Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books of 2017 So Far #TTT #2017Books

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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.

TTT has been on hiatus over the summer and now it’s back. Whoop. Welcome back! I wanted to join in to celebrate this, however I wasn’t very inspired by the topic (Ten book recommendations for ______________), so I’m going to do one of the ones I missed.

This week my topic is… Top Ten Books That I’ve Read So Far This Year (they were not all published this year). Links go to my review, or the Goodreads page if I haven’t reviewed it yet.

10. Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins

spectaclesWhen I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn’t kept some of it. She had kept all of it – every bus ticket, postcard, school report – from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say ‘Why is our house full of this shit?’

Sadly, a recycling ‘incident’ destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two things: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never get to see countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flowers I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it’s left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself.

This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as ‘Is Mary Berry real?’, ‘Is it true you wear a surgical truss?’ and ‘Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from outside the observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?’

Most of this book is true. I have, of course, amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me. 

Thank you for reading.

Published July 28th 2016 by Penguin

 

9. Broken Branches ~ M. Jonathan Lee

 

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‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse. 

Published July 27th 2017 by Hideaway Fall

 

8. Calling Major Tom ~ David M. Barnett

 

callingmtCALLING MAJOR TOM is a heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world… but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him.

We all know someone like Thomas.

The grumpy next-door-neighbour who complains to the Residents’ Committee about the state of your front lawn. The man who tuts when you don’t have the correct change at the checkout. The colleague who sends an all-company email when you accidentally use the last drop of milk.

Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems.

But beneath his cranky exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he’s about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world. 

Published June 18th 2017 by Trapeze

 

7. The Inexplicable Logic of my Life ~ Benjamin Alire Saenz

theinexplicThe first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he? 

Published March 7th 2017 by Clarion Books

6. All the Good Things ~ Clare Fisher

 

allthegoodTwenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?

Published June 1st 2017 by Viking, Penguin UK

5. The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink 

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In the summer of 1990 – two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school – Cathy Rentzenbrink’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out, suffering serious head injuries.

He was left in a permanent vegetative state. Over the following years, Cathy and her parents took care of Matty – they built an extension onto the village pub where they lived and worked; they talked to him, fed him, bathed him, loved him. But there came a point at which it seemed the best thing they could do for Matty – and for themselves – was let him go.

With unflinching honesty and raw emotional power, Cathy describes the unimaginable pain of losing her brother and the decision that changed her family’s lives forever. As she delves into the past and reclaims memories that have lain buried for many years, Cathy reconnects with the bright, funny, adoring brother she lost and is finally able to see the end of his life as it really was – a last act of love.

Powerful, intimate and intensely moving, this is a personal journey with universal resonance – a story of unconditional love, of grief, survival and the strength of the ties that bind. It’s a story that will speak to anyone who has lost someone close to them, to anyone who has fiercely loved a sibling, and to anyone who has ever wondered whether prolonging a loved one’s life might be more heartbreaking than saying goodbye.

Published July 2nd 2015 by Pan Macmillan

 

4. Labyrinth ~ Jim Henson/ ACH Smith

 

labyrinth1Finally back in print and for the first time in hardcover, the novelization of LABYRINTH written by A.C.H. Smith and personally overseen by Jim Henson, is the first in a series of novels from the Jim Henson Archives.

This beautiful hardcover features unpublished goblin illustrations by legendary illustrator and concept artist Brian Froud and an exclusive peek into Jim Henson’s creative process with 50 never-before-seen pages from his personal journal, detailing the initial conception of his ideas for LABYRINTH.

Published April 22nd 2014 by Archaia

 

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness

therestofusWhat if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions. 

Published August 27th 2015 by Walker Books

2. The Marsh King’s Daughter ~ Karen Dionne

 

marshking‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

Published June 13th 2017 by Sphere

1. The Hate U Give ~ Angie Thomas

 

thugSixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 

Published April 6th 2017 by Walker Books

 

Did any of these make your Top Ten of the year so far??

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This Month in Books: June 2017 #TMIB #BookoftheMonth

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June. Hmm…June actually felt like a lonnnng old month for once. We had the hottest June on record, although the heatwave only really lasted about 5 days. It did me in. I’m not made for hot climates and once again declared that I need to move to Iceland, as I do every year when it gets hot. LOL.

At the beginning of the month I went to visit my friend in Germany for her 30th, which was short but sweet. And I also finally went to Shakespeare’s Globe after over 15 years in London (shocking, I know) to see Tristan & Yseult which is one of my favourite stories ever. They certainly made it their own but I really enjoyed it.

June 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 9 (-4 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-2)
The Winter King ~ Bernard Cronwell
One of Us is Lying ~ Karen M. McManus
Broken Branches ~ M. Jonathan Lee
Fear ~ Dirk Kurbjuweit

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (1/4); Historical Fiction (1/4); Crime/Thriller (3/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/4); Digital (2/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (2/4) // Owned (0/4); Borrowed (1/4); For Review/proofs (3/4)

Most Surprising: Broken Branches
Most Disappointing: The Winter King
Most Exciting: Broken Branches
Most Swoon-worthy: One of Us is Lying
Most Beautifully Written: The Winter King

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 14.06.17
  2. This Month in Books: May
  3. Review: Broken Branches

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

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TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 85

Books Added: 0!!! 🙂 

Books Read: 1

Remaining: 84

That was my month, how was yours?

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all about Dads! #TTT #HappyFathersDay

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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… Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc

I thought it was about time I joined in another TTT post. It’s always fun, but I don’t always find the time. I thought I’d make a special effort this week however, seeing how it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.

I’m going to split my list into two: Good Dads Vs Bad Dads!

Good Dads in Literature

  1. Vicente – The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Sáenz writes such wonderful characters, and the dad in this novel is a new favourite. He’s kind, loving, strong, and cool. He’s always there for his son, Sal, but he doesn’t smother him. He’s a gay artist who gave up the man he loved for his adopted son, and he treats his son’s best friends as his own. He’s the best!
  2. Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick: I thought I’d be able to remember more about this book than I’ve just realised so forgive me for inaccuracies, but I do remember that I loved Laureth and her relationship with her semi-famous author Jack Peak who goes missing. Laureth is blind but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her father’s interest in seeing patterns and connections in things rubbed off on her and she uses those skills andsheer bravery to try and find him.
  3. Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I really want to reread this book as I haven’t read it since I was at school. Atticus Finch is possibly the most recognised dad in fiction though and so it’s hard to forget about him. He’s a single father in a tough economic climate but he still manages to raise his two children as kind, loyal and accepting.
  4. Matt – The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lipton: I really loved this book, and for some reason, Matt -the father in this story- stood out. I say it like that, because I’m not sure how good a father he actually was. Matt is a wildlife photographer and was absent for a lot of the book (and his daughter’s life by the sounds of it). Similar to She is not Invisible, Matt goes missing, and his daughter Ruby goes in search of him. Ruby is deaf and loves that her dad doesn’t try to make her speak like her mum does, which brings them closer together. They have a unique bond that made the story as good as it was.
  5. Mo – The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: For my last pick of ‘good’ dads I was torn between Mo and Detective Swan from Twilight…they are both great dads! But Mo wins for his storytelling abilities and huge heart.

Bad Dads

  1. The Marsh King – The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: This one is fresh in my mind because I finished it recently (and loved it!). The dad in this story is the worst kind of dad. He kidnapped, raped, and abused Helena’s mum, and Helena was born into captivity. The even worse part was that Helena didn’t know any different and almost idolised him because he taught her how to hunt and live in the wilderness. He also trapped her in a well when she did something he didn’t like, though. BAD DAD. 
  2. Humbert Humbert – Lolita by Vladimir Nabookov: I think this one speaks for itself. Humbert is the worst ‘step-father’ ever. A scheming, slimy, seductor. Eugh.
  3. Jack Torrence – The Shining by Stephen King: Alcoholic, unhinged and the worst taste in jobs; Jack was never gonna be in the running for Dad of the year.
  4. King Shreave- The Selection series by Kiera Cass: It’s not apparent at first but the King in this series is horrible. He’s controlling and violent and has lied to the entire country. Poor Maxon!
  5. Pastor Thorne – Release by Patrick Ness: Adam Thorne’s dad was pretty bad but to be honest I wanted him to be worse. I felt like this book need more drama and less subtlety, but that aside, he was still a dad who is close-minded, strict, and bigoted. So still not great. Especially for the lovely Adam who just wants another boy to love him.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week because there were so many others  I could have chosen. Who made your lists? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme More #TTT #weneeddiversebooks

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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 Things On Our Reading Wishlist. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I really felt like joining in this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to think of ten…

  1. Multi-cultural families: Inspired by something Patrick Ness said at his recent book tour premiere, and my recent read of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life I think there definitely needs to be more books featuring multi-cultural families. For example, a Scottish father and a Caribbean mother and how their children embrace (or not!) being part of two different cultures.
  2. Mother/Daughter relationships: For Mother’s Day one year I tried to do a top ten of books with great mother/daughter relationships (inspired by Gilmore Girls) but could barely come up with a handful. More please.
  3. Indigenous protagonists: I want to read more stories from the perspectives of indigenous people, from Shawnee tribes-people to Inupiats and everything in between.
  4. Cults: Why aren’t there more stories featuring cults? I’ve always found the idea of cults fascinating, and surely there’s lots of mileage you could get out of a story like that. It could be a horror, or a contemporary YA, a psychological thriller….all would make a great cult story.
  5. Unicorns: Obviously. Grown up, magical but kick-ass unicorn stories please.
  6. Happy Singletons: It really annoys me that there’s not many books about people being single AND happy. It does happen, people!
  7. Damaged guys: This one’s a bit shameful but yeah, I always fancy the damaged, broken guys in books (& tv/film)…I can’t be the only one, right!? More please.
  8. Letter writing: I’m scraping the barrel a bit here but I miss stories were the characters write letters to each other rather than texting all the time. I also haven’t read a good book in diary format for ages.
  9. Allergies: I’m allergic to lots of things and it’s a complete pain in the arse. I’ve only just realised that I haven’t read many books where a main character has allergies. Could be interesting.
  10. Nordic Settings: I know there’s quite a lot of Nordic-based adult fic out there, but I haven’t seen much of that going on on the YA scene. Yes please.

Whoop! I did it!

What’s on your book wishlist? And please let me know if my answers sparked any recommendation ideas!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fandoms #TTT #BTVS

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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 fandoms you’re part of/love.

Wow I haven’t done a TTT yet this year. I didn’t mean to stop doing them altogether, just to only partake in the topics that really appealed and I guess that hasn’t happened yet.

 For me, the word fandom only brings to mind one thing…BUFFY!

I recently won tickets to a special Buffy party to celebrate its 20th anniversary (wahhhhh so old) which was amazing! The Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square was kitted out in all the Buffy Merch you could imagine and I was in Heaven. AKA 1999.

Here’s Giles as a demon as the biggest cake I’ve ever seen:

 

Anyway, I thought this TTT topic would be the perfect way for me to celebrate the Buffy anniversary on my blog, by compiling my top ten episodes. This is going to be painful…

(OK this was actually impossible. I’m not happy with this list but the more I change it the worse it gets. DAMN YOU WHEDONNNNNNN)

 

 

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10. The Wish

 

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9. Dopplegangland

 

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8. The Gift

 

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7. School Hard

 

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6. Hush

 

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5. Bad Girls/Enemies (I CAN’T CHOOSE)

 

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4. Becoming (parts 1 & 2)

 

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3. Prophecy Girl

 

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2. Tabula Rasa

 

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1. Once More with Feeling

 

BONUS (just because)…

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…Smashed

#Buffyslays20

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: 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: 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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Who’s winning at the half-way mark?

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

This week the topic is…A freebie! Meaning we can choose any topic we like, or missed…

This couldn’t have come at a better time because I really wanted to do last week’s topic but missed it. I will therefore be doing my Top Ten Reads of 2016 So Far. Hurrah!

Links go to my review. 

All the Unicorns! (5/5)

Best of the Rest! (4/5)

  • Glass Sword (Wow, I’ve only just realised that I didn’t review this!)
  • Into the Dim
  •  The Crow Girl
  •  The Foreshadowing (Review coming soon!)
  • The Merciless
  • You Know me Well
  • Half a King (I read this around Christmas time and never got round to reviewing it. I really enjoyed it though.)

 

Feel free to leave your link and I’ll come see what topic you chose this week 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Changed My Mind About #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…Ten Five Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

What an interesting topic this week! I don’t know how easy it’s going to be though. I guess as bloggers, it’s quite easy to rate a book ‘wrongly’ because we don’t often have time to let our feelings about them sit and fester.

Sometimes when I read old reviews I wonder why I gave such generous or harsh ratings. I think it also takes time to realise which books will have a lasting impression or impact on you. Some of the books I’ve wanted to throw out the window have become my favourites simply because I can’t stop thinking about them!

So with that in mind, I’ve gone over some reviews and re-rated those in the most need. 

1. Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory

netg2 With the looming shadow of Edgar Allan Poe falling over one family, Gregory takes the reader into a world of uncertainty and fear.

Oliver Gooch comes across a tooth, in a velvet box, with a handwritten note from 1888 to say it’s a tooth from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. He displays it in his new bookshop, and names the store Poe’s Tooth Books.

Oliver took the money from his small daughter Chloe’s accident insurance and bought a converted church to live in with his altered child and wife. Rosie hopes Chloe will came back to herself but Oliver is secretly relieved to have this new easy-to-manage child, and holds at bay the guilt that the accident was a result of his negligence. On a freezing night he and Chloe come across the crow, a raggedy skeletal wretch of a bird, and it refuses to leave. It infiltrates their lives, it alters Oliver’s relationship with Rosie, it changes Chloe. It’s a dangerous presence in the firelit, shadowy old vestry, in Poe’s Tooth Books.

Inexorably the family, the tooth, the crow, the church and their story will draw to a terrifying climax.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4/5

Wakening the Crow was a strange, disturbing read and at the time I wasn’t sure how much I enjoyed it. But two years on and I still think about this book and I still want to own a bookshop in a creepy church despite all that happened in Oliver Gooch’s. I’d love to reread it so I think it definitely deserves another unicorn.

Read my original review here

2. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

sept1She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Timesbestselling Crown of Midnight.

Original Rating: 4/5

New Rating: 3/5

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this series. I finished this book on a high which is perhaps what possessed me to give it 4/5, but in hindsight I don’t think I really enjoyed it that much. I remember skipping whole passages because I was bored and it took me ages to read. I’ve also had no motivation to pick up Queen of Shadows and haven’t even bought a copy, which speaks volumes to me. 

It would be nice to complete the series, but right now I’m not sure if I will. Consider yourself demoted, Celaena. 

Review

3. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

imm

 Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4/5

At the time I described the beginning of this book as dire but by the end I really liked it, and now all I can remember is how hot Reyn was. I was taking a load of books to the charity shop last month and put this one in the pile, but then I felt compelled to take it out again. I just couldn’t part with it! Probably because I still wanted Reyn in my life and decided there and then that I need to read the next book.

So that’s why I think it deserves another unicorn, bad beginning or not!

Review

4. The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

This time, the bad guys take the stage.

Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mister Ghastly Bespoke.

When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she’s got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…

Original Rating: 4/5

New Rating: 2/5

Even in my original review I wasn’t sure why I rated this companion to the Skulduggery Pleasant series so high. I remember nothing about the book, only the feeling that I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve had book #10 of the original series sitting on my shelf for over two years and I haven’t wanted to pick it up. I’m pretty sure that’s because this book has subconsciously put me off which is a huge shame because I was loving the series before this. Sure, they were getting a little samey but I definitely wanted to finish the series. 

I’m really going to make the effort to forget about this little blip and finish the proper books in the series. 

Review

5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

interview

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life – the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4.5

I’ve read this book at least 3 times so I have no idea why I’ve only given it 3/5 on Goodreads. I haven’t read it since having my blog so I don’t have a review to check. I guess I’ll just have to reread it to be sure… 😉

 

That’s all I’ve got this week. Do you have any books you’d like to re-rate?