in 2013.
I’m actually gonna tag some folks, hurray!