Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Childhood's End (Arthur C. Clarke)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

What it's about:

One day, without warning, enormous ships appear in the sky containing a group of alien Overlords. Promising to bring the human race into an era of peace and prosperity, these Overlords do not take "no" for an answer. They refuse to speak to anyone except for Rikki Stormgren, and will not reveal neither themselves, nor their purpose for becoming caretakers of Earth. The story follows these Overlords, and the people closely associated with them, from the beginning, through the Golden Age of Earth's prosperity, and concluding when their work is complete.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Spoiler Free Review)

I normally decide against reviewing movies that I've watched in theatres, but this time I'm making an exception. The following review will be essentially spoiler free, however please be advised that small portions of the plot may be mentioned in order to explain a point. If you don't wish to know anything at all (even the tiniest bit) I would recommend returning after you've seen the movie. Otherwise, you should be good.
What It's About:

The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise. This is Episode VIII. I recommend just watching all of the other ones if you don't know what the series is about by now.

Why You'll Love It:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Exciting News from Cassandra Clare

A few weeks ago Cassandra Clare announced that she would be writing a high fantasy book for adults! I'm very excited about this, and definitely intrigued to see what direction she goes in. I love her storylines, but occasionally I wish that the writing was a little more mature, so I am looking forward to seeing what she does with this series.

You can read her post about it here: Big News!

On a similar note, we have a bit more information regarding Clare's next Shadowhunter novels. The Queen of Air and Darkness now has cover art...and it's beautiful! I loved the cover for Lady Midnight, but I was a bit disappointed by Lord of Shadows. This one however, is a stunner. Is the suspense killing you? Well, here it is:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Period Dramas: Rules Don't Apply

Warren Beatty's first film in roughly 15 years, Rules Don't Apply stars Beatty himself alongside Lily Collins, Aldren Ehrenreich, and a star-studded supporting cast including Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Taissa Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin.

What It's About:

In 1958, Apple Blossom Queen and devout Baptist Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) has been given the opportunity of a lifetime - to be a contract actress for Howard Hughes. Given her own house, driver, and a salary, it's everything a budding young actress could dream of. Yet, Marla doesn't get to meet the famous (infamous?) Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) right away, and neither does her driver Frank (Alden Ehrenreich) - a Methodist, and someone whom Marla connects with almost instantly. So day after day, Marla and Frank wait for their opportunity to meet with the man who could make all of their dreams come true...all the while aware of Hughes' number one rule: drivers and actresses are forbidden from relationships. But what happens if they finally meet him? And what happens if they decide that these rules don't apply?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ten Bookish Settings I'd Love to Visit

Thank you once again to The Broke and The Bookish for this Top Ten Tuesday post idea. You can view their original one here.

  1. The Moors of Wuthering Heights
  2. Avalon from Arthurian Legend
  3. Wonka Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Bookish Tattoos

Borrowed with permission from Forever Fictional, today I'm going to talk about two things I love - tattoos, and literature! I've always loved both art forms, and have wanted to get some great book and library-inspired tattoos, but the problem is settling on a design. So, here are some of the sorts of tattoos (on the very long list that I have) that I would consider getting:
I adore this idea - a tree with which the branches and areas of foliage are individual quotes.
If you know nothing else about me, know that I love Dr. Seuss.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Thankful For

I'm at it once again - Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish. I slightly missed out posting this one on time (silly me - I was mostly done it, but forgot to post). So, here's my list of books that I am thankful for, and briefly why.

1) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontё
Why: This was one of the first real times I felt my moral character was represented anywhere. The strength of character in Jane was something I admired, and loved.

2) Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Why: Being the odd one out myself, Charlie was a comfort. He saw the world in his own unique way, and appreciated things differently than everyone else, and that was something I could really relate to.

3) The Giver by Lois Lowry
Why: One of, if not my first dip into dystopian fiction - a genre which I quickly fell in love with.

4) The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco
Why: This book is so beautiful that it makes me cry. It is so simple, but sweet and sad, and I truly love it.

5) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Why: Although I initially fell in love with Austen's stories through the 1995 Pride & Prejudice mini-series, this was my first Austen read. Although not often the popular choice of heroines, I have always loved Fanny for sticking to what was the right decision for her and her conscience.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however comments by other users may possibly contain information that spoils portions of the plot, so read at them your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

H.G. Wells, known for being one of the defining writers of science fiction, is probably best known for his novels War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. Never having read any of his work, I figured it was time to give it a shot.

What it's about:

A Victorian gentlemen builds a time machine and travels to the year 802,701 AD to discover the future of the human race. Upon his travels he discovers not only the gentle Eloi that live in the daylight, but the Morlocks that live below. Yet the language and culture of both these races are so different from anything he could have expected. When his time machine goes missing, how will the Time Traveller find his way back home?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, inspired by The Broke and the Bookish, was both a piece of cake, and a tricky one for me. First of all, I work in a library...a children's library, so thinking of fantastic children's books is literally what I do for a living. That means I had about 850 in the span of a second. Narrowing it down, however? Very, very hard. So I decided to pick ones that I thought would be great reads for both boys and girls across a variety of ages. I've left out items that have many components, such as series, as well as things like fairy and folk tales. If you want to check out the original post, you can see it here.

1) Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

2) Ferdinand - Munro Leaf

Monday, November 6, 2017

Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

This post is inspired by a past post from The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Most Intimidating Books as part of their Top Ten Tuesday series. I'm hoping to do these lists on a semi-regular basis, looking at both their current ones and their archived posts as well. For this list, I'm looking at books that I have been intimidated to read, whether because of their length, their verbosity, or some other factor. Now, without further ado...

  1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo - Length and verbosity

Friday, November 3, 2017

Forest of Reading 2018

For those of you who don't know me, I work in a children and teens library. That means essentially that most of what I have read over the past few years has been, well, youth materials. Some of these (see: anything by Cassandra Clare) have been purely for enjoyment, while others have been to better be able to recommend books to patrons. I read lots of picture books, but at this point I don't review them on here. I do from time to time however give them a quick review on Goodreads, so feel free to follow me there. If anyone is interested in having reviews of picture books on here, I am more than happy to do it, but otherwise I focus on teen to adult works for the most part.

Anyway, I digress. So, working in this environment it means that it is time for one of the most important youth literary events of the year (well, next year!) - Forest of Reading.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Short Stories - Love 'em, or Hate 'em?

Short stories are one of those things, very much like poetry, that I feel like you either love or hate. Now of course there are styles that are more likely to appeal to a person than others, but as an overall state, I think few people who have read them are ambivalent about this medium.

I'll be honest, I haven't read too many short stories. I read some back in high school, and have recently been trying to experience some more of them...and I just don't get the appeal. Am I reading the wrong style for me? Perhaps. I've been working through some science fiction tales by various authors, and I am hoping to move on to some Ray Bradbury soon. I've read Fahrenheit 451 and enjoyed it, and am very interested by the premises of several of his works, so I think it is at least more promising that I will like these.

I'm not against all "short works", so it isn't a bias entirely on full novels vs. everything else. I love poetry, and enjoy the occasional essay here and there, and don't have any issue one way or another with novellas. It's just that something isn't grabbing me with short stories. Here are my thoughts:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Thanks once again to the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish who hosts this Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT). Here is my version for this week's installment, but you can see ones by others here: Top Ten Unique Book Titles.

  1. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
    I've always thought this was a great title.
  2. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
    Also see: The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo.
  3. There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar
    Ah, Louis Sachar...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Period Dramas: Made in Dagenham

Based on real events in England during 1968, Made in Dagenham is a 2010 film, successful enough to follow with a musical based on it in 2014.

What It's About:

It's 1968, and out of over 55,000 workers at the Ford plant in Dagenham, England, only 187 are women. These women, responsible for piecing together and sewing the leather seats, trim, and more, were re-classified as "unskilled" labourers, causing their pay to be less than those of any of the men in the factory. Prompting a fight for equality through a walk-out, the fallout from their actions impacts not only the entire Ford plant, but all of the women who came after.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)

In light of the recent news that Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts.

First off, I want to congratulate Mr. Ishiguro on the honour. This post in no way intends to be an opinion on whether or not that accolade was deserved, and is simply my experience with his work so far.

Like a lot of people, my first experience with Ishiguro's work was when the movie of Never Let Me Go came out. Being a huge fan of dystopian literature for many years, especially those with a dark or twisted element, this seemed right up my alley. I think I might have missed a few minutes at the beginning of the movie, but otherwise I watched it the whole way through.  I'm a huge fan of Carey Mulligan and Sally Hawkins, and enjoy many things that Keira Knightley has done, so the whole thing seemed really promising.

Conceptually, I enjoyed it. Yet I felt a lack of an emotional connection to the characters, except for the mild "person on the outside" feeling that Kathy and I seemed to share. But I was not satisfied with this - perhaps something was missing from the adaptation (moments cut out, beautiful prose untranslatable to film, etc.) that just didn't give me the full experience. So I endeavored to read it.

Here's what I found:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

Need a Gothic novel that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning? Look no further than...

Hands-down one of the best books I've read in years, Rebecca is a Gothic novel written in 1938 by Daphne du Maurier. It is one of those novels that tells you everything and nothing in a single instant, and is a perfect study of jealousy, loyalty, and desperation. I went into this book knowing essentially nothing about it, just desperately needing to pick up a book that wasn't excessively long to get me through a few weeks.

What it's about:

A young woman, orphaned and unsure of herself is working as a companion to an American woman, Mrs. Van Hopper, for a living. Whilst on vacation in Monte Carlo, she meets the older widower, Maxim de Winter, the wealthy owner of the Manderley estate. The two form a friendship which quickly develops into more. When Maxim whisks her away from her mundane life back to his home at Manderley, she is haunted by the memory of his previous wife. Will she ever learn to escape the shadow of the beautiful, and beloved Rebecca?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT) for this great post idea: Top Ten Book Boyfriends. I had a lot of responses for this one, so...I tried to limit myself, but I still ended up doing two separate lists - one for books, and another for movies, TV, etc. I just couldn't help myself!

I'm sorry...once I saw this photo I couldn't resist using it


  1. William (Will) Herondale - The Infernal Devices (series), Cassandra Clare
  2. James (Jamie) Fraser - Outlander (series), Diana Gabaldon

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Banned, Challenged, and Awesome - Banned Book Week 2017

It's that time again! One of my favourite weeks of the year, Banned Book Week is that time that we get to acknowledge those stories that for one reason or another have been removed (or encouraged to be removed) from shelves. Now, I don't know about you, but some of my absolute favourite books in the world have at one point or another been questioned or banned. And sometimes the reasons are for the silliest things. Here are some of the books I love that are constantly found on Banned or Challenged Books lists:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cover Wars! - The Picture of Dorian Gray

I love some great cover art. I actually will pay an extra dollar for a book that they nailed the artwork on. I mean, you're going to be looking at it for years, so why not? But let's be honest - for every great cover, there are usually more that you just sit there going "why did someone think this was okay?". So, with the help of my friend Google, here are samplings of both the good and the bad for...

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

The first two covers are interesting for one thing especially - Dorian is depicted as having brown hair, contrary to the book's description of him being a blond. Also interesting that the first cover shows Dorian as an Adonis-figure, laurel wreath and all.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Favourite Five: Studio Ghibli far!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the work of Studio Ghibli, here's the basics:
Studio Ghibli, established in 1985, is a Japanese animation group by Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki, Isao Takahata, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma. It has been the brilliant engine behind many of the highest grossing anime films in Japan, and has developed somewhat of a cult following in North America. Known for its quirky style, but thought-provoking storylines, if you can watch these with an open mind and heart, they are definitely an experience you won't forget.

I've been lucky enough to enjoy these movies for about five years now, and have seen nine so far. Although there are a few other films regularly referred to as being part of the studio (being made by the same people before it's official formation, etc.), these are the official movies made under the Studio Ghibli label, with the ones I have seen highlighted:

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Grave of the Fireflies
My Neighbour Totoro
Kiki's Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbours the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl's Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up on Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
When Marnie Was There

Now that I have a good chunk of these delightful films under my belt, I figured I'd share which ones have been my favourites. Although I fully expect this list might change as I get to view more of them, here are my current top 5 in no particular order! (And my goodness was it hard to pick between a couple!)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Best Outlander Characters

With the return of Outlander this Sunday for season 3, I've been re-watching the second season this past week to get myself all caught up again. I think one of my absolute favourite things about this series is the richness of the characters. Even if a story is great, I won't be able to get into it if the character development is poor, but I am more likely to put up with a lackluster plot for wonderful people. So here are some of the delightful folk from the first two seasons/novels that make this great series worth a watch.

  1. James (Jamie) Fraser
    Where else to start but our favourite red-headed leading man? Dashing, intelligent, good with horses, and fiercely loyal - what's not to love? Well, maybe that he's stubborn as an ox?
  2. Claire Randall Fraser
    The one and only time-travelling nurse we've all grown to love. Her strength and intelligence, quick-thinking, and determination make her someone to admire. Her stubbornness is matched by few other than her husband.
  3. Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser
    Murtagh might seem rather cold to many people, but he really is the biggest sweetheart. He looks after his godson Jamie like he is his own flesh and blood.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction For All Ages

I've loved dystopian fiction ever since I was about twelve years old, but unfortunately for me there wasn't that much out there for my age bracket. So I read what I could for my age, but quickly tried reading things above my level. In order to make things a little easier for people like me, or just for those looking for some other options, here is my list of decent to great examples of dystopian fiction. I'm only including ones that I personally have read and at least remotely enjoyed. Hope this helps!

Youth and Preteens

The Lorax (1971) Dr. Seuss
The Girl Who Owned a City (1975) O.T. Nelson
The Giver (1993) Lois Lowry
  • The Giver
  • Gathering Blue
  • Messenger
  • Son
The Wump World (1970) Bill Peet
The Last Book in the Universe (2000) Rodman Philbrick
The Transall Saga (1998) Gary Paulsen

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Seven Hidden Gem Fairytales

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT) for this great post idea: Top Ten Hidden Gems in Historical Fiction. However, as I have always loved fairytales (especially the morbid and particularly dark ones...but I won't include many), I've decided that that will be my take on this Tuesday's topic! So, here's 7 I think you should check out if you haven't before.

  1. The Goose Girl - Probably my favourite fairytale of all time, this is one about a princess who gets tricked and bullied by her maidservant to swap places with her so that she can marry the prince in her stead.
  2. Rumpelstiltskin - A father's boast that his daughter can spin straw into gold leads to her being forced to make good on this lie, or be imprisoned forever. But when an impish man appears, he agrees to turn the straw to gold...for a price.
  3. The Nightingale - The Emperor's favourite sound is the singing of the nightingale. But then he receives a gift of a beautiful jewel-encrusted, mechanical bird whose singing is not quite as sweet,. It enchants the Emperor nonetheless, and the nightingale is all but forgotten.
  4. The Blue Coat - Adapted into the book Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, The Blue Coat tells the tale of a grandfather who makes a beautiful blue blanket for his grandson, who loves it and carries it everywhere. But when the blanket becomes worn and tattered, his grandfather takes all the pieces he can save to make a coat. But when that too becomes worn out, he makes the next thing, and the next.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Period Dramas: Basil

Basil is a 1998 film starring Jared Leto and Christian Slater. It was adapted from the 1853 novel of the same name written by Wilkie Collins.

What It's About:

Basil, a shy and naϊve gentleman and Oxford student is trying to find his place in life, while still trying to please his father. Having no friends, save for his father's ward Clara, Basil knows little of the world. Upon being injured, he relies on the help of a man, John Mannion, for his rescue, and the two become fast friends. Even though they are from different classes, John opens Basil's eyes to what is around him - even if it goes against everything his cold father taught him regarding his position in society. And then, Basil falls in love...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Five Books I Read In School...Unfortunately

Inspired by The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT), here are five books that I had to read throughout my years in school that I really did not enjoy. Fortunately there aren't many that I really didn't like as a whole. There are several that I started out not liking, but that grew on me, which I will likely feature in a future post. Please see the original post here: Back To School Freebie

1. Losing Joe's Place - Gordon Korman

Let's be honest, I wouldn't have liked this book no matter what, but it didn't particularly help that my teacher read it to us in eighth grade...and did voices for the characters.

2. The Other Side of the Bridge - Mary Lawson

Not a bad book overall, but studying a book with, well, little about it to study, is pretty darn dull and pointless.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

YA in Review: Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

In this exciting new installment to Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles, book two of The Dark Artifices has lots to offer for fans of this expansive universe.

What it's about:

Malcolm Fade is dead, and Emma can finally put her torment over her parents' deaths to rest...or can she? When Emma learns the details of why parabatai are forbidden from falling in love, she knows what she must do to protect not only herself and Julian, but the rest of the Blackthorns - pretend to have feelings for Mark. But Mark is not without his share of troubles. Having just begun to adjust to life outside of the Wild Hunt, and with romantic entanglements of his own, will their relationship strengthen him and Emma, or cause more harm than good? The Faeries will no longer submit to the Cold Peace, the Clave is considering more rigid regulations, and the Seelie Queen wants something that only the Blackthorns can give her - how will the Shadowhunters be able to stop history from repeating itself?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fifteen Characters I'd Name A Child or Pet After - Book Edition

Inspired by this post from The Broke and the Bookish: Ten Characters We'd Name Our Children or Pets After, this fun topic is part of their Top Ten Tuesday series. This is absolutely perfect because a) I love lists, and b) I have actually thought about this more times than I would be comfortable admitting. It was so hard to pick just ten that not only did I choose fifteen, but at this point I am just going to go with book characters, and will likely do an entirely separate one for those in movies. Here we go!

  1. Jonas - The Giver
  2. Gabriel - The Giver
  3. Eleanor - Ella Enchanted/Sense and Sensibility

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 6 - Master of Phantoms

Alas, here is my final blog-along of Wolf Hall, as we look at Episode 6. If you are new here and would like to start at the beginning, you can see Episode 1 here: Wolf Hall, Episode 1.  I will be editing things to avoid large spoilers and make things more concise, but it will mostly be my thoughts as I have them.

Wolf Hall, Episode 6 - Master of Phantoms

           Play by Play

  • Smash on the table. Food will come faster that way. Ooh, and picking food out of your teeth and sticking it in your goblet. Oh the table manners!
  • Uh-Oh, Crommy's seeing things. Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 5 - Crows

Alright, we are now on Episode 5 of Wolf Hall, with only one more to go after this. If you haven't read my thoughts about the previous episodes, you can start with Episode 1 here: Wolf Hall, Episode 1. As per usual, I will be editing everything to avoid large spoilers, and to make things a bit more concise, but it will mostly be my organic thoughts.

Wolf Hall, Episode 5 - Crows

           Play by Play

  • Oh sorry Sir, are we keeping you up? You know your dinner party sucks when not even the king is willing to stay awake for it.
  • Jane Seymour, that was gutsy. Good girl.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 4 - The Devil's Spit

I took a bit of a break last week from Wolf Hall, so my apologies if you missed my weekly babblings! We are now on Episode 4, so sit back, relax, and enjoy (or watch along, if you'd like of course). If you haven't read my thoughts about the previous episodes, Episode 1 can be seen here: Wolf Hall, Episode 1. Once again, I will be editing everything to avoid large spoilers, and to make things a bit more concise, but it will mostly be my thoughts as I have them.

Wolf Hall, Episode 4 - The Devil's Spit

           Play by Play

  • Anne looks so in love with the baby, it's wonderful...and then she shows her loveliness in full. Let's destroy the lives of other children so that mine can flourish. 
  • Well played Anne, you know all about Cromwell's connections

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Favourite Five - Jane Austen Characters

I've decided from time to time it would be fun to take a look at five of my favourites from various categories. So, what better way to start this new series than by looking at some of my favourite characters from Jane Austen novels? In no particular order, here are five of the characters I absolutely adore:
1. Fanny Price

Although not always a popular choice, even among Janeites, I love Mansfield Park's Fanny Price. I may be a bit biased here, as Mansfield Park was my first Austen read, but I love her nonetheless. I admire her morality, her kindness, and her self-sacrifice. No matter what happens, or how people treat her, Fanny sticks to what she believes in - a truly commendable trait. It's a shame that there hasn't been a film version yet to do her justice.

2. Anne Elliot

Oh, Anne, how I adore thee. Anne is probably the Austen heroine I most relate to. She truly is the black sheep of her family, and although feels very deeply, she rarely shares her feelings with anyone. Her feelings and struggles were ones I instantly connected with. She has a quiet brilliance and confidence that is rarely appreciated. I really like how Anne is portrayed in both the 1995 and 2007 versions.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 3 - Anna Regina

Continuing my blog-along of Wolf Hall, we are now on Episode 3. If you haven't read my thoughts about Episodes 1 and 2, check them out here: Wolf Hall, Episode 1 and here: Wolf Hall, Episode 2 Once again, I will be editing everything to avoid spoilers, and to make things a bit more concise, but it will mostly be my thoughts as I have them.

Wolf Hall, Episode 3 - Anna Regina

           Play by Play

  • Oh good, starting off with torture is always fun
  • Oh, is THAT the situation now Cromwell? Wow. Sharing your bed and everything.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 2 - Entirely Beloved

Since I had so much fun with my blog-along or Episode 1 of Wolf Hall, I thought I'd continue on with Episode 2. If you haven't read my thoughts about Episode 1 - Three Card Trick, check it out here: Wolf Hall, Episode 1. Once again, I will be editing everything to avoid spoilers and to make things a bit more concise, but it will mostly be my thoughts as I have them.

Wolf Hall, Episode 2 - Entirely Beloved

           Play by Play

  • Gregory, can't say I'm your biggest fan right now. You seem a bit wimpy and unintelligent at the moment, but I guess we'll see.
  • Is the housekeeper his sister-in-law? Or were they in the same household? Seems like sister-in-law. Uh...did she just essentially say she's a lesbian? We at least know she isn't into her husband. Well, that was an awkward conversation

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 1 - Three Card Trick

Watching Episode 1 of Wolf Hall, I thought it might be fun to blog along my real-time thoughts to the piece. That being said, I will be editing everything to avoid spoilers, and to make things a bit more concise. For example, if I noticed something such as "shaky camera work" multiple times, instead of writing that 5 separate ways in my review here, I will edit it to mention that there were many instances of this occurring. Alright, here we go!

Wolf Hall, Episode 1 - Three Card Trick

          Play by Play

  • Oh Jonathan Pryce, how I love you. Your dry, matter-of-fact attitude always makes me smile
  • Did they just make an error with the timeline? I thought they had said at the very beginning that Henry had been married 20 years with no heir, but then they flashed back to eight years earlier and have now said he has been married 18 years with no heir...did I miss something? Shouldn't it be 12 years? I'm sure I must have gotten something wrong

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

YA in Review: Empire of Storms (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!
Empire of Storms is the fifth novel in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. This is officially the second-last novel in the series (if you don't include the prequel novellas, and the novel in Chaol's perspective).

What it's about:
After the King of Adarlan's death, Dorian is now king - but that doesn't mean the fight is over. In fact, now even more questions have arisen. Grieving his father, and coming to terms with the magnitude of his powers, Dorian isn't fully ready to rule. Aelin, ready to reclaim her throne, sets off to Terrasen. But Aelin hasn't been heard of for years - is her kingdom ready to have her as their queen? And what of Duke Perrington? Or have his forces in Morath grown too strong to be stopped?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Period Dramas: Fingersmith

Based on the Victorian crime novel of the same name by Sarah Waters, Fingersmith was turned into a mini-series in 2005. Filled with twists and turns that you won't see coming, it's a fun new addition to period drama that definitely breaks the mold.

What It's About:

Sue Trinder is a Fingersmith - a thief living in the slums of London under the care of Mrs. Sucksby. Mrs. Sucksby, who takes care of unwanted and abandoned babies, is the closest thing that Sue has had to a mother since her own was hanged for murder. When Mrs. Sucksby's friend Gentleman appears one evening, and tells them of a scheme - and how if Sue helps him, he will give her £2000, it almost seems too tempting to resist. Yet Sue has some reservations when Gentleman tells her he plans to swindle an heiress out of her money, until Mrs. Sucksby encourages the plan. So off Sue goes, becoming the maid to the meek and troubled Ms. Maud Lilly, and eventually her friend. But what Sue didn't anticipate, was how deeply her feelings would run - and how could she betray someone she cares about so much?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Preview: Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare)

Lord of Shadows is the second novel in The Dark Artifices trilogy, chronologically the third series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles (until the next series is written, which will make this the fourth). If you're like me, Cassandra Clare's newest installment is already pre-ordered, and you're biting your nails in wait for its May release date.

If you haven't heard of Lord of Shadows, Cassandra Clare, OR Shadowhunters and want to know what is going on, check out my review for the first book in The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight here: Lady Midnight
Have no fear - although The Dark Artifices is the third series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles, you are absolutely able to read it first. There will be mild Lady Midnight spoilers below, so you might want to wait to continue this post until you've finished the first book.

Back to our eagerly anticipated Lord of Shadows (LoS)! So, what do we know so far? First off, here's the released cover:
Official Cover Image
So, as you can see, it has a boy on the right side with a sword who looks like he is suspended in water. On the left, we see a city turned sideways, which is possibly fragmenting. Definitely a more dynamic cover than the original temporary one that was released (see below), and lends itself to a millions predictions.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

10 Amazing Period Dramas You Might Have Missed

Now I'm going to assume that if you're looking at this list you've probably seen every Jane Austen adaptation there is, a Brontë or two, and Downton Abbey. Therefore, as wonderful as those are, I will be leaving those off of this list. If not, here`s a good place to start (and stay tuned for a future list discussing various Austen adaptations). Although I will be including mini-series, I will be leaving off any television shows at this time *deep breath*. With that being said, here we go!

1. The Virgin Queen (2005)

If you love British history, especially the lives of their monarchs, then look no further (So fans of Victoria and The Crown, pay attention!). The Virgin Queen chronicles the life of Elizabeth Tudor from her time just before inheriting the throne of England through her turbulent and prosperous reign as Queen Elizabeth I. Full of intrigue, war, heartbreak, court politics, stunning costumes, and beautiful music, The Virgin Queen shows the portrait of a royal as fiery as her famous hair. Definitely not one to miss! Oh, and did I mention that Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Kevin McKidd (Grey's Anatomy) are in this?
Anne-Marie Duff as Elizabeth I

2. The Pillars of the Earth (2011)

Based on the bestselling novel by Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth is the struggle over power, pride, desire, and the English throne. Set in 12th century England primarily in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, the series opens with the death of the king's heir, throwing the country into turmoil. Following the fight for succession, while also focusing on the building of a great cathedral, royals and priors alike hunger for power. Love is thwarted, cities are ransacked, and secrets threaten to destroy it all. Taking place over several decades, this epic tale has something for everyone. If that alone is not enough, a stunning cast including Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Rufus Sewell (Victoria), Matthew McFadyen (Pride and Prejudice), and even Sam Clafin (Me Before You) makes this adaptation shine.
Pillars of the Earth Main Cast

Thursday, April 6, 2017

YA in Review: Queen of Shadows (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Queen of Shadows is the fourth novel in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. For those eagerly anticipating vengeance and resolution, look no further. It's time for a fight.

What it's about:

Aelin Galathynius is now in charge of her powers and embracing her role as Queen. Returning to Adarlan, she is ready to assemble her court and enact revenge on those who have wronged her and her country. But a queen without a throne has to prove her worth, and a queen without allies has no power at all. With her friends imprisoned, under the watchful eye of the King, and on a different continent entirely, how can Aelin ever hope to reclaim her kingdom?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

YA in Review: Heir of Fire (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Heir of Fire is the third novel in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Now, if the huge revelation at the end of Crown of Midnight didn't cause you to want to continue this series...probably nothing will. However if you are still unsure and want to know if it's worth a read, here you go:

What it's about:

Celaena Sardothien, (or should I say Aelin Galathynius?) is now in Wendlyn. Sent there by her once lover and friend Chaol Westfall for her own protection. The king of Adarlan however, thinks she's there to kill the royal family of Wendlyn, the Ashryvers. But is Celaena going to do that? Of course not! Found by Fae warrior Rowan, Celaena is brought to Queen Maeve who promises to give her knowledge about the Wyrdkeys once Rowan deems her a worthy warrior. But will Celaena ever meet Rowan's exacting standards? Will she get the answers she needs before it is too late?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Read vs Reel: Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)

BEWARE -SPOILERS ABOUND. With this being a comparison between the novel and the film adaptation, there will be lots of spoilers in this review under the section "Where the Movies Differs". Read at your own risk. The other sections should be essentially spoiler-free.

Me Before You was published in 2012, with the movie adaptation of the same name being released in 2016. Both the book and the movie screenplay were written by Jojo Moyes. The sequel novel After You, published in 2015, will not be covered by this review.

What It's About

Louisa (Lou) Clark lives at home with her parents, sister, and nephew and works at the café nearby. It's a simple life, in a small English tourist town, and it's all Lou has ever known. But when the café closes, Lou is left suddenly without a job, and without a way to help support the family. Desperate to find some way to make money, she tries everything from a chicken processing factory, to a fast food chain, and even a home energy adviser, until an opportunity finally comes along to be a care assistant to quadriplegic Will Traynor - something she has absolutely no qualifications for. Armed with only her good nature and quirky sense of style, Lou is about to embark on the challenge of her life. But she has no idea yet that Will, anger and bitter about his condition, will be the one person to change her life in every way imaginable.

Friday, March 10, 2017

YA in Review: Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Crown of Midnight is the second novel in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Now, if you adored reading the first novel, I'm sure you've decided to read Crown of Midnight, but if you want to know if it's worth a read, here you go:

What it's about:
Celaena Sardothien, formerly prisoner in the Endovier salt mines, formerly Adarlan's Assassin, is now the King's Champion. After winning the deadly competition in Throne of Glass, Celaena is now in the service of the corrupt King of Adarlan. That doesn't mean she signed over her loyalty when she wrote her name on the parchment though. Instead of following the King's orders blindly, Celaena schemes to do things her own way while still trying to keep her head, and finds more than she bargained for in the process.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

10 Best YA Book Covers From 2016 to Today

If you're like me, you try not to judge a book by its cover, but it sure can be difficult! Good cover art can entice someone to read your book (or at least read the summary!) just in the same way that bad art can cause your work to be left untouched on the shelf. And you know what? Your title is the same - it's the first way to get everyone's attention.
That being said, it's incredibly subjective. What appeals to me might not appeal to you, and vice versa, but I figured I'd share some of my favourite YA cover art that has come out within the past year. In no particular order, here we go:

1. The Beauty of Darkness - Mary E. Pearson

2. Sword and Verse - Kathy MacMillan

3. Like a River Glorious - Rae Carson

Friday, February 24, 2017

YA in Review: Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however if there are any I need to mention, they will be marked by an asterisk and will be elaborated on following a dividing line. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Chronologically, this is the third series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles (although there will be a series coming out that will push this down to being the fourth), and it will be at minimum a trilogy.

What it's about:

Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs of the Los Angeles Institute is an orphan of the Dark War. But protecting the world from demons while seeking revenge for her parents death isn't an easy task. When Faeries are turning up dead without any explanation, Emma along with her best friend and parabatai Julian must uncover the mystery behind these murders...but there's a catch. Julian's brother Mark, taken by the Faeries years ago has been allowed to return to his family to help solve these crimes. He can only remain if  they solve it in time. Will Emma be able to focus on the task at hand, rather than avenging her parents? Will they catch the killer before Mark is forced to return to the land of Faerie?

Monday, February 20, 2017

YA in Review: Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however if there are any I need to mention, they will be marked by an asterisk and will be elaborated on following a dividing line. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Throne of Glass is the debut novel of Sarah J. Maas, which she started writing at 16. Consequently, there are some things about this story that feel a little juvenile and not properly fleshed out. BUT, not only did I finish it, I am currently on the fourth book of the series.

What it's about:
Celaena Sardothien is seventeen, beautiful, and adores clothes. But don't let that fool you - she isn't like other seventeen year olds. Celaena is an assassin - not just any assassin, but the famed Adarlan's Assassin. After being betrayed and spending a year in the prison mining camp Endovier, she is offered the chance to be free by no other than the crown prince of Adarlan. There's just one teensy tiny condition: she has to compete against 23 other criminals, assassins, and soldiers in various trials and battles. Oh, and if she wins? Then she serves the King as his personal assassin for several years before earning her freedom. Sounds fun, right?