Reviews

THE ANIMAL CROSSING NEW HORIZON BOOK TAG

I’ve become addicted to these book tags recently, so once I saw this one at Suzy’s Cozy World I decided to try my hand at it: bookish fun is the best kind of fun after all!

Let’s dive in…

 

PAST VILLAGER: Who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?

That might very well be the lady Jessica, from Frank Herbert’s DUNE: where I was always captivated by the concept of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, I loved how she would defy her training and the Sisterhood’s goals out of love for her mate and her son. Given the time in which the original Dune was written, Jessica represents a breakthrough in the depiction of female characters.

This art concept of Lady Jessica comes from Mindofka at Deviantart.

BLATHER’S BLATHERINGS: Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read.

For this I will need to go back several decades in my reading history and mention the amazing books from Finnish author Mika Waltari, starting with The Egyptian and moving on to The Etruscan and The Roman: although the details of those stories have become quite blurred by time, I remember them as very engrossing reads and as fascinating windows on the depicted cultures.

CELESTE’S WISH: What is a future book release you wish you could read now?

That would be, without doubt, the ninth and final book of The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey: this book has no title yet, nor a publication date, but I’m beyond curious to see how the authors will wrap up this amazing space opera series, although I will be very, very, very sad to bid my farewells to the characters I have come to appreciate and love.

TIMMY & TOMMY: What is your favorite sibling relationship in a book?

Even though they are not related by blood, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, as the only two surviving members of the thieves’ family built by Father Chains, are as close as brothers, not just in spite of their differences but because of them, given that their personalities compensate for each other’s faults. Their ties of brotherhood and the rarely expressed but very strong bond of love between them is one of the best features of their story.

THE EASTER BUNNY: A popular book character that you’re not a big fan of.

I will have to risk the ire of many of my fellow bloggers here but I have to point my finger at Mark Watney from Andy Weir’s The Martian: I found the overall tone in the chronicle of his survival on Mars to be too cheeky and frivolous to really endear the character to me, and while I could understand the need to keep his spirits up in a very dire situation, there was not enough introspection to balance out the flippancy. For once, I found out that the movie was better than the book in this respect…

NOOK’S LOANS: An author you’d give all your money to.

There are several authors on my “automatic buy” list and there are too many of them for me to choose from, so I would find it very difficult to have to play the game of favorites here…

THE SISTERS ABLE: What is your favorite fictional family (found or otherwise)?

This is an easy one: for me THE fictional family is represented by the Fellowship of the Ring – a group of people united by a common goal and becoming closer than family through shared dangers. It’s a theme I encountered often in my reading, but the Fellowship was my very first example and they will always be at the top of my preferences.

IT’S A C+: What is a book trope you don’t like that keeps popping up?

Insta-love and love triangles rate very high in my catalog of tropes that tend to make me run for the hills at high speed, but there is one that annoys me to no end: a main character who looks unassuming and is shortly revealed as gifted with incredible powers, or who transforms from wallflower to hero/heroine practically overnight. What is otherwise labeled as “Mary Sue”…

THE WANDERING CAMEL: What is your favorite book set in a land far away from yours?

I will have to mention Dune again: what could be more fascinating than a world covered in endless deserts and scoured by killer winds, where you have to wear a specially designed suit to reclaim drinking water from your body and where giant worms roam the sands? Dune fired my imagination from the first time I read it, and it still holds a special place in it.

WHAT WOULD DODOS DO?: A fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment?

Middle Earth, of course! And the beauty of it is that I actually could do that, since we all know that it’s located in New Zealand… 😉

Reviews

BOOK TAGS: MY FANTASY BUCKET LIST for WYRD & WONDER 2020

Image by Tanantachai Sirival @ 123RF.com

 

We can always count on our fellow bloggers for inspiration on tags and memes to spice up our posts for this yearly fantasy extravaganza, and this one felt just perfect for me: it was originally posted by Imyril, who in turn was inspired by Dragons and Zombies and Little Book Owl.  Thank you all!

And now for the delightful prompts: I’ve decided to keep to the fantasy world that was my first love and is still the place where I left my heart – JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Every time I re-read the LOTR, The Hobbit or The Silmarillion, it feels like coming home, so I guess that a part of me still dwells there…

 

A fictional world that you would like to tour

One of the joys of reading Tolkien’s works is to look at the maps and follow the characters’ journeys across the land, so a tour of Middle Earth’s most famous locations sounds perfect – well, maybe I would leave Mordor out of the itinerary…. From the Lonely Mountain to the plains of Rohan, with a side visit to Lothlorien; from the ancient realm of Gondor to the safe haven of Rivendell and finally to the Shire, where my long travels would end in the comfortable (and well provided!) Hobbit villages.  I would not mind a visit to the mines of Moria as well, but I would need to be sure that it was not in the middle of the Orc season….

A specific place that you would like to visit

Given that the Elves are famous for their love of knowledge and music and everything gifted with beauty, a sojourn in Rivendell would be perfect: just think, from a book-lover point of view, what Elrond’s library might look like, and what cultural and historical treasures one might find there!

A character that you would like to meet

Gandalf, no doubt about it. The old wizard’s character is such an intriguing mix of wisdom, humor, cunning and gentleness, that a conversation with him would be nothing short of fascinating. And given that with him there is more, much more than meets the eye, I would like to try and inquire about his past and the events, both terrible and wondrous, that he witnessed.

An event you would like to witness

This was a difficult choice: there are so many amazing moments in Tolkien’s legendarium that would be worth a visit, but after some thought I decided for the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum, because with hindsight it’s clear this is one of the pivotal moments in the history of Middle Earth, and one whose consequences would be far-reaching.

A sport/activity you would like to try

Not being very much sports-inclined, this answer might present some problems, particularly because I can’t recall any kind of sport activity ever being mentioned for Middle Earth – that is, unless one takes into consideration the “ramparts shield surfing” we saw a certain Elf practice at Helm’s Deep… 😉

(Although I’m not certain the Professor would have approved)

A weapon you would like to wield

Gandalf’s staff. It’s not exactly a weapon, but it turns out to be very useful in many circumstances as a powerful light or a fire starter, but particularly in Moria when our beloved wizard faces the Balrog with that oh-so-powerful “You cannot pass!!”.

An item you would like to use

The leaf-shaped pins Galadriel gives the Fellowship to tie their cloaks: as with all Elven-made objects they are a thing of beauty and carry with them the gracefulness of those who crafted them.

 

 

Your turn now… 😀

Reviews

The Finished Book Tag

Thanks to Bookforager for tagging me for this interesting meme: much as I love these “get to know us better” tags, I rarely manage to fulfill my role due to a chronical lack of time. These days, however, I am enjoying a brief holiday respite, so what better occasion than to finally get around to enjoy a book tag?  And here we go…

 

Do you keep a list of the books you have read?

Oh, indeed! Being cursed with a sieve-like memory, I need to keep track of what I’ve read so I don’t overtax my struggling memory banks. For some time I kept the list of my yearly readings on GoodReads, but for the past year of so, due to something annoying that happened there, I moved to Library Thing, which looks a bit more efficient, at least from my point of view.

 

 

If you record stats, what stats do you record?

Stats are not something that I take active interest in: the only exception might be at the end of each year, when I list the books I read to see how they are divided between genres and to get an overall score of my ratings, but that’s all.

 

 

Do you give star ratings for books and if so, what do you score books out of and how do you come about this score?

Star ratings are indeed a way to show how much we liked (or disliked) a book, but I’ve always thought that being a graphic representation of a complex set of parameters they are not as flexible as I would like. I’ve been thinking for some time about adding a sort of… recap of my evaluation to the star ratings I place at the bottom of reviews, and will try it out soon to see how that works.

 

 

Do you review books?

Indeed!  😀

 

 

Where do you put your finished books?

Interesting question! I’m glad you asked… 😉
Since I choose to read only ebooks (for a lot of practical reasons), I have also transformed my… well, shelving habits: there is a folder on my computer where I store the current books (my TBR, so to speak) waiting to be downloaded to my e-reader, and there is a dedicated USB drive where I back them up regularly and where, in a separate folder, I place the read books. All in their own folders with the author’s name. Neat, isn’t it?
Granted, if I want to take a peek at a much-loved book, it’s not as easy as taking it out of the book-case, but it’s not all that difficult either, and I also have far less problems with accumulating dust!

 

 

How do you pick your next book?

Mmmm… Much depends on my current mood and/or the level of concentration I can put in a story, so I pick the less demanding ones when I feel tired or I know I will be distracted by other things. Of course any plan can be subverted by the appearance of a much-awaited book on the horizon. In that case I’m totally unable to resist but… who would?

 

 

Do you have any other rituals for when you have finished a book?

Most of my reading happens during the long commute to and from work, so the most likely scenario is that I move from one finished book to the next in line, much as a chain-smoker lights a cigarette with the stub of the old one. With the difference that chain-reading is NOT harmful to our health!

 

And since I firmly believe in… sharing the wonders, I’m tagging a few more fellow bloggers – no pressure, no obligation, but if you can participate I hope you have as much fun as I did with this tag. The lucky winners are (in alphabetical order):

 

the folks at Bilbliosanctum

Tammy at Books, Bones and Buffy

Bookstoge

Sarah at Brainfluff

the Tattoed Book Geek