New York Times “By the Book” Tag

This is my first ever book Tag. Like. Ever. So you’ll just have to forgive me in advance for my lack of panache. What can I say? I’m pretty basic (in other words, I keep thinking I’m going to figure out all this stlylin’ stuff for the blog, but I can barely get my reviews typed up half the time, but I digress…). Basic.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I don’t have a literal nightstand. Well, ok…I do, but I don’t have any books there right now. Because slump. Or rut. Or depression. Or whatever. But I do sort of have a book going at the moment, so I’ll say Faithful by Alice Hoffman because it’s the book I’m sort of in the middle of right now (finishing it tomorrow. Seriously. I AM.).

What was the last truly great book you read?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was amazing. It’s a story that needed to be told right now, and her approach was thoughtful and sensitive. And the writing felt effortless.

If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to know?

No thought required. J.R.R. Tolkien. Period. End of story. He is my literary love and that is all. I’d actually love to take him to the LOTR and Hobbit movies and see what he thinks.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Huh. Well, if you really knew me IRL, none of them, but maybe the various Bibles and religious books. Because I’m agnostic. But I’m still interested in the topic of religion, and I want to understand the belief systems of others, so I read about all of them.

How do you organize your personal library?

Typically, I’m pretty basic about this – alphabetical by author. Sometimes I’ll separate hardbacks from paperbacks. I always separate fiction and non-fiction. But we moved house in July, and it took forever to get my bookcases up and so I just threw the books up there. And I haven’t gotten around to organizing them yet. Which is bugging me. But not enough to do anything about it right now.

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?

So. Many. But I’ll go with Dune by Frank Herbert. I’ve been meaning to read it since I was a kid. One of my dad’s favorite books and I have several friends who are very passionate about it and have begged me to read it. And I can see it every time I sit down on the couch.

But it looks like a long read and something about the cover makes me think Mad Max, which I loved as a movie when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t want to read a book about. And I’m sure that isn’t at all what Dune is like, but I’ve thought that for so long, that I can’t seem to pick it up.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like, but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

My most recent super-disappointing read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’m fully prepared to be slayed for that because the love for it is so big, but it was so over-hyped. Never connected, never shed a tear. I made myself finish it. And it never got better.

The last book I put down without finishing was Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. Which makes me feel horrible because I love Atwood and I was so excited to get it, but I just couldn’t get into it. Not sure if it was me or the book, but I’ll try again somewhere down the road. Because it’s Atwood.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I love lots of conflict, lots of emotion, other worlds, other dimensions, great love stories, paranormal, dystopian, vampires, werewolves, fae, strong and compelling YA stories…the list goes on.

I avoid westerns and Harlequin style romances and Christian fiction. Just not my thing.

If you could require the President to read one book, what would it be?

Oh, man. I had to think about this for awhile. Go serious or let the man relax for a second? But I’m going with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Because it was so jarring to me, as a woman, to think about a future that completely stripped women of their agency, their freedom, their sense of self. When we start eating away at women’s rights, ownership of their whole body, the ability to choose for themselves, the future in The Handmaid’s Tale is the one I always envision and it’s terrifying.

What do you plan to read next?

Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn is up next.


Well, that was fun! Thanks to Bai over a The Heathen for tagging me!

Not sure who all to tag, but if you’re interested, jump in. It’s actually a lot of fun!


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