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. 

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Top Ten Tuesday: I don’t think we should be friends…

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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 Characters You Just Didn’t Click With

Oh OK, that’s how it is, is it?

Hmm this topic is so hard because it’s hard to remember those characters you didn’t really get on with as compared to those that you love and want to be your BFF! But I’m going to give this a go…

Celeste (The Selection series by Kiera Cass): Yeah OK, so she turned good in the end but even then I just couldn’t!

Rosalie (The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer): Again, she got better as the series went on but it was too little too late for my liking. Plus, she’s way too beautiful to stand next to me. Go away!

Edmund & Lucy (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis): Ugh these two. Edmund was an idiot and made me furious a lot, and Lucy was sweet but a bit too whiny. I much preferred Susan and Peter from the early books.

Natalie (Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas): I just couldn’t get on with how stupid Natalie was to allow herself to get into the horrible situations she did – her age was not a good enough excuse!

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Oliver Gooch (Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory): Oliver was such a strange, troubled character…I’m not sure I could handle being his friend, but I would like to visit his gothic bookshop!

Jorg (Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence): We’re really not supposed to like Jorg, but even as a anti-hero he didn’t do it for me. I never want to meet him!

Tally (The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld): Man, she was irritating. I really enjoyed this early dystopian series but for most of it I didn’t get on with Tally at all. We made friends by the end though.

Violet Lee (The Dark Heroine series by Abigail Gibbs): Violet was fearless bordering on stupidity and a bit self-involved so I’m not sure we’d get on.

Peter Pan (by J.M Barrie): Oh Peter. He’s the ultimate bad boy isn’t he? He promises the world with his magic and adventure but HE WILL NEVER LOVE YOU! SOB! Poor Wendy.

Top Ten Tuesday: You don’t write, you don’t call…where’s the love?

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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.

The topic for this week is: Ten characters I’d like to check in with (as in who you’d like to catch up with and see what they’re up to).

**Beware they may be spoilers ahead**

Ari and Dante // Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: It’s only been a few weeks since I finished this book but I already want an update! Has Dante completely come out, are him and Ari going to live happily ever after??? Ahhhh.

James Frey // A Million Little Pieces/ My Friend Leonard: I’d like to know if James has stayed on the wagon and what he’s up to. I hope he’s found happiness & love!

Katsa, Po and Princess Bitterblue // The Graceling Realm: I don’t need an excuse to catch up with these awesome characters. I just wanna hang with them!

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Jack // Room: I want to know how Jack grew up, what’s he like? What does he remember about his time in the room and how has it affected him?

Gale // The Hunger Games: Let’s face it, Gale is never far from my thoughts. Where you at Gale?

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Claire Graham // Of Scars and Stardust: I loved this book so much. I want to check in on poor Claire and see if she’s still institutionalised!

Everyone from The Darkest Part of the Forest: I loved them all. I’m really hoping that Holly Black will give in and write a sequel to this; I need to know how Hazel, Jack, Ben and the horned boy are!

Tiny Cooper // Will Grayson, Will Grayson / Hold Me Closer: Why isn’t Tiny Cooper my BBF, WHY? I want to know what’s going on in his life! Did he find lasting love???

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Bella, Edward & Jacob (ugh) // Twilight: It kind of goes without saying that I want to check up on this lot. Mainly just to make sure Jacob is behaving. Team Edward til I die. lol.

Winnie and Tuck // Tuck Everlasting: I’d love to know how Winnie and Tuck’s lives played out. Did Winnie ever see Tuck again? Did she live her life differently knowing the secret to immortality? Has Tuck stayed under the radar?

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Books for YABC

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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.

The topic for this week is: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)

My friend Di and I have an unofficial YA book club (YABC) where we meet up, drink wine, exchange books and rant/swoon over them. It’s pretty awesome. Therefore, I am choosing the books that have been the most successful YABC topics in the past.

Oh the rants we’ve had…

(Links go to related posts)

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1. The Hunger Games: Well, durrr. There was a period of time where myself and Di were banned from talking about THG in public because we just couldn’t stop, and it always ended in the same very heated (but y’know, friendly..) argument.

Mainly because it turns out that Di likes NICE BOYS like Peeta and is therefore WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. I mean really, Peeta over Gale…?? SERIOUSLY. Other topics included why I hated the first movie (because I’m right) and why Di didn’t (because she’s wrong).

2. Vampire Academy: Oh, we are not even close to be being done with VA YABCs! But the series so far (we are up to book 3 I believe), has already provided us with so much good ranting material.

There’s been the obvious Dimitri-in-my-pants rants and girl crushing all over Rose Hathaway and her complete awesomeness. And then there’s the hilarity that ensued when we realised we couldn’t pronounce any of the vampire species so anyone listening in to our convo in the bar at Waterloo station probably thought we were having a stroke.

And lastly, there’s the fact that it’s impossible to discuss VA without comparing it to our favourite topic ever – Buffy!! So good!

3. Twilight: Possibly the first ever YABC-type rant in the history of Di and Lipsy book rants.

Topics mainly revolved around how ridiculous it is but quickly descends into how much we want to have sex with control freak Cullen, and ultimately how much we COULDN’T STOP READING. There has also been a lot of discussion over the TERRIBLE fashion choices Meyer made – if there’s ever a BEIGE POLO-NECK shortage just head to Forks, yeah!

Oh and in case you were wondering, I’m the lion and Di’s the lamb. LOLZ.

4. The Selection Series: The big debate here is clearly Team Maxon Vs Team Aspen but for once I think me and Di actually agreed (we did, right?). Team Maxon to the max…see what I did there. There was also a lot of talk about how this series helped with our post-Hunger Games blues, and how much we want GILES to play the king in the TV Series. What ever happened to that?

5. Graceling: Oh so much swooning went on at the Graceling edition of YABC. We swooned over the pretty much perfect Prince Po, and at how AWESOME Katsa is. We just love her. KATSA & PO 4EVA.

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6. The Chaos Walking Trilogy: This wasn’t so much a YABC meet-up as it was a constant texting/tweeting/ranting/raving/crying over how amazing, heartbreaking, and just plain HORRIBLE this series is. I think at one point I declared how much I hate Di for giving it to me. IT HURT MY IMPENETRABLE HEART. We cried over poor Todd. And how cute him and Viola are. And let’s not even mention the dog. I just can’t.

7. Uglies: After giving this to Di to read and hearing her thoughts on it I can’t even think about the book without bursting into laughter. I liked it. Sure, the protagonist was annoying, but I thought it was a really brave book that covered some important teenage issues. Di did not. Di hated it with a firey passion which naturally led to a particularly loud edition of YABC.

8. Divergent: There were only really a few topics we managed to focus on when discussing Divergent. First…back to The Hunger Games. Second, HOT MAKE OUT SCENES ON TRAINS. We did manage to briefly discuss which faction we’d be before quickly returning to swoon over Four and his tattoos. Sigh.

9. The Mortal Instruments: Let’s face it. There’s only really one topic in discussion where TMI is concerned – whether Jace and Clary will EVER get it on (I only got up to book 3). And not forgetting the whole possible incest thing. INCEST IS BEST. Ahem. I have a brother – It is NOT. Shudder.

10. The Lunar Chronicles: This is only so far down the list because for once we pretty much agree on everything about these books. Mainly, that they are beyond awesome. We’ve swooned over Prince Kai, Captain Thorne and even Wolf – or maybe that was just me? We love Cinder, and Scarlet and Cress and want to poke Levana’s eyes out. And now we’re just waiting for more.

One more thing: I feel the need to include Narnia here too. I don’t think we’ve even had an actual Narnia YABC but it’s never really far from our thoughts to be honest. Whether we’re discussing if it’s OK to fancy High King Peter, or laughing at Ben Barnes’ accent in the Prince Caspian movie….it’s always a Narnian life for us. For Narnia!

Friday Feature: Great YA Father Figures

It’s my dad’s birthday today (happy birthday, Daddy Lipsy!), which got me thinking about my favourite dads or father figures in YA.

I actually tried to do this feature with mums on Mother’s Day but could hardly come up with any! I’m pleased to say I had more success with dads.

Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible

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This one is fresh in my mind because I finished the book earlier in the week (review will be up tomorrow). I absolutely love Marcus Sedgwick but I was worried about SINI because it’s such a departure for him. I needn’t have worried of course. Considering Jack isn’t actually in most of the book, due to being missing, he made a big impact. We get to know him through his daughter Laureth who decides to go and find him in New York.

There were so many things that I loved about Jack, but I think my favourite was that always treated his kids like equals, like adults. He never talked down them, or thought they were incapable, and he trusted them and valued their opinions.

He’s also slighty mad. I think all the best dads are!

BUY ME

Mo Folchart – Inkheart

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It’s been a long time since I read Inkheart, but I always think of Mo and Meggie’s relationship as one of the the greatest father/daughter relationships in contemporary fiction.

Both characters are grieving over the disappearance of Meggie’s mum but it only seems to make them stronger.

And, in the words of Dianne Tanner: HE COULD READ CHARACTERS OUT OF BOOKS SO THEY ARE ALIVE IN REAL ACTUAL LIFE !!!!! BEST SUPER POWER

He also passed on his love of books to Meggie, even if he won’t read aloud to her anymore…
 
BUY ME

Shalom Singer – The Selection

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Similar to SINI, Shalom doesn’t get a whole lot of page time in The Selection trilogy but through letters and the occasional visit it’s clear that America is the closest to her dad.

He’s the only one who didn’t push her into entering The Selection despite how much it could help their family.

He also turns out to be pretty badass.

BUY ME

Charlie Swan – Twilight

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Oh Chief Swan. I had to go there didn’t I.

So yeah, he might be a bit overprotective as far as boyfriends go but who can blame him, his daughter is seeing a vampire with control issues. Compared to Edward he’s like the mellowist guy ever.

He doesn’t lurk, or pry, and he’s always off fishing. Party Time!

He’s also totally hot, right? RIGHT?

BUY ME

Skulduggery Pleasant


This series is full of great father figures, from Stephanie’s actual father, to her late grandfather Gordon who still manages to help her out when she’s in a pickle, and then of course there’s Skulduggery.

I love how Skulduggery and Stephanie’s relationship develops through the series. They’ll literally do anything for each other.

Plus, who wouldn’t want a sarcastic skeleton detective as a father figure!?

He’s also not happy about Stephanie/Valkyrie dating a vampire. Note to self: Dads are not a fan of vampire boyfriends.

BUY ME

You’ll Do Too…

Shout-outs also have to go to Luke in The Mortal Instruments (Werewolf Dad), and Jeb in The Host (bad-ass free-thinking Dad).

Who did I miss?

WWW Wednesday! 21.05.15

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Yay! We’ve made it to another mid-week, and it’s another Bank Holiday this week (for me, anyway sorry ROW), I can not express how happy I am about that. I hope the good weather lasts!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to this week. I love these covers together (much better than last week’s fluff-fest!
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Currently Reading: I’ve finally got round to reading The Prisoner of Brenda by Colin Bateman, which is part of his Mystery Man series, and are some of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Think Bernard Black from Black Books trying to solve crimes. Genius. Loving this so far, too!

Recently Finished: I finished You’re the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher – which was a nice bit of fluff (review here) and Twilight which got me out of last week’s reading slump. Oh, Twilight, why do I love you!? It was also part of my reread challenge, so I’ll try to formulate a review by the weekend.

Up Next: I have now come to terms with the fact that The One will not get to me until June SADFACE, but I have loads of others to be getting on with, including Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie, Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon and The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.

Link me to your post and I’ll come take a look!

WWW Wednesday 14.05.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump of late. I think it’s a mixture of being busy at work and home, being ill (stupid cold just won’t budge) and not wanting to start anything substantial because I was waiting on the 3rd book in The Selection Series, but IT STILL HASN’T ARRIVED. They’ll be a whole a post on this so I’ll just continue that rant in my head for now.

So basically, I gave up on waiting for The One, and started You’re the One That I Want which is my next ARC to be reviewed, but I wasn’t really feeling it. So eventually I reached for my go-to book when I’m feeling a bit meh…yes my friends, it’s Twilight time. Which works out perfectly because it’s also one of the books in my reread challenge. Hurrah.

And as always, it’s worked in pulling me out of my reading slump and I’m starting to enjoy the other one too.

Recently Finished: The last one I finished was After Wimbledon, which I finally got round to reviewing here.

Up Next: I would say The One, BUT IT’S NEVER GOING TO ARRIVE. So I don’t know. I have lots of review request books, and ARCs to get through as ever. AND a TBR pile challenge that is going terribly (1 BOOK SO FAR!)

Guest Post: Di does…Insurgent!

insur One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

It turns out I don’t need to review Insurgent which I finished last week, because my friend Di got hammered and wrote this hilarious and strangely almost-insightful rant/review and sent it to me. She’s probably regretting that right now. But it’s too good to not share.

Here she goes…[I am butting in in square brackets]

When I was first handed Divergent it was with the promise of the Hunger Games but with guns. That seemed OK to me because of the Hunger Games shaped hole in my life that no matter how many times I reread, it never filled that first anxious fist-chewing time.

I did not have this feeling reading Divergent. In fact I don’t even recall a feeling. I was jet-lagged, it was 3 AM and it filled a space of time in my life that needed filling. And I don’t know if I even liked it, it was just… Fluff.

So, imagine my surprise whilst reading Insurgent to find that I’m so transfixed I can barely use my phone to inform Lipsy [Hi] of this unexpected glee. IT’S THE HUNGER GAMES ALL OVER AGAIN I believe was all I could text whilst not looking at my phone. Followed by FOUR IS BEING A DOUCHEBAG….This is amazing!

After that day, whilst a bit pissed reading The Sun in a kebab shop, I found a double page spread in which the chap playing Four in the film (not hot enough) [agreed x 1000] was heralded as ‘THE NEXT RPATZ’ and I stifled a smirk. Is this actually the new Twilight?

Fact: Factions, Districts, Tributes, Divergents – Hungervergents.[LOL]

[Anyway] Whilst reading Divergent, I spent a lot of time thinking (as you do) GOOD LORD I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS WHEN I WAS 20. Then I read that it was in fact written by a 25 Year old.

RESPECT!

Where Divergent was a bit meh, [I could not disagree more] Insurgent soars. Tris and Four argue a lot, it’s great. They are real people that you get pissed off with for their petty reasonings before remembering they are 16 years old. Also the make out scenes are hot. So much hotter than divergent, SRSLY [this I do agree with].

The relationships are real. Christina and Tris as Bffs is REAL YOU GUYS. Four and Tris as teenagers in love, real in the lamest way possible. As it should be.

HOWEVER what the Hunger Games lacked in hotties (let’s be honest, the movies tried and failed to make either Peeta or Gale ‘leading males’ – the Hunger Games is 100% Katniss…OK and a bit of Gale being moody) Divergent probably fills the Twilight / RPatz void.

Four is unavailable, distant, hot, moody, difficult, all the things we apparently want in a teen heart-throb (srsly though) and it’s strange to see the film version neatly slotting into the void left behind by Twilight, when the books are so obviously more Hunger Games in nature. It’s an interesting case study… except we know it’s all trash (apart from the Hunger Games which is genius). [Anyone getting a bit lost here?]

Let’s talk about the end of this book. ***no spoilers*** The end of this book… is perfect [I thought it went on a bit tbh] I could see it coming a mile off (to the point where I was like ‘that’s too obvious and clearly not going to happen’) then it HAPPENED and woah. Perfect.

In hindsight, Insurgent is a lot more like a Margaret Atwood novel than any YA I’ve read. You know, maybe… The Handmaids Tale or Oryx & Crake. I have heard nothing but REALLY BAD things about Allegiant, the final novel in the Divergent series, but controversially, I am gagging to read it and think it will be amazing. But then, I really loved Mockingjay so…

THIS HAS BEEN A DRUNK REVIEW WRITTEN BY DIANNE TANNER. [She wrote that, not me, honest!]

Di Di has a photo blog called Icefloe, which is awesome. You can go there by clicking on the image.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #2

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

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1. Divergent

At some point this week I will be watching Divergent. I can’t wait to be able to rant about it! Last Saturday I walked through Leicester square and they had it all set up for the UK Premiere the following day, and I must admit seeing all the faction flags was pretty exciting.

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I did have a chuckle at all the kids who were already queuing up (overnight!) to get a good view of the red carpet. I had to text Di about it, apologies for the ‘freaks’ comment…all in jest I assure you (I was secretly really jealous, obvs)!

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And while we’re on the subject, the awesome Di has an amazing rant some thoughts on Insurgent which I’ll hopefully steal off her for a guest post. Watch this space.

2. We like Graves

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This is turning into a bit of a Dianne Tanner special, but this weekend just gone, Di and I had a lovely time wandering round Nunhead Cemetery, taking photos, looking for Narnia, and generally enjoying the spring-time sun.

Check out her photography blog, Icefloe which will feature much better Nunhead photos than these at some point.

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3. Crazy Golf is best with Dinosaurs

I had a work outing on friday to Jurassic Golf which is so much fun, despite them playing the Jurassic Park Theme Tune ON REPEAT. I’ve been humming it all weekend. Also, I didn’t lose for once, and my team came in second place (OK so there were only 3 teams). I also bet on the Grand National and came 2nd with Balthazar King. I’m waiting for my dad to let me know how much I won…maybe even a whole five pounds!

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4. ❤ Patrick Ness' Twilight Tweet-Along!

Patrick Ness had me in creases last week as he read Twilight and tweeted about it. I like that his tweets were hilarious, but not derogatory or patronising. He made it clear that any book that has been that successful deserves respect.

Here were some of my favourites:

Seriously, they are all gold! Go and read them all and behold the joy!

5. Fail

Regular readers or Goodreads followers may have noticed that I started Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood. I was really intrigued to see what his first adult book would be like but I had so any ARC deadlines at that time and I fell behind. I did start it, but I only read about 5 pages and really couldn’t get into to it. Plus, I was desperate to get to Vampire Academy 2 which had just arrived in the post. So when A Love Like Blood was archived in NetGalley just a few days after the release date I decided to just scrap it. :s Hopefully, I’ll give it another go sometime!

6. Game of Thrones

GoT!!! That is all!!!

7. M’s the word

The ‘m’ on my laptop keyboard is buggered I have to hold it down and show it soe love before the M actually works, see! MMMMMMMMMMMMM. Danit. So if you see soe missing mmmmm’s, please fill in the blanks. Why thanks.

Have a good week everyone.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors that made me a reader.

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is Top Ten books or authors that we credit with our bookishness.

It’s quite hard to single out just 10 books/authors that I attribute to my love of reading but there have definitely been a few significant periods of my life which got me into, or spurred on my obsession love of books.

Childhood Favourites

Roald Dahl: I have a feeling Dahl will be on a lot of people’s lists this week. His books were definitely the first to really capture my imagination and made me realise how much fun reading can be. The Twits was always my favourite, still is.

E. Nesbit: I first discovered E. Nesbit from seeing a film of The Railway Children which my mum loved. I was never such a huge fan, but that led me to 5 Children and It which remains one of my all-time favourites. And it wasn’t until much later that I came across The Enchanted Castle, which is probably what kick-started my love of castles just as much as the next book(s) on the list.

The Chronicles of Narnia: I didn’t truly love these books until after I’d seen the (now hilarious) low-budget BBC adaptation which I still watch now again for a laugh. Thinking about it, TV and Films were strangely enough what got me into reading a lot of the time.

Lewis Carroll: Again, I have a film to thank for my love of this one. I definitely saw the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland first and I think it took me until my college years to be able to actually appreciate the book.

Those pesky teenage years

Point Horror/ R.L Stine: By the time I was 12/13 I don’t think I was reading much at all. It wasn’t cool to read. And it definitely wasn’t cool to read the kind of books I wanted to read. But somewhere along the line I’d developed a love of horror, and when I discovered the point horror series, it was suddenly OK to be a reader again. R.L Stine’s were always the best!

L.J Smith: I can still remember getting a free copy of Secret Vampire with one of the girly magazines I used to buy – I think it was Mizz or something – and I LOVED it so much, I just used to read it over and over. I didn’t even think to look for anymore of her books, I was content with just that one tiny one. Weird. This was probably where my love of vampires came from too. L.J Smith has a lot to answer for.

Music Biographies: It wasn’t always about books for me. When I was well into my teenage years I more interested in music than anything else. I picked up books now and again but music was always more important. I was interested the history of music (I’d gotten good taste off my mum who played David Bowie, T-Rex and Rick Astley (LOL – OK I didn’t appreciate that last one) around the house and I started getting biographies from the library. I was mainly into the sixties, and remember loving ones on The Byrds and Syd Barrett.

Full Circle

Darren Shan: In my twenties, I went to Uni to study creative writing and journalism which also involved a lot of English Lit classes and I realised how much I hate being told what to read. I always did the bare minimum but got through it fine anyway. And I would literally read anything that wasn’t on my syllabus. Bad Student. That’s pretty much when I started reading again, and The Saga of Darren Shan was the first series I really got into.

Twilight: You all knew it was coming right? I remember the first time I saw Twilight in Borders (RIP Borders 😦 ) It had its own display and everything, and I knew from the cover that I needed it. I didn’t even need to read the blurb. I never looked back. And as trashy as it is, Twilight is without a doubt what got me back into YA fiction, and reading as obsessively as I do now. Plus it was the first series that I read where I was counting down the days until the next book was released….sad but true.