Some Great Movies I Watched in 2017

What am I doing here? I’m a book blogger- this is totally not allowed!

Well, today I’m breaking the book blogger mould. Cos I actually have strong opinions on a lot of things and I figure it’s always nice to hear about brilliant films.

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I should probably add a quick *disclaimer* that most of these did not come out in 2018. I also didn’t watch that many movies last year and didn’t finish a lot of the ones I did try (while I’m loath to DNF a book, I have no problem quitting a movie if it’s failed to keep my attention after half and hour). So this list is super short- BUT that said I would give these ALL THE BANANAS- because they really are spectacular films. In no particular order:

Logan– this the only film on this list that actually came out in 2017. A lot of people have said this, but it’s genuinely the best superhero film in *years* (I’d say the cliché “since Dark Knight”, but I actually liked Dark Knight Rises, silly chronology and all). There’s not many movies I wake up the next day, weeks, months and am still thinking about- yet this really got to me. A lot of that is cos this is actually about something more than just saving the world from *insert increasingly ludicrous threat*- it’s about the human condition, fatherhood, ageing. It’s gritty and real and raw. And the performances from everyone are fantastic.

The Third Man– I watched this before going to Vienna and managed to sufficiently creep myself out on the trip because of it. It really put me on edge… and that’s a good thing 😉 Visually it’s just stunning and the characters are so darn awesome, with very subtle storytelling (no voice overs or friends coming in telling you someone’s whole backstory). It’s a classic for a reason.

The Graduate– this was… not what I was expecting. Honestly, I was sure I’d hate this movie, but at my mum’s insistence, I gave it a go and it was amazing. I was laughing gleefully by the end! It also doesn’t hurt that I love Simon and Garfunkel, so the soundtrack put me in a GREAT mood. Here’s to you Mrs Robinson. (Also I’ve included the trailer for consistency- but it gives a lot away, so probably don’t watch it)

Mississippi Burning– MAN. This. Film. It had me feeling every single human emotion (which is impressive cos I’m an ape). It’s about some really heavy stuff and I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. Just, watch it if you’ve not seen it. It’ll blow you away.

Up– I spent the first half an hour of this film and much of the rest of it sobbing, so that’s a win in my book. Again, a lot of people say this is possibly the best Pixar movie ever- and yeah, that’s likely true. It’s definitely the most UPlifting film I saw all year. (ba dum tss)

So have you seen any of these? What did you think of them? And what was the best movie(s) you watched in 2017? Let me know in the comments!

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Looking Back on New Year’s Resolutions from 2017- Success or Failure?

Well the New Year is almost upon us and it looks like it’s time for a RECKONING. Namely, I’m gonna cast my mind wayyy back in time to January and have a look at all my resolutions for 2017 (that I totally forgot I made by spring), then see which ones I did and didn’t do. Fun!

number 1

Read 10 Books From My Challenging Reading List

The goal was pretty simple- I had to read some books from this selection:

some-of-tbr-challenging-books

Success! I read 14.

number 2

Read More of My Kindle Books

Including these:

kindle books.png

Marking this one down as a total fail though- I just didn’t do this as much as I could’ve.

number 3

Read Brother’s Books

brother's books

Sorta success- I decided against reading a couple, but the ones I wanted to read, I did, including I, Partridge and The Churchill Factor.

number 4

Read More Widely

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I’m gonna go with success for this one cos I picked up graphic novels for the first time, but I was a bit vague on this one.

number 5

Buy Fewer Books

Why was this even on here? There was no way that would happen. I did get rid of more books though, so I’ve got a bit of breathing space (for more books)

number 6

Improve My Blog

What a poorly defined goal! I didn’t even say what I wanted to improve!! I don’t know if I did this or not cos I don’t even know what I meant when I wrote this!! (2016 was a long time ago guys, I was a whole different person 😉 ) I’ve been trying to puzzle it out and all I can think of was changing the blog header, which I planned for ages before doing it (did I do that this year??? I can’t remember!!!)

Other than that…

I had an aside at the end of the blog that I’d like to read fewer books- that didn’t happen, but I’m not complaining, because it brought me over my long term goal of getting 1000+ read books on Goodreads- so success even though it was a failure!

Well I can safely say my biggest failure was not having the clearest goals. I’ll try to rectify that for next year. Which is quickly coming round the corner now… See you all in 2018!

My Reading Stats for 2017 – A Bookish Overview

It’s finally here- my overview for the year. I made a post like this for a joke (the Mid-Year Reading Report), but you guys seemed to enjoy it and I had fun making it, so I thought I’d do another stats post, for reelz this time.

my reading stats 2017.png

As I’ve teased a few times I’ve read a lot of books this year, had a lot of opinions and now all will be revealed. Let’s break this down!!

number of books 2017

average rating 2017

by rating

By genre

genre breakdown

shortest book

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A lot of fun in a short space!

longest book

Gulag Archipelago, 3 volumes

I’m kinda counting the Gulag Archipelago as one book, because technically it is (even though it’s in three volumes). Either way, I’m admittedly proud of finishing this, because even though it was heavy going, it was a personal project for me this year to educate myself a bit more about the evils of communism. After 2000 odd pages of this traumatic reading material, I can safely say being shackled to the state is a bitch. Which leads me onto…

worst book

communist manifesto

As I teased in my “Most Disappointing Books of the Year” I did have a worst book of the year- and I don’t feel an ounce of remorse for labelling it as such. Not when we look beyond the famous rhetoric and see that this ideology killed hundreds of millions of people globally. What’s really shocking is that it’s easy to see why when reading this (especially if you read it alongside the Gulag or 1984). This book advocates for stifling freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of movement, freedom to have your own family *and* implementation by force. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

favourite book

bear and the nightingale

Onto happier subjects (although there is a distinctly Russian theme to this post), you guys know by now that I thought this book was MAGICAL. If ever you need to escape from reality for a bit, this is your ticket into a world of fairy tales. Stunningly beautiful and truly evocative of a Russian winter, I can’t recommend this book enough!

no. dnfs

I’m actually lousy at DNFing, so even though there were definitely more books I should have given up on, I’m still proud of myself for giving up on these two:

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no. rereads

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Also Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I totally forgot about.

most popular

1984 book

least popular

all that still matters at all

(GAHHH SO UNDERRATED!!)

highest rated

court of mists and fury

Average rating on Goodreads: 4.74

And that’s a wrap! What was your biggest read this year? Let me know in the comments!

Books That Really Deserved To Be On My Top Ten For 2017

Well, this is becoming a bit of an annual tradition. Namely that I’ve read so many great books this year that I can’t possibly narrow it down to a top ten. Many of these were *definites* for my 2017 favourites most of the year, but some other awesome book forced them to budge over and make room. So here’s a quick teaser of some of the amazing books I’ve read this year:

Hope that whets the appetite for how awesome my top ten is… see you all again VERY SOON!

My Most Disappointing Reads of 2017

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Where has the year gone? I’m genuinely shocked that we’re nearly in 2018! And speaking of shocking things, I’ve had more than a few shockers when it comes to books this year. And not always in a good way. Of course, as I always say, while these books were disappointing to me, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book per se. Although one or two of these were so disgusting to me that I’m not sure they had any redeemable features- but we’ll get to that. Without further ado- here are my worst books of 2017 in order of how much I disliked them:

All the book covers link to reviews!

number 10

Caraval-150x225

Caraval– I will admit, this book had its good moments, which is why it’s not so high on this list. But in the end, after all the hype and comparisons to the Night Circus, it was a disappointment. With a writing style I didn’t like, romance I couldn’t root for and one too many twists, my high expectations for this were brought to a crashing low- so onto the list it goes!

number 9

house-of-fear

House of Fear– I will admit, this was a DNF, so take what I’m saying with a pinch of salt. Honestly, it’s always painful for me to have to DNF book- especially when it came with a recommendation. But this was frightfully dull and after 200 pages, I just had to put it down.

number 8

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– this was another very hyped book that let me down. I really couldn’t connect with it and I the writing style wasn’t for me (especially some of the more crass descriptions). Frankly, I feel like this is more relatable to an American audience anyway.

number 7

norwegian wood

Norwegian Wood– I like to give books the benefit of the doubt, so I will say, this could be another case of “lost in translation”. Because I really want keen on the writing and this prevented me building any strong connections with the characters. Then again, I didn’t especially like the main character or anything about the plot, so it could have just been the book.

number 6

beautiful broken things

Beautiful Broken Things– oho was I disappointed with this! I expected quite a bit from this book and frankly found it more than a little mundane. I also didn’t think it was a particularly healthy book to read regarding mental health but as I always say, what you take away from books on this subject is up to you. If you fancy reading a “How To Self-Destruct” guide, then this is totally it.

number 5

summer shadows

Summer Shadows– I have actually enjoyed this series (psychic romances are fun) yet this was so very, very meh. Beyond meh even- it was ugh. Because the main character was a total prat. And I don’t say that lightly.

number 4

sun is also a star

The Sun is Also a Star– okay now we’re getting into some serious ughness. This would have been disappointing enough for me after loving Everything, Everything, because it felt like such a step down. Frankly, though, I *hated* everything about this book. The dumb plot, the unlikeable, unrealistic characters and the worst case of instalove I’ve ever read. Nope- not for me.

number 3

killables

Killables– well it’s safe to say this book killed me. Or rather killed any desire to read generic dystopias. Although one of the reasons I gave it a shot was because the author is *totally* capable of writing an excellent YA dystopia (seriously guys, read the Declaration). Sadly, this was a complete waste of time. There was *nothing* about this book I can say I liked.

number 2

NutshellMcEwan

Nutshell– oh the pretentious drivel. What an eye-gougingly bad book. It was nauseating in every way- from a dumb idea to a painful-to-read voice to some seriously sickening scenes… I literally am at a loss for words about how much this book grossed me out. Then again, it wasn’t as bad as…

number 1

wideacre

Wideacre- my goodness- what is it with authors wanting me to revisit my dinner? This genuinely made me feel physically sick. With disgusting characters, gross plotlines and stomach-turning stupidity… I just can’t think of any redeeming features for this book. It was revenge porn against 18th century aristocrats wrapped up in sheer awfulness. Forgive me if I’m missing anything deep and meaningful here, I just don’t get the appeal.

Oh how I have suffered this year! I feel like a total masochist reviewing my year like this. But never fear- there were far more highlights than lowlights to the year! More on that soon… And while I’m in the process of teasing you for future posts, I do have a worst book of the year, and it’s something that doesn’t deserve the moniker of merely “disappointing” for various reasons… buuut you’ll have to wait till my wrap up to find out what that is.

So what do you think of this list? Agree? Disagree? And what were your worst books of 2017? Let me know in the comments!

Also, please forgive me if I’m slower to get to your posts and comments at the minute, I’m a bit under the weather, but I’ll catch up with everything eventually! 

TBR and Bookish Resolutions for 2017

Well this is coming a couple of days late- so, whoops! To be honest, I don’t have a great excuse, I just ate myself into a food coma on New Year’s Eve and am only just waking up… Anyway, hope you had an awesome start to 2017!

Now that the New Year is upon us, I reckon it’s a good time to share my Bookish Resolutions for 2017!

resolution-1-2017

So at the end of last year, I started to compile a TBR of challenging reads. This is partly because I’m pushing myself to read more quality fiction, but also because I want books that challenge me and I’d like to do more in-depth analyses. So these books are a mixture of new and old, things I’ve never read before and rereads, that will hopefully stretch my brain a little. The list is currently at about 40 and I’d like to read about 10 from this selection:

some-of-tbr-challenging-books

resolution-2-2017

I go through phases, so while I was quite good at reading my physical books last year, I got really rubbish at reading things on my kindle. I want to rectify that this year. Here’s just *some* of the books sitting on my kindle:

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resolution-3-2017

Last year I managed to tackle a lot of my mum’s books, this year I’m planning on reading the 5 books my brother owns that I haven’t read, including this one on Ferguson- cos why not?!

alex-ferguson

resolution-4-2017

2016 was the year I got into Sci fi- I want to continue with that, reading more sci fi books. Plus I want to try new and exciting genres in 2017- maybe even graphic novels… who knows? The future looks bright!

resolution 5 2017.png

Kind of self-explanatory- but I really, really need a stronger resolve when it comes to book buying this year

resolution 6 2017.png

So this is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while! I have exciting things planned that I didn’t get round to in 2016- so this year I want to push myself to get it done!

other than that.png

I’m not expecting to match the number of books I read last year- not by a long shot. I had a 50% increase from 2015, but due to stuff going on my life, I can expect a 50% decrease this year and am only aiming for 75.

Anyway, that’s all for now! Happy New Year Everyone!! Hope you have a magnificent 2017!