T5W | Nostalgic Ships

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Nostalgic Ships: discuss the first fictional couples you ever got butterflies over, or couples you used to be really into when you were younger. I’ll be honest, when I first heard this week’s topic, I didn’t think I’d be able to think of (read: remember) my earliest ships. It turns out I was wrong: a quick think back to some of my favourite childhood and pre-teen reads identified couples I adored pretty damn quickly. So it turns out I was a bigger shipper than I thought I was!

5. Michael/Mia from The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

princessdiariesIs there anyone who read The Princess Diaries and didn’t find Lily’s older brother Michael hot? It was painfully obvious from the get go that Mia’s little crush on Michael would only get worse/better as the series went on. Admittedly, I “out grew” the series at about book 6 so I don’t know how this ship fared as they got older (not well, I assume?), but I used to LOVE Mia and Michael because of that ease of friendship which blossomed into more. I was disappointed when Michael didn’t stick around in the film adaptations to be honest, but his “replacements” are pretty damn appealing too so I’m not too mad about it! Even so, Michael and Mia will always hold a weirdly nostalgic bit of my heart.

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T5W | Top of Your TBR

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Top of Your TBR. I think we can assume this week’s topic is pretty self explanatory: pick the top five top priority books from your TBR. Considering my TBR is in the hundreds, you’d think this would be pretty easy, but I’ve been floundering over picking my next read as of late partly because of the agony of choice and also partly because there are quite a few of my anticipated releases of 2019 that are happening very soon so I don’t want to start too many other books as their release dates are creeping closer and closer. You might notice that theme in this list actually…

5. These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Since you’ll be hearing a lot of my anticipated 2019 releases in the rest of this list, I decided to include a title from last year that is absolutely top of my TBR. I didn’t manage to get to These Rebel Waves when there was the initial buzz around this book’s release and, even though I got a pretty edition in a Fairyloot box, it probably still wouldn’t be priority TBR if my housemate Liz hadn’t recently read it and said encouragingly that she thought I’d really like it. That kind of recommendation is enough to make me prioritise this.

 

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T5W | Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Most Disappointing Reads of 2018: these are books you read in 2018, not only ones released in 2018. 

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Obviously there’s a huge disclaimer that I should state before we even get into this post: these are reads that, for one reason or another, slightly disappointed me. That’s not to say that these books are bad books and that’s not to say that I necessarily disliked them; rather, it’s just that because of a multitude of possible reasons (a big one likely being hype in the bookish community), the books just felt a little short of the expectations I (maybe wrongfully) placed upon them. So it’s not the book’s fault necessarily – it’s not you, book, it’s me, I promise.

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T5W | Books You Didn’t Get to in 2018

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books You Didn’t Get to in 2018: discuss the books you didn’t quite get around to this year but are at the top of your list for 2019! I think this is pretty self-explanatory so let’s waste no time and get straight down to the books, shall we?

5. A Dance with Dragons, Vol. 2 by George R.R. Martin

There was a readalong many moons ago for the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series and I managed somehow to make it as far as this book before I properly faltered. At this stage, I’ve got book and TV show mixed up, and I’m not sure where either of them are up to for each of the characters, which makes the idea of picking this book up less and less appealing as time passes and I forget even more.

 4. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Often compared to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, this is precisely why I’ve successively put off reading this book from M.L. Rio. The Secret History remains one of my favourite books of all-time so anything that’s compared to it has rather large shoes to fill. However, this has its own merits because it is heavily focused on Shakespeare – rather than students of classics, as they are in Tartt’s novel, the students in If We Were Villains are at an elite conservatory for drama. I’m sure that it’ll be a case of life imitating art imitating life with its Shakespearean themes but I’m just nervous to try it out in case it proves to be disappointing – I have such high hopes.

3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Can you believe I still haven’t finished the sixth and final section of War and Peace? No? Well neither can I. I did so (/reasonably) well back during the War and Peace Readalong but many months have passed and I still haven’t managed to finish that final elusive section. It’s starting to get to the point where it’s been so long I barely remember anything that happened in the first 800 or so pages and that’s a dangerous place to be if you hope to pick it back up to finish soon. Maybe 2019 will finally be the year?

2. City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab

Basically, it’s surprising that there’s a V.E. Schwab book that was released this year that I haven’t immediately read upon its publication. This and The Dark Vault (which was a bind-up/re-issue of The Archived and The Unbound) were both released in 2019 and yet I haven’t finished either of them. At least I’ve picked this one up, via the audiobook that I was surprised to find on Scribd straight after it was released, but I haven’t yet finished listening to it. I really need to fix that.

1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

I think this is going to be on every single one of these lists until the end of time. I love this series, I don’t want it to end, therefore I constantly put off reading the fourth and final book, so it never has to be over. To this day I am astounded I’ve not been spoiled for its ending (or, in fact, anything at all that happens in it) but it feels like, as more time goes by, the more likely it is that I will be by a random blog post. So I should probably read The Raven King at some point, to avoid that happening by mistake but I do wonder if this will be a running joke of a book I just can’t (or won’t) read.

 

What books did you want to read but not get to in 2018? Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday post for this week? Be sure to link me below if you do!


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T5W | Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Most Anticipated 2019 Releases: Pretty explanatory. If you can’t narrow it down, give your selections for only the first half of the year or even just for winter 2019. 

When I first saw this topic on the Goodreads group, I thought I would struggle to come up with 5 books for my list, as I’ve been feeling a little out of the loop when it comes to new releases. I had thought that I was pretty content with the set of books I had on my physical TBR and that there weren’t too many books I was waiting for that hadn’t yet been published. Turns out I was wrong and there are indeed a few releases that are making me wish away the rest of 2018 so that 2019 is closer.

starlessseaHonourable Mention: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I really don’t know what to expect from this as it’ll be the second book from Erin Morgenstern, author of the phenomenally enchanting The Night Circus. The synopsis promises a masquerade party in New York, a subterranean library, twisting tunnels and lots of magic. That sounds plenty good enough for me.

 

royals25. Her Royal Highness (aka Royals 2) by Rachel Hawkins

I read the first book, Royals, this year and it was a lot of fun, once you ignore the entire idea of a Scottish royal family. But, hey, if you’re already suspending the disbelief anyway, what’s a little bit more? Since it took place largely in Edinburgh, I really enjoyed the first book. I’m not sure what this second book will bring but since it’s about the Princess Flora at boarding school I’m sure it will be a hell of a lot of fun.

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T5W | Books to Give Poetry Newbies as Gifts

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books to Give _____ as GiftsCreate a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favourite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

At this time of year, every publisher knocks it out of the park with their stunning gift collections, pretty editions of classics, and illustrated books. I think these are often the perfect things to gift to your nearest and dearest, whether they’re voracious readers or not, and they can often be the gateway books into a new genre or medium. In an effort to make this list a tad more specialised, I decided to focus my efforts on Books to Give Poetry Newbies as Gifts. I myself am something of a relative newbie to poetry so I feel I’m well-placed to say what would/wouldn’t intimidate me if I were gifted it during the holidays – and a nicely illustrated or packaged edition always helps!

wishingforbirdsHonourable Mention: Your favourite poetry collection!

It may sound obvious but, hey, if you have a favourite poetry collection, this is the perfect occasion to spread the love! I myself have gifted Elisabeth Hewer’s Wishing for Birds collection to some people in previous years for Christmas. It’s a poetry collection which I immensely enjoyed and which I think isn’t too challenging or demanding for people who are new to poetry. It’s also full of themes which I think/hope a lot of people could relate to.

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T5W | Characters You’d Cosplay

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Characters You’d Cosplayfeature some characters you’d like to cosplay as or you think would make a fun Halloween costume.

I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, truth be told, never have been… but in my time I’ve dressed up as the requisite witch or two when I was younger. In fact, I think my Mildred Hubble costume from The Worst Witch is still lurking in my parents’ house somewhere! I can’t deny though that there are a few characters I’d love to cosplay as if I got the chance at an event or convention purely because I love their costumes.

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T5W | Favourite Covers

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Favourite CoversWe’ve done this topic in the past, but with so many new, beautiful covers, it is time for an update! 

As Sam has pointed out, this has been a popular Top 5 Wednesday topic in the past and I’m sure I’ve gushed about my favourite covers countless times in the past. So, for this Top 5 Wednesday, I’ve decided to focus on more recent favourite book covers, specifically my Favourite Covers from 2018 Reads. These might not necessarily be from books published in 2018 but they’re all books I read this year. So, without further ado, let’s see my favourite covers…

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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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Summer ReadsWith summer finally kicking off, now is the time to recommend your favourite summer reads, whatever that means to you! I think we all know what, for a lot of people, this question calls to mind many a YA contemporary or a romance to consume over summer. I wouldn’t say I’m immune to this phenomenon but I will say I am also the girl who read Bram Stoker’s Dracula sitting beside the sea in Spanish heat whilst on a family holiday. So… you know… I’m not the most consistently summer-y of readers in actual summer. That being said, I’ve covered this topic in some capacity quite a few times since I’ve started this blog (my Top 5 Wednesday Summer Reads from 2017, for example) so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend you some new, fun YA books that I’ve read since chatting about the topic around this time last year.

Honourable Mentions

Since I seem to have read sooo many great things that fit the bill since I last did this topic in May 2017, I’m going to just go ahead and list all of the ones that didn’t quite make the Top 5 but are still really great summer reads because, hell, why not? Are you ready for it?

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (my review)
Royals by Rachel Hawkins (my review)
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (my review)
Sourdough by Robin Sloan (my review)
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (my review)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (my review)

Phew. Now onto the actual Top 5 Summer Reads.

5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Kicking this off with something not quite as fun and summery as some of the other reads but I stand by my choice all the same. Big Little Lies is certainly a page turner, which is what we all need during the summer, don’t we? This would be a perfect book to take on a relaxing summer holiday – the topics in it aren’t exactly sunshiney and cheery but I guarantee you it will suck you into its story and not let go until the final page.

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T5W | Auto-Buy SFF Authors

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 gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is a Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic: Auto-Buy Sci-fi and Fantasy Authors! As a mostly fantasy reader, it’s unsurprising that there are a fair few SFF authors whose work I will always read, regardless of the synopsis, so this topic is pretty perfect. Let’s not waste any more time, let’s get into it…

Honourable Mention: J.K. Rowling

Before you start to throw things at me, I should explain: Rowling’s presence on this list as an “honourable mention” is simply because, nowadays, she has well and truly diversified beyond SFF. The Harry Potter series may have been her debut (and a pretty spectacular debut at that, I think we can all agree) but she’s since written contemporary and crime, as well as expanding the Harry Potter Wizarding World even further. So is she really mainly a SFF author anymore? Only time will tell, but that’s also why she’s “only” an honourable mention on this list.

5. Maggie Stiefvater

Ever since reading The Raven Boys I knew I couldn’t ever not buy something that Maggie Stiefvater has published since those books. (I say “since” because I’m not so fussed about the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series if I’m honest, oops!) I find her writing incredibly vivid and compelling, it just has a vibe I can’t quite explain, but it makes me want to live in the world she creates in her stories. So it’s safe to say I’ll definitely be buying her forthcoming books.
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