Anything that combines my love of books and Animal Crossing (probably the greatest game of all time, let’s be honest), and you can bet that I’ll be there.
I recently saw this tag over on one of my favourite book blogs, Pink Lemonade & Paperbacks, and although I wasn’t personally tagged I just had to give it a go, too. Originally created by Bookish Things and Tea, I think this is a really unique idea, and I’m so excited to take part. On with the questions!
I love reading classics, although sadly I haven’t been reading that many as of late, and that’s something that I’d really like to remedy in 2018. You can’t beat a good, cosy modern classic in terms of comfort reading, and there are so many authors that I’d like to read more of, such as Angel Thirkell, Winifred Hotlby and Barbara Pym, to name but a few. I also adore Persephone Books and have a rather large backlog of them on my bookshelf that I really need to get to soon, but top of the pile is definitely No Surrender by Constance Maud. First published in 1911, No Surrender tells the tale of women factory workers’ fight for the vote, and the prejudice that they come across while fighting for their rights. I think this would be a particularly great title to read this year during the centenary celebrations of the Representation of the People Act, and it definitely sounds like something I’d very much enjoy.
This was a pretty difficult question, but I think I’m going to have to go with A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. While I really enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in the trilogy, ACOMAF completely blew it out of the water for me. Sarah J. Maas’ writing improved dramatically from the first to the second book, the characters were phenomenal and the world-building was beautifully done. Not only is ACOMAF to date my favourite Sarah J. Maas book that I’ve read, it’s definitely up there with my favourite fantasy, and indeed general fiction, novels of all time. It’s truly breathtaking, and I’m planning on a re-read soon as I still haven’t been able to bring myself to read A Court of Wings and Ruin… it’s going to happen before May, I promise you that!
While I’m not sure that Prague strictly counts as a large city, I adored the setting of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, which took place partially in the Czech Republic capital. Laini Taylor describes the magical, fairytale-feel of the city so beautifully, and it really is the most unique setting for a fantasy novel. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Prague twice in the last couple of years, and had a great time exploring the locations mentioned in the books. Karou’s city felt so real, and although I didn’t manage to spot her blue hair in the crowds or stumble upon Brimstone’s door, I was always half-expecting to, and if something magical is going to happen then Prague really would be the ideal place.
Although it is only February, and we’re only a little way into 2018, there have already been so many fantastic new releases, and so many more on the horizon. I’ve read some wonderful recent releases in the past few weeks, but I think Still Me, the third book in Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You series, is definitely my favourite. I adored the first two instalments and Still Me certainly lived up to my extremely high expectations. This time we follow Louisa in her new job in New York, and it was just such fun being back with one of my favourite fictional characters – can I just be Louisa’s friend, please?! I was laughing out loud throughout and even shed a few happy tears, and I can only hope that there will be plenty more books featuring Louisa in the future.
Without a doubt, it’s going to have to be I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I adore this modern children’s classic, and I cannot count the number of times that I have returned to it over the past ten years or so. It’s a beautifully British coming-of-age novel that’s filled with everything that I love – dysfunctional families, romance, adventure, and the great outdoors. Every time I read it, depending on my mood or what’s going on in my life, I get something new from it, and find something within Cassandra, our protagonist, or one of the other characters to relate to. I also highly recommend the 2003 film adaptation starring Romola Garai and a young Henry Cavill, it’s perfect!
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, the first instalment in the beloved His Dark Materials trilogy, is a book that is extremely rich in writing and description, with a magical plot and a large cast of characters to fall in love with. I have loved this series for a very long time, and while every book is excellent, I think the very first still as my heart. Again I have been meaning to re-read the trilogy for a while, so I can finally get around to reading The Book of Dust, which I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about. If you haven’t already read Pullman’s books, then I implore you – you won’t regret it.
Despite the endless praise that it has been receiving, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is a novel that I really didn’t get on with. While the premise originally drew me in – it is an exploration into the case of Lizzie Borden – there was nothing within the book that I enjoyed. The pacing was too slow, the characters all unlikeable and a bit odd, and it was too gruesome and graphic for my tastes. A great disappointment, as I was sure I was going to enjoy it, but ultimately I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Historical fiction is probably my favourite genre of all to read, and consequently I found it really difficult to choose an answer for this question. Instead of narrowing it down to to just one, I’m going to go with an author instead, as both of her historical fiction novels that I have read have been exceptional. Both The Observations by Jane Harris and Gillespie and I by Jane Harris are extremely well-written historical fiction novels, both slightly dark and sinister with a a mystery at their heart. I loved both of these, and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good, meaty historical fiction to stick their teeth into – while the page count may be rather long, it’s definitely worth the effort. I own Jane Harris’ latest release, Sugar Money, and really hope to get to it soon, as if it is anything like her other books then I’m sure it will soon have a place on my favourites shelf.
I really enjoyed doing this tag, and welcome anyone who would like to to also take part – be sure to let me know so that I can read your answers! It really made me think about the books that I’ve read and have on my shelves, although it has also made me want to go and play Animal Crossing for the rest of the day, which probably isn’t the best for my productivity…