Top 5 Wednesday

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Top of Your TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. It’s a new year and a new chance to tackle that TBR and this week’s Top 5 Wednesday is all about what books are at the top of our TBR pile and are the ones we want to read ASAP. I have an extensive physical TBR with almost 40 unread books with me in my flat, and then around 60 more unread books taking up residence in my mum’s flat. Oops! Here’s five books I do really want to read soon though!

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadwi
I got this for my birthday last year and I somehow have yet to pick it up. While I’ve not read the original Frankenstein, I know the story and am interested in seeing how this retelling works in US-occupied Baghdad.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
This is a book I hadn’t heard of before but got it one of those Buy One Get One Half Price deals in Waterstones. I’ve not read anything by Jenny Han (Though I’ve watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and really enjoyed it) but I read The List by Siobhan Vivian a couple of years a go and liked it a lot, so I’m interested to see what I make of this collaboration.

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
This was a Christmas present via the #TBTBSanta exchange and is probably one of the most recent additions on my TBR. I read and loved Eliza and Her Monsters, so I hope I like Made You Up just as much.

Allah is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma
I’ve owned Allah is Not Obliged for almost a year now after I bought it on last year’s London Bookshop Crawl, so I really should get to it soon. It’s a pretty short book, just over 200 pages, but it sounds like a hard-hitting one as it’s about a child soldier.

Burning Cities by Kai Aareleid
Another birthday present from last year, I think the reason I’ve been putting off Burning Cities is because of its size. It’s just over 300 pages but the edition I have makes it look much longer. It is a multigenerational story which I do enjoy but I do have to be in the right mindset for it.

What books are at the top of your TBR pile?

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. As the title suggests, this week is all about what books we’re excited about next year. I’m generally someone who doesn’t keep up with book releases, but because of my Read the World Project I’m starting to keep track of up and coming translated books. In order of release date (or at least what I believe the UK release date will be) here’s 5 books I’m excited about that are released in 2019.

Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen
Release date: 15 January 2019

Last Night in Nuuk follows the lives of five young Greenlanders exploring their identities at the cusp of adulthood.
This is the first book I’ve discovered that’s written by an author from Greenland so that automatically put it on my radar.

Marvel Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink and Alice X Zhang
Release date: 5 February 2019

Basically, this is a non-fiction book all about the wonderful female Marvel characters, films and comics. I’m a huge Marvel fan and the illustrations in this book look absolutely stunning!

Love in No Man’s Land by Duo Ji Zhuo Ga
Release date: 7 February 2019

Set amid the desolate beauty of Tibet’s heartlands, Love in No Man’s Land is an epic story of family, identity and endurance, of a way of life imperilled, of a people trying to find their place as the world changes around them.
Tibet is another country where I’ve not found many, if any, books for my Read the World Project. It’s a bonus that this sounds like a story I’d like – I’m always fond of a sweeping family saga.

Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun
Release date: 2 May 2019

In Thirteen Months of Sunrise the first major translated collection by a Sudanese woman writer Rania Mamoun expertly blends the real and imagined to create an intimate portrait of life in Sudan today. From brief encounters to unusual friendships, this startling and evocative debut illuminates human experience and explores the alienation, isolation and estrangement of urban life.
Another one for the Read the World Project, and as women writers are less likely to be translated into other languages, including English, than male writers, I definitely want to check out this book.

The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous
Release date: 11 July 2019

Suleima feels anxious as she looks at the pile of papers sent to her by Naseem, the handsome man with the bulging muscles. As she devours them, lingering on every word, she finds that she is reading an unfinished novel, or biography, about a woman dominated by fear, just like her. What did Naseem mean by it? Had he himself been overwhelmed by fear and unable to finish it, and did he now want her to write the ending?
Dima Wannous is a Syrian author, so The Frightened Ones will be perfect for my Read the World project. Plus, I’m a big fan about stories about books, or books where there’s a story within the main story.

These are five of my most anticipated 2019 releases. I know they’re a bit obscure! What are some of your most anticipated 2019 releases? I’m always looking for books to add to my ever-growing TBR.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Book List for a Class on Feminism

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week in honour of summer coming to an end and it soon being the start of the new school year, we can create our own reading list for a topic of our choice. I chose feminism as I think both fiction and non-fiction are a great way to get people talking about feminism and see how it can affect different people.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Moxie is all about a girl finding her voice and finding a sense of unity with the girls in her school, crossing the usual cliques, and learning to stand up for what she believes in.

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin
Since reading Who Runs the World? I’ve thought about it fair bit and would give it a lower rating than I did when I read it, but I think it would be a good book to show the “extremes” of feminism and how if there’s no men, it probably wouldn’t be a utopia.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Besides being a great book, The Hate U Give would be a great book to look at the intersectionality of feminism and racism.

 

Men Explain Things to Me and Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit
Got to have some non-fiction in a class on feminism. This is a short collection of essays and one of them is the origin of the term “mansplaining” so that would be an interesting thing to discuss.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
The three main girls are all different, Rosina is a Mexican-American lesbian, Grace is fat, and Erin has Asperger’s, but they come together to try and change things as another girl was run out of town for accusing the popular guys at school of gang rape.

I think all these books would prompt good discussions about feminism. They offer different takes on feminism and a lot of them have strong, complex female characters who are trying to find their place in the world but are trying to make things a little bit better at the same time.

What books would you choose if you were running a class of feminism? I’m sure there are many great books I’ve forgotten.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favourite Science Fiction & Fantasy Films

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week’s topic is in honour of the Booktube SFF Awards and instead of focusing on books, we’re talking about our favourite science fiction and fantasy in other media, whether that’s TV or Film. Me being me, has gone for film and here are some of my favourites.

Moon
If you’ve not watched Moon you really should. It’s a small-scale sci-fi film that sometimes feels claustrophobic, but that just adds to the underlying tension running throughout the film. Moon is eerie and gripping and Sam Rockwell is fantastic. It’s a film that’s lodged itself in my brain from the first time I saw it.

 

Transformers
While I do feel this franchise has gone on far too long and has generally gotten worse, I do love the first Transformers film. It’s one of my “comfort” films, if I feel down for some reason I’ll put it on and the over the top characters and action cheer me up. The battle in Qatar’s desert between the US military and a Decepticon is one of my favourite action sequences ever.

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TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You Didn’t Get to in 2017

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 those books that we totally meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get around to it, so now they are a priority for 2018.

Zorro by Isabel Allende
I bought this when I was in San Francisco over two years ago now! I love The Mask of Zorro so I do want to read this version of the Zorro legend. I’ve got an extra reason to read it in 2018 though, as I’m taking part in the A-Z Reading Challenge and this is the only book I own that fits for the letter Z.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
I got this book from a subscription box. I meant to read it last year, it was even on my Autumn TBR, but that didn’t happen and now it’s a big priority this year. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my next read once I’ve finished the books I’ve got from the library.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
I got this ARC copy in another subscription box last year. I hadn’t heard of it before then but the blurb made it sound really interesting and now one of my friends has read it and really enjoyed it, I definitely want to read it this year.

Raffles by E.W. Hornung
I’ve had this book (and many others from the Atlantic Books, Crime Classics editions) for a few years now and I want to get around to reading some of these. This is a, I believe, a collection of short stories and they’re all about a gentleman thief so I should be able to read it pretty quickly.

Raised from the Ground by José Saramago
This one hasn’t been on my shelf as long as the others – maybe only six months. It would be my Portugal read for my Read the World project and I do want to make my international reads a priority this year.

Do you have any books you definitely want to read in 2018?

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Non-Horror Books that Scared You

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 about books that aren’t horror books but that scared you anyway, whether that was a certain scene or it was the whole book you found frightening.

Lirael by Garth Nix
I always mention this book when it comes to scenes that scared me. Lirael is the second book in a YA fantasy series and there’s one scene when Lirael encounters a monster, deep inside a magical library that scared the bejeezus out of me. My heart was beating so fast and I had to take a moment to calm myself before I carried on reading.

 

The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro
Technically The Strain is a horror, it has vampire-like creatures in it anyway, but the scene that scares me in it doesn’t feature any monsters. It’s at the start of the book when this plane lands but then it’s deathly still and silent, it doesn’t move, there’s no lights or sounds from the people inside it, just nothing. As the people outside try to figure out what’s going on it really creeped me out, it’s like there was something unnatural about the plane and the situation and it gave me goose bumps.

 

The Three by Sarah Lotz
This book has an air of “something isn’t quite right” throughout and as it progresses it very slowly amps up the tension causing it to be really quite scary and unsettling. The Three is weird and creepy and mysterious and it’s one of those books that put me on edge.

 

 

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
This is a non-fiction book about sexism in day to day life, the little things that often go unnoticed but build up. This book scared me because of how brutally real and honest it is about what an average day is like for a woman. The part that really scared me though, was the section on school age kids, the rise of social media and the pressure to send naked pictures of themselves. It’s both sad and scary reading the pressures this young boys and girls are under and I am glad that when I was a young schoolgirl there wasn’t the ability to see and share sexual images so easily.

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross
This is the prequel to the Luther TV series so it’s a detective mystery but Luther has to solve an incredibly grisly and creepy crime. The thing that scared me about this book is it gives you an insight into the mind of some messed up people, who don’t realise they’re messed up and actually think what they’re doing is the right thing to do.

Are there any non-horror books that scare you?

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books Featuring Witches

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 about books that feature witches, whether they are the main characters or there just happens to be a witch as a side character.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon, and the whole Inheritance Cycle, features one of my favourite witches ever – Angela. I love her so much because she’s much older and wiser than she appears, she can make potions, she can fight and maybe she can see the future. You never really know what she’s capable of and that’s what makes Angela such a great character.

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
This is the first book in the Sweep (or as I knew it Wicca) series. it’s about a girl called Morgan who thinks she’s perfectly normally until she discovers she’s a “blood witch” which is someone who is born with magical powers and she’s in fact a descendent of a long line of witches. I read this book, and the whole series, when I was about eleven or twelve and it was the first series I read solely by getting it out of the library.

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
It’s been a while since I’ve read Northern Lights but the witches in it, including witch queen Serafina Pekkala, came straight to mind when I saw this week’s topic. The witches in this book live in the north, don’t feel the cold and they can fly if they have the right type of tree branch. I really like their relationship with their dæmons, which are always birds, because they can be a part from each other without it causing either of them pain.

The Graces by Laure Eve
The Graces is one of those books where you it makes you wonder if magic and witches are real or if what happens is just pure chance. It’s such an intriguing read and there’s definitely magic in the air of some sort and the Graces do seem all powerful and mysterious.

Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski
This is the first book I thought of when I saw this topic. It’s an illustrated series of stories about a witch called Meg whose spells always go a bit wrong and her black and white stripped cat Mog. I had a collection of these stories when I was little and apparently I drove my mum mad by getting her to read it to me every single night!

What are some of your favourite books featuring witches?