As you already know from my post last week (where you’ll find the concept and the topics), I invented a new meme to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah with all of my book blogging friends, of all races, creeds, religions, genders, and whatever. I’m calling it…
The Chocolate Lady’s
Eight Candle Book Tag Link Party!
Since today is the first day of Hanukkah, I decided I’d think up eight topics – one for each of the eight days of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah – that are bookish as well! (Find the topics and rules here.) Plus, there’s a Link Party at the bottom of this post so anyone who wants to can join in the fun – and you don’t have to be Jewish, either!
Here are my choices:
A book you love, but one that no one else seems to know anything about.
I’m going to promote a book written by friends of mine, because not only was it the first email-epistolary novel, but it was based on the real-life relationship between the co-authors, who are happily married today! That book is “Letters from the Fire” by Alma Hromic and R.A. Deckart. The bulk of this novel is comprised of the online correspondence between an American man and a Serbian woman living in Kosovo when NATO forces attacked that city in 1999. The two “meet” on an online forum, fighting about the war, and then continue their contact via personal emails.
Two of You:
A book both you, and someone special to you, have both really enjoyed.
I’m going to go with my sister on this one, because my husband and I never seem to agree wholeheartedly about any book, and he does read genres I don’t. Plus my kids aren’t big readers. There are actually two books that fit this bill for me, but the one that stands out (and the one that I’ve actually reviewed) is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. When my kids were small, my sister decided that I had to read at least one book to them in Hebrew, and that was the book she chose for me to read to them. My kids loved it, and to this day, I think I can still recite the whole book by heart!
A book where there is either a love (or hate) triangle, or with three different points of view, or something else related to the number three.
For this one, I think one I’ll go with a book written by three authors, the group known as “Team W” who are Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White, who wrote the book “The Glass Ocean,” which is a novel about the sinking of the Lusitania! Well, it is less about the incident, and more about three women who were on the ship and survived. They’ve got another book coming out in January, and because I enjoyed this one so much, I’ve requested and received approval for the ARC of that one (“All the Ways we Said Goodbye”). I can hardly wait! These women are a fantastic team.
A book that you read that you knew you’d like or dislike before you began reading.
There are lots of books I know I’m going to love just from reading the blurbs, but there’s one author that I can always count on to give me a really, amazing, fantastic read. That is my favorite author, Michael Ondaatje, who wrote “The English Patient” which I adored SO much that I have never had the courage to write a review for it. Of the other of his books, the one that is my second favorite is “The Cat’s Table” which is a semi-autobiographical novel about an 11-year old boy traveling all alone, by ocean liner from Sri Lanka to England to be reunited with his mother.
🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️Fifth Candle 🕯️
Five-Day Work Week:
A book that you felt reading it was hard work, but you were glad you kept at it and finished reading it.
I don’t often read long books, because my mild dyslexia makes me such a slow reader. However, I was challenged earlier this year to read the very long and expansive “Paris: The Epic Novel of the City of Lights” by Edward Rutherfurd. It wasn’t only the length of this book that was daunting to me, but the fact that it follows such a large number of characters from six different families over seven centuries! My dyslexia make keeping names straight hard for me, so I’m glad I read this as a print book which had a list of the cast of characters and their relationships in the beginning that I could refer to when needed. I don’t think I could have finished reading it without that, but I’m very glad I did!
🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️Sixth Candle 🕯️🕯️
The Extra Sense:
A book that scared you, worried you, or that was edgy or spooky in some way (doesn’t have to be a paranormal book).
Probably the creepiest books I’ve ever read, one that left me feeling uneasy, but which was really fascinating to read, and that I enjoyed the psychological aspects combined with a horrible double murder, was “See What I Have Done” by Sarah Schmidt. This novel is about the infamous Lizzie Borden, who – although acquitted in court – probably did murder her father and step-mother by brutally chopping at them with an axe. Schmidt gives us a stunning psychological thriller of a novel, that is also thrilling to read! Highly recommended even for people who don’t read these kinds of books.
All the Colors of the Rainbow:
A book that just thinking about, makes you feel hopeful or happy, like seeing a rainbow after the rain. Alternatively, any LGBTQA+ Novel you really liked.
While many books have happy endings, or are known as “feel good” novels, there are few authors that can make you feel hopeful like the author Fannie Flagg. The characters in her books are always these ordinary people, who have normal (and sometimes extraordinary) struggles, but they always seem to find that light at the end of the tunnel. That makes us think that no matter what difficulties we might experience, there’s always going to be something good in our lives to keep us going. That’s how I felt when I read her novel “The Whole Town’s Talking” which I called an Elmwood Springs retrospective. You’ve got to read it to understand what I mean.
A book that made you say “WOW” when you’d finished reading it.
There are lots of options for this one, and I could always fall back on something by Ondaatje, or talk about the only book I’ve read more than once (“Catch-22“). But I’ve done that before on other posts. Instead, I’m going to go with Margaret Atwood and her novel “Hag-Seed“. This book was one of the 2016 Hogarth Shakespeare Series books to commemorate 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death, and they’re supposed to be re-imaginings of his plays. The thing is, Atwood (being the creative genius that she is), didn’t just write a modern version of the play “The Tempest,” and instead she writes about putting on a unique production the play novel, while having the essence of that play parallel the action of the story. Yeah… WOW!
That was fun (if I do say so myself)!
If you write a post for this meme, I hope you’ll put your link to that post into the link party tool here (or in a comment on this post), so we can all see it!
The link party will run from 6:00am Israel time (GMT +2) on December 22 through midnight December 30!