I saw this over on Callum McLaughlin’s blog. It looked like a lot of fun, and he open-tagged it, so I thought I’d give it a try. ^-^ I tried hard to think of a different book for each category, since there are a couple of my very favorites which could fit pretty well into several all by themselves. haha
Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?
I found Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier, in a used bookstore. The title was intriguing and when I pulled it off the shelf to take a look at it, I was immediately captivated by the gorgeous Kinuko Y. Craft painting on the cover. That’s pretty much when I knew that I had to get it. ^-^ And it was sooo excellent! As spellbinding and richly detailed as the cover.
Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you bought because of the summary?
This is actually my general MO when it comes to books. ^-^ Although, it is rare that a synopsis is tempting enough for me to take a chance on an author that I don’t know. But that was definitely the case with The Time Roads, by Beth Bernobich. It is still in my ‘unread’ box at the moment, but my excitement to dive into it hasn’t dimmed even a little. The synopsis reads thusly:
Eire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects; Europe is a disjointed mess; and many look to Eire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Irish scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for man’s benefit and who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.
Time travel and alternate Irish history? Yes please! ^-^
Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?
Oh, so many! ^-^ From my recent readings though, I definitely have to say Thomas the Rhymer, by Ellen Kushner. It is an older book, based on an even older balled called, “True Thomas”, and the writing is woven so poetically that it really does remind me of a piece of music. It was so lovely, it lingered in my head long after I finished it. Here is one of my favorite passages (at least of those with no spoilers. ^-^):
What songs do you sing to them in Elfland? There, where all songs are true and all stories history… I have seen lovers walking in those glades, with gentle hands and shining faces, their feet light upon the grass, where little flowers shone in the shadows as though the lovers trod the starry firmament. And some I almost recognized: Niamh of the Shining Hair with Irish Oisian, Fair Aucassin with his gentle Nicolette; and two kingly men with their arms around one graceful, merry queen… other faces, other figures strangely arrayed, each one with their own story, no doubt, and now at peace, with all stories done.
And I do not know if their peace was real, or if it was only the illusion of fair Elfland, a game of the Elves, a work of art.
I could not speak to them.
Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?
I definitely have to go with Serpent’s Shadow for this one! It’s the first book in the Elemental Masters series, by Mercedes Lackey, and it is such an excellently written book! The plotting is super tight, and the characters so well drawn that they are easy to relate to… despite living in Edwardian London. And not just any old Edwardian London, one chalk full of magic! ^-^ Best kind, am I right? It pulled me in so thoroughly, that the next day I went out and bought the other three books that were out at the time. Now I own ALL of them!
Well, except for the one that just hit pre-order status on amazon… but sooooon! ^o^
Phase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?
Though it took me a little bit to get into it, Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, ended up being one of the most intense reads I’ve had in a long time. It is an exploration of how the darkness within humanity always rises up to snuff out the light, yet the light always returns. Mostly the darkness though, it is some heavy stuff. Once I got into the second chapter, I could barely put the book down. And, even when I did, I still lay awake thinking for a long time before I could sleep. The writing is very good, and I really enjoyed the way he wove the six stories together into a single narrative.
Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?
Honestly a lot of Particia A. McKillip books fall into this category, it’s one of the things I love about them. ^-^ One which particularly comes to mind is actually an anthology of hers called Wonders of the Invisible World; which is filled with stories that live on the border between our world and that of magic. The ones I really can’t get out of my head are, “The Kelpie” and “Jack O’ Lantern”.
Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?
My books are mainly paperback, and they don’t have textured covers… I did get my hands on a hardback version of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton, once. The slightly raised texture of the cover is wonderful! I really need to buy it. ^-^
Phase 8 – Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?
This is tough, as I generally prefer to tailor a recommendation to the specific person. ^-^ Still, there are some amazing classics that everyone should read; and one of my favorites is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s really about learning to move on from sorrow, to rediscover that love for life and other people. Pretty sure everyone can get behind that. ^-^
Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?
Andre Norton’s The Scent of Magic is probably my favorite book of all time… so far anyhow. ^-^ It’s impossible to pick my favorite part, story element, or even character, because I love them all. I have already re-read it a number of times, and I know I will continue to do so well into the future. This book just calls out to me every once in awhile. I would dig through every box in the whole garage to find it if I had to.
Phase 10 – Share the love: Who do you tag?
Well, I think that Zen, over at Zen Scribbles would really enjoy it. ^-^ But really, I want to tag everyone! It’s such a fun tag. You should give it a try! I’d love to see any responses, either in the comments or on your blog.