Top 10 Tuesday – Books That Made Me Want to Do or Learn Something

Top 10 Tuesday – Books That Made Me Want to Do or Learn Something

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books that have made you want to learn or do something.

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

lord_of_the_rings_book_cover_by_mrstingyjr-d5vwgctThis one seems to crop up in almost every list or tag I do. It’s because I grew up with it and it’s inspired a lot of my likes and passions. One of the things that it has made me want to do and that I have accomplished to some degree is to become a really good archer, like Legolas. I still have a little work to do before I reach his skill, but I’m a pretty good archer.

2. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

inferanalAnother one that I use often for my replies, but it’s one of my favourite series. And it has inspired, or perhaps rekindled a passion for the classics and for learning quotes because Will Herondale. These are things I’ve always loved, but I had neglected for a long time before reading the series.

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne_of_glass_ukThis book has inspired me to start writing. I had had a story in my mind for years and years and I never really felt like writing it until I read Throne of Glass. After dashing through the series in a few days, I had a huge book hangover and I could not find anything that would take the edge off. And then I remembered the story that had been in my brain for so long and I realized that my main character was close to Celaena’s badassness so I wrote myself 50,000 words of ToG hangover cure in a few weeks.

4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

the-complete-sherlock-holmes-sherlock-holmes-booksI’ve always been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and I was really inspired by the books and the films and also the BBC show – basically every encounter I had with the character of Sherlock Holmes has inspired me to be aware of my surroundings, to pay attention, to observe. There have been times when I would do it obsessively, but even just in general, I have always worked to be a good observer and I owe that to Sherlock Holmes.

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

ukdsbhcThis book has made me want to visit Prague. I mean, I’ve always wanted to see as many places as I could and I’ve always thought Prague would be a great city to visit, but after reading this, I REALLY want to go.

6. The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin

22828394It’s a bit weird, because this has literally nothing to do with the book, but I just really wanted to know what the Schwarzschild radius is, so this book was the reason I spent hours reading about black holes and spheres and radii.

7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

immortalinstruments6booksThis series has made me want to brush up on my Latin. Because Jace could ‘speak’ it and I remembered that I really liked Latin in school. This series has also made me want to learn how to use throwing knives and start martial arts again. It’s pretty obvious why, I should think.

8. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

13486632I’ve had an itch for looking up things about World War II and just the general global political occurrences of the 20th century ever since I started reading this book.

9. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

13188729I’ve always loved ciphers and logic puzzles. Reading Bitterblue sort of rekindled that love and made me want to learn more about ciphers, become better at decrypting them and just generally improving my logical thinking skills.

10. Neanderthal Seeks Human by Patty Reid

17673307It’ll probably sound ridiculous, but I’ve really wanted to know what makes stain-resistant carpets stain-resistant ever since reading this book. I was a little bit upset that the question was posed, but never answered in the book, so I had to look into it myself (something known as Triexta – a corn-derived polymer – is as far as I could tell the best stain-resistant carpet fiber out there).

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White – Book Review

22613491Rating: 3/5

Genre: Contemporary romance

First published:  2013

Author: Karey White

Synopsis: When she was 16, Elizabeth’s mother took her to see Pride and Prejudice, the version with Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and she fell in love with Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy. She promised herself that she would not settle for anything less than her own Mr. Darcy. Six years later, she still hasn’t found him and her best friend forces her into a deal: she must give the next guy to ask her out ten dates no matter what he looks like. She reluctantly agrees and starts dating a young teacher, but things get interesting when a spitting image of her beloved Mr. Darcy walks into the bank where she works.

Book Depository | Goodreads


I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. So this book appealed to me. It was a really fun and easy read, although it was entirely predictable. Still, I did enjoy it. It was kind of ridiculous, as you may be able to tell from the synopsis. Elizabeth’s obsession was silly and unrealistic and while it’s plausible for a 16 year-old girl to think like that, Elizabeth is 23 for most of the book. So don’t go into this book expecting a good plot or very interesting characters or even incredibly romantic romance. But if you’re looking for a cute, quick read that doesn’t require much attention, this is a fun book.

There’s this sort of love triangle going on between Elizabeth, Chad the teacher and her Mr. Darcy lookalike, but it’s very obvious which way it will go. I mean, one of them is perfect and does no wrong, never hurts her, never upsets her, never even does anything slightly irksome. He’s annoyingly perfect (boring). Then the other one has a little bit more of a personality which always seems to rub Elizabeth the wrong way. At first, he’s standoffish and very inconsiderate, but honestly I liked him better just because he actually has a personality beyond “whatever Elizabeth wants”. Anyway, it’s pretty obvious who she ends up with from the start.

Elizabeth I did not like as a character. I thought she was selfish and quite shallow and really did not deserve either of them. She doesn’t listen to anyone telling her that her obsession has gone too far and she just ends up hurting everyone in the process (herself included). I guess maybe she was supposed to be “prejudiced” like the Elizabeth for whom she was named, but she just came across as immature and irresponsible.

None of the other characters had much depth, they were just sort of there as fillers, so I don’t have much to say about them. As for the plot, well this wasn’t a plot driven book. I have to say thought, bank tellers in Portland must be really well paid because Elizabeth could afford to always eat out.

As I said before and as you probably realize from my review, this is the kind of book you read when you’re really busy or really tired and you want to read something, but you just can’t read something more intense. It’s a fun, light book, but don’t go into it expecting too much.

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve never done it before, but I figured I’d give it a try.

Today I thought I’d talk about my top 10 favourite book couples. I’m not the biggest fan of the romance, it has to be a really good or if there’s more than just the romance going on in the book, then I don’t particularly care. But if it is a good one, I’m a total sucker. So let’s see what I come up with.

**SPOILER ALERT I’m going to try not to spoil anything, but because of the nature of this post sometimes, that may not be possible.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

b95adf173fbf6fb68148f17212ed78dbThis is probably my favourite romance novel. I don’t know why this book is so beloved, I can’t quite put my finger on why I love it so much. But I am low-key obsessed with Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy is so friggin hot and I just love their relationship. I love it.

Lou and Will from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

et00035678I’ve talked about this book so much recently. It’s such an amazing love story and I really loved this book. It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming and it definitely deserves a place on this list. I love both Will and Lou and I loved their love story. I also just watched the film today and I am currently a mess.

Rhys and Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

tumblr_o7nez2zbeo1r80kcoo1_r1_500
Fanart by http://taratjah.tumblr.com/

This couple is everything. I absolutely adored them and I was so happy about hwo their story played out. I loved how it grew to be what it was, how it became something greater than the sum of its parts. They’re probably one of my favourite fictional couples and they deserve each other. This list is in no particular order, by the way. I know it says top 10, but I’m just typing them up as I think of them.

 

Hazel Grace and Augustus Water from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

faultcoverI loved this book so much. Again, like Me Before You, it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I loved Augustus Waters and I loved Hazel Grace and I loved their relationship. It was cute, but it was also genuine and powerful and real. It was beautiful.

Drew and Kate from Tangled by Emma Chase

71owghguhjlThis book really surprised me with how much I liked it, which is why it’s on this list. It was funny and honest and sexy and I just couldn’t help but like Drew and Kate and their relationship.

Will and Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

clockwork_angel_1I was team Wessa from the start. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jem, but Will is my baby, I just love him and Tessa is awesome and she deserves someone as awesome as Will and Will deserves someone as awesome as Tessa.

Jem and Tessa from The Infernal Devices/The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

616nnvhj-hlYeah, I know what I just said. But they’re in my top 10 favourite as well. I can’t help it. They’re just too awesome together and Jem is a beautiful sweetheart and he deserves Tessa and Tessa deserves a beautiful sweetheart and I love them almost as much as I love Will and Tessa. This series honestly ruined my heart with its beautiful love and if this wasn’t a post about romantic couples, my next one would be Will and Jem. Don’t even get me started on their bromance.

Holly Short and Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

6214061-256-k101891Maybe this is a little bit strange because it’s a middle grade series and Holly and Artemis were never really a couple. But they would just be such a kickass couple. He’s super smart, but also kind of an idiot and she’s just a total badass and they just complement each other so nicely. I totally ship Holly and Artemis.

Sydney Carton and Lucie Manette from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

1953I just ship them, okay? Again, I know they were never really a couple, but in my brain they were. So I’m putting them on this list.

Magnus and Alec from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

magnus-teammalec-alec-malec-favim-com-4245164Magnus is a giant bagful of glitter and Alec is a fluffy ball of cuddles and we all know that if you get glitter onto something fluffy, you won’t get it off so you might as well just admit it’s fabulous and move on with your day.

 

 

That is it for my top 10 favourite couples. There is a lot of Cassandra Clare in this post. What can I say, she just has the best couples.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Book Review

me-before-you-book-cover          et00035678

Book Depository | Goodreads

This was an amazing, emotional and beautiful book. I knew, before I even started it that it was going to be a real tear-jerker. But it was so much more than that. It made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. It made me think, it challenged me to ask questions about myself and my life and the way I view the world. I loved it so much, but it also broke my heart and made me bitter.

This was a story about love and self-discovery; about pain and loss. It was a bold novel, I would say. It was honest, and at times a bit difficult to read because it brought the reality of what it means to be a quadriplegic, to be a prisoner of your own body, unable to do anything on your own.

I really enjoyed the setting – a small English town. There aren’t that many books that I read that are set in England (probably because I read so many high fantasy books), so I really enjoyed this aspect of it. I enjoyed all the English-isms very much.

They’ve made a film now as well. Just based on the cast, I’d want to watch it. But I don’t know if I have it in me just yet. Especially because… Sam Claflin… Finnick, my baby. I’m still not over it, still not over my Finnick. I think Sam Claflin has taken it upon himself to break everyone’s heart over and over and over. And over. Also, Emilia Clarke! I mean, come on! They got Emilia Clarke to play Louisa Clark. Am I the only one who finds this perfect in a funny kind of way?

So, what more to tell you without spoiling anything? I don’t feel like there is much left to say other than that it was beautiful and I am definitely looking forward to reading some more of Moyes’s works.

**SPOILER ALERT – THE REST OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK**

Like I said, this book has made me so bitter. I knew it would. I knew it would make me feel bitter and angry and heartbroken and exhausted, but I kept reading anyway because I couldn’t put it down. Because it was so funny and beautifully written. So genuine and full of life, despite everything. I can’t really come to terms with it. I mean, from the get, all the possible outcomes of this story sucked. Will would either kill himself, or he wouldn’t and he would live another decade or two in pain and suffering and frustration and then die anyway.

This book has made me think of that Doctor Who quote “Everybody knows that everybody dies. And no one knows it better than the Doctor. […] Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call… everybody lives.”

I don’t know why, but I feel this quote is so relevant to this book. Because everybody did live. At least for 6 glorious months, both Will and Lou were more alive than they had ever been. And now, she lives on and Will lives too. Through her, through opening her eyes, through whetting her appetite for a bigger life than she had ever thought she would live. And it’s heartbreaking and it sucks and I wish it could have ended differently, but there were only ever two choices and they both sucked.

On an emotional level, this book was a tornado or a hurricane or a giant tsunami. Something that you see coming quite a way away, but getting out of the way is not that easy and when it hits you, it hits you hard. It’s a book you won’t forget easily, You won’t forget how it made you feel. But it wasn’t lacking on a more intellectual level, either.

There’s a huge and controversial and dare I say, taboo, theme running through the entire book. That of assisted suicide. Of whether it’s right or wrong, whether people in such situations should be given the choice of ending their lives ‘on their own terms’. I’m not going to give my opinion on this subject, because it’s not really a black and white topic, there are so many things to say and consider and no matter how much people want to simplify it, it just won’t be simplified. So I don’t believe a book review is the place to talk about it. But I will say that is was a brave theme to run with and I highly enjoyed this aspect of the novel.

Then there’s also the idea that a really good thing won’t necessarily cancel out all the bad things and a bad thing won’t cancel out the good things. Here we have Will and Lou, negative images of one another. Lou had something awful happen to her (two things, by the end of the book), but she was still full of life, she still found a way to move forward, to move on and see the beauty in life. Will had this one amazing thing happen to him in the person of Lou. She brought life and joy and happiness into his life, but he couldn’t see past the darkness. I thought that was another interesting aspect of the story.

So yeah, this book packs a mean punch, but I’m glad I read it. I don’t know when I’ll be able to bring myself to see the film. And I don’t know when I’ll find it in me to read the sequel.