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.