Down the TBR Hole #2

Welcome folks to the second round of Down the TBR Hole. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my first round post, or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

After a semi-successful first round of this project, I have decided to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule (ha, ‘schedule’ is such a kind word to describe this mess). Plus, it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve decided to also add a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Let’s get going on the 10 books… 

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Down the TBR Hole #1

I bring you a brand new feature on this blog today and that is Down the TBR Hole. I first saw this via Emma on Emma’s Library and this meme/project was originally created by Lia at Lost in a Story. My TBR has long since been getting out of hand so I think it’s about time I took a good hard look at myself my Goodreads shelf and actually figure out if I still want to read half of the things that I once put on there – this feature is perfect for helping (/forcing) me to do that. At the end of March, I did an impromptu cull to get it under 1000 (prompted by the TBR tag I was doing at the time) and I felt so much better once I did so, clearly, participating in this kind of project would be a really great idea for me. I also want to seriously look at my actual physical TBR and weed out the outliers I just will never read but, first things first, let’s fall Down the TBR Hole…

This is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Simple, right? (Question: anyone else have The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go? in their heads now? Just me? Ok.) I thought it would also be interesting to note if I actually own these books or not, and whether that plays some part in how hesitant I am to ditch stuff off my TBR (I’m sure it will play a huge part in it!). Let’s just get going on the first 10 books…

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Six Degrees of Separation | Room

Another month, another Six Degrees of Separation! If you don’t know what this meme is then see my previous post or the creator’s website for more details. Basically, every month a book is chosen and participants have to get as far away from the book as possible in six steps. Here are my efforts for this month, starting with…

Room by Emma Donoghue, a novel told from the perspective of 5-year old Jack, a child who lives with his Ma in “Room”, a room in which he and his mother are held captive by a man who kidnapped her some years ago. Jack’s perspective of life has been entirely restricted to this single room he shares with his mum, who tries her best to raise him as well as she can in this small space. Donoghue chooses to tell her story through the eyes (and words) of 5-year old Jack, making some of the traumatic events he narrates quite unusually told.

Speaking of unusual stories narrated by children Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told through the eyes of the unnamed narrator, a man who returns to the house he grew up in to attend a funeral. Whilst there his memories of childhood are triggered and he starts to remember the events of his past, and a very strange and surreal narrative unfolds, told through his perspective when he was a child. The book won the Specsaver’s National Book Awards’ ‘Book of the Year’ in 2013, an award which was won the following year by…

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Burton’s debut novel, set in 17th century Amsterdam and telling the tale of Nella Oortman, a young woman who arrives in the city to move into the home of her new husband, Johannes Brandt, a respected merchant trader, a home which is as unwelcoming as Johannes’ sister, Marin. Johannes, though distant to his new wife, gifts her a beautiful cabinet-sized replica of their home, a replica whose appearance begins to mimic events in the real household as secrets begin to be uncovered and the plot thickens. As I said this book is set in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as is parts of…

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfincha book which I desperately want to read asap because I’ve heard nothing but good things and I adored Tartt’s The Secret History. This book, however, centres around the painting of the book’s title, the Dutch Golden Age painting of a chained bird by  Carel Fabritius, a pupil of Rembrandt. Just as The Goldfinch’s protagonist, Theo, takes the painting from The Met in the wake of an explosion, and has no idea how this action will affect the course his life takes, Annie McDee has no idea how happening across a lost masterpiece in a dusty junk shop will affect her life in…

Hannah Rothschild’s The Improbability of Love, a book which is inextricably bound in the art trade world, as Rothschild’s protagonist begins to discover the true provenance of the Antoine Watteau painting she has inadvertently bought. The journey takes character and reader back through early 20th-century European history to reveal the painting’s shady history. The painting itself is even given a voice and, let me tell you, it does not mince its words about some of its previous owners. Some may find this narrative device of giving an object a voice to be odd, some may find it a gimmick, I enjoyed it, but I digress… just as parts of The Improbability of Love are told from this unusual perspective, so is…

Nutshell by Ian McEwan, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet told from the point of view of a foetus inside the womb of the novel’s Gertrude character, Trudy. Trudy and her husband’s brother, Claude, hatch a plan to murder her husband, John (are you seeing the ‘Hamlet’ connection), but their scheming has a witness – the foetus itself. I have not read this novel, I’m not even sure what I think about this novel, but the fact it’s a Shakespeare retelling means I will inevitably pick it up at some point because I’m a sucker for that, which brings me finally to…

Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest which I am enormously looking forward to reading (The Tempest is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays) and which tells the tale of a recently sacked artistic director, Felix, who was planning a production of said play before he was “deposed” (so says the dramatic synopsis) by his assistant and enemy. Exiled from his job, he takes up new employment teaching literature and theatre at a nearby prison where they plan finally to stage his interpretation of The Tempest. The performance places the possibility of revenge on his enemies within reach, all of which sets up a super intriguing retelling of the play which I’m hoping will be meta but derivative enough to keep me hooked.

And there we have it, folks, from Room to Hag-Seed! I highly encourage you to try it out this little game for yourself and share in the comments below or link to your own Six Degrees post.


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WWW Wednesday #1 | 22nd February 2017

Well I thought I’d mix things up a little here on The Terror of Knowing by bringing you a mid-week reading update (of sorts) in the form of WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words. This isn’t a new meme by any means but it is a meme that’s new to me and, having seen it a couple of times over at Cátia’s wonderful blog, I thought I’d join in since it’s simplicity greatly appeals to me!

The Three Ws are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?


1. What are you currently reading?

I’m currently doing a re-read of V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic to try to prepare myself for reading the third (and final) book in the trilogy (disclaimer: I will never be prepared). Likewise I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix via listening to the audiobook as narrated by Stephen Fry on my train journeys to/from work every day. I’m allegedly also still reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy but as I’ve not actively read any of it (not a single word) for close to a month, I’m not sure how accurate it is to say I’m currently reading it.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Erika Johansen’s The Fate of the Tearling to round off my read of the Tearling trilogy. I adored the first book, loved the second, and had… mixed feelings about the third (whispers I kind of hated the ending), but I’m really glad I finally finished off this trilogy because on the whole I loved the concept and the characters Johansen created. Similarly, in terms of trilogies, I also recently finished re-reading the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix (though I hear that’s a series now?) with Abhorsen, as narrated by Tim Curry. I would definitely recommend the Tim Curry audiobooks, they’re amazing, and he has a spot-on voice for Mogget! I’m planning to do trilogy reviews for both of these trilogies so, if you’re interested, definitely do keep an eye out for those coming soon on this blog.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As I’m currently re-reading A Darker Shade of Magic, it’s highly likely I will read (read: it’s nigh-on impossible I won’t read) the second book, A Gathering of Shadows next, and then move on to the new release – A Conjuring of Light. I’m not emotionally prepared for it to be over, but I also need to know what happens, it’s a difficult bind. Ha, bookworm problems, am I right?

Do you have a WWW Wednesday post? Please link it below if so (or just answer in the comments below), I’d love to hear your responses.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned – how did you like (or not like) them?
Until next time – happy reading!


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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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Six Degrees of Separation | The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

That’s right, folks, I bring you another Six Degrees of Separation, book-style! If you don’t know what this meme is then see my previous post or the creator’s website for more details. Basically, every month a book is chosen and participants have to get as far away from the book as possible in six steps. Here is my efforts…

This month’s chain begins with Nordic thriller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, written by Stieg Larsson, a book which features a protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, who has a photographic/eidetic memory, just like…

Robert Langdon from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code/Angels & Demons (amongst others!), a film version of which starred the likes of Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou and Paul Bettany.

Paul Bettany also appeared in the film A Knight’s Tale, in which he plays Geoffrey Chaucer. The film, though not the same, takes its title from Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale from The Canterbury Tales, a work whose style also inspired…

Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, a sci-fi novel about an extra-planetary group of pilgrims which won the Hugo Award in 1990…

Similarly, the 2005 winner of the Hugo Award was Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, an alternate history novel in which the North-South divide in England, as figured during the Industrial Revolution, is inverted. This divide is also the subject of the nineteenth-century novel…

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which tells of Southerner Margaret Hale’s move to an industrial city in the North of England, Milton, whose mills bring her into contact with Mr Thornton, a mill-owner whom she disagrees with intensely, creating an interesting dynamic which is not dissimilar to that of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy in…

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

And there we have it, from Nordic thrillers, to a Middle English story collection, to novels featuring nineteenth-century magicians, mills, and marriage alike! Who would’ve thought it? 

I highly encourage you to try it out this little game for yourself and share in the comments below or link to your own Six Degrees post.


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Six Degrees of Separation | Revolutionary Road

I’m a little late to the party this month but I bring you another Six Degrees of Separation, book-style! If you don’t know what this meme is then see my previous post or the creator’s website for more details. Basically, every month a book is chosen and participants have to get as far away from the book as possible in six steps. Here is my efforts…

This month’s chain begins with a book I haven’t read (quelle surprise): Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road. The book, which tells the story of the seemingly model marriage of Frank and April Wheeler, was published in 1961, the same year as…

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, a book which was adapted into a film in 1966 which was made up of a combination of live-action and stop-motion effects. It was directed by Henry Selick who also directed a film adaptation of…

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, a dark children’s fantasy about a young girl who goes exploring in her new home to find a door leading to an Other world, complete with an Other Mother and an Other Father. Oh and they all have shiny black buttons for eyes. Creepy, or what? Gaiman is the master of unsettling fantasy, but he also wrote a slightly more traditional Tolkien-esque fantasy tale which was called…

Stardust which tells the story of young shop boy Tristran Thorne who lives in a rural town called Wall and has never ventured outside his own little comforting bubble until he vows to bring back a fallen star as a prize for his beloved Victoria. The film adaptation (which I adore, by the way) starred Mark Strong as “bad guy” Prince Septimus. Strong has previously appeared as Mr Knightley in a 1996 film adaptation of…

Emma by Jane Austen, a book which famously features an unlikable heroine, of which even Austen herself said  “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” Another novel which features an unlikable protagonist is…

William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, a hella long novel (which I will probably never get around to reading despite the fact I own it) which is set during the Napoleonic Wars, as is…

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, an alternative history set in the nineteenth-century and, surprise surprise, it’s yet another hella long novel. However it’s one which I actually will read in the new year not only because I need to, but also because I actually really want to read it finally. I mean, come on, this is it’s opening line: “Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. They met upon the third Wednesday of every month and read each other long, dull papers upon the history of English magic.” Just yes, this is what I want. I rest my case and, indeed, my Six Degrees of Separation.


So that was my ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, from Revolutionary Road to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. This is a fun meme to add to my regular posts and I hope you enjoyed seeing the connections you can make between seemingly disparate books. I highly encourage you to try it out for yourself and share in the comments below!


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T5W | Books To Finally Read in 2017

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 topic is Books You Want to Finally Read in 2017. As Sam says: these are those books you meant to read in 2016 or 2015 or 2014 and never got around to. Those books that have been sitting on your TBR for a while, and you really want to get to. These aren’t upcoming 2017 releases; these are older books that need your love too!

It will surprise precisely no one that I have a proverbial tonne of books that I’ve meant to read for months and months and, let’s face it, years and years. The problem is, obviously, that the book industry rather rudely continues to persist in publishing more and more new books every single day, adding even more titles to the already lengthy ‘to be read’ lists we all have in the back of our mind, or on a metaphorically groaning Goodreads shelf. Unless I make a concerted effort to “get to” those books I’ve been meaning to for years, I probably never will. So this week’s topic will be a very useful step towards accepting that fact – and, as we all know, acceptance is the first step. Hopefully 2017 will be the year I take a rather logical and proactive approach to finally reading some of those titles that have been sadly abandoned on my TBR shelf for too long. So let’s have a look at the 5 I most want to finally read in the upcoming year…

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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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