You may have noticed my recent spate of book tags.
It’s all part of Comfort Month: instead of kicking myself for not working on more serious drafts, I’m talking about books.
I’ve read and absorbed and copied a jillion tags this month and I keep looking for more.
But the one I really wanted didn’t exist yet.
So I made it.
I live in Seattle. In a list, the city is rain, coffee, homeless people, and protests. We love irony and postmodernism
We also love donuts.
I frequent the Top Pot near the ferry terminal.
Even though I’ve had better donuts elsewhere, I consider Top Pot donuts comfort food. I love seeing the colors of the sprinkles change every season. When I need to catch a ferry, I try to hit Top Pot before they run out of my feather boas (my favorite.)
Spending money on unnecessary carbs mirrors the money I spend on books.
As far as rules go:
- Pingback to this post so I can read it your answers.
- If you’ve laid eyes on this post, you have been tagged. No permission needed.
- If someone tags you, thank them. Be polite.
- Tag 3 to 5 people. As a good faith gesture, I’ll tag people myself
On to the donuts.
(Note: Top Pot uses “doughnuts” as their official spelling. Can confirm “donuts” taste better.)
An old-school book someone forced you to read
I don’t know WHAT I was doing in the summer of 2010.
I was supposed to be reading Great Expectations for AP English.
I put off my reading until 2 weeks before class started, when a friend told me we had to have the book finished, annotated, and analyzed before our first class.
So I binge-read Dickens. Typical Lauren move.
I enjoyed the book well enough. My friends and I would whisper “conwict” to each other during class.
However, this book confirmed for me that I could never study literature. Our teacher kept pressing us for themes and motifs that I could not for the life of me see.
One motif I picked up on was the frequent mention of wolves…which is apparently not an “official” theme. In a subjective field, I somehow always manage to be wrong.
A book everyone you know has read
Sometime between third and fourth grade, everyone I knew read The Giver.
The book looked like another survivalist story (WHY WERE THOSE A FOURTH-GRADE STAPLE?), so I avoided it.
This stupid book haunted me for years; people at parties would cry, “You’ve never read The Giver!?”
When did The Giver become a literary litmus test?
The book gives me serious The Samurai Garden vibes. I won’t read it.
Double Trouble (chocolate on chocolate)
An over-the-top book
2012 was The Year of the Retelling.
My favorite ever retelling is Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars. (Sci-fi Persuasion – it’s a treat.)
The same year I purchased Darkness, I found a trippy-looking novel called Masque of the Red Death, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s short story.
I’d done an extensive Poe unit in my AP English class. I loved gothic horror! And post-apocalyptic literature! And love triangles!
The first line in the Goodreads synopsis is, “Everything is in ruins.” Should have taken that as a sign.
The book was a nightmare.
Bethany Griffin packed so much angst into the book’s 300 pages.
This book had the weirdest resolution to its love triangle – YES, WEIRDER THAN CLOCKWORK PRINCESS.
I didn’t realize there were two sequels. THE AGONY! THE DESPAIR!
Valley Girl Lemon
A problematic book you still kind of like
I’m pulling a lot of memories from my AP English class. I didn’t realize donuts would send me down Memory Lane. WHAT IS HAPPENING?
My AP English teacher loved the book Their Eyes Were Watching God.
She raved about the book before, during, and after our Zora Neale Hurston unit. I remember her calling it her second-favorite book after The Great Gatsby (Ms. Taylor, if I’m misrepresenting the facts, please let me know.)
According to Ms. Taylor, this book was a feminist masterpiece chronicling the journey of Janie Crawford toward true love and independence.
In the last third of the novel, after two abusive marriages, Janie shacks up with Tea Cake, a much-younger man.
…Tea Cake beats Janie.
Ms. Taylor tried really hard to justify this. She said the beating was cultural, part of the gender roles of the time and location. She pointed out that Tea Cake loved Janie and treated her like an equal.
…HE STILL BEATS JANIE.
AN ABUSE SURVIVOR.
Something threatens Tea Cake’s masculinity, so he starts hitting Janie to compensate.
As terrible as that is, this novel has the most beautiful ending I’ve ever read.
And Janie shoots a rabid Tea Cake, which I guess makes everything okay.
Bavarian Crème Bismark
A book with more substance than you expected
When I first moved here, I read trashy YA novels from the library to cope.
I expected My Life Undecided to provide the sort of wacky hijinks I could happily mock. I mean, the main character leaves all of her life decisions up to the followers of her blog. That’s sitcom material!
This book…was not…a sitcom.
That’s not to say it wasn’t funny or wacky in places.
Still, I wasn’t expecting to take an emotional journey.
Jessica Brody took her main character’s emotions seriously. She treated the protagonist’s mistakes and identity crisis with tenderness.
As a 23-year-old Seattle newcomer, I could really relate.
You know you’re in trouble when you tear up over a 15-year-old’s viral blog posts.
The ending made me so happy.
Pink Feather Boa
A book that seemed special but turned out to be pretty standard
Linda Buckley-Archer writes as if she expects her book to become a classic.
It feels a little insulting.
Time travel is interesting. Cutpurses are interesting.
So why am I stuck reading about a kiddie love triangle and old-timey etiquette?
In my image-searching, I learned American publishers retitled the first installment The Time Travelers, probably because the story had more to do with the kids than with the promised cutpurse.
A book that saved your mood, your day, your sanity, or your life
I wrote in my lost copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here.
When I write in books, I don’t make deep observations – I just respond to the story and characters.
Main character Mikey suffers from anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
A chapter toward the end takes place during one of Mikey’s therapy sessions. The entire chapter consists of dialogue between Mikey and his therapist.
I wrote all over the margins.
I don’t remember what I said, but I know I kept telling him it was okay: “It’s okay if you feel like shit. It’s okay if you feel guilty. It’s okay if you think you have to save the world. You’re not a freak. You’re not crazy. You are so loved.”
I didn’t realize at the time I was writing to myself.
A heavy hitter, due to the topic, length, or prose
This was a difficult read.
I recognized myself in these pages and felt so ashamed.
I don’t want to make this about my feelings (that’s one of the book’s main admonitions.)
Reading this, though, I discovered I’m not as understanding and open-minded as I’d like to believe.
A family favorite or a book read to you by a relative
If I’m not mistaken, my parents read the entire Little House on the Prairie series to me and my brothers.
I remember Alonso and the snow candy.
That’s about it.
A new favorite that lit up your reading year
It’s better to have too many options than too few, right?
That’s where I’m currently struggling.
I suppose if I had to pick one, it would be…
Some of the poems in this collection, though graphic, told me what I needed to hear.
There’s a poem about worth that broke me. Kaur likens herself to a small town that others treat like a big city.
She ends the poem with, “Don’t come here with expectations and try to make a vacation out of me.”
A relationship I thought would last a lifetime ended last year. I’m tired of being treated like peoples’ getaway. I want to be a staple in someone’s life.
I have no idea what that looks like.
Dear fellow bloggers: no pressure. Feel free to participate (or not) at your leisure.
May @ Forever and Everly
Zezee @ Zezee with Books
Cait @ Paper Fury
Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books
Moira @ For the Lover of Books
Carolina @ Third Person Limited
This is open to anyone else with a book or donut interest. Please. Hop on this train.
Expect more Halloween nonsense in the near future.
I might get back to serious stuff before NaNoWriMo, but…
…I have two more tag ideas. So who knows what the future holds?