Last Monday I was lucky enough to see Bianca Del Rio perform in Manchester. It was something I addressed last week in my review of Hurricane Bianca so you may well be wondering why I’m bring it up over a week later? Well, I’m currently writing this the week before I go on holiday so I can schedule it to be uploaded whilst I’m away. It’s a level of dedication I’ve never strived for before and it feels weird. Good but weird. So, I’m still on a bit of a drag high. I mean I’m always on a bit of a drag queen high. I definitely thought I would hate Drag Race when a friend suggested I watch it but I was, as she predicted, quickly obsessed. I’ve watched all but the first season of the show at least three times in the last 12 months. Okay, I’ve not rewatched season 10 yet but Eureka annoyed the fuck out of me. I can’t go through that again. So, yeah, I love a bit of drag. And, as it’s on my mind, I decided to try to see if there was a Drag Race book tag. For one thing, there’s a book tag to do with anything these days. And, for another, I needed something to bosh out quite quickly. Luckily, I’m not the only Drag Race loving book nerd.
CHARISMA: Name a character who has charisma for days.
There are plenty of characters who I could pick for this but, considering the book is in my eye line, I’m going to pick the BFG. It’s hard to argue against it, after all. I mean he is the big FRIENDLY giant. He has such a huge amount of charm that Sophie almost instantly befriends him. Roald Dahl is such a charismatic writer that so many of his characters are the kind of people you instantly fall in love with and the BFG is certainly one of the most charming. Especially considering how shitty his fellow giants are.
UNIQUENESS: A unique take on a common theme.
The first book that came to mind (and also in my eye line) for this question was Boy, Snow, Bird. Although, really, I needn’t really pick just one book in particular because author Helen Oyeyemi does very interesting things with her rewritings. Boy, Snow Bird is based upon the story of Snow White but is so clever and different. It brings in ideas of race in ways that I never would have thought possible. I have to admit that I wasn’t able to finish Oyeyemi’s Mr Fox but I do think she is a very exciting writer. I’d definitely try anything she ever wrote.
NERVE: Name a book that is full of daring and nerve-wracking experiences.
I don’t really read very many books that include daring and nerves these days. That’s the problem with mainly reading literary fiction I guess. Writers aren’t as willing to have as much fun. Although, I’m currently trying to work my way through more of the fantasy genre and am reading the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. The Final Empire is a book about an upcoming rebellion so it definitely fits the criteria of this one.
TALENT: Name an underrated author that you love and think more people should hear about.
I’m not original enough to read books written by people very few people have heard of. I’m the kind of person who reads books that everyone is raving about and that are winning all of the awards. Still, I do spend a lot of time on Bookstagram these days and I often get quite lost in a sea of YA fiction or genre books. Not that I’m judging anyone’s reading choices but I do feel that a lot of bookish people are missing out on some great writers because they are too literary. People like Julian Barnes: an absolute icon in wider literary circles but barely talked about on Instagram. Or Jonathan Coe whose upcoming novels sounds fucking incredible. I’ve very rarely seen anyone on my feed mention him. So, I’m not suggesting these guys are underrated at all but I do think they are underrepresented on Instagram. Either that or I’m following the wrong people.
SHADE: Pick a villain who is particularly devious.
There really is only one person I could pick for this: Dolores fucking Umbridge. She really was the worst person I encountered during my youth. So much worse than Voldemort. It’s something I’ve discussed before but Umbridge is definitely the biggest villain in the Harry Potter series. For one thing, she’s more realistic a villain. For another, she tortures people for fun not because she believes it’s right. At least Voldemort thought he was also saving the wizarding world by killing all of those people. Umbridge is just sadistic.
LIP SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE: Choose a book with elements of performance or music in it.
So many books by Haruki Murakami. One of the things I love about his books is how tightly connected they are to his love of jazz. So many of his books are integrated with the world of music and jazz in particular. It really gives you a sense of Murakami as a writer and lets you, as a reader, feel a little closer to him. It also ensures that all of this books are full of passion. As well as his crazy fantasy elements.
SASHAY AWAY: A book with a shocking ending.
It’s the book that I always use for this type of prompt but The Murder of Roger Aykroyd. I mean it was groundbreaking. Agatha Christie did something that had never been done before. And I know there are plenty of people out there who will argue that And Then There Were None is a much better twist ending. And, to be honest, I prefer And Then There Were None Roger. But that doesn’t change the fact that the twist in Roger was unprecedented. We always have to remember that.