I got unreasonably excited when I came across this on Zezee’s blog, linked from The Quirky Book Nerd. I played video games as a kid, but with five younger siblings there was always someone fighting over whose turn it was, and eventually—sometime around the N64—I gave it up. I still play Super Mario and Donkey Kong on my SNES, but Skyrim is the first modern, grownup game I’ve played, and I love it. So I think it’s a great idea for a book tag.
Fus Ro Dah (Unrelenting Force): A book that blew you away.
I think I have to go with After Dark, by Haruki Murakami. It was the first of his books I ever read, and besides being brilliantly refreshing on the heels of a book that had been a real chore to get through, it also opened a floodgate of sorts. Haruki Murakami has been one of my favorite authors for several years now, and Japanese fiction has become one of my most favorite genres to read. It all started with this book.
Dovahkiin: Favorite “chosen one” story.
This is difficult, because “chosen one” stories are always among my favorites. The Queen of the Tearling is one of the most modern; The Wheel of Time series, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, and Harry Potter are all ones I love. But even above Harry Potter, I have to go with The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. It’s been one of my favorites since elementary school, and now that I just read a very long and detailed post about why this series is so outstanding, I’m dying to read it again.
Thu’um: A book that got a verbal reaction out of you (good or bad).
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang. What I wrote when I finished it:
“Very well done. Painful. I think when I closed the back cover I actually said aloud to myself, ‘Ouch.'”
Arrow to the Knee: A book or series that started out well but ended up being disappointing.
1. This category is my favorite. Skyrim jokes for the win!
2. I’m going to submit two very different answers: The Ruby in the Smoke, by Philip Pullman, and The Color of Earth, by Kim Dong Hwa. In both cases, I loved the first book. With Pullman’s series, I felt like each book got progressively worse; with The Color of Earth, I immediately disliked book two and was not won back by book three.
Shadowmere: Favorite literary/fictional animal or pet.
Possibly Mouse from the Dresden Files . . . because I’m trying to avoid Harry Potter answers, so I’m not putting Hedwig.
Favorite story about a pet—Daughter of the Mountains, by Louise Rankin. I don’t think I’ve ever met another person who’s read this book, but it’s one I’ve always remembered from my childhood.
Alduin: Most frightening literary/fictional animal.
The Nothing from The Neverending Story, although it’s sort of cheating because I’ve only seen the movie. And technically I guess this is Gmork, the servant of the Nothing, but the Nothing is a way cooler name. Anyway, I always found it really scary.
Companions Guild: Best literary friendship.
I desperately want to say Rat Queens, because they are my favorite and they are actually a companions’ guild, and did I mention they’re my favorite? But in the interest of having Rat Queens not be the answer to every single book list I ever do, I’ve chosen the members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, from the book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Their friendships are what make that book.
Dark Brotherhood: The darkest story you’ve ever read.
Can’t decide between several candidates: A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe; The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier; The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding; essentially anything by Flannery O’Connor.
Thieves Guild: Favorite morally ambiguous character.
Nimona, titular character from the comic by Noelle Stevenson. I also quite like Ballister Blackheart, the supervillain who takes Nimona on as a sidekick.
Wuld Nah Kest (Whirlwind Sprint): Your fastest read.
Graphic novels, obviously . . . But proportionate to their size, probably The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray, or all the later Harry Potter books. I skipped a whole day of classes in college to finish The Sweet Far Thing, and those Harry Potter books I pre-ordered, snatched from the mailbox, and read all in one sitting, usually finishing around 3 a.m.
Tiid Klo Ul (Slow Time): Your slowest read.
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. I liked it; I just could never read more than a few pages at a time. Took me several months to get through.
Tamriel: Favorite fictional world.
Really hard to say . . . In fact I’ve spent several days overthinking it to death, trying to decide. Until probably my mid-twenties I would have said Narnia without hesitation, and I’ve of course considered Middle-earth and the Harry Potter universe—which has a significant advantage over the others if only because of things like indoor plumbing (come on that’s a major factor). But I think I’ve suddenly decided on the Kingdom of Wisdom from The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. I particularly like the island of Conclusions, which you access by jumping.
Bonus Question—“Sworn to Carry Your Burdens”: The heaviest book you own.
I used to own The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, but I got rid of it during one of our more stressful cross-country moves. Now, possibly 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami? It’s 925 pages, hardcover. I also have To Green Angel Tower, by Tad Williams, 1083 pages paperback. I’ll have to compare their weight sometime, but I’m guessing they’ll be similar.