Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Featuring Witches

I apparently haven’t read a lot of witchy books. So I split this challenge into “Read” and “To be read”.

First of, books I read:

1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

book uprooted

Loved this book and its earth magic. It has lots of atmosphere and by the end I wished I could just keep reading forever.

2. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

outlander diana gabaldon

You might not think of Outlander when it comes to witches but Geillis Duncan was actually one of my favourite characters. She was very different between the book and the tv show but I appreciated both versions.

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone j k rowling

Because duh…

And three books I want to read!

1. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers’ market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories—and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

2. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones Howl's moving castle

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

a discovery of witches Deborah Harkness 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks, but her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries–and she’s the only creature who can break its spell.

 

Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc.

I have to admit. I find a lot of inspiration on Booktube. So this is an easy topic for me. Now it’s only a matter of choosing five :).

In case you don’t know Top 5 Wednesday, you can find all the info here.

1. Eliza and her monsters – Francesca Zappia

Eliza and her monsters Francesca Zappia

I don’t read a lot of contemporary books so when I feel the need to pick one up, I go looking for recommendations from people I trust.

That’s how I read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I ended up loving both but today I chose to mention Eliza and her monsters because that book really touched me on a personal level.

You can read my full thoughts here.

2. Everything in the Grisha-verse – Leigh Bardugo

Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes has the best recommendations. She got me to read Uprooted by Naomi Novik and of course everything Grisha-related. I loved the world-building in these books and I’m so glad I picked them up.

3. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

book review strange the dreamer laini taylor

Another big one this year is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. This book was everywhere on Booktube and it sounded so compelling that I couldn’t help but pick it up. It was a wonderful read and I wish I could forget all about it just so I could read it again for the first time.

I’m now making my way through the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and I’m stuck on book three. I can’t get myself to start reading it. I definitely prefer Strange the Dreamer but it still has the same magical writing. I’m so conflicted…

4. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

book review rebecca daphne du maurier

The best example of ‘you win some, you lose some’. This book is one of those classics that keeps popping up every now and then. I HATED IT!!! Sorry to everyone who loves this book but I just don’t understand why…
I 100% picked this book up because of Booktube. By the end I wanted to throw it at a wall… Full rant here.

5. We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

we should all be feminists Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One I would never have found without the online community. I live in Belgium. This means that I miss a lot of what happens overseas. Thanks to Booktube, Twitter, blogs,.. I try to keep up and I’m so glad that I caught on to this one (and the whole feminist writing category for that matter). For a book that only takes about thirty minutes to read, it really packs a punch.

So, thank you to everyone who shares their thoughts on books online. I really helps!!

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Fancasts

Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as)

I chose to pick out my favorite male characters (with one exception).

Let’s Go!!

Rhysand (ACOTAR) – Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis

Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows) – Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy

The Darkling (Grisha Trilogy) – Ben Barnes

ben barnes

Kell (A darker shade of magic) – Eddie Redmayne

Eddie Redmayne

Marie Laure & Werner (All the light we cannot see) – Audrey Tautou & Daniel Bruhl

End of the yearbook tag ariel bissett
Books, TAG

End of the Year Book TAG

Today I wanted to do a TAG post. This is the End of the Year BookTAG, created by Ariel Bissett.

Let’s go!

Questions:
Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Ready Player One. I read the first chapter and then gave it to my husband to read (because I thought he’d really like it and because I have plenty of other books I wanted to read) I really liked that first chapter, so I want to pick it back up soon.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I prefer reading classics in autumn, not sure why but it just works better for me. I recently started reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I only ever read Pride and Prejudice by her and I’m happy to broaden my Austen horizon.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’m forever waiting for Circe by Madeline Miller but it only comes out next year…

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
– The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

– The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

– Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (to finish up the series)

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Honestly? Any of the three mentioned in the last question. I haven’t had a lot of luck this year. I’ll have to get a serious reading-mood going for the remaining months to get through the books I want to finish and hopefully find some more favourites.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

I’m thinking about choosing five of my favourite books to reread. I rarely reread books, which is a shame really because they are favourites for a reason. The Song of Achilles and The Night Circus will definitely be on the list, the others I’ll have to think about.

 

If you want to answer these questions, let me know so I can read about your autumn reading plans.

Books, Review

Book Review: Eliza and her monsters – Francesca Zappia *****

“You found me in a constellation.”

Eliza and her monsters Francesca Zappia

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

If you haven’t read any blurbs or heard anyone talk about it, I want to stop here for your sake. I feel like the blurb on Goodreads spoils a lot of the story… and I’m glad I went into it not knowing too much.

I have this thing where I pick up popular contemporary YA fiction on a whim whenever I feel like it. Saturday was one of those days. I remembered Eliza and her monsters, looked it up and started reading. It could have gone either way but in this case I didn’t stop until I finished it.

So this is Eliza’s story as she tries to survive her last year of high-school. All her free time is spend on making her webcomic which is hugely popular. Her parents do not understand what she’s actually doing and keep trying to get her out of the house more.

There was so much in this story, I don’t know where to start.

I think it’s a great example of how too much of anything can never be good. Eliza spends every second of every day working on the comic. Yes, she’s very good at it and yes, she enjoys it but when someone asks her what her plans are after the comic is finished, she doesn’t know how to answer that question. When something takes over your life like that, maybe you should take a step back every once in a while.
(I know that’s easier said than done, though… I have to remind myself to step away from some things too.)

Another thing this book does brilliantly is show anxiety and how it can manifest in different ways. I understand that sometimes being around other people is exhausting. Groups can make me feel trapped. I allow myself to feel these things but I have to remember to be careful. You can’t let them ruin your life.
The panic attacks were recognizable, although mine have never been that severe, I get why she reacts the way she does.

But what I liked most of all were the moments where they talked about creativity. Because that’s exactly how I feel. That feeling when a piece of dialogue or a line comes to you and you get so excited. That’s me.

And lastly, it reminded me that it’s okay to take some time off the internet because one of the reasons I get stressed out is because there’s too much information coming my way. Too many impulses. There’s so much pressure on our youths. We also put ourselves under a lot of pressure. In the end, it’s no wonder that anxiety has become so widespread. We’re always busy, always gathering new information, always in touch with other people. I think our brain gets tired and when we let our guard down we get bombarded with negativity.

I can only speak from my own experience here.

This book was everything I didn’t find when reading Fangirl. It made me happy and sad at the same time.

Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough.

Love

Ellen