Welcome to my first book tag post, the theme of which is all about coffee. I’m a sucker for a steaming cup of loose-leaf tea but its all about coffee for me! My mornings usually begin with freshly ground European black coffee with a hint of almond milk. As convoluted as that sounds, its actually delicious! Truth be told, I’ve been trying to move away from having coffee first thing in the morning of late, in favour of water or herbal tea. But despite my attempts at moderation, I am without a doubt a coffeeholic who was drawn to the theme of today’s aptly named book tag.
This probably goes without saying (there being numerous iterations of the coffee book tag hovering around the various blogospheres), but I am not the creator of this tag. According to one source, the original creator’s video can be viewed here. That said, I hope you enjoy reading more about my picks for this post. Let me know if you’ve read any of the books featured and what your thoughts were. x
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BLACK: NAME A SERIES THAT’S TOUGH TO GET INTO BUT HAS HARDCORE FANS
Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I picked the Six of Crows duology for this question, because aside from the fact that it is one of my favourite young adult fantasy series, it is tough in the sense that the atmosphere and the setting is gritty and harsh, not because it was challenging in any way to read. Six of Crows and its companion novel, Crooked Kingdom is set in Bardugo’s Grishaverse world, where unique beings called Grisha exist. They have the ability to manipulate earth’s elements. Against this backdrop, the story follows a notorious gang of delinquents, headed by criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker on a dangerous heist mission.
PEPPERMINT MOCHA: NAME A BOOK THAT GETS MORE POPULAR DURING THE WINTER OR A FESTIVE TIME OF YEAR
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The festive time of year I’ve gone for is Halloween, because I hardly read any Christmassy books and books with darker, more insidious undertones seems more appealing to me. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a creepy, thrilling, classical tale about a handsome young Englishman who unwittingly makes a deal with the Devil when he wishes that his portrait ages in this stead, allowing him to eternally keep his good looks. This book has a very sharp wit and charm that supplemented the macabre quality of the book with a hint of comedy. This book is one of my go-to Halloween reads.
HOT CHOCOLATE: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S BOOK?
A Series of Unfortunate Events | Books 1 -13 | by Lemony Snicket
These books fill me with so much nostalgia! How I miss the rapture of my secondary school days when these books were still being written and I used to visit my local bookstore every week in the hope that yet another edition had been released. Whilst my classmates were obsessing over the latest in the Harry Potter instalments, I was wholly consumed by Lemony Snicket’s collection of melancholy yet satirical books. These books follow three orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Beaudelaire, incredibly intelligent children with their own unquire quirks. One day their wealthy parents mysteriously perish in a fire that has destroyed their once beautiful mansion. The children are placed in the care of the villainous Count Olaf, who is hell-bent on stealing the Beaudelaire fortune and schemes up many ill-advised schemes to this end.
DOUBLE SHOT OF ESPRESSO: NAME A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FROM START TO FINISH
Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Stay With Me is the gut-twisting debut novel about the intense tribulations of motherhood, as told through the story of Yejide. Set against the backdrop of a harsh military regime during 1980s Nigeria, Yejide and her husband, Akin are childless after several years of marriage, for which Yejide’s supposed barrenness is to blame. The audio book was superbly delivered by Adjoa Andoh such that I was completely invested and perpetually on edge throughout the story.
STARBUCKS: NAME A BOOK YOU SEE EVERYWHERE
The Gilded Ones Namina Forna
The Gilded Ones along with multiple others, such as Ace of Spades etc. appear to taking the book community by storm! The hype surrounding The Gilded Ones intrigues me because thus far, I haven’t enjoyed any of the black/Afro fantasy books I’ve read, which I’m incredibly disappointed by, seeing as these are the ones I most want to support and get behind. Books such as Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, A Hundred Thousands Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin and Witches Steeped in Gold (coming up later) were middling and predictable at best (with the exception of Legendborn by Tracey Deonn which was okay). Anyway back to The Gilded Ones, I don’t know much about it other than it follows a character called Deka who comes from a village, where purity is determined by the colour of one’s blood. Deka is subjected to a spiritualistic ceremony that reveals the impurity of her blood. This book seems to have a pointed message about female repression but also strength. I hope I get a chance to read it soon!
THAT HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP: GIVE A BOOK BY AN INDIE AUTHOR A SHOUTOUT
Reduction Fired by Jennifer Yeates Camara
This is a poetry collection I was asked to review by LoveReading U.K., whom I routinely write reviews for. As much I appreciate the art of the genre, I’m not a huge poetry reader but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Reduction Fired is a ponderous collection of stunning poetry that you can easily get lost in. I loved the abundance of nature imagery that was a consistent theme throughout. It worked really well with the structure of this collection, punctuated by seasons.
DECAF: NAME A BOOK YOU WERE EXPECTING MORE FROM
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
First of all, THAT COVER!…..
It’s absolutely stunning isn’t it? This book was the clement sun and I the moth, drawn to its radiance. Supplement to that the empowering representation that hits home in more ways than one plus its appearance on various anticipated reading lists and I was looking forward to a treat….Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and I DNF’d this book after only 20%. That’s right, I barely made it past the first 100 pages We are introduced to the premise early on and I thought the development in this regard was strong, but I found it almost impossible to reconcile with the subpar world-building that was predominantly made manifest through excessive, info-dumping exposition. I do want to try this book again, because I feel like if I can get through all the comprehensive stuff, then the story will really take off so watch this space..
THE PERFECT BLEND: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT WAS BOTH BITTER AND SWEET, BUT ULTIMATELY SATISFYING
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Under The Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta felt both bitter and sweet as it is a tragically heartfelt novel about finding love in the face of war and intolerance. The story follows the life of a young Nigerian girl, Ijeoma, who grew up living the harrowing effects of the Biafran War and through an unlikely friendship later discovers that she is attracted to girls. Ijeoma’s mother constantly condemns her daughter’s sinful ways and Ijeoma battles wanting to live up to her mother’s expectations of her but also loving freely. Overall, I loved the tender and heartfelt way in which the story was told and the ending was hard-hitting such that inspires hope.
GREEN TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT IS QUIETLY BEAUTIFUL
The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things is an unflinching, life-changing book that was my runaway favourite in 2019. Though it contains a lot of turmoil and political unrest, I think it can also be described as quietly beautiful because it has more tender, fragile moments, albeit heart-breaking. The God of Small Things follows the story of seven-year-old fraternal twins; Rahel and Esthappen during 1969 Kerala, India, a time of socialist reform. When a visit from their cousin, Sophie from England results in her tragic, untimely death, it causes the already unforgiving divide between the twins’ and the rest of the family to become even more hostile. This is further compounded by their disgraced mother, who enters an illicit affair with a social outcast.
CHAI TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU DREAM OF FAR OFF PLACES
A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kremmer
A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a Beauty and the Beast, young adult fantasy retelling and it is the first book in the Cursebreaker trilogy by Brigid Kremmer. Even though these books are a combination of light fantasy and urban fantasy, it provided me with a lot of escapism and the world-building appealed to my imagination. This book is by far my favourite one of the series. I loved the other two and I enjoyed following each character on their respective journeys but there were some tonal inconsistencies that let the first book down. Harper Lacy is a strong-willed girl from present day Washington D.C. She and her older brother have to deal with many hardships at home. Until one day, her fate gets entwined with Prince Rhen, heir to the throne of a medieval and magical land called Emberfall. Prince Rhen was cursed by an evil enchantress to continually relive his eighteenth year until he finds a girl to fall in love with him.
EARL GREY: NAME YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s one and only novel but it has an impressive intensity that has survived generations. It is a tumultuous novel about a man called Mr Lockwood, a businessman from London retreats the bustle of the busy capital in search of more idyllic surroundings in the Yorkshire countryside and so decides to rent the home of Mr Heathcliff, an irascibly natured man Whilst residing at his rented home, Thrushcross Grange, Mr Lockwood meets a kindly housekeeper called Ellen Dean, who recounts to him the woeful tale of Mr Heathcliff, from his humble beginnings as an unnamed orphan boy to the proprietor of Wuthering Heights and all its estate. I loved the complex characterisation and the depth of this novel.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in the comments what your favourite coffee blend is. Until next time. x