My schedule has fluctuated massively in the last few weeks.
With new Tuesday classes, weekly dinners, and church events, I feel like I’m busy all the time.
I’m getting a rare night in to recalibrate and get some reading done.
Writing-wise, my brain is broken, so I’ve been stacking up the book tags.
Today, I finally participate.
1. The Struggle of Getting Started
A book or series you struggle to begin because of its size
My friend Claire lent me Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain after I professed halfhearted interest in the story.
I keep waffling on whether or not I’m going to read it.
The book isn’t just long; it’s also dense.
I have a lot of traumatic fantasy books I’m working on. I don’t know that I’ll have time for depressing Civil War shenanigans.
2. Cleaning Out the Closet
A book or series you want to unhaul
This was a heartbreak: I ditched Marissa Meyer’s Heartless in favor of the paperback copy.
I’ve been prioritizing books to buy on my next Powell’s trip for months; I added Heartless to my list without thinking.
And then I removed it.
I don’t think I want to return to this story.
3. Opening Windows and Letting Fresh Air In
A book that was refreshing
I finished Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto by Lesley Hazleton last week.
It was really quick and beautiful.
Hazleton’s perspective spoke to the part of me that wants a more open, accepting faith.
God is so, so much bigger than we can understand.
4. Washing Out the Sheets
A scene you wish you could rewrite
Looking back, I’ve seen several “should have known I was ace-spec” moments in my teen years.
One such moment happened while reading the fabulous Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
I expected the romantic buildup between Katsa and Po to last the entire book.
I was disappointed when the couple had sex after only 80 pages of buildup.
Cashore is welcome to write her couples however she wants.
For my little demi heart, I would have prolonged the tension.
If I’d written the book, the scene by the campfire would have stopped at a kiss (if that).
5. Throwing Out Unnecessary Knick-knacks
A book in a series you didn’t think was necessary
I thought Meg Cabot writing a mid-series Princess Diaries novella was a cute gimmick the first time.
Not sure why she chose to keep pumping out interstitial Princess Diaries novels for the rest of the series.
I REALLY don’t like them.
The Princess Present is the most egregious, as it doubles down on a plot point (Lilly and Michael have never been to Genovia) that Cabot contradicts in the final book.
Also, I REALLY hate retellings of The Gift of the Magi.
Again, IT WAS CUTE THE FIRST TIME.
Honestly, that story is toxic as all hell. Can we clear the collective consciousness and start again with a story that DOESN’T INVOLVE THE SELLING OF PRECIOUS ITEMS?
6. Polishing Doorknobs
A book that had a clean finish
I was rather impressed with the way Maureen Johnson ended Truly Devious.
Normally I hate cliffhangers.
This one set me up for a sequel I can’t wait to read.
7. Reaching to Dust the Fan
A book that tried too hard to relay a certain message
Tyler Johnson Was Here is Jay Cole’s first book and, for the most part, it’s wonderful.
It loses focus a bit toward the end.
Sure, one story can be a grief novel, a friendship novel, a love story, a coming-of-age, and a family tale.
That formula is hard to execute in only 300 pages.
If I’d edited this book, the love story would have been the first thing to go.
8. The Tiring Yet Satisfying Finish
A series that was tiring but satisfying to get through
The Lunar Chronicles gets pretty dark and some of the short stories in Stars Above are tiresome, but the ending is so worth it.
Runner-up: The Graceling Realm books are more companion novels than sequels, but I was happy to see the three leads finally intersect by the end of Bitterblue.
That felt good! Almost as good as actually cleaning my apartment!
If you’d like to spring clean your own book collection, I permit thee to participate.