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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Books and Bakes Tag

With the colder weather creeping in, and the holiday season around the corner, many of us are in desperate need for a little comfort and coziness. And that includes hot drinks and some comfort food of course. Last year, I did the Coffee and Books Tag, so to avoid repeating myself, I decided on the Books and Bakes Tag instead. I picked possibly the worst time for doing this however, as my oven has recently broken down, and I haven’t been able to find a replacement just yet. For this tag, I’ll have to settle with burning myself an apple-pie scented candle, and fantasizing of these baked goodies instead. If you dó have an oven at your disposal at the moment: rest assured that I included a link to a recipe for each of the delicious treats mentioned alongside a book. Click at your own risk…

1. Lemon Pound Cake – Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic. The biggest book that, to me is a comfort read would have to be my His Dark Materials bind up by Philip Pullman. A beast of a book with over 1000 pages, yet it contains one of my favourite stories of all time, and just seeing it on my shelves brings me some comfort.

2. Red Velvet cake – Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different. This question could be interpreted both in a positive or a negative way. I guess it depends on whether you like Red Velvet cake or not… I’m personally not the biggest fan, so I’ll give an example of a book that let me down with what it ended up being. I read The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill in May of this year, on the assumption that it would be a magical realism, historical fiction with circus themes, which I was all here for. Unfortunately, this is not magical realism, and even though it’s set in the early twentieth century, I wouldn’t call it a “historical fiction” novel per se either. This is a romance novel at the core, which is a genre I generally don’t enjoy. Had I known what I was getting into beforehand, I would not have picked this book up and saved myself the disappointment.

Red Velvet Cake via Olive Magazine

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you I don’t think I have a straight answer for this one… Not only am I not the biggest re-reader, I don’t have a particular “guilty pleasure read either”. The closest to an answer would be Harry Potter, although I feel worse about watching the movies over and over around wintertime than I do about rereading the books.

4. Apple Pie a la Mode – Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice-cream Throughout 2019 I’ve had a few “temporary DNF’s”: books that I couldn’t get into at the time, yet still have an interest in reading. One of those books, that I still haven’t picked back up, was House of Glass by Susan Fletcher. Although it was beautifully written and features themes that should appeal to me, it was a little too “heavy” and dense for me at the time of reading it. A bit like that mighty, warm apple pie, it could have used the fresh zing of a scoop of ice-cream to lighten it up a bit, and make it easier to digest.

5. Gingerbread Cookies – Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft.

a. If you like your cookies crunchy or more like ginger snaps name a book that you finished, but that you wanted to throw at a wall, or snap Maybe this is just because I’m Dutch, but the idea of “soft cookies” is really kind of weird to me. Yes, I’m aware of the existence of the doughy American chocolate chip cookie, but to me, a cookie should always be crunchy. For this prompt I’m going with a very unpopular opinion, but since it’s one of my most hated books of all time, I can’t quite get around it. The Fault in Our Stars… I’ve talked about why I hate this book with a passion before. To me, it’s the epitome of everything wrong with the entire “sicklit” genre. I’m not going into it here, because, guess what: this topic makes a reappearance on this list later on.

6. Brownies – Are you a corner piece or a middle piece?

a. If you’re a corner piece, name a book that starts off strong and then all comes apart. The first book that comes to mind is The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. I loved the worldbuilding and the ideas set up in the first half, but the book completely lost me by the turns it took in the second half. I have a review up *here*, for those interested in my in depth opinion.

b. If you’re a middle piece, name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time. I’m not a middle piece, but still want to mention my most recent read: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. All the feels for the characters, the events, and of course Zusaks gorgeous writing.

7. Birthday Cake – Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, novella every year So many of the “big name authors”, especially in the thriller and fantasy genre do this. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. A few that come to mind are Stephen King, Karen Slaughter, Brandon Sanderson, Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare.

8. Carrot Cake – Name a book that sounded healthy for you, but ended up being unhealthy either with content, or put you in a reading slump Taking the "healthy" part in the question quite literal here. I’ve mentioned my dislike of “sicklit” as a genre before, and will probably do so many times after. As someone with plenty of experience in with the healthcare system, and (chronic) illness in general, I always look for a good representation of it in literature. Although authors have been doing a better job of including mental health in their work, physical illness (especially chronic illness and handicaps) are lacking behind. Even worse: many books, particularly in the YA genre on the topic are just plain bad in my opinion. For example: The Fault in Our Stars with one of the worst plain insulting representations of cancer. Made you Up, with some very inaccurate information about schizophrenia. And of course, Everything Everything, which I can’t talk about without spoiling the entire plot, but suffice to say: it missed the mark completely for me. Please dear authors, we need more good (preferably own voices) books about disability and (chronic) illness.

Carrot Cake Recipe via Delious Magazine

That concludes my wintery Books and Bakes tag. I’m going straight back to sticking my nose in my apple-pie scented candle. I hope you all have a nice and cosy day, and happy reading, whether it be with or without a piece of pie on the side!


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