Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I’ve read this year, looking back, I haven’t read many books this year! So I’ll share the ones most worth talking about.

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1-5 A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin – these beasts took me about 3 months but they were the most amazing things ever! (Except book four but no series is ever perfect).

6. Shopaholic to the Stars – Sophie Kinsella – I was actually a bit disappointed with this one but I’ve been waiting for it for 4 years, so it deserves a mention.

7. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion – One of the best books I have ever read. I’m getting the sequel for Christmas.

8. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova – At 700 pages it’s a long read but it’s fascinating, all about Vlad the Impaler.

9. This is Shyness – Leanne Hall – I’ve just finished reviewing it and it was one of the most original stories I’ve ever read. (You can find my review here)

10. The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling – Technically not a new book, I re-read it for the one hundredth (and something) time when I was stressed about something. I find re-reading my favourites very therapeutic, don’t you?

That’s my list! I think I need to read more new books next year – that can be my resolution! How about you? What have you read? Link up below!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Sequels I Can’t Wait for

Top Ten Tuesday a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on:  Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get.  

I’ve really had to think about this one and not all of them are even books, it turns out I read a lot of stand-alones or the author has already finished the series.

1) Moriarty – Anthony Horowitz – It’s the sort of sequel to his Sherlock Novel House of Silk. (It’s on my Christmas list).

2) Oblivion – Anthony Horowitz – I started this series as a teenager and never finished it. I must read the last book!

3) GOT – The Winds of Winter –  Martin, hurry up now.

4) The next Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella – she said soon but its not soon enough!

5) The Rosie Effect Graeme Simsion – It’s been out ages but I just haven’t had a minute!

6) Maise Dobbs – Jacqueline Winspear – I read her third book Pardonable Lies for a module at Uni and now I want to start and finish the series.

7) The next star trek film – J.J Abrams –  not a film but I’m excited.

8) Mockingjay part 1 – I’m taking bets (with myself) where they’ll finish the film. Very excited to see it.

I cannot think of anymore! A rushed effort I’m sure! What are your TTTs? Please link up in the comments

Top Ten Character-driven books

This week’s TTT is top ten character driven books and is, as always, hosted by the delightful The Broke and the Bookish.

I love Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m seriously struggling not to repeat myself. This is a really special one for me, because as anyone who reads my blog will know, I LOVE characters. I think they make or break a story.

So here I go:

1) GOT – I talk about this every bloody week so I don’t need to say anymore. Love you George. a-game-of-thrones-the-story-continues-the-complete-box-set-of-all-7-books

2) On Beauty – Zadie Smith. This is writing back to Howard’s End by Forster. You don’t need to read Howard’s End to enjoy it (in fact I would recommend never reading Howard’s End). Smith is a character master. They’re the most vibrant characters and she explores fantastic themes of race, academia, and of course, beauty.

3) Sherlock Holmes – A.C. Doyle. I think with any eponymous novel there is certain necessity that the work is character driven but I think we can all agree Holmes’s is very interesting. Watson too. Irene and Moriarty? In the original they’re not that fascinating. In fact, they’re barely in it.

4) One Day – David Nicholls. Again, I know, I talk about this every week. But it’s one of my faves and you can’t talk about characters without talking about Dexter and Emma, after all, it’s the story of their lives.

51pSErJc3oL5) The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruis Zafon. This story is all about the mystery of the characters, the plot moves slowly at time but the reveal is worth it.

6) World War Z – Max Brooks. There is no real plot to this book, no characters as such either. But I wanted to include it because the book consists of a series of interviews and they just feel so alive. Brooks really captured lots of different voices which I loved.

7) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee. I think Atticus Finch may be one of my favourite ever characters. Reading through a growing child’s eyes took some amazing talent on Lee’s behalf. It’s a wonderful story about people.

8) The Hours – Michael Cunningham. This is the story of three women, in three different times. Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughan and Laura Brown. It explores themes of Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (except in a readable not modernist way). This is not a happy book but it is a very interesting one.

9) Where Rainbows End – Cecilia Ahern. I have a real soft spot for this book. Ignoring the logic issues of this book, it’s just lovely. CeceliaAhern_WhereRainbowsEndThe whole thing is written in letters, emails etc over the lives of two people who love each other but always seem to just miss each other. Heartbreaking. Lovely. Read it in a day.

10) The Book of Human Skin – Michelle Lovric. I go on a lot about this one too … but it’s great. So many different voices tell the story. There’s the mad Minguillo, the madder nun, the lovely doctor, the battered heroine. Ah it’s amazing. Read it immediately.
What about you? What’s your TTT?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday • Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week’s theme is author’s I’ve only read one book of and need to read more. I found this week’s theme quite difficult. If I like an author I’ve normally read more than one of their books, so I’ve mixed it up a bit. My list of ten is five author’s who I want to read more of and five whom one book was enough.

Authors I want more of:

Erin Morgenstern – I’ve only read The Night Circus so far and it’s one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read!

Michelle Lovric – Amazing, amazing writer! If you haven’t read The Book of Human Skin pick it up immediately.

Jacqueline Winspear – Another brilliant writer. I read the third in her Maisie Dobbs series – Pardonable Lies – and I keep meaning to pick up the rest of the series.

Catherine Alliott – I read A Rural Affair this year and it was lightest and funniest book I’d read in ages. Alliott proves you don’t have to write a serious story to be a great writer.

Jojo Moyes – I think she features on almost all my TTT lists! So I’ll stop going on about her and get down to reading some more.

Authors where one book was enough:

Kate Furnivall  – I’m struggling through one of hers at the moment. I’m distracted from the story, which is actually interesting, by her clumsy writing.

Rupert Thompson – Not for me. I read half of Divided Kingdom before giving up. The story wasn’t my cup of tea and I couldn’t get along with his writing. The story felt like it was being reported rather than told.

Sarra ManningNine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend  – Not a bad writer but not a good story teller. This book looked fun but it was so dull! It was an entire book of the protagonist moaning. And these nine uses were never mentioned …

Dawn FrenchOh Dear Silvia – Oh dear Dawn! I love you as a comedienne but I could not get along with your book.

Thomas HardyThe Mayor of Casterbridge – it was a tough call between him and James Joyce but on the sheer weakness of his female protagonists it has to be Hardy. Get your pillows ready, he is a snooze.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my list! Please link to yours in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet.

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top ten books I really want to read but don’t own yet. I cheated a little bit making this list as four of them haven’t been released yet … but I do really want to read them. (Writers and publishers hurry up!)

1) The Girl you Left Behind – JoJo Moyes – Heard amazing reports and its so high up on my TBR list, I just have to buy it!

2)  The One Plus One – JoJo Moyes  – Love her writing. Me Before You had me crying for days, I want to read all her work but this one really calls to me!

3) Shopholic to the Stars – Sophie Kinsella – I have been waiting 4 years for this book! I’m madly in love with the shopaholic series and I think Kinsella is a great writer.

4) The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion –  I told everyone I have ever met to read the Rosie Project and I’m really excited about the sequel! Not long to go …

5) The Suicide Shop – Jean Teule – I came across this on a review online on wordpress and it just sounds so quirky I can’t wait to pick it up.

6) The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence – I’ve downloaded a sample on my kindle – halfway there already

7) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie – The queen of detective fiction breaks all the rules in this book. I’m very excited for the twist.

8) Us – David Nicholls – I love David Nicholls, so I was so excited when I heard he’s got a new release coming soon!

9) Something by John Green – Maybe not the Fault in our Stars because the hype’s so high, but I want to see what all the fuss is about with Green.

10) The Winds of Winter – George R. R. Martin – Come the F*** on George! I’ve jumped on your bandwagon, you’ve got me hooked, now just give me a bloody release date!

There’s my slightly cheated list! Let me know your TTT either in a link or in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week’s prompt: “Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read (books you may have bought but aren’t sure if you are into it anymore, books you wanted to read but heard mixed things about, hyped books you aren’t sure about — basically any book that has you going, ‘TO READ OR NOT TO READ?’”

On my phone, I keep a to-read list, books I’ve come across online, in shops or through other people’s recommendations. I don’t know if I’ll get round to them and I’m embarrassed to admit that (at the moment) it’s due to sheer tiredness (cough laziness) on my part. I’m a former lit student – I’m still enjoying light relief novels, I’ll go back to the important ones in time …

1)  The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini – I’ve been told over and over again that it’s amazing and I’kiteve written it down to read … but it looks very emotionally taxing.

2) Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson – Two Christmases ago my cousin bought me a beautiful hardback edition of this book, which looks lovely on my shelf … where it’s remained untouched for two years. It just looks quite long …

3) Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks – I’ve only ever heard good things. But I’ve also heard the words heartbreaking, sorrow, war … I might get round to it one day.

4) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier – The plot sounds great, I’m just worried about when it was written. I’ve never gotten along with early C20 work that well.

5) A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – This was recommended by a friend as a ‘must read’ … it’s been a year and I still haven’t picked it up.

anna karenina6) Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – Again it’s the word tragic that’s causing me the problem – but I’ve never read a book about the Russian aristocracy either and that does sound interesting. Decisions, decisions …

7) The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – I read an excerpt of this a few years ago – thought it was great, added it to my list and never looked at it again. I really do want to read it! It’s just a matter of getting round to it.

8) C – Tom McCarthy – Exactly the same as above – read an extract, thought it was great. The problem here was when I read the blurb of the novel and heard the plot I was less interested. It’s a conundrum.

51JXXb2vpDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_9) The Fault in Our Stars – John Green- It looks great, it does. But I’m putting it off for two reasons. One I’m not sure I’m emotionally stable enough to read it (‘Me Before You’ left me hysterical – I try to read only one book about dying protagonists per decade), and two it’s been so hyped up I’m worried it’ll be an anticlimax.

10) The Comoran Strike Novels – Robert Galbraith – I love J.K. she’s my hero. But … when author’s write a series, I have a hard time reading their other works as separate entities. (Sophie Kinsella novels particularly). In this case though, hopefully the genres are different enough so that I won’t expect the detective to pull a wand out at any moment…. When you think about it, choosing a pseudonym was the right way to go. Shame her cover was blown.

There’s my lazy little list. Is there anything on their you would 100% recommend? I might get over my laziness enough to pick it up!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I’d Give to Readers Who Want to Learn (a bit) about other Countries.

Each week, The Broke and the Bookish holds Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly booking meme. This week, we’re making book recommendation lists.

I’m from Britain and so my list is made up of books I loved because they gave me a small insight into the history, landscape and/or culture of another country.

Disclaimer – every ‘historical’ or ‘cultural’ event in the books is a good starting point for googling and not perfectly factual.

1001)  The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

A mad, Forest Gump style adventure of the 100 year old man (Allan) from Sweden, who has been instrumental in every major event of the 20th Century.  Such good fun and I learnt more about the Cold War.

102738262) The Medusa Amulet – Robert Masello

A fun quest through the ages to find the lost medusa amulet which holds the key to eternal life. This book may be a fun page turner but it made me really interested in the artist Cellini and the Medici’s in 16th Century Florence. It also made me want to visit Florence even more!

3) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer2728527

Even thinking about this book tugs at my heart. Written entirely in letters this book concerns the Nazi occupation of Guernsey in WWII, something I knew relatively little about. It’s a breath of fresh air, heart warming and uplifting – a story about ordinary heroes.

106924) The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

A book that interweaves history and myth in the search for Dracula. I will say this for Kostova, she puts up a convincing case for vampires actually existing. In this book I learnt a little more about Vlad the Impaler, Romania and the Eastern Bloc post WWII.

5) Graceland – Chris AbaniUnknown

A story about a boy growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. Part hopeful and part harrowing. I couldn’t put it down. I’d never read anything set in that part of the world before and it was eye-opening.

the-god-of-small-things6) The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

This book will stay with me forever. A look at Post Colonial India from the eyes of two-egg twins Rahel and Estha. An interesting look at the Caste system, language and the horrible effect of the British Empire.

7) The Shadow of the Wind –  Carlos Ruiz Zafón51pSErJc3oL

Set in post war Barcelona, the book tells the coming of age story of Daniel, as he searches in to the life of an author of a mysterious book. A story about brutality, corruption, love and books. It was an interesting look on the way the war affected the class system in Barcelona. The description of Barcelona itself is also beautiful! Another place to add to the list!

71h2sjik5al-_sl1380_8) The Book Thief – Marcus Zuask

A book about the effect the Nazis had within Germany on the ordinary German people. It was really interesting to read about WWII from a German perspective. Like the Guernsey Literary … this is a story about everyday heroes and the goodness of people.

9) Labyrinth – Kate Mosselabyrinth

A story set in 21st Century and 12th Century Carcassonne in France. It’s a Holy Grail quest that beautifully describes the Languedoc region of France and the bloody crusade of the church against the Cathars. I didn’t know who the Cathars were before reading this book years ago and researching it for this blog has refreshed my memory. I want to go to Carcassonne too!

Evlstr10) Evil Star – Anthony Horowitz

A supernatural young adults book, the second in the Power of Five Series, that takes the young chosen ones to Peru. A choice unlike the others and you learn little in the way of history or culture (although it is a rollicking read – Horowitz is amazing). I read this when I was 14 and ever since I have wanted to go to Peru!  I want to fly over the Nazca Desert and climb the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu, and this was the first place I really heard about it.

There you have it, a slice of history and geography from the world in ten books. What books have you learnt something about another place or time from? Where have books made you want to visit?