The Ultimate Book Tag

Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka dots says she does too many tag posts. Well here’s my thought: I don’t think I do enough tag posts. So this is my offering for The Ultimate Book Tag (if you’re gonna go in, go ALL in).

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Nope, never. Although I do no reading in cars any more – it’s all on trains and buses. This is the problem when you’re the driver for the only long car journeys you do. *sigh*

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?
I’ve never read an author whose world-building was as convincing and immersive as Garth Nix. Reading his books, it feels like you’re just living in his world. I’m never dragged out by an awkward turn of phrase or anything like that. His world lights up on the page in front of me, and all I have to do is step in.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter every time. Although I admit to having read the Twilight Saga (including all the spinoffs) it just doesn’t have the same kind of thrall as Harry Potter’s world for me. Three solid points, though.
1) Twilight’s story arc is about finding the one you love and sticking with them no matter how bad it is. Harry Potter’s is about how love can redeem you and help you and the many different ways in which you can find love.
2) Harry grew up in an abusive household and still managed to find it in him to develop strong and loving relationships and friendships, and save the world while he was at it. Bella fell into an abusive relationship and never managed to see it.
3) Twilight is full of weird imagery about relationships with older men, Bella’s terror of ageing, the importance of getting married right out of school and producing babies as. soon. as. possible. Harry Potter has a bunch of relationships in it, but they’re not presented as perfect, every character has a career as well as a fulfilling relationship, and ageing isn’t presented as a horrendous thing which must be avoided at all costs.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books)?
I don’t carry a book bag, per se. I carry a schoolbag, most of the time. It’s a horrendously garish JanSport backpack which my dad gave me when I started my doctorate. I’ve had it for three and a half years now, and I’m still not entirely sure I like it, but he smiles every time he sees it, and that’s enough for me to keep using it.

Generally in the bag I’ll have my laptop and charger, phone charger, notebook, a lot of pens, kindle, purse, driver’s licence, umbrella, sometimes a paperback as well and roughly half the time, a change of clothes. Oh, and some small change which has escaped, a target pin which I keep meaning to give back to the archery club, rosary beads which used to belong to my grandmother, a glasses case, and a small rubber duck.

5. Do you smell your books?
Infrequently. I like the smell of a good hardback, but they’re extremely awkward to read/carry around/do anything other than display and sniff.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?
I like illustrations at the start of chapters, but doing most of my reading on a kindle, the illustrations often go haywire, and detract from the experience.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?
I don’t know about this one. I want to say Twilight, but I think on some level I knew it wasn’t very good writing. I’m going to go with it anyway. I liked the first book a lot the first time I read it, and it was only a little later when I thought about it more that I realised how bad it was. Of course, that didn’t stop me reading all of the rest of them. Please.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
I got into trouble more for reading than anything else when I was a child. We used to be allowed to read in bed before we went to sleep, but were supposed to stop when a parent came up to tell us to turn off the light. I used to do that, then turn the light back on and keep reading until I felt that it was time for snoozing. I have a whole litany of memories of angry parents (and my brother, and my very mild-tempered uncle!) taking books away from me to get me to go to sleep. I used to hide them under my pillow, and at times would have so many that I wouldn’t be able to sleep because of all the corners poking into my head.

9. What is the tiniest book on your shelf?
Probably one of the books on top of my bookcase from my French degree. But in terms of actual books, probably the smallest is Across the Barricades. My brother, sister and I all studied this book in school, so the pages are littered with underlinings, highlights, and doodles from bored fifteen-year-olds. I don’t really like the novel, but I love having this book.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?
Oh, it’s probably Order of the Phoenix. I have a full set of Harry Potter books, but the fifth is the only ‘adult’ cover. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and wrecks my head.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?
No, not really. Well, sort of. I guess yes? I have written things as part of my PhD – I have a book on Amazon, I’ve published an article in a peer-reviewed journal and of course, I’ve written my PhD thesis. But I don’t write fiction.

12. When did you get into reading?
I have been a reader since before I can remember. My home has always been filled with bookcases and books – we’re a family of readers.

13. What is your favourite classic book?
Oh, this is really hard. I have to confess that I have actually read very few of the classics. Is that shameful? Yes, I think that’s shameful. I don’t actually have a favourite.

14. In school what was your best subject?
English was always my best subject, and other languages close behind (although I struggled with Irish, due to missing the first ten years of it). Funnily enough, though, when I did my Leaving Cert (my terminal school exams), I got two A1s – in English, which was somewhat expected, and in Chemistry, which was not expected.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?
Be very thankful to the giver, and then later regift it. Never mention it again (how rude!)

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?
Harry Potter and the Hunger Games really aren’t alike at all, so I don’t know why they’re associated with each other. But I really like Dystopia, so here are a few of my favourite series in that particular genre –

Michael Grant’s Gone series, The Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu, the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, and the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver.

17. What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?
I always seem to schedule my posts for the wrong days – so I try to set up a post for the following week, but accidentally set it for the previous week, and then it’s all a disaster.

18. What is your favorite word?
I don’t have a favourite word. I’m bad at favourites! I like the word espionage, though. And intermittent. Mostly because I made a mistake on some homework with that word when I was in year six, and I’ve carried the shame with me ever since.
Similarly deus ex machina, and epitome.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?
I’m a book nerd, that much is for sure.

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?
Fairies because they’re more fun. When growing up, I read a lot of Irish folklore and a lot (I mean a LOT) of Enid Blyton. Riddled with fairies, pixies, brownies, imps and other Fair Folk, I will always have a soft spot for them.

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Angels – I have a soft spot for them after reading lots of angel books all together around 2011 – LA Weatherly’s Angel series, Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush, Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo series, and Lauren Kate’s Fallen angels.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?
Spirits. For extra spooky points.

23. Zombies or Vampires? Why?
Gonna go with Vampires, although I can’t say I love either of them. It was just a coin flip!

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?
Forbidden Love – the love triangle is such an overused trope, and I really don’t think it’s done well often.

25. And finally: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
Action-packed, generally. But I will admit that sometimes I love to read two or three full on romance books in a weekend, because they’re very nice and easy to get lost in.


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