Top Ten Tuesday | Books I’d Like to See Under the Tree

It’s yet another Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to.

This week’s theme is Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree (or non-book bookworm items). Handily, these past few years I’ve come to an arrangement with my parents that they will transfer money into my bank account with which I will then proceed to buy books/DVDs off my Amazon wishlist to my heart’s content/as long as the money holds up. Then they take them all away (booo) and wrap them up (yaay) and we pretend I don’t know what I’m getting for Christmas when really I picked them all out myself. It’s a good system, I’m very grateful for it, and it’s one I recommend in fact!

Because of it, by every November I well and truly have a Wish List of books all ready and bookmarked for when my mum starts talking about my Christmas gifts… so this Top Ten Tuesday isn’t too difficult. Those books (this year) only account for about 3 or 4 things though, so we have to hope that the rest of my family/friends are psychic, or they consult Santa on what I told him I was interested in. I think fingers need to be well and truly crossed there! Here are my Top Ten Books I’d Like to See Under the Tree this Christmas! (If they’re not methinks some Amazon shopping will be on the cards on 26th December!)

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T5W | Authors You Are Waiting On Another Book From

top 5 wednesday

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. We all know how this show goes… but, for those who are unaware, Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Basically, every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?

This Wednesday’s theme is Authors You Are Waiting On Another Book From. This means, specifically, the authors who have no set next project announced, or if they do then its release date is so tentative that nothing is really known about the book since they probably haven’t even written the manuscript yet! It’s only when I sat down to compose this list that I realised some of my choices, and handily there were five that sprung to mind – so, clearly, my subconcious is wanting these pretty hard. Without further ado, here we go…

5. Rainbow Rowell

Who doesn’t love a good Rainbow Rowell book? I loved Fangirl, she just got both fandom and what university/college is really like for someone who suffers from anxiety issues. I was really appreciative of this book and I really hope to read more from Rowell in the future – I’m sure I will. Until then, I still have Attachments and Eleanor and Park (the latter of which I’m told is emotional so I’ve been putting it off) to tide me over.

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T5W | Best Recommended Books

top 5 wednesdayAfter a few weeks of no-shows for Top 5 Wednesday, I am firmly back on the bandwagon. For those who are unaware, Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge organised by the wonderful Lainey, in which participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?

This week’s topic is ‘Best Suggested Books You Loved’. So, this week, I will be choosing the top 5 books that other people have recommended to me, either personally/directly or indirectly through videos and blogs.


71pV9PPv-ML5. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

I’d heard a little buzz about this throughout booktube but I believe the one video that really recommended it to me was Lily from lilypad’s wonderful review about the book. And it truly is a wonderful book too! It doesn’t shy away from discussing serious and somber life-changing topics but it likewise also seeks to capture the beauty and fulfilment in even the smallest things about living life with a mental illness. Were it not for Lily’s indirect recommendation I might not have read this yet (if at all) so I’m certainly glad her video review showed up in my Subscriptions feed one day.

61rYKiTaObL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_4. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

After seeing a Bookbreak episode dedicated to this book’s release, I knew I needed to check it out for myself. Besides that promotion of it, I’d also seen it mentioned by Max from welldonebooks – and, often, it’s that final push from a booktuber’s review that will get me to actually pick up a book. True to form, Jenny Lawson’s second book is a funny memoir about the darker side of living with mental illness. It doesn’t sound comedy gold but any book that features a taxidermied raccoon riding a very confused pet cat is certainly funny, if in a slightly off-beat but wonderful kind of way.

51-70e0UrTL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_3. Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

I don’t know who hauled this book on Booktube, I just know someone must have, otherwise I wouldn’t have casually picked this up in the library one day. Since then I haven’t seen many reviews (video or otherwise) which really makes me sad because I adore this book and I wish more people did too. My gushing review attests to that level of love so I suppose since I can’t recall who indirectly recommended it to me I must recommend it to you!

 

51sBkm4QZOL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

This was a recommendation from my English teacher who taught me (in some capacity) from when I was 12 until I was 18. So, when she discovered I was partial to be a bit of Austen, didn’t mind getting stuck into a good ol’ Victorian novel, and loved Richard Armitage (he stars as the hero, Mr Thornton, in a BBC miniseries adaptation of the novel). I’d say those prerequisites mark out the tone of the novel, as well as the people who will probably enjoy it. It is a 19th-century novel so it can be quite a trudge at times, but the main characters of John Thornton and Margaret Hale clash perfectly, representing the values of the industrious, industrialising, emerging north and the established, middle-class sensibility of the south respectively. It’s not all about poverty and class politics though, there is a romance amidst all the mills and the smoke!

rebeccavirago21. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

This was a personal recommendation from my English teacher and probably not a surprise on this list since I mention it on this blog all the time. She heard I liked a bit of Gothic-y influences and had recently read Jane Eyre, so she recommended me du Maurier’s books. Not only this, I own a beautiful Virago Modern Classics edition of Rebecca and, although my memory fails me on this, I’m 90% sure it was gifted to me from both my English teachers as one of their parting gifts to the class at the end of sixth form. For that reason the edition will always have sentimental value but when I then picked up Rebecca, I adored it! Definitely an apt recommendation from Miss Colabella since it turned out to be one of my favourite books of all-time.


And on that very high note, I shall end my Top 5 Wednesday post for this week. Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday list for this week? Share below, I’d love to check it out. If not, perhaps comment below with either: which book have you loved that was a recommendation from someone else or (more controversially) which book have you hated that was recommended by someone else?

 

Friday Reads | 5th February

Another Friday, another blessed end to the week. Except I’m luckier than most and only have a part time job so, really, every Friday sees me looking forward to a four day weekend until I have to go back into work on Wednesday. Plenty of time to catch up on some reading and reviewing then, since I still have pending reviews to write from the very start of the year.

Aside from hoping to finish that and get all caught up with reviewing, I expect I’ll be continuing slowly to read John le Carré’s The Night Manager, in anticipation of the upcoming miniseries. It alleges to be airing on the BBC “in February” which is delightfully vague and makes me suspect it won’t start airing until the very end of the month. Still, that would mean more time for me to actually complete the book beforehand so fingers crossed I get a good chunk of it read this weekend.

Having finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants on my train ride home yesterday, I’m also partial to the idea of taking the lighter, more humorous books onto this short commute, because their short chapters and colloquial tone really do lend themselves to the 20 or so minute bursts of time I have to read in during the days when I’m at work. So, with that in mind, my Friday Reads (and weekend reading) is highly likely to also feature Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson.


Having gone from never having heard of her to swiftly adoring her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (review pending if I can ever form something more coherent than I LOVED THIS BOOK!), Lawson has caught me, hook line and sinker. If that wasn’t enough then Pan Macmillan’s Book Break (a channel run by the ever lovely Leena of Leena Norms fame) dedicated an episode to Furiously Happy and it encouraged me to finally pick it up at my local library – I suggest you do too, if you get the chance, since, from what I’ve read so far, it’s pretty damn good. And funny. And also a little sad. But it’s important because, straight from the pen of Jenny Lawson herself, the book is:

“all about looking for the light in spite of the dark parts of life that weigh us down. It’s easy to lose yourself in the fog so when you find your way out it’s important to celebrate that victory with joy so that you can remember it and carry that hope and that memory with you the next time you go back into battle.” (x)

So for each anecdote shared about anti-psychotic medication, she shares another about putting a taxidermied raccoon on her cat as though it’s riding the confused feline like a horse. It has already had me snorting with undignified laughter on the train so I have high hopes for this book and am looking forward to getting stuck into it this upcoming weekend.


So those are my likely Friday/Weekend Reads – what are you reading this weekend? How has your reading been going so far in 2016? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? Comment below – I’d love to hear your opinion.

An Update & Friday Reads | 15th January

I have excellent news… I started a job last week. I know, I’m as surprised as you are. At its most basic, it means I no longer have to go to the soul-destroying non-place that is the local friendly Job Centre Plus – huzzah. At its best, it’s a job I think I can vaguely do, in time… and once I have permissions in place to access to all the relevant systems. It’s happening, just slowly. The job itself is based on a service/reception desk of sorts. It’s a part-time, temporary contract covering someone’s maternity leave but it’s working at a local University so I’m really pleased that my on-campus jobs whilst studying at Lancaster University obviously helped at interview for my current job – huzzah again.

All of this means, however, that I can no longer spend Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays wandering about the house with my nose in a book. It seems an acceptable trade-off. Plus the 20 minute train journey either way gives me 2 hours a week of spare time in which, really, there’s nothing much else to do besides listen to music and plaintively stare out of the train window at the not-so-glorious, not-so-picturesque views of the North East countryside zipping by. I’m glad to discover the morning train in particular is quiet enough to be conducive to reading; I’m sure this is only because no one is awake before 8am. I’ll take it, though.

So, this is a rather long winded way of saying this is why my blogging has become somewhat sporadic though I have been making an effort to queue things ready for posting. Once I have time to sit down this weekend, I’ll also catch up on the couple of reviews I need to write. Alongside that I do have some reading plans for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as follows:

  First off, I hope to finish Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I’ve really been enjoying this one – when I saw it was blurbed by Caitlin Moran, I knew what sort of writing I was in for, even though I’d never heard of Jenny Lawson previously to Leena’s lovely video on her latest book Furiously HappySpeaking of, I also have Furiously Happy on loan from the library so it is quite possible I will be starting that if I end up enjoying the remainder of Let’s Pretend as much as I have the first 200 or so pages. All in all, any book that makes a reference to Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch in the footnotes seems like a solid book to me.

Aside from that, I recently finished the Mistborn trilogy and have been experiencing withdrawal from Sanderson’s brilliantly baffling world. So it’s possible I might venture towards his standalone novel set in the same world – The Alloy of LawFailing that, if I think I don’t have the mental capacity required for adult fantasy I might allow myself the comforting tropes and tribulations of his YA fantasy offering – Steelheart. 

If I don’t have the capacity for either, I’m considering getting started on Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while and I’ve had it out from the library for quite some time now so I should probably stop being a bad book borrower and actually finish the book and return it in a timely manner so someone else can read it. Aside from the moral dilemma of hogging books, I also noticed Shannon from leaninglight’s reading group Reads With Friends has organised a readalong for next week – so it seems rude (almost like going against fate) to ignore the book yet again when there is an opportunity like this to discuss it once I’m finished reading it. But I might get a cheeky head-start if the time presents itself over this weekend.


So those are my likely Friday/Weekend Reads – what are you reading this weekend? How has your reading been going so far in 2016? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? Comment below – I’d love to hear your opinion.