12th April marks my birthday and I’m not really one for celebrating it any more, but I like to do a couple of small things to honour it in some way, especially if it falls on a blogging day. I usually have a birthday book haul which I’ll probably put up later this week, or next week, but today I’m bringing you the Birthday Book Tag.
I’ve seen it in a few places but I think the last time was on @Soph’sBookWorld
Anyway, let’s get onto the questions:
Birthday Cake – a book with a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway.
I must have used a Chesapeake Shores book for the last few book tags I’ve done but I can’t get them out of my head, especially when there’s questions like this. When there’s a whole series of these books and they’re centred around one specific romance in each instalment, you get to know their format and predictability. It’s one of the main reasons I never liked the Romance genre that much but we all know by now that I like this series. Each book has a few minor flaws but for the most part it’s easy going, light-hearted, cosy and quick, perfect for those relaxed days where you don’t want to read something particularly heavy and taxing.
Party Guests – your most anticipated book release for the year
I’ve got most of the books now, the majority of which are actually different from books I talked about in my Blogmas Most Anticipated Releases of 2021, but one that’s the same and is still yet to be released is Witchshadow by Susan Dennard (book 4 in the Witchlands series). I haven’t yet read Bloodwitch but my plan was to read it close to the release of Witchshadow so I had all the details fresh in my mind. The only problem is that it releases in hardback first and all of my editions of the previous books are in paperback so I’m not sure which copy I’ll end up waiting for. Depending on my book buying control, I might be a while until I get to both books.
Birthday Presents – a book that surprised you with how much you loved it.
I was going to say just refer back to the answer for prompt one, but that’s a bit of a cop out. I think I’ll go with a YA Contemporary as I’m not the biggest fan of that genre either, and pick Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. It surprised me how quickly I flew through this book, completely captivated by Wing Jones as a character, and what motivates her to live through the struggle of her brother’s accident and the consequences it will ultimately bring to all involved. Thank goodness for the first Northern YA Lit Fest in 2018, where I first met Katherine Webber otherwise I would never have picked this up.
“Happy Birthday” Song – a book that certainly deserves all the hype it gets
I am rather intimidated by classic fantasy, or the books that everyone says you must read if you’re fan of fantasy. Having been put off by The Hobbit at least four or five years ago now, which I didn’t like that much, I thought I’d never read The Lord of the Rings but I listened to the first book as an audio dramatisation towards the end of last year and liked it. I do want to properly read the books in their paperback form but even from the audio I can see why it is such a classic. I’m glad I waited until now to properly read them as I feel like I can enjoy and appreciate them more. I might even watch the films at some point.
Happy Music – a book with some very beautiful and truly meaningful quotes
I’m sure there are many but the only one that jumps to my mind is The Wisdom of Call The Midwife: Words of inspiration from the sisters and midwives of Nonnatus House, because that’s exactly what it is. A book full of dialogue and quotes from the BBC series. I’m always in awe of the writing of this show and the varying storylines it tackles, so to have that writing in book form is really nice to have.
Just one example of the quotes included in this book:
“Sometimes one small gesture can give us the strength to do enormous things. A little generosity can unleash great tenderness, leading in time to deep, real love. And a single conversation can change a mind, a life. The world is no bigger than the people who inhabit it. And together, or alone, we are closer than we know. “
Getting older – a book that you read a long time ago but you think you would appreciate more if you read it as a more mature reader.
There are a few that come to mind but one that sticks out is White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It was an important required reading text for a final year language culture module, and I just didn’t get it. I also had to read it a lot more quickly than everyone else due to screw up between my departments and I think the panic it induced affected my read, analyse and understand it. I can actually vividly remember the panic attack it gave me trying to read and catch up with the couple of weeks I’d missed – the first and only time I’ve ever experienced that. Getting to the point, I’ve had a niggling desire to re-read White Teeth for a while. I’m more aware of what my literary fiction tastes are like as well as my understanding of Zadie Smith’s commentary and all the varying links that run through the book.
Sweet Birthday Memories – a book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life.
I can’t just choose one book for this question. I have three, The Starless Sea, Muse of Nightmares, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January, and they’re the three books I read last February-early March before lockdowns and COVID restrictions came into force. I was also in those first few raw months of grieving after my grandfather died and I needed something magical, to be swept away to lyrical worlds far beyond the reach of reality because I couldn’t deal with everything it doled out all at once. These three books gave me that and much more. In the hours I was reading, I could forget what was happening and be surrounded by fantasy and magic. Because of that and the content of the books, they mean a lot to me. They are included in my most favourite books of all time and I’ll always be happy and grateful to have read them when I did.
And on that note is where this tag ends. I’ll now be off to eat some cake, get some birthday reading in, knit/crochet and generally chill out.
As always, thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!