A Bookish Christmas Stocking (Tag)

So I’m not doing Blogmas this year.

I actually haven’t ever done it before. Posting everyday in the month of December sounds impossible to me, but I commend those who are doing it, you rock stars!

Speaking of rock stars, my friend Kate over at Reading Through Infinity has made her own Christmassy tag and tagged me, so thanks boo!

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…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

It might be a bit cliche, but To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is as sweet as a cupcake, inside and out. I know we saw it in the movie, but can you imagine the lengths Lara Jean goes to make her home look super Christmassy? It’s goals.

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

I mean, I didn’t technically buy it myself, as I’ve asked for it for my birthday. However, as I had to pre-order it myself, I’ve just bought the Goldsboro edition of The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty, the second book in The City of Brass series. I loved the first book, but missed out on a chance to buy a fancy edition. I have a UK arc, a standard hardcover, and US arc of The Kingdom of Copper, and I can’t wait to add the Goldsboro edition to my collection when it comes out. Will I tell you the price? Absolutely not.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

One that springs to mind immediately is towards the beginning of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, where Mia has to travel through the desert and fend off sand kraken. It was pretty impressive and often hilarious and exactly the way I would have reacted if massive spider crabs just came out of the sand dunes.

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

Maybe an answer that is surprising to many, but I did not love And I Darken when I first read it. Annoyed by everyone’s decisions in that book, I gave it a four stars begrudgingly. It wasn’t until the second book, Now I Rise, that I realised that this series was solid gold.

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

While I discussed in my review the reasons why I may not have picked up Girls of Paper & Fire had I known what it was about, I still believe the protagonist Lei was a symbol of hope for all the girls in the king’s harem. Without spoiling too much, she was rebellious and the first to reject this way of living without ever meaning to. It all came from what she believed in and what she knew was right. That’s pretty powerful.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is this in a nutshell, but encompassing all the tropes of its genre does not make a book bad. Holly Black has a very clever way of letting us indulge in the tropes we know about the genre she writes in while adding new and exciting things which shake things up a bit. The Cruel Prince is very much a mythical, political, romantic fantasy full of fae and ‘our world’ and ‘their world’ without becoming a boring and samey story.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

I don’t usually keep up with author’s writing processes, just because when I do listen to them talk about it, I find it hard to feel inspired by it. I’m quite rigid with how I write, and I have tried new styles that I’ve read about, but never from an author who has discussed it. I guess their writing processes seem very organised and methodical, whereas I’m quite a “throw it on the page and see what happens”. Although, I could hear Madeline Miller discuss her writing process for hours!

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?

Ohhh yes. I’ve read quite a few three stars in my lifetime. But one in particular that I was itching the change was Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. The main character had gone through so much from such a young age, that it seemed fit for her to be vengeful and hell, even bloodthirsty for some heads to roll. Instead, she’s content with living her life until others tell her she needs to do something. She even argues not to save others when the rebels suggest she do something good. This would be different if she had been brainwashed and had a form of Stockholm syndrome, but she doesn’t. It’s made clear to the reader that she knows that where she is is bad. So I’d make her angrier. I’d make her ready to take back what is rightfully hers.

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

Solitaire by Alice Oseman was, back then, people’s first introduction to Alice Oseman, but I had read Radio Silence first, and was so torn up by how beautiful it was, that I knew that if I read Solitaire straight after, I would implode. Eventually I got to it and cried at how relatable it was, but I’m glad I gave myself a breather in between them!

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.

Now I do like space books, but only a certain type. I feel, like with all genres, science fiction or ‘science fantasy’ can feel samey, and I’m not really about those space books that are full of what I call ‘too much’. Too much is, essentially, space jargon, or plots that require a lot of suspension of disbelief. But stories about what it means to be human yet set in a place where it isn’t always about being human? Now that’s storytelling, and Satellite by Nick Lake did that for me.

I received a proof copy from the publisher and I didn’t really think anything of it. But one fateful day, I had absolutely nothing to read, and picked it up, and then cried pretty much all the way through. It has become one of my five star reads of 2018 and holds a special place in my heart. I urge you all to read it!

I’m not tagging anyone this time, however if you would like an Christmassy post to write, then consider this your chance to do it!


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