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.

giphy.gif

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

tumblr_ntynucEZKS1u17twro1_500

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.

tumblr_nsubt9buWQ1r2igv7o2_250.gif

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.

large

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

top-wed-goth

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

giphy (2).gif

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.

giphy (1).gif

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!

tumblr_o30t45nNMC1rwfctbo1_1280.gif

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

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

top-wed-goth

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

small gods 2.png

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

iron jackall.png

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

deathless.png

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

giphy.gif

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

frankenstein.png

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

Untitled.png

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.

giphy (1).gif

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! 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Jobs I’d Want to Have

top-wed-goth

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


This week’s topic, as the title says, is to choose five fictional careers you’d want to have. This one was a bit hard for me, since there are not many truly fictional careers in the books I’ve read. In the end, this is what I came up with:

1. Magizoologist (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

Do I even have to explain this? Studying magical creatures is the best! Also, this means I’d be a witch, and that’s something I really want to be. 😉

giphy.gif

2. Dragon naturalist (A Natural History of Dragons)

This career is similar to the previous one. In the book, Lady Trent goes on an expedition to study dragons. I love dragons, and I would love to do the same!

dsc02869-2

3. A member of the Ketty Jay crew (Tales of the Ketty Jay series)

An airship pirate? Count me in! Yes, the characters of this series get in a lot of trouble, and the captain doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but as the story progresses they really become one big family. And everyone is crazy in their own way. XD

DSC02803 (2).jpg

4. Digidestined (Digimon)

I’m not sure if this can be considered a job, but Digidestined are children chosen to travel to the Digital World and raise their Digimon. Together, they fight the evil Digimon that threaten the Digital World. I loved Digimon when I was a kid, more than Pokemon. It had a better and more complex story, and I was never really comfortable with the idea of Pokemon fighting one another for no apparent reason… Anyway, I’d love to have a Digimon friend. 🙂

giphy-1

5. Antari (Shades of Magic series)

Not really a career either, but Antaris who have the rare ability to travel between different worlds are often “employed” by the rulers of Londons to carry their messages. Now, I have to be careful with this one, because it’s dangerous. I have to admit I’m not quite sure if I really want this, but I do love magic and the idea of travelling between worlds is a very appealing one. To be honest, I didn’t know what to put as my last pick, it was between this and being a superhero but “with great power comes great responsibility” and I’m not sure if I want that kind of pressure. XD

DSC02419.JPG

So, those are my picks. What do you think, would you like to have one of these jobs?

Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

top-wed-gothTop 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


The topic of this week’s Top 5 Wednesday are the books that help you get out of a reading slump. Now, I don’t have a big problem with reading slumps. Sometimes I read for many hours a day, sometimes just a little bit before I go to bed, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a really long rading slump. (except in high school, when we had many exams, and I was stressed – I’m looking at you Croatian education system!) Anyway, this is the closest I can get to writing this post.

1. A book I’m really excited to read

Yes, this may be a cheat. But sometimes, there are some great books that you feel you should read, but you’re not really in the mood for – and those can lead to a reading slump. It’s fine to leave a book for another time and read something you really want to at the moment.

giphy.gif

2. A superhero comic

Or any fun comic that I will rush though, and that doesn’t make me think too much, but instead just helps me remember how fun reading is.

3. Romantic poetry

491px-john_keats_by_william_hilton

I love romantic poetry! Especially Keats and Percy Shelley. It’s very easy to find a lot of their poem on the internet, so I sometimes just google them and enjoy. They also always make me want to write my own poetry. 🙂

4. The all-time-favourite

Frankenstein, in my case. ❤ I don’t necessarily read the entire book, I just like to read some parts of it from time to time. It also always gets me in the mood to read some classics.

5. The collected works of Oscar Wilde

I think short stories are great for getting you out of a reading slump. And since I love Oscar Wilde, it’s nice to revisit some of his stories from time to time. He’s the king of wit, after all, and I’ll end this post with a few of his quotes. 😉

Untitled.png

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite “Non-Written” Books

top-wed-goth

Top 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


Another Wednesday is here! This week is about all books that are not ‘written’ novels – graphic novels, comics, manga, audiobooks, etc. And here are my favourites!

1. Watchmen by Alan Moore (Author), Dave Gibbons (Illustrator), John Higgins (Colorist)

472331

I feel like I’ve been talking about Watchmen too much lately, but it’s amazing, so it’s well-deserved. This graphic novel is gritty, dark, and quite realistic compared to other superhero comics. It opens many questions about the very notion of a superhero, and about humanity as a whole.

2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

991197

Another graphic novel I already talked about, but this list would not be complete without it. Persepolis a memoir in which Marjane Satrapi talks about her childhood and adolescence in Tehran, and later on in Vienna, and her story is intertwined with the history of her country, Iran. This graphic novel truly taught me a lot.

3. Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa

Para kiss

Paradise Kiss has only 5 volumes (and there’s also a 3-volume edition). It’s about a girl who becomes a part of the fashion world after meeting a group of designers. But most of all, it’s about growing up and finding yourself. And it was very fun, though heartbreaking at times. Ai Yazawa’s manga are always heartbreaking…

4. Nana by Ai Yazawa

98411.jpg

Which leads us to Nana, Ai Yazawa’s best-known manga. The manga has 21 volume, but is not finished due to the author’s illness. Ai Yazawa gave an interview recently, though, and said that she’s intending to continue with the manga. I liked Paradise Kiss more than Nana, but this one is also very good. The story follows two girls, both named Nana, but completely different in character, whose lives get intertwined.

5. Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 0: Don’t Call It A Team-Up

27415880.jpg

This is a collection of Marvel comics in which Spider-man and Deadpool appear together, and it was such a joy to read! The first comic in the collection is from 1997, when Deadpool still had the red-and-blue suit, and others follow chronologically.This was published before Marvel released the first issue of Spider-man/Deadpool series last year. I haven’t read those yet, but I’ve read some great reviews and now I really, really want to! Spider-man is my favourite superhero, and Deadpool is my favourite kind-of superhero, and together they are my favourite (b)romance ever! 😉

Bonus:

17331402.jpg

I’m not sure if this goes in this category, because the graphic novel uses original text from Frankenstein, but the illustrations are sooooo amazing!

And that’s it! Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Trends I’m Tired of Seeing

top-wed-goth

Top 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


This weeks’ topic  are the trends in books and publishing you are tired of seeing . It may be a certain kind of cover, or a trope seen too often in a genre.

1. Whitewashed covers

“Tired of” is too mild – this is completely unacceptable and offensive. Not many books have a POC main character, and then, when one finally does, the cover shows a white person anyway. You can find many examples of this HERE.

2. “The next xy!”

Publishers do this all the time… Every book is a “new” something. So now we have many new Harry Potters and Twilights, Girl in the Train was advertised as new Gone Girl etc. I think that’s very annoying, and often misleading. Also, quite unfair to the new book and author.

3. Insta-love

Now, when it comes to tropes, I think a lot of them can actually be done in a good way. It really depends on how the author handles the trope. But the thing I can’t stand is insta-love. No, I do not believe in love at first sight. Attraction – yes – and that can, with time, turn into love. But WITH TIME. You cannot love a person you don’t even know. That’s more of an obssession in my opinion. Sexual attraction and/or sexual tension can be strong feelings, and can be addressed in books, of course, but they are not love. I personally love books in which relationships are slowly developed, and not only romantic ones – frienships can also take time to develop. The only time insta-love worked was in Up. 😛

tumblr_lm0enmVVMj1qdlkgg.gif

4. Who cares about friendship?

This is something I’ve noticed, but you may not agree. Books often focus on a romantic relationship, even when it’s just a minor part of the book. Friendships are quite neglected. People always talk about their “ships” and which characters they want to end up together. But what about friendship? Especially male and female friendships – I believe in them and would like to see more of them in books.

5. It’s destiny!

This can be related to the insta-love trope (we were destined for each other!) and more frequently to the Chosen One trope. In my opinion, destiny is not a good enough explanation for anything (to he honest, I’m not a big believer in destiny in general, so this might be just my personal preference). It feels a bit awkward to me if a character does someting because s/he was predestined to. Also, it’s been done so many times. I think life is strange and weird, and that’s what makes it interesting. I believe we all make our own paths in life. Or at least I want to believe it.

Untitled.png

So, those are the things that annoy me. Hopefully they weren’t too controversial. 😉 Anyway, I’d like to hear what you think!

Top 5 Wednesday: Current Favourites that Aren’t Books

top-wed-goth

If you want to join, Top 5 Wendesday guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group hosted by Samantha.

Oh, I love this topic! As much as I like talking about books, it’s nice to talk about some other things I like for a change. And I’m looking forward to finding out what other Wednesdayers love! 🙂

Anyway, here are some things that I love at the moment:

1. Food: Homemade Almond Butter

almonds-1768792_640

As I mentioned in my previous post, I discovered how to make homemade almond butter a few months ago, and I fell in love with it! It’s yummy and healthy, and you can make a lot of other things with it. I also started making my own granola bars.

2. Series: Black Sails

teaser_poster_for_black_sails

Now, this isn’t something I’ve just recently discovered, but the first episode of the 4th and last season of this series premiered on 29th January so I think it’s the perfect time to talk about it. I love this series so much! It’s a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, but it’s much more than that.

3.  Film: Split

split_ver2

I didn’t think I would love it, but this is the best film I’ve seen lately. And James McAvoy is amazing at playing all those personalities! The film did make me feel uneasy, though, and I even dreamt it. It was more of a nightmare than a dream actually. XD

4. Lifestyle: Yoga

girl-1665173_640

I’m still a complete beginner, but I’m really, really loving it! I’m not the kind of person who likes to exercise, but yoga makes me feel great. 🙂 (P.S. I’m definitely not as good as the girl on the photo.)

5. This gif:

hamster.gif


Thanks pixabay.com for the almonds and yoga photos! 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Underrated Books

top wed goth.jpg

Another Wednesday, another Top 5! 🙂 I found out about Top 5 Wednesday on Goodreads, so click HERE if you want to join the fun!

This time, we were supposed to pick some underrated books –  books that aren’t as widely talked about. Now, I’m not sure if the books I picked fall into that category, but I think they do. Also, I think there are some underrated books mentioned in My Top 10 Books of 2016 post, for example Alice, but I decided not to mention it again.

Let’s begin!

1. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

344623

A Victorian drama meets dragons. And not in a way you’d expect. All the characters are dragons! But they act like people, they have the aristocrats and the poor, they ride in carriages but sleep on their pile of treasure. XD This book is so fun, and I recommend it to everyone who can look past a little bit of silliness.

2. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

26703680

This book is crazy, but in a good way. I loved the strange atmosphere, dark family secrets, and deranged characters. It’s creepy, but not too much. And it’s very, very fun.

3. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

966835

People know Mary Shelley as the writer of Frankenstein, and forget that she wrote some other books, too. Though I liked Frankenstein more, The Last Man is also very interesting, mostly because Shelley used the people she knew (Pery Shelley and Lord Byron) to create her characters. She took some of their ideas and put them in a pre-apocalyptic world. As everything falls apart in the novel, we can also perceive some of Mary Shelley’s feelings once she was left alone, the last of the Romantics. I wrote a post about this book quite some time ago, so CLICK HERE if you’re interested.

4. Evelina by Frances (Fanny) Bourney

37638

This epistolary novel from the 18th century has a lot in common with the works of Jane Austen, but since it was written before it deals with a different society with different manners. Now, I’m not a big fan of Austen (sorry!) but I really did enjoy this novel.

5. The druid books by Ellen Evert Hopman

2267873

I don’t think this trilogy has a name, probably because each book has its own story (the third one could almost be read on its own but it would be better to start from the beginning). If you’re interested in the life of the Celts, you just have to read these! Besides enjoying the stories, I also learned a lot.

Aaaand, an honourable mention: The Vampyre by John William Polidori. The first aristocratic vampire tale, before Dracula and even before Carmilla. If you are a vampire afficionado (as I am) this is a must-read. This is where it all started! Not the best book ever, but still. 😉

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Polarizing Books

top-wed-goth

There are certain books that people seem to either love or hate, with no in between. For this Top 5 Wednesday, I was supposed to chose 5 of those books that I like. Honesty, I’m not completely sure if these fall into this category, but from what I’ve heard I think they do. Also, some of these are not really favourites of mine, but I don’t hate them as some people do.

Let’s start!

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

348914

I love this book and it’s one of my absolute favourites. I know a lot of people who share these feeling, but I’ve also come across a lot of people who kind of hate it… Which makes me a bit sad… Those people often say that characters are unlikeable, but I think the part of what makes this book great is the flawed characters. I did come to care for them, in spite of their flaws.

2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

28676

I can understand why some people don’t like this book. It’s not a pleasant one to read. But I still loved it! I already mentioned it in a post about my favourite villains – the way it’s written is just amazing!

3. Medieval sagas

24658

I don’t think this is a case of love-or-hate, it’s more like: some people enjoy these sagas and others don’t read them at all. I loved The Song of the Nibelungs (or the Nibelungenlied), The Saga of the Volsungs (Völsunga saga) and I loved Beowulf. There’s just something about these stories that fascinates me. I’m kind of a medieval geek. XD

4. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

968

You don’t read books like this for the wonderful prose, you read them for the fun and mystery. I was still in high school when I read it and I found it very interesting then. I also liked Angels and Demons. It was a perfect fast-paced summer read.

5. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

41865

I didn’t know which book to choose next, so here’s one I don’t actually like, but I don’t hate it as much as some do. Twilight is a book that really gets a lot of hate and a lot of love at the same time. And yes, it’s not a book I love, but I did like it when I first read it (this was also in high school) and I wanted to know what would happen next. The books get worse and worse as the series progresses, that I have to admit, but the first one wasn’t that bad.

So, do you have any thoughts about these books? I’d like to hear from you! 🙂