Aurora tagged me for this a lifetime ago (thank you!) and it’s been two lifetimes since I’ve posted a tag, so I figured this would be a good place to start!
A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it
Rachel Platten’s Stand by You because it is THE anthem for love and I get misty-eyed every time I listen to it.
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine ’til yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
I’m 80% convinced Rachel is an actual angel.
A book that you’ll never get sick of
Really, the entirety of the Realm of the Elderlings series, but this one in particular. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this in the past 3 years, but I think it’s at 6 or 7? And a lot of that has to do with the snowy setting. I don’t know what it is about expeditions into icy wastes that I find so irresistible, but I do. Give me books about characters trudging through snow, sharing blankets and fire, and telling stories to stave off the cold, and I’ll be a fan for life.
A song that reminds you of the cringiest time in your life
So my current playlist? 😀
Well, my teenage years were disappointingly and unhelpfully bland. Age 18 to 21, on the other hand? Total train wreck.
I came across Poets of the Fall in 2012 thanks to the Alan Wake video game. But contrary to 2012 Kathy, there’s nothing cringey about this Finnish band. The lead singer’s voice is molten honey and sex combined and their lyrics are heartstopping poetry.
A book you read that you wouldn’t like now
I read The Mists of Avalon when I was 15 and it blew. my. mind. This was the feminist Arthurian retelling I never knew I needed. And I could overlook some of the more questionable scenes because I thought the heart of the story was in a good place. Well, turns out it wasn’t in a good place because years later the abuse allegations against Bradley came out, and that was that.
Sometimes I can separate a creator from the creator’s work. This probably isn’t one of those times.
A recent song that you have on repeat
“Broken & Beautiful” by Kelly Clarkson. Because I mean:
Can I just be tired?
Without piling on all sad and scared and out of time
I need–NEED–Kelly and P!nk to do a live duet of this.
A recent favorite book
No words. A once-in-a-lifetime-experience. A gorgeous fae prince/princess would have to ride their griffin down from the sky and whisk me away to their forest kingdom for me to even consider knocking The Mortal Sleep out of the Favourite of 2019 position. (You can read my review here)
A song that’s literally me
“Miracle” by The Score. The band wrote it as a way of expressing their anxieties about song-writing and being in the music industry, but I choose to interpret it as a general “I’m going through some shit in my life” song.
It’s not just a phase
Now let me explain
I’m working through some shit
Sometimes I’m medicated
A book that is me in book form
See “A recent favorite book.”
But also The Light Between Worlds. Because one of its main characters reminded me of myself in the most uncomfortable way. The mental health stuff, that is. Not the “got ported to a magical forest ruled by a talking stag” bit.
A weird song that you liked anyways
To be fair, this isn’t a hard song to love at all. Tierra Whack’s debut album Whack World is nothing short of brilliant–a treasure trove 15 songs (all of which are 1 minute long) that brim with experimental whimsy. With “Fruit Salad” Tierra sings about eating vegetables (yes), lowering cholesterol (really), and not caring about what other people thinks about her body. How she makes that sound so good and addictive I have no idea.
A unique book that stuck out to you for some reason
Memory lane time! When I was a teen I went through a
delusional phase where I decided I would go through the entirety of my library’s YA section from A to Z. It lasted for only about 5 months and I ended up skipping through the alphabet, but I did get a chance to pick up some of the more…bizarre titles I wouldn’t have chosen otherwise. Madapple is one of them. It’s one of those contemporary books that feels more like a fairy tale because of how surreal and ethereal everything is. There’s virgin birth involved. And child abuse. And court drama. And incestuous romance!
Terrible girl-in-a-bad-wig cover aside, I really really liked it at the time, and I haven’t read anything quite like it since.
Your best pump up song
Maybe not the best, but the most recent. Within Temptation is baaaack and they’re apparently leading a space opera revolution to take back Mars. I’m SO in.
A book that inspires you
I live and die on the altar of Markus Zusak and not (only) because he replied to the letter I wrote when I was 13, telling me it was beautiful (you probably say that to every kid, sir). But because The Book Thief pretty much molded the way I approach writing and other creative endeavours, and just…life in general.
I read it around the same time that I watched Pan’s Labyrinth, and they both taught me not to be afraid of rawness and creating raw and dark things, and not to be shameful about finding beauty in them.
Your best chill or relaxing song
Sleeping At Last is an international treasure and Saturn is my favourite from their Atlas album.
A book you’d curl up with on a rainy day
Mix together hope, goodness, whimsy, and small wisdoms in a bowl, pour them into tiny bottles and string them up around your walls like Christmas lights, look at it for one hour or five, and that’s what reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is like.
A guilty pleasure song
I…don’t really have one??? But I guess this is the closest? I mean, I don’t feel at all guilty about listening to it, but I would feel a tad guilty about singing it in polite company because the lyrics are pretty explicit. And only Damien Rice can make them sound like absolute poetry.
A light, trashy read you can’t help but love
Okay, this isn’t really light (I don’t know if any story involving Henry VIII could be light) and “love” is a strong word, but I did find it an addictive read.
A throwback song you look back on fondly
So for the longest time–like, eight years–I’d thought this song was about the bittersweetness of growing up and watching your friends drift away, and I loved that because at the wise old age of 14 I thought, “Man, all the golden years are behind me.”
And then I finally watched the music video and saw a kid George W. Bush pushing around toy soldiers and tanks and was like, “Oh, right. This is Rise Against.” But I love it now even more because it’s such a chameleon of a song and it can absolutely be interpreted both ways.
A book you read and loved when you were young
I read first read The Little Prince when I was…6? And it’s the first book that I could describe as being poignant. Or whatever a 6 year-old’s version of “poignant” was.
Tagging (because I’m very curious about your music tastes. I mean, I could just ASK but where’s the fun in that???)
Amanda @ MetalPhantasm Reads
Gerry @ BookNook UK
Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds
Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy
Nicole @ Thoughts Stained with Ink
And anyone else who wants to give it a go!
This is a great tag! 🙂 And the Hobb’s series *_* It’s one of my favorite winter reading ever <3
Ohhh I didn’t know you were a Hobb fan! <3 I binge read most of the books during winter, when I first read it, so my brain firmly thinks of it as a Winter Series. 😀
I love (and really mean love ♥️) all of her Fitz and the Fool’s books. I have some problem with the Liveship one, but I am a fan! And it was the same for me,her first book I have ever read was a Christmas present and since then winter it was!
*Happy flailing* I adore the Fitz and Fool books too!! I have to restrain myself HARD from talking about them constantly on this blog. And I think I had more problems with the Rain Wilds books than the Liveship ones, but I just love this world as a whole and how everything ties together in the last Fitz book.
Love this tag! Thanks for tagging me in it!
What a wonderful tag:). And I also love Robin Hobb and her fabulous Elderlings series…
Meeting Robin Hobb in person is definitely one of my bucket list goals–I love her so much. And I’m waiting with bated breath for her next book!
Yes – I attended a session hosted by Robin Hobb, which was fabulous:))
I don’t want to say I’m jealous…but I’m SUPER jealous!! I’m hoping she’ll visit Canada someday!
Oh shoot, this is going to be an interesting tag. 😛 But I’m really excited to try it out. I’ll try and get mine up next week.
I loved seeing how varied your music tastes was, though (and how I…knew almost none of the bands or artists, which speaks a lot to my music taste). 🙂
“Next week” Hahaha mine took like 5 months. Stop making me look bad, Nicole!! 😛 And I’m EXCITED to see your song choices. My tastes are pretty all over the place–everything from metal to the weird stuff I come across on youtube is fair game. 😀
Honestly, I am so hit and miss when it comes to tags. I either do it immediately (like in the case for this one) or I don’t do it for months. 😛 It was really fun to learn more about your music tastes and this tag was definitely really challenging, but I had a blast with it. 😀
I still have tags from like…8 months ago in my draft folder. It’s getting pretty out of hand. 😛 And there’s one of your tags that I need to finish writing!
Really? Oh gosh, I can’t wait to read it, then (I’m sorry I can’t remember which tag it is; I do so few tags usually that I never keep track of them!).
I’ve always been really curious about Madapple. It looks so dark and strange. I never picked it up, but it’s definitely one that I’ve stopped to consider on more than one occasion. The Girl Who Circumnavigated is so beautiful and one of my favorite MGs. Glad to see you like it as well.
Maddaple’s definitely not for everyone! It bends genres and covers a lot of taboo subjects. But it’s one of the stories that sticks in your mind, so I think it’s worth check out sometime. 🙂
This is a fun tag! 😀 I love the Kelly Clarkson song <3 And I definitely would not consider The Other Boleyn girl to be "light" haha but I liked it too 🙂
It was super fun! But I had to really think for some of them haha. And I haven’t even heard of the UglyDolls movie before this song but now I want to watch it *just* for Kelly. 😀
Oooh thanks for the tag! I too shall take two lifetimes to get to it but get to it I shall!
I loved reading your answers and I must confess that I’m conflicted about reading The Mists of Avalon which is on my TBR. I still want to read it because it seems like my kind of book but I think when I come to reading it I’ll go in with a sense of trepidation.
I am here for retellings of any kind and throw in some Arthurian legend I am even more there. Pile it on with female viewpoints and feminist leanings… yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
But I’m kind of with you on the creator/ creation front here. It’s a question I often ask myself – if you love the creation but the creator has done awful things can you still love the creation? I guess you can but it kind of stains it a bit. Especially if some of the content highlights some uncomfortable truths.
I have enjoyed some of Polanski’s movies but then I get queasy that I enjoy them because I certainly don’t have time or respect for the director himself. But then some of his content makes me feel not good because I think how much of the dark content is not so much ‘purging the dark part of the soul’ but embracing it? Gosh, I’m come across all philosophical and nonsense.
I don’t know if any of that makes sense? I’ll shuffle off now 😛
*grabby hands* come back!!
This might sound contrary, but yes, you should absolutely give it a read!! And not because I want you to suffer! But because I do think it’s got a lot of things to say about female sexuality and agency, and what it gets right, it gets right. But some of the questionable stuff gets *really* questionable and disturbing. And I don’t know if you’re religious, but there’s a lot of blatant favouring of paganism over Christianity going on. So I think you’ll have LOTS of thoughts about and I need to hear all those thoughts. 😀
And oh boy. It’d make things sooo much easier if terrible people made terrible art. I mean, I really, really love the Pianist. It’s one of my favourite Holocaust films, and I think it does such a great job contrasting the ugliness of the war with the beauty of music and the salvation it can offer. And then I look at Polanski and it’s like….how can something so beautiful come from someone who is actual human trashfire?
And like you said, it gets easy to question if the dark stuff in the film (and his other works) is a way for him to…revel in it. And with the movie Tess, I wondered at one point if he decided to direct it because the book’s got a sexual assault scene and he wanted to see that play out behind the lens.
And I actually ended up throwing away my copy of Mists of Avalon when I first heard about the allegations. It just felt like…a betrayal. Like, how can you write a book that champions female strength when your actions are the very antithesis of all that?
I do find it easier to separate creation/creator with films/TV shows than with books. Probably because it’s just so common with Hollywood and at least half of their men has done *something* awful at some point in their lives.
Oh you totally want me to suffer 😛
Oooh, I don’t know what it says about me but I’m finding questionable and disturbing a draw here. Is that wrong??!! More in a ‘what does that entail’ morbid curiosity kind of way than anything else.
I’m so on board with the Arthur legends though and I really want to read (and enjoy) a female lead version.
I’m not at all religious and I think it will be interesting to see the elements of paganism brought into the book because waaaaaay back when that was all happening paganism was rife and Christianity came in and made it go away. Whether you agree with that or not I guess is an individual viewpoint so I wonder if the author uses writing as a personal platform for views (which let’s face it, isn’t at all uncommon!)
The Pianist hurt my soul. I always recommend that movie but warn people that they will need to sit quietly after sobbing for an hour and then go watch Mean Girls. It’s a horrible movie that somehow retains humanity during inhuman times. Holocaust movies are generally so painful to watch anyway but The Pianist was wrenching and brilliant so yeah, it feels so unfair that talent can reside in a human yuck package.
I’ve not seen his version of Tess but I’ve heard its a great adaptation. I would rather that scene was left to the imagination because it’s never really clear in the book if it was rape or consensual via seduction. Although how consensual the seduction was is also up for debate.
I also really enjoyed his version of Macbeth and Rosemary’s Baby but now I’m thinking about it… there was sexual assault in those too…
There’s such an eternal debate here I think about creators/ creations. Do some people use fiction to get rid of their ‘dark side of the human soul’ or do some people use it to fuel it?
I always think of Stephen King because one of my friends hates him and thinks he’s a weirdo with the potential to be serial killer and I would argue that actually what I know about him is that he seems like a really nice guy who uses his fiction to get rid of ‘stuff’ but would never *ever* do it in real life.
I like to read/ write on the darker side of fiction but I tell my cat she has a lovely, fluffy tum tum and I cry at the beginning of Up and during How to Train Your Dragon every single time so I think people can be separated out from their minds!
Sorry I’m getting to this so late, Gerry!! I’m the WORST procrastinator when it comes to long comments. I have them open on multiple tabs and am like, “I’m going to write an epic response to this!” and then I procrastinate for the next several weeks.
“Oh you totally want me to suffer” — SHHHHHHH. 😛
“I really want to read (and enjoy) a female lead version.” WELL, there *is* a new Arthur retelling coming out this year, and it’s set from Guinevere’s point of view! I’m cautiously excited for it! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43568394-the-guinevere-deception
I’m laughing at your friend’s opinion of Stephen King. It’s hilarious but probably not likely! From the stories I’ve heard about him, and his presence on social media, he seems like a sweet person. And the idea of a horror writer who writes about horror to get rid of his demons and is secretly a crazy Satanic worshipper (or something) is like straight out of one of his stories. 😀
And speaking of horror, I think Guillermo del Toro and H.P. Lovecraft are interesting opposites in the creator/creation debate (of whether or not people use fiction to fuel or get rid of your inner darkness). Del Toro has always said that he writes about monsters, and that he feels an affinity with monsters, because monsters are the “patron saints of otherness” (or imperfection. One of those two) and they’re ways for him to understand and reconcile with his darker emotions. And I feel like that’s actually a very…healthy way of approaching horror?
But I think Lovecraft’s monsters were a way for him to feed into his views on white supremacy and nihilism, in an almost masturbatory way. There’s always racist elements intermingled with the monstrous elements in his stories, and they almost always end with the monsters prevailing and taking over humanity. I think he was just a miserable person with a lot of hatred for humans, and he used his writing as a platform for that.
Ah, what a cool post!
I didn’t know most of the books you mentioned, by i’m enjoying the songs a lot <3
Yay! Glad you enjoyed them! <3
This tag is just so much fun, I just did it recently too!
It is! And ooh, I’ll need to check yours out!
Thanks so much for the tag, this is a fun one! I totally feel you on Mists of Avalon–just wouldn’t be able to read that one without things in the back of my mind.
I actually ended up giving away my copy of the book when I heard about it. Which *might* have been an overreaction, but even just looking at it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Nah, totally understandable
[…] so much to Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky for tagging me in this one! So much fun to fill this one out. 🙂 Let’s jump right […]
I’m having to reply to your comment to me in a separate comment box because I think the chain ran out of ‘replies.’ If that makes any frack of sense?!
Don’t worry about procrastinating, it is my actual superpower.
I’ll have to check out The Guinevere Deception, I’ve not read any Kiersten White although I have heard of her and some of her books. I don’t know what she’s like as a writer but I’m always wanting to read more stuff and expand.
I know! Stephen King doesn’t strike me as someone who keeps bodies in the basement. Imaginative ones maybe but he seems like a solid dude. It’s the quiet and unassuming ones that are more unsettling anyway! If anyone ever claims that they’ve never thought anything dark and horrid in their life ever it makes me want to raise an eyebrow because it’s just not realistic and there’s some deep denial going on there.
Interesting on the last point! I’ve never read any Lovecraft and although I’m tempted there’s always something that put me off. Maybe it’s because, from what I’ve heard, that I feel there is a complete lack of hope for humanity in them.
I’m massively biased when it comes to del Toro though because if I *ever* wrote a book I would want him to do the movie adaptation – haha! I just feel explains *why* both his human monsters and non human monsters do the things they do but he never comes across as explanation = excuse. His is very much ‘what is the measure of a human/ what is the measure of a non human/ what do we do when humans see other humans as ‘lesser?’ He doesn’t shy away from the horrible things people can do to other people and in fact he highlights that that’s the worse thing about his stories, it’s the human evil.
I did think Shape of Water was a beautiful testament to that and it was well deserved of its praise!
*Panicky uncoordinated flailing* So so sorry for getting to this so late, Gerry (I keep telling myself I shouldn’t apologize for late replies but still, I feel bad). June has been kicking me to the ground and then stomping for good measure. I wish our brains came with a “chill tf out” button.
Oh I’m totally biased when it comes to del Toro, too. 😀 After watching Pan’s Labyrinth I wrote nothing but edgy magical realism stories with death themes for a whole year. And I’ve fantasized about running a Youtube podcast about pop culture and becoming famous enough to interview him. I want to pick at his brain badly. And have afternoon tea with him (and I don’t even *like* tea). And you NEED to get that book written and published because holy hell, I think all of your WIPs (the ones you shared in that one post, anyway) mesh perfectly with del Toro’s style.
Oh and do you have a twitter account? I kept meaning to ask but I kept forgetting!
Oh no please don’t apologise, I really don’t mind and I definitely don’t track people’s timeliness of responses! I’m not one for responding quickly either and it’s very sporadic when I do!
I hear you for June 🙁 I hope that the month hasn’t smashed you too much in the ribs and I sadly know what you mean about telling the brain to calm the eff down. I tell mine and it doesn’t listen either. I’m in a massive hole of writing, blogging and reading slumporama and I’m trying to train my brain to not feel guilty because it’s obviously my brain telling me it needs a break.
I was accepted for an ARC of Pan’s Labyrinth as del Toro and Cornelia Funcke have written a book version and I’m quietly confident that I’ll love it.
I know what you mean! I would love to just be physically present on one of his sets because I think it would be like walking through a nightmare fairytale come true. Strangely I do mean that as a good thing!
Haha, at this moment I’ll settle for writing one successful paragraph!
I don’t have Twitter for my book blog… yet. I say ‘yet’ because I am toying with getting one set up. I’m not the most social media of people and I have no idea how to use it and I think I’m a bit nervous about all the drama and negativity that Twitter seems to have. I’m also trying to convince myself about Instagram. There will be 100% no artsy photos of that I’m sure and it will probably be me gurning at food mostly and I don’t think that’s much of a draw!
*Glances over at all the controversies and drama that happen every other week with YA Twitter*
Oh, you should totally join Twitter. It’ll be fun! 😀 😀 😀
Honestly, though, I don’t understand why YA Twitter is so much more drama prone than other book Twitters. Like, why are readers more inclined to lash out at YA authors and why are so many mainstream YA authors so combative and dismissive towards their readers? That whole fiasco with authors shipping Sansa and Jon and publicly defending incest was just so so strange.
But if you use mute/block, follow good and positive accounts, and don’t engage in anything nasty, I think Twitter’s a mostly okay place to be! I haven’t had a really bad experience on it yet, and I’ve definitely made some good friends on it. And are you kidding? I would *totally* follow you for your food pics. 😀
I totally lurk to view all the drama and there’s even one going on right now which just confuses and bemuses me. I just want to live a quiet life with my cat and some cookies, does no one else want the same?!
I think I enjoy watching it but I definitely don’t want to be involved in it, there was even some fiasco around BookCon in NYC and the booktubers and people were getting really upset and it was really sad to see.
Yeah, the YA stuff actually seems to be the worse. I don’t think anyone can do anything right in anyone’s eyes whether they’re an agent, author or blogger. I’ve heard people say to use mute/ block and I think I need to understand Twitter before I go into it. I’m still not sure about it but I am a dinosaur who only got a smart phone last year!
It would only be food and my cat I think. Some people do gloriously beautiful pictures and I have no idea how they’re so good!
[…] was 50 years BC that Kathy over at Pages Below the Vaulted Sky tagged in me in this music and book themed tag and in the usual Gerry way of things it has taken […]
[…] you so much to Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky for tagging me in this music-themed tag! I’ve never done a music one like this before and I […]