Wish you were there.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Rebecca – by Daphne DuMaurier.  An author who frequently wrote novels set in Cornwall.   Always makes me want to visit and explore along the rugged coastline, stop in at some of the small fishing villages and enjoy a cream tea.

Chocolat by Joanne M Harris – even though I’ve visited many times this book makes me want to visit France all over again.  I love the book and the adaptation, it has an effortless charm that brings to life the way of life.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres – beautifully evokes Greece, the crystal sea, the white houses the bright sunshine.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons – set during WW2 and the siege of Leningrad you wouldn’t think this book would entice you to pack a bag and set off for distant shores but this book weaves a spell – a little description from the author’s website ‘Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.’

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – set in Manhattan and starring Greek Gods the descriptions play a major role in this thriller.  Definitely enticing.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – set in Alaska during the frontier years this book and the breathtaking descriptions of the wilderness and the cold are simply amazing.

Witchlight by Susan Fletcher – I absolutely love this book.  It’s a historical novel based on true events that took place in Scotland in the year 1692.  The main protagonist is accused of being a witch.  Some of the descriptions of the rugged landscape are simply gorgeous.

Any of the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – make me long to visit Victorian London.  I would visit Victorian London in a heartbeat – who has a time machine?

Books that use Venice – or a very familiar take on Venice.  For example, Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora – describes a city strongly reminiscent of Venice. If you haven’t visited then I absolutely recommend you do so and take this book as your holiday read.

That’s it for me – the tenth suggestion is left open for your suggestions please?

 

 

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Close, but no cigar.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Series I Did Not Finish

I’ve changed this slightly to series that I seem to be struggling/reluctant to finish.  These are series where I started off by loving the first book, or more, but then for reasons unknown just lost the impetus to continue and it’s now been so long that I’m unlikely to return to them:

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth – only read the first book.  I enjoyed it but the impetus to continue fizzled out for me.
  2. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – I read the first four books but never completed the series – which is a shame.
  3. The Sci fi books by Hugh Howey – read Wool and Shift.
  4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Only read the first.  Everyone seemed to love this series and I enjoyed the first book but I recognise that I probably won’t complete it now.
  5. Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare – I confess that I went off these a little.
  6. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I read the first two books.  The first was okay but I did have a couple of issues.  The second didn’t really work out for me although it’s a series that has plenty of love.
  7. The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle – I enjoyed the first one and do have the next two books.  Part of me would like to have the chance to get to them but at the same time I recognise I’m probably just being hopelessly optimistic.
  8. Ashes and Shadows by Ilsa Bick – I still need to read Monsters but I think unfavourable reviews at the time slowed me down and it’s so long ago since I read these now that I’d probably need a reread.
  9. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N K Jemisin – another book that has heaps of praise and that I enjoyed and yet here I am no further along.  It’s all about the time I suppose.
  10. Left blank for your unfinished series ???

 

 

 

To infinity and beyond…

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In

I’ve decided to give both the good and the bad examples – for this one.  So I’m going to choose a place I’d like to live in and one I wouldn’t like to live in, from the same book:

  1. Love: The Shire.  Everybody has surely heard of the Shire.  A beautiful countryside, spotted with hobbit holes and a patchwork quilt of gardens and farmland.  Flowers abound,  It’s basically the quintessential picture perfect rural place to live (and, if you’re really keen to visit you could always check out the hobbit holes in New Zealand).
  2. Not Love: Mordor.  From the same book as the Shire.  The absolute polar opposite.  Dark, in fact Boromir says it perfectly in the Lord of the Rings Adaptation ‘One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep; the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!’
  3. Love: Narnia – how good would it be to have tea and crumpets (or was it toasted teacakes) with Mr Tumnus?
  4. Not Love: The White Witche’s castle – because nobody wants to be turned into a statue after all.
  5. Love: Hogsmeade from Harry Potter – because it just looks so quaint and full of charm and – butterbeer!
  6. Not Love: Azkaban.  Nasty, guarded by Dementors – who are, like many of JKRowlings characters, very appropriately named.
  7. Love: Terre D’Ange, created by Jacqueline Carey, the world in which Phèdre nó Delaunay lives.  It is described so beautifully, the clothes, the food and the way of life are just wonderful.
  8. Not Love: Darsanga – a hideous hell on earth.  A place visited by Phèdre in Kushiel’s Avatar – not a place you want to visit, trust me on this.  Few remain to tell the tale.
  9. I will leave 9 and 10 for your suggested Love/Not Love places to visit.
  10. …..

 

 

What’s in a name??

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Best Character Names

This week I’ve chosen character names that have become household names:

Bilbo Baggins – Tolkien had such great names but I’m sure everybody has heard of Bilbo and his adventures.  This name has a quaint, homely feel to it somehow much like Merry and Pippin.

Sherlock Holmes – this is an unusual name that fits the character perfectly somehow.   It’s become synonymous with detecting.

Bellatrix Lestrange – the beauty of this name is it almost sounds like a character description doesn’t it – she was certainly a bit (or a lot) strange or maybe just totally insane.

Han Solo – there’s something about this name.  He’s a memorable character and so many people have had a crush on him – Han could almost be short for handsome and Solo – says something about his roguish bachelor status until he fell for the Princess.

Frankenstein – a name very much associated with monsters.

Count Dracula – similar to the above – you can’t think of this name without thinking of vampires.

Hannibal Lecter – it sounds like a creepy name, although I realise that’s probably just because of the book and the film – but ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ does sort of stick in your brain!

Bigwig from Watership Down – I had to choose him.  I loved the fact that in the animation he looked like he was actually wearing a hairpiece.

Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz – you have to love that her last name is Gale – meaning a strong wind, and of course she is carried off to a fictional fantasy land by a tornado.

So, are there any names here that you’re not familiar with…. curious minds, etc, etc.

And, you may have noticed my list has nine names – which leaves a slot for you to tell me your favourite character name.

 

 

 

‘She loves me, she loves me not’

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  I’ve changed the topic slightly and my book choices are:

‘Books I thought I would dislike but am really glad I read’

The original theme was ‘Books I Disliked but Am Really Glad I Read – to be honest, I don’t tend to read books through to the end if I’m not liking them.  Life is too short.  I do have a few books that really surprised me in a good way:

  1. The Foundation series by Asimov – I didn’t expect to like this.  At the time I was reading very little sci-fi and to be honest I didn’t expect to understand half of the concepts here but I ended up having a great time reading the first three books – probably because I read it as a readalong with others which really helped to open up the ideads involved.
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – for some reason I always thought the Graveyard Book was probably aimed at children and it kind of distracted me from picking this book up for a long time, even though so many people who I knew read it and loved it.  I was wrong.  It’s that simple.  I loved this book and Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors.
  3. I am Legend by Richard Matheson – this was at the recommendation of a good friend.  I don’t know why but I had reservations going into the read but I kept an open eye.  It’s definitely a very bleak sort of read from the perspective of one very lonely man – but it completely blew me away and the ending is really astounding.
  4. Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi.  Similarly to No.1 this book is space opera – again, I worried, quite needlessly as it turns out, that most of it would be too hard sci-fi for me.  This is a really good read though and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  5. Borderline by Mishell Baker – this series had glowing reviews and so I expected to enjoy it, however, I bought it as audio and so wasn’t sure if listening to this would work out for me.  As it happens it won me over completely – I’m still a beginner when it comes to audio and I have learnt a few lessons along the way so far, but this book is great to listen to.  The narrator does such an excellent job with the different characters that I was carried away.
  6. Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory – this book is absolutely brilliant.  I can’t deny that I wasn’t in love with the cover for it though and it wouldn’t particularly have drawn my attention.  Also the blurb and the whole talk about gangsters, etc, put me off a little – it seemed such out of my usual safety zone.  This book was so good though.  My husband only reads a few books a year – last year he read this and loved it – I can’t think of a higher recommendation really.
  7. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky – this is a book that I felt was going to become very military focused – and there is a level of that involved – but there’s also an intensely compelling storyline which is helped by the use of an unexpected courtroom drama.
  8. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt – a long time colleague and good friend recommended this one to me.  Again, I had doubts.  At the time I wouldn’t normally contemplate books with a western feel but this was just brilliant.  The dialogue is so good and it was just so unexpectedly compelling.
  9. The Outlander (Cross Stitch) by Diana Gabaldon.  The friend I mentioned above passed on this series to me – her sister had read and loved it but she didn’t fancy reading it which kind of put me off a little too – as it happens I devoured the first five books in quick succession.  I haven’t completed the series yet but will do so eventually (although I’m not sure that the series is yet finished).
  10. Your book choice – do you have a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but ended up loving??
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