The Christmas Stocking Tag

Hello everyone! Today is a super fun post as I’ve been tagged by Kate (Reading Through Infinity) to do the Christmas Stocking tag. This was created by Kate herself and is a really creative, fun and christmassy way to chat about books. So here we go!

Rules

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to me, as I’d love to read your answers
  • Answer all 10 questions, choosing books for each theme
  • Tag five people to do this

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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I feel like I keep banging on about this book, but Beartown by Fredrik Beckman is absolutely groundbreaking.  It isn’t afraid to confront hard topics head on, and is so refreshing to read a book that tells it how it is. Through multiple perspective narration, Backman allows a full picture to be painted about the small town and the people in it. Yikes. Just go and read it already.

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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The last *expensive-ish* book I bought was An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. I bought it as soon as it came out, and so is one of the rare books I own in hardback form. Man, was it worth it though.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

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Adam Silvera isn’t known for his hard-hitting action scenes. But god, my heart was racing during a few particular scenes in They Both Die at the End. As you know what happens at the end of the book from the get-go, tension is built as you wait to see just how they are both going to die. Every dangerous scenario they find themselves in is so tense and SO GOOD.

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

The Never Dawn trilogy by Roy Palmer was recommended to me by Amy over at Amy’s Bookshelf. This is a dystopian series set deep under the Earth. It’s led by Noah, and we start the series with their community preparing to reclaim Earth from the enemy. This series was definitely a bit of bumpy road for me. I really enjoyed the first book, but sadly the second one fell a bit short for me. The final book, I think, started off a bit all over the place, but once I’d accept the changes, I really got into the story, and enjoyed the twists and turns. By the end of it, I was definitely sad to have reached the end.

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

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The first character I thought of was Cameron Post in The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M.B. Danforth. Cameron is told by everyone around her that there is something wrong with her. But she persists and it is so inspiring to read. The film is also incredible, and captures that feeling of hope that the book delivers so well.

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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Is it too stereotypical to say that Harry Potter encompasses the fantasy genre for me? I don’t read fantasy that often, and so people may sigh heavily as they read this (sorry), but I can’t help but think of good ole Harry whenever people talk about fantasy. To me, it encompasses everything that makes fantasy so exciting. Magical creatures, witches and wizards, fast-paced plots, exciting settings, and wholesome friendships.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

I love hearing about Alice Oseman’s writing experience. For her 3rd book (which we now know as I Was Born For This), she documented her writing process in a series called ‘The Book 3 Diaries’ on YouTube. I found this SO interesting, and actually need to go back and watch it, having now read the book!

I also recently attended a talk by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera and it was really interesting to hear about the differences /similarities in co-writing a book and the logistical process of writing. Man, it’s so fascinating and really makes me want to get writing.

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 couldn’t think of an answer to this one. I genuinely sat on it for a few days until, suddenly, there it was. It essentially fell on me like a pile of bricks. The Death Cure by James Dashner. I think The Maze Runner is fantastic and then, well, the rest are not. I don’t know quite what happened in the final book, but *spoilers* you can’t just throw your characters into a safe parallel world portal and call it done??? It’s been about 5 years since I read that book and I’m STILL not over it.

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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Definitely The Giver by Lois Lowry. This was one of those books I’d had on my shelf for years but never really known what it was about. When I finally decided to read it earlier this year, I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing this whole time. It flew straight up onto my favourite lists and I’m angry at myself for not having read it sooner. PSA to everyone: go and read The Giver pls and thanks.

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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Earlier this year, I was recommended This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay by my boyfriend, and then by a really good friend. This was one of those books that I’d heard nothing about, and then after being recommending it, I started seeing it everywhere. Adam Kay writes about his experiences as an obs and gynae doctor in the NHS. This book surprised me in so many ways. It was hilarious, and some of the stories he tells are genuinely unbelievable. And then, just like that, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. I was surprised at how much this book got to me. It desperately highlights how underfunded the NHS is, and the importance of our doctors and nurses. It’s hilarious, but heartbreaking and you should definitely read it.


Thanks to Kate for tagging me and creating this wonderful tag! To carry on the fun, I’m tagging:

Amy (Amy Buckle Bookshelf)
Sophie and Sarah (TheLittleContemporaryCorner)
Charlotte (WonderfullyBookish)
Amy (Amy’s Bookshelf)
Lena (Lena’sbookshelf)

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