Hocus Pocus Book Tag

“Oh look! Another glorious morning. I hate it.” My gosh I love this movie. Anyway, I was browsing my followed blogs here on WordPress, and I saw that Kristen @KristenKravesBook had done this tag. I wasn’t actually tagged, but I just can’t resist doing this book tag. Tis the season right?

Anyway, the Rules:

There are no rules. It’s YOUR blog. But it would be nice if you linked back to Never Not Reading (tag creator), and maybe the person who tagged you too. Share the love folks.

Feel free to use the GIFs used by Never Not Reading, the graphics made by Flavia the Bibliophile if you would like, both, or make and use your own visuals!

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop – This is probably my favorite trilogy of all time. You know how you have that world in your head that you disappear to when you need to not be in this world for a bit? Many people invent their own world, but many people also have a world based on well, a book. My interior world is built from this series. Technically, there are more than just three books based in this world, but these three were the original trilogy.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – This one was kinda hard for me, because I don’t often read books with truly evil villains, whether male or female. I actually had to look up books with female villains! And to be honest, it has been so long since I read this series, that I am not really sure if Mrs. Coulter qualifies as truly evil. But I’ll just go with this answer.

One person that did pop into my head was Baru from The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. However, I didn’t think she qualified as truly evil. Maybe from the perspective of the other characters in the book she would seem truly evil, but since she is the protagonist, and we the readers see into her head and know her motivations, it is hard to call her truly evil. It is possible my opinion on that will change once I read the second book though.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I mean, this is the quintessential one right? What is truly uncanny about it is that it is a children’s book that attracts adults.

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune – Ok, so, you have to be careful with T.J. Klune books. He can have you laughing so hard you pee your pants on one page, and then emotionally rip out your heart on the next page. This is definitely the silliest of his books (so far), but I have heard later books in this series get very heart-rippy, and I am terrified to read further.

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons – Perhaps the first book in this series, Hyperion, would fit this prompt better, but a lot of the things people find pretentious about it, I actually thought was clever (the whole mimicking The Canterbury Tales thing….once I learned that each story also mimicked a different style of science fiction, that’s where it turned the corner for me from pretentious to cool). This book was also really excellent, at least up until the end where several things came to light that just made me roll my eyes.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – This book pulls no punches

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas – I DNFed the first book in this series and have no intention of ever picking it up again. I had major issues with it, and I don’t understand how anyone reading this book and noticing those same issue doesn’t find it deeply concerning. And yet, more and more books keep coming out for this series. According to Goodreads, there are 6 planned books I guess? I don’t know, I am just sick of hearing about this garbage.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This was a really hard prompt for me because I tend to read about evil genius (or just super genius) type characters because I love them so. So I went with a school read and picked Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men.

Nod by Adrian Barnes – There were meant to be two books after this one, but sadly the author passed away before he could write any more. I was left with so many questions in this book, and they will never be answered.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer – I’m just gonna leave this here and run away and hide. Nah, just kidding. So, the first book of this series, was meh, lot’s of issues but whatever. This book was better. I don’t even remember what happens in three. And I DNFed book four. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I had to read any of them again, it would be book 2. Is it still garbage? Yes. But sometimes a person just wants to read garbage. Is there better garbage out there? Sure, but there is also a lot worse garbage out there.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – I don’t even know what this prompt means. Doesn’t every book have a mind of it’s own? Like, what the heck prompt? Anyway, this one popped into mind (haha) for it’s uniqueness.

The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator), Malcolm Jones III (Illustrator), Todd Klein (Letterer), Karen Berger (Introduction/Editor) – Technically, this is the first instance of meeting Neil Gaiman’s version of Lucifer Morningstar, but as the character then got his own spinoff comic series, as well as a TV show, I’m calling this a cameo. 

If you enjoyed this tag, please feel free to do one of your own! Specifically, I tag Emily @Embuhleeliest, Madi @TheMadiWay, and @allthingsmommablog.


November 2019 Anticipated Releases

november anticipated releases

Hello again everyone! So, I don’t normally do posts like this, in fact it is the first one ever of its kind that I have done, however, there are just so many books coming out in November that I want, so I decided to do a post about them to help me remember them all. So, without further ado, here are my most anticipated books being released in November 2019:

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes  –  I have been waiting for this book for…I think most of the year, and finally, finally, it is coming out on November 5th. Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – This book is also coming out on November 5th. What hooked me was the “mysterious book” from the blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White – Yet another book being released on November 5th. You know what they say, “Remember, remember the fifth of November.” Anywho, I love all things Camelot and King Arthur, so definitely want to pick this book up. The blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?


Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater – My friend Sarah @WindsorWrites is a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle, and Ronan and Adam are her favorite couple. So, while I am not so hot on these books, I am very excited to see Sarah excited. This book is also coming out November 5th.

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell – This book is also being released November 5th. Big day in publishing I guess. Anyway, this one is a relatively new one that I added to my TBR. I find it interesting that so many ocean themed stories are coming out around the same time (Deeplight by Frances Hardinge is coming out 10/31, previously mentioned The Deep by Rivers Solomon).

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

Demon Slayer Vol. 9 by Koyoharu Gotouge – I adore this series, and we are now past the end of the anime so this is all new stuff. Excited and a little terrified to find out what happens next. This is being released on November 5th.

Tanjiro sets out on the path of the Demon Slayer to save his sister and avenge his family!

In Taisho-era Japan, Tanjiro Kamado is a kindhearted boy who makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life.

Tanjiro and his friends accompany the Hashira Tengen Uzui to an entertainment district where Tengen’s female ninja agents were gathering information on a demon, but suddenly disappeared. In order to investigate, Tanjiro and the others disguise themselves as women to sneak in! As they close in on their target, the demon reaches out for the courtesans of the district!

Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui – Somehow I missed that 6 was released and that 7 is going to be released on November 12th. I really need to keep up with this one.

A new member joins the party! Izutsumi, a cat ninja and shockingly picky eater – how long will she last with Laois and crew as they continue eating their way through the dungeon to find Falin!?

Phantom Tales of the Night Vol. 2 by Matsuri – Read the first volume this month and loved it. Very excited for volume 2 coming out on November 26th.

The curious Thundercloud Inn opens its doors to any and all who are plagued by troubles. Guests, human or otherwise, are welcomed by the eccentric innkeeper for a small fee–a secret of one’s own. In return for the innkeeper’s aid, what secrets will today’s callers–a snow woman, a spirit researcher, and a baby–have to offer, and what true price will they pay?

That’s all from my shelf on Goodreads…though I feel like there might be a book or two missing. If it is, I will just add it later. There are also 2 video games coming out in November that I intend to pick up, Death Stranding and Pokemon Sword. November is going to be a very busy media month for me.

Spoopy Memes Book Tag

Spoopy Memes Book Tag

Hello readers! I was tagged by my good friend Emily @Embuhleeliest. She actually created this book tag, and the banner above! I am very excited for this tag because I love Halloween and I find memes to be rather amusing.

Here are the rules:

  • If you’d like to do this tag, please link back to the original post so Emily can see your answers!
  • Feel free to use the banner above if you’d like, and I highly suggest you copy over the memes, as they give the questions context

Time to get spooky! What books will you be reading to celebrate this time of year?

The House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig – I have actually already read this earlier this month. Didn’t really like it though. This was my Goodreads review:

** spoiler alert **The mystery, horror, and ghost parts of this book were really well done. The romance, however, was totally cheesy and the entire book would have been much more emotionally satisfying and poignant had Cassius remained dead. Instead the book perpetuates the “wish upon a star and your wish will come true” bullcrap. Yes, I realize it is a fairytale retelling and that there is a certain amount of magic within the world, however, even in fairytales the dead remain dead. It was painful for me reading the last 2-3 pages of this book, and I eventually had to go to bed and then force myself to read them the next morning. Ugh.

Another thing that bothered me was Annaleigh lost her old friend/onetime crush, semi-mentor, step-mother, father, and the man she was in love with all in the space of one day. I’m sorry but, no one would be “at peace” after just 7 months. Not after a day that horrific. Anyone who has suffered through even one traumatic death of a loved one will tell you the same.

Basically, the epilogue, though it had its good moments, ruined the entire book for me. I would have liked this book a lot more if the epilogue had just been about Annaleigh moving on with her life, learning to live with her loss, and appreciating the remaining family she had left.

2 Stars

I might attempt to read Monstress Vol. 4 and Vita Nostra this month. I say “attempt” because I have a giant backlog of books that I want to read but wasn’t able to in previous months because of readathons. So, I don’t know if I will actually get around to these this month hahaha.

Do you put up decorations for Halloween? If so, describe them! Even better, show them!

I don’t decorate at home, but I do decorate at work. This is what my team area looks like right now:

work halloween

I figure, I spend more awake hours at work than at home so I might as well decorate there. Though, someday it would be fun to have a boneyard theme going on at my house.

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? What made it so scary?

Um…does the news count? While I do sometimes (very infrequently) read “scary” books, I don’t read books that I know will make me genuinely scared. I tend to not be able to sleep when that happens. I like sleep. Anyway, the news sure is terrifying these days though.

What’s the last book you read that truly shocked you, made your jaw drop, or made you chuck the book across the room?

I am really hard to shock when it comes to reading because I am really good at spotting foreshadowing and predicting plot. However….

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – I will never get over this book. I will never recover from the devastation.

Besides this book though, pretty much anything by T.J. Klune will guarantee to shock me at some point. I yell at his books a lot.

What’s a book that’s fallen out of the spotlight that you still really like and try get people to read?

Uh, I don’t often recommend books, but one book I read recently that I am jazzed for and think everyone and their mother should read is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. It came out in 2013, and while I do see it recommended every once in a long while on r/Fantasy or something, I think it definitely still deserves to be in the spotlight.

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what as? If not, what would be your costume if you were?

I am dressing up as a steampunk sky pirate. I am using a bunch of pieces of various Renaissance Faire costumes.

What is your opinion on the word ‘spoopy’, and memes that follow its theme?

I think the word is silly but the memes are great!

If you liked this book tag, and want to do one of your own, consider yourself tagged!  Specifically, I tag:

2019 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Half Way Update

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Hello everyone! I haven’t posted an update for this reading challenge for a good long while, and as we have hit the half way point, I figured it was a perfect time to check in with y’all and share my progress. So, here is how it is going so far:

fantasy book bingo card 10.3.19-1

I have managed to get 2 bingos (so, technically I have already “won” this year…but I am still aiming for a black out), and in 5 cases I am one square away from another bingo.


  • 16/25 books read
  • 12/16 hard mode (the yellow shaded squares indicate hard mode)

At this point I have completely lost track of what books were mentioned in my original TBR posts and which ones weren’t. (If you recall, I left my TBR rather vague, and gave myself lots of options for each square so that I wouldn’t feel trapped/pressured into reading specific books.)

Anyway, I am doing pretty good so far this year. I am most excited to read the book I have planned for the Ocean Setting square. I plan to read The Deep by Rivers Solomon. It is being published next month and I am SO EXCITED!

Good luck to everyone who is participating!

Third Quarter Check-up 2019

Hello again fellow stat lovers! Today I am going to go over all my reading stats from January 1st until September 30th. Here is my progress on my Goodreads reading challenge:

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I am now 74 books ahead of schedule….I would say I have well and truly slaughtered this reading challenge.

Here are a run down of the stats:

  • 148 books read
  • 230 average pages per book
  • 38/111 authors are POC
  • 46/111 authors are non-USA nationality
  • 65/111 authors are USA nationality

Note: I tend to read more than one book by the same author, which is why there are only 111 authors for 148 books, since each author is only counted once in the stats

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August has such an insane number because that is when the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon took place. Amazingly, I did not go into a reading slump after that readathon, probably because I segued right into the Space Opera September readathon. Even so, I really do intend to completely stop doing readathons, except the year long r/Fantasy Book Bingo readathon. I might do one or two other year long readathons next year, but I am such a mood reader that it is very hard for me to do the shorter readathons…even the month long ones. Mostly my biggest annoyance is having a ton of series started right now, but not being able to finish them because the readathon prompts don’t support that.  When I start a series I like, I tend to read the entire thing straight through (provided it is all available). But with the short time limit on most readathons, I haven’t been able to do that, and only just this month have I been able to go back and start completing a bunch of series I have started. So yeah, no more month long or shorter readathons for me.

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As you can see, I read way more series than standalone books. I really want to devote my time the rest of this year to completing series I have started during readathons.

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Still tend to read mostly Fantasy and Romance, though I have read a good number of Science Fiction so far this year. It is a relatively new genre for me. I used to read a sci-fi book here and there, but in the past I tended to enjoy sci-fi movies more than books. Either the books have gotten better, or I have just gotten better at finding the types of sci-fi books that interest me. I have enjoyed exploring more of this genre this year.

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I am continuing to read way more new reads than re-reads, which is really good. Though because I have re-read a fair number of books (all of them favorites of mine) the following graph is a little skewed.

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This is a new graph. I haven’t been tracking my star ratings until recently, but I was able to use Goodreads to go back and fill in the star ratings I gave books from earlier in the year. As I mentioned above, this graph is a little skewed. It has a rather large number of 5 star ratings, which I don’t often give to new books. Most of those 5 star ratings are from the favorites I have been re-reading this year. Some of them are for new reads yes, but in fact only 9 of those 5 star ratings are for new reads, 1 of which was for a manga (which I tend to rate a little easier than novels), and 2 of which are for graphic novels (which I weirdly tend to rate more harshly than novels…both of these 5 stars are for Neil Gaiman’s stories, so of course they get 5 stars hahaha). So, only 6 of the 5 star ratings are for novels I read for the first time this year. The other twenty 5 star ratings are all for re-reads.

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I have been doing a terrible job sticking to reading the print books I already own. I really need to get better at this because my physical TBR is getting insane.

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I continue to read way more female authors than any other gender…though I have read a large number of books with authors of “gender unknown” lately.

That’s all for the 3rd Quarter stats. I will make one more post like this at the end of the year (or very beginning of 2020) with the stats of all the books. I might even publish my reading log with the list of all the books I read this year. We shall see. Anyway, happy reading everyone.

Space Opera September Readathon Wrap-up

space opera september

(Banner created by SFF180)

Hello intrepid space travelers! As you may or may not be aware, I participated in the Space Opera September readathon. I was aiming for the rank of Space Pirate, which only required that I read 4 book, but alas I only managed 3 and made it to the rank of Rebel Leader (provided it is ok to switch the prompt order around, which I am not sure was covered in the rules or not hahaha).

space opera september tracks 2

I ended up completing prompt 1, 2b and 4 from my original TBR, so if each prompt = 1 rank, then I got to the Rebel Leader rank. If not, then I only managed to get to Privateer, and then read an extra book. Here are the books I read:

1. Read a space opera novella

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard – I love the cover of this book. The story was pretty good too. I particularly like that the AI character suffered a trauma in the past, and had to overcome that trauma. The mystery was a bit weak, especially for a story based on Sherlock Holmes, but I liked the characters enough that it didn’t bother me too much.

4 Stars

2b. Read a space opera by a diverse author featuring a diverse protagonist and/or major characters

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie – Holy crap this book was amazing. I loved everything about it…how it messes with your pre-conceived notions about gender, how it weaves 3 different timelines together to build your understanding of the current timeline, the icy world, the characters. Everything. It was a glorious read and I immediately went out and bought book 2 and 3 when I finished reading it.

5 Stars

4. Read a space opera 500 pages or longer

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – This was another wonderful read. I loved how the different characters came together in a found family, and it was really interesting learning all the cultures of the disparate species.

4 Stars

The one prompt I didn’t manage this month was prompt 3:

Read a space opera published before you were born

The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge – I just didn’t feel up to reading this book, and I hate forcing myself to read a book that I am just not in the mood for. Tends to send me into a reading slump. I still would like to read this book someday, just not feeling it right now.

You know, i have been thinking about it a lot, but I really think I am going to stop doing readathons except for the r/Fantasy Book Bingo one. Readathons really mess with my reading habits, put stress on me to complete certain books within a narrow time frame, and oftentimes send me into a reading slump afterwards. They are fun too yes, but not worth the fallout. I might still informally participate in the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s next year (for instance, if I happen to read a book that completes a prompt then I will add it to their masterlist), but I don’t think I am going to create TBRs and all that. Readathons have also forced me into a position where I have a bunch of started series but no completed series. I hate that. Usually, when I start a series, I read the entire thing one after the other (if it is out, and I liked the first book).  Anyway…yeah, I think I am really only suited to year long readathons since there is hardly any time pressure.

Sorry to anyone who follows me and is disappointed in this decision. I might still post “heads up” type posts if there is a good readathon going on that I think others might be interested in, but really I just want to focus on reading the books I want to read.

Tolkien Book Tag

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Hi all! My friend Emily @Embuhleeliest and I are doing a LotR movie marathon today. So naturally she decided today would be a good day to do this book tag, and she tagged me. Thanks friendo! She also made the awesome banner above.  On to the questions!


I attempted to read The Hobbit back in….middle school I think? It took me a whole decade to finish it (I can’t stand Tolkien’s writing).


I have only read The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and half of The Two Towers. That was when I gave up. (Again, I can’t stand Tolkien’s writing….I love the movies though) So, I can’t really say I have a favorite since I don’t like any of them, though I can say unequivocally that I hate The Hobbit the most.


Ooo this one is hard, because I love all of them so much…but, probably The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition.


Movies. Definitely movies.


Samwise, Gimli, Pippin, Faramir, and Boromir. Yes, I know Boromir is problematic, but I love his redemption so much.


Hobbit for sure. Which would be problematic because I kill any plant I touch.


I have to agree with Emily on this one, Ian McKellen as Gandalf is the absolute best.


From the movies? Rivendell. From the books? Valinor in the time of the Two Trees (from The Silmarillion which I have never actually read, though I have looked up all the lore from it).


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

That’s it! If there are any other LotR fans out there who liked this book tag, then consider yourself tagged.