Poking around on Instagram, I found this Tom Hanks Book Tag post that ~spoke to me emotionally. I love Tom Hanks, first of all. I firmly believe that the final few minutes of Captain Phillips, when he’s in the infirmary on the boat, is the best acting I’ve ever seen. I also love talking about books so HERE GOES —
The Tom Hanks Book Tag
1. Big: A book you read when you were young that was intended for a more mature audience?
OH OKAY. I read The Shining when I was in fifth or sixth grade — it wasn’t too scary for me, it was way too sexual. I won’t get into it, but let’s just say, I was too young to be reading the word “seed” in that context. Gardening = forever changed.
2. Forrest Gump: Books are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. What book did you pick up not knowing anything about?
Most of them! Nearly every book I read, I go into with a proverbial blindfold tied over my eyes. I don’t know why, exactly, but I always have. I don’t want to know the blurb, the hook, the main character’s name, I don’t want any prior expectations — I just want to watch everything unfold naturally.
ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY FREAKY, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT? This tendency, to go into things blindly, stems from when I saw the Tom Hanks movie The Green Mile in theaters! Up until that point, I would always know the basic plot line of every movie I went to see, because I loved movies and loved reading about them. But, for whatever reason, I had no idea what the Green Mile was about when I went to see it — I didn’t know it took place in a prison, let alone death row, I didn’t know it was a Stephen King story, I didn’t know anything. And I loved the experience of being totally surprised and totally immersed in an unexpected experience that I’ve tried to go into everything else as bright-eyed and ignorant ever since. THAT’S SO STRANGE. dang, tom hanks book tag, bringing my life full circle.
3. Sleepless in Seattle: Last book to keep you up late (sleeeeepless) reading?
The Winner’s Curse, definitely, along with its sequel, The Winner’s Crime. I could barely BLINK reading these — I shot through The Winner’s Crime in a single day. Which was stupid, considering I now have a very long wait to withstand for Book 3 …
4. Toy Story: A timeless book you plan to share with any offspring you create?
Oh, Harry Potter, first of all. The Phantom Tollbooth. His Dark Materials. I think tons of children’s books have that timeless, ageless quality to them that make them so amazing to reread again and again. Matilda was another book I just recently reread that I would happily share with any of these hypothetical offspring.
5. You’ve Got Mail: A book you heard about on the internet and where you heard about it from?
LOTS of the books I’ve read lately have come from book bloggers, BookTubers, or even just Twitter followers freaking out about books so much I’ve decided to grab them. The Winner’s Curse trilogy, I found through Booktubers. Counting By 7s, I saw on someone’s Instagram. A recent Tuesday Top Ten post was on Characters Who Manipulate Court, and since I’m going through a weird royalty/society/court phase at the moment, I raided that list and bought a couple books off of it. I’m very easily influenced by the internet, apparently.
6. Castaway: If you can only bring one book to a deserted island…what would it be?
On the one hand, you’d want to bring a book that would keep you entertained — possibly forever. On the other hand, it’d be nice to bring a book that deals in some way with survival skills (like Hatchet, maybe?) to use as a reference to keep yourself alive! I DON’T KNOW. Maybe some super obnoxious brick of an anthology book with a lot of books inside it — which I can also use for clubbing people/attacking animals unconscious, and slowly tear through if I need paper for kindling.
7. Cloud Atlas: What book did you have high expectations for you that didn’t quite meet them?
The Girl Who Navigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making. The hype around this book was massive, and the title was amazing, but the story fell kind of flat for me. The Alice in Wonderland-esque plot of a character wandering around a secondary fantasy world, meeting strange people in strange places that never come back into play and never affect the overall story, really doesn’t work for me. I felt like the plot was meandering, and I just wasn’t as interested in the book as I wanted to be.
8. Saving Private Ryan: Favourite ensemble cast
Either Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings win for books where I love just about every single secondary character. ❤
9. The Green Mile: Most hated villain
I mean, you have to say Umbridge, right? Usually villains have some interesting motivations or a good sense of humor or some redeeming quality … but yeah, Umbridge has nothing. Also, honorary mention to the character who reveals himself to be kind of a piece of shit in As Meat Loves Salt — that’s probably one of the few times I’ve ever SEETHED over a character’s actions.
10. Turner and Hooch: Animal character that stole the show
Pantalaimon from His Dark Materials! The entire concept of daemons in HDM — animals permanently attached to humans for their entire lives, representing their conscience and basically half of their soul — absolutely killed me. And Pan was the best.
11. A League of their Own: Favourite female friendship
I finished a reread of the Hunger Games trilogy a month or so ago, and I enjoyed the growth of the Katniss and Johanna friendship — there’s rivalry, snipping sarcasm, gradual and begrudging respect. They were even roommates for a while!
12. Philadelphia: Book that covers a serious topic
Another book I just read was the graphic novel Pyongyang, about an animation artist that spent a few surreal months working in North Korea. If you’re interested in reading about North Korea, though, I’d recommend Escape From Camp 14, as well as The Aquariums of Pyongyang. Very hard reads, but important ones.
13. Catch Me If You Can: Book that you’ve wanted for a long time
CARRY ON, BY RAINBOW ROWELL. NO QUESTION. NO HESITATION. BOOM, YOUR ANSWER, THERE YOU GO.
Yeah, I’ve been eagerly anticipated Carry On since … before it was even announced as a real thing that was happening. Carry On, the sure to be AMAZING fantasy (Rowell’s first!!) sequel-ish-thing to Fangirl is coming out later this year. I’m not 100% sold on the cover, since it doesn’t really convey the fantasy-qualities of the book, but this should be really cute. I’m so excited to learn more about it — is it an official Simon Snow story, or is it Cath’s fan fic, completed? (And isn’t that a crazy amazing concept, publishing a fictional character’s “fan fic” based on an in-universe fictional book series? I love it.)
14. Apollo 13: A book that was out of this world.
The only literally set in outer space book that I’ve read is probably Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and all of the sequels. (I think I remember Mostly Human as being my favorite!) I watch lots and lots of outer space related TV shows, though: Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, The 100… (I’ve heard The 100 novels are atrocious, which is super unfortunate, because the TV show is … hurr hurr, out of this world.) Anyway, I should definitely read more space-y fiction, since I definitely like the genre: got any out of this world books to recommend?
15. Saving Mr. Banks: Favourite movie adaptation
Let’s see … For movies that expanded on the books, captured the essence of the books, and actually make for a better entertainment experience than the books, I’d have to say the Hunger Games movies. Don’t get me wrong, I like the books fine, but … they’re no literary diamonds. Mockingjay is borderline incomprehensible. The movies do a fantastic job of ironing out the kinks in the story, clearing up confusing, repetitive plot lines, and really creating an emotional and visceral adaptation of the Hunger Games world.
I also have a lot of love for the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice adaptation. No, it’s not as 100% faithful to the books like the miniseries, but it captures the emotions, the tension, the atmosphere of the world — it makes the characters so real. So, P&P would be a favorite movie adaptation that isn’t necessarily better than the book, and doesn’t take the place of the book, but compliments the book really well.
Any Tom Hanks fans out there interested in taking on this challenge?? What’s your favorite Tom Hanks movie? (If you’ve even seen a Tom Hanks movie — are there people out there who’ve never been exposed to a single Tom Hanks movie?!) If you’ve done this tag or are planning on it, throw me a link in the comments! I love these questions so much, I want to read some more answers!