My Must Read Non Fic

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I didn’t use to be a massive non fiction reader. When I was younger I struggled to read any non fiction book from cover to cover. Then I started including non fiction in my yearly goals to make sure I got my fill. But now- this year- for some reason I can’t explain, I’ve been devouring the non fiction. Maybe it’s cos I got into memoirs last year, maybe it’s cos I can’t seem to click with a lot of my usual favourites this year. Either way, I thought it might be good to recommend a few of the very best non fic books I’ve read over the years. Books that are *vital*, that will shake you to the core, that will mean a lot to any reader. Now, while this won’t be a favourites list, I will say that my interests in non fiction are pretty niche, so be prepared for an unusual selection. But I hope you get as much out of these as I did:

Big Magic– I want to begin on a positive and empowering note- so what better place to start than with something that will spark your creativity? Insightful and inspiring, this was such an uplifting read for me. And it might just give you a kick up the backside if you need it 😉

The Art of War– one of the most spectacular books I’ve ever read. This is full of ancient wisdom that still feels very relevant. And while the title might suggest it’ll only be of use to military generals, I’d strongly recommend this to anyone writing a book or just needs to understand people a bit better. The advice is surprisingly universal.

Man’s Search for Meaning– I’ve gone on about this book so often, I almost feel bad… but it’s such a good book!! It made a massive difference to my own outlook on life. Frankl may have been through hell, however, he used it to empower others to find meaning in suffering.

Twelve Years a Slave– a heartrending, true account, sometimes I just think it’s important to understand history and look evil in the eye. Speaking of which…

Evil– this is in part to understand how and why other people do evil things, but also to understand our own nature as humans. In my view, that is the only way to truly prevent evil in all its forms. When I first started looking into moral psychology, this book was recommended everywhere and for good reason. Not only is it a thorough exploration in its own right, it’s also got a very good bibliography that you can use as a springboard for further research.

Ordinary Men– this is a book I found because of Evil (and other recommendations). Even though I knew it would be tough, I also understood that I had to read it if I wanted to truly understand how ordinary men can do evil things. As important as it is to remember victims, I’d argue it’s more important to understand how the human heart can be twisted to do the unthinkable. Lest we are doomed to repeat it.

Wild Swans– I’m not just recommending this because it’s emotional and moving and interesting- though it is all those things. It goes beyond personal stories to be an account of a historical era that, while recent, seems to have been quickly forgotten. We ought to know more about it.

In Order to Live– I was blown away by this memoir. It was both an incredible and universal tale of human endurance, giving us just a peek behind the fences of North Korea. Hearing of how Park not only persevered and survived, but also thrived was such an inspiration to me. It was impressive beyond belief. Human endurance.

Gulag Archipelago– even if you just read volume 1, I think it is tremendously important to understand the full scope and tragedy of communism. This is the definitive explanation as to why it did not work and why it could never work. It also demonstrates how the same tragedy repeated itself across borders and how the experiment fails the same way every time. I also personally found the parallels with 1984 astounding- which, interestingly enough, the previous two recommendations also explicitly referred to.

Communist Manifesto– because of my last two recommendations, this may be a surprise. However, unsurprisingly, this is not an endorsement of communism. Far from it. I believe that an honest evaluation of this creed is necessary. I trust people to check it out for themselves (and come to your own conclusions about whether it’s a good idea to denigrate human endeavour, family and freedom).

On Liberty– whether you agree with this or not, I feel like it’s important to understand the founding principles of a lot of Western political systems. I think this is a great place to start.

Righteous Minds– given the gulf that exists between political classes right now, I’d say there’s never been a more important time to read this. Explaining why different people react differently to the same information and why people might have different political inclinations, I think this could be really useful for people looking to reach an understanding. In my view, this book can help people move towards productive conversations and see each other’s perspectives. I reckon we could all do with this in our lives.

Woke– and since we’re ending on a political note, then I must once again talk about THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK OF OUR TIME! This book will CHANGE YOUR WHOLE WAY OF THINKING! You will see what A GODDESS TITANIA MCGRATH IS! (okay, for the record, this is satire, don’t make the same mistake as that bookshop that took it too seriously 😉 but I do think it’s a must-read, because there’s no greater cure for all the *bonkers* in the world than a little bit of laughter!)

So, have you read any of these? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Have any MUST-READ books to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Hot off the Press for Cooler Weather- New(ish) Releases to Enjoy This Autumn!

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Hello all! Now we’re heading into autumn, I thought it might be cool to follow up my summery HOT RELEASES. This time, I’m spotlighting a few that give me more *fall feels*! Let’s get into it!

beach read

Beach Read– starting off on a warmer note, this was probably the most fun, fluffy contemporaries I read last season. If, like me, you’re still needing a getaway vibe, then this will be right up your street!

weekend away

The Weekend Away– speaking of not coming back from holiday, this was another HOT HIT for me this summer. Set in Lisbon, this thriller offers a killer deal, taking tourists on a quick spin around a city they just might not return from… Definitely recommend if you’re not ready to return to reality!

clap when you land

Clap When You Land– on a more poignant note, this contemporary that deals with grief and family really hit some emotional highs and lows for me. It deserves a round of applause.

the huntress

Huntress– I hunted down this book after a recommendation from Beware of the Reader and I’m so glad I did, because this was a thrilling historical fiction set during and after the second world war.

his and hers

His and Hers– in a small town, with bodies piling up, there are plenty of deadly turns to this thriller… and many sides to this story.

one by one

One by One– another high-body-count murder mystery, this is a more modern take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Prepare to feel cut off in this ski resort, as horrible things go down!!

good girls guide to murder

Good Girl’s Guide to Murder– I haven’t mentioned this before, but I really did enjoy the twists and turns of this YA thriller- especially the ending!

wilder girls

Wilders Girls– I don’t talk about this nearly enough- even though it was one of the most absorbing and atmospheric reads of the last year. I recommend this Lord of the Flies style dystopia for anyone in the mood to be a bit freaked out this fall.

this is how you lose the time war

This is How You Lose the Time War– just as unique, this sci fi love story captivated me with its beautiful writing.

sorcery of thorns

Sorcery of Thorns– of course, if you’re looking for a more traditionally escapist read, then I can’t recommend Sorcery of Thorns highly enough! I mean, let’s be real, this had me at *magical library* 😉 Luckily it didn’t disappoint!

serpent and dove

Serpent and Dove– on the note of *sheer entertainment*, you can’t go wrong with this (slightly bonkers but entirely enjoyable) romp. With enemies to lovers and forced marriage, this one made me very happy (and super excited for the sequel!) Also, it has witches, which most certainly gets me in the Halloween-y mood!

And that’s all for now! Did you enjoy any of these? Are you planning on reading them? And do you have any recent releases you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Songs I Wish Were Books

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There are *so many* songs out there that inspire me and make me think “I’d love to read a book about this!” So when I saw this prompt for a Top Ten Tuesday a few years back, I wanted to do it… But forgot! Luckily, the brilliant Kat @Life and Other Disasters reminded me of it recently with an awesome follow up! So be sure to check it out if you like this topic!

Blank Space– I mean, let’s be real, I mostly want to fill this with Taylor Swift songs 😉 However, if I had to pick just one, I’d go with this because I think it’s got cheeky Gone Girl vibes and would make an excellent thriller. The lead would be charming and potentially sociopathic OR, even better, the final twist could be that the media got it all wrong and stitched up an innocent woman! (seriously, someone needs to write this book!)

Strange and Beautiful– call me masochistic, I just love stories about unrequited love. Preferably if it ends tragically…

Winter Winds– this is another one where I think it’d be interesting if the characters didn’t end up together. I just think it could be an interesting, character-focused story about people growing up in their early twenties in London (and I love books with a strong London setting!)

Blackbird– I just think this is beautiful and I can see the characters flying around… Actually that’s not a bad idea- it’d be really cool as a fantasy story! Someone write it please!

Ruby Tuesday– I imagine this would be nigh on impossible to pull off capturing the enigma of the titlular character… then again Taylor Jenkins Reid always pulls that off with her main characters… so maybe she should write it!

Galway Girl- this is another one where I can just picture the character… Not Ed Sheeran, I don’t really care about his part and would write him out of the narrative. It’s The Girl who is enigmatic and fascinating and I just want to read her story.

Homeward Bound– weirdly, out of all of Simon and Garfunkel’s narrative driven songs, this is the one that speaks to me the most, even though there’s less of a story to it. There’s just something about it that leaves me longing to know the full story. It could be a kind of modern-day Odyssey… with musicians!

Zombie– I mean, this song speaks for itself. It could be an amazing book about war. It’d be really cool to do it as a split timeline, during a conflict and after. Maybe even don’t say whose perspective the after perspective is from, so you don’t know who survived… *dun dun dun*

I Will Follow You Into the Dark– this could be a really cool paranormal fantasy, heavy on the romance 😉 On the note of fantasy…

Kashmir– this is super trippy and could make a really good, really odd book.

Bad Guy– a song for an anti-hero. A bit of a loopy one.

All These Things That I Have Done– another anti-hero-ish potential-novel. And if someone said they’d based a book on this, I’d definitely read it!

Tomorrow– yes I know this is from a musical, but I always had lingering questions about whether tomorrow ever came for this character!

Shine On You Crazy Diamond– there’s actually crazy story about this song. The way I heard it told, it was a tribute to Syd Barrett, a troubled former member of the band. Bizarrely, when they were recording the song, he turned up, so different that they almost didn’t recognise him, then left. I’d love for someone to do a fictionalised version of it (only have him be missing instead of kicked out of the band and turn up for one performance in a sort of mystical fashion at a festival).

Mad Woman– I know I said that I said I wouldn’t just fill this up with Taylor Swift songs, but I can’t help including just one more! And every time I listen to this lately, I can’t help but think this would be a nice spin on the whole mad woman in the attic trope!!

And that’s all for now! Do you agree with any of these? Would you tell any of these stories differently? And what songs would you like to see become books? (by Taylor Swift or otherwise! 😉) Let me know in the comments!

Throwback Summer Reads

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We’re coming to the end of the summer, but I’m not ready for it to end (because it barely felt like it was the summer this year with no vacation), so that’s why I’m choosing some books to prolong the season! Because I went with some HOT NEW books last month, I thought I’d go with some throwbacks here (books that are at least ten years old), kicking it off with…

percy jackson lightning thief

Percy Jackson– because I need a little magic in my life right now! And this also is set at Camp Half Blood- which achieves both my goals of getting away and getting a little adventure. But in case that wasn’t wild enough…

wild magic

Wild Magic– yes I did just use that pun (and I’m sorry… sorta). Regardless, this is a fun read and Tamora Pierce always gives me summer vibes.

goose girl

Goose Girl– this book gives me all the *nostalgia* and *warm fuzzies*- which I’d say qualifies it as a summer read 😉

secret garden

The Secret Garden– this is another childhood fave. It really brings the idea of new seasons to life. And I’ve always dreamed of having a garden like this one day to lounge about on summer days (and read 😉).

i capture the castle

I Capture the Castle– aside from the romantic, crumbling castle, there’s nothing more iconic and summery than the midsummer festivities.

the famous five

Famous Five– the adventures of the Famous Five will always have a special place in my heart and long be associated with summer!

how i live now

How I Live Now– this is perhaps an odd one, because it’s a dystopia, but this begins in one lush summer, transforming as the world changes around them.

yellow wallpaper

Yellow Wallpaper– this one twisty gothic set in summer. And, if anything the summer setting only makes it creepier!

return of the native

Return of the Native– a bit more of a poignant choice, Hardy has a way with settings that make me think of the gorgeous Dorset countryside.

eastofeden

East of Eden– another writer with exquisite descriptions of the setting! Set in California, there’s often more than enough in the writing to get you feeling a little hot and bothered. And while technically speaking, I think Grapes of Wrath does an even greater job depicting the landscape, I personally prefer this family epic.

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– this books makes me want to take a trip to Guernsey!

Journey_to_the_River_Sea_cover

Journey to the River Sea– most of Eva Ibbotson has a summery feel- but especially this Middle Grade, set in the Amazon.

And that’s all for now? Which throwback books do you recommend for summer? Let me know in the comments!

Ten of My Biggest Bookish Pet Peeves – Inspired by NSFord

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As much as I love books, I have to admit there are ever so slight problems that I *hate* so much they’ll ruin my enjoyment of a book. Reasonably or unreasonably, these can get me peeling back my banana rating at an alarming rate. And, though I’ve talked about the rather large issues that HORRIFY ME, I haven’t talked about these little pet peeves. That’s why I was really inspired by the brilliant N S Ford to air my biggest bug bears when it comes to fiction. Of course, this is a very personal list, so don’t please don’t take it personally if you like this stuff/the books I’ve included, yada yada yada… let’s get onto the juicy stuff, shall we?

an inspector callsMoralising– okay, yes, I say it a lot- BUT THAT’S COS IT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS! I will never understand why some authors have to *stop everything* just to preach at us. If I wanted to hear what random people had to say about their views, I’d spend three hours trawling through twitter instead of buying a book.

 

hand on the wallUnwanted/unnecessary politics in books. Obviously, there are exceptions (if I pick up a book on a particular political topic, I’m not going to get mad at it for being what it says on the tin, whether it’s fiction or non fiction). However, much like with moralising, I’m really, really not interested in an author’s opinions on politics. I don’t read fiction books to get my political views and I have no interest in virtue signalling interludes. I just want to switch off and enjoy my rom com in peace, k?

The_Fault_in_Our_StarsPretentious characters. Oof, these ones get under my skin. It’s not just that they’re basically the most unlikeable characters, it’s that they often seem unrealistic too. I feel like I’ve never met anyone in real life who is as pretentious as characters in books somehow manage to be.

 

Bronzehorseman.jpgExcessively quoting other books to sound clever. Again, with exceptions- one my favourite things in books is subtle allusions and references. Nonetheless, I rarely think of it as genius when a book incessantly quotes other works to sound smart (references and epigraphs are mostly fine). Bonus irritation points, on the other hand, if you manage to combine it with a pretentious character (there’s basically nothing I hate more than characters who, rather than holding conversations, quote reams of poetry back and forth to each other. And, in keeping with my view that these are unrealistic, no one does this in real life).

4321Name dropping book titles to sound smart. Okay this is very similar to the last one- but somehow manages to be astronomically more annoying! It doesn’t make a character or author seem smart to just list a bunch of books the character read. I saw this a bunch of times in 4321 and I’ve no idea why the author did it. Really got on my nerves by the end.  

normal peopleSilly writing gimmicks for no justifiable reason. Sometimes I can be okay with it if it was done for a reason, such as when there weren’t quotation marks in the Road, because it was edgy, post-apocalyptic and it added to the tension. That said, the same cannot be said for Conversations with Friends and Normal People. I’ve spent ages trying to dissect why the author would use this- and can’t think of a single good reason. I get that she was going for a millennial vibe that she developed writing emails… maybe then I’d have let her off the hook for using slang, yet the lack of speech marks doesn’t add up (I also think it must be kind of irritating to get an email from Rooney if she just doesn’t bother to use good punctuation). Sorry, I don’t get it.

Throne_of_Glass_UKOh look there’s another chosen one– or any other super predictable trope. I’m not keen on when things are too derivative or been done to death- and I mention the chosen one cos this is one I’m most tired of seeing. Especially if it comes with a prophecy attached.

 

lady midnightBooks that are just set up (looking at the *entire* Dark Artifices series). I don’t mind if series go on and on- but I don’t want to be sold a story… only to realise I’m going to have to buy another book (and then another and another) before I actually get what I paid for.

 

crystal stormRepetitive content– similar to the last one I don’t like to have my time wasted. So, once you’ve made a point, done some character work or had something happen, please don’t just repeat it a few pages later! Worst case scenario is when an entire plot consists of having characters captured, then escape, then get captured again- by the same frickin villain!! It’s not only dull, it makes everyone in the book look kinda incompetent. No book needs that kind of padding!

on the roadNo plot. Cos apparently this makes you really clever as a writer. Just kidding! I’ve no idea where people got the idea that writing a book where nothing happens somehow makes it work of genius… It’s not like Shakespeare, Dickens, the Bronte sisters or basically any of the greats decided that they were just gonna skip the plot and ramble on aimlessly for 300 pages.

And that’s all for now! Do you agree with any of these? And what are some of your biggest bookish pet peeves? Let me know in the comments!

Wonderful and Whimsical Fantasy Worlds to Get Lost in This Summer

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Hello all! Like many of you, I’m craving some escape this summer… but can’t get away. Luckily, I’ve found before, books can be an excellent cure for wanderlust. I’m gonna try my hardest not to repeat places I’ve used before, so we can all head to new hotspots! Without further ado, let’s take-off!

nevermoor

Nevermoor– this is a new favourite world for me- it’s wundrous and whimsical and unique. I just adore it.

Kyrria– I thought I knew this world, as I’d seen the movie Ella Enchanted, but really I had no idea how fun and different it would be! The kind of world I’d love to run off to.

Whimsy– fresh off of reading Sorcery of Thorns, I was tempted to include it on this list, but it didn’t quite fit. Fortunately, Enchantment of Ravens, with its little town that is a pocket in fairyland and its journey into the fairy courts, fits the bill perfectly.

Stormhold & Faerie– from Stardust. There are, as you can tell, many fairylands I’d like to visit, but this one has Gaiman’s magic touch.

Prythian– this world is so lush. It sparkles on the page- especially in A Court of Mist and Fury, when we get to go to Velaris!

Cabeswater– I can’t believe I’ve never included Cabeswater before? It’s (literally) dreamy and magical and alive with possibilities. Well, I’m rectifying that today, thinking about this with special reference to Dream Thieves.

Weep– likewise, I can’t believe I’ve been so remiss as to not mention the exquisite and innovative world of Strange the Dreamer. In case you don’t know, Laini Taylor is one of my favourite authors and she can do no wrong. Her worlds are immersive and fantastical and the dream getaway.

Rivendell– umm yeah I somehow never mentioned this either (I guess cos I’m a massive weirdo always going on about Mirkwood). Obviously, this is the *best* destination in Middle Earth (unless you fancy a staycation in the Shire of course 😉)

Red London– I’ve snuck this into a list before, talking about books set in my hometown, but given that was cheeky, I’m gonna be cheekier still and put it here. Especially cos right now I’m stuck in a rather grey London- wish I could put on a cloak and spin off into another version of London (preferably one without the pandemic)

The World of Crestomanci– yeah, I’ve always got to sneak Diana Wynne Jones into one of these lists- I mean she does embody the words “whimsy” and “cute” and “fun”.

Ten Thousand Doors– yup, I’m raving about this book again, because it’s amazing. The world building just transports me off to a thousand other worlds!

Fantastica– and if we’re talking about getting lost in stories, then I simply have to include this now classic journey into storyland. With every turn of the page, you will be transported.

And that’s all for now! Do you fancy booking a trip to any of these? And what fantastical, whimsical worlds would you love to jet off to? Let me know in the comments!

Books I Find Inspirational!

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Hello all! More than ever, I’m finding my inspiration gets stuck and I need something to push me in the right direction. And when I’m in need of a boost, I turn to books. Stories are inherently inspirational- so it was hard for me to narrow this down. Here is (just a few) favourites:

big magic

Big Magic– this is the book that sparked my desire to make this list. So inspiring for creative types, I was continually delighted by Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice.

with the fire on high

With the Fire on High– there’s so much inspiration to be found in this coming of age story. Not just from the creativity, but in the way Emoni shows the power of perseverance.

bright side

Bright Side– perhaps an unusual choice, since this is a pretty devastating read, but I can’t help but find inspiration in the main character’s personality.

wonder

Wonder– a story that drums in the importance kindness, this middle grade inspired me with its outlook.

a man called ove

A Man Called Ove– a wonderful story of the life-supporting nature of friendship, it is the epitome of inspiring.

a thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns– I often talk about how this book moved me, but don’t say enough that I found the characters inspiring. No matter what they endure, they find the strength to pick themselves up and fight another day.

hitler's canaries

Hitler’s Canaries– when it comes to WW2 stories, it can be hard to find the humanity in amongst this inhumane era- and yet that’s exactly what this narrative exemplifies. A beautiful tale of human kindness, I recommend it to anyone looking for uplifting historical fiction.

man's search for meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning– one of the most significant reads of my life, this book showed me that meaning can be found in hardship and gives hope that the human spirit can endure anything.

in order to live

In Order to Live– of all the memoirs about endurance, survival and finding yourself, In Order to Live is one that means the most to me. Especially as the author is very close in age to me- it amazes me that she could have gone through so much and become such an inspiration.

the martian

The Martian– an adventure story about surviving in space, this manages to go beyond pure entertainment value to deliver a story about human ingenuity and perseverance. There’s nothing more inspiring than that.

good omens book

Good Omens– who would’ve thought a story about the apocalypse could be so life-affirming? Yet here we have a story that shows us why humanity is worth saving.

the-lord-of-the-rings-book-cover

Lord of the Rings– the enduring nature of Tolkien’s saga doesn’t merely come from the escapism and world building- but inspiring themes of redemption, friendship and defeating evil against the odds.

les mis

Les Misérables– for another redeeming read, we can turn to Les Mis– the story of a thief turned hero, through a single act of kindness.

pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice– a lovely, optimistic narrative, Pride and Prejudice famously shows us how first impressions can be wrong. More than that, Austen always gives her characters a chance to reform and change for the better. I’d certainly call that inspiring.

And that’s all for now! Do you find these books inspiring? What books do you take inspiration from? Let me know in the comments!

What’s Hot Right Now? Recent(ish) Releases I’m Loving This Summer Season!

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Somehow, we’ve made it to summer (which, wow, really is an achievement this year, isn’t it? 😉) And for me, that usually means going somewhere hot and chilling with a book… but this year it means staying put and chilling with a book 😉 Thank goodness books still exist! To celebrate the fact *we’ve still got books* I thought I’d spotlight some more recently released books that’ll be fun to check out this season:

with the fire on high

With Fire on High– starting with the hottest of the hot, I can’t talk about recent releases that I loved without mentioning this bad boy. If food and romance aren’t enough to give you summery vibes, well this also has a travel aspect to feed your wanderlust!

heartstopper 1

Heartstopper– cutesy romances and summer go hand in hand (at least in my book) and you can’t really go wrong with this fun graphic novel series.

american royals

American Royals– I don’t know about you, but I’m craving a little DRAMA. And this alternative history about royal Washingtons has that in spades.

what the wind knows

What the Wind Knows– a time travelling romance set in Ireland? Sign me up! This is the kind of escapist book that’s perfect for a summer stuck in doors.

stranger on the beach

Stranger on the Beach– of course, if you want something a little edgier, then this thriller has you covered. Stalk towards this with caution however- it’s way twistier than you might expect.

the guest list

Guest List– taking a trip to a location wedding, you’ll get more than you bargained for with this invite.

unhoneymooners

Unhoneymooners– with quite a bit less murder (yet with some characters you may want to throttle) this fun hate-to-love rom com is a delight for the summer months.

bride test

The Bride Test– this unconventional love story definitely gave me the *warm fuzzy feelings*.

call it what you want

Call it What You Want– I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked the character development in this contemporary. Reminiscent of Robin Hood, Kemmerer’s story has a lot more going for it than meets the eye.

bookish and the beast

Bookish and the Beast– and finally, this Beauty and the Beast retelling is just so. much. fun. I could happily recommend any one of the Once Upon a Con stories for fans of contemporary YA, but this is my favourite so far!

That’s all for now! Have you checked any of these out? Do you have any recent summer reads you’d like to shout about? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’d Love to See Adapted and Ones I’m Excited For!

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After months and months of (trying to) watch my way through Netflix, I’ve found myself thinking *a lot* about all the books I’d LOVE to see adapted (and all the ones that are in the works that I wish were available now!!).

However, even with some of my favourites recently being made, and done well (ie His Dark Materials), I’ve seen so many flops over the years that I’m still a little cautious about certain books being made into movies and shows. Some books may very well be better left as books. So, to be clear, this list isn’t just my favourite books in the world– these are just some of the stories I think could work:

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024

Shadow and Bone– starting off with one of my most anticipated adaptations, I’ve been eagerly watching announcements as this has gone into development and been bouncing off the walls with every casting. It’s safe to say I *cannot wait* to see how it turns out!

a darker shade of magic

A Darker Shade of Magic– and this is another one we will hopefully get to see, Schwab’s fascinating world and characters would *definitely* be suited to an adaptation!

Throne_of_Glass_UK

Throne of Glass– while I’ve not loved every part of this saga, I do still think this would make for such a fun fantasy TV show. Though I haven’t heard anything in a while, there have been rumours over the years… so who knows?

illuminae

Illuminae– another one that may very well be in the works- and it would be a good decision if they tried it out! Yes, there would be parts of the books that would be lost in translation if it was adapted, but I think if they tried to capture the unusual style of the books in a visual it’d be very special indeed. Besides, space opera’s make for great movies. On that note…

Red Rising Pierce Browns

Red Rising– BLOODYDAMN, this would make for an amazing adaptation!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to see (what is effectively) Romans fighting it out in space?! Plus, there’s so much content to mine and complex themes, you could have a brilliant series on your hands (if done right). And the rumourmill says it’s in the works as well…

skyward

Skyward– if film goers are craving DRAMA and EXCELLENT CHARACTERS, then ye gods, you cannot go wrong with Sanderson’s Skyward. This would make for an absolutely STELLAR blockbuster! Aside from the brilliant twists and turns that’ll keep audiences on the edge of their seats, this also has one of the most likeable mcs that anyone could get behind!

renegades

Renegades– for me, Marissa Meyer’s books are *totally* translatable into TV/film. And none more so than her take on superheroes. And yes, I know that genre is pretty oversaturated right now, but I’d see this as being something that could satisfy a different demographic from the mainstream Marvel/DC movies. (But you know, if this isn’t possible, I wouldn’t say no to the Lunar Chronicles instead)

diviners

Diviners– I’ve been loving the performative element of these books, which makes them so entertaining as audiobooks… which makes me think, why not make this into a TV show? I think they’re a little too dense to have them be a film, but you could really go to town with the fascinating world building, characters and spooky atmosphere.

wicked deep

Wicked Deep– speaking of spooky, this standalone could easily grip viewers with its unique story. Netflix has apparently got the rights to this one, so *fingers crossed* they do something good with it!

to kill a kingdom

To Kill a Kingdom– I’d love to see more movies partially set under water and I think this Little Mermaid retelling absolutely has enough excitement to make for an awesome movie.

night circus

Night Circus– this one is a bit more of a risk, because it’s such a brilliantly written book and a film might not capture its magical atmosphere. That said, if done right, this would be a visual treat.

the secret history

Secret History– I’m kind of amazed this has never been adapted, cos it’d be so. damn. good. With a captivating cast of characters and a great plot, I completely see this being made one day (I hope).

with the fire on high

With the Fire on High– yeah I can’t shut up about this book lately, sue me. I love contemporary movies and could easily stuff this list with a whole bunch that could work- however none of them have the *special sauce* that this one does. I think this goes the extra mile and would be especially moving.

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters– like, I said I love contemporaries that get made into movies, so I could easily say “just do them all!!” This one is at the top of the list for me, because, with its focus on mental health and internet culture, it’s got a bit more going on than a standard YA romance. Plus, if it was done in a stylised way, with some element of animation, it would be especially cool.

guards-guards

And a BIG *BONUS*: Discworld– well, obviously. Yes, I know some of these books have already been adapted; yes, I know that there have been little pieces of optimistic news here and there. BUT GUYS I’M SO IMPATIENT!!

And though I have a ton more, I think I’d better leave it there for now! Do you guys agree with any of the books on this list? Do you have any personal faves you’re dying to see adapted? Let me know in the comments!

Finales that disappointed me

orangutan list

We all know what it’s like: the first flushes of love as we fall for a new series, waiting with baited breath for the next instalment, feeling our heart pound as we near the end… only to feel nothing but an anti-climax. Nothing is more disappointing to a bookworm than a series ender we didn’t love. For me, whether I love a series for eternity can come down to those final pages- so, it’s a lot of pressure, but it’s gotta be made to count. As much as I’ve raved about series endings I enjoy– and more than once!- there are unfortunately plenty that have let me down:

kingdom of ash book cover

Kingdom of Ash– so I’m going to start with one that was far from terrible. In fact, I even enjoyed it for the most part when I read it and had some satisfaction when I finished. AND YET oddly enough when I look back on this, I’m disappointed with how it turned out. Because *spoiler alert* this is the kind of story where all the main characters wear plot armour and only expendable characters die. Despite all the explosions, there was no fireworks and consequently no spark for me. It relied on a series of “eh whatever” plot conveniences that have niggled away at me over time. It leaves me with an empty feeling when I think about it. I will say this could just be a case of me outgrowing a series- yet I can’t help but feel a pang when I think of this series. As much as I devoted time to it, I’ve no desire to reread it and have since unhauled my books… and to me, that’s immensely disappointing.

queen of air and darkness book

Queen of Air and Darkness– this was another book I liked less and less over time AND is another book that put me off a series. In this case, I blame the book. It was just designed to bridge the gap between this and another (clearly more important) series. It was slow and exhaustingly repetitive and made the entire series redundant. I’m annoyed that I ever wasted my time on it.

Breaking_Dawn_cover

Breaking Dawn– as much as I will say I think people are too harsh about Twilight, this book was a trashfire. Aside from all the long-winded and anti-climactic elements, this book has a grown man fall in love with a baby?!?! WHO SIGNED OFF ON THAT IDEA?! Ugh, even all these years later, I still wish I could get that ending out of my head. I rue the day teenage me ever picked up a book on sparkly vampires, because I should’ve known it was only going to be downhill from there.

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows

Deathly Hallows– yep, I was one of those teens that was disappointed with this ending. Largely because I didn’t like the copycat elements from Aslan in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (…plus a whole bunch of other complaints over the years, which made me develop a complicated relationship with Harry Potter). Now, while I still don’t think it’s the perfect ending, I will say I have (just about) reconciled with my old mate Harry Potter. I think I can get on the same page with this ending now… but I’ll never love it.

shadow study

Shadow Study– I loved where the poison study series started, however hated where it ended up. It went from something startlingly unique to just another generic fantasy- and I can’t quite forgive it for that.

final warning maximum ride

The Final Warning– another series that took off and soared to great heights… before ultimately getting shot down and tumbling to its doom. I get the feeling the author had no idea where it was heading- cos this was just blatantly bizarre. Oh, and in this case, I found out this wasn’t the *final* finale… but let’s be real, I’m never going to read on.

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– another waste of a series where I felt like the promises were left unfulfilled. Unlike the endings I’ve complained about for being too kind, by contrast I felt this was far too much of a punishing end.

inkdeath

Inkdeath– I loved the concept of Inkheart, but this was just not an ending I enjoyed. Fortunately, unlike a lot of the other books on this list, the first book can be enjoyed in its own right as a standalone.

immortal reign

Immortal Reign– this was wayyy too easy an ending. I know it sounds callous (cos it is) but I prefer my endings to feel like they count and this didn’t.

our dark duet

Our Dark Duet– it’s not just super long series that I’ve dedicated my time to that can disappoint- this duology held a lot of promise in the concept, but I did not like where this went. I particularly disliked the shift in villains. Above all, it felt rushed and unsatisfying.

queen of ruin

Queen of Ruin– ditto with this duology. The more I look back on this, the more frustrated I am that this took such a strong start and let it fizzle out. Somehow this simultaneously managed to be both stuffed with fluff and cut to the quick too fast. Worst of all, the character work was lacking. It decidedly ruined the series for me.

And that’s all for now- thankfully! Have you read any of these? Do you agree or disagree? And what series disappointed you by the end? Let me know in the comments!