🐝 Top Ten Tuesday 🐝

I’ve decided to muscle in on The Broke and the Bookish‘s fantastic Top Ten Tuesday meme! This week it’s…

🌈 top ten books I love but feel like I haven’t talked about enough 🌈

So many lovely books, so little time! Inevitably, you end up talking about the most popular books and some of your other favourites get left behind. So, today is for them.

Watership Down

Watership Down (Paperback)

Watership Down by Richard Adams

When I talk about my favourite books of all time, this one is definitely in my top five. Although it is a children’s book, I only read it recently but I was so blown away by the adventure and morality in this book about rabbits. It had been in my to ‘to be read’ pile for as long as I can remember but I had always been put off by the animated film version I’d seen when I was younger. Seriously, harrowing doesn’t even come close (but it’s also super good!) But I’m so glad I put my fears aside and read it. It’s a long time since a book left me genuinely breathless with excitement but I definitely stayed up until the wee hours to find out what would happen to Hazel and his warren.

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The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar (Paperback)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The book I read just before Watership Down left a profound mark too. Poignantly published just a month before her own suicide, the semi-autobiographical tale by Sylvia Plath documents a young woman with the world seeming at her feet. She’s attractive, incredibly intelligent and gifted but suffers from severe depression. Plath tackles isolation, depression and suicide honestly and her writing reflects her own immense gift for poetry. A must read.

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His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: Including All Three Novels: Northern Light, the Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass (Hardback)

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

With Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings being as popular as they are, it’s sometimes difficult for another fantasy series to get a look in but ‘His Dark Materials’ really is up there with the best. Controversially, the trilogy deals with Miltonian themes of Christianity, Original Sin, multi-universe theories, particle physics and philosophy among other cerebral themes. Pullman invites children to ponder these adult themes while they follow Lyra and Will in a story filled with adventure, betrayal and sacrifice.

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The Secret History

The Secret History (Paperback)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History is recent Pulitzer prize winning Donna Tartt’s first novel and what a début novel! A terse thriller, narrator Richard reveals from the outset that one of members of an elite Classics group (of which he is part of) has been murdered. The novel follows Richard and the five other  Ancient Greek students and slowly reveals the details of the murder as well as the life of Richard’s peculiar classmates. Donna Tartt is a Pulitzer winner for a reason. If ‘The Goldfinch’ is looking a bit too big and scary, I highly recommend you start here!

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Adrian Mole

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (Paperback)

The Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend

This is the series I’ve read more than any other (even Harry Potter!) It’s just so accessible, side-achingly funny and touching. Written in diary form, we begin with Adrian when he is 13 (and 3/4) years old and follow his teenage dreams of marrying childhood sweetheart, Pandora, and becoming an accomplished writer. Through the subsequent books we follow Adrian as he grows up, has children, a number of failed marriages and is completely unable to fulfil his dreams. It may sound depressing but no other books have ever made me laugh so much! Even the final book, where Adrian develops prostate cancer is addressed with wit and tact. Sadly, Sue Townsend died in 2014 so we’ll never know how Adrian’s story ends…

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I’m really looking forward to hearing your unsung favourites so please leave a link in the comments to your TTT!  

 

🐝 Top Ten Tuesday 🐝

So I’ve decided to muscle in on The Broke and the Bookishs fantastic Top Ten Tuesday meme! This week it’s…

🌈 Top Ten Books to Movies we Can’t Wait for 🌈

Book to film adaptations are always exciting. They can be incredible (Lord of the Rings) or pretty terrible (The Hobbit) and I always get just that bit more of a buzz knowing they’ll be based on a book I love! So here goes…

Mockingjay Part II

Mockingjay Part II is out on 19th November in the UK

I’ve definitely enjoyed the Hunger Games films so far, although I was pretty annoyed when I heard they were splitting the last book into 2 films (enough with that already!) Also, it doesn’t hurt to watch the knuckle-chewingly gorgeous Liam Hemsworth as Gale for 2 odd hours. #teamGaleforlife

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book is released in the UK on 15th April 2016

I don’t think I’m really that sold on all these remakes of Disney classics as live-action but the trailer for The Jungle Book looks pretty awesome. I think they’ll be hard pressed to beat the original soundtrack which is definitely one of Disney’s best!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts will be released on 18th November 2016 in the UK

It’s in the Harry Potter universe so I have no choice but to be excited for Fantastic Beasts! I really enjoyed the book version that J. K. Rowling released for Comic Relief  and I don’t think you can go far wrong with having Eddie Redmayne at the helm.

His Dark Materials

OK, it’s not a movie but I was super excited when I heard that Philip Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’ were going to be made into a television series. The previous movie adaptation of ‘The Northern Lights’ known as ‘The Golden Compass’ was a rather tepid affair. I have great faith in the BBC (their Austen adaptations are always on point) and I really hope they stay true the source material which likes to challenge children, rather than pander to them. Also, it will be filmed in Wales (my home country) so maybe I can be an extra or sneak in the background somewhere! 

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What adaptations are you looking forward to? Leave a link to your TTT in the comments for me to check out!

🐝 Top Ten Tuesday 🐝

So I’ve decided to muscle in on The Broke and the Bookish‘s fantastic Top Ten Tuesday meme! This week it’s…

🌈Top Ten Sophomore Novels That We Loved Just As Much If Not More Than The Author’s Début🌈

I don’t think I’ve actually read many début novels, or if I have their début was so long ago they have passed into the annals of history. My list is therefore more accurately ‘sequels to books that may or may not have been the author’s début but which I like just as much as the first book .’ It’s a bit of a mouthful so I kept the original title.

1. The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

Published by Puffin Classics and illustrated by Pauline Baynes

The Magician’s Nephew is the prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (although it was written afterwards) and is actually my favourite book in the series. I loved the characters of Digory and Polly (and even Uncle Andrew) and the chapter where they go to the dying world of Charn and accidentally wake the White Witch is one of my favourite parts in children’s literature. 

2. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident and The Eternity Code

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident published by Puffin Books

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code published by Puffin Books

I bashfully admit that I never finished the Artemis Fowl series. I don’t even have a good reason why. I did however very much enjoy the two Artemis Fowl books that followed the début immensely. In the first book, Artemis is very much at odds with the Fairy people but in the second and third books they begrudgingly work together and friendships even begin to form. I need to pick up this series again!

3. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake 

Published by Vintage Classics. Illustrations by Mervyn Peake.

I’ve never met anyone else who has read the Gormenghast trilogy. I keep pestering my brother to read them as I know he would enjoy them but to no avail. Anyway, I devoured ‘Titus Groan’, the first in the trilogy, but thought ‘Gormenghast’ was even better. I love the macabre web of misdeeds and deceptions strewn across the castle of Gormenghast and I think Steerpike, is one of the most arresting and Machiavellian characters I’ve come across in any genre! If you do get your hands on a copy, try to get one with Peake’s original illustrations as he was an excellent artist.

4. Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Lirael published by Harper Trophy (US cover)

Abhorsen published by Harper Teen (US cover)

I really loved Sabriel when I read it many, many years ago and fretted if it could be matched by its predecessors. I needn’t have worried as I thought Lirael and Abhorsen were spectacular. Lirael is such a relatable character and the plot was fraught with danger and adventure. And of course it is inconceivable to dislike any novel with Mogget and the Disreputable Dog as supporting characters!

5. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials published by Everyman’s Library (hardcover)

The Northern Lights (or Golden Compass as it’s known is some places) is one of my favourite children’s books. The whole trilogy is outstanding with excellent protagonists in Lyra and Will, a touch of the fantastical with daemons, witches and highly sentient armoured bears and adult themes of theology, philosophy and responsibility. If I had to chose, The Northern Lights would just edge out the other two but they are more than worthy successors.    

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So there are my top five sequel books and I’m proud of myself for having finished a Top Ten post without mentioning Harry Potter! Go me!

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry-Potter-and-the-Prisoner-of-Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published by Bloomsbury

Nobody’s perfect. 😉