Throughout the year, I’ll dig deeper into the prompts of The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge 2022. I’ll talk about the music, the prompt and recommend about 5 books I think would go well with it. The prompt of the week: Oops!… I Did It Again.
Back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, it was just impossible to miss Britney Spears. For those who weren’t around yet, please get off my lawn *shakes fist in old lady*. While I wasn’t a fan of her, many of my classmates were and we didn’t really have a choice what to listen to between the radio and the music channels on TV. And yes, I can still hear the refrain of Oops!… I Did It Again in my head. It was released on Britney’s second album, bearing the same title. I admit I don’t have many memories of the album itself, although I’m sure the songs would be familiar if I went back to listen to it.
Listen to the album
Listen to the Song
I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened to this song in *ages* and I have no regrets. As I said, not much of a Britney fan. I was more into Blue around that time. Plus I’m generally not into female singers with a few exceptions. But it still brings back nostalgic feelings for my adolescent years. Those were good times.
I think this is the first time ever, I actually read the lyrics for Oops!…I Did It Again as I prepared for this post and, ugh, is it me or it really doesn’t make sense?
Oops!… I did it again
I played with your heart
Got lost in the game
Oh, baby, baby
Oops, you think I’m in love
That I’m sent from above
I’m not that innocent
Let’s face it, picking Oops!… I Did It Again as a prompt was a genius idea if I can say so myself. The more I think about it, the more fun it sounds. Below are my original thoughts for this prompt, and in my recommendations, I’ll try to go with a good variety of options. But please remember, these are my interpretations.
I admit this is probably going to be one of the hardest prompts to fulfill as it doesn’t really leave much moving room for interpretation. I was thinking of a character who keeps making the same mistakes over and over or a character who relives a period of their lives for some reason. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it can also be used for a thriller/mystery book about a serial killer. Although, this song doesn’t really have murdering vibes. Unless you have the desire to kill whoever plays it in your vicinity… But it does work for a book you’re rereading.
We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
Okay, so We Ride the Storm might be a bit out of the box here, but trust me. As I was going through the books I’ve read and come to this one, Leo popped into my head instantly. If you know, you know. If now, well, you’ll have to read the book and then the whole The Reborn Empire series. Sorry, not sorry.
In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey
Meet Me in Another Life was one of my favorite books in 2021. It also might be a bit of a stretch for the Oops!… I Did It Again prompt, but…my challenge, my rules! It’s the story of Santi and Thora, whose lives cross each other’s over and over and over again. They don’t lead the same lives, but some aspects are always the same – same town, more or less the same people appearing and their dream is always to be an astronaut. I listened to the audiobook and I literally couldn’t stop.
Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.
Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.
But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Lamb is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve reread it several times, it was the book I had with me on my first ever UK trip 12 years ago. It fits the prompt for me because it’s a reread. But also because of Biff, who sins over and over again in order to try to teach Joshua about it. But it’s only a tiny aspect of the story on the whole.
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years—except Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work “reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior’s pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there’s no one who loves Josh more—except maybe “Maggie,” Mary of Magdala—and Biff isn’t about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Kings of the Wyld is another out-of-the-box choice for the Oops!… I Did It Again prompt. But, here me out! Gabe is determined to save his daughter from being trapped in a siege and to do that he brings the old band together for one last gig. Who needs retirement when adventure waits again? Besides, this book is a ton of fun!
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.
Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.
It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.
Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough
As I mentioned before, I think for this prompt a murder mystery featuring a serial killer would work pretty well. It is, after all, an act which the murdered does over and over again. There are many great examples of this out there, but for now, I decided to highlight Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough. It’s a book I enjoyed much. Set in London, at the same time Jack the Ripper terrorized the people of Whitechapel, Thomas Bond, a coroner who examines the bodies and also finds himself in the middle of action himself.
A new killer is stalking the streets of London’s East End. Though newspapers have dubbed him ‘the Torso Killer’, this murderer’s work is overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes. The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames – and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.
Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where monsters stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.