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  • Writer's pictureKristina Elyse Butke

Bookish Q&A

A series of wooden shelves holding a variety of books - Bookish Q&A from @HalfWildBooks
Photo by Pickawood via Unsplash

This post comes from Twitter, a tag created by @HalfWildBooks. I think the idea behind this is to let your followers choose a number and you answer that question, but as I'm more of a blogger and less of a tweeter I thought I'd answer them all here. The well's run a bit dry in terms of blog topics lately, so I'm grateful for these fun activities to do while I brainstorm ideas to write about. Please enjoy!

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Current read

Cover to Ava Reid's the Wolf and the Woodsman

I'm presently reading The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid. I'm in a bit of a reading funk with novels, having only been going through comics lately, so I'm going really slowly with this. I've been on chapter two for almost a month and keep stopping to read BL and graphic novels instead.

Last read

Cover of Mirka Andolfo's Mercy comic book

I just finished Mirka Andolfo's Mercy: The Fair Lady, The Frost, and The Fiend. I bought this entirely based on the cover and title, not really knowing what I was getting into. It's certainly different and not what I expected!

Top of your TBR

Cover of Sagan Akagawa's The World's End

As soon as I get home from work today I'm going to read the new BL I ordered, The World's End by Sagan Akagawa. I picked it out because I saw the book here in Japan and remembered its cover, and happened to find it available as an eBook in English while I was finding stuff to add to my wish list.

Favorite book series

The cover to all three books in Brigid Kemmerer's Cursebreakers series

Brigid Kemmerer's Cursebreakers series. It starts out with A Curse So Dark and Lonely retelling Beauty and the Beast, but the series grows into its own epic with a slew of characters I've fallen in love with. I enjoyed reading every book.

Unexpected favorite book I don't actually have an unexpected favorite! The books that I really love, I kind of knew I was going to fall in love with them as I was reading. I didn't feel surprised by it, if that makes sense.

Fictional place I'd love to visit

Covers to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Lord of the Rings; The Magicians; and The Cruel Prince

I have a few places: Narnia, Middle Earth, Fillory, and Elfhame. A lot of it simply has to do with the wide variety of peoples and magical creatures that live there...each place has its own bit of danger but there's always been a sense of wonder linked to each location that comes alive in the books, so that's why I'd like to visit--I want to experience that feeling.

An author I always recommend

The cover to Margaret Rogerson's An Enchantment of Ravens; Sorcery of Thorns; and Vespertine

I have recommended Margaret Rogerson quite a bit lately.

Favorite book covers

The covers to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

I have several, but I really have to say I love the new book covers to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I love the bright colors, the illustrations, and the fact that they look mystical and just plain cool.

Books that need new covers

Cover of orgasmic man to Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life

I hate the US cover to Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. The photo used for the cover is "Orgasmic Man" by Peter Hujar. I just find it aesthetically unpleasing. However, the philosophy behind the photograph is really interesting, so I like the idea behind its choice. According to Mind Joggle, "Yanagihara fought to use the photo on the cover because of the ambiguity of whether the man is in pleasure or pain. It gives the viewer a sense that they may be seeing someone at their most vulnerable–as readers witness Jude throughout the book." However, I wish it used a different photograph to convey this. I just don't like looking at it. That's why I saved my UK copy of the book for shipping home--the cover is completely different (although it does miss the point Yanagihara was trying to make).

Most disappointing read of the year so far

BLank white book on blank white background
Photo by Media Modifier via Unsplash

I don't have a book I've been disappointed in yet for 2022. It's been a pleasant surprise to find that I've liked every book I've read so far. I've scored them on Goodreads and most of them are 4 stars ("really liked it") with only two 3 stars (which, according to Goodreads, is "liked it").

Favorite read of the year so far

The cover to Jessica Rubinkowski's The Bright and the Pale

I have a hard time choosing but I think I really like The Bright & the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski. It definitely was a fast read for me compared to the books I've read since. But, the slow reading of my other books might have more to do with the funk I'm in than the quality of the books themselves. It's just, after all this time reading The Bright & the Pale, a lot of its imagery and mood still stick in my mind, so I think that's why I've chosen it as my favorite.

A series I need to finish

The covers to the Camelot Uprising trilogy by Kiersten White

Kiersten White's Camelot Uprising series. I enjoyed the first two books and bought the third right when it came out...and promptly got distracted by other books and didn't read it. Now that I'm trying to move onto adult books, I've put all my YA by the wayside...but I find that I'm really missing reading YA, so my adult reading project might be a bust.

An underrated favorite

I really like the comic series Spectacle by Megan Rose Gedris and I'm considering it underrated because the first volume only has 11 reviews and some of the other books in the series don't even have reviews yet. I should remedy that.

A popular book I haven't read

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I did order it but just haven't gotten into it yet. Apparently this got famous through TikTok. I figure eventually I'll give it a try.

Latest book haul

The covers to three BL manga - Sick, Breathless Momentum, and The World's End

I order eBooks frequently, especially when they go on sale. But I was in the mood for BL manga, so here's what I picked up: Sick by Tomo Kurahashi, Breathless Momentum by Zeniko Sumiya, and The World's End by Sagan Akagawa.

Favorite spot on my bookshelf Well, I have decimated my bookshelves with the process of returning to the States from Japan, but my favorite shelf space was at my gorgeous desk. All of my Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul Re: manga was there, then above it, my really pretty collectibles and decorations from shrines--a giant gold daruma doll, a miniature of Izumo Taisha, a wooden Jizo statue, etc.

A book that changed my life

Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest really made me want to switch from writing plays and musicals to writing fiction.

A reason to be thankful for books The characters! I love making connections to characters through books. Even though they aren't real, I love forming attachments to them as though they are.

A trope I love I don't tend to follow tropes so I really only have one, and it's Only One Bed, a common romance trope that has actually happened to me in real life (though in non-romantic situations) quite a few times! Anyway, I wanted to make Son of the Siren a little more romantic, so I went ahead and used it to up some tension. Admittedly it was fun, but I don't want to rely on tropes all that much.

A trope I hate Maybe it's not a trope in and of itself, but it sure feels like one: I hate the publishing industry tactic of using tropes to sell books. I was taught that a reliance on tropes in storytelling was kind of a bad thing (and that it's better to subvert tropes) and it's hard for me to shake that mindset. But it really seems like the trend is to write with tropes and use those tropes for marketing. I'm not a fan of this at all but I think I will have to learn to overcome it if I want to sell my books.

My last five-star read

It's been a long time since I read a five-star book (almost everything is four stars to me) and I recently listed this in a different post, but Richard Lloyd Parry's Ghosts of the Tsunami brought me to tears. I highly recommend it.

A book I wish I read sooner I don't have a specific book in mind, but in general I wish I started reading novels again sooner than last year. I had read some novellas and comics, but actually full-length fiction was not a thing in my life for so long. Then I started the YA Fantasy Reading Project and committed to reading. I wish I would have made that commitment much sooner in my life.

Comfort read/characters

The cover to the webcomic BJ Alex by Mingwa

I can't think of a comfort novel at the moment, but I think a feel-good BL webcomic series that I enjoy reading any time is BJ Alex by Mingwa. I've read it a few times and I just really like it.

Favorite characters

The covers to A Curse So Dark and Lonely; The Cruel Prince; The Guinevere DEception; Sorcery of Thorns; A Tale of Two Cities; and Jane Eyre

Hmm...Grey in the Cursebreakers series, Cardan in The Folk of the Air series, Mordred in the Camelot Rising series, Nathaniel in Sorcery of Thorns...and for classics, Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities and Jane in Jane Eyre.

Character that deserves a spin off

I'd like a book from Nathaniel Thorn's or Silas's POV from Sorcery of Thorns.

Favorite reading spot I pretty much read in my bed in Japan and then have a favorite couch spot back home in Ohio.

Favorite book quote

The cover to Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities

Well, speaking of Sydney Carton: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known" from A Tale of Two Cities.

Favorite book shop I loved when I lived in Columbus and had three bookstores I always frequented. First up: The Book Loft in German Village, which was really close to the apartment where I lived; second, Half Price Books on Bethel Road; and third, the huge Barnes and Noble at Polaris.

A character that reminds me of myself

I always thought I was similar to Josephine March in terms of the pull writing had on her and the goofiness she had with her sisters in terms of putting on dramas and writing stories with them. She's pretty different from me in a lot of other ways, though. But I encountered the character of Jo at a very young age and identified with her over those specific things right away.

An author I'd love to meet I'd like to meet Margaret Rogerson, and she lives in Ohio, so it is possible that someday I might be able to meet her (if I stay in Ohio after I come back from Japan). Who knows?

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That's it for this book tag! Thanks for reading all the way through--there were lots of questions and lots of books for this one! As always, if you'd like to fill this out on your own website you can, or if you want to play properly on Twitter, you can download the image to post to your timeline and ask your followers to choose a numbered question to answer:

Questionnaire of books and reading from Twitter via HalfWildBooks

Unfortunately I didn't get the graphic from HalfWildBooks, even though they made it. I took it from someone's timeline and I absolutely cannot find who I took it from, even using an image search with Google Lens. I apologize for not linking properly. Please forgive me!


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