As always, shoutout to the grooviest folks over at The Broke and the Bookish for creating this weekly meme. This week is all about things books have made me want to start doing, whether it be a sport or job or super cool ability I didn’t already otherwise have.
→ Read tarot cards – The Night Circus. Isabel is one of the most underrated and underappreciated characters in that book, but I always liked her character much more than I thought I would, and have felt a kinship with her since my first reading. Her skill with tarot cards inspired me to get a reading done back in high school, but I have yet to purchase a full deck for myself.
→ Join a roller derby team – Derby Girl. I saw the movie Whip It back in 2010 with my grandmother, and I don’t think I’ve ever roller skated so much after finishing the book it was based on! My mom is an incredible speed skater (since that was the Thing to Do on Friday nights in the 80s), yet I could never match her confidence on wheels, and felt much more comfortable on ice skates instead. I guess I could cite Barbie: The Lucky Skates for that one, haha. (Honestly, this whole post might as well be Barbie books that made me pick up sports. I was by far not an athletic kid; at least the Barbie books made me want to try new things, from horseback riding to hiking to kayaking, and of course, skating.)
→ Knit – Hunting Ground. It was such a small thing in the book: while out shopping for Christmas presents, Anna found a gorgeous quilt with a patch of a wolf on the middle, and after buying 3 different style quilts including that one, she decided she should learn how to knit herself. I have yet to pick up my own knitting needles, and it is a bit too warm for quilts in swampy DC. I may know of a few people who would be willing to teach me how to knit other useful items for the winter, though.
→ Paint a whole room by myself – A Court of Mist and Fury. I’ve already mentioned to a few of my female friends that I’d like to host a girls’ night in to repaint the hallway in my house (featuring my special ACOMAF playlist + lots of wine). This book had me imaging spending a whole weekend indoors just painting. It still sounds absolutely heavenly.
→ Go on a scavenger hunt across a big city – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. How magical would it be to find a notebook in a bookstore, and suddenly end up on a whirlwind adventure around New York City? I would do it in any city really – someone sign me up for this!
→ Participate in a performance art piece – Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The imagery and attention to detail that was put into crafting Zuzana’s ballerina puppet performance piece was exquisite. I would kill to be a part of something as mystical, creative, and fascinatingly complex as that scene.
→ Pilot an airship – Leviathan. I actually entertained the idea of studying aviation in college for a brief period of time, with lots of support from my grandparents who met while in the Air Force. However, I ultimately gave up my dreams of flying in the sky for a career on the ground. I still jump on any chance to fly in an airplane, though, including my trip to visit my grandmother in 2 weeks!
→ Study chemistry (and poetry!) – The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Not only is each book in the series named for a line in a poem, but it also features a 12 year old girl who is an adept chemist in her own right and solves mysteries with her mad skills. Go women in science!
→ Go on a scientific expedition – A Curious Beginning. While teaching myself chemistry at home sounds awesome, I am even more keen on getting the chance to travel the world and study natural history while I do so. Although I am a psychology researcher first, the amazing breath of life you can find in nature completely astounds me, and having the ability to explore various sites and ruins around the world would be a dream come true.
→ Open up a mental facility – Norwegian Wood. I struggle with mental illness myself, and this book had such a profound facility that managed to be separate from “real life” in the city without feeling frightening or totally cut off from the world. The relationship between the patients and the doctors as well as the openness and aura of safety the institution projected made me wish deeply that it was a real place I could go to stay at on my worst days. I’ve since settled for creating my own safe spaces wherever I am, though I will always hope that someday I can create a safe space to share with others who need it desperately, too.