I love you, I love you not.

Posted On 21 February 2017

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Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Ten Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would (or books that you didn’t like as much as you Thought)

I really enjoyed all the books below – much more than I expected.  Brief explanation of my original qualms against each book.

  1. Unwind, Neal Shusterman – I simply didn’t like the sound of this but then it just really grabbed me.
  2. Witch Light, Susan Fletcher – this started out slow and I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy the author’s style of writing.  A few pages later I couldn’t get enough of it.
  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – foolishly, the cover for this always put me off – I don’t know why.  Fortunately I got over myself – I love this book.
  4. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt – who knew that I would love western style stories!
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I figured this might be too sci fi for me but I absolutely loved it.
  6. All the Truth that’s in me by Julie Berry – I think this was simply a book that wouldn’t have been on my radar – a good friend recommended this and I loved it.
  7. The Girl with all the Gifts by M J Carey – another book that I’m glad I picked up.  I think the hype surrounding this one put me off a little.  In this case the hypes well deserved.
  8. The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore.  The cover.  Sorry, but it just didn’t do it for me.  The book really did though!
  9. Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz – another book that I figured my go ‘whooshing’ over my head.  As it happened this was fantastic.
  10. Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu – ditto the above.  I can’t recommend this series enough. 

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind”


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:


 All About the Romance

Well, I’m not really ‘all about the romance’ but as today is Valentine’s Day, why not!

  1. Rhett and Scarlett – obvious but had to be included.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  It’s not SFF Jim – but frankly, I don’t give a damn.
  2. Alexander and Tatiana.  Had to be on here – The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons – boy oh boy is this one hot romance.  I’m not kidding.  I don’t, as I said above, usually read romance but this book…omg.
  3. Jamie and Claire – Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I expect these two will be on a few lists this week!
  4. Princess Buttercup and Westley.  The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Sweet and funny romance – inconceivable?
  5. Buffy and Spike – Oh Yes!  I haven’t read the books but I have seen the series and Spike wins.
  6. Ron and Hermione – maybe not a sizzling couple because that would be a bit wrong and apparently Ron has the emotional range of a teaspoon – but here it is nonetheless!  J K Rowling’s Harry Potter.
  7. Han Solo and Leia – yes, I have never read any of the Star Wars books but I’ve seen the films and so this counts!
  8. Toby and Tybalt – really, couldn’t leave these off!  The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire.  Plus King of the Cats – Grrr!
  9. Tristan and Yvaine from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust – don’t you just love Neil Gaiman’s books!
  10. ??? – your choice please…



Beautiful books


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

All about the visuals

Books with illustrations, comics or graphic novels.  Whatever floats your boat really.  It’s not a secret that I love beautiful book covers, gorgeous books and fantastic illustrations.  Here are a few.

The Sandman Comics by Neil Gaiman – I’m working my way through these (slowly) and loving them.  They’re dark.  Very dark.  The graphics are awesome.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.  I’m not going to deny that this book is emotional – in the extreme.  It’s an excellent story – but, you have to be in the right mood and it could definitely cause you floods of tears depending on where you’re at – but, have you seen the illustrations in this book.  If not.  Go and look at them.  That is all.


Lips Touch by Laini Taylor.  Now, okay, I confess I haven’t read this yet – but the cover is so gorgeous (both covers – one I want to eat and one I want to sit and look at for a long time) and then on the inside are the most gorgeous illustrations that they make me want to smile whilst being simultaneously jealous that I can’t do that!

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss.  Firstly, Patrick Rothfuss.  So, that is all.  Actually no.  This is another book, very short and from the world of Kvothe – but it’s just gorgeous.


The Hobbit graphic version by JRRTolkien – this book is effing excellent.  Yes,  it is.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  Another wonderfully illustrated book with the most gorgeous and totally distracting illustrations (I think the second illustration is from Through the Looking Glass)

Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne.  If you don’t like Winnie the Pooh, and all the gorgeous pictures – then I can’t even look at you right now!


The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. Shut up and take my money.  Have you read this – and have you seen the illustrations?


That is it for me – only made it to nine!

Book Adaptations


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top ten book to film/tv adaptations

This includes, likes, dislikes and some where I’ve seen the adaptation but not read the book.  Some of these really won’t be a surprise but here goes:

  1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – love the books, love the films.  Aragorn *le sigh.  Simple really.  These films are so good and so true to the books.  Yes, of course, some things are not included and some sequences maybe slightly altered, but not by much (to my mind anyway).
  2. Harry Potter – very much ditto the above.  Great books.  Great films.  Although, and I hate to be critical, the last two films annoyed me somewhat – no need to split the book into two and I didn’t like some of the changes.  Just saying.
  3. I am Legend by Richard Matheson.  This is only a short book but it really does have an impact.  It’s a very dark read and frankly is a bit miserable – but it’s supposed to be because you’re supposed to feel how the main protagonist does – and he’s pretty bloody miserable.  I think the film adaptation is a really good film – but it annoys me so much how they changed the ending.  For me, the ending of this book is what really has an impact.  It’s just so unexpected and so good – it gives meaning to the title of the book in fact. Why change it?
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is a great book and a good film.  Thank Frith.
  5. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This book is so good and there have been so many adaptations that it would be difficult to list them all here.  My personal favourite is the film with Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins.
  6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – again, a magnificent book.  Such a conundrum – nurture/nature and who is really the monster here.  It’s difficult to really pin down a favourite adaptation but I really like the one that takes a more comical look, Young Frankenstein.  Brilliantly funny, shot in black and white and surely one of the most quoted films ever – if only by me!
  7. Shakespeare – could there be any more adaptations – I’m sure that somebody somewhere most have checkout if he has the most adaptations ever.  I’ve not read all his plays.   Okay, I’ve read one – which is A Midsummer Night’s Dream – and I’ve watched a few adaptations for this.  Not sure how brilliant they were to be honest – I hold out for a really good one given what can now be achieved.
  8. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – this is the sort of book that takes you a little while to get into but, once it sinks its hooks in, you read it with an ever increasing sense of dread/fascination and horror.  Yeah, I wanted more answers from this book – why oh why!  Just why?  The film.  I have mixed feelings for.  I’m not sure that it quite gives the same sense of foreboding as the book and it’s even more gloomy.  They’re both pretty grim to be honest but I think the book had me more hooked.
  9. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  This is a book that doesn’t resound with everyone but it totally had me hooked. I think, given the way the book grabbed me, it was always going to be a difficult act to follow.  I think the adaptation is pretty good but the book is so much better.
  10. The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  A series that is very good to read and an adaptation that is really faithful to the books so far.  Very enjoyable on both counts.

This list could have been a lot, lot longer.  But, 10 it is.  What adaptations have you enjoyed??

Hiding in plain sight! Hidden gems…


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Ten Hidden Gem/underrated Books I’ve Read In The Past Year

I don’t exactly know that these are underrated books – I’m sure lots of people love them, but come on, it never hurts to have more love now does it.  So bring it people.  (My books below with a little excerpt from Goodreads).

Monstrous Little Voices  collects five of today’s most exciting names in genre fiction – Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist, Cannonbridge); Adrian Tchaikovsky (The Shadows of the Apt, Children of Time); Emma Newman (The Split Worlds, multiple-award-nominated Tea and Jeopardy podcast); Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows (Solace & Grief, The Key to Starveldt’s); and upcoming novelist (and journalist for the Ottawa Citizen) Kate Heartfield – to delve into the world Shakespeare created for us. With wars and romances, its magics and deceptions, discover five stories he never told, but could have. Stories of what happened next or what went before, of the things unseen or simply elsewhere in the world as Shakespeare’s own tales unfolded on the stage.


Nelly Dean by Alison Case is a wonderment of storytelling and an inspired accompaniment to Emily Bronte’s adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.


The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.


Company Town by Madeline Ashby – Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.

company town

It Happened One Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton – Magic is real. Only a handful of natural-born sorcerers can wield its arcane power against demons, foul creatures, and the forces of darkness. These protectors of the powerless are descendants of an elite order. The best magic-users in the world.


Poison City – by Paul Krill – The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things – finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I’m going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

Poison city

The Hike by Drew Magary – At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.


The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue – From the bestselling author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child comes a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth—a suspenseful tale of romance and enchantment


Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis – In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon…among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline’s childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy.


The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler J Birch – For fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound skills in a vendetta against a ruthless crime lord.




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