Do you ever get challenged and then respond to the challenge and then question why you accepted the challenge? I’m a real sucker for accepting challenges. I often can be heard saying, Is that a challenge?! And then that’s usually followed by some foolish behavior. Admittedly, it does ease the boredom, and succeed or not, my attempts at accepting challenges does tend to be rather amusing.
At this point, you may be wondering, and rightly so, what challenge it is that I accepted. By the title, you may have already guessed it. I’ve accepted a book tag challenge from NeriSiren. You can read her original post here.
I’m not much of a drinker. I don’t drink things I don’t like, and that includes alcohol, coffee, and I avoid sodas. That being said, I have tried several different drinks and sodas (and I still have a soda from time to time), so I’m not completely without resources. Still, this drink themed book tag could prove difficult for me. Also, I don’t read as much as I should, which only adds to the challenge.
Like NeriSiren, I’m going to name this after my current favorite drink, bubble tea. Specifically, I love it with chai tea and mango bobas. To be fair, I love pretty much all the fruit bobas I’ve tried. Oh, and don’t even get me started on this shop I found in Indianapolis that had the most amazing thing ever! Ok, I’m started on it. (pausing to write future blog) Yeah, if you want to read that food blog, you’ll have to wait a bit. I have like five blogs I’m working on that come before that. Deal with it! Or not. You’re free to choose.
So, without further procrastination, here it is!
To be clear, none of the books I pick are likely to match up to the season well. Still, if cold and snow are what you’re after, then you’ll want to head to Icewind Dale, a place so bitterly cold that only outcasts and criminals would choose to live there. The visiting merchants to Ten Towns, the only civilized human settlement in the dale, don’t really count since they only visit.
It’s my go to book / series for when I want a longer adventure. There are over ten books to read and they mostly cover the story of Drittz Do’Urden, a dark elf who turned away from his evil heritage and chose a nobler, though often outcast, path. If elves, dwarves, humans, magic, and skilled storytelling are what you’re after, then R.A. Salvatore’s The Crystal Shard is a good place to start!
I’m not usually into romance type books, but Anne McCaffrey’s Restoree isn’t really about that. It takes place, originally, on Earth. Then Sara finds herself in another place and quickly realizes she’s on another world, a world rife with politics, war, and technology she’s never encountered. If she wants to return to her own world or help with stopping the war that spilled over into her planet’s area of space, she’ll first have to figure out how to free herself and her ward from the health ward they’re in.
The story is adventurous and very sweet, but it does have its spicier (if you know what I mean) moments. It pairs rather well with the sweet rice water and spicy cinnamon of horchata.
Honestly, I feel like this could be true of any book. Someone who prefers science fiction may find memoirs unpalatable. True, there are some things that people will fight over, like with pumpkin spice and what it should go into, and I’m sure there are books that are similar. It’s difficult to think of any books I’ve read that I’ve seen memes over, in terms of people loving it or hating it.
Anyway, to cover this topic, I decided to go with Another Fine Myth by Robert Aspin. If kooky tales and wacky adventures are something you enjoy, then this may be the book (and series) for you. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a wizard’s apprentice? Well, up until a “demon” from Perv drags you off to another world and you run into dragons and assassins and knights with unicorns and woop! You’re off to another world and another myth adventure!
There’s a lot that goes on in this book. There’s so many references to the culture of the 90’s, it’s amazing! I think the part that made me sad in the book was how minorities found a way to be treated like the majority. Because of the freedom of virtual reality, minority groups could disguise themselves as members of the majority. In other words, black women who wanted to be taken seriously would alter how others heard their voice and how they saw them. Essentially, they appeared online as white men. By doing so, they managed to obtain higher positions, better pay, etc. While I loved that they were able to get ahead, it made me sad that the world had pushed them into wearing a mask to do so.
To be clear, this was a minor point in the book, but it hit me hard, all the same. I remember it more this year, particularly with the Black Lives Matter movement. For me, this book is bittersweet in that the world it portrayed found a way to give people more equal footing. Oh, but don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of points where you can tell a person’s station in life can vastly impact how well they do, despite how others may perceive them.
All in all, if you’re looking for a great read on 90’s culture, a little romance on the side, and a dose of science fiction, this book does a great job of doing it all.
The Dragon Knight is one of my all-time favorite series! I have a lot of those, but let’s not linger on that. In particular, I would have to say that my favorite character, besides Aragh, an English Wolf; is Silvanus Carolinus, an A+++ wizard. He’s such a lovable, gruffy, silly guy. It’s difficult to take him too seriously, even if he is among the very best! He makes his debut appearance in The Dragon and the George, but he’s along for the ride in all the stories after that. Did I mention this series has selkies? (That may have been aimed at NeriSiren.)
This is one of those books that still makes me salty. As someone who loves and respects animals, particularly those that are intelligent, hearing about their mistreatment gets me incredibly riled up. I stopped going to Sea World a long time ago, long before I ever picked up this book. If you ever wondered how cruel they’re being to both their animals and their staff and want it backed up by science, this is the book for you. It’s a difficult read, not in that the words are difficult, but in the disgusting nature of what goes on behind the scenes.
In particular, the book covers Tilikum and how his captivity led to the death of several people. The book covers the negligence, the neglect, and the difficult pill to swallow that animals like killer whales should not be in captivity, let alone used for human entertainment. It’s deadly to the animals and to their untrained trainers.
I just couldn’t get into this book. I tried a few times, but the typos or writing style of it put me off what otherwise felt like a good story. I’m sad to say it, but this book made it to my did not finish or DNF pile. I only ever made it through chapter one – which was all I could handle, but I felt the story deserved a decent try.
Ok, ok. Hear me out. I know most of you, if you’ve ever watched a James Veitch YouTube video, already know that his stories are anything but calm. The guy is amazing. He responds to scam emails, wrong numbers, and even his flatmates (roommates for those of us in the US). SO how in the world can a book about a man responding to scam emails be soothing?
Because it’s precisely the type of humor I need and love! The wit, the cunning, and the success at wasting time for scammers! Ah! It’s amazing! Seriously, I won’t ruin the toaster story or the massive inheritance stories with any details. Just read it! Or watch it!
That title goes to Bruenor Battlehammer. He’s a stubborn dwarf who just can’t seem to stop being so gruff all the time! First he takes in an orphaned human girl when her parents were killed in a raid by the barbarians, then he goes and does the same with a barbarian boy who was left behind in a raid. For someone so gruff, he has an awfully big heart.
It’s no wonder that in book two of the Icewind Dale trilogy that this dwarf plays his part in the battle against the Tyrant of Icewind Dale and his overwhelming army of trolls, orcs, ogres, and giants.
This YouTube series is also amazing, but the book is well worth reading as well. I believe Simon Tofield has written three other books before this one, but this is the one I jumped into. It’s just a fun take on a cat and how he interacts with his human and other nearby animals. Super sweet!
In season, out of season, I don’t care! This is a book that I truly enjoyed reading. Of course, I read and finished the rest of the series too. I think I picked it up two years ago when I was on vacation in Colorado. I wanted something to read, and I’d enjoyed the movie, so I picked up the series. Of course, having watched the movie first, I hadn’t anticipated there being three books to read.
It’s a great story of a girl with a truth telling compass and the mystery of dust. If you’re more interested in watching the story unfold rather than reading it, there is a new season coming out right now of His Dark Materials. It's currently on Hulu. All in all, it does a great job of following the story of Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon as they search for answers on dust and why the magisterium doesn’t want anyone to know about it and where all the children are disappearing to.
Yup, it’s back! The Dragon Knight series, that is. I couldn’t help but include this book. After all, it has such a wonderful scene in it about the role dragons played in Jesus’ birth. It once again covers Sir James and his role as the dragon knight. The trouble this time? An earl and his yearly Christmas time party. Oh, and there’s a troll shaking his castle. Couldn’t Sir James do something about that? Oh, and the dragons are all in a huff, couldn’t Sir James do something about that as well?
It’s another wonderful adventure with the usual characters and a few new ones thrown in for added fun!
Thank you to NeriSiren for tagging me! I think I already said that, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. I’m not much of a tagger or shout-outter, but I suppose I could do that to a few other writers I know.
May your adventures be many and your inspiration be endless!