New York Times by the Book Tag

A few days ago, I’ve been browsing through Booktube and stumbled upon the ‘New York Times by the Book Tag’ on the Booktube channel climbthestacks.The original tag was created by Booktuber Marie Berg and sounded so intriguing that Alice and I decided to do it.

A while ago, Lily and I did the ‘Classics Book Tag’, so why not check it out?

  1. What book is on your nightstand now?

Maria: It’s A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. This book was a present from my friend Valdis of Middle-earth News and I’ve finally got around to reading it. I’ve heard great things about the Earthsea books for a while and I can say that the first book of this series really lives up to its hype!

Alice: I am currently rereading The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien and I’m reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for the first time, I’m halfway in and I’m LOVING it, it’s finally clear why everybody told me I had to read it!

  1. What was the last truly great book that you read?

Maria: That’s a tough one because there are a few good ones I’ve recently read. However, I think that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury are two books that mesmerized me the most and made fell in love with reading again.

Alice: Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling, because it deeply spoke to me, even if the author is a very different person from myself. I’m not into tarots, magic and other stuff, but the core message of that book is amazing and I think every single girl should read it.

  1. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

Maria: As much as I’d love to listen to one of Tolkien’s lectures, I think I’d rather meet China Mieville. I had probably nothing to say, I’d just love to listen to him talking about his creative process and what inspires him.

Alice: I’d love to meet my favourites, of course, even if I’d probably be too intimidated to actually talk them: JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling. I’d probably just be able to say them “thank you” with tears in my eyes!

  1. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Maria: I guess that depends on how much you know me as a person, but I think that not too many people know that I was a political science minor during my Bachelor’s. In other words, I’m also very interested in books dealing with politics and history. So for most it’ll be surprising to know that Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is on my to-be-read pile.

Alice: Cooking books. I hate staying in the kitchen baking, cooking, whatever, even if eating (good things) is one of my favorite things. But, yeah, I own a couple of cooking books, they are full of regional recipes (I live in Piedmont, Italy) and one of them was on my granny’s shelf when we packed her stuff, so I really wanted to treasure that piece of my family.

  1. How do you organize your personal library?

Maria: Honestly, I organize my bookshelf into three sections: Tolkien, New Zealand, and the rest. Tolkien is self-explanatory. My New Zealand section include all book, fiction and non-fiction, that are about NZ or were written by NZ authors. The third category ‘the rest’ has sub-categories according to author and whether they are fiction or non-fiction.

Alice: I’m currently struggling a lot with my personal library, because my bedroom can only fit a small Billy bookcase from IKEA, so my books are in double rows. However, my initial intent was to group them by genre, the top shelf is dedicated to Tolkien and Harry Potter, the next one is for crime/adventure books and so on.

  1. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

Maria: The truth is that there are not too many books I’m ashamed of not having read them yet. However, all those that I’m embarrassed of not having read are books for university who I pretended to have read. I’ll not name any books here in case some of my lectures stumble over this…But the thing is that there is sometimes too much to read for university and not enough time. So yeah, sparknotes are a good friend of mine.

Alice: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I loved the movie with Keira Knightley and I love the time period of the novel, but I’m afraid of finding it boring. Last year I started reading Emma and I abandoned it after few chapters because it wasn’t for me. I don’t usually read classics, I’m a bit ashamed by that.

  1. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didnt? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Maria: That’ll be On the Road by Jack Kerouac. There are so many people raving about this book and how it is a ‘must read’ for travellers, but I actually had to put my reading on hold because I just disliked certain parts of it so much. While I love Kerouac’s writing style and Saul’s first adventure on the road to San Francisco, I hate Dean Moriarty and the people that hang out with him. I hated that character (yeah I know he is based on a real person) so much that I had to put the book down after around 200 pages. To me, the book didn’t live up to its hype.

Alice: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I read it for a book club, because I love non-fiction/self-help books and I’ve read amazing reviews about it. I finished the book, but unfortunately it disappointed me, I wrote a review explaining my reason why.

  1. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

Maria: I’m not sure if there are certain types of books that I’m drawn to apart from Science Fiction classics. However, I can say that I avoid any book that is described as a ‘romance’ or ‘love story’. I’m not trying to bash these genres, they are just not my cup of tea.

Alice: I really like love stories, adventures and mysteries, but I tend to avoid books about any kind of illness. I already had my dose of sadness because of that during my life, so I don’t feel the need to read about that.

  1. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Maria: I think I’d give the German president Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake to read for several reasons. It is not only an interesting book, but also an important warning of what might become of our future.



Alice: This is tough, since I’m not into politics, so I’d just recommend Harry Potter to Obama, because I feel my President (President of the Republic, since I’m italian) wouldn’t enjoy it. 🙂

  1. What do you plan to read next?

Maria: The next book on my TBR list is the next instalment of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore.

Alice: I have several new books into my TBR list (thanks to the amazing Kindle deals!), but I’d like to try something completely new with the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. I’ve read some comics when I was a child and during my teens, but I’ve never read an entire graphic novel, so I’m curious about it.

Have you done this tag or are you interested in doing it? Leave us a comment with the answers or a link to your answers! We’d love to know what you’re reading!


4 thoughts on “New York Times by the Book Tag

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