I saw this over at Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy, and the questions looked so fun that there was no way I wasn’t doing it. Unnecessarily pitting books against each other? What the heck else would I do with my Thursday? Also, I think this video is where the tag originates, but can’t confirm for sure.
Also, fair warning, it gets realllllll salty in the middle.
first book in your collection | last book you bought
One of the earliest books I remember purchasing (or, well, being gifted by my parents, but it was one of the first ones I “owned” that wasn’t also my dad’s) was The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It’s one of my favorite stories, and I have such fond memories of both it & the movie, which was long and sprawling and somehow included almost every aspect of the story. It’s still a story I love dearly, and I’m hoping to wiggle in a reread of the Inkworld trilogy sometime soon.
I just purchased Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender a few days ago! After rereading Felix Ever After earlier this month, I knew that I needed to read everything else by Callender, and it’s definitely the one I’m most excited about in my Black history month purchases. There are five other amazing books that I bought, too, so keep an eye out for a haul post soon!
a cheap book | an expensive book
I don’t generally spend a lot of money on books, and I don’t think I ever will. The only books I’m crazy about wanting old editions of are Tolkien’s, and, well, I managed to score a second edition for $40 for the whole trilogy, and I’ve got two copies of The Silmarillion as a first edition, one of which was free and the other was only a few bucks, so I’m all good! I find a lot of my old editions at flea markets, so all of my books that should be expensive are actually really cheap, so I’m cheating with the answer for this one to say
that I’m lazy and didn’t feel like finding pictures of these covers or taking pictures of my copies.
I’ve got a first American edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that cost me $4 and is definitely worth a few thousand, as well as an 18th century The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri that was a hand-me-down from an ex-friend (HA SUCKS TO SUCK DOESN’T IT NOW I’VE GOT THE GOOD BOOKS), and I’m working on my Austen collection.
a book with a male protagonist | a book with a female protagonist
I recognize that I could pick literally books for this topic, but these two have been on my mind a lot lately. I want to reread Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo before the show premieres in April, not because I’ve forgotten anything, but because I’ve been telling myself that I was going to reread them since 2017, and it’s now–wow, jfc, four years later, what the hell is wrong with me??
And I’m probably going to be rereading An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson fairly soon given that I’ve started writing my own faery book, and it’s definitely my favorite rendition of the Fae that I’ve seen so far. (I said what I said.)
a book you read fast | a book that took you a long time to read
I can’t believe The Wicker King by K. Ancrum is being matched up with Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë right now, this is HILARIOUS. Do I even own a copy of Wuthering Heights anymore? I absolutely despised it, and I may have gotten rid of my copy because of that, and that’s also why it took me so long to read it. Like, well over a month. Truly, I should put The Fireman by Joe Hill here since I started it in May on year and didn’t finish it until November, but that was me actively putting down the book and coming back later. And it’s amazing to me that I let myself read Wuthering Heights for over a month because that was only last year, so I was doing monthly wrap-ups, and I hated the idea of having a book split between two wrap-ups. (This is unnecessary stress, I’m aware.) Also, why did I suffer for that long? whyyyyyyyyyyy
And yeah, I read TWK in a single sitting. There are only a handful of books that I’ve read that fast (Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels is another one), but TWK haunted me like a damn ghost the entire day. I kept trying to put it down, would do something else for approximately five seconds, and then be caught staring at it, just wondering. I ended up putting it down & picking it up over the course of the day, and while that’s not technically a “single” sitting, whatever, it’s the fastest I’ve ever read a book, and it still haunts me, and I want to reread it so bad, but I’m also so nervous of it destroying me again.
pretty cover | ugly cover
What is this nonsense question, THERE ARE TOO MANY PRETTY COVERS!
Okay, I’m picking Descendants of the First by Reni K. Amayo because I just finished reading Daughters of Nri, and the inside was just as glorious as the outside, so I’m hoping that the same is going to happen with the sequel. I mean, LOOK AT IT! I’m a big fan of gold accents anyway, so I was going to love this no matter what, but the combined aesthetics of each sister is just killing me, and I can’t wait.
Also, yeah, I picked a book I love for the ugly cover because otherwise I’d end up picking a book I didn’t like, and I don’t want to call out a book even more, so here I am, with one of my favorite books ever, reminding you that all the covers of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor trilogy are just horrendous. Every single one! All of the international covers are bad, too! And I don’t understand because the Strange the Dreamer covers are gorgeous! It is one of my top five book tragedies.
a national book | an international book
Am I picking The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe for my national book because it also happens to take place in my state? You betcha! It’s also single-handedly the best representation of the North Shore that I’ve ever read, and there are a lot of books out there that take place in Salem and the surrounding towns that just–let’s move on. This takes place all across the North Shore, and it doesn’t hit Salem that often given, you know, most of the witch hysteria took place in Danvers, but I digress! It hits spots like Marblehead, Ipswich, Nahant, and Beverly, and it’s so damn good!
Halfway across the world from the North Shore, The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad takes place along the Silk Road in Noor, Iran, and I am going to keep rec’ing it until every person in the world has read it. Liked City of Brass but want a little less violence? It’s got ifrits & daeva, too! Liked We Hunt the Flame but want more food and beautiful descriptions of outfits? It’s got a festival and market scenes! Liked A Song of Wraiths & Ruin but want more of the storytellers aspect? It is literally dripping with lore! The food descriptions alone will put you in an early grave, so do yourself a favor and read this immediately.
a thin book | a thick book
ahahahahahahaha I will not put the Bible in here THAT’S CHEATING
LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE THIS BOOK IS! Moon Watcher’s Companion by Donna Henes is utterly adorable, and it comes in at a whopping 128 pages. It’s possible I have a shorter book somewhere in my collection, but this was the first one that came to mind since it’s tiny and super cute. And now, because I am hella curious, the B&N collector’s edition of Shakespeare comes in at 1264 pages, and it’s nearly broken my wrist trying to hold it up and open for a picture before, and the B&N collector’s edition of the KJV Bible comes in at 1343 pages, DAMN IT. We were so close, I’m still picking Shakespeare because Christians have been making me furious lately, and Shakespeare wrote all his plays, FUCKING FIGHT ME. I am so worked up about Shakespeare lately, too–if you don’t think he wrote his plays, it’s probably because you’re being classist, GOODBYE.
a fiction book | a nonfiction book
A single fiction book? In the history of fiction books that I’ve read?
Truly, I think The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning is the most fiction book I have because it’s a retelling of a story within a story, and how much farther removed from reality can you get? It also takes place on not Earth, and the sequel is going to destroy me, which isn’t a point in its fiction book qualities, but I have to mention it. Also, because I’ve been salty about flat-earthers recently, too, a reminder that we did, in fact, go to the moon, space is real, and y’all sound so stupid, it makes me want to forget the Earth even exists and just quietly rocketship myself somewhere interstellar. Not only that, but An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield is easily one of my favorite books of all time (seriously, it’s on my top ten), and it has reshaped the way that I look at my everyday life.
romantic book | action book
Look, the amount of times that I’ve tried to put Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston on this list is embarrassing, so I had to include it at least one time, okay, we’ll be fine. THIS BOOK. Is there a more romance book than this one? Like. It’s legit fanfiction. That’s exactly how it reads, why is this not posted on AO3, how have I been blessed with an alternate timeline when these kind of books can be published, can I please jump on the bandwagon?
I haven’t talked about The Old Guard by Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernández in a while, so it’s time to remedy that! Talk about romance, though, if you were afraid the movie adapted that glorious declaration of love between Nicky & Joe straight out of their asses, think again, because the speech in the graphic novel packs even more of a deliriously beautiful punch, and it’s amazing. This is also definitely one of the most action-packed books I’ve ever read. People just die all the time, left and right, and that’s not even including the ones that die and then come back to life so they can die again later.
a book that made you happy | a book that made you sad
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver really does hit both happy & sad notes for me, but I felt so incredibly seen by this book that it stands firmly in the happy category. It well and truly tried to break my heart, and I did definitely cry over it a lot, but it also gave me so much hope for the future that I’m always going to be happy looking back on it.
A lot of books make me sad, but very few put me in a place where I have to literally set it down and walk away because holy shit, and if you’ve read Dear Martin by Nic Stone, you know exactly at what page I did that. This book makes me furious and sad all at once, and I’m not quite sure if my tears were ones of sorrow or rage? Probably both, honestly, and I hate that this book has to exist, but I’m so grateful it does.