Tag: weekly feature

Top Ten Tuesday: Bingeworthy shows

Top Ten Tuesday: Bingeworthy shows

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  I don’t watch much TV anymore, but back when I was revising for exams in sixth form I constantly had TV on in the background. Most of…

Top Ten Tuesday: A Library of Lessons

Top Ten Tuesday: A Library of Lessons

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.    This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a back to school based freebie, so I’ve decided to pair each subject up with a book which either features…

Top Ten Tuesday: Slump Busters

Top Ten Tuesday: Slump Busters

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

 

I have been through a lot of reading slumps. Some have lasted years, some have lasted seasons, but some have only lasted for a few days. When you read as much as I do, you’re bound to run out of energy and be unable to focus at times, but these ten books are ones which have pulled me out of reading slumps immediately.

10) I Call Myself A Feminist

I Call Myself a Feminist

Non-fiction books are my go-to slump busters, but I know some people can’t stand reading non-fiction and it’s far more likely to put them in a slump! I Call Myself a Feminist is an easily digestible non-fiction book which contains letters from 25 women who call themselves feminists – for a non-fiction book, it’s not very intimidating.

9) The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. It has one hell of a twist, so if you’re struggling to get into stories this is the perfect choice – it’s so intriguing and grabs you by the throat within the first page or two.

8) Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

I always find the best slump busters are contemporaries, because they’re quick and easy reads which – more often than not – have a happy ending and cheer you up. Unconventional is the perfect book to break a slump which has started after you’ve had an exciting weekend (such as YALC!) because it takes you right back to the convention floor and allows you to relive the fun.

7) Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

I wanted to put a graphic novel on this list, because I think they’re ace slump busters. They aren’t text heavy so they don’t take a lot of concentration, but it’s easy to focus on the story because of the illustrations. Saga is my favourite graphic novel series: the plot is tense, the art is gorgeous and it contains the perfect mix of action and emotion.

6) Meet Cute

Meet Cute

Meet Cute is one of the best YA anthologies I’ve read. I always think short story collections are great slump busters, because you can dip in and out, challenging yourself to read just one story at a time. They combine a large amount of great authors, so there’s bound to be at least one story which is exactly to your taste, too! Who knows, if you discover a new favourite you could find yourself reading all of their previous releases.

5) All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

All of This is True is such a quick read, because it’s told in multiple different formats. There are newspaper articles, video transcripts and diary entries, and they combine together to make this book impossible to put down. I’d planned on reading 100 pages or so and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting!

4) Unboxed by Non Pratt

Unboxed by Non Pratt

Unboxed is short – always a great trait when looking for a slump buster – but it packs a serious emotional punch. Written in collaboration with Barrington Stoke, this book is also dyslexia-friendly, so if you’re someone who struggles with reading but still really wants to do it, this book is perfect for you.

3) The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

I wasn’t in a reading slump when I read The Exact Opposite of Okay, but it’s exactly the kind of book that would break me out of a slump. The narrator is so down to earth and realistic that I just want to be her best friend, and it’s such a relatable story that it genuinely felt as though it was written just for me. The next time I’m struggling to read I’m going to reread this – I’m certain it’ll pick me right up.

2) Entangled by Cat Clarke

Entangled by Cat Clarke

When I was in secondary school, I thought reading was uncool. I went from reading five or six books every week to reading one book every six months, because I could no longer get absorbed into them. That changed when I read Entangled, which I devoured in one sitting. It didn’t instantly fix my slump but it made me more interested in reading again.

1) A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

I borrowed A Spoonful of Murder from the library just before I got pregnant, but I didn’t end up reading it until the beginning of June. I hardly read anything in April and was completely unable to concentrate on books in May, but Robin Stevens managed to pull me straight out of my slump and got my reading back on track. The Murder Most Unladylike mysteries are aimed at a slightly younger audience, so the writing style is easy to digest and a lot of fun – it’s impossible not to break a slump with any of these books.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.

 

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! Are there any books you always turn to to break your slumps?

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite bookish websites

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite bookish websites

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.    I’ll be honest, most of the bookish websites that I visit are blogs. That means this post is going to be a sprinkling of sites I…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d mash together

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d mash together

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  I’ve found this topic really, really hard. I’m not the most creative person, so trying to visualise a world in which two of my favourite books collide…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books which live up to the hype

Top Ten Tuesday: Books which live up to the hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

Hyped books: as soon as they’re announced, you can’t get away from people talking about them, building the buzz until it’s impossible to hear anything else. You know the ones. You’re already picturing a few books in your head which match this description (in particular one that might have something to do with Stars).

These ten books actually live up to the hype that surrounds them – something which seems to be getting more uncommon every year. It was actually really difficult to think of ten, hype puts me off so often that I either judge the book really harshly or just don’t even bother to read it!

10) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I’m putting this tenth because I’m begrudging even featuring it, as Rick Yancey and his wife have been rather problematic on Twitter recently (i.e. searching his name and attacking anyone who tweets negative things about his novels. Not great practice). However, I loved The 5th Wave and thought it completely lived up to the hype surrounding its release.

9) Looking For Alaska by John Green

Looking For Alaska by John Green

I’m not sure how much hype surrounded Looking For Alaska‘s release, as it was John Green’s debut novel and was out far before I belonged to the bookish community. However, it’s very hyped now and it definitely deserves that, although it still seems to be the least hyped of all of Green’s books.

8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Again, I’m not sure how much hype surrounded the release of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but just before the film was released the hype for it went through the roof. I’d already loved it and read it again just after the film came out, and it was just as good second time. Highly recommend reading this, especially if you’re the kind of kid that doesn’t feel as though they fit in at school.

7) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I was tempted to put Ready Player One at the top of my list, because it’s an extremely over-hyped book and I thought it deserved every bit of advanced praise it received. All of the gushing reviews just after it came out put my boyfriend off, though, and he said it was rather bland compared to what he’d been expecting, so I’ve averaged out our feelings and placed it a little bit lower on the list.

6) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is a strange one, because it’s not as hyped as Carry On or Eleanor and Park, but the hype for it seems to ebb and peak throughout the year. This is probably something to do with the subject matter, as it’s about a girl who writes fanfic and is just starting at university. I definitely see a lot more praise for it during the summer months, but it seems to be forgotten in the winter!

5) Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Wing Jones – known as The Heartbeats of Wing Jones in America – seemed to have quite a lot of pre-release hype, but it died down a lot once it had been released. I read it in one sitting and wanted to scream from the rooftops about how good it was, so I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t even shortlisted for the YA Book Prize! This book definitely deserves as much love as it was receiving in the build up to its release.

4) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Another Top Ten Tuesday, another opportunity for Alyce to gush about how absolutely brilliant Red Rising is. There was so much hype surrounding this book, and that’s the only reason I decided to read it… But actually, the hype doesn’t sell the novel as well as it could do. I went into this book expecting what I received from the second and third books in the series – a high fantasy space battlefield – but the first book is a lot more understated and nuanced than that, and I would have been even MORE desperate to read it if it had been properly described.

3) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Again, this book deserved more clarity from the hype that it received. Everyone was buzzing because “it’s another Laini Taylor novel!” and “it’s the start of a Laini Taylor duology!”, but as someone who had never read a Laini Taylor book before, all that buzz was lost on me. I saw hundreds of people recommending it, and although it lives up to that level of recommendation it deserves to be praised for what it is – a magical yet heartbreaking fantasy – rather than who wrote it.

2) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

From the second I saw the cover of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda on Epic Reads’ Youtube channel, I was desperate to get my hands on a copy. I waited for about six months until it was released, and then patiently waited until the library copy became available… Then I read it in one sitting, rushing through it and falling completely in love with Becky Albertalli’s writing style. Hype has never been so deserved, until…

1) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black cover

…which was released at the beginning of this year. SOMEHOW I was accepted to read and review it via NetGalley, and I decided to dive straight in as soon as the new year began, despite the fact that I’d read a lot of Holly Black’s novels in the past and had always found them kind of forgettable. The same cannot be said about The Cruel Prince, though, which is still at the top of the list of best books I’ve read in 2018. I can’t wait to read The Wicked King and see what happens next.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.

 

I’ve only been able to pick books which I’ve actually read, so please don’t hate me for not including The Hate U Give or Children of Blood and Bone: both books which have received a ridiculous amount of hype, but definitely seem to deserve it.

Have you read any hyped books which you think live up to the attention they were getting, or have they all disappointed you? Let me know in the comments down below!

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Sensory reading experiences

Top Ten Tuesday: Sensory reading experiences

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.    My memory is pretty strange. I might not be able to remember the main character’s name or exactly what happened in the plot, but the likelihood…

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite novellas

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite novellas

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.    I have a terrible memory, and I find it even easier to forget short stories and novellas. They’re much shorter, so they take a lot less…

Top Ten Tuesday: Best books I’ve read in 2018 (so far!)

Top Ten Tuesday: Best books I’ve read in 2018 (so far!)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

2018 has been a bit of an odd reading year for me. When my daughter was born I didn’t read anything for a couple of weeks, then all of a sudden I started finishing two books a day and started reading faster than I ever had before. Then I got a job, and reading went out the window again!

I finally feel as though I’m getting back on track, but I think it might be time to admit defeat and put my Goodreads Reading Challenge target back down to 100 (I bumped it up to 150 mid-April, but apparently that was a shortsighted decision).

Out of the books I’ve managed to finish in 2018, these ten are my favourites.

10) Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

I’ve already read Second Best Friend twice, because it’s only a novella. Non Pratt’s second collaboration with Barrington Stoke is a lot of fun, although I will admit that I didn’t love it the way I loved Unboxed.

9) Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

After taking part in the blog tour for The Dry, I was delighted to receive a signed ARC of Force of Nature (along with an invite to take part in the blog tour for Jane Harper’s second novel, too!). That might have biased me towards Force of Nature ever so slightly, but I enjoyed it just as much as The Dry – even though it was a vastly different story.

8) All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

All of This is True is a unique story told through many different techniques: newspaper articles, novel excerpts, interview transcripts. When I started it I was planning on just reading the first few pages, but before I knew it I’d read the entire book in one sitting! Highly addictive.

7) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I procrastinated starting Strange the Dreamer because I sometimes struggle reading high fantasy, and I didn’t know I was going to fall in love with the mythology of Weep and the characters of Lazlo and Sarai. I’m now eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel, Muse of Nightmares, even though I’m sure it’s going to break my heart.

6) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black cover

I’ve read almost all of Holly Black’s novels, and I’ve found all of them to be rather forgettable. That’s not the case with The Cruel Prince, which is a heart-pounding adrenaline ride. Again, I’m super excited for the sequel of this one: I’ve been waiting for six months, and I can patiently wait for a few more.

5) Skylarks by Karen Gregory

Skylarks by Karen Gregory

Although I didn’t love Skylarks as much as I loved Countless, it still played with my emotions and proved just why Karen Gregory is the rising star of UKYA.

4) A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

I was torn between which of the books in the Murder Most Unladylike series to include in this countdown, because I’ve read all of them this year (and given nearly all of them 5 stars!). I decided to choose the novel which was released this year, though: the setting is compelling, and the mystery is the best that Stevens has written.

3) You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You felt as though it was written specifically for me, so I couldn’t stop this book from quickly becoming one of my all-time favourites.

2) The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

When I reviewed The Exact Opposite of Okay I called it the most quotable book ever published, and that’s made it one of the best books I’ve read all year. Izzy O’Neill isn’t just relatable, she’s an utter badass and a true delight to read. However, it isn’t quite the best book I’ve read this year…

1) Clean by Juno Dawson

Clean by Juno Dawson

…because Juno Dawson’s Clean is impossible to defeat. Lexi is completely unapologetic at the start, but this book is a masterclass on character development and how to make it both natural and noticeable. I couldn’t recommend this book more highly if I tried!

 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.

 

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday. What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books with red, white and blue covers

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with red, white and blue covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  Tomorrow is Independence Day, and although it seems like the majority of Americans aren’t feeling all that patriotic at the moment, that’s still something worth celebrating. Because…