I know there are rules about asking questions yourself and tagging people, but I know this is never going to get published if I try to do that (yay anxiety) and I’m already late, so this time I just decided not to.
Your top three reads of the year?
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. Apparently, I like adult SFF that makes me think about how I could never put together something like that? If you want to know about the other ones, here they are!
Worst read of the year?
I don’t want to give more blog time to the least favorites I’ve already talked about, so: I agree with pretty much every single early review of Infinity Son by Adam Silvera. That book is… bad. There’s no other way around it, and I don’t think the author is ready to write fantasy at all. It didn’t make my list just because I feel bad putting a book that isn’t even out yet on there.
What author do you own the most books of?
Do ebooks count? If not, Cassandra Clare because I bought all her books (that were out at the time) in 2015 and haven’t gotten around to giving them to a friend who wants them far more than I do yet (they were what I wanted at the time, but they’re not what I want now, so they’re going). If yes, I’m not sure.
Top three authors?
Ever? Yoon Ha Lee, Anna-Marie McLemore, and I would have said Leigh Bardugo, but I haven’t read her two newest releases, so maybe… Elizabeth Acevedo?
Describe your favourite bookstore?
It’s the Feltrinelli in my city, and there’s not that much remarkable about it apart from it being the biggest I can easily reach, but: there’s someone who is in charge of the graphic novel display and routinely puts new queer/feminist/diverse graphic novels in full view. This doesn’t happen in the rest of the bookstore. Whoever you are, I see you and appreciate you.
“The presence of atrocity doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. You’ll arguably be better at dealing with the horrible things you have to witness, or even to perpetrate, if you allow yourself time to do the small, simple things that make you happy. Instead of looking for ways to destroy yourself.”
― Yoon Ha Lee, Revenant Gun
Also the quote that finally convinced me to get over my weird guilt (ah, Catholic upbringing, never fail me) and put together an efficient mute filter on twitter.
Being on the internet means knowing all of the world’s tragedies, constantly, and since my usual reaction is being paralized in a “I can’t be happy, people are dying” state, I want to remind myself that it actually helps no one and actively hurts me, so this is also a reminder of what I want from my life in 2020.
What city would you love to travel to one day?
The only thing I can think of is a town: Corniglia. I’ve seen Monterosso and Vernazza, I should see this one someday as well, hopefully in a day with less tourists who don’t know that you can’t walk with flip flops in the notoriously thorny Mediterranean shrubland.
My answer changes from day to day, but today the first thing that comes to mind is that bobtail squids are really, really cute.
Favourite fictional creature?
I can’t think of any specific example right now. Do magical foxes count? Everything fox.
Favourite posts to write?
My posts about favorites at the end of the year. I read all year hoping to have a great line up, and for now it has always been true.
Any goals left for the year?
…it’s not anyone’s fault but mine that I’m always late when it comes to this kind of thing. My reading plans for the last weeks of 2019 were blatantly ignored by me, but at least real life was good. For 2020, my only real goal is trying to find a balance between reading, blogging and everything outside the booksphere, and if I can, read a little more sequels.
Why did you start book blogging?
In Italian, December 2015. In English, September 2017.
What are your favorite parts of book blogging?
I think being exposed to other people’s opinions, especially people who you could have never met without the internet (from so many other countries, for example) is a great thing and has made me an infinitely better reader – not because I read more or read objectively “better” books, whatever that means, but it has taught me to appreciate things I would have never thought about before, and helped me find great books I would have never reached for.
What are your least favorite?
Most discourse. The way some like to pretend personal likes and dislikes make a person more or less moral, as if liking the right books could excuse bad behavior, and pretty much every single thing that happens on book twitter.
What advice do you have for new book bloggers?
I’ve been on all three sides of the ARC thing:
- can’t get any ARCs because of circumstances I can’t influence (blogged in my first language, INTL reader, minor so no netgalley/edelweiss at all)
- can get some eARCs, so I read and review them (for most of this blog’s life)
- could get ARCs but won’t get them (me right now)
and honestly? They aren’t worth it. If you have any way to do so, keep reading without deadlines, even more so if you already have some form of anxiety. You will read less, because you’ll have less options to get free books, but consider: that might not be a bad thing.
Also: learn how to build distance between your personality and book taste. Social media likes to kick up disasters over nothing, so I really don’t recommend getting into this if you don’t have anyone to talk to – whether from real life or other corners of the internet – that isn’t involved in the book community, especially if you’re a teen. There are times in which you will need someone to help you put things into perspective.
What makes you want to read a book?
I honestly don’t know? There are a lot of factors at play and I put together a series of posts about that (Judging Before Reading; most of it is more than a year old, so some thing have since changed) but there are more that I don’t understand or haven’t thought about yet.
What were your favorite reads of 2019?
What books were your least favorite of 2019?
Also here, if you want to know, but I feel like lists of least favorites don’t have that much value in the end.
What books lived up to the hype? Which didn’t?
What is hyped and what is not is difficult to determine for me, because sometimes books that are really hyped and talked about in my circle of friends (The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, The Perfect Assassin) are actually mostly ignored by the community at large. So I’m only going to talk about objectively hyped, often-talked-about-everywhere books, and only 2019 releases or this list gets too long. Oh, and I won’t talk about books I’ve already included in favorites/least favorites list, that would be too obvious.
- Lived up: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (such a fun time), This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (just beautiful), Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (best ending of the year)
- Didn’t: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (I was so bored), Wilder Girls by Rory Power (missed potential), House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (how was this published in 2019)
What are your favorite tropes and why?
The obvious one: hero/villain sexual tension, because it’s the best way to make a book’s conflict at the same time 100% more fun (I just find it really funny. There’s usually terrible decision-making on at least one part.) and 100% more painful. More emotions, which is after all what we all look for, if not always in the same shape.
One I haven’t talked about as much but is definitely one of my favorites is resurrection as an inciting incident. Stories with resurrection solving things aren’t really my thing (religious aftertaste? Deus-ex-machina aftertaste? I don’t know), but stories in which resurrection jumpstarts the problem? They can be really good, if the author isn’t just using it as a cheap out-of-nowhere way to reintroduce the villain: for it to work, it has to already have been established as a possibility long before the end of the first book, or the first book has to begin with it, ideally. If these things are all true, I usually have a lot of fun with the story.
Who in the book world (blogger, youtuber, bookstagrammer, author, friend, etc.) inspires you the most?
I don’t really have an answer for this? There are many people whose bookish content I love and many I love interacting with, but I try not to see anyone that way – I know how it feels like if you do and then that person ends up behaving badly on twitter.
What is one book that helped you through rough times (or taught you something valuable?)
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente during my hospital stay in May 2018. I wasn’t that lucid so I remember it only in flashes, but it’s the kind of book that is somewhat nonsensical anyway, and really funny, so it was perfect.
I feel like half of this post was me being annoyed with book twitter, but who isn’t annoyed with book twitter?