Okay, so, I’ve stumbled upon several different people doing this Cake Book Tag, most recently PaperFury. I’m not going to tag anyone, but I love the questions — so let’s get started!
FLOUR: A BOOK THAT WAS A LITTLE SLOW TO START OFF BUT REALLY PICKED UP AS IT WENT ALONG
Rebecca. This book – You guys. This book. The first sixty pages or so are definitely slow – the main character is mostly staying at a hotel, flirting with a guy, and eventually marrying him. The writing is lovely, but not a lot happened, and I was sincerely contemplating putting the book down. But once she gets out of that hotel and joins Maxim (her new husband) at his house – a house thickly coated in lingering traces and strong, sour memories of his late wife, Rebecca, good lord does the plot pick up. I feel like it took me a week to read the first sixty pages, and a minute to finish the rest of the book. SO GOOD. Creepy, suspenseful, shocking. Contains one of my favorite lines of all time. (“Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?” one of the most genuine “drop the mic” moments I’ve ever found in a book.)
MARGARINE: A BOOK THAT HAD A RICH, GREAT PLOT
As Meat Loves Salt was a dense, detailed book that betrayed me emotionally. How do I … how do I even… YOU THINK THIS BOOK IS ABOUT SO MANY THINGS. And you have SO MANY OPINIONS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. You think so-and-so is a bad guy. You THINK another so-and-so is a good guy. AND THEN YOU ARE BETRAYED TO YOUR VERY CORE.
Every page of this book was fascinating to me, and even though it’s so long and so detailed, the pay-off is so, so worth it. If you like pain. I can’t stress this enough. I had read, repeatedly, in books of characters getting bad news and “feeling like they had just been slapped in the face.” I thought I had a good understanding, a relatively accurate mental image, of what that felt like.
This book slapped me in the face. I physically recoiled. I felt BETRAYED. I was SO MAD, mostly at myself, because I just didn’t see it coming.
This book. *hugs and squeezes this book* I absolutely hate it. You’re gonna love it.
EGGS: A BOOK YOU THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE BAD BUT ACTUALLY TURNED OUT QUITE ENJOYABLE
The Hippopotamus, like a lot of Stephen’s books, starts off slow. Kind of plodding. There’s a lot of tangents and ranting and while the linguistic gymnastics are entertaining, you do start to want to shake Stephen and yell, “GET TO THE POINT.”
And then a kid has sex with a horse.
And you’re just like:
I remember holding this book at an arm’s length, squinting as I read, saying – begging – “Stephen, please, please don’t let this book be about a kid with magic sperm healing a horse by having sex with it, please don’t, this can’t, this isn’t, this can’t be – he doesn’t have magic sperm, Stephen, what are you doing.”
Needless to say, the rest of the book was phenomenal, the ending was perfect, and it’s now definitely my favorite Stephen Fry book. (Though Making History also holds a very special place in my heart.)
SUGAR: A SUGARY, SWEET BOOK
This has become my comfort book. I had a horrible weird doctor’s appointment a month or so ago where the doctor asked what my favorite books are, and after I told me some of my all-time, these-books-mean-so-much-to-me favorites, he looked all disappointed and said, “Oh. So. You only go for light reading.”
I was so caught off guard, I had no idea how to react. I came home feeling awful about myself, and about my taste in books, and just – feeling generally illiterate and like my head was full of fluff.
So, mostly out of rebellion, I snatched down from my shelf Fangirl, a book about a girl who loves reading, loves writing, and for whom fandom and geekery is just a fact of life. This book is sugary, this book is sweet, and this book cheered me up so quickly. I remembered, in barely ten minutes, why I loved reading: because I love getting swept up in a story, getting surrounded by sugary delicious words, I love being so entertained that I forget about whatever’s bothering me. Is it light reading? Who cares. It’s fun, and when you’re feeling awful, it’s kind of nice to have fun. Kinda makes you feel better. And doing things that make you feel better is good and perfect and shouldn’t be looked down on by anyone.
ICING: A BOOK THAT COVERED EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT THAT YOU ENJOY ABOUT A BOOK (FUNNY MOMENTS, ACTION MOMENTS, SAD MOMENTS, ETC.)
Now, being honest, I didn’t really like the second half of The Neverending Story. As soon as Bastian goes into the book, the plot kind of stagnated and just became Bastian wandering around from one fantastical location to another – my least favorite plot in fantasy fiction. But the first half of the Neverending Story? I remember reading it in a state of glee. It was everything I wanted out of a book. Just everything. Action, fantasy, scary moments, heart-breaking moments, everything.
SPRINKLES: A BOOK SERIES THAT YOU CAN TURN BACK TO FOR A LITTLE PICK ME UP WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN
Harry Potter. Of course. Always. If I’m feeling sad, if I’m feeling creatively defunct, if I’m sick and needing to distract myself – there’s nothing, nothing better in the world.
THE CHERRY ON TOP: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEAR SO FAR
Real quick: how many cakes actually have cherries on top? Anyway, I’m repeating an answer, but As Meat Loves Salt was definitely, definitely, definitely my favorite book that I’ve read so far this year. It’s also my least favorite book of the year, though? Like, it’s my favorite book and I love it, but I’m never going to reread it because I hate it??? I need to find more people who have read this book and can explain my own feelings to me. Anyway, it’s great, you should read it. DON’T SPOIL YOURSELF FOR IT. But, if you want a preview of what reading it is going to feel like – stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and punch yourself really hard in the stomach.
Then go eat some cake. And do this cake tag, and throw me a link to your post so I can see your answers.