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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Tag: My Life In Books

Thanks to Heather at Sometimes I'm A Story! for the open tag. This My Life Through Books tag was created by Rebekah at Horse Feathers. Well, my longtime readers have seen this bookcase before! Now it has some Japanese fans stuck at the top, my uni worksheets bottom left, and a bunch of ribbons hanging on the left because I never feel brave enough to wear them in my hair. Though I suppose it would be easier with my dreadlocks than with straight hair.

And don't forget my Plush Toy Army! They guard my books in case someone tries to "borrow" one when I'm not there. e_e
Did you like to read when you were little?

I know I've loved reading since I was little but as a baby... I really can't say. I know that I read Ladybird books and Biff and Chip books, but this young? I doubt it.

What was your favorite picture book?

Oooo I still own some of these! (They're torn and marked with chocolate fingerprints.) That includes the Happy Families books set by Allan Ahlberg, Winnie The Witch by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul, Elmer by David McKee - and especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, which had little holes that I just LOVED putting my little fingers through.

Did you go through a book phase? (i.e. reading the thickest books, reading all an author’s books, etc.)

I did go through a book phase, but not at this age. At about this time I read Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, a lottt of Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

What books made you feel grown up?

I dunno. Books didn't make me feel "grown up", because at this time I read books for my age. I simply read what I liked. I know I did find Confessions of a Backup Dancer from the library at around this time. That book never fails to make me crack up laughing. I was looking at the Teen section in the library recently and saw many books I used to read. So nostalgic! I remember my school library had a series called Wicca by Cate Tiernan. ALL my friends were reading that.

Reading Heather post, I remembered something I thought I forgot. I read a book that I think was called Come Clean or Coming Clean, and it was the first time I'd read a book with explicit sexual abuse in it. I was really disturbed and sad for the character, and I couldn't think about anything else for quite some time. Of course I didn't know then that I would study The Kite Runner at college...

What are books that you rave about?

NOW I began to go through phases. I deliberately picked the biggest books, which is how I ended up reading fantasy - the original and unedited book of The Stand by Stephen King, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Magician by Raymond E. Feist, Trudi Canavan books and Alison Croggon books.

At some point I stumbled across some very steamy Jackie Collin books that gave me an aversion to erotica for life. I barely understood it then, I barely understand it now, and I think I was just easily disturbed by what I couldn't comprehend. oO

I also read whatever was trending at school - Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, House Of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast, and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead which I ADORED. That was the one I raved about. Also I began reading manga: I loved Special A, Demon Diary, Chocolat, and Immortal Rain.

What are books that used to seem boring to you but now you really like?

I can't really answer that question. I began reading adult-targeted literature at about fourteen because of the whole I-want-to-tread-the-biggest-book thing. Also, many teen books I came across were stupid and/or ridiculous. One of my friends was really into It Girl and I didn't get that. So I felt a bit like I'd jumped a hoop. I never really went back to read teen lit, though I don't mind YA now.

My school friends were just as ambitious as I was - while I read Game of Thrones, they were reading Les Miserables and The Handmaid's Tale, which I ended up studying at university almost ten years later. Being 22, I can only say that my focus is on fantasy at the moment. You can see what I've read lately on my Goodreads - there's just too many books to bring up.

What are books from your childhood or teen years that you still cherish?

...I'M NOT AN OLD WOMAN YET! Haha, again, can't answer that. It would take too much time to go through them all. I will say, if I was to sell all my books for some reason, I would hang onto my Harry Potter, Roald Dahl and Darren Shan books until the very end.


If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! Although I am specifically tagging Imogen @ Gossiping with Dragons because I want to see her answers O_O

You can find out much more about my reading/writing history on my Writer Bio.

Ashana Lian .

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Is there any particular book you used to love when you were very young? Comment below c:


  1. Ha, this is great! The way you track your reading history reminded me of the trends of my own schoolmates (although, of course, some were different). I get your Eric Carle anecdote, and books like the Chronicles of Narnia, Twilight, and The Handmaid's Tale stick out to me as other books I recognize.

    Your reference to the Come/ing Clean story also reminds me of what I said (like you said XD). There isn't really a jump... You know? Like, when you're younger things like sexual violence aren't part of your world view, and then one day you pick up a book with stronger themes, and there's not really a "transition" set of books, where they can talk about deep topics without really scarring you, so you jump right ahead to the scarring bits, and sometimes people aren't prepared.

    Hm... It's definitely something to think about.

    1. Yeah, I think I get what you mean. =/ Thankfully, I'd always been a naive child. I didn't always understand what I read, only whether I liked reading it or not. So adult topics did make me uncomfortable and I stayed away from that for quite some time. Then again, Game Of Thrones has a lot of sex and violence, but by that time I didn't mind so much because I was so desperate to find out what happened to Daenerys (then my favourite character, before it switched to Arya). Maybe, mentally, I just blocked out what I didn't like.

      I can't believe I read The Handmaid's Tale in my teens. That book goes waaay deep. I reread it last year for university and I was shocked! I was like, 'HOW WAS I NOT SCARRED BY THIS?!' But on a happier note, my memory of books I read at secondary school were a lot of these really cheesy, girly and sometimes bitchy boarding school books. My friends were into those too.

      Thanks for commenting. =]

  2. I wonder how many elderly book bloggers there actually are out there...

    For me, I really got into classics once I became an adult. But then, I was reading the ones I wanted to read rather than the ones I was forced to read for school.

    And now I haven't read a classic in years. I wonder if that means I've crossed the boundary into "elderly" or something...

    1. Good point! I wonder how many BOY book bloggers are out there too. In my 4-ish years of blogging I haven't come across ONE.

      Same here. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice when I was younger, and I was bored out of my mind. Now, I absolutely love it. Also I have to read quite a few for university (I study English Literature). Well, I do think that as we get older our preferences change. Or sometimes its just seasonal. For example, I adore fantasy literature, but sometime I really don't want to read a hefty book with elaborate, flowery language. I just want something fun, so I'll read another genre. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I absolutely adored the The Fairy Chronicles series by J.H Sweet. I'd re-read them all the time even when the covers fell off..

    1. LOOOL so many of my old picture books have no covers! I've never heard of The Fairy Chronicles, but I just put it into Google images and they have the prettiest covers. =D

  4. Ohh, I WANT TO DO THIS. Can I steal it? I will steal it nicely. *blinks innocently* Except I'm not elderly either and yes I'm in my twenties but I'm not sure I can adult efficently yet. I'M WAITING FOR ADULT TO KICK IN.
    I can't remember what I read when I was little. *sigh* I know when I was around 12 I was into American Girl and Romana and Beezus and Boxcar children.

    1. Please do! Unfortunately I only take payment in cake. Of the victoria sponge variety ._.

      I waiting for Adult to kick in too, seeing as I'm looking for a job like mad and feeling so confused in terms of future careers. I'm just not sure how I'm going to make a good thing out of my life! American Girl sounds familiar somehow... ? I'm thinking Meg Cabot but that's probably wrong. Thanks for commenting m'dear!

  5. Ooh, thanks so much for the tag Ashana. I'll hopefully post that sometime next week. It looks like a lot of fun. Manga sounds like so much fun to read. I've never managed to find it in my library, at least not yet, but I'm ever hopeful that one of the librarians will realise how much need to try manga. Elder looks a bit tricky to answer. I'm not that old either. I just left my teens. Don't make me be old and responsible yet!

    1. Your welcomes :3 I know, I think this one is fun too. Just couldn't keep away when I saw Heather's Life Through Books.

      I never realised the privileges my library have that many other bloggers buyers hope for!! My library was redone many years back and as I know it, it had a huuge manga and comic selection, and is also very good with getting new books available to loan. I'd never really appreciated that until now. =/ I'd recommended checking out job lots of eBay for people selling a bunch of volume 1 mangas. Or you could do what my broker and lazier friends do and read them online.

      I think 'Elderly' was just used to bring up the theme of nostalgia! LOL I thought 'huh?' when I saw that too. Enjoy, m'dear!

  6. "elderly" made me laugh C:

    Great answers though c; I have the Game Of Thrones books, and have for a little while now, but still haven't gotten around to reading them ><

    Little Moon Elephant

    1. XD
      Oooh you should! The worldbuilding is immense and very impressive. Just the first one, at least - if you fall in love with it, you won't need convincing to read the rest. =D Thanks for commenting!


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