Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fictional Crushes

15 Mar

I am going to totally have fun with this one!

1. Aragorn II  – The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien

Anybody who is introduced into a work of fiction as Strider has got to have something good going for him. And he proves himself to be such a gentleman as well as a nobleman to the end, if a little rough around the edges at times.

2. Mr.Darcy – Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

He is the character that I loved to hate, which just turned into love by the time I finished the book. Through his arrogance, superior attitude, and aloofness lies a genuine man, wanting to simply win the heart of the lady he loves, but being greatly misunderstood in the process.

3. Mark Darcy – Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

Maybe this one has a lot to do with the portrayal of Mark Darcy by Colin Firth, but there is something about the quintessential Englishman that is so hard to resist.

4. Atticus Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

The appeal of Atticus is in his character, and his moral standing – how he teaches his children, and his stand for what he believes in,and his refusal to back down from what he feels is most important to him.

5.Zorro – Created by Jonathan McCulley and serialised in pulp fiction

This may also have a lot to do with Antonio Banderas’ portrayal in the movie, but there is something incredibly attractive about a man who risks it all for what he believes in. It also doesn’t hurt to be good looking, fit, passionate, and a gentleman all rolled into one – it is hard not to have at least a little crush on Zorro.

6. Lestat de Lioncourt –  The Vampire Chronicles -Anne Rice

The original irresistible vampire. Intense, intelligent, sensual, yet vain, insecure, and evil ( he is a vampire after all), what’s not to love? Well, maybe the vampire part, but when he’s also six-foot tall and blonde, I can overlook that part!

7. Guy Montag – Farenheit 451  – Ray Bradbury

Mostly because he has the whole futuristic ‘fireman’ thing going on, even if in this dystopian society his main task is devoted to the burning of books.

8. Noah Calhoun – The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks

Who wouldn’t want a Noah in their life, loving and loyal through the years until the very end. Allie is one lucky woman to have found such a man, despite the many trials and tribulations of their love.

9. Westley  – The Princess Bride – William Golding

Described in the book as being quite a catch, I love a good-looking man in any story.

10.Trip Fontaine – The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

Everyone needs a ridiculously good-looking, loping, kinda- hippy teenage crush, and Tripp Fontaine is mine.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Dynamic Duos

8 Mar

Partners in crime, BBF’s, or power couples – here is my Top Ten!

1. Romeo Capulet and Mercutio – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Their ‘bromance’ lasted to the end, when Mercutio is unceremoniously slain by Tybalt and dies in Romeo’s arms.

2. Inigo Montoya and Fezzik – The Princess Bride by William Golding

An unusual pairing, they make for great partners in crime and adventure.

3.Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty – On the Road by Jack Kerouac

My favourite dynamic duo in one of my fave books ever, they traverse 1950’s America, living the epitome of the Beat movement.

4. Perry Smith and Richard Hickock- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

These partners in crime committed one of the most atrocious murders in Arkansas, Texas, and by writing about the murder of the Clutter family, Truman Capote spawned the famous non-fiction novel genre.

5. Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Driving to Las Vegas in a stupor of alcohol, drugs, and sheer dumb luck, this dynamic duo and partners in crime are unforgettable.

6. Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee – The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

As with Romeo and Mercutio, their ‘bromance’ also lasts the distance in a very different kind of way – through battles, adventure, and destroying that ring, their friendship remains strong despite all the adversity and trials it endures.

7. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley – HP series by J.K Rowling

Their friendship lasted through 7 series of books, and at the end of the last book, we are told, way into adult life as well. Like Froddo and Sam, these two were made for each other.

8. Mad Hatter and the March Hare – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Just as insane and delirious as the other, this dynamic duo suit each other to a T.

9. Mole and Ratty – The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Possibly two of my fave literary characters, these two share a special connection, and have wonderful adventures together by the river bank, seeing the big wide world, and attempting to stop Toad from getting into trouble.

10. Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings – Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie

Captain Hastings is to Poirot who Watson is to Sherlock Holmes. While he did not feature heavily in the Agatha Christie books, it is obvious he and Poirot shared a special bond, with Hastings helping to solve many a case, and lending a hand when needed.

Top Ten Books I just HAD to buy….But are still sitting on my bookshelf

1 Mar

I am guilty of buying too many books that I fully intend to read at the time, but that always end up on the shelf. Here is a list of my Top Ten.

1. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke

The idea of the story interests me – the length puts me off. I just look at it, and it makes me want to put it straight back down again. Pretty illustrations though.

2. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

For the same reason as above. I would love to get past the fear of the length of it – I am no stranger to long and complex books when I have the time to read them ( Don’t start what you can’t finish! My brain screams at me ) but this one also evades me. Maybe it’s not the length. Maybe it’s the subject matter.  I was drawn to buy it by it’s iconic opening line ‘Call me Ishmael’ , which I think is one of the best opening lines in English literature, despite never having read past page one.

3. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

I bought this on recommendations from everyone and his dog. And can’t seem to get past the end of chapter one (which ends with a scene that totally killed whatever I thought the book had going for me, sorry!). One day I will read this just to say I read it, but for now, back to the shelf it goes.

4. Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind – Graham Hancock

I bought this because it looked so interesting, with it’s pretty cover, colour photographs of shamanic paintings, and it’s fascinating subject matter. Again, the length of it has stopped me ever reading it. I’ll take it down every once in a while, maybe one day I’ll get around to actually opening it and reading those first words, in the hope they will sweep me through it’s 800 odd pages swiftly and without ( too much) pain.

5. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

I guess I bought this just because it was sold shrink-wrapped in plastic, and I was asked for ID at the sales counter! I had every intention of reading it, until I randomly opened the book and read the scene where a poor dog gets both paws crushed by the main character. That was all I needed to read to put the book away for good.

6. The Fabric of the Cosmos – Brian Greene

The only reason I haven’t read this is because I sent my copy back home to Australia when I landed in the UK before I’d had a chance to read it! Quantam physics, cosmology, time, space, and the mysteries of the universe are a secret interest of  mine, so I have every intention of digging up a copy of this soon, along with his preceding work The Elegant Universe for a quick re-read. Fascinating.

7. The Second Sex – Simone De Beauvoir

I bought this in a market stall at the Waterlooplein Martket in Amsterdam, and was just excited to have found a book in English! I intended to start reading it on the (short) flight back to Scotland, but somehow never got around to it.

8. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

I recently read his Notes From A Big Country, and found him to be a thoroughly entertaining writer – it’s taken me so long to discover I actually like his work.

9. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

I am a BIG fan of Margaret Atwood. Her novel, The Blind Assassin blew me away the first time I read it years ago, and ever since then I have enjoyed everything she has ever written without complaint. So it was only natural I bought this, I have just never read it.

10. The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold

Like Margaret Atwood’s book, I have no idea why this is on my list or why I’ve never read it. The Lovely Bones is one of my favourite books, and her autobiographical book Lucky is an inspirational story which engrossed me so much I read it in one sitting. I’ll get around to this one, one day.

Top Ten Love Stories

16 Feb

Sorry this is a little late – it was written on Tuesday, but due to my internet connection dropping out last night, it has had to be a Wednesday-post-pretending-it’s-Tuesday post. Here are my Top Ten Love Stories, I hope I can be forgiven for making it Wednesday instead!

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The love story between Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy captured my attention during high school English Literature. And though I struggled with the book then, subsequent readings were a lot more enjoyable, and ignited  my own literary love for the pair.  And when I watched the BBC mini-series, with Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, that love was cemented in more ways than one.

2. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

A bit of a cliche, but still the best and original story of ill-fated love ever told. Great, intense characters, and the tragic ending always moves me. I won’t write too much about this one, as I’m sure it will feature on nearly everybody’s lists!

3. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Not the wholes series of course, cos that would be silly! But the romance between Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley. The ‘tension’ between these two builds and culminates through out the Harry Potter series, and I was so relieved to find out that yes, they do end up together happily ever after in the last book.

4. The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The close relationship between Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee proves that ‘bro-mance’ was alive and kicking even way back then.

5. Bridget Jones’s Diary / The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, a love story for the modern woman who has given up all hope of finding love, and when she goes, finds herself navigating a whole different set of issues which she’d never considered ( jealousy, anyone?) And I LOVE the movie adaptations, possibly even more than the books! A lot of that has to do with Mark Darcy, played again by the delectable Colin Firth ( he has managed to get two mentions in this blogpost!)

6. An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

This story is beautiful, centering around two musicians, Michael and the love of his life, Julia, who he lost and now whose love he is trying to reclaim, despite the fact she is now married and has a child. Other setbacks also abound to make the plot even more intense and dramatic. Told against the background of Schubert’s classical music compositions, it is a love story that pulled my heart strings in a way that not many novels do.

7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. I admit I didn’t immediately like this book when I first read it, but it has grown on me over the last few years, and I can now see it for what it is. It is tragic, like most literary love stories, but this one kills me when Catherine dies, leaving Heathcliff alone without ever realising their need to be a proper couple.

8.The Great Gatsby  by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is one of my favorite books, and the love between Daisy and Gatsby I used to dream about back in high school. I always get annoyed at the fact Daisy married Tom Buchanan just because of his ‘old money’ wealth and status, and not because of her true feelings for Gatsby. I have heard they are making a movie out of the book – in 3D. Call me a cynic, but here’s to the death of another classic novel.

9. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The story of unrequited love between the beautiful and gifted Christine, and the mysterious,elusive , and at times, scary Erik, a.k.a the Phantom of the Opera. This was always doomed from the start, and was never going to work. Tragic to the very end.

10. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

This is one of those quirky romances tucked away between an even quirkier story you come across every once in while in those gems of classical novels. The Master is a tortured genius who pens a manuscript on the story of Christ and Pontus Pilate, and on the rejection of the novel, burns the manuscript and goes off the rails for while, so to speak. His faithful lover Margarita sticks by him and her belief in him, thus sparking a surreal and fantastic adventure for both her and her lover. Complete with Satan, a gun-toting demon cat, and a plethora of other colourful characters wrecking havoc in modern-day Russia, this is not an obvious love story, but one that I enjoyed nevertheless.

Top Ten Tuesday – Best Debut Novels

1 Feb

My Top Ten Best Debut novels:

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

This was the first children’s / young adult book I read as an adult, and while some would argue that this wasn’t the strongest HP book, to me this remains one of the greatest debuts novels ever – without the success of this one, the rest of the series would have flopped.

2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is one of my favourite books – I read it years ago, and found it spell-binding from the outset – it is extremely well written. I particularly love the volatility of one of the main characters, Henry , the complex relationships between them, and the gripping, weaving storyline.

3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I found my copy in a second-hand bookstore, battered and dog-eared, and apparantly very well traveled – it even visited Paris at one point as the inscriptions on the inside front cover show. I was enchanted by the book, and even more so when I sat down to read it. A stunning read, very original. And no, I haven’t watched the film.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This has to be one of my absolute favourite books ever! I have read and re-read this book countless times over the years – one of the only ones I have visited time and time again. Atticus Finch remains one of the best-loved characters in literature in my opinion,and rightly so.

5. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

When I first bought this book as a cheap paperback, I never thought I would end up enjoying it ( I admit I only bought it for the rough sketches dotted throughout the novel which I found intriguing). How wrong I was. A fascinating read into the world of Randle Patrick McMurphy, and the tyrannical Nurse Ratched, and life inside an Oregon mental asylum.

6. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

A riveting, and controversial read by the Australian author Christos Tsiolkas. Focusing on the issues arising from the main event of a man slapping a child that is not his at a suburban barbeque, the story is told from the various viewpoints of the different characters present, exploring each’s feelings and opinions.

7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I recently read this, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I still can’t believe this is her one and only novel, it is a beautiful read, if at times a little depressing, but very well-worth it!

8. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I read this years ago, and remains one of my favourite ‘vampire’ novels, even though technically it doesn’t fall into the ‘horror’ genre as much as it is a work of literature, with many having best described as an ‘eerie tale’. This had me gripped from the beginning, and is an interesting blend of  history, mystery, horror, and plain good fiction.

9. Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down – one of those books I had totally forgotten about until I was forced to cast my memory back for this blogpost! I read this when I was 15, and totally fell in love with Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig, Bluebell and friends. The story, despite the ‘human-ised’ rabbit storyline is incredibly believeable, gripping, and yes, heartbreaking.

10. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Where would I be without Treasure Island….? This book inspired my love of adventures and far away places, and like Gulliver’s Travels, made me believe in other worlds, incredible characters, and a love of a good story. May have to revisit this sometime soon!

Top Ten Books I Wish I Read As A Kid

25 Jan

I have discovered this fabulous new ‘ challenge’ on The Broke and The Bookish, where a different topic is chosen every Tuesday, and participants must come up with their Top Ten for that particular topic. So I have decided to participate, and make Top Ten Tuesday a regular part of my blog posts, beginning with today.

The topic chosen is Top Ten Books I Wish I Read As A Kid, so here is my list:

1. The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling

Reading these as an adult was an amazing reading experience – I love each and every one of the books in the series, but I think reading them a child ( if they had been around back then) would have been 10 times better.

2. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

I recently read The Hobbit over Christmas, and while I enjoyed it, having seen The Lord of the Rings Movies, and knowing that a movie is being made about The Hobbit has sort of killed the magic for me as an adult. Reading it through the innocent eyes of a child would have been made the experience special.

3. Miffy – Dick Bruna

I used to watch Miffy on TV as a child, but didn’t know that Miffy was also a series of books until I came across them in a bookstore in Amsterdam last week. They are so simple, but incredibly charming, and with the loud block colours and cute illustrations, I think I would have loved Miffy if I discovered it back then.

4. The BFG  – Roald Dahl

I spent most of my childhood reading and re-reading Roald Dahl’s stories, namely Matilda, The Witches, and James and The Giant Peach, but somehow the BFG is the one that I missed out on, and didn’t get a chance to read it until I was in my early 20’s. It is such a lovely story, I think it’s one of his best.

5. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

I remember being given this book as a child but let it gather dust over the years without bothering to read it, until I saw the TV movie in my teens, and was totally charmed by the story of Gulliver, and his amazing adventures into the world of Lilliput, Laputa ,Glubbdubdrib, and other unpronounceable, fictional places. This is one of the books where I discovered my love for far-flung places, magic, and fantasy, and is still one of my favourites.

6. The Princess Bride -William Goldman

I am currently reading this at the moment, and would have loved to have read it as a child. While some would beg to differ that the story is not suitable for children, what’s not to love about princesses, sword fights, giants, poisonings, murder, adventure, and true love?

7. The Mr Men Series – Robert Hargreaves

This is one of those series of books that I knew about forever, but never got a chance to read as a child. I love all the Mr Men now, and even have a small collection of figurines. Mr Messy is a Mr. Men after my own heart.

8. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss

Ditto for this one as above. I enjoyed The Cat in the Hat, Where’s My Mother, and Horton Hears a Who, but Green Eggs and Ham evaded me until last year.

9. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne

I read Round the World in 80 Days as 7 year old, but this never made it onto my list until very recently.

10. Superfudge  – Judy Blume

A childhood favourite of my brother, I didn’t actually pick it up and read it until I was in my early 20’s. Interestingly enough, I did read the book which Superfudge is a sequel too, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.