The Ultimate Book Tag // (Or, More Bookish Opinions)

The Ultimate Book TagI was scrolling through Wonderfully Bookish and I found this amazing tag. I haven’t been tagged but I thought I loved the questions so I thought I would answer it anyway. Let’s get to it.

Do you get sick while reading in the car?

No, I am very lucky in this respect. If I am driving I obviously can’t read, but I love reading on trains just as much. If I take the train into New York City you can bet there’s a book in my bag and that I will have devoured at least a couple of chapters by the time the train arrives.


Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I really like Antonia Hayes’ writing style. She has a bit of a pastoral tone to her first book as a whole but I really liked how she wove science into a family drama in Relativity. She also had a good grasp of each of her characters perspectives.

The chapters were long but I never felt like anything was particularly overwrought. There were scenes that were really technical, but those scenes were in relation to Ethan, the physics prodigy, so it felt like those scenes belonged there.

To me, someone who can command their characters like this is extraordinary. I can’t wait to see what Antonia does next.

Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter wins hands down, and I can give you three points to prove it easily.

First, the bad guys actually do something. They are worthy adversaries and are truly frightening. Aside from the Volturi feasting on unsuspecting tourists, Twilight Saga has nothing on that. Come on, seriously, who follows someone into a dark tunnel?

Second, the story spans multiple generations and has a richer world. I love that there’s a story for the Mauraders and that we got a glimpse of our trio grown up with kids. It’s a world that is really well built and that can be examined and revisited over and over again and I think that each age group takes something different away from th
e story.

Third, no wasted chapters. The Harry Potter Series is well plotted and it is really well thought out. There is not a single chapter wasted.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?

Not in the traditional sense but usually there’s a Kindle in my purse. In there you will also find my wallet, my eyeglass case, and my sunglasses.Maybe even some hard candies.

Do you smell your books?

Not individually but I love libraries and used bookstores for their aroma. If you could bottle it and sell it I feel like it would be the most powerful perfume ever.harry_potter_and_the_sorcerers_stone

Books with or without little illustrations?

I love illustrations in books. I love when artists and authors are able to incorporate other forms of art in writing. For example You Were Here by Cori McCarthy uses illustration and bits of graphic novels to tell the story. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children uses photographs to illustrate the children and their peculiarities.

Oh and let’s not forget the illustrations that accompany each chapter heading in The Harry Potter Series. I love those beautiful illustrations by Mary GrandPré.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

While I was reading it, I did enjoy Twilight,  but progressing into the series I didn’t find that it has the staying power that I had hoped. Maybe teenage hormones were to blame for my brief flirtation with the series, but it certainly isn’t a series that I can see myself revisiting.

That being said, I am not sorry that I read it.

chicken-soup-pet-loversDo you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

I was obsessed with a weather hardbound copy of Peter Pan. This was before I could even read chapter books. I used to tote that thing everywhere and pretend I was reading it. My parents tried really hard to separate me from the Peter Pan book and to get me to read another smaller book, but I liked this version better.

Around ten or eleven years old, I was obsessed with getting a copy of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul. One of the stories was about an appaloosa with no spots. We live in a town where we see horses pretty regularly and for years, I would point to a spotted horse and ask if it was an appaloosa. No one ever really knew the answer as we drove by.

What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I don’t know off the top of my head but it’s either a play or one of the poetry collections. I think the page count on these is around a hundred pages.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

I think it’s Anna Karenina. I am determined to read that tome one day. Although, since it is Russian literature, I may have the wrong translation. I need to check on that.

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I like to think that I do. I used to write a lot growing up and I still have the desire to write a book. I have many ideas that I am trying to research and develop and hopefully one day soon I will have a completed manuscript.

When did you get into reading?

I started reading when I was young and I always liked books, but I got into book blogging the summer before my junior year of college. I started a blog that fell by the wayside as I started doing more school work, essay writing, and reading.

Four years later, I found that I missed that experience so I started this blog. Between my desire to read more and the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge I thought that I could get a good chunk of the books I had been wanting to read off my shelf and at the same time broaden my reading palette.

In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Oh yes! I loved Language Arts and English. It was my favorite subject. Why do you think  I chose a college where writing skills were basically a requirement. I held a record in one teacher’s class for filling three or four journals over the course of the year.

What is your favorite classic book? castle

What canon are we talking here? I have a few classic books that I love, but I have to say Jane Eyre and Frankenstein are two of my favorite classics.

As a more contemporary classic, but I really love We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It was a book I picked as part of my thesis on Gothic heroines and  it’s a book that I will never forget because it weaves magic and superstition together so well with the tale of two isolated sisters. I highly recommend the book. I also think that I will forever be enamored with the idea of shrine of preserve jars.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I don’t know. Mostly because I don’t normally gets books as gifts. I typically get a lot of gift cards with which to buy books.

What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

For those who like magic, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman is a cool series.This series just came out and I am fortunate enough to have read a review copy.

It’s the story of a woman named Irene who works for The Library as a librarian. Her job is to traverse alternate universes and histories and collect important manuscripts.

This is the first book in the series and it has a lot of similar tones to Harry Potter. A librarians most powerful weapon is their language and some of the universes are magically inclined.

What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

Irregularity of my posts. I try to post at least once a week, but I am also trying to make sure I bring you guys quality content.

I write for Tell-Tale TV and I am trying to freelance on the side so sometimes my reading time gets a little squandered. That’s why at the end of the month I post round-ups of reviews, the places my work has appeared in the previous month.

the_girl_with_all_the_giftsWhat is your favorite word?

Do I have to pick just one? Isn’t that a bit like asking me if I have a favorite child? How about a list of a few of them: herringbone, epitome, wrecked, venomous, serpentine, obelisk, sanguine.

Favorite phrase, from The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey: “like a bag of pissed off cats.”

Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Oh I am definitely a nerd.

Vampires or Fairies? Why?

I really don’t know. I think I would have to say fairies because I think they are more mischievous.

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why? 

Depends on the story. I find shapeshifters to be creepier. They add a dose of intrigue to a story simply from the fact that they can change their form or face.

Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Spirits are my pick here. While I love werewolves ghosts and spirits win out because they always have a really interesting story to tell and depending on how old the spirit is and what their past includes. They serve as much more than a scare tact in many stories, including Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.

Zombies or Vampires?

Zombies! Much more terrifying, but then again only if they are fast-moving zombies. I don’t find vampires particularly scary either unless it’s a particular variant of vampire.

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love? 

I can’t pick this one. My thoughts on this particular topic is a blog post in itself.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

I prefer action-filled books with love scenes mixed in. Actually, this question doesn’t even really give a good snapshot of my taste in books because I prefer books that have a great plot and characterization with a bit of romance mixed in.

I find that if all of those things are done well I will enjoy a book that much more.


Published by Lauren Busser

Lauren Busser is a fiction writer and essayist. She is an associate editor at Tell-Tale TV, where she writes about all things tv. She has had fiction appear in five : 2 : one magazine’s #thesideshow and her nonfiction has appeared in Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. You can find her talking about tv, film, and knitting on Twitter @LaurenBusser.

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