Top 5 English Eccentrics in Books

Hello all! So after my post yesterday I started thinking very tangentially about the best of British things… and I came up with the English Eccentric, because one of the best thing about this country is the infamous English Eccentrics (yes other countries have interesting animals roaming about in the wild… we have peculiar and unusual people wandering about in wellies) And while I was musing about this over my cup of tea, I decided this would be a great chance to show the WORLD the kind of book characters that are Oh-So-English.

Without further ado- here are my top five favourite English Eccentrics in books:

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Mr Bennet– eccentrics are supposedly a little irregular and don’t bow to conventions- this suits Mr Bennet to a T. With his subtle humour and frequently disappearing off to his library, he doesn’t necessarily always act as he should. Still, he’s one of the most loveable father figures in literature and definitely has his family’s interests at heart.

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Dumbledore!!– Not-quite-a-doddery-old-fool, Dumbledore is one helluva wizard, with rather a particular taste in sweets. He probably should have told Harry what was up earlier in the story, yet I think that’s part of his charm (no pun intended)

Arkham cover D final

Lord Henry– outrageous, witty and totally outside the box, Henry steals the show as the voice for Wilde in Picture of Dorian Gray. And yes, his humour tends towards the more mischievous side, but we love him for it. (BTW the ’09 film portrayal *is not* the same character, so I didn’t use that picture)

aunt betsey david copperfield2

Aunt Betseyfrom David Copperfield I reckon there are *loads* of Dickensian characters that could fill this slot, I just happen to find her exceptionally wacky.

mort nice edition

DEATH– and not just any Death, Pratchett’s Death. I think all of Pratchett’s works are the blueprint for the eccentricities of his soul, so I can’t really put my finger on why this character calls to me as the best example. I just think that the little oddities of Death’s behaviour in the Discworld really takes the biscuit… or the curry (he’s a fan 😉 )

This is by no means an exhaustive list- who do you think is a great eccentric (English) character? Let me know in the comments!

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The Great British Bake Off Book Tag

the great british bake off book tag

Hello! Long time no see 😉 I’ve been a bit busy the last week and not had the chance to come on here as much as I’d like, anyway *excuses excuses* I thought I’d do a quick tag today to make it up 😉 And no, I don’t watch the show, but everyone likes cake, I like cake and I’m craving cake right now, so cue CAKE TAG (that sentence just sound like cake cake CAKKKE!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful Zezee for tagging me to do this! Her blog is a scrumptious array of awesome things- so if you haven’t checked it out yet… what are you doing with your time?!

Rules:

Link back to the creator Zaheerah’s post.

Tag people or don’t. Just have fun.

Ready, get set, Bake! (or tag)

Amateur Baker: A book that is self-published

masters and beginners version 2

By my lovely friend Daley Downing!

Soggy Bottom: A book that had a great start but a disappointing ending

wings

Because why on earth did they have to turn out to be plants? (okay, that’s not technically the end, so not a spoiler- but seriously it can’t really be uphill from there 😉 )

#Bingate: A book you great frustrated with and had to DNF

wicked

This is hard cos I rarely DNF things cos I’m frustrated (boring me is more of a putdownable offence)- heck I rarely DNF things period. So I’m cheating by saying Wicked because I originally quit reading this cos I hated the writing style (I went back to it six months later and finished it- still hated the writing though)

Junior Bake Off: A children’s book

tiger who came to tea

Just cos it’s classic.

A Hollywood Handshake: A book that impressed you

bear and the nightingale

I’ve not reviewed this yet, but mannnn this BLEW ME AWAY!

Signature Challenge: A book that you would recommend to your friends and family

man's search for meaning

Frankly I recommend this to everyone.

Technical Challenge: Books that you read without knowing much beforehand; rank them from worst to best

Some of these were happy accidents… others not so much.

marked

Honestly, I feel like I was a victim of blurb and cover fraud with this one cos it was not what I thought it would be. If I’d known what this was actually about, I wouldn’t have picked it up.

twilight

Believe it or not, I read this before it was “cool”- I know, I know I’m a Twilight Hipster 😉 I also think the blurb made me think of a *totally* different type of book.

facing the light

Totally underrated.

we were liars

A lot of the marketing around this book was about how you shouldn’t know anything going in- and that recommendation is completely correct, so I’m not going to tell you *anything* (except that it’s brilliant, go read it 😉 )

poison chris wooding

I picked this up on a whim, knowing nothing about it, and it was one of the best surprises of my life. Also, the blurb tells you very little about the actual plot, so it was even more unexpected than I could have imagined.

The Finalists: A favorite trilogy

daughter of smoke and bone

Okay in the interest of not using the same trilogy for the millionth time, I’m gonna go with Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I’m currently rereading (very slo-o-owly) the first one with Being a Book Nerd and loving it!

An Extra Slice: A favorite companion book

wizard heir

Okay, so these books are pretty unusual as companion fantasy books. They do have an overarching plot that becomes more involved as it goes on, but I definitely consider the second one a companion to the first (and you could probably just start at book 2)

That’s it! I tag:

Steph (cos I know how much you like cake 😉 ), Claire (ditto), Nel, Jess @MudandStars, Charley @BooksandBakes, Katie @NeverNotReading, Beth@ReadingEveryNight, Rebecca @MyLifeAsASportsFangirlMarcia and Melting Pot and Other Calamities

And for everyone else- what’s your favourite type of cake? Let me know in the comments!

Write Your Heart Out… Great Books About Writing

Hello all! I figured since I’ve been talking about writing, it might be fun to list some fiction that features writing! This was actually a surprisingly hard list to come up with books for though. Either I don’t read enough books starring writers or there aren’t many of them (which is weird cos there’s a cliché about a lot of authors writing about writers)

The Angel’s Game– you guys know I love Shadow of the Wind and this sequel is almost as good. Where the first Cemetery of Forgotten Books focused on reading, this one focuses on writing! And man, Zafon clearly knows what he’s doing there!

angels-game

I Capture the Castle– this begins with the best opening line of all time: “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” So yeah, it’s about writing- but also SO MUCH MORE!

i capture the castle.jpg

Fangirl– one of my favourite things about this book (apart from the romance, obviously) was how well Rowell managed to capture that feeling of writing. Though everyone has a different style, this managed to capture something universal about the process.

FangirlWIP

Shosha– Ahh Bashevis Singer- everything he writes is lyrical and fairytale-esque. I can’t gush enough about his writing! This is a little different to other books on this list though, since it’s only partly about the journey of the author, and more about a lost world, an enduring love and the shadow of a future that threatens to overwhelm it all.

shosha

Keep the Aspidistra Flying– this was an excellent book about a struggling poet- but obviously being by Orwell it’s not as simple as that. It’s also about conformity, “the money-world” and the question of whether we should follow our dreams at all…

keep the aspidistra flying

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Do you know any good books about writing? Let me know in the comments!

The Writer’s Tag

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Hello!! First of all, I want to say thank you for the awesome comments yesterday, I was not having a terribly productive day (*cough* to say the least) and reading everything you wrote was a great pick-me-up 😀 ❤

Secondly, I saw this awesome tag over on Kat@LifeandOtherDisasters’s wonderful blog and I thought it was perfect for this month! Do check out her post cos her answers rock!! (and it’ll lead you to discover her brilliant WIP!) Okay, let’s get this party started!

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I ❤️ fantasy. Seriously, everything I’ve ever written is fantasy and I don’t plan to change that. I’ve written a YA fantasy duology, I’m working on a dystopic fantasy trilogy, and I’m planning some high fantasy series for the future. Oh and I have an idea for a gothic novella… which is basically old school fantasy 😉 You get the idea, fantasy’s my jam 😉

dragon gif

How long have you been writing?

Hard to say when I went from just making up stories to play and when I started writing them down… If you count all forms of storytelling, then forever

Why do you write?

I loved Kat’s answer here- basically in short: I HAVE to. It’s a compulsion.

When is the best time to write?

Night-time!!

night time.gif

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

Lots of things…

LOVE:

  • Endings!!
  • When characters get a mind of their own- I mentioned this to Kat cos she had this on her list, but the best time this happened to me was when one of my characters came out as gay halfway through the aforementioned trilogy- it was a bit of an “ohhh” moment cos it was unintentional (that character and I get on so much better cos he’d been a bit of an enigma to me before)
  • When I’m on a role and the words are just flowing and you’re not too worried about what’s getting put on the page
  • When you read over said words and it’s not half bad

writing

HATE:

  • When you read over said words and it’s the worst thing you’ve ever read and you should probably scrap it all, but it was a lot of work so you don’t want to scrap it all, but arghh it’s crap, so you end up scrapping it all :/
  • When you’re book doesn’t like you very much and needs a million and one edits
  • When you’ve been working on the same thing for years and there’s no end in sight
  • Fear of showing people and guilt about not sharing it with people

bad writing gig

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I write something else. Like I said it’s a compulsion and I always have to be writing *something*

Are you working on something at the moment?

Yes indeedy- that aforementioned trilogy. Annnd I’m trying to figure out what I can say without giving anything away. Hmm… I think I traumatised my bestie the other day giving her book 2- so that was good… Sort of 😉

lord of the rings writing gif

What are your writing goals this year?

Well it’s near the end of the year, so a lot of my targets for 2017 are done- namely finishing book 2. I was actually pretty wiped out after completing it back in the summer and was gonna leave it there for a while…. But no time like the present, when I realised Nano was coming up and that I’d have a shot at doing something for it, I decided I wanted to press on with book 3, cos why not? So my plan is to get a reasonable amount of the way through by the end of the year (hopefully so that next year, I’ll be able to write that elusive “The End”- that’s the dream anyway 😉 )

Annnd now I think I’ve prattled on enough- I tag Daley Downing, Sophie Li, Marie, Eve Messenger, CharlotteDani and all the writers that are reading this!

So do you write? What’s your genre of choice? Let me know in the comments!

Explosive Books For Bonfire Night!

Remember, remember the fifth of November…

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Yup- tonight is Bonfire Night in the UK!! And one of the best things about living in a flat is that I’ve been getting a free firework display out my window all week! 😀 Anyhoo, in the spirit of the season, I’ve decided to write a quick post celebrating some explosive books (very quick, since I’m currently burning the candle at both ends with my Nano plans… but more on that another time 😉 ) Here we go…

Jude the Obscure– let’s start of nice and gently… WITH THE MOST DEVASTATING BOOK OF ALL TIME!! (what did you think this was going to be a sparkler- NOPE this is a firecracker straight through the heart- you’re welcome 😉 ) Jude was shocking back in the day, but to my mind I can’t see a future when this will cease to have an impact.

jude

Engleby– who likes a good thriller? Me! And this has a killer of a plot twist and like one of those fountain-thingys is seriously underrated.

Engleby

Gone Girl– speaking of thrillers, I could hardly fail to include Flynn’s masterpiece, since this book officially has the BIGGEST plot twist EVER! Now I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it there (just know it’s an *epic* book and well worth a read!!)

gone-girl-PB

Game of Thrones– moving onto fantasy, everyone knows by now that Martin is the king of the plot twist- and let’s be honest, no one saw that first main character dying way back in the day…game of thrones book

Young Elites– I was pleasantly surprised by this dark book for loads of reasons- not least because it had the most incendiary, unexpected ending!! It popped up out of nowhere!!

the young elites

Crooked Kingdom– okay do I really need to let you know how much I love this book after raving about it last week?! This book is DYNAMITE from beginning to end (and man, that ending really blew everything up *sobs*)

crooked kingdom

Checkmate– alright, so being more literal now, this book centres round a bomb plot, that may or may not go off… It’s high stakes and tense stuff. And the whole book being will she/won’t she really reminds me of a Catherine Wheel (Also, if you can’t tell I really want to bring this series circling back 😉 )

checkmate

Illuminae– and speaking of a explosions, that’s just how this starts. And if you think it lets up at any point in the story, you would be WRONG! From beginning to end, this book’s a meteoric ball of excitement! Speaking of which…

illuminae

The Martian– AHH this book is a rollercoaster of emotions- it makes you feel simultaneously stressed and excited and awestruck! And if rockets are your jam, then this book will send you to Mars!

the martian

Golden Son– I really I could have said any of the books in the Red Rising trilogy, but if you know how this ends, then you know that this second instalment in particular BLOWS ALL THE OTHERS OUT OF THE WATER!!

golden son

Okay, I sincerely apologise to you for any harm done by my godawful puns in this post 😉 Hopefully I’ve not scared you away 😉

While we’re on explosive topics, I wanted to announce on my blog (in case you missed it over on twitter) that the winner of my giveaway was Daley Downing– I’m so excited because she’s an amazing blogger and author!! So please do check her out here!!

And that’s all for today- do you have any *explosive* book recommendations? And do you celebrate Bonfire Night? Let me know in the comments! And have a great rest of the weekend!!

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

YAS IT’S HALLOWEEN AT LAST!! Time for another *frightfully* fun tag!

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Thank you so much to the awesome-and-endlessly-entertaining All Bout Them Books and Stuff and the fantastic Queen of Fantasy Dragons and Zombies for tagging me to do this tag! Do check them out!

The Rules:

  • Choose 5 books!
  • Randomly set up your books in order.
  • Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you see.
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them!
  • Cry at how screwed you are…

 

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The Apocalypse

THE FIRST PERSON TO DIE: Prince Achilles, Song of Achilles– well we’re screwed.

THE PERSON YOU TRIP TO ESCAPE THE ZOMBIES: Patroclus, Song of Achilles– yeahhh gotta admit that makes sense… Not cos I hate the character, far from it, but he’s kinda expendable.

THE PERSON THAT TRIPS YOU TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES: Kate, This Savage Song– well that actually seems about right.

THE FIRST PERSON TO TURN INTO A ZOMBIE: August, This Savage Song– okay again I gotta say that makes a lot of sense. I mean isn’t he already sort of a monster? I mean I’m sure he wouldn’t like eating brains, but it can’t be any worse than souls 😉

THE TEAM IDIOT: Poor old Matthias (Crooked Kingdom) I don’t know if he deserves that label

THE BRAINS OF THE GROUP: Kaz Brekker, Crooked Kingdom– now this is a little bit too perfect

THE TEAM MEDIC: Seph, Wizard Heir– I could actually see this- this cinnamon roll of a character is actually a new favourite of mine, and though (in the book I’ve read) he doesn’t have any medical training, I could see him picking it up (I mean, he is a wizard, it’s not impossible)

THE WEAPONS EXPERT:  Jason, Wizard Heir– as long as the weapons are actually ancient magical artefacts that he “borrowed” from somewhere or other.

THE BRAWLER: The Librarian, Unseen Academicals– full disclosure, this is not entirely coincidental, since the book was bookmarked at my favourite place, but THIS IS PERFECT FOR THIS QUESTION!

THE TEAM LEADER: Nutt, Unseen Acadmicals, well I wasn’t going to get lucky twice with this, now was I? *Sigh* if only I’d bookmarked it on a Vetinari page 😉 Ah well at least we have a banana for the monkey, this should hold the zombies off…form50027

I TAG:

Nel, Raistlin, Briana and Krysta @Pages Unbound, Dani @Perspective of a Writer, Rivermoose Reads, LiisCharlotte, Rebecca @My Life As a Sports Fangirl, Kat, MarieSophie, Lashaan and Trang @BookidoteAli @IWuvBooks, RAINNever Not Reading, ZezeeWordaholic AnonymousAngelica and The Book Raven (yes I went a bit mad with the tagging, but this is so good I wanted to share it around- forgive me if you’ve already done it and feel free to do it even if I’ve not tagged you!)

That’s all for now- ttfn!

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I am a MONSTER- some (really specific) bookish confessions

This is one of my favourite times of year. So to celebrate, I’ve dug deep and found some awfully specific, monstrous confessions. Let’s jump right in:

  1. writing in books exhibit aI’ve mentioned before, but I don’t take good care of my books– I write in them, I dogear the pages, I don’t (always) care if the spines are creased- still the vast majority are second hand, so #noguilt

 

  1. Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverI had a lot of firsts with Harry Potter, some of which may not be so popular… As some of you may know Harry Potter was the first “big” book I read, introducing me to the wonderful world of books when I was seven… but that’s not where the story ended and that’s not the only impact it had on my reading journey. You see, I’m actually sentimental about Harry Potter for a reason that might be sacrilegious to some: it’s also the first book I critiqued (#sorrynotsorry). Annnd even this little fact is enough to get me in trouble, so I’ll leave that there (can you tell I’m a little afraid? 😉 )

fear

  1. wideacreI stopped reading historical fiction for two years at one point. And since this is a confessions piece, I’m gonna be brutally honest: it was cos I was so scarred by Phillipa Gregory (and irritated by the historical inaccuracy in her books). I know that’s harsh, but it was especially harsh on me, cos I love a good piece of historical fiction. Of course, I stupidly picked up another Gregory book not so long ago… I never learn! Gah!

 

  1. murder-on-the-orient-express-agatha-christieI’ve never read an Agatha Christie book and I don’t plan to– it’s a niggling thing that I probably should, but at the same time I have no desire to pick one up no matter how many times I see it in the library.

 

 

  1. twilightI’m to blame for spreading Twilight round my year like a plague. This was unintentional- but I can never avoid the fact it was *my* copies of Twilight that did the rounds in my school. Oops.

 

 

  1. 'Me_Before_You'I don’t always cry at sad books– I was dried eyed over The Fault in Our Stars  and even in the notoriously devastating Me Before You– which I sobbed over- I cried at the *wrong* part. Highlight for spoiler: not the part when he dies, but when she’s raped earlier in the book.

 

 

  1. whoopsI answered a question on an exam once for a book I hadn’t read… because, you know, I hadn’t revised properly. And do you know what? I actually did just fine in that exam. Maybe the other sections pulled up the grade- but I distinctly remember that exam getting progressively more awful. (Of course I bluffed in class too, but I feel like this is slightly worse)

 

  1. grimmsI have *a lot* of different Fairy Tale anthologies– for instance I have 4 of Grimms alone… Normally I’m pretty good with book doubles- since I got my Shakespeare compendium, I’ve gotten rid of all other copies except a nice one of Richard II. BUT when it comes to Fairy Tales, there’s no limit to the number of copies I have/want. I mean there’s totally reasons for this: some of them are collectibles, others have different essays at the back, and I feel like with translations you need several versions to see which one you like (at least that’s my opinion- when I did Classics at uni, I generally felt it helped to have a minimum of three translations in front of you- especially if you were doing a close reading) So yeah… totally justifiable… (help me out here, I’m floundering a little 😉 )

floundering gif

  1. eekI cannot always read books that hit too close to home– yeah I know we should read outside our comfort zone, but if a book is actually on a subject I know a lot about, I will (somewhat subconsciously) avoid it.

 

  1. City_of_Bones (1)I deliberately spoiled myself for the Mortal Instruments. I’m not even sorry I did this one, cos to be honest I *cannot* read books about incest. And obviously I did not think Clare was really gonna go in that direction, but I still had to find out for sure so I could be safe. The bad part about this was that once I checked it wasn’t actually the case, I still continued reading spoilers, cos I got a little hooked- so yeahhh, I spoiled a huge amount of that series for myself. Whoopsy daisy.

Okay, so now’s the time you can publically condemn/commend me! Were any of these particularly shocking? (so much so you can no longer look at my monkey face) Do you relate? Or do you have any oddly specific bookish confessions of your own? Let me know in the comments!