It’s Tag Thursday guys, and look, I remembered! This week’s tag is (you must know this one by now, say it with me?) brought to you via the lovely girls over at Thrice Read and it’s called the How I Choose My Books Tag. Booktube and the book blogging world has had such a lasting impact upon my general reading habits, how I buy books, and how I read books, so I’m sure this tag will prove that without a shadow of a doubt. Let’s jump right on in…
Find a book on your shelves with a blue cover. What made you pick up that book in the first place?
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – I saw someone (can’t remember who) reviewing it on BookTube and they said how wonderful and touching this memoir is – they weren’t wrong, it was a truly heartbreaking and weirdly uplifting book too. I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it.
Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but did. Why did you read it in the first place?
I mean as a rule, I don’t generally read books I don’t think I’m going to enjoy – and if I do read them, I’m rarely proved wrong (cough A Court of Thorns and Roses cough), so this question is difficult. I suppose The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare counts? I still don’t really think Clare’s writing or plotting or characterisation is as great as the hype suggests, but I enjoyed Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess in large part because they moved the Shadowhunters focus back into Victorian England and I liked that slightly steampunk vibe a hell of a lot more than the time I attempted to read City of Bones.
Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?
Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven – I discovered this due to the very positive recommendations of it via the lovely Jen Campbell. She described it as a post-apocalyptic fiction where swine flu has wiped out most of the population and a travelling theatre troupe travels across the United States, performing Shakespeare plays in exchange for food. She had me at ‘Shakespeare plays’ to be honest. Guess what though? I still haven’t actually read this. Much like M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains, I’m pretty sure I’m going to like this book because it purports to be everything I love, but I’m SO scared that it’s going to be a disappointment that I keep putting it off. That’s silly, isn’t it? Does anyone else do this?!?
Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?
One of my favourite English teachers recommended me Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – in fact, if I remember correctly, she gave me the book as a leaving present (everyone in the A Level English class got one), and I’m so glad she did because I discovered the delight that is Daphne du Maurier. This became one of my favourite novels of all-time so, yeah, I think it was a good recommendation.
Pick a book you discovered through book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?
I must have discovered V.E. Schwab through the online book community, specifically her Shades of Magic trilogy which consists of A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light – and yes they certainly lived up to the hype, they’re worth every single penny of it.
Find a book on your shelves with a one word title. What drew you to this book?
Lexicon by Max Barry. To be perfectly honest? The cover is what drew me to it. I think I first saw it in a wrap up video from Regan at PeruseProject and regardless of her actual review, I wanted it because the premise sounded interesting and that cover. I have yet to read it. Yep, I am ashamed of that fact.
What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?
I’m not saying I would have never got around to these books had there not been a very popular, inescapable TV show… scratch that, I would have never got around to this series had it not been for HBO – yes, it’s the one, the only, A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. If it wasn’t for the constant talk of Game of Thrones – because you really can’t escape it, especially if you work in an office and/or exist at all on the Internet – I probably never would have just bit the bullet and bought these and quickly devoured at least the first couple of books (I’m still working my way through the rest) .
Think of your all-time favourite books. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?
There comes a time in most readers’ lives when they feel pressured to read some Jane Austen, for better or for worse. Thankfully, for me, it was a ‘for better’ because I really enjoy Austen’s novels. However, after reading Pride and Prejudice which I already knew the story of, I decided to jump into Persuasion I think because I was going through a Rupert Penry-Jones phase (hey, no judging!) and I’d seen he was the male lead, Captain Wentworth, in a Persuasion adaptation. So, of course, I had to read the book first – and I’m so glad I did because this book was incredible.
A vastly different book is Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, but it remains one of my favourite YA fantasies of all-time. This duology has well and truly earned its place on my favourites shelf and, in my opinion, the books deserve the hype. I first picked it up because I was so late to the party and everyone was talking about this book and I’d read the Grisha trilogy not too long ago. Then I was sent the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, to review for a website I used to write for so I had to read Six of Crows first – requesting that book be sent to me for review was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Hey, here’s to many more whims leading to new favourite books!
So how do you decide what books to pick up? Are you a slave to the whims of the online book community as much as I am or do you prefer traditional bookseller recommendations in your local book shop? And do you have any recommendations of books you have read and loved recently – leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them!
As ever, if you wish to do this tag please consider yourself tagged by me and link me to your post below because I’d love to see your answers!