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New York Times By the Book Tag

Greetings! This is my first tag that I’ve done on my blog, thanks to the lovely Bex tagging me last week. I feel like this will be a great way for some of you to get to know my bookish side a lot better, so without further ado, let’s begin!

What book is on your nightstand now?

Currently, ‘Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure’ is sitting next to my bed, which I’m hoping to finish in the next couple of days! In addition, I have a lot of history books about the queens of England there due to my EPQ research, and yesterday I picked up ‘Dan and Phil Go Outside’. So, a lot of non-fiction!

What was the last truly great book you read?

For me, this has to be ‘Les Misérables’ by Victor Hugo. I knew I was making a massive commitment to reading this brick of a novel because something I really hate is leaving books unfinished. However, I was truly surprised at how quickly I managed to finish it – 17 days! Already a huge fan of ‘Les Mis’, reading the novel completely solidified my love for the story, and added a new depth to every character.

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If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? What would you want to know?

This is quite a hard one for me, because I’m expecting people will usually reply with somebody who has had a huge impact on the literary world, such as Jane Austen or Shakespeare. However, for me, I would love to meet the author Holly Bourne, writer of YA novels which include ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting’ and The Spinster Club series. Holly seems so incredibly likeable and I feel that she would offer a fruitful conversation on teenage feminism!

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Honestly, I do not think there is a single book that anybody would be shocked to find on my shelf! I guess people may be slightly surprised at how hugely invested I am with Dave Gorman as a writer because I tend not to talk about humour books; but I don’t think it would be that much of a surprise!

How do you organise your personal library?

My bookcase is organised alphabetically by authors surname, with my bottom shelf for non-fiction hardbacks – mainly because they won’t fit on any other shelf! I also have a small pile of books on my desk which I intended to be near future TBRs, but that system doesn’t seem to be working very well…

What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed to have never read?

I’ve been meaning to read ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ for absolutely years but have never gotten round to it! The film absolutely captured my heart, and the Second World War is a period of history which I am fascinated by, so I am really surprised it has taken me this long. Seeing as it’s a quick read, I’m hoping to fit it in before the year is out.

In terms of something which I am embarrassed to have never read, it has GOT to be ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series…I have started to read ‘The Hobbit’ numerous times, but I always found there were other things to read. I will do it one day!!

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

There are two books I have read recently which instantly spring to mind- ‘Everything Everything’ by Nicola Yoon and ‘All The Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven. Both novels have been highly rated in the YA world, but I felt they were full of inundated clichés with the typical boy-meets-girl story line. I did enjoy ‘All The Bright Places’ considerably more, but I just couldn’t shake off the unoriginality of its entirety.

The last book I remember putting down without finishing was ‘Confessions of a Conjuror’ by Derren Brown. I’m not entirely sure why I stopped, because I remember it was full of interesting insights into the world of illusionists, with Derren Brown being my favourite. I will definitely try to make time to read this again in the future because I find the whole magic world absolutely fascinating!

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What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

Normally, I would have to say I’m drawn to any YA fiction which centres around mental health or LGBTQ+ issues, mainly because I love seeing how authors tackle such raw and real topics. I’m also a big reader of books with film adaptations as I LOVE comparing plot details and character portrayal, but in all honesty, they are quite hard to avoid nowadays!

I generally steer clear of science-fiction and fantasy stories. Not only have the plots never really captured my attention, I find it incredibly hard to become invested into worlds which are vastly different from reality, hence my love for YA.

If you could tell the Prime Minister to read one book, what would it be?

Hmm…this is a tough one. Perhaps I would offer Theresa May something such as ‘Am I Normal Yet?’ by Holly Bourne so the issue of teenage mental health may become more prevalent to the government.

What do you plan to read next?

In preparation for my sixth form’s book club, I am intending to read ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins. As mentioned earlier, I’m also planning on reading ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ before the end of the year, and possibly a novel by Danny Wallace.

And that completes my first tag! I really enjoyed writing this, and some questions really made me think. Seeing as I’m fairly new to the community, I don’t have anyone specific who I can tag, so if you’re reading this and want to participate, please do!

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