Monday, 19 October 2020

Barking 'Bout Books Tag

I'VE BEEN TAGGED IN A BOOKISH TAG!!! I know... you think you guys would learn better by now. But no! I'M BACK! And it's all pet related. Ok, dog related, but I love dogs so this is fine! Yes, I own a cat (own is the wrong word for when you have a cat. I'm basically his servant and his b****), but I love my little ball of fur and pins. His name is Bagheera (yes, named after the panther in the Jungle Book) and he is, at this moment in time, on my bed, asleep. And I got him for my 30th birthday and he's, basically, my baby. 

So yeah... Oh! I was tagged by the creator of the tag, Erik from Breakeven Books! Am popping the video underneath, but am going to give you links to his YouTube, Twitter and his Blog. I discovered him randomly earlier in the COVID-19 lockdown (two/three months ago, I think. Maybe round the time Taylor Swift released folklore but I might be wrong. Erik?) and he reads and talks books that I go "OOOOH!" over (you know you've discovered a good bookTuber/blogger/etc when they talk about books and you sit up and pay attention). So, thank you Erik and I apologise for my bog-standard/very-typical-for-me answers! 

Oh well, let's get this party started!

I've Got A Bone To Pick With You: Name a book that was good until it wasn't... (you were enjoying it and then it ended up disappointing you). 
Yikes! Start with a hard one, will ya? Let me think.

Ok, I have two. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer and A Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds by Suzanne Collins. Now, I liked the last quarter of both as things picked up but both books are SUCH SLOGS! I was excited for each of these but the more I read, the more dishearten I became and I wondered multiply times if I should quit them or not. Because I pushed through Midnight Sun, I have been a bit scared to read two 800 page books - To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (I have the audiobook but that's 32 hours long!) and Priory of the Orange Tree by Samatha Shannon. So yes, these two and I am going to remember these two whenever I wonder if I should DNF a book/audiobook or not in future... 

Welcome Home
: Name a book or series that gives you the warm feelings of home. 
If you asked me this a year or so back, my answer would be SO DIFFERENT! But let's go with one of my favourite series - The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. I adore this series! I reread the first, Sabriel, every few years and this year, due to lockdown and reading g slump, I audiobooked the whole series and it was wonderful. Tim Curry narrates the first three and he's perfect. Simply perfect. The sixth book is coming out next year and I AM READY!

Ruffin It: Name a book that has a journey or travel element to it. 
This one was a hard one to answer and I'm not sure why. But once the answer came to me, I almost kicked myself. And that is His Dark Materials, mainly Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass, depending where you live in the world). Our main character, Lyra and her dæmon Pan travel from Oxford to the North and then beyond fits this perfectly. 

So does the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness (starting with A Discovery of Witches, a book I kinda want to reread before the year is out!), Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen and Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. Though I won't tell you why... 

Wow, for a question that had me stumped, I can think of a lot of answers now, don't I?

Marking Your Territory
: Name a book or series that you will always stand by no matter what! 
I can't use Old Kingdom by Garth Nix again. And I can't reference another series as I use that as an answer for a question further down... 

Oh, wait! There was a series I discovered over the course of lockdown that I got a little obsessed over. Can I use that as my answer? It's the Four Bear Construction series by K.M. Neuhold. There are an adult M/M romance (I know! Me and straight-up romance?!) and I loved reading them (though I loved the first, Caulky, the most). Now, I didn't love all of the four (I was promise little to no angst and one tested my patience on this front) but I devoured them all and, though this was meant to be a four book series, the author said she has a few ideas for this series and hope to work on them next year and, while this series isn't perfect, I love it and I am afraid of how many people I have pushed this series onto! 

Diggin Holes: A book that had some hidden secrets or had a big plot twist uncovered. 
I love a book that does a big plot twist or secrets that I don't see coming. I should read more thrillers or books that do this and do twists well. So, for this, I am going to say two books for very different reasons. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and The Lost Man by Jane Harper. 

So, when I first read City of Bones and that twist popped up, I knew it was a lie but I went "Oh, I am in now!" (and, at the time I read it, Mortal Instruments was a trilogy and the third [and at the time, last] book, City of Glass, has just come out so I blitz the trilogy.) I never continued when Mortal Instruments became six books, though I have dipped in and out of Cassandra's other Shadowhunters series - Infernal Devices is my fave and I am in two minds if I should leave this world behind or not...

The Lost Man
 is a thriller but it never read like a thriller. It's a nice slow burn of a book, looking at what happens to a family who lives in the Australian outback when a brother dies. It reads like a family drama that looks into issues such as mental health, toxic masculinity, domestic abuse, loneliness. The way these secrets unravelled were slowly revealed and were delicious. I still think about this book often, even though I read it at the end of 2018...

Now I think about it, The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley is similar to The Lost Man... it starts with a man jumping into front of a car and the story follows the driver and the man's wife, two damaged people becoming friends with each other and events slowly, so slowly the reader doesn't realise till something awful happens, turning into something far more disturbing... 

Stand By Me
: Name a book or series that portrayed a very loyal friendship between its characters. 
Oh! Let me say a series that I have been reading - Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver. Now, I have only just finished book three in the series - Soul Eater - and while this is dark, the friendship between Torak, Renn and Wolf answers this question perfectly. 

Tug of War: A book you have very mixed feelings about. 
Ah... ok, let's address the elephant in the room. Normally, I would answer Harry Potter to at least one of these, but with recent events involving the author and the trans community, I am a little conflicted over the author's work and this series. Now, I love the series and I will continue to reread my copies, but I am very conflicted over my future with this author and several others who have said things involving the LGBTQ+ community that I have very different opinions on. 

That's probably not the answer you want. You probably want a book for this answer. Shall I say Dan Brown as I have read three of his books and plan to read more (such fun beach reads), I do get frustrated with them. I mean, really? Breathable gel? Really? Really?

: A book that you are super excited about and will reward yourself by reading it.
There are books/eBooks/audiobooks I am DESPERATE to preorder (Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix, the sixth book in the Old Kingdom series is a MUST! As are the future instalments of Four Bears Construction series if that happens). But I can't say them as no preorder links are up, so let me tell you the books/audiobooks I have currently preordered: How to Catch A Queen by Alyssa Cole (eBook), A Promised Land by Barak Obama (audiobook), Troy by Stephen Fry (audiobook), The Thursday Murder Club 2 by Richard Osman (audiobook) and Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Great Detective In The World by Mark Aldridge (audiobook). 

And that's it! Am done! I will go off and hug/annoy Bagheera. No, wait! I suppose I should tag people. I will tag them secretly on Twitter, but if any of you want to do this tag, please do and let me and Erik know!