Top Ten Tuesday – Auto-Buy Authors

I do have a collection of authors that I have to read everything they’ve ever written!

1. George R.R. Martin

This man though….he’s honestly a genius. I’ve read all of A Song of Ice and Fire and the first part of Fire and Blood which is about the Targaryen kings and queens. I’ve got Nightflyers waiting on my bookshelf which is a completely different genre from ASOIAF. It’s set in space in the future and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

2. Kate Morton

All of her books are stand alone but they all have a similar style. Set in different times but centred around the same place, usually an old house. The characters are so well written and I always form a strong connection to them. I love Kate’s descriptions of the houses and the different time periods feel real. I’m reading the Clockmaker’s Daughter at the moment which goes from 1862-2017 and lots in between but every time we switch there’s a different feel to the chapter, I don’t know how she does it. I’m always eagerly awaiting her next book!

3. Kate Atkinson

I first discovered Kate Atkinson when I read When Will There Be Good News? which is part of her Jackson Brodie series, he’s a private detective but the books aren’t so much focused on the crimes in them, more about the characters and how they’re affected. I read the rest of the series and when Life After Life came out I was bowled over with the incredible writing and depth of this book, it’s so beautiful and covers the theory of parallel worlds but not in a super sci-fi way. I recently read Transcription which was again historical fiction and I loved it.

4. Nicci French

Nicci French is actually a husband and wife duo! Their books are crime/psychological thrillers and some of them are super scary. I can’t stand scary films but these are different they’re full of suspense. The Frieda Klein series is really good, Frieda is a psychologist who consults with the police and seems to attract trouble. I’ve still got two books left to read from that series and then I’m going to tackle all the ones I haven’t yet read.

5. Laura Andersen

I’ve read her first trilogy The Boleyn Trilogy which is written as if Anne Boleyn had given birth to a son, she survived Henry and her son and daughter are heirs to England. It’s great historical fiction with a twist, the new characters who are friends of the Prince and Princess are Minuette and Dominic all four of them are true friends and have to try and navigate court life together. I’ve started the second trilogy which is set twenty years after the first, I can’t wait to read the rest. I really like Andersen’s style and choice of genre!

6. Lucinda Riley

I am loving her series of The Seven Sisters, every book tells the story of one of the D’Apliese sisters on the journey to discover where they were born. They also flashback to characters in history of each place, so far we’ve discovered Brazil and Norway! I really enjoy reading about the sister’s dynamics, I only have two sisters but they still reminded me of us a little bit! I’m really excited to read the rest of the series.

7. Ian McEwan

I read Atonement for the first time years ago and fell in love with it, since then I’ve read Sweet Tooth which is set in England during the Cold War, Solar and The Children Act. I love how all his novels are completely different, I’ve got all of his older ones on my TBR list and the newest one about robots!

8. Katherine Webb

Webb’s style is similar to Kate Morton, based in the past with ties to the present. The Legacy was the first book I read by Katherine Webb and I was completely hooked. Her others look just as intriguing, The Unseen is next on my list, it’s set in the early 1900s in a small village in England, when two strangers show up and change the town forever.

9. Stephen Fry

I’ve been reading Stephen’s books about Greek Mythology, the way he ties them all together is so clever. Mythos was great, I used to love learning about the many Greek Gods and Goddesses at school but I had forgotten how funny they were. I’ve started Heroes and there’s a third book still to come!

10. J K Rowling

Although we haven’t had anything from Rowling for a while and despite the epic disappointment the was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which wasn’t written by Rowling), I would probably still read anything she writes. After Harry Potter we had the Casual Vacancy about a small town, it’s residents and their complicated relationships and biases, I really enjoyed the book, I might re-read it soon.

So there they are, who are your must buy authors?

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Top Five Tuesday – Alphabet

This week it’s letters K-O, again I’ve tried to pick books that I don’t talk about often.

K – Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir

The book starts from when Katherine first comes to England from her home in Spain. She’s been betrothed to Arthur Tudor for years but they’ve never met. She is nervous and doesn’t warm to England or Arthur at first. But when she marries the sickly prince she does fall for him. They only have a short time together before Arthur gets gravely ill and dies. The book feels so real, there’s so much detail it’s almost as if Alison Weir were there at the time.

L – Lock In by John Scalzi

In the future a virus strikes humankind that causes paralysis in its victims but they are still mentally conscious and functioning but they’re trapped. Technology evolved to help the people affected by the virus, they can enter a computer generated world and enter robot type beings and move around as they used to. Chris Shane is a rookie FBI agent and one of the ‘locked in’. He has been paired up with Leslie Vann on a murder case which proves more complicated than it first appears.

M – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A rare romantic read for me, I actually loved this book. Louisa’s quirky and optimistic nature really drew me in, I loved reading her and Will’s relationship grow. Louisa gets a job working for Will who is now wheelchair bound after a skiing accident. Will hates that he can’t be independent anymore. It’s a heartbreaking story and I haven’t read any of the other books in the series because I don’t want to be sad!!

N – Nation by Terry Pratchett

On a deserted island Mau is all alone, everyone and everything he loves has been washed away in a storm. He’s all alone, until he meets Daphne, a survivor of a shipwreck. Together they discover remarkable things, more survivors turn up and they start to build a new nation. A really clever and enlightening book.

O – The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

This is probably my favourite Philippa Gregory book. When I first learnt about the Tudors and Henry VIII’s many wives I was fascinated by the six women. This book tells the story of Mary Boleyn who had an affair with Henry and of course Anne and her marriage to Henry. It is fictional but it feels very real.

Top Five Tuesday – Alphabet

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This week it’s the second part of the alphabet! I’ve tried to go for books that I don’t usually talk about.

11735456F – A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

This is definitely a book I’ve never spoke about (not)! I couldn’t resist having at least one ASOIAF book in the month. Westeros is in absolute tatters by this book and Kings Landing is about to get hit by a group of militant religious fanatics, great. This book has the first POV chapters for Cersei and Brienne which is probably why it’s my favourite because they are the best!

 

25493874. sy475 G – A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

This book is the follow up to Life After Life, it follows Ursula’s younger brother Teddy as he joins the RAF in WWII and his life after the war. He becomes a husband and father but he struggles with all the changes in the decades that follow the war. It’s really poignant and heartbreaking.

 

 

7856358H – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help is set in Mississippi, USA, 1962. The story follows Minny and Aibileen as they go through their lives as maids until Skeeter approaches them about the maid who used to look after her, she can’t find her. Skeeter decides to use her privilege to tell the women’s stories. This time in US history makes me shudder, I cannot understand how they could treat other people the way they did just because of the colour of their skin. And people still have that backwards view now, it madness. The book shows us what it was like for the women of colour in that time and how they kept going.

511684I – The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson

I read this book forever ago, it’s about Dolphin, Star and their mother Marigold. Marigold has loads of tattoos, bright hair and a quick temper. Star is the eldest and worries what her Mum will do next.

 

 

833436J – Jingo by Terry Pratchett

This is on my TBR list, I just read the blurb, it sounds amazing. It’s about war over land that people consider their own and bearing arms in defence of their ‘own’ land. I can’t wait to read Pratchett make a fool of humanity once again!

Quotes of the Week

This week has been super hot, I’ve tried to sit out in the garden with a book as much as possible! Here are my favourite quotes of the week:

She was clearly intended to be the pawn in this game. But I am a queen, she thought. Able to move in any direction.” – Juliet Armstrong, Transcription by Kate Atkinson

This quote is so empowering, definitely going to add it to my mantra for when I start spiralling.

“She always left a gathering, no matter how intimate, feeling depleted as if she’d accidentally left behind some vital layers of herself she’d never get back.” – Elodie Winslow, The Clockmakers Daughter

This summed up being an introvert so perfectly. I love having meaningful and deep conversations with people but big groups or dull conversations are like hell, I just feel awkward.

Hope you have a lovely summer weekend!

Transcription by Kate Atkinson Review

Another fantastic novel by Kate Atkinson. I adore everything she writes including this book. It begins in 1980 then flashes back through Juliet Armstrong’s life in WWII and then in 1950. Juliet was recruited to MI5 during the Second World War as a typist, at first she was doing fairly dull office work until she was drafted to a specific mission. An MI5 agent was pretending to be in contact with the Nazis and was running a group of Nazi sympathisers in Britain, they passed all their information to him instead of Germany actually getting hold of it. It’s Juliet’s job to transcribe all the meetings. The sexist attitude towards Juliet in the 40s is hard to read, it was how they treated women at the time but it made me so angry! It got a bit better when we get to the 1950s but not much.

In the 50s Juliet has left the secret service and now works for the BBC producing radio shows for schools. But she starts to get paranoid that she’s being followed, she recives a threatening note. Is her past coming back to haunt her?

The book is a fascinating window into the 40s & 50s in Britain. It’s got none of the usual violence of a spy novel but it does have tension and I felt a strong connection to Juliet. Definitely worth a read.

Top Ten Tuesday – Childhood Favourites

I’ve always loved reading so this was a very easy list for me to make! It made me feel really nostalgic.

497741. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Of course this has to be at the top of my list. I loved the book as a child and I still love them just as much, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them all and Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home.

 

 

5571872. The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

Me and my sisters used to love these books! Our Mum used to read them so we have some of her old books and we managed to complete our collection with newer editions. I just loved reading about all their adventures and solving mysteries.

 

 

709473. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

I’ve just finished re-reading these books, they’re so good. I used to live the idea of having a part of your soul (your daemon) outside of your body as an animal as Lyra and everyone else in her world does. I’ve wanted to go and see the magical Northern Lights ever since I read the first book!

 

13801174. Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author when I was younger, all her books are so well written, they’re all completely different and yet you connect with every leading character in them. Dustbin Baby was always one of my favourites, it’s quite sad really. April was left in a bin when she was only a few hours old. She’s been in and out of the foster system since and now in her teens she decides to try and find out who her mother was.

101531975. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

In 1910, Maia is sent to live with distant relatives on their rubber plantation along the Amazon River. The book is full of adventure and so vivid, I loved traveling to South America with Maia.

 

 

806806. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This series is so strange and bleak but I used to really enjoy when I was younger. I remember it took me a while to get used to Snicket’s writing style but once I did I was enthralled by the series and the Baudelaire’s sad stories.

 

 

973617. The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

This was the first Terry Pratchett book I read , my aunt lent it to me. I still sometimes think about the people that might live in my carpet when I hoover!

 

 

8502538. The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson

This book like so many of my other favourites swaps between different times, Charlie has to do a history project for school, when she sees a picture of a Victorian girl who looks just like her she decides to write a diary of ‘Lottie’ a maid in the early 1900s.

 

 

20653989. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

These books are so precious, Eeyore is just everything, I definitely relate to him nowadays! I can’t wait to read these stories to my future children.

 

 

26098210. sy475 10. The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkien

This starts as a fun adventure with the dwarves and Bilbo but gets more and more dangerous. I’ve read this book a few times, I find it way more enjoyable than the Lord of the Rings, no idea why.

 

 

What were some of your favourite books as a child?

Top Five Tuesday – Alphabet

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This week we’ve got to choose five books that start with the first five letters of the alphabet. I thought this was going to be harder than it was, thank goodness I have all my read books on Goodreads!

6867A – Atonement by Ian McEwan

This was the first A book that came into my head, I adore this book, even though it is quite a sad read. Oddly I like to have a good cry with a book, out of sadness or joy. I love to connect to it that much that it moves me emotionally.

 

 

16071746B – The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

This whole series is fantastic, a historical au where Anne Boleyn bears Henry VIII a son so isn’t executed. Yes please! It’s filled with well written characters, some we know, some who are new to us and it shines a light on the shady goings on in the Tudor courts.

 

 

25499718C – Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Again this was the first book I thought of for this letter. It’s set in space in the future, the Earth is dying and humanity needs to find a new home. But an experiment to terraform a planet is sabotaged so that instead of intelligent apes evolving there, the genetic accelerant is absorbed by spiders! So clever and fascinating.

 

 

15770927D – Dominion by C.J. Sansom

Another historical ‘what if’! But this one is completely terrifying. What if Britian didn’t take a stand against Hitler and we made peace instead. There is resistance in Britain, can they overthrow the facists? Can they save a very important scientist?This book is so cleverly written, I was shuddering at parts it felt so real. It’s scary to think how close this was to coming true. Thanks Churchill for not backing down.

13536272E – Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

This is one of the first Discworld books that I read, it’s got the witches and wizards in it and they crack me up! It starts when a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is realised too late. Now the girl must try to make it at the Unseen University where the wizards are completely terrified that a girl has the same powers as them.