Hey…how you doin?
I’m sorry, I just had to quote Joey, seeing as I am doing the F.R.I.E.N.D.S book tag! I originally saw this tag on Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books’ blog and I just knew I had to do it. I believe this tag was created by Roxanne from An Average Life, so you should definitely check out her original post! Now, on with the tag!
For each character there is a question relating to a book and one relating to me as a reader. Here we go!
A book based on a game or competition:
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
This is a middle grade series that follows Morrigan Crow, a cursed child who is whisked away to Nevermoor by a man named Jupiter North, to compete in trials to become a part of the prestigious and magical Wondrous Society. This book will give you the same feeling of magic and enjoyment as reading Harry Potter for the first time, and the competition aspect is so entertaining. Definitely worth a read! Also – as it is middle grade – it reads really quickly and easily!
Organization Queen- How do you organise your books?
While I would love at some point to have my shelves organised by genre, fiction/non fiction or read/unread, my bookshelves are not big enough and I also don’t have enough of certain genres to justify that style of shelving. So, at the moment my books are in alphabetical order by author’s surname. Other than that, I have a Harry Potter shelf (obvs) and a shelf for hardbacks that are too big for my regular shelves. But yeah…pretty boring I suppose!
A book you read for the hype:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
If you have been living under a rock you may not have heard of this series, but since it was adapted into a TV show it has been all over the place! This book follows Claire Randall, a world war two nurse who – when on a trip with her husband Frank to the Scottish highlands – steps into a stone circle and is transported back in time to 1743, and becomes entangled in a life in pre-Jacobean uprising Scotland. As a Scot I was so apprehensive about reading this book (and they are BLOODY long books), but I had seen so many people raving about it I just had to see what the fuss about. No surprise, it was actually delightful. I have read the first two books in the series, and I made it 30% through the 1000 page third book before deciding I needed a little break from the series. That being said, it is definitely one I want to finish as it is worth the hype. Romantic, atmospheric and so moreish!
Shopping Addict- What makes you buy a book?
I buy a lot of eBooks primarily, as they are oftentimes cheaper and – as I said previously – I don’t have a lot of shelving space. However, when I buy physical books it is usually because I am such a sucker for a beautiful book cover! I gravitate towards books with captivating covers, and if the synopsis sounds appealing I will then 100% pick it up. If there’s a book I really want to read and I know that I want the physical copy for my shelves, it’ll be because it is a beautiful (and Instagrammable) version. Case in point: Circe by Madeline Miller.
A science fiction book:
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
I don’t really read science fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. It is hard to describe, but essentially this book begins with a girl named Rose falling down a hole in the earth and landing on top of an upward facing, giant, metal hand. This raises countless questions as to what the hand is made of, why it is there and where the rest of the body is. Years later, Rose becomes a physicist running a project trying to uncover the properties of the hand’s metal and why it is there. However, this book is shrouded in mystery as it is written in interviews (conducted by an anonymous person), case reports and audio clips. It is so intriguing and mysterious and – having picked it up on a whim – I thoroughly enjoyed it.
On a break- Which books have you put down to pick back up later?
I do this very often, as I can tell pretty quickly if I’m not in the mood for something at that time. I don’t want to DNF a book fully if I just feel the timing is off and so most recently I put down The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. It is not that I wasn’t enjoying it, because I was, but it is a very long book and it took quite a lot out of me to read as it read almost like a classic (which is not a bad thing!). So I think I will revisit it at another time as it was definitely beautifully written and captivating.
A book that made you laugh out loud:
The Bad Dog’s Diary by Martin Howard
This is the most stupidly entertaining book I’ve read in years. I wouldn’t have read it if it hadn’t been recommended to me, but if you can imagine Bridget Jones Diary, meets The Communist Manifesto meets DOGS. It is in diary format, sharing a year of Blake’s life and his attempts to dominate the territory in the park and dodge his owner’s attempts at dog training. It was so bizarre and unique from anything else I read that I found myself snorting with laughter and trying to keep a straight face. Definitely a funny book, if a bit odd.
That time at Space Mountain- Are there any books you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve read?
Apart from the one above…I can’t really think of any. I’m a massive proponent of reading whatever you want to read, whenever you want to read it. I don’t like the idea of being shamed/shaming others into thinking they can’t read certain things. I read predominantly fiction and within that there are no holds barred! I used to get embarrassed admitting to people I was reading YA, or a romance novel etc. I remember vividly someone at my work asking me about a book I was reading (Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson) and the tone of their voice made it clear to me that the book sounded “weird” to them, and I immediately closed up and acted embarrassed. I hated that feeling and I’d never intentionally do that to somebody else! So, even with the book above, I’m not particularly embarrassed for reading it as I enjoyed it, and that is the entire point of reading!!
A scary book you’d keep in the freezer:
Animal Farm by George Orwell
So I don’t really read any scary books. Ever. The last time I read a “horror” novel was in 2016, and it was kind of shit. However, a book I did find scary (for different reasons) is Animal Farm by George Orwell. Hear me out. Animal Farm is a satirical retelling of the lead up to the Russian Revolution and follows farm animals rebelling against their farmer and forming a democratic state. The scary part to me is the way in which this democracy then begins to crumble and chaos ensues at the hands of the most dominant group in the farm’s society (the pigs). It is a reflection of how fragile government is and the nuances of democracy and – like Orwell’s other fiction – seems to be really relevant to the shit storm that is contemporary society. When I think too much about it I feel particularly anxious, which in my head I have linked to fear. Also…the feelings I have about this book may well be linked to watching the animated version of Animal Farm as a child (a family friend gifted it to us assuming it was suitable for little children…because animals…on a farm…how nice) and I remember it really scaring me at the time. Who knows?
V is for Encyclopedia- As an adult, have you read any books with words you had to look up to understand?
Yes! This is one of the reasons I love my Kindle, because any time I don’t know a word it will tell me the meaning. Most recently it was What Would Boudicca Do? by E. Foley and B. Coates. This is a great book which seeks to solve struggles women are facing in the modern day world by relating them to some of the most inspirational and prolific women in history. In this book I looked up a number of words, including: iconoclast, cynosure, callipygous and apocryphal. The more you know!
A book with a spiritual or supernatural theme:
Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood
I reviewed this in my most recent blog post, but it is basically a short story collection by 15 different authors surrounding witches and witchcraft. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and while the stories varied in the levels of magic or spirituality, some of them were very spiritual and supernatural. A few stories in particular mentioned spiritual energies and destiny and such, which to me made this the optimum book for Phoebe, who in another life would 100% have been a witch!
The boycott- Are there any authors, booksellers or publishers you refuse to support?
I haven’t come across many instances where I have felt strongly enough about a situation to boycott an author etc. However, recently I have seen some negative things online about Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which is a book I absolutely loved. Essentially, there have been instances where he – as an author – has emailed book reviews/YouTubers etc. and getting in touch about criticisms they have had of his books and in the process has come across as rather unprofessional and insensitive to his readership. You could probably Google it if you were interested in knowing the intricacies, but I was majorly unimpressed when I first realised this and have subsequently decided that – despite loving Aristotle and Dante – I will not read any more of his books.
So those were the answers for the main characters, and now here are some shorter answers for some of the side characters!
A book with an OH MY GOD twist:
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. If you know, you know.
A British classic:
Jane Eyre is 100% my favourite British classic. I love rereading this in autumn/winter as it is so dark and broody and atmospheric. Plus, I find Jane to be a progressive character for her time. Although, unlike Rachel I DID read the book and I don’t think Jane Eyre is like Robocop.
A book nobody seems to be talking about:
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa is such a lovely little novel about a single mother who becomes the housekeeper of an elderly mathematics professor with a memory condition. It is heartwarming and was one of my favourite books of last year.
Carol and Susan:
An LGBTQ+ book or author:
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera is a great book about Juliet, who – before heading off to do an internship for a white feminist writer – comes out to her Puerto Rican family and tells them that she is a lesbian. This book is humorous and entertaining and makes great commentary on inter-sectional feminism and how white feminism is – quite wrongly – the most dominant in the public eye. This is a great piece of YA! I’ve reviewed this book if you’re interested.
A book or character with intense/stalker vibes:
I picked Vincent and Eli from Vicious by V. E. Schwab. They are both very ambitious and intense throughout the story, and (considering they are enemies) they definitely do stalk each other across the country throughout the novel. *I found this one kind of hard, my bad*
A slow burning book OR romance novel:
I picked East of Eden by John Steinbeck for this one, as it is a long book which focuses a lot on character development and atmosphere rather than plot point after plot point, meaning it was quite slow burning.
A book that left you feeling accomplished or better educated:
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson was a really interesting book about how the internet has created a resurgence in the joy of public shaming and how easily lives and reputations can be ruined by social media. It really educated me on how I can be a more mindful social media user and encouraged me to make sure I am never unfairly bashing somebody online.
Which F.R.I.E.N.D.S character do you most identify with?
I think I am a bit of Chandler and Joey. Joey because I love food (duh) and I like to think that I am a good friend and that I would do anything for any of my friends, and Chandler because of his sense of humour. That being said, I think I relate to a little bit of each of them, so it is hard to pick!
And that’s the tag! I hope you guys enjoyed this and I will speak to you soon! Feel free to do this is you want, consider yourself tagged. I have one more thing to say as a parting gift…