My Life in Books

I recently stumbled across this “My Life in Books” tag and thought it looked fun and the right level of narcissistic, so I went for it.

  1. Find a book for each of your initials.
  2. Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?
  3. Pick a book set in your city/country.
  4. Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.
  5. Pick a book that’s your favoirte color.
  6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?
  7. Which book did you have the most difficulty with?
  8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

1, Find a book for each of your initials.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingred
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I picked these specific books because they represent different phases on my reading life. Pippi holds beautiful memories of childhood and magic. I thought Pippi was the best character ever written. I went through a phase where I watched every iteration of Pippi I could find and read everything I could.

Ready Player One, although it is a new book, represents a time in my life when I read primarily–almost exclusively–science fiction. Today, I don’t have much time for it. The constructs are contrived and the stories are too unrealistic for me to suspend my disbelief. (That’s not always true, of course. I love Andy Weir’s stuff. I was glad to read Artemis.)

American Gods represents my transition into literary fiction, a place I never thought I would find myself living. Literary fiction seemed too daunting, until recently. I loved genre fiction (and still do), but lately I find myself being pulled in more and more by literary fiction. What kind of monster have I become?!

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?
First a confession: My bookshelves are so disorganized and ugly right now. I will be posting about them in the future. Be on the lookout.

POA

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

I love that this is where I wound up! POA is my favorite Harry Potter novel. I like that it’s an independent story. I love that Voldemort is not in this book. I love Buckbeak and Sirius and the Timeturner construct. I was in the fifth grade when the first three Harry Potters were released in America. I swallowed them whole, well before they were a craze (I’m sipping coffee and wearing plaid as I type this, in case you’re wondering where I rest on the hipster scale) and reread POA more than any of the others. I love it with the same ferocity I did when I was 10.

3. Pick a book set in your city/country.

The Awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Not only is it set in my current state, many of Kate Chopin’s writings are set in the city where I went to college. She lived there for a while, in fact. (Side note: I’m not a huge Awakening fan.)

Which does make me want to hit on the point that I am never afraid to admit when I hate/dislike/want to throw a book. Many readers I know are very kind and say things like “oh, I could never hate a book; the author worked too hard for me to hate it.” No, no. I can hate a book. I can hate it with zeal and fire and passion.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t recommend a book to somebody that I hate, though. I know that not every book is for every person and that they have to come at the right time (see: I Probably Hate your Favorite Book) It just means that I’m not rereading that pile of slop. (Even if it is well-written, beautifully-crafted slop.)

4. Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

I know this book is sad. I know the premise is depressing. But that doesn’t make me want to go to the Alaskan wild any less. It’s like the last remaining frontier that isn’t space. (I’m petrified of space; I didn’t pick Artemis by Andy Weir for this selection for a reason.) Alaska looks beautiful in pictures. It’s still wild, but has pockets of civilization. And it seems quiet and like you can just sit on the couch and read all the time. Sign me up!

5. Pick a book that’s your favorite color.

Love Stargirl

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

If you’ve not read Stargirl or its sequel Love, Stargirl yet, run–don’t walk–to your nearest used bookstore and buy it. And read it. And enjoy the middle grade fiction of it. And cry a little bit because all books make me cry. And then come back here and thank me in the comments section. I loved these books. Stargirl came out when I was in middle school, but I didn’t read it then because the covers do look very “girly” and gender norms are a very real thing in a tiny Texas town. By college, I’d stopped caring, and read this my senior year of college. I read it and The Giver by Lois Lowry in the same week and that my have been my best week for reading, ever.

6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

IMG_0046.JPG

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Could I have picked anything else? If you didn’t read my first post, then you missed the entire friendships are built on this book. I’ve read this book so many times, the covers have fallen off of not one but TWO copies. (And a third copy was eaten by a dog.) The current copy I have has a movie poster on it, and I really hate those (is that just a thing among bookish people? That seems to be a trend.) Ender’s Game was the first book I read after a long hiatus from reading. I have ADHD (although I never realized that was my issue until I was an adult) and through middle school, it was hard to control. I couldn’t sit still to read a book at all. But Ender’s Game was so good that I found myself sitting nearly catatonic. It changed my reading life.

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Good Earth

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Okay, maybe this has to do with my ADHD. Maybe it has to do with being assigned reading in class. Maybe I was too young or dumb or something to appreciate this book. But I hated it. I slept through it. I threw it against a wall. I couldn’t even struggle through the Spark Notes. It was awful. I hated the experience so much, I won’t even consider reading it as an adult. Nope. Hard pass. Peace out. (All of a sudden, I have the urge to reread this.)

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

Fates-and-Furies-book.jpg

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

I don’t know why Fates and Furies seems like some kind of pinnacle of literary perfection to me. Maybe it’s becuase it was recommended a lot by some of my favorite (now defunct) podcasts (may they rest in peace.) Maybe it’s because of all the hype around it. Maybe it’s the beautiful cover. But I can’t wait to whittle my list low enough to get to this book. But I know it’s one that’s going to require my full attention (I’m usually reading 3-5 books at once.)

Here’s a peek at my reading life. Let me know a little about yours. Do we have any overlap?

Yours truly,

The Plucky Reader

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2 thoughts on “My Life in Books

  1. Nice posts!! Great list of books!
    Fates and Furies! I have heard good things about the book and saw it around! I got it with a 75% discount… Like… I hunt sales xD I might not get to it next year but I so agree with you! That book will be THE reading!

    Thank you for sharing!!! I hope you check out my blog!!!

    Like

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