I was tagged by Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile to do the Seasons of Book Blogging Tag, which was originally created by Jordyn at J. Bookish. Thank you to Stephanie for bringing this lovely tag to my attention by tagging me to do it – and I apologise for it taking a few weeks for me to actually complete this (you can see that by the fact she tagged me back in November, whoops!) But let’s waste no more time…
RULES AND REGULATIONS
- Thank the creator (so she can see all of your answers!) and the person who tagged you.
- Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
- State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
- Tag whomever you’d like when you’re finished… or else you’ll be “it” forever.
- Have fun, of course!
November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!
I’m really thankful that I read Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief, on the recommendation of… I’m not sure who but considering I first read it in October 2009, I can only assume it was someone at secondary school, probably my English teacher Miss Colabella, a teacher to whom I am forver grateful for encouraging my love of Literature onto a higher level and eventually to university. But the book itself is extremely well known by now, all I have to say to recommend it is that it takes the unique perspective of Death as he watches Germany throughout World War II, specifically a girl called Liesel who enjoys stealing books. It has some truly beautiful turns of phrase, including the book’s closing lines, and I’m really glad I read it because it taught me more than any other book how possible it is to do beautiful things with words.
December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.
Provided the person didn’t mind a bit of magic and fantasy, then I would find a nice hardback edition of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, it’s one of my favourite books and I think it would suit a lot of people because the language is so evocative and magical itself, you can’t help but be swept into the world it describes.
January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!
I promised to be more confident and less self-deprecating. Having spent many months comparing myself to my peers on the MA course and having a few well-timed crying fits in response, plus the joys of job hunting and interviewing, it’s safe to say I didn’t stick to this at all. For a good month or so back there I did like myself and feel like I deserved the top class marks I’d achieved at postgraduate level but it only takes on rejection for me to slide back to my usual negativity so… I’ll really try to stick to it in 2016, haha.
February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!
I really like the family relationship and dynamics shown in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The Bennets may not be the most harmonious of families by a long shot but within each individual relationship – between Jane and Lizzie, Lizzie and Mr Bennet, Mrs Bennet and Lydia – there is a realistic dynamic which I think is one of the strengths of Austen’s novel. This element is one of the reasons I actually
prefer love Joe Wright’s 2005 film adaptation, much to the consternation of most Austenites!
March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.
I feel like this will be a popular answer but I genuinely wish I could re-experience the Harry Potter series anew. Thankfully, with the advent of the audiobooks and the beautiful new illustrated editions, there is a sort of opportunity to experience the familiar narrative in a new way. I can’t wait until my nephew is old enough for me to try and force Harry Potter on him via bedtime stories.
April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.
The Name of the Wind immediately sprung to mind? I just do.not.get.it. Maybe I was in the wrong mindset when I tried to read it but I felt bored, largely, and had no desire to keep reading so I DNFed it. I’m aware that I am wrong on this opinion, I know, but to be honest I’d heard such rave reviews that I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed when I realised I’d read 200 pages out of nothing more than a desire to tick a book off a list of “fantasy must reads” rather than actual enjoyment. We’ll see if I revise my opinion when I get round to giving it a second chance in 2016.
May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.
Extremely pleasantly surprised to find that Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl was indeed as wonderful as Booktube led me to believe it was – I know most of that was due to the similarity in college anxieties I was feeling at the time I read it but, nevertheless, it has definitely lived up to the hype for me and I was relieved, as well as pleasantly surprised, to find out this.
June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.
Rather than a specific genre, re-reading old favourites seem to be my go-to to wind down and check out of real life stresses. I did this as my dissertation was winding down this year and found myself really enjoying listening to the A Series of Unfortunate Events audiobooks, or else re-reading Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series – just something fun, diverting, and light (or “light” when it comes to Lemony Snicket’s series because, of course, that’s hardly light and fluffy).
July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)
Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre just made me dumbfounded. Enough to gush unreservedly about it via Twitter, Goodreads, and my review – and then I was delighted when the author was nice enough to respond and thank me for my kind words about her novel. But seriously though, Viper Wine is unlike anything I’ve ever read and for goodness sake if you have any kind of inclination towards Renaissance settings, please please read it, it’s wonderful!
August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.
I’m not great with up-and-coming authors since it’s only recently that I’ve actually started paying more attention to contemporary fiction (ah the excuses of an early modernist!), but I suppose I could suggest maybe Samantha Shannon? She’s hardly new with two books released already but I still don’t think the wider public are as aware of her as they ought to be. I mean, just given the comparisons of her to JK Rowling (rather unfair comparisons, it has to be said), you’d think she’d be shouted about everywhere.
September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.
Quite a few of Shakespeare’s plays, including Richard II, Henry IV, The Tempest, Coriolanus, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing – what can I say, I like Shakespeare – and also Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist which I didn’t expect to like but ended up loving! But if we’re talking novels/books I read specifically because of school (and not before) then maybe Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a great forerunner of the dystopian genre with some truly terrifying concepts.
October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.
I always wanted to be Hermione Granger (another popular answer, I’m sure) but that costume might be remarkably easy to fashion, relatively speaking, due to the prevalence of Harry Potter merchandise. Aside from that, I guess I used to want to be Arwen from the Lord of the Rings films (well she didn’t get much of a look in in the actual books!), so I’d love to dress in her “dying dress“.
And, as October is my birthday month, I believe I also need to mention the best gift I’ve ever been given. Now it wasn’t a birthday gift per say but for Christmas 2013 my mum offered £200 to the very charitable cause of the “Facilitate Emma (and her friend Sarah) going to London to see Les Misérables and Coriolanus” fund – and it was very very gratefully received and honestly those transient experiences were some of my favourite times ever, I can die happy having seen both those plays.
Anyone reading this who has not done the tag yet!