The A-Z Book Tag

I’ve been holding onto this one for a rainy day after seeing it on Sahi’s World of Books. Now, I don’t know whether it’s a rainy day, but the fact I refuse to get up and check is close enough. This is a pretty nifty tag so credit to Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner who invented it and with that – get in the fast lane grandma, this bingo game is ready to roll

Author you’ve read the most books from:

One moment while I do some counting on wikipedia… I believe the answer to this is Sir Terry Pratchett, with 46 books. It’s possible my count was a little off and the answer is Bernard Cornwell with 41, but I’m certain enough to go with Sir Pterry. That count won’t raise much on account of his bad case of being dead, but I’ve still got a few more books of his to go – and I can’t see anyone else writing so many books I want to read.

Best Sequel Ever:

Uhm… I’ll go with Aliette de Bodard’s House of Binding Thorns, which I thought was fantastic on many levels and made Madeleine one of my favourite characters (I know De Bodard thinks she deserves her retirement from being tortured by a sadistic author, but I’m not sure I agree).

Currently Reading:

A spy novel called Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht, about an American who’s spying in Argentina. That’s the book open on the desktop while I do this. Also on my currently reading pile are David Lindsay’s Voyage to Arcturus, a beta read for Christopher Bean’s The Pegge and the Pendrel, Thomas Howard Riley’s We Break Immortals, a history of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Cordelia Fine’s The Gender Delusion… and too many other books.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Honestly, if I’m reading a really good book, I’ll forget to drink full stop.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I use the kindle app on my computer heavily as that suits my chaotic mind. When I’m not using that I prefer physical books to my actual kindle… so e-reader > physical book > e-reader?

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Hmm. Which female teenage characters have I read about who would have possessed the necessary Cluehammer +5 to break through my Cloak of Low Self-Confidence’s defences?

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

So many of them that I’ll list two. Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars is something I could have easily thought I wouldn’t like due to DNFing Shadow and Bone, but I found it hugely good and am glad I took a punt on it (credit to Sara of The Fantasy Inn’s enthusiasm). Also Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr has been one of my favourite books forever all thanks to a “I guess I’ll give it a go” purchase in a second-hand bookshop on the Isle of Wight.

Hidden Gem Book:

Stephen Deas’ Moonsteel Crown and Laurie Marks’ Fire Logic were the two hidden gems I read last year. The former is a high fantasy world heist with down on their luck characters, the latter a tale of rebellion in a queernormative world. Honourable mentions to MD Presley’s The Woven Ring, Bryan Wigmore’s The Empyreus Proof, Dan Jones’ Man O’ War, Day Al-Mohamed’s The Labyrinth’s Archivist, Hope Mirrlees’ Lud in the Mist, etc.etc. I’ll shut up now.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I think it’s the moment my parents decided to read The Hobbit to me as a bedtime story. Everything about me being a fantasy fan stems from that moment.

Just Finished:

My most recently finished book was the really rather cool The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

There’s almost no genre or predominant mood I will 100% rule out but I’m 99% unlikely to read Hard Sci-Fi, Romance, Contemporary Literature, Horror, Books Based in the Victorian Era and pretty much everything other than Historical, Fantasy, and Mystery/Thriller/Crime.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Oh lord. Hmm. Wikipedia is telling me Lord of the Rings counts as one novel which is admittedly rather in line with the author’s views, but if that counts, why doesn’t every fantasy series that is basically one long story? I think it needs to be shoved into one book at initial publication to count which gives the title to Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising at 393,823 words.

Major book hangover because of:

Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant fucked me up. Not only was it an excellent, unusual book that reshaped how I looked at fiction, it also says some very depressing things about human nature in a way few authors are as open about.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One. It used to be two, one of them absolutely massive, but nothing like moving houses to force you to downsize your ambitions.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

One book?! Just one book? You monster. *scrolls down to view other tags* Hmm. Let us go with Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. I haven’t kept count but I think it’s more times than I can count on one hand, and I’m not that clumsy in the kitchen before you ask. It’s a thoughtful, emotional powerhouse of a book with some breathtakingly tense scenes and a wonderful not-Renaissance Italy land. Arguably trad fantasy’s best standalone.

Preferred Place To Read:

I will read absolutely anywhere and everywhere, and I am somewhat nonplussed that any should be considered superior. Part of the point of reading for me is the place becomes very secondary. I guess the answer is somewhere The American and our cat is. Home is where ever I’m with them.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book:

I’d love to give you something sentimental or profound, but honestly, it’s this

“One of the first rules Platime ever taught me was that if you don’t like the game, don’t play.”

Its from David Eddings’ The Sapphire Rose, an author who I’m so-so on now for various reasons, but reading that as a teenager was inspirational. There’s so many things we don’t like, and I see so many people waste so much of themselves on the petty things and it just seems very self-defeating to me. Eddings was the first to land the words that made me think of the alternative of walking away and doing something I do like.

Reading Regret:

Not having clones of me so I can read everything. I guess my low attention span comes second here for the same reason.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all the books are out):

I’ve kinda checked out of the whole finishing series thing over the last few years, but recently I found Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga and it’s the first series in forever that has pulled me from one book to another with all the implacability of wild dragons, so yes I need to finish it.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Ravenheart by David Gemmell is a book with a heart bigger than all the mountains, even if it broke mine a little. It feels like the author poured all of his childhood memories, good and bad, into it, then added a cocktail of other items of pride and anger, and then made it a fantastic action-adventure as the garnish on the drink. Stunning.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre will, I think, go down as a classic of the English language and if it does it will be fully merited. I struggle to put just why it deserves this into words but I think it comes down to how utterly absorbed I am in how each character is feeling all the time, and the way Le Carre reveals the mystery in a fashion that should be too slow to work but isn’t at all.

The Falco Series by Lindsey Davis is a series of ancient Roman murder mysteries I discovered thanks to my mother’s father (rest in peace old man) and they’ve got that mix of warmth and sharpness I love so much. I’m mildly miffed I can’t persuade my wife to consider Helena as a girl’s name for when the time comes.

Unapologetic Fanboy For:

As I like to say, this place isn’t really a book blog, it’s a Sir Terry Pratchett shine in disguise. And yes, I know I’ve already mentioned him, and I’m trying not to use the same authors over and over, but it’s the only possible honest answer here.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Kundo Wakes Up by Saad Z Hossain and Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans. The former because The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday blew me the fuck away and I’m excited to see what he does with this sequel set in Bangladesh, and the latter because I’m very excited to see what Dee’s first novel looks like and I can call it Notorious S.C.R.

Worst Bookish Habit:

All my bookish habits exist to maximise my reading pleasure and are thus amazing.

Others might disagree and consider me a out of sequence reading monster, a sadistic DNFer, an ebook buying junkie, an absent minded loser of books and even more absent minded abuser of them (what goes in my backpack doesn’t always come out the same shape), and many other sins… but they are objectively wrong.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Urgh, don’t make me get up. Fine. FINE. The answer is the Lonely Planet Cookbook: Spain. I should really use it more often. Maybe it will be Spain week here after Cantonese week is done.

Your latest book purchase:

Surprisingly enough, the actual book I’m reading right now – Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht. I like how unlikely the tag creator considered that. Prior to that, t.he comic Kitty Quest by Phil Corbett.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

And this was the last book I finished! The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett. Prior to that, my reread of Quest For Lost Heroes by David Gemmell and Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth/Mazirian the Magician

I enjoyed that a lot (apart from getting out of bed) and hope you did too. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged.

8 thoughts on “The A-Z Book Tag

  1. Ah, I have done this tag before! …in Sept 2014. Maybe I should do it again and see how my answers differ.

    I am impressed by 46 Terry Pratchett books read. This prompted me to Google how many Discworld books there are. Have you read them all?

    “Wikipedia is telling me Lord of the Rings counts as one novel which is admittedly rather in line with the author’s views, but if that counts, why doesn’t every fantasy series that is basically one long story?” Oh, do I have opinions on this question. I shall try to keep them brief – when I read LotR, I count it as one novel. I usually read the 50th Anniversary Edition which puts in a lot of things that Tolkien wanted at publication but couldn’t have because of post-WWII limitations, including having the story published as a single novel (apologies if I am expounding on something you are already aware of). So I would argue it counts in a way that other fantasy series don’t because it was written as a single novel.

    Lastly, I appreciate your answer to worst bookish habit. Hope your weekend’s going well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve started every Discworld other than the Amazing Maurice one. I shall read it at some point but it just doesn’t appeal much. There’s a few, all post-embuggerance, that I haven’t finished. Plus I’ve read a few companion books.

      Re The Tolkien – I didn’t know about the 50th anniversary edition, maybe I should look at it.

      And sorry for the vey belated answer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “All my bookish habits exist to maximise my reading pleasure and are thus amazing” – dagnabbit, that’s a great answer! 😆
    Loved this Peat. Now I have to go shuffle some books around on my tbr in response …

    Liked by 1 person

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