TGIF (19)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Choose Your Next Read: How do you go about choosing what you read next?

Answer

Although various factors contribute to my decisions as to what I will read next—time restraints, friend recommendations, review requests—in the end, I read what I want to read.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for fantasy, sometimes I remember how much I used to love a particular author, sometimes I just want something happy and light.  I think I get the most out of a book when I am committed to it for the right reasons—not because I feel forced to read it.

TGIF (17)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Feature a favorite book review you’ve written in the past that you feel deserves more love!

Answer

I think Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles deserve a lot more love than they may be receiving.  It’s hard to compete with The Hunger Games trilogy, after all.  So, to spread the word about this fantastic series, I submit to you my review of the first book, Gregor the Overlander.

TGIF (16)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Unexpected Books: Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

Answer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’ve probably said a million times that I was not too excited pre-release about the idea of cyborgs and “Cinderella” getting mashed together.  But this book is amazing! It is exciting, creative, and very human.  I’m sure there aren’t too many people I have to convince, though, since Cinder seems to be well-loved.  Look for my official review Sept. 8.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

I never had anything particular against this book; I was just never intrigued by it.  Even after seeing reviews on several blogs, all I really knew was that it was a fantasy.  And even though fantasy is my favorite genre, that fact alone was not going to inspire me to read it.  The one good thing about waiting so long?  I got to read all three books in a row, since they had all been released!  I will now try reading just about anything Cashore writes.  Review scheduled for Oct. 1.

 

TGIF (15)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Book Olympics: In the spirit of the Olympics, which books would you give the gold, silver, and bronze medals to? It can be from any genre, new or old.

Answer

I admit that I’m not entirely sure what this question means (room for creative interpretation!), but here are my picks:

GOLD: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

My all-time favorite book. Tolkien put years into writing it, the same way Olympic athletes put years into training. I think all his work paid off!

SILVER: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

A haunting and lyrical debut.  I think we can expect more great things from Morgenstern.

BRONZE: Olympig! by Victoria Jamieson

A humorous picture book about the endearing pig Boomer. Our hero enters the Animal Olympics (in which athletes can compete in every event!) with a lot more spirit than talent.

       

TGIF (13)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Best I’ve Read So Far: We’re half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you’ve read so far this year?

Answer

I’ve read about 90 books so far this year (some were picture books, so this isn’t necessarily as impressive as it sounds), and only 7 have gotten five stars on my Goodreads page.  So, the best this year include:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (review)
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer (review to come)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (An obvious choice since it’s one of my favorite books.  Review to come during our L. M. Montgomery event starting July 8)

TGIF (12)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Cast Your Own Story: If you could use existing characters from some of your favorite books to create a new story, who would be in it?

Answer

This is an interesting question, and a tough one, because my favorite characters come from very disparate genres, and I’m not sure what they would do when they all met each other, or even what kind of world I could put them in.  Half the book would consist of most of them wandering around marveling at technology, or the lack of it, or at each other’s clothing, etc.  This is because some of my favorite characters include:

  • Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • Walter Blythe from Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery
  • Legolas and Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Sir Gawain from…various medieval stories
  • Asher Lev from My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

I suppose half of them could get along if they could just find a common enemy to fight.  And The Lord of the Rings characters could understand a medieval one.  The others, however, seem quite like pacifists.  This would certainly be one strange book!

TGIF (11)

TGIF is a meme hosted weekly at GReads! that allows bloggers to answer a book-related question and to recap their reading week!

Question

Issue Books: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

Answer

On the surface, The Lord of the Rings might not seem to tackle “tougher” issues at all.  After all, none of the characters deals with substance abuse or cancer or domestic violence–the sorts of issues we have come to associate with that phrase, as well as with our society.  However, the book does have a lot to say on those sorts of issues we all face everyday–sacrifice, faith, trust, friendship, loss, redemption, and dying.  Tolkien never gives an overt message, but his philosophy is clear both in the way his characters live and in the way his world works.  When I need comfort, when I need hope, when I need strength, I always look to The Lord of the Rings.

I haven’t even finished the series, but followers of this blog know how impressed I already am with Suzanne Collins’s Underland series.  She addresses poverty, war, prejudice, violence, all sorts of big themes–and she’s writing children’s books!  Collins proves kids can handle these sorts of things (after all, many of them already do, in real life) if they are addressed in a mature manner.  She’s sensitive and real, and her audience responds.  Here’s my review of the first book in the series, Gregor the Overlander.

The Children of Húrin is, in many ways, a difficult book.  At the beginning, Morgoth, the terrible enemy of Middle-earth, curses Húrin and his family.  This shadow follows them throughout their lives and they never seem able to escape it.  Worse, Eru (God) seems to allow it.  For a long time, I didn’t understand.  Then I began reading David’s posts on The Children of Húrin over at Lantern Hollow Press and I saw how Eru never abandoned Húrin’s family, even in their darkest hour.  The story is wonderful treatment of how we can fail to see the big picture and begin to lose faith.