Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know 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 Side Ships – tell us your favourite relationships that don’t involve the protagonist! Although I try to hide it, I am just a huge romantic masquerading as a cynic and shipping is when that tendency is given truly free reign. So obviously I have side ships, I have all kinds of ships, but side ships are the best, let’s be real here.
And, in case you’re concerned about this kind of thing, in this post there are (kind of) spoilers for A Darker Shade of Magic, Harry Potter, Six of Crows, and Pride and Prejudice (does a 200-year old book still need a spoiler warning?).
Welcome one, welcome all, to the inevitable and downright obligatory Best Books of 2016 post that isn’t at all subjective or biased in any way. (Disclaimer: that sentence was entirely a lie.)
(If you’re looking for my more stats-based wrap up of 2016 then please do pop over to my 2016: A Bookish Year In Review post!)
I’m sure you’ve seen enough of these lists floating around in the past week or so but, basically, I’ve decided to draw a line under (let’s face it a pretty crappy) 2016 in the most positive way possible – by celebrating some absolutely brilliant books that I’ve read this past year. They may not necessarily have been published in 2016, but all of them were read by yours truly in these past twelve months and, it’s safe to say, if they made this list and have stuck around despite my patchy memory, then they must have been something special. Each of these books has well and truly earned their place on this list and I’ve detailed the not-at-all-incoherent reasoning behind each choice below so that, hopefully, my flailing might persuade you to read them yourself if you haven’t already.
Right, without further ado, let’s do this like the music charts, in reverse order, shall we?
Honourable Mention: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Why?: When people say a story is “haunting”, I finally know what they mean thanks to Hannah Kent’s novel. Set in Iceland, it follows the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be sentenced to death in the country. From the outset we are told what Agnes has allegedly done and this characterisation of her as a “murderess” haunts her every word and interaction from this opening page. Add onto that Kent’s chilling writing style which masterfully evokes the harsh, bleak, but beautiful, Icelandic landscape, and you have an absolutely astounding book that has stayed with me for many months.
“To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.”
Last month’s Favourites post was a reasonably long effort. Either this month I’ve been more discerning, or I’ve had less new favourites to report, or I’ve had less time to procrastinate and so find new favourites. Actually, that last one sounds most likely. What with finally, mercifully finding a job, worrying about starting that job for days, rushing to move all my possessions over to my new home in Liverpool, getting used to having a job again and all the stuff that goes along with it, getting used to living with Liz (not that that takes much/any effort at all)… well, life has been a bit in flux in September. However, there are still some things I have been enjoying a lot, so I thought I’d share them with you today now that October looms ahead.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
So, this past month I finally got around to reading Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and by gum it’s good! I adored the Grisha trilogy against my better judgement… and by better judgement I, of course, mean that I have some level of awareness that the characterisation and writing quality could be improved a little. However, Bardugo’s stories are compulsively readable, so obviously I knew this duology about a gang of ruffians taking on an impossible heist to break someone out of an impenetrable fortress would be right up my street. And, hallelujah, everyone was so right when they said this was like a huge level-up from Bardugo’s previous books, it was SO GOOD. In fact, the sequel Crooked Kingdom is laid in wait beside me and I will definitely be picking it up in October.
Can’t Stop The Feeling! by Justin Timberlake
Yes I know this song has been out for well over two months so it’s nothing revolutionary, not is it at all obscure. But I’m going to go ahead and admit that I first heard this song thanks to the Trolls trailer which played before Finding Dory. And I didn’t really have much/any desire to see the actual film but I love this song. I defy you to not at the very least want to chair dance. I keep hearing this song everywhere in the UK now that Trolls promotion is kicking up a notch over here and I can safely say I am still not sick of this song – surely the sign of an absolute tune.
Another Tuesday, 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 On My Fall TBR. As those who have seen my latest TBR efforts might recall, I’ve ditched monthly TBRs in favour of seasonal TBRs – i.e. see my Summer TBR Review and Autumn TBR post. So this week’s topic is fairly easy for me to choose – it’s less easy to actually follow through with but shhh…
Without further ado, let’s see this list…
10. Cogheart – Peter Bunzl (x)
I fell head over heels for this book when I saw it displayed in Waterstones as their Childrens’ Book of the Month – I’m such a sucker for a good display. This book looks beautiful and includes “Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure” – I mean why wouldn’t I want to read it?
9. The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave (x)
Once again, I’m pretty sure Waterstones showcased this book at some point and it arrived on my radar because of that. This book is, visually, stunning. Seriously, illustrated borders, french-flaps, beautiful chapter headings, every inch of this book has been designed with care and detail… so I can only assume the words which accompany it are equally beautiful (and I’m pretty sure they must be!). As the blurb teases: “When [Isabella’s] closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.” Cartography and adventures and stars – yes, please!
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 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.
Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here.
However, there is one book in particular that I have to finish this weekend because it’s getting embarrassing now that I haven’t finished it yet, like really genuinely quite embarrassing.
Can you guess what it is?
Highly-anticipated sort-of sequel.
It was released at the end of July.
It features a beloved character but has received mostly less than favourable reviews.
Have you guessed what it is yet?