Bookshelf Tag

So I was nominated to do this “Bookshelf Tag” by Sabrina over at Books and Bark. She has a lovely blog, and I hope my bookshelf tag will be as interesting as hers. No guarantees though XD

THE RULES:
Answer the following questions about books, and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.

All photos courtesy of Amazon.com with the exception of Tooth Fairy.

1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

It took me a while to think of a book that I avoided on the sole basis that it would make me sad.  I avoid sad movies like the plague because I have very strong emotions.  I don’t typically avoid sad stories though.  Not sure how that works XD  A few years ago I bought Watership Down, and I’ve been hesitant to read it because I’ve heard from everyone that it’s really sad.  It is still sitting on my bookshelf, unread.  Maybe I’ll read it in the future.

Watership Down

There are a few other stories that I’m reluctant to reread because they are so sad.  One of them is a short story Flowers for Algernon.  I’ve read it twice, once when I was 13 and then again as assigned reading for high school.  It’s a poignant story and really tugs at your heart.  I would recommend it.  It’s sci-fi because it uses medical technology not in existence.  The other would be The Last Unicorn.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I get so sad and depressed after reading it, but I do.  I have not reread either of those stories for a long time, even though I love them dearly, because I know how sad they will make me.

2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

This is another hard question XD  I have read horror, sci-fi, and literature.  I don’t think there was one book that got me into the sci-fi or literature genre.  And my sci-fi phase started at 15 years old, so I’m a bit fuzzy on how my love of that genre began.  If I remember correctly, it was a book of sci-fi shorts that my dad had for college, maybe.  I was forced to read literature for school, so that makes it hard to pin down the one book that got me into it.

I do remember what got me into the horror genre, and that was Goosebumps.  I remember the first book I read, Say Cheese and Die by R.L. Stine.  I was 7 or 8 at the time.  As a kid I loved the horror genre.  Unfortunately, I grew out of that series and wanted to read R.L. Stine’s more mature horror stories.  The first book I read in Stine’s YA category talked about black magic, and I asked my mom what it was, and she banned me from reading it because she said it was witch craft.  That rule was applied to all of Stine’s YA books.  I haven’t read any horror books since.  I have a few Stephen King novels that I bought but haven’t read yet.

Goosebumps Say Cheese and Die

3. Find a book that you want to reread.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  I’ve read it like 3-4 times, but I want to read it again already XD  I’ve already gone into lengthy details about why I love this book so much.  If you’d like to read my opinion on it here is a link to that post: Book Review of The Road.

The Road

4. Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn’t?

If I don’t like a book I stop reading, but there was one book I hated and was forced to read for high school English, Lord of the Flies.  I really did not like that book.  I would have stopped if I was reading it of my own volition.  Even if I don’t like a book, I try to find some redeeming quality about it, but I couldn’t with this one.  Maybe as an adult I could, but 15-year old me did not enjoy it.
Lord of the Flies

I guess the other one is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.  I think the problem is that I went in with the mindset that it would be a fun read.  This was during my sci-fi phase, and I had read one of his famous short stories “Harrison Bergeron,” and so I expected Slaughterhouse Five to be similar.  Slaughterhouse Five was very dark and anti-war.   It’s also told with non-linear narrative, so it was confusing.  It made me hate humanity for a few days.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone because all humans including myself were disgusting.  I just wanted to curl up in my bed and wake up once that feeling had passed.  Part of me wonders if I would get more out of it as an adult.  I read it at 17 years old.  But the other part of me is scared that I’ll start hating humanity again if I read it.  From what I remember, the point of the book was to showcase humankind’s repugnant nature as it relates to war, and Vonnegut succeeded in that aspect.

Slaughterhouse Five

5. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

Okay, this is going to make me sound really old.  I’m pretty sure if a fire was raging in my house I would not run back in to get anything but a pet or family member.  I’m a really cautious person, and I don’t like taking chances.  Hypothetically, if I were to go back inside the house I would run in and grab my old photo albums.  The ones that were created before digital cameras.

6. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

The Last Unicorn brings back fond memories.  I watched the movie many times as a kid, and then read the book as a teenager.  It reminds me of the little girl I was back when I thought unicorns really existed.  Then as a teen I thought perhaps I was a unicorn in another life XD  I’m Christian, so I don’t believe in reincarnation, but for a few months it was a fun idea to play around with.

The Last Unicorn

Also, the Chronicles of Narnia brings back fond memories.  I had the whole set as a kid, but I don’t have it now :/  Many of my books went into storage, and it was flooded so they were all destroyed ;_____;

7. Find a book that has inspired you the most.

In regards to writing inspiration, The Road changed my perspective on fiction and elevated it to an art form.  I had never read anything so lyrical and haunting.  I knew I wanted to write just like Cormac McCarthy after reading it.  Unfortunately, I will never be Cormac McCarthy, no one will.  He reminds me in many ways of a modern day Faulkner.

I really love Timothy Findley’s novel, Headhunter, because the line between reality and psychosis was blurred.  That book had a strong effect on me as well.  I think I was trying to accomplish something similar with the suicide story I wrote.  My character doesn’t have schizophrenia, but he’s dying so his thoughts get stranger, and I wanted to create this feeling where the reader isn’t quite sure what’s happening.  Not sure if I succeeded, but that was my intent XD

Margaret Atwood is also an inspiration as she writes lyrical prose and also manages to create really engaging stories.  The first book of hers that I read was Cat’s Eye.  I think the most common complaint people have about literature is that it’s boring.  Atwood goes against the literature stereotype.  She also creates really awesome female protagonists.  I feel inspired by her stories because I want to write entertaining literature and/or fantasy with poetic prose.

8. Do you have any autographed books?

Nope.

9. Find the book that you have owned the longest. 

Okay, I’m too old for this XD  My mom has most of my childhood books.  I took a few of my favorites.  I think the Tooth Fairy might be the one I remember the most.

Tooth Fairy

10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy? 

I’m having a hard time with this one. . .  I don’t usually read a book if I don’t think I would enjoy it XD  Actually the book I’m reading now, October Light, is one that I tried to read 4 years ago.  The same friend that recommended The Road also suggested this book.  This friend is an amazing writer, so I trusted her judgement and still do.  Years ago, I read a few pages and was not interested.  Then I went on to buy more of McCarthy’s books and read them instead XD  No, I don’t have an unhealthy obsession with McCarthy’s stories, why do you ask? :$

This year I decided to broaden my horizons and try it again.  I’m actually enjoying it now.  I think the biggest problem for me was that I didn’t like the characters.  It’s about a brother and sister that are in their 70s, and they get into a fight.  Now that I’m over 200 pages into the book I kind of like the characters.  They have some redeeming qualities, and I find myself rooting for both of them.  I enjoy his prose as well.  It’s not as poetic as McCarthy’s, but it’s beautiful in it’s own way.  I have another book of Gardner’s, Grendel, that I would like to read.

October Light

***

The people I nominate for the Bookshelf Tag are:

1. Silver Linings and Dust Bunnies

2. Storiform

3. Silent Spells

4. Writes and Responsibilities

5. Justina Luther

 

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17 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tag

  1. Your answers were so interesting! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I remember I enjoyed Goosebumps when I was young and I also need to read The Road! And thank you for tagging me. ❤

  2. I really liked this. I read watership down in school, very sad. I liked Lord of the Flies, also read in school, but I can see how many wouldn’t. I watched The Last unicorn continuously as a child growing up, it was so amazing. I didn’t even realize it was a book ever, so now I will have to check that out. Flowers for Algernon has been one of my all time favorite books, so sad. I liked The Road but I think I will only read it once. I don’t know if I will read anymore of his books, his writing style is strange to me. I don’t know. If I do it will be the horse one I think. I liked goosebumps as a kid but our teacher said we weren’t allowed to read them during reading time because they weren’t written well enough. Hmph, I thought they were fine. She ended up leaving the teacher profession and becoming a librarian which made sense because she adored books.

    • I don’t know how I found out “The Last Unicorn,” was originally a book. Once I did I had to buy it! The book goes into some more detail that the movie omitted. He also wrote a short story sequel to The Last Unicorn called, The Line Between: http://www.amazon.com/The-Line-Between-Peter-Beagle/dp/1892391368/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1408772888&sr=8-5&keywords=Peter+S.+Beagle

      I’m not going to lie, it’s really sad. I cried after finishing it, and I never reread it. I won’t say anymore than that because I don’t want to spoil it for you 😉 I think “Lord of the Flies” is a classic. It was well-written, I just didn’t like it. I convinced a friend to read “Flowers of Algernon” recently and it also reduced her to tears. It’s such a beautiful story. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. McCarthy’s writing style is very distinct. It’s totally okay if you don’t like it :P. I read, “All the Pretty Horses.” Story-wise it was okay. McCarthy’s “The Crossing” is more engaging, but it’s really sad. It’s angst without hope. I don’t know if I could read it again. It’s part of “The Border Trilogy,” which just gets more depressing with each novel. I’m not against reading books for fun. I think people should be able to read whatever they want. “Goosebumps” isn’t high-brow literature, but not everything in life has to be serious business.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂 I love talking about books, especially with someone else that loves the same ones I do, lol.

  3. I’ve just gotten the ebook for the Last Unicorn and am going to get ‘The Road’ as well! I love your answers 🙂 I’m currently in my sci-fi and dystopian phase, as I just grew out of fantasy!

    • I love sci-fi! Margaret Atwood writes some dystopian sci-fi although she prefers to call it speculative fiction. Oryx and Crake is one of my favorite Atwood books, and it’s an interesting one. There are three books in the series. The first two (Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood) are talking about the same event but from completely different viewpoints. The third one is about the aftermath of the “world-ending event.” You can read the first part for free on Amazon to see if it’s something you might like: http://www.amazon.com/Oryx-Crake-Margaret-Atwood/dp/0385721676/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408779251&sr=8-1&keywords=oryx+and+crake

      Then there are the classic sci-fi dystopian novels, Brave New World, 1984 (another one of my favorites), Fahrenheit 451. My favorite out of those three is 1984, then Fahrenheit 451, and then Brave New World. I think the reason I liked 1984 so much was the message it sent. It was bone-chilling.

      I hope you like The Road, but some people don’t. On Amazon it has 4/5 stars with 3,000+ reviews so there are quite a few people that don’t like it XD You’ll know pretty fast if it’s a style that meshes well with your tastes. They made it into a movie too. The Last Unicorn is a timeless fantasy story. I still love it 🙂 My sister loves it too!

      • *frantically jots down the names of all the books*
        Speculative fiction or sci-fi, I have a feeling I might like her books. But then again, I might not either.
        I just read the teaser.
        Aaah, I want to read it! I guess i’ll have to wait because of some protests going on near the library and bookshop. It’s terrible and I’m literally starving for new books to read.
        I haven’t been able to get to classic sci-fi’s lately. I have a few of H.G Wells books waiting for me ( The War of the Worlds) but I’m finishing Cinder and Cress at the moment.
        I’ve heard some amazing things about 1984 as well.
        3000+ reviews and it’s rating is still 4. Wow – I have to say that’s amazing. My sister loves all the books I do. I know she does, but she pretends that she hates the books that I love the most. Sisterhood I guess? 😀 We wouldn’t be sisters if she didn’t do that. 🙂

      • I giggled out loud as I read the part about your sister. Are you the older or younger one? I’m the older sister, and my little sister is 1.5 years younger. We’re best friends now (both of us in our late 20s and married), but it wasn’t always like that. . . lol. My sister would borrow my books and ruin the covers. That used to upset me XD Now I don’t really care.

        I actually started reading The War of the Worlds. I don’t know if I actually read the whole thing since it’s been a while. I got the book after seeing the movie. If I remember correctly it’s old, so it’s a bit difficult to read. I think it’s good to read the classics to understand the concepts that made them timeless. From what I remember 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 were easy to read. I love Bradbury and have read several of his stories. Brave New World was required reading for Honors English. There’s a part in there that several boys in our class joked about so much. If you read the book I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m referring to XD. I enjoyed the book though. I have Cinder on my reading list. Looking forward to it 😀

      • I’m actually the older one! About two or three years older, but she pretends it’s only a few months 😛 My sister used to do the same thing to my books. Somehow I’ve been able to talk sense into her now.
        Maybe my sister and me will cherish (*gasps inaudibly*) each other a lot more when we are alot more older XD
        I also watched the book before reading the book ( I know – bad me) but i had no idea that it was even lying around our house. My father must have bought it at some point in time i guess.
        You should really read Cinder – it’s a very nice book, though I found a few faults. As you already know I ADORE dystopia, so i loved it right away. But I was just nitpicking.

  4. Oh, cool! So interesting to see your bookshelf 😀 As you might recall, I read Grendel for school, and it was amazing. I can think of no other way to describe it. 🙂 So sad, and dark, Gardner represented Grendel perfectly. And while the first part was sort of a chore (Grendel just moaned about his life, repeatedly, basically). I want to read more of Gardner’s works… when my TBR shortens from 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles long 😛

    • Well I doubt October Light will be out of print anytime soon XD I’m looking forward to reading Grendel. It’s supposed to be Gardner’s magnum opus. He died of a motorcycle accident pretty young. He would have a lot more books to choose from if he lived 😦 You read books pretty fast XD But I remember being in high school, AP English, and I had lots of assigned reading to do as well. And then the essays, which I hated. I don’t like essays, nope!

  5. This is so cool…I bought The Road last year but couldn’t finish it because I couldn’t get it 😀 Your post definitely makes me want to go back to it because Lord knows I’ve been eyeing it for the past few days wondering if I should pick it up 😉

    • The Road can be kind of hard to read since it’s so stylized. Sometimes if I need help with a book I just google the Cliff Notes XD The story is on Wikipedia too, but it’s not segmented by chapters so you could easily spoil it for yourself that way. They also released it as a movie. It might help to watch the movie first and then read the book. The book is a bit different. The movie cut out several scenes from the book, but it follows the same storyline. I tried to read Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury years ago, and it was too confusing for me at the time. I might pick it up again.

  6. Pingback: Bookshelf Tag | WRITES & RESPONSIBILITIES

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