T5W | Books As Video Games

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. 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 That Would Make Good Video Games. Given Sam’s penchant for video games, I can understand that this topic comes from a place of deep love for that genre but I’m not really much of a gamer myself… principally because I suck at them. So, my top five comes with the caveat that I don’t really know how viable any of these would be when translating them into the video game genre – I just happen to think they could make pretty damn cool games to play. Let’s see what we have…

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May TBR

Wait ‘TBR’ you say? Emma plans yet another TBR which she promptly forgets about in the rest of the month? Yes, dear blog readers, you’ve read that right; I am yet again entertaining the notion that setting a TBR will mean I actually feel accountable for my reading and so finish all of the books on the list. Mainly because I have quite a few books checked out from the library – and by ‘quite a few’ I mean that the stack has officially reached the heights of being level with the height of my bed. I should also point out at this stage that my bed has quite a high divan base so when I say that’s quite a stack, that’s really quite a stack.

I have a few books on reserve at the library too so I want to try to clear the stack (or at least make it shorter) before those come in for me. I suppose I should also maybe, just maybe, read some of my own damn books – especially since I’ve bought quite a few in the past couple of months. Maybe May will be a phenomenal reading month? I certainly hope so, goodness knows I could do with getting through the entirety of this TBR even if I am all too aware that that probably won’t happen because I’ll be distracted by something shiny. Still, dream big etc. 

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Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson | The Gap of Time – Jeanette Winterson
Glamour in Glass – Mary Robinette Kowal | Without a Summer – Mary Robinette Kowal

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The Dream Thieves  – Maggie Stiefvater | Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater [rereads]
The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

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Moranifesto – Caitlin Moran | The Establishment – Owen Jones

I don’t think 9 books is that big of an ask but we’ll see how it goes this month. I’m actually feeling quite happy with my reading pace lately, it’s just nice and level, and if that could continue through Spring and into this Summer then I would be very, very happy with that. We shall see.

What books are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the above books or have plans to in the future? Let me know in the comments below!


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Review | The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

10803710Title: The Alloy of Law (2013)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read:  15th – 28th January 2016
Genre: fantasy; urban fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Alloy is a great way to characterise this entire novel – a hybrid of two elements that make this novel not quite high epic medievally fantasy but not quite completely urban or Wild West-inspired steampunk. There are still Allomancers in their mistcloaks in Scadrial but also plenty of talk of trains and horseless carriages too. It’s also a transitional novel in many aspects, technically a standalone story that works to bridge the gap between the first and second Mistborn trilogies. By expanding the existing magic system established throughout the Mistborn trilogy even further through the introduction of Twinborn individuals, those possessing both Feruchemical and Allomantic abilities. All in all, it’s a good way to build and move forward; the evolution of the magic system with the introduction of this new element sets up the metallic arts as evolving and modernising, just as the society apparently has.

“People today…it seems they are good, or sometimes evil, mostly by inertia, not by choice.”

A continuation of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, The Alloy of Law is a standalone novel that takes place in Scadrial centuries after the events of the first trilogy. In that time Scadrial has changed immeasurably and finds itself on the brink of modernity, with electricity, railways (even plans for an underground railway system, of all preposterous things!), and skyscrapers evolving. The story follows the exploits of lawman Lord Waxillium, of House Ladrian, who is impelled to return to  his house responsibilities in Elendel, forsaking his life in the wilds of The Roughs for an allegedly more civilised life in the high society of the city. Once he arrives in the city of course things aren’t quite as law-abiding as he figured – a mysterious group of bandits known as the Vanishers are causing havoc as they steal railway carriages en route to their destinations. Wax finds himself lured back into the life of a lawman with its detective work and gun-toting despite his position as head of House Ladrian with all its courtly expectations.

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An Update & Friday Reads | 15th January

I have excellent news… I started a job last week. I know, I’m as surprised as you are. At its most basic, it means I no longer have to go to the soul-destroying non-place that is the local friendly Job Centre Plus – huzzah. At its best, it’s a job I think I can vaguely do, in time… and once I have permissions in place to access to all the relevant systems. It’s happening, just slowly. The job itself is based on a service/reception desk of sorts. It’s a part-time, temporary contract covering someone’s maternity leave but it’s working at a local University so I’m really pleased that my on-campus jobs whilst studying at Lancaster University obviously helped at interview for my current job – huzzah again.

All of this means, however, that I can no longer spend Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays wandering about the house with my nose in a book. It seems an acceptable trade-off. Plus the 20 minute train journey either way gives me 2 hours a week of spare time in which, really, there’s nothing much else to do besides listen to music and plaintively stare out of the train window at the not-so-glorious, not-so-picturesque views of the North East countryside zipping by. I’m glad to discover the morning train in particular is quiet enough to be conducive to reading; I’m sure this is only because no one is awake before 8am. I’ll take it, though.

So, this is a rather long winded way of saying this is why my blogging has become somewhat sporadic though I have been making an effort to queue things ready for posting. Once I have time to sit down this weekend, I’ll also catch up on the couple of reviews I need to write. Alongside that I do have some reading plans for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as follows:

  First off, I hope to finish Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I’ve really been enjoying this one – when I saw it was blurbed by Caitlin Moran, I knew what sort of writing I was in for, even though I’d never heard of Jenny Lawson previously to Leena’s lovely video on her latest book Furiously HappySpeaking of, I also have Furiously Happy on loan from the library so it is quite possible I will be starting that if I end up enjoying the remainder of Let’s Pretend as much as I have the first 200 or so pages. All in all, any book that makes a reference to Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch in the footnotes seems like a solid book to me.

Aside from that, I recently finished the Mistborn trilogy and have been experiencing withdrawal from Sanderson’s brilliantly baffling world. So it’s possible I might venture towards his standalone novel set in the same world – The Alloy of LawFailing that, if I think I don’t have the mental capacity required for adult fantasy I might allow myself the comforting tropes and tribulations of his YA fantasy offering – Steelheart. 

If I don’t have the capacity for either, I’m considering getting started on Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while and I’ve had it out from the library for quite some time now so I should probably stop being a bad book borrower and actually finish the book and return it in a timely manner so someone else can read it. Aside from the moral dilemma of hogging books, I also noticed Shannon from leaninglight’s reading group Reads With Friends has organised a readalong for next week – so it seems rude (almost like going against fate) to ignore the book yet again when there is an opportunity like this to discuss it once I’m finished reading it. But I might get a cheeky head-start if the time presents itself over this weekend.


So those are my likely Friday/Weekend Reads – what are you reading this weekend? How has your reading been going so far in 2016? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? Comment below – I’d love to hear your opinion.

Friday Reads | 11th December

As you might have been able to tell from the utter lack of posts since last week, the weekend and start of the week was… interesting, to say the least. The weather was what they euphemistically call “inclement”. For me that meant a mildly sleepless Saturday and Sunday night whilst the wind howled outside, for elsewhere in the North, however, it meant flooding. Lancaster flooded a little, it turns out, the electricity substation was under water and so electricity was off. The University campus was evacuated, with students told to go home a week early with all lectures/coursework cancelled for the upcoming/final week of term. Being in Teesside, this didn’t directly affect me, but I did know people still studying/living in Lancaster so there was naturally a bit of concern going on.

Also my postgraduate graduation ceremony was allegedly taking place on Wednesday and, as it stood on the Sunday night, it was still scheduled to go ahead even though I couldn’t see how considering the students still left on campus were having to sleep on the floor in the LICA building. However, somehow, with a lot of people working relentlessly behind the scenes, it did go ahead successfully, with the only sign of any problems being the huge generators which buzzed away in the car park. I’m still astounded at how much Lancaster managed to rally, to be honest, since it seemed business as usual by the time Thursday rolled around. But anyhow this was my long-winded way of saying that blogging wasn’t my top priority this week, with the uncertainty of my plans involving Lancaster. Anyhow, I’m back, and all graduated, so I’m officially and ceremoniously now a Master of Arts, for what it’s worth (worth the opportunity to yet again don a slightly ridiculous robe and cap, for one)!

But, just like Lancaster, it is business as usual so now we return to the entire point of this post – a little Friday Reads for 11th December!

fr 11-12I’ve been taking full advantage of the library lately in order to try out some fantasy reads which I wasn’t sure about whether I would enjoy or not. It was a bit of a swing and miss with Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind last month but I’m getting along with Brandon Sanderon’s Mistborn trilogy quite nicely. As intended, I finished the first book, The Final Empire, at the start of this week and now I’ve had a chance to pop to the library I intend to delve into the second, The Well of Ascensionas soon as I’ve finished writing this post, in fact!

(One vague spoiler which sums up my thoughts about the previous book: I’m not over Kelsier, I’m not, don’t talk to me about Kelsier.)

Likewise, I’d been hearing a lot of things about Marie Lu’s dystopian trilogy, the first book being Legend. As yet another on a long list of YA dystopians I had to get around to reading there was nothing particularly pushing me to pick up this book over any others, until I heard it was a retelling of Les Misérables. I have to say, I’m about 60 pages in and I’m not at all convinced about the alleged retelling aspect; it seems to be inspired by the plot of Les Misérables rather than at all a retelling, but I suppose marketing it as such was the publisher’s decision so I shouldn’t hold it against the book itself.

Not pictured, I’m also reliving the joy that is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on audiobook via Stephen Fry’s wonderful narration. It’s a great way to re-read an old favourite; it brings a whole new perspective to a story you already know so well, as does the new illustrated edition which I might swap in at some points during this re-read – who knows! I’m also leisurely reading Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret because it’s a half-novel, half-graphic novel so I’m enjoying taking my time with it to properly and appropriately appreciate the art within it.


So that’s what my reading will hopefully look like this weekend and into next week. I will undoubtedly start to look back over my 2015 reading goals and various reading challenges, realise I’m about to fail them and only have a few short weeks to correct this, and start blogging like crazy about TBRs and reading intentions… so expect that at some point soon. In the meantime – what are you reading this weekend? Any seasonal or festive reads? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Friday Reads | 4th December

Another week goes by, another Friday rolls round with the promise of a weekend’s worth of reading. For most people this Friday Reads trend (tag? Meme?) is especially relevant because they work hard 9-5 at jobs during the week so Saturday and Sunday represents 48 hours of blissful freedom from the office. 

However unemployed graduates like myself who are seeking work find that Friday is just another day, Saturday and Sunday are only a little different because the majority of those around us are also not in work either for those two days. Which is why I find stating my intentions to read a lot over the weekend to be ironic, to say the least, because weekends are the time when more people, more distractions (lovely though they are), are all around me. Still, everyone loves some good intentions…

 So mine for this weekend are to finish the following two books which I’m currently reading: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Finishing the latter seems immensely doable considering I only started reading it this afternoon and I’m already a third of the way through. It’s very readable, if emotional, so it seems like I will fly through the rest. The former book, on the other hand, is very readable and brilliant but it’s a fantasy book therefore it demands more concentration (something which is more difficult on weekends, as I mentioned) and more commitment (since it’s a 600-page chunk of a book). So we’ll see how that goes.

What are you reading this weekend? Any seasonal or festive reads? Do you find you actually read less on weekends, as I seem to?