Book tags: the last ten books tag

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

It’s time to deviate from Top Ten Tuesday again as I don’t read audiobooks. I’m generally not brilliant with audio-only input (I rarely even listen to music unless I’m exercising). Ironically, my job relies on me listening well and a lot, which may be why I like the quiet in my time off. However, it’s a good excuse for another book tag…

I got The Last Ten Books from Nikki by way of Calmgrove, who had it from AnnaBookBel, who had it from Simon – but it all started with Rick’s vlog

1. The last book I gave up on:

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It had been sat on my TBR for several years, and was regularly recommended by everyone else who reads genre. Unfortunately, when I finally picked it up for Litsy’s Books, Bows and Blasters Book Club, it didn’t agree with me. I gave it 200 pages, which is practically a whole book for many authors who aren’t Sanderson, which seemed more than fair. I didn’t enjoy Sanderson’s storytelling style at all, finding it horribly repetitive – easy reading, but it set my teeth on edge.

Book cover: The City of Brass - S A Chakraborty (minarets silhouetted against a carved door)2. The last book I re-read:

The City of Brass by S A Chakraborty – I rarely reread so soon (only a year after first reading), but I loved this book, it made the Subjective Chaos shortlist, and I wanted to go into The Kingdom of Copper with all the complexities clear in my head. No regrets – I loved it even more the second time around.

Book cover: Chlorophyll and Gasoline - S J Fleming3. The last book I bought:

Chlorophyll and Gasoline by S J Fleming, one of our Subjective Chaos novella nominees.

4. The last book I said I read but actually didn’t:

…I don’t know if I’ve ever done this. I don’t really understand why you would? Ask me what books I said I was going to read and didn’t and the list is as long as my arm because another book grabbed my eye; but lying about having read a book? If I’ve done it, I was probably in secondary school. I’m fairly sure my teacher thought I’d read Persuasion when I turned in my dissertation on Austen, but I’m not sure I ever actually said I had… I’d still quite like to.

5. The last book I wrote in the margins of:

We had to do this at school; I had one of those teachers who made you highlight paragraphs in the books you studied, which in retrospect makes me shudder. Not only were we defacing the books but we were being told which paragraphs we should consider important and in some cases made to write specific notes in the margins. Ugh. So it was probably Hard Times by Charles Dickens or North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (I don’t recall doing it to Middlemarch). Is it telling that I recall absolutely nothing about any of these classics? Maybe. The only books I remember from my 2 years of English Lit are ones I chose to read myself outside the in-class syllabus: Jane Austen and Jude the Obscure.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve done this since I left school – although I regularly highlight passages and add quick notes on my Kindle. It makes writing reviews so much easier!

6. The last book I had signed:

Book cover: The Poppy War - R F Kuang (gloriously beautiful black and white illustration of an archer)I think this was at SFX Bookcon last autumn: I bought copies of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and The Poppy War by R F Kuang specifically to get them signed (I only had them as ebooks, but they’re gorgeous editions and favourites – I desperately wanted them on my shelf); and brought along a much-loved copy of Market Forces to surprise Richard Morgan with (as I rightly guessed that he’d be mostly signing Takeshi Kovacs books).

7. The last book I lost:

I don’t remember getting rid of my copy of Raymond E Feist’s Faerie Tale in a purge a few years ago (there was some downsizing; it was traumatic), but it’s definitely gone; and I think two copies of Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran were loaned out never to return, along with Asne Seierstad’s now-controversial The Bookseller of Kabul.

Kindles have made this a much rarer thing, as you don’t really mislay a book and you can’t lend it to someone. It took me over a decade to replace my copy of the now rare Freezeframes by Katharine Kerr after a former university friend borrowed it and lost it (and then denied he’d borrowed it. Former friend for a reason, right there). Shout out to my still-very-good-friend T who hunted second hand bookshops with me and without me but with me in mind (best friend, right there) to find a copy.

8. The last book I had to replace:

Book cover: The Earthsea Trilogy - Ursula Le Guin (a young man casts lightning from his fingertips against a stormy sea)T and I went to Hay some years ago and had a glorious day hunting up books; no Katharine Kerr, but I did find a fresher copy of the beautiful if inappropriate bind-up of the Earthsea trilogy by Ursula Le Guin (published back when it was a trilogy) to replace my very-battered childhood copy.

Ironically, I didn’t keep it – I gifted it to deargeekplace for our Earthsea read-along, and very very carefully read my original, trying not to let any more pages escape. So it might be the next book I replace too!

9. The last book I argued over:

I have a mental image of two bookworms arguing over the last copy of a much-wanted book (this hasn’t happened to me, thankfully; but I would let the other bookworm have it). I guess I regularly have mild disagreements in comments about books, and there is certainly much discussion for Subjective Chaos – although I wouldn’t call these arguments, per se.

Book cover: Winter Tide - Ruthanna EmrysThe fiercest debate was probably around Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys, which split opinion in the Blurred Boundaries category; but I don’t want you to imagine us yelling and shaking fists. We earnestly compared our views and tried to understand one another’s perspectives, with (appropriately for Winter Tide, perhaps) no heat and great respect.

10. The last book I couldn’t find:

Oops, I sort of covered this already, didn’t I?

I’m not going to actively tag anyone, but if you’d like to have a go please share the link in the comments so I can come and enjoy your answers!