Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Cake Tag

Confession time—I wasn’t actually tagged for this thread, but I decided to do it anyway because Heather’s post looked fun, and also because I like cake. So there.

Flour—A book that started slowly but ended amazingly


(First off, I understand that many people are afraid of the classics, so I’m going to try to mix things up and not include too many in this list, although that’s a little hard since half of my reading diet consists of older books. )

In JANE EYRE, Charlotte Brontë spent so much time telling about Jane’s childhood, I started to wonder if I was ever going to get to the good stuff. Or if there was any good stuff. Fortunately, I’d seen one or two film adaptations (I’ve watched so many versions since, it’s hard to keep track), so I knew what to look forward to. Seriously though, the movies gloss over the beginning while the book takes the long way around. But once you get past the first seventy pages or thereabouts, the story comes into its own (I mean: secrets, jealousy, and an insane woman thrown in for good measure—sign me up!).

Butter—A book with a detailed, complex, and rich plot


My top pick for this would be J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS, but since most people are familiar with it already, I don’t feel the need to go into detail.

So instead I’m going to highlight the Bower’s Files series by Steven James. As of yet, I’ve only read the first four installments (THE PAWN, THE ROOK, THE KNIGHT, and THE BISHOP), and I’ve loved them all. (Be forewarned though—if you have even a somewhat squeamish stomach, this series probably isn’t for you.)

In these fast-paced, deeply psychological thrillers, James deals honestly with issues of doubt, evil, and grief. (Also, he includes at least one psychopath per book, which make him almost my favorite author.)

Eggs—A book that didn’t look appealing but turned out to be wonderful
(Actually, I eat eggs all the time—both raw and cooked—so this heading is misleading in my case.)


When I first read the summary for Marissa Meyer’s CINDER, I wasn’t too excited about the idea (I believe Heather is familiar with this feeling). Either I was too tired to pay full attention, or someone neglected to tell me it was a sci-fi fairytale. So when I saw it in the bookstore, I waffled a bit before buying it. However, the first chapter won me over right off the bat. I mean, Linh Cinder (Cinderella) is a cyborg, for crying out loud! And I’m a sucker for any story featuring plague.

Sugar—A book so sweet it might give you cavities


As a general rule, I don’t read happy, sappy, sweet stories. I mean, all that cheese is bound to make me fat. And maybe I’m a heartless monster, but I’m just not moved by romance. I’m Vulcan like that. And I’m never sure I buy into the love birds’ connection with each other.

But when I met Heather Hepler, I decided to give her books a shot, and I really liked them (I’m not just saying that because I know her, either). Also LOVE? MAYBE and THE CUPCAKE QUEEN, both tie in thematically with the sweet-tooth portion of this tag, so there. Another plus is that Hepler’s novels deal with heavier elements like divorce and disillusion, so they won’t leave you needing to visit the dentist.

Icing—One of those rare novels that fulfills nearly all of my exacting requirements
(This is another misleading heading, as I usually don’t eat the icing, unless it’s chocolate or cream cheese.)


In case none of my lovely readers have picked up on this yet, Ray Bradbury is basically my writing hero. I am so, so picky when it comes to stories—not just style and content but mood and feel. And oh dearest me—FAHRENHEIT 451 is beautiful. Just imagine a world where novels are outlawed, firemen burn buildings, motorists run down pedestrians for fun, and people learn to lip-read so they won’t have to remove the radios in their ears. Oh, and if you’re wondering, Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper catches fire and burns. Now go read this book—please, I would bribe you if I had the money, but I’ll just have to settle for giving you these puppy eyes instead. @__@


Honorable Mention: THE KILLER ANGELS by Michael Shaara is also spectacular.

Sprinkles—A book that never fails to cheer me up


While Richard Adams’s WATERSHIP DOWN is a novel about rabbits, don’t imagine for one moment that it’s a happy frolic in the meadow. Oh no, this story is dark, and our bunny protagonists face peril at every turn. But more than that, the world feels palpable and sinister. I understood the characters—their terror, their exhaustion, their desires. (And I wouldn’t recommend reading this to little children—it’s not really a kid’s book.) Yet despite the frightening undertones, the pages of this novel are so full of pleasant memories for me, I can’t help but smile when I pick it up.

Baking Powder—An essential addition to every reader’s library


I hesitate to insist that people have to read a specific book. Certainly I would like it if everyone did, but I know that not everyone will love the same stories I love. And while I understand that’s life, it still makes me sad. Nonetheless, I highly recommend TILL WE HAVE FACES, by C.S. Lewis. Unlike his CHRONICALS OF NARNIA, this novel (a retelling of the legend of Cupid and Psyche) is aimed more for adults. It deals with tough issues, such as the disparity between the arguments we voice and the true opinions we hold—among other things. Also, it’s one of those few books that nearly made me cry. And I believe I’ve made it clear that I am generally a cold-hearted monster when it comes to reading fiction.

And finally:  Cherry on the top—My favorite book of the year (so far).


Well, I’ve already blathered on and on about Nova Ren Suma’s IMAGINARY GIRLS, but I’ll say it again. It. Was. Beautiful. And if you want to read my glowing praise, here’s a link to this post and this post.


Honorable mentions for 2015 include (in no particular order): 

A WHOLE NOTHER STORY by Dr. Cuthbert Soup

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain

BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

ROMOLA by George Eliot

HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

KING SOLOMON’S MINES by H. Rider Haggard

THE MIND OF THE MAKER by Dorothy L. Sayers

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

THE DOUBLE by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES by Nathaniel Hawthorne

ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES by Stefan Bachmann, Claire Legrand, Katherine Catmull, and Emma Trevayne


There are more, of course, but this list is long enough as it is, so I’ll leave you to your cakey thoughts. Since I wasn’t tagged for this myself, I’m not going to tag anyone. But if you feel like writing your own Cake Tag, please tell me and I’ll link to your post!

All book covers from Goodreads!


  1. Hey, I'll join you in your love of the classics. The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, 1984, etc. are some of my favorite books, and the ones that have impacted me the most.
    Also, I do love this tag. For whatever reason, it's super satisfying and fun to find books for! I love Cinder as was such a pleasant surprise.

    1. Ooooh, another fan of the classics! *dances around* 1984 is one of my favorite dystopian novels (along with Animal Farm and Brave New World). Personally, I like dystopian better when it ends badly--it's more scary that way. And I'm so glad you love Fahrenheit 451!!!!!! It's one of the only books (there are, like, three that I can remember) that's kept me up late at night.

      And yes, this is a super fun tag. I read Heather's, and I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I decided it didn't matter whether I was tagged or not--I had to do it. :P

      Ahh Cinder, I'm so glad I met you. I'm sorry for judging you.

  2. Ooh, I love your picks! Jane Eyre is definitely something that ended wonderfully, and I really enjoyed in the end. :D You know how I feel about Cinder, of course (thanks for the shout-out!), and THE PAWN is on my reading list! :D Soon! The covers of your cake books are also remarkably pretty, as well. Excellent choices!

    1. I'm so glad you liked my choices!!! Jane Eyre has such a powerful ending--I feel bad that it's beginning can be a bit of a turn off, but I do feel that it's important when you look at the book as a whole. Without the first seventy pages or so, the story just wouldn't be as complete. Oh, and you're quite welcome for the shout out! :) And I hope you enjoy THE PAWN and its sequels as much as I did.

      Yes, the covers are pretty, are they not? I actually have a different edition of TILL WE HAVE FACES, but I think the cover is a bit ugly, so I used a different picture. And I have this version of FAHRENHEIT 451:
      But apparently some people thinks it's ugly, so whatever. I think it captures the essence of the story very well, even if it isn't as visually appealing.

  3. Omg, I really haven't read a lot of classics. Like I've read the mega famous ones (like Oliver Twist and Treasure Island) but I really do die when it comes to their more complex wording. I would like to try Fahrenheit though because BOOKS! I love books about's like bookish inception or something. xD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. :) I haven't actually read Oliver Twist yet--I saw the movie, which wasn't a good idea, because every movie I've ever seen of Dickens is horribly depressing, and the books just aren't that bad. I really liked David Copperfield and Great Expectations though. And I totally understand how you feel about classics. I was homeschooled, and one of my classes involved reading old books and looking up every single word I didn't understand (I had, like, five hundred vocab words for War and Peace). But after a year or so, I got used to the different language in older books, and I can enjoy them more now (I did enjoy them then, it's just that they were harder). Since you're a speed reader, I think that might hurt your enjoyment of them--I have to force myself to read more slowly or the sentences still throw me off from time to time. Still, I do crave my fair share of contemporary books. :) And yes! You should read Fahrenheit 451 or I might die!!! (Slight exaggeration.) It's not as old as the others, too, so it should be a little better languagewise. And oh, it is beautiful. :) Yes, every bookish inception. Also, if you love is as I do, you might enjoy checking out A Pleasure to Burn, which is a collection of Fahrenheit 451 short stories, like, bits that Bradbury wrote before he wrote the novel. They're really great, and they always make me love books more. :D
      You're welcome! And thanks for stopping by!

  4. I completely agree about Cinder - I didn't think it would be up my alley at first either, but I ended up absolutely adoring it. :) Have you read the sequels yet?

    Thanks for sharing and great choices & post ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. I'm glad you like Cinder!!! I've read Scarlet now, and I'm midway through Cress. :)

      You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. I'm not familiar with the other books in this post, but I totally agree with your pick of Cinder! I actually did like the synopsis, but the first time I tried reading the book, I put it down after a few chapters. The second time around, I ended up devouring the whole thing in just a couple of days! The sequels were even better. ;)

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    1. :) Yeah, when I looked at other people's cake tags, I wasn't familiar with too many of their recommendations either. But I love having bunches of new books to read. :) I'm glad you like Cinder! And yes, I agree, Scarlet is much better (and Cress is too, though I'm only partway through). Thanks for stopping by! :)

  6. Arg don't get me started on Jane Eyre. I really couldn't enjoy it, mainly because Jane annoyed me to no end. I really should get around to reading Cinder, it feels like I'm the only person who hasn't xD

    1. I can see where Jane would be annoying. I watched one movie that painted Mr. Rochester as this verbally abusive moron--so if I hadn't read the book, I would have been left wondering what Jane saw in him. So the characters can be interpreted in different ways.

      And yes, you really should read Cinder! But it's okay, because for a long time I felt like the only person who hadn't read it myself. And, as Aimee @ Deadly Darlings said, the sequels get even better. :)