T5W | Books I Didn’t Get To In 2017

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is 10th January: Top 5 Books You Didn’t Get To In 2017. It’s pretty self-explanatory – this is the top 5 books that I didn’t manage to get to last year and that I want to prioritise this year. I am the queen of putting off reading books, especially sequels in a series that I never want to end, so this list was pretty easy to write since I never get to the books I mean to. Without further ado, let’s see the books…

5. How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

hownottobeaboyI’m not a big fan of Robert Webb. I’m not not a fan of Robert Webb. I’m mostly neutral. I’ve never been hugely into Peep Show but I’d also never turn it off on TV so I’ve seen episodes here and there. But aside from Peep Show, I know precisely zero about Robert Webb. And yet I bought this book because I hear some very promising buzz about it on Twitter just before it was released. As you can guess from the title, it deals with gender and expectations and, especially (I think), about how we tell boys to be boys (and, I assume, girls to be girls) and how that’s damaging to our children. I’m looking forward to it having heard from reliable sources that it is, in fact, ‘one of the good ones’ when it comes to books about gender. I have this on audiobook and in hardback form so hopefully that will work in its favour. Continue reading

Advertisements

T5W | Top 5 Books of 2017

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is December 20th: Top 5 Books of 2017 and, as Sam says, “I know most people have a longer list than this, or post theirs at different times (like I’ll be waiting until January for example) but if you want to make a list of your absolute faves of the year, now is the time!”

I generally do a post at the beginning of January to wrap up all my reading from the year with some statistics and accompanying graphics and also a definitive list of my favourite books of that year. This year I’ve really been thinking about how I choose my ‘top books’ (I even did a discussion about that here)so it’s safe to say I’m trying to be more discerning about how I pick my top books. This Top 5 Wednesday topic comes at a great time because it gives me the opportunity to ‘test run’ my new thoughts on picking the best books I read in the past year before that final post in January!

As I re-read a lot of favourites (looking at you Leigh Bardugo, Samantha Shannon, V.E. Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater), I’ve made sure to restrict my list to just those books that I read and loved in 2017 for the first time.

5. Wishing for Birds by Elizabeth Hewer

I’ve said many times before (including in my gushing review) that this collection was, simply put, absolutely stunning. I’ve known of Elizabeth’s writing for some time due to following her on Tumblr but this debut poetry collection was just incredibly written and there are a lot of turns of phrase which will stay with me for many months to come. I mean, put it this way, I read it in January and I still remember it.

Continue reading

T5W | Characters on the Naughty List

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is December 13th – Characters on the Naughty List: these can be villains or just characters you don’t like! As you might have guessed if you saw my Top 5 ‘Problematic Faves’ post a few Wednesdays ago, I have quite the soft spot for a good old fashioned, morally grey villain. They always seem to have so much fun in their villainous ways and the devil really does have all the best tunes. That being said, I’m trying not to just repeat the same ol’ same ol’ all over again so I’ve gone for more mischievous ‘naughty’ characters rather than just flat out villains.

5. Henry ‘Monty’ Montague from A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

It’s safe to say that Monty is a bit of a devilish rogue, and I choose that phrase very deliberately. Everyone’s favourite ruffled, rumpled rake, he’d be the sort to break hearts but also charm every susceptible man, woman, or beast so that you’d forget how negligent he’d been towards you because that’s just Monty and Monty is so very, very charming and dashing. It helps that overall Monty is, in essence, an in-love little squish but I think Santa might very well put him on the naughty list for some of his more (ahem) illicit affairs.

Continue reading

T5W | Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is… Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About: since being a grinch is a funny thing, try not to make this serious topics that make you angry (like lack of diversity or abusive relationships in fiction, etc) as this is supposed to be more of a petty bookish things you hate. This can be stuff about covers, dumb tropes, etc. Have fun with it.

5. “Exclusive”/collector’s editions 

I am something of a hypocrite on this one because I am a sucker for alleged special editions of my favourite books but it bugs me when you get “Waterstones” or “Barnes and Noble” exclusive editions that don’t really add anything to the story itself but just have an excerpt from the next book or an author interview or something. I have fallen prey to many an enticing Waterstones’ exclusive edition whose only exclusive feature is sprayed edges or a slightly different coloured foiling on the cover. I’m a sucker and they take my money every single time so I’d like them to not exist anymore, please and thank you.

4. Dumb “inner voices” of characters

I’ve been reminded how much I hate this by casually coming across an excerpt from Darker on Twitter (seriously, trying to make cooking a chicken stir-fry erotic is not going to happen, stop trying to make it happen, E.L. James) but I despise dumb inner voices. I understand the point of first-person narrative; it’s a device that facilitates storytelling because as the narrative character learns about things, the reader learns too. I get why it’s used, but what I hate is when it is used unnecessarily and when the inner voice of the character is so mind-numbingly dense that you wonder how they are the one you have to root for.

Continue reading

T5W | Problematic Faves

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Problematic Faves: characters you don’t want to love, but you can’t help liking. I’m a sucker for a good morally grey character, and I do like my villains too, so this is actually great category for me. I think we can all agree that, generally speaking, villains shouldn’t be loved or supported, but they do seem to have so much fun being wicked that you can’t help but liking their style. I’ve tried to mostly stick to books because otherwise I’m sure my Top 5 list would just end up being a recitation of all my fave film villains but one did sneak in there because I couldn’t stop him!

(Please note: slightly spoiler-y for relationships in the Grishaverse and The Bone Season books – do not read on if you don’t want to be spoiled.)

5. The Darkling from The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Is the Darkling problematic? Let’s face it, he was always going to be the villain of the Grisha trilogy, there was never any doubt about that, and even the revelations within the story that add some shades of grey to his shady morals are still a little villainous. If I’m perfectly honest, I haven’t re-read this book and my memory is a little hazy so maybe I need to do a re-read, just to check I still like the Darkling. (I’m sure I do.) In the meantime, anyone who says things like this wins my vote:

“Fine, make me your villain”
Continue reading

T5W | Vampires!

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books Featuring [paranormal creature of your choice] here is the previously mentioned paranormal creature topic. This topic will revolve around one type of paranormal creature of your choice. So books featuring vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, fae, zombies, etc.  

This week I’ve decided to base my post around my favourite depictions of vampires who, let’s face it, don’t have the best showing in literature nowadays – they mostly peaked with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the general genre has been downhill ever since sparkly vampires became a thing. This observation has also been made by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes in her brilliant video and, just like Sam, I’ve decided to widen my source from just books to media in general – books, TV shows, and films. It’s safe to say there’s a wide range of vampires here, from the serious to the silly, but I enjoy every single one of these vampiric representations.

darkdaysclubHonourable Mention: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

I had to give this book/series an honourable mention because it’s basically Jane Austen crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer – our genteel young lady, Lady Helen, trains how to fight demons which, let me tell you, isn’t easy in layers of crinolines. The reason this gets a look-in is because it features a token appearance from Lord Byron and just the suggestion that Byron could have something vampiric about him makes me giggle like an idiot.

Print5. Soulless by Gail Carriger

Much in the same fun vein as The Dark Days’ Club, Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series tells of young lady Alexia Tarabotti who consorts with vampires, werewolves, and demons but is especially horrified by the lack of manners from some of these beasts. I love that vampires and werewolves are an integrated part of the social and political system in Carriger’s steampunk England. Plus her flamboyant vampire friend Lord Akeldama is hilarious – definitely a more ridiculous representation of vampires but entertaining all the same.

Continue reading

T5W | Favourite Creepy Settings

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Favourite Creepy Settings: these don’t have to be from horror books, but any setting from any book that gave you the heebie jeebies…in a good way. I don’t read many/any horror books so thank goodness Sam specified that these settings could be from any kind of book! These places might not feature in scary books but they definitely do creep me out!

5. Manderley from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebeccavirago2

Could I answer a Top 5 Wednesday list about creepy places without mentioning Manderley? I don’t think so! Manderley itself, as an estate, sounds potentially beautiful but the way that it is described by the narrator in a dreamlike, slightly surreal way in the opening chapter of this novel unsettles the reader from the very beginning. As the reader is introduced to Manderley through this unnamed second wife’s eyes when she first comes to her new husband’s home after the wedding, and the pressure she feels to be as good as his first wife, Rebecca, results in Manderley having an encroaching and overwhelming presence in the story itself.

Continue reading

T5W | Books Featuring Witches

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books Featuring Witches: So there is a topic later this month about paranormal creatures, but 1. witches aren’t creatures and 2. they deserve their own topic. These can be “witch books” or books that happen to feature witches as characters, whether they are main characters or side characters. 

5. The Worst Witch series – Jill Murphy

This is probably one of my earliest forays into the world of witches and witchcraft – I adored these books, and then they became a TV show and I ate that up too. Murphy’s books told the first tale I’d read of a boarding school attended by witches and I just wanted so badly to join Mildred Hubble and her pals at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches.

4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

Let’s just get this one nice and out of the way early, shall we? Is there a T5W that goes by where I don’t feel the need to mention Harry Potter? Even though I feel like Harry Potter might be a given for this question… I’m still mentioning it anyway. One of the things I love about the fourth book (which I know is an unpopular one) is getting to see other wizards and witches, particularly from Beauxbatons, and I’m so glad that the continuing Wizarding World of JK Rowling output is also showing readers/viewers different countries’ witches and wizards.

3. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman

I remember reading about the witch clans and Serafina Pekkala and thinking those women were badass and I wanted to be like them. Years later and I’m not sure my opinion has changed – I’m currently doing a read-through of the trilogy to make sure though.

2. Grishaverse, esp. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

I can’t not include the Grisha because they are amazing. Would I say they’re “witches” in the traditional sense? Well, yes, because it fits my argument- Nina is repeatedly called a witch by Matthias, the stern Fjerdan witchhunter who obviously is going to fall in love with her (who wouldn’t?), and given how formidable her powers are, it’s easy to see why her kind inspires fear in the druskelle people.

1. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Liza Hempstock is a witch and she’s fab. She was accused of witchcraft and burned alive, hence why she’s buried in the unhallowed ground beside Bod’s graveyard. Finding Liza sad because of her unmarked grave, Bod vows to find a headstone for her, and she later repays the favour when she rescues him from the pawnbroker who tries to kidnap him. She also says what remains one of my favourite quotes in the entire book, and of all-time, actually: “Truly, life is wasted on the living, Nobody Owens. For one of us is too foolish to live, and it is not I.”

That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 books featuring witches. I could always use some more recommendations so what are some of your favourite books featuring witches? I’d always welcome recs! And be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

T5W | Books I’ve Read Because of the Online Book Community

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc: discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use. Although I mainly book blog I also follow a lot of bookish people via Twitter, Goodreads, and Booktube so my book recommendations come from a lot of places online. In fact, most of my book recommendations are now via the Internet rather than traditional media outlets.

5. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | Recommended by Elizabeth (booksandpieces)

I love Elizabeth’s channel but she is SUCH an avid reader of SFF that I feel like an ignorant fool in comparison. However, she reviewed The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and my interest was immediately piqued because, not only did she rave about it but also, she said that it was a good gateway book for people who don’t really, or haven’t, read much sci-fi. I am so glad I read it because I LOVED it; it had such an emphasis on the characters that the fact it was set in space is kind of incidental and I loved that about it. I’ve since recommended it to others and will continue to do so until my dying day.

Continue reading

T5W | Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want: This can be interpreted a bunch of different ways! Fitness comes in many different packages. This can be about characters who are super-fast, strong, agile, good at dancing, good at climbing, athletes, or foodies! Whatever it means to you. This is inspired by those routines you see in magazines for actors, but with more of an open mind and less body shaming.

5. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’d like Bilbo’s fitness routine, namely the bit where he eats the requisite 7 meals a day. The life of a hobbit seems pretty damn good to me.

4. Kelsier from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Ok, I’d mainly just like Mistborn powers, because Allomancy sounds cool as fuck, and he seems to be able to take care of himself in a fight, if needs be. I’d also like to have an ounce of Kelsier’s charm and his ability to plot and scheme plans to overthow the empire… that seems a pretty cool person to be, I can only assume his fitness routine is full of such shenanigans, as well as metal-pulling and pushing.

3. Sabriel from Sabriel by Garth Nix

At the start of this story Sabriel pretty much has the life of a boarding school girl (complete with field hockey, I’m sure) with additional magic usage. The charter magic seems like a pretty damn terrifying but power to hold, and Sabriel just turns out so badass and competent by the third book, Abhorsen, that I need in on her routine, stat.

2. Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Who wouldn’t want to be an Antari and/or take part in the Essen Tasch, I ask you? I presume if I had Kell’s fitness routine, I’d also have his powers and (most importantly) his coat – that’s essential to his fitness, right? Thought so.

1. Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I wish I had even 10% of Inej’s agility and confidence at heights… actually, scratch that, I wish I had 10% of Inej’s ability and confidence when I was on the ground. I can’t help but think she’s someone who is very comfortable in her surroundings and has great situational awareness. I could do with some of that, to be honest, so if she has a fitness routine to share, that would be fantastic.


That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 people whose fitness routines I’d want – do you agree/disagree with my choices? Let’s chat in the comments below! And be sure to link me to your own Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram