T5W | Vampires!

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 Books Featuring [paranormal creature of your choice] here is the previously mentioned paranormal creature topic. This topic will revolve around one type of paranormal creature of your choice. So books featuring vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, fae, zombies, etc.  

This week I’ve decided to base my post around my favourite depictions of vampires who, let’s face it, don’t have the best showing in literature nowadays – they mostly peaked with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the general genre has been downhill ever since sparkly vampires became a thing. This observation has also been made by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes in her brilliant video and, just like Sam, I’ve decided to widen my source from just books to media in general – books, TV shows, and films. It’s safe to say there’s a wide range of vampires here, from the serious to the silly, but I enjoy every single one of these vampiric representations.

darkdaysclubHonourable Mention: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

I had to give this book/series an honourable mention because it’s basically Jane Austen crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer – our genteel young lady, Lady Helen, trains how to fight demons which, let me tell you, isn’t easy in layers of crinolines. The reason this gets a look-in is because it features a token appearance from Lord Byron and just the suggestion that Byron could have something vampiric about him makes me giggle like an idiot.

Print5. Soulless by Gail Carriger

Much in the same fun vein as The Dark Days’ Club, Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series tells of young lady Alexia Tarabotti who consorts with vampires, werewolves, and demons but is especially horrified by the lack of manners from some of these beasts. I love that vampires and werewolves are an integrated part of the social and political system in Carriger’s steampunk England. Plus her flamboyant vampire friend Lord Akeldama is hilarious – definitely a more ridiculous representation of vampires but entertaining all the same.

Continue reading

Advertisements

T5W | Favourite Creepy Settings

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 Favourite Creepy Settings: these don’t have to be from horror books, but any setting from any book that gave you the heebie jeebies…in a good way. I don’t read many/any horror books so thank goodness Sam specified that these settings could be from any kind of book! These places might not feature in scary books but they definitely do creep me out!

5. Manderley from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebeccavirago2

Could I answer a Top 5 Wednesday list about creepy places without mentioning Manderley? I don’t think so! Manderley itself, as an estate, sounds potentially beautiful but the way that it is described by the narrator in a dreamlike, slightly surreal way in the opening chapter of this novel unsettles the reader from the very beginning. As the reader is introduced to Manderley through this unnamed second wife’s eyes when she first comes to her new husband’s home after the wedding, and the pressure she feels to be as good as his first wife, Rebecca, results in Manderley having an encroaching and overwhelming presence in the story itself.

Continue reading

T5W | Books Featuring Witches

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 Books Featuring Witches: So there is a topic later this month about paranormal creatures, but 1. witches aren’t creatures and 2. they deserve their own topic. These can be “witch books” or books that happen to feature witches as characters, whether they are main characters or side characters. 

5. The Worst Witch series – Jill Murphy

This is probably one of my earliest forays into the world of witches and witchcraft – I adored these books, and then they became a TV show and I ate that up too. Murphy’s books told the first tale I’d read of a boarding school attended by witches and I just wanted so badly to join Mildred Hubble and her pals at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches.

4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

Let’s just get this one nice and out of the way early, shall we? Is there a T5W that goes by where I don’t feel the need to mention Harry Potter? Even though I feel like Harry Potter might be a given for this question… I’m still mentioning it anyway. One of the things I love about the fourth book (which I know is an unpopular one) is getting to see other wizards and witches, particularly from Beauxbatons, and I’m so glad that the continuing Wizarding World of JK Rowling output is also showing readers/viewers different countries’ witches and wizards.

3. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman

I remember reading about the witch clans and Serafina Pekkala and thinking those women were badass and I wanted to be like them. Years later and I’m not sure my opinion has changed – I’m currently doing a read-through of the trilogy to make sure though.

2. Grishaverse, esp. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

I can’t not include the Grisha because they are amazing. Would I say they’re “witches” in the traditional sense? Well, yes, because it fits my argument- Nina is repeatedly called a witch by Matthias, the stern Fjerdan witchhunter who obviously is going to fall in love with her (who wouldn’t?), and given how formidable her powers are, it’s easy to see why her kind inspires fear in the druskelle people.

1. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Liza Hempstock is a witch and she’s fab. She was accused of witchcraft and burned alive, hence why she’s buried in the unhallowed ground beside Bod’s graveyard. Finding Liza sad because of her unmarked grave, Bod vows to find a headstone for her, and she later repays the favour when she rescues him from the pawnbroker who tries to kidnap him. She also says what remains one of my favourite quotes in the entire book, and of all-time, actually: “Truly, life is wasted on the living, Nobody Owens. For one of us is too foolish to live, and it is not I.”

That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 books featuring witches. I could always use some more recommendations so what are some of your favourite books featuring witches? I’d always welcome recs! And be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

T5W | Books I’ve Read Because of the Online Book Community

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 Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc: discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use. Although I mainly book blog I also follow a lot of bookish people via Twitter, Goodreads, and Booktube so my book recommendations come from a lot of places online. In fact, most of my book recommendations are now via the Internet rather than traditional media outlets.

5. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | Recommended by Elizabeth (booksandpieces)

I love Elizabeth’s channel but she is SUCH an avid reader of SFF that I feel like an ignorant fool in comparison. However, she reviewed The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and my interest was immediately piqued because, not only did she rave about it but also, she said that it was a good gateway book for people who don’t really, or haven’t, read much sci-fi. I am so glad I read it because I LOVED it; it had such an emphasis on the characters that the fact it was set in space is kind of incidental and I loved that about it. I’ve since recommended it to others and will continue to do so until my dying day.

Continue reading

T5W | Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want

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 Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want: This can be interpreted a bunch of different ways! Fitness comes in many different packages. This can be about characters who are super-fast, strong, agile, good at dancing, good at climbing, athletes, or foodies! Whatever it means to you. This is inspired by those routines you see in magazines for actors, but with more of an open mind and less body shaming.

5. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’d like Bilbo’s fitness routine, namely the bit where he eats the requisite 7 meals a day. The life of a hobbit seems pretty damn good to me.

4. Kelsier from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Ok, I’d mainly just like Mistborn powers, because Allomancy sounds cool as fuck, and he seems to be able to take care of himself in a fight, if needs be. I’d also like to have an ounce of Kelsier’s charm and his ability to plot and scheme plans to overthow the empire… that seems a pretty cool person to be, I can only assume his fitness routine is full of such shenanigans, as well as metal-pulling and pushing.

3. Sabriel from Sabriel by Garth Nix

At the start of this story Sabriel pretty much has the life of a boarding school girl (complete with field hockey, I’m sure) with additional magic usage. The charter magic seems like a pretty damn terrifying but power to hold, and Sabriel just turns out so badass and competent by the third book, Abhorsen, that I need in on her routine, stat.

2. Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Who wouldn’t want to be an Antari and/or take part in the Essen Tasch, I ask you? I presume if I had Kell’s fitness routine, I’d also have his powers and (most importantly) his coat – that’s essential to his fitness, right? Thought so.

1. Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I wish I had even 10% of Inej’s agility and confidence at heights… actually, scratch that, I wish I had 10% of Inej’s ability and confidence when I was on the ground. I can’t help but think she’s someone who is very comfortable in her surroundings and has great situational awareness. I could do with some of that, to be honest, so if she has a fitness routine to share, that would be fantastic.


That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 people whose fitness routines I’d want – do you agree/disagree with my choices? Let’s chat in the comments below! And be sure to link me to your own Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

T5W | Second Book Is Best

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 Second Book Is Best: We’ve talked about series that went downhill, and series that are worth it, but which series were best in the middle? So, as you can see from the topic explanation, this is about the times when the middle book was best, i.e. the second book of a trilogy was by far the best one out of the three. Let’s not waste any time and just jump right on in to my list…

5. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (x)

We start of with kind of a cheating answer as this series hasn’t been completed yet! However, I think The Mime Order is by far the best book out of the three currently published in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series. It’s got an amazing plot, great character development, THE BEST magic battle climax scene, and we get to see more of the underground clairvoyant gang system of Scion London – 10/10 would recommend.

(Side note: If it wasn’t for the slight cheating element, this book would probably be in the number 1 spot!)

Continue reading

T5W | Book Covers You’d Live In

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 Book Covers You’d Live In: we all love a good cover but what are some covers you’d like to be transported into? As this is a very self-explanatory Top 5 Wednesday topic this week, let’s not waste any time and just jump right on in to my list…

salinger5. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (x)

I’ve surprised myself with this choice but I think I would love to have the opportunity (/the means) to live in New York City for a while. I’ve never been and I know zero about actually living there that isn’t just TV’s rather fanciful portrayals (i.e. Friends, Gossip Girl), but this book charts Rakoff’s year working as an assistant to J.D. Salinger in the 1990s. I’d love to get a glimpse into the New York literary scene, with all its ups and downs. I’m like 80% sure I’d actually feel claustrophobic and insignificant if I did live and work in NYC but what is this if not hypothetical – I’m sure hypothetical Emma could get over the feeling.

4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (x)

Confession: I didn’t actually enjoy this second book in the companion novel trilogy anywhere near as much as I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss. Regardless, I’m sure I would love the chance to live in San Francisco. Just as with New York, I’ve never even visited San Fran, but having the means to live there for even a short period of time would be so freaking cool. The Californian weather is not something I’ve ever wanted to experience but I hear San Fran has cool winds, fog, and is relatively cool in summer compared to other US cities so maybe me and its climate would get along. Mind you, we’d see how long I’d last there with all those hills!

Continue reading

T5W | Books That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western World

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 Books That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western WorldTalk about books that are set outside of the Western World (so outside of North America and Western Europe) or if they are SFF, books that aren’t inspired by those places (so no medieval setting fantasy!) 

Full disclosure: I am a terrible person as the majority of my reading is set in the Western world, because that’s what I know, and I am so so sheltered. That may or may not be an exaggeration and a tad dramatic but what is for sure is that I tend to read (YA) fantasy and a lot of that is inspired by medieval fantasy, specifically European-inspired medieval fantasy. I’m not excusing my utter lack of diverse reading at all, but I do think that this might perhaps be a big factor of my utter lack of reading outside of the West. However, I want to solve that, obviously, so today I will be focusing specifically on Books On My TBR That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western World. And, because I’m extra, I decided to do two lists – one of Fantasy Books Inspired By Non-Western settings and the other Books Set in Non-Western Places.

Continue reading

T5W | Children’s/Middle Grade Books on my TBR

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 Children’s Books: this can include Middle Grade (but try to recommend more than just Harry Potter and Percy Jackson!) Feel free to talk about your childhood faves or more recent reads. 

Now, a few months ago, I did a post called The Books That Made Me, which featured a lot of my childhood favourites and explained how they made me the reader, and the person, that I am today. Unsurprisingly series such as Harry Potter, Sabriel, and The Princess Diaries featured on there. In a desire to not simply repeat that post, I’ve decided instead to interpret this week’s topic as Children’s/Middle Grade Books on my TBR – i.e. these are the books I think I would have loved as a kid and that the (slightly more) adult reader in me will probably still love when I get to reading them now.

Continue reading

T5W | Side Ships

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?). 

Continue reading