So, I was struggling to think of an idea for my Monday post and I saw an amazing book tag by Booktuber Jen Campbell. You can find her video here >>>
The premise of this tag is you highlight 10 books which you have a specific time or place dedicated to that book. What poignant thing happened when you read that book or where were you when you read it. I am going to try and do mine in some vague chronological order.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – Greece
Plot: Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”
I read this on a holiday I went on with my family to Greece. I normally take about 3 books with me on holiday, as I tend to read loads more that I do back home, but I only had two at that time and decided I needed another one. So, I randomly purchased this book at the airport before the holiday and ended up loving it so much. What stood out to me was this book would never normally be on my radar, those kind of self-reflection, meaning of life books aren’t my thing but I just decided to give it a go and it was so worth it.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – College Film Class
Plot: Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.”
During my college film class we did a study on one film for an entire term and on the curriculum the choice was Fight Club. I decided to read the book before watching the movie and let me tell you… the movie was better.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami – France (Seeing step-dad’s family)
Plot: A class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing.
This was a book that I took with me to France. I planned on getting loads of reading done that week and since it was nearly 1000 pages I only took this one but we were so busy seeing family and walking around that I barely read any of it that week at all! But I have a core memory of sitting by the pool as my family were swimming and being really engaged with the story.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman – France (Meeting my boyfriend’s family)
Plot: A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
So, I took 3 books with me on this holiday and this was the one book that I was unsure of since I find sci-fi to be hit or miss. This book ended up being my favourite of the holiday and I consumed it in two days as we were driving from place to place. I ended up completing the trilogy and it is one of my all time favourite series!
The Power by Naomi Alderman – My first ever career type job
Plot: In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.
This book was given to me by one of my co-workers in my first ever “big girl” job. I ended up enjoying the first 3/4 of it but the ending was quite disappointing. But I was able to read a book I had never heard of and I was able to bond with a co-worker and make a friend through this book which was amazing.
Viper by Bex Hogan – Travelling to work
Plot: Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father. She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?
This book I received in a Fairyloot subscription box and I read it when I used to travel to work on the train which was an hour each way. I got loads of reading done because of that and this book was one of them. I will always have that memory tied to this book, of watching the trees and fields roll past but sadly, I didn’t love it and decided not to continue the series.
The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie – First holiday with my boyfriend
Plot: Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger. As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret…
This was one of the books that I read on mine and my boyfriend’s first holiday just us. I was surprised that I managed to read 2 books that holiday since we did so much but I ended up really enjoying the novel and it is tied to one of my all-time favourite memories.
Sadie by Courtney Summers – First book I bought on my Kindle
Plot: Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
This book, as you can tell by the heading, was the first book I bought on my Kindle. I bought myself a Kindle a couple of years ago, as a birthday present to myself, and this book was on offer. At the time, everyone was praising it so I bought it and read in in one day. I throughly enjoyed it though my heart suffered.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Christmas 2020
Plot: Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
I was given this book by my brother Christmas 2019 but only got to it a year later. Due to COVID, you could only have guests on Christmas Day so I spent most of the holidays just reading and I was up at 2am finishing this book. It was so good!!!
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – New Years Eve 2020
Plot for Book 1: For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
This was another book I read during the holidays and again I was up at 2am crying my eyes out finishing this series. It was a brilliant way to end a very awful year and I have a great memory attached to this book.