Jaz from Travels in Fiction tagged me to do the Christmas Stocking Tag and I loved to see her answers, so I’m excited to work out mine too!
- Link to the person who tagged you
- Link to me, as I’d love to read your answers
- Answer all 10 questions, choosing books for each theme
- Tag five people to do this
You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…
1. An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?
I absolutely love the Life of Pi when I read it a few years ago. The whole book is magical because of the animals, but the way that Martel proves the power of human resistance and hope, just makes the books even more remarkable. As I said in my review in 2016, I love how this book proves the power of imagination and takes the innocence of a young boy and shows his resilience and endless willpower to survive.
2. The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?
It’s not often that I spend the money on hardbacks, but when I saw that Stephen Fry had written his own retelling of the Greek Myths, I knew it would be worth the money! Mythos is a wonderful book which both educates the reader about the Greek Myths, while also entertaining the reader with Fry’s witty and comedic tone. It can be read by someone who knows nothing about mythology and also by those who love it – Fry really accommodates for both!
3. You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.
I don’t actually read many books with explosive action scenes, but one book which left me on the edge of my seat with its tension was Claire Mackintosh’s I See You. The chilling thriller alternates between the protagonist, Zoe, and the voice of the person causing all the chaos – the unknown rapist and murderer, who finds a thrill in stalking his victims and making them feel their fear. I honestly could not put this down.
4. Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?
The Mortal Instruments series will always have a special place in my heart. I read it while I was still at school and, at that point, I hadn’t really read any fantasy before so I was unsure about whether I would enjoy it. But, after reading City of Bones, it’s safe to say I was hooked. I absolutely adore this series, and hopefully I’ll get to read it again in 2019!
5. You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?
There are so many books I could have for this one, I seem to read a lot in which the protagonist is some kind of beacon of hope! Earlier in the year, I read All the Light We Cannot See, and I do think that this novel in particular is particularly good at evoking a sense of hope for the reader. The protagonist is a nine-year-old girl called Marie-Laure LeBlanc, who happens to be blind. She’s managed to navigate the world successfully with the help of her dad, learning to read brail and memorising her paths home, but when they are thrown into the conflict of WWII, her ability to survive in a world she can’t even see, is about to be tested. Marie is such an inspirational protagonist and the novel left me with a firm sense of hope that there is light everywhere if you look hard enough.
6. There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?
I am a sucker for romance, and two romance authors who I love are Nicholas Sparks and Cecelia Ahern. Both of their books can sometimes be formulaic, predictable and mushy, BUT, that’s exactly why I love the genre, so for me, they are two great authors whose books exactly encompass the tropes of the genre! I wrote a post a while back about Why I love Romance, and while I am sure there are people who can’t stand the stereotypical tropes of the genre, that’s exactly what gets me hooked on them.
7. There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?
In all honesty, I can’t say that I know much about many authors’ writing process, but an author who’s background I find interesting and inspiring is Lisa Genova’s. Her books and her knowledge are always intriguing to me; before she was an author, she was a neuroscientist and so she knows a lot about the topics she chooses to write about. With novels on Alzeimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, Autism, and Left Neglect, I always feel as if I am learning when I read her novels, which I think is always a great plus for a book!
8. To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?
So when it comes to reading habits, there’s not much that Jaz (Travels in Fiction) and I will agree on, BUT, I just have to agree with her here… what happened with The Death Cure!? I remember being given this trilogy as a gift when I was about 16 and I loved the first one so much! But then suddenly it just started going down hill, until you reach the end of The Death Cure and honestly wonder why James Dashner didn’t just write one book and leave it there. Definitely the weirdest and most un-satisfying end to a series ever.
9. There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?
So, I was bought A Little Life in 2017 and when I was given it, my first thought was, “wow that’s a big book!” It’s 720 pages and the font is small, so for a long time I would look at it and think that I didn’t have the energy to devote that much time to one novel. Eventually, in about October of this year, I managed to finally pick it up, and oh my God, I’m so glad I did! By the end of this novel I was annoyed it wasn’t even longer! Never did I feel like it was dragging or boring, every single page was gold dust. If you want to read my spoiler-free review then please do, and I hope I can convince you to pick up this incredible book too!
10. Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.
I don’t normally read YA because it’s not always my favourite, however, every once in a while I will read a YA novel, usually on the recommendation of a friend. Last year, just after the film came out, I read Everything Everything, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The story was interesting and I was really drawn to the characters’ relationships, and as I said before, I’m a sucker for romance, so it was hard not to love Maddy and Olly’s story.
Thank you Jaz for tagging me, I had a lot of fun writing this! Here’s some people I’m tagging who will hopefully enjoy writing their Christmas Stocking list too!