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I batch filmed a whole bunch of book tags back in early June to use throughout the summer, and today we’re diving in to one of them, because I’m almost ready for my first NetGalley YA review round-up, but I wasn’t able to film in time to edit for this Saturday’s upload date. So we’re doing the rapid fire book tag originally put out on YouTube by GirlReading. If you’d rather watch and listen, I’ve embedded the video here. Two things to note: 1. I accidentally skipped question 23 when I filmed, so that one’s not in the video. 2. I filmed in early June, so some of my answers below are actually different now!
1. Ebook or physical book?
I will always prefer a physical copy to any other format, always, but that’s not to say ebooks don’t have their benefits. I can’t take a whole library of physical books along in my bag, now, can I?
2. Paperback or hardback?
While paperbacks are super efficient all around (cheaper, smaller, lighter, more forgiving of being carried in a bag…) but nothing beats the beauty and luxury of a hardback.
3. Online or in-store book shopping?
I love visiting book stores! LOVE it! But don’t let me into a book store if you need me within the next three hours, or don’t want me to spend money…
4. Trilogies or series?
I would argue that trilogies are series, since a series is multiple books following the same plot line, characters or world. Same with duologies. That said, I would say I prefer trilogies to longer series because when the author has an end in mind they tend not to write past the end of the story. Some series end because the market says you should have stopped way back there, we’re not buying anymore.
5. Heroes or villains?
Villains! They’re way more interesting.
6. a book you want everyone to read.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. [Goodreads]
7. Recommend an under-rated book.
The Dying Days by Shannon Patrick Sullivan. [Goodreads]
I realize a 4.10 average on Goodreads is nothing to shake a stick at, but that’s only 10 reviews, it’s not well known at all, and some reviews I’ve seen elsewhere are actually quite scathing. One in particular was definitely written by someone who had a stick up his *** at the time…
8. The last book you finished.
Video answer from June 11th: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins [Goodreads]
Up to date answer: Esme’s Gift by Elizabeth Foster [Goodreads]
9. The last book you bought.
Video answer from June 11th: The Oppenheimer Alternative by Robert J. Sawyer [Goodreads] …and I still haven’t read it yet! Other books keep bumping it down the TBR.
Up to date answer: I just bought ebook copies of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon [Goodreads], Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi [Goodreads], and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett [Goodreads], and I used my July Audible credit on The Deep by Rivers Solomon [Goodreads].
10. Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark.
I’m not sure how weird this is as a bookmark in general, but it was a weird thing to find left in a book that I had clearly been using as a bookmark at some point, and that’s a Vancouver metro region Translink “fair saver” card. While I was arranging my bookshelf, a fair saver that was used on Friday April 8, 2011 fell out of one of my books, which means I was reading it on the bus to/from Kwantlen Polytechnic University back when I was studying history.
What’s weird about that? Three things. First, Translink switched to an electronic card system, so these paper fair savers haven’t been sold in years. Second, Kwantlen had a monthly student pass by that semester, so why was I using a single-trip fair saver that day? Third, how the heck did it stay in my book without being discovered or lost, especially considering I’ve moved across the country since then, in nine years?
11. Used books, yes or no?
Yes, but with the caveat that you should support authors by buying new if you’re able. Buy used if you can’t afford new, if the book is out of print, or if you have reasons not to financially support that particular author but still need the book.
Of course that opinion does not extend to overpriced textbooks. I’ve done the sciences. Dang those books are pricey! Some of them cost more than the course itself!
12. Top Three Genres
Science fiction and fantasy are my top two genres, for sure! In the video I said mystery for number three, but if I’m being honest with myself, lately it’s contemporary fiction.
13. Borrow or buy?
I will always prefer to buy and own a copy of any book if I’m able (and I will always be tempted to re-purchase in phsyical copy if I enjoyed an ebook or audiobook,) but I appreciate libraries and generous friends.
14. Characters or plot?
Plot. Good characters can’t fix a bad plot, but a great plot will keep me reading even if I don’t really like the protagonist.
15. Long or short books?
Long! If I like it, it can’t be long enough. (Unless I have ARC/review copies piling up on my TBR, then I want to plough through and finish everything!)
16. Long or short chapters?
I really don’t care. I’ll stop and start wherever I need to. This is probably why I struggle with figuring out where to break chapters when I write!
17. Name the first book you think of…
Video answer: All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner. [Goodreads]
Impromptu new answer as I write this post: A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney [Goodreads]
18. Books that made you laugh or cry.
The book that popped into my head for this in the video was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. [Goodreads] Obviously this is one that made me cry. It’s a romance between two terminally ill teenagers.
19. Our world or fictional worlds?
Fictional worlds. They’re so much more interesting than ours. Well, usually. Right now ours is a little too interesting for all the wrong reasons, and I’d like to escape.
20. Audiobooks, yes or no?
Yes! Some books I’d rather listen to than read if I can’t have a physical copy. (I will always take a physical copy over any other option if price and availability aren’t an issue.) I’m a freelance artist and I do commit myself to producing two art videos for my other YouTube channel twice a week, so that’s when I do a lot of listening to things I need to pay attention to. I actually find I retain vivid memories of what I was listening to while working on a piece, too. Even if the piece has nothing to do with what I was listening to, I look at the piece and I remember the ebook, podcast or YouTube video that was playing.
21. Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
Of course! Before finding the book community online, this was honestly how I did most of my new author discovery. I browsed shelves until a cover jumped out at me.
22. Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?
Book to TV, because if it’s done right then nothing has to get cut, all the characters get their full arcs, and the production might even improve on the source material. Movies, being restricted to a sensible single-sitting run time, have to make cuts.
23. A movie or TV show you prefer to its book.
(This is the question I accidentally skipped in the video.)
I genuinely cannot think of an adaptation that’s better than the book in my opinion, but there’s one that holds a special place in my heart despite its flaws: Earthsea.
In 2004, a TV network adapted Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea into a four-part mini series, and later edited it together as a 3.5 hour long movie released on DVD. I own a copy of that DVD, and I adore it! The cast stars Shawn Ashmore, Kristin Kreuk, and Danny Glover. It actually melds the end of A Wizard of Earthsea with the first half of The Tombs of Atuan in a way that really ties Ged’s mistake with The Shadow into everything happening on Atuan in a way I didn’t really appreciate when I first read the books as a teenager.
That said, this adaptation took a lot of liberties with Le Guin’s work, and she was quite vocal about hating it. I certainly did notice that the Ged and Tenar attraction is played up a lot, quite a few use-vs-true names are reversed from what they’re meant to be in the books, and they completely cut Ged’s Otak familiar.
The name thing is particularly important, because like in most high fantasies, your true name has power and it’s something to be guarded. In Le Guins books, Ged is his true name, the name that holds power, and his use-name is Sparrowhawk. (His childhood use-name was Duny.) In the adaptation, Ged is the name everyone calls him, and Sparrowhawk holds power. Same with Tenar, who is just Tenar in the adaptation, but in the books her adult use-name is Goha. Ogion they got right, at least. They don’t have him telling everyone to call him Aihal and keeping his lips tight about the name Ogion.
24. Series or stand-alone?
It depends. I prefer to read a stand-alone from a new author (debut, new to me, whatever), but once I find an author I like, I welcome a series.