Though technically I wasn’t specifically tagged for this, I enjoyed reading Meghan’s post (at Whimsically Meghan – go check out her site!) so much that I decided to hop in too. And she did say that anyone who read her post and wanted to join is welcome, so yay!
If you’ve been around my blog long, you know I greatly enjoy reading books of many lengths and genres. So a post just to talk about some of the books on my shelf sounded like a fun way to start getting back into blogging this month. What bookworm ever really gets tired of talking about their favorite stories?
As I go through the questions, feel free to do this with me and let me know what your answers are in the comments below! I’d love to learn about some of your favorite reads!
Now on to the questions . . . .
Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?
I don’t usually read books unless I expect to enjoy them, but the first book that comes to mind is Romanov by Nadine Brandes, which was the first of her works that I read. I’d heard so much praise for her writing, and as a historical fiction fan, I did expect to like the book. But without being very familiar with Russian history, I didn’t expect to get very sucked into it, or even to understand much. I just hoped it’d hold my attention.
I was very pleasantly surprised! The intriguing plotline, unique worldbuilding elements (even within the historical setting), well-developed characters, and elegant writing style sucked me in from the very start, and I ended up reading the entire book in one day/night. It was definitely worth losing sleep over. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading the rest of Nadine’s books!
What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?
I’m going to go well-known here and say The Hunger Games. To be fair, I did know that it was a book series before ever watching the movies, but the movies made me want to go read the books. I still haven’t actually read the series (oops), but I do plan to at some point. The movies were well-done in my opinion and I’ve watched them several times over the years, so I’ll have to see which I end up preferring!
Pick a book that you discovered through booktube/bookstagram/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is one I’d never heard of until stumbling across many glowing reviews on friends’ blogs. Because I’m notoriously cheap when it comes to buying books, I didn’t get around to reading it until recently (after discovering it at my local thrift shop), but yes, it definitely lived up to the hype!
I do wish the content was cleaned up a little more, but ignoring those few things, this book was one of the best I’ve read in a very long time. The plot, the characters, the worldbuilding, the tension…it was all excellently done and I believe I read this one in a single day too. I also thought it was neat that, although Stiefvater’s writing is much more polished than mine, our writing styles are similar, which doesn’t happen often.
Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?
First one that comes to mind is Blank Mastermind by Rosey Mucklestone. This was recommended to me by many people, and after reading a digital copy first, I liked it so much that there’s now a paperback copy on my shelf too. In many ways it’s one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read, and with the exception of maybe three words I’d prefer to have been left out, it fits my definition of an amazing book perfectly.
And I say this as someone who’s not an avid reader of ‘superhero’ stories, but if you enjoy books with a strong and sarcastic narrative voice, likeable and nuanced characters, unique worldbuilding, and lots of action and plot twists, (as well as a powerful theme), I definitely recommend you check it out. It’s well worth the read.
Find a book on your bookshelves with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Now, this is a controversial book, with some people disliking the way Boyne handled aspects of the Holocaust. And I agree that this plot couldn’t actually have happened in real life. But as a character-driven author and reader, I read this book for the characters, and was not disappointed. Boyne’s characters felt so real, and though I’m not someone whose emotions at books often show externally, this one left me teary-eyed and very moved (high praise from me!).
Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?
This one isn’t fiction, but God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew. I discovered this book through my mom, who was very inspired by it when she was young, and encouraged me to read it once I was old enough too. I’m very glad I did. There’s so much to learn from Brother Andrew’s story, and his courage, faith, and absolute trust in God – who provides and works all things out for good – is so inspiring to me. I pray that I would grow and learn to have that much faith, and to be willing to be used even in dangerous situations.
Find a book on your shelves with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?
I’ll go with Dust by Kara Swanson (which also has a sequel titled Shadow). I’ll be completely honest, I was drawn to these books by their covers, which are just the stunning works you’d expect from Kirk DuoPonce. But beneath their covers, I was very intrigued by the deep Peter Pan retelling. In my opinion, the best fairy tale retellings are the ones that take shallow characters and aspects of the story and deepen them in every way. That’s exactly what Kara did, and I loved the unique take on the classic story.
Think of your all-time favorite books. When did you read these, and why did you pick them up in the first place?
Oh no, not this question. I don’t believe I ever answer this question with the same answer, haha. I’ve never been able to choose all-time favorite books, but several that I’m always up for rereading (in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned above) include Hind’s Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard, the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, and Daughter of Kings by Isabella Auer. They’re all books with lots of depth, intricacy, and powerful themes – which are huge pluses for me.
Well, thank you for joining me on this trip through my bookshelf today! I really enjoyed answering these questions, and I hope you enjoyed reading through them as well.
I’m going to leave the tags for this open-ended, so if you’d like to hop in and share some of your favorite books, please do! Feel free to do this on your own blog, or in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you and learning about YOUR favorites!