Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Books For Your Hogwarts House

I used to be a Hufflepuff but last year I took the new Pottermore test and I got Ravenclaw. There was a lot of commotion surrounding that new test but to me, it was perfect. Hufflepuff is the person I used to be. I made decisions based on how it made me feel, I was extreeeeemely loyal. Now, I’m still those things but I’ve learned a lot, I have become wiser over the years. Not everyone deserves my loyalty. I’m smarter than I used to be. So I’ve decided that I’m a Huffleclaw, a Ravenpuff.

So I’m giving you books for both of them 😉

hufflepuff books

The Princess Bride – William Goldman (buy)

book the princess bride

A story about adventure, loyalty, love and friendship.. It doesn’t get more Hufflepuff than this..

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green (buy)

book the fault in our stars

Same. Friendship.. You get it..

Uprooted – Naomi Novik (buy)

book uprooted

Let’s say I’d have to recommend this book in the HP world. I’d recommend it because it’s a different magic system from theirs. Earth magic, nature magic.. and I think they’d really like it.

ravenclaw books

The Martian – Andy Weir (buy)

The Martian - Andy Weir

Figuring out the science in this book can be seen as a challenge, you don’t HAVE to understand ALL of it but it’s fun to try. Also, sarcasm… lots and lots of sarcasm.

Any book by Dan Brown (buy)

inferno dan brown book

I know that there are a lot of different opinions on these books but when I read Inferno, I really enjoyed myself. I put it on the list because of the details, the information and the history in these stories. I always feel like I learned something and had a good time.

Review

Paper towns – John Green **

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So this is the second John Green novel to be made into a movie, it’s also the second John Green novel I ever read. I LOVED The Fault in our Stars. I did not like this one though.

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

I had some serious issues with this book and I feel like I should address them first. Most of all, I DID NOT like Margo. I didn’t like her in the beginning of the book and I liked her even less by the end of it. I found her very unbelievable and self-centred and annoying. Other issues are that it felt as though this book was telling me that there is nothing more important than being popular in school, which is simply not true. I was never the popular kid, I had my group of friend and I loved them because they were real friends. I don’t believe that this was John Green’s idea but it was what I felt while reading it and it ruined the book for me.

So why did I still give it three stars? I liked the search with the clues and the music and the poetry, I liked the descriptions of the buildings and the paper towns, I liked the road trip. It was funny at some points and it did entertain me. And deep down, there’s a part of me that appreciated the idea of how you can live next to someone your entire life and still not actually know them, even though you think you do.

I really wanted to like this book because I like John Green but now that I read this, I’m not sure if I want to read his other books. I’m also not sure if I want to see the movie.
I know I’m being terribly negative but I was so disappointed. Maybe I would have liked it better if I read it a couple of years ago (although I’m pretty sure I would still have disliked Margo), I don’t know guys…

I know a lot of people really liked this book, but am I really the only one who wasn’t convinced?
If you didn’t like this one either, were there other John Green books you liked better?

Just to make sure, I did not write this review to offend anyone. I believe in sharing my own opinion and I want to keep this blog as real as possible.

Love

Ellen

Books

Epigraphs

Epighraphs… They are the quotes or bits of poetry right before the story begins.
If they are well chosen, they can immediately put you in the right mindset, if not, well..

Booksandquills did a video on epigraphs on her YouTube channel and this made me look through my books to see if I could find some.
Needless to say, I found a lot but I picked three favorites plus the one from the book I’m reading right now..

1)

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This was the last book I read. Sometimes you only understand the epigraph after you read the book.
Edward Beresford Todd is Teddy’s full name. Teddy is Ursula’s brother. Ursula is the main character in this book. And Teddy actually says this at one point in the book. I love the fact that Kate Atkinson chose to quote him. He’s quite the poet so it fits perfectly.

2)

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Another epigraph that you won’t fully understand before you read the book. Sanne explains this in her video, so I won’t just copy what she said.. You’ll just have to watch the video ;).
The reason that I put it here is because, well how could I not? I love The Fault in our Stars and John Green is just so clever. He is.. I love that man!

3)

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A more somber one because the world is not a wish-granting machine… Everyone who fought in the wars saw horrible things.
The things that happen in the book are things that happened to people in real life. Nothing can surpass that..

4)

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And last but not least, the book I’m currently reading: Before I go to sleep.
The story of a woman who loses her memory every time she falls asleep. And it’s a thriller 😉 so I’m guessing that explains the epigraph?

Tadaaaaa.. Four awesome epigraphs.
I hope you enjoyed them.
If you want to look through your books, let me know which epigraphs you like best.

See you soon!
Love

Ellen

#T5W

T5W: Top 5 quotes

How can it be Thursday already? I don’t understand but before I even noticed the week has almost gone.. I’ve been so busy, I really have to take a moment to breathe, sit down and read a bit..

In this post another topic from top 5 Wednesday because I just couldn’t help myself. I love a good quote.
So here are five of my favourites.

1)
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I love this quote! I really liked the relationship between Darcy and Elisabeth, how it grew slowly but surely. And when they finally confessed their love to each other, I couldn’t help but smile..

This is also what it was like for me. I had known my husband for quite a while before we started dating. I can’t possibly remember when I started loving him, I only remember that I did.. well do..

2)
“There is an arch supported by four vast columns. Etched over hundreds and hundreds of yards of stone, furlongs of stone, there are names:
“Who are these, these? The men who died in this battle?”
“No. The lost, the ones they did not find. The others are in the cemeteries.”
“These are just the … the unfound.” When she could speak again. “From the whole war?”
The man shook his head. “Just these fields.”
Elizabeth sat on the steps. “No one told me. My God no one told me,”
― Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong

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This arch is called The Menin Gate in Ypres. It’s a very impressive monument. I go there from time to time because I feel like these names deserve my attention.
When I went there for the first time, I stayed until they played The Last Post in the evening. They play it every evening under the gate and they have done so every evening since 1928 only interrupted by the Second World War.
It was so tragic and everyone was so respectful. I will remember it forever.

I have read a lot of book about the wars but Birdsong touched me in a way others didn’t. It doesn’t mask the horror, it tells you exactly what’s going on.

3)
“It was amazing to me then, and still is, that so many people who wander into bookshops don’t really know what they’re after–they only want to look around and hope to see a book that will strike their fancy. And then, being bright enough not to trust the publisher’s blurb, they will ask the book clerk the three questions: (1) What is it about? (2) Have you read it? (3) Was it any good?”
― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Yup, this is exactly how it works 🙂 and I treasure the conversations I have had with people who really love books, while I was working at the bookshop. These where the best moments, when I could recommend them books and they recommended others to me.
And when they came back a week later and told me how much they loved it, they would ask me the 4th question: What else do you have for me? And I would walk around grinning like a fool for the rest of the day.

4)
“Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. “I’m okay” we say. “I’m alright”. But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can’t get it off. That’s when you realize that sometimes it isn’t even an answer–it’s a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Doesn’t need a lot of explaining, I think. I have often found myself saying “I’m fine” when I’m really not and it’s like I’m trying to convince myself more than I’m trying to convince others..

5)
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Or

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Or

“Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

*crawls into a corner and sobs quietly*

There you go, five (more or less) of my favourite quotes.. I have a lot of quotes I like so maybe I should make this a thing? When I come across a really good one, I’ll post it. If it doesn’t spoil the story of course..

You can find the topics of Top 5 Wednesday on this goodreads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday

If you want to give your top 5, just go ahead and share them with us.
Leave a link in the comments..

That’s all for now..
Have a nice day/afternoon/evening depending on where you live and when you read this ;).

Love

Ellen

Books, Review

The Fault in our Stars – John Green

So I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, my apologies.
First I was hit by a car and the pain in my hands made it impossible for me to type more than a sentence.
By the time that I could actually function normally, my 10 month old girl came down with a bad case of the chicken pox. So I’ve been running around the house, taking care of her and neglecting this blog.. shame on me..

Since this is a new blog and you don’t really know me yet, I thought I would introduce you to my favourite book.
Okay, introduce might not be the right term because I’m pretty sure that 99.9% of earth’s population has already read it. If you haven’t, you really should. Before I give you the reasons why, let me tell you a little story.

It was a nice and sunny day back in May 2011 (at least I think it was May, it’s been a while…) when we were told that a well-known American author would be signing at our bookshop. His name? John Green.
We were all a bit ashamed to admit that we didn’t actually know anything about this well-known American so I decided to do the logical thing.. and google him.
The internet told me that he wrote a couple of young adult books who were all very well reviewed. He also had a large fan base on YouTube which sounded cool and at that point in time he was on a book signing tour for his newest book The Fault in our Stars.

The day of the signing we were all very curious to see if his fans would actually show up. Although he seemed really popular online, we weren’t too sure if there were people in Belgium who knew about this guy.
About half an hour before he was due to start his session, people started coming into the store. I think the average age was 16, some older, some younger but all very anxious to see this author. There was a lot of nervous chatting going on in Dutch, English and even Spanish. Some were discussing his older books, some the latest one.
I have to admit I was intrigued and mentally put the titles I heard on my to-read list.

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And then came one of the most amazing moments of my life. This John Green walked into the shop and everyone stopped talking. I think some of them actually stopped breathing altogether. It was like a god had set foot into our bookshop.
He was a kind and easy-going guy who immediately went to the back of the store where we had put a little table for him to sit at. He addressed his crowd and asked them nicely to try to make something that resembled a que. The teens jumped at his request and I have to say that I have never before in my life seen people form a line so quickly.
20 minutes later he was done signing and instructed everyone to go to a nearby park where he would take the time to answer some questions, because “These people probably want their bookshop back”.
In less than two minutes the shop was quiet again.

Some months ago, a girl came into the shop and we started talking about The Fault in our Stars. I recommended it to her and she told me that she had already read it. That she came to the signing that day. She also told me that they DID go to that park and that he really took his time to answer all of their questions.

What a nice guy!

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So this book, The Fault in our Stars, really is amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it left me speechless at the end.
It tells you the story of a girl, Hazel, who has long cancer. Her mother thinks that she’s depressed and forces her to go to support meetings. At one of those meetings she meets Gus, or Augustus, who has survived bone cancer. Needless to say, they connect.

I think that it’s the honesty that makes this book so great. It’s written in the vocabulary of a 16-year-old, which made me laugh at least ten times in the first two pages alone. She doesn’t hold back. At one point she says: “I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

John Green is a genius when it comes to words. There are so many amazing quotes in the book but I’m going to end this post with this one, because it’s exactly how I feel.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Picture John Green – Facebook page of Bookshop De Reyghere
Cover The Fault in our Stars – Wikipedia