Playing the Game of Bookshelf Tag—–Tag Your It!


Thanks to my fellow Craftsman and writer, Donna Smith, for tagging me in this fun game. Who knew blogging could be so fun? One of my favorite things about meeting new people is learning unique things about them. As I follow and admire other writers I find it fascinating to learn what’s on their shelves and what books have influenced their writing. Hope you enjoy what’s on my shelf!

THE RULES For ‘The Bookshelf Tag’: Answer the following questions about books, and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.

1) Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

Any book that deals with illness is going to make me cry. The Fault In Our Stars is a book I haven’t picked up for that reason. As a momma it’s hard for me to see the pain and suffering happening to characters I’ve grown attached to-and if the writing is good, believe me I’m attached. The one book I didn’t expect to bring on the waterworks was The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. That one had me all weepy and snotty at the end and to this day is my favorite Nicholas Sparks novel.

2) Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

I had to go look at my shelf to answer this one. I don’t know if I have a book that introduced me to a new genre but there’s one that introduced me to a whole new world of fiction and that is A Penny for Your Thoughts by Mindy Starns Clark. I found this book on a plane and started reading it and discovered Christian fiction. I didn’t even know these kind of stories existed. I fell in love with the Million Dollar Series and learned Christian fiction offers incredible writing and stories in every genre…except maybe horror…but that, of course, depends on your definition of horror. Ted Dekker has some horrifying novels that have left me sleepless many nights.

3) Find a book that you want to reread.

I wish I had time to reread all of my books. Especially the ones I’ve read since becoming a writer. Now when I read a book I’m dissecting it for plot, character, etc. and it makes it difficult to just enjoy the story. But the series that comes to mind is The Twelfth Imam Collection by Joel C. Rosenberg-that man’s fiction is so prophetically close to non-fiction it’s scary.

4) Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn’t?

I don’t think there’s been a series I’ve read and then wished I hadn’t. I’m a momma to three active teenagers, the wife to a soldier, and a writer so my time is limited and if I’m going to spare a single minute on a book it had better be worth it. So here’s my procedure-I look at the cover, read the back cover, sometimes I open it up to the first chapter and read. If I’m not drawn in then I leave it. No time for wasting time. BUT I will say there was one book by a brilliant author (I mentioned his name above) who wrote a book with such a twist at the end it had me shaken up for days…weeks…so much so that I asked a friend if he wanted to the book and when he said yes I sent it to him (he lived across the country at the time) and told him NOT to send it back. (Shudder). If you really want to know the name of the book leave a comment and I’ll commend you for being brave (cRaZy) and tell you what it is.

5) If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

Not sure I’d save any books because they’re all replaceable but when my family was evacuated out of Egypt during the revolution the one book I made sure I had with me was my Bible. I know Bible’s can be replaced but at the front of my Bible there are a couple of blank, thick, white pages. In that space I write significant events that have taken place in my life during the life of that Bible. My Bible gets worn and at some point has to be retired but I still save them because I have all of these moments in my life and the life of my family scribbled there almost like a time line. To me that’s precious and worth saving.

6) Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

We’re a military family and after this last move our shipment was overweight and one of the things that had to be slimmed down was my book collection 😦 In order to pry my fingers off my books my husband promised me a library in our forever home…stay tuned for that. I have begun collecting books electronically but it really isn’t the same. (sigh) Anyway, I’m very nostalgic so I love seeing books that bring me back to my childhood. Ramona Quimby was my first best friend and then I joined the ranks of The Babysitter’s Club. Every book offers memories to me, which is why I keep them. They become my friends…is that weird?

7) Find a book that has inspired you the most.

Easy answer-the Bible. This question is like asking which kid is your favorite. The only answer I can give is all of them. I love books and can find inspiration in all of them. If I’m not inspired personally by a book I’m almost always inspired as a writer (and sometimes it’s to be a better writer).

8) Do you have any autographed books?

A couple. The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir; King and Maxwell by David Baldacci, The Accident by Chris Pavone; Firewall by DiAnn Mills; I, Saul by Jerry Jenkins; Hatch by C. McNair Wilson (including a little doodle).

9) Find the book that you have owned the longest.

My Bible.

10) Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

I think that’s the gift of reading. Discovering new authors. You never know what awaits you until you turn the first page. Every page I’ve turned has given me the gift of a good story.

So there you have it. What’s on my shelf. I now nominate:

Mark Mynheir

CeCe Benningfield

Sara Ella

Jerry Jenkins (because why not?)

Brandy Heineman (because she was my most recent commenter and she has a new book coming out)

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what’s on my shelf. Now if you don’t mind I have to get back to writing so my book will find it’s place on the shelf.

Have a great weekend!


8 thoughts on “Playing the Game of Bookshelf Tag—–Tag Your It!

  1. Good Job Natalie! 🙂 So TD gave you nightmares! And – did you read all of Mindy Starns Clark’s Million Dollar Mysteries. They were good. I got to meet her about a year and a half ago. She helped me map out a chocolate mystery – for the future! 🙂 Thanks for taking up the challenge. I hope JJ takes it up. And you’re right, why not? I love your boldness! 🙂

    • Thanks Donna!! Yes TD gave me nightmares and still makes me shudder when I think of that book. I’ve read all of the Million Dollar Mysteries and some others by MSC. I liked her Cajun series and Amish books too. How lucky you got to brainstorm with her! I picked JJ because and Mark Mynheir because I often feel like famous authors can feel far away and I hope by giving us a glance into their libraries we can feel more connected to them. Doesn’t hurt to try right? 🙂

  2. Fun reading your answers, Natalie. I’m super curious now about the title of the book you didn’t want returned. I love studying twists, so might like to add this one to my to-read list.

    • Meagan the twist, in my opinion, was epic because I had no idea it was coming. I think I just picked the book up from somewhere and it was the first Ted Dekker book I ever read so I didn’t know his style and what to expect. Anyway, if your inclined to study his method pick yourself up a copy of Thr3e.

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