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. 🙂

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Thematic Recs: Sad Contemporary

I was actually planning for my main post this week to be a review of Sally Green’s Half Bad, but, alas, I seem to have entered a slight reading slump, & I still haven’t finished it yet… 😦 So I’ve decided to start off a new series of posts that I’ve been planning – thematic recs! They’ll be short lists of books (3-4 each) that I liked, which fit into certain different categories, & some of them will probably be super-specific.

This one was pretty hard to narrow down, as quite a few of my favourite books are sad contemporaries (and there are tonnes more that are also really well done), but here’s four of them to start you off:

Stephen Chbosky//Perks of Being a Wallflower1) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky follows a teenage boy named Charlie, who is just starting high school and doesn’t really know how to go about making friends. He’s also dealing with some personal issues at the same time, and has actually just got out of hospital when the book starts. The whole book is written as letters, which is something that usually annoys me in novels, but this one is incredibly well done. There was also a film adaptation released quite recently (last year?), and that’s very good, too.

Rainbow Rowell//Eleanor & Park2) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a slow-burning love story between two teenagers (called Eleanor and Park, as I’m sure you could tell), which deals with themes like bullying and domestic abuse. I can’t tell you too much more about it without entering spoiler territory, but it was amazing to read. Also, Rainbow Rowell’s writing is like some kind of drug – every word made me deliriously happy.

Laurie Halse Anderson//Speak3) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Another one where telling you too much before you start would spoil it slightly, but I can tell you that this is probably the most emotionally hard-hitting of all the books on this list. It follows a girl named Melinda, who’s starting a new year at school, but has for various reasons been abandoned by all her friends. Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen progresses along a similar vein, but is considerably lighter, if Speak is too heavy for you.

Rodman Philbrick//Freak the Mighty4) Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick is probably the most obscure book on this list. It’s about two boys: Max, who is large but slow-learning, and his neighbour Kevin, who is incredibly intelligent but crippled. Both boys have significant problems both at school and at home, and they use their imaginations to escape from it. The  story of their growing friendship is sad but also incredibly touching.