Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The A-Z Bookish Survey

Hello - I hope you're having a good start to the week! 

I've been searching & searching but I can't remember where I saw this tag first, but I wanted to do it because it's an excuse to talk about lots of different books and that's always a good thing! 

Author you've read the most books from
This is an easy one, J. K. Rowling!

Best sequel ever
So many of these questions can be answered with one of the Harry Potter books but for some diversity I won't do that! I don't tend to read a lot of series, but I think the final book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness was pretty epic.
Currently reading
The Listeners by Leni Zumas. It's a little strange and I'm loving it.

Drink of choice whilst reading
Oh anything, I can't say I'm fussy!

E-reader or physical books
Physical books will always have my heart. I've tried reading on an eReader but I couldn't get used to it. It's not the same without having real pages to turn. And the scent of a new book is unbeatable!

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school
Ron Weasley!

Glad you gave this book a chance
If it weren't for my English Literature degree I probably wouldn't have read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. For some reason I assumed it wouldn't be my kind of book, but oh my goodness I was so wrong!

Hidden gem of a book
It's not really hidden, but Wonder by R. J. Palacio is pretty special.

Important moment in your reading life
There are a couple that spring to mind, but the most recent would be last year when my University tutor completely inspired me with her enthusiasm and passion for books. I will be forever thankful to her.

Just finished
Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner. So good for the first three quarters and then it kind of felt a little... muddled. 

Kinds of books you won't read
I'll never say never, but I'm not a big fan of romance novels. 

Longest book you've ever read
At eight hundred and thirty four pages it's The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

Major book hangover because of...
The Luminaries again. I read it last month and I'm still not over it's how wonderful and accomplished it is. It's my favourite read of the year so far and I can't see anything topping it over the next couple of months.
Number of bookcases you own

One book you've read multiple times
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's not my favourite novel, but there's something about it that lends itself amazingly well to re-reading. It seems to give more every time. 

Preferred place to read
Anywhere comfortable & quiet.

Quote that you like from a book you've read
'A book...it's a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while' - Patrick Ness, from More Than This.

Reading regret
Those teenage years I've officially named 'The Lost Reading Years'. Seriously, what was I thinking?! All those books I could have been reading but nope, I was wasting time on Myspace and MSN!

Series you've started and need to finish
None! I'm really not a big series reader.
Three of your all-time favourite books
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, which I remember my Mother reading to me when I was really little.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my favourite from the series.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, one of my favourite reads this year.

Unapologetic fangirl for
Allen Ginsberg's poetry. I'm exploring beat generation literature at the moment and it's fascinating.

Very excited for this release more than others
I'm not the best when it comes to keeping up with new releases. I was really looking forward to The Silkworm, it's been out for months now and I still haven't read it! 

Worst bookish habits
I can get a little particular about my books and I'm not very good at lending them out! 
X marks the spot - start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book
I shuffle things around on my bookshelves more often than is necessary but at the moment in the 27th spot is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It's a beautifully written book that is incredibly captivating, but the ending is a little disappointing.

Your latest book purchase
You can see the three newest additions to my bookshelf here.

Zzzz-snatcher book - last book that kept you up WAY too late
It's got to be The Luminaries again. Have I mentioned how much I loved that novel?


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Quotes: The Luminaries.

* * *
* *
Dawn is such a private hour, don’t you think? Such a solitary hour. One always hears that said of midnight, but I think of midnight as remarkably companionable—everyone together, sleeping in the dark.

* *
* * *

Of all the books I have read this year, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is by far my favourite. I spent each one of the eight hundred and thirty four pages so mesmerised by Eleanor's writing that it didn't feel like a long novel at all. If anything I would have loved for it to continue for a further eight hundred pages, and typically I like books that sit comfortably under three hundred pages.

Walter Moody is a young man who has made his way to New Zealand to make his fortune upon the goldfields. It's 1866. Upon his arrival he stumbles across a gathering of twelve local men who are meeting in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events. Walter is quickly drawn into the mystery that rapidly evolves into a complex series of interwoven fates and fortunes. And it's wonderful!

Throughout I felt Eleanor's unequivocal passion for writing, it's so, so inspiring & what a talent she has.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Harry Potter Tag!

Any excuse for having a little chat about the Harry Potter series sounds excellent to me, so here I am! I don't think I've been tagged by anyone, but I couldn't resist...
1. Which book is your favourite?
There are a couple from the series that stand out as being extra special, but the one I have the happiest memories attached to is The Prisoner of Azkaban.

2. Which film is your favourite?
I'll happily watch them all - I love when they show one each week on the TV when it starts getting close to Christmas, I hope they do it again this year! I'm going to go with The Prisoner of Azkaban again though because it's my favourite book and I love the story so much! Also... Sirius and Lupin! 
3. Which book is your least favourite?
The Chamber of Secrets. Although I still love it and Lockhart is hilarious, it's not quite up there with the rest of the series and I can't even really explain why. Maybe it's because it's sandwiched between the world building of the first book and things starting to get really exciting in the third book?
4. Which film is your least favourite?
Again, The Chamber of Secrets but I still love watching it!

5. Which part of the books or films made you cry?
Sirius! Hedwig! Dobby! Snape! Every time in the films there's a scene with Lily Potter in it, especially when she says 'Harry, you're so loved' in the Deathly Hallows. 'After all this time? Always'. So so many parts made me cry!

6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Ron. Although Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were both very enigmatic too!
7. Who is your favourite character?
Both Hermione and Luna, in their own ways, consistently reminded me that it's always okay to be one hundred percent yourself all the time. 

8. Who is your least favourite character?
I don't think I have one! I guess Rita Skeeter isn't very likeable, but then again she is ridiculously hilarious without meaning to be.  

9. What is your favourite line?
It changes all the time because there's always an appropriate line for every situation! At the moment it's...

'You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?' 

Thank you J.K Rowling for always finding the most comforting words!

10. What would your patronus be?
A rabbit for sure! 

11. If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or Elder Wand, which would you choose?
The Invisibility Cloak without a doubt - think of all the things you could do with that!
12. Which house would you be in?
I always thought I would be in Ravenclaw but I was sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore so maybe I'm a lot braver than I think I am! 

13. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
I always imagine that Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter would be fascinating to meet - I bet they have some incredible stories to tell!

14. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?
Being a Beater could be quite fun! I think it would definitely be the best way to release some inner tension after an argument or a bad exam result or something.

15. Were you happy with the ending?
Yes, it seemed like a fitting end to a truly magical series! 

16. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
The series was such a huge part of my childhood and I felt like I grew up alongside the characters as I was eagerly anticipating the release of the next book, desperate to see what was going to happen. Hogwarts is still the place I retreat to if I'm having a bad time because of all the good memories, you know? I'm not sure it gets much more special than that.

Are you a Harry Potter fan?


 Currently reading: The Listeners by Leni Zumas
 Currently playing: Banks - This is What it Feels Like

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A few new books...

Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by & if you have, for subscribing to new updates. It's so nice to have you here!

Sometimes having one of those weeks means buying a few new books is entirely necessary. Even if I did buy them from The Book Depository, which meant having to wait what felt like forever for them to be shipped. On the plus side...free bookmarks! And when the postman finally did knock on my door with an armful of parcels, I'd sort of forgotten all about them so it was almost like opening a bunch of gifts. Swings and roundabouts, right?
B by Sarah Kay | The Book Depository - Goodreads
After stumbling across a video featuring Sarah Kay's spoken word poetry on YouTube a little while ago, many a spare moment has been spent searching for more recordings of her work. When I saw this little book of wonder containing a beautifully illustrated poem called B, which I fell a little bit in love with after watching Sarah's TED Talk, I knew I had to add it to my little book collection.

B is described as 'a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret'. So far it has made me tear up every single time I've watched Sarah perform it and this little book has found itself a secure spot on my 'favourites shelf'.
The Listeners by Leni Zumas | The Book Depository - Goodreads
This caught my eye as I was perusing the 'readers also enjoyed' section on Goodreads. I can lose many hours without even realising immersed in those endless recommendations. I've purposely not read very much about the plot because I have a feeling it's going to be one of those books I'll really like if everything comes as a bit of a surprise.

All I do know is that it follows Quinn, once a star of the punk-rock music scene, who is now trying to cope with the things that happened in her past. The sentence that sparked my interest initially says 'The Listeners is about what lurks in the shadows and what happens when what's lurking insists on being seen'. Combine that with also seeing it described as 'hypnotic and profoundly disquieting' I thought it might be one that's perfect for reading on a drizzly autumnal afternoon.
Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner | The Book Depository - Goodreads
I'm not sure that I necessarily have a favourite publishing house, but if I were asked to choose the first that springs to mind is Faber & Faber. Although I couldn't really begin to tell you why, I just think they have a good 'vibe' if that makes sense? Anyway, I follow them on Twitter & I saw them tweet (or retweet) a picture of this book and the cover drew me in, immediately leading me in search of a synopsis, which sealed the deal.

Llewellyn and Cunningham assume they are two future stars of the literary scene. They work on their words of brilliance between poorly paid jobs writing captions for the 1985 cat calendar and blurbs for trashy novels, with titles like 'Brothel of the Vampire'. I started reading almost as soon as I opened the parcel and I must say, it's certainly delivering its promise of being a 'darkly comic tale of hope and humanity against the grim urban and political landscape of Margaret Thatcher's Britain' so far. This is my first Alan Warner novel and I can safely say it won't be my last because every page has been a real treat to read.  

Have you read any of these? Or have you added any new books to your shelf recently?
I'd love to know!


 Now Reading: Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner | page 214/341