Welcome to the Chocolate Book Tag, created by A Daydreamer’s Ramblings over at YouTube. No one tagged me, but I’m doing it anyway, because I like books, I like chocolate, and the Tag Council hasn’t stopped me yet.
I read this book almost four years ago and really enjoyed it, but somehow it didn’t actually register as dark until a friend of mine picked it up recently and said she was going to read it. We had taken a class in college together that touched on Alcibiades and the trouble he stirred up around Athens as one of the young men that Socrates “corrupted.” It had been a good class, we were both enthusiastic enough about the Ancient world to really get into it. But several years later, thinking of her reading this book, I had to take a breath and figure out how to explain…
“You know this book deals with the siege of Athens, right?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
“And you know about the mercy killings during the siege? And the guys in Athens that you would call in when things got bad during the siege so that they could kill your family members so you didn’t have to commit patricide or whatever?” I asked.
“Nope,” she said. “Not reading that.” And I imagine she threw the book out the window and onto the next continent.
“Good,” I said. “Because the main character is one of those guys.”
But if you’re okay with getting through something like that… this is a really good book.
I’m getting infamous around my house for the fact that I don’t watch or read what other people call “brain candy” (don’t worry, I make up for it with my music. You should hear the bubble gum that is currently coming through my speakers). This book, however, was just miles of good fun. I laughed a lot at the thief that inanimate objects literally loved, and liked the good-natured questions about the meaning of freewill.
I’m not sure I’m dying to read this book, but I will say that my impulse control is getting steadily weaker every time I see it in store or online, and I suspect I will own it soon. It’s about two sisters who start college, and one of them is a irrepressible fangirl for a series of popular books while the other used to be, but left it behind. As far as I can tell, it’s about dealing with separations and life changes.
As my little sister is starting college this fall and we’re both pretty big fangirls, it has seemed relevant.
Two years ago, my mother was very sick. I didn’t say anything here on the blog because I didn’t know how to say it. My friends were the lovely sort of human beings who asked so that I had to find a way to say “it’s hard” and “it stinks” and “I wish this was not happening.” I was not eloquent. It probably didn’t even come out as well as it sounds here. But they listened.
When my mother ended up in the hospital, my friends sent me big boxes of care: candy, playdough, bubbles, bright-colored t-shirts, funny notes, a webcam so that I could talk to them more easily, etc. All things that could bring a smile in five minutes or less. I don’t know if they did that on purpose, but it was great, because that was about all the time I had.
One of them sent me this book. And three others that all followed the same theme: adorable and sweet and funny pictures of animals with simple statements of encouragement underneath. If I had gotten these books at any other time in my life, they would have just been silly. But I got them then, and… they’re caramel centers.
I’m actually in the middle of reading this book right now (at least I was at the time of writing this), after spending the last several weeks hearing people mention it left and right. No one mentioned the fact that the first ten chapters are a study in sentences that shouldn’t make sense, but somehow do.
I read this book at the end of last year. Actually, I listened to it, and as soon as I finished it, I bought a hard copy of it and its two sequels. I forced myself to wait a couple of months before I read the second one and a couple more before I read the third, hoping that the publishers would give a release date for the fourth one and I wouldn’t run out of fresh installments of the series. I only succeeded in stretching my obsession out to the point that it feels near-permanent in the back of my mind.
Let this be a lesson to all you book-lovers: absence does make the heart grow fonder and marathon readings save us from going nuts.
Nostalgia is a beautiful thing, and so are old books.
When I bought copies of Emily of New Moon and its two sequels they were brand new. They are now old enough that the pages are starting to yellow, which makes me feel very old, but makes me really love these books which have been following me from house to house like cats that love me but pretend to ignore me by sitting on the shelf all day.
I loved these books when I was a kid because they were about a dark-haired girl who loved to write and it was easy to imagine it was me. I love them now because they’re beautiful written, a little silly, and full of characters I’ve known for fifteen years.
This is a high fantasy, action-adventure series, each book following a different member of a group of six friends and soldiers who are trying to hold a kingdom together while the twelve noble, ambitious families jostle for power and freedom. There is adventure, humor, romance, war, politics, magic, religion, and a thousand other things spun beautifully together. (If you’re currently thinking of A Song of Ice and Fire, then I’ve spun you in the wrong direction. Fewer people die in this series, weddings are never interrupted by massacres, and there is only ever one king at a time. Thoroughly unrealistic, I know, but I did say they were fantasy novels.)
My father introduced me to the series, and then I ran around for months getting my mother, my little sister, and my brother to read it. I would have forced my older sister to read them, but she was in the midst of a break-up at the time that I was proselytizing the series and I didn’t think she would appreciate the romantic framework of the stories. (But now, Summer, you should totally read them!) I made my friends read them. I tried to get random strangers to read them, but it turns out I don’t have much power over perfect strangers. Whoops.
But this is my favorite series of books. And everyone should read them.