🐝 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…

🌈 Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed 🌈

My goodness! Two months since I last blogged. Whoops. I do have an excuse though – I’ve just come back from travelling around Europe. It was incredible. Nine countries, twelve cities, one backpack and I still managed to come home with five new books! There are some seriously great English bookshops to be found on the continent, but that’s for another post time! On to TTT. I struggled quite a lot for this topic. I only tend to re-read books I adore and my judgement first time round seems to be pretty sound but the more I thought about it the easier it got! Anyway, onto number one…

The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Salinger’s book is notoriously divisive so you probably won’t be surprised to see it here. I read it when I was a whiny teenager and liked it. I didn’t love it but it seemed to strike a chord with my self-centred, ‘misunderstood’, hormonal self. Fast-forward ten years and all I want to do is give Holden a good slap. Pull yourself together lad!

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Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

This is a book I believe I would feel differently about if I re-read it. I read it as my last Jane Austen book and I think I rushed through it, being so familiar with the plot (I’m a big fan of the Emma Thompson film.) I found it so-so but I think I would definitely enjoy it more if I gave it the proper time it deserved.

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Wuthering Heights

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A book I had to start multiple times, my first outing with Wuthering Heights was unsuccessful. I got too scared at ghost Cathy at the window and Joseph’s practically impenetrable Yorkshire vernacular completely put me off. Needless to say I persevered and Wuthering Heights is now one of my favourite books!

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The Fellowship of the Ring

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I’d just come off the back ‘The Hobbit’ and was super excited to carry on to Lord of the Rings, so I jumped straight into Fellowship and was horrified to discover I was bored. I trudged through the first couple of chapters but eventually gave up. It was years until I picked it up again after watching the film; a big regret of mine as I always like to read the book before I watch the film. As it turns out, Fellowship is my favourite book in the trilogy.

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1984

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1984 by George Orwell

The daddy of dystopia. I read it in school and hated it. Well, I liked the rat bit. Luckily, people kept being shocked at me hating it and I was persuaded to read it again. I’m so glad I did. It’s dystopian government is terrifying and it’s the believability of the whole thing that makes it so superlative.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling (illustrated edition)

We had to study Philosopher’s Stone in English and it genuinely one of my fondest school memories. It wasn’t a big deal then and only a handful of people had even heard of it. I read the first chapter and my immediate thoughts were ‘stupid’ and ‘boring.’ I can barely stand to write what I thought back then! I continued to think this until the chapter ‘The Vanishing Glass’ when I quickly got sucked in (like so many others) and Harry Potter became the series that defined my childhood.

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Catch-22

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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

From a book I have literally spent years starting and stopping and being confused as to why people love it so much to being one of my all-time favourite books. I plan to write a review soon so not much more to say but if you are struggling with the opening chapters, please persevere. I promise it’s worth it!

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Please leave your TTT link in the comments! Looking forward to reading them again ☺

The Hobbit

The Hobbit (Hardback)

By J.R.R.Tolkien

Published: 21st September 1937

By George Allen and Unwin

Rating: 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲

Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, happily living an unremarkable life in the Shire when he bumps into the wizard Gandalf. Soon, he is hosting a tea party for 13 dwarves and the wizard and planning to steal the precious hoard of the great dragon, Smaug. Disgruntled Bilbo tries to usher out his guests as soon as possible but soon finds himself caught up in their adventure as the expedition’s official ‘burglar.’

💜 What I loved 💜

I first read The Hobbit when I was 10 and it has stayed as one of my all time favourites. My brother highly recommended it to me and my mum warned me not to read it (she can’t stand Tolkien, the philistine!) but I’m so glad I took my brother’s advice. The story is pure adventure from start to finish. Tolkien creates worlds like no one else; every song, every character, every place has a rich backstory for you to emerse yourself in. Don’t even get me started on the majestic depth of the languages he created!

 I don’t find the story drags at all throughout the book (which I find happens occassionally in Lord of the Rings – don’t hate me! I still think it’s amazing!) and Bilbo excells as the voice of reason amongst desperate, vengeful or greedy men, dwarves and elves. The real highlight for me is the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter where we are first introduced to Gollum and he and Bilbo go head to head in a riddle contest. It’s amazing how something so mundane sounding could have me literally chewing my nails in suspense but Tolkien cracks it completely!

💀 Bad Bits 💀

If I had to be super super pernickity, I would say that there are probably just too many dwarves for you to feel a real emotional connection to anyone of them individually (except perhaps Thorin.) 

🌟 Cherished Characters 🌟

Bilbo: The heart of the story. Bilbo is definitely a reluctant burglar, but damn, he gives it his all when thrown into that situation! He is loyal, brave and above all wants peace and prosperity for everyone, be they dwarves, elves or men.

Gandalf: The head of the story. Let’s face it, reclaiming the Lonely Mountain is Gandalf’s plan and he is the one that sets it in motion. He is shrewd, witty, has an arm length’s list of useful contacts and sees the heroism in Bilbo, long before he himself is aware of it.

Gollum: The villain? Gollum is such a fascinating creature. He lives on a lake in the Misty Mountains and likes to strangle and eat any unwitting goblins who come his way. He is pretty repulsive when we first meet him, intending to murder and eat Bilbo and contanstly talking to himself. But when Bilbo sees him sobbing over the loss his one love, the ring, we feel the same pity that Bilbo does. Who is this creature who lives isolated in the dark whose one precious possession is nothing more than a hunk of metal?

🐙 Magic Moment 🐙

The whole ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter. It’s just spectacular.  

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Gold bear award

🐝 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 Books We Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under Our Trees This Year 🌈

Work has been so super busy and I’m trying to plan for my holiday on New Year’s Day that I’ve been a bit lax in my blog posts (naughty me!!) I will be better in the new year! Anyway, I’m going to be looking at the prettiest books I would like to adorn my bookshelf with this Christmas. So without further ado…

Harry Potter and the Philopsopher’s Stone (Ilustrated)

Harry Potter and the Phiolosopher’s Stone illustrated by Jim Kay. Book and images by Bloomsbury

 

I want it so much it hurts!

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The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set (Paperback)

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Our family copies of LoTR is in a bad way (they are my mum’s from the 70’s!) and my copy of The Hobbit never recovered from when I accidently doused it in coke on a school trip. A lovely new, matching set would be perfect!

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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 (hardcover)

My friend actually bought me beautiful copies of the three individual books a few years ago so I can’t really complain, but I think this edition is just sumptuous!

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Discworld Series

Wyrd Sisters

Guards! Guards!: Discworld: The City Watch Collection (Hardback)

Mort: Discworld: The Death Collection (Hardback)

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

I’ve long been ashamed to say I have never read any Terry Pratchett, especially since his sad passing this year. It’s definitely on my resolutions list to read at least one of this books, and with these beautiful designs, I have no excuse not too!

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Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Grimm's Fairy Tales - Fall River Classics (Hardback)

Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Arthur Rackham

I love fairy tales but I don’t have a compilation of fairy tales! I have chosen this particular copy as it’s illustrated by one of my favourite illustrators, Arthur Rackham.

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The Odyssey

The Odyssey - Penguin Clothbound Classics (Hardback)

The Odyssey by Homer

I’ve long admired this copy of the Odyssey by Penguin. My own copy is the one I used in college and for my degree and so is covered in post-its, highlights and scribblings. I think this copy would be quite at home on my bookshelf!

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Puffin Classics Deluxe Collection

 

 

The collection contains Black Beauty, Peter Pan, The Call of the Wild, The Wind in the Willows, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Secret Garden, Huckleberry Finn and Anne of Green Gables! Just look at it. A majestic rainbow of literature! 

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So, if you could sort these out for me Santa I would be forever grateful! Let me see your TTT list by leaving a link in the comments!

🐝 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 a Thanksgiving freebie so I’ve gone for…

🌈 Top Ten Fictional Families I’d like to spend Thanksgiving With 🌈

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but from what I’ve seen on TV it’s like a mini Christmas – lots of good grub and spending time with your friends and family. Sounds great! Anyway here are some fictional families I’d like to eat, drink and be merry with for Thanksgiving..

The Weasleys

The Weasleys in the ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K.Rowling

Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron and Ginny. Definitely my favourite ginger, wizarding family and probably my favourite fictional family of all time. The Burrow looks super cozy and I bet Mrs. Weasly puts on a good spread! If they welcome you like they welcome Harry, you’ve found your second home.

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The Finches

To Kill a Mockingbird (Hardback)

The Finches in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee

I haven’t read Harper Lee’s new book, so in my mind Atticus Finch is still the perfect father. Noble, caring and compassionate – definitely someone I’d love to sit down and have a cup of tea with!

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The Murrays

A Wrinkle in Time - A Puffin Book (Paperback)

The Murrays in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle

I like that the Murrays are all quite different but care so deeply for one another. You know you’re going to come home with your brain absolutely on fire with ideas. Plus, it would be super interesting to talk inter-dimensional travel with them round the dinner table!

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The Peach Crew

James and the Giant Peach (Paperback)

James and the insects in ‘James and the Giant Peach’ by Roald Dahl

Definitely the most untraditional family on the list! I don’t even know what to call them as a collective. So yes, technically they are not a family (they are not even the same species) but I love to think of James and company settling down in New York and the bugs becoming James’ surrogate parents. They’d definitely do a better job than Aunts Sponge and Spiker did!

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The Mortmains

I Capture the Castle (Paperback)

The Mortmains in ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith

The Mortmains are a real family with great flaws and qualities and are anything if not endlessly interesting. Topaz’s eccentricity, Cassandra’s realism… You’d definitely not be bored in that household. Also, Thanksgiving in a castle would be spectacular, although I’d give the running around outside naked with Topaz a pass!

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The Gamgees

The Two Towers: The Lord of the Rings, Part 2 (Paperback)

The Gamgees in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sam, Gaffer, Rosie and the (thirteen!) kids are just the most adorable hobbit family! Can you imagine sitting in Bag End in front of the fire, eating some cake with your tea and Sam retelling his journey with the Fellowship. That would be a dream come true…

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As this is a freebie, I’m keen to see what everyone else has chosen for their topic for this TTT. Please leave a link in the comments! 

🐝 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…

🌈 Halloween Freebie! 🌈

🎃 Creepy Cornucopia! 🎃

So this is my first freebie week. I don’t read many scary stories, or watch scary films since I’m a self-proclaimed wimp! So this week I’m going to pick anything creepy I’ve ever come across while reading, be it terrifying tales, disturbing drawings, sinister sections or creepy covers. So, in order of how I encountered them, here’s my top ten.

  1. The Witches by Roald Dahl

Quentin Blake’s The Grand High Witch in Dahl’s ‘The Witches’

Roald Dahl loves the macabre and never shies away from something gruesome but I think ‘The Witches’ is the most terrifying piece of work he’s produced. 

Coupled with that, Quentin Blake’s spot on illustrations and Angelica Houston’s portrayal in the movie, ‘The Witches’ terrified me for far longer than I care to admit!

2. Book cover of Carrie 

Carrie by Stephen King

I’ve never read Carrie or seen the film but my mum had/has a copy which shows a woman with her face dripping with blood. (I actually managed to find the actual cover she owned, pictured above.) I used to turn it around so the cover wouldn’t show because it made me so jumpy and nervous!

3. The Dead Marshes in The Two Towers by J.R.R.Tolkien

A spectre from the Dead Marshes from the Two Towers movie by Peter Jackson

Oh the moment the hobbits spotted the dead faces in the water, I knew I’d have nightmares. Of course, The Lord of the Rings adaption is superlative and it was even more disturbing to see it on the big screen. Just look how terrifying that is? Brrr!

4. All the dead things in Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Considering a have massive dead things/zombie phobia, I’m pretty proud to have made it through Sabriel and all the consequent sequels (and prequels) where the re-animated dead feature heavily! Sabriel’s primary foe, Kerrigor, is particular horrifying.

5. The Inferi in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling

The inferi on the cover of the Half Blood Prince, Bloomsbury edition.

The dead bodies that come to life in the cave when Harry and Dumbledore are retrieving the first ‘horcrux’? Yeah, nope. I especially hate that bit in the film where you absolutely know with unerring certainty that one is going to burst out the water and grab Harry but you still jump out of your skin when it happens.

6. The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy 

The Withered Arm published by Oxford University Press

I studied this short story as part of my exams when I was in school. There’s a part when a character awakes to an incubus crouched on her chest that begins to torment her. The rest of the tale is just as jolly. I had to read it through my fingers in class! 

7. Cathy’s Ghost in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights published by Penguin (design by Coralie Bickford-Smith)

I almost fell at the first hurdle when reading Wuthering Heights. In the first few chapters, Mr. Lockwood is forced to stay at Wuthering Heights. It’s a stormy night and the branches off the tree scratching against the window pane are keeping him awake. He smashes the window to brush it away (as you do) when a ghostly hand seizes his and demands to be let in. He can’t shake off the phantom’s hand so he rubs the ghost’s wrists against the broken glass until it bleeds profusely and lets go. Just horrible! I get a dreadful sensation even writing it! It’s a miracle I carried on reading.

8. Madeline Usher in The Fall of the House of Usher by  Edgar Allan Poe

The Fall of the House of Usher, Vintage Classic Kindle version

Of course Poe had to figure here somewhere! In the story, Roderick Usher entombs his sister alive and seriously sinister antics ensue. The story is excellent but I don’t like to dwell on it too much (did I mention I was a wuss?!)

9. The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

I had to teach this poem in my first year of teaching. It was super tough to pretend I wasn’t creeped out in front of my class of ten and eleven year olds!

10. Dracula by Bram Stoker

I love this Barnes and Noble leather-bound classic edition!

This is actually the next book I plan to read, if I’m feeling brave enough of course! Dracula is so part of the collective conscience that I genuinely don’t know what to expect but I’m excited to tackle it!

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