#UnderHypedReads: Recommendations

As promised, I’ve put together some of my favourite books that meet the criteria for the Under-Hyped Readathon, in case anyone is struggling to find things to read. 🙂 It was a pretty tough list to narrow down, but I did eventually manage to pick out just five!

Alison Uttley//A Traveller in TimeA Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley. My favourite book! (Or one of them, at least.) While visiting her relatives in the country, a girl called Penelope finds herself slipping back and forth in time, and winds up getting involved in a 16th century plot to put Mary Queen of Scots to the throne of England.

Tim Bowler//StarseekerStarseeker by Tim Bowler. The tale of a talented young pianist, who, after his father’s death, becomes involved in a gang. Hoping to find something valuable to steal, he breaks into an old woman’s house one day, but what he actually finds is her granddaughter, locked in an attic room. What follows is an extremely powerful story of friendship, loss and grief.

David Almond//Heaven EyesHeaven Eyes by David Almond. A wonderful (though short) story about a group of children who escape from their orphanage on a raft, only to get stuck in a bog further down the river. There they meet the mysterious Heaven Eyes and Grampa, who are both searching for saints, preserved in the mud. Skellig is probably David Almond’s best-known novel, but Heaven Eyes is definitely my favourite.

Essie Fox//Elijah's MermaidElijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox. A romantic mystery (or should it be mysterious romance?) novel set in Victorian times, and featuring no actual mermaids. The story follows three main characters: The twins, Elijah and Lily, and a strange girl called Pearl, who was pulled out of the river as a baby and raised in a brothel. A very atmospheric read, full of secrets and scandal.

Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark//Backward Compatible

Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark. A romance novel involving two gamers, who meet at the midnight launch of a game they’ve been really excited for. By the time they get to the front of the queue, though, there’s only one copy left! 😮 Which one of them gets to take it home?! 😛 Cute, quirky and hilarious; what more could I ask for?

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The Sunshine Blogger Award, Version 2.0

sunshine blogger awardI actually already did this award a little while back, but I have the good fortune to have been nominated once again, this time by Ariana, a.k.a. The Quirky Book Nerd, whose blog you should all take a look at, if you like awesome things! 😉 I’m not going to be nominating anyone new this time around, or asking any questions of my own (since I did that last time), so this post will just be my answers to Ariana’s questions – they look pretty fun! 😀

Ariana’s Questions:

1) If you could travel to any period in time, where would you go and why?

The classicist in me is urging me to say Ancient Rome. Roman Britain, specifically, which was my favourite period to study when I was at uni. But it would also be interesting to see/read all those lost Greek dramas, so maybe Athens instead, circa 420 B.C., to overlap with Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes (though not Aeschylus, sadly).

2) What is your favorite under-hyped novel?

I’m actually going to be doing a full post on under-hyped novels soon, since the Under-Hyped Readathon is coming up! I have a few different favourites, but the least-known of them is probably A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley. I’ve never met anyone else who’s read it. 😦

3) What type of music do you enjoy listening to the most?

A mix, really, though I’m disproportionately fond of folk music…

4) What are three books you absolutely refuse to read?

I wouldn’t say that I’d all-out refuse to read any book, since I never know where my mood will take me. Even books that I know are going to be really trashy; sometimes I’m just in the mood for trashy writing. (Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. ❓ ) Some well-known books that I’m not likely to ever read, however…

  • The Fifty Shades series by E.L. James (which I suspect many people will be picking for this question),
  • anything by Stephen King (I don’t like being scared. At all), and… hmm…
  • Maybe The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling? (I’ve heard mixed reviews, but as much as I like J.K. Rowling, this doesn’t sound like my kind of book).

Then again, never say never! 😉

5) Do you prefer series or standalones?

Series, on the whole (or very long standalones). I like to spend a lot of time with the same characters, getting to really know them and watching them grow. The market seems to be overflowing with series at the moment, so it’s nice to find a good standalone once in a while, but nothing quite beats a really good series. 🙂

6) What are your favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptations?

The adaptations of both The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones are a couple of my favourite films. And I found the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (starring Keira Knightly & Matthew Macfadyen) incredibly lackluster. :/ I tend to stay away from adaptations that look like they’re going to be terrible, though – a tendency that has served me pretty well so far.

7) What is one food you never get tired of eating?

Probably… bread? Or maybe eggs. Hmm… ❓

8) What are the most difficult and most rewarding things about blogging for you?

The most difficult thing is probably keeping up with my schedule, as there are quite often times when I’d rather just spend my time reading, or playing a video game. And keeping up with my target of posting a full review every month can be hard, too, since I’ll sometimes read a whole load of books in the month, but not really have much to say about any of them… (This is why my full reviews usually go up towards the end of the month! ^^’ )

The most rewarding thing is probably seeing the posts when they do go up, and getting to read the comments and talk about the books I’ve read. It’s a great community. 🙂

The Bookish Alphabet Tag

This tag was created by Mariana at fireheartbooks, and I was tagged by the wonderful Loreva from La Book Dreamer, whose blog you should all definitely check out! The goal is to pick out a book for every letter of the alphabet, and the only rule is that you need to own (or to have previously owned and read) every book on the list. You also don’t need to include articles, e.g. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess would count for “C” rather than “A”.

So, without further ado:

MY BOOKISH ALPHABET

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Daughter of Storms by Louise Cooper

Emma by Jane Austen

Fire by Kristin Cashore

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Half Wild by Sally Green

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle & Maureen Johnson

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

River Daughter by Jane Hardstaff

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

xxxHolic by CLAMP

Young Blood by Meg Cabot

Zombie-Loan by Peach-Pit

Phew. That was a lot of books! ^^’ But I’m pleased to say that I have read all of these books, and I still own them all except for Unravel Me, which I gave to one of my cousins, and River Daughter, which I donated (it was a good book, I just couldn’t imagine myself reading it again). And I did have to break out my manga collection for “X” and “Z” – something I’d been hoping I wouldn’t have to do – but I regret nothing. 😎

I tag:

 

Thematic Recs: Time Travel

The other day I put up a new window at Oxfam – the theme? Doctor Who! So naturally I’ve been thinking about time travel ever since~ 😉 Not being a huge sci-fi fan (at least where reading is concerned), there are obviously a lot of famous time travel books that I just haven’t read, but there are still a fair few that I’d recommend, even to non-sci-fi-fans like me. 😀

Alison Uttley//A Traveller in Time1) A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley. One of my favourite books as a child, this story follows a young girl called Penelope who goes to visit some relatives in the countryside, in a house where her ancestors were once household servants to the Babingtons. And while she’s there, she somehow finds herself slipping back and forth between her present and the 1580s, in the lead-up to the Babington Plot – a scheme to put Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne of England.

J.K. Rowling//Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban2) Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Harry returns to Hogwarts for his third year, but the Wizarding World is rife with rumours of Sirius Black – a supporter of Voldemort who has recently escaped from the magical prison, Azkaban, and who is thought to be coming after Harry! To say how would be a huge spoiler for what is probably my favourite Harry Potter book, but time travel plays a big part in this instalment in the series.

Diana Gabaldon//Outlander3) The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. A series of adult novels that follow a World War II combat nurse called Claire, who, on her second honeymoon in Scotland, finds herself flung back in time to the eighteenth century, where she falls in love with Jamie – a Highland warrior. The series begins with Cross Stitch (simply called Outlander in the U.S.), and is an epic-scale time travel adventure/romance – though I should warn you that there are a few pretty explicit sex scenes in the book, so it’s not one for the kids~! 😉

Ursula K. Le Guin//A Fisherman of the Inland Sea4) Another Story, OR A Fisherman of the Inland Sea by Ursula K. Le Guin. A short story set in Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle, which deals with perceived time travel as a side-effect of inter-planetary travel: Time passes differently for those on the spaceship than it does for everyone else, so at the end of each voyage, the timeline has become slightly out-of-sync (Wikipedia explains this better in the Hainish Cycle article). This story was originally published as part of Le Guin’s anthology, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, but it can also be found in The Time Traveller’s Almanac – a massive compilation of time travel short stories that any fan of the genre should definitely try to get hold of. 🙂

The Classics Book Tag!

This tag was created by Vienna at It’s a Book World, and you can find the original post here. I wasn’t tagged by anyone (I just wanted to do this for fun~ 🙂 ), but I first came across it on the youtube channel perpetualpages. Now onto the tag!

1) What’s an over-hyped classic that you didn’t like?

George Orwell//1984Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I wouldn’t say that it was over-hyped, exactly, so much as just not really to my taste. It made its point very well, and it was certainly interesting, I just didn’t enjoy it all that much.

2) What’s your favourite time period to read about?

Probably Regency England, as that was the time period Jane Austen wrote about, but to be honest I don’t really have a favourite time period. With me, it’s always more about the story than the setting.

3) What’s your favourite fairytale?

Growing up, I was particularly attached to the The Swan Princess (a cartoon adaptation of Swan Lake, which was itself adapted from a Russian folk-tale, though it seems uncertain which one or ones), as well as the Disney version of Robin Hood (I didn’t read all that much when I was little). These days, I’m probably most fond of The Goose Girl and Beauty and the Beast

4) What classic are you most embarrassed not to have read yet?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, without a doubt. I’ve been meaning to read it for such a long time, and so many people have told me that it’s their favourite classic…

5) What are the top five classics that you would like to read soon?

Jane Austen//Persuasion Thomas Hardy//Tess of the D'Urbervilles Charlotte Brontë//Jane Eyre Bram Stoker//Dracula Sarah Grand//The Heavenly Twins

6) What’s your favourite modern book (or series) that’s based on a classic?

Marissa Meyer//Cinder(Having not read very many of these, I’ll be going back to fairytales for this question!) Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles are the first thing to come to mind, since they’re fantastic. The first three books in the series are based on, respectively, CinderellaLittle Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

Shannon Hale//The Goose GirlPhilip Pullman’s I was a Rat! is another great take on Cinderella, as is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levigne, and Shannon Hale has also written a great series called The Books of Bayern, the first of which is based on the Brothers Grimm tale, The Goose Girl.

7) What’s your favourite film or TV adaptation of a classic?

Pride & Prejudice

Ehle & Firth as Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy.

There a several that I really love, but the one I always come back to is the 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride & Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

A couple of honourable mentions: The 2004 adaptation of North & South, with Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage, and the 1979 take on the Flambards series, with Christine McKenna.

8) What’s your least favourite film or TV adaptation?

Usually if I don’t like an adaptation, then I’ll stop watching it, so there aren’t really any that I can really say I hated, but what I saw of the 1975 version of North & South  (with Patrick Stewart) was so bad it was funny, and I also wasn’t a huge fan of the 2005 movie of Pride & Prejudice (with Keira Knightly & Matthew Macfadyen) – the imagery was beautiful, but the story was far too rushed…

9) What editions do you/would you like to collect?

The Folio Society publishes beautiful editions of most classics, but they tend to be rather pricey, so...

The Folio Society publishes beautiful editions of most classics, but they tend to be rather pricey, so…

... I will often pick the Vintage Classics editions instead.

… I usually buy the (also very lovely) Vintage Classics editions instead.

10) What’s an under-hyped classic that you’d recommend to everyone?

Alison Uttley//A Traveller in TimeMost of my all-time favourites are very well-known (Pride & PrejudiceEmmaNorth & South, etc.), but one that I don’t often hear people talking about is Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time, which tells the story of a girl called Penelope who finds herself slipping back and forth between 1934 and the 16th century, where Mary, Queen of Scots is imprisoned in Chartley Castle. It’s a really wonderful book, and its a shame that not that many people seem to have read it…