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The ULTIMATE book tag

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After a very stressful few months in which I really didn't have much time or energy for reading. I thought it was time to break up the monotony of random book reviews and travel posts here and there and give you a sizeable bookworm post to sink your teeth into. I chose the 'Ultimate book tag' questions because I think they give you a pretty good idea of the kind of books I like to read, and hopefully you can get a few recommendations from me while you're at it. There are a LOT of questions and it took me ages because I'm an indecisive human, so here you go!

Book Q&A Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

1984 Orwell

What are you reading right now?
I'm currently reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It's my first Gaiman experience and while I'm only 60 pages in I can already tell why he's so popular. Such a distinctive style!

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that? 
I have a few in mind. I keep wanting to read Elizabeth is Missing but I can't seem to get myself into the right mindset. I think it's going to upset me! 

What 5 book have you always wanted to read but haven't got round to? 
I don't know if there are 5 but White Teeth by Zadie Smith comes to mind. I love post-colonial lit. I also really want to read The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, and The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I'll probably go and order all of these tonight now!

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now? 
I go through fits and starts with magazines these days. Some months I look at the shelves and they just don't grab me and right now is one of those times, so the closest I have to a magazine is the George home catalog!

What's the worst book you've ever read? 
During my university studies I had to read a very chunky novel by John Lanchester called Capital, and I'm sorry to say I absolutely hated it! I can't put my finger on exactly why but the whole thing felt so contrived and just too topical to be believable!

What book seemed really popular but you didn't like?
I'll have to be obvious here and go for 50 Shades...I actually gave it a shot but the quality of writing (the structure, the descriptors used, everything) was just so poor. It might have been good as fan-fiction but I can't believe any editor let it go to print like that. The promotion of abuse also left me feeling pretty stale.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? 
Either The Hunger Games Trilogy or The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Both changed by perspective in some way and I think anyone of any age can find meaning in these books.

What are your three favourite poems? 
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, for it's classic horror feel, The Lady's Dressing Room by Jonathan Swift, because it's hilarious albeit kinda gross, and Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats, because I love his work.

Where do you usually get your books? 
Mostly online but I do make a habit of buying things in bookstores when they grab me. I can't afford to pay £12.99 for every book I read but it's nice sometimes to go in and pick up a hardback.

Where do you usually read your books? 
I used to read on my commute but these days I drive to work, so if I ever get time for a lunch break I'll read a chapter or two, but mostly these days I read at home on the sofa at the weekends.

When you were little did you have any particular reading habits? 
Only if you count writing my name (badly) in the inside of the cover!

What's the latest you've stayed up reading? 
When I was reading Mockingjay I stayed up until half 3 to finish it. That's saying something for me cos I like my sleep!

Have you ever 'faked' reading something?
No - I don't get that. I really think it's fine if you haven't read a certain classic or very popular book as reading is a very individual thing.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Not solely. Often a pretty cover attracts me to read the blurb but if it's of no interest to me I'll put it down.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Well I got started on the Potter pretty early and we all know how that ended up!

What book changed your life?
I'll refer you to the above...

What is your favourite passage from a book?
'Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction.'

What are your top five authors? 
J.K. Rowling, Sebastian Faulks, Daphne du Maurier, Suzanne Collins and George Orwell

What book has no one heard about but should read? 
The Bone People by Keri Hulme is such an amazing read and I never would have encountered it if t weren't for my uni course. It's set in New Zealand and is primarily a tale about domestic abuse and parental love but the story also draws deeply on folk culture, to the point that there's a sort of Kiwi dictionary in the back. It made me cry my eyes out.

What three books are you an 'Evangelist' for? 
The Book Thief, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Station Eleven. Look 'em up.

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? 
I cant actually think of any although I'm sure I've read some! I think Anita and Me was Meera Syal's first novel, which sticks out as something I really loved. It paints such a vivid cultural picture.

What is your favourite classic book? 
Probably either Dracula by Bram Stoker or Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Both turned out to be total page-turners when I was expecting them to be drab and old fashioned. Everybody should read them.

Five other notable mentions? 
Regeneration by Pat Barker, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe and Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell.

I found this tag on a few blogs while hunting for something fun and bookish to write for this post, but they were all from over a year ago so I reckon most people have done this already. Hooowever, if any of you lovely lot have yet to do so, I'm tagging you all! Please make sure you link to your answers in the comments below so I can have a cheeky ganders!

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