It’s time for another book tag! This time round, I was tagged by Tasha over at The Bookie Monsters, a wonderful blog I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the questions.
Tea: A book that started off hot but quickly turned cold
The October List by Jeffery Deaver is a thriller told in reverse, a unique concept that made for an interesting read. Upon finishing the book however, it became clear that the same story told in chronological order would have been far less captivating and the story relied more on the gimmick of its reversal.
Chiu Chow Dumpling: A book that features elements of land and sea
I can’t think of anything more apt than The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan for this. This fantastical tale is inspired by folklore and is set within a flooded world where only small pockets of land remain and society is split into those who populate these small isolated islands and those who dwell in ships upon the sea. We follow the dual perspectives of a young woman who works as a performer aboard a circus ship with her beloved bear, but who harbours a dangerous secret, and another woman whose job it is to live alone, performing burials at sea for those who have died.
Rice Noodle Roll: A favourite multi-layered character you’ve read (i.e. Traits? Skills? Morally Ambiguous?)
Malorie, the heroine from Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, is a multi-layered character who goes through quite a development arc. I particularly like the moral struggle she feels regarding the extreme actions necessary to keep her children alive; do they make her a good mother or is it cruel to carry on surviving in a world when you cannot truly live?
Shrimp Dumpling: A book with a transparent blurb that gives the story away
The blurb and opening chapter of The Dumb House by John Burnside give pretty much the entire plot away and yet somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. The book is more a character study of a deeply disturbed individual, so it’s less a case of finding out where the plot is going but more as to why and how it will get there.
Steamed BBQ Pork Buns: A book that is fluffy on the outside but packs a punch of flavour (e.g. Message? Depth? Controversy?)
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher is told from a child’s point of view but tackles very serious issues including xenophobia, terrorism and parental abandonment. It follows the struggles of a family after one of the children is killed in a terrorist attack.
Chicken Feet: A book with divided opinions
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart was everywhere and most people were raving about it, but I can’t say I was overly impressed. The whole impact of the book revolves around the shock factor of a single twist which I guessed by page 4. That’s not meant to sound smug; I just couldn’t connect with the characters and was left lukewarm after figuring out what was going on so early.
Lotus-Wrapped Sticky Rice: A book you’ve received/given that was nicely packaged
I’m a massive fan of Björk and there was a book/boxset released last year to coincide with a mid-career retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her albums are known for being beautifully packaged and this lived up to that standard.
Egg Custard Tart: A book that uses simple ingredients and clichés but executes it perfectly
When you boil it down to its basics, the main themes of Harry Potter – good vs evil, friendship, coming of age – aren’t really anything new, but it’s the richness of the world and depth of the supporting characters that elevate the story to new heights and stop it ever feeling cliché.
Mango Pudding with Evaporated Milk: Any book recommendation + beverage/snack that’s a winning combination
Any book accompanied by a cup of tea is pretty much a perfect combination.
Fried Sesame Balls: A book cover with embossed text/design you just love to run your fingers over
The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough has a lovely front cover design with embossed text and other textures that make it very tactile.
Dim Sum Steam Cart: The type of carrying bag you use to bring books around (take a picture!)
I don’t really tend to carry books around with me, truth be told (insert bookworm joke about never leaving the house here), but I have a satchel type bag that I would probably use if I ever did, or else I would use it as an excuse to buy a bookish tote.
There we have it. You likely know by now that I’m a fan of an open tag, so please consider yourself tagged if you would like to get involved.