Monday, February 15, 2016

BBAW Day One: Introductions

Square banner for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. A blue border sprinkled with stylized snowflakes surrounds a white circle featuring a stylized illustration of some books on a shelf, with the words 'Book Blogger Appreciation Week February 15-19 estellasociety.com' in the middle of the image.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is back! The event runs from the 15th to the 19th, and is all about sharing the bookish love. There’ll be Twitter parties on Tuesday and Thursday (at 9pm EST and noon EST, respectively), with daily posting topics. I'm traveling this week with my departure scheduled for early Wednesday morning, but I’ve scheduled a few posts and hope to get around to other peoples’ blogs as often as possible.

Today we’re tasked with introducing ourselves by sharing the five books that represent us as people. I had a lot of trouble with this question because I strongly suspected the answers wouldn’t be flattering, but I consulted Twitter and decided on the four (not five) novels below. In the order they entered my life, they are:

Cover of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. A large, sword-wielding mouse perches along the bottom of a frame. He wears a feather-bedecked gold ring looped around one ear. Behind him is a green ship with a golden dragon's head at its prow and a red mainsail. It crashes through stormy, greenish seas.
THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER by C.S. Lewis

The ultimate road trip book, except for how it’s a sea trip book. I read this one over and over and over and over and over when I was a kid, and it left me convinced I was destined to sail the high seas and have scads of epic sword fights (even though Reepicheep, the super-awesome mouse pictured above, doesn’t actually duel all that often).

The Dawn Treader made me love the sea so much that I was beyond shocked to realize I’m batshit terrified of deep water. It makes no sense, since I can swim and I really do love everything about ships--except a couple years back, I reread the book and realized it’s probably the reason I’m scared of water in the first place. There’s some seriously creepy stuff going on underneath the Narnian waves: sea serpents and mermaid civilizations and foggy ghost people. Shudder.

I'll just have to make sure any ships I eventually captain never sink or anything unpleasant like that.

Cover of Taran Wanderer. A young white man with shoulder-length black hair stands in the centre, holding the bridle of a silver horse. A monkey-like person crouches at his feet. The man wears medievalesque clothing, including a heavy green cloak, and holds a small bowl in one hand. Two indistinct figures stand behind him to the viewer's left with the sun hovering over them. To the right is a shepherd with a crescent moon above him.
TARAN WANDERER by Lloyd Alexander

I became totally obsessed with the Prydain novels when I was ten years old, and TARAN WANDERER was always my favourite. This one, too, is a road trip book in which the titular Taran wanders around the country, searching first for his parents and then for something to do with his life. I wanted to copy him, but since ten-year-olds aren’t really allowed to wander from place to place by themselves I contented myself with trying the various occupations Taran takes up. I didn’t get very far with pottery, probably because I didn’t have anything resembling the proper supplies, but I figured out small-scale weaving and I became a total packrat as I started to see the possibilities inherent in items others might toss away.

That one's caused me a lot of grief, actually, as my current owning-stuff-sucks self sorts through the things my past stuff-is-fabulous-keep-all-of-it self laid by against future need.

On the plus side, I still look at any object I might require--a display stand, or a tablet sleeve, or a windmill--and think, "Y’know, I could make that." And I usually can.

Cover of The Vampire Lestat, with the title in gothic lettering against a solid red background. The word vampire is in gold. The rest of the lettering is white.
THE VAMPIRE LESTAT by Anne Rice

All but the most groundbreaking of vampire stories divide their principal vampires into two categories: the jackass vampire and the mopey vampire.

I’m under no illusions here. I’m snarky and argumentative and loud and flamboyant. I have excellent taste in music. Velvet and silk are my favourite fabrics. I’m more inclined to see the future’s promises than its failings, I’m damned sure I could be friends with a bacon cheeseburger as long as the bacon cheeseburger could talk back to me, and I’d quite like to live forever if you could assure me I wouldn’t physically age.

I’d be a jackass vampire. And I’d be awesome at it.

I wouldn’t go around eating people willy-nilly, though. I’d be a responsible jackass vampire, thank you very much.

Cover of The Privilege of the Sword. A young, brunette white woman stands against a beige background that frames a shadowed, medievalesque street scene. The woman wears a loose shirt and blue doublet with blue pantaloons and thigh high brown boots. She holds a sword, its point pressed into the ground.
THE PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD by Ellen Kushner

I have Anastasia to thank for this one. When I bemoaned today's topic on Twitter, she stepped in to say I was probably one of the Swordspoint books. And y’know, she was right.

I grew up longing for what society in general and books in specific told me were Boy Things: swordfights and chivalrous actions and the freedom to dress however I pleased without people commenting on it. At the start of TPoTS, Katherine doesn’t think she has the slightest interest in living outside her prescribed gender role, but as the plot sweeps on she realizes traditional femininity isn’t the be-all and end-all of who she is. I love her, and this book, very much indeed.

And we'll leave it there. If you've answered today's prompt on your own blog, please link me to your post in the comments so I can be sure to read it! If not, I'd love it if you shared a couple of your defining books in the comments.

32 comments:

  1. Love your selction of five books.

    A responsible jackass vampire? Love it! 😂

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  2. Jackass Vampire! Love it!! Although I STILL can't see Tom Cruise as Lestat.

    I think you did a fantastic job with your list! <3 Caspian

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    1. There was like a thirty-second scene where Tom Cruise was my Lestat, but otherwise... yeah.

      I do think he tried harder than anyone else in the whole damned movie, though.

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  3. oh! I love this post so much. And you have inspired me to go look up an image. I'll tweet it at you. Love, Care

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  4. Replies
    1. It's everyone's childhood! (Except, presumably, the people who had Harry Potter childhoods.)

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  5. OMG, I am laughing SO HARD at your Lestat description. I just. Yes. We should be friends.

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  6. Narnia is everywhere! Which is a good thing. Anne Rice - haven't read any of her books for years, but I loved her witch books.

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    1. I'm past due a reread on those. I used to revisit her books every April, but there got to be so many of them.

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  7. Taran Wanderer was by far my favorite of the series too! I love the parts about all the crafts he learns. And now that I've learned to weave myself, I need to do a reread. Happy BBAW!

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    1. Ooh, that should make for an interesting compare and contrast exercise!

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  8. Your list was fun! If I ever checked Twitter or even know what the topic was for today I could probably have helped people. I am better at describing others better than myself! That is very grammatically incorrect, but whatever...

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    1. I'm glad you joined in after all!

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  9. I don' think this list is unflattering at all. They are very big on personality! I will need to read them all because I loved your post a lot!

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  10. Do you think as a vampire you'd be more impervious to cold? I WANT THAT FOR YOU.

    (Also, I still dream of going to Sea. I think I'd be great at it once I got my sea legs, which I understand from reading many books about Going to Sea is a challenge for first-timers.)

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    1. If I'm not impervious to cold, I'm gonna ask for a refund. Or steal a space heater. Whichever.

      (I'm really good at, like, not falling over on the subway and stuff like that, so I want to think I'd be really good at sea legs. The universe probably has a nasty shock for me when I actually do Go To Sea.)

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  11. I chose Dawn Treader too! It's hard to choose just one of the Narnia books but that was definitely the one that made me feel the most "in the world."

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  12. Oh, the places we could go in books! I haven't read Taran Wanderer, but I know the feeling you describe reading it. And Narnia! I always enjoyed my visits to Lewis's world. I think I identify more with Louis from Interview with a Vampire than I do Lestat, myself. ;-) I'm not familiar with Ellen Kushner's books but it sounds like I should be. Great list, Memory!

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    1. You should totally give Kushner a try. She's wonderful.

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  13. You are a fantastic person, Memory! I love your answers and I love that other people helped. :)

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  14. Anastasia is awesome at matching people up to the books they've read! Not surprised to see The Vampire Lestat on this list. :)

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    1. The jackass vampire trumps the mopey vampire every damn time.

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