Happy weekend everyone! I was recently tagged by Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner to do the Book Blogger Memory Challenge. I have previously done this challenge back in 2019 but I am doing it again this year to check if my memory has become sharper, or perhaps it has digressed. When I first encountered it, I thought that it looked fun so I decided to go with it as well. Let’s get on with it and I hope that you will also have fun with my answers.
Thanks to Naemi for tagging me on this challenge. Thank you for making me struggle for an hour. HAHA. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do.
You have to answer the prompts without using the internet or looking at your bookshelves. Your answers all have to come from memory! Make sure to link to the person who originally tagged you and, once you’re done, you can tag five other people if you’d like.
1. Name a book written by an author called Michael.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
My first encounter with Michael Chabon was through must-read lists. His Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay has been repeatedly listed as a must-read. So in 2017. It is an astounding showcase of narrative prowess. It had the right mix of artistry, trickery, and magic. It is a brilliant story that kept me shuffling through the pages, deserving of all the accolades it received.
2. Name a book with a dragon on the cover.
The Dragon’s Village by Yuan-Tsung Chen
This should count! Haha. I just read Yuan-Tsung Chen’s autobiographical novel last month and it was the first book that came to mind. Never mind that there is no image of a dragon on the cover but the word dragon is there.
3. Name a book about a character called George.
George Fortescue Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
He was referred to most of the time as Maxim de Winter but his full name is George Fortescue Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter. He was the husband of the eponymous Rebecca, former mistress of the Manderley estate. Rebecca suffered a mysterious death, leaving Maxim a widower. At the start of the novel, Maxim met and eventually married the novel’s anonymous narrator.
4. Name a book written by an author with the surname Smith.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Like Rebecca and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, it was through must-read lists that I have encountered Betty Smith and her most popular book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is a handbook on how to survive this challenging world. Although it depicted only a certain portion of the author’s life, it nevertheless spoke volumes. It is about finding the strength within in order to overcome challenges and disadvantages in life. Smith poignantly shared her story without resentment and bitterness but with objectivity. If Betty Smith was able to survive and become successful, then we most probably all can!
5. Name a book set in Australia.
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice started in Malaysia where Jean Paget, a secretary in a leather goods factory in the Malayan Peninsula, found herself caught in the crossfire of the war. She would survive the war despite being captive, along with other women. The last part of the story is set in Australia, where we meet Jean again but she is now married to Joe Harman, an Australian soldier. In Australia, they tried to build Willstown, a town she envisions to be “like Alice”. It echoed the community rebuilding that took place after the war.
6. Name a book with the name of a month in the title.
Cathedral of the August Heat by Pierre Clitandre
This one was a tough one and I had to dig very deep into my memory in order to come up with an answer. Haitian writer Pierre Clitandre’s Cathedral of the August Heat formed part of my first-ever Latin American reading month last year. It was also my first Haitian novel, a quick read that provides an image of the plights of Haitians.
7. Name a book with a knife on the cover.
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
I was about to pull off the “Dragon” act (refer to question number 2) because the first thing I remembered was Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife. It had the word knife on the title, hence, it was the most obvious choice. I didn’t realize that there is actually an image of a knife on the book cover. It was a buzzer-beater I guess.
8. Name a book with the word ‘one’ in the title.
One Day of Life by Manlio Argueta
This one was one of the easier questions to answer as I have several books with one on the title. In my first Book Blogger Memory Challenge, I mentioned Manlio Argueta’s One Day of Life. It was a book that was born out of my being an adventurous reader. One Day of Life is, so far, my only novel about El Salvador. It is a quick and slender read but one that is packed with punches as it dealt with the abuses of the Salvadoran government forces prior to the Salvadoran Civil War (1979-1992). Because of the adverse portrayal of the Salvadoran government, the novel was banned in El Salvador.
9. Name a book with an eponymous title.
Violeta by Isabel Allende
Interestingly, the easier questions are found towards the end of the challenge. Violeta is Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s most recent book. It is also my third novel by Allende. The eponymous Violeta narrated her story to her grandson, Camilo. Her life spanned a whole century, bookended by two pandemics – the Spanish Flu and COVID19. But what made the story flourish were the historical contexts that are staples in Allende’s novels.
10. Name a book turned into a movie.
Umrao Jan Ada by Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa
This is another easy question but the first book that came to my mind is a title that might be foreign to many, Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa’s Umrao Jan Ada. It was the first that came to mind because a fellow book reader previously asked me if I have watched the movie adaption of what many called the first Urdu novel. I also learned about the adaptation when I was writing my review of the book. Unfortunately, I have not watched the movie as I am really not much of a movie person.
Another book that came to mind was Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango. It was one of the books I acquired when the Philippines started easing lockdown protocols back in June 2020. What pulled me into the book was the appeal of learning more about Hungarian literature. I first came across Krasznahorkai when he was tagged by pundits as a possible winner of the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature. The honors went to Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk and Austria’s Peter Handke but I am still thankful because I was introduced to an interesting literary voice. Like Umrao Jan Ada, I haven’t watched its seven-hour highly acclaimed movie adaptation.
I know my memory failed me horribly but still, I am happy to have done this book tag. You can do the book tag too (I am not again going to tag anyone). Just never forget to tag me in case you choose to do so. I want to find out how you fared!