I tend to be somewhat of a Grinch in December. It’s a tough time being Jewish when everything is covered in red and green, with Santa decorations, Christmas trees, Christmas songs playing everywhere, and Christmas movies on nearly every channel. I was approached to read a Chanukah romance, but surprise! It was a Christmas romance in disguise.
I’d like to think that I was an especially good sport this year, having reviewed a few Christmas books, and even doing a naughty or nice book tag (that one was actually a really fun one that I’m glad I did). So when I did some searching, I was really glad to find a Chanukah book tag by Tamara on Her Common Place Blog.
Even though this is a Chanukah book tag, I want to include everyone to participate! Give it a chance and step outside of the box of what you normally practice … like us Jewish folk do every December. Let's make a new tradition!
So let’s kick off this Chanukah tag (alternately spelled Hanukkah, Hannukah, or for the sake of convenience, THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS!)
1 – Never knowing if your spelling of Hanukkah is correct. One book you’ve read that had too many characters/plot-lines to follow!
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. There were so many characters, and it felt like all of them had the same name! It was really difficult to keep track of all of them.
2 – Hoping Hanukkah doesn’t come and go too early in the month. A book you have wanted to re-read but haven’t been able to for one reason or another!
I’ve really wanted to make the time to re-read the Harry Potter series, but I just haven’t found the time. I think I’m going to set that as a 2020 goal, since I haven’t read them in such a long time.
3 – Landing on Gimmel while playing Dreidel. The best book haul/find you’ve ever had!
I used to always go to the library book sales or the used book store, and had great luck finding books there. Also, garage sales have some great deals!
4 – TFW your E-Reader has like, 3% battery left but lasts for 8 hours. Two books that felt like they were never going to end, in a bad AND good way!
BAD WAY: Daughter of Odysseus: Ithaka Calling. This book just went on and on. I empathized with the character in the beginning, but as the book went on (and on, and on), I found myself liking her less and less, and just hoping that the book would get better and end already. It didn’t get better, but I finally finished it.
GOOD WAY: Six of Crows. It took me days and days to read this book, when it normally would take me one day to finish a book of this length. I loved everything about it, and never wanted it to end.
5 – Eating doughnuts and a boatload of fried food for “Religious Reasons“. Top 5 fictional foods you wish you could try!
Chocolate Frogs from Harry Potter – I happen to love frogs (the actual animal, not as a food), but chocolate in any shape is something I’d be hard pressed to pass up.
Butterbeer from Harry Potter - Do I really need to explain this one? An alcoholic drink that tastes like butterscotch but not as sweet sounds pretty good to me.
Pretty much any of the food from the Night Court in A Court of Thorns and Roses series — apparently it’s much more delicious than food in the mortal lands.
Beignets from Night Embrace - these babies also show up in most books that take place in New Orleans. They sound absolutely delicious, and I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans, but now I’m going to have to try these too. Do they count if they aren’t really a fictional food?
Waffles with apple syrup from Six of Crows - I already like waffles, but they sound heavenly with apple syrup. I went to sleep reading about this, and woke up with a craving for waffles. I had no apple syrup though, and have no idea how to go about making it.
6 – Being the only one without a hilariously ugly seasonal sweater. One book you love that everyone hates and another book that you hate that everyone loves!
I HATE BUT Y’ALL LOVE: A Man Called Ove. I know everyone adores this book, but I really didn’t like it. I tried reading it multiple times, but it didn’t hold my attention at all. I couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters, and finally gave up altogether.
I LOVE BUT Y’ALL HATE: The Revolution of Marina M.
This isn’t rated low overall by a long shot. It’s a long book, but I absolutely loved it, and it’s rated in the mid 3s on Goodreads. Apparently my tastes run fairly close to the pack when it comes to books I love.
7 – Trying to avoid getting burnt by the Shamash on nights 4 to 8. A book you thought was going to be happy but ended up making you dead inside!
I don’t usually do “happy books,” but I guess The Night Olivia Fell was this type of book. I thought it was going to be a much different book than it turned out to be, and I was so disappointed in it.
8 – Feeling amused that while everyone knows that Hanukkah is about the time some oil lasted for 8 nights, Hanukkah also celebrates that time Judith beheaded Holofernes. A book that you feel is underrated and under-appreciated!
FYI, I was today years old when I learned this story. I’ve known about the miracle of the oil and the story of the Maccabees, but not about Judith and the beheading.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I’ve really been making a concerted effort to read books written from a more diverse perspective, and this debut novel was written by a Ghanaian-American author. It presents an epic story of two branches of a family: one who stays in West Africa, and one who is brought to America as slaves. It’s an incredible book and I still have chills thinking about it.
I’m not going to tag anyone specific, but I want to invite all my blogging peeps to join me in this fun (and challenging) Chanukah book tag! Just make sure to tag me and Tamara!