The “I Stole This From LiveJournal” Book Tag

This meme was making its way around my LiveJournal friends page, which means it might have originated on LJ, or it might have travelled across from Tumblr, as sometimes happens. While the actual instructions were “have your friends choose the numbers and answer those questions”, I wanted to answer them all, and I did. So ner. 😛

Usually, I’d link to the books I mention in a book tag, but this has 40 questions and I sometimes mention more than one book in each answer, so I’m not doing that today. I trust your GoodReads and GoogleFu are all in order.

1: Currently Reading
I’m reading  Nightshade by Maryrose Wood, the sequel to the Poison Diaries, which I reviewed a while back. Like the first book, it’s very easy to read and I’m getting through it quite quickly.

On audio, I’m currently listening to The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss, which is part memoir, part social commentary on gender roles and sexual violence and other related issues

2: Describe the last scene you read in as few words as possible. No character names or title.
An ambiguous but heartwarming ending. (I just finished a book; this doesn’t refer to either of the books above)

wherethewildthingsarecover3: First book that had a major influence on you
Probably Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. I read that a lot.

4: Quick, you’re in desperate need of a fake name. What character name do you think of first?
First name that came to mind was Jazz Dent from I Hunt Killers, which is actually short for Jasper, but Jazz could be a woman’s name, too.

5: Favourite series and why?
Growing up, it was Artemis Fowl, but I’ve recently realised I’m a bit too old for it now. I’m not sure what it might be now, perhaps A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

6: Public library or personal library?
Public! I actually very rarely buy books anymore, because I don’t re-read, and so I read things once and then they just sit and gather dust until I donate them somewhere.

7: What is the most important part of a book, in your opinion?
Characters. Your plot can be the most revolutionary, awesome thing imaginable, but I won’t care if I don’t connect to the characters.

8: Why are you reading the book you’re currently reading?

Nightshade is the second in a series and I enjoyed the first book.

fictionalwomancoverThe Fictional Woman because a) I am interested in gender issues, b) I’m trying to read a bit more non-fiction and c) Tara Moss is Australian, so it counts for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

9: If you were to publish a book what (besides your real name) would you use for your author name?

I remember watching a BBC series of Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend and Paul McGann was playing someone with the surname Wrayburn and I decided Emily Wrayburn would be my published name. (I have now just published a book under my real name). I used to practice my autograph; it was a good one for that because you can do the first few letters then trail off into a scribble and it looked cool.

10: Do you listen to music when you read?
Not usually. Sometimes if I’m reading in the car while I wait for my partner at the shops, I will leave the radio on.

11: What book fandom do you affiliate yourself with the most?
I’ve never really been involved with book fandoms. The thing about my participation in fandom is that it relies on new subject material coming out quickly, which is why most of my fandoms were always TV shows. I tended to lose a bit of interest in the interim, and books take so long to come out.

12: Tell one book story or memory (what you were wearing when you were reading something, someone saw you cry in public, you threw a book across the room and broke a window, etc.)
Recently, I finished reading Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy minutes before having to do a three-hour shift on the reference desk at work. I was trying not to cry and I was all shaky. Somehow managed to keep that undercover, though.seasonschaoswalking

I do usually manage to keep myself from throwing books, but I did once throw my Kindle. It was at the end of the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud. It’s not that the ending was bad, in fact it was totally perfect, but it took me so by surprise that I threw my Kindle down on the bed (not through a window, thankfully).

cinnamongirlcover13: What character would be your best friend in real life?
Alba, from the Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil. I don’t read a lot of contemporary YA because usually it fails to impress me, but I loved this one so much. And honestly, I wouldn’t want a Chosen One for a best friend, that’s too hard.

14: Favourite item of book merch
I don’t have a lot of book merch, to be honest. Most of the merchandise I own is either theatre or Doctor Who-related.

15: Post a shelfie.
I’ve got to be honest, my shelves have all sorts of non-book-related junk over them and are fairly unimpressive. I do have two more bookshelves in the spare room, but they contain mostly my partner’s books.



16: Rant about anything book related
I am really tiring of all YA books sounding the same from their blurbs. They’re so vague that I can’t tell one from another! And I think they’re probably deliberately vague so that they sound like other, really popular ones, but I don’t want it to sound like everything else, I want to know why I should read this one over any others. I love YA, but this is really starting to bug me. (Related: rec me your good YA discoveries!)

17: What do you think about movie/tv adaptations?
Eh, they’re fine. Some are better than others. I do have a few movie adaptations that I actually prefer to their book counterparts.

18: Favourite booktuber(s)
I don’t know any booktubers. I have a short attention span for videos and am much better at reading blogs.

19: Book that you call your child.
Erm… that book I wrote one time?

20: A character you like but you really, really shouldn’t.
I’m sure there are far better-known ones that I can’t think of right now, but in Nightshade which I’m currently reading, there’s a very morally ambiguous personification of Oleander, who goes around calling himself The Prince of Poisons, and he’s just so darn snarky and I love it.

21: Do you loan your books?
Not really. There are a few people that I would trust enough, but the ones I would be most likely to lend are ones I generally get from the library of in e-form anyway.

22: A movie or tv show you wish would have been a book
I sat through the whole of Tomorrowland wishing it was a book. It just needed a bit extra world-building that it didn’t have time to do in a 2 hour movie. There’s probably a novelisation, but that’s not quite the same.

23: Did your family or friends influence you to read when you were younger?
Definitely. I expect my parents were reading to me from birth. I remember reading Where The Wild Things Are and other such picture books at a very young age, and my reading age was generally ahead of my peers.

powerandglorycover24: First book(s) you remember being obsessed with
Apart from aforementioned Where the Wild Things Are, which I read on a nightly basis, I do remember also being really obsessed with Power and Glory by Emily Rodda. It’s one of those books that repeats each page but adds something new each time. I was in Year 1 when I reading this, so I would have been six or seven.

25: A book that you think about and you cringe because of how terrible it was
I don’t have really stick with books that I think are awful, though recently I listened to The Lost Life by Steven Carroll and it was pretty awful. Not much is more awkward than a love scene where the characters are described as having mouths “glued together” literally several times over the course of a few minutes. It was not sexy, or romantic, or erotic, or anything.

26: Do you read from recommendations or whatever book catches your eye?

27: How/where do you purchase your books?
I rely a lot on my public library. If I can’t get it there, I’ll be more likely to buy the Kindle version these days than a hard copy, because it’s easier, usually cheaper, and I get it straight away.

28: An ending you wish you could change
The entire final book of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, which was just so disappointing and anti-climactic and left loose ends untied.

29: Favourite female protagonist.

seraphinacoverMost of my favourite protagonists are female. From the books I’ve read so far this year, I would probably say Seraphina ranks at the top, or maybe Lila Bard.

30: One book everyone should read
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. And then the other three. Don’t read the one that wasn’t written by A. A. Milne. It tries really hard but it just doesn’t quite capture the magic of the original stories.

31: Do you day dream about your favourite books? If so, share one fantasy you have about them.
Sometimes I will pause and pretend I’m in some kind of dramatisation of the book. This often happens when I’m on a bus, and I will stare dramatically out the window and murmur some of a character’s lines. Very, very quietly and un-noticeably I hope. But it’s the actor in me. (I actually do amateur theatre, so it’s not that weird).

32: OTP or NoTP?
Again, I don’t think I really have any of these for books…

33: Cute and fluffy or dramatic and deadly?

It really depends on my mood. I’ve read a few thrillers this year, which has been good, but the light-hearted stuff is always good to follow that up with.

34: Scariest book you ever read

ihuntkillerscoverI haven’t really read much that’s truly scary. I read I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga last week and there is a lot of content in that that it pretty disturbing. One of my GoodReads updates for it was “I’m going to close the blinds now and maybe sleep with the light on and wait until daylight to keep reading”. I think one of the things with that book is that it’s very real, and people like Billy Dent (the main character’s father, and a notorious serial killer) do exist. Whereas I can just tell myself that ghosts and other monsters aren’t real and it’s fine.

35: What do you think of ebooks?
Love them! Would not do without them! I know some people can’t bear the thought of not having a physical book in their hands, but for me, the words and the story and my investment in those are what’s important to me. I really don’t care what format the words are in. Do people who engage in anti-ebook snobbery also feel the same way about audio books? Because you can’t feel/smell the pages of one of those, yet plenty of people rely on them.

Ooh, getting a bit ranty now. Let’s finish up with this answer.

36: Unpopular opinions
illuminaeI didn’t think Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann was anywhere near as good as the hype led me to believe it would be. It just has a nifty format.

37: A book you are scared is not going to be all you hoped it would be.
I’ve just picked up All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which everybody loves. As I said to someone on my WordPress Blog this morning, the crossover between books that have won the Pulitzer Prize and books that I enjoy is quite limited, but I am hoping this one will be good.

Also, I have a friend who really loves Michael J Sullivan’s Chronicles of Rhyria (I may well have both the series name and the author’s name wrong here, but I can’t be bothered going to check). She sent me the first one on Kindle as a gift two and a half years ago (I remember this, because it was when I was going overseas and she suggested I read it on the plane), and I’m just so scared to touch it in case I don’t love it as much as she does.

38: What qualities do you find annoying in a character?
I hate insipid female characters who can’t take a compliment. If they author has told me that she is objectively gorgeous, then when other characters observe the same and she brushes them off and tells them it’s not true, I want to bash my head against the wall. I guess what I’m saying is it would be nice if a certain type of female character was written with an ounce of self-esteem/positive body-image, rather than having to have the love interest make her realise there’s so much more to her.

39: Favourite villain
I’m not sure I have one. I tend to lean towards books where the hero/ine is fighting something within themselves, or a system rather than a single villain, or circumstances. I can’t really think of any villains as such. Though The Library in Ink & Bone was really awesome, and some of the characters within that.

40: Has there ever been a book you wish you could un-read?
Not really. I tend to drop a book if it’s really that bad.

Whew, that was long. Kudos if you’re still reading at this point! I’m going to head off now!

~ Emily



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