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: Authors I Want to Read More from

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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 week’s title is quite self-explanatory. We all have those authors that we really, really want to read more from. So, let’s start with the list! These are listed in no particular order:

1. Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett is an amazing author, and a very productive one. His books are fun and clever, they make you laugh, but they also make you appreciate Pratchett’s wit. Some also carry messages that I find very true and important. I love his books, and, luckily for me, there are many more for me to read. 🙂

2. Margaret Atwood

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The only Margaret Atwood book I’ve read is The Handmaid’s Tale. I know, that’s horrible and needs to be rectified! I recently bought a copy of Penelopiad, and I can’t wait to read it! The Odyssey from Penelope’s point of view? This has to be amazing!

3. Daphne du Maurier

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I’ve read four of her books, and loved all of them. Du Maurier creates such an amazing atmosphere, and manages to be both descriptive and exciting. That’s something I can’t help but admire.

4. Edith Wharton

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I loved The Agnocence and The House of Mirth. Of course I want to read more!

5. Elif Shafak

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Elif Shafak’s Honour is one of my favourite books ever. Her writing is just beautiful, and she portrays the characters and their feelings very vividly, making them seem real. The themes of Honour are not happy ones. It speaks about immigration, the clash of cultures, and honour murders. I think this is an important read, which manages to present different points of view without any kind of judgement. I absolutey want to see what else this amazing author has written!


All of the photos are from Goodreads.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books that Would Make Good Video Games

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I wasn’t sure what to do with this topic… I like to play video games, but most of the books I read are not very action packed. And, yes, not all video games are action games, but it was still hard to find the books that would fit this topic. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding

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This was the first series that came to mind. It would be a fun adventure, and yes, there would be lots of different action missions. It would be amazing to step into the role of an airship pirate!

2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Several Neil Gaiman books would be really fun as video games, but, in my humble opinion, this is the most game-like one. The world of London Below hides a lot of traps, and you also have to escape the creepy thugs Croup and Vandemar… A lot is going on in this book!

3. Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Victor and Eli have superpowers, and that is a great start for a game. I also think it would be interesting to be able to choose to play either as Victor or as Eli. The game could add a bit more of what they did in the meantime – especially with Eli hunting all the people with powers – before the final conflict between the two.

4. Alice by Christina Henry

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This would be a great horror game, with a lot of puzzles and dialogue. Not for kids at all, though. XD This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is very creepy and violent, but I think it would look great as a game.

5. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I know Harry Potter games already exist, but I would like a game where you create your own character, and go to Hogwarts. It would be so amazing, like a combination of Pottermore and The Sims, I don’t know… XD But if we can’t go to Hogwarts we can at least play a game where we do. 😉

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So, would you want to play these games?

Top 5 Wednesday: Top SFF Books on My TBR

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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 week’s topic are fantasy and science fiction books, but the ones you haven’t read yet, but want to read SOON! There are much more than five SFF books I really want to read, but here are the six books that first came to mind so I guess I want to read them most. Yes, I said six. Five is not enough this time. 😉

1. Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

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I ordered this book recently and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I loved the first book in the series, A Natural History of Dragons, which you probably know since I’ve talked about it a lot. Lady Trent is a dragon naturalist, and that is basically my dream job. I have to read this, soon! Actually, I have to read all of these books. The last one comes out in a month or so. 🙂

2. Royal Assasin by Robin Hobb

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I’ve recently read the first book in the Farseer Trilogy, Assasin’s Apprentice and I can’t wait to continue with the series. I really like the main character, Fitz, the world, and I want to learn more about the Fool!

3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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I’ve heard great things about this book. It’s supposed to be a very character driven science fiction/ space opera with aliens – which sounds amazing. My boyfriend actually bought a copy recently, so I’ll borrow it from him. Soon, of course. 😉

4. Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

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I don’t know much about this book, but it is set in the Middle Ages and has some magical elements, so it’s a combination of historical fiction and fantasy. I’m a bit obsessed with the Middle Ages, so this is a must-read for me.

5. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

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This is the first book in Bernard Cornwell’s series about King Arthur, and as a huge fan of Arthurian legends I need to read it! Also, I kind of want these covers… They are so pretty. (Yes, you shouldn’t judge the book by the cover, but just look at them!)

6. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is an epic fantasy book, also a first in the series which is often classified as dark fantasy. It’s supposed to be very, very violent and gritty, and that kind of draws me to it… I’m probably crazy. XD But I think dark and violent books can be great if done well. That’s why I can’t help being intrigued by this one.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Angsty Romances

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


Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

I’m not a fan of romances, but it turns out there are some I can’t help but adore. Romanticism and the Victorians take the stage this time! (Tbh, most of these are not healthy at all.)

1. Catherine and Heatcliff (Wuthering Heights)

So much angst in this one! Both Cathy and Heathcliff have their issues, and they are not exactly likable (especially Heatcliff). However, they are well-rounded, complex characters and they have reasons for their actions, though that doesn’t necessarily justify them. This love story is more than a love story, and that’s what made it a classic.

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2. Lestat and Louis (The Vampire Chronicles)

Don’t you dare tell me theirs is not a love story! And it’s angsty as hell. Louis is angsty in general, actually. XD

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3. Batsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak (Far From the Madding Crowd)

This is the only positive one on this list, I think. XD The relationship between these characters develops slowly, and unlike most Victorian male characters, Gabriel is actually a nice guy.

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4. Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky (Anna Karenina)

There is so much pain, misfortune and angst in this love story… Most of you probably know what happens but I’m still not going to say much, because I don’t want to spoil anything to anyone. This book is wonderful, and it rings very true even today. I do have some problems with Tolstoy’s portrayal of an “ideal” love – Kitty and Levin – but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

P.S. I actually really liked the 2012 film with Keira Knightley, though most people seem to disagree. The fact that it was filmed in a theatre is a nice way to express how people wear masks and play the roles they are supposed to (actually the roles the society expects of them). It was very artistic.

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5. Werther and Lotte (The Sorrows of Young Werther)

Werther’s one-sided love for Lotte was the one that started (or at least made popular) a lot of literary tropes, so I had to include it. Readers identified with Werther so much that many young men comitted suicides just like he did – yes, a wave of suicides happened after the publication of this book. Sometimes the influence of books can be horrible. And even though Goethe strongly criticized the Romantic movement later on, he still said:

It must be bad, if not everybody was to have a time in his life, when he felt as though Werther had been written exclusively for him.

I’ll leave it to you to decide if you agree with this. 😉

Honourable mention: Countess Ellen Olenska and Newland Archer (The Age of Innocence)

Apparently, I don’t like romance at all! I wouldn’t call this relationship romantic, but it is very angsty – and I really wanted to include it so I’m putting it as an honourable mention. Newland falls for Countess Olenska, or to be more precise he becomes obssesed with her. She knows their relationship is doomed, but cannot help falling for him, too. Tragedy ensues…

What did you think of these books? Do you find these angsty couples as influential as I do?

 

 

 

Top 5 Wednedsday: Books I’ve Felt Betrayed by

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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.


Beware the Ides of March! What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small. 

It’s an interesting topic, so let’s get started:

1. Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice

First of all, I LOVE the first three books of The Vampire Chronicles. Love them to pieces and always will. The fourth one, Tale of the Body Thief, was not that good but, though I had some issues with it, it didn’t disappoint me completely. Memnoch the Devil was quite bad… And that made me so sad. From the day I read it, I decided to treat The Vampire Chronicles as a trilogy, because it really went downhill for me. Still, Lestat is amazing, so everything is forgiven. XD

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2. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I loved The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, so when the third book in the series came out I was more than excited. Though The Prisoner of Heaven ties up the two previous books, it wasn’t as magical as they were. It was, and I’m so sad to say it, quite boring…

3. The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I didn’t expect much of this book, but when I started it I though I might be wrong. It seemed it would be interesting. And then – it wasn’t. I don’t care about the forbidden love of the two main characters! I wanted magic, and danger, and mystery! But a forbidden love story was all I got.

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4. The Fire by Katherine Neville

This book is a sequel to The Eight, a book I found very interesting. It is a perfect example of why I prefer standalones to series. This sequel was completely unnecessary. And boring. Though I read these books quite a lot of time ago, I still remember the general storyline of The Eight, but I have forgotten what happens in this one. I only remember the disappointment.

5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I really though I would love this one. The premise seemed great, and many people love it. In the end, I didn’t like it at all. Reading it was a painful experience to me and I almost didn’t finish it. Don’t hate me, please!

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So, that’s it! No hard feelings, eh? 😉

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy 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.


In collaboration with the BooktubeSFF Awards, this week’s topic is to talk about your favorite science fiction and fantasy books of all time. I was hard to choose just five, but here are my picks. Also, I mostly like the not-that-traditional approaches to both fantasy and science fiction so these might not be exactly what you are expecting. Still, I think they fit the category:

1. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett is amazing, and I love his Discword series, though I have many more books to read from it. Small Gods is my favourite so far, and it is one of the books in Discworld series that can be read as a standalone. It’s both fantasy and satire, with Pratchett’s incredible wit and humour.

2. Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

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The Ketty Jay is a flying steamship, and her crew are pirates. Well, sort of. This book is part steampunk, part fantasy, part science fiction, but mostly adventure and fun! I love it, and the characters are amazing, deeply flawed but still lovable.

3. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

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This is a very unique book. It’s a retelling of several tales from the Russian folkore, all put into one strange but beautiful story which tackles many different themes. This book is hard to describe, but I found it incredibly interesting, and Valente’s writing is great.

4.  A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

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In this book, the main character, Lady Trent, basically lives my dream. She goes on an expedition to study dragons. The way in which dragons are portayed here is exactly how I imagine and like them – they are intelligent, magnificent animals. They are not evil (I really don’t like when dragons represent evil and have to be slain), nor do they speak human language. They are just a part of the world, living their own lives in their own way.

P.S. The gif is from Pete’s Dragon, a wonderful Disney movie that made me cry.

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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Yes, I know what you are thinking: Do you have to include Frankenstein in every list you make?! Well, I guess I do. Come on, this is the book that started science fiction! How can I not include it? Also, it’s perfect.

Honourable mention: Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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This series is a honourable mention because I still haven’t read The Conjuring of Light, but I can’t wait to! Shades of Magic took me by surprise – I liked it more than I thought I would. I think what I liked most are the characters, and the unique world. Vicious is another amazing book from this author, which combines science fiction and superheroes, and deals with the notion of good and evil. Highly recommend that one, too.

Another honourable mention: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Not in the top five only because I think everyone’s heard of it and it does not need introduction. However, this book is a gem! It plays and jokes around with fantasy themes, the characters are more than memorable, and it’s really a fun story.

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This was a great topic, so you have to forgive me for mentioning more than five books. 😉 Can’t wait to read your posts, I really need more recommendations!

Happy blogging! 🙂