Happy Book Tag Tuesday (but on Thursday) everyone! I found this scavenger hunt tag on The Book Nut, and thought it looked like a lot of fun. (Unfortunately, I can't find the creator of this great tag to give them credit.) I'm super excited about this one, so let's just jump right in!
(Disclaimer: I am not using any ebooks I own in this scavenger hunt; only books that I physically own on my shelves. Though I do own some ebooks that may fit a prompt better than the chosen book, I wanted to really experience the scavenger hunt in its most organic form.)
1. Find and author name or title with a Z in it.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
I'm a bit of a sucker for novelized biographies. Not that I don't enjoy standard biographies, but I particularly enjoy when an author does extremely in-depth research, and gets to know their subject so incredibly well, that they can fill in the gaps and let readers experience some more intimate moments of that person's life. I thought Therese Anne Fowler did a really fantastic job with this in Z. Zelda Fitzgerald experienced the full luxurious life the 1920's had to offer. The book follows Zelda into her marriage with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and sheds light on the hardships she experienced as a woman of her time, and the extreme lack of understanding of mental illness. This book is highly provocative, emotional, and elegantly written.
2. Find a classic.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula just may be my favorite classic. Is it the most thought inducing classic out there? No. I can't tell you what does it for me. Maybe it's because it's a spooky book. As I was just hours late to being born on Halloween, spooky books tend to make my heart happy. Regardless, this book holds a very special place in my heart. I will also give Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu an honorable mention here, because it was the unofficial inspiration for Dracula. Both need more love. Before you ask, my favorite adaptation of Dracula is hands down Dracula: Dead and Loving it.
3. Find a book with a key on it.
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
I almost gave up on finding a book with a key. I really didn't think I had one. The closest I could find was Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, which has a keyhole on the cover. Once again, I wish I owned the Locke and Key comics. Those are so dang good...
I'm stalling. I forgot I owned this book, honestly. I know Dean Koontz is a beloved thriller (?) author. I've had books of his recommended to me before, but I just haven't gotten into any of them yet. In all honesty, I don't know what this one is about. If you happen to enjoy Dean Koontz and would like to make a case for him, feel free to do so, and recommend a good one to start with below!
4. Find something on your bookshelf that is not a book.
Because I have absolutely no creativity with bookish pictures, the same two blades that make appearances in all of my fantasy book pictures sit with my fantasy books on my shelves. Right now, there's also a coffee cup full of paintbrushes on my shelf to keep them out of reach of my roommate's cat.
5. Find the oldest book on your shelf.
MacBeth by William Shakespeare
Otherwise known as The Scottish Play by theatre junkies like myself. (Saying the play's name during production is considered bad luck, as many people believed the play to be cursed.)
I was very fortunate to inherit old school books that have been passed down generations through my family. I believe this copy of MacBeth (from 1800's) is the oldest of the lot. These books are all extremely aesthetically pleasing, and I'm terrified to touch them.
6. Find a book with a girl on it.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
This one is almost too easy. You can pull any YA dystopian or contemporary and get an answer to this prompt. I chose The Grace Year because the girl on the cover is still artsy, and the cover is quite beautiful. This is one instance where a girl on the cover can still make for a pretty cover.
At the age of 16, girls in this world are overcome with an incredibly powerful magic and aphrodisiac. They are sent away for a year, their "Grace Year," where they must live alone in the wild until they can return to civilization again. Many of these girls never return. No one really knows what happens during the Grace Year, but as Tierney James is approaching her own, we are about to find out.
7. Find a book that has an animal in it.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Nothing is more likely to be filled with animals than a beloved childhood classic. This story is very near and dear to me. It's also the first chapter book I've ever read in Spanish! (That is, for leisure specifically. I'm not counting the chapter books I had to read for class here.)
If you've somehow made it this far without reading this book, I highly suggest you do so. I don't care how old you are, this book will make you cry and care more about a spider and a pig than you thought was possible.
8. Find a book with a male protagonist.
Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
There were a lot of options for this prompt as well, but I thought more people needed to be made aware of Forrest Gump as a book. The movie is a very honest and accurate adaptation. However, I still recommend the book--even if you've watched the movie a hundred times over. There are far more shenanigans for Forrest to get tangled into in the book. You thought the movie was ridiculous? You have no idea at all.
Every time I think about the story, I get an insatiable craving for shrimp....
9. Find a book with only words on the cover.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This is the closest I have to a book with only words and no illustrations on the cover. Do I still get a point for this one? Are we keeping track of points? Welcome to Food For Thought, the blog where we make everything up, and the points don't matter.
So anyway... House of Leaves is a chunky boi that I tell myself I will read every fall during Spooky Season. I have not. I don't want to get into this knowing too much about the premise (worst book blogger ever), but I do know that this book is supposed to be very scary--even for people who have never found a book to be scary. It's also written in an extremely unique format that demands some diligent participation from the reader. I've heard of people needing weeks to finish this bad boy. I know I'll love the experience, so I cant articulate to you why I have taken so long to pick it up.
10. Find a book with illustrations in it.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
I borrowed the first book to the Leviathan trilogy from the library years ago, saw how stunning and detailed the illustrations were, then returned the book because I decided I needed to own such beauties. Of course, here we are years after I've acquired them. I have not yet read them...
The Leviathan series takes place in a parallel timeline during a steampunk WWI. We follow an Austro-Hungarian prince on the run and a female pilot disguised as a boy, both desperately trying to avoid being caught, as they travel around the world on a life-changing adventure.
11. Find a book with gold lettering.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
This prompt was a surprising struggle! Just about every book I have with foiling is silver. If it does have gold lettering, it's only on the spine. I thought I was signing up for an easy scavenger hunt!
I purchased Dread Nation when it was released, but somehow I never read it. I started it, and remember thoroughly enjoying the experience. I don't know how it got shoved out of my mind, but it certainly has. Also, apparently the sequel is out now? I really need to dive into this one and actually finish it this time!
Dread Nation takes place in an alternate history, where the dead of the Battle of Gettysburg began to claw their ways out of their graves, disrupting the Civil War and changing America's course drastically. The Native and Negro Reeducation Act forces young POC to go to combat schools and learn how to kill these walking dead in order to be sold to affluent white families as protectors.
12. Find a diary, true or fictional
The Martian by Andy Weir
In my opinion, books set in diary format tend to have a pronounced emotional disconnect. I struggle with them.
Unless that diary is actually a log from Mars written by a nerdy space-man with a great sense of humor. Then I will eat it right up!
If you're somehow out of the loop, The Martian follows Mark Watney, a botanist from NASA, as he is left on Mars presumably dead. With what little supplies left on the planet from his crew and a exuberant amount of resourcefulness and humor, Watney must find a way to survive on his lonely rock in space... and maybe even get rescued! Unfortunately, everyone on Earth thinks he's dead.
13. Find a book written by and author with a common name (like Smith).
I don't like the "common name" implying that white names are the only normality here... There are plenty of names from the vast collection of cultures in this world that could be common within that culture. I am skipping this prompt, because I don't want to deal with how narrow-minded it is.
14. Find a book with a close up of something on it.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book was by far the best required reading I ever had in school. Holy crap, the plot twist was REAL. If you haven't yet had this book spoiled for you by the movie, please go read the book! Read even if you have watched the movie, because the book is far more nuanced and fleshed out.
I'd typically put a synopsis here, but literally anything is a spoiler. Just take my recommendation and run with it. You will not regret picking this novel up!
15. Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period.
Medea by Euripides
Euripides was one of the fathers of theatre, writing his plays during some of the very first Olympics in Ancient Greece. Not only is this story one of the earliest settings, it is one of the oldest stories on my shelves period.
After his gallant quest for the Golden Fleece, Jason settles down with his new wife, Medea. However, the curtains rise to reveal Medea learning of Jason's infidelity with the princess. As most Greek tragedies go, things can only escalate into a ridiculous revenge story from here.
I really really love this play. I love Medea's character, and feel for her plight--even when her actions are impossible to believe. I'd pay large sums of money for a Wicked-esque origin story to be written of Medea. It would be so damn good!
16. Find a hardcover book without a jacket.
Gothic Short Stories
I absolutely could have pulled a hardcover with a missing dust jacket off my shelves, but I really wanted an opportunity to flaunt these beautiful books! All of the books within the Gothic Fantasy line have the same intricate foiling directly on the hardcover book. Isn't she a beauty?
Each book in this collection falls under a specific genre. The one pictured is obviously horror. The book then alternates between contemporary and classic authors' short stories from the genre. I just love these. There's so much talent bound into the book. I especially appreciate that these books often publish authors that are under the public's radar. I love being introduced to new and fantastic writers! I always find these collections in the "Bargain" section of Booksamillion. Go check them out!
17. Find a teal/turquoise colored book.
Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman
All of the books in this series have covers are just super gorgeous and well-planned. The bright blue that is the Gemina cover is my personal favorite. You can get lost in such a rich shade. Perhaps this cover is a little too blue for teal, but I'm counting it anyway because I love the cover so much.
The Illuminae Files are all told in mixed media format, simulating case files for an attack on the mining planet Kerenza and the resulting aftereffects. These books are guaranteed to be a whirlwind of plot and emotions through unpredictable twists and turns. If you haven't yet given these a shot, I highly recommend that you do!
18. Find a book with stars on it.
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
If this isn't one of the prettiest covers you've ever seen, you're wrong.
The Smell of Other People's Houses gives snapshots of the lives of four Alaskan teenagers. Each is fighting their own terrible demons, and trying to reconcile the hardships of their lives. Slowly, their lives become intertwined in most mysterious ways.
19. Find a non YA book.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
This is one adaptation cover that not only gets a pass, but may be better than the original. Yes, you can stone me for liking an adaptation cover more.
Wicked was one of the first adult books I've ever read, which is why it was the one I used to fulfill this prompt. I remember stumbling across a sex scene while reading this in science class. I was likely blushing like a fool. It wasn't even remotely explicit! You can hate me if you like, but I certainly prefer Wicked over The Wizard of Oz.
I really need to reread this book now...