Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

This is another topic that is new for me, but was original done back in 2013 before I started joining in. Last week, you found out my book turn-ons. Now here are my top ten book turn-offs, those things that really put me off reading something (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

Blood and Gore

I understand with my love of crime, mystery and historical fiction now and again there will be blood shed, however I really don’t like an excessive description of all the blood and gore.

~ 2 ~

Depressing Drama

Death, divorce, abuse and lost children, sort-of-drama is really not my bag – life is full of this while I generally want to escape all that in my reading.

~ 3 ~

Explicit Sex Scenes

I get it people have sex and sometimes it is appropriate to the story, but I really don’t need to be told about it in explicit, blow-by-blow detail.

~ 4 ~

Horror

Okay being honest, I am simply one big wimp! So on the whole I don’t tend to read horror unless it is diluted by another genre, i.e. gothic horror or fantasy horror.

~ 5 ~

Love Triangles

Yes, there are some very good love triangles in literature, however recently I think it has been wildly over-used particularly in young adult fiction. Let’s be realistic every teenage girl does not have two guys chasing after her.

~ 6 ~

Modern Literary Fiction

In its very definition literary fiction involves social commentary, political criticism or focus on the human condition. All well and good for me if it as an element of a book but not as its sole purpose. Again the real world is full of this and I read to escape all that.

~ 7 ~

Over-Hype

If I am bombarded with advertisements, endorsements, reviews and people telling me I must read a book, I can really be put off a book. This could be because I become annoyed or fear that the book could never live up to the high expectations.

~ 8 ~

Romance

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romantic thread to a book, but I avoid books that have romance as the sole and only thread.

~ 9 ~

Technical Science-Fiction

I love science-fiction and there is nothing wrong with technical detail except that it usually goes straight over my head!

~ 10 ~

Truly Unlikable Characters

Characters don’t have to be good and perfect, however I do need to connect or find something likable about them. Otherwise I struggle to invest my time in them or their story.

What puts you off reading a book? Also, please link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.

New Books: April 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I have to confess to something of a splurge this month adding all these goodies to my Kindle and bookshelf:

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D.J. Donaldson

Being a fan of Chris Packham and after hearing such wonderful things about his memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, I was thrilled my request was approved on Netgalley. Also through Netgalley, I was pleased to receive a copy of Assassination at Bayou Sauvage, from Donaldson’s Broussard & Franklyn crime series, after I loved Blood on the Bayou.

The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

The Crystal Cave

The Hollow Hills

The Last Enchantment

by Mary Stewart

The real splurge happened on Amazon.co.uk, when I discovered that all of Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy, which were on my wish list, and Cornick’s dual time period novel were all at a discounted price for Kindle. I still have credit on a voucher I got for my birthday which meant I just had to get them all!

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King

Cold Fire by Dean Koontz

Then recently I had a good mooch in The Works and found these in the 3 for £5 deal. The Rose Garden is my favourite of Kearsley’s wonderful novels, good to have a physical copy now, and The Murder of Mary Russell is one of the newer instalments in the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series, which I must get back to reading. While I picked up Cold Fire with my dad in mind, but I will probably read it myself too after enjoying Koontz’s Innocence.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got this month?

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Ons

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

This topic was originally done back in 2013 way before I started taking part, so it is brand new for me. Here are my top ten turn-ons when it comes to books and my reading (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

Cosy-Crime

While now and again I do enjoy a gripping, psychological thriller on the whole in my reading I prefer a steady, cosy murder mystery. Something easy on the brain.

~ 2 ~

Dragons

From the cruel, cunning Smaug from The Hobbit to the noble, serene Saphira from Eragon…who doesn’t love a dragon?!

~ 3 ~

Fairy Tales

Since childhood I have loved fairy tales, now as an adult I love novels that are inspired by or put a twist on these classic fairy tales too.

~ 4 ~

Gothic

Some of my all-time favourite books come under the sub-genre of gothic, including: Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Rebecca and The Hound of the Baskervilles.

~ 5 ~

Historical Setting

I absolutely love escaping in my reading to a time gone by. Whether that’s to a romantic, nostalgic time period or to a bloody, turbulent one, which you will be very pleased you weren’t born into!

~ 6 ~

Magical Creatures

I know I mentioned dragons already, but really any magical creature peeks my interest, including: fairies, elves, unicorns, goblins, centaurs, fauns, daemons, giants…and many more.
(Yes, I absolutely adored the Fantastic Beasts film!)

~ 7 ~

Mystery

As discussed before I love cosy-crime, I also love a sweeping mystery…preferably containing family secrets, history and a large, country house.

~ 8 ~

Strong Females

I love a strong female protagonist. From the witty Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, to the kick-ass Katniss Everdene from The Hunger Games. Go girl power!

~ 9 ~

Talking Animals

It could be a book, film, TV show or even an advert…but if it has a talking animal in it you’ve got me! C S Lewis’ Narnia feeds this love of mine the best.

~ 10 ~

Time Travel/Time-Slip

Susanna Kearsley, one of my favourite authors, is pretty much the queen of time-slip novels. Not only do we get to view a time gone by, but we get to vicariously experience it through a modern-day, relatable character.

What makes you want to instantly read a book? Also, please link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.

Come back next week, for my book turn-offs!

Tough Travels: Beginnings

Blog - Tough TravelsMy fellow bookworms and fantasy lovers, I am so pleased to announce that the Tough Travels meme is back! For those of you that haven’t heard of it before, it was a weekly meme featured over on the Fantasy Review Barn, that was inspired by The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. Now it is returning as a monthly meme over at Fantasy Faction, but otherwise it will follow the same format of spotlighting a different trope and invite other bloggers to compile their own list of examples.

Without further ado, our first topic is: BEGINNINGS.

I missed this topic first time round, so it is great to have another chance to share with you now some of my favourite beginnings:

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole and that means comfort.’

**********

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling

‘Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.’

**********

The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien

‘When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.’

**********

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

‘The wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.
The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods moved men as though they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the middle of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like the madness in a weasel’s eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?”
There was a pause.
Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well, I can do next Tuesday.”‘

**********

Do you like these? What are your favourite beginnings of fantasy novels? Please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s topic too.

Awards: One Lovely Blog Award

Hello my fellow bookworms, I am so pleased to share that I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Shameeka’s Fictional World; thank you Shameeka! The rules to take part are simple:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.
  • Share 7-15 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them.

10 Facts About Me:

  1. If you read this blog regularly you will know I love to read, but you may not know that this is actually my eighth year blogging here about books.
  2. My favourite genres to read are: fantasy, historical fiction and mystery.
  3. Some of my favourite authors are: JRR Tolkien, Jane Austen, CS Lewis, Daphne du Maurier, Terry Pratchett, Susanna Kearsley and Charles Dickens.
  4. My favourite place to read is snuggled up in a blanket with a mug of tea (preferably peppermint or camomile); even better if my cat Bonnie comes to snuggle with me.
  5. As well as reading, I love to watch adaptations of said books which I discuss in monthly posts.
  6. I also have a new-found love of cooking and cookbooks, so I have also started doing monthly posts for that too.
  7. I particularly enjoy cooking and eating large, comforting one-pot dishes like stews, soups, casseroles and curry…especially curry!
  8. Outside of blogging, I work one-to-one with children that have special educational needs in a primary school.
  9. My other hobbies are: watching television and films; going to the cinema and theatre; and dancing: I have been a member of a local belly dance group for about 7 years.
  10. Finally, but certainly not least, I am a practicing Christian and an active member of my local church. I recently led my first Holy Communion service! However you will usually find me with my hand up a puppet in the kid’s club.

My Nominations:

I have decided not to contact each nomination personally, because I have done this award several times over the years, as I am sure others have too, so I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to join in again. If you do join in, great! If you don’t that’s fine too – I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your wonderful writing and I want others to know about you too.

New Books: March 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, during March these are the goodies I added to my Kindle and bookshelf:

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

First, I popped over to Amazon to order a copy of Celebration of Discipline for my church’s book club. Whilst there I spotted that The Firebird, off my wish list, was being offered for a good price, and together I could have free postage and packaging…so obviously I had to order both!

The Shadow Queen by Anne O’Brien

The Mistress of Blackstairs by Catherine Curzon

Dunstan by Conn Iggulden

Then over the month, I was very lucky to receive these three historical fictions via Netgalley. I have previously enjoyed novels by Anne O’Brien, while Catherine Curzon and Conn Iggulden are new-to-me authors; although I have heard a lot of good stuff about Iggulden.

Freefall by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Finally, during a mooch around my favourite charity book shops, I snapped up a copy of this; which is book three in Gordon and Williams’ bestselling Tunnels series. I have previously really enjoyed reading the majority of this series, but I borrowed the books so I am now trying to build my own collection. Annoyingly, though I haven’t found book two yet.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books did you get in March?

Goodbye March, Hello April 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? March is another month which seems to have just flown by for me! We celebrated my dad’s birthday early on and later there was Mothers’ Day. I also watched some great adaptations and I managed another trip to the theatre; this time to see a production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Now here are the books I’ve been reading:

Fiction: 3          Non-Fiction: 1

First, I read Faith and Moonlight: Part 2 by Mark Gelineau & Joe King, which continues the young adult thread of their Echo of the Ascended fantasy series. Now, I have run out of their novellas so Mr Gelineau & Mr King please get writing! Next, I read the charming novella My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell – a bittersweet read as it was my fiftieth and final book for The Classics Club. Finally, I indulged in a comforting re-read of Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M C Beaton, which is the third instalment in Beaton’s long-running cosy crime series. My full thoughts on this final book are still to be posted.

Alongside these fictions, I also read a short non-fiction about John F Kennedy from Mark Black’s A Very Brief History series; after having previously read about Richard Nixon, I thought I would keep the president theme going. My full thoughts on this book are also still to be posted.

Also during the month,  I wrapped up my epic five year Classic Club challenge with refection posts: Five Years Gone and My Top Ten Reads..

Pick of the Month: My Lady Ludlow

So altogether I’ve read four books which is a pretty average amount for me. Although, I am very close to finishing a Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster as well. I have also been intermittently re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone via audiobook (usually while I do my ironing!) and I’ve started reading Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier.

In April, I am looking forward to celebrating Easter and the two week holiday that comes with it – hopefully there will be lots of time to read!

What did you do and read in March? What are your plans for April?