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.

Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Would Make Good Video Games

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and is hosted by Samantha.

The Passage - Justin Cronin

The Passage – Justin Cronin

North America is unrecognizable, a wasteland. Forty million infected humans, known as virals, stalk the continent. In a fortified mountain compound in Southern California, a handful of human survivors—descendants of children evacuated from the city of Philadelphia in the last days of the epidemic—somehow carry on. It has been years since the citizens of First Colony have seen anyone from the outside world; as far as they know, they are the last people alive on the continent. But time is running out for them. The life-saving lights that protect the Colony are dimming as the batteries that power them lose their charge. Despair has taken hold; many have given up. Some, gripped by terrifying dreams, have resorted to taking their own lives.

Then, from out the wilderness, someone new appears, a teenage girl. Dirty, traumatized, dressed in rags and apparently unable to speak, she is befriended by a group of four young people—Peter, Alicia, Michael, and Sara—who attempt to unravel the mystery of her origins. A computer chip embedded in her neck reveals part of the story: Her name is Amy, and she is almost a hundred years old.

Wouldn’t this be great? You set out to find a cure for this virus that is terrorizing the world. There’s danger around every corner, Virals are hunting you down.
Wait.. maybe this would be too creepy for me…

uprooted

Uprooted – Naomi Novik

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

I see this as a linear storyline. You get the story as you go along. I chose this one for the atmosphere. It would be beauuuutiful!

Also, did you know that Warner Bros bought the rights and Ellen Degeneres is producing the movie?

book_review_six_of_crows_leigh_bardugo

Six of Crows/ Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Choose which character you want to be and get updates of what the other characters are doing while you do your part. Once again I image beautiful scenery and stunning graphics. I’d compare it to an Assassin’s Creed sort of thing.

The Martian - Andy Weir

The Martian – Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Find your way across the endless Martian plains or die of starvation. Use parts to build yourself a way off the planet. I’d play that game… 🙂

Neverwhere Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her–and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.

Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined–and possibly fatal–quest.

That last word.. ‘quest’ that’s exactly why this would make a great game. London Below would make a great world and just think about how amazing it would be if you could just walk around in London and go through a door which takes you to Neverwhere.

#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and is hosted by Samantha.

This week’s topic asks for favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books.
I left out Harry Potter because… well Harry Potter’s my favorite everything…

The Martian - Andy Weir

The Martian

One of the few Science Fiction books I read and liked. I think what I loved best was the sarcasm of the main character. I was hooked from the first page. In case you don’t know, this book is about a man stranded on Mars and his struggle to make it back to earth. It was clever, it was fun and it kept me guessing until the last page.

The Passage - Justin Cronin

The Passage – Justin Cronin

A sort of zombie book. I read this a couple of years ago but haven’t continued on with the series yet. (I got them from the library a couple of days ago so I’m going to try and read those next) I remember it creeped me out at times but I was so invested that I couldn’t help but keep reading. When I got to the end I just wanted more.

Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughter-house 5 – Kurt Vonnegut

My favorite book from 2016. It has aliens in it so it must qualify, right? I loved this book so, so much. The language is so beautiful, there are so many lines that I read over and over again, trying to remember them. I’ll never be able to recommend this one enough.

High-Rise JG Ballard

High-rise – JG Ballard

While I don’t think this exactly falls under the category of Science Fiction, it certainly gave me that vibe. A feeling of unease. This one’s about people going wild. Wild as in survival mode, wild animals.. I loved it and I still think about it. The movie was a bit too long so I’m not sure if I’d recommend it. You really have to read the book though.

Neverwhere Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Even though I thought the ending was a bit easy, I still think about this book every once in a while. When I was reading it, it swept me away. It’s very clever and I love how it plays with the idea of a city under a city, a mirror London that the boring normal people don’t get to see.

What are some of your favorite Science Fiction or Fantasy books?

Books, TAG

Blogmas Day 18: Coffee Book Tag

I am sooooo tired…
My daughter fell ill on Monday and she’s still not 100%.
Today I woke up and realized that I never finished writing this blog post (apologies), so I’m finishing it now.. It must still be the 18th somewhere, right?

Since I’m in the middle of three books at the moment and am fighting my way through (honestly, I haven’t been able to read for more than 30 minutes in one go). None of them have been able to catch my full attention but I keep trying. That also means that I don’t have any books to review right now.. So, I decided to do a book tag instead.

I found the Coffee Book Tag (creator) and well, I’m a bit of a coffee lover (addict) so it’s a match made in heaven.

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

I recently started reading The Kiss of Deception. People really seem to like that book but I’m not convinced yet. I’m not that far into it yet and not a lot has happened, it’s all still setting the scene. I hope it picks up soon so that I can lose myself in the story like many others have.

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

Harry Potter 🙂 Not that it’s not popular during other seasons but there’s this amazing initiative called ‘HarryChristmasToYou‘ where they reread the books and watch the movies every year.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favorite children’s book?

I love fairy tales in general so any books with those in it 🙂 but the only children’s books that has stayed with me since childhood are the ones by Annie MG Schmidt. She wrote the Jip en Janneke stories and many, many others. They are amazing!

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

The Martian by Andy Weir. That was a great book! I couldn’t put it down.

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.

Now all the hype seems to be centered around Winter by Marissa Meyer. I haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles series so I’m not in the loop… 😉

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shoutout

I’ll give a shoutout to a Belgian author who’s translated book has been doing really well. His name is Erwin Mortier and the book is called Stammered Songbook.
Jen Campbell liked it, you can find her review here. The book tells the story of Erwin’s mother, a story of dementia. The original Dutch version was very well received here, I hope it has been translated well.

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

The biggest disappointment this year was Paper Towns by John Green. I loved The Fault in our Stars so much and this one just didn’t deliver for me. Maybe I’m too old? Or maybe I just overlooked something? I don’t know but it just didn’t work for me.
8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

Can I say it again? Am I allowed? The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Bittersweet is the perfect description for this book. It makes me sad too because I know it will take me a while to find a book as amazing as this one.

 

I’ll keep it short this time because my daughter needs my full attention.
See you again tomorrow (which is actually tonight).

Love

Ellen

Books, Review

The Martian – Andy Weir ****

3566dc24c327c144d18dffbac7145d28

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

This book! This book, guys! If you haven’t read it yet, you must remedy that immediately!

This morning I saw an article in the newspaper about how everyone fell in love with the movie (which I haven’t seen yet, by the way) and I couldn’t help but think ‘If you read the book, you could have enjoyed it twice as much’.

I really did enjoy this book, I couldn’t put it down.. Mark is so sarcastic and snarky despite his dire circumstances, he made me laugh quite a lot.

The other thing I enjoyed was the science. I thought it was well explained and I never felt lost. The last time I read a book where I knew nothing about the subject was ‘The Art Of Fielding‘ which was about baseball. I like the idea of learning through fiction and although I would never pretend that I am now an expert on Mars or baseball, I do feel like I learned some new facts and I like that. I’m not someone who reads a lot of non-fiction, so I’m taking what I can from what I DO read.

The only thing that bothered me was a bit of dialogue in the beginning of the book. (I think it was back at NASA) Luckily, it got better but it still means that I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. I wish that I could just forget about it but it was a point where I thought ‘Oh, no if that’s going to be the dialogue for the whole book, I’m not sure I can do this’ and that’s never a good thought to have.

If, by any chance, you’re looking for an intense story with ooh and aah moments throughout, you must read this book. Mark is one of those characters that you can’t help but cheer on, you want him to succeed. Even though the odds are against him, even though the things he tries go horribly wrong, you want him to live. Getting so invested in a fictional person’s life is only possible through great writing.

I think this might be my favourite book of the year, but I still have some amazing titles on my TBR-list, so anything is possible!!

Love

Ellen

Introduction: Goodreads
Cover: Pinterest

Buy? Take a look here.