Day One: Sunday, September 14:
A curfew has been placed on book purchases for the remainder of the year and you are only allowed to purchase TEN more books for the rest of 2014. Which books will you buy?
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I hear so much praise for this book whenever it is mentioned that I would love to own it.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – I couldn’t not know how the Grisha trilogy concludes, so this one would make the list.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – after Fangirl I became a bit of a fan, and if I manage to read Eleanor and Park during the read-a-thon this will be the only one of her books that I haven’t read.
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – never read anything by this author, but this book has had a lot of praise recently.
Revival by Stephen King – I love all things Stephen King, so his upcoming new book would be a must for me.
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith – I really love this author and I also love the idea of him writing his take on an Austen classic.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – I wanted to get this from the library and for some reason they haven’t had any copies, so I would buy my own.
The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith – I’ve read all the Ladies Detective Agency books to date. I love the gentle easy style of reading.
Day Two: Monday, September 15:
Introduce us to your favourite author and their books!
Choosing only one author for this challenge was incredibly hard, and choosing between two in particular, well, it was so close that ask me another day and I might have chosen the other, but I’m going to say George R. R. Martin is my favourite author, for his amazing fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.
I absolutely adore this series.
I’d never read a great deal in the way of fantasy before I came upon this series. It happened way back in the days of Livejournal, when I read someone’s post about this amazing series they were reading, and how much they were enjoying it. Always on the lookout for a good read I paid attention and decided to find out more.
I found out a Game of Thrones was fantasy, and was uncertain whether it would appeal to me. I’d seen the book in the library a few times and been put off by the unusual names of places and people. I can remember someone else commenting to me at the time they could never get into anything like that because they couldn’t get around the pronunciation issue.
This was some time before the first season of Game of Thrones aired on tv. I knew there was going to be a series, and this added to my interest, so I went ahead and borrowed the book from the library.
And I never looked back for one moment. Even now, years later, I can recall becoming totally enthralled during the Prologue of Game of Thrones as those rangers went out into the wilderness beyond the Wall.
There are so many things to praise about the series. The world building is amazing. So many locations are called to life in such vivid detail that even though they are totally fictional, I have as clear a picture of them in my mind as if they were real. I love the bleakness of the North, and Winterfell. I love the idea of the Eyrie, miles above the land, like a kingdom in the clouds. I love the plotting and intrigue of King’s Landing, and the exotic air of Dorne. And Braavos, like the Westeros version of Venice. Oh yes, I love all these intricately built places.
Then there are the characters, and the vast depth to which they are developed. Jaime Lannister is the first who comes to mind for a total turnaround, for, without giving spoilers to those who wish to read the series, the journey he goes on, and the vow he decides to uphold are a million miles away from the man who we first see. Tyrion Lannister, the Imp is a joy to read, with his wit and wisdom, and I really like him as a character.
There are also excellent villains, such as Joffrey, the boy king we love to hate. There are also those who fall into the grey areas, a mixture of both bad and good.
I love so many strong female characters too, including Brienne of Tarth, Asha Greyjoy and tomboy Arya Stark, a total contrast to her ladylike sister Sansa, who lives for stories and songs and dreams, but learns the harsh lesson of real life being nothing like a fairy tale at all.
Even the secondary characters are well developed. I like Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane, and all the weaving in of stories of characters who died before the Game of Thrones timeline, such as Lyanna Stark and her involvement with the Targaryens.
I could talk at length about this wonderful series, but I’ll resist, and just conclude by saying that I love each and every page, and cannot wait for the next book in the series. I only worry that eventually the tv series will catch up and overtake the books. I would dearly like to read the book first.
Day 3: Tuesday 16th September 2014:
Describe your ultimate dream bookstore!
A few years ago there used to be a wonderful bookstore which I‘m pretty certain was my real-life dream place.
This particular place was a LONG car journey away from home, and situated on a shopping outlet park, so it was somewhere to go for a day out once in a while, and I absolutely adored it.
I don’t know why it closed, but I went back there and found the outlet standing empty and my heart just sank.
I would say that place was probably my perfect bookshop made real.
It was a HUGE place, and they stocked so many books. I don’t think there was a single subject that they didn’t cover, it was simply marvellous. Fiction, non-fiction, well known and lesser known topics, they seemed to cover it all.
They also stocked all the bookish stationery – bookmarks, book covers, reading lights, notebooks and journals, book stands, calendars, mugs and bags with bookish logos, they really did have the lot.
They also had a plentiful supply of DVDs and CDs on offer as well.
There were huge, comfortable armchairs situated at various places throughout the store, and I used to love the fact you could select a book from any shelf and take a seat to read a while, without even purchasing the book. The atmosphere was so welcoming and casual, and the staff were very approachable.
They had great displays, with new and recommended books, and it was always easy to find your next ‘must read’.
Within the bookstore there was a coffee shop, so you could find a great read then go and sit with a leisurely cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake, then sit watching the world go by or reading a few pages.
It was a wonderful place, and I was sad to see it close as there’s nothing to rival that place closer to home, and it being some distance away made a trip there something to look forward to.