Back to the Future Tag

Since I’m posting book tags all week, I thought why not catch up on ones I was actually tagged for. (Great idea, right?!) I decided to do so starting with the Back to the Future Tag, which was created by Getting Through Anxiety, whose favorite movie is Back to the Future. I enjoyed watching it too, back in the day.

I was tagged by Emma, the Bookish Underdog.

Name a movie/book/show that makes you want to go back in time when you were younger and enjoy it all over again!

Let’s see…


Mary Poppins

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Old Books Tag

It’s going to be a tag-filled week to make up for the few weeks that’ve gone by without me posting a tag. Today, I’m here with the Old Books Tag, which was created by booktuber Books and Pieces. So settle in to discuss some stuffy, moldy, old books. 😉

Have you ever bought a book that was made before you were born? (the physical book, not the text)

The Wine of Astonishment by Earl Lovelace

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Me in Book Characters Tag

Oh my gosh! It’s been so long since I’ve done a book tag. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long (about 2 full weeks!!!) without doing one since committing to this blogging thing. I enjoy doing tags too much.

Well, I’m jumping back into tags by doing one I was actually tagged for: “Me in Book Characters” Tag, which was created by Ash & Lo, who both run Windowsill Books. I was tagged by the awesome Orangutan Librarian.

The rules:
  1. Thank the creators of the tag.
  2. Thank whoever tagged you!
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

I actually procrastinated on this tag because I thought it was a difficult one to do. Once I read the requirements, my mind went blank and I couldn’t think of any characters. That was until I saw Emily at Embuhlee list do this tag and reminded me of a character that’s similar to me and it’s:

Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

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“Tess of the Road” by Rachel Hartman

I was excited for this one. I’m a fan of Hartman’s Seraphina duology, which is a YA fantasy duology about a girl trying to accept who she is. That duology is set in a world where dragons can adopt human form, but in some countries in the world, relation between humans and dragons is quite tense.

I enjoyed those books for their detailed writing and for introducing me to such an interesting world, which we get to explore more in the duology’s second book, Shadow Scale, which explores more of the world as well as the region where the dragons live.

I was sad when the duology ended, but was excited and hopeful when I heard of Tess of the Road, a new book set in the same world. I once again looked forward to Hartman’s detailed writing and to explore more of the world. But sadly, I didn’t enjoy Tess’s book as much as Seraphina’s.

Goodreads summary:

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

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“Above the Timberline” by Gregory Manchess

I was beyond excited when I was contacted to receive a copy of this book to review. I learned of the book through one of Mogsy’s Stacking the Shelves posts and immediately added it to my TBR because it’s described as a “painted novel,” which I interpreted as “this is a book Zezee MUST read!”

I was sent a free completed copy of the book from Wunderkind PR, which I am grateful for (Thanks y’all!!!), but (of course) I’ll be totally honest in my review.

Goodreads summary:

From renowned artist Gregory Manchess comes a lavishly painted novel about the son of a famed polar explorer searching for his stranded father, and a lost city buried under snow in an alternate future.

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about finally came, the topography was ripped apart and the weather of the world was changed—forever. Now the Earth is covered in snow, and to unknown depths in some places.

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“The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle

I learned of this book back when Naz at Read Diverse Books hosted a Diverse SFF readalong for it. I was unable to participate in the readalong at the time and wasn’t sure if the novella was one I really wanted to read, but when I saw it in Barnes & Noble back in December, I picked it up recalling Naz’s review of it and started reading it on my way home. I was surprised that I was immediately hooked on the story.

Goodreads summary:

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break? (Goodreads)

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“Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland

This isn’t the book I went to Barnes & Noble to buy.

I visited the store after the rush of Thanksgiving break to use a couple coupons Barnes & Noble tempted me with so I could buy Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color. I’d always wanted a book specifically about color and because the cover of St. Clair’s book appealed to me, I decided to get it. But while searching for that book, I found Art & Fear.

Art & Fear is a book I’ve often seen on lists recommending books to writers and artists. I recall making a mental note to read it back in college, but promptly forgot about it as soon as the note was made. However, that memory came back to me when I saw the book sitting on the shelf. I was pulled toward it. I had no intention of purchasing any additional book to St. Clair’s, yet I found myself leaving the store with Art & Fear in my bag.

I immediately began to read it.

That doesn’t happen often. Usually a book would languish on my shelves for a couple months before I get to them, but it was hard to ignore Art & Fear. I felt a need to read it, and as I read, I realized it was a book I should have read long ago. Art & Fear is a necessary read for all artists and creators no matter what their field or medium or skill or expertise. All levels of artists and creators can benefit from reading this book.

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Wishes for My TBR Pile #22: It’s back

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these; not since last June, actually. That’s about half a year ago. I’ve since forgotten why I fell off with these posts, probably because I was busy for much of the second half of last year, but I’d like to start posting them again.

Wishes for My TBR Pile is a monthly post where I list and sometimes discuss the books I’ve discovered and would like to get and read. I refer to these lists whenever I visit a bookstore and can’t decide on what to get. But since this year is about being disciplined, budgeting and buying less, I will use these lists to guide what I borrow from the library.

Just to be clear, I haven’t read any of the books on this list. Also, the majority of them are old books, meaning they weren’t published in 2018 and probably not in 2017 either. If I made note of where I first heard of the book, I’ll include a link to the source, so you can check out the review (it’s usually a review) or mention.

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“No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters” by Ursula Le Guin

No Time to Spare is Le Guin’s book of essays, the majority of which appeared as posts on her blog between 2010 and 2012. Despite the informality of being a blog post, the essays all carry much significance as Le Guin weighs in on a variety of topics – her cat, old age, economics, social issues, etc. There isn’t much on writing or the creative process, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this book isn’t for you.

I had difficulty writing about this one. For some books, it would be better if I did a shorter review post, like some of those posts I see where folks bunch together reviews of books. I do that sometimes, at the end of the month, but I don’t count them as my actually reviews because they don’t include all that I thought of what I read. (Not that my reviews always include all my thoughts on the books, but they come close.)

I had difficulty with this one because though I was engaged in Le Guin’s essays as I read, they didn’t affect me much; so when done, it was easy to forget much of what was said. So basically, not much stuck with me after completing the book and now when I think on it, I draw a blank. The only thing that pops up is that I recall admiring the way Le Guin writes and wishing I could write half as well as her. Also, the essays about Pard, her cat, made me want a pet feline too.

Overall: ★★★☆☆ 1/2

Interesting and great while I read it, but not memorable in retrospect.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

I think it is worth a read, especially if you are a fan of Le Guin’s.

P.S.: I’ll have to reread this one someday. I just can’t believe that I’m blanking on it.

“The Storm King” by Brendan Duffy

I requested this book for review through NetGalley and was glad when I was granted an e-copy by Ballantine Books. I’d seen the novel mentioned in a Shelf Awareness newsletter and was immediately intrigued because I liked the title. I assumed it would be a paranormal novel and didn’t bother reading the synopsis, so I was surprised when I later realized it’s a thriller/suspense story.

Goodreads summary:

Haunted by dark secrets and an unsolved mystery, a young doctor returns to his isolated Adirondacks hometown in a tense, atmospheric novel in the vein of Michael Koryta and Harlan Coben.

Burying the past only gives it strength — and fury.

Nate McHale has assembled the kind of life most people would envy. After a tumultuous youth marked by his inexplicable survival of a devastating tragedy, Nate left his Adirondack hometown of Greystone Lake and never looked back. Fourteen years later, he’s become a respected New York City surgeon, devoted husband, and loving father.

Then a body is discovered deep in the forests that surround Greystone Lake.

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