For the second year in a row, I have resolved to complete at least one book tag per month. For September, I am doing a book tag I have recently discovered through Elaine Howlin’s book blog; do check out her page for interesting bookish discussions and reviews. The book tag intrigued me and transported me to over a decade ago. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was one of the first English literary classics that I have read. Yes, I did have a bit of a challenge but it nevertheless opened a door to me. I have since then read four of Austen’s works, with a plan to read her three other works – Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Lady Susan.

Before starting with the tag, the house rules first:

  • Thank those who tagged you.
  • Link back to the creator of the tag (Emma @TurnAnotherPage)
  • Tag as many people as you want
  • Have fun!!

The Bennet Sisters: A Mixed Bag
A book or series with an eclectic cast of characters

There’s quite a lot of books I have read that have such a huge cast of characters. Honestly, the initial answer I had was J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women for obvious reasons. That was before I came across Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth, a book I have read almost four years ago. The book, which detailed the construction of a fictional Gothic cathedral, is rather a thick one and is populated with a vast set of characters. Each character gave the narrative different and interesting textures. I even listed the major characters in my review of the book.

Charlotte Lucas: The Best Friend
A dependable book/series, tv show or film you can always turn to

This one is a rather difficult question to answer, in terms of books, because I do have a lot of interesting books. Because of this, I picked three because I would be writing an essay if I go beyond that quota. The first book that I find dependable is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. It was my first Christie novel and was a catalyst in rekindling my interest in mystery and suspense fiction. Antione de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince will always be a go-to story because of deceptively simple story. However, its honesty cuts deep to the heart. Lastly, I will always return to Hiro Arikawa’s The Travelling Cat Chronicles. It is one of my many homes in the vast ambit of literature.

I am not much of a television series fan, or even a movie fan. However, if there is a series that has really captured my interest, it would be the Korean Drama (KDrama) Descendants of the Sun. It was the first KDrama I watched in its entirety without dubs. I loved everything about it – the chemistry of the cast (too bad Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo ended up divorcing), the different layers of the story, and even the OST. It is such a feel-good story that it has become my standard when choosing a KDrama to watch.

Speaking of KDramas, after five years of KDrama drought, I have finally started with a new one. Hometown Cha Cha Cha stars Shin Min Ah and Kim Seon Ho. I first encountered Min Ah through My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (never watched it completely) whilst I have encountered Seon Ho through the variety show 2 Days 1 Night. Whilst I like both main casts, I didn’t plan on watching the drama but without anything to do, I finally took a leap of faith. Even though I am just two episodes into the series, I am already enjoying the lighthearted story and the eccentricity of Chief Hong. The depiction of small town living was also on-point! I am hoping that the story will not waver.

Mr Darcy: The Unexpected Surprise
A book or series that you didn’t originally like but grew to love.

There’s no book I’d say I didn’t like before reading it. However, there are quite some that I have been apprehensive about and one of them is Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove. The book was ubiquitous that I started developing an aversion towards it. Later on, I did buy the book but I still had reservations about it. I am glad I overcame all of these apprehensions as the story of Ove captivated me, earning Backman a fan in me.

Lady Catherine de Bourg: The Intimidating Aristocrat
A book or series that intimidates you

Oh, there is quite a lot of books that have intimidated me over the years. From the works of Charles Dickens to Infinite Jest to War and Peace to Anna Karenina to 1Q84, the list seem to go on. However, there is one book that looms above all of these works and it is no other than James Joyce’s Ulysses. I tried reading it in 2017 and I managed to make it all the way to the middle. However, the story didn’t make sense so, against my wishes, I was forced to DNF the book. Up to this day, it is the only book that I did not finish. On the other hand, I am planning to reading it as my 1,000th novel. Currently I am mentally preparing myself when that time comes.

Mr Bingley: Honest Yet Easily Led
A character you think deserves a lot of love

I can’t choose a particular character but I have to agree with Elaine on this one, all characters, except for the villains, deserve the reader’s love. Or maybe I am just an old-fashioned reader?

Mr Collins: Awkward and a little socially inept.
What hyped or popular book/series have you not yet read?

Those young adult fiction novels, which are ubiquitous nowadays. It is a literary genre that I simply have an aversion to. It is not that I don’t read them but still. There were some good ones but most ended up being disappointments or were simply underwhelming experiences.

The Gardiners: Steady Voices of Reason
A character from any book, film, or tv series that you would turn to for advice

Albus Dumbledore is pick number one for obvious reasons but since I am watching Hometown Cha Cha Cha, I am also picking Chief Hong Dusik. I know I am just two episodes in but Chief Hong already showed why the small village adores him. He is the quintessential jack-of-all trades. But for me, what is riveting about the character is his in-depth understanding of people and their motivations. Despite his relatively young age, he is brimming with wisdom and this wisdom don’t seem acquired or observed. He also radiates this aura that invites confidence without judgement.

Mr Wickham: The Deceiver
A book that did not reach your expectations

There is a plethora of books I can choose from but of my most recent reads, Chang-Rae Lee’s My Year Abroad and Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl left me wanting for more. I had high expectations for the former for it was my first Lee novel in over five years. I liked Lee’s first two books I have read which were the reasons why I was excited for his newest work. The Other Black Girl, on the other hand, had such raving reviews but my experience made me question if I have read a different book.

Georgiana Darcy: Shy and Naive but Friendly
An under-hyped or represented book that you really love

I am picking Mirza Hadi Ruswa’s Umrao Jan Ada and Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Menfor two reasons. First of all, except in their native countries, not many people have read these books. In Goodreads, for instance, the former has been rated under 1,000 times while the latter was rated less than 4,000 times. But more importantly, these two books give deep insight into their cultures and into their histories.

Colonel Foster’s Regiment: Sure to liven up any party!
What book or series would you always recommend?

I do have a lot I can recommend depending on the subject and the reader’s interest. But apart from the three I have listed in the second question, three other books I can recommend are Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I recommend them for different reasons. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is for readers who want an eccentric but fun read. However, this is a five-book series which I have not yet finished (haha). On the other hand, Stay With Me and The Kite Runner both veers on the darker and heavier side. The raw honesty of the prose, however, makes up for an interesting and introspective reading journey.

And thus ends another book tag. I hope you enjoyed my answers. If you want to do your own version of the book tag, feel free to do so. However, please don’t forget to tag me so that I can go over your answers. For now, happy reading! I hope you all have a great weekend!