Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday | Playing Dress-Up

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!


Christmas will always be my favourite holiday, but Halloween is a very close second - which is probably why I love The Nightmare Before Christmas so much. Today's theme is a Halloween freebie and, while I thought recommending you some Halloween reads would be fun, I thought I could do something a little different: today I'm going to talk about couples in books, and who I think they should dress up as, from another book/movie, for Halloween!

Molly and Reid from Becky Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequited as Arwen and Aragorn from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Given that Reid is the ultimate Tolkien superfan, I'd be very surprised if he didn't want to dress up as Aragorn with Molly beside him as his beautiful elf queen.

Aileana and Kiaran from Elizabeth May's The Falconer as Titania and Bottom from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: An opportunity for Aileana to be a faerie queen and dress Kiaran in donkey ears - why would she say no?

Cress and Thorne from Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles as Leia and Han from Star Wars: Honestly, can't you imagine Thorne taking great delight in dressing up as Han Solo? And if it meant he got a chance to see Cress dressed as Princess Leia, he'd definitely be all for it. Besides Cress loves make-believe, she loves pretending to be someone else, so I think she'd have a lot of fun pretending to be the galaxy's greatest princess and general.

Nix and Kashmir from Heidi Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere as Elizabeth and Will from Pirates of the Caribbean: From one pirate ship to another, I think Nix and Kashmir are both accustomed to having to pretend to be someone else and they'd enjoy playing the part of these two. Then again, Kashmir might think of himself as more of a Jack Sparrow than a Will Turner...

Bella and Edward from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight as Mina and Dracula from Bram Stoker's Dracula: If the two of them never do this then they're missing out on the one good opportunity their relationship can give them.

Pei and Ashby from Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as Zoe and Wash from Firefly: TLWtaSAP has been compared to Firefly a lot, and I can understand why - I think Ashby would be missing a trick if he and Pei didn't dress up as these two.

Maxim and Mrs. de Winter from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca as Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre: I've always wondered if du Maurier was a little inspired by Jane Eyre when writing Rebecca, and I don't want to say much more than that - if you haven't read either novel I don't want to spoil them for you, but they're both great books!

Meche and Sebastian from Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Signal to Noise as Anne and Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen's Persuasion: I can't imagine Meche is a big fan of Austen, but given he's much more of a reader than Meche is I like to think Sebastian has read some Austen and would get a lot of fun out of seeing Meche in a bonnet. Both these novels share the theme of second chances, something I think Sebastian, at least, might appreciate.

Alexia and Conall from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf: If I was married to a werewolf, I'd take great pleasure in dressing him up as the Big Bad Wolf for Halloween, and I'd be disappointed if Alexia never thought of doing the same to her husband.

Sue and Maud from Sarah Waters' Fingersmith as Carmilla and Laura from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla: Carmilla is one of my favourite pieces of Victorian literature, a vampire story that pre-dates Dracula and has some serious homoerotic vibes. Given that Sue and Maud are also lovers from the 19th century, I think they'd have a lot of fun pretending to be these two.

What did you talk about this week?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The New Disney Princess Book Tag!

I saw Deanna @ Deanna Reads Books do this tag and, being the Disney nerd that I am, I couldn't resist doing it myself.

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you!
  • Tag Zuky and Mandy's posts (the awesome creators of the tag) so they can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Mandy @ Book Princess ReviewsZuky @ Book Bum)
  • Play a game of tag at the end!

This book (like the movie) started it all

Favorite Debut Book from an Author

I know you're all so shocked, but of course it's Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Signal to Noise. This debut took me completely by surprise in 2015 and it's one of my favourite novels of all time.

A Diamond In The Rough
Just Like Cinderella, You Either Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But They Turned Out to Be a Total Gem

Neville Longbottom. What a precious bean. I don't think anyone really expected much from Neville, not even his own grandmother, and then he grew into one of the best characters in the Harry Potter series. I love Neville.

Sleeping Beauty
A Book That Makes You Sleepy, or Just Could Not Hold Your Attention

I'm sorry to say it's Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, knowing how beloved it is. I did like it but it took me so long to get through; the circus itself fascinated me, but I actually found Celia, Marco and their relationship really boring. I might try rereading it at some point, though, because my tastes have changed a lot since I last read it.

Under the Sea
A Book With a Water/ Ocean Setting

I'm really looking forward to reading Julia Ember's The Seafarer's Kiss, a lesbian retelling of The Little Mermaid with vikings. All the yes. I'm saving my copy for the winter months because I'm going to Iceland in the first weekend of December, so I think Reykjavik will be the perfect setting to read about vikings.

Beauty and the Books
Name A Book With The Best Bookworm/ Booklover

Hermione Granger is the obvious answer, and I do adore her, but instead I'm going to go with Catherine from Austen's Northanger Abbey, who loves Gothic fiction so much she wrongly accuses her future father-in-law of murder. Oops.

The Thief and the Princess
Name A Book With An Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance, or a Book You Didn’t Expect To Love So Much)

I think I'm going to go with Agnieszka and The Dragon from Naomi Novik's Uprooted. Heteronormativity is real, so whenever a book is released with one female and one male protagonist we can be certain they're probably going to fall in love at some point, but when I started reading Uprooted I began to think there wasn't going to be a romantic relationship, after all. What surprised me most, though, was that when their relationship did become romantic, I actually really liked their chemistry. So kudos to you, Naomi Novik, you did a good job!

The Real Life Princess
Name A Book That is Based On a Real Life Person You Want to Read or Have Read

It's been on my TBR for a while now and I still haven't read it simply because, when it comes to historical fiction, I don't tend to read many books set in the medieval period, but I really want to give Sharon Penman's Here Be Dragons a try. Penman is such a huge name in the realms of historical fiction, so I need to read some of her anyway, and Here Be Dragons follows Joan, Lady of Wales, also known by her Welsh name Siwan, who was an illegitimate daughter of King John and was married off to the Welsh Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. I've always been fascinated by her, it's a shame we know so little about her.

The Princess That Saved Her Country
Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know

That has to be Saba from Moira Young's Blood Red Road. I adore her, she's a real survivor and I wouldn't want to cross her.

The Princess With the Coolest and Most Diverse Crew
Name A Diverse Book, Whether it is a Diverse Set of Characters (Like Tiana’s Group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and More)or Just Diverse In General

That has to be Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, whose entire cast of characters are different species and genders and sexes and sexualities and nationalities and races whom Chambers uses to explore what makes us different and, more importantly, what makes us similar. It's often compared to Firefly and I can understand why, but honestly I think I'd much rather watch a TV adaptation of this.

Let Your Longggggg Hair Down
Name the Longest Book You Have Ever Read

I had a look on Goodreads and was surprised to realise that the longest book I've read so far is Winter by Marissa Meyer. I don't know why I was surprised because I never read books that are 800 pages long or more (my edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is only 766 pages long) although I'd like to read more long books in future, because I certainly own plenty to get through.

I Determine My Own Fate
A Book Where There is No Love Story/ Interest or Isn’t Needed

I'm going to go with Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor, which is one of my favourite books ever. Our protagonist, Maia, becomes betrothed in this book and we do get a hint that he and his fiancee will be happy together and might even love each other one day, but there's no life-altering romance getting in the way of what is already a wonderful story.

Frozen Hearts
A Book in a Winter/ Cold Setting

No book has ever made me feel as cold as Hannah Kent's fantastic descriptions of the Icelandic landscape in Burial Rites.

How Far I’ll Go
A Character That Goes On a Journey

I have to go with Nan King. Tipping the Velvet isn't my favourite of Sarah Waters' novels, but it's a true coming of age novel and such a fun, saucy romp through Victorian London. While reading it I got the feeling that Waters had a lot of fun writing it - there isn't much that poor Nan doesn't go through, and by the end of the novel she's a completely different person to who she was at the beginning.

If you'd like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday | Indigenous Peoples' Day and World Mental Health Day

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes' which I struggled with, but it's actually my birthday today so it didn't seem right to miss another week of TTT! More importantly, however, October 10th is also World Mental Health Day, and as Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight is once again hosting her wonderful Shattering Stigmas blog event I decided to join in and use this week's TTT as an opportunity to mention some books which discuss mental health, some I've read and some I've yet to read, and also as an opportunity to mention some books in celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day (9th October).

If you have any recommendations, please leave them below!

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig: I've owned a copy of this for a while and have heard amazing things but still haven't read it. Hopefully I can make time for it this Non Fiction November!

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: It's amazing how much impact Perkins Gilman can have in so short a story, but The Yellow Wallpaper, following the mental deterioration of a woman after she is married and expected to play a certain role is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: I'm ashamed to say I still haven't read any Plath, something I know one friend of mine in particular will be unhappy with as she loves her work so much. I think knowing the tragic end to Plath's own life makes her work seem a little intimidating to me, but I'd like to read The Bell Jar sooner rather than later.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: Not only does this sound like a very sweet, fun story, but I've also heard it deals with depression and anxiety really well and I'm all for that.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: I wasn't sure if I was going to include this one at first. Jackson is my favourite horror writer and a lot of her work seems to revolve around how society damages women, particularly their mental state, but it can also be read as a pure ghost story. This novel, in particular, leaves it entirely up to the reader as to whether the heroine is really in a haunted house or if her mental health is deteriorating. However you choose to read it, it's worth reading.

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney: I've mentioned this novel several times before, particularly how I'd like to reread it as I think I might appreciate it more a second time, but one of the things I loved about it was that there were several characters who are First Nations people and the novel as a whole doesn't ignore the impact white settlers in Canada had on the indigenous population. A great novel to read in the winter!

Beyond the Pampas by Imogen Rhia Herrad: This book explores something I know practically nothing about it: Welsh settlers in Patagonia. While a lot of the book seems to be about Herrad learning about the descendents of those Welsh settlers, she also explores the impact that their settling had on the indigenous people.

The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King: I've heard fantastic things about this book, which explores the history of North America's First Nations people and the way they are still portrayed today in the media. I started reading last year, I think, but wasn't in the right headspace for it, so I'm hoping I can get to it this year.

Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore: This novel isn't due out until next year but it sounds super interesting. Set in early 20th century Philadelphia, a woman asks her lawyer husband to defend her childhood friend, a First Nations man raised in one of America's 'savage-taming' boarding schools, when he is accused of murder.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown: I've heard so many good things about this book and still haven't read it, and I'd love to check out the film adapted from the book starring Anna Paquin, too.

Which books made your list this week?