#BookADayUK May 2015 Part 2

#BookADayUK takes place on Twitter.  During May Dead Good Books are hosting the event.  This is a summary of the questions and the books I’ve selected for the second half of the month.


16th:   Favourite Golden Age novel – How about a bit of Agatha Christie to get things underway? And Then There Were None.

17th:   Recommended by a friendBurial Rites by Hannah Kent. I loved this atmospheric read and was glad for the recommendation.

18th:   Literary sidekick – I’m not really sure which you would call the sidekick but I loved the team of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

19th:   A modern classic – I think the Harry Potter books probably count as modern classics.

20th:   An unusual murder weapon – I can remember there was a really good short story in Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood which had a pretty unique murder weapon. I’m not giving anything away because it’s a book well worth reading but the cleverness and the planning were really good.

21st:   Chilled my bonesThe Shining by Stephen King. There was one scene in that novel which almost made my skin crawl. What a read!

22nd:   Wish there was a sequel – I’m currently re-reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. It’s many years since I first read the book, so I cannot recall how it ends and whether a sequel would be possible, but I’m already wishing that there WAS a sequel.

23rd:   Most beautiful bookThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Some of the imagery in that book is amazing.

24th:   Can’t wait to read…Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. This is the sequel to The Diviners, which I absolutely adored, so I eagerly await being able to return to that world again. Also The Winds of Winter by George R R Martin (am trying to be very patient in my wait for this book!).

25th:   Exotic location – Dorne from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

26th:   Most epic ending – It’s been a while since I finished reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and I STILL can’t get that ending out of my mind.  I really want to read that series again.

27th:   Best small screen adaptation – Okay, it’s early days, but how could I not mention Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I’m re-reading the book at the moment, which I’m loving, and I think the tv series really does it justice. Go watch it if you’re not already.

28th:   Summer read – Anything by Ali McNamara, Jilly Cooper or Karen Swan.

29th:   The unreliable narrator – Rachel from The Girl on the Train.

30th:   The book that kept me awake at nightDisclaimer is one of the books keeping me awake at the moment because I ALWAYS need ‘just one more chapter’.

31st:   My next read – I have an endless amount of books on my e-reader, all demanding attention, and a pile of library books which have to be back by a certain date, so I’ll probably go for one of those next. A few of the potential reads include – The Ship by Antonia Honeywell, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Carnival of Shadows by R. J. Ellory and Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris.

#BookADayUK May 2015 Part 1

#BookADayUK takes place on Twitter.  During May Dead Good Books are hosting the event.  This is a summary of the questions and the books I’ve selected for the first half of the month.


1st:   Best loved classic – I’m torn between Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, so I’ll say both of them.

2nd:   Full of red herringsThe Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. That story had plenty of twists and turns before it became clear what was going on and I loved every moment of it.

3rd:   Addictive crime series – This is hard for me as I don’t really read much crime. I did very much enjoy the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, and the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo are great too.

4th:   From another planetThe Humans by Matt Haig.

5th:   Ultimate page turner – The most recent read I couldn’t bring myself to put down was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. Definitely a page turner even though it was such a long book.

6th:   Scariest villain – Naughty John from The Diviners by Libba Bray. Also, couldn’t do this topic without an honorary mention for Pennywise from IT by Stephen King.

7th:   My fictional Prime Minister – Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin. I think he’d be amazing!

8th:   Last crime novel I readWant You Dead by Peter James.

9th:   Favourite amateur sleuth – Miss Marple.

10th:   Bought on a whim – I’m such a massive fan of the library that I can’t remember the last time I bought a book on a whim, but there have been ENDLESS amounts of library books I’ve borrowed on a whim, based on something as simple as the cover design or a catchy blurb.

11th:   Favourite fictional detective – I’m sure this will have been a popular choice but it has to be Sherlock Holmes I think.

12th:   Finest Short Story – I recently read Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress and I loved each and every story in that collection. I couldn’t pick just one because each one was memorable.

13th:   Psychologically thrillingShutter Island by Dennis Lehane. What a gripping read, and really delivers on the twists too.

14th:   Most peculiar novelThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell had some quite peculiar sections to it, and strangely enough they were the scenes I enjoyed the most and looked forward to reading more about. I loved the mix of fantasy and everyday throughout the book.

15th:   I guessed the killer – I have a confession – I’m hopeless at this sort of thing. I think I would make a pretty awful detective, because the big reveal usually comes as a surprise to me!


What do you think of this month’s questions?  Have you read any of these books, or which would you have chosen instead.  As always, do let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back at the end of the month with another list of books!

#BookADayUK February 2015 Part 2

#BookADayUK takes place on Twitter.  During February Borough Press are hosting the event.  This is a summary of the questions and the books I’ve selected for the second half of this month.


16th:   Favourite book in translation – I adore the works of Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I’ve read many of his books, but I think the one that really stands out, and the one I’ve read more than once is The Shadow of the Wind.

17th:   Book you were wrong about – Not sure about this one?  Will have to give it some more thought.

18th:   Book you read after seeing the film – I recently watched Before I Go To Sleep and now I really want to read the book because I enjoyed the film a lot.

19th:   Favourite book about music – Hm, this is tricky. The Phantom of the Opera. I love the book and the stage show, and it does feature music, so I think that counts.

20th:   Slept with the lights on after reading – I don’t think I get scared too easily, but there were certain scenes in The Shining by Stephen King that I couldn’t get out of my mind for a while after reading the book!

21st:   Brings back good memoriesRight Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. There was a particular scene in this book that I just had to pause on because it made me laugh so much. I ended up rereading it over and over, and each time it just seemed funnier than the last. I laughed so much I had tears streaming down my face and ended up with stomach ache. It’s a good job I was home alone so no one could witness the scene.

22nd:   Glad you took a chance onTwenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. It was a total change from the books I would usually read and I found every minute of it a pure joy. I liked it so much I would read it again.

23rd:   Favourite book published in your lifetime – This question made me realise that many of the books I’ve read and enjoyed are quite literally before my time, especially when it comes to the classics such as Jane Eyre and North and South. So, Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin it is then!

24th:   Character you’d least like to turn up on a blind date – Inspired by yesterday’s answer – Joffrey Baratheon. Enough to send any girl running for the hills I would imagine. While I may enjoy a fictional bad boy there are limits.

25th:   Book you would give to a lover – Have pondered on this one for so long now and still haven’t come up with an answer.  Oh, I know… Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I love the way Darcy and Elizabeth clash so often before they actually manage to accept that they’re in love with each other.

26th:   A book you’d love to discuss with your favourite author – Some of my favourite authors at the moment are Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, so I would happily sit and talk about any of their books with them, and any other books they wanted to talk about as well. It would be brilliant to get book recommendations from your favourite authors.

27th:   Longest owned unread – I have PILES of books that would fit into this category. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but casting my eyes over my vastly over-stacked bookcase the first one that catches my eye is A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It’s such a massive book that it’s a little daunting, which may be one of the reasons I’ve never read it to date.

28th:   Book to convert a non-readerThe Collected Works of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s a book about books, reading and a love of literature. It shows how these things can help bring people together and is all-round a wonderful story, although I did find parts of it pretty sad. Such a great read though.

#BookADayUK February 2015 Part 1

#BookADayUK takes place on Twitter.  During February Borough Press are hosting the event.  This is a summary of the questions and the books I’ve selected so far.


 1st:   Book that defined my teenage yearsHarry Potter and midnight book launches were quite a defining feature of my (late) teenage years. I doubt there will be anything like that again. I used to love going along and people-watching as we waited for the crucial moment, just to see the vast variety of age groups who were all so invested in knowing what would happen to Harry and Co. next. Once I’d got my book in hand I would lose the whole weekend devouring it in an almost constant reading session.

2nd:   I’d like to know what @____’s favourite book is – All of you! Tell me your favourite book and I’ll probably add it to my TBR list, even though that’s always huge!

3rd:   My favourite character’s favourite song would be – For some reason Sansa Stark came to mind for me for this question, and the two songs which instantly sprung to mind were No Light, No Light by Florence and the Machine and I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.

4th:   Matchmaking – These two characters should get together – Sara Falk and Mr. Sharp from The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher. I have high hopes that they were be reunited in future books because I would love for them to get together.

5th:   The author I would love to meet (living or dead) – I can’t just go for one, so – Stephen King, George R R Martin, Charlotte Bronte, P. G. Wodehouse and Jane Austen.

6th:   And the question I would ask them is – I would ask GRRM when The Winds of Winter is going to be published, and whether the tv series Game of Thrones will overtake the narrative of the books and whether that bothers/worries him. I would ask Wodehouse if Bertie Wooster was based on someone he knew in real life and whether any of the many hilarious antics he got up to were also real-life experiences made into fiction.

7th:   My favourite opening line – “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed” from The Gunslinger by Stephen King – such an iconic line and one that always remains in my memory.

8th:   Bought entirely for its coverA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, although I’ve just started reading it and the story so far is really good, so I’m glad I chose it.

9th:   The book that has always stayed with me – There are so many: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough, the North and South trilogy by John Jakes, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

10th:   A great book to read aloud – I’ve never really considered reading aloud so this one has me beat.

11th:   These two characters should not have got together – This is a tough one, but possibly Cathy and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights would have passed happier lives (and so would several other people) if the two of them had never been so drawn to each other.

12th:   Feelgood read – Any of the Jeeves books by P. G. Wodehouse. Nothing makes me laugh quite as much as those books. I read one once which was so funny I wouldn’t have dared read it on public transport in case anyone wondered what on earth I was laughing at so hard. I don’t think non-readers would appreciate how all-consuming a well-written comic moment of a book can be to induce such excessive laughter.

13th:   This book is precious to me because – All books are precious, I think, but the ones which have moved me to tears include The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough, The Dark Tower by Stephen King and The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

14th:   The book that reminds me of an exBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks.

15th:   Book set in the place you’re from – I can’t think of a single book set in my location, so I’m going for the place I would love to go to if we could travel into fictional worlds and say Westeros. I’d love to go to Dorne and Winterfell.

#BookADayUK December 2014 Part 2

#bookadayuk takes place on Twitter.  During December Baileys Prize are hosting the event.


16th:   Which @SpinelessClass you’d like to find in your stocking this year – Id’ never actually heard of this before so couldn’t think of anything, but some of the suggestions I saw on Twitter were really nice.

17th:   The bookshop you’ll be buying your Christmas presents from – I’ll probably mostly be buying online (mostly e-books), with a few purchases from a couple of local stores.

18th:   The literary character you’d most like to kiss under the mistletoe – Jericho Barrons from Darkfever. Can I choose two, as I’d love Thranduil from The Hobbit (yes, I’m probably basing this on the movie version) too!

19th:   The book that gets you in the festive spiritIt Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley is my latest festive read.

20th:   Your favourite Christmas film adapted from a book – When I was young I used to love reading Home Alone 2 around Christmas time, and I loved the film too, although I have no idea whether the book or the film came first.

21st:   Your favourite fictional family – I really love the Weasleys from the Harry Potter series.

22nd:   Favourite festive character – Um, Santa Claus?! I don’t know how it can be possible but this question sees me drawing something of a blank.

23rd:   The book you’ll be giving for ChristmasFangirl by Rainbow Rowell. A total pleasure of a read and one I would love to be given myself for Christmas.

24th:   The book you want for ChristmasThe World of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin is one. I also have the rest of the Throne of Glass series on my wish list too.

25th:   The literary house you’d most like to spend Christmas at – Can I go to Hogwarts, please? Tell me that’s not too much to ask…

26th: The best book you got for Christmas – I already had The Lies of Locke Lamora so I was really pleased to receive the other two books in that series and I can’t wait to start reading them.

27th:   The best-looking book on your shelfThe Oversight by Charlie Fletcher has a striking cover, and it’s going to be one of my first reads in the new year.

28th:   The three authors you would invite to your ultimate literary dinner party – Stephen King, George R. R. Martin and Sarah Waters.

29th:   The book you’re ending the year with – I ended my 2014 reading with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

30th:   The first book you’ll be reading in 2015The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher

31st:   The character you’d most like to be with at midnight – Charles Main from North and South by John Jakes.

#BookADayUK December 2014 Part 1

#bookadayuk takes place on Twitter.  During December Baileys Prize are hosting the event.


 1st:   The book you began the year with – It seems a very long time ago now, but I think it was Carrie by Stephen King.

2nd:   The book you tell everyone about – At the moment I can’t stop talking about Revival by Stephen King and The Collected Books of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

3rd:   Favourite classic by a female authorJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve read that book.

4th:   The book you re-read at least once a yearThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough, and no matter how many times I read the book I still cry at the end.

5th:   The best-looking book on your shelf – I would have said The Diviners by Libba Bray, but it was a library book and I returned it last week so it’s no longer here!

6th:   Your favourite female author – I really like Sarah Waters.

7th:   The female author you’d most like to meet – I would love to have met Charlotte Bronte so I could thank for for creating Mr. Rochester

8th:   The book you’d choose if you could only read one againThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I read this book a while ago and it’s been on my mind that I must read it again ever since. It has some gorgeous imagery, and I think it would make a wonderful movie.

9th:   The book you’ve been meaning to read for a while – Just one? Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I really am going to read it soon!

10th:   The book you’d give your best friendFangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I adored that book in so many ways from Cath as the lead character to the fictional world of Simon Snow and the fic writing that world inspired. A real joy to read and definitely one I would give to a friend.

11th:   The book that makes you cryThe Collected Works of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin made me cry most recently, but it was a brilliant read.

12th:   The book your mum passed on to youThe North and South trilogy by John Jakes. I cannot speak highly enough of this series; it’s such a great read and there are some brilliant characters, both heroes and villains.

13th:   The book with the best advice – I think the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith have brilliant little observations and advice about life, delivered in a gentle manner.

14th:   Favourite winner from the Baileys PrizeHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

15th:   Your favourite book with an ambiguous ending – The ending of The Giver by Lois Lowry was pretty ambiguous.


That’s it for now – I’ll be back at the end of the month with another list of books!  Have you read any of my choices?  What did you think of them?  Let me know in the comments.

 

#BookADayUK November 2014 Part 2

#BookADayUK takes place on Twitter and this month it is hosted by Headline.

16th: The best debut you read this year – I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and thought it was absolutely brilliant.

17th: Your favourite mystery novelThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was atmospheric and mysterious. I really enjoyed that book, and would probably read it again.

18th: Your favourite sport book – This topic makes me wonder if I’ve ever actually read a sport book, and I think the answer is probably a resounding ‘no’. That being the case can I say Harry Potter, because who doesn’t think Quidditch is a brilliant sport?!

19th: A brilliant book with an eye-catching red cover – I loved the cover of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

20th: Your favourite fictional pet – How about Ghost from Game of Thrones? Direwolves are so fierece!

21st: A book you’ve read that you wish had a sequelThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey. I’m torn on this one actually, because I loved the book so much that I would certainly have enjoyed a sequel, but it did have a definite end, which doesn’t particularly require furthering. Melanie and Miss Justineau are such great characters though that I would really like more of their story.

22nd: Your favourite book about a journeyThe Dark Tower by Stephen King – Roland’s journey is definitely epic.

23rd: An awesome autobiography by one of your heroes – It’s not an autobiography as such, but I did like On Writing by Stephen King. I also liked Stephen Fry’s Moab Is My Washpot.

24th: A series you’d happily read all over againHarry Potter by J. K. Rowling, the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, The Dark Tower by Stephen King and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I couldn’t possibly have chosen only one for this topic.

25th: A book you want for ChristmasThe World of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I keep looking at this one every time I go into the bookstores – the illustrations are beautiful, and it would be a lovely companion book to the rest of the series.

26th: Your favourite cookery or baking book – This one has me baffled.

27th: Your favourite US classic – How about The Great Gatsby?  I love books set in that era.

28th: A book with beautiful title typography – I know this answer is starting to feature heavily in my picks, but I love the type on the Grisha book covers, it’s so grand-looking.

29th: Favourite fictional world – Ravka from the Grisha trilogy, Mid-World from The Dark Tower and Westeros from A Song of Ice and Fire. All of these have the potential to be brutal places, but there are so many great things about each of the places too.

30th: Your favourite book featuring a wedding – Would it be cruel to name A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. There are at least a couple of exceptionally memorable weddings in that book. I think the Red Wedding was one of the best pieces of writing I’ve read in a long time. The build up was fantastic, and the outcome just heartbreaking.