Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books On My Autumn TBR List'.

Yay, picking books for my upcoming TBR is my favourite thing to do! Autumn is a great month for reading, it makes me thing of 'back to school', classics, orange book covers and of course Halloween! It's the perfect time for ghost stories!

1) 'The Return Of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle.

So I'm kind of in the process of reading these short stories now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying them so far! The cover of this collection is very autumnal and there's something about cosying up in a blanket while reading a good mystery that is very appealing at this time of year!

2) 'Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

I have never read a book by Murakami and I wanted to read something a little more 'intelligent'. His work has been recommended to me by a lot of people so it's exciting to be able to try it out, and also this is one of his shorter works so a good place to start.

3) 'The Goblins Of Bellwater' by Molly Ringle.

When I red it at school, I liked Christina Rossetti's poem 'Goblin Market' a lot. This is a retelling of that poem and while Fantasy is normally very 'Spring' for me, this feels a little different. I'm expecting it to be a bit eerie which is the best kind of book for this time of year.

4) 'The Elite' by Kiera Cass.

Just look at that bright orange/red cover! What other month could I possibly read this? I'm behind the world in this series because pretty much everyone else has finished it, but while I had some problems with book one, I liked the competition concept and am determined to find out what happens!

5) 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' by Robin Talley.

The last book I read by Robin Talley was a retelling of Macbeth and I loved it. It was a great read for Autumn! The cover for this also kind of gives me those vibes - lots of yellow, orange and black. While I expect it to not be quite so paranormal, I am interested in the intersectionality of this book and the topics it covers.

6) 'The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories' by Susan Hill.

Like I said, Autumn is perfect for ghost stories! While I've already read 'The Woman In Black', I know that Susan Hill has written a ton of classic, spooky tales and I have been dying to get into them for a long time! Having this book could not be more exciting for me!

7) 'The Hawley Book Of The Dead' by Chrysler Szarlan.

Another book on the paranormal, but this time with the focus firmly on witches, a subject that has always fascinated me. I've had this on the Netgalley approval list for a long time and actually consider it a little shameful how long it has taken me to read it. 

8) 'Six Of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo.

Oh boy! This book! I'm so excited just thinking about it, and I think that now I've read the entire 'Shadow & Bone' series, I'll appreciate it even more. Having loved a certain roguish prince/pirate in that series, I think the gang is really going to appeal to me!

9) 'The Wrath & The Dawn' by Renée Ahdieh.

Now a desert set fairy tale might not seem the most Autumnal thing ever, but I'm so excited about this book and I liked Ahdieh's writing in 'Flame In The Mist' a lot so I think I'll enjoy this. People have compared it (with mixed reactions) to 'A Thousand Nights' by E.K. Johnston which I loved, so fingers crossed!

10) 'Glimpse' by Kendra Leighton.

Another poem based book, this is a re-imagining of Alfred Noyes' 'The Highwayman' which I also studied and loved at school! It's also another book that has been on the Netgalley list for far too long and really needs to come off. Exciting!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (11th September - 17th September)...

As weeks go, this has been pretty good! Mat's parents came up on Monday for the afternoon to have a catch-up cuppa and help us sort some of the stuff that we need to sell! We're hoping to raise some wedding funds so it was really lovely of them to help us try and get rid of it. I was especially excited about this week because I ended up having a four day period off of work, which was great! On Friday, which Mat and I had off together, we went to the cinema to see It, the new horror film based on Stephen King's horror. We really liked it, there was definitely a sense of humour within the scares and I think Bill Skarsgård did a fantastic job as Pennywise!

On Sunday, my good friend Rosie came down to see me! I spent a really lovely day with her at my flat (which she had never seen before!) playing Oxenfree (great video game) and Telltale's The Walking Dead both of which are very choice based and interesting. This has always been our favourite thing to do together so it was good to relive the past a little.

I Read...

I Received...

- 'The Little Red Wolf' by Amélie Fléchais: Approved by Netgalley (15/09/17)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read & Loved Pre-Blog

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Book Review: O Frabjous Day!; Lewis Carroll.

I'm at it again with the poetry! Having tried Neil Hilborn, a modern-day poet, I thought I'd go with something classic. I love Penguin's 'little black classics' too, such a great idea!

TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: O Frabjous Day!
AUTHOR: Lewis Carroll
GENRE: Poetry, Classic

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

'I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head.'

Conjuring wily walruses, dancing lobsters, a Jabberwock and a Bandersnatch, Carroll's fantastical verse gave new words to the English language.

What I Liked:
  • I liked that I recognised a lot of these poems! Readers or watchers of 'Alice In Wonderland' will be thrilled to find 'How Doth The Little Crocodile', 'You Are Old Father William' and 'The Walrus & The Carpenter' (among others) because they will bring back fond memories of Carroll's more famous work!
  • One poem that I really enjoyed was 'The Hunting Of The Snark'. It was long but it perfectly embodied what Lewis Carroll's writing is all about: clever word-play, light-hearted fun and oodles of imagination!
What I Disliked:
  • Some poems were less impressive. I didn't really appreciate 'The Dear Gazelle' (which felt very unfinished), 'The White Knight's Song' or 'The Two Brothers' because they were so nonsensical that they were pretty confusing.
Overall Conclusion:
I really did like this little collection and Penguin did a great job with it's presentation. These little black classics are so worth the small price because they give you another glimpse at very well-known authors through some of their less popular, shorter work. I recommend this collection who want a little more of Lewis Carroll's work in their lives, but also want to evoke strong memories of 'Alice In Wonderland'.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Book Review: The Little Red Wolf; Amélie Fléchais.

Yay, another quick illustrated novel to tick off the list! I saw this book on someone's TTT list a few weeks ago actually, so I'm really glad I stumbled upon it on Netgalley to read!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Little Red Wolf
AUTHOR: Amélie Fléchais
PUBLISHER: Diamond Book Distributors
GENRE: Graphic Novel, Retelling, Children's Book

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amélie Fléchais' spectacular artwork. 

A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him... but nice is not the same as good. 

A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

What I Liked:
  • The art for this book was great, and definitely unique! That's my favourite part of reading graphic novels of course, especially when they retell classic fairy tales and folklore. A lot of thought and hard work had gone into making it stand out. Bravo!
  • I liked the different direction that Fléchais took with the story-line, and the plot was fully realised too. The wolves were actually 'the good guys' and it was the hunter and his daughter we needed to be wary of. The way it was all explained was great too. 'Little Red Riding Hood' is my favourite fairy tale, and I loved this adaptation!
What I Disliked:
  • There was nothing really to dislike about this book. It was a little hard to find admittedly, as the illustrator is French, so I'd really like to see it gain more exposure. Also, I had to read it on a computer (it wasn't a Kindle read) which was a little irritating. Still, neither of these things are a problem with the book itself.
Overall Conclusion:
This was a cute, quirky little read that didn't take me too long to get through but did put a big smile on my face. Amélie Fléchais is a very talented lady and I'd love to try and get hold of her other work to read as her art style is gorgeous! I hope she does more fairy tale retellings!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read & Loved Pre-Blog.

This week's running theme is old favourites, so it got me thinking about books I read before starting my blog. Basically, the books that got me into reading in the first place!

1) 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak.

If anyone ever held a gun to my head and told me that I had to pick a favourite book, this would be it. I love this book. Narrated by Death, it tells the story of a young German girl who goes to live with an old couple after her Mother is unable to look after her anymore, and aids them in hiding a young Jewish man in their basement. She steals a few books along the way too, and it's a heart-achingly beautiful tale, that's told in a very unique way.

2) 'The Magician's Guild' by Trudi Canavan.

I loved this fantasy series for a long time and even though the ending was spoilt for me, it was still awesome. A lot of the reads I pick for this list will be fantasy but this one really stuck out to me as being the first time I really, majorly shipped a couple, and also the first time I cried at the ending because it was sad and not what I wanted. Worth it for the gorgeous writing talent though!

3) 'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini.

This was one of the first Fantasy books that I read. I remember my Mum buying it for me because I fell in love with the eye-catching cover and embossed gold lettering. It had such a richly built world and I really liked watching Eragon build such a close relationship with his dragon, Saphira. Lots of people loved this book at the time, though I'm irritated that I never got round to reading the final book in the series...

4) 'Pride & Prejudice' by Jane Austen.

I read this in school, and it was such a good reading experience. I had a good teacher, but it was the first school read that I remember actually enjoying! I used to read and like doing so, but I reread this many times and really got into the story. Considering the fact that I'm not into romance, that's awesome! I shipped Darcy and Elizabeth so hard!

5) 'This Lullaby' by Sarah Dessen.

Again, romance is not really a genre I like. But this was one of the few YA contemporary reads (pre-blog) that I liked! Dexter was an adorkable book boyfriend and though I didn't really like Rey, I empathised with her story. Many people really like Sarah Dessen - I'm actually surprised I didn't read more of her books.

6) 'The Name Of The Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss.

Another fantasy that I adored during my teenage years and it remains my biggest regret that I haven't got to the other books yet! The writing is absolutely phenomenal, and after Hogwarts 'The Name Of The Wind' contains my favourite magical educational establishment: the university. The structure of this story is really cool as well, and starting with an older Kvothe makes you really want to understand how he got to where he is now!

7) 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee.

This is another school read of mine that I loved, and I think it's the first read that really opened my eyes about some of the wider issues in the world. It's the book that made me realise my own privilege: that's something really big! I loved the way that prejudice is analysed in this novel, and I love picking apart the symbolism of it all too!

8) 'Lionboy' by Zizou Corder.

Oh my, this is going back to my early teens, so quite a while ago! This series was so good. Maybe it felt like it lost it's way in the later books, but I loved watching Charlie running around trying to find his parents, being chased by thugs and corporation big-shots alike and I think the inclusion of a circus really appealed to me. Especially as Charlie's special power was being able to talk to big cats, which I loved the idea of!

9) 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke.

I adored the cover design of this book and that's originally what drew me into reading it. Fantasy was something I loved to read during my teenage years and I borrowed most of my books from a very dear friend of mine. What makes this book stand out as a favourite is one character: Dustfinger. He was probably my original 'book boyfriend' because he was so charming, had a dry sense of humour and made every cool (and slightly bad) thing he did sound a little sexy. Also, his pet Marten Gwin was awesome!

10) 'Alanna: The First Adventure' by Tamora Pierce.

This book is one of those fantasy adventures that I believe every lover of the genre should read. After reading this, I lapped up every one of Tamora Pierce's books set in Trebond because she'd built the world so nicely! Fans of Mulan will love this tale of a young girl who swaps places with her twin brother in order to become a Knight rather than a lady of the court. She has so many great adventures!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (4th September - 10th September)...

And so began my week of horrible chest infection and cold. Seriously. I felt it coming on Saturday, but it really hit me on Monday. I was supposed to be seeing my lovely sister that day but she herself was ill, so instead I dropped her a lengthy video call and asked her to be...my Maid Of Honour! It was inevitable really, I'd been looking forward to getting my sister more involved in the wedding planning! It's all getting very exciting! I took the next few days off of work because I felt that horrendous but I still haven't fully recovered.

I'll give you a quick catch-up of the TV watching. We are all caught up with Game Of Thrones obviously, so Mat and I have started watching Gotham Season 3 as it's now on Netflix! I'm also getting into Grimm and finishing Elfen Lied which are both great shows for totally different reasons!

I Read...

I Received...


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Book Review: Our Numbered Days; Neil Hilborn.

Yay, poetry! 2017 has very much been about me revisiting genres I never really got into before and trying new things! Poetry was on the list for quite a while. I watched the viral video of Neil Hilborn's 'OCD' and adored it, even buying this book for my fiancé because he was a big fan too. I thought it would be a great place to start! 

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Our Numbered Days
AUTHOR: Neil Hilborn
PUBLISHER: Button Poetry
GENRE: Poetry

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

In 2013, Neil Hilborn’s performance of his poem “OCD” went viral. To date, it has been watched over 10 million times. 

Our Numbered Days is Neil’s debut full-length poetry collection, containing 45 of Neil’s poems including “OCD”, “Joey”, “Future Tense”, “Liminality”, “Moving Day”, and many, many never-before-seen poems.

What I Liked:
  • There really were some fantastic poems in here with lines that were very quotable and relatable for a lot of people. 'OCD' was of course one of them, and reading it proved to be just as powerful and heartbreaking as hearing it performed. Anyone who says they have OCD because they had to tidy up should read this poem and face the reality. Other great poems included 'Dust Mop' (that last line actually hurt), 'Bystander Paralysis' (I so relate), 'Little Poems' and 'Joey'.
What I Disliked:
  • There were always going to be poems I didn't 'get' first time around. Neil Hilborn suffers heavily with mental illness himself, and most of these are clearly random musings that come upon him every so often. He even states in one poem that he's afraid to take medication because he feels he won't be able to write poetry under it's effects. There were poems here that were a little nonsensical, but in all honesty, that was also part of this book's charm!
Overall Conclusion:
I honestly see Button Poetry's books becoming my new favourite thing because this was really good. I only found a few of the poems really spoke to me, and the rest didn't make a whole lot of sense in the first reading (plus they had this strange sense of not quite being finished) but I still loved this book a lot and will definitely delve into it time and time again.