30 June 2014

Top Ten Favourite Classic Books

It’s that time of the week again, time for me to get thinking for The Broke and The Bookish’s weekly theme which this week is my favourite classic books. I have split my classics in to two categories, like ‘classic’ classics and modern classics. I thought about doing it so that I list only YA books or pick a couple of ‘classics’ from my favourite genres, but I don’t really know what is deemed a classic for a genre so instead I decided to go with normal classics and then pick a few books that I reckon can be deemed modern classics, and there won’t really even be a YA book in sight.

My Top Five Favourite Classics

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen  I know I’m not original with this choice, but I also don’t care. I love this book, as so many do, and for good reason. I wanted to read this book back when I was about twelve, I can’t remember why, I’m sure someone I admired liked it or something, so I wanted to read it and be cool like them. Thank God for my nan indulging me in my passion for books. She bought a copy for me and rented the BBC adaptation of the book once I’d finished. It must have been in the school holidays because I spent an entire day just watching it with her. It was such a lovely day. As such, this is one of my favourite books for the excellent story and simply because it was an amazing book.
2. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgsen Burnett  This I read because it was one of my best friends favourite books, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. I didn’t read it until I was eighteen and at university though. By that point I was no longer friends with that girl, but after I finished I understood the appeal. As a child when I attempted to read it I found the main character so annoying I could not bear to read the book, now I know more about reading and accept that character development is a thing that can happen I fully embrace how lovely this story is.
3. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Truman Capote  Another book my nan bought for me. I can remember going to Waterstones with her and there was an offer on on some classics and I browsed the table and she bought three classics for me, this is the only one of them I ever read. I still own them all though. I really enjoyed this book and the other stories that came along with me. I probably did not get it all, I read it expecting the film all over again. It such a good book, though, and nothing like I expected which made me enjoy it more.
4. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll  I have never seen the Disney film of this, and for that I am glad. I read this the summer between college and university. It was so good, I know it’s a children’s book, but I do not think I would have enjoyed it in the same way if I were younger. Now you are going to sense a theme, but this is another book my nan bought for me. I think my nan bought me all of these books thinking about it. Except King Lear, I borrowed that from college, had to give it back when I finished my A-Levels. I kind of wish I still had it.
5. King Lear – William Shakespeare  It may seem strange including a Shakespeare play in my list, but I really enjoyed this play. We studied it as part of my English A Level. Everyone bitched and moaned about doing Shakespeare, and I kind of agreed, we had studied Macbeth at school and I hated it. King Lear became such a good story though. The language was daunting, but as we were reading it as a group and analysing the scenes it helped me figure out what was happening. Once I learnt the story then this epic tragic play was a revelation to me. I won’t reveal the story, but seriously, this play is free online, go read it.

My Top Five Favourite Modern Classics

6. Harry Potter – JK Rowling  This one should be obvious to everyone. This series made my childhood. It made my adulthood even. These books will live in for as long as possible I hope. There really aren’t words to describe how much I adore this series, but all fans will understand I think.
7. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick  I read this book after seeing the film trailer. I read it before the film came out and adored this book. I read it in one sitting. I wasn’t sure when I first started, it was a bit difficult to get into, but once you did it was amazing. The way the characters were developed and how you became completely absorbed is amazing. I hope this becomes a modern classic, I would certainly recommend it to people.
8. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom  It took me a couple of attempts to read this book and it took me a while to really get into it. At first I was reading it because I bought it and it looked short, and I felt obligated. Once the story developed I knew this book was something special. I had a friend who absolutely could not finish it, she said it felt liked the author was trying too hard. That may be so, but the story itself is so unique. It makes you think how people can affect your life. It’s definitely a book which makes you think.
9. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion  If you haven’t heard about how much I loved this book then you should go read my review. This book will become a classic I am sure. It was such a great book, unique characters and a strangely intriguing story. Go, read it now.
10. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green  I am sure we all know this is a modern classic. This book broke my hart and made me so freaking happy. I don’t know if I can fully explain my emotions about this book. A While back a bought a copy of this book (I own it on my kindle, but I like having a physical copy too) and I went gave it away as a gift last week, because I feel like I need to inflict this book upon everyone I know. If you haven’t read it due to the hype then ignore all that, go read it simply because it is such a touching story you’ll regret waiting.

Anyone got any classic book recommendations? I am terrible with reading true classics, I want to read them, I simply have no motivation.

29 June 2014

My Week Has Lasted Far Too Long

Sunday Summary
This week really dragged on. A work we have finished the insurer accounts for this month and it has been a chore of just going through all the old crap on our screens trying to figure why it is on there on the first place and then figure out whether we should have paid it or not. This might not sound awful but this job has not been done properly for two years, we are trawling through crap that can be two years old. How on earth are you meant to figure out why something is on our screens if it’s two years old? Do you remember why you did something at work two years ago because I certainly don’t?
Anyway, enough complaining about work from me. This week I have found myself on a bit of a fantasy binge and it looks like there is no hope of it abating. It’s because I still want to reread of Throne of Glass, but at the speed I read books I would finish the two books within a week and be sulking until the September release of Heir of Fire and I cannot have that.

All of these books have probably been on my TBR shelf for 6 months + so to be reading them now is an achievement for me. So often I whack a book on my TBR list and then promptly forget I wanted to read it in the first place. I would recommend every single one of these books to people, regardless of whether or not they are interested, read them anyway. Seraphina I rambled about earlier this week, but The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate’s Wish were books I only started reading because of Vickie’s review over at Under the Mountain. Then there is Poison Study which I have been contemplating reading for a good long while, so I committed last night whilst I had the house to myself. I had Metallica in the background rocking Glastonbury and I got sucked into this world. I finished it this morning and I am so eager to get absorbed back into that world that I want to rush through this post and get back to reading and move on to the second book.

I would ramble about what I’ve been watching, but I’ve watched nothing. And I would ramble about the interesting things I’ve done this week, but I haven’t done those either. I have discovered I am a book pusher. I frequently gift books to my friends at birthdays etc. to force them to experience my favourite reads. I forced my friends to read The Hunger Games, a drew my friend into the world of Divergent last year and now I am forcing The Fault In Out Stars on her, because she had never heard of it! I expect her to be an emotional wreck once she reads it. I am cruel, what can I say?

Until next time guys.

27 June 2014

I’m 23 and Sometimes I Feel Like I Am About 80

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i feel old
This probably sounds like a ridiculous blog post. I know I am not eighty, and you all can probably tell I don’t sound it when I write, there is no proper grammar and appropriate sentence structure from me. I do sound middle aged at least when I talk, most especially when I complain. I am one of those people that rants about things. I had a full on rant at work the other day about our local shopping centre, Merry Hill. I complained about how awful it is going to places like that due to the number of people there. Everyone is always so wrapped up in themselves they get in everyones way, I know I do that sometimes too, but people shouldn’t walk so damn slow in front of shop doorways, it’s so inconsiderate. I complained how people walk slow; people who take up the entire walkway; people who stop suddenly for no apparent reason and with no warning; people with pushchairs and their screaming children; people taking shopping trollies around with them when they are obviously intended for use at the supermarket only; old people walking slowly, and the list goes on.
I am a grumpy old woman at times, except I’m not old. My complaining is not what I want to discuss though, that is me simply setting the scene for you. What I actually want to discuss was my aversion to social networking. You see all the youths of today on twitter, snapchat, tumblr, and everyone and their mom is on facebook. The thing is, I just don’t get it. Sure, you’ve probably noticed I post on twitter that I have a new post, and you may have noticed me complaining about buses on twitter, but I mostly just don’t get it. I don’t get how people spend so much time on twitter. I don’t get the socialising. I just don’t get it.
panic i dunoo
The thing is I don’t get most social media. I never go on facebook. Sure, friends post pictures of me occasionally on there, but I don’t go posting on there. I think I got weary of everyone posting about what their baby threw up today, or about how that couple is either on again or off again. I got fed up of everyone clawing for attention and I couldn’t help thinking that I some of the people who are my ‘friends’ on there I would probably go and avoid if I saw them on the street.

I know I sound so jaded me and my middle class problems. I do feel like I’m not make the most of all the different tools I could utilise to show off my blog, though. I feel like I should be on twitter more, like so many bloggers are. I feel like I should use instagram, but what would I take pictures of? It’s just be me spamming folk with pictures of my cat. And I think that’s my issue with using any social media to really promote my blog, I just think what would I post. It is essentially me posting stuff for the sake of it with no real grasp of how it all works. I can quite happily use my computer. I will always read up on technology and books, and things, but I cannot grasp social sites because I am not social by nature. The thought of speaking to folk on twitter terrifies me. I used to hate people messaging me on facebook because then I’d be forced into that awkward conversation online where you are trying to be polite but you’re really wondering how quickly you can leave the conversation and log off without looking like you don’t want to talk to someone.
do not want
Basically, I have never embraced this whole connecting with people, which probably is why I don’t get all the social crap that has popped up on the interwebs. I think if I put the effort in I might enjoy them, but why bother when I don’t like them to begin with. I would need a lot of persuading to think otherwise. I suppose I have not really said anything specific with this discussion post apart from that I am resistant to certain technological advances and I’m antisocial

What are people’s thoughts on social media? Do you love twitter, hate facebook, instagram like crazy? I would love to hear about it to try and change my mind.

25 June 2014

Seraphina–Rachel Hartman

Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. It has been lurking on my TBR list for God knows how long. At one point I even considered deleting it from my TBR list. I kept thinking, dragons. rally? Thank all that is holy I didn’t. Now I am just kicking myself that I didn’t buy this sooner.

This book has the most original take on dragons that I have ever seen, not that I am an expert in dragon novels. It is so original thought. These dragons have a normal dragon form, but they can transform themselves into a human body where they are victim to human thoughts and emotions, something foreign to them in their dragon bodies. They don’t experience emotions when they are dragons, they are logical beings in that state so when they are humans they must constrain themselves to rules so that their emotions don’t overwhelm them. How awesome is that?

Enough about dragons though, what about the story you cry? The story is so lovely. The first couple of chapters confused me a bit, you are thrown in the deep end some, but I think it was made worse for me as I was reading on my kindle and didn’t realise there was a glossary until I finished the book. The language and some of the words which are used make the book a bit inaccessible at first, but considering I never found the glossary until the end I would say that you can puzzle through quite easily.

The language and the way this book is written is very formal, that makes it inaccessible as well, but I found it fitting. Seraphina is a formal individual, she acts very proper as to avoid drawing attention to herself as she has secrets of her own she does not wish to reveal. I liked that the writing reflected Seraphina herself and the way she would speak and think. Everything is written quite properly and you can feel the rigidity in the language I loved how the writing was mirroring the main character herself, although I suppose that isn’t to everyone’s taste.

I loved the friendships in this book as well. You don’t see too much of others characters, Seraphina is solitary by necessity, but of what you do see it is so lovely. Orma was a favourite of mine, such a great character. And Seraphina’s relationship with the princess, who obviously knows more of what’s going on than people seem to give her credit for in the book. It was just so nice, I have seen some reviews saying they would have liked more romance, but I think the friendships beat out a romance any day. There is a romance, it is such a slow burn romance that you don’t even notice it at first, and I love Hartman for that. I like romances that sneak up and maybe not take you by surprise, but you get eased into it.

I think my only complaint about this book is that it has ended and the sequel has yet to be released. I mean what is that? I would recommend this to anyone that likes a good romance novel that has excellent character and world building.

Anyone else read this? What did you think? Can you think of any similar books where there was such intricate world building that might take my fancy. I do love a good fantasy novel.

23 June 2014

Ten Cover Trends I Love

This is a bit different this week, The Broke and The Bookish are asking about what cover trends we love (or hate) and it certainly should be interesting. Now, I am a sucker for a pretty book cover and I do notice that there are certain things which appeal to me when looking at book covers. There are certain book covers a absolutely loathe, but I am not certain there is a particular trend which I hate in book covers. With that I plan to try and focus on cover trends which I love. I don’t think I can think of ten cover trends, but we shall see.


I think this is the cover trend everyone is love with at the moment. These are books where the title and the lettering, the font, etc. is the main feature of the cover. The only thing really to draw you in, even if there is another feature to the cover art.

Covers that have a pretty photo and an even prettier font to go with

Okay, this one seems very descriptive of a cover trend, but the below images should fully illustrate my meaning. These are some of my favourite covers. These are instant buy books. These are different from typography books because they have genuinely pretty are on the front, but they are not like books where the cover has stunning photographs to draw you in because the fonts are genuinely unique.

Books with interesting photography

I view these as books where the picture is everything, which is kind of true for the above covers, but the fonts push it over the edge. The below covers just have pretty photographs and bog standard fonts to go with.

Books with pretty pretty artwork

These are the books where someone has created stunning artwork which you just want to marvel at when you look at it. The covers that you could genuinely frame on your wall.
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The ones which are minimalist but have big impact

The ones which have the title front and centre, but still have some art as well. Everything is done simplistically. This maybe with silhouettes, limited colour scheme. I don’t know, but they are pretty without being cluttered.
Okay, that is only five themes of book covers I like, but I have linked plenty of books, and honestly, the cover is not everything. I don’t always judge a book by it’s cover, the cover just helps me to be interested in the blurb. These are things I like in book covers, there are plenty of other things I like. I thought about listing my pet peeves in cover land, but I could not think of themes that link the pictures together, there are some covers I simply do not like. SOmetimes covers just don’t work. As they say, shit happens.

What about you lot, are there particular cover trends you love. Which ones do you hate? I would love to hear form you either way.

22 June 2014

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary

So I posted twice this week! What? How awesome am I?

No? You think that’s pretty standard for a blog? Well screw you naysayer, I am pleased with myself.
I only read one book this week though. I finished Cress. I am annoyed because I want more but goodreads tells me Winter isn’t out until 2015! What is this?

To say I have loved the series thus far is an understatement. I will post a review of like all three books together soon. I have things to say about it. My love grew with each book, by the time I got to Cress I was like, yes, love this series. It is awesome. I shall gift it to everyone I know as birthday presents. Helpful because I currently have a birthday coming up on Tuesday I have not brought presents for them. I am off to Tesco to see if I kind find anything later. Also, there is always Amazon.
I have not been doing much watching of films and TV this week. I am currently re-watching Castle on Netflix. Why, you might ask. I am doing so because it is easy background noise and it’s good to watch when I don’t know what I fancy watching, which happens often. I also watch Seven Psychopaths last night. I had heard that it wasn’t that great a film. I’m sure I’d heard that back when it first came out. Well screw you haters too. I thought it was great. It’s a film that may be trying too hard, but I thought it was funny, It was good because it was a bit ridiculous. I like that. It was like it was self aware and trying too hard being all stories within stories and at first you’re like what is the screenplay and what is part of the film real story? I don’t know how to explain it without ruining things for you. I enjoyed it anyway, it was a very good Saturday night film.
Okay, so all of you that read yesterdays perseverance post are probably aware of the bag incident, right? Following that bag incident I managed to do the online shopping I had been trying to do in the first place, shopping is a big things I have been doing this week. Me and my brother popped to Sainsburys yesterday, had to grab some food for my nan so we wondering the aisles, and Sainsburys seems to have a book thing cracking off because at the end of every till there were a selection of books. I obviously was drawn to them and I was amazed to find Cora Carmack’s Finding It there for £1.99. I of course grabbed it immediately. That may seem strange, I did not finish the first book in the series book I was just like ‘what is this?’ and I adored the second book, but then I just skipped the third altogether. I figure I am going to the books another chance. I plan on buying the first and second book online (I mean, I have the second already on my kindle, and the first one I borrowed from my library) because I figure having a physical copy may make me read it? I don’t really know. We shall see.