Books on my Autumn TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Books on my Autumn TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we were asked to discuss our ‘fall’ tbr. I’m sorry. There’s nothing wrong with the term fall. I’m just British. Anyway. My list consists of books that I was super excited about when I bought them, and then forgot to read. And now I’m trying to remember.

  1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  2. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  3. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  5. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  7. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  9. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Books With Good Film/TV Adaptations | Top Ten Tuesday

Books With Good Film/TV Adaptations | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This was a freebie week, so I decided to talk about when people do the screen thing right. Of course, everyone is going to disagree with me, but here we go…

  1. The Book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    The Adaptation: 2006 TV Mini-Series
  2. The Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    The Adaptation:1995 TV Mini-Series
  3. The Book: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    The Adaptation:2007 Film
  4. The Book: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
    The Adaptation: 2011 TV Series
  5. The Book:The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Adaptation: 2001 Film
  6. The Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    The Adaptation:2014 Film
  7. The Book: The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
    The Adaptation: 2006 TV Film
  8. The Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    The Adaptation:2014 Film (Part 1, anyway. Hopefully Part 2 will be equally good.)
  9. The Book:Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
    The Adaptation:1998 Film
  10. The Book:The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    The Adaptation:2013 Film
Series I Have Yet To Finish | Top Ten Tuesday

Series I Have Yet To Finish | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This was an easy one for me, since I’ve started All The Series.

  1. The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
    Next Up: Seasons of Mists
  2. The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
    Next Up: Hollow City
  3. The Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente
    Next Up: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
  4. The Raven Cycle Quartet by Maggie Steifvater
    Next Up: The Dream Thieves
  5. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
    Next Up: Crown of Midnight
  6. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
    Next Up: The Titan’s Curse
  7. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
  8. Next Up: I’m… not sure. I lost my place and started again. I think I’m somewhere in the middle of A Storm of Swords.

  9. The Shades of London Series by Maureen Johnson
    Next Up: The as-yet-unititled fourth book. For once I’m up to date.
  10. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    Next Up: Fairest
  11. The Discworld Series by Terry Prachett
    Next Up: Jingo

    So which series should I prioritise?

Advise Me?

Advise Me?

So I’m kind of in a reading slump right now. It sucks. I have a big pile of library books and an even bigger pile of tbr books and I actually do want to read them but when I try I can’t stay focussed for longer than a chapter. I don’t know why. Did I mention that it sucks?

It seems like I’m not going to be working this week, which also kind of sucks because I need the money, but that’s a whole different rant. My point is, I’m not working, and since I thought I would be I don’t have plans. So I’m making a plan, and the plan is to drag myself out of this slump.

And that’s where you come in, beloved blog reader. How do I de-reading-slump myself? What tips do you have? What do I do when I can’t focus on books I’ve been excited to read for months? How do I catch up on my Goodreads challenge, where I’m currently 7 books behind. Please advise.

YA Fantasy 101 Syllabus | Top Ten Tuesday

YA Fantasy 101 Syllabus | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m not totally sure I would be qualified to teach this course, but I’d love to take it.

  1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Ideally I’d prefer to study The Lord of The Rings, but we’d never finished ten books if we did that.
  2. Sabriel by Garth Nix
    This is a few years old now, and provides a nice bridge between Tolkien and more recent works.
  3. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
    Obviously this had a massive impact on YA Fantasy. I prefer some of the later books, but there’s a (very small) chance that some students haven’t read this series before.
  4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    I’d be tempted to study Stardust, which is my favourite Gaiman, but this is a great introduction to urban fantasy.
  5. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
    At this point I think it’s time to look at someone playing with the tropes of fantasy, and no one does that better than Pratchett. Any Discworld novel would work for this, but if I have to cover something in depth I may as well pick one of my favourites.
  6. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
    This would be our first foray into some darker fantasy, and has the added bonus of demonstrating everything that’s wrong with Twilight.
  7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
    Partly I’d want to talk about constructing fantasy worlds and integrating back story in a non-clunky way, but mostly I just love this book.
  8. The Owl Service by Alan Garner
    This is a nice eerie atmospheric one, bordering on magical realism.
  9. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    More beautiful world building, but in a totally different style. This would also be a good point to compare the magic systems of the books we’d studied.
  10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    This isn’t itself a fantasy book, but it’s a great look at the impact YA fantasy has on people, particularly actual those who are actually young adults, and it also looks at how the internet is changing the relationship between authors and readers, which seems like a good thing to think about at the end of the course.

Please forgive me if this post is gobbledegook, I’ve worked 8.5 hours today.

OTP Tag!

OTP Tag!

I was tagged by the lovely Mari over at Story and Somnancy. So! The rules are as follows:

Choose 5 OTPs without looking at the questions first, answer the questions, then tag five people.

The Couples

  1. Valek and Yelena (The Study series by Maria V. Snyder)
  2. Arabella and Jonathan Strange (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  3. Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle)
  4. Tristan and Yvaine (Stardust by Neil Gaiman)
  5. Cath and Levi (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

The Questions
Do you remember the episode/scene/chapter that you first started shipping #5?
That would be when Cath read to Levi for freaking HOURS. The first time she did that, I mean.

Have you ever read fanfiction about #2?
No, but I feel like I have because whoever scripted the BBC adaptation wrote them a load of extra scenes.

Has a picture of #4 ever been your screen saver/profile picture/tumblr ID?
No, but that seems like it would be a cool desktop background. I want it now.

If #3 were to suddenly break up today, what would your reaction be?
Does that mean at some point prior to today they were actually together? Awesome!

Why is #1 so important?
Because he carved her a freaking butterfly. I can’t even.

Is #4 a funny ship or a serious ship?
Adorably awkward, mostly.

Out of all your ships listed, which ship has the most chemistry?
Cath and Levi maybe?

Of all the ships, which ship has the strongest bond?
Valek and Yelena. I love how Snyder doesn’t construct petty arguments between them for the sake of plot twists. All kind of other shit might be going down, but they’re good.

How many times have you read/watched #2’s fandom?
Twice. I read the book, then I watched the BBC show. I’d like to read it again one day, but not too soon. It’s a long ass book.

Which ship lasted the longest?
Jonathan and Arabella, I guess, since the book spans so many years.

How many times, if ever, has #5 broken up?
Once, sort of. Ish.

If the world was suddenly thrust into a zombie apocalypse, which would make it out alive, #1 or #3?
Definitely Valek and Yelena. They would actually work together, and they’re both pretty deadly. With Sherlock and Irene Adler, the question is more which of them would leave the other to the zombies first and save themselves.

Did #4 ever have to hide their relationship for any reason?
Briefly, for amusement purposes.

Is #5 still together?
5evah.

Is #1 canon?
Very.

If all five ships were put into a couple’s Hunger Games, which couple would win?
Valek and Yelena. Did I mention how they’re deadly? Unless Yvaine did that thing I can’t tell you about because it’s a massive spoiler. Cath and Levi would be the deadest the fastest, though, I can tell you that.

Has anyone ever tried to sabotage #5’s ship?
Not intentionally, but Reagan got in the way a lot.

Which ship(s) would you defend to the death and beyond?
I feel like Cath and Levi are the only ones who can’t adequately defend themselves.

Have you ever spent hours a day going through #3’s tumblr page?
What I do in the privacy of my own Tumblr is none of your concern :p.

If an evil witch descended from the sky and told you that you had to pick one of the five ships to break up forever, which ship would you sink?
I might as well break up Sherlock and Irene before they do it for me.

The Tagees

  • Short Story Long
  • CK’s Reading Corner
  • Caught Read Handed
  • Books & Cleverness
  • A Cup of Coffee & A Book
  • Auto-Buy Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

    Auto-Buy Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

    toptentuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve ignored the rules a bit this week because I do not have auto-buy authors. I would love it if I did, but I currently have no money, so I’m very nearly on book buying ban imposed by necessity. Instead, I’ve listed ten authors for whom I hope one day to have read every word they’ve published.

    1. Neil Gaiman
      I will probably never manage to read every book this fiction producing machine has published, but I’ll also never stop trying.
    2. Kate Atkinson
      I studied her first novel at school and never looked back.
    3. Maria V. Snyder
      A recent discovery. So far I’ve only read two books, but I will catch up.
    4. Margaret Atwood
      I have more than one of her books in my tbr pile currently, which is normally against my self-imposed rules. I should really get on that.
    5. John Green
      One of the few people on this list whose work I’m actually very nearly up to date with. I’ve read all his novels, anyway.
    6. Cassandra Clare
      I’m currently reading her books more slowly than she writes them, so this could take a while.
    7. Jostein Gaarder
      If any of his books don’t get translated to English I’m screwed.
    8. Marissa Meyer
      I preordered Winter today *bounces*.
    9. Catherynne M. Valente
      I’ve actually only read one of Valente’s books so far, but I’ll get there.
    10. Rainbow Rowell
      I’m up to date with her YA, but have yet to get to her adult work. I don’t know why that is, because Attachments sounds So. Good.

              Bonus: Terry Pratchett
                               Sadly he will never be an auto-buy author because there
                                will be no more books after The Shepherd’s Crown, but I
                                won’t stop until I’ve read every Discworld book there ever
                                was.

    Cress | Review

    Cress | Review

    spoilerwarning

    cress
    Star Rating: 5/5
    goodreads~buy it

    Cress introduces an (almost) new character to the world of The Lunar Chronicles: Cresent Moon. Cress is a programmer, exiled from Luna for the crime of being born without powers and imprisoned in a satellite to do Levana’s dirty work. But she has no reason besides fear to obey the Queen’s commands, so when a chance to escape presents itself, she immediately decides to flee her modern-day tower.
    At first, it took me a little while to warm to Cress. Her tendency to hide under things and cry, while understandable given her years of imprisonment and minimal social interaction, got irritating quickly. This wasn’t helped by her gooeyness over Thorne, a man she’d never actually met. However, I began to realise that while she appears weak, Cress is principled and very intelligent, and does what she thinks is right despite being scared. In short, Meyer proves here that she can write a strong female character who isn’t a tomboy, and that’s a rare thing in YA.
    This is a retelling of Rapunzel (if you didn’t gather that from the cover), and it stays about as close to the source material as Cinder, and definitely more so than Scarlet. To a certain extent, this gives an indication of the direction the plot is headed, but since this is the third book in the series, the wider story arc is prominent and at least a third of this book doesn’t concern Cress at all.
    I really appreciate the way that Meyer is building up her cast of characters over these books. In Cinder there were perhaps seven or eight people the reader needed to remember, and only two points of view, but at this point there are a couple of dozen recurring names, and I think I counted eight perspectives. I did lose track of who people were a little bit, but in general it wasn’t hard to manage, because the introductions have been spread over the series.
    Meyer’s writing is consistently strong, generally favouring action and speech over long descriptions, but still painting a clear picture of the environment and characters. I had some trouble picking out quotes which didn’t spoil anything, since the plot moves quickly and several twists occurred fairly early on. My to-do list from the last couple of days is barely touched because things just kept happening and I had to know everyone was going to be okay.
    I think this is the strongest book of the series so far, and I want Winter. Now, please.

    Quotes
    Encircling the planet flickered thousands of tiny dots that indicated every ship and satellite from here to Mars. A glance told Cress that she could look out her Earth-side window right then and spot an unsuspecting Commonwealth scouting ship passing by her nondescript satellite. There was a time when she would have been tempted to hail them, but what would be the point?

    “I’ll be nice to her!” said Iko. “I can take her net-shopping and she can help me pick out my future designerwardrobe. Look, I found this custom escort shop that has the best accessories, and some discounted models. What would you think of me with orange hair?” The netscreen on the wall switched to an escort-droid sale listing. The image of a model was slowly rotating, showing off the android’s perfect proportions, peachy skin, and royalty-approved posture. She had purple irises and cropped tangerine hair and a tattoo of an old-fashioned carousel that rotated around her ankle.
    Cinder squeezed an eye shut. “Iko, what does this have to do with the satellite girl?”
    “I was getting to that.” The screen scrolled through a menu, landing on hair accessories, and dozens of icons clustered together showing everything from dreadlocked wigs to cat-ear headbands to rhinestone-encrusted barrettes. “Just think how much potential she has with hair like that!”

    All at once, it dawned on her. She was on Earth. On Earth.
    She’d seen pictures, of course. Thousands and thousands of photographs and vids—cities and lakes and forests and mountains, every landscape imaginable. But she had never thought the sky could be so impossibly blue, or that the land could hold so many hues of gold, or could glitter like a sea of diamonds, or could roll and swell like a breathing creature.
    For one moment, the reality of it all poured into her body and overflowed.

    Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From | Top Ten Tuesday

    Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From | Top Ten Tuesday

    toptentuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. After some thought, I decided to ignore authors I was done with before I was 15. Because yes, I have read the basically the entire backlist of Jacqueline Wilson up to about 2005, but that tells you nothing about my reading tastes in 2015. You will notice, however, that I haven’t actually entirely stopped reading childrens’ books. Some authors just continue to blow me away. Also, this list surprised me a lot. At least 75% of what I read currently is YA, but you’d never guess that from this weird mixture of people who write for adults and people who write for 12 year-olds.

    mostread

    1. Terry Pratchett (20)
    2. Neil Gaiman (14)
    3. Hilary McKay (11)
    4. Malorie Blackman (10)
    5. J. K. Rowling (10)
    6. Philip Pullman (9)
    7. L. M. Montgomery (9)
    8. Philippa Gregory (6)
    9. Kate Atkinson (6)
    10. Bill Bryson (6)
    The Raven Boys | Review

    The Raven Boys | Review

    the raven boys
    Star Rating: 4/5
    goodreads~buy it

    Plot
    Blue lives in a house full of psychic women who have been warning her all her life that if she kisses her true love, he will die. But she didn’t need that incentive to keep away from the Raven Boys, the privileged and arrogant students of the local private school. Meanwhile, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah are skiving lessons at that very school to chase ley lines and avoid problems at home.

    I loved at least 90% of this story. The beginning took a little while to draw me in, and the end was too preoccupied with setting up the sequel, but the rest was very solid indeed. I appreciated that the majority of main characters already believed in the supernatural, so the reader didn’t have to work through their disbelief of the things that were happening to them. While the latter is more realistic, it can get repetitive if you read a lot of urban fantasy.

    Style & Pacing
    On the whole this book moves pretty slowly, but I was okay with that. It creates a suspenseful and eerie atmosphere, and gives the reader time to get very well acquainted with the characters. When I started reading I was expecting the whole novel to be from Blue’s perspective, so it came as a pleasant surprise to me to find that we also get to hear from Adam, Gansey and Barrington Whelk. It made the story richer to see where people were coming from, especially to hear both Adam and Gansey talk about money.
    One of my favourite aspects of this book was the juxtaposition of the fantasic with the deeply, painfully realistic. Adam and Ronan especially have a lot going on in their lives which never becomes less important than the magical things they encounter.

    Characters
    It astonishes me how many characters I was able to keep track of in this book. Every one of them was so distinct and well described that I never even forgot which of Blue’s aunts was which. It’s a cliché to say that they felt real but… they really did. I was especially surprised at how well I related to the four boys, since I often have trouble with books about teenage boys, but not in this case.

    Quotes
    Gansey himself sat at an old desk with his back to them, gazing out of an east-facing window and tapping a pen. His fat journal lay open near him, the pages fluttering with glued-in book passages and dark with notes. Adam was struck, as he occasionally was, by Gansey’s agelessness: an old man in a young body, or a young man in an old man’s life.

    One day, she would live someplace where she could stand outside her house and see only stars, no streetlights, where she could feel as close as she ever got to sharing her mother’s gift. When she looked at the stars, something tugged at her, something that urged her to see more than stars, to make sense of the chaotic firmament, to pull an image from it. But it never made sense.