Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about celebrating books with purple, yellow and green covers because today is Mardi Gras! Without further ado, here are some pictures of the best purple, yellow …
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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
Because this week’s topic is rather vague, I’ve decided to split this list into two.
I’m going to start this list by talking about five books that were written before I was born (April 24th 1996, to be specific!) that I have read and enjoyed. I’m then going to talk about five books that were written before I was born that I still haven’t read (but want to, sooner rather than later!).
So, without further ado… Let’s start talking about five old books that I’ve read and love!
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (published December 1st 1817)
I read a Jane Austen novel a month back in 2016-17, and Northanger Abbey was the only one that I gave five stars. The others were all very high four stars, but there’s something about Jane Austen’s take on the gothic novel that charmed me more than her most popular stories did.
The thing that struck me most during my read of Northanger Abbey was how strong Jane Austen’s voice comes across in the narrative. She’s so sassy and outspoken, not afraid to lace social commentary through her novels at a time when it was still very rare for women to be allowed to write, and it made me wish that she was still alive so that she could be my friend.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (published January 10th 1892)
The Yellow Wallpaper is only a short story, but it’s a remarkably powerful one.
Following a woman who is experiencing postpartum depression, and the husband who refuses to listen to her wishes regarding treatment, this is a semi-autobiographical story that brings awareness to the plight of women in the 19th Century.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a brave woman to write a story like this, and it’s well worth a read if you haven’t picked it up before (particularly if you are interested in the origins of feminism!).
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (published June 26th 1948)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Lottery is one of the best short stories of all time.
This is the only one of Shirley Jackson’s short stories that I’ve read so far, but I was lucky enough to find a copy of The Lottery and Other Stories on the Kindle Daily Deal for 99p last month, so I’ll be reading more of her short stories soon.
The Lottery focuses on a quaint village with a dark secret, and even though the foreshadowing is rather heavy throughout, the payoff is delectable.
The Collector by John Fowles (published 1963)
The Collector was the first book I studied at sixth form, and it completely changed the way I thought about classics.
I’d always thought classic novels were dry, dusty tomes that had no relevance in modern life (and I definitely didn’t think that they’d include a guy chloroforming the girl he ‘loves’ and locking her in his basement!).
If you’re interested in stories about obsession, The Collector is definitely the classic for you.
The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (published October 15th 1991)
I could have easily featured any of the first three books in the Wheel of Time series, because I’ve enjoyed every installment of this series so far. However, I have had to go with The Dragon Reborn because it features the least Rand!
If you haven’t started the Wheel of Time series, it follows a bunch of main characters, but the primary protagonist is a man called Rand al’Thor. For some reason, he really annoys me. However, he’s off on his jollies during The Dragon Reborn so the rest of the characters get more time in the spotlight, and it made reading this book so much more enjoyable than my experience with the first two.
And now, onto the books that are older than me which I still need to read!
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (published 1838)
I haven’t read anything by Charles Dickens – not even Oliver Twist – which is embarrassing when you consider the fact that I played a fruit seller during Who Will Buy? at a school concert.
I’d like to read anything by Charles Dickens, but this was the one that Sean suggest putting on this list because come on, I literally played a character in the musical version of this story and I still haven’t read it! What is wrong with me.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (published December 1847)
If I’m honest, the main reason I haven’t read Wuthering Heights is because I despise the song by Kate Bush which was inspired by this book.
I hate the song so passionately – surely the book can’t be any better?
But I’d still like to read Wuthering Heights eventually, just to see what all the fuss over Heathcliff is about. Also, I didn’t enjoy Jane Eyre, so surely one of the Bronte sisters must be for me!
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (published February 2nd 1897)
I really enjoyed both The War of the Worlds and The Country of the Blind and Other Selected Stories by H.G. Wells, so I don’t know why I haven’t read more of his work.
It might be because I wasn’t a huge fan of The Time Machine, which put me off picking up any classic sci-fi for quite a while… But my memories of Wells’ writing is fond enough that he had to feature on this list.
I’d like to read either The Invisible Man or The Island of Doctor Moreau sooner rather than later, but I can’t see me prioritising these at any point in the upcoming months.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (published October 19th 1953)
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that interested in Fahrenheit 451 until I read this absolutely wild review TRASHING it. Since then I’ve found myself intrigued by it and desperate to know if it’s as bad as that review says it is. That’s proof that bad reviews can still sell books!
That being said, I don’t own a copy of Fahrenheit 451, so it’s another book that I won’t be prioritising at any point in 2021. If I happen to see a copy in a charity shop (when they eventually reopen), or it pops up on the Kindle Daily Deal, I’ll grab it while I can.
The Shining by Stephen King (published January 28th 1977)
Again, Sean picked this book for me, because there are too many Stephen King novels that I want to read.
Pet Sematary, The Waste Lands, The Stand, ‘Salem’s Lot… They’re all older than me, and I’m yet to get to any of them! However, The Shining is another hugely iconic King novel – and an iconic film which I won’t let myself watch until I eventually read the book – so this is the one I should probably prioritise.
I’d eventually like to read all of Stephen King’s novels, but there are just too many. Maybe one day, though.
And that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Let me know down in the comments the best book you’ve read which is older than you, and a book you need to read which is older than you.
See you next week!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
I’ve already done a video on my Booktube channel discussing my reading resolutions for 2021, so I’ve decided to use this Top Ten Tuesday post to discuss some of my other resolutions. I’ve also decided to only talk about five resolutions, because I’ve already talked about five in that video and I can’t juggle any more than that!
Resolution #1: To use my blog more
As you’ve probably noticed, in the past week I’ve posted more blog posts than I have since the end of Blogtober. This is because it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions, and so far I’m actually sticking to it!
I’ve always loved taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, but some weeks there is a prompt which doesn’t inspire me. Instead of taking that as an excuse to drop the ball and never write another Top Ten Tuesday post again, I’ve decided that I’ll let myself skip the odd week here and there, as long as I’m consistently writing posts for the prompts which do interest me.
I’m also going back to writing individual book review posts. I always reviewed that way back when I was Everything Alyce, but I stopped after being told that that way didn’t work. I don’t know why I listened, because spoiler alert: different things work for different people. And writing individual book review posts works really well for me.
Resolution #2: Use Bookstagram more
My resolution was actually to post a picture on my Instagram every single day in 2021, but to go from not using the platform for over three years to suddenly posting daily would have been a bit of a stretch. Instead I’ve resolved to post at least three times a week.
Hopefully I’ll be able to ramp this up later in the year as I get used to taking and editing the pictures, but to start with three times a week will be fine.
Resolution #3: Stick to my Booktube schedule
We’ve decided to post videos over on The Bumbling Blogger channel every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and we’re so serious about this that we’ve even drawn it into our Booktube intro! Hopefully we will stick to this throughout the year (and possibly even post more videos than just those if we’re feeling inspired).
Resolution #4: Keep up my 2021 reads thread
Every year I see people post a thread on Twitter with all of the books they’ve read, and every year I think, “I want to do that!”. Then I realise it’s February, I’ve completely forgotten to start one off, and my life is a mess.
However, this year I’ve actually remember to start one. I just need to remember to keep on top of it and continue updating it regularly (which is already becoming a challenge and we’re less than two weeks into the year. Awks.)
Resolution #5: Tweet at least once a day
I’m ALWAYS on Twitter. I wish I wasn’t, because I think it’s really bad for my mental health, but I can’t stop myself from clicking on that dang little blue bird.
That being said, I’m not often posting my own content. Sure, I cross post my blog posts and my videos, but I don’t often just Tweet into the void for no reason. However, in 2021 I’ve decided to Tweet at least once a day. If I’m going to be sinking so much of my time into the site, I might as well express my opinions there while I’m doing it!
I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday post. Leave your links down in the comments so I can check out what resolutions you’re trying to stick to in 2021!
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon,
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’ve already made a video discussing ten of my most anticipated 2021 releases, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to mention any of them in this post so that I can shine …
I always love it when Top Ten Tuesday has a musical twist, so I’ve been looking forward to this week’s prompt since the beginning of Blogtober! These ten books all have titles which would make great song titles. If I was more talented I’d probably …
I’m someone who normally runs out and purchases my friend’s recommendations immediately… Then they sit festering on my shelves for so long that I completely forgot who recommended which book to me. (I’m terrible, I know).
However, these ten books are ones which remind me very strongly of each of the people who recommended them to me. I hope their recommendations help you find a new favourite book!
10. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I read the entire The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy after my friend Lexi recommended them to me. I waited until we had a huge argument and were no longer talking so I could wallow in the pain of our friendship being over, thinking I was going to love these books and hate the fact that I couldn’t talk to her about them… But I ended up not enjoying them that much. Oops. (I didn’t tell her that when we started talking again, though, or that might have been the final nail in the coffin for that friendship!).
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a zombie story in which the zombies are called the Unconsecrated, and they live in the forest which surrounds Mary’s little village. Other than that, I can’t remember an awful lot about this book, apart from a scene with some sort of treetop huts? Weird, the images that stick in your mind this many years after reading something.
9. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m not sure if this counts or not, because I started The Fellowship of the Ring after my friend Jonny recommended it to me, read 100 pages… Then finally finished it earlier this year, over half a decade after first starting it. I guess I wouldn’t have been so determined to read it if it hadn’t been sitting on my ‘currently-reading’ shelf on Goodreads, and it wouldn’t have been there without Jonny’s recommendation… So it’s a stretch, but I think it can feature on this list!
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the Lords of the Rings series, following Frodo Baggins as his cousin Frodo gifts him a magical ring and then promptly disappears, leaving Frodo to deal with the fallout.
I’ll be honest and say I’m not a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings series so far. The books are slow, there’s too much exposition and I just really do not care about the story, so I’m not looking forward to finishing this trilogy.
8. Horus Rising by Dan Abnett
I can’t really remember anything about Horus Rising, the first book in the Horus Heresy series, but I remember enjoying it far more than I thought I was going to. My friend Tom has read all of the books in the Horus Heresy series – which is impressive, considering there are over fifty books in the series – and recently my friend James has been picking up the spin-off series, The Primarchs, and has recommended them to me which is why these books are at the forefront of my mind.
The Horus Heresy series is set in the world of Warhammer 40K, following the Space Marines as they battle their way across the galaxy. These books probably laid the blueprints for how much I enjoyed Red Rising by Pierce Brown, as the battle sequences are very well described and easy to visualise. I’d definitely like to give these a reread at some point.
7. Atonement by Ian McEwan
Another Jonny recommendation. I read this one way back in sixth form, and I can’t really remember anything about it.
In fact, while writing this I’ve just googled ‘what happens in Atonement’, read one sentence and gone, “ahh, yeah!”. It’s one of those twists that it’s hard to remember, but as soon as you recall where the story ended up you being to remember why you didn’t love it.
I gave this four stars, but that was generous. It was one of the first pieces of literary fiction I read for fun (well, to impress my friend) rather than because it was assigned reading, and although the writing is good the plot is rather lacking.
I’ve tried a few of Ian McEwan’s other books and my reactions have ranged from apathy to utter distaste, so I think I’ll be avoiding his writing in future.
6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
When I first met Sean this was his favourite book. I don’t know if that’s changed – we have read at least 200 books together in the past couple of years, so he has a lot to choose from! – but I read the entire Hitchhiker’s series based off of his recommendation.
The second book in this trilogy of five – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – remains my favourite, but I do want to reread these at some point. I feel as though I flew through them the first time around because they’re very short books. I think the longest one may still come in at under 300 pages! But I’d love to reread these and really savour Douglas Adams British humour.
5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Omens was the first book I read by either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett, and I thought it was brilliant.
I read this at the recommendation of my friend Jenny, who really loves both of these authors, and she did not steer me wrong.
Good Omens is the story of an angel and a demon who team up to stop the impending Apocalypse, after realising that they quite like life on Earth and would rather it continue as it is. However, it’s not as easy as they think it might be, because the boy that they think is the antichrist isn’t – they were switched at birth, and now no-one knows where the actual antichrist is.
If you’re a fan of blunders and mishaps causing all sorts of chaos and mayhem, this is the perfect book for you. The Amazon adaptation is also brilliant: casting David Tennant and Michael Sheen was genius.
4. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
I eventually picked up the Murder Most Unladylike series when Robin Stevens was the featured author of the month in the British Books Challenge, but these books were originally recommended to me by my friend Anya.
I often find that my reading tastes align nicely with Anya’s so I should have trusted her recommendation on these, but she recommended them at a time when I didn’t read much middle-grade. I thought of them as children’s books and didn’t think I should waste my time on them (I know, I was one of those awful people!) but my attitude towards middle-grade has changed a lot in the past couple of years, and the Murder Most Unladylike series is partly to thank for that.
Robin Stevens murder mystery stories will leave the most ardent adult crime and thriller readers guessing, so I definitely wouldn’t have cracked any of the cases if I’d been reading the adventures of Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong when I was younger!
3. The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza
My mum recommended The Girl in the Ice to me a few years ago, so when I asked her to choose some books for us to read over the summer this was one of her picks.
The Girl in the Ice is the first book in the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza.
When the body of a politician’s daughter is found, Erika Foster is put in charge of the investigation despite some traumatic events in her recent past which have seen her taking some time away from work. All eyes are on this case, and the tension rises when the murder is linked to three other unsolved murders which have taken place across London.
Erika must keep her cool under pressure to try to catch the killer before there are any more victims, while trying to put her personal tragedy behind her.
The character of Erika Foster is so compelling to read, and although the solution to this mystery is somewhat predictable the way that the events play out is gripping. I’m looking forward to continuing on with this series.
2. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
It feels odd to be talking about We Need to Talk About Kevin, because I hated this book. I am always interested in books about school shootings, so this one – which follows a mother writing letters to her child’s father dissecting the events leading up to his horrendous killing spree – should have been a new favourite. Sadly, I found this one boring and struggled to get through it, and it made me decide to avoid Lionel Shriver’s writing in future.
I felt awful for not liking this book, because my friend Kelsey recommended it to be and on the face of things this should have been a match made in heaven. I remember her asking whether I was enjoying it every time I got on the school bus and I didn’t know how to say I wasn’t; I’m so sorry, Kels!
1. Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt
The last book I want to talk about is my favourite out of all of these recommendations, and it’s another book I read thanks to Anya. In fact, she actually let me borrow her copy of this book, so if she hadn’t recommended it to me I wouldn’t have any way of reading it!
Unconventional follows Lexi Angelo, who helps out at her dad’s event business running – you guessed it – conventions. Set at each of the conventions which takes place in this year, we meet Lexi as she is set the challenge of being the personal assistant to an arrogant teenage author called Aidan Green, and she discovers he isn’t as bad as he first seemed.
This is still the only Maggie Harcourt book I’ve read, but I’m really looking forward to reading more of her writing. The setting and the characters were so cute and I loved the enemies-to-lovers romance; I definitely might reread this soon, as I missed attending conventions during the summer!
I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday post. Please let me know in the comments if there are any books which you’ve read based off of your friend’s recommendations, and whether you’d recommend them to me!
See you tomorrow,
It has been such a long time since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) but I thought I might as well hop back on the Top Ten Tuesday train for a few weeks at least. This week’s …