Bloggers who Deserve more Attention

Hello! I wanted to do this post a few days ago, in honour of my 3 year bloggiversary, but it’s been a crazy week so I’ve not been blogging nearly as much as I wanted to (annnd I’m totally not breaking my new rule of not apologising all the time, just explaining a little 😉 )

orangutan list

Anyway, I mentioned the other day that I owe a great deal of thanks to the lovely Zezee for basically discovering me as a blogger! If you’re not following her already- what the hell are you doing!? In honour of what she did for me, I decided to share some people’s blogs. Now obviously *everyone* on the blogosphere deserves more attention, but that would’ve taken a bit too long, and while there’s loads of blogs I talk about a lot, and who you should already be following, I think there’s a few that don’t get nearly as much attention. So without further ado, here’s some bloggers you should definitely check out!

Fran Laniado– so Fran is great at keeping up with memes, but that’s not why I love her blog! The best thing about Fran is that she reads so many different books that not a lot of other bloggers are talking about. This makes her lists very thoughtful and stands out a lot. If you’re really interested in classics and literary fiction, like I am, then I highly recommend checking her out! Plus she’s highly intelligent and has some great writing discussions that I very much enjoy.

Cameron Graham @Here be Wyverns– not only is Cameron *super smart* and his content realllly detailed and interesting (really recommend his discussions on mythology– it’s phenomenal!), but I gotta say, he frequently makes me laugh and is absolutely hilarious. So head on over there and say hi to his dragon Ivan!

Lucinda is reading Lucinda is just lovely, sweet totally approachable, really funny and very clever. Her review style is always so varied and tailored specifically for the book! Every review is unique and interesting. Plus she reads a great variety of books so you can’t go wrong! Plus, she agrees with me about not liking Gormenghast, so she must be amazing if she’s on the same page as me there 😉

K L Kranes– I had to include her just for how *awesome* her discussion pieces are- seriously, if you’ve not checked out some of those- you are seriously missing out! They’re really thought-provoking! She talks about writing, reading, grammar, tv, travelling and tons of other things.

Eva O’Reilly– Eva has done something on her blog I could never do: a lot of daily content! I am always so impressed when people blog every day or nearly every day, but what makes Eva more impressive is that her content is often profound and strikes a relatable cord for any writers out there! She talks a lot about writing, life, and just check her out okay!?

Joelendil’s Kingdom of Books– I really love the type of books that Joelendil reviews (a lot of classics and SFF!) and he always gives such a clear picture of his impressions and what to expect. Plus, there’s the added bonus of his reviewing  the type of books that aren’t the run of the mill books you see on the blogosphere.

Lost Art of Reading– speaking of reviews, I had to include Lost Art of Reading on this list, simply because she always writes such top quality, thorough reviews- particularly on books you might never have heard of otherwise. Plus, she’s really friendly and great to chat to!

Simply a book drunkard– Milou does such a fantastic variety of content, it’s hard to pin down a single reason why you should go follow her! Her reading is eclectic and if you’re into sci fi/fantasy and graphic novels in particular, then she’s definitely someone to check out 😀

Wordaholics Anonymous– I really can’t mention Milou without giving a shoutout to her other half as well! I highly recommend you check out both regardless, because he does really interesting reviews on fantasy books, has cool music taste and shares some of his awesome poetry.

Angelica @Dreaming of Fiction– Angelica runs a really varied blog and I think this comes from the fact she’s completely unique on the blogosphere- I mean, I defy you to find another geeky opera singer in training! So her content is a mixture and I really enjoy reading about her bookish and music tastes!

Bookwyrm Knits– if you’re into discussions, reviews and weekly memes, then you’ve definitely got to hop on over to Bookwyrm Knits (and I know most of you answered yes to all of those 😉 ) Plus, she also shares her knitting WIP, and I know from my Reverse Q&A that a fair number of you are knitters, so you should definitely have a look! 😉

And that’s all for now! And because I want to spread the love around a bit, I think it would be great if you could share some more bloggers who deserve more attention in the comments! 

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Books Guaranteed to Make you SMILE :D

sun has got his hat on

It’s been a lovely week, all sunny and summer-like (and okay it was overcast today, but whatever, can’t win em all). Anyway, moving on, I thought I’d share some fun books which made me happy, in the hope that they will make you smile too!

carry on

Carry On– I mention this book *a lot* but some books just deserve to get mentioned all the time- and this one just so happened to make me smile from ear to ear! And yes- it’s a satirical take on Harry Potter– that’s why it’s similar.

wonder

Wonder– this is a “happy” in a life affirming kind of way. This is seriously moving, yet will also undoubtedly make you crack a smile for sure!

howl's moving castle

Howl’s Moving Castle– despite not enjoying the sequel as much, I can’t deny how much I adored the original. The characters and world are so vivid! And of course, like many of Diana Wynne Jones’ books, it made me exquisitely happy.

northanger abbey

Northanger Abbey– I can’t have a list about books that made me happy and not include Austen on it. I absolutely adore the romance in this one and it makes for a fabulous subversion of the gothic tropes.

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– I mean the clue is in the title 😉 I kinda had to include it on this list- it’s such a delightful contemporary.

the hating game

The Hating Game– this is another romance that made me stupidly happy. I didn’t expect to love this quite as much as I did, but it had me laughing the whole way through and I couldn’t stop reading this addictive book.

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– I read this really recently and haven’t done the review yet, but I guarantee it will be positive, cos this book was SO GOOD and made me SO HAPPY. Yes, it was totally out there as a historical retelling, but that’s what made it so brilliant.

the martian

The Martian– a story about getting stuck on Mars- how can that make you *smile*? I hear you ask. Well, that’s thanks to the indomitable Mark Watney! His fantastic sense of humour could make even potato farming in space interesting!

blithe spirit

Blithe Spirit– this is another weirdly happy story- it’s a play about a man whose dead wife comes back to haunt him and it is SO FUNNY. Yup, you read that right, a play about being haunted is funny. I recommend the 1945 film as well 😀

going postal

Going Postal– on the topic of eccentric British work, I could hardly neglect to include Pratchett. This is one of my favourites and happens to be one of the funniest- need I say more?

And last but not least…

 

 

We Go to the Gallery– Yes this may look like picture books, but they are in fact adult picture books! Which is totally different, cos, well they’re hilarious! Definitely recommend checking the series out and plus they make a really great gift if you’re ever stuck for something 😉

So have you read any of these? Did they make you smile? And what books have made you smile in the past? Let me know in the comments!

Series that went on too long- lots of mini rants!

I considered being nice and titling this list something like: “series I lost interest in”- but that would be totally disingenuous, cos if I lost interest in a lot of these, I wouldn’t have bothered to read so many before calling it quits (in some cases 6- yes 6!- whole books!).  So instead, these are my (entirely subjective) book series that went downhill and could’ve stopped earlier:

Poison Study– Jeez- where to even start? I’ve said a number of times that I had given up on this series, because after the first book it was all over the place. It went from really unique to generic fantasy to WTF is even happening to oh gosh why… So yeah, I should’ve called it quits around book 2/3, especially considering how much I hated 3. The first books as well were originally a trilogy and that would’ve been fine- I should’ve stopped there. But, of course it continued and because *I am weak* and saw this in the library last week, I will admit rather shame-facedly that I finished this series the other day (to be fair, I was trying to counterbalance some of the darker books on my tbr as well). Thankfully it wasn’t the clusterfuck I’d come to expect from the series, although that doesn’t mean it was good #somuchguilt

Twilight– I will happily say that the first book isn’t that bad. I know this is unlikely to make me friends in either the Twihard group or the Diehard-We-Hate-Twilight side- nonetheless, I still consider book 1 firmly as a 3* read. Sure, it has sparkly vampires (for which this series has a special place in the circles of hell) but apart from that it’s pretty enjoyable. If it had ended there, with Bella becoming a vampire, it would have been a decent standalone. What, prey, could be worse than sparkly vampires? I hear you ask. Well let’s see, the later books devolved into: the unnecessary breakup book, the “is this whole book really centred on a marriage proposal?!” book, and finally the “did this just accidentally endorse paedophilia?! I am OUT!” book. Yeahhh there are good reasons why I stopped liking that series.

The Mortal Instrument– I’m kind of including all the spinoffs here as well and the reading order I did, just to be clear, was Infernal Devices, Mortal Instruments and now reading Dark Artifices (so help me!) I really loved the Infernal Devices series (though I get why if you’ve read Mortal Instruments first this might feel a bit samey) and thoroughly enjoyed Mortal Instruments overall (even though they are very similar to TID). But then, books 4-6 came and they just felt totally unnecessary (in fact, they were tacked on after the original trilogy ended, figures). And now I’m stupidly continuing with TDA- basically cos I want to know that one thing about parabatai- yet I’m not enjoying it anymore. I’m sorry, I know people love this series- I’m just finding it *so repetitive*, some of the bad guys less nuanced and the rest of them not properly bad at all. I think there are some redeeming features- only it’s not as good as it used to be.

Alex Rider– how many times can Alex Rider save the world in a year? For that matter, why are so many villains trying to *destroy the world* in the space of one year? And before people get annoyed at me for beating on a children’s book, I read this when I was a child and my teenage self could see how totally implausible this was, so… Seriously, why did Alex Rider have to stay 14 for the duration of the series? Plus, how many broken bones does he get that somehow heal? Doesn’t he get shot at one point? And go into space? How could he…? How?? Yeah, this got dumber and dumber.

The Savant Series– erm, I kinda blame myself for continuing this series. I viewed it as a bit of fun, especially the idea is basically *psychic soulmates*- which is basically enjoyable for a couple of books before it gets tiresome. I mean, how many times can this actually work? The primary reason why it’s on this list is cos the characters and situations they found themselves in got more and more annoying. I get it’s a cashgrab from suckers like me and I don’t really know what I was hoping for when it got to book 6- I just think the romance part could’ve been consistently good, even if the concept got old.

Stravaganza– I actually really love the first book and still recommend it to everyone- but you can just stop there and read it as a standalone. Even though there’s hints of bigger stuff going on, even after 4 or 5 books (I lost track of how many I read) it never really goes into the bigger conspiracies. Also, the whole book’s idea was that it’s a way of people from our world resolving their problems in an alternate-universe version of Venice and while the first person has cancer, the problems get significantly less important. This may be a bit harsh, but I like stories to up the ante, not feel tired and been there-done that.

The Declaration Series– again, I think it’s totally worth reading the first book. It’s actually a very cool dystopian take on what the consequences of living forever would be. And while it suffers from that YA need of turning everything into a series and resolving all the dystopia-problems (you know that annoying reset-the-world thing YA dystopias do), I don’t think the later books had to be so terrible. Both the original concept and the basic plots could have worked. HOWEVER, there was so much unnecessary filler- in particular the last book spent about half the page count recapping the first two books- WHY?! I am really not a fan of recaps in books (all the credit to Mark Lawrence who recently came up with the genius idea of sticking that in before the book starts) but I do get why people like a paragraph or two- half the book however?! Nope- no way! And I also thought the ending was infuriating (spoiler alert: they reset the world *and* hinted that in ten years it’d all just end up happening again… why?! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!!) So yeah, this one gets me all heated and no one gets it cos barely anyone made it to the end.

So do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Are there any book series you’ve fallen out of love with? Let me know in the comments!

Popular Books I Hated

A lot of these aren’t necessarily highly rated (most of these don’t have the best GR scores) they’ve just been read by *a lot* of people. But for the ones that are well loved- try not to crucify me for having a different opinion- thanks! The clue is in the title: these are not books that I liked, so don’t get upset that I didn’t like them. And if you think the title’s harsh, just consider the fact that I could’ve titled this “shit books that I hate” like Lily C on Youtube (really recommend by the way).

Fifty Shades of Gray– let’s start with the obvious one. I can’t be diplomatic about this: I think Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the most loathsome books of all time. In fact, it’s my quintissential example of a bad book (so thanks for being that I guess, everyone needs a go-to bad book). I mean, you’re free to like it, whatever floats your boat, but it’s objectively awful: badly written, has a bad plot (*ahem* no plot), bad romance (not the ra ra ooh la la kind), bad sex, bad characters, bad messages. Just bad. It reads like it was written on a Blackberry when the author did her groceries… and I know for a fact half of that statement is 100% true. *Sigh*.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin– I started my book blog to complain about this book- no joke! (so I guess I owe it a vote of thanks, cos I don’t think I’d ever have plucked up the courage to get going otherwise). This was my first review (not the best review, but whatever)- I was bored for huge parts of it and when I wasn’t bored I was raging.

Da Vinci Code– I don’t really need to explain this one. It’s a dumb book. The plot is dumb, the characters are dumb and the writing is dumb (also I read this when I was thirteen and it made me lose faith in adult’s taste in books for a good five years).

The Selection– I feel like this is low hanging fruit at this stage. I hated the characters and if I’d heard of the bachelor before I’d read it, I never would’ve picked it up, cos this not. a. good. idea. Plus, America (the character not the place) sucks.

As I Lay Dying– this book basically explains why I hate postmodernist claptrap: it’s illogical, it makes no sense and the people peddling it are out of their mind with pretentiousness (and that’s me being generous).

Nutshell– bravo for butchering Shakespeare! (*sarcasm detected*) Perhaps I wouldn’t have hated this up-itself book so much if it hadn’t been a retelling of Hamlet- oh the folly of writing such crap and calling it intellectual. Then again, it’s also really crass, so I don’t think it could have stood on its own merit anyway.

Lolita– I don’t despise Lolita- it is at least well written. But it is also completely disgusting and I hated every second of my experience with it. I would have happily DNF’d this if it hadn’t been for a class.

The Sun is Also a Star– this is probably the highest rated book on GR to make it onto this list- I just… hated it. The premise is stupid and basically reads like instalove on acid. And the female lead rubbed me the wrong way.

The Fault in Our Stars– yep grab your torches and pitchforks! This isn’t the worst book on here, but I still didn’t like this book. It was predictable, the characters didn’t talk like normal human beings let alone teens and some of the *oh-look-at-this-symbolism* went too far- that scene where they’re snogging in the Anne Frank museum is in poor taste.

The Eye of the World– I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I really didn’t like this and I don’t think anything’s going to change my mind. It’s dull and full of infodumps and feels like a ripoff of far better fantasy. I have never looked at the page count more for any other book.

Girl with a Pearl Earring– way to ruin a great painting with stupid internal monologues and presumptive bilge. The worst thing about this is that the mc’s voice and story doesn’t even fit with the feel of the painting. It doesn’t capture any of the essence of Vermeer’s artistry and feels like it’s piggybacking off of a much finer piece of work.

Okay, so agree or disagree with my list? Do you hate any popular books? Let me know in the comments!

My Bad Reading Habits Tag

Ahh bad habits- we all have them. And today I’m going to talk about some of my bookish bad habits! Woohoo! Thank you so much to the amazing book nerd travels for tagging me for this awesome tag 😀

Bad Habit #1- ignoring my TBR

not a great plan

I’ve talked about this at length, but honestly, it’s a bit ridiculous that I nearly always ignore everything on there, because my tbr is there to help me. Doesn’t mean I won’t ignore it for months on end…

Bad Habit #2- hoarding books on my kindle like there’s no tomorrow

hoarding books

When I say to people “oh I definitely plan to read that, it’s on my kindle” I am one hundred percent telling the truth, because if I’ve bought something, I will read it… Only trouble is I’m a *massive* kindle book hoarder. I mean, it makes total sense, because there are loads of times when I only have my kindle to read from and I like to have lots of options. Plus I love snapping up bargains and free books… HOWEVER, it also means that they’ll be a huge wait for when I actually get to the books on there… Whoops.

Bad Habit #3- then promptly ignoring said books in favour of some delicious library books I’ve just acquired…

distracted2

And yeah, I prioritise library books, cos I hate library fines more than anything, and of course every time I set foot in a bookish establishment I have to replenish my supplies, so… who can really blame me?

Bad Habit #4- and yes, I have cover bought

choose books2

I know some people are very good at the whole “not judging a book by its cover” thing. But me? I’ve somehow managed to buy whole series that were meh just cos *oh look at that cover- so pretty!!*. The worst thing is that this logic applies even to kindle books- which is totally ridiculous, because the covers can change on there and I’m literally hoarding pictures on a screen. *Sigh* I must have been a magpie in another life. I like to think I’m getting better at curbing this habit though- whereas others, not so much…

Bad Habit #5- book bingeing

 

mood reader 1

As a massive mood reader, I have always been and will probably always be a book binger. When I’m in the mood to read, I read. And read. And read. And… you get the idea. This is a huge problem when it comes to doing, you know, normal things, like eating, sleeping and life in general. It’s almost a good thing when I fall into slumps because it means I can function as a normal human being (who am I kidding- I HATE slumps- please don’t strike me down oh-mighty book gods for this blasphemy!!!) The real downside to this is that I’ll basically read until I’ve exhausted myself with reading too much/become emotionally scarred by a book so I can’t possibly pick anything else up.

Bad Habit #6- ignoring everything that’s going on around me because *my bookish babies are in peril and I must save them by reading to the very end!!!* #bookwormlogic

reading

Like I said, when I’m reading, all I’m doing is reading. It doesn’t matter if there’s a ton of people around me or I’m on my own, the book has my full attention. I have mastered the art of zoning everything else out (although I might leave the room to cry over the really good bits) and falling into the world of the book. People occasionally try to pull me out by shouting my name- though, as everyone knows, getting between a bookworm and their books is more dangerous than getting between a monkey and their bananas- DO THIS AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

smaug 4

Ok-ay- *coughs awkwardly*- kind of unleashed the bookdragon there… I tag:

Liis, Kristin, Katie, Angelica, Kelly, Misty, Sam, the paperback piano, thrice read, bookmark your thoughts, tale out loud, and Ally

And for everyone else- what are your worst bookish habits? Commiserate with me in the comments!

Justice League Tag

Justice League Movie.jpg

Gosh, I can’t believe how slow I’ve been to get round to this one. I kind of planned to do it after watching at least one of the Justice League movies but that took longer than expected to get to… sorry about that! Thank you so much to the lovely Book Cover Girls Angelica and Rosie for tagging me to do this! It’s awesome that they used their love of superheroes to make this tag! Also I loved their choice of gifs for this!

The Rules:

  • Copy these rules onto your post
  • Mention creators of the tag:Angelica and Rosie @TheBookCoverGirls and link to the original post
  • Mention and thank the person who tagged you and link to their post
  • Answer all the questions
  • Since there were originally seven members in the Justice League, tag 7 people
  • Also, you can use the images provided, but don’t have to if you don’t want to
  • Have fun with it!

Batman: You favorite antihero

batman.gif

I loved both Angelica’s and Rosie’s answers of Kaz Brekker and Victor Vale, so I had to think a little to come up with someone different. I’m gonna go with Nova from Renegades, cos she’s totally kickass and very sympathetic. Plus, superhero books are definitely appropriate for a superhero tag.

Aquaman: A book or character that turned out to be better than you expected (because let’s be real, we did not expect Khal Drogo to make Aquaman cool)

aquaman.gif

Okay, I’m gonna have to admit my own genre biases here, but I did not think The Hating Game would be nearly as good as it was. I mean, I expected it to be an enjoyable-if-clichéd book- so I almost didn’t deserve it to be quite the entertaining riot that I found it.

Wonder Woman: Most badass female character (not necessarily in a physical sense)

wonderwoman.gif

Lira from To Kill a Kingdom! Easily! Even when she’s not in a position of strength, she’s unnervingly strong willed and determined.

Cyborg: Favorite science fiction novel

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Gonna have to go with the Martian, because it was the first book I ever read in the genre where I thought huh, I could actually enjoy this stuff… Again, shame on me for my genre biases! *Raps knuckles*

The Flash: A book you sped through

flash

Lately, I’ve been whizzing through the Percy Jackson series- it is so much fun!!

Superman: Saddest character death (although we all know there’s no way Superman is going to stay dead)

**If you do give a spoiler, please be mindful and clearly label the question with a SPOILER ALERT**

superman.gif

Due to the nature of the question: SPOILER ALERT!

I also reread Harry Potter recently- and You Know Who I mean in the seventh book… actually, you probably don’t know who, there’s a lot of them, but the one that got to me the most this time round was *drumroll please* Snape. I know, controversial one, I bet you all expected that I was sobbing my little heart out for the Dark Lord or maybe Bellatrix Lestrange 😉

That was a lot of fun- I tag:

Beth, Zezee, Nel, Kat, Bookstooge, and Lashaan and Trang @Bookidote

(sorry if any of you have done it and feel free to ignore!)

So do you agree or disagree with my answers? And out of interest- do any of you have have a favourite DC hero? Let me know in the comments!

Movies (and TV shows) That Were Better Than The Book

So I mentioned a few days ago that there are a fair number of movies I like better than their book counterpart and I thought I’d share them with you! I should probably say, first of all, that these are adaptations I personally prefer- not that they’re actually better- to each their own and all that jazz. Anyhoo, let’s get to this:

Princess Diaries– to be fair, I really really dislike these books. The main character is whiny, most of the other characters are pretty loathsome and basically this book got on my last nerves. The movie, on the other hand, is a lot of fun (I think the books did get more bearable, imo, although the second film was… ehh).

Stardust– I feel like this comes up in every “better than the book” list ever. And there’s a reason for that- and it’s not that the book is bad- it’s just that the movie is seriously A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I get all light and happy when I think about it!!

Oliver!- well for one thing, Fagin comes across as slightly less of an anti-Semitic trope in the musical (I’m not even sorry for pointing that out, cos if you think a money grubbing, dirty Jew character that preys on children isn’t anti-Semitic, then maybe have a long hard look in a history book). I do like Dickens, but that last statement should probably explain why I’m not the biggest fan of this book. On the positive side for this musical, it’s practically perfect in every way, so there’s also that. And yes, the musical is more chocolate-boxy than the book, but I prefer it that way.

Game of Thrones– this is a curious one for me to include, because I’m increasingly realising how well these work in tandem. What worked best (imo) was the TV showrunners cutting the fat from the original books. And boy, is there a lot of fat. In fact, some of this is literal- why on earth there needs to be long, tedious descriptions of feasts and food, I have no idea. Add to that a bunch of characters in later books I had limited interest in and, yeah, I’ll happily admit to liking the TV show more (most of the time, when characters aren’t going north of the wall wearing impenetrable plot armour and fighting zombie bears… man that was dumb)

Lord of the Rings– ermm I think I’m about to have my Tolkien-fangirl card revoked for saying this… I just prefer the movies! I’m sorry! Don’t get me wrong, I really love the books- only the LOTR movies are probably my favourite movies ever. The way I see it, the LOTR movies streamline the story and deliver the emotional punch of a lot of the backstories and are simply full of epic awesomeness- okay? (I do however much prefer the Hobbit book, not just because it’s up there as one of my fave books, but also cos the Hobbit movies suck- and yes, I will fight you on that *catch me outside*)

The Last Kingdom– this is another one that might piss of fans of the books. Hear me out, I did actually really enjoy reading the first four books (and am waiting on number 5 at the library) I just think the TV show got my blood pumping with *even more* fervour than the books did. And I also frankly adored the portrayal and slight changes to Uhtred’s character, which made him even more likeable.

Bleak House– poor Dickens isn’t getting very nice treatment from me today, because the main reason why I prefer the tv version is that I saw it first, and that ruined a lot of the book’s impact for me. I do think this translated so well to the small screen and it’s one of my favourite adaptations, while, like many of the others on this list, it’s not one of my favourite books.

Okay, that’s my list! It’s not very long, because I usually like the book better. Anyway, what movies do you think are better than the book? Let me know in the comments!

And thank you so much for your brilliant responses to my last post- I’m still going through them and I’m thoroughly enjoying every single one! 😀