T5W | Characters on the Naughty List

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know 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. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is December 13th – Characters on the Naughty List: these can be villains or just characters you don’t like! As you might have guessed if you saw my Top 5 ‘Problematic Faves’ post a few Wednesdays ago, I have quite the soft spot for a good old fashioned, morally grey villain. They always seem to have so much fun in their villainous ways and the devil really does have all the best tunes. That being said, I’m trying not to just repeat the same ol’ same ol’ all over again so I’ve gone for more mischievous ‘naughty’ characters rather than just flat out villains.

5. Henry ‘Monty’ Montague from A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

It’s safe to say that Monty is a bit of a devilish rogue, and I choose that phrase very deliberately. Everyone’s favourite ruffled, rumpled rake, he’d be the sort to break hearts but also charm every susceptible man, woman, or beast so that you’d forget how negligent he’d been towards you because that’s just Monty and Monty is so very, very charming and dashing. It helps that overall Monty is, in essence, an in-love little squish but I think Santa might very well put him on the naughty list for some of his more (ahem) illicit affairs.

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T5W | Summer Reads

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know 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. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Summer Reads – the weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?

Friends, this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post comes from the perspective of a girl who is not the fan of summer in the least. Don’t get me wrong, being able to step outside on a morning without having to worry whether you can risk leaving your umbrella behind is refreshing. But I live in England, and England does moderate weather best, so summer is rarely summer for very long. (Case in point: glorious sunshine last week, pissing down yesterday/today. It never lasts very long.) So I would ask you to bear in mind that I’m not the best person to talk about this week’s topic but let’s see what I’ve managed…

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Friday Reads | 7th October

Well, it’s that time of the week again – Friday Reads! The time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

This weekend will mostly be filled with furniture… by which I mean my IKEA order finally arrives today (hopefully anyway) so tonight/tomorrow could well be spent trying to dutifully follow along flat pack instructions before throwing them away, trying in vain to freestyle it, before realising confusing instructions are actually the best way forward. So, there’s some reading comprehension happening there. But aside from that? Well, audiobooks might well be the way to go.

I realised this week, whilst standing uncomfortably on a train, wedged against the person stood next to me, that I wasted a lot of potential reading time every single day. My walk to the train station is about 10 minutes, my standing journey on the train is about 20 minutes, and I then walk a further 20 minutes to work. That’s 50 minutes each way, 1 hour 40 minutes each day, Monday to Friday – easily enough time to shift through audiobooks, especially if I listen to them at faster than 1x speed. (Although I do tend to only go for 1.5x speed though, otherwise I get way too on edge because the sped up narration makes me feel like every book is a high octane thriller!) So I’ve finally reopened the abandoned Audible app on my phone and started listening to some books I’ve really been meaning to get to, mainly:

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Fall TBR

toptentuesday

Another Tuesday, 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: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. As those who have seen my latest TBR efforts might recall, I’ve ditched monthly TBRs in favour of seasonal TBRs – i.e. see my Summer TBR Review and Autumn TBR post. So this week’s topic is fairly easy for me to choose – it’s less easy to actually follow through with but shhh…

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. Cogheart – Peter Bunzl (x)

I fell head over heels for this book when I saw it displayed in Waterstones as their Childrens’ Book of the Month – I’m such a sucker for a good display. This book looks beautiful and includes “Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure” – I mean why wouldn’t I want to read it?

9. The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave (x)

Once again, I’m pretty sure Waterstones showcased this book at some point and it arrived on my radar because of that. This book is, visually, stunning. Seriously, illustrated borders, french-flaps, beautiful chapter headings, every inch of this book has been designed with care and detail… so I can only assume the words which accompany it are equally beautiful (and I’m pretty sure they must be!). As the blurb teases: “When [Isabella’s] closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.” Cartography and adventures and stars – yes, please!

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T5W | Books You Want To See As TV Shows

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. 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. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s theme is Books You Want to See as TV Shows. As a huge fan of TV, it will come as no surprise that it was difficult to narrow down my choices to just five books. But, for the most part, these books are all stories I feel would warrant a long story-telling format than, say, a film could provide.

I had severe case of deja vu whilst composing this list and I realised it’s because I’ve actually done this topic before and a lot of my choices are still the same! I’m nothing if not consistent (read: obsessive) about books I want/need as TV shows. I’ve tried to include a few new things into the list though, just to mix things up.

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Top Ten Tuesday | All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, 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 a tough one if you’re as indecisive as myself, it is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books Of X Genre and my chosen genre is Fantasy. Now, I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious here, but something has to be said for any book/series that immediately jumps to mind when faced with this theme.

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I can’t stand the author or The Mortal Instruments series, the writing isn’t the most masterful thing ever, and I cringe at times, but I adored the world-building, setting, and character development throughout Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and, especially, Clockwork Princess. If you’re into books set in Victorian London but would like a little bit of supernatural creatures too, then these are definitely worth a read. I can forgive occasionally terrible writing when Jem Carstairs exists.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

It’s Neil Gaiman so obviously it comes highly recommended. If that isn’t enough of a reason then let me just say this: it might be a children’s book, technically, but the story of Nobody Owens being raised in a graveyard by its resident ghosts is eccentric, is charming, is chilling, but most of all is beautiful.

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T5W | Fictional Items I Want

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 ‘Fictional Items You Want’. So, this week, I will be choosing the top 5 fictional items that I would love to own, if only fiction were a reality. (It won’t surprise anyone to learn that when brainstorming a list I initially came up with several from Harry Potter!) You can find them below in ascending order, though of course I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them!


5. Gansey’s journal (from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle quartet)

 “More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from the pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every dark-printed definition. There was something pained and melancholy about it.”

Unsurprisingly, I love Richard Gansey III and his slightly crazed obsession with Glendower. It’s because of this that I would love to own the culmination of all his genius (and crazy) which is embodied by his leather journal in which he keeps all his thoughts and research from his search for the Welsh king. As Blue observes when she finds it, it belongs to someone who doesn’t just want to quickly keep track of the information he finds, but who also loves the process of the research itself, something which I can sympathise with after having a hell of a good (if stressful) time whilst researching and writing my BA and MA dissertations.

4. The Iron Throne (from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series)

“Have you ever seen the Iron Throne? The barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel, the jagged ends of swords and knives all tangled up and melted? It is not a comfortable seat, ser. Aerys cut himself so often men took to calling him King Scab, and Maegor the Cruel was murdered in that chair. […] It is not a seat where a man can rest at ease.” 

As much as the amount of bloodshed around it is terrifying, and I’d probably do something about putting a nice cushion on it so it was less stabby to sit on, I’d love to own the Iron Throne… and I’m sure my reaction to owning it would go something like when Leslie gifts Ben a replica of it on Parks and Rec. 

3. The Firebird device (from Claudia Gray’s Firebird series)

“The Firebirds glinted in his palm. They looked like odd, asymmetrical bronze lockets – maybe jewelry fashioned in the era of Art Nouveau, when organic shapes were all the rage. One of the metals inside was rare enough that it could only be mind in a single valley in the whole world, but anyone who didn’t know better would just think they were pretty. Instead the Firebirds were the keys to unlock the universe. No – the universes.

Who wouldn’t want the ability to travel between times, locations, and dimensions? I’d use Marguerite Caine as a cautionary tale, of course, and ignore the swathe of practical and ethical issues raised by such dimension hopping into, essentially, other people’s bodies. If I wound up in the Russia Marguerite ends up, with a certain Russian captain, that would be acceptable too, minus any threats against my life, obviously.

2. Pensieve (from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series)

 

 

“One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.”

 

Memories and thoughts are so temporal and fleeting, it’s a constant source of frustration. The Pensieve is, simply put, a genius idea, and if it existed it would be so incredibly useful. Anything that grapples with the concept of being able to harness or solidify or bottle up memories is one which always captures my attention, so it’s unsurprising that when I first read about Dumbledore’s Pensieve I immediately warmed to the idea of it. Also, who doesn’t love a nice bit of punning wordplay?

1. Babel fish (from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series)

“Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.”

I speak Spanish, not very well, though allegedly my level is at a professional working capacity – ha. One thing that has always frustrated me, however, is that I am not brilliant at language learning, and I truly envy those that are – those insanely clever people who are fluent in more than just their native language, I have a hell of a lot of respect for them. So, of course, I would like the cheat’s way out – and that is the Babel fish! The opportunities that universal language acquisition could provide are wonderful and I think I’m slightly more optimistic than Douglas Adams because I don’t foresee quite as many wars as he does!


Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday list for this week? Share below, I’d love to check it out. Alternatively, perhaps leave a comment of what fictional objects you would love to own.

September Update: Guess who’s back? Back again…

What happened? Well, university happened. It turns out when you slightly maybe procrastinate your dissertation research and it gets to August you panic and spend most of the time you’re awake thinking about it, or feeling guilty for not doing more on it. But now, as of yesterday’s hand-in, I am done. Officially done. I no longer need to think about it. In fact, it would be great if my brain would get this memo and stop thinking about all the stuff I didn’t have time/free words to put into it.

But… what now? Well, your guess is as good as mine. I made a concious decision to avoid thinking about anything past the dissertation until I had completed it. Maybe that’s narrow-minded but I probably needed it. But this month sees me take a couple of holidays to Menorca and Edinburgh with my parents and my friends respectively and I am looking forward to these so unbelievably much. But after that? Well, I suppose I’ll be frantically trying to persuade someone anyone that they should hire me. If they happen to have some vague connection to the arts or publishing sectors, or the job involves Content Writing, all the better. If not… well, at least I’ll be earning money so that I can try to be able to afford to do unpaid internships – if I even manage to con any publishing companies into letting me do work experience. There’s a vague plan there but convincing my parents that this plan is thought out and researched is actually providing difficult. I don’t know what else they expected of someone doing an English Literature Masters who has a distinct distaste for “grad schemes” in most forms. I understand that they think that doing an extra year at university and (hopefully) graduating with an MA should open doors but, from what I can see, you have to push those doors open yourself because having a BA is definitely not a huge advantage over competition any more – in fact, it’s the base-line. Is an MA any different? Well, we’ll find out in the months to come I’m sure!

Aside from this I’ll primarily be working on keeping up with blogging – I find I do enjoy writing on here and it might be self-indulgent at times (like this post) but it actually really helps to clarify thinking. On this vein I’ve also taken up journalling, nothing fancy or complicated, it’s mostly pen-on-paper stuff, but Whitney over at WhittyNovels’ video made me see the benefits. But, back to this blog, I have a stack of books just waiting to be read now that I’m done with university, so I anticipate a lot more reading in my future and, hopefully, me improving my written reviews. I really want to be better at that and with engaging with the book blogging community and I think I’ll have more time to do that now without feeling guilty about all the university reading I’m neglecting!

Right now I’m reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, the third book in the Raven Quartet (Cycle?) and I thoroughly enjoy this series, I can’t begin to explain just how much but here’s my reviews for book one and book two. They’re such… peculiar books, but that’s their brilliance. Because if I said it included a magical forest in West Virginia, the ancient Welsh king Owain Glyndŵr, ley lines, a house of psychic women, an orange Camaro, and a fancy boy’s school called Aglionby, it’d sound like an odd mix of elements. It is, but it’s so engaging. I’d highly recommend the series. Someone made this book trailer which is stunning and completely captures the tone of the series so if you like it, you’ll definitely like the books. Also the audiobook of the first book, The Raven Boys, may or  may not have been uploaded to YouTube, I’m just saying.

So, to sum up, I finished university (and I could say more on that but I worry I’ll become ridiculously emotional about leaving academia if I do), hopefully my dissertation will pass (fingers crossed everyone), I’m looking for a job (any job), holidays to look forward to, I’ll be making more regular posts here, I want to read all the books, you should go read The Raven Boys… I think that’s just about everything covered.

Anything else? Well, I feel out of the loop – talk to me, tell me what you’ve been doing this summer, what you’re looking forward to for the rest of the year, what you’re currently reading, anything!