‘I Spy’ Book Challenge | Book Tag

Another day, another book tag. This one is the ‘I Spy’ Book Challenge that I saw on Becky’s blog, Blogs of a Bookaholic. I liked the concept and decided to give it a go. It was created by booktuber Books and Lala, who was inspired by her son’s I Spy books.


Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category.

You must have a separate book for all 20.

Get as creative as you want and make it happen in under 5 minutes!!

* * *

My plan was to search my physical book shelves and snap photos of my choices, but since my shelves are stacked two and three books deep, contain over 800 books, and are very disorganized (because of a recent home improvement project), I’ll instead refer to my digital shelves where I’ve recorded all the books I own. It’ll make it possible for me to complete this in 5 minutes (hopefully).

….yeeaa…that 5 minutes thing didn’t work out. I totally cheated.

Animal | Weapon | Transportation | Food

Animal >> Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean

I spy… a black dog.

I bought this graphic novel a couple days ago because I saw the cover in Barnes & Noble and immediately liked it. No way was I going to leave without it. It’s a graphic-novel biography of Paul Nash, who was a surrealist painter during World War I. Take a look at this Guardian article to learn more about the book and see some sample pages.

Weapon >> Lady Mechanika, Vol. 2: The Tablet of Destinies by M.M. Chen, illus. by Joe Benitez and Martin Montiel

I spy… an android carrying a shotgun.

The second volume in the Lady Mechanika steampunk comic book series. The story is set in England in the late 1800s and is about an android trying to find who created her. The story is okay, but it bored me in some spots; I love the art.

Transportation >> Journey by Aaron Becker (illus.)

I spy… a little red boat.

I need to set aside a day to read all the illustrated children’s books I own, which aren’t many but I think I own some good ones. I bought Journey about 2 years ago, I think, because I love the cover.

Food >> Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That: And Other Reflections on Being Human by Jesse Bering

I spy… some nuts.

Y’all don’t judge me. I really tried to do this in 5 minutes, so I went with the first book to catch my eye and match the title and this food one was really hard so I got stuck with Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That because of the walnuts. Anyway, I highly recommend this nonfiction book. It’s discusses a variety of topics concerning sex, sexual orientation, and gender and is easy to read. Bering is an evolutionary psychologist so topics are usually considered in light of evolution.

Number | Something I read | Body of water | Product of fire
Number >> Chester 5000, Vol. 2: Isabelle & George by Jess Fink (illus.)

I spy… 5000 (wish it was $5,000 IRL).

This was an erotic webcomic before it was published, so… not for kids. It’s set in the Victorian period and is about a woman and her robot lover. I enjoyed reading it online and bought it when I saw Jess Fink at the Small Press Expo last year.

Something I read >> Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (illus.)

I spy… another comic book.

I love Kibuishi’s art style. I was introduced to his work through the illustrations he did for the Harry Potter book covers. I love those editions so much that I searched for and bought Amulet, Vol. 1, the first in his middle-grade fantasy comic book series. It’s about a single-parent family that moves to an old house after a fateful accident only for the mother to be kidnapped by a strange creature. The kids visit a fantastical world to rescue her and learn some new stuff about their family. It was fun and I need to get and read the others in the series.

Body of water >> The Ghosts of Pineville, Vol. 2: Eye of the Death Mongrel by Sara L. Turner (illus.)

I spy… a creek.

Here’s another comic book I bought at the Small Press Expo. I think it also started out as a webcomic. I actually don’t know much about this one other than that it’s horror and is probably a ghost story. I haven’t yet read this or volume 1. I bought them because I like the covers.

Product of fire >> Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

I spy… ashes.

A YA fantasy book set in a land where some countries have only one season. The story is about a girl who learns she’s royalty and must help save her people. I enjoyed this book and intend to continue with the trilogy. My plan is to complete the trilogy this summer, but we’ll see how that goes.

Royalty | Architecture | Item of clothing | Family member 
Royalty >> Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

I spy… a king.

I’ve since forgotten what this is about. All I know is that it’s a fantasy novel and I don’t want to refresh my memory of the synopsis because this is a book that has received much hype. I prefer to go into it a bit blind.

Architecture >> The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

I spy… a tower

I should have already read this. I don’t know why I’m procrastinating on it. The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to the The Bear and the Nightingale, a YA fantasy novel inspired by Russian folklore that I read last year. I thought I would love it, but unfortunately I didn’t. I just thought the story was okay. I was really upset that I didn’t find it as immersive as everyone else says it is.

Item of clothing >> The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

I spy… a gown.

This one was tough to find because I wanted to find a cover or title that had/mentioned clothing alone so I wouldn’t have to select a cover with a model on it. Eventually I went with this because I took almost 5 minutes to find something. I don’t know what this is about exactly and I want to keep it that way. I bought the e-book because it was on sale and I love the dress and wallpaper and the model’s pose on the cover.

Family member >> Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

I spy… a sister.

Yea, dunno what this is about either. I only know it’s a fantasy novel set in the Caribbean about twin sisters, I think. I’ve always wanted to read one of Hopkinson’s books, so I hope to get to this soon.

Time of day | Music | Paranormal being | Occupation
Time of day >> Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I spy… midnight.

The second novel in the Throne of Glass series, a YA fantasy series about a girl who competes to become the king’s assassin… well, that’s what the first book is about. I gave up after Crown of Midnight because I didn’t like the protagonist much, didn’t like the love triangle, and didn’t care much for the story overall.

Music >> Jazz by Toni Morrison

I spy… some jazz.

I read this back in college and now only remember bits and pieces of the story. I remember that I really liked it and back then I thought of it as a sequel to Beloved. I forgot why. I need to give this a reread.

Paranormal being >> The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

I spy… a wendigo.

A wendigo is a monster with insatiable hunger. I think usually they are humans who become monstrous. The Curse of the Wendigo is the second novel in Yancey’s Monstrumologist series, a YA supernatural/horror novel about a boy who is an apprentice to a monstrumologist, a scientist who studies monsters. I’m enjoying this series and need to complete it. Though it was good, The Curse of the Wendigo was not as strong a story as the first book.

Occupation >> Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

I spy… an assassin. A ROYAL assassin!

The third novel in Farseer trilogy, a fantasy trilogy that is part of the larger Realm of the Elderlings series. The Farseer trilogy is about the bastard son of a prince who becomes an assassin’s apprentice. It’s a great story and I love it.

Season | Color | Celestial body | Something that grows
Season >> Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I spy… fall.

Oh I can’t wait to read this book. It’s a book of essays/letters/thoughts that Knausgaard wrote for his newborn daughter about his observations of things… that’s very vague and halfway right because I’ve forgotten what it’s about, but that’s okay. That’s why I’ll read it and share my thoughts with you.

Color >> Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I spy… Blue.

The third book in the Raven Cycle, a YA fantasy series about a group of teens searching for the grave of a dead Welsh king so he can grant them wishes. I enjoyed this series. I loved the writing and how descriptive it is and loved the presence of magic in parts of it. To me, the story has a dream-like quality to it and fluctuates between a pleasant dream and a nightmare. My favorite characters are the psychics. I kinda wish they were real (so I could visit to have my fortune read).

Celestial body >> The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I spy… a sun and a star.

This is one of my favorite book covers. I love the design of the image on the front because it makes me think of elastic bands, and I love the cover. I wish the dust jacket for my hardback book had some texture on it so I could feel the image. I received this last year and have yet to read it.

Something that grows >> Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession edited by Elizabeth Benedict

I spy… some hair.

An essay anthology about hair and women’s relationship with their hair. I bought this a couple years ago and am still interested in reading it. I have an odd (in comparison to women I know) relationship with hair because I don’t care for it. I’ll get it done so I look good, but I’m not fussy about it.


Well, that’s longer that I expected it to be all because I’m so chatty, but I’d feel weird showing the covers without saying something.

I wonder what you would choose for the categories… 😉


12 thoughts on “‘I Spy’ Book Challenge | Book Tag

  1. Hello Zezee 🙂
    This sounds like a challenging tag! Good job on thinking of the answers! I think it would be hard for me to come up with answers for this one haha.
    I took a look at Chester 5000 which seems like an interesting webcomic 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I’m so glad you decided to give this a go! Had great fun reading your answers. I REALLY struggled with the food one too, it was the last one I was able to find.

    I almost picked The Sun is Also a Sar for the same category.

    Love the look of the book you used for transport, such a cute illustration,


    1. Yea, that food one was so hard. It took forever to find a book.
      Lol yup! That’s why I bought “Journey.” The cover illustration is so cute.


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