Top Ten Tuesday | Best Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So Far)

Well, we’ve reached the midpoint of the year which means it’s time to take a cursory look back at how our reading has been going so far. All in all, I’m having a great year of reading – I’m getting in some re-reads, rediscovering my love for some of my previous favourites (see: Sabriel by Garth Nix), catching up with series, and all this whilst enjoying some newer (or new to me at least) books. I can’t complain! So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is downright perfect, it’s: Best Books You’ve Read in 2017 So Far. (Side note: I like the use of the “so far”, it leaves some room for the remaining months of the year!) And, for those who are unaware Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

You may be thinking ‘But Emma, it’s not Tuesday, is it? I could have sworn it was Wednesday today.’ Well, friends, you’d be right – I just completely forgot to upload this post yesterday and it would be a shame if the lovely books missed out on their brief moment in the sun just because of my own ineptitude. So, I hope you’ll forgive the belated nature of this Top Ten Tuesday post – I mean what even are days, really, but constructs? It’s all just timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff.

But, anyways, in compiling this list I’ve tried not to include any re-reads, simply because otherwise I could never have whittled this list down to only 10 titles. So it’s out of necessity that I’ve not given a proper place on this list to the likes of Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – but consider them firm favourites all the same! I also have a couple of honourable mentions because I’ve read a lot of really good things and I’m incapable of sticking to a ‘just pick 10’ format apparently. Let’s just get on with it…

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Top Ten Tuesday | Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

It’s been a wee while since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday due to committing to another blogging schedule (ha, what a fancy word!) but the topic this week has been on my mind for the past few weeks so it seemed downright fortuitous.

But, first things first, for those who are unaware Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s topic is Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start. Now, I’m a fiend for starting series, reading the first book, getting super excited about the sequel(s), and then putting off reading the subsequent books for so long that I forget what has happened and I need to re-read and basically start from scratch. This won’t be a list of those kinds of series because there are far too many (though I might just do a spin-off post of those ones)… these will be series that I haven’t started at all, haven’t read a single page of I swear (cross my heart and hope to die). Finally, these are in no particular order or ranking other than how my mind works – just don’t question it, it’s for the best!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my Spring TBR

toptentuesdayIt’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday! For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR. I do love a good TBR – it’s all about those good intentions, isn’t it?

There have been various series with new books released at the start of this year that I haven’t yet gotten around to but that I am SO ready for, especially now I’ve re-read/am in the process of re-reading the books that preceded them. There are also a couple of new shiny shiny books that apparently are the start of new series which is also really exciting… even though my bank balance cries a little in anticipation of that. Let’s just focus on the books… here is my Spring TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday | All About The Visuals

toptentuesdayIt’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday! For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s topic is All about the visuals: Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels/Comics or Ten Comics on My TBR or Top Ten Favorite Picture Books. Now, before booktube and book blogging, graphic novels didn’t even enter onto my radar. I’d vaguely read a couple of Simpsons comics at some point in my life, and a school friend had tried to get me to read manga, but it was never something I reached for, or even knew anything about.

Reading blogs and watching videos has made me a little more aware of what is out there in the graphic novel and comic book genre but it’s still not something I’d consider myself well versed in. However, I have started reading a few examples that I adored so I thought this week could be essentially two Top Fives for the price of one – the first my Top 5 Graphic Novels and the second my Top 5 Graphic Novels on my TBR that I really want to read in the future.

Without further ado, let’s see the graphic novels…

TOP FIVE GRAPHIC NOVELS

5. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Less of a graphic novel, more of a picture book, The Arrival features absolutely no dialogue but tonnes of stunning art. I adored the art style of this book and if I hadn’t borrowed it from the library I definitely would have been tempted to tear out some of the pages and frame them on my wall. Seriously, they’re that stunning.

4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This is beautiful. I’m sure I’m about to say that for all of these graphic novels but it’s really true for Hugo Cabret. I’m a sucker for anything involving clockwork or mechanisms and this had that in droves as well as a lovely black-and-white style colour scheme. It completely fits with the story it is telling and I loved it.

3. Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory

This always reminded me of Pushing Daises, except grosser and less quirky. The concept and its art style is equally parts disgusting and awesome. Tony Chu is a police detective cibopath which means when he tastes something he can sort of “see” its history i.e. if he bit a corpse he’d be able to see what happened to the person to kill them.

2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

I basically looked into this graphic novel because it seemed cute and quirky and the art style was used for the cover of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, all of which seemed like plenty enough reasons to check it out. It has all sorts of wonderful fantasy and sci-fi tropes mashed together in a hilarious way and I really thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it.

1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Ok, I’ve only read the first three volumes so far… but I think it’s safe to say that nothing could happen in the three I have left to read to be caught up that could make me suddenly start hating the series. I didn’t think I was really into sci-fi that much, let alone space opera, and then I read this, and it’s just so wonderful and everything that I do love about that branch of sci-fi. Epic, weird, and wonderful seems to just about sum up Saga. 

TOP 5 GRAPHIC NOVELS ON MY TBR

5. Blankets by Craig Thompson

I believe this is an autobiographical graphic novel and I have next to no clue what it is about… truthfully? I just think its cover is beautiful. I haven’t really read many picture books or graphic novels that are strictly autobiographical (I think Maus is literally the only other one) so it will be interested to see that explored in that format too.

4. Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

I’m intrigued by the concept and if you don’t know it then let me break it down for you – two people discover that they both have this power where when they orgasm, time stops, so naturally they team up and use their power to rob a bank. Obv. I’m not entirely sure if the art style is for me but, hey, I’m intrigued enough by where they go with the concept.

3. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

Yet another example of a graphic novel that I know little about but I know that I really like the art style so obviously I would like to own it and read it and stare at it over and over again. All I can assume is this tells the tale (or talemaybe?) of an early civilisation on Earth? I presume, I mean, it’s not a really ridiculous gamble of a guess but all I know is that art is really cute and I need it.

2. East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta

Whenever I see reviews of this on Booktube, it seems to have quite mixed reviews, in part because it’s apparently a bit complicated to follow?? I don’t know, I’m not sure. But what I do know about it is that it’s a sci-fi Western set in a dystopian United States that is “present day” and… well, that’s enough to make me curious. I hear tell it has something to do with the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and I love crap like that (see also: Good Omens) so I need to read this one day.

1. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

Every time I go into Waterstones, I head to the graphic novel section and I take this book out and just have a good stare at it for a little while. (Liz can definitely attest to this fact; I’ve shown her it multiple times.) If nothing else, I need to finally read this so that I stop doing that. This seems, on the surface, to be a fairly basic exploration of ‘us vs them’ mentality, though I have heard that it actually ends up being wonderfully profound and relevant to a lot of the conflict that is going on around the world right now. I’m intrigued to find out if that’s true.


Well, that’s all folks – that was my Top Ten (kind of) Graphic Novels.
Are you a big graphic novel or comics fan?
Is it a format you reach for or not so much?
Let me know in the comments and if you have your own Top Ten Tuesday please do feel free to link it below!


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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Freebie week! I thought I would take this opportunity to revisit one of the Top Ten Tuesday topics I never did because uh it was 2011 and I didn’t know Top Ten Tuesdays was a thing then. So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, for me, is all about my Top Ten Books I Loved But Never Reviewed.

Now, there are a variety of reasons why I might not review a book – if I don’t have anything more to say than has already been said the world over, if I don’t feel inspired enough to write a review, if I’m feeling super lazy, or if the book is just so.damn.good. that I couldn’t even begin to do it justice in my review. That last reason applies to all of the books I’m about to mention but, regardless, I still truly regret never having reviewed these books because I loved every single one of them. This post goes some way to righting this wrong – for every book I mention, I’ll do my best to do a mini review/gush/why-you-should-definitely-stop-reading-this-post-and-go-read-the-book-instead. Everyone understand? Ok, good, enough of me babbling and onto the books I loved but never reviewed, because I’m dumb.

10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I studied this book in my postgrad Posthumanism class and I didn’t hate it at the end of analysing it to death in an essay so, hey, you know it’s good stuff. I could say a bunch of things about it but basically, if you like dystopia, you need to read this. It takes place in a future, allegedly utopian society featuring genetic engineering, sexual freedom, and liberal drug policies, all of which make its citizens very happy… and very easy to manipulate.

9. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

I constantly struggle to review graphic novels because the whole beauty of the graphic novel is in the artwork, not necessarily the words. And The Arrival has no words, no dialogue, no captions, and yet it manages to convey an absolutely amazing story about immigrant experience. The world is whimsical and mystical and almost dream-like, but it also portrays the gritty reality of life as an immigrant, isolated from faraway family and friends in a new country. The artistry, though, is the real MVP so, in lieu of a review, I should just show you the artwork because it’s stunningly gorgeous. I mean…

the-arrival2

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Top Ten Tuesday | 2016 Releases I Didn’t Get To

toptentuesdayIt’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is Top Ten 2016 Released I Didn’t Get To. It’s safe to say I get very excited anticipating and pre-ordering new releases, but it can often be weeks or months until I get round to reading them. Often, I’m hesitant to get to them in case they prove to be disappointing in some way, meaning all my excited anticipation was for nothing special. I know this is a silly mindset to have because, at that rate, I’d never read any books ever for fear of them being not as good as I’d anticipated! However, last year I was particularly susceptible to this mindset, as well as not being up-to-date enough with books series to read the latest released book. The list below is a mixed back along those lines, so let’s just get to it…

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I’d Like to See Under the Tree

It’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree (or non-book bookworm items). Handily, these past few years I’ve come to an arrangement with my parents that they will transfer money into my bank account with which I will then proceed to buy books/DVDs off my Amazon wishlist to my heart’s content/as long as the money holds up. Then they take them all away (booo) and wrap them up (yaay) and we pretend I don’t know what I’m getting for Christmas when really I picked them all out myself. It’s a good system, I’m very grateful for it, and it’s one I recommend in fact!

Because of it, by every November I well and truly have a Wish List of books all ready and bookmarked for when my mum starts talking about my Christmas gifts… so this Top Ten Tuesday isn’t too difficult. Those books (this year) only account for about 3 or 4 things though, so we have to hope that the rest of my family/friends are psychic, or they consult Santa on what I told him I was interested in. I think fingers need to be well and truly crossed there! Here are my Top Ten Books I’d Like to See Under the Tree this Christmas! (If they’re not methinks some Amazon shopping will be on the cards on 26th December!)

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books Added To My TBR Recently

toptentuesdayIt’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately. I’m a fiend for shoving books merrily onto my TBR shelf on Goodreads with little to no regard of just how ridiculous and overwhelming that list has become. I’ve looked through that list and picked out a few (well, ten) that I actually consciously remember adding to my TBR list and I’m definitely excited to acquire these in the (hopefully near) future.

    1. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor (x)
      I adored Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, though I’ve yet to read the other books in that trilogy, but this one sounds amazing. I mean, come on, the synopsis includes the following phrases: ‘the aftermath of a war between gods and men’, ‘a young librarian with a singular dream’, and ‘friendship and treachery, love and carnage’.
    2. His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet (x)
      This one came onto my radar as it was Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year. I hear it’s about a brutal triple murder and a probably/definitely guilty man. Somehow that seems enough information to decide I should read this book.
    3. Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics #1) – Shanna Swendson (x)
      I found this one whilst searching for steampunk novels on Goodreads lists; I wanted to see what was already out there because my NaNoWriMo novel this year probably falls into that genre. This one is set in the US though, so it’s entirely different, but has some concepts which similarly feature in mine. The synopsis has completely sold me on this novel: ‘A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing […] Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule.’
    4. The Forgetting – Sharon Cameron (x)
      I have no idea where or when I found this novel, but I do know that when I was browsing my TBR shelf again, I definitely wanted to read this thanks to the synopsis. ‘What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes. […] every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written’.
    5. Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) – V.E. Schwab (x)
      I love VE Schwab’s books and This Savage Song was no exception so obviously I’m highly anticipating the next book in the duology – Our Dark Duet. I kind of love that people are writing duologies to be honest, because I’m getting more than a little sick of people writing fantasy trilogies, and I think this one actually sounds worthwhile.
    6. A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #3) – Claudia Gray (x)
      I really adored the first book in this trilogy, A Thousand Pieces of You, because I loved the concept of a person being able to inhabit alternative-universe versions of themselves and have to learn about this new identity whilst not giving the game away to those around them. I find that a really interesting idea so, even though I haven’t got to the second book yet, I’m definitely wanting to read this book.
    7. The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2) – Rick Riordan (x)
      I love renditions of Norse mythology (I think everyone knows I’m a huge MCU Loki fan, no surprises here) and Magnus Chase is no exception to this. I wasn’t much a fan of Rick Riordan’s books relating to Greek mythology when I tried the Percy Jackson series before, but I really liked the first book in this Gods of Asgard series. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so so dumb but it’s pure entertainment, and I love it for that. I mean just look at this synopsis: ‘Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds.’
    8. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman (x)
      It’s Neil Gaiman’s take on Norse mythology… do I need to say any more? Didn’t think so.
    9. The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) – Alison Goodman (x)
      The first book in this series introduced Lady Helen, a young lady who primarily worries about being presented to society and the appropriate etiquette at balls but then realises there’s a seedy demonic underbelly to the London society she inhabits. Basically, think Jane Austen plus Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As you can see from my review, I loved the idea – it was like Alison Goodman had tapped into my brain and provided it with just what it needed.
    10. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) – V.E. Schwab (x)
      I adore VE Schwab’s books, as previously mentioned, but my true obsession in her works is the Shades of London series. Parallel Londons, dimension hopping magicians, a flirty Prince, a pirate captain, a kickass heroine, what more could you want? I am both eagerly anticipating and am terrified of what this third and final book will bring – I know Schwab can and will kill her darlings.

That was my Top Ten Tuesday featuring some of recent additions to my TBR list.
Do any of these books feature on your Top Ten TBR list? What books have you added to your TBR list lately?

Comment below/link your own post below if you have one – I’d love to read it!


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Top Ten Tuesday | Characters I’d Like To Dress Up As For Halloween

toptentuesdayIt’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is a Halloween Freebie, to tie in with Halloween just round the corner. The topics can range from ten scary books to favourite horror novels to scary books on my TBR, and so on, and so forth. I’m not a huge fan of horror, reading a bit of Gothic literature is about as “spooky” as I ever get. So the suggestion I really like for a topic is top ten characters I’d like to dress up as for Halloween. Now, I’m not much of a costume person, mostly because I don’t really “celebrate” Halloween, and I haven’t dressed up since I was, what, 10? So this is a chance to actually explore the desire to be some of my favourite characters from all manner of books and films.

  1. Mildred Hubble – The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy (I have actually done this costume before, it’s pretty easy and I loved the books as a child)
  2. Eowyn – Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien (mainly the film, that Shieldmaiden dress, k thanks)
  3. Kaz Brekker – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (because Kaz)
  4. Lila Bard – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (she’s basically a pirate, duh)
  5. Kell – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (he has a coat, I have a thing for coats, if you don’t believe me, ask anyone who knows me)
  6. Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean films (again, he has a coat, and a pirate hat)
  7. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter by JK Rowling (it’s Hermione, do I need more of a reason?)
  8. Anna Valerious – from Van Helsing (basically I’d kill to look as good as Kate Beckinsale does in that corset/trousers/killer boots combo)
  9. Enjolras – Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (mainly the musical version, so I would get to wear the xylophone jacket)
  10. Loki – from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films (he has a cool costume, obviously, and it would be such fun to wave that sceptre around)

As you might have noticed – I have a thing for pirates, general badass ladies, people with cool coats, or all of the above. I don’t think I need to justify enjoying any of those aspects, really, I’m sure you all get it!


So that was my Top Ten Tuesday featuring characters I’d love to dress up as for Halloween. Which characters would you choose to dress up as? 

Comment below/link your own Halloween-related Top Ten post below if you have one – I’d love to read it!


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Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Character Names I’d Name A Child

toptentuesdayJust a short one from me today! It’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is: Ten Characters I’d Name A Child After. I tend to be quite boring or traditional with my name choices, so this was a challenge. However, I quickly realised that some of the names I like and wouldn’t say were fiction-influenced might, in fact, have been subconsciously picked up from books. In lieu of explanation (because I do tend to ramble), I’ve listed the book/work I most notably saw the name in, because I think that is explanation enough. So, without further ado… here is my top ten list:

  1. Hermione – Harry Potter by JK Rowling/Greek mythology
  2. Persephone – Greek mythology
  3. Arianna – Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman
  4. Beatrice – Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare/A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  5. Isaac – Biblical
  6. Ezra – Biblical
  7. William – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (I’d never subject a child to being called Fitzwilliam, however)
  8. Charlotte – The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson
  9. Isabella – Emma by Jane Austen/Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte/”Bel” of The Hour (TV show)
  10. Elenore/Nell – The Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare (Nell Gwynn was also famously Charles II’s mistress)

That was my Top Ten Tuesday featuring some of my favourite names from fiction that I’d consider naming a hypothetical child.
Do any of these names feature on your Top Ten list?
What names have you come to like because of a character in a book?

Comment below/link your own post below if you have one – I’d love to read it!


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