The Book Courtship Tag

Book Courtship banner 2

I haven’t done a strictly bookish tag in a while. So when I saw this adorable Book Courtship Tag at Ayunda’s Tea and Paperbacks a couple weeks ago, I knew I wanted to squeeze this in before Valentine’s Day. 🙂

The Book Courtship Tag “follows” the different stages of courtship and challenges bloggers to pick one book that fits each stage. These picks don’t have to be romances. In fact, they can be anything you choose from your bookshelves. So, let’s see what I picked…

Changing Planes cover

Phase 1: Initial Attraction. A book that you bought because of the cover?

I would have bought this regardless, because Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favorite authors of all time. But, honestly, how GORGEOUS is this cover for Changing Planes?? It fits the book’s whimsicality and escapist approach. If you enjoy UKLG’s work and want to see the full breadth of her imagination and world-building skills, Changing Planes is that book. The best way I’d describe it is her science fiction equivalent to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

Read more about Changing Planes at Goodreads or in my review.

The Alchemist cover

Phase 2: First Impressions. A book that you got because of its blurb?

Um, every book on my shelves? I’m not kidding. I never decide to read or buy a book solely on its cover. But if a pretty cover comes with a stunning blurb (a.k.a. jacket-copy “summary”), I’m sold. A great example is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The cover caught my eye, but the blurb (which hinted at a young Spanish man who leaves home in search of buried treasure and discovers what’s more meaningful that worldly goods) convinced me that I needed this book in my life. Now I’m grateful I bought The Alchemist that day – because its underlying message still resonates with me today.

Learn more about The Alchemist at Goodreads.

Daughter Smoke Bone cover

Phase 3: Sweet Talk. A book with great writing?

This was tough, because several books would fit this stage perfectly… But I went with Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The writing in this book is so breathtaking, I can’t describe it without repeating my review word for word. So, I’ll quote what I’d said about Taylor’s writing below:

…[I]t’s pure sorcery. Taylor chooses her words with such precision that… well, it was impossible to believe the story wasn’t real. It made the chimaera’s blend of human and animal aspects terrifyingly beautiful, the chemistry between Karou and Akiva soulful and electric, and their fears and anguishes palpable…. Plus, Taylor wields a heightened vocabulary that I lapped up like nectar. I must have looked up definitions for close to 50 words while reading this book – and I didn’t mind one bit.

Read more about Daughter of Smoke and Bone at Goodreads or in my review.

Shadow and Bone cover

Phase 4: First Date. A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

Another one that I debated for a while. There are SO many amazing first books of a series!  I picked Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, though. Not only did I absolutely love this book and it convinced me to read its sequels Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, but I read those sequels only months after finishing the first book. Perhaps reading an entire trilogy in less than a year isn’t a huge feat, but it says a lot about how eager I was to finish it. 🙂

Read more about Shadow and Bone at Goodreads or in my review.

Poison Study cover

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls. A book that kept you up all night?

Lots of books. I usually read at night, so chances are a truly unputdownable read will keep me up for a while. Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study is a great example. I took this book with me on a family vacation and finished it in four nights (which is super-fast for me!). In fact, I was so absorbed in Poison Study that even though I had “gone to bed” before the rest of my family, I had stayed up late enough that my mother came in to check on me because she noticed my light was still on. (*blushes*)

Read more about Poison Study at Goodreads or in my review.


Phase 6: Always on My Mind. A book you could not stop thinking about?

I’m afraid of ruining the fun mood of this list with this entry… But when I think of haunting reads, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road always comes up. I don’t really remember why I read The Road; it’s more raw and horrific than what I typically go for. However, the father and son’s southward journey for survival was so riveting that the book was nearly impossible to put down. And that creeping sense of foreboding that death was never far behind… Gosh, it’s no wonder why I’ll never forget this book.

Read more about The Road at Goodreads.

Inheritance Trilogy Omnibus

Phase 7: Getting Physical. A book which you love the way it feels?

Well, I love how raised text and artwork on a hardcover book feels… But I also love big, heavy books even though they intimidate the reader in me like crazy. And which book is the biggest, heaviest book I own? The omnibus edition of N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. Three novels + one novella = 1450 pages. In. One. Book. 😮 This is also the book that N.K. Jemisin signed for me at last year’s Writer Digest Conference, so whenever I touch it or look at it, it carries that magical feeling of memory and awe from that day.

Read more about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first book of the Inheritance Trilogy, at Goodreads or in my review.

All The Light We Cannot See cover

Phase 8: Meeting the Parents. A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

If I love a book, I’ll sing its praises to everyone I know. (OK, maybe not everyone, but to anyone who’s an avid reader.) So, it was tough to choose which book to feature here… But I’m going with Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. The story delivers on the blurb’s promises and offers a moving World War II tale of family, compassion, and lost innocence. Then come the compelling characters, the evocative writing, and the amount of research Doerr must have done to bring setting, history, and important details to life. Basically, All The Light We Cannot See is the kind of book that triumphs in every aspect of novel-writing and storytelling. Anyone who reads historical fiction ravenously or occasionally needs to make time for this book.

Read more about All the Light We Cannot See at Goodreads or in my review.

LOTR and Harry Potter logos

Phase 9: Thinking About the Future. A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

I have so many unread books to tackle that I rarely go back to ones I’ve previously read… But if I had the time? The Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (No, I refuse to decide between them!) Both series are the biggest reasons why I love fantasy literature so much, and my greatest inspirations for writing my own fantasy stories.

Phase 10: Share the Love! Who do you tag?

Everyone! This is an open tag, so feel free to “court” the Book Courtship Tag if you’d like. And if you do, please link back to this post so I can see your picks. 🙂

How about you? Have you read any of the books above? Do any of your favorite reads fit any of the “courtship phases”?

27 thoughts on “The Book Courtship Tag

    • Exactly! Stories we love, and falling in love – why not blend the two ideas together? 🙂

      *nods her heads* I’d use those same three adjectives to describe The Road. *shudders*

      Actually, Iwrote a poem “response” to The Road after I finished reading it. It’s never been published (I haven’t found a “suitable home” for it yet), but it’s one of the pieces I’m most proud of.


  1. Oh this is SUCH cuddly idea for book lovers with Valentine’s Day coming up:) I shall be definitely joining in and will link back to you when I do:)). In the meantime – love your choices… there are a few in there I don’t know, but the one that tempts me is ‘Shadow and Bone’ – I keep hearing good things about this one. As for ‘The Road’ – I got a third into the book, had a horrific nightmare and decided that I didn’t need to terrorise myself by completely it, so I wimped out… Though I was never in any doubt that he is a remarkable writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, nice! 😀 Can’t wait to see your choices, Sarah!

      I think you’d like “Shadow and Bone” a lot. You have a great appreciation for YA fantasies, and this series (Grisha) is one that has a strong appeal to adults as well as teens, IMO. So, yes, do check it out when you can. 😉

      Ohhhh yeah. The Road was not a light read by any means. I’m still shocked it didn’t give me nightmares, which is why I don’t think I could ever watch the film. So I understand why you couldn’t finish it… but yes, it was an incredible book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a creative tag. I may just have to snag it. 😉 I loved your responses—most of them I haven’t read, which is exciting, because I now have many books to add to my TBR list. I completely agree about All the Light We Cannot See—it was a real masterpiece. And Lotr forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for mentioning me! I’m glad you liked the tag, I didn’t tag you but basically anyone is welcome to do it 😀
    I got The Alchemist because of the blurb as well, but it wasn’t a good book for me :/ Totally agree about Harry Potter though, I will definitely read it until I grow old!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Cute tag. 🙂 I never buy a book based on the cover alone either. It’s always the blurb that’s got to hook me.

    I would definitely choose LOTR as the series I would reread over and over. I haven’t read Harry Potter (something i feel a bit ashed of being a fantasy fan) but i do plan to. It’s on that ever-growing list…. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t think I’ve chosen a book based solely on its cover, but I admit that beautiful covers can be tempting. 🙂
    I’m curious about The Road now. Are there zombies or other things you’d expect to find in post apocalyptic? Is the film worth seeing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Road is more like dystopian fiction than dystopian speculative fiction (i.e., no sci fi or fantasy angle). The atmosphere is bleak, with decimated landscapes and what used to be cities and towns; and many people (not the main characters, fortunately) have resorted to cannibalism, since there’s little else for food. (It’s not described in detail, but there’s one scene where the father and son are forced to escape… or else.) There’s also increased exposure to the elements (weather, cold, etc.) and susceptibility to illnesses that often lead to death.

      Yeah. It’s not an easy book to read for those reasons, but it’s so wonderfully written and I love the relationship between the father and his son. It’s a haunting and extraordinary story, if you can handle the bleakness and violence and see its real heart.

      I actually haven’t seen the film… and to be honest, I don’t want to see it. I’m sure it’s well done, and the cast sounds amazing (Viggo Mortensen plays the father), but… it’s one of those stories where I handled imagining the content but know I won’t be able to handle actually seeing it on screen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t read a dystopian fiction yet. I’ll add it to my list if I venture into that genre. It sure sounds like a thrilling if bleak ride of a story! I’m not sure if I could handle the movie or not either though, eep.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a lovely tag. Thanks for leaving it open, Sara, I’m of a mind to do it… at some point 😉

    This is a mix of stories I know, stories I’ve read and stories I’ìd like to read. I’ve heard lots of praises about All The Light We Cannot See, that is one I’ll sure take up at one point ot another.
    I don’t think I’ll ever gather the gats to read The Road, instead. I know lots of people say it’s good (you say that too), but I also know it’s very violent and gritty and I don’t think I’d get through it. But who knows…

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Sarah! Yes, I can’t recommend All The Light We Cannot See highly enough. 😉 And yeah, The Road is exactly how you described it, though I don’t remember the violence being described in too much detail. But it’s a grim story, yes, and not an easy read… But that didn’t stop me from reading it in about 3 or 4 days, which is fast for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. These are some neat pics! I really need to read Shadow and Bone. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Lord of the Rings forever. ^ ^ My reread would probably be the Hunger Games. I really need to reread those books … XD

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks, Brianna! Yes, it was fun, and challenging too. Several books could have fit multiple categories, so I had to force myself to choose – and that choice hurt sometimes! (*lol*)

      You could still do this tag now, if you want. I think I was originally tagged on it in early January, so it was going around long before Valentine’s Day. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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