I was supposed to have my August Reading Wrap-up up today, but I’m moving it back to Saturday because today is the 46th anniversary of the death of J.R.R. Tolkien. And to celebrate the life and legacy of the man who changed the fantasy genre forever, I thought today would be the perfect time to do a book tag centered around him.
This tag was created by Things Lucy Read over on Youtube. It’s also a bit longer than your average book tag, so strap in and enjoy.
1. ARAGORN: a book that ended up being everything you wanted it to be
Everyone kept saying this was an amazing book, and usually when that happens I am disappointed by it, because expectations are often higher than reality. But this book is one of those few that actually liked up to its hype. I loved it, with a combination of sad and beautiful moments.
2. CELEBORN: your favourite character who often gets overlooked
This was my favorite Shakespeare play as a teen, but even those who know the play probably barely remember Dogberry. He is the bumbling watchman whose evidence actually saves the day in the entire play, and yet most people forget him for the more popular Shakespeare jesters like Puck and Feste.
3. CELEBRÍAN: a book or character that you wish had got a better ending
I’m picking a character, Boxer the horse, from this classic dystopian novel. I was required to read this book for high school and (SPOILER ALERT!) I was so upset when he is injured and sold off the farm. He is a pathetic, gullible creature, but he is also not malicious. He is based on, according to Wikipedia, “The Russian working-class who helped to oust Tsar Nicholas and establish the Soviet Union, but were eventually betrayed by the Stalinists.” And while I can understand his position in the story, I always wished he had a better ending!
4. CÍRDAN: the first book you bought/received OR the oldest book you own
I honestly can’t answer this one, because I have so many books from my childhood and I don’t remember which is the first. Also, I own many old books that are older than I am, so…
5. ELROND: a book that helped you through a hard time OR that you related to the most
I don’t really have a book that helped me through a hard time, so I’ll answer the second question. For those who don’t know, this book is by the same author of Little Women, and even if it set over a hundred years ago, I related to it so well. Polly, the protagonist, is considered old-fashioned, both in her tastes, fashion, and hobbies. When I first read this book, I saw myself in her. I joke that I was born in the wrong century, so I suppose I’m old-fashioned too.
6. ELWING: your least favourite fictional character
If there is one character I have hated for nearly half my life, it is Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries. I never understood how this series was relatable to anyone. Mia is the most annoying, predictable, shallow, and whinny character I have ever read. This is a pity because the premise of the book and a lot of the background characters were actually rather interesting.
7. ÉOWYN: book with the most badass or just your favourite female character
I actually rarely like badass female characters, simply because their strength is forced and unrelatable. I mean, can an average girl really fight a massive male Viking warrior? I think not. So instead I’m just picking my favorite female character, who you are probably sick of hearing me talk about: Harriet Vane. She was in several books by Dorothy Sayers, and I love her so much! She is the perfect combination of goodness and strength. Strong Poison is only the first book she was mentioned in.
8. FARAMIR: a sequel that ended up being better than you expected
A lot of people have probably read or heard of the first book of this series: First They Killed My Father. That book ends with Loung Ung leaving Cambodia to go to America. When I heard there was a sequel to that book which follows Ung’s life in America, I doubted it could be as good as the first, mostly because it covered different topics (the first was about a war, which was now over). However, it was so much better than I expected, talking of the immigrant perspective in America (learning a new language, a new culture) and finally returning to Cambodia to see how much it changed. I liked this book as much as it’s prequel, which surprised me.
9. FËANOR: a book where the characters consistently made really stupid decisions
I’m just going with the entire Luxe series, because this was the best book of the four (I gave it two stars, which is saying something if it was the best). I still can’t believe I made it through all four books of this series. I read it because I love historical drama, but this book was filled with the most annoying and stupid characters in existence. I constantly wanted to shake them and demand why they were doing what they were doing. This was such a massive series when I was teenager, and I honestly don’t see why.
10. FRODO: A book that didn’t live up to the hype
I personally resent this question, as if it’s saying that Frodo didn’t live up to the hype. Frodo is an amazing protagonist, and I defy anyone to disagree with me! But I’ll still answer this question.
I have heard this book is the quintessential noir novel. Written in the 1930s, it’s a thriller/mystery following hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe. I’ve heard amazing things about this book, but when I read it, I found it to be so silly. The plot jumped from scene to scene with little cohesion, and the characters were all bland. The only thing good in this book is the detailed imagery, but that is not enough to save this over-hyped book.
11. GIL-GALAD: a fictional death you will never get over
This is a book in the Jane Austen Mystery Series, which I absolutely loved. Beginning in the first book (SPOILER AGAIN!), Jane Austen has a love interest in the form of Lord Harold Trowbridge, who is kind of a spy. It was something we as readers knew was never going to have a happy ending because in real life Jane Austen never married, but at the end of this book, the seventh book of the series, Harold is killed. I was devastated! I still read on in this series, but without him it felt dull and predictable. Even now, when I see one of these books in a bookstore, I automatically think of him. I’m clearly still not over his death!
12. GIMILI: your favourite fictional friendship
There is something about the combination of Hastings and Poirot which feels even more endearing than Watson and Sherlock. Hastings is always so oblivious and sweet, while Poirot guides him so gently to the truth of all the mysteries. It’s strange how two such different men could be such close friends.
13. LEGOLAS: prettiest book
I’ve answered this question a few times before, so I’m picking a completely different answer this time. I picked this book simply because it has a picture on the front with more books. I mean, what is more beautiful on a book cover than more books? Plus, the brocade red wallpaper in the background is so pretty!
14. MAEDHROS: Most physically damaged book (dh pronounced like th)
I take really good care of my books, so much so that the worst you will find on my bookshelf is a couple only slightly worn. However, I’m actually picking a book I do not own anymore. When I was about ten or so, I was swinging outside when I accidentally dropped this book in the dirt (luckily, I owned it). I was horrified and ran inside crying. My mother helped me clean the book as best as possible, but even by the time I unhauled it, it still had dirt stains on it. Since then, I rarely read outside in a place my book might be hurt.
15. TOM BOMBADIL: A book you’ve forgotten
I actually have a perfect answer for this, because I was going through some books on Goodreads and noticed I had a lot I read as a teen which weren’t on my read list (mostly because I read them before I started my Goodreads page). So many of them I vaguely remember reading, but because I didn’t like them, I completely forgot I head read them. One of them was this one:
I barely remember anything about this book. Apparently, it’s kind of a YA romance between a pirate and a girl he steals all her father’s money from, but I just remember it being stupid. When I saw the cover of this book recently, I was like, “Wait, I remember reading this and hating it!”
BONUS QUESTION: HALDIR: a character that got ruined in their book’s film adaptation
I could pick so many characters for this one, but I’m going with Donald Gennaro from Jurassic Park. For those who recall from the movie, he was the lawyer who ended up dying on the toilet. He was a coward, abandoning the children and useless to the show. In the book, he is a really courageous and interesting character. He begins in the book by only looking after his own interests, but when everything goes awry in the park, he really steps up. Unlike in the movie, in the book he survives the island, but dies of dysentery later. Technically, in the movie he is a combination of bad qualities of several characters, but I was so disappointed to find the movie did him such a disservice.
Have you read any of these books? As always, I’m not tagged nor will I be tagging anyone, but I would love to hear your answers to these questions. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,