Top Ten Tuesday (25)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

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This week’s topic is Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books You’ve Read In The Past Year Or So.

I’ve noticed that the guys over at The Broke and the Bookish chose to select books they read that have 500 reviews or fewer on Goodreads. Since only a few books I read in the last year meet these criteria, I’ve included a few of my 2015 reads.

1
Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching Under Occupation by Tom Sperlinger
It offers an interesting insight into the daily life of students in the occupied territories, and because it’s a relatively short one it’s a good option for someone who doesn’t have the time to commit to a longer book.
Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday (25)”

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Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

This week’s theme: Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

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Okay so I know I’m a terrible fangirl for not having bought/read this one, but I’m kind of in two ways about it. Some people love it, others hate it, which is why I’ve been a bit hesitant thus far. But I wouldn’t mind finding a copy of it under the Christmas tree!

Syrian Dust: Reporting from the Heart of the War by Francesca Borri

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Not exactly light reading, but I saw an interview with her recently which was really interesting and made me want to read her account of living in and surviving Aleppo.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday (24)”

Top Ten Tuesday (23)

Hi guys, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday. I really love this meme because it’s so diverse and it really forces you to think about your favourite reads, literary tropes, and many other things. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and if you run a book blog and want to participate, go check it out!

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This week’s topic is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. I think this is a great one because I love reflecting and looking back on the wonderful books I’ve read in the past. Since we’re only a few months into 2015 I’ve chosen books that I read in the period from 2012-2014.

2012

  • Ken Follett – The Pillars of the Earth
  • Elif Shafak – The Bastard of Istanbul
  • George R.R. Martin – A Game of Thrones
  • Dawn French – A Tiny Bit Marvellous

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2013

  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón – The Shadow of the Wind
  • Khaled Hosseini – And The Mountains Echoed
  • Elizabeth Chadwick – The Summer Queen

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2014

  • Kader Abdolah – The King
  • Ruby Wax – Sane New World: Taming the Mind
  • Alexander McCall Smith – 44 Scotland Street

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I could’ve picked a few more books from the past few years, but since I had to limit myself to just 10 I had to think about this carefully. If you take part in this TTT list, leave me a comment so I can check our your picks! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday (22)

So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and as I’m posting it it’s only just still Tuesday (but it’ll be Tuesday for another few hours in some parts of the world so that totally counts, right?)

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This week’s topic is a pretty cool one, which is why I just had to do it. It’s: Top Ten Favourite Heroines From Books (or TV shows/films). Pretty cool huh? Mine will be a combination of the two, because there are awesome heroines in every medium.

1. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter series.
This one should go without saying really. She’s smart, she’s brave, but she doesn’t have to sacrifice her femininity in order to be all of those things.

2. Danaerys Targaryen – A Song of Ice and Fire
She gets bullied and abused by her brother, sold and forced to marry the leader of a brutal gang of warriors on horseback. So what does she do when her husband dies? She takes control and leads that unruly troop into battle and tries to free as many slaves as possible. Oh yeah, badass.

3. Vianne Rocher – Chocolat
What I love most about her is that she stays true to who she is and what she believes in, but at the same time she accepts and respects people’s differences and doesn’t try to convince them of her ways, even though that’s exactly what they’re trying to do to her.

4. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games (the book version!)
She’s an admirable character and a likeable heroine because she gets thrown into a situation and tries to make the most of it. She sacrifices herself in order to save her little sister from inevitable harm, which is one of the most selfless things a person can do for a loved one.

5. Matilda – Roald Dahl
She’s probably the best role model for young girls there is. Matilda teaches girls that it’s okay and even good to be smart and different, and that you should stand up for what you believe in.

6. Precious Ramotswe – The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Her love for people and her country, and her general philosophy and outlook on life are simply amazing. If I had to choose the wisdom of one fictional character to live by, it would be the wisdom of Mma Ramotswe.

7. Lucie Pevensie – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #2)
She’s the first one to discover Narnia behind the wardrobe, and sets events in motion that eventually lead to saving the the magical land. She’s inquisitive, loveable and loyal, which is why I love her so much.

8. Ishraq – The Order of Darkness series
I love her because she’s a highly intelligent woman living in the Middle Ages, who basically doesn’t give a shit about the fact that women are supposed to be subservient slaves. She’s had an education, has knowledge of science, medicine, mathematics, and languages, as well as being a pro at martial arts. She doesn’t need to be saved from sticky situations. In fact, she’s the one doing the actual saving most of the time!

So that’s all from me for now. Who’s your favourite fictional heroine?

Top Ten Tuesday (21)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

This week’s topic is absolutely wonderful, as it’s: Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book (minor or just maybe a semi main character you wish a book was from their POV). This is something I think about a lot, so it was an absolute joy to list my favourite characters I wish had their own book. I didn’t manage ten, but in my opinion it’s quality that matters rather than quantity, especially when it comes to your favourite characters. So, in no particular order, here they are:

– Bertie, 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
He’s one of the many characters featured in this series of books, of which I’ve so far only read the first instalment. Bertie is a 5-year-old child prodigy with an extremely neurotic mother, who tries her best to make her child as educated as he can possibly be, but at the same time forces him to do so many things he doesn’t actually want to do. He’d rather be a normal boy. Though he is very intelligent, which makes for the most hilarious and absurd scenarios in the chapters in which he is featured. For instance, at one point he throws a tantrum about not wanting to play the saxophone anymore, but he does so in Italian, which his mother made him learn. And at another point he gets suspended from his nursery for writing graffiti on the bathroom wall (it read “my teacher is a cow” in Italian). He also needs to see a psychiatrist because he set fire to his father’s copy of The Guardian, while he was still reading it. I think a book centred around Bertie and his parents would be hilarious, though maybe it would be a bit much.

– Max, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I think Max is possibly the most fascinating character in the whole book, and I would love to know exactly what he went through. What would be most interesting would be to read his inner thoughts on, for instance, his time spent living in the Hubermanns’ cellar, and to see his interactions with Liesl from his point of view.

– Ford Prefect & Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
It could either be about one or both of them. I wonder what they got up to during the parts of the books where the story was focused on Arthur Dent. It’s probably hilarious and completely bonkers, and I would love to read something like that.

– Ishraq, The Order of Darkness series by Philippa Gregory
She’s an utterly fascinating character, and so far we, as readers, have learnt so little about her. What we know about Ishraq is that she’s of “Moorish descent”, and that her mother was captured and enslaved by the Turks. She studied in Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain), and is well-versed in languages, sciences, and martial arts. A book about her backstory is something I would enjoy reading.

– Armande, Chocolat by Joanne Harris
She’s quite a character, and I wonder what she was like in her younger years, and how she came to be the woman she is in the novel. I also wonder what might’ve happened to her, what kind of life she’s had, and how her daughter came to be the polar opposite of her mother. I don’t think people appreciate the character of Armande enough, but I think she’s a really interesting character.

Do you have any favourite (minor) characters who you wish had their own book? Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday (20)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

Well I guess this is my first and last TTT of October. I’ve been away for most of the month, but I’m back just in time for a great one, because this week’s topic is: Top Ten Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit. Now we don’t traditionally celebrate Halloween the way they do in North America, but in the past few years it’s become pretty popular all around Europe, and I have to say I quite like it as well. So here are my favourite books to read and films to watch to get into that spooky Halloween spirit.

Books

  • Bram Stoker – Dracula
    I guess this one’s a bit of an obvious choice, but I just really love it and for me it’s the only vampire novel that matters. Just spooky enough to get you in the right mood.
  • Emile Brontë – Wuthering Heights
    Perhaps this one isn’t spooky in any Halloween-y kind of way, but its gothic character gives it the right kind of atmosphere in my opinion.
  • Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland
    It’s not so much the atmosphere of the book in this case, but it might give you some pretty cool ideas for a costume!
  • Henry James – The Turn of the Screw
    It’s been a while since I read this, but it’s a pretty scary one so perfect for Halloween.

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Films

  • Hocus Pocus
    This is possibly my favourite Halloween film. I loved it as a child and I still love it a lot. A must-watch for Halloween.
  • Addams Family Values
    Or any of the Addams family episodes/films. Again this is something I used to love as a child and still enjoy watching.
  • Harry Potter
    Any of them, or have a marathon and watch them all. I don’t think this needs any further explanation.
  • Scary Movie
    Again, any of them. They’re silly, but a lot of fun.

Or you could of course watch a proper scary Horror film this Halloween. It’s not for me, but I know loads of people who would enjoy that.

Do you have any particular books or films to get you into the spirit of Halloween? Let me know and leave a comment down below.

 

Top Ten Tuesday (19)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

This week’s list is: Top Ten Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More. Now I’ve got quite a few of these. Either because I just haven’t had time to read any of their other books, or sometimes simply because subsequent books haven’t been published yet. Either way, I definitely want to read more by these authors soon. As usual, these are in no particular order.

  • Elizabeth Chadwick
    So far the only book by her that I’ve read is The Summer Queen, which is the first part in her Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy. The second volume, called The Winter Crown, came out a few days ago, so hopefully I’ll get to that one soon!
  • Deborah Rodriguez
    I read her book The Little Coffeeshop of Kabul over Christmas, and I absolutely adored it. I definitely want to read more from her.
  • Markus Zusak
    Like most people I’ve read and loved The Book Thief, but I’ve not read any of his other novels. I’ve heard that I Am The Messenger is quite good as well, so naturally it’s on my to-read list.
  • Sara Farizan
    I was so impressed by her novel If You Could Be Mine that I ended up using it as one of the case studies for my Master’s dissertation. I could hardly believe that it was her debut novel! So here’s to hoping she’ll publish another novel in the near future, because I would love to read more from her.
  • Laura Andersen
    Last year I read this book that I requested through Netgalley, called The Boleyn King. This novel centres around the idea of what would’ve happened if Anne Boleyn had given birth to a live son rather than a stillborn baby. Super interesting and again the first part of a trilogy, so I’m eagerly awaiting the other instalments.
  • John Green
    I’ve only read The Fault in Our Stars, and unlike many people I wasn’t very impressed. But I do really like John Green as a person, so I definitely want to give his books another go. Maybe TFiOS just wasn’t for me.
  • Stephen Fry
    It’s no secret that I’m a huge Stephen Fry fan, but so far I’ve only read one of his books. Making History was brilliant, very cleverly written, so I would love to read more of Stephen’s books. I do still have his autobiography, which I started reading some years back but still haven’t finished. Perhaps I should start that one again.
  • Orhan Pamuk
    I read My Name is Red a couple of years ago, and people are right to call it a masterpiece. It’s so well written and engaging, which is why I was so disappointed when I tried to read The Silent House and it just didn’t manage to hold my attention for more than a few pages. But I do want to read more of his works. I might give The Museum of Innocence a go next.
  • Azar Nafisi
    After reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, which I loved, here’s to hoping she’ll write more!
  • Dawn French
    She’s one of my favourite comedians, and her debut novel A Tiny Bit Marvellous was, for lack of a better word, marvellous. So funny, and it left me wanting more. Dawn has since published another novel, Oh Dear Silvia, which is still on my wishlist.

 

Which author(s) would you want to read more of?

Top Ten Tuesday (18)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

This week’s list is Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre. So for my list I have chosen ten underrated – in my opinion – authors and books in the category of Middle Eastern fiction. As usual, they are in no particular order.

Kader Abdolah – The King

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Elif Shafak – The Gaze

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Jenny White – The Sultan’s Seal

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Andrea Busfield – Born Under a Million Shadows

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Sara Farizan – If You Could Be Mine

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Dalia Sofer – The Septembers of Shiraz

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Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya – The Storyteller of Marrakech

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Zoë Ferraris – The Night of the Mi’raj

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Frances Kazan – The Dervish

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Sulaiman Addonia – The Consequences of Love

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So this is my week’s top ten. What’s yours?

Top Ten Tuesday (17)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

The topic this week is one I really love and can definitely relate to. Book covers are very important to me, and some of them are just so breathtakingly beautiful that I wish I could decorate the walls of my bedroom with them. Which is why this week’s topic is perfect, as it is Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces of Art. As usual they are listed in no particular order.

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1618 lollipop 9780670918805 houseofmosque

Would you ever considering framing book covers and putting them on your walls? If so, which one(s)?

Top Ten Tuesday (16)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where you can list any kind of top 10 that is related to books, authors, and reading in general.

TTT3W

It’s been a while since I last did one of these! This week’s topic is an interesting one, and one that really forced me to think about which books to recommend: Top Ten Books If You Like X tv show/movie/comic/play etc. I chose a top ten of books you’d probably love to read if you like historical period dramas such as The Tudors, The White Queen, and The Other Boleyn Girl. In no particular order:

  • Philippa Gregory’s Tudor Court novels (which includes The Other Boleyn Girl. Much better than the film!)
  • Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War novels (includes The White Queen)
  • The Summer Queen – Elizabeth Chadwick
  • The Lady Elizabeth – Alison Weir
  • The Boleyn King – Laura Andersen
  • The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel (which I haven’t actually read yet, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it)
  • The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier

Have you ever recommended books to people based on their taste in films/tv series etc? Let me know in the comments below!