Thank you to Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts for tagging me in this. I hate sport for all but two weeks in every four years (or two years if you count the Winter Olympics!), but I absolutely love the Olympics! I love the Team GB pride, and seeing people excel in sports I’ve never even heard of. It’s so nice for our country to actually do well at something for once. I’m so sad that it’s over now. I’ve hardly done any reading, or any anything for the last two weeks. I haven’t got a clue what’s been happening anywhere in the world other than Rio.
Opening Ceremony: a book you loved from the first page.
It normally takes me 50 or so pages to start really enjoying a book, but one that immediately springs to mind is I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It is so gripping from the very first page that you can’t help but carry on. I’ve read a lot of books this year claiming to be ‘the next Gone Girl’, and this is the only one that’s lived up to my expectations. (Review here)
Cycling: favourite road trip book
I don’t think I’ve ever read a proper road trip book, but one that involves a long journey would be Tatiana and Alexander, the second book in Paullina Simon’s The Bronze Horseman trilogy. I suppose the whole trilogy could count really, as they do a lot of travelling around the USA in The Summer Garden, before finally settling, and The Bronze Horseman involves quite a bit of travelling around Russia. Anyway, everyone please read these books because they are wonderful.
Triathalon: a book with a good love triangle
I don’t read many romance books to have a good love triangle, so I’ll have to say The Hunger Games, which I think is the most recent book I’ve read to have one. I’ve also not fallen in love with a character as much as I did with Peeta since reading this. Gale just needed to go away.
Handball : a book you didn’t really get
I can’t really think of one that I didn’t properly get or understand, but there are so many that I thought were really overrated, and didn’t get the hype. One Day is one that everyone seemed to be obsessed with while I was at sixth form. I didn’t read it until a couple of years later and just didn’t not get what was so good about it. I found it boring and pretty ridiculous, particularly the ending. I get what the author was trying to do, but I fell completely flat for me. The characters just weren’t likeable enough for me to care what happened to them.
Beach Volleyball: a book set in the summer
The only one I can think of that is specifically set in summer is The Secret Life of Bees, which is set mainly during the school summer holidays. It was a really lovely read, although ruined slightly by me having read The Help immediately before it. It wasn’t anywhere near as good as The Help, but that only matters in relation to the issues with race that aren’t as prevalent in The Secret Life of Bees. It’s more just a classic, nice coming-of-age story.
Fencing: a book with fighting
I’ve read a lot of books set during war, so it’s hard to pick just one. I suppose I’ll have to go with The Revenent as being the book I’ve read with the most fighting in it. Pretty much every page has some form of battle or fight on it. I have to say though, this wasn’t one of my favourite books. (Review here)
Gymnastics: a book with plot twists
I’ve also read a lot of thrillers recently, all claiming to have ‘brilliant twists’. Not many of them have lived up to expectations, but I feel like I should just give Gillian Flynn a special mention here. All three of her books are wonderfully creepy and twisty (plus The Grownup, her short story). I adore her writing and her use of really flawed and unlikeable characters that you somehow can’t help but root for. I can’t imagine there’s anyone on the planet who hasn’t read Gone Girl, but if you haven’t please do, and if you have, please go and read her other books.
Swimming: a book that made you sob
It takes a lot to make me cry at a book, but the one that stands out recently is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I had to stop reading as I ugly cried. It is one of the most beautiful and tragic books I have ever read. If you haven’t read it already, please do, and please have tissues handy. (Review here)
Golf: a slow paced book
My favourite ever book is probably also one of the most slow paced books I’ve ever read. The Book Thief requires ever word to be fully absorbed before moving onto the next. It’s the kind of book where you really want to read another chapter but you can’t because you’re so exhausted. The most beautiful writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Trampoline: a childhood favorite
My favourite childhood book is Winnie-the-Pooh. I absolutely hate the Disney version for taking A. A. Milne’s subtle humour, magic, wonder, beauty etc, and turning it into something cliche and sickly. Disney have completely failed to capture what make this book (and its sequel, The House at Pooh Corner) so good. If you haven’t read the originals, please do, regardless of what age you are, you will adore them.
Equestrian: a book featuring animals
One that stands out recently is I am the Messenger, which uses the wonderful character of The Doorman, the aging and smelly dog, to add further dimension to Ed’s character. The Doorman helps to add a lovable, normal and human element to Ed, whilst adding humour. I love dogs, so I get really excited when there’s a dog in a book!
Hurdles: a book you struggled to finish
I really struggled to finish Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. It was far too long and slow, and the plot was more annoying than exciting, so it ended up taking me ages to finish. I always try my best to finish all the books I read, but I almost DNFed this one. Eventually, I stuck it out until the end, and get it t a pretty negative review here. I do love the cover though, if I have to think of one positive.
Synchronized Swimming: a book with a great friendship
It’s difficult to think of a book that just has a straight friendship rather than a romance. I’ll have to go for The Help, as the friendships in that are really beautiful, and are probably the most significant and ground breaking of all the books I’ve ever read. I could also mention the friendship between Liesel and Rudy in The Book Thief as one that really stands out, but I don’t want to use it twice!
And anyone else who hasn’t already done this tag!