The Taylor Swift Book Tag

The Taylor Swift Book Tag

Recently, I’ve been listening to a LOT of Taylor Swift, a singer I’ve been an on/off fan of since being a young teen. Yet for some reason, I’ve been listening to lots of her songs, so this Tag Tuesday, the Taylor Swift Book Tag seemed like an obvious choice. Let’s answer some Qs with some As then!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Backing Together: Pick book you were sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with

I really liked the Twilight series as a young teen – I read them all in less than a week. In hindsight, I’m not sure they were the best books ever written. Plus, the franchise on a whole gets a lot of criticism, so it can be a bit embarrassing to admit that I liked them. (So I’m combating this by telling 300+ people that I liked the Twilight books… sure)

2. Red: Pick a book with a red cover

I’d have to choose my beautiful edition of And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie (1939), which features the characters as portrayed in the 2015 BBC adaptation. If you haven’t read the book, you need to! If you haven’t watched the TV series, you need to! They’re both brilliantly made and very enjoyable.

3. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic

This question reminds me of my My Life In Books Challenge, where I talked about different books I read and loved as a child. I would probably have to say The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) because I loved it as a little girl, and I feel like I can connect to the book’s characters and events, given its Yorkshire backdrop.

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love

I really don’t read many love stories, and none with a sense of “forbidden” love. I’d probably have to choose the classic, Romeo and Juliet (1597) – which is also referenced in Taylor’s song!

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love

There are so many! I love a good villain. I’d definitely say Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights (1847). I’d also say Count Olaf, from the Series of Unfortunate Events books, O’Brien from 1984 (1949) or Camille’s mother from Sharp Objects (2006). Then there’s always Macbeth and Lady Macbeth too…

6. Innocent: Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for

I’m notorious for avoiding spoilers at all costs (unless I accidentally find out something myself). My brother ruined a lot of books and films for me as a child, although no specific memories spring to mind. He probably told me a lot of the Harry Potter storylines before I’d been able to read them for myself…

7. Everything Has Changed: Pick a book character who goes through extensive character development

My knee-jerk reaction is Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice (1813). At the start of the book, Elizabeth is headstrong, but shows she can be sassy, judgmental and prejudiced (all three of which towards Darcy). In the same way, Darcy is proud, arrogant and reluctant to show his true feelings. Both characters learn to open up to each other, as well as other people, and they round out as characters towards the end of the book.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release

At the minute, I’ve heard Crystin Goodwin is working on a fourth book in her Blessings of Myrillia series. I’ve read all three and reviewed them (UnBlessed, Fire Blessed, Ice Blessed) and I really like the fantasy / young adult path Goodwin has taken the books down, and I can’t wait to read the next one!

9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple

I would either say Mr and Mrs Bennett from Pride and Prejudice (1813) because they’re such hilarious characters, or Henry and Clare from The Time Traveller’s Wife (2003) because they have such a wonderful, loving relationship.

10. Teardrops On My Guitar: Pick a book that made you cry

I don’t cry at books! I don’t cry at films either. I guess I’m just a cold-hearted, meanie of a blogger…

Those are my answers! Would you have picked different books?

That’s all for now!

– Judith

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The Bookshelf Tag

The Bookshelf Tag

I saw this over on Paper Fury’s website (you can find it at paperfury.com) and I am really excited to give it a go.

As forewarning, I’m writing this post in advance, so this particular shelf (and my subsequent answers) may have altered a little by the time you are actually reading this post. But not to worry!

1. Describe your bookshelf. Where did you get it from? 

My bookshelf is  a tall, grey, wooden shelving unit with adjustable shelves from IKEA. I bought it secondhand from a friend of a friend, and I have no idea if this particular model is still produced and sold. My favourite thing about it is the adjustable shelves, to allow for different sized books. It’s super tall and it’s impossible to get a photo of the entire thing, so I’ve compiled a collage of each shelf, using some pretty Instagram filters!

My Photo [Bookshelf Tag].JPG

2. How do you organise your books?

I organise my books based on their genre or their publisher, if I’ve got quite a few from a particular “set”. If I’ve got a couple from the same publishing company, then I  alphabetise in order of the author’s surname. 

3. What’s the biggest book on your bookshelf?

I’m not concerned enough to individually measure each book to see which is precisely the biggest, but I would say my Hetty Feather series by Jacqueline Wilson are pretty big books. They include: Hetty Feather, Emerald Star, Sapphire Battersea and the “spin-off” book, Diamond.

4. What’s the smallest book on your bookshelf?

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn or Utopia by Thomas More – they’re slim reads, but not necessarily quick reads, given the complexity of the language used!

5. Is there a book you received as birthday gift?

Both my Anne of Green Gables series and my Hetty Feather series were collected over a number of childhood birthdays.

6. Is there a book you received from a friend?

No – I’m not really a book swapper and my friends don’t really do presents.

7. What’s the most expensive book on your bookshelf?

I really dislike spending vast amounts of money on anything – charity shops and secondh-hand sites are havens for me! The most expensive book was The Monk by Matthew Lewis (pst – I posted a review of it, read it here!) which I bought from Waterstones for £8.99. However, I had a £10 Love2Shop Voucher and so it didn’t cost me a penny!

8. What’s the last book you read on your bookshelf?

At the minute, the most recent reads on this bookshelf are Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, and before that, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 

9. Do you have more than one copy of a book?

No – I never buy a book if someone I know already has a copy I can borrow or I can easily grab one at a library. What’s the point in duplicates?

10. Do you have any complete series’ of books?

Yes, the Anne of Green Gables series, the Hetty Feather series, the Harry Potter series, the Famous Five series, the Chronicles of Narnia series and A Series of Unfortunate Events (but these last 4 do not live on this particular shelf).

11. What’s the newest addition to your bookshelf?

I’m constantly moving books around but currently, it is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. I’m intrigued to read the novel after watching Easy A numerous times on TV.

12. What’s the most recently published book on your bookshelf?

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which was published in 2013. I quite liked the concept of the book – although I’m yet to see the film!

13. What’s the oldest book on your bookshelf?

Any of the Penguin Popular Classics – they are a few decades old – but nothing older, crumblier or aged than that I’m afraid!

14. Do you have a book you won?

I am yet to win a book 😦

15. Is there a book you’d hate to let out of your sight?

I wouldn’t say I’m sentimentally attached to any of my books to a huge extent, but one of my favourite stories is Forrest Gump – another birthday gift coincidentally! I read it in 1 day and absolutely LOVE it (the film as well!). So if I had to pick, I’d probably say I would hate to let Forrest Gump out of my sight. (I forgot to include Forrest Gump in the photo as I am re-reading it… woops!)

16. What’s the most beaten up book on your bookshelf?

I’m not a book snob , but I don’t like really majorly beaten, weathered books because I’m scared of them falling apart. My copy of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is pretty worn however, because I studied at high school and so it got bashed about a from a life in my school bag! 

17. What’s the most pristine book on your bookshelf?

I’d either say Forrest Gump because its white cover is still so glossy or any of my black Penguin Classics, which are all printed with a glossy black finish and so still look quite pristine even after a good read! 

18. Is there a book from your childhood?

I feel like I’m repeating myself! Hetty Feather and Anne of Green Gables! For the last time! Argh! I also have a bunch of children’s classics and inspiring stories of Christian missionaries I collected as a child.

19. Is there a book that doesn’t belong to you?

I have so many books on my shelf I’ve “borrowed” from my parents – I’ve swiped them with the good intention of reading them, but haven’t got round to it yet!

20. Is there a book with a particularly special cover?

I really like the sparkly Hetty Feather covers – it was what attracted me to the first book all those years ago in WHSmiths…

21. Is there a book with a cover in your favourite colour?

I don’t really think I have a specific favourite colour, but I quite like black on a book cover, which, as you can see, applies to quite a lot of books on this shelf!

22. Is there a book which has been on your bookshelf the longest and you STILL haven’t read it?

No – I’ve read all the books that have been sitting there a while. The newest additions still remain unread though.

23. Do you have any signed books?

I only have one signed book (to my recollection) and it is not housed on this shelf. I have a signed copy of Mokee Joe by Peter J. Murray, although I’m still to obtain and read the final book of the trilogy!

24. Finally, who do you TAG to take part?

 Anyone who wishes to take part! However, I encourage:

  1. Sasha @ downthereadingholeblog.wordpress.com
  2. QuirkyVictorian @ overanalysingliterature.wordpress.com
  3. Rachel @ rachelpoli.com

That’s all for now – happy reading!

– Judith

Book Cover Challenge Day #2

Book Cover Challenge Day #2

Today’s book is The Hostile Hospital, the 8th book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

image

It’s a hardback book, printed by Egmont Book in 2003. I would describe the cover as matte, but it’s also really smooth and a little “rubbery” – it may even be super matte. I like the feel of the cover and spine.

I’ve read the series a couple of times, and this is my favourite cover because I absolutely love the bright shade of blue used! Each book in the series has a different colour spine as well as a different central illustration.

I also really like the choice of fonts for the titles, as the spiralled handwriting looks creepy. Even as I’m writing this, I’ve noticed some stereotypical “horror film trees” lurking the black background to add to the creepy theme! The red heart balloon contrasts with the bright blue, and Brett Helquist has etched pure terror onto Klaus and Sunny’s faces, while Violet remains “faceless” – another creepy feature of the cover.

– Judith

3 Day Quote Challenge Day #2

3 Day Quote Challenge Day #2

As a student currently enthralled in exams, study and revision plans, I decided to pick a quote relevant to student life:

If you are a student you should always get a good night’s sleep unless you have come to the good part of your book, and then you should stay up all night and let your schoolwork fall by the wayside, a phrase which means ‘flunk’.

Lemony Snicket

As a child, I used to be such a bookworm, but the habit gradually left me again  as I entered my teenage years. However, I’m now back into reading again, and so this quote really makes me smile.

The 3 blogs I nominate are:

  1. Sara @ agingerlyreview.wordpress.com
  2. Amanda @ 1mom2daughtersbookblog.wordpress.com
  3. Karissa @ realizinggrace.wordpress.com

– Judith

Film Review: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Film Review: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Title: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Director: Brad Silberling
  • Released: 2004

I always enjoy watching A Series of Unfortunate Events, and I particularly like how Lemony Snicket (played by Jude Law) narrates and “breaks the fourth wall” by communicating directly with the audience. This use of direct address is also a significant element in Snicket’s narration style in the books.

Carrey plays Olaf superbly – the costumes, the exaggerated behaviour, the voices – it all fits perfectly.

I loved the gloomy colour palette, and the various settings used. A Series of Unfortunate Events blends together the first three books of Snicket’s series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. My favourite of the three stories in the film was The Reptile Room adaptation because of the warm relationship between Uncle Monty and the children and the promise of a new beginning.

My only complaint about this film is that no sequels were made! I would sorely loved to have seen each book be brought to life through film.

– Judith