Book Lists · Book Tags

The Pastry Book Tag

I was tagged to do this very cute list by She Latitude’s (she has some interesting posts, you should definitely check her out!).

Croissant: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) love.
Fangirl

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I actually didn’t want to read Fangirl at first because it seemed like everyone was reading it. Instagram was saturated with gorgeous pictures of this book and others by YA superstar Rainbow Rowell. It was only when I was looking for something to buy with a book voucher that I decided to give it a go.

I’m so glad that I did! 

This book is a wonderful, well-written contemporary read. One of these days I will get the time to write a proper review.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Macaron: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.
Jane Eyre

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I read Jane Eyre for the first time when I was fourteen and have re-read it numerous times since then. Each time it takes me a while to get through it, particularly the early chapters that detail Jane’s childhood. Despite the dry chapters and the style that tends to alienate some modern readers this book is a masterpiece.

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. 

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

Vol-au-vent: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.
 Halo

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Halo drew me in with an interesting blurb and a gorgeous cover. But the writing style and world-building left much to be desired. The characters also felt quite flat and underdeveloped. So much potential!

An angel is sent to Earth on a mission. But falling in love is not part of the plan. 

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments. 

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. 

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

Pain au chocolat: Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else.
Atlas Girl

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I have actually reviewed this book here. Atlas Girl was very cleverly marketed as a travel memoir, hence the name and blurb. However, the travel sections of the book are largely overshadowed by the home dramas experienced by the protagonist. I suspect the book was deliberately promoted as a travel story to boost sales.

Read this book if you are after a touching family story, but not if you want to learn about the world.

Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it. 

Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds

Profiterole: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.
 Thursday’s Child

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I read this for uni as a part of my postmodern literature class. I loved it then and I love it now. This is excellent YA, with great characters and solid writing that doesn’t quit.

Harper Flute believes that her younger brother Tin, with his uncanny ability to dig, was born to burrow. While their family struggles to survive in a bleak landscape during the Great Depression, the silent and elusive little Tin – “born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings” – begins to escape underground, tunneling beneath their tiny shanty. As time passes, Tin becomes a wild thing, leaving his family further and further behind.

With exquisite prose, richly drawn characters, and a touch of magical realism, Sonya Hartnett tells a breathtakingly original coming-of-age story through the clear eyes of an observant child. It’s an unsentimental portrait of a loving family faced with poverty and heartbreak, entwined with a surreal vision of the enigmatic Tin, disappearing into a mysterious labyrinth that reaches unimaginably far, yet remains hauntingly near.

Croquembouche: Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.
 The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

I have read numerous books that fit this category (Green Girl, After Birth, Timbuktu, Remembering Babylon and Stone Animals). But the The Bloody Chamber is one of my favourite anthologies. Angela Carter recrafts well known fairy-tales with contemporary, feminist themes and rich descriptive language.

From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

 Napoleon: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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When Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s, he imagined Marilyn Monroe as the star, but when Audrey Hepburn got the role she brought a different kind of  Holly Golightly to the screen. Audrey’s Holly is a bit softer and less sexual than how the character is portrayed in the book. Capote’s writing is also not my cup of tea, so I definitely preferred the movie.

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm. 

Empanada: Name a book that was bittersweet.
Eleanor and Park

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A wonderfully crafted young adult romance in which Rowell draws the reader into the lives of two teenagers as they fall for each other. This is the kind of book that leaves you wanting more. The relationship in this book is very well done, building realistically as the novel progresses.The elements of 80’s nostalgia are seamlessly woven into the story.

Two misfits. One extraordinary love. 

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor. 

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park. 

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Kolompeh: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country.
 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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That’s an easy one as I live in Australia and you don’t get very many mainstream books set in the land down under. This novel is set on the island of Guernsey, located in the English Channel. It is one of my favourites with a warm writing style and rich descriptive language. The depiction of life in post-WW2 Britain is well done (the novel was largely written by Mary Ann Shaffer who lived through the war).

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. 

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. 

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Pate a Choux: Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.

Any of the magical sweets in Harry Potter (except the ones that make you sick!)

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Thanks for reading. I tag anyone who is interested! 🙂

 

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