A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

tea

E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

hogwarts

W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

Prospero Lost – L. Jagi Lamplighter

Prospero Lost:

https://i1.wp.com/thebooksmugglers.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/prospero-lost.jpg

“More than four hundred years after the events of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sorcerer Prospero, his daughter Miranda, and his other children have attained everlasting life. Miranda is the head of her family’s business, Prospero Inc., which secretly has used its magic for good around the world. One day, Miranda receives a warning from her father: “Beware of the Three Shadowed Ones.” When Miranda goes to her father for an explanation, he is nowhere to be found.

Miranda sets out to find her father and reunite with her estranged siblings, each of which holds a staff of power and secrets about Miranda’s sometimes-foggy past. Her journey through the past, present and future will take her to Venice, Chicago, the Caribbean, Washington, D.C., and the North Pole. To aid her, Miranda brings along Mab, an aerie being who acts like a hard-boiled detective, and Mephistopheles, her mentally-unbalanced brother. Together, they must ward off the Shadowed Ones and other ancient demons who want Prospero’s power for their own….”

I’ve been on a bit of a Shakespeare kick the last two weeks: Will last week and Prospero Lost this week. I read most of it on a bus from London to Toronto – I started reading as soon as I sat down and didn’t stop until over 2 hours later when the bus pulled into the station. It was THAT good.

I really enjoyed The Tempest when I read it a few years ago, so I was already familiar with the “original”. But Lamplighter took these characters and gave them a whole new identity – in the best way possible. We don’t actually meet Prospero, but Miranda, despite being 500+ years old and having magical powers, is still very human: she has flaws, she makes mistakes, she turns into a love-sick girl when faced with the man who left her at the altar centuries ago. In short, she’s marvelously well-rounded. Plus the supporting characters are fantastic.

Mab is described as the embodiment of every film noir detective ever – complete with somewhat sarcastic quips – which makes him easy to imagine. And I personally loved her crazy brother Mephisto (Mephistopheles) who not only provided comic relief but also starred in one of the most intriguing (in my opinion) sub-plots (what WAS that thing he turned into?! Why is he so crazy?! How did he get the thing back from the guys?!).

I loved the writing style: Lamplighter perfectly balanced lighthearted anecdotes with darker moments, and occasionally incorporated back-story that added to the plot instead of slowing it down. The pacing was also great: there was never a dull moment and (as cliched as it sounds) it was hard to put the book down. You know how sometimes you can tell a book is going to be awesome by the first five pages? This was definitely the case with Prospero Lost. It ended with enough of a cliffhanger that I am desperate to buy (or rather, get Ro to buy, since I borrowed it from her) the sequel.