Ah it’s that time of the year – when nobody has any idea what the weather will be like and the forecast is always wrong. (This is so for my part of the world anyway!) So what better time for this tag? Unfortunately, I am not sure who the original creator for this tag is, but I’ve seen it around.
All of these entries are books I have read so far this year. I think there are obviously multiple possibilities for all of these, so it makes sense to keep it to books I have read recently. (Publishing date notwithstanding: some of them were published one, two, three+ years ago.)
Without further ado! Weather in books. (Or books in weather?)
Sunshine – a book that makes you smile
This one was difficult! Naturally, when filling in a book tag, you go for books you have read recently. And somehow I have not been reading many happy books… I think I’m going to go with:
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Synopsis: Jane Austen’s moving late novel of missed opportunities and second chances centres on Anne Elliot, no longer young and with few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she was persuaded by others to break off her engagement to poor, handsome naval captain Frederick Wentworth. What happens when they meet again?
I’m still doing a little Austen read-through so I read this for the first time and I really liked it guys. It’s not all happiness – lots of sad backstory and heartache! – but I really enjoyed the experience of the read, which I’d say matters most.
Rain – a book you couldn’t put down
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
Synopsis: Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn’t accidental – and she might be next.
This book reminded me that I love to absolutely tear through a book. It won the Hugo Award so clearly others felt the same!
Wind – a book that blew you away
Temeraire by Naomi Novik
Synopsis: Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest son of Lord Allendale. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores. After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself.
I’ve mentioned this book already when I reviewed it, but going through my list of the books I’ve read this year, I had to include this one. You’re not quite sure what to expect from the summary but a fun, detailed and heart-wrenching tale is not it. I also credit this series with opening up my interests in historical fiction, as it’s a genre I’ve generally stayed away from until reading this.
Hurricane – a tragic book
Hamnet by Maggie Farrell
Synopsis: On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.
It won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and I did a short review of it here. The poetry of the prose is very good, but the story also revolves completely around the death of Hamnet – the forgotten son of Shakespeare. It is, however, very good. I think a large part of the tragedy is that we know what’s going to happen before we even begin to read. I’ve found that kind of foresight makes for the most tragic stories of all.
Blizzard – a book you had high expectations for
I think high expectations for a book usually come about because of oversaturation in your feeds or excessive marketing. It’s really disappointing when it doesn’t work out! But for this book:
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Synopsis: In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash..
I really found this lived up to the hype that I think exists around it. Not only is the prose lyrically suitable to the period it covers – that age of Greek myth! – but I felt it offered something new in that area. To be fair, when it comes to stories about Greek myths I’m easily pleased, but perhaps that subject matter is also why expectations were so high!
Tornado – a book you didn’t like at first but ended up loving
Olive by Emma Gannon
Synopsis: Olive is many things, and it’s ok that she’s still figuring it all out, navigating her world without a compass. But life comes with expectations, there are choices to be made, boxes to tick and – sometimes – stereotypes to fulfil. And when her best friends’ lives start to branch away towards marriage and motherhood, leaving the path they’ve always followed together, Olive starts to question her choices – because life according to Olive looks a little bit different.
The summary for this book intrigued me, but I will admit when I first started it I was not really feeling it. The story felt very rote – you are told about plot events rather than living through them, and much of the protagonist’s inner monologue felt repetitive or forced.
The reason I ended up enjoying it I think was just because it espouses a positive message about being yourself in regards to the direction your life will take, and especially when it comes to motherhood. I think it does delve deep into a particular time in a woman’s life, when everything seems to revolve around how successful you will be, with a family and kids and career and ‘having it all.’ It was an easy read that did even become quite profound at moments. Loved the focus on female friendships as lifelong stable ground.
This was a fun tag! It’s nice to simply revel in what you have read sometimes – especially when theres’s a great tag to follow! If you do end up doing this, please tag me as I’d love to read your responses!
Have you read any of these books? What do you think of my choices