The Christmas Stocking Book Tag

I had to make use of the eggs and butter in my fridge, so tonight I’m baking for the first time all season.

And, to honor the holy rite of seasonal baking, I’m doing the Christmas stocking tag. (I stole this idea from Mel’s 12 Days of Blogmas. Read her post and check out her queer book recommendations.)

I’m catching a ferry home tomorrow. Because of some weird blips in my family’s schedule, we’re celebrating with the extended family on Saturday, exchanging gifts on Sunday, and saving stockings till Tuesday.

As much as I love opening gifts, Christmas stockings might be my favorite part of the holiday.

Here’s hoping I get chocolate.

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…an orange!

Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

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This book was a delight.

Sometimes the defiant optimism fronted by some single authors wears me down.

Glynnis MacNicol’s adventures offer peace. I believe she’s satisfied with her life as it is.

I need all the hope I can get.

 

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum)

Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

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My favorite Saturdays are Bookstore Saturdays. Whenever the mood strikes, I take the street car to the bookstore and troll for cheap paperbacks as a reward for my continued existence.

I never MEAN to buy books full-price.

I shouldn’t have looked at the new books table.

What was I to do when I saw a pink-and-rainbow paperback covering a year’s worth of conversations over e-mail? I AM THE TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC!

This book was great, though parts of it felt a little too real. I tensed up as I relived my friends’ weddings.

Really fun book, though. I kept finding excuses to read more of it.

I was essentially useless for a few days at work.

 

You also pull out a bath bomb.

Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

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I don’t know why I was surprised by all the action in this book.

THERE’S A PIRATE SHIP ON THE FRONT COVER.

I came for the romance and got a piratey spy romp with something something about treason and artifacts or whatever.

I didn’t mind one bit.

 

Next is a pack of playing cards.

Which series won you over?

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I tried to resist.

I tried really hard.

In all honesty, this might be the only proper series I read this year.

I have yet to finish the trilogy.

 

 

You also get a candle.

Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

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I am so annoyed that this is considered a plot twist but here we go:

PRINCESS SELENE ISN’T DEAD, YOU GUYS.

She’s come to take her rightful place on the throne!

I love Cinder’s character arc, so this plot device doesn’t annoy me too much.

 

There are socks inside too.

Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

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I hadn’t read a romance in a good long while at the time of The Kiss Quotient’s release.

I forgot how comforting familiar tropes could be.

And, because I so rarely encounter them, I believe a decently-written romance deserves celebration.

This book was fun. If you’re looking for a representative of the best contemporary romance has to offer, look no further.

 

There’s also a notebook.

Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

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Liz Gilbert explores the idea of curiosity in her book Big Magic.

Instead of pushing herself to produce a draft, she pursues the things she finds interesting and sees where they lead.

Her interest in gardening led to an interest in gardening history, which led to her researching the tulip mania in the Netherlands.

All of these ideas eventually made it into her novel The Signature of All Things, which focuses mainly on spirituality, sexuality, and science.

You never know where good ideas will come from or where they’ll lead.

 

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen.

Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

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I’d really like a chance to rewrite Life and Death.

Meyer’s concept had SO MUCH POTENTIAL and could have changed the franchise if she’d approached the idea with CURIOSITY instead of forcing an agenda to prove a point.

What would an ACTUAL gender-swapped Twilight look like?

Is there a way to write it without relying on gender stereotypes or inserting disturbing abuse undertones?

MIGHT WE TRY?

There’s also a small bedside clock.

Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

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I kept putting off Heretics Anonymous because SOMEONE decided on themed reading for the months of August and September. My many new releases wilted in the corner while I powered through stacks of nonfiction reads.

I forced myself to take Heretics Anonymous on vacation and loved it SO MUCH.

I might not be an atheist, but I could relate to the protag’s lack of (and later crisis of) faith and his desire to belong.

Even though the ending has some issues (I wouldn’t want to be worshiped), it made me weep.

Only other complaint: a severe lack of toast in the narrative.

 

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch.

Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

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I knew Rachel Lynn Solomon’s debut would be harsh, but it had sisters and religion and I GUESS I’M JUST INTO THOSE THINGS.

I had NO IDEA that Rachel Lynn Solomon was local!

OR that the book was set in Seattle!

I love that added element of being able to picture exactly where the characters are.

Seattle doesn’t always feel like home, but it did while I was reading this book.

 

Please participate. I’ve seen this tag all over recently (you can find the original post at Reading Through Infinity) with a wide variety of answers.

I’m most interested in the books people find refreshing and the ones they’d rewrite.

Anyway, I have cookies to bake. Merry Almost Christmas.

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