Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

I concede defeat to this list before even starting, since I know I’m not going to come close to ten this week.

1. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I feel a certain affinity for Jo due to her nearly uncontained passion for literature. Granted, her passions run toward the writing end of the spectrum rather than reading, but regardless I can’t help but sympathize with someone who loves the written word so very much.
2. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
While my smarty-pants tendencies have decreased somewhat as I’ve gotten older, I have been known to be an insufferable know-it-all in the right circumstances. I identify with Hermione’s need to have the answer, no matter how annoying the habit might come across to others.
3. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
And in a complete contrast of character, I like to think that on my better days I channel Luna’s aloof spirit. I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drummer and endured a healthy dose of ridicule for it from my peers as a child. Yet like Luna, I know the value of staying true to yourself, even if that makes you a flamingo among sparrows.
4. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
On most accounts, Anne and I are as different as they come, for I’ve never been one to speak my mind. However, I understand Anne’s romantic nature, even if I don’t express it as ebulliently as she does.
5. Cal Leandros from the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
I’ve always loved Cal, even when he is at his darkest and other reviewers find little to connect to. I’ve never quite understood why Thurman’s series isn’t more popular, and this is probably partly due to the fact that I simply get Cal. I love his witty sarcasm that permeates every thought. I guess I’ve always harbored dark cloud tendencies, so it’s nice to witness someone else be unabashedly sarcastic without devolving into melodrama.
6. Sam from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
Firstly, no, my boyfriend does not turn into a wolf. Nor is he musically inclined, let alone prone to composing his own tunes. But there’s something about Sam’s quiet sensitivity and devotion to Grace that reminds me of my own boyfriend. I’m a lucky girl, aren’t I?
7. Sophos from the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Continuing with characters that remind me of my boyfriend, Sophos was a delightful character to accompany on his journey from timid boy to grown man. He has reserves of strength that are evident early on, yet that he is unaware of. My boyfriend has the same kind of strength, not overt and loud, but resonating from within.
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Meandering Around the Interweb

In my various hours of wandering through book blogs far and wide, I’ve come across some pretty fantastic posts lately, so I thought I would spotlight my favorites. Hopefully I can make this a semi-regular feature, although my laziness will test the bounds of my determination to do so, so stay tuned for now.

While I’m drowning in the tears that can only be brought on by The Reichenbach Fall, perhaps I’ll drink away my sorrows with some of these delightful Sherlock blend teas. I’m particularly curious to try Moriartea.

Heroes and Heartbreakers had some interesting television news this week. Apparently, come fall we will have a new Beauty and the Beast adaptation, this time with an update of the classic 80’s TV show. I can’t help but be rather disappointed with the trailer (and not only because I was an adamant Lana hater during the Smallville years). I’m sorry, but a little facial scar does not a beast make, especially when the monstrous attitude is replaced with a penchant for altruism. From the snippets we get here, it looks like he might become a tad more beastly when he’s in angry mode…but, no, wait- scratch that, he’s still handsome. Oh, well. At least we still have time to hope that the Anne of Green Gables modern update is better. But honestly, I’ll take Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie any day.

The Piper’s Son happens to be my favorite Melina Marchetta, and Kat Kennedy over at the Cuddlebuggery Book Blog recently wrote a wonderful review that expresses all the reasons I love this book more eloquently than I could. In other Marchetta-related news, according to Goodreads, the fourth book in the Lumatere Chronicles has a name, and it’s…Ferragost. Thoughts? Do you think this the official title, as it doesn’t really fit in with the first three.

There’s some interesting discussion of late about just what dystopian actually means, and how it differs from post-apocalyptic fic.

I’m guaranteed to track down this Princess Bride-inspired wine pack for my next dinner party. And don’t worry, according to the website, the Inconceivable Cab holds no traces of iocane powder.

I can’t help but love reading Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole’s reactions to recently completing her first viewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I don’t agree with everything in her post about why Buffy and Spike are meant to be, she makes some good points nonetheless. I’m even more interested to hear what she has to say about her foray into the world of Season 8 comics, as I’ve abstained from them myself. Personally, I love how Whedon ended the show, and while I’m somewhat intrigued by what I’ve read of the comic continuation, I’m also too apprehensive to delve in myself.

The world lost a wonderful writer last week. As always, Neil Gaiman’s words regarding the love he held for Ray Bradbury’s work are beautifully poignant and a lovely tribute.

A Spell of Vengeance by D.B. Jackson

I’ve been salivating for D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker since spotting the gorgeous Chris McGrath cover last year, and was so excited to receive an advance copy from NetGalley. The short story, “A Spell of Vengeance,” written for Tor.com makes me all the more excited to read it this weekend.

Once again, the scientific community has made a discovery that has gone shockingly unremarked-upon by the general populace. Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered human remains from the Middle Ages with iron stakes protruding from their chests. These skeletons serve as evidence of actual vampire hunting back in the day. Beware, ye squeamish; the link leads to some relatively graphic images.

Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews had a Twitter battle on behalf of their respective heroes, Bones and Curran. I think this speaks for itself.

Lynn Flewelling has written a short story in which Seregil from her Nightrunner series and Bast from Patrick Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind have a cage fight. I’ve never actually read Rothfuss (I know, I’m getting on it), but regardless, my money’s on Seregil every time.

And possibly one of the best things I’ve ever seen, Super Mercado has graced the world with Game of Thrones of Muppets. While they’re all super clever and fit in with the real cast surprisingly well, I think I stopped breathing when my eyes landed on Petyr Beakish and Dr. Varys Honeydew.

Meandering Around the Interweb

In my various hours of wandering through book blogs far and wide, I’ve come across some pretty fantastic posts lately, so I thought I would spotlight my favorites. Hopefully I can make this a semi-regular feature, although my laziness will test the bounds of my determination to do so, so stay tuned for now.

  • The trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby popped up last night. I’ve been drooling over set stills for months now (Leo…I mean, pretty clothes and sets, yes, that’s right…) but seeing the first glimpses of what the finished film will present is exciting. I’ll admit, Luhrmann’s films have always been somewhat hit-or-miss for me, but I’m oddly thrilled to see that this one appears to have a distinct Romeo and Juliet bent. Jack White’s shrill wails layered atop Nick Carraway’s dialogue gave me chills.
  • I recently read and raved about Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Her UK publishers have created a website that allows you to go on your own virtual tour of the delightful circus in question, and while I haven’t yet completed my journey, the sparse black and white depictions are quite lovely.
  • I live for the moment when you open up a newly-acquired old book and some creased, forgotten memento falls out from between the pages. Forgotten Bookmarks catalogues hundreds of such experiences in brilliantly simple photography, even typing out the contents of notes and inscriptions found within.
  • Ilona Andrews revisited an earlier blog post this week, recounting her school’s disastrous production of Romeo and Juliet. I couldn’t help but think back to my own equally calamitous experience as Romeo. You read that correctly, Romeo. Apparently, none of the guys were up to the task, and I said to myself, what the hell? Unfortunately, I rued the decision later as my female classmates scampered about in diaphanous gowns, while I was stuck in a tunic and tights, my hair scraped back like a drowned cat. Follow that with a sword fight in which Tybalt spontaneously decided that he would rather not die, leading to a comically ill-choreographed routine in which we chased each other about stage. And to top it all off, Juliet, unfortunately, simply couldn’t seem to reach the poison bottle in my hand, so I had to hand it to her, being a corpse notwithstanding. My theatrical career was short-lived.
  • Some spoilers for Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones follow, so you’ve been warned. For those who have seen the aforementioned literary film adaptations, you are probably aware that Sean Bean meets his grisly end in both. What some of you might not be aware of, though, is the fact that Sean Bean seems to die in every. single. movie.
  • I love books; it’s no secret. Yet I love them for more than the enjoyment that can be found within the pages. I adore them as an aesthetic accent. Those who have seen my home know that there is more shelf space than there is bare wall. The English Muse has an excellent post on ways to incorporate books into room design.
  • The long-awaited film adaptation of On the Road is presently premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, and I cannot wait until it hits theaters. Carlo, Sal, Dean, this has been a long time coming. From the snippets I’ve seen so far, I think the filmmakers just might have pulled it off.
  • And because just one drinking game isn’t nearly enough, I’ll probably follow up my Game of Thrones marathon with Anne of Green Gables, with drinking games for both movies.

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a meme started over on Should Be Reading that presents a different literary-themed question every week.

This week’s question is: What do you think are the top 5 books every woman should read?

No surprise here that my answers all have a romantic bent.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Bronte’s story is not only the most romantic one that I can think of, but it’s also a book that was ahead of its time in championing women as agents of their own destiny.

2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

We should all stow away a little bit of Anne’s indomitable spirit and unmitigatedly romantic view of life.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Alcott’s story captures the intermittent love and frustration that accompany the female ties in a close-knit family.

4. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

It might be chick lit, but Bridget’s musings offer hilarious proof that, even in our worst moments of humiliation, despair, and loneliness, we are not alone in our self-deprecating sarcastic coping tactics.

5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Plath’s story is a cautionary tale and a symbol of its time, and while by no means universally relatable, it nevertheless remains a gripping look into the mind of a woman pushed to the brink of her own tolerance.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Give A Theme Song To

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Oh Comely by Neutral Milk Hotel

2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater: Satellite Heart by Anya Marina

3. Fever series by Karen Marie Moning: Pretty Visitors by Arctic Monkeys

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg

5. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta: White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons

6. Kitty Katt series by Gini Koch: E.T. by Katy Perry (the ONLY Katy Perry song I halfway-like).

7. Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery: In My Life by The Beatles

8. Disillusionists series by Carolyn Crane: Jump Into the Fire by Harry Nilsson

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read X

I’m going to cheat a bit, since I can’t decide among the genres I usually read, and do five books each for romance, fantasy, and young adult.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Romance

1. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

This one might not be considered a romance in the strictest sense, but it is simple and innocent and so lovely.

2. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

This novel defies romance reader expectations, going against the grain to deliver a hero unlike any I’ve seen in the genre before.

3. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Crusie infuses her novel with enough humor and palpable chemistry between her leads to win over even the harshest critics.

4. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Considered one of the seminal historical romances, Chase’s dialogue  is highly engaging and the plot substantial enough to pique picky readers’ interest.

5. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

James creates a relationship between her two characters that is sustained by mutual equality and respect rather than misunderstanding and manipulation.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy

1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Any Gaiman work could win over fantasy-wary readers; Neverwhere just happens to be my favorite.

2. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Card effortlessly weaves Russian folklore into a tapestry of fairy tale, horror, romance, and coming-of-age triumph.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

While not an urban fantasy, Snyder’s writing has all the accessibility of the genre along with a unique plot and a heroine to root for.

4. The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Part steampunk magic, part romance, and part western adventure, Hobson’s world is unlike any I’ve encountered before.

5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Each book in the Toby Daye series is better than the last. This is one of the best urban fantasies out there, with fae, folklore, romance, a genuinely relatable and capable heroine, and humor to spare.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Young Adult

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

It does a disservice to Marchetta’s writing to limit it to young readers. The complexity of her stories can appeal to young and mature readers alike.

2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A lesser known work by the author of the much lauded The Book Thief, this coming-of-age story is thought-provoking and highlights the beauty that can be found in even the most dire circumstances.

3. The China Garden by Liz Berry

Sadly overlooked amidst the masses of paranormals, this is a quiet modern fairy tale that treads new ground without abandoning its simplicity.

4. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

A novel in verse that explores the divergent yet resonant voices of high school students.

5. Beauty by Robin McKinley

This Beauty and the Beast adaptation transcends generations. It remains one of the best and most beautiful iterations of the tale.