The 20 Questions Book Tag

Hi Everyone 

Today I’m doing the 20 Questions Book Tag which I was tagged to do by Hugo at Scientist’s Reading World. The tag was created by Readaholics.

1. How many books are too many books in a book series?

If I’m enjoying the series there can not be too many! I think the trouble is if we’r trying to follow the same characters all of the time, then it can feel a bit repetitiver. I like what fantasy authors like Robin Hobb do, where you can have a series like The Elderling Realm Books that are comprised of series within a larger series, and those sub series can be read independent of one another or if you chose to read all of them you find it builds a fuller picture of the whole. In this way the reader gets the best of all worlds, the world building you love the series for, and a variety of characters who have their own backstories and allow for a wider scope when it comes to the plot.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Love them if the next book is already available

Tolerate them if the next book has a 1 year waiting time

Loathe them if the writer is struggling to complete the next book…think G R R Martin for the Song of Fire and Ice books, or Patrick Rothfuss for the King Killer Chronicle trilogy, book 1 was out in 2007, I loved it, I loved book 2 too but hated the 4 year wait…and 11 years after that book I’m still waiting for book 3 to be published.

3. Hardcopy or paperback?

At home hardcopy, and on the move a paperback or even an e-reader. It’s all a question of how easy they are to 

4. Favorite book?

5. Least favourite book?

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison. A young adult novel said to be a modern retelling of the German fairytale “Tristan and Isolde”

Love triangle due to love potion, and clique teen groupings. Like the cool jock, misunderstood outcast or nerd etc.

This is the only book I’ve read from the author and I rated it 1 star. The plot was all over the place, the characters weren’t compelling and the world building was forgettable. The overall rating on Goodreads is 2.61 and I’ve seen a few people say they loved her other novels but struggled with this one.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

No. It’s an overused trope so unless it’s a 100% necessary for the plot to move forward, I don’t want to see it.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Don’t think I’ve DNF’d recently which is interesting as a couple of years ago I DNF’d quite a few. I think I’m being more intentional about which books I pick up and am taking fewer ‘risks’ when it comes to lining up my next read.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

I want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki.

This book is very popular in Korea and was recommended by a few of the BTS members as a must read.

Baek Sehee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her – what to call it? – depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgemental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends; adept at performing the calmness, even ease, her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting, overwhelming, and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can’t be normal.

But if she’s so hopeless, why can she always summon a desire for her favourite street food, the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?

Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a 12-week period, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions and harmful behaviours that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness.

I loved the sound of this so I reached out to Ros at Scallydandling in May, excitedly telling her that the translated edition would be out on 23 June and Would she be interested in buddyreading it with me. Thankfully she said yes, and I chuffed as I enjoyed my previous buddyread with her, which was The Shadow King. Ros offers brilliant insights and I also reached out to Anne with a Book as she loves Korean fiction too. Unfortunately the price for this translated edition in the US was more than double the price here and we decided on another book to buddyread.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller 

Middle-aged twins who lived in rural isolation until their mother’s death struggle or rebel against adjusting to  ‘civilisation’

This book is so subtle and yet hard hitting, the writing is realistic and beautiful and sometimes brutal too. I think the mundane setting the daily struggles of the twins mean that the narrative is really impactful in showing the reader just how quickly life can change unexpectedly. One decision that can have an incredibly large impact.

It was thought-provoking and I’m definitely going to pick up more from Claire fuller, and have her Swimming Lessons on my radar. 

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Meditations by Marcus Aurelious

I have no idea when this was first published in a format we consider as a published edition but this book is from the year 180

written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. While the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement it is a timeless collection that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers throughout the centuries. 

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

The book that I’m currently reading which is I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, and was published in English on 23 June

12. Favorite author?

I have a favourite author for each genre. Currently, these include Brandon Sanderson for fantasy.Lisa See for historical fiction and Zadie smith for slice of life novels and thought provoking essays.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

At the moment buying, because my book tastes hardly ever align with what my friends read. I we have something we noth want to read then I’d borrow.

For the library a lot of the translated fiction I’m interested in is not available, so I’d borrow what I can but will buy the rest.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

I don’t know if everyone loves it but A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a book I’m starting to dislike by virtue that every time I had tried to start it I found myself not finishing it. Not intentionally either, more like I get a few chapters in while reading other books, and then I just keep reading other books. I think I last tried to read this book was 5 years ago.

A Tale of Two Cities is described as Charles Dickens’s great historical novel, set against the violent upheaval of the French Revolution. The most famous and perhaps the most popular of his works, it compresses an event of immense complexity to the scale of a family history, with a cast of characters that includes a bloodthirsty ogress and an antihero as believably flawed as any in modern fiction. Though the least typical of the author’s novels, A Tale of Two Cities still underscores many of his enduring themes—imprisonment, injustice, social anarchy, resurrection, and the renunciation that fosters renewal.

Perhaps that’s what I struggle with that it is so differentl from his other novels, and I also struggle to understand that it is lauded as the most famous or most popular of his works. I far prefer David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Neither = Tabs 

16. A book you can always reread?

Kiki’s Delivery Service or A Little Prince these are both middle grade books. One translated from the Japanese and the other from the French. They have many differences but also key similarities.These books talk about the importance of loving and living our lives more fully and the importance of self-care and intentionality when it comes to living our lives.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

Absolutely, and sometimes the music enhances the story for me. For example, when I read about afrobeats in Akata Witch I found music from fela kuti and played it when reading. It added an extra dimension

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV= Point of views)

Usually one, unless the scope of the story is so large that it needs multiple PoV, for example in high fantasy novels. 

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

If I’m engrossed it’s a single sitting but more often it’s over multiple days

20. Who do you tag? 

Anne with a Book

V at the Sassy Library Fox

M Jones at Self-Writeousness

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