Friday, 1 August 2014

A Book a Day in July: 25th-31st

It's time for my last Book a Day post, based on a Twitter project called #BookadayUK, where bookish types tweeted their responses to a series of daily prompts.  Talking about the books here on the blog instead means I haven't had to worry about the 140-character limit, and I've been able to group days together; click on the links to read my answers for Days 1-6, Days 7-12, Days 13-18 and Days 19-24.  This post also contains the second 'lucky dip' day, in which Doubleday invited prompt ideas and then Tweeted the chosen question on the day itself.  :)

Here we go!  And don't forget to head over to Twitter to see what other people have been recommending...
July 25th: Book that is your guilty pleasure
I don't have guilty pleasure reading - just pleasure reading (or not-such-a-pleasure reading, as the case may be).  For the sake of this question, however, I'm going to assume 'guilty pleasure' means froth and fun, something light and super-easy to read when you need a pick-me-up.  This is actually quite seasonal for me; in summer my go-to is something like Jenny Colgan's 'food novels', and in winter maybe the Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke (also food-related, with Hannah running a cookie cafĂ© and all!).
July 26th: The novel you wish you'd written
It's got to be the Harry Potter series, hasn't it?  It made reading cool, got kids immersed in books, changed people's lives, spawned massively popular tourist attractions, moved onto the big screen...  Just about everybody in the entire world knows the name of the Boy Who Lived, and it all started with one woman having an idea on a train, writing in cafes and a dingy Edinburgh flat, with no money and a baby daughter sleeping beside her, bringing this epic magical story into the world.  Amazing.

July 27th: For National Parents' Day - the best/worst parents in fiction
Ooooh, this is a difficult one!  I think the 'best parent' award has to go to the iconic Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird (my double review).  He's a hero in every sense, and perfectly treads the fine line between helping Scout and Jem find their way in the world and allowing them to work things out for themselves.   The 'worst parent' award is trickier, but in the end I went for Eva Khatchadourian from We Need to Talk About Kevin.  Not only did she play a significant part in turning her son into a monster by quite blatantly detesting him from birth, she THEN had a second golden child and fawned all over her, rubbing her lack of affection in Kevin's face every day for years.  Ugh.  Special mentions go to Margaret White from Carrie (my review) for being a crazy child-beater, and Mr and Mrs Wormwood from Matilda, who quite frankly just shouldn't have been allowed to reproduce.

July 28th: Favourite animal character
I'm going properly old-school with this one: I absolutely adore little Plop, from The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson.  He's a baby owl who gets frightened when his parents go off hunting every evening, so he goes on an adventure to find out all the cool things about night-time.  He meets all kinds of people and creatures, and by the end he isn't scared any more!  Our teacher read us this book in Year 2, and when it came into the shop nearly twenty years later it was so lovely reading it again and looking at all the beautiful illustrations.  :)
July 29th: Favourite likeable villain
Shiiiiiit.  Another prompt where I just can't settle on an answer!  Okay... I'm going to have to go with Dexter Morgan, from the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay (my review of the first book), because 'serial killer who channels his instincts into destroying bad guys and has a wonderfully playful dark sense of humour' is about as likeable-villain as they come.  Outside of Tom Hiddleston's Loki anyway, and he doesn't count because FILM.
July 30th: LUCKY DIP - A book you've been inspired to read by #bookadayUK
For the first time, I actually don't have a single thing to contribute to this one!  To be honest, I haven't been keeping up with the Twitter feed that diligently, apart from occasional days when I've checked out other people's responses for inspiration.  It's been more fun being reminded of characters and books I already love, and books I definitely want to read sometime, rather than discovering new ones.

July 31st: The book that reminds you of someone special
I'm going to mega-cheat on this one, because I have three that immediately spring to mind.  The Life of Birds by David Attenborough was a Christmas present when I was a little girl because I was always mad-keen on birds and loved the TV series; my mum is a life-long Attenborough fan, so every time I see this on my shelf I think of her.  Dolphins by Jacques-Yves Cousteau was actually her book when she was younger and is now mine, and really speaks to my love of the ocean and sea creatures; I actually seriously considered pursuing marine biology at one time!  And finally, The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, which my dad bought for me on a birthday trip to Scarthin Books years ago, where he let me loose for several hours and bought me a pile of books at the end as my birthday present.  I loved this TV series (with Damian Lewis and Rupert Graves), sailed through the novel, and the Wordsworth edition of the book is about the only one that keeps all three volumes of the saga together so I still have the same copy on my shelves all these years later.  Every time I see it, it reminds me of that birthday!
If you've enjoyed all this, the good news is that #BookadayUK has been taken up for another month, this time by the Siobhan Dowd Trust.  Check out their Twitter feed or follow the project hashtag to join in for August!  The first prompt is "most arresting opening line"...

Aaaand that's it!  I hope you've enjoyed my #BookadayUK posts this month!