Guys, this is my first book tag! I’ve seen people do them before and I was always intrigued, but wasn’t sure exactly what it was all about. After asking #BookTwitter, I now feel confident participating in my first book tag.
I thought this tag quite appropropriate (intentional The Office reference) for today. As the title suggests, this tag is inspired by Clement C. Moore’s classic poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which goes…
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”
1. A book that kept you up so late, everyone else was asleep
The Host, Stephenie Meyer
The first time I read The Host, I didn’t start it until about 11 p.m. I thought I’d just read for about 20 minutes and then go to sleep, but I ended up reading the entire book and staying up all night. I finally went to sleep at about 6 a.m. Good thing it was the weekend!
“And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…”
2. A book that made you fall asleep
The Magicians, Lev Grossman
I love this book (and trilogy) now, but it was slow going the first time I read it. I could not relate to Quentin AT ALL, and I didn’t see myself finishing it. But the glimmers of magic I saw helped me push through and now it’s one of my favorites.
“When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter…”
3. A book or book scene that made your heart race
The Girl With All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
This book is really scary and really good. Just read it, trust me!
“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer…”
4. An object in a book that was utterly magical
The Flying Carpet (The City of Brass, S. A. Chakraborty)
Opening this book, you think you already know what you’re in for: genies and magic carpets? I mean, I’ve seen Aladdin. But it’s not at all what you expect. There is a flying carpet that takes our protagonist Nahri on her quest, but it’s not even close to a Disney story.
“With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick…”
5. A twinkle-eyed book character that made you happy
Matthew Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery)
When Matthew buys Anne the dress with the puffed sleeves, I just melt.
“So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too…”
6. A book that made you fly to another land
The Fifth Season, N. K. Jemisin
I’ve never experienced more immersive and imaginative worldbuilding than in Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy.
“And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof…”
7. A book creature you love
Glimfeather (The Silver Chair, C. S. Lewis)
He’s barely in the book, but I credit Glimfeather and the Parliament of Owls for my love of owls.
“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot…”
8. A character that proves to be more than his or her first impression
Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen)
100% total cliche, I know, but Austen’s original title for the novel was First Impressions. Plus, Darcy being more than Elizabeth’s (and the reader’s) first impression of him is sort of the point of the book, so I really feel like any other answer here would be inadequate.
“He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly…”
9. A book or book character that made you laugh
The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Fun fact: if you ask me what my favorite movie is and I need to give a quick answer, I will say The Princess Bride. The book is just as delightful. I think this is a controversial opinion, but I would actually love to see the book adapted again for the screen, but this time maybe as a miniseries that goes into more of the book’s detail and slightly darker tone.
“A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread…”
10. A book that makes you feel safe
Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine.
I still have my childhood copy of Ella, with a Scooby-Doo book plate and my name written in shaky cursive with a purple ballpoint pen, the front cover barely hanging on to the binding and the last few pages slightly warped with tear stains. I reread it when I’m sick, or when I’ve had a bad day, or when I just want to feel like a kid again.
“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk…”
11. A book that put you to work (a book that you felt you really needed to concentrate on)
Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis
I consider this one of my favorite books, but I have only read it twice, just because it’s so hard to get through. The story and writing style are both very dense and invite introspection, which makes reading this book a deeply spiritual experience.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
12. A book with a magnificent ending
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this book has my favorite ending ever, because it’s actually NOT magnificent, at least not in an Avengers: Endgame kind of way. Cassandra’s story is left open-ended, not blissfully happy, but hopeful.
Whatever and however you’re celebrating, I hope you have plenty of good books to keep you company. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and happy reading!