Category Archives: Feature-y Fun

Lucky I’ve read enough

So far in 2015 I have read a total number of 28 books. Thank god this week’s Top Ten Tuesday By the Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten books I’ve read so far in 2015, was this year and not any other year before when I would have only read 10 books so far. Seriously how do serious readers get anything done?

So here is the top ten books I’ve read this year that you should all get on board with if you haven’t already.

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bonedaughter of smoke and bone

If ever there was a book as well deserving on the number one spot it is this. Northern Lights meets

This book catapulted up my list of favourite books of all time within the first few chapters. Excellently written, intrigue for day, and characters of absolute greatness. Please oh please never be made into a movie. However I lved the whole series – which is three books. Therefore 1-3 of this list is taken up by Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Hey it’s not like I have a big list to play with here.

  1. Night CircusNight Circus

It’s like someone captured Tim Burton and put him in literature. The imagery and mystery in the book was so beautifully uncanny that I had to revaluate my life. I didn’t know who I was until I read this book. Now I still don’t but I have a weird obsession with monochrome.

  1. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets came highly recommended on WordPress. So I was meaning to get around to it for a while. It’s really rare to come across a period piece set in the 50’s (weird year), but holy shit am I glad they did. Drama and class come to a head.

  1. Wintergirlswintergirls

You only have to read this book to understand the meaning of an unreliable narrator. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote from the perspective of a girl with anorexia, and did an impressive job of insight. Give the lady an award. And a burger.

  1. Fangirl

Fangirl was a delicious insight into the mind of a girl who most readers can relate to. A girl who wouldfangirl (2) rather live inside a good book. It was spectacularly told, and I was excited for her imaginary success the whole time. I almost wish the story was real just so I could follow her blog purely out of readerly support.

  1. Masquerade

Masquerade caught me a bit by surprise. I read most of it with a ‘feel-good’ mood that cute little stories often provide. Then Bam. Shock ending that confuses everyone and leaves all the strings loose. Just rude. But still a great story.

  1. The Bone seasonthe bone season

The Bone Season was a particularly epic science fiction that I didn’t think I was going to get into. I don’t know why but I always feel that way about books that are given to me for free. I really ought to know better.  I read the Bone season, and the sequel ‘The Mime Order’ in quick succession and I probably won’t get to read the next one until I’m old enough to have forgotten what the first two were about. First world problems.

  1. The Ruby Circle

It was a sign from the heavens when Ruby circle came out on my birthday. To misquote Phil Dunphy, It’s like God and [Richelle Mead] got together to say, “we love you [Amy]”.  I mean  it all ended a little too rosily, but at least no one died. You hear that Rowling?! She would have kept Fred!

Now I’m going to have a stalk through all of your TTT’s to get the list of books I’ll read for the next half of the year. Any suggestions?

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Simply the Best Top Ten Tuesdays

While I most definitely have not been an active member of TTT or even WordPress for 5 years I have had a go, or rather, more than 10 goes at the phenomenon that is Top Ten Tuesday by the Broke and the Bookish.  While I’m not really a weekly contributor, if something catches my eye, and also coincides with me feeling like writing that day I will do up a post for it.

So I’ve written this week’s Top Ten Tuesday in excerpts from my favourite TTT’s. And only the excerpts with a high level of sass. Also these dates are in an Australian format. Only psychopaths go month-date-year…Jeez.

  1. Top Ten Literary Confessions (07.07.14)

Titled: My Literary Secrets. Or. Amy and the truth bomb that went off and hurt all the feelings

Excerpt: “Man do I dislike the beach. Sand gets in between the pages of my book, it’s like getting sand in my soul. Fuck off sand.”

  1. Top Ten Underrated Authors (09.09.14)

Titled: Keep it in your pants readers

Excerpt: “Patterson just slots new names into an old template and publishes these bad boys annually. Also… Alex Cross? Why don’t you just name him Jesus Christ and be done with it.”

  1. Top Ten Dislikes for Romance in Literature (10.02.15)

Titled: Romance is for saps. And other things I dislike about lit love.

Excerpt: “‘Creamy brown hair’? Now I feel like his hair is made of cream. I’m not attracted to this sensual-cream man. Is this a Cadbury ad?”

  1. Top Ten Characters I would want at my lunch table (02.09.14)

Titled: You can’t sit with us!

Excerpt: “Because I honestly feel like she would get along with everyone at the table. And you know what we don’t want at lunch time? ANARCHY!”

  1. Top Ten Books you recommend to first time readers (05.08.14)

Titled: I’ll make a reader of you yet

Excerpt: “But the only opinion I managed to get out of him was: “Ellie’s a bit of a slut.” Thanks Dad.”

  1. Top Ten Characters you would bring with you on a dessert island (22.07.14)

Titled: God forbid I get stuck on an island with book characters

Excerpt: “Does this man not ooze necessity? Still not convinced? How about you stare at this gif for the next hour until you are.

  1. Top Ten staple books from <insert genre here> that I haven’t read (02.07.15)

Titled: I’ll get to it when I get to it

Excerpt: “Besides the books look quite cute sitting next to each other on the bookshelf and if that isn’t a good enough reason, nothing is.”

  1. Top Ten Places books have made you want to visit (15.10.14)

Titled: Top Ten T-Oh fuck it’s Wednesday

Excerpt: “Nothing ruins a Tuesday feature post quite like realising it was yesterday.”

  1. Top Ten Character Driven Novels (07.10.14)

Titled: Characters behind the wheel

Excerpt: “Which sounds exactly like my sigh of annoyance when Bran’s chapter comes along. Seriously (SPOILER) is he learning to become a tree? You can imagine how great this isn’t.”

  1. Top Ten Books you aren’t sure you want to read (12.08.14)

Titled: I dunno you guys…

Excerpt: “Honestly no other author has sounded so much like a super-villain in the history of the world.”

Romance is for saps. And other things I dislike about lit love.

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, the day for lit list lovers. This week’s theme on The Broke and the Bookish is the Top Ten things we dislike in literature when it comes to romance. Now I could be all judgmental and begin with the obvious – ‘falling in love because he buys you pasta’ is just not realistic. But that’s too easy – and I think Twilight has been picked on enough. So here is the top ten irritating things about love and love interests in my books.

  1. When they get Honour and Stupidity mixed up

For example: “Ill protect you!” – runs straight into a scene where the far more capable and intelligent heroine has everything planned and he fucks it up trying to save her. Pretty much everything Chaol (from Throne of Glass) does. Every time. Eugh I hate that guy.

  1. When he has long hair

Please tell me I am not alone in finding the windswept shoulder length hair the least dimitrisexy thing ever? Tied at the nape of his neck? Thick braids? Tucked behind your ears? Are you a female? Why are you making me question whose hair is bowing in the wind in every scene when the two of you are together?  I don’t care how many muscles you have. Cut your damn hair son! <waves cane at uncouth youth>

  1. When they make you mad! IBXBUETU!

This is different from them being stupid. They have a good reason but you can’t help but think – surely there is a better way of addressing the issue. Now I loved Will Herondale, but in Clockwork Angel when he tore up Tessa’s heart to make her hate him I was back to square one. I remember thinking at the time – ‘I know you’re going to have a good reason for this, but I don’t want to f*cking hear it! I really must find that scene to see if it was as dreadful as I remember.

  1. When they are both awful people

frankly my dearAaaand they don’t even end up together. I got all the way through ‘Gone with the Wind’. It was no small feat. I thought it was all going to be worth it, when SPOILER Rhett and Scarlett broke up. They were both awful, tacky, mean spirited, bastards individually and I thought at least they have each other and they can love each other in spite of the wretched flaws they both possess. Some physical violence ensued, I’m pretty sure Rhett pushes her down the stairs, she wants him to stay, he’s says: no fucks given… COME ON! This is not a romance for the ages.

  1. When they initially loved someone else to breaking point

You know how you know when you’re reading a romance novel? Because the main character has found their soul mate. Its romance, it is meant to exist. So it just shits me beyond belief when one of the characters has multiples. The biggest example of this is in Romeo and Juliette. At the beginning Romeo is head over heels, suicidal for Rosaline. How fickle is this lad? Did he really love Juliette or was he going to go die for any old girl off the street?

  1. When the sex scenes are so vague you don’t realise it even happened

When the author wants to handle the deed so delicately so as not to offend anyone – girl witheither that or they think their parents will read it and judge them… Then they will reference it later in the book and you’re all – wait one moment sir! That never happened. But yes. All those metaphors and beautiful dancing, or twister, or piercing someone’s ear was the sex. Wow. Why even bother.

  1. When sensual descriptions rub you the wrong way

I don’t know if I’m alone on this or not but irks me beyond belief when something is described poorly or in a way that gives you the complete opposite effect. ‘Sensual, sculptured lips’ – on a man. Now I’m picturing him with lips that look like he has been through a bee attack. ‘Creamy brown hair’? Now I feel like his hair is made of cream. I’m not attracted to this sensual-cream man. Is this a Cadbury ad?

  1. When they spend more time apart

jace hugI know it is all part of the suspense and they have to go on their own journeys to prove they love each other – or whatever the hell it is they do. It’s just so frustrating when someone is held captive for three books, when they have been magicked to forget love, or when they think they are brother and sister…

  1. When someone is immortal

You can’t help but calculate how long before shit starts to get really awkward. And it will obviously end sadly – with one immortal person roaming the earth alone forever, heart broken, never dying.

  1. When they leave them to die anyway…

There is one thing I really don’t understand in supposed YA love, and that’s when someone sacrifices themselves (usually stupidly) and the other will spot them dying/being captured/etc and then run. RUN! Do you even love that person?! Isn’t love when you care about someone more than yourself? Jeez…

I’ll get to it when I get to it

It has been many moons since I did a Top Ten Tuesday. The reason is – I’m lazy and I didnt want to use my brain juice to think of ten books pertaining to whatever category. I may not have enough power to make one leg step in front of the other to shuffle myself to bed. The struggle is real.

But I’m here now.

This week’s theme on The Broke and the Bookish is: “Top Ten staple books from <insert genre here> that I haven’t read”.

Like most sane people I adore YA. Despite the fact that it is advertised as Young Adult, the themes and content are so much more adult than many adult books. Stay tuned for a whole other post on that concept. The subject matter is heavy and fraught with emotion, and I don’t have to read about a middle aged woman who doesn’t do any work and talks about how busy she is for 300 pages… Sorry I’m still upset that I read Landline. Terrible book…So my theme of the reading I can’t believe I haven’t done, will be drawn from YA – and what I consider to be staples – old and young (in terms of publishing that is).

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

passive aggressiveI told myself I was going to read the book before I watched the movie, but then I saw this awesome gif of Patrick and I caved. He’s just the coolest ever. Anyway I’ve gone and ruined the twist of the book by watching the movie first. I’ll get to it. Eeeeeeventually!

2. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

After the catastrophe that was ‘Landline’ I have been very hesitant to read any Rainbow Rowell. Landline was incredibly hyped up by the nonsense of Goodreads 2014 book of the year. Which was ALL LIES. Don’t let me down E&P, I couldn’t take the dissappointment

spoiler 3 & 4. Looking for Alaska & An abundance of Katherine’s by John Green

John Green can do no wrong. Well some wrongs (Margo is a terrible name), but ultimate everything is okay enough for him to be pushed into the right category. Besides the books look quite cute sitting next to each other on the bookshelf and if that isn’t a good enough reason, nothing is.

If I stay by Gayle Forman

I know I really don’t need more tears in my life, but this time I am determined to read the book and cry my eyes out, then watch the movie and cry whatever I have left.

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Just because Neil Gaiman.

  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

There is little more I love in this world than books about World War II. Except maybe when Peychaud makes dinner. Everything in my life is second to food. I have never read any Elizabeth Wein before, but I do love finding new authors to adore.

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

To be honest – I saw this one on a Goodread list – and I keep seeing it on Goodreads list so I feel like I must be missing out on something. 2534 people can’t be wrong right? Wrong. That many people can be wrong. See ‘Landline’.

  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I contemplated putting this one on the list because it is so clearly just the current trend, but it is also I trend I haven’t gotten around to yet, therefore it makes the list. I start playing fast and loose with my definitions when I’m getting through the staples.

  1. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Ditto 9.

Top Ten T- Oh Fuck its Wednesday

Nothing ruins a Tuesday feature post quite like realising it was yesterday.

Yesterdays feature post on the Broke and the Bookish was the query: the top ten places that books have made you want to visit. They actually specified that they can be fictional, because everyone knows, us introverts have filled our weekly sunlight quota on the weekly shopping trip at dusk and we are more likely to want to travel to Pandora than Paris. I really don’t know if I am an introvert or a vampire. But let’s get down to yesterday’s business.

  1. Hogwarts (H.P)

In particular – the prefects bathrooms, St. Mungo’s, Three Broomsticks, the Department of tumblr_nd311jwTLA1qjmus3o3_250Experimental Charms. Can you imagine how interesting it would all be! I never understood why Harry and Ron would always complain about their homework. I’m here fucking around with differentials and you, you poor sod, are stuck learning about things that you can make out of thin air in a matter of seconds.  Going to a hospital in the muggle world is all disinfectant and old people. Going to a bar…is probably exactly the same. But for a thirteen year old to like Butterbeer – it would have to be pretty freaking amazing wouldn’t it!

  1. Lavender farms in France (Wild Lavender)

At least this one isn’t fictional. This book was based on events in the 40’s but I assume lavender still grows somewhere around there. I would have added all the other French locations, but I feel that without all the 40’s atmosphere, it wouldn’t have the same magical touch.

  1. Northern Lights (Northern Lights)

northernOr as the Americans call it – The Golden Compass. A far shittier name I might add.  My desire to see them may have even pre-dated the Northern Lights reading, because I certainly remember watching Brother Bear and thinking, there is no way this magical curtain of light is a real thing. The Northern Lights goes all ‘doorway to another world’ on me and I am hooked. It’s magic. There can be no doubts.

  1. Gion, Japan (Geisha of Gion, Memoirs of a Geisha)

I’m not even sure if this is tourist accessible – or if it has become a tourist attraction. Ironically I don’t like either of those options.

  1. The Forests of Silence (Deltora Quest)

This was the book that made me want to live in a tree. I wanted to build a nest in the tree tops and steal coins off passing kids. But when you’re in the only tree in an otherwise empty paddock – it just doesn’t have the same feel.

  1. Ellesméra (Inheritance Cycle)

For the same reason as the Forests of Silence. Living in tree’s are the shit. Apparently. GUESS I’LL NEVER KNOW!

  1. Noodle Vendors in China

Because I’m really hungry right now. I read about them in pretty much every book set in China. It was always hot and tasty sounding. I don’t have any noodles in my apartment. The struggle is real.

  1. The Capitol (Hunger Games)

Again with the hunger thing, at Katniss’ obsession with that plumb stew thing. Guys I didn’t go tumblr_mf21z6vtCq1r9ho1uo2_250grocery shopping and all I have in my house is mostly stale bread that perhaps could be saved by a toasting. It’s no plumb stew. Just let me have this.

  1. London (for every book, ever)

Readers, I feel you shouldn’t even question this despite my lack of literary title to back it up.

  1. New York (Mortal Instruments)

I actually think that TV shows are the ones to blame for my wanting to go here. But when I think of Novels set in New York, these are the ones that come to mind.  There always seems to be food and music and excitement… and food… Dammit. I need to go shopping.

Characters Behind the Wheel

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. The day I get all of my traffic. Thanks Broke and the Bookish for pushing all of your internet friends my way. Anyway, this week’s attraction is the top ten books for readers who like character driven novels.

I don’t even know how to go about this question, I’m not even sure I entirely understand it. Characters who are more than two dimensional? Characters that are relatable and likeable? Characters that have a driving license? Characters who drive you to insanity? Enough with the driving references Amy, it’s clearly not that. So to sum it up for the voices (yes plural) in my head – let’s go with a theme more along the lines of: characters that outweigh the rest of the books benefits.

  1. Game of Thrones

Oh don’t give me that, you knew this one was going to be number one.  There are so many characters in this novel that it practically doesn’t have room for plot. The chapters are literally named after the characters. Every time Tyrion’s chapter comes along I breathe a sigh of happiness.  Which sounds exactly like my sigh of annoyance when Bran’s chapter comes along. Seriously (SPOILER) is he learning to become a tree? You can imagine how great this isn’t.

  1. Gone with the Wind

Full of the most flawed but unfortunately realistic characters. It amazes me that Scarlet O’Hara is scarletconsidered a heroine. She’s a really terrible person, and if I were her friend I would pretty much use her for her second-part-of-the-book wealth because she has nothing else going for her. But where was I going? Oh yes…She’s quite a character.

  1. The Slap

Man. I don’t want to talk about this book. I didn’t enjoy reading it. But if you like character driven books you’ll probs enjoy it. Many characters. Some good. Most bad. All human.

  1. A Picture of Dorian Gray

Do you like how great I am at coming up with an excellent selection? I’m actually running out of ideas and I’m only at number four. Somebody help me. I hate characters, I live for plot and magical creatures. But Dorian Gray is a real D-bag, and so full of himself. Reminds me of 50% of the people I know. #selfiewhore… or perhaps a #portraitwhore would be more accurate.

  1. Graceling (Also Fire and Bitterblue)

There is more to these characters than their special abilities. While the plotlines are epic and the monsters are glorious, I definitely read them for kick ass characters. Or more to the point, a likeable female character that kills people sometimes. Our girls are relatable, or at least what I would aspire to be. If I was allowed to murder people. Mum says no.

  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

I am puffed from all the typing that title took. Good thing I don’t have ‘Don’t tell my mother I work on the rigs, she thinks I’m a piano player in a whore house’ on this list. No one has more of a personality than a kid with Asperger’s. I once spoke to a lady who told me her child took everything literally. “Hop out of the bath”, “dig in to your dinner”, etc. Do you know how often that comes up in a life?

  1. I am really sick and on some medication that is making this list writing business the opposite of easy.
  2. I just re-read point six and realised I didn’t talk about the book at all.
  3. I’m going to avoid reading the rest of my work so I don’t feel bad about my writing ability.
  4. Ignorance is the key to confidence. Copyright bitches. No not really, you can bang that mofo on a T-shirt if you want to.

Can someone just comment the rest of the books so I don’t feel bad for not thinking of another Five? The light is hurting my eyes and this keyboard sounds like me when I walk down a wooden floor board with heels and the left one has been worn down so much that the metal is sticking out and it sounds like the fucking cogs in the gates of hell. TAP TAP TAP, JEEZ!

Oh good, more I must read

This week’s theme from the Broke and the Bookish are the top ten Authors I have only read one book from, though must read more under pain of death. Or a similar, if less sinister, version of that.

  1. Robert Galbraith

Ah yes, I’m aware this is cheating. Matters not! J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling felt like an old friend when I read it. The comfortable writing style was better than a hug. Silkworm come at me.

  1. Ian McEwan

Also a lie, I have read two of his books, Atonement, one of the greatest literary masterpieces ever, and Solar, an atrocity (mostly just content and awful characters not actual writing) that haunts my dreams still. For a while there, I simply refused to acknowledge him as an author/human. But I think it is time I start again. And what would you know, The Children Act just came out!

  1. Belinda Alexandra

I’ve only read Wild Lavender and it was one of my favourite books growing up. I’ve seen on Goodreads that people actually think it pales in comparison to some of her other work. This can only mean good things. I really should endeavour to find her other flowery titles: White Gardenia.

  1. Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go was such an excellent premise for a novel, I was so excited to read the next one, though at the time I didn’t have access to it. I’m afraid I might have grown out of it though.

  1. Paul Hoffman

I read The Left Hand of God one day when I was sick. A friend bought it over and suggested I might like to read it, not having any new books of my own at the time. It was through one of my non-reading phases that I read it, and consumed it in a day. I really ought to find out what happened to the protagonist…

  1. Margaret Atwood

Having only read The Handmaidens Tale, I have already seen the potential that Atwood has, not only in her literary capacity, but her imagination.

  1. John Green

While I wasn’t that impressed with The Fault in our Stars I would really like to understand the fuss that he has recently caused. Perhaps I shall find the answer in one of his other tales.

  1. Neil Gaiman

Believe it or not, I have only read one of his actual novels (The Graveyard Book), though this is also
sort of cheating as I do have a novels worth of short stories of his as well. At the present I have American Gods sitting beside my bed, which I intend to get to…shortly.

  1. Sarah J. Maas

For those of you who follow my blog consistently you will notice I am currently in the process of fulfilling this ‘must’ list. Okay no, just number nine. I read Mass’ Throne of Glass, figured it was only so-so, so I had to read more. It is picking up. Thankfully.

10. Kazuo Ishiguro

Back when I had time to spare I was involved (created) a book club, and the book I chose was called Never Let me Go. It was one of the emptiest books I have ever read. I felt like I misplaced my soul by the end of it. So naturally I thought it was excellent. Apparently, Remains of the Day is even better.