DNF Book Tag

Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself DNF’ing more and more books, so thought it was a fitting time to do the DNF Book Tag.

The tag was originally developed by Gunpowder, Fiction and Plot over on YouTube so be sure to check their video out. I’ll be using the questions from the original tag as a guide but putting my own spin on them.

Here are the original questions for those of you that would like to do the tag:

1. Do you dnf?
2. If you dnf a book does it count towards books read for the month?
3. Is there a difference between dnfing and ‘just putting down for a bit’?
4. What popular book did you dnf?
5. What book do you wish you had dnfed?
6. Do you ever re-attempt to read a dnf? Has this ever been successful for you?
7. What do you do with books you dnf?
8. Do you choose more or less risky titles because of your stance on dnfing?

1. Do you DNF?

You bet I do. Life is too short to force myself to read books that I’m not enjoying ✌

2. What is your opinion on DNFing?

I think DNFing is a positive thing and something that all readers should do. I started out being reluctant to DNF because it felt like I’d failed or somehow wasted my time if I didn’t read a book until the end. Then I realised that it was actually the opposite and that reading a book to the end that I disliked was more of a waste of my time than DNFing. Since I like to go into books blind, I often pick something up only to find that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting so being flexible with DNFing is important for me. I can tell pretty early on whether a book is going to be worthwhile reading and if it’s not, I don’t see the point in forcing myself to persevere when I could spend that time reading something else.

3. If you DNF a book does it count towards books read that month?

Nope. I only include books that I’ve read in full.

4. Is there a difference between DNFing and just putting down for now?

Not really. To me, DNF means what it stands for – Did Not Finish – so whether it’s for now or forever, it’s still a DNF. Having said that, I do have two types of DNF that I categorise my books into – hard DNF and temporary DNF. Hard DNF’s are books that I’m never coming back to and temporary DNF’s are books I plan to come back to and finish. Since I’m a mood reader, I often DNF books temporarily if I find I’m not in the mood for that particular book at the time I’m reading it.

5. What popular books have you DNFed and why?

  • Becoming (Michelle Obama) – This is a book I picked up because of its popularity. Despite not having a personal interest in Michelle Obama or her back-story, I thought I’d find value in the themes that Michelle was likely to discuss around politics, feminism and race. Unfortunately, there was little discussion of those topics and I didn’t connect to the detached, chronological narration style.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Bejamin Alire Saenz) – I picked this up when I was looking for a reflective LGBTQIA+ read but simply didn’t connect to the characters or the story. It read too young for me and was too angst-ridden at the expense of any real development or discussion of the themes it was depicting.
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea (T. J. Klune) – Another book I reached for based on popularity and another lesson that a book being popular doesn’t always guarantee that I’ll enjoy it. I loved the concept of this but it fell completely flat. The characters were one dimensional, there was no real plot and it felt like it was purposefully written to be sweet and felt forced.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzi Lee) – I really, really didn’t like this book. It was historically inaccurate, the plot was contrived and nonscencial and I didn’t like the portrayal of queerness which felt like it was shoe-horned in for the sake of representation.

6. What book(s) do you wish you had DNFed?

In hindsight, there’s a lot of books I wish I’d DNFed πŸ˜‚

How to Disappear (Gillian McAllister), Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice), Get Your Sh*t Together (Sarah Knight), The Guest Cat (Takashi Hiraide), Misery (Stephen King)… and the list could continue. Pretty much any books that I rated 2 or 3 stars were probably books that weren’t that worthwhile and that I could’ve/should’ve DNFed.

7. What book(s) have you recently DNF’d?

  • Reaper Man – Temporary DNF
  • I Capture the Castle – Temporary DNF
  • Anne of Green Gables – Temporary DNF
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea – Hard DNF

8. Have you ever successfully read a book that was originally a DNF?

Yes, I’ve come back to a lot of books that I originally DNFed and generally have a lot of success with it. As a mood reader, my DNFing a book is often a reflection of my own mood at that time rather than the book itself, so most of the time I can come back to a book I’ve DNFed and enjoy it. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are two prime examples. I tried multiple times to read them as a teenager but couldn’t get to grips with Tolkien’s writing style and pacing, then came back to them a couple of years ago and loved them.

Do you DNF books? Share your thoughts about DNFing in the comments!

I tag anybody that would like to do the DNF Book Tag to do it! You can use the original questions or my adapted version of the questions.

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

‘Goodreads was wrong’ Book Tag

Like most readers I use Goodreads everyday. I’m always looking at average ratings or reviews and use Goodreads to decide what to read next. Since Goodreads is such a big part of my life as a reader, when I saw this tag I knew I had to do it.

The tag was originally developed by GabsAboutBooks over on YouTube so check here video out.

What is the highest rated book that you gave a low rating?

We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Average Goodreads rating: 4.44
My rating: 2

I had high expectations for this book since it was so highly rated and all of my friends rated it 5 stars. Unfortunately, I found Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s perspective on feminism to be very narrow. She conflates gender and sex, adopts a binary perspective and draws heavily on masculine and feminine stereotypes. Although she discusses feminism within a cultural context as an Nigerian woman, there’s very little discussion of the wider factors that impact feminism such as race, class, religion, sexuality, disability etc. Because I personally identify with intersectional feminism, I found this to be a huge issue for me.

What is the lowest rated book that you gave a high rating?

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid

Average Goodreads rating: 3.71
My rating: 4

This literary novella is built on a very simple concept but manages to do so much with it. The main character, Changez, is a young Pakistani man who lived in the U.S. between the ages of 18-22. It’s set in a restaurant in Lahore, Pakistan and is a one-way dialogue in which Changez shares his story with an American man. This novella explores the rise in Islamaphobia and discrimination against Muslims post-9/11, the toxcity of the “American dream” narrative and the conflict that Changez feels as a Pakistani man residing in a place that has in many ways contributed to the conflicts that are destroying his hometown. I can understand why this book wouldn’t be for everyone since it’s slow and uneventful, but I found it to be a thought-provoking discussion around complex and hard-hitting topics.

What is the most popular book that you disagree with the average rating?

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Average Goodreads rating: 3.93
My rating: 1

I read <i>The Great Gatsby</i> in 2019 right at the very start of my reading journey and man, I really did not like this book. The narrative, plot, characters and everything else fell completely flat for me. A 1 star rating was probably a tad harsh in hindsight, but the reading experience with this book was pretty grim and that’s reflected by the rating I gave it. I still struggle to understand how or why this is considered a well-loved classic. Since I’ve read more classics now, there’s a chance if I did a re-read I’d feel differently, but for now, I have no desire to pick this book up again.

What is the least popular book you disagree with the average rating?

Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Desire – Lisa Diamond

Average Goodreads rating: 3.89
My rating: 2

In my opinion, this book is rated higher than it should be. Although it does provide some interesting insights, for an academic text it’s very limited. It is almost exlusively reliant on oral interviews from 10 females and draws most of it’s conclusions from the experiences of this small group of women. Therefore, it’s completely lacking in diversity and representation. This would probably be a more impactful read for those that are new to the concepts of gender and sexuality in an academic context, but I found that it over-explained simple definitions and concepts which anybody that is likely to pick up this book wouldn’t need.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a higher rating.

If There Be Thorns – V. C. Andrews

Average Goodreads rating: 3.71
My rating: 4

So it turns out that all of the books I’ve read that were closer to a 3 star rating were ones I’d rated lower than 3 stars, so this was the closest one. I read the Dollanganger series years ago when I was a teenager and loved the gothic vibes. This book is a fascinating and spine-tingling exploration of the toxicity of family and love. It’s over the top, explosive and sometimes even far fetched, but for the pure nostalgia, it’ll always have a place in my heart. In many ways, my love for this series as a teenager foreshadowed my love for Wuthering Heights 10 years later.

Carmilla – J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Average Goodreads rating: 3.82
My rating: 4

For me, Carmilla is a nearly perfect read – gothic horror, vampires, atmospheric, WLM relationship, sharp plot which is to the point and leaves you wanting more… I think that it’s deserving of a much higher rating. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always resonate with modern readers because they are already so familiar with the vampire genre. But for me, this is probably the best vampire novel I’ve ever written. After all, it’s where it all started.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a lower rating.

The Reckoning / The Struggle – L. J. Smith

Average Goodreads rating: 3.40 | 3.47
My rating: 1 | 1

I picked up the Vampire Diaries series because like most other teens growing up in the late 00s/early 10s, I was obsessed with the TV show. Unfortunately, the books didn’t come close to measuring up to the show. It’s been years since I read these books but what I do remember is that the writing style was awful, the characters completely one dimensional and almost every single relationship was “insta love” (one of my least favourite tropes of all time). Think Twilight, but unlike Twilight, this isn’t guilty pleasure trash, it’s trash that you just want to toss into the bin.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 4/5 stars but you gave a lower rating.

Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice

Average Goodreads rating: 4
My rating: 2

I read this one as part of a book club with my friends and man, it was a slog to get through. The plot was slow, the characters annoying and the take on vampires wasn’t what I look for in vampire novels. I prefer the soulless, evil, vindictive predatory vampires than one’s that are constantly plagued by conscience and emotional turmoil. I appreciate that it was a pivotal novel for the vampire genre because it broke away from the one-dimensional vampires like Dracula and Carmilla to provide a more “human” type of vampire, but it just wasn’t to my tastes. If I’d read it as a teenager, I probably would’ve loved it but reading it at 26 didn’t work for me.

Letter to my Daughter – Maya Angelou

Average Goodreads rating: 4
My rating: 2

Letter to my Daughter didn’t meet my expectations and I felt that it was misrepresented. I expected heartwarming letters written from Angelou to women across the globe on issues such as education, family, love and careers. Instead, it read more like a bunch of diary entries on random topics which were disjointed and lacking in any central or coherent theme. I also found this book to be exclusionary since anyone that doesn’t identify as a Christian woman living in America, would find a lot of what Angelou discusses difficult/impossible to relate to. This would be a valuable read for some women, but unfortunately, only a very specific and narrow pool of women of which I’m not part of.

Do you tend to agree or disagree with GR average rating and do you use GR as a guide for books you want to read?

I agree with the average ratings generally. I wasn’t sure that I would until I did this tag, but most of the ratings I give the books I read align closely with the average ratings. I do use Goodreads as a general guide for the books I want to read. In my experience, anything that has an average rating below 3.5(ish) is probably not worth the read. But I rely more on reviews to help me decide what to read since they provide a fuller picture of what readers thought about a book.

This was a fun tag! I liked that it gave me the opportunity to talk about books I wouldn’t usually get the chance to.

Do you use Goodreads as a guide for the books you read? How much do you agree with average ratings on Goodreads?

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.

Book Blog Newbie Tag

Since I’m in my first couple of weeks of my new blog I’m going to – you guessed it – be doing the Book Blog Newbie Tag! I first saw this over at Saniya’s blog Sunnyside Reviews and really liked the questions, so thought I’d give it a whirl.

I’m not a big fan of writing book tag posts (although, ironically, I love reading them), so it’s unlikely you’ll see many on this blog in the future, but I thought it’d be a fun way for people to get to know me and the blog a little better 😊

Why did you want to start a book blog?

Like everybody else that has a book blog – because I love books! Books have been my saviour over the last year and when I started reviewing every book I read on Goodreads, I thought why not go the whole hog and create a blog devoted entirely to bookish content? I also felt like I could offer a different perspective as someone that had a long break from reading and then returned to it, to inspire and encourage others to read.

Where did the name ‘Rekindled Bilbiophile’ come from?

Rekindled = revive (something lost or lapsed).
Bibliophile = a person who collects or has a great love of books.

So there you have it. The name came from the fact that I recently rediscovered my love of books having not read properly for pleasure since I was a child.

What can we expect from your blog in the future?

Book reviews, reccommendations, in-depth book analyses, advice and tips on reading for new readers, discussion posts, lots of book related series (which I’m currently planning and am incredibly excited about πŸ‘€) and perhaps even the occassional fandom related post about my favourite TV shows and films.

Why do you love reading? Did you always love reading?

I love reading because of the escapism and imagination involved. The feeling of being swept away by a book and fully immersed into another world is unlike any other and is an emotion that can’t be replicated for me by any other medium. It’s also an incredibly cost effective and convinient mode of travel – I can visit places all over the globe (and sometimes completely new universes!) all from the comfort of my own home and for the price of around Β£10-20.

I have always loved reading, but unfortunately, because of life circumstances and commitments, I didn’t have the motivation or time to read for many years and my love for reading became dormant. Thankfully, it’s been rekindled and I know now that I’ll be an avid reader for the rest of my life πŸ˜„

What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

A fresh perspective as someone that’s somewhat of a novice when it comes to reading. Because I’m so new to reading, my content will be accessible to all readers regardless of how well-read they are or where they are in their reading journey. I’m always striving to be innovative and creative, so I’ll also be developing new post ideas and series . And of course, I’ll be bringing my own unique voice, opinions and personality to the blog because we’re all unique and individual as bloggers and humans!

When and where do you read?

I typically read at night in bed because it’s the most convenient time and place. Occassionally I read on the sofa in the living room in the morning or afternoon, but living in a family home, I don’t always have the luxury of peace and quiet to be able to focus on reading.

What kinds of books do you like to read?

According to StoryGraph I mainly read “fiction books that are emotional, reflective and dark”, which is pretty darn spot on. I typically enjoy character driven stories which explore complex themes and emotions. I’m very open and diverse with what I read (particularly because I’m still experimenting with what I like to read), but the main genres I enjoy are classics, fantasy and historical fiction.

What is your favourite book and why?

I have to choose just one?! This is every book lover’s greatest dilemma in life πŸ˜‚ If I absolutely have to choose, it’d be Wuthering Heights. The reason for that is because it explores the complexities of toxic love and abuse unlike any other book I’ve read. It also has some of the most stunning writing and prose I’ve ever read and one of the most interesting and dynamic anti-heroes in literature in Heathcliff.

Who is your favourite author?

At the moment I don’t have one. I don’t feel like I’m well-read enough to choose just one author as my favourite. I also haven’t read enough books from one author to be able to confidently say they are a favourite. Hopefully as I continue to progress in my reading journey, I’ll be able to give an answer to this.

What is one book that has been on your TBR for ages?

The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve wanted to read it since I was a teenager and finally started it in November, but took a bit of a break from it. I’m hoping to finish it this year and to post a full review πŸ™Œ

What is your favorite show?

I am an avid TV show watcher and lover, so there are a lot I could choose here. My current top three are: Angel, Friends and Gavin & Stacey. Honourable mentions include Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Miranda. You can expect to see posts about my favourite TV shows in the future on this blog πŸ™Š

What’s a non-bookish fact about you?

I’m a horror fanatic and horror is almost exclusively the only genre of films that I watch πŸ’€

That concludes the Book Blog Newbie Tag! I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about lil’ ol’ me. If you’re new to the book blogging community, I tag you to do this. Leave a comment if you do decide to do the tag, I’d love to read your responses to these questions and have the opportunity to get to know more of you 😊

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.