“When people ask me what I do – taxi driver, dental hygienists – I tell them I work in an office.”First line in Elearnor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
It’s time to do a tag I wasn’t tagged for! However, this looked liked so much fun that I just had to do it. It’s called How I Choose my Books Tag and was created by Thebookishunderdog but I found it at Hundreds and Thousands of Books, so make sure you check out both of their versions. Let’s get to the questions!
Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?
The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. I have not read this book and have zero plans of ever doing so. I have owned this for many, many years because I once visited a bookstore with my mom, and she suddenly decided that I could pick any book and she would pay for it. This was way before Goodreads and before I even knew what a TBR was so I kind of panicked and just grabbed something. It was blurbed “JK Rowling, Russian style” and what do expect a Harry Potter obsessed reader to do? It is an adult paranormal/urban fantasy, and I was way too young to be into adult fantasy at that point, and now as an adult, I’m not really into paranormal fantasy. So now that book is just sitting on my shelf, unread.
Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. There are so many things about this book that normally don’t work for me: child protagonist, the whole book is someone telling their life story, super slow-moving plot. I’ve also had my problems with older fantasy works and with this being from the 90s, I had kind of written it off as something people just praise because of nostalgia. I believe I tried it anyway because I heard about its political plot and because people described it as filled with pain and suffering. Yes, those are my buzzwords. I’m so glad I read it because it’s now up there as one of my favorite books of the year.
Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?
I have a very small bookshelf so I know exactly where every single book is, meaning I can’t pick a book at random. I went to Goodreads instead and put my books in random order and the top one was Half Wild by Sally Green. It is the sequel to Half Bad so I guess that’s the one I’m talking about. I don’t remember exactly how I came across this book other than it was on my library’s website somehow. They must have made a list of new releases or something that I stumbled upon because I distinctly remember discovering it right when it came out. You see, I quickly became obsessed and then had to wait a year for the next one, Half Wild.
Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?
This so rarely happens, but I did read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman because a friend thought I would love it. Basically she found a book about a socially awkward woman and thought I could relate 😅 And I did, sort of. I rated it 4 stars because it was funny but slightly predictable.
Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?
I have too many options to choose from here, so I kind of want to do one that did live up to the hype and one that didn’t. The one that did is The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, which is one I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own because of its seriously misleading synopsis. But it’s just my thing! Practically no plot, all characters and beautiful writing.
One that didn’t live up to the hype for me was The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski because I actually don’t think it’s cool to read about that much sexism. And the writing style is so dry.
Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?
To talk about a book I don’t believe I’ve mentioned before, I’ve picked Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith which I read back in 2015. It’s about a teen who gets convicted of a murder he didn’t commit and sent to a truly horrifying prison where the inmates disappear in the night. I thought it was okay but I never continued with the series. What drew me to it in the first place was the whole evil prison thing, but I do think it was a bit over the top and too unrealistic. I’ve also always been on the lookout for YA books with male protagonists and since they are so rare, I would pick up pretty much any I could find.
What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?
I discovered a lot of books through adaptations before I found the online bookish community, but my choice here is The Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I watched most of the show before reading the books and I actually think that helped me. It helped me appreciate the books more that I knew that there was a point to the slowness and numerous characters. I’m not sure I would have loved those books if I hadn’t watched the TV show first.
Think of your all-time favourite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?
I went through my list of favorites on Goodreads to see if I could remember any interesting stories about the books on it. I picked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which I’m pretty sure I read about ten years ago when I went to the Danish version of high school. A classmate of mine introduced me to them, so I had read them all by the time the movies started being released. The funny thing is that I borrowed the books from that classmate but she only brought them to school one at the time because I had to figured out if I even liked them first. I ended up reading them super fast. If we had a free period, I would read The Hunger Games instead of doing homework, and even if I only had five minutes of free time, I would bring out that book. The problem was that my friend couldn’t give them to me fast enough, so our friendship were almost destroyed over these books. Kidding, of course, but I was a bit desperate after the end to Catching Fire and trying very hard not to pester her too much.
I loved doing this! It provided so many opportunities to share some book-related stories that I hope you found interesting. Since I wasn’t tagged myself, I’m not going to tag others but you can always copy me and just do it anyway. How did you end up reading what is now your favorite book?
7 thoughts on “How I Choose my Books Tag”
Okay, but… that Night Watch book sounds super interesting! Harry Potter and Russia? I really need that combination in my life, and since I still enjoy a good paranormal book every once in a while, I might have to look into it! (Post-thesis, that is 😪)
Also, I loved all the stories behind you discovering these books! I feel for you a lot on the struggle of having to wait for your friend to being you the next Hunger Games book – that is basically me with my siblings all the time, although I have no qualms badgering them if they take too long. Not that they listen, though… 🙄 Luckily, though, I was already so obsessed with Suzanne Collins thanks to her Underland Chronicles (which, just saying, also have a political plot filled with pain and suffering 😉) that I had my own Hunger Games copies pretty much immediately after they came out and didn’t have to wait on anyone 🥰
And how I discovered my favorite book? The story is really boring, I’m afraid. My parents were already hugely obsessed with Harry Potter, and I have vivid memories of my oldest brother and me having to find some way to occupy ourselves the day Goblet of Fire came out because they were so busy reading it. However, since all the books were in English, I didn’t end up reading them until about three years later, after my parents dragged us across the globe and forced us to acquire new language skills really, really fast 😂 But around mid second grade, I was finally fluent enough to check out all the hype surrounding these books myself, and the rest is history 😊
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Why did I just know that Night Watch would grab your attention? 😂 Almost like I knew writing the words “Harry Potter” and “Russia” in the same sentence would do something to you. However, based on the synopsis, I’m not exactly sure where the Harry Potter reference comes into play. It might be one of those cases where anything that is fantasy must be like the only popular fantasy book at the time. You know, like everything was compared to Game of Thrones if it had multiple POVs. But if you ever read it, I’d love to know your thoughts just so I know what I have sitting on my shelves 😄
I know what you’re trying to do by telling me that about the Underland Chronicles 😂 If they weren’t middle grade, I’d be right on it.
Also, I’m so jealous of your family 😄 Parents who are that obsessed with Harry Potter? That sounds amazing. I haven’t been able to get my mother to read them yet, although I’m always hoping I’ll come to visit and she’ll be too busy reading Goblet of Fire to talk to me 😅 She did read and love The Shamer Chronicles a few years back so I really thought we were almost there.
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Well, I’ll make sure not to set my expectations too high, but I do think it sounds very interesting, even after reading the synopsis! Of course, the coolest thing to do would be to eventually read it in Russian, but since I’m still struggling my way through the Russian version of Harry Potter, I doubt I’ll be ready for that any time soon 😅
And, believe me, having Harry Potter obsessed relatives has its ups and downs. When Halfblood Prince came out, for example, there was this huge fight over who would get to read it first. We eventually settled on me reading two chapters, then my dad reading two chapters, and then my mom (who reads slower) reading one chapter, and my brother getting the book after all of us were done with it. Having to wait until I got the book again was torture! Oh, and for some mysterious reason, my dad also likes Cursed Child, and we nearly had a family feud about that obviously wrong opinion 🤯 But yes, on the whole it’s pretty nice when your family is enthusiastic about the same books you are 😂
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Well maybe one day you’ll be able to read it in Russian 😄
Okay that Half-Blood Prince situation sounds almost horrifying! I could not do that! And oh no, you’re related to a Cursed Child fan 😱 I’m so sorry for you 😞😂 But I can see how something like that could almost break up the family.
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Great post!! I’ve wanted to read Eleanor Oliphant for so long and your quote and recommendation have made me want to finally get round to it. Thanks so much for doing it 🙂
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Thank you and I hope you end up liking Eleanor Oliphant! 😄