The Thanksgiving Tag

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Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving! I have much to be thankful for this year, including ALL OF YOU. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it celebrates 1) being with people you love, whether it’s your birth family or your family of choice; and 2) reflecting on things you’re thankful for. One of the greatest blessings in my life has been the book blogging community. This community is a “family of choice” to me, providing me with so many dear friendships, so I wanted to come up with a way to celebrate with all of y’all. That’s how I came up with the idea of the Thanksgiving Book Tag–this is just a way to have a little fun and talk about some of the books that we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Oh, and it also allows me to talk about food, another of my great loves. Though I can assure you that this English Trifle will NOT be on my dinner table this year. ;)

Disclaimer: I conducted a search to make sure a tag like this didn’t already exist, so I wouldn’t neglect giving due credit. My search didn’t provide any results, but I apologize if someone has already had this idea and I didn’t see it.

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The Turkey – Book that you could re-read every year and never get tired of

Ellice: This is Thanksgiving dinner’s ‘tradition,’ i.e. the main dish that is the center of every Thanksgiving spread. For me, umm, that would be every Liza Palmer book ever written. No surprise there, right? But if I have to choose ONE of her books, it would be Nowhere But Home. That book just speaks to me on so many levels, and I find a new favorite quote every time I re-read it!

Judith: The obvious answer here is Harry Potter because it is true. I have read that series so many times. More recently, though, I have fallen in love with Melina Marchetta (cue surprised gasps from absolutely no one) and her stories are just ones that I know I will reread over and over and over again without ever getting tired of them.

The Stuffing – Favorite supporting character

Ellice: The stuffing is what adds flavor to the main dish, the turkey. And well, having recently read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta at the insistence of my sweet but pushy cobloggers (hehehe, just kidding, I love y’all – I WILL FOREVER BE INDEBTED TO YOU FOR FORCING ME TO READ THIS BOOK), I’d have to say this would be Raffy and Chaz. They are two of the most memorable supporting characters EVER, period, the end. :)

Judith: I have recently finished my reread of the entire Shadow and Bone series and it has reminded me how much I absolutely LOVE Nikolai. I wish I could explain my feelings for him but he’s just my favorite character of that entire series and one of my favorite supporting characters OF ALL TIME. I’m just going to sit here waiting for my Nikolai book now okay bye.

The Cranberry Sauce – Favorite book cover

Ellice: A pretty dish that adds a splash of color to the Thanksgiving table. I’m always drawn to the simple covers – most recently, my favorite cover is First & Then by Emma Mills.

Judith: I could try to think of an original answer for this one, one that I haven’t shouted to everyone at least a hundred times, but that would be a lot of effort. To put it simply, Leigh Bardugo’s covers are my favorite covers in the entire world and I have yet to see one that’s better. I doubt it’s even possible. I love Six of Crows as well, but mostly Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm are absolutely glorious. (I also love this post on the design process of these covers, you should check it out.)

The Chicken & Dressing – Book with Diversity That You’d Recommend

Ellice: The dish that has the most ingredients. I haven’t finished this book completely yet, but I already KNOW, without a doubt, that it is going to be a favorite: Love, in English by Karina Halle. The main characters? A 23 year old female astronomy student from Vancouver with tattoos and lots of piercings, and a 38-year old David-Beckham looking-ex-soccer-player from Madrid who is now in the restaurant business. Not your typical MC’s, but I can assure you they will be two of my favorites!

Judith: Diversity is such a broad term and I find it very, very hard to single out one particular “type” of diversity because it feels so much like forcing a label on these books. But this time I chose to focus on sexual orientation, and mention Black Iris by Leah Raeder, a book that I can never recommend enough. Because this quote:

“If I was gay,” I told the ceiling, “I wouldn’t need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. I wouldn’t have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn’t say I’m ‘just a slut’ or ‘faking it’ or ‘undecided’ or ‘confused’. I’m not confused. I don’t categorize people by who I’m allowed to like and who I’m allowed to love. Love doesn’t fit into boxes like that. It’s blurry, slippery, quantum. It’s only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible.” I glance at Josh. “That’s me. I’m not gay, not bi. I’m something quantum. I can’t define it.”

Sweet Potato Casserole – Favorite Fictional Couple

Ellice: The touch of sweetness to the main part of Thanksgiving dinner. ARGH. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF? I can’t choose just one, so obviously, I give everyone else permission to cheat as well ;) Jeremiah and Annie from Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally; Skylar and Josh from I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios; Reena and Sawyer from How to Love by Katie Cotugno; Sky and Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover; Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I also tend to be super in love with ‘taboo’ relationship stories with huge age differences between the main characters – Love, in English by Karina Halle; The One & Only by Emily Giffin; On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. I’m also drawn to love stories that feature soldier boys: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller and I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. LOVE. Umm, obviously I could go on forever… I wonder if there’s any connection to the fact that sweet potato casserole is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? ;)

Judith: Let’s change things up a little bit and go with Adam and Mia from If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Because of Where She Went. Because of that ending. Because they make me cry.

The Vegetables – Book that Was the Biggest Surprise

Ellice: The part of the meal that sounds icky but ends up being delicious. This would have to be either the first fantasy or sci-fi book that I actually enjoyed! Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Judith: This time, I’m going to go with Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas because of that plot twist (sobs forever) and because of that ending (I never ever saw that coming).

The Dessert Table – Best Ending to a Book

Ellice: The dessert table = the delicious goodness at the end of Thanksgiving dinner. THIS IS HARD. There are the endings that leave me speechless (Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, for example), and the ones that the author makes me think are going to end badly (The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, The One and Only by Emily Giffin). And then the ones that make me want to hug the book when I’m finished: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

Judith: The ending to Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta, also known as goodbye I will never be okay ever again.

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Family – Favorite Fictional Family

Ellice: I didn’t think any fictional family could rival the Weasleys from Harry Potter, but the Garretts from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick run a close second. Love them so much!

Judith: I second Ellice’s answer, but I also want to add the Spinellis from Saving Francesca who are just absolutely amazing and the most unlikely family you will ever meet from Froi of the Exiles because they break my heart.

Friends – Favorite Fictional Friendships

Ellice: I love, love, love healthy friendships in fiction. Of course, the first one that comes to my mind (and probably everyone else’s!) is Harry, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter. But another friendship that is worthy to be on this list? Jonah, Taylor, Raffy and Chaz from Jellicoe Road by Queen Marchetta.

Judith: Oh, this could get really repetitive because I have recently answered this question in another tag post. So this time, I’m going to go with Aelin and Lysandra in Queen of Shadows, as well as Elisa and Cosmé in The Bitter Kingdom. Both have gone from despising each other (because they have been forced to hate each other in a way) to becoming trusted friends, and I love it so much. Also, when I was reading Ruin and Rising, I really loved all the girls together: Alina, Tamar, Zoya, Genya and Nadia. More girl squads forever, please.

Career – Favorite Character Who Shares Your Career or Whose Career You’d Love to Have

Ellice: Does anyone else daydream about living the lives of some of your favorite characters? I’m totally guilty of doing this. I remember the first time I read a book that had a librarian as a main character. It was actually a Nicholas Sparks book (don’t judge, haha!). True Believer, I think. I remember thinking to myself that that was my dream job, but I never considered that I might actually get to BE a librarian myself one day. Funny how life turns out sometimes :) As for a career that I’d LOVE to have, Shea from The One & Only by Emily Giffin works for her favorite university’s athletic department as a sports writer/public relations person. An avid college football fan like Shea, the whole time I was reading that book I was DYING to have her job. And, ya know, have to suffer through dating a professional football player. ;)

Judith: This is really hard because I rarely read books with people who actually have jobs. They’re usually either students (which I am, so I guess that works) or queens of fantasy countries (which I would love to be, but you know, reality). Does handmaiden of Death count as a respectable career path? Because I would definitely like to be one of those. Or a spy like Inej from Six of Crows. Or a witch like Manon Blackbeak. See, plenty of options. Too bad reality isn’t cooperating.

Home – Favorite Fictional Setting

Ellice: You’d think that growing up in a small town would make me dream of living in a big city or an exotic location, but one of my favorite fictional settings is North Star, Texas from Liza Palmer’s Nowhere But Home. It reminds me so much of the small town I grew up in. And of course, I wouldn’t mind visiting the Spain from Love, in English. Or join Amy & Roger on their road trip through the U.S. in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Or spend some time in Stars Hollow, Connecticut with Lorelei and Rory. :D

Judith: I want to live in Lumatere, okay thanks bye. If that’s really too much to ask, I guess I’ll settle for Hogwarts (JK THIS WOULD BE THE DREAM).

Hobbies – Book that You Would Recommend as a ‘Just for Fun’ Read

Ellice: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. I’ve rec’d that one a whole bunch of times. Just ask Judith. :)

Judith: Anna and the French Kiss is my favorite book if I’m in the mood for something fun. I don’t know care that it’s the most romanticized portrayal of Paris ever, I just love it so much every single time.

Y’all join us! If anybody wants to participate in the Thanksgiving tag, feel free. I look forward to reading your answers! (Note from Judith: I want to tag my friend Cassie because of the casserole question and because I know she enjoys food just as much as I do + loves everything fall related!) (Note from Ellice: OOH, I second that tag– excellent question for Cass!)

Ellice has been blogging at Paper Riot since 2013. She is a librarian, book lover and Southern belle who loves sweet tea, animals, football and books with kissy scenes in them. You will mostly find her fangirling over contemporary books.

2 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Tag”

  1. 1. I agree with you Judith, HP is a classic re-read for me.
    2. Nikolai is the absolute best.
    3. Again, agreed with Judith. Such gorgeous covers. I love the black edges on the pages from Six of Crows. It adds something extra.

  2. Leah says:

    whyyyy am I just now seeing this??? I. LOVE. THIS. Both of you ladies had fab answers (Weasleys always and forever ♥) and I just might have to steal this!

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