Coffee Book Tag!

Tag Catch-Up Post #1

Cait at Paper Fury tagged me for the Coffee Book Tag! WHICH EXCITES ME SO MUCH. For those of you who don’t know, Cait is a fabulous book blogger and also queen of the world. *nod nod* Go check out her hilarious blog, do! And become a minion/pineapple while you’re at it — you know you want to. Know why? *whispers* Cait gives out cake.

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So here’s the funny thing: I don’t really drink coffee. I really enjoy it when I do! But I just… don’t really drink it all that often.

BUT. I am still doing this lovely tag because of many reasons including how cool of an idea comparing books to coffee varieties is.

I am also taking a page out of Cait’s book (ha ha!) and getting a bit into book photography. Mwahaha. It’s super time consuming but sooo fun.

So let’s get to it!

The Coffee Book Tag

BLACK: NAME A SERIES THAT’S TOUGH TO GET INTO BUT HAS HARDCORE FANS.

1

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

I am a hardcore fan of The Lord of the Rings! …Not so much of black coffee. Ahem. But SOME people seem to think LotR is hard to get into. What even. I can’t even imagine what is wrong with them. It’s fabulous! Okay so maaaayybe it starts a little slow and is enormous. I can understand that. But it’s so so so worth it. Just look at that sweeping epic and the fantasy and the elves and the Rohirrim and the hobbits and Aragorn and Faramir and Eowyn and Eomer and Merry and Legolas and Gandalf and all of the epicness that ensues on their adventures and isn’t it just positively the best ever, preciousss? Yes, we are hardcore fans.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA: NAME A BOOK THAT GETS MORE POPULAR DURING THE WINTER OR A FESTIVE TIME OF YEAR.

2

Wintermoon Wish – Sharon Shinn

I had the hardest time with this, because all I could think of was A Christmas Carol. Which I enjoyed, but it doesn’t taste like a peppermint mocha! It’s more like… cinnamon. So instead I’m actually going with a short story (don’t shoot me) which is in the collection “Firebirds Rising” edited by Sharyn November; most of the stories in it were frankly blech. But there were a few I liked, and my favoritest of ALL was “Wintermoon Wish” by Sharon Shinn. I ADORED IT OKAY. It’s some fantasy-world-ish version of a winter holiday like Christmas, called, yes, Wintermoon. And it’s just the most perfect little short story ever. Plus it has Jake. Which is reason enough for fabulousness. So maybe I’m bending the rules a bit, since probably no one’s even HEARD of it, but it gets more popular with ME, so that’s got to count, right?

HOT CHOCOLATE: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S BOOK?

3

A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

I just love Paddington. Everyone read this book. It’s perfect and hilarious and adorable and just perfect. Paddington Bear is one of my favorite characters, and he gets into such delightful scrapes and messes, but you know everything will be okay… eventually. I just love how he’s a BEAR in the midst of all the ordinary English people, and their reactions are the best. Plus, I love his hard stare, and his hat, and his love of marmalade and how he’s from Darkest Peru. Paddington’s the best, guys.

DOUBLE SHOT OF ESPRESSO: NAME A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FROM START TO FINISH.

4

Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

Ohhhhh my did it ever. I was so hooked on this thing! It was my first (and only thus far) steampunk novel to read. MAN WAS IT TENSE. I was so caught up in everything and read it in one day and I loved the characters and it was all fascinating and terrifying and Lookwood might be my favorite character so far this year, maybe, just because I’ve never met a character like him!! I have pigeon-holes for character types I like and… he didn’t fit. HE WAS NEW. I love him a lot, that teenage swaggering blond royal-airguardsman with an ego and a temper and an eyepatch and a sort of fierce British temperament like you wouldn’t believe. ❤ The book was partially too scary for me, but it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat.

STARBUCKS: NAME A BOOK YOU SEE EVERYWHERE.

5

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Disclaimer: I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet. And this one belongs to my brother. And it’s the only one of my list today that I HAVEN’T read (though I have seen the films thus far…) But it is positively everywhere, wouldn’t you say?

THAT HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP: GIVE A BOOK BY AN INDIE AUTHOR A SHOUTOUT

6

The Book of Sight – Deborah Dunlevy

The Book of Sight was a random book I downloaded for my Kindle app for free, but actually got around to reading and kind of adored. It’s a contemporary fantasy about a few teens in a little town, who find this book and… yeah, I won’t give it away, but it’s awesome. It’s kind of whimsical and interesting… and in fact reminds me somewhat of my own contemporary fantasy I write, so it was fun and I just… really enjoyed myself reading it! So, shoutout! Go check it out, y’all.

OOPS! I ACCIDENTALLY GOT DECAF: NAME A BOOK YOU WERE EXPECTING MORE FROM.

7

The Ravenmaster’s Secret – Elivra Woodruff

So I should have loved this book! The main character’s name is Forrest, he lives at the Tower of London, it’s set in the 1700’s, has Scottish rebels, the heroine’s a Stewart, there’s schemes and escapes and basically what’s not to like?? Unfortunately, it did it all wrong and the ending was wrong wrong wrong and gaaahh I got so frustrated with this book! *flail* Rawr. It makes me upset. And such a pretty cover, too! Call me disappointed. *glowers at decaf*

THE PERFECT BLEND: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT WAS BOTH BITTER AND SWEET, BUT ULTIMATELY SATISFYING.

8

The Westmark Trilogy – Lloyd Alexander

This trilogy by Lloyd Alexander, consisting of Westmark, The Kestrel, and The Beggar Queen… I LOVE THEM. They definitely have their share of bitter (*cough*characterdeaths*cough*) which normally should have made me dislike the books, but it didn’t matter because I just LOVED them so much and they left me jittery with book happiness because they were perfect and I loved them, despite the sad. So this is indeed the bitter and sweet and satisfying perfect blend. (Also, 1700’s type of tale, you know…)

GREEN TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT IS QUIETLY BEAUTIFUL.

9

Orphan’s Song – Gillian Bronte Adams

Orphan’s Song feels so quietly beautiful and green-tea like to me… The world and the characters and the tale and the allegory and subtle magical notes of song — it’s just gorgeous in a quiet sort of way and I adore it. Also griffin. GRIFFIN. And it feels so GREEN and fantasy ish and I love the characters so much and the writing is just lovely. (And by the way it ended bad and I’m still waiting for the sequel! I needs it, precious!!)

CHAI TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU DREAM OF FAR OFF PLACES.

10

The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander

Most kinds of books I read make me dream of far off places, but most of them that I read about (fantasy worlds and the British Isles…) feel actually closer to me in a way than my own place of dwelling. So I’m going to say Lloyd Alexander’s India folklore type story, The Iron Ring, which just feels so rich and foreign and unique and culturally deep and golden but also familiar in that way a dream is, that I just want to go there and see it. Also elephants and tigers and gems and Ashwara.

EARL GREY: NAME YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC.

11

Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson

Scotland! 1700’s! (Again…) Alan Breck Stewart! Kidnapping! The high seas! Murder! Traveling through the Highlands with redcoats on your tail! Friendship! Love! (Or… love if you tack on the sequel, David Balfour/Catriona, which I consider the second half and therefore inseparable…) What’s not to like? Plus the accents. I love the accents. And it sticks in me mind that Alan is delightfully droll and witty, ye ken? There’s nae gettin’ away frae it, e’en if ye’d want to — which, weel, why would ye, then?? And I love the relationship between Alan and Davy… And it’s just all around swashbuckling awesomeness! Best. Classic. Ever.

***

So! I’m supposed to tag people… Which means I’m trying to think of people who like coffee and drawing a blank. XD I’m afraid I don’t pay good enough attention to who the coffee fans are and aren’t… my bad.

I Tag:

Kayla @ The Wordsmithy’s Shop

Elfie @ Dream Dancer

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination

C.B. @ The World of the Writer

Katie Grace @ A Writer’s Faith

Emma Clifton @ Peppermint and Prose

And y’all only have to do it if you want, and are not required to. 😉

And all of you reading this: If you have a blog and either think it looks fun, or like coffee and books, then you are officially TAGGED.

…And if you don’t like books . . . oh my goodness what are you doing reading my blog you must be lost you poor soul!! O_O You’d best hop on along to… wherever it is online non-bookish people frequent. I wouldn’t know.

READERS, DO YOU LIKE COFFEE? Or any of these books? Favorite flavors…? Educate me about coffee or what books you’d pick for these categories! Tell me all!

Lloyd Alexander: A Tribute Post

I was going to post this on January 30th, but as I have other plans for the blog on that date (stay tuned!) I am posting it early…

On January 30th each year, I always celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite authors…

Lloyd Alexander

…And what better way to celebrate than with pictures! I had an epic photo-shoot of all the Lloyd Alexander books that I have, which was a TON of fun…

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Lloyd Alexander (1924-2007) was the author of over 25 novels and several other works… (I am on a quest to read all of them, eventually. ;))

He is one of my top favorite authors, right up alongside Tolkien and Lewis. I probably owe my love of fantasy to Lloyd Alexander. I discovered his Prydain books at an early age, and they brought me into the rich world of fantasy… and made me decide I never wanted to leave it again.

So in a sense, you could say that I am who I am (a lover of fantasy, both in reading and especially writing — I consider myself a fantasy writer primarily) because of Lloyd Alexander.

I do remember reading the Narnia books and The Princess and the Goblin somewhere in that time-frame (and came to The Lord of the Rings at the almost-grown-up age of 10), which also contributed to my love of fantasy at an early age.

But Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles was my first epic-fantasy series, and will always hold a special place in my heart both as a marvelous series and as the doorway that led me to fantasy as a child… and thereby led to who I am today.

I am immensely grateful to Lloyd Alexander for writing those books — and all of the other delightful books he penned over his lifetime. Thank you, Lloyd!

Signed

Signed copy of The High King that I found at library sale. Signed!! ❤

So in celebration of what would, if he were still living, have been his 91st birthday (a bit early), I’m going to share some of the pictures with y’all! And lists of his books I’ve read and want to…

MyLloydAlexanderCollection

My Lloyd Alexander book collection!! Aren’t they just scrumptious looking? 🙂

Prydain

The Prydain Chronicles:

  1. The Book of Three
  2. The Black Cauldron
  3. The Castle of Llyr
  4. Taran Wanderer
  5. The High King
  6. The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (short stories)

(And also a reference guide book, The Prydain Companion by Michael O. Tunnell which is a lot of fun — and has a foreword by Lloyd Alexander.)

I am long overdue for a Prydain reread… I’ve read all of them several times but it’s been a few years since my latest reread and I’m itching to delve back into that beloved world with those awesome characters and epic events! Hopefully soon!

WestmarkTrilogyThe Westmark Trilogy:

  1. Westmark
  2. The Kestrel
  3. The Beggar Queen

I LOVE this trilogy!! It’s set in an 18th-century-type setting, which is my second favorite time-period (after medieval)… I remember being positively jittery when I finished reading them for the first time, because I loved them so much! Also, Florian is the best ever. ❤ Just sayin’.

VesperHollyThe Vesper Holly books:

  1. The Illyrian Adventure
  2. The El Dorado Adventure
  3. The Drackenberg Adventure
  4. The Jedera Adventure
  5. The Philadelphia Adventure
  6. The Xanadu Adventure

The Vesper Holly books are just a delight! Vesper herself has such charm and wit and cleverness, and her sidekick Brinnie is like a Watson to her Holmes as they go different vaguely fictional places around the world that capture the feel of real civilizations. And so much fun and adventure and humor!

Standalones

The standalone novels I own… Time would fail me to tell all about the delights of each one, but they each have their own special tales!

  • The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen
  • The Iron Ring
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian
  • Time Cat
  • The Rope Trick
  • The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio
  • The Wizard in the Tree (the only one of his books that I own and haven’t read yet… I’m hoping to read it this week!)
  • The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man
  • The Arkadians
  • The Gawgon and the Boy
  • Gypsy Riska
  • The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha

ExtraCopies

Aaand I can never resist getting extra copies of Lloyd Alexander books I already have… Yes, it’s a bad habit. XD But here’s a stack of them…

FaveLloydAlexanderBooks

Probably my three favorite books by Lloyd Alexander: The Book of Three (book 1 of the Prydain Chronicles); The Kestrel (book 2 of The Westmark Trilogy); and The Iron Ring, which is my very favorite standalone novel by him — loosely based on mythology from India, it’s just epic and awesome and all around amazing. ❤

There’s also The Town Cats and other Tales, a collection of short stories about cats which is very fun… He had a thing for cats. 😉

Of books that I’ve read but don’t own, there are The King’s Fountain and The Fortune-Tellers… (Hurray for libraries!)

And I would like to sometime read (mostly picture books):

  • The Wizard in the Tree
  • The Four Donkeys
  • The House Gobbaleen
  • How the Cat Swallowed Thunder
  • Dream-of-Jade: The Emperor’s Cat

And, perhaps someday, some of his adult novels/biographies etc. that he wrote. 🙂

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My shelf of books by Lloyd Alexander

And before I go, here’s a perfectly charming interview with the man himself! It’s so enjoyable to watch and has a lot of humor and wisdom and good thoughts about writing and books and fantasy and his own stories. ^_^

Be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 of the interview as well!

It is in this interview that you can hear him say himself the marvelous words I feature on the side of my blog:

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”

–Lloyd Alexander

***

Have you read anything by Lloyd Alexander? Do you have a favorite?

And if you haven’t, do consider checking one out! They are one and all beautiful, timeless, adventurous, and fantastical books! 🙂