Sumaira at Hyper About Books recently shared her Harry Potter Spell Book Tag list and challenged anyone who read it to take part in the game. Well, I couldn’t resist – I mean, we’re talking about Harry Potter, folks! So, here are the ten books I’ve chosen for my round of Harry Potter Spell Book Tag.
1. Expecto Patronum — A childhood book connected to good memories
Elizabeth Koda-Callan’s Magic Charm Books: Each story tells of a little girl’s struggle to believe in herself using examples such as learning to dance, being cast in the lead role of a school play, and coping with the birth of a new sibling. As a child, I felt connected to the main characters because they were about my age and I could relate to their experiences. What made the Magic Charm Books so special, though, were the necklaces that came with each book. Koda-Callan obviously knew that children often need something tangible to help them apply the lessons they learn. What better – and prettier! – way to help little girls remember the Magic Charm Books’ messages of courage and self-confidence than by offering a necklace with a charm that symbolizes each book’s unique story?
2. Expelliarmus — A book that took you by surprise
Heather Gudenkauf’s The Weight of Silence: This was one of those “catch-my-eye” book purchases that turned into a fantastic surprise. The Weight of Silence is a suspense-ridden, multiple POV account of one day in the lives of the Clark and Gregory families when their young daughters – best friends Callie Clark (who is selectively mute) and Petra Gregory – go missing. I remember reading this book and thinking, “Wow, this is the author’s first book?” The writing is superb, the various character viewpoints distinct, and the emotions so palpable you’re caught in their grip. Looking back on The Weight of Silence reminds me that I should catch up on the other books Gudenkauf’s put out since this one.
3. Prior Incantato — The last book you read
Karina Sumner-Smith’s Radiant: I just reviewed Radiant in my Recent Reads series, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Basically, if you’re interested in a dark and gritty fantasy with female protagonists, a futuristic dystopian setting, and shades of science fiction and paranormal, check out Radiant. Now. 😉
4. Alohomora — A book that introduced you to a genre you wouldn’t have considered before
Ursula K. Le Guin’s Changing Planes: I wasn’t all that interested in reading science fiction until I came across this short story collection by my favorite author of all time. Wow! What a gorgeous example of vivid and boundless imagination. I never knew how endless the possibilities could be with creating alien worlds, peoples, and cultures – and ensuring they were all unique in some way. This admission may sound silly coming from a fantasy fan, since science fiction is a sibling genre, but I’m a lot more open-minded about reading sci fi now thanks to this book and to Le Guin.
5. Riddikulus — A book that made you laugh
Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches: Originally this tag was titled “A funny book you read.” I don’t really own any humorous novels… but A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness’ first installment of her best-selling All Souls Trilogy, made me erupt with laughter at times when I read it – and for good reasons! Several of the characters have great senses of humor, and leading lady Diana Bishop has some snappy and expressive one-liners as well. I also liked how Harkness allowed for absurdities despite her intellectual writing style. It’s hard to explain what I mean otherwise, so you’ll just have to read A Discovery of Witches to find out.
6. Sonorus — A book you think everyone should know about
Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study: I’m (sort of) on a mission to tell everyone fantasy lit fan I run into to read this book. It’s got high stakes, a compelling heroine dealing with staggering emotional wounds, and a clean and expressive writing style that creates palpable emotions through dialogue cues, body language, and visceral reactions. It doesn’t matter if you prefer YA or adult fantasy – you need to read Poison Study.
7. Obliviate — A book you wish you never read
Stephanie Meyer’s New Moon: I’m prepared to receive some hate for this choice… but I quit the Twilight series because of this book, and am thankful for it. By the end of New Moon, I wanted to strangle Bella and was frustrated beyond belief by the plot and the terrible writing. That’s all I can say without going on a tirade.
8. Imperio — A book you had to read for school
Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows In Brooklyn: I read this book in either 10th or 11th grade, but… gosh, I don’t remember a thing about it! I still have a copy of it at home, so that must mean I liked it. Maybe I should read it again in the future…
9. Crucio — A book that was painful to read (interpret as you will)
Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: I really wanted to like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The premise fascinated me with its combination of magic, history, and intellect. But goodness, the pacing wasn’t just slow. It plodded. It bored me. It dragged on to the point of excruciation. Eventually I decided to DNF (did not finish) the book – with 200 pages left to go in the 800+ page tome.
10. Avada Kedavra — A book that could kill (also interpret as you will)
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter Spell Book Tag wouldn’t be complete without a Harry Potter novel. Not only did I tear through the final installment of that series, but I also cried at least once and was absolutely floored by how Rowling tied off all the subplot threads so cleverly. When I finished reading it, I was overjoyed by the ending, gutted that the series was over, and emotionally exhausted. No other book has ever made me feel that way.
How about you? Interested in playing Harry Potter Spell Book Tag? Then – TAG! You’re it! 😉 Feel free to share your picks or links to your lists by commenting below.