Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

It's December and, typically, insanity reigns. Luckily for me, there exist amusing book tags to tide me over. This one doesn't even come with a creator to thank or a list of rules to follow, so even those of you who don't like these things that much may still enjoy it.

1- Greed. What is your most inexpensive book? What's your most expensive book?

I have so many books I picked up for free, you have no idea. But the most recent is Grettir the Strong - a print version of the icelandic saga that I picked up for £1 at a "pay what you like" bookshop on the high street.
inexpensive book I've bought in the past few months is

The most expensive book, similarly, that I acquired this year must be The Riverside Chaucer. Yes, it's a course book, but I've been wanting a full collection of the Canterbury Tales for years. Money well spent, then.

2- Wrath. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Phillip Pullman.

His Dark Materials is a beautiful, complex, engaging, awe-inspiring, heart-breaking, world-shattering, forward-looking, story that demands every scrap of attention in the world and then some.

Mr Pullman, however, I have my issues with. The fact that his bestsellers are directly intended to erase modern religion and set up an alternative theology - no, really - being foremost among them.

3- Gluttony. What book have you devoured over and over again?

The Silmarillion. I'm going to go right out and say it, I like this book more than The Lord Of The Rings.

It's everything the trilogy is, combined with a stronger sense of moral ambiguity, massively heightened stakes, and a heart belonging every inch to the epic sagas and pre-historical creation myths that inspired it.

It's wars and loves and losses and falling cities and flying skyboats battling dragons big enough to crush mountain ranges. And then some.

4- Sloth. What book have you neglected due to laziness?

Every year I tell myself I'll finally get around to reading Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. First recommended to me by the teacher who tutored me for my Oxford interview, and who hated the majority of Dickens' work as hard as I did. I'm told it's as good as Great Expectations, maybe better.

Sadly, as I'm already embedded in a degree demanding a lot of heavy reading, so I have reserved my free time for lighter, more entertaining, reads. Sorry Dickens. You just aren't as much fun as The Dresden Files.

5- Pride. What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

The Vinlandsagas. Beowulf. The Poetic Edda. The Prose Edda.

You get the picture. Lookit me, the expert on ancient oral tradition, narrative convention and names that, correctly pronounced, sound like you're coughing up a hairball made of concrete.

6- Lust. What attributes do you find attractive in male characters.

Going to take the sexual / romatic element out of this altogether because that's boring and I'm a pernickety wretch.

So, let's have a nice list instead.

  • Humour. A character who can make me laugh is one I'll more than happily love in return.
  • Power. Perhaps it's my inner megalomaniac talking, but I love a character wielding a hellish amount of punch - particularly if they're just as good at using it.
  • Independence. Characters who do their own thing, whether inside or outside their established conventionality, I can support and approve of very easily.
  • Empathy. Being aware of and looking out for other people is very important to me personally, and it's lovely to see it reflected in fiction, too.
  • Complexity. Self-explanatory. I like a character I can sink my teeth into and taste a person as conflicted, changeable, developmental and real as me.

7- Envy. What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

If Mr George R.R. Martin would like to look down from his ivory tower and recognise a fellow in gleeful fictional xenocide and gift me the entire completed set of his Song of Ice and Fire saga, I would be the happiest woman in the world.

. . . On a more logical note, if anyone would like to buy me books two and three of The Raven Boys cycle, I'd very much like that too.

~ Charley R


  1. I hope you like your Christmas present... ;)

    1. Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh now you've got me whizzing in circles xD

    2. It should arrive Monday, but I'm not sure if the two are coming together or separately. We shall find out.

  2. I honestly just need to write MAGGIE STIEFVATER on my Christmas list. I own 2 of her books, but out of the 10+ she's written?! *gasp* I need to work on my collection. ;-)
    This made me giggle. George Martin...hehehe.
    Oh! I'm FINALLY reading The Golden Compass! I'm really enjoying it, although, admittedly, I'm a bit miffed that it's a book for 12 year olds and it's so so highly religious/theological/scientific. 0.0 If I was 12 I wouldn't appreciate it half as much as I am, at 20, reading it now. o.O