Friday, 27 January 2017

Readers Block!

As a bookworm through and through I sometimes find narrowing down what to read next a mind field of indecision. I am the worst for choosing a book and then questioning if it was the correct one. Coupled with this I am notorious for starting a book and changing my mind almost within the first few pages.

I guess I am a mood reader – I have to be in the right frame of mind for the right story. Trouble is that a books genre can be so misleading and they do not really indicate what sort of journey the story will take you on.

Another thing I am guilty of is I am also a bit of a competitive reader – only with myself but still it is a bit ridiculous. Who knows if the goodreads reading challenge is half my issue? Since having had a baby I have never managed to reach the dizzying heights of the 75 I read in 2013 and I have slowly been working my way back up in numbers. This causes me the age-old issue of stalling. If a book I start is a bit of a struggle, do I give up and get cracking with the next or power through and accept I will not read as many books that month. I have gone for 60 as my goal this year an I am on track but I do not want to fall behind and in truth I know I want to beat this target. 

I am in this situation with my current choice – The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Now do not get me wrong I am intrigued but I am not gripped and I am not finding myself reading it regularly enough and I have most definitely stalled. I know I should keep going but I just want that book nerd high of being totally absorbed by a book that I stay up far too late reading into the night. One of my reading goals for the year was to not give up so easily so I will be powering through this time but I do wish choosing a book was much easier!

How do you choose what to read next from your TBR list?

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that should be films

As with many things in my life I am not always the most consistent. I am sure I have made hundreds of aims to pay more attention to this blog. I think in truth over the fast few months if not years is I have struggled to decide what this blog was going to focus on. It stared as a place for me to write about my life with a strong slant towards the bookish. However, over the majority of the last few posts the dominant feature has been book reviews. This has become surprisingly monotonous for me as well as for any readers - I imagine. Although I love reading and reviewing  I was struggling to post as it was getting a tad dull for me. Not to mention I've found it particularly hard when I had not enjoyed one book after another and my posts then looked like one long commentary on books I do not really rate.

So with this in mind I am returning to the fray with one of my favourite book memes run by The Broke and the Bookish. I am talking about Top Ten Tuesday (of course). This weeks theme is a freebie which seems nice and apt. So it is up to me to come up with a list of a top ten that I want to feature. So with that in mind moving on to my theme for this week:

Top 10 books I want to be made into films. I know I know scandalous. Yes a lot of film adaptations of books are just awful (A series of Unfortunate Events springs to mind as does Eragon). However, I have read some truly amazing books that I think would look spectacular adapted onto screen. So without further ado here it is:

Top 10 Books I’d Love to See on Screen:

 Daughters of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

For those of you who have read this stomping good fantasy epic you know what I mean to say to see this visually on screen would be jaw-dropping. Cinematically it would need a whopping budget to really include the diverse and visual characters in all their glory.  I think that a lead actress would need to be someone a little quirky to play Karou. According to IMDB the screenrights have been owned by Universal since 2012 so I wonder if we will see this soon. If you haven't already read this amazing series - do it now!

Mistborn Saga by Brandon Sanderson

Again if you have delved into any of the world created by Sanderson in the Mistborn series yon can understand why this would look so good on screen. To actually get to see the world of allomancy and feruchemy being used in the mistborn saga would be phenomenal.  The pushing and pulling not to mention the dramatics of coinshots would be so much fun to watch. Add in the amazing story that has your heart hammering away it make some amazing films! As we know from the lovely Brandon Sanderson the rights for this movie were acquired but they lapsed in 2014 so they are up for grabs (come on movie developers).

       The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Evidently, this list should have been titled great fantasy stories I want to see as films. Now I know Patrick Rothfuss has not yet finished this amazing epic but it would already make a sensational set of films. There are barely any words to describe how brilliant the two books in this series (& novella) are.  Even if Patrick is taking his time with the final instalment it is so going to be worth it as he writes show stopping books. The soundtrack could be awesome for this film and with quick sleight of hand it would be one you had to follow but it would be visually incredibly. Now the movies rights have been purchased by Lionsgate along with other rights so that is exciting. Now just to sit tight for the third book.

      The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

In an effort not to be totally biased I am going to mention a book that is not fantasy.  The House at Riverton is just a wonderful book. It keeps you guessing as with many Kate Morton books. It is comforting, thought provoking and would make a very Gosford Park feel type of film (a favourite of mine). I can not find any info to suggest this is in motion to be made into a film but it would be fabulous.


Age of Five by Trudy Canavan

Clearly I am addicted to fantasy sagas but this spellbinding series is one not to be missed. The     characters are so cleverly written with amazing scenery that I could make a spectacular set of films. I have a soft spot for most of the books by Canavan but Auraya is by far one of the best female leads that Canavan has written and I would love to watch her character portrayed on screen. 


 The Doomspell by Cliff McNish 

     I could not ignore this childhood memory of a book. I love this series so much. It is so wonderfully written and I can happily read it again and again. I have often wondered if this was going to be created into a good children's movie as it has in my opinion that makings of a brilliant blockbuster. The sister and brother leads of Rachel and Eric would steal the show and Dragwena the many jawed witch would be hideous to see. As a film it would be incredibly colourful and would probably need a far about of CGI (as with most fantasy films). I can not find any information that suggest someone has seen the awesome potential of this set of books. 

 The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain (another non fantasy)

     Diane Chamberlain writes some of the most emotionally wrecking books I have ever read. They gripped you from page one and stay with you long after you have finished them. The Midwife's Confession was the first of her brilliant novels I read. The suspense is palatable as you read and get to to know more of the characters. Noelle is the midwife in question and she harbours a secret so dark that it will tear her life apart as well as the lives of those around her. To be quite frank I think every book she’s written would adapt on screen brilliantly. 

       The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

I can’t even begin to explain how good this would be as a movie. It would have to be filmed as eerie and hauntingly as Frances wrote it but it would be cinematically incredible. The Tree alone would be a work of art. Now I haven’t yet picked up the Chris Riddell illustrated version of this and I think if I did I would change my mind. Once I see a story with Riddell illustrations I can not imagine the characters any other way hence why non of the Deepwoods appear in this list – I would hate to see Twig look any other way than Chris drew him. 

      Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (for anyone counting that makes 3)

      Sephy and Callum would be fantastic to watch develop on screen. This would be a proper tear-jerker full of the heart-wrenching moments as well as action backed. This series is so excellent written (what else would you expect from Malorie). Still incredibly relevant to day the racial tensions and volatile terrorist situation would make this a high octane film. Apparently this is going to be a BBC drama so this should be amazing.J

Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith

    Apparently this is another series that is going to be a BBC Drama. I am beyond excited by this as it would probably make a better TV series as it would be easier to build up the tension and mood of the story. I have seen a picture of Tom Burke tipped to star as Cormoran and I think he looks exceptionally well cast. If you haven't read this series do not be put off by the fact they are by truthfully by J.K.Rowling. I adore Harry Potter and was worried these books would be strange to read but had I not know they were by her I would never have guessed. They are brilliant works of fiction and demonstrate just how talented Rowling is at weaving a dramatic and thrilling tale. 

*A little note I chose not to include books that were already films but needed remaking such as Eragon.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Image result for six of crows and crooked kingdom

When you can't beat the odds, change the game

So I am a tad late to the game reading this Leigh Bardugo offering. I was unsure whether to read it as I have yet to finish the Grisha trilogy and thought I might be lost returning to the world again. If anything reading these two has prompted me to read the rest of the original trilogy, in fact I will probably start them again. This was definitely a case of better late than never, I thoroughly enjoyed both installments of this well written, evocative and moving fantasy saga.Initially using a free audio books credit I attempted to listen to Six of Crows. Unfortunately, I disliked the way the story was read, each chapter was a different narrator and although this is the case in the written version it meant that for example when Kaz was voiced he sounded different in each chapter and I was struggling to connect.

Then my very wonderful mum purchased both of the series for me as a celebratory gift for getting my new job. A fitting farewell to the world of school libraries, not that this will be my last Young Adult read that would be absurd.

Six of Crows is sensationally written, as many of you who have read my previous reviews will know I struggle with books that flit from perspective to perspective. I find it frustrating as I often do not feel connected to the characters as much and find myself desperate for a particular characters arc to continue. However, Bardugo did a wonderful job of interlinking the chapters to a point where not only did I feel I was understanding and bonding with the characters but I was also not just waiting for a certain characters chapter. Having said that Inej was by far my favourite. Each chapter weaves eloquently into the other so the story does not lose momentum and although there are numerous twists and turns, like the Ketterdam streets, the way Bardugo writes brings you along for the ride.

In Six of Crows we meet Kaz Brekker and his unlikely team of misfits from the Dregs. They are given an impossible job that if they manage to pull off it will change all their lives. It is a thrilling story that just so happens to be set in a world of power, magic and Grisha. It has all the aspects you want from a good fast paced story. I found the story gritty with an edge to it you do not often find in YA fiction. It was much more adult than what I remember from the Shadow and Bone series. The characters all seemed a lot older then they actually were probably because they had been through such hardships whilst in Ketterdam.

The first book had me on the edge of my seat, reading at a feverish pace. The sequel did little to disappoint. Crooked Kingdom was again written in a way that had me gripped. Although it flit from character to character in each chapter they were again well connected. I felt that Bardugo tried to get a little too much into this book. Some of the rather large plot lines left from Six of Crows were tied up much faster than I had expected. The story itself felt like it was made up of a lot of different plots. It had so many facets that I was struggling to keep up with what was happening next. This was most pronounced in the second half of the story. However despite this I still found the story thrilling and un-put-downable. Bardugo wrote some truly moving scenes so coupled with all that heart-stopping tension I still manage to shed a few tears. I would love to know if Bardugo is going to use these characters again as I’d love to read more of their adventures.

Enthralling and thrilling

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone

This debut novel was recommended to me by several fellow fantasy readers and I thought it would be right up my street. After reading a few stories outside of the fantasy world I wanted to sink back in to the comfort of fantasy worlds.

The way I read this book really affected my opinion. I am not normally one to read more than one book at a time. In fact I hate doing this. I find it distracting and I don't get the most from each book. However, I am listening to an audio book in my car and thought that I would manage to do both - I was wrong. I am hooked on the audio book and each time I picked up The Dream Snatcher I found myself not connecting with the story.

Imagined well and with spunky and witty characters it has all the elements of a great debut. Although I did not read this as fast as I would have expected each time I delved into the world (tearing myself away from sitting in the car listening to one more chapter) I enjoyed what I read and found for a debut novel that it is expertly written.

Moll is an enigmatic lead female, she's full of wit and great one liners. Moll is thrust into an unexpected fight with the Shadow-masks where she will discover more about her family, her heritage and the recurring nightmare she's been having for years. Along the way she learns to trust people she never thought possible and learns of a quest that only she can complete.

I think I will attempt to read the sequel so as to give Abi Elphinstone a fair chance. I will wait until I finally finish my audio book though I think! For me this is a younger readers book. Although dark in places the vocabulary and writing style works for a younger audience.

I want to give it more and it might be one I need to revisit.