TAG – Bookish Beginning

I am so excited to be doing this tag! I really enjoyed the last one that I did, and always wanted to do more.  Also, I hope to feature more tags regularly in the future just to give everyone a greater understanding of how I view books.

Let’s just get to it, because this tag is pretty self-explanatory.

1: Tell us about what you loved to read as a child.

Quite a bit of things! Aside from the Disney bind-up picture books, I loved multiple series as a kid. I’ve divided them by genre here:

  • Mystery: Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and Clue. And for those who are wondering, yup, it is the same Clue as the board game. They used to have a series where there would be ten mysteries in each book, and it would feature the 6 characters along with Mr. Boddy in their dark yet hilarious weekends. Mr. Boddy is probably the luckiest man alive since he escapes “death” so many times, but at least the times at his mansion are never dull. Did I mention that there are also quite a bit of puns in the book, for all the word lovers out there?
  • Slice of Life (is that even a genre? Or should I just say contemporary): the Baby-Sitters Club, Beverly Cleverly’s Ramona series, and anything by the Klise sisters. The Klise sisters have the best books where the story is conveyed through letters, memos, diary entries, newspaper clippings, brochures, and even dry-cleaning slips! It made the world very authentic and I flipped through all their books to catch more details. And I have to say their artwork was stunning as well. Plus I always dreamed about serving in the jury ever since I read Trial by Journal.
  • Historical fiction: the Little House series—I was obsessed with all of them, not just the Laura Ingalls Wilder ones. (There used to be 5, each covering a different generation but most of them have gone out of print except for the Laura ones) This series actually made me want a seven month winter as kid so I could live like Laura and her sisters did in one of the books (The Long Winter).
  • Fantasy: the Doomspell trilogy by Cliff McNish, the Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo, Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson.

Other books that I loved as a child included a healthy dose of (children’s) classics such as A Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Westing Game amongst others.

  1. What was the first Adult Fiction you tried to (or want to) read?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. It was half a cover impulse and half because it sounded so interesting compared to some of the other books in the grocery store; I would use to read in the grocery store while I waited for my parents to finish with their shopping. It was a fantastic read as a pre-teen and I was gripped by the mysterious Gion culture and all the lessons that Sayuri had to go through. It definitely gave me the confidence to continue reading more adult books when I was finished with it.

  1. What was the classic book that you read (not because of school)?

Are we talking children’s classic books or proper classic books? I find that I actually enjoy a lot more children’s classics than adult classics even now, and I don’t remember reading any classics as a child. So all the children’s classic I listed above I read voluntarily!

As for an adult classic that I wanted to read (and did!) was Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O’Hara did not disappoint—I am  ruined for all Civil War related novels as a result.

  1. Tell us about a book that made you realize a new favourite genre or writing style.

As many of you may or may not know (or soon will know), my “go-to” genre has been historical fiction. While I have read books set in the past (look at Q2!) I never realized that there was a genre called historical fiction until I stumbled upon “Doomed Queen Anne” by Carolyn Meyer—I always just called them as “books set in the past” in my head. It was after this novel charting Anne Boleyn’s very tumultuous life that made me realize I was hooked on the genre, and I haven’t really looked back since. I basically devoured her four books in the Tudor “series” about Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Catherine of Aragon, and of course Anne Boleyn.

  1. What was the first literary prize-winner that you read (or want to read)?

I don’t really know, but that’s because I don’t really follow literary prizes. OTL

Honestly though, having a medal on the cover or having it state “X Literary Prize Winner” does not compel me to pick it up any more than usual; I generally track down things that I am interested in reading. Here’s a very short list of prize winners that I have read (and that I am aware of):

  1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  2. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  3. 419 by Will Ferguson

A prize-winner that I would like to get to in the future: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Feel free to recommend anymore prize winners, particularly if they’re set in the past, related to some crime/mystery or interesting!

  1. What was the first piece of translated fiction that you read (or want to read)?

I’ve never read translated fiction that I can think of—I generally read in English or I just pick up the books in other languages that I understand and read those. However, that’s not to say that I don’t have interest in translated works in the future. Some of the ones that I would love to get to include Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Nana by Émile Zola, and really almost anything by Dumas since they all sound like great adventures. Now if only I can conquer the fear of reading what are literally tomes.

  1. Tell us about why you started Book Blogging and what it was like to write and upload your first post! (modified, because the original question was about BookTube and I don’t plan to upload videos just yet)

Exciting and terrifying. Exciting because I finally have the opportunity to express my thoughts about various books and reading to the general public, and terrifying because there are so many ideas in my head. I have quite a bit planned or at least that I would love to write about in the near future so I could discuss with all of you, and I am not sure where I would find the time to do so! But I do hope to continue contributing regularly, so mostly excited.

And that’s it folks! Hope you’ve got to learn a bit more about me and my reading background today. As I said earlier, I do want to do more tags regularly, so if you have any other suggestions, please comment below!

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