I have been tagged by the illustrious Elizabeth Hyde @Trivialities for the Bookworm Tag! I am very grateful for this, because tags are generally faster to execute than regular posts, and the time is just NOT HERE this week, so… yup.Hopefully I can come up with some marginally entertaining responses to her lovely questions, but we shall have to see.
On to said questions!
Excluding Lewis and Tolkien, what is a book you think of as a truly solid book?
Son, what a question.
THERE ARE SO MANY AND YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST TALK ABOUT ONE??
I am already overthinking this because when you use the word “solid” it makes me feel like it needs to be something kind of on the longer side, like the book itself is brick-shaped. Like, Crime and Punishment is more solid than The Giver, by virtue of being denser…that makes sense, right?
But I don’t think that’s what you meant by the question.
Well, I think that I am going to say The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, because it’s kind of brick-shaped? Also it’s just really, really good. The characters are engaging and quirky, the plot is twisty and exciting, the world-building is compelling and creepy, the parallels are subtle yet striking, and the writing is simple and effective without being mundane. Yup. Solid.
Who is a character who deserves a better book to inhabit?
OH, but there are SO MANY. It’s a travesty, really. I get sad just thinking about it… Can we have a moment of silence for all the poor characters who got stuck in the wrong books, please?
*doffs cap and looks somber for five seconds*
I’m going to have to go with Peet the Sock Man from the Wingfeather Saga, only because the books killed his character arc. MURDERED it. I have strong feelings about this, folks. HE DESERVES SO MUCH BETTER. (And so does Kalmar…but we aren’t talking about Kalmar, because at least he got a decent character arc.)
What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?
I’ve actually read quite a few excellent books this year…there are too many to choose from. Which is a good problem to have, I guess?
It’s kind of a toss-up between Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and The Wanderer by Sharon Creech.
I’m sort of disappointed than none of those are fantasy.
What’s something that happens in books that you wish would happen in real life?
…People getting to live in libraries? I dunno, I’m sure there are cooler things, but I can’t think of any right now. Most of the things that happen in books that I enjoy reading about are not the same things that I wish would happen to me, truth be told. Such as people becoming secret agents or getting kidnapped by fairies.
Okay, but actually I wish that I would find magical lands in the backs of wardrobes. I know that’s a very cliche answer, but it’s quite true.
What book do you wish you could read again for the first time, knowing absolutely nothing about it?
Hm…I don’t know? The best kinds of books just get better with rereads, so…hm.
Maybe When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead? Then I could get a second chance to see the plot-twist coming that EVERYONE ELSE saw from a mile away. (I kind of take pride in being able to predict plot-twists, so…this was a tad humiliating.)
But I also sometimes wonder what it would be like to read The Lord of the Rings for the first time again?
Has the library ever grievously failed you? How so?
I don’t know about grievously, but it is rather awful when you are reading a series and the library stops buying the books about halfway through and leaves you stranded. It’s also aggravating when they have books 1 and 3 of a series, but not book 2, which happens much more often than it should.
Were there any books that traumatized you as a young child?
Hm, well, yes.
Have you ever read What Was I Scared of? by Dr. Seuss? That one was kind of nightmarish. (The dancing pants! Terrifying!)
There are probably others, but that’s the one that popped into my mind.
Are there any tropes that are likely to make you like a book even if it falls short in other aspects?
Well, of course there’s the gunslinger dad trope, which I wrote a whole blog post about, so it must be important to me.
And the neglected-child-finds-family-and-food trope is also one I am a huge sucker for.
Also I am rather partial to the trope where the protagonist has a really complicated relationship with the antagonist because they are either a parent or a sibling or a really close friend or something…
When is the last time you can remember laughing out loud while reading?
Actually, I am pretty sure I laughed out loud while I was reading the book I just finished, which is The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root by Christopher Pennell. Probably due to squashes. It was just my kind of humor, apparently.
“Of course,” said the rat. “Fenny and I had to have someone to play the drum.”
“The squash plays the drum?” asked Carly.
“No, not really,” the rat replied with a sigh.The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root, p. 6
(This isn’t the actual part where I laughed out loud, but it’s an example of squash-related humor nonetheless.)
What’s a historical era or event you would like more books about (be they novels of historical fiction, historical fantasy, alternate history, etc.)?
I wish I had retained more from my history classes so that I could give an interesting and obscure answer to this question.
Eh, I once thought that I was going to write a story about the princes in the tower (which would be 15th century) and now that I know that’s not going to happen I would be quite pleased if someone else did it for me. 🙂 I generally like the idea of taking sort of mysterious historical events and speculating about them in fiction.
Okay, there you have it. One of these days I will actually tag other people for things, but it is not this day.
Thanks again to my dear sister Elizabeth Hyde for the questions!
What is the best book you’ve read so far this year? Which tropes do you have a weakness for? What is a historical event that you want to read more fiction about? I would love to hear your answers to any of Elizabeth’s lovely questions in the comments!