Posted in books, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Books I Want To Reread

I read a lot. Followers of this blog have probably realised that. However, because I have such a long To-Be-Read pile, I don’t always have the chance to go back and reread books. So this is my list of the Top 10 books I want to reread (at some point!):

  1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I read this book for GCSE English Literature and didn’t particularly like it. It wasn’t the story, I think it was just the teacher and having to read it and analyse it so slowly. I’m hoping to reread this again just to see whether my opinion of it has changed at all.
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – This is really for the whole series. Having visited the film studios, I’ve wanted to reread the series that have been a huge part of my life.
  3. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – I read this a couple of years ago after watching the TV series, but I’ve never got round to reading the other two books. Before I do that though, I know I’ll need to reread this book to refresh my memory.
  4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – This is possibly one of my favourite children’s books ever. I’m not sure when I last read it, but I have fond memories of it and I want to relive it.
  5. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor – I read this book a long time ago and I can’t remember really what happens. All I could remember was that it was based around Alice in Wonderland but was set in Victorian London. I’ve literally just had to Google it to find the name of the book. And going on what it says on Amazon… it’s a trilogy. I probably should buy them at some point.
  6. Atonement by Ian McEwan – I can’t really remember the finer details of this book, just the overall plot. I remember enjoying it (and being surprised as I hated Enduring Love) and I’d like to refresh my memory
  7. Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo – Mum mentioned how Michael Morpurgo turned like 71 in October and I was shocked. I hadn’t realised he was so old! I started reading his books in Year 5 (thanks Mrs Leggett!) and I went through a phase of only choosing his books to read out of the library. Private Peaceful made me cry and I think I’d like to read it again. Actually, I’d just like to buy all of his books and have a Michael Morpurgo collection… If anyone wants to buy me any presents…?
  8. Jumping to Confusions by Liz Rettig – Okay, so this is a book for teenagers. I don’t really care. I think I borrowed it from the library so I only read it the once, but the story has always stuck with me and I’d just like to read it again.
  9. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge – This was made into a film a while back? I haven’t seen that though. I probably read this when I was about 11 and I don’t recall another time reading it, so why not? I can just add it to the growing pile of books I want to read/reread
  10. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White – Another classic children’s book. One that I don’t think I read until I was a teenager. I just think I should reread this.

What books do you want to reread? Feel free to comment 🙂

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Posted in books

15 Books I Want To Read In 2015

So, I kind of got this idea from Beth, who is my brother’s fiancée, although as an avid reader, it makes sense for me to do a post like this 🙂

I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I want to expand my horizons with the types of books I read. I tend to stick to particular genres, and usually the books are fairly modern (by that I mean that they’re not usually written before I was born).

Currently I’m reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres and I’m really enjoying it. I watched the film a couple of years ago, and I always meant to read the book – and now I’m finally getting round to it. I find it slower reading that a lot of other books I’ve read, but I think that’s also because I’m so busy at the moment, I don’t have the time to just sit and read all day (unfortunately!)

So, on to the list:

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker I was supposed to read this for my A-Level English Literature, however, I dropped it before I ever actually started. It’s a shame because I really liked the concepts and themes we would have been covering in Year 13, but unfortunately, Year 12 had been pretty boring and I decided I’d rather keep up French instead. This book has always appealed to me, but even when I was going through my ‘I love vampire books’ stage, I never read it. Hopefully, 2015 will change that.
  2. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene Mum suggested this one to me a few years ago (when I was about to start A-Level English Literature – it had been on the long list of books, that we could choose a few from, to read over the summer). I’d like to read this one as well as it’s based around true events that occurred. Plus, Charles Sabini (the real-life version of Pinkie – I think!) is related to me somehow. I think he is the brother of some great-great grandma or something like that.
  3. The White Princess by Philippa Gregory I read The White Queen last year, however, I’d been bought that and the 3rd installment of the series initially so never progressed any further. I’d originally seen the BBC Drama which made me interested in the books, and it’s a part of English history that I’ve not really learnt much about (school always seemed to focus on the Tudors and events later than that). I now have all the books, so I hope to read all of them next year but I figured I’d just put the last installment down.
  4. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before I think. I watched the BBC Drama back when I was 12 and started to read the book then. I never finished it. I’ve picked it up to read a couple more times, but I’ve never actually made it to the part when she goes to live with her rich relatives. I think I just find the start quite slow, but I’m determined to read it this next year.
  5. The Host by Stephenie Meyer I know I slate Twilight all the time, but I heard that The Host is different. Plus, I’ve had this book since I first started reading Twilight in year 8, so it’s probably about time I read it. Plus, I’d like to see the film (it’s got Max Irons in and since seeing The White Queen I would love to see him act in something else) but I don’t want to until I’ve read the book.
  6. Watership Down by Richard Adams I started this book when I was 7. I think I managed to get halfway through, but I found the way it was written very difficult to read. Even as a 7 year old, I didn’t want to know all about grass and vivid descriptions of carrots or whatever else rabbits think about. I’d like to read it though, so I can say I have. And also to finish something that I started 13 years ago.
  7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn I’ve heard lots of great things about this book and I’d like to read it so I can see what it’s all about. Plus it’s a film? And once again, I’d like to read the book before I see it.
  8. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce I’ve seen the film for this (and haven’t read the book! I know!) and I really enjoyed it. I think I attempted the book once, but I found it confusing. Having seen the film though, I think that I might find it easier to understand (plus, being an adult now might help too).
  9. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman I suppose if I read this, I might also read the others in the series. I’m interested to see what I make of these books from what I’ve heard about them, and from my own Christian perspective.
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen I feel like I need to read some Austen. I haven’t read any. Ever. (Well, apart from the time I attempted to read this book last year). Hopefully, having this list of books will give me some incentive to read it and finish it.
  11. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett This book is probably going to be unlike anything I’ve read before. So it’ll be interesting to see whether I enjoy it or not. I also am aware that there is a TV adaptation of this which features Eddie Redmayne. Not that he was ever the reason for this book making it on to my ‘To read’ list in the first place.
  12. The Hundred Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson The name just appeals to me. My parents downloaded it on to our kindle account (I love sharing with my parents, it means I get all of their books too), so clearly one of them had an interest in it too. But the name! It just sounds interesting. I want to know why the hundred year-old man climbed out of the window.
  13. Citadel by Kate Mosse This also includes the previous novel called Sepulchre. I read the first book Labyrinth after I’d seen the TV adaptation (this time, I watched it because it had Tom Felton in. I can never resist him, even as a teeny tiny, adorable Draco Malfoy in the first few Harry Potter films). I really enjoyed the book though and found it really interesting – I’d also love to visit Carcassonne. I mean, look at this picture! It looks so lovely and amazing!download
  14. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas The film. The TV adaptation. Both have made me want to actually read the book and see how it was actually written. It just sounds like it would be a really good book if both the film and TV industry have made versions of it.
  15. A Christmas Carol / Great Expectations by Charles Dickens I couldn’t decide between the two as to which one I should include on my list. I love the 2001 version of A Christmas Carol where you’ve got the cartoon mice, and I’ve always wanted to read it. Great Expectations is just one I’ve been meaning to read all the way through (I can’t remember if I have) since having to do it at school. So they can both be on my list.

There are so many more books though. My list could go on forever and ever. I have a gazillion unread books in book form, and just as many on my kindle. This coming year, I hope to get back into reading again and at least acknowledge which books I’ve read, and which I haven’t. Any suggestions of other books to read will be welcome! I’ll just add them to my never-ending list!

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[Delayed] 30 Day Book Challenge // Day 30

Day Thirty: A book you couldn’t put down

So, it’s the final day! I kept going despite the gaps between the last few posts. It’s just been crazy recently, but I’ve finished a challenge and I enjoyed doing it!

I suppose whoever made this challenge (it probably says somewhere in the first blog post for it) thought that this one would be fairly easy to do? Or maybe not? I don’t actually know, but it’s definitely not easy. There’s been so many books where I haven’t been able to put them down, it’s difficult to choose just one. Especially as the more recent books I’ve read are at the forefront of my mind, more so than any books I read last year or the year before.

I suppose, as this may tie-in nicely to the next blog post I’ll do, I have to say Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I probably experienced this feeling with all of the books but this one is where I first remember it. (Although, when I first read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone I couldn’t get past the snake bit, and I used to have to skip the chapter with the Deathday party in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because it creeped me out. I find that kind of strange now… I could cope with all the creepy monsters like basilisks and Aragog *shudders* but not ghosts. I was a slightly weird child).

Mum hadn’t bought three copies of this book (she did for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) so I had to fight for my turn at reading it. I actually read it first because I read the quickest and I had nothing else to do that day (apart from tidy my room, which could wait). I was hooked though, I think that of the later books (4, 5, 6 & 7) the Half-Blood Prince is my favourite. You begin to learn about some of the characters more, and suddenly you see that a lot of things aren’t black-and-white, but there are grey areas (for example, Draco Malfoy).

I haven’t read these books in a while (I’ve been trying to get through some of massive ‘to be read’ pile – there’s not actually a pile though, just a massive list inside my head, a gazillion books on my shelves and however many more on my kindle) but I think I’m going to have to again. I’ve missed them a lot, and I enjoy reading them a lot!

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[Delayed] 30 Day Book Challenge // Day 29

Day Twenty-Nine: A book you hated

I don’t really like using the word ‘hated’ but I definitely thoroughly disliked Enduring Love by Ian McEwan. I don’t know whether part of it was because I had to read it for AS level English Literature – it could be very likely, but I didn’t enjoy the perspective in which it was written.

It’s not that I don’t like Ian McEwan as an author. I’ve read Atonement and I really liked that book. I think it was just that I often find reading from a male perspective difficult anyway (after all, men really don’t think like women do), but the way Joe’s mind works is completely different to mine.

There’s a bit at the start when there is a hot air balloon crash and instead of describing the way he ran towards it descriptively, he did it analytically, mentioning the angle at which he was running in relation to the hedge (or something like that).

I wouldn’t say I hated the book completely, I think that the story was fairly interesting and if it had been told in a different way, then I probably would have liked the book. As it stands, I don’t. Maybe I’ll attempt to read it again one day, but it currently isn’t on the list to be read any time soon.

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[Delayed] 30 Day Book Challenge // Day 28

Day Twenty-Eight: Favourite quote from a book

Sorry that this has been delayed! It’s that time of year again when I’m busy busy busy! I’ve had Carol services, Christmas concerts and deadlines suddenly spring out of nowhere (well, not really but I suddenly seem to have a lot to do!)

So, I’ll do Day 28 today, and then hopefully Day 29 tomorrow and then Day 30! And then my challenge will be done! I’m quite pleased that I managed to blog consistently for 27 days though, although it’s a shame I didn’t quite make the full 30.

I like a lot of quotes from books. A lot of them aren’t deep or profound, they just tend to make me smile (or even laugh out loud – although that is very rare!)

But I think this has to be my favourite:

“Things never happen the same way twice.”

C.S.Lewis, Prince Caspian

It just speaks so much to me. As a Christian, I sometimes expect God to answer my prayers just like that, and this shows that things won’t happen the same again and again. God will answer my prayers, but it won’t necessarily be in the way which I expect, and he won’t answer each prayer in the same way.

Plus, I love the Narnia series. And C.S. Lewis says some pretty amazing things that give so much insight to Christianity.

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30 Day Book Challenge // Day 27

Day Twenty-Seven: Book that has been on your “to read” list the longest

The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. Mum bought these books for my brother when I was about 8, and I’ve never read them. As a Christian, Mum said she found them difficult to read as Philip Pullman is very anti-Christianity. I think she was glad that neither me or Aidan ever really wanted to read them as children.

However, I do want to read them. I’m curious to read the books from a Christian perspective, and to understand what my mum meant about finding them difficult to read. So I suppose, they’ve been on my ‘To read’ list a long time, I just haven’t ever got round to it yet. I don’t think they’re at the top of my list though, there are so many books out there, and some I’m more interested in reading sooner that this series.

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30 Day Book Challenge // Day 26

Day Twenty-Six: A book that makes you laugh out loud

A joke book? Um, I don’t really read a lot of books that are comedy. I mean, I suppose there must be aspects to books that make me smile, but I’m not really the laughing out loud kind of girl. I’m more of a slight smile, inwardly laughing person.

The one book I remember being funny though is Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French. That kind of says it all really. After all, I find the Vicar of Dibley funny, so why not a book written by the actress?

Unfortunately, i can’t remember a lot of what happened in the book. I didn’t find the book so enthralling that I couldn’t put it down, and they are the sort of books that stay with me for a long time. Either that, or they’re really awful.

However, I remember enjoying it and after refreshing my memory by reading reviews on Goodreads – literally as I’m writing this – more of the story is coming back to me. I think I found it funny because of the over-exaggeration of the characters. So it seemed like a normal family – admittedly with quirks but don’t all families have quirks? – however, the characters are a bit over-the-top.

Some of the reviews are negative on Goodreads and I suppose I wouldn’t put this book in my Top 10 (to be fair, I don’t think I even have a Top 10 – the list would constantly be changing), it’s probably be near the middle, but I think that every book is probably worth reading. Even if you don’t find it enjoyable, at least you’re able to give your own opinion rather than just reciting someone else’s.