New York Times By the Book Tag

Thursday, May 19, 2016
This book tag has been making the rounds on BookTube (that part of YouTube that is dedicated to books, well, at least for book lovers...) and I actually thought I might do it! I used to have my own YouTube channel (search Butterfly Elephant Books if you want to see), but I found the shooting and the editing and everything just too exhausting - I am much better with written words, I think. So I wanted to do some tags, but just in written format! Here we go!

1. What book is on your nightstand now?
I had a moment of wondering what a nightstand was, I won't lie, but then I remembered we just call them 'bedside tables', because that is really super inventive. Maybe I will start calling it my nightstand? ANYWAY. I actually don't keep books on my bedside table if I can avoid it. Generally it is so full of bookmarks, crystals, a glass of water, pills... there isn't a lot of room left over for books. But the ones that have been lurking under my bed and around for some time include: The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente, Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse, Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier, and the review books I am currently reading which are Black Jade by Kylie Chan and Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson.

2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
Well, I recently finished David Attenborough's memoir Life on Air and I really loved reading that and remembering that "part" of myself, in a way - the part that wishes I could study botany, or archaeology, or zoology - as well as reading things from the perspective of one of my favourite people in the entire world.
However, I wouldn't say that it was 'truly great' in a life-changing way. The last book that I read of that ilk was East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It is hard to explain why this book impacted me so much, so maybe you ought to go try it out yourself?

3. If you could meet any writer - dead or alive - who would it be? And what would you want to know?
I'm afraid I must answer this the way many of the booktubers that I follow have been - I am not really one to want to meet my idols. And if I did meet them, I probably would have no idea what to say to them. I have met my favourite author - Juliet Marillier - on a few occasions, and had very little to say. I have met Elizabeth Gilbert and mumbled something unintelligible while she signed my book. I have met John Marsden, Christopher Paolini, and come relatively close to meeting Garth Nix a couple of times, and every time I had no idea what to say. 'I love your work' seems so stilted and fake, even when true!

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
It really depends on who you are and how well you know me and my reading tastes. Some people would be surprised to find paranormal romance on my shelves - these are usually the same people that are shocked to find that I read erotica. Some people are shocked to find things other than YA on my shelves, or texts relating to Buddhism or Druidry. I think some people think I spend my time reading literary fiction, and look down my nose upon anything else, which would mean they would be shocked to see I have a whole shelf dedicated to Cardcaptor Sakura manga, DVDs, and figures. It all depends on perspective, I think.

5. How do you organise your personal library?

No, but seriously, I used to organise it when I lived with my parents, and sometimes I would completely reorganise everything. At the moment I have a loose organisation of like with like - I have my aforementioned Cardcaptor Sakura shelf, a shelf for Juliet Marillier books, one for borrowed books, and then... I just group things together loosely other than that. Maybe when I live in a different place and have a little more space I will organise them properly, but it doesn't mean that they are any less loved.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven't got around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
I used to feel terrible about having never read certain classics - particularly things that were the basis for a lot of other stuff, like 1984 by George Orwell. But I have honestly tried and found it too depressing to get through - maybe some day I will manage it.
Books I do intend to get around to when I am feeling it are usually kept together on a shelf for perusal.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
Ah yes, well. I've had quite a few romance novels that have fallen flat for me, and there have been some fantasy that have done the same. I have kept trying and trying to read Dickens but I don't think I am the right person (yet?) to appreciate his work properly.
Last book I DNF'd? The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley. I just couldn't get into it and found it needed a little more editing.

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
Oh all kinds. And it really depends on my mood! I love fantasy, so I am often drawn to that, but I also love romance of all kinds, so that is definitely a draw for me, too. Recently I am loving memoirs and more non-fiction type stuff, too.
I steer clear of horror and anything that includes rape as just 'something edgy' to happen in their book. I can handle violence and gore at times, but horror and creepy stuff is just a good way for me to avoid sleeping for a few weeks.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
I am going to change this to Prime Minister, given that I live in Australia, and I would probably say something by Brene Brown. She has so much insight into humans and I really think our PM could try Daring Greatly.

10. What do you plan to read next?
I am currently reading Black Jade by Kylie Chan, and I have a few other review books to get through, but I am thinking about reading some Sherlock Holmes, or maybe some more books from the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I am craving some Miles.

If you'd like to do this tag, please comment below with your answers or link me to your own post! I would love to know what your answers would be!

And if you have any book tags that you might like me to do in the future, feel free to link me to them, too!

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