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The Bookworm Tag

Whilst bookmarkedone was on hiatus, I was tagged by the lovely Elizabeth Hyde at The Temperamental Writer! So thank you, my temperamental friend, for the wonderful surprise. I’m sure you thought I’d forgotten. I haven’t. I was looking forward to doing this while slogging through the last of my finals, and now it’s finally time.

You can check Elizabeth’s post out here (and you should)!

Now, on with the show!

Excluding Lewis and Tolkien, what is a book you think of as a truly solid book?

First of all, how dare you exclude the kings? You know me too well, too well indeed.

Okay, but this isn’t actually that hard. I positively adore Patrick Rothfuss’ novel, The Name of the Wind, but please don’t get me started on the sequel because I haven’t finished it and…stuff happens I’m not happy about. That being said, The Name of the Wind is divine. I’ve never seen anybody write about music as eloquently as Rothfuss does, and that’s me included. He says so many things about performance that are exactly accurate and so poetic that I feel as if I’ve been searching for the words my entire life and finally found them. And the magic system is out of this world good. And there’s also a very soft, sweet romance. And did I mention the dragon?

But there are so many others that should be on your to-read list too, like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, The Fog Diver by Joel Ross, and if you haven’t read Ursula LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea by now, what are you even doing with your life?

I think I cheated on that answer. I gave you four solid books. Should I be sorry?

Who is a character who deserves a better book to inhabit?

Hmm. I don’t know if I have someone in a world I don’t like because fantasy worlds are so gorgeous even if they are deadly…I guess that’s just my type.

But if the question is “Who is a character who deserves a better story?”

Maglor. It’s Maglor.

And while I’m at it, I’ll take Maedhros, Maglor, Beleg Cúthalion, and Turin Turambar from The Silmarillion, please.

(distant sobbing)

It’s been years, and I still can’t even, guys. Every time, I find this gorgeous Silm fanart, and it’s one of them, and I’m just quietly crying my eyes out.

Maglor is the hardest because it’s so easy to fanfiction what just might have happened please you should be happy Tolkien doesn’t say it didn’t happen that way…exactly.

Feels. I have the feels.

If you know, you know. If you don’t–

Moving on.

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

(sounds of bookmarkedone consulting Goodreads)

Hmm…well, bearing in mind that it’s only June and I do most of my reading over the lazy days of summer…

I’m going to cheat again and pick two.

The best novel so far was probably The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling. It’s a charming children’s book in just the way I wanted it to be. It’s scary if you’re reading it to a young audience, as JKR tends to be, but it has such a good heart and sweet fairytale feel. I have a thing for cuddly monsters. Even if I often consider them cuddly when everyone else firmly assures me they are not…If I keep talking, I’m going to start spoiling, so go read The Ickabog and enjoy a nice long fairytale.

But I’d be remiss if I left out Writers of the Future Volume 38. What’s that, you say? You haven’t read my review of WOTF 38? So you’re about to brew a cup of tea and find out why it’s awesome, aren’t you?

I did an ARC review. Here.

(pushes the post in your face and runs away)

What’s something that happens in books that you wish would happen in real life?

Oh, darling. I need an interdimensional portal. I need to open the cupboard/fall out of a tree/unlock the secrets of a magic carpet like yesterday.

Imagine if magic is out there, and you just need to figure out how to unlock the door. Imagine if you could have all the adventures your heart could desire, all the unicorns and dragons and monsters and heroes, all of them, and you haven’t yet just because you haven’t opened the right door.

If you could step into another world, what else could you possibly ask for?

What book do you wish you could read again for the first time, knowing absolutely nothing about it?

Hmm. Probably Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart. I picked it up the other day to get a quote for an essay I was working on and it was like being smacked down in the middle of the forehead. I read the trilogy, what, my junior year in high school? Dude, that was the same semester I wrote my first WOTF entry…wow. Anyway, it was one of those things where you’re flipping past the pages and you realize just how much you have forgotten, even though you promised you’d remember the story forever. I don’t think I’m ever going to forget Inkheart completely, but it would be something to fall in love with it again.

And have my heart ripped out by the sequel, of course.

It’s a journey that’s quite worth it.

But that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure I’d love to read The Lord of the Rings for the first time again, and there are so many, so many others…

Has the library ever grievously failed you? How so?

“The Library” itself? No. But I can think of at least one library I’ve been to that…I don’t consider a library. I’m sorry, but when I know as much as the part-timer behind the circulation desk, when the primary function is “a quiet place” or “computer access,” when I don’t feel welcome…that isn’t a library. It’s a tomb, a sepulcher, a monument to an ideal, a universe of beauty which it failed to attain. A temple to a ghost.

Funny story. At the library I’m thinking of, the nice young lady working there once brought me a totally different title from the selection my professor had reserved for the class. Actually, I’m not even sure if that book was for our class. She held it up like “I know this isn’t even kind of what you said, want this instead because I can’t find the other one?”

Normally, perhaps. But that doesn’t get the homework reading done.

I don’t blame her a bit. I had to break in–what, three part-time librarians over the duration of that course? Nobody had a clue how “books on reserve” worked. One poor guy looked like he started sweating when he saw me heading for the desk the second or third time he helped me. I almost felt sorry for him, but hey, he figured it out. It’s the shelf in the back. Yup, under the course number. Whole shelf just for the three students. Got it on the first try this time, buddy. Gold star! See, I’m going away now. No more scary lady.

Were there any books that traumatized you as a young child?

Yeah, probably. I remember this weird Faerie cult book that I can’t remember the name of now…it was probably okay, I was just young when I read it and we did the whole “monster-kidnapped-your-mom” trope–not at the beginning, but after she’d been developed as a character and we’d gotten attached to her as readers.

She was a painter. And a good mom.

It’s a shame, because that book had a lot going for it. Time travel, fairy magic, scary monsters, cult murder–actually, I don’t think that last one’s true. Cultish society and attempted murder. That’s it. I can see its shelf in the library, black and silver cover spine and everything, but nope, cannot recall the title.

And after all that, I still kind of wanted to finish the book.

I’m sure there are others, but I tend to–block out things that scared me as a kid? Like there have been multiple times I’m rewatching movies and it’s the weirdest déjà vu because I know I’ve been here before but I cannot tell you how, when, or why until I see the thing that scared me and realize oh, it’s you…and promptly feel embarrassed because I was scared of a cartoon dude in a hood who was supposed to be playing Death.

It’s a little like reading the book for the first time again without quite knowing it.

Are there any tropes that are likely to make you like a book even if it falls short in other aspects?

HA HA HA I would like to say no, but yes.

I will fall for a book that has a thief. I will follow that little thief and hang on to his every move (usually judging the writer if the technique isn’t completely described or if that’s not even kind of how you pick locks are we serious right now). I love, love, love, the sneaky characters. There’s just something about them being like “I’ma steal that whole ham” (Sage, The False Prince) or “I’ma rob a wizard” (Conn, The Magic Thief) or just being like “Please I am just minding my own business don’t stab me also your wallet is missing how did this happen.”

Bonus points if the thief is snarky. Even if it’s a façade and we know they’re just as terrified as the rest of the characters.

I think it’s because they know what the rest of the world is like. They know nobody cares about them–they’re disreputable and scruffy and usually ill-mannered–but that means they see people for what they really are, rather than who they pretend to be. They know who they are, in good times and bad. And when nobody expects anything of you, you’re free to do whatever you want.

I mean, you’re already supposed to be in jail, so…

Short answer: snarky thieves. If there’s a book blurb that says “This protagonist is a snarky thief,” it’s going home with me. No further questions asked. I know my weakness.

When is the last time you can remember laughing out loud while reading?

Hmm, probably the Lauren Holbrook novels by Erynn Magnum. It was a long time ago, but there are some pretty funny moments in Miss Match.

Before that? I read Nanny Piggins and laughed until I cried.

What’s a historical era or event you would like more books about (be they novels of historical fiction, historical fantasy, alternate history, etc.)?

Probably steampunk. I know it’s out there, but I can never find one that’s magical enough for me. It’s like writers think, “Okay, I just made Queen Victoria a vampire, I should stop now. That’s enough.”

Me, I want the monsters and mayhem. I don’t read steampunk and want alternative history for it to read like another history. I want to see the magic happen. I want goth elephants on the battlefield and dragons in the skies and warlocks throwing gloves in one another’s faces and a potions mistress hiding all the little vials and bottles under the bell-shape of her hoopskirt and thieves running amok and making trouble.

But that’s just me.

Last step! Now to tag someone else and keep the fun going.

At first I assumed everyone cool had already been tagged, but lo and behold! Some of the lovely bloggers I follow have been overlooked and shall not escape being poked by me.

I tag:

Your mission, if you choose to accept:

  • How is your bookshelf organized? By color, author, genre, size, etc.?
  • What’s the last MG book you read and did you like it?
  • Pirates or street thieves (or both)?
  • What’s one of the most fictional things you’ve ever done (went skydiving, played a character at a Renaissance faire, set fire to something, tamed a dragon, had high tea with the queen)?
  • Bookmarks! Do you use them? Do you memorize the page number? Do you have ticket stubs and old receipts you use instead? Or do you swallow a book whole in one sitting so nothing’s left to mark?
  • The Mysterious Thrift Shop: What’s the weirdest/creepiest place you bought a book, and what was it? The better the find and the weirder the shop, the better.
  • What fictional world would you want to vacation in?
  • Do your librarians know you by name?
  • Hardcover, paperback, eBook, or audiobook, and why?
  • What’s one of the first books you ever read/the book that made you fall in love with reading (and the story behind it)?

Please remember to tag me when you make your post, because I really want to read all your answers! And if anyone I didn’t tag wants to join in, please feel free! The more the merrier.

Thank you again to the lovely Temperamental Writer, and good luck and happy writing to all the bookworm bloggers.

Until next time!

3 responses to “The Bookworm Tag”

  1. *hastily scribbling “The Name of the Wind” in the margins, because I’ve never read it, but gorgeous descriptions of music and excellent magic system??*
    Where are the interdimensional portals, hmmm? If we open enough wardrobes and fall out of enough trees, we’re bound to find SOMETHING, aren’t we??
    It is such a weird experience to pick up a book I haven’t read in a long time but still think you remember pretty much everything–and then WHOA, I did NOT remember an entire subplot or character arc (or…character).
    “It’s a tomb, a sepulcher, a monument to an ideal, a universe of beauty which it failed to attain. A temple to a ghost.” HAHAHA. Okay, but it’s true though XD
    The whole section about the part-time librarians made me laugh. “I have no idea how to find the book you’re looking for so….take this instead?” And the poor guy being like, “Oh NO, it’s HER again” XD
    Faerie cult book sounds suitably traumatizing for a child. (By the way, have you read The Perilous Gard? It’s actually more historical fiction than fantasy, but faerie cult murder put me in mind of it…)
    Oh, I love a good snarky thief. (In fiction, of course. Stealing is bad, kids.) [I forget, have you read The Queen’s Thief series? Because Eugenides. The snarkiness is real with this kid.]
    Mmm, yes chaotic steampunk. What a jam.
    Thanks for doing the tag! It was great fun to read your answers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll put The Perilous Guard on my list! I haven’t read it…yet.
      Yes, I just read The Thief, but haven’t gotten further in the series yet (been meaning to review it, but I think that was before Ye Great and Terrible Final Exams struck me down). Eugenides isn’t half bad…but he hasn’t won me over quite yet. Time will tell, perhaps?
      Mmm. Steampunk jam. 🙂
      It was my absolute pleasure to do the tag (doffs wizard’s cap)! I’m delighted you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

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