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

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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