Being brutally honest about books

Showing posts with label meme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meme. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Top 10 Historical Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre. Since I read so much historical fiction, I decided to list some underrated historical books you might not have heard of.
Covers go to Goodreads.

The Janna Mysteries series by
Curse of the Bond Riders series by
Destiny's Path series by
The Salt Roads by
 More historical-fantasy or magic realism, this time about three women in three different settings and how an African goddess connects them.

Despite The Falling Snow by
Goddess by
Gladiatrix series by

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by

Shaken to the Core by

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan by

Have you read or heard of any of these? Do you know of any other historical hidden gems? What historical setting would you like to read more about?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

3 Authors I've Been Meaning to Read

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. This week's question is: Who are some authors you have been meaning to read?

I'm sure there's a long list of authors I've been meaning to read but haven't yet for some reason or another. At the moment, I can only think of three, but there are definitely more. Links go to Wikipedia.

The first author that came to mind is Agatha Christie, known for her many detective novels. Her work is so famous, and references get made all the time (I'm thinking of two Doctor Who episodes in particular... If you watch the show you'll know what I'm talking about). Though it's not my main or favourite genre to read, I'm not averse to mystery/crime/detective stories, and I would love to cross Agatha Christie off my imaginary literature bucket list. The reason I haven't read any of her books yet is very simple: I don't know where the heck to start. If you have a suggestion, please let me know!

Another author I keep meaning to read but haven't is Neil Gaiman. I've had one of his books, Stardust, on my TBR for years, and I just haven't read it. I still want to, and I'm sure the library will have it, so I don't know what I'm waiting for. He wrote Coraline, so he must have a pretty good imagination. I should find out for myself.

Mary Renault is the third and last author I can think of that I keep meaning to read. She was known for her novels set in Ancient Greece and for writing about same-sex relationships in a time when it was probably illegal in most parts of the world. Ancient Greece and LGBTQ characters are two things I love to read about, so there's no reason why I shouldn't read her books as soon as possible. I plan to start with Fire from Heaven, her first novel about Alexander the Great. I'm such a nerd help!

Life is short, so I ought to get on to reading these three authors. I don't want to reach my deathbed and regret that I never read a Agatha Christie novel, for example, when I always intended to. Next time I'm wondering what to read, I think I know which authors to start with...

What authors have you been meaning to read? Why haven't you read them yet? Are there any authors you'd like to read but they've written so much you don't know where to begin?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Top 10 Historical Books I've Read So Far in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Best Books You've Read In 2017 So Far. You can break it down into a specific category, so I chose historical books because I've read so many this year (and in general tbh). In my list I'm including fiction, non-fiction, books set in the present/alternate present that deal with history, and a contemporary set in the past 25 years. *sighs* I love history so much.

Covers link to Goodreads.

The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by
Goddess by

Gladiatrix series by

Here Comes the Sun by

Radio Girls by
Shaken to the Core by

Cranky Ladies of History by various authors

The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great by

The Great Library series by

18456025  and  27833741
Tied for 10th place is Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's #1) by New Pompeii (New Pompeii #1) by

Have you read any of these? Who are your favourite authors of historical books? And what historical books do you always recommend?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

10 Things I Need More of in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist - things you want to see more of in books ie. tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc.

1. Main characters who stay single for the entire book/series

I want to see main characters who are aromantic, main characters who don't want a partner at this time, have sworn off love, aren't good with the ladies (or whatever gender/s they may prefer) or don't have time because they're too busy saving the world. It can be done. Really. I just need to see a single single character!

2. Bechdel Test passes

For those who don't know, it tests whether a fictional work includes (at least) two female characters who have a conversation about something that is not a male character. You'd think it would be pretty easy to pass the test, but I've read a surprising number of supposedly feminist books that don't.

3. Queer women characters whose identities are irrelevant to the plot

Let them be queer just because they can be, and then let them get on with it because, being book characters, they have work to do. Like saving the world.

4. Hate-love relationships

I live on that tension when two characters in the same room don't know if they want to fight or fuck each other. Mm yes. Build that tension as high as it can go. Tease me. 

5. Bisexual characters

Especially bi male characters. They aren't unicorns, y'know. Enough said.

6. Russia

It's one of my new favourite settings, and it's so cool! (Pun not intended.) I want to read more books set in Russia, by Russian authors. I don't want to read any more books about aristocrats during or after the Revolution, though - if I read books set in that era, I want to read about normal people.

7. Lesser known badass historical women

Hypatia, anyone? Or Empress Matilda? Vasilisa Kozhina? Khutulun? You guys know how I love my historical fiction, and I'd like to see more obscure figures portrayed in books. 
Vasilisa Kozhina

8. Flawed & morally grey main characters

It's wonderful to come across a character that you'd hate in real life but you love in the book. These characters are complex and realistic, and it's much easier to relate to someone who has flaws than to a perfect angel who can do no wrong.

9. Close & healthy sibling & cousin relationships

Obviously I couldn't relate to the sibling relationships as I want to kill my sister 103%* of the time, but I'd like to see more familial love and family going on quests together. In some cases they would complain and fight the whole time, but in others they'd work well together and get the job done ASAP, with some great dialogue on the side.
* That's a joke. It's 96% of the time.

10. Boats

I was going to say ships, but I didn't want to be misinterpreted, LOL. Anyway, I want more books set on boats! Pirate and Waterworld-type scenarios especially. Boats are amazing. I want to read about smallish groups of people surviving together on boats. 
By Lance Woodworth - originally posted to Flickr as Niagra Cannons, CC BY 2.0,

What are 10 things on your reading wishlist? Do you agree with any of these? Alternatively, what are you sick of seeing in books? (I, personally, am sick of contemporaries.)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

10 Things That Make Me Avoid a Book Like the Plague

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book. It's time to bring out the salt, so sit tight.

1. It has only positive reviews.

Not every book is for everyone, and if everyone else loved the book, chances are I'm going to be that one person that doesn't. If it only has negative reviews, I won't read it either.

2. It has a low average rating.

If the average rating on Goodreads is less than 3.5, I'm not likely to read it. Sometimes I disagree with the average rating, but it can be a good indicator of a book's quality.

3. It's dystopian.

Nope nope nope. I've had enough of this genre to last a lifetime.

4. It's paranormal.

I've read and enjoyed some paranormal books, but not enough to like it as a genre. No werewolves, vampires, or any of that for me, thanks.

5. The blurb mentions a male character the female protagonist's age that she's not related to.

Because I know how it's going to go, and I've had enough.

6. The blurb mentions a "passionate" or "epic" romance.

Not interested.

7. "Star-crossed lovers".

I don't mind romances if they actually are doomed to fail, but usually relationships that are labelled "star-crossed" get a happy ending. False advertising.

8. "I'm not like other girls."

Yes, you are. You're just like 75% of the girls reading this book. Shut up.

9. Protagonist's life changes when she meets a boy.

Do I even need to explain this one? Just no. It's not all about men.

10. Any or all female characters are either pure or immoral, nice or mean, with no in-between.

I need my women more complex than that. Women are people, and people are flawed and complicated, not just black and white, and I'm not going to able to relate to your characters if they're not fleshed out. No-one is 100% good or evil. Do you want to be accused of misogyny?

What instantly turns you off a book? Are there tropes or genres you avoid like the plague? Are there exceptions to the rule?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Top 10 Most Unique Classics I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I've Read. I decided to go with classics because there are some wonderful old books out there that get overlooked in the blogging community.

Click the covers to go to the Goodreads links.
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
How many 1000+ page Russian novels that are set during the Napoleonic Wars and have such fantastic characters are there?
The Iliad - Homer
It's such an old book, it would be disappointing if it wasn't unique.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo
It's so dark I can't believe they made a Disney movie out of this. Lots of architecture in this one.
The Lost World - Arthur Conan Doyle
Dinosaurs in the early 19th Century! Also the guy doesn't get the girl and it's for a pretty hilarious reason.
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
One of the first stories about an alien invasion in London. (Why is it always London? Looking at you, Doctor Who writers. Are the rest of us not worth it?)
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
A short novel about horrible people in 1920s New York. Cool.
The Phantom of the Opera -

The Color Purple - Alice Walker
A very important novel that I appreciated more as I studied it than when I was reading it. If you're a woman you should probably read this book.
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
Happy families in South America. So many generations pass. I also vaguely remember there not being any chapter breaks.
The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Like Doctor Who but even weirder, which is certainly an achievement.

What are the best or most unique classics you've read? Do you enjoy old books? Do you prefer to read classic lit or newer books?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Top 5 Writers That Were New to Me in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016 but I don't have a top ten because I haven't read enough books this year. So here are my top five.

1. Leo Tolstoy

What I love about his writing: It makes you think you will never be as wise or as observant as an old Russian man from the 19th Century. He knows everything about all kinds of people.

My review of War and Peace

2. Sappho

What I love about her writing: It says so much in just a few words, even though all that remains is small fragments. Her imagery is just delicious.

My post about Sappho

3. Sarah Waters

What I love about her writing: It's descriptive and the characterisation is on point. You feel you are the protagonist.


4. Shamim Sarif

What I love about her writing: It tears out your heart and you wonder what did you do to deserve this pain?


5. Kapka Kassabova

What I love about her writing: It's realistic and bittersweet - there's no glossing over the truth.

My review of Love in the Land of Midas

Have you read these writers? What are your opinions of them? Who are your top new-to-you writers this year?

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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