Down the TBR Hole #1

As I’m sure many people in the book blogging community are aware, Down the TBR Hole is a meme hosted by Lia over at Lost in a Story – a wonderful blog that I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already – in which you have to try and sort through all of the books that have piled up on your virtual TBR shelf! I’m going to be doing these posts every so often to try and work through my own…

The Rules

  • Go to your to-read shelf on Goodreads
  • Order as ascending date added
  • Take the first five or ten books
  • Read the synopsis of each
  • Decide: should I keep it or should it go?

The Books

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

51A99teA6iL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_

I really enjoy historical fiction, and to me it seems bizarre that I still haven’t read one of the most famous works in this genre that has come out this century. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and constantly find myself seeing it and very nearly picking it up.

Verdict: Keep


Magyk by Angie Sage

qr3A2XC96+P9J0MyL6pfC1CbjcVDom1Ej8ik8VSXfmf4cVLW1L!3W4iQ1JoESjjt7QjbFnIZS3bEctSIf3YQf6ZVXLKSb1fkxEdmravr94OKwc8UWbVG8cJ8QrmmTlhj

I can see why past me put this on her to-read shelf. It’s a children’s fantasy story with a bit of magic and a bit of mystery from what I can gather. Reading the synopsis now, however, makes me think I am possibly a bit past reading fantasy from within this age bracket as I’ve heard that many of the characters are between 10 and 15. I don’t doubt it would be good and I’d have really enjoyed it a few years ago, but I’m just not sure I’d get much from it now!

Verdict: Go Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #1”

Advertisements

Film & TV Adaptations: The New Norm for Books?

I feel like I should probably begin this post with just a brief explanation of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months as they pretty much reversed the good record of posting I had. I actually started university at the end of September which, as you can imagine, has been taking up a large amount of my time and energy. Given the sheer amount of adjusting that I’ve been doing recently, blogging unfortunately somehow got left behind amongst the list of other things I had going on, hence why it has been so long since I last posted. But no more! At least for December, now I am back home, I’ve decided to commit to a schedule of Wednesday and Sunday posting, and I am so, so excited to get back into this.

IMG_4576

I wanted to kick off this end-of-accidental-hiatus with a discussion post about a topic that I’ve been thinking about a fair bit recently: book to film/TV adaptations, and why there now seems to be a common understanding that a good book will automatically be adapted at some point. It seems to me that, with the sheer number of successful novels (especially YA) being adapted into visual forms, books are not necessarily always considered on their own merit any more, but rather alongside thoughts of how they would perform in a different medium.

I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a bad thing. I’m a huge fan of both film and TV, and as much as the next book lover I know the feeling of incredible excitement that comes with hearing that your beloved series is going to become something you can physically see before your eyes. Some of my favourite books of all time have been made into film adaptations that I love almost to the extent of the novels, with these including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Perks of Being a Wallflower to name a few. The immense success of these films led to an undoubtable surge in popularity for the source material itself, and I for one am immensely grateful that we were given such incredible adaptations. Continue reading “Film & TV Adaptations: The New Norm for Books?”

I Need To Finish That Series

As far as reading series go, I tend to have a totally different attitude to them depending on the genre that they are. I don’t know if I have ever read a series of contemporary YA novels, but I’m more than happy, usually, to pick up a giant fantasy series. That being said, I was perusing the library recently and it occurred to me that there are some series that I have started and really enjoyed, but am yet to pick up the next instalment!

IMG_4383


The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned it here before, but I am a big fan of Cassandra Clare’s series, The Mortal Instruments. I read the first and second novels when on holiday in 2013 and from then on could not stop until I’d finished it in its entirety. As a natural progression, most people go on to read The Infernal Devices straight after, or halfway through.

I tried to read Clockwork Angel about a year ago and could not get more than 100 pages through it. For some reason, I just was not hooked in the way I was when reading TMI. The reason for this, I’m hoping, is because I had been out of the Shadowhunter universe for quite a while and so wasn’t immersed in the hype, and now that season two of the TV series has come to an end (which I love, by the way) I need something to replace my love of this world again! Hopefully on a second reading I can continue with, and love, The Infernal Devices.

infernal-devices-covers1


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In 2016, I said that Outlander was the best book I read all year – and I stand by that. At 863 pages, this tome is not one to be taken lightly, but I found that all of the effort I put in to reading it was returned tenfold by Gabaldon’s stunning imagery, detailed historical research and complex characters.

The reason I haven’t yet continued with this series is that each book takes a serious commitment. There are seven more books of the same length in the series that I need to get through, plus another coming fairly recently AND a number of novellas. I think this may end up being a series that I work my way through over the course of a number of years if I’m being totally honest! Continue reading “I Need To Finish That Series”

Why I Am A Reader Tag: A Collab with ACupOfWittea

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve probably heard me mention Emily from ACupOfWittea at some point – she’s one of my best friends both on and off the internet! Due to both having book blogs, we decided it was about time we did some sort of collab post, and what better post to choose than one which means you get to know more about both of us at the same time?! I feel like on the surface this tag seemed like one that had relatively straight-forward answers, but I soon found that I was having to think pretty deeply about some of them…


Hardcover or paperback?

Bex: This is possibly the easiest reading-related question I’ll ever have to answer. Hardcovers are such a pain: the dust jackets slide around everywhere and get torn, the corners dig into your hands, you can’t open them out fully or break the spine properly… Give me a paperback any day!

Emily: I had to think hard about this question… My answer would probably have to be a paperback as that is the main format in which I read books – mainly due to it being easier to hold! However, there is something so satisfying about a hardback, and those of which I own are usually books which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, so for me hardbacks have such a feeling of preciousness about them!


How has reading shaped your identity?

Bex: Above anything else, reading has made me more of a creative and ambitious person. Fantasy novels in particular have allowed me to dream about far-away lands and creatures and magic, and these things have influenced my desire for adventure. I desperately want to travel in the near future, and while there are a number of reasons why, I would be lying if I said that characters journeying across ancient lands and encountering different ways of life didn’t spark at least some of that in me.

Emily: I would say that reading has made me more open and aware to family issues in particular. Thankfully, I have never had to deal with any serious issue in my family before, but reading has definitely brought to light issues of abuse, illnesses (both mentally and physically), and disabilities and how that can affect a family. Thus, I would like to think reading has made me a lot more sensitive and understanding to these sorts of issues. In addition, I think reading has definitely increased my passion and determination for doing something I love without fear of judgement; in my experience, reading is often viewed as a childish and pointless past time (particularly those of us who frequent YA), but the more I read and the more powerful characters I encounter, the more it fuels me to continue doing what I love. Continue reading “Why I Am A Reader Tag: A Collab with ACupOfWittea”

Women in Fantasy: A Dream Bookish Panel

One thing that I think we can all agree on, I’m sure, is that until recent years women have been very under-represented in fantasy. Take Tolkien’s The Hobbit, for example. How many female characters have major roles in comparison to those of men? The character of Tauriel was written into Peter Jackson’s film adaptation so there was actually a woman in it. Tolkien’s works are some of my favourite works of all time, as I grew up with them, but I’m not ignorant of the problems they have. I do also understand, however, that given the time he was writing, this was far from unusual.

That being said, I decided that I wanted to delve deeper into discovering how authors go about writing female characters in fantasy fiction by creating a panel of authors that I would hear from on the subject. I thought for this I would include four of the most influential female fantasy authors of the modern day, who happen to represent three sub-categories of the genre – urban fantasy, high fantasy and, well, Harry Potter. Side note: I am aware that there are so many groups that fantasy fails to represent, with women being just one of many. I am also aware of the lack of diversity in my panel choices – consider this a note to myself that I need to start diversifying the pool of fantasy authors that I read from.

I would also like to credit Eventbrite, an online platform for planning, promoting and selling event tickets, for inspiring me to create my dream panel of authors; I absolutely loved writing this! You can check out their online registration page here to begin creating your own event – I have been to a work experience day and a university open day organised through them before and both were smooth sailing!


The Moderator

There could only be one answer to this for me. Women in fantasy? It has to be Felicia Day, creator of web series The Guild, author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (which I highly recommend you read), actor and all-round advocate for women’s roles in fantasy. It’s usually the case that panels only work if the moderator is highly engaged and knowledgeable about the subject content, so I genuinely cannot think of anyone better.

FeliciaDay
Google Images

Continue reading “Women in Fantasy: A Dream Bookish Panel”

The Sunshine Blogger Award #1

sunshine

I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by two different wonderful bloggers in one week! Due to this, I’m going to be doing a part one and part two post so that I can cover all of the questions asked. For this one, I would like to thank Savannah from The Book Prophet for nominating me – I am so excited to answer your questions!


The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the eleven questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate eleven new blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions (I am going to nominate six in this post and five in part two)
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Savannah’s Questions

What do you hope to accomplish by book blogging? Do you have an ultimate goal, doing it just for fun, etc.?

I have always had two goals for this blog: to discuss books with other like-minded people, and to improve my own writing (as I hear the best way to do this is to write consistently). Every single day I blog I grow to love it more and more, so it has also really grown into a passion of mine!

What’s one thing you’d like to do before you die?

Although there are hundreds of things on my list to do, one major thing is very specific – to go on a yoga and meditation retreat, possibly in Thailand. I practice both quite often (admittedly, I need to get back into my meditation practice more) but I can just imagine the sense of peace and awakening one of these retreats would bring.

If you could pick one book to hold in your hands right now, which would it be?

The sixth book in the Throne of Glass series, without a doubt. I need that book.

Do you plan on going to college, are you currently in college, or have you graduated from college? If so, any tips?

I have actually applied for a joint honours degree in English and History and have just over a week to go until I get my A Level results and find out whether I have secured my place to start in September!

What non-canon ship is your favourite?

There are so many. Although I love Remus and Tonks, I have a soft spot for Remus and Sirius. If we’re talking ships not in books, however, it has to be Merlin and Arthur from BBC’s Merlin, although that’s so obvious it’s almost canon already. Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award #1”

Reflection: July 2017

July is over! I honestly do not know where 2017 is going. One thing that I think has been particularly successful about this month is that I began using the new system that I talked about in an earlier post, in which I said I would try to be more honest with my book ratings. July has definitely reflected that! I read a total of five books in the month, and there was definitely a wider variety of ratings than I’ve given for a long while. I also read a wider variety of genres than I have for a long time, so I think you could count this as a month with a bit of everything! Without further ado…

IMG_4376
I forgot to take this picture before I took The Assassin’s Blade back to the library – so annoying!

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (5/5 stars) – Synopsis

What a surprise, I’m starting a blog post with a Sarah J. Maas book! I did a full review of this book here.


More of Me by Kathryn Evans (4/5 stars) – Synopsis

More of Me was one of the most unique books that I have read in a long time. It follows sixteen year old Teva, who physically splits in two at every birthday, leaving the new version of herself to live her life while the old version is stuck in time. When I saw this book in the library, I was absolutely intrigued. What I liked best about it was the fact that I was constantly wanting to know what happened next – I flew through it in one day! Teva was such an interesting protagonist and I still keep on finding myself thinking about this story. I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t award it the full five stars – you know when a book just lacks one thing and you don’t know what it is?


The Golden Rules of Blogging (& When to Break Them) by Robin Houghton (3/5 stars) – Synopsis

This book pretty much does exactly what the title says. Laid out in the format of 28 rules, Houghton takes us through some of the *apparent* most important rules of blogging. While throughout this book she does stress that these rules can be broken, I often found that this book was aimed far more at those aiming to make a maximum profit from their blog, and came across as very hypocritical on occasions. I didn’t always like the assumption that stats and figures are everything (I definitely think we should all celebrate reaching our own goals but not to the point where everything is about the numbers), although I did learn some useful tips about aesthetics and content throughout. Continue reading “Reflection: July 2017”