Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and Bookish

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Top 10 books I’m not sure I want to read…

 

The Fault in our Stars

I’m just not a fan of books that I know will make me cry before I start reading.

Game of Thrones

Everyone wants me to read this series of books but…I’m just not interested. Fantasy/depressing family drama are not really my bag.

The Thirteenth Tale

My friend has been on at me to read this for ages and ages but it sounds super scary and weird. I don’t want to!

50 Shades of Grey

Um….not sure I need to bother explaining this one.

E.M Forster novels

I tried. I really did. But I just can’t get with Forster’s style. I feel bad as he’s so well regarded, but…nope.

Lord of the Rings

So long! And like GoT, I couldn’t take all the extra, fantasiest bits of the book that they (purposefully) left out of the movies.

Mills and Boon

Not big into romance and I have way too many memories of seeing copies at my Grandma’s house…

Jeffery Eugenides

Like E M Forster, I tried but I just couldn’t get into his books.

Gone Girl

Not even remotely interested. Sorry!

The Shining

TOO SCARY.

 

What books are you just not feeling?

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Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and Bookish

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Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read…a ‘classic’

This week’s challenge is looking at how to introduce a fellow reader to a new genre of books. I’m not much of a genre reader (I tend to just pick up whatever I fancy) but as a former literature student, I’ve read a LOT of classics in my time and thought I would put together a beginner’s guide:

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

While Pride and Prejudice is the more famous story, I think Northanger Abbey is more accessible. It’s short, funny and irreverent and a great intro into the Austen world.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Full of memorable characters, with a more straightforward plot than some of Dickens’ mighter tomes, Great Expectations is well-told, funny and full of classic Dickensian storytelling.

Jeeves & Wooster by P.G.Wodehouse

Always funny, always smart and an amazing depiction of the British aristocracy. Wodehouse always makes me laugh.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Arguably one of the most famous American classics, with a very well known plot. Read this and you’ll understand so many references!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I summed up why I love it here but again, a gentle, relatable way into 1800s writing.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I love Steinbeck’s writing. Of Mice and Men is short (again) and the most easily accessible of Steinbeck’s work.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

A great introduction to both Victorian morals and manners and gothic horror!

Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Bonkers children’s story that influenced so much after it.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Who wouldn’t want to read about a red-headed Canadian orphan?

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

A little glimpse into English manners through Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall.

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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This week’s topic…the top 10 authors I own the most books by

Kazuo Ishiguro (x7) –  One of my all time favourite writers, I own every novel he’s written plus one collection of short stories:

  • A Pale View of the Hills
  • An Artist of the Floating World
  • The Remains of the Day
  • The Unconsoled
  • When We Were Orphans
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Charles Dickens (x7) – Fell in love with his writing as a student and my grandfather gave me a collection of his works a few years ago:

  • Little Dorrit
  • Great Expectations
  • David Copperfield
  • Oliver Twist
  • Bleak House
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • A Tale of Two Cities

Jane Austen (x6) – Just the best – I have the collected works (even though I don’t like Mansfield Park…):

  • Emma
  • Persuasion
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Mansfield Park

Judy Blume (x6) – A growing up must, I love my Judy Blume collection:

  • Forever
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
  • Tiger Eyes
  • Deenie
  • Just As Long As We’re Together
  • Here’s to you, Rachel Robinson

Sarah Dessen (x6) – A new favourite but have totally fallen in love with her books:

  • The Truth About Forever
  • What Happened to Goodbye?
  • That Summer
  • Along for the Ride
  • Just Listen
  • Lock and Key

Elizabeth Gaskell (x5) – I started to really enjoy reading Mrs Gaskell while I was at university:

  • Wives and Daughters
  • Mary Barton
  • The Cranford Chronicles
  • North and South
  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte

Danny Wallace (x5) – One of the funniest writers ever, Danny Wallace captures the English like no-one else:

  • Are you Dave Gorman?
  • Join Me
  • Yes Man
  • Awkward Situations for Men
  • Charlotte Street

Peter Carey (x4) – A truly great writer and always interesting:

  • Jack Maggs
  • Parrot and Olivier in America
  • The True History of the Ned Kelly Gang
  • Oscar and Lucinda

David Mitchell (x3) – An amazing and truly, truly original writer:

  • Cloud Atlas
  • Number9dream
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Margaret Atwood (x3) – One of the greats, and always trying to do something different:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Blind Assassin
  • Alias Grace

Who do you own the most books by?

 

NB: I didn’t include any book series’ as I felt like that would tip the scales a bit and didn’t seem to be included in the theme (for me); hence no J K Rowling, Megan McCafferty etc.

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and The Bookish

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10 characters I’d take with me to a desert island

I really liked the topic this week. My selected 10 have been chosen for one of two reasons: either for fun or for survival…

 

1. Marcus Flutie (Jessica Darling books)

I feel like this requires no additional explanation.

 

2. Man Friday (Robinson Crusoe)

Because let’s face it, he did all the work and made Robinson look good.

 

3. Gemma (the Gemma books)

I feel like Gemma would be able to cheer everyone up by performing (she is an excellent singer and dancer) and would be a lot of fun to chat and gossip with.

 

4. Yuri Zhivago (Dr Zhivago)

A bit morose, but a doctor used to practicing in harsh conditions. Useful!

 

5. Stanley Yelnats (Holes)

Stanley is a trooper and he had to hide in the desert for ages, so would be handy to have around.

 

6. Jo March (Little Women)

Funny, smart and would write really excellent stories to keep us all amused.

 

7. Iorek Byrnison (The Golden Compass)

Come on guys, I think we can all agree that having a fighting, talking polar bear would be super useful on a desert island – who knows what creatures might be lurking. Plus, Lost has shown us that yes, polar bears can survive in tropical conditions.

 

8. Pi (Life of Pi)

Adept at surviving in terrible conditions and has proven to be resourceful. Also, I feel like he needs a hug.

 

9. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter books)

Well, duh. She’d be able to fix just about everything.

 

10. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

The ultimate survivor, you’d need someone to keep you going no matter what.

 

Agree with my choices? Who would you take with you?

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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July 15: Top Ten Favourite TV Shows!

This week’s top 10 is looking at different types of stories. I’ve chosen to focus on my top 10 TV shows:

  1. Friday Night Lights (I feel like a DUH is required after this). The greatest show ever, full of basically everything you could want in…anything really. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
  2. Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler. Chris Pratt. Aziz Ansari. Nick Offerman. Retta. So many reasons to watch this show! One of the best things about Parks and Rec is how sweet and optimistic it is. It makes you want to work hard, give your all and be your own Leslie Knope.
  3. Gilmore Girls. You guys, I love this show. I started watching when I was a student and fell in love. I still want to be Lorelai Gilmore and I’m still thankful that shy, book-reading Rory got to exist on my TV.
  4. 30 Rock. Tiny Fey – is there much more reason needed? I love how off-beat and damn silly 30 Rock is. It’s willingness to mock anything and everything about the world of entertainment is glorious.
  5. The US Office. As a Brit, this feels like a slight betrayal, like I should prefer the original UK series. But I find The Office (UK) just a wee bit too dark, where the US Office has just the right amount of sweetness to temper the hideousness (see: Jim and Pam).
  6. The Good Wife. I was recently introduced to this show by a friend and man, am I grateful. Smart, interesting and challenging, it’s TV for grown ups and it’s never boring or simple.
  7. Greek. The subject of this week’s #tbt, Greek is a light-hearted, fun take on University life and the perfect pick me up on a grey day.
  8. Pretty Little Liars. June’s Pop Arts Recommendation, PLL is full of twists and turns and the most bonkers TV I’ve ever seen.
  9. The Walking Dead. I never expected to love this show as much as I do, but I could literally talk about it for hours (and have, too). Unique premise that allows for really interesting character study, The Walking Dead is exciting and intelligent.
  10. Spaced. Spaced is a daft, lovely, sweet-natured UK comedy that is endearingly silly and self-referencing. It features one of my favourite comedy actresses of all time, Jessica Hynes and never ever fails to make me laugh.

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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July 8: Top Ten Blogging Confessions

I’m going to use Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner‘s previous list here as a guide…below, my top 10 book blogging confessions:

  1. I am not a good book-lender. I will recommend the hell out a book and then refuse to lend it out, which is mean. I just get terrified that it will get damaged or lost, even when logically I know it won’t!
  2. On a similar theme, I take book spine damage and page dog-earing/folding VERY seriously. I have to work really hard not to flinch when people turn the page corners over on the train.
  3. I am very judgemental about book covers – I won’t buy something if I don’t like the cover.
  4. I have never read any stereotypical ‘chick lit’ or traditional romance novels because…I kind of think they’re lame (sorry!)
  5. If I buy a set of books, I like them to match. My Little Women series is all my Grandma’s 1940s copies except for Jo’s Boys and I HATE that it doesn’t match the others.
  6. I have a serious book-buying problem. I can’t stop buying new books, even when I have loads of unread ones. There’s just so many great books put there waiting for me to read them!
  7. I am trying to buy books only from actual book-stores. It’s hard when Amazon is so convenient, but I like going into a real bookshop, especially independent ones.
  8. I have over 100 unread books in my house. I know, I know – it’s appalling.
  9. I am an unapologetic book abandoner. If I’m not grabbed within the first 50 pages, then I move on. See #6 and #8 for reasons.
  10. I am very particular about bookmarks.

What are your book blogging confessions?

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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Returning after a short break from this blog is…Top 10 Tuesday!

 

Top Ten Favourite Classic Books

 I’m taking this list to be ‘classics’ in the generally used way…my list below in no particular order.

  1. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  3. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  4. Winnie the Pooh – A A Milne
  5. Little Women – Louise May Alcott
  6. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K Jerome
  7. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  8. Emma – Jane Austen
  9. What Katy Did – Susan Coolidge
  10. The Makioka Sisters – Tanizaki Jun’ichirō

What are your top 10 classics?

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and the Bookish

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Happy Tuesday everyone! This week’s topis is…Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year.

I have to make a confession; this list will be shorter. Although I think I’ve read more than 10 books this year, only six warranted placement on the list – is that terrible? I tend to start a lot of books and abandon them if I don’t get into them quickly, plus I feel like top 10 books read this year has to include ones you found really special.

My top 10 books read so far this year:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Ooooh! Bonus note, guys! This is my 100th post *feels proud*

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and the Bookish

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After missing last week (I was on holiday!) I am back with this week’s seasonally appropriate topic from the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish – Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer.

The Great Indoors – Ben Highmore

A friend gave me this book for my birthday, knowing I am a nerd about interiors and domestic history. Summer is ideal for day-dreaming so I can read this and lie around and dream about the house I will (hopefully!) one day own.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken – Elaine Lui

Having been an avid reader of Lainey Gossip for years, I am excited to read Lui’s first book, which explores her mother’s life and their connection.

Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

I’ve been hearing so much about this book and I am always into stories about friendships and coming of age.

Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me – Rachel Bertsche

I LOVED MWF Seeking BFF and am a sucker for celebrity gossip, news and ‘lifestyle tips’. Can’t wait!

Angel – Elizabeth Taylor

I have always heard so much about Taylor’s writing and this story intrigued me: a teenage girl writes an overnight sensation.

Strange Weather in Tokyo – Hiromi Kawakami

Sold on this reflective and romantic sounding book on the title and front cover alone.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

A Morgan Matson double whammy. Summer always makes me think of road trips and this one looks so sweet and fun.

The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith

Thwarted and ongoing love stories are a favourite of mine and I’ve heard great things about this book.

This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper

I just saw the trailer for the movie and am sufficiently intrigued. I also find stories about family dynamics really interesting, so am excited to read this one.

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Part travelogue, part memoir, part survival guide – Strayed’s epic hike is both terrifying and inspiring. Looking forward to seeing how the journey affected her.

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and the Bookish

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This week’s theme was surprisingly tough, I only made it to 9! Here are my Top 10 Books About Friendship

Anne of Green Gables (Anne & Diana) – LM Montgomery

Who didn’t want to be friends with Anne Shirley? Feisty, intelligent and enthusiastic, she brings a fearsome energy to everything. As is often the way, her best friend Diana is her opposite; quiet, gentle and softly spoken. The two are fast friends from the start and always try to balance each other out. It’s hard not to envy their devotion!

Just as long as we’re together (Rachel and Stephanie) – Judy Blume

I loved this book when I was growing up. Steph and Rachel have been friends forever, but are put in different classes once they start high school. Steph’s body has changed over the summer and her parents are splitting up, making her feel more distant from her over-achieving friend. Add new girl Alison into the mix and Steph and Rachel’s friendship is increasingly strained. I liked the way these two old friends learn to grow with each other and make room for the new things in their lives. A more realistic portrayal of friendship as a kid (well, it is Judy Blume…)

The Book Thief (Liesel and Max) – Marcus Zusack

Liesel feel like a very solitary, lonely child for much of The Book Thief. However, the friendship she develops with Max, (who they are hiding from Nazis) through their mutual love of stories and books is incredibly touching. It shows that friendship can bloom under the most difficult of circumstances and gives both characters a sense of hope in a dark time, as the very best friendships should.

Fearless series (Gaia and Ed) – Francine Pascal

Does anyone else remember these books? I was completely obsessed as a teenager with this series about a girl born without the fear gene. Crazy nonsense but totally addictive. I always liked Gaia and Ed’s friendship. Ed is motivated by romantic undercurrents, yes, but he and Gaia push and challenge each other and have to adjust to someone not treating them as they’d each come to expect. I always enjoyed their banter and willed then to make it through the various tests of their friendship.

P.S Longer Letter Later (Tara and Elizabeth) – Paula Danziger and Ann M Martin

My best friend and I both read this book as children. It tells the story of two friends, Tara and Elizabeth, who are writing to each other after Tara’s parents move. The book was written by Danziger and Martin writing to each other in voice, which gives the book a genuine two-sidedness. Tara and Elizabeth seem like total opposites but their determination to stay friends despite being apart is really uplifting.

Bridge to Terabithia (Jesse and Leslie) – Katherine Paterson

I feel like I might cry every time I think about Bridge to Terabithia. It’s a lovely, heart-breaking novel about two kids who became unlikely friends when they both needed someone to understand and appreciate them for who they were. They create an amazing imagined world together and anyone who ever played make-believe games as a kid will enjoy their commitment to their stories. Be prepared to cry though; it’s got a kicker of an ending.

Harry Potter series (Ron, Harry and Hermione) – J K Rowling

Anyone who’s read any of the Harry Potter novels knows that one of Rowling’s enduring themes of the series is the importance and benefit of true friendship. Ron, Harry and Hermione come together as children and stay united for the rest of the series (and presumably, the rest of their lives). Nothing would be accomplished or celebrated in HP without friends. Also, Harry would have died in book one, without Ron and especially Hermione to rescue him. I’m not sure that there’s a better or more balanced depiction of friendship around – sometimes our friends annoy us, sometimes they disagree with us and sometimes we don’t understand them, but they are always there when we need them.

The Outsiders (Ponyboy and Johnny) – S E Hinton

Oh, this book! This is yet another sad tale of friendship (why do I have so many on this list?). Their dedicated loyalty to each other is so admirable and Ponyboy reading to Johnny gets me every time.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – (Tibby, Carmen, Bridget and Lena) – Ann Brashares

I raced through this book the first time I read it. I loved the idea of four close friends growing up together and finding a way to support and encourage each other, even when hundreds of miles apart. I have a close knit group of girlfriends and we are navigatiung this now – being separated but trying to find a way to keep up with each other’s lives. It’s also great to get to that point where you know that nothing about your friendship will really change and I think Sisterhood… really embodies that (let’s just ignore the later books, shall we?)