Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Harry Potter Character Names

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

Best Character Names (make this as narrow/broad as you’d like)

As soon as I started thinking about this topic, I realised just how many great character names there are in J K Rowling’s magical Harry Potter series. So here are my favourite cool and/or amusing Harry Potter character names:

  1. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore – The eccentric and wise headmaster of Hogwarts, has the longest and possibly the coolest name.
  2. Luna Lovegood – While she is extremely quirky and has some oddball beliefs, you just got to love Luna! And I think her name suits her perfectly. (I also considered her father’s name, Xenophilius Lovegood for this list).
  3. Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank – Hands down the funniest name has to go to Grubbly-Plank, the substitute Care of Magical Creatures professor.
  4. Mundungus Fletcher – A cowardly, light-fingered wizard dragged in to help the Order of the Phoenix – I often call my cat ‘Mundungus’ when she is being shameless!
  5. Fleur Delacour – This French Tri-Wizard champion is part-Veela (a magically seductive creature) who has a name as beautiful as she is.
  6. Salazar Slytherin – Over a 1000 years ago this pure-blood obsessed wizard founded the Slytherin house at Hogwarts and his name screams baddie!
  7. Bellatrix Lestrange – Another name that screams baddie is this for the  sadistic and deranged witch and an ardent follower of Lord Voldermort.
  8. Pomona Sprout – What better name could there be for a small, round witch, who is the magical plant-loving professor of Herbology?
  9. Nymphadora Tonks – This Metamorphmagus (a witch or wizard who can change their appearance at will) is one cool lady with a cool name.
  10. Cornelius Fudge – A whimsical name for the bumbling, good-natured Minister for Magic, who helps Harry out of a few sticky situations, when we first meet him.

What do you think of my choices? What are your favourite Harry Potter character names? Also, please leave a link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

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The Classics Club’s Monthly Meme: May 2018

Happily, I can announce that The Classics Club are bringing back their monthly Classic Meme feature., which I thought was a great opportunity for clubbers to discuss and share all things Classics. This month’s question revisits the very first meme question the club ever did! In the future, we can look forward to new memes, revisiting some old ones and offering our own recommendations, too! So head over to the club’s blog if you have any ideas.

For now though, the question to ponder this month is:

‘What is your favourite classic book? Why?’

I have to admit that this was a tough question to answer the first time and it certainly hasn’t got any easier with time, as I have now read even more wonderful classics! I could pick Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. However I still find myself drawn back to the answer I gave the first time, which was The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.

No matter how many amazing, accomplished classics I have read, so far nothing has knocked this childhood favourite from its special place in my heart, and I still find myself returning to it time and time again. Not only is this a magical tale that sweeps me away to Tolkien’s stunning Middle-Earth for a daring adventure with little Bilbo Baggins, this also holds wonderful memories for me. One of my earliest memories is of my dad reading this to me at bedtime and our shared love of this book was a big thing between my nan, my dad and I before she sadly passed. So with adventure, magic, songs, treasure, danger, friendship, a dragon and wonderful memories, what more could I want in a classic?!

What is your favourite classic and why? Also, please feel free to leave a link in the comments below for your own post for this month’s meme.

Goodbye April, Hello May 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are well? Well as you can see from my photo above, Bonnie and I got out to enjoy the few days of sunshine we had this month, although sadly it didn’t last! I also enjoyed celebrating Easter with friends and family, as well as taking a well-earned break over the Easter break. Over the month, here is what I’ve been reading:

Fiction: 2          Non-Fiction: 1

First I finished urban fantasy Hazard of Shadows by Mike Phillips, the second book in Phillip’s Chronicles of the Goblin King series. While I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the first book, The World Below, it was a fun, light read. Then I was totally gripped by the brilliantly written historical fiction The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, the second book in Gregory’s popular Cousins’ War series, which shows the War of the Roses from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor.

Alongside these fictions, I also read the Christian classic God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew, the inspirational true story of how a young Dutchman brought hope to persecuted Christians in Communist Eastern Europe. This was my April read for my church’s book club and I look forward to discussing it at our next meeting. My full thoughts on it are still to be posted – look out for my post later this week.

Pick of the Month: God’s Smuggler

Altogether that is three books finished, which is the same amount as last month. Carrying on into May, I have non-fiction, Charles II, Biography of an Infamous King by John Miller; young adult fantasy, Queen of Hearts, Volume 3: War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes and my Classic Club spin result: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

In May, I am looking forward to celebrating the birthdays of several friends and family members; my book club meeting to discuss God’s Smuggler and of course more quality time reading.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten…Frequently Used Words in My Historical Fiction Titles

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

Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles

There are several genres I could have chosen for this topic, however I immediately thought of historical fiction! So here are ten frequently used words in the titles of the historical fiction I have on my shelves:

  1. Queen – I have read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, The Shadow Queen, The Forbidden Queen and The Queen’s Choice by Anne O’Brien and Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir. While I have just finished The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, and I have The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle, Queen of Love by Christopher Nicole, and Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession and Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir on my shelf to read. (10)
  2. Tudor – I have recently read First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson and Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir. While I am looking forward to reading The Tudor Princess by Darcey Bonnette, and Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession and Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir. (5)
  3. King – I have read The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien. While I still have The King’s Concubine by Anne O’Brien, The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnet and Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir on my shelf to read. (4)
  4. Kingmaker – I have read Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims and Kingmaker: Broken Faith by Toby Clements. While I have copies of The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory and Kingmaker: Divided Souls by Toby Clements to read. (4)
  5. Lady – Some years ago now I read The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn. While I am looking forward to reading The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory and Lady on the Coin by Margaret Campbell Barnes. (3)
  6. White – I have read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson. While I have The White Princess by Philippa Gregory on my shelf to read. (3)
  7. Shadow – Some time ago now I read The Shadow Queen by Anne O’Brien and Master of Shadows by Neil Oliver. (2)
  8. Red – I just finished reading The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory and a few years ago now I read Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson. (2)
  9. Sister – I have previously read The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien and Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle. (2)
  10. Rose – Some years ago now I read Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson, while I have a copy of Anne, The Rose of Hever by Maureen Peters on my Kindle to read. (2)

Can you think of other historical fiction with these words in their title? Can you think of any other words frequently used in historical fiction titles? Also, please leave a link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Look Forward to Re-Reading

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

Freebie (create your own topic)

As one of my goals this year is to continue to make time for re-reading old favourites, I thought I would encourage myself by sharing with you the ten books I am most looking forward to re-reading soon:

  1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – My favourite of all of Austen’s wonderful novels, that follows the trials and tribulations of the Dashwood sisters. I look forward to seeing if it retains its top spot after a second read.
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – The first book in Collins’ popular dystopian, young adult trilogy, which I haven’t read since they were adapted into the highly successful film franchise with an all-star cast.
  3. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley – My first and favourite novel I read by Kearsley. I look forward to returning to the beautiful Trelowarth on the Cornish coast and seeing if I fall in love with it all over again.
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – Over the last year or so, I have been enjoying a comforting re-read of Rowling’s magical Harry Potter series, via the audiobooks read by the brilliant Stephen Fry.
  5. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy – I am hoping a re-read of this, the hopelessly romantic and tragic tale of Gabriel and Bathsheba, will spur me on to read more of Hardy’s novels.
  6. Sabriel by Garth Nix – After re-reading this and Lirael, the first and second books in Nix’s Old Kingdom series, I hope I will finally be able to get round to finishing the series with Abhorsen.
  7. Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard – My first and favourite novel I read by Gillard. I look forward to re-reading this powerful tale, as well as reading two new-to-me books I have by this wonderful author.
  8. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott – It has been many years since I read Scott’s classic novel. So long ago I remember little about it, except for a vague feeling that I enjoyed it. High time for a re-read don’t you think?!
  9. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens – Since reading this I read many of Dickens’ classic novels, and now it feels like the right time to go back and remind myself of this old favourite.
  10. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M.C. Beaton – At first, I thought this would be a new read in my continued journey through Beaton’s hilarious Agatha Raisin series, but on closer inspection I recognised the premise; so re-read it is!

Have you read any of these? What books would you like to re-read? Also, please leave a link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Tough Travels: Mothers

Tough Travels is a monthly meme hosted by The Fantasy Hive, which, inspired by The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones, spotlights each month a different fantasy trope for us to compile lists and have fun with. Last month we discussed APPRENTICES. This month’s topic is:

MOTHERS

Sadly, much of the fantasy I love has dead or absentee mothers, but with a good think I thought of these ladies, which represent some of the best and worst mothers of fantasyland:

  • Molly Weasley – First, from J K Rowling’s magical Harry Potter series, we have one of the best mothers of fantasyland: Molly Weasley, the small but big-hearted matriarch of a large family. What they may lack in money, she makes up for with love and good food… oh and knitted goods! Even with seven of her own children she takes the orphaned Harry under her wing.
  • Cersei Lannister – In stark-contrast to Molly, I have chosen Cersei Lannister, the beautiful but cold Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, from George R R Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire. While she does fiercely love her three children (who are all products of adulterous incest I may add) her scheming, blind ambition and ruthless actions sees them growing up weak and twisted.
  • Catelyn Stark – To balance things out for George R R Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire series, we have Catelyn Stark, who is a loving and dutiful mother to her five children. While I don’t always like her, I have to admit she is one fierce ‘momma bear’ – quite literally fighting off a dagger with her bare hands to protect her young son Bran.
  • Mrs Coulter – Next from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy we have the very beautiful Marisa Coulter, a well-educated, manipulative and ruthless woman, who in her pursuit of power has left behind the love of her life and her own daughter. While she does try to make amends it is all too little, too late really.
  • Natalie Prior – Finally I think we need another good mum, so here we have Natalie Prior from Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent series. She is the patient, loving mother of Tris and Caleb Prior, who it turns out can also kick-ass and bravely sacrifices all for her children.

Do you like my choices? Which mothers would you have chosen? Please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s topic too.

Tough Travelling is going on a hiatus for a while, so I’m sorry there will be no post next month to look forward too.

Goodbye March, Hello April 2018

Happy Easter my fellow bookworms – blessings, love and peace upon you and your families. March has been another cold, wet month here in the UK, but we had World Book Day, Mothering Sunday, my dad’s birthday, the lead up to Easter and a little sunshine to cheer us! Over the month, from mainly within my blankets again, I have read:

Fiction: 2          Non-Fiction: 1

First I finished the brilliantly touching historical fiction, Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir, the first book in Weir’s epic series following the ill-fated wives of Henry VIII. I have the next two books lined up to read soon. Then right at the end of the month, I finished the American classic, This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, my first book off my new Classics Club list. Sadly, I am behind on all my reviews, so you will have to keep your eyes peeled in April for my posts on both of these.

Alongside these fictions, I also read the short non-fiction, Ronald Reagan: A Very Brief History by Mark Black, another super quick charge of US history. Again, I am sorry, you will have to wait for my full thoughts on this, but I hope to have my post up later this week.

Pick of the Month: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen

Altogether that is three books finished, which is down on my previous two months – I don’t think I particularly read less, instead I was just reading two long and intense novels for most of March. Carrying on into April, I have fantasy Hazard of Shadows by Mike Phillips, the second book in Phillips’ Chronicles of the Goblin King series, and a non-fiction, Charles II, Biography of an Infamous King by John Miller.

In April, I am looking forward to a week or so off work for the Easter break, which should give me plenty of time to catch up with my reading and my reviews.

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