Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Hello, people! I was tagged to do this fun tag by the lovely Anna @MyBookishDream – thank you so much! Here are my answers:

1. Totally Should’ve Gotten A Sequel

I don’t think I have an answer for this one… I prefer stand-alone books, so I don’t think any of the books I like would’ve benefited from a sequel. Maaaybe it would be nice to have another book by Ellen Evert Hopman in her trilogy about the Celts. Each book has it’s own story, especially the last one, so it wouldn’t ruin anything, and I would like to read more about that period in history.

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2. Totally Should’ve Gotten A Spin-Off Series

I’ll have to agree with Anna on this one, some Harry Potter spin-offs would be great! The Founders Era sounds particularly interesting. But, not to repeat the same answer, I would love to read a spin-off about Natalie Oscott from The Memoris of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. I loved her, and I think her story would be very interesting since she’s a female inventor in a Victorian-like world.

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3. An Author Who Should Write More Books

Honesty, most of my favourite authors are dead. XD I’ll have to go with Elen Evert Hopman again. She did write quite a lot of non-fiction, but I’d really like to read more fiction from her. Her books are mostly historical fiction, but they feel so magical.

4. A Character Who Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else

These questions are obviously very hard for me. XD I’m not a big “shipper” so I don’t really know… I don’t really have a couple I hate.

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I don’t really like books being turned into movies… Oh, my, I sound like a real hater in in this post! XD But, yeah, I prefer books to stay books, and movies to come up with original plots. If I had to pick, I’d definitely say The Vampire Chronicles. Yes, it’s been done before, but I’m ready for a new one. Apparently, a tv show is in the making and I really hope it will be great.

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6. Totally Should’ve Kept The Original Covers

I literally have no answer for this one… Soooo, can I turn it around? The old cover I saw for The Daughter of the Forest was pretty, but the new one blew me away with its simplicitly. I think it’s prettier that the original one. Unfortunatelly, I think the other two books in the series haven’t been published with new covers yet…

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7. Totally Should’ve Stopped At Book One

I think The Vampire Chonicles should’ve stopped after book three. Maybe the books about Armand and Marius could stay, as spin-offs, but I think the first three were perfect and the rest was just too much. Tale of the Body Thief wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t like Memnoch the Devil at all. I’ve recently read Prince Lestat, and I enjoyed it at first, and was happy to meet the characters again, but in the end I though it was meh

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And, that’s it! I won’t be tagging anyone this time, but I hope some of you will do this tag! 😉

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Classic Spotlight: Preface to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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Hello, bloggers and other visitors! I recently noticed a hashtag on Instagram called Classics Thursday, and it gave me the idea to start a similar “meme” here on the blog. I’ve seen it on @katha_logisch and I’m not sure who the actual creator is, but I hope they don’t mind my idea of writing posts to accompany the Instagram photo. I’ve actually been thinking about making my blog and my Instagram more connected, so this is one way to do that, too. Anyway, the plan is to write a post about a classic on Thursdays (probably not every Thursday, but as often as I can manage).

My first Classic Spotlight post will be about one of my favourite classics, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. Well, actually, it won’t be about the book, but the author’s Preface, which is a very important piece of feminist writing. In the preface, Anne Brontë responds to those who found her book too scandalous (and, sadly, her sister Charlotte was one of them). Some found it especially concerning that the author of such a book is female.

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In the novel, Brontë writes about alcoholism, and the suffering of a woman whose husband is an alcoholic. The  main character, Helen Huntington, leaves her husband to protect her son from his father’s influence, aware of the gossip and scandal her decision might cause.

What’s interesting to me is that Helen never actually divorces her husband – she even comes back to take care of him as he is dying. She is also extremely pious. Nothing Helen does is truly scandalous. Today, no one would find the novel too graphic either. And yet, that was how it was perceived. This opens some questions about censorhip and the many books that get banned even today for similar reasons.

This is what Anne Brontë writes in defence of her novel:

“…when we have to do with vice and vicious characters, I maintain it is better to depict them as they really are than as they would wish to appear. To represent a bad thing in its least offensive light is, doubtless, the most agreeable course for a writer of fiction to pursue; but is it the most honest, or the safest? Is it better to reveal the snares and pitfalls of life to the young and thoughtless traveller, or to cover them with branches and flowers? Oh, reader! if there were less of this delicate concealment of facts – this whispering, ‘Peace, peace,’ when their is no peace, there would be less of sin and misery to the young of both sexes who are left to wring their bitter knowledge from experience.”

I have to agree with Anne Brontë completely. Life can be gruesome and horrible, and literature should be allowed to present it as it is. I know some people are sensitive to graphic imagery, and that is fine, they should be warned about it so that they can avoid the books which disturb them. However, this doesn’t mean that such books should be banned. Literature, and art in general, has the right to question and to provoke. Anne Brontë’s words are a voice against censorship. She also writes about equility, and says:

All novels are, or should be, written for both men and women to read, and I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be really disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man.

Quite opiniated and maybe not as meek as she was usually protrayed to be, eh? You can read the entire preface by Anne Brontë HERE, it is great, and short.


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Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Bromances

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Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Samatha at Thoughts on Tomes. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


Bromance = platonic relationship between two characters who identify as male. 

Oh, my, this topic is great! Now, I know I haven’t posted in a while, and I’m sorry. I will try to post more often from now on, but I needed a little break for some not that interesting reasons. So, I’ll just skip this introduction and get right to my list of favourite bromances, because this is where the fun starts! 😉

1. Spider-man and Deadpool

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I’ll just start with my (probably) all-time favourite pair. Spidey would be angry with me for this, because he refuses to call Deadpool his friend, but he’s wrong and we all know it. Deadpool admires Spider-man, but that doesn’t stop him from doing stupid things. And, while I expected more from the comics that deal with their relationship, they are still my favourite bros. With a hint of romance, to be completely honest. 😛

2. Jezal dan Luthar and Logen Ninefingers (The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie)

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(This may be a mild spoiler, since this friendship develops slowly, but I try not to give many details.) When you first meet these two, you’d never say that they might become friends. Logen is a warrior from the North, a strong, feared man who wants to become a better person. Jezal is initially a handsome, but vain knight. This quote describes him well:

He wiped his face, and then—his favourite part of the day—gazed at himself in the looking glass.

And yet, they learn to recpect one another. It is interesting how Logen, a man who is tormented by all he did in the past, actually helped Jezal become a better person. At the time Logen was feeling particularly bad about himself, he asks Jezal if he’s an evil man to which Jezal replies “you’re the best man I know”. Neither of them are truly good, and they cannot fight all of their flaws, but the respect they have for one another in the end is wonderful to read about.

3. Hamlet and Horatio

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Yes, this is Hamlet. From the 1921 silent film in which Hamlet is female. 😉

It can be argued that Hamlet is actually insane, but I’ll leave that for another time. XD What is obvious from the play, though, is that the only person Hamlet can truly trust is Horatio. He helps Hamlet the best that he knows, and remains loyal to the end. After Hamlet (and everybody else) is dead, it’s Horatio’s role to tell the story of what had happened to the world.

P.S. Check out these Hamlet illustrations!

4. Sam and Frodo

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Does this one even need an explanation? Sam is the best friend one can hope for. Frodo would be lost without him. Anotther great friendship from LOTR is the one between Legolas and Gimli, but Sam and Frodo are my pick for this list.

5. James Potter, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black

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There are so many sweet friendships in the Harry Potter series. Ron and Harry are definitely the first that come to mind. And there are also Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski from Fantastic Beasts, the newest addition to the magical world. And, yet, I just had to put there three on the list. From what we learn about them, it is obvious that they were extremely close. They even learned to turn themselves into animals in order to help their werewolf friend.

Bonus, my favourite friendship from a tv show: Captain Flint and John Silver (Black Sails)

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Black Sails is my favourite show, and Flint and Silver are just a small part of what makes the show so great – but an important part. Eventually, everything leads to these two. Their dynamic kept me at the edge of my seat (a polite way of saying I was emotionally unstable while watching it.) I want to say so much more, but I also want to persuade the people who haven’t seen the show to watch it, so I don’t want to say too much. Just watch the show, you’ll understand!

So, what are your favourite bromances?

Currently Reading: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

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I’m really happy with my book choices lately. Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest is amazing so far, and I believe it will be amazing ’till the very end.

This novel is a retelling of the fairy tale “The Seven Swans”, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s a story about six brothers and a sister, Sorcha, who will in the end have to save all of them. I believe this sentence from the Goodreads description portrays it perfectly:

Daughter of the Forest takes the reader to an Ireland on the edge where history and fairy tale meet.

The book has fantastical elements, but the magic feels so realistic that you almost don’t percieve it as something foreign or made up. It is also deeply rooted in Celtic folklore, and it speaks about the history of Ireland and Britain, where different nations lived, fought, and coexisted. At times it felt like reading historical fiction.

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One thing I’ve noticed, which may not be that important to everyone, but is very important to me, is the way this book deals with animals and nature. Respect which the characters show towards nature is very true to Celtic beliefs (I’m not an expert on this, but I’ve read about it quite a lot). It is stressed many time just how important nature is, and I think this is something we should hear more often. The villain of the story shows her true nature by doing bad things not only to people, but also to the plants. Animals are treated with respect. One of the brothers saves a dog, loyal Linn who appears all the time in the book (at least for now). Another brother saves a wounded owl, and cries as he lets her fly free. Sorcha doesn’t even eat animals, and I was so happy to read that, since it is not that common to have vegetarian characters.

I had not eaten flesh or fish since I was a small child, for I had always felt a closeness with other creatures that made my senses revolt at the very idea.

Then, there’s also her reason for not wearing shoes:

“I need no shoes, Father,” I said, hardly thinking. “My feet are tough, look,” and I raised one narrow, grubby foot to show him. “No need for some creature to die so I can be shod.”

I was so excited to read this, as I, too, don’t wear leather at all. And then, this book is also against war, and it makes it clear that people shouldn’t be judged by their nationality. So many good messages! This is what one of the brothers, Finbar, says to Sorcha:

“But there are two sides to every fight. It starts from something small, a chance remark, a gesture made lightly. It grows from there. Both sides can be unjust. Both can be cruel.”

Sorcha is kind and loving, but she’s also smart and she always speaks her mind. She knows how to make potions and is a very good healer. It is clear that she is proud of who she is, and that she doesn’t want to change for anyone.

“Why should I be polished and improved like goods for sale? I might not even want to marry! And besides, I have many skills, I can read and write and play the flute and harp. Why should I change to please some man? If he doesn’t like me the way I am, then he can get some other girl for his wife.”

Of course, good messeages don’t necessarily make a good book, but this book IS good. It is interesting, thought not too fast-paced. It gives you time to get to know the characters, without being too descriptive or slow. I really hope it’ll stay this good until it’s finished.

Have you read Daughter of the Forest? Do you want to? Feel free to let me know. 🙂


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Top 5 Wednesday: Children’s Books

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Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Samatha at Thoughts on Tomes. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


“This can include Middle Grade (but try to recommend more than just Harry Potter and Percy Jackson!) Feel free to talk about your childhood faves or more recent reads.”

This is such a nice topic! I tried to remember the books I liked in primary school, and I came up with this list. (There are some great books by Croatian authors that loved as a child, but they haven’t been translated to English so I’ll leave them out of the list.)

1. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

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This is the first book I remember falling in love with. I loved all the characters, and it made me believe my stuffed animals are alive, too. XD I have two Eeyore toys, he’s my absolute favourite (and you can see one of them in the photo.)

2. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

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Image courtesy: Pixabay.com

When I was a child, I hated unhappy endings, but Hans Christin Andersen intrigued me for some reason. When I heard that the Disney version of The Little Mermaid is based on a story by Andersen,  and that it was actually a sad story, I was a bit disappointed, but also interested to know the original story. When my mother told me that The Little Match Girl was one of the saddest stories she’s ever read, and that she still couldn’t get over it, I had to know what the story was about. Anyway, among the many tragic stories that I (strangely) grew fond of, The Ugly Duckling actually had a happy ending, but it made me cry the most. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals. This story stayed with me ever since I first read it. What The Little Match Girl was for my mother, The Ugly Duckling was for me. (P.S. He’s not ugly, he’s ADORABLE, what’s wrong with you?)

3. Fear Street series by R.L. Stine

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Anything by R.L. Stine, really. I was a horror-loving child who was scared of everything. I’m not joking, I couldn’t sleep with my lights off for a very long time, but I was always attracted to horror. Crazy, I know. I would go to the library and borrow anything with R.L. Stine’s name on it, and my library had more Fear Street than Goosebumps books, so I decided to put Fear Street on this list.

4. The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár

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Paul Street Boys statue in Budapest. Photo from Wikipedia.

This is a book by a Hungarian author which was required reading for us in primary school. I read it again last year because I was working in a school and my students were supposed to read it, and I think it’s a very powerful, though quite sad book. Most of my students liked it, too.

5. W.I.T.C.H.

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I loved W.I.T.C.H. comics so much I tried drawing my own version of it. And I’m not good at drawing. XD This comic is so magical, and all the girls have their own unique personalities. They had amazing powers, and they fought agains evil, but they also had problems in their personal lives. I hated the animated series, though, because they changed the story and I couldn’t accept that. XD I’d really like to know if any of you have read this? Who was your favourite? Mine was Cornelia.

Honourable mention: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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I put this book as an honourable mention because I didn’t actually read it as a child, I’ve read it a few years ago, but I really loved it! And I think I would’ve loved it as a child, too. It’s just the right combination of creepy and cute. 🙂

Aaaand that’s it. So, what were your favourite childhood reads?


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Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Unlikable Protagonists

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Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Samatha at Thoughts on Tomes. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


“People always tear down “unlikeable” protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!”

When I saw this topic I was very excited. I love talking about flawed characters. But, then, I realized it’s actually hard to find 5 unlikeable protagonists that I love. :O This is what I came up with in the end:

1. Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights)

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I don’t think Cathy is unlikeable, but many people hate her, and I can understand why. Well, not completely… Did she make mistakes? Yes. Is she a horrible human being? No, I don’t think so. I think she was just very unhappy, and I felt sorry for her. And I liked her very much.

2. Rorschach (Watchmen)

Is Rorcharch a bad person? Absolutely. And yet, I found him very interesting and I felt really sorry for him. Having a horrible life doesn’t justify being horrible to other people, but despite being brutal, Rorschach did possess certain (questionable) ideals, and he followed them no matter what.

3. Carmilla (Carmilla)

She’s a vampire, a blood-sucking monster. But what can I say, I love vampires. XD And I actually think Carmilla kind of liked Laura. Who knows? We never heard her side of the story.

4. Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles)

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This is a cheat, because everyone likes Lestat. He did some bad things though, and you couldn’t call him a likeable person, um, I mean vampire. XD But I love him, and I love whiny Louis as well.

5. Severus Snape (Harry Potter Series)

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Snape is not exactly a protagonist, but I think he fits the theme well. Though many people love him, he’s not a really nice person. I completely understand people who hate Snape, and I agree with them. Yes, some bad things happened too him, but that doesn’t justify the way he acted towards Harry, Neville, and other students. Also, he was a Deatheater. However, I found him intriguing, and I have to admit I was happy that in the end he did something heroic. At that point, I kind of rooted for him, though I hate to admit it…

That’s it! Now, are there any character you like, though you feel that you should hate them? XD

 

Mid-Year Bookish Freak Out!

I really, really wanted to do this tag. It’s always nice to look back on the books you’ve read. So, though I wasn’t tagged, I decided to share with you some thoughts about the books I’ve read so far. Here go the questions:

1. Best book you’ve read in 2017 so far

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to read it… And now I really want to watch the series, too.

Another both wonderful (though also horrifying) book I want to mention is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Even if you’re not a vegetarian/vegan and you don’t even want to be one, I think you’d appreciate reading this book. It reveals all the horrors of factory farms – and they go beyong animal cruelty (as if that’s not horrible enough). I wrote a big post about this book, a sort-of summary, so you can read that if you want to know more about it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

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I’ve read the last two books in Tales of the Ketty Jay series this year, and they’re just as good as the first two. So much fun! And I don’t really like fast-paced books, but this series manages to be both fun and action-packed and feature some interesting, fleshed-out characters. Every single character has his/her own story and personality, and I fell in love with them, despite all of their flaws.

3. New release that you haven’t read but want to

Definitely A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I can’t wait to read it!

4. Most anticipated releases for the other half of the year

I’m actually not expecting a new release… I mostly read old books. XD

5. Biggest disappointment

Verland: The Transformation by B.E. Scully. It’s a vampire novel, and I’ve been searching for a while for a good vampire novel. This one, sadly, didn’t meet my expectations, though I really thought I would like it. It even has some good reviews on Goodreads.

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6. Biggest surprise

I did manage to find a good vampire novel! Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin is really great! It’s set in the 1850s, in the American South, and it’s quite different from other vampire novels I’ve read. However, it’s innovative in a way that doesn’s entirely turn its back on old, well-known vampire fiction. It’s my first novel by Martin, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

7. Favourite new author (debute or new to you)

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Maaaybe Marie Brennan. I’ve just finished Memoirs of Lady Trent series today, and I immediately googled the author to find out what else she’s written. I was actually thinking about puttting this series as the answer to the 2nd question, but I liked the first few books a bit more than the last two so I decided not to. Despite that, this series is amazing and I would recommed it to everyone who would like to study dragons. I sure would! 😉

8. Newest fictional crush

I don’t have one…

9. Newest favourite character

Lady Isabella Trent and Natalie Oscott from the Memoirs of Lady Trent. They are both smart and brave women who oppose the patriarchal society they live in and follow their dreams.

10. Book that made you cry

I rarely cry, but The Princes Diarist by Carrie Fisher really made me sad… And it was also funny at times. Carrie Fisher was such an amazing person.

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11. Book that made you happy

Reading a good book always makes me happy, though I don’t read very happy books. XD

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far (or received)

Just look at those books in the answer to the 7th question. They are gorgeous and I love them! Those dragons! ❤

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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I don’t need to do anything! XD Jokes aside, I want to read The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Probably some other books by Atwood, too.

And that’s it. So, what are your favourites of this year so far? 🙂