T5W: Future Classics

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 the topic is future classics. Books that you think will become classics in the future.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale / Margaret Atwood
  • To Kill A Mockingbird / Harper Lee
  • Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro
  • His Dark Materials series / Philip Pullman
  • Watership Down / Richard Adams
I had a little trouble with this weeks topic – I basically chose five of my favourite books that I hope may be considered classics in the future. I don’t know if they will be or are considered classics. I’m not really sure. Anyway what book do you think will be considered a classic in the future? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

UK vs US Book Covers

Hi guys, today I have a bit of a different post. I’ve seen similar posts or videos around in the bookish community and I thought it was quite a cool idea, so I thought I’d do my own post. Obviously this is going to be my opinion of which covers I prefer, so you guys might think differently. I’ve decided to pick books that are coming out this year to compare today – US is on the left and UK is on the right.

 

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – While I like both of these I definitely prefer the UK cover. I am never a huge fan of people on the cover and I just love the way the UK cover looks – I think the colours work so well. Having said that the US cover probably suits the book better, but the UK one is still my favourite. Also the book itself is really good… definitely recommend checking it out.

 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden – Both of these books are stunning, but I prefer the US cover. I love the wintery feel, the blue of the cover and the way the title is presented. This is definitely a favourite cover of mine, even though I don’t actually own it. Again this was a fantastic book.

 

With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley Beaulieu –  This is the second book in the Song of the Shattered Sands series. I haven’t read this one yet but hopefully I’ll get to it soon… I’m going to go with the UK cover here. I just like the way it looks and the colours.

 

Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – Again I like both of these covers, but for this one I am going to have to give it to the US. I like the colours of the US better than the green of the UK cover and so I just like it a little more. I have read this one and really enjoyed it, although it did take me a little while to get into it.

 

Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan – This is the second book 2 in the Draconis Memoria series. Now I’m not entirely sure if the UK cover is the actual cover as I can’t seem to verify it, but I hope it is as it looks amazing. I really like both of these covers, but the (possible) UK cover is definitely my favourite. This one hasn’t been released yet so I haven’t read it but I am very excited for it’s release in July.

 

So that is all I have for you today… US covers 2 to UK covers 3 so UK win this time. What do you guys think? Do you prefer the US covers or UK covers? I quite like these posts so you might see another one for me in the future. That’s if you guys want more :). Maybe I’ll add in some other countries as well. Anyway I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Mini Reviews: 3 Classics

Hi guys, how are you? Today I have some mini reviews of 3 classics to share with you all.  On a completely different note I have my theory test next week and the anxiety is really starting to settle in now. I’ll just have to try my best and hope that is enough :). Anyway back to the point of this post.

 

Mayor of Casterbridge / Thomas Hardy / 
I decided to pick this one up after enjoying Far From the Madding Crowd, also by Hardy. This is another fantastic book by this author. I very much enjoy the writing style and the plot is engaging throughout, although perhaps a little slow at times. Hardy does have quite a descriptive writing style, so that is something to be aware of if that isn’t your thing – I personally like it. There is so many details in this book, and I think if I reread it I would pick up on more things. It is definitely not a very happy book but it is well worth a read.  The characters are so well written – their complexities make them fantastic character studies. Overall I enjoyed this book alot and I would highly recommend it. I hope to get to Tess of the D’Urbervilles this year.

 

The Ladies’ Paradise / Emile Zola / 
This is my second book by Zola and I will definitely be reading more, although it is probably more of a 3.5 star rating in retrospect.I think this is a really interesting book to read and it is set in an very interesting time. I have been interested in reading this ever since I saw the fairly loose BBC adaptation of it a while back. The characters are generally well written, although I think their development is sometimes sacrificed for the focus on the world. The different strands of the book are all engaging and Zola’s writing is great. Having said that the lengthy descriptions can make the book drag in places but do bear with it as it is well worth a read. Overall I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to trying out more from Zola. I currently have Germinal on my shelves waiting to be read.

 

Rebecca / Daphne du Maurier / ★.5 
I have to admit that I found this a little slow to start. The main character I found to be a little flat initially and I found the descriptive writing style a bit tricky to get into. Having said that, after around 100 pages I was invested in the book. I ended up quite enjoying the writing style and I thought the build up of suspense and mystery was done very well. I loved the mystery of it – the vagueness of it all keeps you guessing throughout the book. The characters turned out to all be interesting, in their own way – Rebecca is especially intriguing. I think my expectations of the book weren’t completely meet but I did still like it. Overall I very much enjoyed this and I am interested to try out more from this author

 

That’s all I have to share with you guys today. I hope to read more classics this year, so far I think I’ve only read two, but I’ve still got plenty of time :). Have you guys read any of these books? What did you think of it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday…

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on:
Strange the Dreamer – Release date: 28th March. This just sounds like a really intriguing book. I have read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and to be entirely honest I didn’t love it but I did enjoy the writing, so I’m interested to try out this new book and see what I think of this one. So far I have heard only good things about it and the blurb sounds great. Are you anticipating this book? I hope you are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

Favourite Childhood Books

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I know I have talked a little about my childhood of reading, but today I thought I would just talk about some of my favourite books. I didn’t read much as a child but these are some books that really helped me to get into reading a little bit. Onto the books :).
Meg and Mog series by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski – I loved these books so much as a kid. All of the stories were great and I loved the characters. The colours and illustrations were fantastic. I still have some of these books and I will always keep them. They were just so good and were fun books to read.

 

Katie Morag series by Mairi Hedderwick – another series that I really enjoyed as a kid. I don’t think I’ve read all of them but I enjoyed the ones I’ve read. I think the illustrations are amazing as well. I remember my mum would read these books with me.

 

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The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber and Nicola Bayley – I think this is just a classic children’s book and I would recommend it to everyone. It just reminds me of my childhood.

 

The Lightkeeper’s Lunch by Ronda and David Armitage – I couldn’t find a picture for this one but this is another book that I think is a classic. Great story with nice illustrations.

 

Sheltie series by Peter Clover – I have always liked animals so it seems fitting that this series focuses ona young girl and her sheltie pony. This was such a fantastic series of books. I don’t know how many they were but I still own quite a few of them.

 

A Puzzling Day at Castle Macpelican, A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaoh and Macpelican’s American Adventure all by Scoular Anderson – as I have mentioned in a previous post, I am dyslexic so I loved these books as it wasn’t all about reading. There were great illustrations with fun little games and challenges to do throughout. They were great and I would definitely recommend, especially to any children who either struggle reading or just don’t seem too interested as it is a fun way to read.

 

I would love to know if any of you read these books as children. I love all of these books, so it was quite fun to look back and think about the books I read as a child. What books do you remember from your childhood? What were your favourites? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Collapsing Empire / John Scalzi

Title / The Collapsing Empire
Author / John Scalzi
Publication Date / 2017
Overall Star Rating / .5
Goodreads synopsis: The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new
universe. Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire. The Flow is eternal — but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals — a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency — are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

 

I have been a fan of Scalzi’s books for a while now – I’ve read 9 of his other books and enjoyed all of them. So I had high hope for this new series set in a completely new world. It didn’t disappoint, however I will say it took me a while to get into. I didn’t immediately warm to the characters and I think that affected my initial reading experience. After about the first quarter I was hooked. What really made this book for me was the world. I think the world building was done very well and I thought the world was an interesting one. Basically there is a thing called the Flow, an extra-dimensional field that can be accessed at certain points and can transport you to other worlds, but it is beginning to disappear. I really enjoyed this concept. The politics of the world and the ramifications of what is happening the flow make this an engaging read and are one of the main strengths of this book. The characters are well written, although as I previously mentioned it took me a little while to warm to them. To be honest I’m not really sure why, but I did end up liking all of the characters. One of my favourite characters was the Emperox – I look forward to seeing her progression as I found her to be an intriguing character. Kiva was the main character that I had a few issues with. I think it was mainly due to her excessive swearing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind swearing – I actually swear quite a bit but it just felt a bit over the top and that irritated me a little bit. As with Scalzi’s other books, this book is an entertaining, easy and engaging read. The action is also done very well. If you are looking for fun, action packed and engaging science fiction books then you need to check out John Scalzi. He does a fantastic job of creating such books. The writing is easy to get into and will keep you hooked throughout.

 

Overall I enjoyed this book, but it did take me a little while to get into this book. I am excited for the continuation for this series though, as I think it will get even better now that the characters and world are established. The characters are well written, the world is an interesting one and the plot is engaging throughout. There are some flaws but for me they didn’t detract too much from the reading experience. I don’t know how long this series is going to be or when the next one is expected out but I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the second book. I had high hopes for this book and they weren’t disappointed. If you are already a fan of Scalzi than I think you will enjoy this. If you haven’t read any Scalzi but enjoy scifi then I highly recommend checking this out. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Stranger Things Book Tag

Hi guys, I hope you all are well. Today I have a tag to share with you guys. As you can see from the title, I will be doing the Stranger Things book tag which was created by Sarah (aka Sarah Sunbeamz). I saw the first series last year when it came out and so when I saw this tag I thought it would be a fun one to do.

 

1. EPIC INTRO. The opening sequence of Stranger Things is amazing and really grabs your attention. Name a book that grabbed your attention from the first page.
This would have to go to Fudoki by Kij Johnson. From the very beginning I knew that it was going to be good. Her writing really grabbed my attention and the story was so engaging. Normally with a new author it takes me a little time to adjust to a new writing style but not with this book – it was one of my favourite books from last year. I highly recommend it. Check out my full review here.

 

2. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Name a fantasy world you would like to experience yourself.
Although it’s not a particularly stable place I would love to experience the world of the Echoes of the Fallen series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It seems like such an interesting world and I would love to be able to step into an animal (specifically a wolf). It’s a new favourite world of mine. I highly recommend the series – both the first and second books are amazing.

 

3. SQUAD GOALS. When Eleven met Mike, Dustin and Lucas it was a *mostly* perfect team. Name your favourite bookish group of friends.
Of course this goes to Locke and Jean in the Gentleman Bastards sequence by Scott Lynch. Although technically it’s not a group as there is only two of them but I’m going to use it anyway. Their friendship is one of the best things about the series, in my opinion.

 

4. ABC’s & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Joyce Byers goes mad with grief after Will goes missing. Name your favourite mentally unhinged character.
The Jackal from the Red Rising trilogy. He is definitely kind of mental and I was constantly surprised by his actions. I highly recommend checking this trilogy out.

 

5. THE UPSIDE DOWN. Name a book that was the opposite of what you expected.
I had a tough time coming up with an answer for this but I’m going to say War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I thought it was going to be extremely dense and hard to get into but it’s actually surprisingly readable. It is now one of my favourite classics and I highly recommend giving it a go.

 

6. MAD SCIENTISTS. Dr. Brenner likes to get freaky with humanity. Name the freakiest dystopian government you can think of.
Well I could say the Red Rising trilogy again but since I’ve already used that I am going to go for The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is set in a world where sterility is a huge problem, so women no longer have rights. Young fertile woman can become handmaids to rich couples, which basically means having sex once a month and hope that they become pregnant. It is very much a male dominated society. I think this is such a fantastic book and the world is definitely quite a scary one.

 

7. DEMOGORGON. Name a scary bookish creature that you would not want to come through your walls.
There are so many that I could choose from… Dementors from the Harry Potter series, Free Magic creatures from the Old Kingdoms trilogy, Koloss from the Mistborn trilogy and the triffids from the Day of the Triffids are the first that come to mind.

 

8. CLIFFHANGER ENDING. name a book that left you wanting more.
Again there are so many books I could mention for this but I think I am going to say The Emperor of the Eight Island by Lian Hearn. The second book recently came out and I am so excited to continue on with the series as the first book definitely left me wanting more.

 

OK so that was the Stranger Things tag. If you haven’t checked out this TV series I recommend you do. I didn’t initially think it would be my thing but I ended up enjoying it. Have you guys seen it? What did you think? I’m excited to see how things progress in the next series although I don’t know when that will be. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa