Top Ten Tuesday #291

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been relatively quiet since Stirling is into a local lockdown now, but I did have a nice weekend, I did a back to back Mamma Mia 1 & 2 watch with pizza and ice-cream on Friday night and Strictly on Saturday, so the joy was strong in my house!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl (sorry it’s slightly later than usual, I’ve been doing job applications this afternoon). This week is the annual Thanksgiving freebie I’ll be honest, I struggled coming up with a topic for this year’s freebie, as I’ve done a lot of the bookish ones already and it’s 2020, things to be thankful for are few and far between. So instead, I’m talking TV this week, I watch a lot of US TV and Thanksgiving episodes seem to be a staple (it’s how I learned what Thanksgiving was to be honest since we don’t have it in the UK!) so I’m going to share my Top Ten Favourite Thanksgiving TV Episodes this week. Caution before I go into this, there will be spoilers!: 

  1. The One With The Football-Friends

Friends has an awful lot of Thanksgiving episodes to choose from, so this is not the only Friends appearance on this list, but it’s my favourite one. American football may be completely lost on me, but a girls vs boys football game where Monica and Ross get insanely overcompetitive over an ugly troll doll trophy? It’s classic Friends.

2. The One With All The Thanksgivings-Friends

My other Friends instalment on this list, this Season 5 Thanksgiving episode has a lot of memorable moments. Like many of Friends gags, the Fat Monica jokes have aged terribly, but seeing the flashbacks to everyone’s worst Thanksgivings is incredibly hilarious and Chandler accidentally telling Monica he loves her whilst she’s dancing with a turkey on her head to apologise for cutting his pinky toe off (that was her worst Thanksgiving ever) is one of my favourite ever TV I-love-you moments.

3. Slapsgiving-How I Met Your Mother

Ah remember the time before How I Met Your Mother was soured forever by THAT finale? Me too. Anyway, back when How I Met Your Mother was actually an okay show, we had Slapsgiving, the start of one of the show’s most iconic running gags, the Slap Bet. There are two “Slapsgiving” themed episodes (we don’t count the one in Season 9 with the terrible yellow face), and this is the better of the two, with the endless slap puns, cringey inside jokes and of course the very satisfying, third slap of the Slap Bet.

4. A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving-Gilmore Girls

I actually watched this just last week as I’m currently doing my annual rewatch of Gilmore Girls. This Season 3 Thanksgiving episode (it’s actually one of only two, Gilmore Girls didn’t really lean into the holiday episodes in the same way that a lot of other shows do) has so many memorable moments: Lorelai and Rory trying to cram four Thanksgiving dinners into one day, Lane and Dave’s first kiss and Sookie dealing with Jackson deep frying her turkey by getting incredibly drunk.

5. Blair Waldorf Must Pie!-Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl did several Thanksgiving episodes over its run (it’s Blair’s favourite holiday) but this one from the first season will always be my favourite as we get flashbacks to Thanksgivings from years past and get a lot more insight into the characters and their relationships with each other, especially Blair.

6. Four Thanksgivings and A Funeral-Ugly Betty

The only Thanksgiving episode in Ugly Betty’s four season run, but it’s definitely a fun one with Marc and Amanda dressing up in outfits from the closet whilst drinking and singing along to Dreamgirls being a highlight! Wilhelmina’s reaction to having to stuff a turkey is definitely a close second.

7. Mr Santiago-Brooklyn Nine Nine

This season 4 episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine sees Jake meeting Amy’s father and as expected things don’t turn out quite as planned! Meet the parents episodes of sitcoms are always fun to watch and the fact that Victor is also a retired cop makes for a fun dynamic between him and Jake.

8. Parents-New Girl

I can’t say that New Girl ever comes to mind as a show with the most memorable Thanksgiving episodes, but this Season 2 one was a lot of fun, with Jess trying to “Parent Trap” her divorced parents.

9. Two Turkeys-Brooklyn Nine Nine

This Thanksgiving episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine sees Jake and Amy’s parents meeting for the first time & of course because it’s a sitcom and their parents have nothing in common, everything goes horribly wrong, which of course means lots of hilarity for us.

10. Chapter Twenty Eight-Jane The Virgin

This season two episode of Jane The Virgin is kind of Thanksgiving-lite, it’s not a major focus of the episode, rather merely where the episode ends, but I included it anyway as it’s a super fun one. It’s all about milestones and follows the characters through a four month period in one episode so it’s really cool to see how everything changes for the characters. Petra spending Thanksgiving with Jane’s family and seeing the start of a tentative friendship between her and Jane is definitely a highlight.

So there we go, those are just some of my favourite Thanksgiving TV Episodes. What are some of your favourites? Let me know in the comments! 

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, the topic is meant to be Books I Wish I Could Read Again, but I already did that topic about two years ago and I’d rather do something new, so instead I’m going to talk about my Top Ten Favourite Christmas Movies, as I want to start trying to get into the festive spirit (I realise we’ve had a few non-book themed ones in a row, but I actually quite like getting to share some of the other things I enjoy with you guys sometimes as well!). 

Top Ten Tuesday #290

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these: I spent the last couple of days watching the new series of The Crown and I have to say, I think it was my favourite one yet! Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin were both brilliant as Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana and where the third series had a couple of episodes that I thought fell a little flat, I really enjoyed every episode of this new series. On a slight downer, it looks like Stirling might be going into a local lockdown at the end of this week, so that’s not great, I’m just hoping it won’t be for more than a couple of weeks!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all (my 290th, we’re on the homestretch to 300 now guys!), courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Characters We’d Name A Pet After. I feel like a lot of fantasy names would probably make better pet names that human names as naming your pet something a little out there is less weird than your using a fantasy character’s name for your child. So here we go, some characters I’d name a pet after and which pet I’d choose:

  1. Arya-Game of Thrones-George RR Matin-Cat

I actually know of someone who has a dog called Arya but I think Arya would make a great cat name too. Arya actually strikes me as more of a cat in personality than a dog, independent, does what she wants when she wants etc. I’d imagine Arya would be a black cat or a black and white cat. 

2. Valkyrie-Skulduggery Pleasant-Derek Landy-Dog

I think Valkyrie would be a great name for a big fluffy dog, like a German Shepherd or maybe a husky? Given that Valkyrie is from Norse mythology, and Norway is a pretty cold country, it makes sense that a dog called Valkyrie would be a big fluffy one.

3. Lila-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab-Cat

Again, Lila’s personality just strikes me as far more cat like than dog-like. I feel like a cat called Lila would probably be some kind of oriental cat as they’re quite outgoing cats who like a lot of attention. It would also definitely have to be a cat that had heterochromia (different coloured eyes). 

4. Celaena-Throne of Glass series-Sarah J Maas-Cat

Celaena would make a great cat name also, though I will admit, this one mostly comes from Shanna Alderliesten’s cat who is a gorgeous Bengal cat who also has name and it so suits her!

5. Nikolai-Grishaverse books-Leigh Bardugo-Dog

I know Nikolai in the books is described as a fox, but I think his name would make a great dog name. I’m not sure if a dog is necessarily the best fit for Nikolai’s personality, but I can’t help but picture an Irish Setter called Nikolai, they have such gorgeous red coats.

6. Kaz-Grishaverse books-Leigh Bardugo-Cat

Kaz is a black cat. 100% Kaz would be a black cat, it suits his character down to the ground and I think Kaz is a great name for a cat.

7. Tibby-The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants series-Ann Brashares-Cat

This may be slightly because my family had a cat called Tabby, which is very similar, but I think Tibby is a great name for a tabby cat. 

8. Artemis-Artemis Fowl series-Eoin Colfer-Horse

I think Artemis would be a great name for a horse, in fact in general I really like the idea of naming horses after Greek gods and goddesses, and given that Artemis is the Goddess of The Hunt and horses are often used in hunting, it seems like a fitting name. I feel like Artemis would be a dapple grey mare. 

9. Sherlock-Sherlock Holmes stories-Arthur Conan Doyle-Dog

Sherlock just sounds like the perfect dog name doesn’t it? I will admit, I do have a friend with dogs called Sherlock and Watson, so a little bias may have gone into this decision, but nonetheless, Sherlock is a great name for a dog. 

10. Monty-Montague Siblings series-Mackenzi Lee-Dog

If I had a dog called Monty, he would definitely be a yellow labrador, Monty is one of those names that just sounds like it would fit a dog and I love labradors, having one of my own! 

So there we go, those are the fictional characters I’d name pets after! I will admit my top names I’ve considered for my own future dogs (Arthur and Merlin) did not make the list, but I would definitely use any of these names for pets as well. Would you choose any of these names for a pet? What names made your list this week? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, the annual Thanksgiving one. I’ll be honest, I always struggle to come up with ideas for these that I haven’t done before, Thanksgiving isn’t a thing in the UK and let’s face it, it’s hard to find things to be thankful for in 2020. I can’t really think of a bookish one for this year, so instead I’m going to talk about my Top Ten Favourite Thanksgiving TV Episodes. 

Top Ten Tuesday #289

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, as I said last week, I’m back up in Stirling and I’ve definitely been enjoying the quiet time by myself, it’s something that’s been in short supply this year!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week I’m talking about Song Titles That Would Make Great Book Titles (I switched the original topic around as I thought this way would be more fun). So I’ve scrolled through my IPod for songs, and chosen 10 that I think would make interesting stories, plus tried to imagine a little what those books would be about:

  1. She Used To Be Mine-Waitress Soundtrack

Definitely sounds like it could be a book right? But I don’t imagine a traditional contemporary romance for this one, since the song, from the show Waitress is all about Jenna trying to find herself again after years in an abusive marriage, I picture a book with the same title being along a similar theme: the story of a woman coming out of an abusive relationship and trying to rediscover the person she was before.

2. Always Remember Us This Way-A Star Is Born (2018) Soundtrack

This definitely seems like it would be something in the vein of The Fault In Our Stars, could be YA or Adult, but I imagine the story would be of a couple where one partner has a terminal illness (I’d go with the guy since these kinds of stories do seem to trend towards having the woman die), and it follows them on their last summer together trying to cram in all the experiences they can before he dies.

3. Back To December-Taylor Swift

Okay my idea for this one really has nothing to do with the story of the song, but I think Back To December would be a perfect title for one of those holiday themed short story anthologies!

4. Goodbye Until Tomorrow-The Last Five Years

Okay, I originally had a happy story idea in mind for this one but then I came up with a morbidly sad one that I liked better, so I’m going with that. This story would start with a couple going on their first date, and they really like each other but the guy dies in a car crash on his way home. The rest of the story would follow the girl’s ideas of different scenarios of what might have happened had they had more time together.

5. As Long As You’re Mine-Wicked Soundtrack

As Long As You’re Mine definitely gives me the vibes of a story about a secret affair, something kind of in the vein of Normal People where the two main characters are hiding their relationship from everyone for some reason and it’s inevitable that it’s not going to last.

6. Our Last Summer-Mamma Mia Soundtrack

This one is an easy one, I feel like this would be a group of friends who are about to go their separate ways for University having one last big summer adventure together travelling around Europe (I did initially think of a romantic scenario for this one, but I feel like a lot of these ideas have been based around couples and I wanted to have one that wasn’t!).

7. Learning How To Lose You-Nashville Season 5 Soundtrack

Because apparently I love some grief, I have another sad idea for this one, this I feel would be something in the vein of PS I Love You where the main character is having to learn to move on after their partner’s death.

8. The Last Great American Dynasty-Taylor Swift

Honestly any of the songs of folklore would make a great book since they’re all kind of like mini stories, but I had a great idea for this one: an heiress runs away from the family fortune and this book follows her adventures as she causes all kinds of embarrassment for her family.

9. Burn With You-Lea Michele

I feel like this one would follow a couple after a really messy breakup where they’re both out to get revenge on each other and destroy each other’s lives: think something like the movie The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, where they breakup and neither of them wants to give up their shared apartment so they both try and make each other miserable.

10. You’re Timeless To Me-Hairspray

I love the idea of this one being kind of a love story through the ages, it would start with an elderly couple and would flashback through their lives together.

I realised that most of these are romance based stories which is very weird for me, but what can I say, it’s very difficult to find songs that aren’t based around some kind of love story! Do you like any of these songs? What songs do you think would make good books? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, this time we’re going to be talking about Characters I’d Name A Pet After, which should be a fun one! 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #288

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these: I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind the last few days! I met up with my friend Hannah on Saturday which was lovely, we had a really good catchup, which obviously involved a lot of talking about books! 

However the news of the national lockdown in England has meant a very swift change of plans, and I’m heading back up to Stirling tomorrow for the next month or so in the hopes that having more space will help my mental health in what is sure to be a challenging winter.

Anyway, enough of the downer that is the pandemic, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about our Non-Bookish Hobbies. I deliberately didn’t include writing on this list, as though it’s not reading, a lot of the writing I do is still book related (whether it be writing books or talking about books here), plus, I do also intend for it to be my job so including it as a hobby didn’t really feel right! 

  1. Horse riding

I’ve mentioned this plenty of times on the blog before, but since it is one of my biggest hobbies outside of books, it was worth mentioning again. I’ve been riding for over sixteen years now and it’s a massive part of my life, I’ve always loved horses, and particularly this year, being able to get out in the fresh air for a ride (since the first lockdown was eased) has been a real lifesaver. I’m going to miss it a lot over the next month! Being part of the Equestrian Club at University was also a great way to meet people and I loved my lessons and helping out with competitions whilst I was there. 

2. Trampolining

Another hobby I’ve had since childhood, I started trampolining at about 11, I think after there were some summer sessions at my future secondary school, I was immediately hooked and continued for the next twelve years. I was part of the Trampolining Club at my Uni as well, which was also a fantastic way of meeting people at Uni. I haven’t really been able to do any since I left as it’s a harder hobby to keep up once you’re an adult than riding is, but I definitely want to look into places I can do it again once things are a little more settled with the pandemic!

3. Running

I swear these first three hobbies are going to make me sound like I’m a lot more into sports than I actually am! Running is a great stress reliever for me, I first took it up during my A-Levels as a way to get out during revision, and this year in particular it has been really important for me to get my weekly run in as over lockdown it was the only exercise I could really do!

4. Watching movies/TV

I’ll admit, I’ve been doing more of this than I even I like to over the course of this year, but I do enjoy bingeing a few boxsets on Netflix or watching a cheesy romantic comedy. Usually I prefer it to be a relaxation after a long day of actually doing something rather than the only thing I’m able to do! Having said that, TV and films have been a great comfort as well over this period, especially things like Bake-Off and now Strictly which are providing real joy in an otherwise dark time.

5. Listening to music/podcasts

This is kind of a cheat as I tend to do both of these things whilst reading, but I’m including it since it is technically a separate hobby, I just like to combine them into one! I’ve always loved listening to music, but I only really found podcasts in the last couple of years and they’ve quickly become one of my favourite things as they’re a great way to explore my interests and learn new things (my current cycle of podcasts is a pretty good indicator of my interests: they include feminism (The Guilty Feminist), musicals (The Hamilcast), History (Stuff You Missed In History Class) and mythology and folklore (Myths and Legends).

6. Ice Skating

This isn’t a particularly frequent hobby, I tend to only do it around Christmas, but I wanted to include it anyway as it’s one of my favourite activities around the holidays. I love wrapping up all warm and cosy and going skating with family or friends.

7. Shopping

Granted I’ve not been doing much of this this year, at least not in person and online isn’t quite the same! Book shopping is obviously my favourite kind of shopping, but I do enjoy clothes shopping as well, I’ve had some great times with my friends picking out ugly outifts for each other to try on!

8. Hanging out with friends

I wouldn’t necessarily count this as a hobby, but hanging out with my friends and just talking is honestly one of my favourite things to do. We can talk for hours and hours and it feels like no time at all has passed. This is the thing that definitely hit me hardest about the first lockdown, as videochatting, no matter how many people try to extol the virtues of it is just not the same. Is it better than nothing? Sure. But the amount of difference I felt in my general mood once I was allowed to see my friends again over the summer? It made so much difference and I’m going to miss being able to see them so much over the next month.

9. Travelling

I love travelling so much and it definitely really hurts that I’m not going to be able to for the forseeable future, though of course it’s understandable. I have serious wanderlust, being able to go to different places and see different things is something I love to do, especially when I go with my friends because we always have so much fun.

So there we go, one less than usual this week, but I didn’t want to force it. What hobbies do you enjoy outside of reading? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, this time we’re going to be talking about Book Titles Which Would Make Great Song Titles, but I actually think it would be more fun to do it the other way round and talk about Song Titles I Think Would Make Great Book Titles so that’s what I’m going to do!

Top Ten Tuesday #287

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I’ve been up in Stirling for the past week, I’ve not really been doing anything but it’s been so nice to have a change of scenery!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have a Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is our annual Halloween freebie, the bane of my existence because after five years of Halloween topics, it’s very difficult to come up with new ideas! Still I did manage to come up with one, I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Spooky Book Covers:

  1. Ninth House-Leigh Bardugo
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Everyone remember the great Book Snake trend which seemed to be everywhere last year. Well this is one of those. Honestly I still don’t really know what the snake had to do with the book even after reading it, but the colours and the snake definitely make it a spooky cover!

2. Frozen Charlotte-Alex Bell

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Maybe I’ve watched too much Pretty Little Liars, but dolls are definitely super creepy, especially the ones on this cover! I’m not usually a horror fan but this story about sadistic dolls who convince people to do terrible things was definitely creepy in a great way.

3. Skulduggery Pleasant series-Derek Landy

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I’ve used the final book cover as an example here, but the entire series has spooky covers given that one of the main characters is a walking, talking, magical skeleton!

4. House of Ash-Hope Cook

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I mean what isn’t spooky about this cover? The minimalist effects work very well, your attention is immediately drawn to the hand in the flames! It’s not my favourite book ever, but if you’re wanting a creepy little haunted house story for Halloween then this one might do the trick.

5. Knife Edge (Young Sherlock Holmes #6)-Andrew Lane 18463770

I was so sad that they changed the covers on these books because these original ones were so much better than the weird stock image covers they changed them to! The cover of this one with the skeletal hand is definitely very spooky, and the book lives up to it: Sherlock is based in an old manor house in Ireland and investigating a psychic, so there’s a lot of seances and communicating with the dead and murders of course!

6. Unwind-Neal Shusterman

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The dark background with the pop of colour works really well, and the small glimpses of a human face within the DNA helix definitely adds the creep factor to this cover. The book itself is probably one of the most chilling I’ve ever read, a world where children can be signed away by their parents to be literally torn apart.

7. The Steel Prince #4-VE Schwab

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This is probably my favourite of all of Schwab’s comic covers, the skeletal hand with the mechanical heart would be fitting for a horror story, though of course that’s not what this is! I still need to get around to reading the rest of The Steel Prince comics, I’ve only read the first four, though I have all of them!

8. Not Even Bones-Rebecca Schaeffer

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I’m not sure this cover does justice to some of the truly horrifying things that happen in this book, but it’s not as if you could put a human dissection on the cover! The little drops of blood alongside the scalpel and the minimalist effects make the cover quite effective though, hinting at the gore inside the book.

9. The Devouring Gray-Christine Lynn Herman

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I’ll admit, being more than halfway through this book, I don’t think it lives up to its spooky cover! Still the cover certainly creates an atmosphere, with the mist and the tress and the road to nowhere.

10. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding-Alexandra Bracken

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The UK cover definitely feels more spooky than the US one, at least to me! The old gilded mirror, the smoke, the black and white colours, definitely highlight that this is going to be a spooky tale. I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

So there we go, some spooky covers for your Halloween viewing! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? What topic did you choose for your Halloween freebie? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday. We’re supposed to be talking Non-Bookish Hobbies, but honestly I don’t have all that many hobbies? I might still do it, but I may come up with another topic if I can’t think of much to say!

Top Ten Tuesday #286

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. I had a great time at The Last Five Years last week, it was so lovely to be back in a theatre, the show was amazing and it all felt really safe. It was so nice to just forget about everything going on for a few hours and be absorbed in a really amazing show (the music has been stuck in my head for the past week!). I’m up in Stirling now for a couple of weeks, just for a break from home, obviously haven’t got any real plans whilst I’m here!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them To Me. I’ll be honest, I’m usually the one doing the recommending rather than getting them, but I did manage to come up with a list of ten books that were recommended to me, so I guess I get them more than I thought! So here we go:

  1. Percy Jackson and The Olympians-Rick Riordan

I was recommended the Percy Jackson series by a girl I made friends with after I moved schools in Year 9. I borrowed the first book from the library and then she lent me the rest (honestly I’m pretty sure I ran through them quicker than she could get them to me). That friendship didn’t last past school, but it did form the basis of my friendship with Hannah (who was also new in the same year) and we’re still friends ten years later!

2. Children of Blood and Bone-Tomi Adeyemi

This one was actually a bookseller recommendation, not something I get very often because I generally go in knowing what I want, but this one was definitely a success as I ended up really enjoying the book.

3. The Magician’s Guild-Trudi Canavan

This one was recommended to me by my friend Nicola, and to my shame, I haven’t actually read it yet! It’s on the list, the list is just very, very, long!

4. A Darker Shade of Magic-VE Schwab

I didn’t really get one specific recommendation, this one was just around the blogosphere a lot back in 2015 when I really started to get more involved with the community and as it was one I was seeing around a lot I figured I really had to try it. Of course it ended up being one of my favourite books and I’m now completely obsessed with VE Schwab’s work, so congratulations guys: you created a monster!

5. Everyday Sexism-Laura Bates

My sister recommended this one to me, and got it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I actually still haven’t read this one, but since I’ve been really enjoying her latest release, Men Who Hate Women, it’s definitely one I want to get to soon.

6. The Diviners-Libba Bray

My friend Nicola recommended this one to me, and I sped through the first three audiobooks last year before reading the final one when it came out earlier this year. It’s safe to say this recommendation was definitely a success, if you’re wanting a spooky paranormal historical fantasy for your October reading this year, I definitely recommend this one (and do the audio if you can, the narrator is amazing!).

7. Cinderella Is Dead-Kalynn Bayron

Again, I don’t have a specific person that I got this recommendation from, it was on a lot of lists of Black author recommendations earlier in the year which led to me requesting it from Netgalley. I ended up really enjoying it, so another successful recommendation for the blogosphere!

8. The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins

This was a recommendation from my sister (or at least I borrowed it from her, so I have to assume she recommended it to me, I don’t actually remember!) and of course I loved it, I read this one in like a week and proceeded to race through the other two books in the trilogy over my Easter holidays in 2012.

9. An Ember In The Ashes-Sabaa Tahir

Another recommendation from Nicola, I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as The Diviners, it felt kind of flat and I didn’t really love any of the characters. Having said that, I didn’t fall in love with The Diviners till the second book in the series, so I’m hoping the same will be true for this series and I’ll enjoy future books more.

10. Unwind-Neal Shusterman

This was actually an Amazon recommendation, which is not somewhere I usually get my book recommendations! But anyway, it came up in the “Recommended For You” section, I thought it looked interesting and ended up buying it. I ended up really enjoying it and the rest of the other books in the series, so dare I say it? Amazon actually did something right here.

So there we go, those are some Books That Have Been Recommended To Me. Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? Where do you get most of your book recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with our annual Halloween Freebie. I have to admit, it gets harder and harder for me to think of topics for this every year because I’m not a big Halloween fan and it seems like there are only so many things you can do! Since cover topics always seem to be a popular one though, I think I’ll do Top Ten Spooky Book Covers.

Top Ten Tuesday #285

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these, as usual mine was pretty quiet. I’m really excited because I’m going to see an actual show today, IN AN ACTUAL THEATRE. My mum and I are going to see The Last Five Years at The Southwark Playhouse, my plans to see it in Cape Town were scuppered by the pandemic and even if it’s not going to be the same as the “normal” theatre experience, who cares? It’s theatre!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Super Long Book Titles. I wasn’t sure quite what would constitute “Super Long” so I’ve defined it as book titles with six or more words (basically if it has or could have a Twitter acronym, it’s on this list). So here we go, some Super Long Book Titles For You:

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes-Suzanne Collins

Considering how short the original Hunger Games series books titles are, I was not expecting the prequel’s title to be so long! It does fit the book, but I reckon they could have come up with a shorter title (basically everything about this book could be summed up as too long).

2. Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship-LM Elliott

Okay yes, this title can easily be shortened to Hamilton and Peggy! and probably should have been, but for the purposes of my criteria for this list, it still counts. Peggy Schuyler is so much more than And Peggy! from Hamilton and it was awesome to learn more about the amazing things she did.

3. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime-Mark Haddon

I actually hate this book, it’s a very stereotypical portrayal of an autistic kid and the story itself isn’t great, but it does fit the prompt in having one of the longest titles I’ve ever seen, so it makes the list by virtue of that alone (seriously, do not read this book, there are much better representations of autism out there).

4. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder-Holly Jackson

One of my favourite books of this year, A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder is a gripping mystery-thriller that managed something not many thrillers have actually managed over the past few years: it actually surprised me!

5. A Curse So Dark and Lonely-Brigid Kemmerer

A slight variation on the A Something of Something and Something titles. I know a lot of people love The Cursebreakers series but I actually wasn’t a massive fan of the first book in the series so I haven’t continued on.

6. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue-Mackenzi Lee

Most often shorten to Gentleman’s Guide because who wants to use that whole title? I really enjoyed this book when I read it, I thought Monty, Percy and Felicity’s adventures were really fun, but I’ve become more aware of the problematic aspects of both the book and the author since reading it.

7. The Priory of The Orange Tree-Samantha Shannon

Not the longest title on this list, but still long enough that it is generally shortened to just Priory on Twitter. I suppose it fits quite well that a book this huge (over 800 pages) has a long title as well!

8. Because You Love To Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Amerie and various other authors

Again, the sub title bit generally isn’t used, but Because You Love To Hate Me is long enough to count on its own. I still haven’t read this one, but I’m looking forward to it, short stories of villains sound like a lot of fun.

9. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding-Alexandra Bracken

I don’t usually read much middle grade, but I’ve found Victoria Schwab’s middle grade a nice break from the longer fantasy reads I’ve been reading this year, so I reckon Alexandra Bracken’s book will probably be the same. It also sounds wonderfully spooky, a kid possessed by a vengeful demon? Yes please.

10. Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls To Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between-Lauren Graham

Again, this book tends to just be referred to by the first part of the title but that’s still 6 words! I love Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls is one of my favourite shows, so her autobiography is definitely one that I want to get to at some point.

So there we go, those are some Super Long Titles for you. What titles did you choose this week? What’s the longest titles you’ve ever heard of? Let me know in the comments.

I will be back next week, we’re talking about Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them To Me. Honestly I’m usually the one doing the recommending rather than being given recommendations, but I’ll see what I can come up with.

Top Ten Tuesday #284

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine was pretty quiet really. I’m quite worried about the potential for more national restrictions here in the UK, I really struggled with the first lockdown, especially not being able to see my friends for so long, so I’m really hoping we don’t go back there!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Book Covers With Autumn Colours/Vibes. Usually Autumn is my favourite season, but it’s been pretty wet here so far! Still I do love the colours of Autumn and I especially love being able to break out my cosy coats. Anyway, here we go, some lovely Autumnal covers for you:

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Burn by Julianna Baggott

The final book in this lesser known dystopian trilogy certainly has a real autumnal feel, with the brown and orange cover, it resembles autumn leaves! I really recommend this series, it’s basically the world after a nuclear apocalypse where some survivors are left with these awful “fusings” where they end up fused to some object that they were holding at the time. But some of the people, those known as “Pure” were sheltered inside the Dome and saved from the worst of the apocalypse. It’s a very different take on a dystopian world than a lot of other YA dystopia so if you’re looking for something that’s not an exact replica of The Hunger Games/Divergent etc, look no further.

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The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) by Libba Bray

I mean this entire series basically screams Autumn, and it’s set mostly in Autumn/Winter-time (I think the first book does start in the summer), with the ghosts and the creepy vibes, it’s a book series that pretty much demands to be read as the days get colder and shorter. But this final book in the series definitely has the most autumnal looking cover, with the orange background!

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Romanov-Nadine Brandes

I mean there could be an argument for this book looking kind of Christmassy with the illustrations, but I think it fits the autumn vibes just as well with the red and gold colouring. 

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Windwitch-Susan Dennard

With the autumn leaves and the forest as well as the browns and golds on the cover, this cover definitely screams Autumn! I could have gone for either of the book’s covers for this one, but I thought that this one looked slightly more autumnal.

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Hero At The Fall-Alwyn Hamilton

With it’s burnt orange/red cover, I definitely think the final book in Alwyn Hamilton’s trilogy leans into the autumnal colours, even if it is set in a desert!

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An Enchantment of Ravens-Margaret Rogerson

I mean everything about this book’s cover screams Autumn, which fits really well with the book as Rook is the Autumn prince. The browns, the slightly orangey/pinky/golds in the cover, all fit really well with that Autumn vibe. I wasn’t a massive fan of the book, but I have to admit, the cover is glorious.

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City of Ghosts-Victoria Schwab

Honestly, I think Victoria’s colour palette is basically just very autumnal, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of her books and thought, yup, this looks super summery! Quite ironic really, as this book series is actually set during summer. Still, I think the deep red and the black, as well as just the general eerie vibe of the cover all gives off a very autumnal feel.

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Call Down The Hawk-Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater is another one of those authors who I generally feel just writes very Autumnal books! Anyway, the colours on this one also feel very autumnal, with the browns and the orange of the fire in the back as well as the way the hawk’s wings merge into the trees. I know the actual background is kind of pinky, which isn’t usually an autumnal colour but the way it combines with the rest of the cover definitely screams Autumn to me.

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The Devouring Gray-Christine Lynn Herman

I have to admit, I do prefer the US cover for this one, but I definitely think the UK one does get the Autumnal vibes, with the dark, misty tree lined background giving off the air of a cold autumn night!

10. The Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo

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Leigh Bardugo is another of those authors who definitely leans hard into the autumnal vibes (apparently a lot of my favourite authors are!), and this cover I think really exemplifies that, the gold lettering along with the thorn illustrations definitely give off a real autumnal feel for me.

So there we go, those are some Book Covers With Autumn Colours/Vibes for you. Did we share any covers this week? What books did you choose for you lists? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time talking Super Long Book Titles which should hopefully be a fun one.

Top Ten Tuesday #283

TTT-Big2

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been pretty quiet, but I did have a really lovely ride on Wednesday, getting back to riding has definitely helped so much since the lockdown eased, it’s lovely to have something to look forward to!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for all of you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking Favourite Book Quotes, so I’m going to share my Favourite Book Quotes From Books I Read This Year, as that narrows it down a bit and I won’t be sharing the same quotes I always do! Here we go:

  1. “Most women suffer thorns for the sake of flowers, but we who wield power adorn ourselves with flowers to hide the sting of our thorns” -King of Scars, Leigh Bardugo

I shared this one in my most recent Quarterly Rewind but I wanted to share it again here because it’s one that I really liked from King of Scars.

2. “This is the true core of human nature, when we’ve lost the strength to save ourselves, we somehow find the strength to save each other” -Dry, Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Most of this book is pretty despairing as the characters struggle to survive with the lack of water, but it does still manage to be somewhat hopeful!

3. “Nothing but a symbol? People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They’re not just lines, they’re histories, cultures, traditions given shape” -The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi

Honestly, I could have chosen any one of many lines from The Gilded Wolves because Roshani’s writing is gorgeous but as a history nerd and a big lover of Enrique, I had to go with this one!

4. “The living may take strength from hope and love but the dead grow stronger on darker things. On pain and anger and regret” -City of Ghosts, Victoria Schwab

I’m currently reading the second book in this series and it’s definitely one I wish I’d had when I was 11 or 12, they’re so much fun!

5. “Everyone has heard stories of women like us-cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone. Everyone has heard stories of women like us and now we will make more of them” -The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy, Mackenzi Lee

Can this book be a little on the nose in terms of feminist messaging? Yes. Did I love it anyway? Yes.

6. “Fairytales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten” -Coraline, Neil Gaiman

I finally read Coraline this year, and I definitely now see why Neil Gaiman is such a beloved writer! Definitely looking forward to reading more of his stuff.

7. “Stories were power. And whoever controlled the story controlled everything. A story could bring people together, or it could tear them apart. It could spread like a sickness, infecting people. It could lead them into battle or shake them into seeing what they had refused to see before” -The King of Crows, Libba Bray

Honestly, I wish I’d written down more of the quotes from The King of Crows, because there were so many great ones, Libba Bray really is a beautiful writer!

8. “But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me” -Circe, Madeline Miller

This line definitely took on a new meaning for me after everything that happened in the world this Spring!

9. “There is no greater show of power than continuing to live when you’d like nothing more than to lie down and let the world fade” -Escaping From Houdini, Kerri Maniscalco

Another line from a book that I read in January that’s taken on new meaning since the global pandemic!

10. “The City of Sin was a game and the only way to win was to stack the cards in your favour” -Queen of Volts, Amanda Foody

This quote from the final book in the Shadow Game trilogy very neatly encapsulates what the whole trilogy is about!

So there we go, those are just some of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read this year. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’ve got another Cover Freebie, we’re talking about Book Covers With Autumn Colours/Vibes.

Top Ten Tuesday #282

TTT-Big2

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve all had a nice week since I last did one of these, I had a great couple of days with my friends over the weekend which was really nice. The Great British Bake-Off is also starting tonight which is really just perfect timing, as with everything that has been going on in 2020, I could definitely use the comfort that Bake-Off provides!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is another of our annual TBR topics, so I’ll be sharing my Autumn TBR. I did pretty well on my Summer TBR, I read 8 out of the 12 books on my list, and have almost finished the ninth. I have another pretty ambitious TBR for the Autumn, but since I’ve been reading a lot this year, especially since the lockdown, I feel good about having a slightly bigger TBR:

  1. Sherwood-Meagan Spooner

My September #RockMyTBR book, which I’m reading currently. I’m not as far through as I’d like given that I only have eight days of September left, but I’m hoping I’ll have finished it by the end of next week. It’s been okay so far, but I can’t say I’m loving it.

2. Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)-VE Schwab

My October #RockMyTBR book, I really enjoyed City of Ghosts when I read it back in May and so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of adventures Cassidy gets up to in this next book, particularly as it takes place in Paris!

3. Assassin’s Apprentice-Robin Hobb

My November #RockMyTBR book, I’ve never read any of Robin Hobb’s books and I know that female authors are still woefully underrepresented in adult SFF, so I definitely like reading those books where I can find them.

4. Seasons of War (Skulduggery Pleasant #13)-Derek Landy

I’ve been meaning to read this one since it was released back in April, but it’s quite a chunky book and I’ve been reading a lot of those recently, so I just haven’t got around to it! I’m definitely making this one a priority for October though, since Tunnel of Bones is only very short.

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab

AHHHH! MY MOST ANTICIPATED READ OF THE YEAR. This is going to be my next Netgalley read and I’ll be starting it either tonight or tomorrow as I’m almost done with Queen of Volts.

6. The Book of Two Ways-Jodi Picoult

Another one of my Netgalley reads (I have quite a few October releases on my TBR, I got a little bit request happy) and I’m super excited for this one as well, as I love Jodi Picoult’s books and it sounds super interesting, kind of like Sliding Doors.

7. Kingdom of The Wicked-Keri Maniscalco

I’ve been reading a lot of Keri Maniscalco recently, having read the Stalking Jack The Ripper series from September of last year to February of this year. I’m super excited for her latest book, it’s a historical witch hunt set in Italy and it sounds so good!

8. These Violent Delights-Chloe Gong

The final one of my current crop of Netgalley releases (thankfully this one comes out in November, three October releases is more than enough!). I’m not usually one for Romeo and Juliet, but this retelling sounds AMAZING: set in 1926 Shanghai with rival gangs and dangerous monsters? YES PLEASE.

9. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles

My copy of this book is finally arriving tomorrow, and I’m super excited! Phantom of The Opera meets Moulin Rouge sounds right up my street and I can’t wait to meet Kallia and all the other performers.

10. Sorcery of Thorns-Margaret Rogerson

My December #RockMyTBR book, I wasn’t a massive fan of Rogerson’s debut but I’ve heard much better things about her second book. I love anything library related, so I’m hoping this one will work much better for me than An Enchantment of Ravens.

11. The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks-Mackenzi Lee

This was on my Spring TBR, but the release date was moved from May to December, so it’s moved over to this TBR.

12. Bloodwitch-Susan Dennard

My current audiobook read, I’m a little over a quarter of the way through. I am enjoying it, although I’m still struggling with all of the different POVs!

So that’s it, my Autumn TBR. I usually only go for 10 books but as I’ve been reading a lot more, I figured it was okay to stretch a little, I’m actually expecting to read far more than 12 books, as I’ve been averaging around 5 books a month since April. What books are on your Autumn TBR? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another TTT, this time we’ll be talking Favourite Book Quotes, and to narrow it down a little, I’ll be going with my Favourite Book Quotes From Books I Read In 2020.