The Cat Markings Book Tag
My first foray into book tag blogging... which is a THING
One of my fellow writers in my writing group does book tag blogs on the regular. I’ve considered giving them a go on occasion, but until now, none of the themes have truly captured me.
Of course it’s a cat-themed tag1.
Black Cats: Pick a book that doesn’t get the love it deserves.
The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
(CW: War, sexual violence, abuse)
I don’t think any of Amy Tan’s work gets the love it deserves but I’m choosing this book in particular because it is based on the true events and experiences Tan’s mother actually had. This book brings to mind a recent conversation Ijeoma Oluo had with Sonya Renee Taylor as part of a series put on by Seattle Arts and Lectures. Oluo and Taylor are asked to share their thoughts on how to approach issues of racial justice with non-Black immigrant parents. They both acknowledge that talking any kind of social justice can be a challenge for the children of immigrants and refugees, regardless of race, but for different reasons. Oluo specifically notes that younger generations tend not to realise, respect, or understand how the definition of survival changes across generations. This book is a perfect example of someone seeking to understand the intergenerational trauma of their family lineage and how survival changes over time.
White Cats: Pick a book with great disability rep
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
(Mild spoilers—no details, but general character growth give away)
This remains the only romance novel I’ve read that has really stuck in my head. I recommend it all the time. Chloe Brown is not some one-dimensional inspiration porn disabled character. The reality of living with a chronic illness is so well written. Her former friends showed their true colours when she developed fibromyalgia by abandoning her and treating her like a burden. Over the course of the book, Chloe learns that actually, her chronic illness isn’t and never was the issue—it was ableism all the time!
Ginger Cats: Name your favourite male character
Neil McCormick from Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
(CW: This book deals with heavy subject matter including childhood sexual abuse, trauma and r*pe)
It was genuinely difficult for me to come up with something for this category who wasn’t the love interest from the aforementioned Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I had to think about it for a long while, trying to recall male characters who I truly love and can reflect on fondly. I was also trying not to plug a book I’ve already gushed about a bunch. And then I remembered how much my heart broke for Neil McCormick, and how his story stuck with me. It’s been years since I read Mysterious Skin, over a decade, for sure, and I still think about this character2. I suspect part of that is because he reminded me of a lot of the kids I used to work with when I worked at an advocacy organization for youth living in government care.
Tortoiseshell Cats: Name your favourite female character
Xiala the pansexual sea witch pirate captain from the Between Earth and Sky series by Rebecca Roanhorse
(CW: While slow paced and beautifully written, this book has got a lot of intensity in it, including body mutilation, religious violence, genocide, and a massacre)
I mean…she’s a pansexual sea witch pirate captain. With purple hair. And eyes that are indescribable. Do I need to explain more?
Calico Cats: Name a character you wish was your best friend
Terry Pratchett’s Death from The Discworld
Death is just very cool. He’s into cats and gardening. He thinks humans are interesting and curious beings. I’m sure we could talk philosophy for hours, or just hang out in his garden silently enjoying each others’ company.
Tabby Cats: Name a character who’s the life and soul of the party
Genevieve from I Hate Everyone But You & Please Send Help, co-authored by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Gen is a hot mess character and I really love her. She really encapsulates someone learning to individuate in their very early twenties. I wouldn’t want to actually hang out with her, but if there was a party, yes, she would be whooping it up, albeit awkwardly.
A Clowder of Cats: Name your favourite fictional squad
The crew of the Capricious from The Salvager Series by Alex White
(CW: Total action adventure violence throughout.)
This was surprisingly difficult category to choose for because apparently I have a lot of fictional squads I like. The rag tag team from Little Thieves, the absolutely lovable crew from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, the Watch and The Witches from the Discworld, The Boroughs personified from The City We Became… and that’s just off the top of my head.
I’m choosing the crew of the Capricious just because it’s the most recent fictional squad I’ve read. You’ve got a feisty, arrogant thrill seeking bisexual. A super butch brick shithouse mechanic with pet robotic armour. A weary disabled forty-year-old called to save the world despite her best efforts to resist. An introverted doctor with powers of sleep who insists on participating in high risk missions married to an incredibly skillful pilot with powers of perfect aim. An asexual datamancer who is committed to the crew. Weird biohacked twins! And the captain. Who is fine. He’s the least developed character.
What a cast!
So there you go, my first ever book tag blog. It was quite an effort to put together, as all my book review blogs always are.
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This tag originated with The Corner of Laura, and I found it through Narrative Paradise. Check out both blogs for more book recommendations! Also, if you decide to use this book tag, here are the rules:
Link back to the original creator (The Corner of Laura) and link back to my blog post here.
(Optional) Use the graphics and don’t forget to credit The Corner of Laura.
(Optional) Tag 5 or more other people or share with 5 or more people.