Winter Is Coming Book Tag

First, quick life update!  On Sunday I’m going to Houston for 17 days for work, and I’m not quite sure how that will affect my blogging… it may be business as usual or I may drop off the face of the planet for a couple of weeks, but just so you know, that’s where I’ll be!  Also, if you have any idea of things to do in Houston, please tell me.  I have no idea what to do in Houston.

So, to celebrate the fact that I am getting away from my hellish northern winter, I’m doing this wintry book tag, which I borrowed from Callum.

30288282Snow: It is beautiful when it first falls, but then it starts to melt. A book/book series that you loved at the beginning, but then, at the middle of it, you realized you don’t like it any longer.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.  The prologue was wonderful and intriguing, and sets up a brilliant premise: how would you live your life if you knew the date you were going to die?  But then the book was split into four chapters, one each from the perspective of four siblings, and I found I liked each chapter less than the one that came before.

284066Snowflake: Something beautiful and always different. Choose a book that stands out, that is different from all the other books you’ve read.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.  This book is like… a weird contemporary odyssey through the darkest corners of Tokyo, that follows a man who starts out the novel looking for his wife’s cat.  It’s like Alice in Wonderland meets Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut meets Ulysses meets… I don’t know, I’m struggling here.  But it’s weird.  I’ve read and enjoyed Murakami in the past, but I only ended up giving this one 3 stars.  Even I have a weirdness threshold, apparently.  Some parts of this worked for me more than others.

9361589Snowman: It is always fun to make one with your family. Choose a book that a whole family could read.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  I have no idea if I liked this book.  I could honestly make an argument for it getting 1 star or 5 stars depending on my mood.  (The prose and atmosphere were striking, but the plot and characters left a lot to be desired.)  But there’s no doubt that it’s a compelling, enchanting read that people from many different ages could find the magic in.

81ztg9z2b1hlChristmas: Choose a book that is full of happiness, that made you warm inside after reading it.

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.  I hate all variations of this question because I don’t read happy books, ever, so I had to scroll all the way back to the beginning of 2016 on my Goodreads shelves to find something that fit the bill.  Anyway, The Price of Salt isn’t all lightness and fluffiness, but it’s a beautifully written lesbian romance that doesn’t end in tragedy, and I always smile when I think about the impression it left on me.

36461399Santa Claus: He brings wonderful presents. Choose a book that you’d like to get for Christmas.

Well, Christmas has come and gone, so I’ll talk about a book I got.  Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard.  I haven’t read all of SPQR, but I think Mary Beard is a genius, so I was excited when I saw that she’d put together a feminist nonfiction work.  Supposedly it’s about how history has treated women in positions of power, and the relationship between power and gender.  I’m quite excited to read it.

6334Snowballing: It can be painful to be hit by a snowball. Choose a book that hurt, that made you feel some strong emotion, like sadness, or anger.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I’ve read this… I believe only twice, but both times, I’m filled with such a strong sense of aching sadness throughout the whole book, and then the ending absolutely shatters me.  There’s such a strong sense of sadness and anger and abject helplessness for these characters’ situations.

53498Sledding: We all loved it when we were younger. Choose a book that you loved when you were a child.

Did you guys read Sharon Creech when you were younger?  I don’t even remember why, but I think I read all of her books in elementary school… And I saw her give a talk on Love That Dog after it won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (a tiny literary award that’s voted for by Vermont schoolchildren).  Anyway, Love That Dog is a novel in verse in the style of Walter Dean Myers’ poetry, and it’s really cute, so if you like children’s books you should check it out.

21398943Frostbite: Choose a book that you were really disappointed in.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  The main character works at a bookstore in San Francisco which attracts a strange clientele, and he starts to realize the bookstore and its enigmatic owner hold some kind of secret.  Sounds awesome.  It was not awesome.  It’s like…. convoluted and boring, and the bulk of this book is the author thinking he’s funny because he makes boob jokes.  Ha, ha.

23460877Reindeer: Something that is dear to us. Choose a book that is of great sentimental value to you.

The Iliad by Homer.  I met Caroline Alexander a few months ago and she signed my Iliad and I was intimidated by her brilliance.

 

 

Not tagging anyone – if you do it pingback to me so I can read your answers!  🙂

8 thoughts on “Winter Is Coming Book Tag

  1. I’m glad you decided to do the tag! I just read my first Highsmith this month, and though it seems to be the most at odds with her usual style/genre, I’m keen to try The Price of Salt (or Carol, as I think it’s published under in the UK).

    You know, I haven’t read any Murakami yet, which almost feels controversial to say by this point. I love weird books but always got the vibe that he might cross into the ‘weird for the sake of being weird’ side of things that I don’t enjoy. If you’ve read a few of his works, do you have a recommendation of where to possibly start?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Book tags = procrastinating on things I should be doing, I can’t resist!

      I think you’ll really love The Price of Salt/Carol. It’s the only Highsmith I’ve read so far so I can’t comment on how it compares to her other books, but it’s still quite a serious and thought-provoking read while offering some non-depressing LGBT rep for a change.

      I’m definitely not a Murakami expert, so maybe these are #controversial suggestions, but, here it goes: I think Norwegian Wood and After Dark are both good places to start. Norwegian Wood is probably one of his most ‘normal’ books – it’s the Japanese Catcher in the Rye, basically, there are no magical realism elements, it’s just an… admittedly kind of weird coming of age book. I think I’d recommend After Dark to you first though, it’s shorter and pretty strange without crossing too far into ‘weirdness for the sake of weirdness’ territory. I think it’s a good one to read to get a sense of his usual style and figure out if he’s an author you click with.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Getting punched in the heart is the PERFECT way to describe it. It absolutely destroys me but it’s also one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Ishiguro is such a storyteller.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Night Circus is such a winter/autumn read!! It’s been ages since I read it though, makes me want to reread it :”) And I’ve always wanted to read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle… so far I’ve only read one book by Murakami, and I need to remedy that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is a good read for this time of year! I’ve only read a couple of Murakami books and I’m kind of on the fence about him, so I should probably read some more to get a stronger opinion. Which of his books have you read?

      Liked by 1 person

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