#BookadayUK 5,6,7 & 8

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I am aware that I am 4 days behind… I’m new to this, give me a break.

5. Most delicious novel about food.

I was actually trying to put this one off because I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that is ABOUT food… I don’t even think I know any novels that are about food that I haven’t read! So I’m going to have to miss this one out. Maybe I’ll try and read a book about food in the future sometime, I don’t know.

6. Book I put down to watch the Wimbledon tennis final.

Truth be told, I didn’t watch the tennis final… sorry. But I can tell you the book I put down in order to watch “The Loony Tunes Show” on boomerang.

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Around The World In 80 Days – Jules Verne.

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago when I was in Cork. We found this book shop that were basically giving away classic titles so I picked up this one along with “Five weeks in a balloon”, also by Jules Verne.

I’m enjoying it quite a lot so far, sometimes I find “old” novels quite hard to get into because of the writing style, but this isn’t so bad. The version I have (Wordsworth Classics) contains notes at the back with a glossary of jargon used in the book which may not be fully understood today (quite often references to the media at the time of writing).

7. Most chocolaty novel.

National Chocolate day…? What?! I didn’t even know that was a thing!
Anyway, there is really only one book I could possibly pick for this one.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl.

I absolutely loved this book when I was younger, and I was also a big fan of the movie too. Myself and my best friend at the time, made up a pretty intense routine to “I’ve got a golden ticket” in my back garden one summer, it involved two slides, a swing, a trampoline and a table.

Obviously the book is quite chocolaty since it is about a chocolate factory. I think my copy even has a chocolaty smudge where I read it whilst eating a Fredo!

8. Favorite ‘Great War’ novel.

This has hands down got to be:

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Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

I mean… I can’t even describe this book, it’s beautiful. From the way it’s written, right down to each character, it’s just… wow.
My year 8 English teacher made us read it in class and I just remember our teacher reading the last chapter to us out loud whilst the whole class just sat there in utter silence. And then when he finished, half of us were openly crying whilst the other half just slumped down onto the table in despair.
As a rule, I don’t generally read books that I know will make me sad or have made me really sad before. For example, I have no intention to read ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ any time soon, nor shall I re-read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ ever again. This is simply because I like reading to be something I enjoy, not something which makes me want to curl up into a ball for the next week. (Although, I have read a number of very sad books, but that is through sheer luck rather than seeking them out intentionally.) Private Peaceful however, goes against my rule. Despite knowing that when it comes to the end, I will either be fighting back tears or hyperventilating, I will probably continue to keep this book as a favourite and one which I will constantly re-read, for quite some time.

 

 

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#bookadayUK 3. Favourite translated novel – AND – 4. Favourite American Novel

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I was a bit of a kid yesterday and I spent the day at Legoland! This, of course, has nothing to to with my book of the day, but just explains why I’m putting two books in one post today.

3. Favourite translated novel.
I thought about this one for a long time yesterday (whilst queuing for the log flume) and I just could not think of a single book that I’d read that had been translated into English. I wasn’t going to completely ignore it though so this morning I had a look on goodreads, with the intention to pick a translated novel and make a point to read it sometime soon and then blog about it later. But instead, I was quite surprised to find that one of my favourite series was on the list of “top translated novels”

inkheart-bookInk Heart, by Cornelia Funke. I don’t know whether everyone already knew this, but I genuinely had no idea that this book, and it’s sequels were originally written in German.
The reason I like this book (and the rest of the trilogy) is because when I read it for the first time I couldn’t put it down. It was one of those experiences where you basically live and breath the books for about a week, as you power through all three, one after the other, neglecting all other daily duties and necessities such as homework, socialising, eating and sleeping… Wastes valuable reading time.

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So, today is obviously the 4th of July, where every American will be celebrating Independence Day. It seems only fitting that the book today is:

2. Favourite American novel
I’m not sure whether this means a novel set in America or a novel by an American author… So to be on the safe side, I’ll go all American.
61vJG--DyyLThe princess diaries 3 (third time lucky), by Meg Cabot. I know it’s the third book in a ten book series, but this one is literally my favourite of all of them! Firstly, I like the way all of the books are written, in a diary form, you are literally getting one side of the story, so you’re as lost as the character is throughout the whole book. The reason I like this book the most though, is simply because of what happens… Which I’m obviously not going to be writing here!

#bookadayuk – 1. A book that made you laugh out loud. AND – 2.Favorite SF/Fantasy novel

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So, interesting story, literally SECONDS after I posted last nights blog, I saw on twitter that a new list had been released for July… maybe I’m the last person to find this out but I genuinely didn’t know it was a monthly thing.
Anyway, ignoring last nights blunder, I shall continue, first making up for yesterday with:

1. A book that made you laugh out loud.

… This is actually a hard one, all I can think of is books that made me cry… OK I think I’m going to have to go with The Mediator series, by Meg Cabot. I’m not sure if it’s cheating if I name a series, but I can’t say which of the books specifically made me laugh the MOST so I’m just going to have to say all of them. I’m not sure what it is, it’s not MEANT to be a super funny book or anything, I just think it’s the characters mannerisms and attitude towards things. I’m quite an imaginative reader, so I picture the characters saying the things in my head, or even imagine myself saying them. I think that’s what makes it funny… at least that’s what I find funny anyway.

2. Favorite SF/Fantasy novel.

acrosstheuniverseI’ve only really read one Science fiction based novel and that was Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Sometimes, when reading YA fiction, you find that bits of the story seem to be recycled from other books or plots. That’s why I enjoyed this book so much it seemed so original, at least, it was nothing like any book I’d read before anyway. The author had me feeling emotions for the characters from the first page… I may have cried a little, but this only made me want to read it more. I raved about this book for about a month after I read it, but did anyone listen?

Nope.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the plot, it would defeat the whole point of reading it for yourself but basically:
The book alternates between the POV of the two main characters, Amy and Elder. The story is set on this ship called Godspeed, apparently, earth had the technology to create a huge ship which could be sent into space, to a planet which is 300 years away.
Amy is one of the cryogenically frozen people on the ship, sent to colonize the new planet, but her Cyro chamber is unplugged 50 years before schedule and she nearly dies! (OMG).
Elder is the next in line to be “Eldest”, the leader of the people on Godspeed, but he becomes suspicious when certain secrets about Godspeed and it’s mission are revealed!

Seriously though, ignoring my poor attempt at hyping it up, it is a pretty good book.

#bookadayuk -1. Favorite book from childhood

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Sometime last month, I came across a post by Matt Cresswell (http://mcresswell.wordpress.com/). He was “blogging through June”, following this picture and talking about a different book each day. The moment I saw it, I immediately wanted to join in but since it was bang in the middle of the month I thought there wasn’t really much point, so I decided to wait until July.
Well, July is here, so I’m going to give this a try… it should be interesting.
(Yes, I have noticed that it only caters to 30 days, it was probably created just for June, but what am I if not adaptable?)

I must warn you though, reader, many of the books will most likely not be to your taste, since I seem to be a very stereotypical “Teen Girl” reader… lots of YA books I’m afraid, sorry.
Anyway, shall we proceed?

1. Favorite book from childhood.

OK, this one is simple. Despite the fact that I probably mention the Harry Potter books at least once a day, whenever I’m asked about my favorite book (from childhood or in general) the series barely pops into my mind. This is because, that slot is specifically reserved for one special book which has remained with me since I was about 7 years old.
337412Arthur High King of Britain, by Michael Morpurgo.
In primary school, we all had to read Morpurgo books during reading time, if you’re Luke (oldest childhood friend) you will know that this was a particularly excruciating experience for me since I would read ahead and finish the book before everyone else had finished chapter 3. I thought his books were good, so I took about 5 out of the school library, I only managed to get through 1 in 3 weeks though, why? Because I read the same one over and over and over again.

History has always been one of my… I suppose you could say “passions”. Add a little bit of myth and fantasy in there and I’m hooked, for me this book had it all, the history, myths, legends and magic, as well as a little bit of romance thrown in.

After primary school, I didn’t read the book again, and since I didn’t have my own copy, it sort of began to fade from my mind a bit. But then one day I was just browsing through the books in Smith’s, when I came across one that mentioned King Arthur. All of the memories suddenly came flooding back and I immediately headed over to the young readers section to find 1 copy of my old childhood favorite.

I don’t really have a favorite book now, I’ve enjoyed so many, but this one always comes to mind because it’s safe, it’s comforting. If I have nothing else to do, or if I’ve just finished a pretty heavy book and my mind and emotions are all over the place, I escape to Camelot.

 

P.S. A nice lady on twitter informed me that the hash-tag is now #bookadayuk

 

 

 

YA Fiction, Elitism, and the Culture of “Should”

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By now I’m sure nearly everyone in the writing world has read or heard about the Slate piece on how adults should be embarrassed/ashamed to read Young Adult literature. (I’m not going to link to it, because I refuse to give them the clicks.)  I couldn’t possibly have missed it – when I checked Twitter on Thursday morning, my timeline was a seething mass of fury. And I… well, went off implies a brief explosion. This took place over the course of nearly three hours, prompting what I consider one of my top five greatest honors of my entire internet history:

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And, you know what? It was. When I get up a good head of steam on some righteous anger, it looks a little like this:

ImageMore often than not, I’m reduced to outraged sputtering, but every now and then I am able to find and use my words, and…

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When Your Favorite Author Turns Out To Be A Jerk

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Don’t you just hate that?

If you want, you can replace “author” with “celebrity” or “athlete” or “actor.” It’s all so disappointing when that person appears one way in public, then turns out to be a complete you-know-what when you have an opportunity to interact with them personally, or even on social media.

I won’t name names, because that’s not what this is about. But I’ve had an experience with particular nonfiction author in the past year that changed my view of him and his writing. It’s sad.

It’s sad when you’ve read several books from one writer—and you mistakenly perceive him to be one way—but in a few interactions with him, he turns out to be a total butt munch.

This is particularly true for nonfiction authors. Let’s be honest—the bar is really low for novelists, right? I mean, it takes a little crazy to write good fiction, doesn’t it?  Just…

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#bookaday – 15. Favourite fictional father

MATTHEW BRIGHT

20140604-232101-84061927.jpgBlogging through June with #bookaday, and today is…

15. Favourite fictional father

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What an absurdly hard question! I can’t say I’ve ever taken notice of fathers in novels – no-one to stand out as the answer to that question. There are some marvellously drawn characters – possibly the greatest ever written is in Blake Morrison’s And When Did You Last See Your Father – but that’s not quite the same thing as being a favourite father. And so, a little relucatantly – this feels rather populist, if I’m honest – I have to go with a character that I suspect twitter and wordpress will be awash with today, and that is Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore.

Of course, he’s not actually a father, but it’s glaring obviously that he is the father of the books, acting in many ways as Harry’s surrogate in the novels. Everyone loves Dumbledore. I’m sure I…

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