Happy Roald Dahl Day everyone!
Today is the birthday of the beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, and what better way to celebrate than to share some of my favourite books?
** WARNING: Contains spoilers **
Recently there has been controversy over the Game of Thrones TV series. It’s been written about in the Guardian, and even Woman’s Hour has picked up on it. This all stems from one particular episode that included a rape scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister, which was definitely consensual in the book – if anything Cersei was pushing for sex, while Jaime held back. I was not happy with this change because it isn’t consistent with Jaime’s character, which is becoming far more sympathetic.
It’s International Women’s Day! And to celebrate, I would like to share some of literature’s feistiest women. I love reading books with a strong female character, even if not all of them are that likeable. My five choices are varied – some are brave and adventurous, others materialistic and selfish, but they are all feisty and great fun to read!
I was not the most consistent book blogger in 2013. I currently have a daunting ten books piled up ready to be written about, and some of them have been there since the spring! Hopefully I will manage to get on to them early in the New Year. My reading list, like my blog, has been a bit pathetic over the past year. I haven’t been racing through books like I usually would, apart from the odd couple. I’ve found comfort in old favourites such as The Hobbit, The Moonstone, The Little Friend and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, but not managed to pick up as many new books as I would have liked.
I’m afraid I can’t blame this lack of adventurous reading on being too busy at work or anything like that, but I have been busy. I’ve been busy having fun! In fact, for me, 2013 has been one of the best years for a long time! I’ve been on some great holidays, including a fantastic trip to Nepal in October, (Where I visited the amazing Pilgrims Book House in Kathmandu, and fought off tears in the airport when reading Sold by Patricia McCormick), and life has generally been quite good, with a job that I enjoy and living happily with my boyfriend in a lovely little flat in the centre of town.
Instead of doing ‘awards’ this year (like in 2011 and 2012), I thought I would simply share my Top 5 books from my reading list of 2013 (Some of which I haven’t reviewed yet – I’ll add the links as soon as I do!)
Wow! What a year! 2012 was very exciting – both for me personally and for Bundle of Books. Lots of things have changed; I left my horrible job, had a couple of interesting work experience opportunities, joint-bought a flat and got a new job (one that I actually like!). My reading habits have adapted, unfortunately meaning that I haven’t read anywhere near as much as last year. This is probably due to shorter lunch breaks and the fact that I now walk to work instead of getting a bus everyday – bad for my To Read pile, but good for my health!
I may not have read as much as I would have liked, but I’ve discovered some fantastic books! I’ve learnt about some talented début authors such as Téa Obreht, Erin Morgenstern and Eowyn Ivey. I’ve become hooked on the popular fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. However, 2012 was not just full of great reading; I’ve visited some wonderful bookshops, I’ve taken a sneaky peek at other people’s shelves, read a bit of poetry and watched some good (and some not so good) adaptations.
Most exciting of all, in August, I was Freshly Pressed! I was so thrilled to see all of the comments made by new (and old!) followers and can still hardly believe that my post was chosen to be on the WordPress homepage for the day – so thanks to everyone who took the time to visit my blog!
And now it’s time to take a look at some of the books that most stood out to me in 2012 (using the same categories as last year).
Summer is a busy time for the classics section at Oxfam. We receive piles and piles of donations at the end of July from GCSE, A Level and university students who have finally come to the end of the year. They struggle in with heavy bags, eager to rid themselves of any course material that will remind them of long evenings spent at the library, scrutinising old texts. It’s a time of year when we get a huge increase in Shakespeare study guides, poetry and tattered old penguin classics.
As you may be aware, in the last few months I have started volunteering at Oxfam Books and Music. So far it’s been great. I get to sort through, price and sell books. I even quite like that musty, old book smell. But most exciting of all; I get first pick of the books! Another thing that I love about used books is finding unexpected items inside. I can completely understand these bookworms that accidentally leave postcards, train tickets and scraps of paper between the pages of their books because I do exactly the same thing. I usually grab the nearest thing to mark my place and often these can become nice memories when I find them months or years later hidden in an old read. I’ve found some pretty weird and wonderful things that people have used for bookmarks. Here are a few of my favourite!
A few weeks ago I was delighted to find a lovely comment on my blog saying that I had been awarded the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you very much to Literary Relish, who has brilliant taste in books and her own fantastic blog here!
A couple of weeks later I had another reason to be happy when I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger and Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful A Novel Place… who runs a superbly bookish blog here! (Thank you!)
The idea of these awards is to spread the blogging love and show appreciation to fellow bloggers. So, after a very pleasant afternoon browsing through all of my favourite blogs, I have finally whittled my list of favourites down to 5 (it was so very difficult!). I would like to note that it is very hard to guess how many followers a blog has, so I have concentrated on blogs that I think deserve recognition, no matter how many followers they already have.
Please scroll down for the rules!
I started Bundleofbooks in April, so it’s not quite a year of reading – but oh! what books I have read in the last nine months! I have re-read old favourites such as Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn and Rebecca and discovered some incredible authors; Margaret Atwood and Isabel Allende. I’ve finally got around to reading books that have been on my To Read list for years; Brick Lane, Naples ’44 and Sense and Sensibility. I’ve had a giggle with Bill Bryson and Douglas Adams and suffered moments of depression with Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene.
Through all the delights, tears, fears, laughs and yawns I have had a wonderful year of reading! So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to the Book Awards – 2011 where I have chosen the best (and worst) books from my 2011 reading list!