Book Tag #2: New York Times “By The Book” Book Tag

I’ve been seeing this tag floating around in book blogs and in the Booktube community for a while now and I decided to also give it a try and do it here in my blog. 🙂 This tag was originally created by Danish Booktuber Marie Berg on Youtube who was inspired by the book called “By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life” from The New York Times Book Review. Click here for the link to her video.


So let’s get started!

1. What book is on your night stand now?the-vegetarian-cover
I am actually reading two books at the moment. These two books were kindly provided to me by the publishers. I am currently reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang and The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli. I really missed reading literary fiction books and these two books reminds me why it’s one of my favorite genres. I have heard mixed things about these two books and I really want to have my own thoughts about them. My deepest gratitude to Portabello Books for providing me a physical copy of  The Vegetarian and Coffee House Press for The Story of My Teeth.

2. What was the last truly great book you read?
I choose Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami for this one. It’s actually the best book that I read last year and I am afraid no book will top that this year. I don’t know, maybe it’s with my choices of book that I’m reading this year. Though I did enjoy most of them, I feel like no book has moved me that much like what Kafka on the Shore did last year. I have high hopes though that I’ll find that ONE book this year that will give me that “Kafka on the Shore” feel again. I still have four months.

4929For the best book that I read this year, I have two (I can’t decide yet what book will take the top spot). It’s Between the World and Me by Tanehesi Coates and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I love how raw and heartfelt Coates’ book is and Yoon’s book just made me swoon hard. I am actually part of a book tour for The Sun is Also A Star and I’ll have my review before the book’s release this November.

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
HARUKI MURAKAMI! You all know how I love and adore this man and his works. No other explanation needed.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I have quite a handful of trivia-related books, from geography, science, history, entertainment to just general information. I have this childhood dream of joining a quiz bee competition on TV. Yeah, one day, soon, I will join. 🙂

5. How do you organize your personal library?150709_SBR_Coates-COVER.jpg.CROP.original-original
My books are all over the place right now. I have books at home in the province and here where I live in the city. My books at home are arranged by type, hardbound, mass market and trade paperbacks. I have more books here in the city and because of limited space, they are all in boxes. So yeah, imagine the struggle when I want to find a book to read. I have to rummage every box to look for it. I’m trying to come up with a plan to make it more organized. I’m thinking of sorting them per genre and then per author. But with almost 400 books in boxes, it’ll definitely cost me a lot of time and work. Any ideas that you can suggest? 🙂

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
I WANT TO READ MORE CLASSICS! On my bookish resolution post last January I put there that I wan to read one classics book per month but that is not happening. I failed big time on that one. I have a lot of classics but I feel like each book warants right timing and focus.Any tips that you can suggest? 😦

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler really disappointed me. It’s so hyped up everywhere when it was released and I decided it to give it a go. I read it last year and I still despise up until this time. I remember the main character as a whiny girl who can’t move on. The illustrations on the book is just what saved it for me.

I do not DNF books. I find it very unsettling not to know how the story will go even if it’s not that good.

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd8. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I’m mostly drawn into reading coming of age books, adventure books, books with WWII stories and magical realism books. I also love the depth of literary fiction books.
I tend to stay clear of erotica books. Not my thing.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Hmmmm. This is hard. We just elected a new president this May and and he’s really is this tough guy. I watched a report about him and I learned that he loves to read. Based on the report, his favorite international author includes Robert Ludlum and Sidney Sheldon. He also reads books of diverse topics from history, biography of famous leaders, economics and politics.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was the first book that came to my mind when I first read this question, so I’ll choose that. I’m curious what will be his thoughts about that book. It’s one of my favorite books.

10. What do you plan to read next?
I’m really curious about the Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat. All of the bookish people that I trust enjoyed this book so I will definitely pick this up next.

Book 1 Synopsis: Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a book that is also on my radar. It’s a book that receives nothing but praises from every Booktuber who has already read it.

Synopsis: A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.

BN-OC968_GYASI__JV_20160520165430Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.

I would like to tag this awesome bookish people:

Summer of XingSings
Hazel of Stay Bookish
Lois of My Midnight Musing
Nazahet of Read Diverse Books
Joey of Thoughts and Afterthoughts
Melanie of Grab The Lapels
Joey of A Book Bore in Timbuktu
Carolyn of A Hundred Thousand Stories
Klinta of Book Owly
Kevin of Bookevin
Sarah of Book Hard Habit
Bhakti Motta of Bhakti Motta
Justin of Bookwormaniac
Haya of The YA Bookaholic
JM of Book Freak Revelations
Lily of Lair of Books Blog
Nehaa of Books R Haven
Ola of Ola Reads Books
Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads
Jorelene of Page Chronicles
Elena of The Queen Reads
Gerry of Gerrytology
Sue of An Itzey Bitzey Book Blog
Sarah of The Critiquing Chemist
Gretchen of Chic Nerd Reads
Vicky of Books and Strips

And also YOU!, yes you! Everyone who wants to be tagged. 🙂

Have you done this tag before or are you interested in doing it? Have you read any books that I mentioned above? You can leave a comment with your answers or links to your answers. I’m excited to know your answers. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Book Tag #2: New York Times “By The Book” Book Tag

  1. Me too… Classics are my dream read books. It’s embarrasing that I only have read several classic books. But one of my faves is East of Eden by John Steinback.


    1. I want to read classics but I do not want to force myself to do it. I am afraid I won’t enjoy the books if I do that. 😦 I’m waiting for that timing.
      I have only read 2 of Steinbeck’s works and I must say that I love his writing style. I have copies of three of her other books: East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath and Travels witg Charley. I guess I have to read East of Eden next. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooohhh. You are more experienced in reading classic than me. Haha. Maybe once in awhile, we can read classic without us forcing ourselves. But as for now, let us enjoy whatever genre we choose. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry. Comment posted before I finished typing. I’m so glad I’m jumped into your blog to check for updates. For classics I suggest the audiobooks app, the classics are narrated by volunteers and are available to listen for free. It’s how I tackle the harder classics. The Librevox recordings are particularly good. Thanks for the tag!


  3. I’m so glad that The Vegetarian lived up to the immense hype for you. Personally, I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to but that’s probably because I went into with a totally commonalty mindset, assuming it was a book about a woman that converts to vegetarianism than one that descends into madness. And yay for The Sun is Also a Star! I hope to begin that one soon. Have you read Yoon’s debut novel, Everything, Everything? I recommend it; it’s really cute.

    And thanks for the tag, Mark! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m hoping I can read The Sun is Also a Star by the end of the year, especially since I loved her debut Everything, Everything. If not it’s definitely on my to read list for 2017 haha. I struggle to get into classics. I’ve read a few but I always feel like they’re too dense. Hopefully I’ll find one that clicks soon. Thanks for the tag. 😀


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