Ultimate Book Tag

So I thought I’d do a book tag because since I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while I’m trying to do a few posts a day and I do love doing these things. If you’re reading this, I tag you! Feel free to post your answer in the comments section as well as on your own site, or just comment if you don’t have a blog but want to do the tag!

Questions: 1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Yes. I hate it, because otherwise reading would be a perfect way to whittle away a long journey.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?
This is hard because I think that every writer has a unique style. Jean Rhys has a beautiful, haunting style and I love the way F. Scott Fitzgerald writes- the New York Review claimed that Fitzgerald’s prose has “the tough delicacy of a garnet”, and I think that’s a wonderfully apt way of describing it.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer. HARRY POTTER ALL THE WAY. The Potter series creates a whole, incredibly, amazingly well thought out magical world you can get lost in and believe in; I love the friendships in the Harry Potter series; and Twilight is incredibly sexist- Bella can’t be happy without a man and her relationship with Edward meets almost all of the criteria of an abusive relationship.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?
No- haven’t since primary school!

5. Do you smell your books?
Yes. Are you telling me that there are people out there who don’t?

6. Books with or without little illustrations?
Without. I’m not five.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing? (Ex. I read Twilight before I read HP and thought the writing was amazing but read HP and now think Twilight is a little bit of a joke.)
I’m ashamed to admit this, but I did love Twilight when I was about thirteen. I didn’t really understand how unhealthy Edward and Bella’s relationship is and you have to admit that the idea of vampires that sparkle is pretty stupid. I picked it up about three years later when I couldn’t sleep and realised what drivel it was.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
I thought Hogwarts was real, but then what nine-year-old doesn’t?

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?
Hmm. Maybe Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad- it’s so short it’s basically a novella (96 pages).

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- 1011 pages.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author? Yes, I’d love to be an author and I’m working on my first novel right now. It’s hard because I’m so used to writing short stories and I hate planning, but I love doing it- I’d love to get it published but I am realistic about it. Anyway, it’s a while before I’ll be anywhere near completion and it will need a LOT of editing before I even consider maybe sending it off or publishing it via Kindle.

12. When did you get into reading?
I’ve always loved it. When I was little and starting school I couldn’t wait to learn to read- I got so annoyed when they gave us those books without any words where we had to make the story up ourselves! The first book I read that I really loved was The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark when I was eight, and ever since then I’ve pretty much always had a book on the go!

13. What is your favorite classic book?
Oooh, tough one. I love Jane Eyre and Mansfield Park, but then a lot of my favourite books are considered to be ‘modern classics’… so it depends on your definition of classic, really.

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?
You got it… English and French have always been my favourites!

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?
Depending on who gave it to me, I’d probably tell them that I’d already read it- but not that I hated it! With gifts it’s definitely the thought that counts so I’d still let them know how much I appreciated it.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?
Maybe the Maddaddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood- the dystopian elements as well as the hybrid creatures mean (and the Painball arena) mean that Hunger Games fans would probably like it! As for HP… it’s incomparable.

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?
Not proof-reading before I post- I never do that! And not blogging for a long time then listing the boring reasons why. I also often find it hard to think of books I love off of the top of my head and so I tend to repeat myself a lot and talk mainly about books I’ve read recently, leaving some great ones out!

18. What is your favourite word?
Vom, short for vomit. Urrr, in all seriousness I don’t really have one.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?
I was always called a nerd at school because I cared about schoolwork, but now I’m at uni and everyone’s clever and cares I’ve sort of shed that reputation. I’m probably the least “nerdy” out of my friends- I haven’t read/watched GoT, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Sherlock etc.

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?
I’m not a huge fantasy fan… I’d probably say vampires at a push because they’re a bit more badass but neither of them really do it for me- I’ve definitely moved on from Y/A fiction.

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Again, doesn’t really apply.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?
Never read a book about spirits so… werewolves.

23. Zombies or Vampires?
I like the movie Warm Bodies so I’ll say zombies.

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love
Both can have their merits- I love anything romantic really.

25. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
It really does depend on the book. I enjoy a variety!

Advertisements

The Marmite Book Tag.

This tag is again stolen from YouTube. It’s actually called the Love-it-or-Hate-it tag, but I thought I’d rename it the Marmite tag to spice it up because, you know, Marmite is famous for being love-it-or-hate it. I’m quite enjoying these book tags and it means I’m posting more often… but I’m sorry if you’re not! Let me know what you think.

1. Top 3 favourite books?

I hate this question. I CAN’T CHOOSE.

2. Top 3 least favourite books?

This is easier. Atonement, Heart of Darkness and Twilight.

3. Top 3 favourite characters?

Again, very difficult. Ron Weasley, Rhett Butler, Scarlett O’Hara.

4. Top 3 least favorite characters?

Bella Swan because she’s such a boring Mary-Sue, Scarlett O’Hara (I love her and hate her) because she didn’t realise she was in love with Rhett until it was too late and Dolores Umbridge… What can I say? I must not tell lies.

5. Biggest let-down?

The hype of Fifty Shades of Grey ruined it for me. Everyone was saying how amazing it was but it’s probably the worst-written book I’ve ever said. Then again, the hype wasn’t really about the quality of writing so maybe that’s unfair of me?

6. Books that you liked that other people hated?

Frankenstein. My whole class was sick of studying by the time our exam rolled round, but I couldn’t get enough!

7. Characters that people love but you hated?

I’m not the greatest fan of Katniss Everdeen if I’m honest. It’s just like, “CHOOSE PEETA ALREADY!”.

8. Characters that people hate but you loved?

I don’t think this has ever really happened. Although when people say Scarlett O’Hara is a bitch I leap to her defense, even though she is a little bit.

9. Best Quotes?

“Indifference and neglect often too much more damage than outright dislike”- J.K. Rowling (through Albus Dumbledore)
“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” Oscar Wilde (through Lord Henry)

10. Worst Quotes?

Excuse my swearing but… “I don’t make love. I f*ck… Hard.” GIVE ME A BREAK.

11. Books you didn’t finish?

The Stranger’s Child, The Bell Jar, Lolita, Wolf Hall.

12. What book have you read the most times?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

13. Series where the first book was amazing but went downhill from there?

The Gemma Doyle trilogy, which I read a few years ago. I usually find with trilogies that the first book is good, the second one not so much and then the third is as good/better than the first- but this isn’t always true. For example, the third Hunger Games novel is definitely the worst.

This-or-that

1. Audio book or book in hand

Book in hand. I’ve never actually listened to an audio book. Maybe I will as a kind of experiment for this blog…

2. Paperback or hardback?

I prefer paperbacks, and not just because they’re cheaper.

3. Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction every time!
4. Fantasy world or real life issues?

I think the two often intertwine- Harry Potter is set in a fantasy world but also deals with a lot of real life issues. I don’t read huge amounts of fantasy though, so real life issues I guess.

5. Harry Potter or Twilight?

HARRY POTTER

6. Kindle or iPad?

I don’t have an iPad, but I’d rather read on a Kindle anyway because it feels like reading from a page rather than off a screen.

7. Borrow or buy?

Buy.

8. Bookstore or online?

Online is quicker and easier, but there’s nothing like the bookshop experience.

9. Tell me onetime or total trilogy?

Uuuh?

10. Monster read or short and sweet?

Doesn’t matter as long as it’s good.
11. Starry-eyed romance or full of action?

Mmm… I’m a hopeless romantic so I’m going with the former, but anything that’s too gushy (Twilight! Fifty Shades of Grey!) gets on my nerves.

12. When reading: curling up in your snuggie or sunbathing?

No preference.

13. Hot chocolate or latte?

Hot chocolate… but what does this have to do with reading?

14. Read the review or decide for yourself?

If I’m trying to choose between two books then I might be influenced by reviews, but normally I like to decide for myself.

Saturday’s book tag

Apologies if you’re starting to get bored with these ‘book tags’, but I’m really trying to blog at least every other day, but I’m a busy student, so I don’t have time to read an entire book each day- lovely though that would be.

1. Favorite childhood book?
The Harry Potter series, no question.

2. What are you reading right now?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

3. Bad book habit?
Hmmm… never using a book mark, despite owning about 10!

4. Do you have an e-reader?
Yes- I’ve got a Kindle and I love it!

5. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
I prefer to read one at a time, but if I’m reading something especially heavy going I’ll try and mix it up with a bit of lighter reading material. The only problem is that I’ve got to be really careful about keeping a good balance!

6. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not particularly, but when I’m using my Kindle I tend to highlight more so that I can remember all the points I want to bring up!

7. Least favorite book you read this year (so far)?
Hmm… Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I can appreciate it, but not enjoy it. The overwhelming sensation when I finished it was relief!

8. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Oooh that’s a tough one! I’ve read so many amazing ones… maybe The Picture of Dorian Grey? Or Gone with the Wind? Or The Great Gatsby? Or Jane Eyre? ARGH I CAN’T CHOOSE.

9. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I wouldn’t say that I really have a ‘comfort zone’- I’ve got quite eclectic tastes.

10. What is your reading comfort zone?
Same as question nine- I don’t really have one. I’m willing to give anything a go!

11. Can you read on the bus?
Absolutely!

12. Favorite place to read?
Lying on my bed.

13. What is your policy on book lending?
Never lend Harry Potter to anyone. Ever.

14. Do you ever dog-ear books?
No- I’m absolutely terrible at using bookmarks, which is one of the advantages of using a Kindle!

15. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Never! Unless I’m studying them, of course.

16. Not even with text books?
Nope.

17. What is your favorite language to read in?
English, although I can read in French too, but as it’s not my first language it takes me a bit longer.

18. What makes you love a book?
There’s no set formula for me. I think most great books have interesting characters, a great plot and raise interesting questions but there are no ‘musts’.

19. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Whether or not I enjoyed the book, and whether or not I think the recommendee will. There’s no point recommending a book that you know someone won’t enjoy.

20. Favorite genre?
I love the Victorian Gothic and 20th century American literature, but I’m willing to try anything!

21. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
I don’t read much sci-fi, but that doesn’t mean I’d ever rule it out!

22. Favorite biography?
Michael McIntyre’s- it’s hilarious.

23. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Never!

24. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I find all books inspiring in their own way… however none particularly spring to mind.

25. Favorite reading snack?
Chocolate, for sure!

26. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Probably J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

27. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
How long is a piece of string?

28. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I can usually find something positive to say about a book because there’s always someone who’ll enjoy it. I like most books, but to varying degrees, so I don’t think I’ve ever written a totally negative one. I wouldn’t be averse to it though, but I would avoid being scathing.

29. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Hmm… Russian!

30. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
I don’t know that “intimidating” is a word you could use to describe a book. Gone with the Wind sometimes puts people off with its length, but I’ve never been scared to read anything.

31. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
War and Peace, just because I know it’ll take me ages. It’s a plan for next summer!
32. Favorite Poet?

I like Yeats, Hardy and Seamus Henley. I was always gutted that I didn’t get to study the latter at GCSE

33. Favorite fictional character?
Ron Weasley. Or Scarlett O’Hara, for very different reasons.

34. Favorite fictional villain?
Milton’s Satan; I love his inner torment and his complexity.

35. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
I like to take a mix of chick lit and more serious stuff.

36. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Not very long.

37. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

I read The Bell Jar at a time when I was feeling very down myself and I found it too much, but I’m definitely planning to pick it up again over Christmas.

38. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
People coming in my room to talk to me- well, not random people, my family. Or if our neighbours call round!

39. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
I always seem to find flaws in film adaptations, but I do love Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Or The Perks of Being a Wallflower– they did a great job with that.

40. Most disappointing film adaptation?
My Sister’s Keeper because they changed the ending! What’s that about?

41. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Oh gosh… I don’t really know!

42. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never.

43. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
A very slow plot- or exams.

44. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Not especially.

45. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
It depends on the book and how much I liked it.

46. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
All those books about fallen angels and things.

47. Name a book that made you angry.
Twilight!

48. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Man who was Thursday– I’d never heard of it before I read it but now I’m so glad I did!

49. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

Atonement.

50. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Most books! If you enjoy it, then don’t feel too guilty.

 

Book tag questions

I’ve just finished the most incredible, mind-warping (if that’s a word) book and I can’t wait to post about it, but first I thought I’d find another book tag to do because I quite enjoyed doing yesterday’s ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading’ tag!

Q: How do you organise your bookshelf? 

I don’t have a real organisational structure to my shelf. A few months ago I got bored and tried to bring some order into it, but it was really for aesthetic purposes. I keep series together when possible, although my shelves aren’t wide enough to have every single series together. Harry Potter resides on a low shelf for easy access but that’s it as far as the logic of positioning goes. I’ve kept all my Penguin modern classics- such as The Crucible and Animal Farm– together on the top shelf, along with other ‘intellectual’ books like The Secret History, and then all the classics I bought at the garden centre on a middle shelf because they’ve all got the same cover and I bought them all at the same time. Then there are loads of books which don’t stack neatly, so they’re just piled on top!

Q: What advice would you give to other book reviewers?

I haven’t been doing this for that long, but I’d say you’ve just got to stick at it. I cringe when reading my first few posts because they were utter rubbish, but I’ve since got into the swing of things and I feel like my reviews are more structured. Including pictures is a good idea because it’s aesthetically pleasing, and I’d also say that you don’t just have to write about novels; you could talk about broader literary issues too!

Q: What are your favourite books?

This question is always such a difficult one to answer! The Harry Potter series has had a big impact on my life and helped me cope with some hard times during secondary school, so that series will always be close to my heart. I also absolutely love The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini because it’s so beautifully written, so desperately sad and such an incredible story. Gone with the Wind is another book I can’t get enough off and I just adore The Great Gatsby, so much so that I read it in about 24 hours! A childhood favourite is Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, although as I’ve grown older I’ve realised just how genius those works and understood things that never even occurred to me before. I find that the Noughts and Crosses trilogy is just breathtaking, Jane Eyre is one of the most absorbing books I’ve ever read and The Picture of Dorian Grey is just pure genius. I’m getting gushy now. Oh, and Frankenstein, because it’s a truly fascinating novel. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Q: Where do you like to read?

I like to read in a quiet place so that I can focus my full attention on the book, and I like to be warm and comfortable- I’m like a cat. My favourite place to read is lying on my bed, but I also really enjoy reading on public transport for some reason. I also love sitting in the sun and reading because it’s just blissful. But really, it doesn’t matter that much- if you like reading, you can’t be fussy about where you do it. I can’t read in the car though because it makes me feel sick, which I hate because reading would otherwise be the perfect way to whittle away long journeys!

Q: What is your favourite book cover?

Well, the golden rule of reading is ‘never judge a book by its cover’, so I don’t feel that this should matter too much. I do love the cover of Gone with the Wind because it’s just so romantic and the covers of the Noughts and Crosses trilogy because they’re so simple yet eye catching. But really, it doesn’t matter to me!

I challenge YOU to do this book tag!