I was tagged by the lovely Siobhan @ Siobhan’s Novelties ages ago — thank you! — and only recently found this when going through my drafts. But hey, better late than never?
Featuring titles that will be familiar if you’ve read any of my previous tags and/or personal recs, attempts to actually explain why I love these books
(beyond the usual “a;fldkj;lsdfjl;sdfa JUST READ IT OKAY”), and probably too many puns.
Favorite book of all time
After I got tired of being asked this and having to justify “I can’t pick just one” to non-readers, I decided on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The premise is magical, the worldbuilding is fantastical, the writing is lyrical, and I’m honestly terrified that one day I’ll reread it only to discover I don’t love it quite as much anymore.
Though, to be clear, I’m not quite sure it’s genuinely my favorite of all time since there are so many great books out there.
Favorite book five years ago
Hm, in 2015? I think I’d already chosen The Night Circus as my go-to at that point, but my comfort reread (and thus a very close contender) was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. As an anxious fanfic writer in high school, I really enjoyed reading about an anxious fanfic writer in her first year of college.
Probably Tamora Pierce’s Emelan cycle, especially the first quartet. Pierce creates wonderfully expansive worlds with memorable characters, ride-or-die found families, and exciting high-stakes adventures — and it’s so great getting to explore them over the course of so many books.
But if I had to pick a more traditionally structured series, I’d go with The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. (My favorite installments being The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia.) Politics-based narratives usually bore me, but I just adore the ingenuity — pun absolutely intended — and snark of the titular Thief, Eugenides. The other major characters are great too, of course, and the narrative is brilliantly crafted.
Last book you read
At the time of writing this post, it was When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bendele. Part of my ongoing efforts to better educate myself on BLM and allyship, it’s an emotional and insightful read.
By the time you’re reading this post, it’ll probably be The Likeness by Tana French. I’d picked up the first Dublin Murder Squad book (In The Woods) on a whim after seeing it on display in my high school library, then I jumped to The Secret Place because everyone on Tumblr was reading it; I loved them both, as well as The Witch Elm when it came out. Long story short, I’d always meant to read the rest of the series but it’s taken me until now to actually get to them.
Last poetry book you read
That would be Nesting Beasts by Naiche Lizzette Parker, her fourth and most recent collection. It’s by far the thiccest of the set, at 336 pages, and includes a few short stories too. The poems have the kind of specific details that make them feel universal, sharing personal experiences and vulnerable moments. Highly recommend it.
Book that most influenced your life
This is a tough one. I could write a whole post on … oh wait, I did and you can read it here. 😜
But if I absolutely had to name just one: The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry, which I’ve loved since my mother read it to me as a child. It’s a gentle reminder to always keep exploring, always pursue your dreams, always remember your friends. And sometimes the things/people we love most break our hearts, and that’s okay.
Book that made you ugly cry
I finally started a made-me-cry shelf, though usually I don’t really reach the point of ugly crying? Honestly, I can’t remember any specific books that had me literally sobbing.
Book that made you laugh
The competition is fierce but I think the crown has to go to Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston — I’m not sure I stopped laughing for longer than a few pages while I was reading it. (Unless I was crying. Because damn, this book and its author have incredible range.)
Character you’d like to be for a day
The specificity of this prompt makes all the difference. If it was just a character I’d like to be, the answer would probably be Babe Vogel from Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale: supportive community? cute sweet artist boyfriend? Sign me up for that life.
But if it’s just for a day, I think I’d enjoy — and, more importantly, almost definitely survive — a stint as Tala Makiling Warnock, from the contemporary fantasy A Hundred Names for Magic series by Rin Chupeco. (Author’s dreamcast here.) Tala is a powerful spellbreaker with a fiercely loyal and fantastically diverse found family, as well as a big protective Filipinx family, fighting to restore the Kingdom of Avalon. Also, she gets to hang out with the sassy Firebird.
Book so good you dreamed about it
I tend to have really weird dreams which are often “inspired” by what I’ve been reading, but the Percy Jackson series came to mind first. Definitely had a few dreams about hanging out with my favorite demigods.
Speaking of which: I saw a Tumblr post the other day that said true PJO fans only have like three favorites (one of whom has to be, of course, Percy) and just pretend to like all the others. I suspect I’m not alone in favoring Percy, Annabeth, and Nico … though I’m genuinely still not over you-know-who’s death.
Book you DNF’d
Hahahaha there’s a lot of them. But I’ll go with Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim because I wanted so desperately to like this gender-swapped QPoC retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo (I even read all 1k+ pages of Monte Cristo so that I could fully appreciate it!) and I was particularly excited about the demisexual rep.
Alas and alack, it was just not for me.
Book you’re excited to read
Considering I loved the first book and have been looking forward to this sequel since it was announced, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green is currently at the top of this list. Social media commentary! Science-y mysteries! Sinister lurking forces! ABFE has it all and then some.