Spelling Out My Taste In Books

Spelling Out My Taste In Books

My friend Engie at Musings From Neville’s Navel took part in this book tag, and although I don’t often use tags or memes on my blog, I like talking about books, so I thought I might as well take part. (This is also because I have a list of posts to write and they all look overly serious. I wanted a break.) It’s Harry Potter themed but, like all book posts, reflects my fairly eclectic reading taste.

Links in this post lead to my Goodreads reviews unless otherwise stated.

Fixes damaged objects

A book that needs some serious fixing: That would be Carnival Of Souls by Melissa Marr. My Goodreads review probably says everything I need to say, but to put it briefly: it had potential, and it completely failed to live up to it.

Creates a narrow beam of light

A book that deserves more attention: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s one of my favourite books, and nobody seems to have read it. Although Good Omens strongly deserves to be in the spotlight a bit more.

Counters the effects of Lumos

An overhyped book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Everyone goes on and on about it like it’s the best thing to have been written this side of the Aeneid and I’m just … not seeing it. Seriously. If I actually knew someone as pretentious as Augustus I wouldn’t find it attractive, I’d find it annoying. Oh wait, I do, and that’s exactly my response.

Summons an object from a significant distance

A book you’re anticipating: The third book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Also the third one in her Books of Faerie — I’ve been waiting for that since, like, Christmas 2009 when I read Ballad. 

Opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched

A book you want to be more open about: I tend to be pretty open about books. I don’t hide my opinion. But I’d like to be able to talk about things like Song of Achilles without having to feel embarrassed that I read what was basically Iliad fanfiction. (And it was great, so shut up and stop judging me.)

Expecto Patronum
Conjures an incarnation of positive feelings

A book that made you cry, or at least want to: I cry every time I think too much about Grantaire from Les Miserables. I cry like a baby at a lot of books. The prize would probably go to Children of Hurin by Tolkien because I was in a silent library at the time and couldn’t hide it.

Conjures the Dark Mark

A book you wish to mark as one of your favorites: Erm. This is a hard one. Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud is one of those books I read like eight times from the library before I bought it (in perfect condition hardback for three quid from a charity shop, which is one of the best bargains I ever got). The librarians started giving me odd looks after a while, but it’s just such a wonderful book.

Petrificus Totalus
Petrifies victim

A book you wish to keep forever: Everything I’ve ever borrowed from a library and loved. I need my own copy of The Coldest Girl In Coldtown because I want to reread that. And I’d like to obtain the rest of the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld – I have book two, but none of the others. (Don’t even ask how that happened.)

Used against a boggart

A book with a deceiving synopsis: Like Engie, I was initially dubious about The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because it sounded lovey dovey and while I adored her Books of Faerie, I wasn’t so keen on the werewolf ones. I gave it a go and found that it was amazing and certainly not the teen romance I was dreading. The same goes for City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – those books have the worst covers and synopses ever. So misleading.

Lacarnum Inflamarae
Shoots fireballs

A book you wish to burn out of your mind completely: Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger because it was not only dull but also incredibly depressing and miserable and I sorely regret reading it. Possibly also We Need To Talk About Kevin – not because it was bad, as I enjoyed it, but because I was so traumatised afterwards.

Wingardium Leviosa
Levitates objects

A book you wish to reread: Everything. I’ve been meaning to reread the Artemis Fowl books for a while, and I started the series last week, but got distracted by other things. It’s been so long since I read them and I’d like to go from book one through to book eight in close succession so that I can get the full scope of the character development. It’s a shame book seven is my least favourite!

Avada Kedavra
Causes instant death

Worst book EVER: Can I put Catcher in the Rye down again? Okay, I don’t think it’s the worst book ever – there’s a lot of competition, and at least it has some literary merit, even if I detested it. But man, I really hated that book.

Puts victim in an unconscious state

A book with a chapter you couldn’t seem to get over: I’m not sure if it’s meant to be “getting over” in the sense of recovering emotionally (in which case, refer to my above answers about books that made me cry) or getting past to move on with the book. Les Miserables would probably be appropriate on both counts: the former would be ‘Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk, and the latter would be when he spends 100 pages going on about the sewers of Paris. Or the bit where it’s like 200 pages on the Battle of Waterloo. Either of those. The first gives emotions. The second gives struggle.

Causes befuddlement or forgetfulness

A book that generally confused you: Quicksilver by RJ Anderson. I loved it, but it was a sequel, so I had no idea what was going on. I understand better now that I’ve read Ultraviolet!

Inflicts unbearable pain

A book that was a pain to read: I tend to give up when I don’t like books, but I’d probably go with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. I appreciated it more by the end than at the beginning but I think the only reason I got that far was because I was studying it. It has an unreliable narrator and is generally not a very ‘nice’ book, so it was both difficult to read and unpleasant. 

Heals relatively minor injuries

A feel good book that you enjoyed: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I read the whole lot in like a week because I needed the pure unadulterated escapism they offered me, and it was awesome, and I regret nothing.

Impedes target’s progress

A book that kept you up all night reading: Well, I read fast, so nothing would keep me up all night, but I did read Misery by Stephen King until 1am just to find out if the guy lived. When I reread it a year or two later, I stayed up until half twelve again – you know, just in case the ending had changed.

Immediate silencing

A book that left you speechless after you read it: The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin. The first time I read it, I just stared at it for a while, unable to process what had just happened because I was in shock. The second time, I knew what was coming and was expecting it, but the first time I was literally stunned into silence.

Allows you to delve into someone’s mind

A book with well-developed characters: A difficult question, but I’d say the Mortal Engines quartet by Philip Reeve (and, indeed, the prequels) has some great characters with developed likes, dislikes, and motivations. Hester Shaw being one of my favourites, of course.

A spell that turns you upside down

A book that changed your mind about a character from its prequel: Woah. Tricky question. I reckon if I’d read Ultraviolet before Quicksilver, I’d have had to really alter my perception of Tori, so I guess that could be my answer. And The Dream Thieves definitely altered my perception of Ronan Lynch, to whom I didn’t pay much attention in The Raven Boys. 

Used to hide memories

A book with a story you can’t remember: Well, I read The Mortal Instruments so quickly that they all blur into one and I’m not sure which is which, but for a book I genuinely don’t recall anything about … well, I can’t remember.

Peskipiksi Pesternomi
Useless spell

A boring book that had absolutely no effect on you: Mostly, boring books have an effect on me – they irritate me, depress me, or prompt me to throw them across a room. So it’s a hard question to answer. I’m not a patient person and I don’t tend to persevere when something is dull.

Breaks through solid objects

A book that convinced you to reconsider a certain genre: I never thought I’d like Victorian literature until I read A Tale Of Two Cities and cried endlessly about Sydney Carton. Heh.

Tickling spell

A book that made you laugh: Everything by Douglas Adams, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde or Ben Aaronovitch. I love humorous SF/F and these are some of my favourites. I was recently reading Ben Aaronovitch’s Whispers Under Ground and the Tolkien references alone were hilarious.

Offensive spell that violently wounds the target

A book that may have scarred you for life: We Need To Talk About Kevin was a traumatic experience. Warrior Daughter by Janet Paisley was a good book, but the sheer quantity of explicit sex was emotionally scarring, especially as it came unexpectedly. And The Palace Of Curiosities by Rosie Garland was not at all what I expected from the cover.

Makes you dance uncontrollably

A series finale that made you feel giddy: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, as I’d spent two books going, “Just kiss already!” As far as slow-burning love stories go… you know, I’m not one for love stories, but that one got me invested. Seriously invested.

Bombarda Maxima
Causes an explosion that breaks through obstacles

A book that made you explode with the feels: Ugh. There are too many books that fit that description but let’s go with The Book Thief, which I haven’t mentioned yet, but for sheer tragedy points it definitely deserves to be in this category.

Finite Incantatem
Nullifies other spells

A book you thought you’d dislike, but ended up loving: A Tale Of Two Cities by Dickens, though I’ve already mentioned that. I had no expectations and yet somehow fell in love with it.

This was good fun, though some of these were difficult to answer. Are any of them the answers you would have given? There are so many other categories I could have thought of to add, but that would kind of defeat the point of taking part in a pre-existing tag. Feel free to take part and let me know that you’ve done so.

In the meantime, if you want more book recommendations etc from me, you should add me as a friend on Goodreads. I add everything I read to my shelves on there :)

9 thoughts on “Spelling Out My Taste In Books

  1. I need to read Jasper Fforde’s books – they sound awesome. Also he has a neat last name. :)

    !!!! I don’t feel nearly as ranty knowing that you (and Charley) don’t think TFioS is the best book ever either. I’m sure plenty of people feel that way, actually, but the fandom is just SO VOCAL that I felt weird because it seemed like everyone adored it.

    1. I feel with John Green books it’s either mindless adoration or seething fury. I’m not quite at that end of the scale — more indifference, vague irritation, and general exasperation.

      I like Jasper Fforde. His Thursday Next series is very funny, though I accidentally started at book four, ‘Something Rotten’, which has Hamlet in it. To this day, I haven’t read book one, because none of the libraries I frequent have it. I’ll get there.

    2. Also, last thing I knew Charley had enjoyed the book, though she certainly doesn’t think it’s the best thing ever. Unless she’s revised her opinion, which is possible.

  2. So tempting to do this tag….eeep. I can’t BELIEVE I haven’t read City of Bones. o.O And I’ve watched the movie first (cardinal sin of a bookworm). I really like TFIOS, buuuut, I won’t blame you. It can be one of those hit or miss books. OH. EVERYONE SHOULD READ BALLAD/LAMENT and that book that would Maggie Stiefvater please hurry up and write already I just want to know what happens next.

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