The Wanderlust Book Tag

I found this amazing tag from Alexandra at Reading by Starlight and I thought it was such a cute tag! I wasn’t tagged by anyone, I just felt like doing a book tag today.

Secrets and lies: a book set in a sleepy small town

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Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series takes place is a small Canadian town called Twin Pines. It’s a small, sleepy town where everyone has known each other for their entire lives, but their peace is shattered when Jane Neal is found dead. Inspector  Gamache is sent to this idyllic town to find out if it was an accident or something more sinister.

Salt and sand: a book with a beach-side community

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The beach takes on a creepy vibe in The Elementals. Three beach houses stand in an area of beach slowly being swallowed back into the sea. Two prominent Mobile families united in marriage, the Mccrays and the Savages, have visited these houses for years, and two of the houses are still in use. The third is half covered in sand and full of horrors that will come back to haunt those families.

Here there be dragons: a book with a voyage on the high seas

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The second in the Gentleman Bastard series finds Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen in the middle of a new con job that takes them from the biggest casino in town to the high seas flying under the flag of piracy. There is nothing quite like the absolute insanity of the Gentleman Bastard series, and the leap from con man to pirate is such a wild ride that this book kept me enthralled the whole way through. I recommend listening to this on audio.

Tread lightly: a book set down a murky river or a jungle

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I am drawing such a blank on this one – the only book I can remember involving jungles or rivers is The Lost World which takes place in the Amazon rainforest. Journalist Edward Malone finally gets up the courage to reveal his feeling for Gladys, who turns him down because he is not adventurous enough for her. So he goes to his newspaper and requests a dangerous assignment to impress her, and he is given the job of following an expedition back to the Amazon with the incredibly pompous Professor Challenger. Professor Challenger claims he has found a lost world full of dinosaurs in the Amazon, and has assembled a team to go with him to prove it.

Frozen wastes: a book with a frost-bitten atmosphere

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I have the perfect book for this one!! Whiteout takes place at a remote research station in Antartica, and when a paramilitary force attacks the station in search for samples of a virus, chef Angel Smith and glaciologist Ford Cooper are forced to trek across the frozen wilderness alone and with limited provisions. The icy tension of this book keep me enthralled and I could not put this down.

The boonies: a book with rough or isolated terrain

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If you think I’m not going to shoehorn one of my favorite books of all time into this, you are sadly mistaken, friends!! Captain Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony is sent to survey an uninhabited planet, and becomes embroiled in a plot that leaves her and Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan, the infamous Butcher of Komarr, stranded together in unfamiliar terrain. They will have to put aside their cultural differences to work together to get back to civilization.

Hinterlands and cowboys: a book with a western-esque setting

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One of the most beautifully drawn comic series I have ever read has been Pretty Deadly,  which takes place in the Wild West. The blurb says it best: “Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father.” The artwork is simply stunning and the story has a dreamy quality that made me want more.

Look lively: a book set across sweeping desert sands

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I have wracked my brain for a book set in a desert, but I just could not think of one. This is the only one I can think of that I have read, and I DNF’d it 160 pages in because I just hated it so much.

Wild and untamed: a book set in the heart of the woods

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On a brighter note, Silver in the Wood is a quiet, sweet book about a mysterious man who has lived in the woods for a very like time and has become a part of it. He befriends a man from the local community who he comes to love. This book is so soothing to read, and the prose just flows so beautifully.

Wildest dreams: a whimsical book shrouded in magic

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The entire Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire probably counts, but my favorite is Down Among the Sticks and Bones, which features twins Jack and Jill. We learn a little about Jack and Jill in Every Heart a Doorway but this look into their backstory is so well-crafted, and is built on such an interesting world.

The rules say I have to tag 5 people, but I will just tag anyone who wants to do this tag. I hope your Sunday goes well, and I will see you all on Tuesday!

The Birthday Book Tag

It’s my birthday today, and even though I’m at that age that the most I do to celebrate is maybe buy myself a cake, I found this cute Birthday Book Tag. The original creator is Antonia at Always Books.

1 – BIRTHDAY CAKE – a book with a plot that seems cliche but you adore it anyway

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I’m a romance reader so I feel like the majority of what I read is cliche. It’s hard to choose just one, but maybe something like Roomies by Christina Lauren. It has the tried and true trope of roommates to lovers, and I freaking loved that book. It didn’t feel stale at all.

2 – PARTY GUESTS – your most anticipated book release this year

I think I’ve answered this book at least twice by now. A Heart So Fierce and Broken  by Brigid Kimmerer comes out on the 21st, and Headliners by Lucy Parker comes out on the 20th. That is going to be an awesome week. I’m considering it a late birthday present.

3 – BIRTHDAY PRESENTS – a book that surprised you with how much you loved it

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I was very surprised by how much I loved Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I know that’s a book that got super hyped when it came out, to the point of cliche, but I am not historically a poetry reader. I like narrative poetry like The Odyssey but free form poetry is not usually my jam. I always feel like I missed the point. With Milk and Honey, that was the first time I really felt like I connected with a poetry collection and for that reason I think it will always be my favorite collection.

4 – THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG – a book that certainly deserved all the hype it got

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A couple years ago, you couldn’t turn around in a book store without seeing Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I had never really seen it before the book came out, but once I bought it and read it for myself I understood why it was so beloved. I laughed at the book until I cried, and I reread it 5 times before I moved on to something else. I made other people read it after I was done.

5 – HAPPY MUSIC – a book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes

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Oh, gosh. I’m not really someone who highlights quotes or keeps quotes from anything, but if you want something that has beautiful writing I recommend News of the World by Paulette Giles. I read this book a couple years ago and I still think about it every now and then.

6 – GETTING OLDER – a book that you read a long time ago, but you think that you would appreciate it more if you read it as a more mature reader

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This is the exact box set I had LOL

I keep thinking about the Lord of the Rings trilogy and how much I loved it when I was 14 years old. And then I think about how much I hated The Hobbit because I was made to read it in the 6th grade. 11-year-old me hated every book that forced onto me by English teachers, but I feel like 32-year-old me would appreciate it a lot more.

7 – SWEET BIRTHDAY MEMORIES – a book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

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I feel like I was a pretty moody teenager (I was probably the Worst to be around) but the thing that made me happiest throughout my teenage years was probably Harry Potter. I read and reread them and I got into the fandom pretty deeply. I feel like for about a straight decade my life revolved around Harry Potter, which sounds super weird I know.

What a fun tag! Now I’m going to go find some cake to complete my birthday festivities 🙂

The Christmas Carol Book Tag

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I found this amazing tag through SavidgeReads on YouTube and wanted to give it a go! It was originally created by Lauren Wade on YouTube.

1. The Ghost of Christmas Past – A book that was a childhood favourite.

I was not really a reader until I was a teenager, but we always had a ton of Dr. Seuss books around the house when I was a kid. Green Eggs and Ham was a favorite, as was Horton Hears a Hoo. Our copy of Green Eggs and Ham was my mother’s when she was a child, and the cover was barely attached. I still have it in a box somewhere.

2. The Ghost of Christmas Present – A recent book that you think will become one of your favourites.

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold is going to be one of my favorite books for sure. I am already planning to reread it once I’ve finished the last 5 books in the series. Generally I am not a rereader, but I loved that book so much that I think it might become one that I pull out when I want to read something amazing.

3. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come – A book coming out next year you’re excited about.

Oh, there are so many that I want to read! There are two coming out in January that I have been chomping at the bit to read. One is A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kimmerer, which is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely. The other book I am excited for is Headliners by Lucy Parker. I love Lucy Parker, I think she can do no wrong. I will read whatever she wants to publish.

4. Bah Humbug – A book everyone loves you can’t stand.

My answer for this question used to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I still don’t really like that book, but there is another book that I disliked more that everyone seems to be nuts over, and that is Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. I did not get that book at all, and I felt like my brain was much once I finished it.

5. Bob Cratchett – An old dependable you always recommend.

I will always recommend Good Omens to people who like that sort of dry British humor. I would say either that one or Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. I think both of them have a wide appeal.

6. Tiny Tim – An underhyped book you think deserves more love.

There was a book I read when I was a teenager that I loved but I have literally never seen anyone else read it. It’s called The Descent by Jeff Long. It is about these creatures that live in the center of the earth. Some cave divers are exploring some underexplored caves and come across a crag that goes deeper than they thought. They meet these demonic beings that come from tunnels that run all through the earth’s crust. It turns out that these demonic beings and these tunnels actually were the original inspiration for the concept of Hell. I was super fascinated by this book. There is a lot of sociology and anthropology woven throughout and I thought the idea was super well plotted out. There was a sequel called Deeper that expanded on the whole concept some more and introduced a Satan-like being. There was supposed to be a third that still has not come out and I am still very sad about that. I’ve been waiting almost 20 years for the trilogy to be complete!

7. Today? Why it’s Christmas Day – What’s a book that always gets you in the mood for Christmas (not a Christmas Carol!)

There’s not a specific book that really gets me in the mood for Christmas. I tend to start reading holiday romances in November and it kind of keeps me from falling into that seasonal “I work in customer service during the rudest time of the year” depression.

8. The Muppets Christmas Carol – Your favourite film adaptation of a book.

I’m assuming I can’t choose The Muppets Christmas Carol for this prompt, so I would have to say Good Omens.  I know, I know, that was a TV series adaptation, but it was such a great adaptation! I loved the way that they stayed true to the story but also updated it for 2019. I never binge watch anything, but I watched all 6 episodes in one afternoon.

9. Tag some people.

If you want to do this tag, please consider yourself tagged!

The Litha/Yule Tag

repThe Fae: The Fae like to come out and play with humans at this time of year. Share a book about the Fairy folk.

I read The Replacement by Brenda Yovannoff several years ago and loved it. It features the fae in their more terrifying form and I have been wanting to read more books in the same vein for years.

 

Fire: Bonfires are traditional at this time of year. Share a book that lit a fire under you.death

If you want to be a little angry but also well-informed, you can’t go wrong with Michiko Kakutani’s The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump. This is a small book but it packs a punch.

 

 

Nature: Getting back to nature is very important during this season. Share a book celebrating nature.soul

I will admit I floundered a bit on this prompt at first, but then I remembered an amazing memoir about octopuses called The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonders of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. I loved reading about the author’s surprisingly emotional relationship to some octopuses at an aquarium.

Song and Dance: What is a fire without some singing and dancing? A book that celebrates song and/or dance.space

I honestly didn’t super like this book, but it certainly celebrates the weirdness that comes out of Eurovision: Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. I listened to this one on audio and was mostly confused the whole time, so maybe try it in print. A lot happens, but I honestly couldn’t tell you any of the character’s names or even what the ending was. I don’t even remember if the characters won weird space Eurovision.

Yule is the celebration of the winter solstice. The shortest day and longest night.

sbDarkness: Share a book about darkness; be it lack of light or the darkness of human nature.

When it comes to the darkness of human nature, there are few who write it better than Stephen King. I read Sleeping Beauties when it came out, and it definitely falls into that category. All of the women are falling asleep and not waking up again. The world goes absolutely insane – women start taking uppers to stay awake, some men try to take advantage of the women in their vulnerable state, just absolute chaos ensues.

flowersGreenery: Bringing greenery inside is important at this time of year. Share a book with a plant name in the title or a strong plant theme.

Does Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes count as a plant name in the title? I really did love this book. I love any book that can make me cry – does that make me a masochist? I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it at first with the obvious developmental issues the narrator had (this book could have gone so terribly, terribly wrong if done badly) but once I caught on to the framing of the story it had me hooked. By the time we made it to the titular flowers for Algernon I was weeping like a baby.

sohCandles: Bringing light to the darkness is also important. Share a book that brought you light and cheer.

I think the book that made me happiest this year was probably Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I’m waiting to review the series in its entirety, but the whole relationship between Aral and Cordelia made me so happy. They are two of the most rational book characters I have ever seen, and their relationship was built on trust and communication. It was such a delight to see such a healthy relationship, and it all took place in the middle of a space opera. Absolutely splendid. PS: this series has some of the ugliest covers I have ever seen in my life, which also brings me joy.

citFeasting: Food is always an important part of any celebration. Share a book celebrating food.

For this prompt, I want to choose a book that cracked me up but also helped me out with some cooking basics. Cooking is Terrible (sadly, you still have to feed yourself) by Misha Fletcher is such an interesting resource. It is written mainly for the people who don’t particularly like cooking but still want to make food for themselves that has a good nutritional balance. It has some very simple, basic recipes with variations. It’s not so much a straightforward recipe book, it’s more of a guide to make food that tastes decent and is good for you, based on the foods that you like. It’s an especially good resource for picky eaters (which I am – I abhor onions and do you know how many recipes have onions in them? Try all of them).

I’m interested in seeing others do this tag! If you’re interested in this book tag, consider yourself tagged.

The End of the Year Book Tag 2019

I saw this tag done recently by Vicki and Sue, and it looked like fun. We only have 1 month left of this year (this DECADE, oh my god) so it feels like the right time to be thinking about how I’m going to end the year.

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Oh, yeah. More than a few. I still haven’t finished Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade, Find Me by Andre Aciman, Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold. There are a couple more that I started, but these 3 are the ones I really want to get back to before the end of the year.

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I read A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau and Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, which have very different autumn vibes. I’m past the hankering for autumn books and have fully fallen into the holiday romance novel hole.

3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

There is a new Roni Loren coming out on December 31st which I am super pumped for. I loved the first 3 books in this series and I am excited to get Kincaid’s story. The new Cat Sebastian is coming out on December 10th as well.

4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Ooh, that’s a hard one. I’ve spoken about my complete inability to follow a TBR before, and I don’t want to tempt fate here. But I would like to get to Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse, Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis, and A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson.

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, maybe the Roni Loren? I have no idea!

6. Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

I have several pre-orders already in for 2020, and a couple ARCs that come out next year that I need to get to. I will of course set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books, but since these last 2 years I have hit (or at least I will have assumed I have hit) 200 books, I will unofficially be banking on at least another 200. As for what titles I plan to pick up, I will be following my usual randomly-picking-this-up-because-I-want-to-read-it-in-this-specific-moment method of picking them out.

Mid-Year Book Tag and Goal Updates

It’s already JUNE (wild) which means we are almost halfway through 2019! I thought it would be nice to catch up with where I am midway through the year, and when Emily Fox did this tag on her YouTube channel, it sounded like fun. Note: I dropped the “Freak Out” part of the title because it was brought to my attention that it uses ableist language. The tag creators’ YouTube channels are here and here. At the end, I will also give an update on my goals for this year.

Mid-Year Book Tag:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

I’ve read a couple really good books this year, but I think I have to give it to A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kimmerer. I was sucked into it so fast and it was such a lovely story. I finished it in one sitting!

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

I read the first 3 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire this month, and the second one, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, was the best out of the three for me. I love the character of Jack, and I loved the contrast of Jack and Jill. I could honestly read an entire series just about Jack and Jill and the world of the Moors. Give me books about the people under the sea and about the werewolves in the hills!!!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

I keep looking at my copy of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine and sighing because I want to read it but I have so many other books that have to take precedence (ie for book club or that are due back at the library soon). I will read it sometime this year!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’ve seen a lot about Gideon the Ninth. I’m also anticipating A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and Brazen and the Beast and The Wallflower Wager. There are so many romances coming out in the latter half of this year that I want to read now.

5. Biggest disappointment.

Oh, crap. Probably A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab. I still gave it 3 stars because I enjoyed it, but it gets such hype that I thought I would like it a lot more than I did. I was expecting a 4 or 5 star, and only just barely got a 3. Very disappointing.

6. Biggest surprise.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely!! I was given an ARC by my SFF book club moderator and she loved it, but I was NOT EXPECTING to love it like I did. I was like, yeah yeah, I’ll try it so I can tell Margaret I read a little of it, but then I was almost late for book club because I couldn’t stop reading it. I even talked to my local indie about ordering it for the store. I was absolutely blown away.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

This year if the first time I read a Neil Gaiman book. I read Good Omens years ago but that was a combined effort with Terry Pratchett. This year I have read 5 Neil Gaiman books and I absolutely loved them.

8. Newest fictional crush.

I don’t really get crushes? I’m ace, I don’t work that way. Sometimes I get squishes, but it’s pretty rare.

9. Newest favourite character.

Can I say Jack from the Wayward Children series again? I really liked her. If I have to choose someone else, I can choose Hester Shaw from the Mortal Engines Quartet by Philip Reeve. She’s not a perfect character and she makes some pretty heavy mistakes when she’s angry, but she’s such a murderous anti-heroine, I love her.

10. Book that made you cry.

This is an obscure one, but So Big by Edna Ferber. I read it because of a podcast episode talking about her and how she was this huge success that has basically disappeared from public consciousness, and I FELL IN LOVE. I did not expect to connect to a story about rural farmers like that.

11. Book that made you happy.

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten. Something about reading a story about a murderous elderly lady who is willing to anything she can to be allowed to live the life she wants just rang true to me. Maybe I just have a thing for murderous women.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley is a pretty book. So is A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. I’d have to say that the book cover I’ve enjoyed most has been Startide Rising by David Brin. DOLPHINS WITH HEADGEAR. DOLPHINS IN SPACE. It was a total cover buy. I saw it on the shelf and I had to have it.

DOLPHINS IN SPACE

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I want to finish Sundiver by David Brin. I also want to read A Memory Called Empire, The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, and maybe The Poppy War by R F Kuang.

Goal update:

  1. I have surpassed my Goodreads goal of 50 books. I’ve finished 83 as of writing this post. So far, so good.
  2. The Read Harder challenge — eh, I’ve finished half of the prompts. I’m only sorta half-assing this one. If a book fits a challenge then great, but I’m not buying books specifically for this challenge. I do need to save some money for food.
  3. I think I’ve done a decent job of reading across more genres. I think that’s why I’ve read less this year than last year (this time last year I was at over 100 books). I read romance super fast, and since I’ve expanded my genres I am not as fast. My reading stats tracker says I’ve read 38% romance, 15% scifi, 16% fantasy, all the rest of the genres are below 5%.
  4. Reading books I already own — FAIL. I am so bad at this. Reading library books has been better. My stats tracker puts me at 65% library books this year, which is AMAZING.
  5. I have definitely kept to the goal of reading more audiobooks. I’ve read 35% audiobooks this year, 46% e-book, 11% hardback, and 8% paperback. I would have thought paperback would be a higher percentage than hardback, but that might be skewed by library books and Book of the Month books.
  6. I have massively failed at reading more nonfiction this year. I’m at 13% nonfiction if I add up History, Self-Help, and Memoir/Biography. Yikes. I’ll have to work on that.

Overall, I’m not doing so bad at my goals for the year. How are y’all doing on yours?

#BookishBloggersUnite – Do I Have That Book? Book Tag

I saw Sue @ DoddyAboutBooks do this tag and it looks like fun. It’s basically a book treasure hunt. It originally had a time element but Sue left it out and I will, too.

Please forgive my pictures. My cat decided to help me out with some of them, which apparently translates to attacking the books.

  1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?
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The Odyssey by Homer

Why, yes I do! My beautiful copy of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey has them.

2. Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?

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They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

Is this enough people, or do you want more? 😉

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?

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Macbeth by Jo Nesbo

It’s based on…Macbeth

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?

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There There by Tommy Orange

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

6. Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?

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Geek Girls Don’t Date Dukes by Gina Lamm

Of course! Mass market paperbacks are my faaaaaaaaaaaaaave

7. Do you have a book by an author using a penname?

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Adam Bede by George Eliot

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?

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When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perry

2 of ’em!

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

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10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?

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Daredevil vol 1 by Waid/Rivera/Martin

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (Celebrity/athlete/politician/tv personality)

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Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

I dunno, he might be a little obscure. Also, my cat says his book is very tasty.

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?

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The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H Wilson

Uh, does this count???

13. Do you have a poetry book?

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Rupi Kaur’s 2 collections

A few, not many. Here are two recent ones. I also have some Emily Dickenson and some W.B. Yeats floating around here somewhere.

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?

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The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?

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No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah Maclean

I was originally stumped and searching everywhere, but then I remembered Sarah Maclean. Like, duh, we almost have the same name.

16. Do you have a book of short stories?

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The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov

17. Do you have a book that is between 500 and 510 pages long?

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The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
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last page — 502

502!

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?

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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

19. Do you have a graphic novel?

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Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

My new fave!!

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?

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Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

It looks like 1 person, but is actually 2 dudes.

Thanks to Sue for clueing me into this tag! I had fun (so did my cat)