The Dark Academia Book Tag

Welcome back to Book Tag Thursday! This week’s tag deals with my current favorite genre: dark academia. I found this book tag on The Infinite Library but it’s originally from BookTube.

So I thought this book tag was going to be nice and short, and then I actually copied the questions from the BookTube description and figured out that this is going to take a while. So grab yourself some coffee or other hot beverage of your choice and sit back, because we’re going to be here for a while.

1. What is your favourite “academia” or “dark” book + movie?

We’re going to start this out with the novel that introduced me to Dark Academia – A Deadly Education by Naomi Novak. I received it as part of an online book club I’m in (the Fantastic Stranglings book club, if you’re interested), and I had no idea that dark academia was even a genre. Now that JK Rowling has been revealed to be an absolute bigot, I feel weird recommending Harry Potter, and was looking for something a little more grown up. Then A Deadly Education fell into my lap. Now I’ve got the second book pre-ordered and I am wanting to see what else there is in the genre.

2. What dead poet would you like to have a drink with?

I think Emily Dickenson would be fun. I actually haven’t read a lot of poetry – maybe because I was forced to do so much analyzing of poetry when I was in high school. The only poetry that I have ever willingly read has been by Shel Silverstein. I’ve also learned that scholars have explicitly ignored the fact that Emily Dickenson was most likely a lesbian and just assumed she was a hermit for her entire life and have ignored a lot of her poems because of that and edited and redacted them, but that’s something I need to do more research about. I’ve got “Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them” on my Amazon wishlist and when I get the money, I’m going to purchase it.

3. What is your favourite painting and/or sculpture?

It’s cliche, but I love Starry Night. The motion and the colors are just beautiful.

I love the statue of Hachiko in Japan, and if you ever want a good cry you should read the entire story behind the statue. Long story short, the dog would follow his owner to the train station every day and walk back home with him at night. One day the owner died at work, and Hachiko waited for years and years for his owner to come back, until he finally died himself and was immortalized in a statue.

4. What is your favourite architectural marvel?

The castles and the churches across Europe. Is that too broad? I’ll choose Notre Dame, then (I visited in 2016, before it burned), and I felt so small and insignificant inside it. It is absolutely gorgeous and I want to be able to go back one day, but as far as I know, experts still aren’t sure if it can be saved.

5. What Shakespeare play would you want to be the lead in?

I would love to be Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. I think it would be a lot of fun! I once played Hamlet’s mother in a fifth-grade class project and enjoyed falling over and dying in the end, but I didn’t get to do much more than sit and drink while I was in that. I’d want a much more interactive role, and Lady Macbeth is perfect.

6. How many languages do you speak and which language would you most like to learn?

Unfortunately, I only speak English. I took four years of Spanish total, but I never got to practice it and thus I’ve lost like 99% of what I once knew. If you give me a bit of time I can cobble something together, and I can understand written Spanish more than spoken (mostly because Spanish is such a rapid language!).

I would love to learn Japanese. A few of our couple friends are trying to plan a trip to Japan in a few years, and I also think it would be cool to be able to watch anime without it having to be subbed.

7. What is your favourite quote (from poetry, prose, plays, etc.)?

Currently, my favorite quote and the one that is going to be how I try to live in 2021: “There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for,” spoken by Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins on their quest to destroy the Ring. Last year was such a mess, and while 2021 hasn’t started out so hot, there is some good in this world and we are going to make sure that democracy doesn’t die.

8. Which fictional character’s death is your ideal way to go?

Probably anything that involves them dying without realizing that they’re about to die. I’m an absolute wimp and I’m scared of dying (like most people are, I assume), and I would rather not see my death coming. Don’t push me off a cliff, don’t set me on fire, don’t leave me to freeze to death – just do it and do it quick.

9. What university/college would you most like to attend?

You know, after going to the college that I did, I don’t know if I would go back and change anything. But if I had to choose, and if the money was unlimited and there were no barriers to admission, probably Oxford or Trinity, just because they’ve got so much history behind them. My college, the University of Montevallo, was established in 1896, and those are centuries older. I’d love to encounter whatever ghosts and secrets are hiding in their corridors.

10. What is your murder weapon or murder method of choice?

As a woman, it’d have to be poison. You can do it slowly, or you can do it in an instant. There have been several famous female poisoners in history, and I’m specifically thinking of Giulia Tofana. She supposedly helped to poison as many as 600 people while she was in business, mostly women who were trapped in marriages/situations where they had no power, and Giulia was their only way out.

11. What mythology would you most like to apart of?

I’d love to be a part of Rick Riordan’s Camp Half-Blood as a demigod, but a minor demigod, so I’m less likely to be called on as part of a major prophecy and lose my life fighting for it. Although a lot of minor demigods die in the final battles in both of the series, so maybe that won’t keep me safe. Percy Jackson himself has said that he wouldn’t wish being a demigod on anybody, just because it’s so dangerous.

12. If you had to do a PhD what would you choose to do it on?

If I were to do a PhD, I think I would hate myself. I barely finished my MA (and that was only because I got so sick the semester I was supposed to graduate that I had to push my graduation back an entire semester), and the bone-crushing stress of being in school is something that I absolutely don’t miss.

But if I HAD to do a PhD, under threat of death or something, it would be in English literature, since both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are also in English literature. Hey, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

13. Which fictional character would you die for?

Samwise Gamgee, no question.

Rapid-Fire: Pick One

1. Leather bound or cloth bound books

It’s got to be cloth-bound. While leather-bound sounds good, I am such a klutz and a terrible person that I would absolutely destroy them or damage them within just a few minutes of receiving them.

2. Dog-earing pages or highlighting pages

Neither. Use sticky notes, you ungrateful person. (The only books I EVER wrote in were textbooks for college; I can’t bear to do anything to my books.)

3. Sculptures or paintings

Paintings. You can more easily display replica paintings than sculptures, and I’ve got enough junk on my shelves already. (I’ve got enough junk on my walls already, too, but we’re not going to talk about that.)

4. Piano or violin

Piano. I can actually play the piano, and if you’ve ever sat through a 3-year-old’s violin concert, you know why I’ve chosen the piano.

5. Films or theatre

These do two entirely different things, and I don’t think it’s fair to pick between them. But personally, I think film have a bit more of an edge for me over theatre, because it’s more accessible.

6. Poetry or prose

I’ve always loved prose better – I want to learn to love poetry, but high school drilled all of the fun of poetry out of me.

7. Museums or bookshops

Museums. Is this even a question? How can you compare a bookshop to a museum?

8. Smell of books or smell of coffee/tea

I love the smell of coffee, but I will never drink it. (I hate the tatse.) I’ve worked in a bookstore (and done my share of coffee shop shifts in that bookstore), and I would still take the smell of coffee over the smell of books. Some books smell pretty bad.

9. Fountain pen or typewriter

Fountain pen. I own a fountain pen. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get a typewriter, but fountain pens are so much easier and accessible, and they take up way less space.

10. New or used books

If I had unlimited money, it would be new books, both so I could support the author directly (thanks, bookshop.org!) and so I could have beautiful books on my shelf. In reality, I’m more of a buyer of used books because I’m broke. (Although I’ve got a bad habit of buying new releases now and those are hurting my wallet.)

Whew! That was a long post, but I had a ton of fun! If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged and link back to me (and the original creator!) so we can see your answers!

And as always, keep reading.

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