This tag was just created by the lovely Puppa Pages – go check out her blog and read her fantastic answers! I love tags that are about different scenarios, so I couldn’t resist doing this one. And I had some down time right now, so it seemed like a fun way to pass the time. Here we go:
1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited 6 year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?
Harry Potter. This is my nightmare scenario. I’m a pretty fast reader, but I have one kryptonite, which is loud noise. I can’t read when the tv is on, I can’t read with music, I can’t read with toddlers shrieking in the background. I think the only book I’d be able to immerse myself in in this situation is something I’ve read a hundred times, and Harry Potter is the only thing that fits the bill.
2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?
Ooh, I’d love to spend the night in a haunted house. I’m actually going to be that weirdo who chooses a book to set the mood, so I’m going to go with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This lovely Gothic book features a creepy English mansion and is all about that sinister atmosphere. That said, it’s not a ‘scary’ book by any means, so I’ll hardly be terrifying myself, and it’s immersive enough that the time would go quickly.
3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?
We know this situation is fictional, because I tragically get too motion sick to read on any kind of public transport. But pretending that I could… let’s go with Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I’m not sure what it says about me that I chose a book about a creepy house for the haunted house question, and a book about a train murder for the train question, but here we are. Anyway. I feel like reading this book on a train would be a fantastic way to experience it. Even though I’ve read it and know how it ends, it would be cool to read it while surrounded by the very atmosphere that Christie is writing about.
4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?
I’ll go with my current read – Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I’m really loving this book. It’s fun and immersive – every time I pick it up I get sucked into it immediately, so I feel like it’s a good book to read in a distracting environment. But I’m also not so obsessed that I can’t put it down if I want to take a break and hang out with people. Review of this one will probably be posted tonight or tomorrow.
5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?
(Actually, I’d watch the last ten minutes of the Six Feet Under series finale – it doesn’t matter how good of a mood I’m in; if I watch that final montage, I go from cheerful to emotional wreck in about fifteen seconds flat. If you haven’t seen Six Feet Under, WATCH IT, it’s a phenomenal series. If you used to be obsessed with it, like me, let’s relive that pain again.) But anyway, if it has to be a book, obviously I have to go with A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’m pretty sure I could flip open to the section called ‘Dear Comrade’ and be sobbing in about a minute. The problem is this book makes me a bit too emotional – I’d probably be too distracted thinking about Willem and Jude to say my lines.
6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?
Earlier this year I read and loved Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault, and I’ve been dying to start the sequel, The Persian Boy. But the thing about Renault’s writing is that it is very, very dense, and rich in historical detail – these are the kind of books that you need to give yourself ample time to devote to them, rather trying to rush through. So I think an early morning outdoors sounds like the perfect setting to dive back into her Alexander the Great trilogy.
7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Partially because as a classics nerd I harbor secret ambitions of becoming a part of this horrible dysfunctional friend group (I know, I know, they’re horrible people, but I’m aesthetic trash), and partially because it’s one of the only books I’ve ever read set in Vermont, which is where I’m from. The fictional Hampden College resembles Donna Tartt’s alma mater Bennington, which is further south than where I live (though The Secret History is supposedly set in northern Vermont, I could write a whole essay on how the vibe of the setting comes across as southern Vermont), but it doesn’t matter – it’s still the closest I’ve ever come to seeing my home depicted so realistically on the page.
8. You’ve been invited for an interview for an place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?
The Hunger Games. I’ll admit it, I loved these books. I read them in college and thought they were a lot of fun. That said, would I proudly display this cover in a situation like an interview for a prestigious university? Not exactly. Sorry, Katniss.
9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?
I will gladly give away Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which I loathed. I’m not sure anyone would want my copy – I won it in a giveaway and it’s an ugly mass market paperback with a white cover, but still. Have at it. And I’ll take The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne which I keep hearing phenomenal things about.
10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths – I was obsessed with it! This is my classics nerd origin story.