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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Review | The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Song Rising (2017)
Author: Samantha Shannon
Read: 19th – 25th February
Genre: fantasy; dystopian
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The third book in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series, The Song Rising sees Paige and her not-so-merry band of clairvoyants venture outside of the Scion-controlled environs of London’s streets and into a much darker and deadlier world. The stakes are raised, the risks are higher, and the outcome is a riveting and heart-breaking addition to this ongoing dystopian/fantasy series.

“War has often been called a game, with good reason.
Both have combatants. Both have sides. Both carry the risk of losing.”

Immediately following on from the shock cliffhanger of the second book in the series, The Song Rising marks the third outing of dreamwalker Paige Mahoney and her voyant friends and foes alike. Having battled against the other cohorts in the scrimmage in The Mime Order, Paige is now crowned Underqueen and rules over the criminal underworld of London. However, though her victory means she can finally spread the truth about Scion and its Rephaim masters, with it comes the unenviable task of uniting the fractured gangs into a community that is able to survive the oppression it faces on a daily basis. To be a clairvoyant is treason and so every member of the Mime Order commits a crime by simply existing.

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March 2017 | Wrap Up

As far as months go, March was pretty much a non-entity. Or, at least, that’s what it feels like now I’m looking back on it… which is ridiculous because two films I was highly anticipated were released, I saw them, and loved both. (Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island, for what it’s worth) Me and Liz also ventured to the Tavern a couple of times (always a good time) and I even got to experience dinner at the Tavern which is… well… let’s just say the phrase “I think I’ve ate too much” becomes redundant after the tenth time of saying it. It was SO good though. Some personal/professional changes may also be happening in the very near future (I don’t want to say it too soon and jinx it) so that’s made the end of March very interesting, to say the least. I’m sure it will also affect April and my reading habits but we’ll see. For now, let’s look back at how March’s reading went…

In March, I read a total of 5 books – 5 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 2247 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads. 

In terms of format: 4 were hardcover and was paperback.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy – no one is surprised that I’m still on that fantasy kick. Sorry/not sorry, as always.

Onto the books themselves…

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2017 Book Haul #2

I know what you’re thinking, am I really hauling another lot of books so soon after my first book haul of the year? Yes, in short. Amazon is the devil, it encourages me to buy books, and they make it so easy to acquire books that I just can’t say no. Their 3 for 10 paperback offer in particular is especially cruel. It’s a problem. Honest. See also: I have no impulse control. But we all know why you’re here (if you’re still here, wait, no, please, come back), so let us just get onto showcasing the shiny shiny books I have acquired lately…

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
The third book in the A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, this is probably my most anticipated book for this year so obviously I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. I re-read the first two books prior to diving into this one and I’m so glad I did because it just made this beauty of a book all the more funny and heartbreaking all in one. I’m sure I don’t need to sing its praises since countless people have done so before me but it features a crown prince who is equal parts Jack Harkness and Prince Harry (not kidding), a magician able to travel into parallel Londons who owns a pretty damn amazing coat (yes, I want one), and a badass girl who has a touch of Jack Sparrow’s ‘now bring me that horizon’ sentiment about her.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wish you didn’t care so damn much about this merry band of misfits. Plus, I mean, just look at that cover design – it’s simply just gorgeous, right?
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The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
Again, The Song Rising is a third book in a series I adore, so obviously when this “collector’s edition” (i.e.  them mercifully continuing to publish editions that match the old cover design) became available to pre-order, I was all over it. Once again, I re-read the previous books before diving into this one and may I just say, as I am currently in the middle of this right now, how dare you Samantha Shannon, you’re breaking my heart here… and I love you for it. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, The Bone Season is the first book and it tells the story of a dystopian London in which a sort of underground community of clairvoyants exist despite the Scion-controlled government’s best efforts to wipe them out, and then the story takes a detour into the beautiful Oxford, as you’ve never seen it before. The Mime Order, the second book focuses more closely on the politics and shenanigans of the syndicates/gangs of clairvoyants within London and it’s an amazing sequel and really ups the games. So, basically what I’m saying is, if you haven’t read it, you really should.
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The Sally Lockhart Quartet by Philip Pullman
If you follow the blog closely, you may have seen my Feature post discussing the books that “made me”, the books that I read as a child and shaped who I was as a reader and as a person, to be honest. This series featured on that list as I adored Philip Pullman’s take of Victorian London via the spunky Sally Lockhart. When I recalled how fondly I used to think of this series, I knew I had to purchase it for myself. A couple of clicks on Amazon and whoops, here we are, no regrets, look at that very apt cover design, it’s wonderful!

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WWW Wednesday #2 | 22nd March 2017

Exactly a month after I did my last WWW Wednesday, I bring you another! (You have to admit: this is a sort of consistency… just not the regularity the meme originally suggests.) Whilst you can always find out what I’m reading via Goodreads (mainly because I update my page number obsessively in case my bookmark falls out of my book, true story) it’s nice to pause, mid-week, and reflect how the week is going and, mostly, what I’m reading at the moment. WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words so do head over to her blog if you want to see more readers’ WWW Wednesday posts.

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?

 

thesongrising1. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Samantha Shannon’s The Song Risingthe third book of seven in her Bone Season series. I’ve been anticipating this for so many months and I’m so glad that Samantha pushed back the release to make sure the story was as wonderful as it possibly could be because, boy, was it worth the wait. Attending YALC last year and getting to meet the author reignited my love for the first two books in this series so once the pre-order link came up, I knew I had to have it as soon as I could get my grubby little hands on it. I’m really enjoying this instalment in the series as the action is now moving away from Scion-controlled London and exploring other parts of the UK (such as Manchester and Edinburgh), which is completely my jam because dystopians that only focus on one city/place always leave me wondering how everyone else out there is faring – this is answering that query!

 

themimeorder

2. What did you recently finish reading?
Since I was planning to pick up The Song Rising, I made sure to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime Order first since it’s been a few months since I read them (ok, re-read them, I’m obsessed, what can I say?). I’m very grateful for that decision because it cemented in my head how much I love the second book, The Mime Order, and I definitely picked up on things in it that I must have just skimmed over when reading it for the first and second times. Third time’s a charm! If it wasn’t obvious… I completely recommend this series.

 

smoke3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you saw my recent blog post about my TBR Jar project then you will have seen that I picked a book from there to read next, and that was Smoke by Dan Vyleta. I’ve been meaning to read it for months, the concept sounds super intriguing so, despite some not so favourable reviews, I’m going to give it a go asap. Because I’m incapable of just reading one thing at a time I’ll also probably be listening to the audiobook of either J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince or Clariel by Garth Nix. I’m feeling a little bit neglectful of my classics too so I may (and it’s a very big “may”) pick up something extra like Emma by Jane Austen or something Dickens (super specific, I know, but hey I have many to choose from!). I don’t do monogamous reading, as you might have realised.

Ok, that’s all the time we’ve got, folks  I hope you enjoyed this insight into my current reads. Do you have a WWW Wednesday post of your own? Please link it below if so (or answer in the comments), 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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Six Degrees of Separation | Fever Pitch

It’s that time, 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 are my efforts…

This month’s chain begins with a book I’ve not read unfortunately, it’s Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. What I do know about it is that it was made into a film in the UK, starring Colin Firth and Mark Strong (so obv, I’d know about it)…

Mark Strong also starred in a book-to-film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy by John le Carré which follows retired deputy chief George Smiley’s efforts to uncover a Soviet mole lurking within MI6. One of MI6’s Soviet sources is code-named Merlin…

Merlin, of course, is a legendary wizard who appears in Arthurian legend and many a derivation of that legend, including Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. But of course Merlin is also woven into the society of…

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, in which characters use “Merlin’s beard!” as a form of exclamation, and which features an honour called the Order of Merlin (the wizarding world’s version of an OBE). The series was published by Bloomsbury, who also publish a book often compared (erroneously, I think) to Harry Potter and that is…

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, a YA dystopian/fantasy which takes place in a Scion-controlled London where clairvoyants are considered dangerous and so form a sort of Victorian-inspired gang system within the criminal underbelly within the city (and also I love it a lot ok?). Not to spoil the entire plot but this book also takes place in Oxford (a beautiful place I also love), as is…

Philip Pullman’s Northern Lightsthe first book in the His Dark Materials, a wonderful fantasy trilogy telling the story of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry and there’s polar bears and parallel worlds and witches but it also has some really dark undertones regarding religion and theology and by god it’s SO good. The title of the trilogy (and the entire trilogy) is inspired by…

Paradise Lost by John Milton, an epic 17th-century poem which retells the Biblical story of the Fall of Man and the Original Sin etc. I studied this in my Renaissance to Restoration class at university and I never did finish it but the lectures and seminars I had about this text were genuinely some of the most amazing I’ve ever had. The poetic style of this text is extraordinarily cinematic and visual and it’s pretty damn impressive and I completely understand why it holds the place it does in the canon of English literature.


And there we have it, folks, from Fever Pitch to Paradise Lost, which are two things I never thought would be said in the same breath! 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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Anticipated 2017 Releases (January/February/March)

After being suitably retrospective with my ‘Best Of’ and ‘Year in Review’ posts, I’m now looking forwards towards the releases which I personally am anticipating in the first three months of 2017. There are a few sequels being released next year that I’m itching to get my hands on (I need them like yesterday) as well as a few books by debut authors, or new-to-me authors, that I’m intrigued to try out for myself. Although I’m going to make a concerted effort in 2017 to read my own damn books, that doesn’t mean there isn’t also room for some shiny book acquisitions of brand spankin’ new releases, like these…

Look at the shiny shiny. Now, let’s see how the year looks in a little more detail…
(and I don’t think I need to warn you that if you’re not caught up on a series mentioned, then please don’t read the synopses below, there be spoilers!)

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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 | Favourite First Sentences

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 theme is Favourite First Sentences. As we all know, first sentences do a lot to sell a book to a new reader. They are an author’s chance to really grab the reader and suck them into the world they have created. Because of this, my favourite first sentences are often ones which instantly highlight the weird or wonderful story that is about to unfold in front of my very eyes.

Confession time: I am a fiend for browsing those ‘top 100 first lines of novels’ lists that you often get on book sites (I’ve linked some at the bottom of this post), to the point where I collect opening lines. I might end up with a first sentence in my collection which I adore because it sets up a story so wonderfully, even if I didn’t end up loving the story that follows. Likewise, some of my favourite books only have so-so opening lines in comparison. So, whilst some of these first lines are on the list because they are the opening lines of some of my favourite books, others on this list are just damn good first lines. Since this is quite long enough already, I’ll just let the lines speak for themselves instead of rambling on about why I picked them – if you’re curious though, comment below and I’d be happy to explain my reasoning.

Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t simply pick five so, instead, I offer up 4 different lists which contain my top 5 first sentences from… Shakespeare plays, classics, modern/contemporary novels, and books I have yet to read – hopefully you enjoy a good list as much as I do, since I’ve given you four of them!

Enough explanation, let’s go…

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Top 5 Books of 2015 So Far

So, we’re halfway through the year. I know, I didn’t realise either until I saw a spate of Top 5 of 2015 So Far videos and blog posts making the rounds. Because in my own little bubble of delusion it is not 2015, let alone July 2015, it’s just not, all the calendars in the world are lying to me. However, I’ll go along with this frankly ridiculous “fact” for long enough to me to jump on this bandwagon and talk about some of my favourite books of the year so far. These five books (or should I say “five”, you’ll see) were all highly enjoyable reads for me and scored 4-5 out of 5 stars so, you know, I liked them well enough to gush a little about them via Goodreads.

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