T5W: Favourite Minor Characters

Top 5 Wednesday was originally created and run by Lainey aka gingerreadslainey (Youtube channel) but it is now being run by Sam aka Thoughts on tomes (Youtube channel). Each week there is a different topic. You can check out the groups Goodreads page here for any more information and the future topics. This week’s topic is favourite minor characters. To be entirely honest I am completely sure about the difference so some may be considered side characters. It turns out I only came up with four but I thought I’d share them anyway. Let’s get started.
  1. Web from the Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb – I find this character quite intriguing and I would love to know more about him. He first appears in Golden Fool.
  2. Sanar and Ryelle from the Old Kingdoms trilogy by Garth Nix – I don’t know if these are considered side or minor characters, but I thought I’d include them anyway. Again I think they are really interesting characters.
  3. Risana from the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy by Ken Liu – I loved this character so much and wanted to see so much more of her in these books.
  4. Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird – this is a tricky one as I think Boo can be seen as quite an important character, but as he is so reclusive I thought I would include him anyway.

 

That’s all I have to share with you guys for today. It was actually a little tricky coming up with answers this time as it’s tricky to decide whether they are considered a minor character or a side character. Anyway I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

It’s Monday: What are you reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

 

So I am currently reading three books, which is a bit weird for me. Normally I like to concentrate on one books, or two at most but not this week apparently. The one I am concentrating most on right now is Vanguard by Jack Campbell. I’m currently about 50% through on my kindle and so far I am enjoying it, although it took a little time to get fully into it. Hopefully I’ll finish that in the next few days as it’s quite a quick read. The other book I’m reading is Words of Radiance: Part 1 by Brandon Sanderson. I’m currently only about 100 pages and it’s about 650 pages long. Finally the book that I hope to start today is The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino. I read Out by her last year (I think) and while it is pretty dark I did enjoy it so I was interested in trying out more from her.
Once I’ve finished Vanguard, I’ll just concentrate more on the other two books. I know I enjoy Sanderson’s books but I’m interested to see what I think of The Goddess Chronicle. Have you guys read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

3 Mini Reviews: Fiction

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I have some mini reviews of three fiction book to share. I enjoyed all of these books and wanted to share some thoughts with you guys. I don’t think I have anything else to say so I’ll just get straight onto the reviews :).

 

The Help / Kathryn Stockett / ★ 
This is a fantastic historical fiction standalone. I first read this as part of my GCSE English literature course. It is set in the 1960’s in Mississippi and is told primarily from the point of view of three women. One of the main strengths of this book are the characters. The main characters of this book are so well written and you come to really care about them. It is also such an important book to read, in terms of its focus on racism and what black maids had to go through at the time. Having said that, I think it’s also important to note that there is a lot more to it and that this is a historical fiction, but perhaps it’s a good place to start if you don’t know alot about this time in history.The writing is easy to get into and it is engaging throughout. Overall I think this is a great book and I would definitely recommend checking it out.

 

The Bees / Laline Paul / ★ 
This is unlike anything that I’ve read before and I really enjoyed the uniqueness of it. Initially it was a little tricky to get into but after a few chapters I was really intrigued by the story. The world building, character development and level of detail are all fantastic. There is also some pretty good action in this book too. You can tell that the author did her research and really knows her stuff. If you are interested in bees than this may be something you enjoy. This will definitely not be to everyone’s taste (I think it has quite mixed reviews on Goodreads) but I personally really enjoyed this. If you are looking for a unique read with bees as the main characters, then you may enjoy this book.

 

Snow Country / Yasunari Kawabata / ★ 
This is quite an odd one. I appreciated it as a good book, more than I enjoyed the plot. It just didn’t quite work for me – somehow it didn’t speak to me, if that makes sense. That is entirely my personal preference and I do still think this is a good book. I thought this was very well written and the setting is so well done. The characters are all interesting and complex – they are definitely one of the main strengths of this book, but I didn’t really care about any of them. I did still find them intriguing. For me the main strength of this book was the setting and the atmosphere. If you are not fans of books with little plot than this probably isn’t for you, but if you are interested in reading Japanese literature and enjoy complex characters than you may enjoy this. I am definitely interested to try out something else by this author, but so far I haven’t decided which of his books to read next.

 

I recently saw that Laline Paull has another book coming out soon, so I’ll definitely be checking that out at some point. Have you guys read any of these books? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

All Of My Unread Books

Hi guys, to be honest I wasn’t sure what to post today so I thought I’d share all of my unread books. These are all the books I own that I haven’t read yet – I currently have exactly 30 of them. I definitely want to get this down and hopefully read a lot of these before buying any more books :).

 

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  • Little Women / Louisa May Alcott
  • The Blind Assassin / Margaret Atwood
  • Accusations / Bandi
  • Greenmantle / John Buchan

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  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy / John le Carre
  • Call for the Dead / John le Carre
  • Little Dorrit / Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment /  ‎Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  • The Man in the Iron Mask / Alexandre Dumas
  • Birdcage Walk / Helen Dunmore
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles / Thomas Hardy

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  • Dragon Haven / Robin Hobb
  • A Pale View of Hills / Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Hunting of Eagles / Ben Kane
  • All for Nothing / Walter Kempowski

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  • The Good People / Hannah Kent
  • The Wake / Paul Kingsnorth
  • The Poisonwood Bible / Barbara Kingsolver

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  • The Jungle Book / Rudyard Kipling
  • The Goddess Chronicles / Natsuo Kirino
  • Son of the Shadows / Juliet Marillier
  • The Sound of Waves / Yukio Mishima

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  • The Refugees / Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four / George Orwell
  • A Tale for the Time Being / Ruth Ozeki

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  • Words of Radiance: Part 1 / Brandon Sanderson
  • The Makioka Sisters / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

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  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain
  • Germinal / Emile Zola
  • I am the Messenger / Markus Zusak

 

There are so many more books I want to read, but these are the ones that I currently own and have not read yet. I do also have some on my kindle but I thought I’d stick with the physical books today. I don’t think 30 books is too bad, but I would like to get it down a bit. Have you guys read any of these? I’d love to know any thoughts you have on them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Series I Want To Finish in 2017

Hi guys, I am you are all well. Today I thought I would share some series I want to finish this year or probably more realistically for some make some progress in reading these series. I’ve marked the books I haven’t yet read with an asterisks for you guys.
  • Raven Shadow’s trilogy / Blood SongTower Lord and Queen of Fire* / Anthony Ryan
  • Rain Wild Chronicles / Dragon KeeperDragon Haven*City of Dragons* and Blood of Dragons* / Robin Hobb
  • Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers / The Abyss Beyond Dreams and A Night Without Stars* / Peter F. Hamilton
  • Eagles of Rome trilogy / Eagles At WarHunting the Eagle* and Eagle in the Storm* / Ben Kane
  • Poldark series / Ross Poldark, Demelza, Jeremy Poldark, Warleggan, The Black Moon, The Four Swans, The Angry Tide, The Stranger from the Sea, The Miller’s Dance, The Loving Cup, The Twisted Sword* and Bella Poldark* / Winston Graham
  • Shardlake series / Dissolution, Dark Fire*, Sovereign*, Revelation*, Heartstone* and Lamentation* / C. J. Sansom
I think I’ll also quickly mention some series I want to continue/finish that are currently unfinished, so basically not all the books are out yet. I will complete these series when all the books are out though. These series include the Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon, Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gods of Blood and Powder series by Brian McClellan, the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams, the Book of Ancestor series by Mark Lawrance, the Draconis Memoria series by Anthony Ryan, the Gentleman Bastard sequence by Scott Lynch and the Legends of the First Empire series by Michael J. Sullivan… I could go on but I think I’ll leave it at that :).
There are so many series out there, it is a little overwhelming really. These are series that I am definitely interested in finishing and I’m excited to see how they all progress. Let me know if you’ve read any of these series and what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Title / The Demon KingThe Exiled QueenThe Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown.
Author / Cinda Williams Chima
Publication Date / 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Overall Star Rating / 
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch, and reformed thief Han Alister must rely on all his skills to provide for his mother and his sister. While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer, discover three young wizards using a magical amulet to set fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han wrestles it from them, but without realising that his heroism has put him and his family in great danger. For the young arsonist is Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, and the amulet a treasure with immense power; it once belonged to the Demon King, the legendary wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. The Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has just returned to the city after spending three years with her father’s Clan in the mountains. She aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior-queen who vanquished the Demon King and saved the world, but her mother has other plans for her – plans that will put both the queendom and Raisa’s future in great danger. The Seven Realms will tremble when the adventures of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.

 

This is a four book high fantasy series set in a traditional fantasy world of medieval elements. The first book lays down a good foundation for this series but it is a little slow at times and the pacing can be a bit uneven at times, but bear with it. To be honest all of the books suffer a little with uneven pacing and it does drag at times. It could perhaps do with a little refinement, especially in terms of the flow of plot. I think the first book is definitely the weakest one so if you’ve read it and weren’t sure about it, I would recommend giving the second book a go. Mostly the plot is engaging though. The world is well written and I loved the different areas of the world. We also got a fair amount of history of the world, allowing for a better understanding of it. It has a great mix of politics, war, magic, adventure and romance.  I really enjoy the characters in this book. Both Raisa and Han are fantastic protagonists. Raisa is definitely a bit of a typical princess but I liked her overall progression throughout the four books. Han’s progression is just as good as well. One thing I found a little frustrating in the first book is the number of love interests. I personally don’t enjoy such things, but it didn’t detract too much from the reading experience and it doesn’t last too long. The writing is generally good, although I kind of felt it was a bit lacking at times. I thought the conclusion to the series was a great one. Each book is better than the last, in my opinion, although none of them are perfect (what book is though?). I found these books to be relatively easy, entertaining and engaging reads.

 

Overall I think this is a fantastic high fantasy series. Yes it does have some flaws but I enjoyed each of the books and I would recommend it, especially if you are a big fan of the fantasy genre. The characters can appear abit cliched, especially in book one, but in my opinion their progression through the books is great and I personally really like them. The plot, while slow to begin with, develops very well and I love how it progresses. The world is also well written. As previously mentioned, the pacing and slow plot are my two main issues with this series. Having said that, I didn’t find it affected my reading experience very much, but I can see how it may be an issue for other readers. Reading back over this, I’m realising it is quite short, but hopefully that just means I’m being concise! I hope you guys don’t mind it’s a little short. Have you guys read this series? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Discussion: Physical books or E-books

Hi guys, how are you all? Since I haven’t done a discussion post for a while, I thought it was about time to I did another one. I wanted to chat with you guys about physical books and e-books. Which one do you guys prefer? I have always preferred physical books, but over the years I’ve definitely come to see the use of e-books.

 

For me, I just love the feel of a physical book – I like reading from them. When I was younger e-readers weren’t a thing, so physical books were what we had, if that makes sense. I think it’s also important to support local book shops and that means buying physical books :). I’m pretty sure I will always prefer physical books – they are just nicer. Having said that there are some perks to e-books. I remember the days going on holiday before having a kindle and my bag would be heavy with books. I remember taking Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling and it took up most of my bag – I still finished all of my books and we had to find a English book shop to find some more. Basically the kindle or any e-reader is fantastic when you are going away as it means you can take plenty of reading material in a small tablet. It can also be quite good when you have a very heavy/long book as big books can be quite awkward to read. Another use I’ve found is the ability to get books through Negalley on my kindle. As a book blogger, I basically read alot and to make sure I’ve got new content it’s important to me to read new books and releases. Netgalley allows me to do that, without completely breaking my bank account. So my kindle is really useful in that way. There are definitely pros and cons for both.

 

Overall I will always choose physical books over e-books, but as I’ve mentioned I can definitely see the pros and cons of both. I’m interested to know what you guys think – do you prefer physical books or e-books? Do you have particular reasons for that preference? Let’s discuss :). I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa