Blue Monday Booktag (original)
Blue Monday [noun]: Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.
1. It’s Monday again… you’re already tired and still have a whole workweek ahead of you. Pick a book or series that was hard work to get into, but payed off in the end.
Surprisingly enough: The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I struggled to get my footing in the first book, and actually DNF-ed it twice before making it to the end and immediately booting it to my all-time favourite list. Sandersons worlds and magic systems are incredibly detailed and well thought out, and although that is what makes his work amazing, it’s also what intimidates me a little at the start of every one of his books. Not to mention that I don’t think the man comes out with anything under 500 pages… that being said: I do consider him one of my favourite authors, and one of my goals this year is to continue more of his series.
2. The weather outside is grey and dark. Pick a book with a dark, grey or gloomy cover, and contrast it with a beautifully colourful one.
One of the prettiest gloomy covers that comes to mind is La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, the first in his new trilogy The Book of Dust. What makes it even more perfect is that I could use the second novel The Secret of the Common Wealth, as my answer to the second part of the question, as this one reminds me of a beautifully coloured sunset. Full disclaimer: I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Book of Dust, as I had such high expectations from a follow-up series to His Dark Materials. I still haven’t gotten around to The Secret of The Common Wealth, but it’s on my TBR for 2020.
3. Your bank account is empty after your Christmas-spending.
Look at your shelves, at home or at your local library, and pick a book you can read right now, without spending a single penny. A book on my shelves that has been calling my name for months now is When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. I’m beyond excited to read it, I own it and basically have 0 excuse not to read it. Yet I constantly feel like this is the type of book that I have to be in a particular mood for, which I’m just not feeling at the moment. Hopefully soon though… Until that time, it still makes me happy to see it on my shelves, knowing it’s there for me whenever I’m ready.
4. Your next vacation seem so far away. Pick a book that takes you on a trip to faraway lands.
I’m silently cursing myself for creating a prompt that’s this hard for me to answer, as this could mean so many things. For that reason: I’m going with a few interpretations. An incredibly immersive fantasy world: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (YA), The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Adult) A book that gave me holiday vibes: Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno A book set over the summer-vacation: The Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eagar A story that involves travel: the greatest travel-epic of all time The Lord of the Rings trilogy Stories that inspire travel: for me, this was Stravaganza by Mary Hoffman. It was this series that made me fall in love with Italy, and made me want to visit it as a child.
5. And above all, your new year’s resolutions are becoming very though to stick to. How are you doing on your bookish resolutions? So far: pretty good I think. My main goal was to read for enjoyment-reasons first, and not to pressure myself too much. Even though I haven’t had the best luck with the books I’ve picked up so far, I haven’t been reading anything that I felt “pressured to”
6. Overall: you’re just not feeling the happiest… Pick a book that made you cry, but was 100% worth it.
As many of you know by now: I’m not the biggest book-crier. That does make the ones that do get a tear out of me even more memorable, though. My worst tear-jerker (one that had me crying in public even upon a reread) is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Most of us will know the story, and if you’ve been around me for some time you may already know why this was so special to me. I lost my mother at a very similar age to protagonist Connor, and this book helped me so much (even years down the line) to “place” certain things and feeling I had around that time. Incredible powerful story and a true masterpiece worth reading for readers of all ages. You can find a full review on Goodreads
7. Rainy weather makes for the perfect reading-mood. Show a book you (could) read in a single sitting.
For me, thrillers are the best single-sitting reads, as I tend to fly through them and get most absorbed in the story if I consume them in this way. I’m personally a sucker for sci-fi or bio-thrillers, and some of my favourite single-sitting reads reflect that. If you’re a fan of bizarre sci-fi, you have to give Blake Crouch a try: especially Dark Matter as it’s the perfect place to start with his work. It’s not the shortest book with 350 pages, but it reads incredibly quickly and you won’t be able to put it down once you’ve picked it up.
8. Spring is already fast approaching talk about your most anticipated spring 2020 release(s). I’m going to mention just two of them, as I already have a full list of anticipated releases for the entire year on its dedicated tab on my website. My most anticipated release for the spring months has to be The Lightness by Emily Temple, an adult literary fiction novel about a girl’s search for her father who never returned years ago from a meditation retreat in the mountains. Secondly I’m very excited to read The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence, and adult fantasy novel by the very beloved author of the Book of the Ancestors Trilogy
9. And money isn’t all there is to life. Share a book that taught you an important lesson in life. The perfect book for this prompt has to be The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. This beautifully written non-fiction novel tells the story of a couple who have simultaneously lost their health, finances and their imagined future, during the British economical collapse. Out of a combination of desperation and inspiration, they leave everything behind to walk the South-West Coast Path from Somerset to Dorset. Despite its description, this isn’t a book about loss so much, it is as finding the things that truly matter in life.
10. And the upside to a “down day” is that things will only get better from here on out! Share a book that gives you hope.
I have to go with another all-time favourite, and one that I gravitate towards round this time of year. We are Okay by Nina Lacour is about a girl spending her first Christmas break alone in her emptied dorm, thinking back on the life changing events of the past months that caused her to leave everything she knew behind. Her solitude is broken when a friend from “back home” visits her, and forces her to confront the overwhelming feeling of loneliness she’s trying to push away. This book isn’t just on my all-time favourite list because I felt so understood by it, and sobbed uncontrollably. It’s on there, because it’s never failed to fill me with an overwhelming feeling of warmth and hope when I was done with it. My full review can be found here
I hope this booktag helped to make your blue monday a little bit less depressing, and remember: days are already lengthening and better times are coming. Until then, pick up your favourite book and spend a little you-time to make your monday a little less tough. Have a lovely week, and until next time: happy reading.