The Martian

Finally Fall Book Tag

As I’ve said quite recently, I love Autumn. And look what I found that puts two of my favourite things (books and autumn) together – the Finally Fall Book Tag! This tag was created by Tall Tales, it features 11 questions and I’m just going to get stuck right in.

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!
The Gunslinger by Stephen King. This is the first book in The Dark Tower series and not a lot really happens in it but you definitely get a vivid description of this place that the Gunslinger roams. It’s like a desert in a dying world, and it feels incredibly lifeless and harsh.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.
The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinsborough. This is a short story about death, grief and the ties that binds a family until they don’t anymore and it’s beautiful. It’s very sad as a woman is basically with her father, in the family home, waiting for him to die as her siblings briefly visit them. It’s a great look at family connections and how they can break so easily while also being about how hard it is to see someone you love slip away.

3.Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.
The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla. I learnt so much about what it’s like being a person of colour in Britain today, and no matter how much I read up on it I’ll probably never understand it because I’m white. (more…)

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: The Ten Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week is a movie freebie so you can write about whatever you like, top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, whatever! I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about the films I can watch over and over again and no matter how many times I watch it I never get bored.

lord of the rings elenasquareeyesThe Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
So while obviously The Lord of the Rings is actually three film I count the trilogy as one since it is one big story. Every December, as close to Christmas Eve as I can get it, I rewatch the entire trilogy in a day. It’s a little tradition I’ve been doing for over ten years and I can’t wait till it’s December and I can watch Lord of the Rings.

 

The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001)the mummy elenasquareeyes
I count these two as one film too because they follow so well from one another – plus there’s no third film. These films feature one of my favourite fictional couples and my favourite fictional family ever! The O’Connell-Carnahan’s with Ardeth Bey are just the best! The Mummy and The Mummy Returns are so much fun and full of adventure and I could never get bored of watching them.

legally blonde elenasquareeyesLegally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods is a feminist icon and so is Legally Blonde. Whenever I see Legally Blonde is on TV I always end up watching it, I can quote so many lines and I adore the soundtrack. Elle Woods makes me want to work harder and to be the best I can be and I love getting that feeling every time I rewatch this film.  (more…)

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favourite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about memorable first sentences of a book and what they do to pull you into the story.

i capture the castle“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
I’ve not actually read the entirety of I Capture The Castle, in fact I’ve only ever read the first chapter (not sure why I ever put it down and I must rectify this soon) but this first line has definitely stayed with me.

 

 

FullSizeRender (75)“I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.” – The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian starts as it means to go on and this opening sentence(s) give you the best introduction to Mark Watney.

 

 

pride and prejudice“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I like how kind of blunt yet sarcastic this line is and straight away you know this is going to be a story about marriage and romance and the politics that will probably come with it.

 

 

harry potter“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
I like how the Philosopher’s Stone starts because it is so normal and potentially boring but then then you know that something decidedly not-normal is bound to happen.

 

 

stormbreaker“When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.” – Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
I read Stormbreaker for the first time over ten years ago and this is the first sentence that immediately sprang to mind when I saw this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic. It’s so memorable because it is so true, no one ever wants their phone or doorbell to ring in the early hours of the morning because it’s never a good thing.

 

What are your favourite first sentences?

My Top Ten Favourite Films of 2015

It’s the end of the year so that means it’s time for best-of lists! So if you haven’t spotted my top ten list on HeyUGuys Movie Bloggers Top Ten – a list you should check out because it’s interesting to see what a load of different bloggers love – here is my top ten and my thoughts on each film. Now please note, all of these are UK cinema releases because as you’ll notice, one of these films came out two years ago in America.

10. Dope
I watched Dope on a plane and it was great. It made me laugh and think and I really enjoyed all the characters and their chemistry. It’s a small film that definitely deserves a lot of love.

9. Spy
Spy is a film I missed at the cinema but then I caught it on a plane and I wish I’d seen it at the cinema! It was surprising, funny and often kind of ridiculous but it really was so much fun. Jason Statham neds to do more comedy films.

8. Straight Outta Compton
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. It was about a time in recent history and a band that I knew next to nothing about but I couldn’t help but get pulled into the story and I found myself caring about these people.

7. Ant-Man
Who would’ve thought that the Marvel film on my top ten list would be Ant-Man and not Avengers: Age of Ultron? Not me! I was really anti-Ant-Man a year ago, mainly because of my dislike of Hank Pym from the comics, so I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed Ant-Man. The cast had great chemistry, Michael Pena stole every scene he was in, and it was about a heist and I love heist movies! Ant-Man really was a pleasant surprise. (more…)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. Where has this year gone?! As we’ve only got a few weeks left, here’s the ten books I’ve loved the most this year. In June I talked about my favourite books I’d read so far this year so if you want to know about some other awesome books and to see which ones made both lists shimmy over here.

For once I’ve put these in order, going from ten to my number one book of the year.

FullSizeRender (91)10. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I love me some thrillers with unreliable narrators and The Girl on the Train certainly has that! I loved how Rachel wasn’t reliable or even likable a lot of the time and it was one of those mysteries that left me guessing till the gripping finale.

 
FullSizeRender (82)9. Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid by Sid Lowe
Barcelona and Real Madrid’s rivalry is legendary and Fear and Loathing in La Liga delves deep into both clubs history and looks at Spain’s history too. This was a fascinating read, it was sometimes a bit dense and a little dull when it was talking about players I didn’t know about but on the whole it was great read.

 
FullSizeRender (99)8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I thought A Monster Calls was just a children’s book and I was so wrong! Yes it has illustrations and is about a young boy but it deals with grief and death and abandonment so well. It really makes you think and the beautiful passages go so well with the often scary drawings.

(more…)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. As the title suggests this week is all about favourite quotes I’ve read in books recently. Some of these I knew I wanted to feature straight away because they stuck with me, others I had to think about a bit. Also this could have quite easily been ten quotes from The Martian but I managed to restrain myself.

I can’t stand seeing girls hate on girls. There’s enough of that in the tabloids.
#scandal by Sarah Ockler

If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.
The Martian by Andy Weir (more…)

REVIEW: The Martian (2015)

the martian elenasquareeyesDuring a manned mission to Mars a fierce storm hits and the crew must evacuate. In the chaos Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is hit by debris and presumed dead by his crew. Little do they know, Watney survived but now he has to find a way to live on Mars and contact NASA to let them know he’s still alive.

Directed by Ridley Scott and with a screenplay by Drew Goddard The Martian is ridiculously fun. It blends the visuals of Gravity, with the drama of Apollo 13 and the science of Interstellar without it getting bogged down or boring. The way in which the film juggles multiple characters is to be commended. Not only does it have Watney “science-ing the shit” out of his situation all alone on Mars but it has his crew in orbit on a space station and the people of NASA back on Earth struggling to figure out a way to bring him home.

Each character gets their moment to shine and the way characters are introduced often gives a quick insight into what sort of person to shine, my favourite character introduction was Rich Purnell (Donald Glover) and all his scenes were great, especially as you slowly see what he’s up to before he meets everyone else. (more…)