T5W | Top SFF Books on Your TBR

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 Top SFF Books on Your TBR and this is a Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic – basically, it’s what it says on the tin, it’s a chance to talk about the science fiction and fantasy books you want to read ASAP. Given the YA fantasy kick I seem to be on right now, it seems like the perfect time for me to take a look at the huge TBR I still have and to pick out some books to highlight here as my Top 5.

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Bout of Books 18 | Stating My Intentions

bob18Yes, it’s that time again, it’s the Bout of Books readathon! Bout of Books is such a low-key, friendly, and fun readathon that I always look forward to its next round.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Last time I participated was back in August during Bout of Books 17 (you can see my TBR and Daily Updates from then, if you’re interested) and even as that round finished, I couldn’t wait for the next Bout of Books. Not only is it very low-key and low-commitment as a readathon, the daily challenges aren’t too tricky or time-consuming, meaning maximum time can be devoted to reading and connecting with fellow Bout of Books-ers! I certainly hope to get more involved and chat more during this round of Bout of Books, as well as completing the daily challenges.

However, first things first, let me state my intentions towards this readathon. I have constructed a very loose TBR stack to choose from, since I am mostly a mood-reader, and hopefully I have covered enough genres and formats to also always have some form of book I want to read “to hand” at any given moment during the week.

TBR

So, that’s my TBR to choose from for Bout of Books 18. I’ll be updating a Daily Updates post with my progress throughout the readathon and I hope that it will well and truly kick off my reading for 2017.

Are you participating in Bout of Books 18?
Please comment below if so and let’s chat readathons!


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Friday Reads | 7th October

Well, it’s that time of the week again – Friday Reads! The time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

This weekend will mostly be filled with furniture… by which I mean my IKEA order finally arrives today (hopefully anyway) so tonight/tomorrow could well be spent trying to dutifully follow along flat pack instructions before throwing them away, trying in vain to freestyle it, before realising confusing instructions are actually the best way forward. So, there’s some reading comprehension happening there. But aside from that? Well, audiobooks might well be the way to go.

I realised this week, whilst standing uncomfortably on a train, wedged against the person stood next to me, that I wasted a lot of potential reading time every single day. My walk to the train station is about 10 minutes, my standing journey on the train is about 20 minutes, and I then walk a further 20 minutes to work. That’s 50 minutes each way, 1 hour 40 minutes each day, Monday to Friday – easily enough time to shift through audiobooks, especially if I listen to them at faster than 1x speed. (Although I do tend to only go for 1.5x speed though, otherwise I get way too on edge because the sped up narration makes me feel like every book is a high octane thriller!) So I’ve finally reopened the abandoned Audible app on my phone and started listening to some books I’ve really been meaning to get to, mainly:

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T5W | Books You Want To See As TV Shows

top 5 wednesdayWelcome 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 theme is Books You Want to See as TV Shows. As a huge fan of TV, it will come as no surprise that it was difficult to narrow down my choices to just five books. But, for the most part, these books are all stories I feel would warrant a long story-telling format than, say, a film could provide.

I had severe case of deja vu whilst composing this list and I realised it’s because I’ve actually done this topic before and a lot of my choices are still the same! I’m nothing if not consistent (read: obsessive) about books I want/need as TV shows. I’ve tried to include a few new things into the list though, just to mix things up.

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T5W | Books To Be Read By the End of the Year

top 5 wednesdayWelcome 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 theme is Books You Want To Read Before the End of the Year. Now I’m sure we all have TBR stacks, TBR shelves on Goodreads, maybe an old-fashioned pen-on-paper list of some books we really ought to get round to, so this isn’t exactly a struggle to put a list together. What is a struggle is limiting it to just 5 choices – but, hey, everyone likes a challenge so without further ado, let’s go…

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T5W | Authors You Are Waiting On Another Book From

top 5 wednesday

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. We all know how this show goes… but, for those who are unaware, 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. Basically, every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?

This Wednesday’s theme is Authors You Are Waiting On Another Book From. This means, specifically, the authors who have no set next project announced, or if they do then its release date is so tentative that nothing is really known about the book since they probably haven’t even written the manuscript yet! It’s only when I sat down to compose this list that I realised some of my choices, and handily there were five that sprung to mind – so, clearly, my subconcious is wanting these pretty hard. Without further ado, here we go…

5. Rainbow Rowell

Who doesn’t love a good Rainbow Rowell book? I loved Fangirl, she just got both fandom and what university/college is really like for someone who suffers from anxiety issues. I was really appreciative of this book and I really hope to read more from Rowell in the future – I’m sure I will. Until then, I still have Attachments and Eleanor and Park (the latter of which I’m told is emotional so I’ve been putting it off) to tide me over.

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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. 

maytbr1

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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T5W | Fictional Items I Want

top 5 wednesdayAfter a few weeks of no-shows for Top 5 Wednesday, I am firmly back on the bandwagon. For those who are unaware, Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge organised by the wonderful Lainey, in which participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?

This week’s topic is ‘Fictional Items You Want’. So, this week, I will be choosing the top 5 fictional items that I would love to own, if only fiction were a reality. (It won’t surprise anyone to learn that when brainstorming a list I initially came up with several from Harry Potter!) You can find them below in ascending order, though of course I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them!


5. Gansey’s journal (from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle quartet)

 “More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from the pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every dark-printed definition. There was something pained and melancholy about it.”

Unsurprisingly, I love Richard Gansey III and his slightly crazed obsession with Glendower. It’s because of this that I would love to own the culmination of all his genius (and crazy) which is embodied by his leather journal in which he keeps all his thoughts and research from his search for the Welsh king. As Blue observes when she finds it, it belongs to someone who doesn’t just want to quickly keep track of the information he finds, but who also loves the process of the research itself, something which I can sympathise with after having a hell of a good (if stressful) time whilst researching and writing my BA and MA dissertations.

4. The Iron Throne (from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series)

“Have you ever seen the Iron Throne? The barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel, the jagged ends of swords and knives all tangled up and melted? It is not a comfortable seat, ser. Aerys cut himself so often men took to calling him King Scab, and Maegor the Cruel was murdered in that chair. […] It is not a seat where a man can rest at ease.” 

As much as the amount of bloodshed around it is terrifying, and I’d probably do something about putting a nice cushion on it so it was less stabby to sit on, I’d love to own the Iron Throne… and I’m sure my reaction to owning it would go something like when Leslie gifts Ben a replica of it on Parks and Rec. 

3. The Firebird device (from Claudia Gray’s Firebird series)

“The Firebirds glinted in his palm. They looked like odd, asymmetrical bronze lockets – maybe jewelry fashioned in the era of Art Nouveau, when organic shapes were all the rage. One of the metals inside was rare enough that it could only be mind in a single valley in the whole world, but anyone who didn’t know better would just think they were pretty. Instead the Firebirds were the keys to unlock the universe. No – the universes.

Who wouldn’t want the ability to travel between times, locations, and dimensions? I’d use Marguerite Caine as a cautionary tale, of course, and ignore the swathe of practical and ethical issues raised by such dimension hopping into, essentially, other people’s bodies. If I wound up in the Russia Marguerite ends up, with a certain Russian captain, that would be acceptable too, minus any threats against my life, obviously.

2. Pensieve (from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series)

 

 

“One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.”

 

Memories and thoughts are so temporal and fleeting, it’s a constant source of frustration. The Pensieve is, simply put, a genius idea, and if it existed it would be so incredibly useful. Anything that grapples with the concept of being able to harness or solidify or bottle up memories is one which always captures my attention, so it’s unsurprising that when I first read about Dumbledore’s Pensieve I immediately warmed to the idea of it. Also, who doesn’t love a nice bit of punning wordplay?

1. Babel fish (from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series)

“Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.”

I speak Spanish, not very well, though allegedly my level is at a professional working capacity – ha. One thing that has always frustrated me, however, is that I am not brilliant at language learning, and I truly envy those that are – those insanely clever people who are fluent in more than just their native language, I have a hell of a lot of respect for them. So, of course, I would like the cheat’s way out – and that is the Babel fish! The opportunities that universal language acquisition could provide are wonderful and I think I’m slightly more optimistic than Douglas Adams because I don’t foresee quite as many wars as he does!


Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday list for this week? Share below, I’d love to check it out. Alternatively, perhaps leave a comment of what fictional objects you would love to own.

September Update: Guess who’s back? Back again…

What happened? Well, university happened. It turns out when you slightly maybe procrastinate your dissertation research and it gets to August you panic and spend most of the time you’re awake thinking about it, or feeling guilty for not doing more on it. But now, as of yesterday’s hand-in, I am done. Officially done. I no longer need to think about it. In fact, it would be great if my brain would get this memo and stop thinking about all the stuff I didn’t have time/free words to put into it.

But… what now? Well, your guess is as good as mine. I made a concious decision to avoid thinking about anything past the dissertation until I had completed it. Maybe that’s narrow-minded but I probably needed it. But this month sees me take a couple of holidays to Menorca and Edinburgh with my parents and my friends respectively and I am looking forward to these so unbelievably much. But after that? Well, I suppose I’ll be frantically trying to persuade someone anyone that they should hire me. If they happen to have some vague connection to the arts or publishing sectors, or the job involves Content Writing, all the better. If not… well, at least I’ll be earning money so that I can try to be able to afford to do unpaid internships – if I even manage to con any publishing companies into letting me do work experience. There’s a vague plan there but convincing my parents that this plan is thought out and researched is actually providing difficult. I don’t know what else they expected of someone doing an English Literature Masters who has a distinct distaste for “grad schemes” in most forms. I understand that they think that doing an extra year at university and (hopefully) graduating with an MA should open doors but, from what I can see, you have to push those doors open yourself because having a BA is definitely not a huge advantage over competition any more – in fact, it’s the base-line. Is an MA any different? Well, we’ll find out in the months to come I’m sure!

Aside from this I’ll primarily be working on keeping up with blogging – I find I do enjoy writing on here and it might be self-indulgent at times (like this post) but it actually really helps to clarify thinking. On this vein I’ve also taken up journalling, nothing fancy or complicated, it’s mostly pen-on-paper stuff, but Whitney over at WhittyNovels’ video made me see the benefits. But, back to this blog, I have a stack of books just waiting to be read now that I’m done with university, so I anticipate a lot more reading in my future and, hopefully, me improving my written reviews. I really want to be better at that and with engaging with the book blogging community and I think I’ll have more time to do that now without feeling guilty about all the university reading I’m neglecting!

Right now I’m reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, the third book in the Raven Quartet (Cycle?) and I thoroughly enjoy this series, I can’t begin to explain just how much but here’s my reviews for book one and book two. They’re such… peculiar books, but that’s their brilliance. Because if I said it included a magical forest in West Virginia, the ancient Welsh king Owain Glyndŵr, ley lines, a house of psychic women, an orange Camaro, and a fancy boy’s school called Aglionby, it’d sound like an odd mix of elements. It is, but it’s so engaging. I’d highly recommend the series. Someone made this book trailer which is stunning and completely captures the tone of the series so if you like it, you’ll definitely like the books. Also the audiobook of the first book, The Raven Boys, may or  may not have been uploaded to YouTube, I’m just saying.

So, to sum up, I finished university (and I could say more on that but I worry I’ll become ridiculously emotional about leaving academia if I do), hopefully my dissertation will pass (fingers crossed everyone), I’m looking for a job (any job), holidays to look forward to, I’ll be making more regular posts here, I want to read all the books, you should go read The Raven Boys… I think that’s just about everything covered.

Anything else? Well, I feel out of the loop – talk to me, tell me what you’ve been doing this summer, what you’re looking forward to for the rest of the year, what you’re currently reading, anything!