Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 10 Tuesday! I hope you’ve all had a great start to your week!

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet’.

I’ve decided to put my own spin on this week’s topic to include authors past and present as a lot of the authors that came to my mind are no longer with us.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Fredrik Backman

 

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you would have seen this one coming. I adore Frederick Backman’s books and would love the chance to meet him and hear all about the inspiration behind some of his eccentric characters.

 

  1. J. R.R Tolkien

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Tolkien is possibly my favourite storyteller of all time. No one can immerse their reader in a fictitious world quite like he does.

 

  1. Emily Bronte

As an English Literature graduate, it was hard not to make this list 100% classical authors. I’ve narrowed it down to a select few and obviously, Emily Bronte had to be on this list. I love all of the Bronte sisters writing but there is something so unique and inspiring about Emily’s work which makes her my favourite.

 

  1. Charles Dickens

I honestly don’t have a reason for including Dickens on this list other than its Dickens?!

 

  1. Suzanne Collins

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I would love to meet Suzanne Collins just to say thank you for writing the Hunger Games trilogy. These books shaped my teenage years and they are still amongst my favourite reads of all time.

 

  1. Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler is a brilliant author and exceptional storyteller. The diversity in his writing abilities is inspiring and I’d love to find out how he goes from a dark and quirky mystery like ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ to a teen romance story like ‘Why We Broke Up’.

 

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Just picture it, it’s the 1920’s, you’re in Paris in some sophisticated bar full of societies elite, you’re wearing an elegant dress with your hair pinned up and you’re sipping colorful cocktails whilst listening to some of the most outrageous anecdotes from Fitzgerald. Now doesn’t that sound like pure perfection?

 

  1. John Green

This is an obvious choice but I am a big John Green fan and I feel like we would have some interesting conversations.

  1. Cheryl Strayed

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I really enjoyed reading Wild and I would love to meet the inspiring Cheryl Strayed in person and hear more about her amazing journey.

 

  1. Sara Shepard

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I would love to know how Sara Shepard comes up with the twisted plot lines for her novels and also to get her opinion on the horror that was the PLL finale (and that tragic attempt at a British accent!).

 

Thanks for reading! Which authors would you love to meet? Let me know in the comments below!

September Wrap Up

September Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies!

I can’t believe how fast these months are going by, it barely feels like it’s been any time since I was writing my August wrap up!

September has been a brilliant month for books but not so much for blogging. I’ve been really busy, so I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to my blog as I’d like but hopefully October will be a more productive month! I only read 5 books this month but most of them were great which is always a bonus. I’m yet to post my reviews on quite a few of these so keep a look out for them in the next few weeks.

My September Reads:

The Power by Naomi Alderman

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe

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My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Currently Reading: A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

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Look at that cover! I’ve only just started this book but so far I’m enjoying it so I can’t wait to see where Wood takes the story!

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Thanks for reading! Did you read any great books in September? What are you looking forward to reading in October? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part as the past few weeks I’ve been doing Top 5 Tuesdays but I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read’.

I don’t have that many favourite authors as I read so many different books and genres so some of these are just books by authors whose other books I have enjoyed.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Us Against You by Frederik Backman

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  1. Britt Marie Was Here by Frederick Backman

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  1. Every Day by David Leviathan

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  1. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan

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  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

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  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

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  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these books or have any books by a favourite author that you’re yet to read then let me know in the comments below!

REVIEW: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

REVIEW: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Hello, lovelies!

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend! This week has been a busy one for me, so I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to blogging as I would have liked. I turned 24 on Wednesday so I’ve been celebrating with friends and family (and lots of amazing food!)

Its back to business this week starting with this short review of Ruth Ware’s best-selling thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood.

 

GoodReads Synopsis:

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

 

My Thoughts:

Unfortunately, this book was as clichéd as it sounds. I don’t like writing negative reviews and I want to stress before I go any further that reviews are subjective, I have read other books by Ruth Ware in the past and enjoyed them and I don’t doubt that I’ll read more of her work in the future but this one was just not for me.

I really tried to enjoy this book, but I found that it was often overly dramatic and unrealistic. The pacing was good and the twists and turns of the plot line did keep me reading but I wasn’t invested in the story or characters. There were a lot of characters who all had their own back stories and problems which Ware used to keep the reader on their toes, but I think this added unnecessary complications to the plot. I didn’t particularly like or care about any of the characters, particularly the protagonist Nora who was so useless and dull.

I don’t want this review to be all negative, so I’ll finish with this. One thing I did like about this book was Ware’s writing style and how she switched back from present to past tense throughout. I think this worked well to build the suspense leading up to the big reveal and it kept me interested despite the problems I had with the characters and plot twists.

If you’re a fan of thrillers or Ruth Ware’s writing, then you should definitely consider reading this book. It might not have been one of my favourites but hopefully, you’ll enjoy it more!

Thanks for reading! Have you read this book? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Series I Stopped Reading But Would Love to Continue

Series I Stopped Reading But Would Love to Continue

Hello, lovelies!

This post was inspired by the brilliant Brianna at Brianna the Bookworm, whose original post you can read here.

As soon as I started reading Brianna’s post, I couldn’t help but think of all the series I started and then abandoned mid-way through. I’ve managed to narrow it down to only a small list that I would actually consider picking up again which was a lot harder than it sounds.

 

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I can’t even remember what book I got up to in this series, but I wish I’d carried on reading it. For a while, vampire and werewolf books were just being churned out in the masses and it became such a tired storyline, but I immediately fell in love with the world that Cassandra Clare created. I also loved watching it come to life in the TV adaptation of the series, Shadowhunters. Katherine McNamara was the perfect Clary!

 

 

The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

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I only read the first two books in this trilogy, so it frustrates me that I never got around to finishing it.  I have watched all of the films now but as I’m sure we all agree, that should never stop you from reading the book as well!

 

 

Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel

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I do intend to finish this series as I absolutely loved the first book ‘Sleeping Giants’ but I’ve just not had the chance yet. This is definitely high up on my never-ending TBR list!

 

 

Gone Series by Michael Grant

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I started this series so long ago now and I still often think about it and kick myself for not finishing it.  I remember absolutely devouring each book I read and just completely immersing myself in the story, it was so unique but also slightly scary for YA!

 

 

The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney

 

I think that this is the ‘unfinished series’ that annoys me the most. I absolutely loved these books. I read the first book ‘The Spooks Apprentice’ when I was still in school and it was just brilliant. They were dark, magical and unlike anything I’d read before. Who knows, maybe this post will inspire me to pick them back up and see what happens to Tom.

 

 

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

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With all the hype surrounding this series I thought I would get into it straight away but unfortunately, I only made it halfway through the first book. I do want to try and get back into it but it does feel like a big commitment.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these or are there any series you wish you’d finished reading? Let me know in the comments below!

T5T: Top 5 Fantasy Books

T5T: Top 5 Fantasy Books

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Tuesdays. If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress that is currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm. Each week you are given a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category. This week’s topic is the Top 5 Fantasy Books.

If you are also participating in Top 5 Tuesdays this week or you have previously done a post on a similar topic then please leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post!

 

  1. LOTR/The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

I know I’m cheating by combining these into one point, but it had to be done! Middle Earth will always be my favourite fantasy world. When you read either The Hobbit or any books from the LOTR trilogy, you are immediately immersed into Tolkien’s world which is one of the main reasons I love fantasy so much.

 

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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I picked up this book purely based on its cover and I’m so glad I did. Good fantasy novels with a strong female lead are like gold dust so I was so pleased when I read this story. Novik is a brilliant writer and storyteller and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

 

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus truly lives up to the hype. It is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read, and the descriptions are exceptional. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it makes me sad that I can’t actually go to the night circus as it sounds so amazing.

 

  1. The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

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This is actually a children’s book, but I read it when I was 22 and loved it. Bell creates such an interesting and unique world in The Crooked Sixpence and had me hooked from the first few chapters.

 

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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This series is incredibly imaginative and slightly creepy at the same time. I don’t know how these authors come up with these ideas, but I am so glad they do!

 

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favourite fantasy books? Let me know in the comments below!

REVIEW: The Power by Naomi Alderman

REVIEW: The Power by Naomi Alderman

Hello, lovelies!

Today I’m reviewing The Power by Naomi Alderman. The Power is quite a heavy book for a Sunday and this review will mention some topics that people may find difficult so please bear this in mind.

This is one of the most passionate reviews I have written so far so this is quite a long review which is unusual on this blog but once I started writing I just couldn’t stop myself.

 

Synopsis:

‘She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She’d put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.’

Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light

What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?”

 

My Thoughts:

“When does power exist? Only in the moment it is exercised.”

Where to even begin with this review?

I had very high expectations going into The Power because of all the hype surrounding the book and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint.This was one of the most thought-provoking and provocative books I’ve read for a while.

If you’ve read The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Attwood (or seen the recent TV version of it) then think of The Power as Gilead inverted. Alderman immerses her reader in a world where women everywhere are discovering a new and dangerous power within themselves. With the simplest touch or slight of their hand, they are capable of inflicting immense pain and even causing death. This new power awakens in women an intense rage. Those who have been oppressed are now in a position to fight back, but at what cost?

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Alderman’s writing was so compelling. Her tone is very direct and she doesn’t dress her narrative up with elongated descriptions. This bothered me at first as I felt like the writing was almost a bit lazy or lacking something but I soon got into it. The tone perfectly suited the narrative. With the new found power, the women are rationalising their actions and the direct approach in Alderman’s style captured this perfectly. I found myself highlighting quotes on every other page so I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you:

“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”

“This is the trouble with history. You can’t see what’s not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something’s missing, but there’s no way to know what it was.”

“One of them says, ‘Why did they do it, Nina and Darrell?’ And the other answers, ‘Because they could.’ That is the only answer there ever is.”

As you can see from the above quotes, Alderman has quite the way with words. She flips gender stereotypes on their head giving women the upper hand with her subtle critiques of gender stereotyping and identities. As more women find this power within them, the rates of domestic abuse against men rise. Men become afraid of women and women to become violent towards men. We see the stereotypical roles or attitudes of men and women change drastically.

One of my favourite examples of the clever way Alderman subtly highlights this is the ongoing inclusion of news segments throughout the narrative. We see the roles of the presenters change slightly as the power balance shifts. A young male presenter is brought in alongside the strong female lead. The woman delivers the hard-hitting news stories with the man only interjecting some affirmative comments and shallow insights. It is clear that the new male presenter is there to ‘smile and look pretty’ which is so on topic in the current climate with the ongoing conversations surrounding the treatment of women across industries.

The most powerful element of this book for me was the different reactions and outcomes that the reader witnesses across the globe. Alderman is not naive to the vastly different societies and situations that women live in across the world and her narrative reflects this. In America and England, the changes are very much political and practical. There is no mass outrage or rioting, there is just the slow and quiet take over of the decision maker roles by women in a very civilized manner. However, in the Middle-Eastern countries, the reaction is severe. Women who have been oppressed for so long are rebelling. They are driven by rage and a lust for revenge after being abused and denied many basic rights for so long. It is in these areas we start to see the break down of governments and societies as they were. Murder, rape, and pillaging becomes rife across countries. This was a particularly difficult part of the book to read but it was necessary. Alderman wanted us to see all the harsh parts of reality through a different lens.

The ending was another highlight for me. It was completely and utterly perfect. I must have highlighted about 10 different quotes from the last few pages alone. To give you some context, the beginning, and end of the book are written in exchanges between a writer an a what I assume is a publisher. This frames the rest of the story as we realise that The Power is written as a historical fiction book by this writer who is male. He is trying to publish his book that offers an alternative side to history that is more in line with all the historical evidence that exists. Towards the end of the novel, his exchanges with the female publisher about the book he has written were genius.

Some of my favourites were: “I know you probably didn’t mean it to come across as patronizing, but it’s not just ‘a fun idea’ to me”, “Every book you write is assessed as part of ‘men’s literature” and the subtler “I’ll ask my assistant if he’ll sort out some dates for us to have lunch”. I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of these but the one that takes the crown has to be the last line of the whole book which I know is a spoiler but I couldn’t resist including it:

“Neil, I know this might be very distasteful to you, but have you considered publishing this book under a woman’s name?”

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There were so many exceptional and brilliant things about this book but the one thing that stood out to me was that Alderman gets to the heart of the issue with society in this appropriately named story. The problem isn’t men or women. The problem is power. When the women find themselves in a position of strength, they abuse their power. They don’t do a better job at running countries and societies than the men have, they make the same mistakes and show the same cruelties. Why? Simply because they can. As Alderman rightly points out, ‘that is the only answer there ever is’.

Those who have power will always be in a position to harm those who don’t and as Alderman has rightly highlighted in this book, this isn’t a problem that is linked to either men or women. The idea that one must be superior or the most powerful is the real problem.

“Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn’t. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it’s hollow. Look under the shells: it’s not there.”

“There’s never been a right choice, honeybun. The whole idea that there are two things and you have to choose is the problem.”

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Thanks for reading! If you have made it to the end of this review then well done, you deserve a medal for sticking with me on this long rambling review!

Have you read the Power? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!