Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I Hope Father Christmas Brings || Blogmas Day 19

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Hello and welcome to another top ten Tuesday! Today’s topic is one I thought would be easy – it’s the top 10 books that I hope Father Christmas brings me. It was not easy whatsoever. Surprisingly, there aren’t many books I’m after right now, and generally speaking I know my family won’t have bought me books so it’s fruitless to hope!

I really struggled finding 10 books that I’d really like. In the end I settled on special editions, or anthologies, and generally good ‘gift’ books that I’d quite like to have in my collection. There are also a handful of “Christmas” books which is a must at Christmas!

Firstly, the few books that aren’t as “special” – Effi Briest in the Persephone classics edition. I really loved the sound of this when I received a newsletter from Persephone, and it’s been on my wishlist for a long while! The other two that fit in to this category are Egyptian Myths which is a book from a Penguin collection that I’m slowly collecting – I absolutely love myths and legends, so books like this are right up my alley! Also, The Iliad in the Clothbound Classics version – it’s one of the few in the collection I don’t have. The reason it is in the ‘less special’ section is I do have a copy of it in the black spine, so it would be a duplicate book!

As for “Christmas-y” books, we have The Faber Book of Christmas Stories which is absolutely blooming gorgeous and I would absolutely adore to have a copy of! The same, in fact, goes for the remainder of the books. Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson is purely to fuel my love of the womans writing right now. The Night Before Christmas by Gogol is one of the Penguin Christmas Classics, and I love these wee gems. I’ve taken to reading one every Christmas Night, so I’d really like a new one to add to my collection!

The last on the top line is a bit of left field entrant on this top 10, I’ve not had much experience with Wodehouse but a selection of short stories sounds like a good way to get started. This book caught my eye when it was published in hardback around 3 years ago, and even now I’m curious about it. We all need a good laugh, and I think this would be the perfect combination of festive cheer and a good laugh!

Finally we have A Poem for Every Day/Night of the Year – these two books are gorgeous and as I want to get in to more poetry I feel like it might be a nice way to do that, that and I like the idea of actually reading 1(2) poems a day and having it as a project throughout 2018!

The last book on the entire top 10 is The Fox and the Star which I have wanted since it was released but haven’t bought myself but if someone got it for me as a gift I would be over the moon.

As I said, this was a hard top 10 to do! I didn’t realise how few books I actually wanted at the moment until I struggled to get 10 together!

Have you got any books on your christmas wishlist?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Favourite Books of 2017 || Blogmas Day 12

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s a top 10 day! Today I’m going to be talking about my 10 favourite books of 2017 – obviously with 2 weeks left to go there is a small chance that this may change (I’m not feeling that’s going to happen though!)

On the whole 2017 has been a mediocre reading year. It’s had very few highs – and those highs haven’t been long-lived or memorable unfortunately! Trying to come up with 10 books which I could consider ‘favourites’ of the year is quite a task – and I really struggled. In the end I surprised myself with how much non-fiction I enjoyed this year.

Without further ado, let’s talk about the books!

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I’ve not included re-reads in this, because I think re-reads are a bit unfair and have an advantage over new reads – I’m already rereading them, I know I love them!

My favourite book of the year – without a shadow of a doubt – is Bleak House. It was one of the first books I read of the year and has stuck with me for the full 12 months, it’s going to be one of my long-time favourites and re-ignited my love of Dickens after a few slightly less than stellar reads!

Another classic on my list is Crime and Punishment which I am so, so glad I finally read. It was a case of reading the perfect book at the perfect time I think, but in hindsight it would have been a great place to start with Russian literature!

In Order to Live and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks were the stand out non-fiction for me this year for very different reasons. I read a lot of non-fiction this year, and I enjoyed all of them, but those two were stand outs and books that will stick with me for a long time. Those two books are two that I would encourage anyone to read – they’re stand out and thought provoking.

Mend the Living was my favourite of the Wellcome Prize shortlist and a very, very much deserving winner. I was absolutely elated when it was announced because this book was just incredible. I’ve since recommended it to several people since I read it, it just is a book I can’t forget. If you’re interested in non-fiction, and where it intersects with fiction, reading from The Wellcome Prize shortlist is a really good place to find recommendations (interestingly, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was nominated when it was released a few years ago!)

What would be a favourites list without a Daphne du Maurier book? Technically it’s a reread, but I genuinely cannot remember a thing from it from my first read which must have been about 10 years ago. So I’m counting it as a first read! It was bloody amazing. Good place to start with du Maurier for sure! Can’t really say too much about it, it’s du Maurier, it was impeccable.

The same logic applies to Ali Smith. Although I read Winter more recently, and loved it even more, Autumn was a grower and a book that I kept thinking about the more the year went on. I’ll have to reread it at some point and pay closer attention to the nuances. But basically I loved it. There.

Stay With Me is on the list because it surprised me. I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy it and then BAM – I read it to prove a point and hopefully get to write an unpopular opinion and I go and love it! So, sometimes hyped books are as good as the hype says. I read it in one sitting, propped up in a bed in a caravan while it rained. It was incredible.

The last two are a short story collection and a poetry collection – both I did only give 4 stars to but I really enjoyed them both. Kissing the Witch is a surprise entry on this list as I’ve not even reviewed it yet. I went in to it with low expectations and came out of it happily surprised. The last two Emma Donoghue books I’ve read really disappointed me, so I was wary, but this collection lived up to the high praise I’ve heard from people. I absolutely loved it so look out for the review in a few days. The final of my top 10 is You Sad Feminist – which was one of the only poetry collections I read this year and I absolutely loved. Megan Beech is one talented young woman and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

So there we have it, a very disjointed top 10. I’d love to hear what your top books of 2017 have been, and if you’d have as much trouble picking them as I did!

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit || Blogmas Day 5

So, today I’ve decided to do a Top Ten Tuesday. I used to really enjoy doing these on and off, and when I saw the topics for December I knew it would be a good discussion post once a week – and also something I could plan ahead!

This weeks topic is Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit. Anyone who knows me will know what number 1 is on my list (*cough* Wizarding World *cough*) but the rest have been quite difficult for me to piece together and all come an equal second for a variety of different reasons.

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Ten Most Read Authors

So, once again I’ve decided to do Top Ten Tuesday (I did one back at the start of July and none since). Anyway, TTT is a weekly bit of bookish fun which originated at The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there is a new top ten list and followers are invited to share their answers! This week, as the title suggests, is my 10 most read authors! I thought this was also a good time to show you my favourite books by those authors as those you read most tend to be your favourites!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

So, following the example of bluechickenninja I’ve decided to do this Top Ten Tuesday (whether or not I do any others is another thing, but I had opinions for this one). Anyway, TTT is a weekly bit of bookish fun which originated at The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there is a new top ten list and followers are invited to share their answers!

As can be established by the title, this week is “Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read” which is self explanatory. So, it’s now on with the show. I’ll warn you, I apparently have some very sassy opinions that I didn’t know I had until I sat down with my laptop to write this!

overhypedAs you can see, this is a very big variety of genre and age and everything – and some of these I have every intention of actually remedying the fact I haven’t read quite soon!

The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit for that matter) are books that I’ve had on my shelf for years. Still haven’t read them, I just can’t seem to find the motivation. I know so many people love them but I’m just indifferent to them. I’ve not seen any of the movies, I just find that I’ve never really cared. I’d like to read it to see if I can change that opinion I have set in though!

Next up is The Cloud Atlas which is a book I have actually owned since I was sitting my GCSEs about 5 or 6 years ago. I did finally read some David Mitchell in the form of The Bone Clocks, and I would quite like to read this. It’s a book that has always been very much “I’d like to read you… but not right now”!

The Fairyland series is one that I see everywhere with such high appraisal that it really sours my opinion of it. People gushing over something is a sure way to get me to not gush over it. So, while I think that yes, I may enjoy this, I am going to wait it out and then see how I feel about it in a few months because, honestly, the amount of saccharine sweetness that has surrounded reviews of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making really makes me go in to a coma! Bitchy? Maybe.

The Hunger Games, quite simply,has never appealed to me. I know so many people who couldn’t put it down but nope, it just didn’t interest me. I’ve not seen the movies either and honestly, I don’t care!

Now, Pride and Prejudice is a representation of Jane Austen as a whole. I have read Persuasion and I have confidence that I will eventually, at least, try to reread Pride and Prejudice without and prejudice of my own. But it has to be said, me and Jane have never got on in the past. I’m going to be trying some Austen again in the near future but I shall be watching adaptations prior to reading – I’m not sure how well this will help but I do, at least, have some hope!

Fangirl just irritates me. I hate all the fuss about Rainbow Rowell and honestly, just the description on goodreads has me not wanting to read this book (it uses the words “coming of age” which instantly set alarm bells ringing in my head because I have never, once, identified with any tale that uses the phrase “coming of age” and generally I get infuriated very quickly). Again, it is a book I would at least like to say I have read before I say I categorically hate it, but I will probably be locating it from alternate means to full price in a bookshop.

The Fault in our Stars just gives me icky feelings. I know people get cancer, I know people die and I know sometimes they’re my age or younger but… just the premise of this book just makes me uncomfortable. For that reason alone, I don’t think I’d ever even consider reading this. Romanticising cancer (however much you try and play it down, it is romanticising cancer) is not cool. I will also, definitely, not watch the movie.

Gone Girl, meh, this just doesn’t really float my kayak. A lot of my non-reader friends actually read this and enjoyed it but for me it just didn’t appeal. Maybe I will read it one day if I’m bored but, honestly, there’s no ‘attraction’ to it for me (aside from the cover, which is pretty cool!)

A Game of Thrones is self explanatory, surely? All my friends were reading this at school 3 or 4 years ago. Again this is one I’d like to read but I would like to read a lot of other things a lot more…! The TV series has successfully been avoided and, right now, so are the books!

Finally we have Ready Player One which is one I have here just because I’ve heard so much about the title but so little about the book. I know a lot of people received this as a proof/ARC and again there was a boom last summer as Ernest Klein’s next book is to soon be published. Anyway, I’m always dubious of books that are all over every blogging platform but you learn very little about – a review of “zomgz I couldn’t put this down” is sadly not enough to sway me! I think I may give this a go, though it is likely to be a kindle purchase (like many of the books above!)

So, yes, this is surprisingly bitchy and I’m sorry. I’m not normally so rude but I decided to not sugar coat this! Honourable mentions to TwilightDivergentThe Mortal Instruments, and most other YA series here which I’ve also sort of hidden from!

Are there books that you’ve never read because they’ve been overhyped? Are there any currently hyped books that you’ve not read/are avoiding? Are there any hyped books that you feel deserve it?