Bookish Memory Check: May 28, 2021

Time for a new-to-me blog meme!

Bookish Memory Check is hosted by Tanja @ Where Stories Lie and is a way to test your memory of the books you’ve read. There are 3 simple steps to participate:

  1. Go to your Goodreads read shelf
  2. Sort by random (drop-down bar at the bottom of the page, took me a while to find this πŸ˜› )
  3. Test your memory of the top 5 books

I learned about this one when Paulina @ Bites of Books posted about it last month and I love the premise so was excited to try it out!

I’ve currently got 603 books on my read shelf and many of those are from years past so we’ll see how well I’m able to remember these ones.

Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

Cover image for Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller. Painted illustration of a pathway with trees creating an arch overhead.

My rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

When I read it: 2010

Initial thoughts: I do actually remember quite a lot of this one. I got it from my high school teacher when she brought in a bunch of her books to give away. It’s a family drama and quite dark as it follows a family after the unexpected death of one of their members, particularly the young (teenage? preteen?) daughter who starts to rebel in attitude and dress as she deals with grief.

I had initially picked it up for the cover and it really wasn’t what I was expecting, in terms of content and the mood but I still remember it being a good read, if not quite what I was going for.

After the blurb: Okay, I did remember the young girl flirting with older men but it seems from the blurb that there’s actually a relationship there. I do mention ‘icky’ moments in my review so I think there was more of a focus on the toxic relationship than I remembered, rather than just one element of the plot.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven

Cover image for I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven. Illustration of an island in the distance surrounded by water and a tall forest in the foreground. An illustration of an owl's head is at the bottom of the cover.

My rating: β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†

When I read it: 2005

Initial thoughts: The title is only vaguely familiar but I have no memory of this book and clearly didn’t like it! There’s an island on the cover which is stirring some memories but not enough to actually put them together. I feel like the blurb will sound familiar once I read it.

After the blurb: Ooh it’s set in BC! So apparently it’s about a priest who visits an Indigenous village, trying to learn why they have become disconnected with their heritage or perhaps to help. I have very vague memories of learning about oral histories from this book, as one person in the village tells the priest about the oral method of passing knowledge and stories down to future generations. Some reviews also mention the priest’s poor health and I can remember that now too, though no details.

I can’t remember why I didn’t like it but perhaps I found it boring or the description dragging on. I’m not sure what I’d think now, especially around the depictions of Indigenous peoples and histories and whether historical context is included as to the reasons for this ‘disconnect’.

The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger

Cover image for The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger. Illustration of a white teenage girl with her arms crossed. She wears a t-shirt, skirt, and has sunglasses propped on her head. Beside the title is a glass jar of pistachios.

My rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

When I read it: 2008

Initial thoughts: I can’t remember the plot of this one, something with pistachios for sure πŸ˜›

I do remember picking it up from my middle school’s library, but most of my memory of this book comes from my knowledge of the author who was an old family friend. I learned of her books through that family connection (mostly about The Cat Ate My Gymsuit) and was excited to see them at my school. This is definitely a book set in school, maybe something about the main character struggling with classes?

After the blurb: Well that didn’t help much πŸ˜› I don’t remember the book any more now but apparently the main character is dealing with asthma and family arguments, not struggles in class, and treats pistachios as a cure-all for issues in her life. I still can’t remember the pistachios, but reviews seem to suggest it’s a great book for kids around divorce.

I’m also vaguely remembering an eyebrow plucking scene but I can’t remember if it’s from this book or not. Safe to say I do not remember this book.

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

Book cover for Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Cover is split into 4 photographs, each with a colourful overlay, clockwise from top left blue, purple, green, red. Photographs show snowy landscapes, tracks in the snow, and kids skating on a rink.

My rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

When I read it: 2018

Initial thoughts: This one I remember most clearly and it was my most recent read on this list. I read Indian Horse with my program’s book club and it’s a fictionalized account of one man’s life story, from his childhood in residential school and introduction to hockey through to adulthood and where that history and trauma has led him. I really enjoyed the book and it’s also heartbreaking as more of his childhood is revealed. Tough content but very important.

After the blurb: Ah I did forget that the present-day narrative sees the main character in a treatment centre and it’s through this treatment that he recognizes the need to revisit his past, which leads to the flashbacks.

Also, there’s a lot of detail in the descriptions of hockey games and practices but most of the folks I read the book with had limited hockey knowledge and had no problem following along. It’s an enjoyable sports read for those who may not otherwise like sports.

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Book cover for The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. Illustration of half of a dog's skull and a girl sitting in the eye hole. She has red hair up in a ponytail, wears a red dress and long red boots, and plays with a small pirate ship on her lap.

My rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

When I read it: 2010

Initial thoughts: Another book I remember fairly well. I remember really enjoying this one and loving the concept. The main character is a teenage female pirate (in the 1600s? earlier?) and in some deal gone wrong or a fight to the death, someone curses her to a life of reincarnation where she’ll live as a dog 100 times before she becomes a human again.

We flash ahead to her as this new human self, caught up to the age she was when she ‘died’. She’s not a usual teenager, having lived for so long, and I remember feeling sorry for her ‘family’ as she feels minimal connection.

Now that she’s back in her human body, she’ll finally be able to track down the treasure she was seeking during her pirate life. I had a lot of fun reading this one, and enjoyed the twists that keep coming right up to the last page.

After the blurb: I got most of that right but the night she dies, she had planned to leave the pirate life behind entirely. It seems the ‘deal gone wrong’ was more about crossing someone and stealing their treasure than necessarily a fight she instigated. And it was the 1600s!

This was a fun challenge! I was totally surprised by the books that showed up and it was neat to have some memories of reading them come back to me.

Thanks to Paulina for introducing me to this challenge! Can’t wait to participate again!

How do you think you’d fare with this challenge?
Have you reread books many years later?

Cover images from Goodreads.

2 thoughts on “Bookish Memory Check: May 28, 2021

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed doing this! I love to reread books, there’s something comforting about a familiar story that I know I enjoy, and doing this challenge reminds me to reread books I used to love.

    Liked by 1 person

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