Book Courtship Tag

I was tagged once again by MageChild – this is the Book Courtship Tag! This one required some thinking on my part, as I wanted to limit my responses to books I’ve read in the past two years.


1.) Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?

tbs-aussie-coverThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner – I bought this a couple years ago, and have finally started reading it this month. It’s REALLY good, ya’ll. The writing is superb, especially for YA (not saying anything against YA, but those books are harder for me to get into). It’s just a really engaging, beautifully done book with good characters – which matches the stunning cover perfectly. For those who don’t know, the premise is basically “Titanic in space,” and leads to a sci-fi romance between an underdog soldier and the richest girl in the galaxy.

2.) First Impressions: A  book that you got because of the summary?

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski– When I discovered the niche of postmodernism, House of Leaves was title that kept cropping up. The premise – a house that’s bigger on the inside and the family that it torments, all written in a topsy-turvy experiment of typography – intrigued me incredibly. Thank goodness it did not disappoint. House of Leaves was about everything I expected it to be and everything I wanted.

3.) Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?

Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov – This book is so complex and confusing that I can barely tell what’s going on in it. But I don’t care, because Nabokov’s beautiful, unusual, synesthetic prose is so lovely to read. He describes people in a particularly interesting way, always focusing on the most obscure and sometimes unflattering aspects of their physical appearance, while still making them charming. I have a few works of Nabokov on my shelf, not because I really care about the Russian chronicles he writes about, but because maybe immersing myself in his talent will rub off on me. Whenever I feel like my style is suffering, I open one of his  anthologies and work through a few short stories. It’s just a nice reminder of this is how it’s done.

4.) First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

Divergent by Veronica Roth – I haven’t actually read Insurgent or Allegiant yet, but I think Divergent did a good job of introducing an interesting world with enough questions to keep the reader moving through the series. Honestly though, I found out that some of the questions were just there as bait and ended up with rather unsatisfying answers, so that’s put me off finishing the series. I….tend not to support books that do this to their readers. There are better ways to build suspense.

63345.) Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This book had a lot of intrigue. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit of a let down after all that build-up.

6.) Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn– Rarely does a book hit me in the face with some real-life observations and cause me to reevaluate my life, but man. Gone Girl called me out on so many problematic things I did on a daily basis, from trying to please everyone to judging other women for being “bitchy”. Amy pulled me in with her first 100 pages with that likeable persona of hers, and when she proceeded to call me out for going along with it…man. Gillian Flynn is brilliant. That is all.

7.) Getting Physical: A book which you lolovecraftleatherve the way it feels/looks?

H.P LoveCraft – The Complete Fiction– Any of these Barnes and Noble collectors editions are beautiful, with their gold-leafed pages and leather bound covers. The H.P Lovecraft one is especially pretty, as the nebula on the front is foiled and sparkly. The pages have a nice weight to them too. These anthologies are the best looking things I have on my shelf.

8.) Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin – I had to think hard about a book that is “for everyone”, and really, there’s no such thing. But I think this book has a message that everyone ought to hear, and does a good job of offering multiple perspectives on a very sensitive issue. Plus, if I’m asked to recommend something, I like offering indie/small-press books over mainstream novels, as word of mouth is so much more important to those without a PR team and NYT bestseller buzz.

9.) Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – This series was my first fandom, sparked my first fanfic, and I am still stoked about the (potential) movie that’s stuck in perpetual pre-production. Colfer is an amazing writer and the entire cast of characters in Artemis Fowl will stick with me forever. Especially Holly – one of the best female characters ever put to page.

10.) Share the love:

Any takers can leave their responses in the comments or do it on their own blog ;) Read any of the books on this list? Agree or disagree?

The “To Be Read” Shelf Quiz!

I am really feeling the love this week! Another interesting survey that I was tagged in. Maybe it’ll give some insight into how my crazy brain reads ;) This one comes to me from Alicia of Cyborg Knights.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I have a Goodreads for books that people randomly recommend to me that look interesting. I have my Amazon Wishlist as well, particularly because I have Kindle Unlimited now (and I can only have 10 books on my shelf for that at one time. Boo. So the wish list is overflow!). I also have a physical “to be read” shelf at home, where I keep books that are next in line for me to read.

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

Goodreads can go either way. My Amazon Wishlist is mostly ebook though.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

This is probably the most interesting question for me. I try to read from three different books every month – a nonfiction book that helps me research my writing in some way, a modern book that gets me in touch with “what’s out there,” and a classic that rounds out my literary cred. This month is a little weird, because I’m reading three modern pieces – The Martian, The Maze Runner, and JJ Abram’s S. But next month will The Encyclopedia of Demons as my research piece, probably House of Leaves as my modern piece, and The Complete H.P. Lovecraft as my classic. Spooky selections for October!

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

Probably the Bible, to be quite honest. I’ve been trying to get through that thing since I was six and still haven’t. You might also throw in Dune, American Gods, and Paradise Lost. I’ve wanted to read all of those for a long, long time.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

I bought Gail Z. Martin’s Deadly Curiosities at the used bookstore, because it takes place here in Charleston and I will see Gail at AtomaCon in November! I added The Girl On The Train to my Amazon Wish List last week and Throne of The Cresent Moon to my Goodreads most recently.

A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover?

These Broken Stars was brought because of its cover. (Although I did check the reviews first.)

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

There are probably several. Anything that’s been spoiled by a person or a movie adaptation becomes low priority. At this point, I will probably never bother reading The Hunger Games.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

The Heroes Reborn novellas. YES. I believe they start coming out on Thursday.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

A Game of Thrones. I like the show, ya’ll. But I have no need to know the complete history of Westeros right now.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

People don’t recommend books to me very often. But one friend really wants me to read The Iron Druid Chronicles.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Man, there are so many. I’ve been dying to read all my October selections for awhile. But scrolling through Goodreads reminded me how much I want to read Severence, which is a short story book about the last thoughts of severed heads; God’s War, which is a sci-fi book on a semi-Muslim planet by the amazing Kameron Hurley; Wool, by my fellow CofC grad Hugh Howey; and Cosmicomics, a brilliantly themed short story collection by Italo Cavino.

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?



Since I already tagged a bunch of people a few days ago, I won’t bother with that today. I extend this tag to anyone who wishes to participate.

And in personal project news, I officially have my 10 betas all signed on. Woot! I also finished my read-through of Paradisa and now I have 270 comments to clear up in the next two weeks. Eek. Well, I’ll do the best I can in that time and we’ll see how much I get done.

Have a good day!