Category Archives: Lists

Top 10 Tuesday: Underrated on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is: Top ten books I enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads. It’s hard to find books with that few ratings, but here’s my list:

  1. Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNish (here’s my review)
  2. The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell
  3. July by Karen Roberts
  4. Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright
  5. The Flower Boy by Karen Roberts
  6. A Light-hearted Look at Murder by Mark Watson
  7. Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn
  8. The Knot by Mark Watson
  9. Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall
  10. This Other Eden by Ben Elton

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten books I’m looking forward to in 2015 ‘. I prefer to read paperbacks, so I’m going to include books which came out in hardback in 2014 but aren’t published in paperback until 2015.

2015 books

  1. Time and Time Again by Ben Elton – I love Ben Elton’s books, they are always so readable
  2. Hotel Alpha by Mark Watson – Mark Watson is a great comedian and a very talented writer
  3. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – Tyler is probably my favourite author; I believe this will be her last book. A must read.
  4. Us by David Nicholls – Another funny and readable author
  5. Second Life by SJ Watson – I’m intrigued to find out how Watson will follow Before I Go To Sleep
  6. The Stranger by Harlan Coben – I read everything he writes
  7. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – I enjoy her work
  8. Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn – I thought Half of the Human Race was great an I am interested in reading more by this author
  9. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby – Yet another funny and easy to read author
  10. The Children Act by Ian McEwan – I heard McEwan talking about this book at Hay last year, it sounded interesting.

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I can’t wait for

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten sequels I can’t wait to get’. Unusually, there aren’t any sequels that I am really hanging out for at the moment, so this list is more along the lines of ‘ Top ten sequels I’d quite like to read one day’.

Sequels

  1. The Stranger by Harlan Coben – I always read books in Coben’s Myron Bolitar series as soon as I can.
  2. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness – I have the first two in the series and would like to read the third.
  3. Stravaganza: City of Swords by Mary Hoffman – I’ve read all the other books in this series and love immersing myself in the fantastical world of historic Italy.
  4. Wonder: The Julian Chapter by R J Palacio – I loved Wonder and would probably enjoy a return to this world.
  5. Itchcraft by Simon Mayo – I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series.
  6. The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld – I thought The Intepretation of Murder was a fun read.
  7. Found by Harlan Coben – I haven’t thought much of the first two books in the Mickey Bolitar series, but I’m willing to give Coben the beneft of the doubt.
  8. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m intrigued by a book in this series which concentrates on different characters
  9. Homecoming by Kass Morgan – The first two books in this series were fun, easy reads.
  10. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch – I haven’t manged to finish Broken Homes yet, which is why this is at the bottom of my list.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I want to reread

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten books I want to reread’. I don’t really reread, there are far too many books to read in this world to read ones I’ve already read, but if I did, these are the ones I’d pick.

1. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

His Dark MaterialsI have actually reread these books, sort of, in as much as I have listened to the audiobooks as well as reading the hard copies. Despite this, and the fact that they are children’s’ books, I still feel that I haven’t fully understood them. I absolutely love these books, they’d probably be my desert island pick.

2. Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd

Brazzaville BeachThis is one of my favourite books but I read it about 20 years ago, so I could probably do with refreshing my mind with it and seeing if I still love it as much as a proper adult.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Chronicles of NarniaI think it would be intriguing to reread these books as an adult with the knowledge that they are full of religious allegory and see whether this spoils the enjoyment I got from these books as a naive child.

4. The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve and 5. This Other Eden by Ben Elton

Mortal Engines This Other Eden

I’m going to call my unborn daughter Wren Alexandra Rosalie, partially inspired by the characters Wren in The Mortal Engines and Rosalie in This Other Eden. So I should probably reread these books to be sure than the characters are good namesakes!

6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's CabinI’ve just got back from a holiday in America. One of the places we visited was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house in Hartford, Connecticut (and Mark Twain’s extraordinary house next door) which has inspired me to want to refamiliarise myself with her work.

7. The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo

The Snow SpiderI read this as a child and I remember thinking it was amazing but also being completely baffled by it. I have been meaning to reread it for years to see if it makes more sense to me as an adult.

8. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Bet MeI think Crusie is probably the world’s best romance writer. If I ever needed a pick me up on a bad day, I’m sure I could cheer myself up by rereading one of her books and I think this is probably her best.

9. Milly-Molly-Mandy series by Joyce Lankester Brisley and 10. Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

Two of my absolute favourite books as a child and I’m really looking forward to reading them to my daughter once she is old enough. I’m pretty much looking forward to rereading all of Roald Dahl’s books, it will be such a treat to have the excuse to rediscover them.

Milly Molly Mandy Fantastic Mr Fox

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten books on my autumn to be read list’. As usual my real-life list is waaaay longer than 10 books, but I’ve picked the 10 I think I’m most likely to read in the next couple of months. 1-34-6 7-10

  1. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion – I was so excited to be approved for a Net Galley ARC of this book this week! I loved The Rosie Project and, although I really didn’t think it needed a sequel, I can’t wait to read this!
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I loved Eleanor and Park which I read earlier this year and I’m keen to read more by this author.
  3. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey – I received a free copy of this at YALC in the summer and I’m looking forward to reading it as there’s quite a lot of buzz around this series.
  4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – A second entry for this author on my list.
  5. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – I’m going to be on holiday in South Carolina this autumn and I’m going to read this then as it is set there.
  6. Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple – I picked this as a light read for my holiday.
  7. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness – This has been on my TBR list for a while, I love Patrick Ness but I’m a little worried I might not like this book so I’ve been putting off starting it.
  8. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – I really enjoyed the first in the series a couple of month ago an need to find time to plow into this hefty tome.
  9. Pop Goes the Weasel by MJ Arlidge – I read the first in the series last month and I’m interested to see how the series progresses.
  10. Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard – I received this from Bookbridgr, I’m a fan of John Connolly and this new series is intriguing.

What’s on your autumn TBR list? Have you read any of these books?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors only read once

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top authors I’ve only read one book by but NEED to read more’.

Here’s my list with the picture of the book I have read and enjoyed.

Wonder1. R J Palacio

I thought Wonder was amazing and would love to read further books by this author if they are anywhere near the same standard.

Eleanor and Park2. Rainbow Rowell

I really enjoyed Eleanor and Park earlier this year and have Fangirl high up on my TBR pile.

The Rosie Project3. Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project is a brilliant book and I’m very excited to hear that the next in the series is coming out soon!

The Night Circus4. Erin Morgenstern

I thought The Night Circus was very original and exciting and would be interested to find out what this author will do in the future.

A Discovery of Witchs5. Deborah Harkness

A couple of months ago I read and really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. I’m looking forward to finding the time to read the next in the trilogy.

Before I Go to Sleep6. S J Watson

Before I Go To Sleep is going to be a pretty tough debut to follow up. I think Watson has a new book due out next year, I hope its as good!

A Fraction of the Whole7. Steve Toltz

A Fraction of the Whole is a weird, eccentric and funny read. I couldn’t quite figure out why I liked it, but I’d be interested in reading something else written in this voice.

The Sisters Brothers 8. Patrick DeWitt

I found The Sisters Brothers an interesting and original read. I don’t know much about this author’s other works, but I might check them out if I get the chance.

 The Family Fang9. Kevin Wilson

The Family Fang is another quirky, original and funny read. It was quite unlike anything else I have read and if this author writes anything further I’ll definitely give it a go.

 Outlander10. Diana Gabaldon

I read Outlander a few years ago, I found it compelling but for some reason I haven’t quite got around to reading the second in the series. Probably because it is so long!

Have you read any other books by these authors; which of their books would you recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday: To read or not to read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten books I’m not sure I want to read’ (books you have bought but aren’t sure if you want to read them anymore).

This was a pretty easy list to compile as I am a book buying addict and I have loads of books which I intend to read but haven’t yet!

Room1. Room by Emma Donoghue

I’ve had this book on my shelves for a couple of years. I have heard rave reviews of this book, and I’m sure it is probably brilliant but I am put off by the subject manner. I’m not sure I want to read about a woman and her child who have been kept locked up for years and suffered abuse. It does not sound like a happy book.

More Than It Hurts You2. More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss

I bought this a few years ago after hearing a great podcast interview with the author. Again I’m a little put off by the ‘heavy’ subject matter, in this case Munchausen by Proxy. The book also has vey low rating on GoodReads, which doesn’t bode well.

Inheritance3.  Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

I’ve read the other books in this series and I feel like I should read this one, just so I have finished the series. However, ‘Brisingr’ was a real struggle and I haven’t manged to pick this one up yet, even though I got a copy as soon as it came out in paperback.

The Snow Child4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

This look like a book I would love. The cover is beautiful and feels lovely and soft, the author has a lovely Welsh name, it has a wintery setting, it has great reviews; it all looks so promising. However, I read the first couple of chapters and it was so DULL and I haven’t bothered to pick it up again since.

The Un likely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry5. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Just like the book above, this book has great ratings and loads of buzz about it, but I was bored stiff by the first few pages and couldn’t bring myself to continue with it.

Mutiny on the Bounty6. Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne

I bought this ages ago  because I’m fascinated by the story of the Bounty. However, I have never felt inclined to pick it up, even though I thought The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by the same author was pretty good.

Vicky Had One Eye Open7. Vicky Had One Eye Open by Darryl Samaraweera

I bought this book in a period when I was reading lots of books by Sri Lankan authors (my father was part Sri Lankan), after hearing it well reviewed on a podcast. However, the cover is so ugly I can’t bring myself to read it!

The Harsh Cry of the Heron8. The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn

This was another book I bought because I had read the rest of the series and felt duty bound to read another addition to the series. However, I think I’ve left it too long between reading these books and don’t feel familiar enough with the previous books to be compelled to read this one.

The Executor9. The Executor by Jesse Kellerman

I really enjoyed The Brutal Art by the same author, but this one has nowhere near as good online reviews, so I’m reticent to read it in case it spoils my opinion of the author.

The Little Friend10. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

I absolutely loved The Secret History and I have been meaning to read this book for 10 years! But the cover is so so ugly and creepy that I just can’t make myself pick it up when there are so many beautiful books alternative to choose from.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any which I should definitely overcome my reticence and read?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most owned authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten authors by whom I own the most books’. This is a fun topic which has prompted me to survey my bookshelves!

1-5 authors6-10 authors

Here’s my list with the number of books that I own by that author in brackets. The pictures above show my favourite book by each author.

  1. Harlan Coben (25)
  2. Anne Tyler (19)
  3. Robert Muchamore (17)
  4. Ben Elton (14)
  5. Anita Shreve (13)
  6. Jennifer Crusie (12)
  7. Philip Pullman (12)
  8. Roald Dahl (10)
  9. Alice Hoffman (10)
  10. William Boyd (10)

I should probably have included Ann M Martin and Francine Pascal on this list by all my Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books are in a box under a bed at my mum’s house, so I decided they didn’t count!

Do any of my authors feature on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Desert island characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten characters I would want with me on a deserted island ‘.

This stumped me a bit; I tend to remember the settings and plotlines from the books I love; but, unless they are really iconic, the characters don’t tend to stay with me as long.  Plus, all the best books are about miserable, troubled people and who wants to be on a desert island with someone like that?! So, I really had to rack my brain to come up with this list and on another day it might be completely different.

Aragorn
1. Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Viggo Mortensen is very good looking, and Aragorn is the kind of self-sufficient, live of the land type man who could help protect us from any danger,

Finnick2. Finnick from The Hunger Games trilogy

Along the same principles, another character with great survival skills and a kind, loyal heart. Plus he’s pretty easy on the eyes too.

3. Homer Wells from The Cider House Rules

Homer WellsJust because it’s one of my favourite books and it would be fun to hang out with the main character from it. He’s also got a bit of medical knowledge, which might come in handy (although hopefully no-one would be getting abortions on my desert island!).

Will and Lyra4. and 5. Will and Lyra from the His Dark Materials trilogy

Because they could be together on my island, plus they are pretty resourceful and well travelled.

Hope Clearwater6. Hope Clearwater from Brazzaville Beach

For her knowledge of zoology; she could help with any animals we encountered on the island.

Mary Poppins
7. Mary Poppins

We’d never have to clean or tidy as she could do it all by magic, plus she’d have everything we need in her carpet bag.

John Thornton8. John Thornton from North and South

Simply because Richard Armitage was so gorgeous in the TV adaptation of the book. This is my suggested ‘pure hotness factor’ entry.

Manchee9. Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go

The island wouldn’t be home without a pet dog.

Agnes Crandall10. Agnes Crandall from Agnes and The Hitman

She’s a fantastic cook and could whip up delicious food from whatever we could find on the island. Plus she might bring her cute boyfriend, Shane, along as a bonus island resident.

Who would you want to be stuck on a deserted island with? What criteria did you use to make your choice?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite movies based on books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top ten favorite movies or TV shows’. I like to keep my posts book themed, so I’ve decided to do my top ten movies based on books. I’m generally of the opinion that books are better than films, but occasionally the films (especially children’s films and biopics) get it almost right

10 Things I Hate About You1. 10 Things I Hate About You

A bit of a cheat as it’s only loosely based on Shakespeare’s play ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. Thank heavens because the play is a hideous reflection of 16th century gender politics but the film is the sweetest, funniest romantic comedy. I love it. Plus, Heath Ledger is divine.

Willy Wonka2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Love the book, love the film. I want to go to the chocolate factory! Roald Dahl is a genius and Gene Wilder brings the creepy Willy Wonka to life perfectly.

Mary Poppins3. Mary Poppins

This was one of my favourite films when I was a child, I basically watched it on repeat. I also had the book, but never managed to get into it, probably because I knew the story so well from watching the film so often.

The Sound of Music4. The Sound of Music

Another of my all time favourite childhood movies. The music is fabulous and the fictionalisation of the real-life storyline raises it above Maria Von Trapp’s autobiographical work.

Battle Royale5. Battle Royale

This film does a really good job of reflecting the content of the original book. It’s such a great book, shocking and compelling, really different (until The Hunger Games came along!).

Fellowship of the Ring6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

When I first saw this film, I was so annoyed with the ending, it just stops! But after viewing the sequels and seeing this more than once, I’ve grown to really love it. I particularly enjoy the relationships between the members of the fellowship. It also does a really good job of editing out some of the extraneous material from the original book.

Stardust7. Stardust

I’ve not read the original book, but I love the film, it’s really feel good and conjures up a fantastic fantasy world.

12 Years a Slave8. 12 Years a Slave

This is a stunning and important retelling of Soloman Northup’s story. It probably makes my top ten because I’ve seen it in the past year. It was a toss up between this and Brokeback Mountain for this slot.

Stand by Me9. Stand By Me

I love coming of age films (and books) and this is the one which all others try to live up to. The music, the period setting, the young River Phoenix, it’s all perfect. I’ve not read Stephen King’s original story but I’d be surprised if it is better than the film.

Atonement10. Atonement

This does an amazing job of making a film out of a seemingly unfilmable book. I thought it got the tone of the book perfectly and I loved clever use of sound and music. Both the film and the book are complete sobfests.

That’s actually a pretty great collection of movies; maybe films based on books are better than I thought! What’s your favourite film inspired by a book?