Top Ten Tuesday: Early 2017 Releases #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten books I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2017.

It feels a bit premature to be looking to 2017 releases (especially considering I haven’t even done my November round-up yet), but we all know that it’s actually not!

Here are ten books that I hope to read in the first half of the year. They are not all necessarily released then.

The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths (23/2/17)

A Mother’s Reckoning – Sue Klebold (09/02/17)

Calling Major Tom – David M. Barnett (29/06/17)

Mercy of the Tide – Keith Rosson (21/02/17)

Girl in Disguise – Greer Macallister (21/03/17)

The Wingsnatcher’s – Sarah Jean Horowitz (25/04/17)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness (35/08/2015)

Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones (07/02/17)

The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer (08/11/16)

Heartless – Marissa Meyer (08/11/16)

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Best new-to-me authors read in 2016 #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten new-to-me authors in 2016!

I discovered so many great authors again this year, and finally got round to reading some of those that had been on my TBR for way too long.

Here are my top ten authors that I discovered or first read this year, (and the books of theirs I read). Links go to my reviews.

10. Holly Martin (Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky)

9. Liz Kessler (Haunt Me)

8. Leigh Bardugo (Shadow & Bone)

7. Natalie Haynes (The Amber Fury)

6. Nina LaCour (You Know Me Well – with David Levithan)

5. Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim)

4. Danielle Vega (The Merciless)

3. Catherine Lowell (The Madwoman Upstairs)

2. Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)

1. Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks)

Did you try any of these this year?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Perfect Gift? #TTT #ChristmasGifts

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Holiday Gift Guide freebie

OK so this topic is kind of perfect because I’ve been meaning to do a little gift guide for a while. I’m an affiliate of Waterstones, The Book Depository, and Foyles and I don’t promote them as much as I should so in the spirit of full disclosure, unless otherwise stated, all of these links are affiliate links and should you purchase anything from the sites I will get a small (really, very small) commission.

1. Born to Run ~ Bruce Springsteen

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Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Hardback, published: 27/09/2016

Who for: Rock n’ Roll parents
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

 

2. Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

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Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food and new ways to love those leftovers. It’s everything you need for the best Christmas ever.

Hardback, published: 20/10/2016

Who for: Secret Santa; The In-Laws, that weird person in your life that doesn’t read fiction.
Best price: £13 
Where from: Waterstones

 

3. Lean in 15 ~ Joe Wicks

gift3Joe Wicks is a man on a mission. His goal is to get the world away from fad diets and miserable calorie-counting and into a pattern of healthy, sustaining eating and to become fitter, stronger and leaner.

Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach has inspired thousands to transform their bodies by shifting unwanted fat and building lean muscle and now he’s taking what he’s learned to the next level.

Paperback, published: 17/11/2016
Who for: Your health-conscious friend / your friend that fancies Joe Wicks.
Best price: £8.49
Where from: Waterstones

4. Selected Fairy Tales ~ The Brothers Grimm

 

gift4Part of a special set of 10 hardcover classics, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, that innovatively use foil and a special new binding material to create a highly collectible set.

 Stepmothers, dark forests, strange beasts, broken promises, sinister brides, castle turrets, princes on horseback, magic lamps, industrious dwarves and a frog king. Collected and adapted from German folk tales, these imperishable stories can be read over and over again.

Leather / fine binding, published: 16/11/2015

Who for: Your favourite bookworm; little sisters
Best price: £14.99
Where from: Waterstones

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

gift5It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Hardback, published: 31/07/2016
Who for: That secret pott-head in your life
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

6. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! 2017

gift6The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! annual has now firmly established itself as a Christmas must-have, with an ever-growing army of loyal fans. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Top 10 best-seller, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017 offers a completely new compendium of strange but true facts and amazing stories, ranging from the Polar Bear robot, to the edible human skull, to the woman who still suffers from sea-sickness three years after her last boat trip, to the Swiss daredevil who soars over famous landmarks in his custom-made jet pack.

Hardback, published 08/09/2016

Who for: The little brother who has everything (and likes gross things)
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

7. The Chemist ~ Stephenie Meyer

 

gift7In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers.

Hardback, published 08/11/2016

Who for: Thriller fans!
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

8. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales

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Experience the endlessly imaginative world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth through the eyes of its most fantastical and beloved characters! Witness a day in the life of Sir Didymus, the recklessly heroic fox-terrier; Ludo, the lovable oaf; Hoggle, an ever loyal companion; and others as they play games, work together, and revel in the magic of the labyrinth. Written and gorgeously illustrated by acclaimed children’s book illustrator Cory Godbey (Have Courage, Be Kind: The Tale of CinderellaI), Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Tales takes readers deep into the adventure where magic knows no bounds.

Hardback, published 20/10/2016

Who for: Me! 😉 or anyone who has ever hailed Labyrinth as the best film ever!
Best price: £12.99
Where from: The Book Depository

9. His Bloody Project ~ Graeme McCrae

gift9The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

Paperback, published 11/08/2016

Who for: The perfect ‘I can’t think of anything else under £5’ gift.
Best price: £4.24
Where from: The Book Depository

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to the Movies #TTT #90sMovies

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… All about the movies. 

There was quite a few suggestions for the movie theme this week and one of them was 90s movies. I was an 80s baby and a 90s t(w)een so naturally 90s movies are full of childhood nostalgia for me.

So without further ado, here are my top ten 90s movies (that everyone should watch)! In no particular order…

  • The Craft
  • Clueless
  • Scream
  • Home Alone
  • An Interview with a Vampire
  • Speed
  • Pretty Woman
  • 10 Things I Hate about You
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Terminator 2

 

Bonus Round: Not quite the 90s…

These were staples of my childhood, and I still love to watch them now! Let’s face it, 80s films were also pretty awesome. I’ll have to do a separate post for them at the some point.

  • E.T
  • The Goonies
  • Labyrinth
  • The Karate Kid

What would have made your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top ten books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles =  DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig: You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds: This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer: I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo: This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness: It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Picture Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… A Halloween-related freebie! 

It took me a while to decide what to do for this open Halloween topic. But after much deliberation I went for a change of pace in the Horror October proceedings and decided to go for my top Halloweeny picture books for children.

There are so many great classic ones that I still remember from my childhood, but I also wanted to showcase some of the newer books out there so my TTT is split into two parts this week.

Top 5 Classic Picture Books for Halloween

Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson

In a Dark Dark Room – Alvin Schwartz

Pumpkin Soup – Helen Cooper

Mystery Tour – Allan Ahlberg

Badjelly the Witch – Spike Milligan

 

Top 5 Modern Picture Books for Halloween

Baba Yaga – An Leysen

Gracie meets a Ghost – Keiko Sena

The Wolves in the Walls – Neil Gaiman

One, Two, Boo! – Kristen Depken

Halloween Hustle – Charlotte Gunnufson

What would have made your list?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Villains (mwahahahahaaa)! #TTT #HorrorOctober

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Villains!

I’m very happy with this topic as it’s perfect for Horror October! I’m going to narrow the topic down to the most swoon-worthy baddest of the bad guys, but I’m choosing characters from both page and screen. Let’s face it, there’s gonna be a lot of vampires in this list. Sigh. 

These guys take ‘always falling for the bad boys’ to another level!

 

Spike (Buffy)

Spuffy forever! I’ve always loved Spike, he’s clearly the best. Much better than that lamo Angel.

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Lestat (Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles)

 I’m not talking about Tom Cruise here, although I think he played it brilliantly. Lestat is so the original bad boy vampire that we really want to want us, right?  Plus, he’s a rock star on occasion.

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The Darkling (The Grisha series)

It’s so wrong but so right. I haven’t read the final book yet but I’m praying for more evil-hot Darkling action. 

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Eric (True Blood)

Skarsgard. Nuff said.

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Paul Spector (The Fall)

I couldn’t give two shits about the whole 50 Shades thing but OMG Dornan in The Fall is just ueghdhsoigahuy. He’s a serial killer, which is bad, granted…but his accent, and face and well, everything. IT’S TOO MUCH. 

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Kasper Varn (The Dark Heroine)

I only read the first book in this series and I can’t remember a great deal about it tbh. Apart from the main vampire being hot.

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Rowan (Throne of Glass series)

Another non-vampire. Check me out. The last book I read in the series was Heir of Fire (I’m behind, I know) where we meet Rowan, the fae prince and warrior. He’s pretty vicious. He’s also totes hot amiright!? I must be, you just have to look at all the crazygood fan art of him. Swoon. 

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Gavriel (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)

 OK that was short lived. Here’s another vampire who shouldn’t make our knees go weak but does. At least he’s kind of nice by the end of the book…I think.

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Jareth (Labyrinth)

David Bowie. Cod Piece. Leather. Glass balls. Enough. I mean he might try to steal your baby but at least he’ll sing while he’s doing it. 

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Hannibal (TV series)

Never before has Hannibal Lecter been even the slightest bit hot. Until Mads Mikkleson. What is it about him? It’s so wrong…

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*Bonus Pick* Damon (The Vampire Diaries)

Oh Damon. He’s no Spike but he’d do. 

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Don’t forget to vote for your favourite  horror prompt for my Flash Fiction Battle. More info here. Voting closes in 2 days!

NEXT UP ON HORROR OCTOBER: Pretty Wicked book blitz & giveaway

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Books on your Fall/Autumn TBR List.

Oh here we go, another TBR list that will never actually be completed…probably. I read five books from my Summer TBR list so that’s not entirely terrible…right?

Anyway, here are the top ten books I aim to read this Autmn. Most of them are for Horror October.

Saint Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

“A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.”

The Travelling Bag and other Ghostly Stories ~ Susan Hill

“From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the evil otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the author of The Woman in Black.”

Reckless 1: The Petrified Flesh ~ Cornelia Funke

“Enter the magical world behind the Mirrors…” Revised and updated by Cornelia Funke, The Petrified Flesh is the first book in the thrilling Reckless series.

The Daemoniac ~ Kat Ross

“It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York.”

Hunter of the Dead ~ Stephen Kozeniewski

“Someone has begun targeting vampires.

Vampire leaders of the thirteen Houses attribute the string of recent losses to over-zealous vampire hunters. Only Cicatrice, the most ancient and powerful vampire in the world, suspects that the semi-legendary Hunter of the Dead may be the real culprit.”

The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sophia Flores ~ Danielle Vega

“Danielle Vega—YA’s answer to Stephen King—once again brings major scares in the spine-tingling sequel to horror hit The Merciless, which MTV calls “Mean Girls meets The Exorcist.”

The Witches of New York ~ Ami McKay

“The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft…”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ~ Ransom Riggs

“A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.”

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky ~ Holly Martin

“This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts… “

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte

“Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense”

 

Are you looking forward to any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Fairy Tale Inspired Books #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books of X Genre. I’ve chosen fairy-tales.

Ok so confession time. I have done list before for an actual fairy-tale TTT but I really couldn’t decide what genre to do and when I compiled the list the first time round I hadn’t read what are now some of my favourite books… so I have at least changed it a bit. Promise. 

I LOVE fairy-tales and really like modern re-tellings but they don’t always work. Here is my ultimate list of my favourite books that have been inspired by fairy-tales, as many of them aren’t actually re-tellings. 

The Lunar Chronicles

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Each book entails a new take on an old fairy tale, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. The story takes place in a futuristic world where humans, cyborgs, and androids all coexist. 

I love them all, including Winter (not pictured).

Poison

w1A brilliant, twisted, spirited anti-fairy tale from the amazing Chris Wooding.

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back.
But finding him isn’t easy, and the quest leads Poison into a murderous world of intrigue, danger, and deadly storytelling. With only her wits and her friends to aid her, Poison must survive the attentions of the Phaerie Lord, rescue her sister, and thwart a plot that’s beyond anything she (or the reader) can imagine. . . .

This one was a complete surprise. It has taken so many different fairy-tale elements to create a completely fresh, almost sinister world. 

The Darkest Part of the Forest

ng2Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

I can’t rave about this book enough. It.was.Amazing. Holly Black is the Queen of the modern fairy-tale! Love, love, love!

Blood Red, Snow White

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It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out – the Russian Revolution has just begun…

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.

Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.

I wasn’t sure if anyone could pull off a story about the Russian Revolution as a fairy-tale, but mannnnn, Marcus Sedgwick smashed it out of the park. Again!

The Princess Bride

800388What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything.

I saw the movie before reading the book and I don’t usually enjoy doing things that way round, especially when it’s been such a staple in my childhood, but I really loved the book too!

Beauty

fairyt3When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise – to send one daughter to the Beast’s castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.

Not all of Robin McKinley’s re-tellings have worked for me, but I really loved this one. 

The Looking Glass Wars

fairyt2Alyss of Wonderland?

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story – and he’s searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

This was the first Alice re-telling that I ever read and it was great. Utter batshit, but great. I have no idea why I didn’t finish the series. Sigh. 

The Book of Lost Things

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High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

This is such a beautiful book inspired by so many different fairy-tales you would recognise and lots of new ideas too. 

Shadow and Bone

summer16.7Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

I loved that this book is clearly inspired by Russian fairy-tales. I’d love to know more about them.

What are your favourite fairy-tale inspired books?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 TV shows to watch this Autumn #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… ‘In honor of Fall TV, do a TV-themed topic!

I’ve not been watching much TV at all lately and I can’t say I’ve missed it. But there is something comforting about knowing that the good season of TV is around the corner – everyone knows all the good shows start in the Autumn, and I for one am excited about the long dark evenings drawing in. Summer, is so passé, you guys. 

Here are some of the shows I’ll be watching this Autumn, plus a few that I already am…(air dates = UK TV)

1. The Great British Bake Off (BBC)

I’m so happy this is back. It’s so addictive, but it also makes me need to eat cake. A lot. Bye diet!

2. The X Factor (ITV)

Pure trash but I just can’t help it! Every year I say I’m not going to watch it but oh look, it just happened to be on and I couldn’t find the remote. Or something. 

3. The Fall (BBC)

Omg I love this ‘why dunnit’ show so much. Series 3 doesn’t have an air date beyond ‘Autumn’ yet, but mannnnnnn I can’t wait. Is it really wrong to fancy a serial killer. I work in a prison – don’t answer that!

 

4. Crazyhead (E4)

I can’t find a trailer for this yet but it’s being hailed as Misfits meets Buffy. Er yes please! 

“From ‘Misfits’ creator Howard Overman and full of dark humour and unexpected twists, this new comedy drama series follows the angst and exorcisms of an unlikely duo of demon hunters, played by Cara Theobold (‘Downton Abbey’) and Susan Wokoma (‘Chewing Gum’). When people die most go quietly into the night, but some have unfinished business: scores to settle, blood to spill, axes to plant in people’s heads… Most of the time these tormented souls walk freely amongst us, unseen by all but a special few – Amy (Theobold) is one of those few…” Unknown air date.

5. Lethal Weapon (ITV)

Another film franchise turned into a TV show. It definitely has the potential to be good though, right?  Unknown air date.

6. Aquarius, Season 2 (Sky Atlantic)

I don’t have Sky anymore so I’ll have to download this. I got a bit bored towards the end of season 1, but I’m hoping this Charles Manson- based thriller will turn it around! Airs in the UK  16th September.

7. The Last Kingdom, Series 2 (BBC)

I’ve never felt the need to pick up a Bernard Cornwall book before, so this adaptation really surprised me. The first series was a definite TV highlight for me last year. Can’t wait for more Uhtred. Swoooooooon!

 

8. Black Mirror 3 (Netflix)

Charlie Brooker’s dark & twisted drama has moved to Netflix with an air date of Oct 21st. Just in time for Halloween. Should be good!

I can’t think of any others.. What will drag you away from your books this Autumn?