Bout of Books – Day 2

I wrote yesterday that I am ahead of this Bout of Books,  and while this is technically true, I feel woefully behind on my pages read v pages left to read ratio. 269 pages wasn’t bad, but I have 5 lessons today, rather than the 2 of yesterday. Hopefully, I won’t spend as long completing the challenge(s) as yesterday.

Updates

7am: I haven’t read any more pages this bout of books than the 269 I read yesterday. I am debating double timing Harry Potter though, bring able to switch stories may prevent any flagging when reading!!

12pm: My full morning of lessons, shouting, and irritation has left me little time to read, I’ve advanced a little with Harry Potter having read another 75 pages, but I haven’t managed to start anything new. Therefore. my pages read currently stand at 344.

3pm: I have hit 500 words, which feels a lot more significant than it probably is. I’m still sticking to just Harry Potter. I’ve managed to package 2 items for the post office tomorrow, but got through none of my marking. That’s going to eat into my reading time later. I have finally started the challenge for today, which let me tell you is a better.

6:45pm: I have finished my first book of Bout of Books 12, which means I have read 577 pages. For those avid Harry Potter readers who know the hardback version is longer than 577 pages, that is how long the pottermore e-reader version is!! Now, Order of the Phoenix, or Out of the Blue?

11:59pm: It’s a late one, but I’m done with the challenge on the stroke of midnight and read the first chapter of Order of the Phoenix, which means I am pushin 600 pages. Not too shabby Liz. I have hours of free time at work tomorrow, so I might try and read a lot in school. Who knows where I’ll be at this time tomorrow night.

Challenge

Top 10 Book Recommendations Trees of Reverie

Choosing b just 10 book . to recommend is quite a dilemma, but I will do my best. Firstly, I think I’m going to discuss different genres for which I am particularly fond, or have read a particularky gripping novel in. Then, I will try to formulate a top 10. Please stick with it!

Young Adult (YA)

I start with this because I am not sure whether this really classes as a genre, and not more of an age group. In recent times, this has been a sweeping generalisation for books aimed at this audience that have either/both a fantastical or dystopian element, and it is to these I refer.

There are obvious series (for the ones I have read are rarely single books) that have become international hits such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, both of which are arguably now more famous for their film adaptations. I do like the first in both of these, but as is the case with so many series, they get considerably weaker as they go. I do like the twist at the end of the Divergent trilogy, however, breaking from tradition can be good in a novel.

When I began to read them, the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver seemed really good, but I never finished it as the third book just seemed so weak in comparison to the first two, such a shame! Ally Condie released a series (Matched) which i really enjoyed and think epitomises this genre and everything that is good about it.

YA novels are never really going to become classics because the dystopian nature is often very here and now, and therefore dates. For now, they are quick reads that I enjoy when I don’t want my brain to be intellectually stimulated.

Crime/Thriller

I have long had an affinity for crime/thriller stories both on page and on screen. My parents, my Mum especially, reads books within this genre, as go many of my family, so I think it is genetic/environmental, but I’m not going to complain as they are rarely boring and can be the best holiday reads if nothing else.

I have read countless books by countless authors that fall into this ccategory James Patterson remains a favourite for when I have nothing to read, you can always find one in the charts at pretty much any train station/airport you visit. Dan Brown has produced some of the most addictive and widespread novels I’ve seen – everyone seemed to have a copy on the cruise I went on with my Mum 18 months ago.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is always an hhonourablemention here, his detective stories are timeless. Robert Ludlum, Stieg Larrson, and John Grisham have all produced much less trashy versions of many of the thrillers that disappear from the charts as quick as they entered.

Fantasy

I don’t like every fantasy book, I don’t like an awful lot of what classifies as fantastical, but some of my favourite books, or tale,s fall within the boundaries of fantasy, so it is definitely worth a discussion.

I d quite enjoy a good vampire story. Not some pathetic attempt like Twilight, although I have read my fair share of similar series, but proper fantastical stories featuring creatures of the night.

I love Lord of the Rings, both the films and the books, and they started my interest in fantasy outside of Harry Potter and vampires. I am still yet to read many books of the same vain, and have in fact never read many of the more classics that are similarly epic, but know that this genre allows the mind creativity that others don’t, and therefore should always be recommended.

Romance

I generally moan when I have read a romance novel, usually saying how nothing happened and that they’re boring, but I always go back when I have read to many heavy, mind-boggling narratives and need a light, quick read. There is no better genre for this.

I’ve read everything from Jane Austen to E.L.James, I’m not picky when it comes to quality, period, characters, when I read a romance novel. There are as  many woeful authors in this genre as there are good, but recently I have discovered Belinda Jones (thanks to Jade) and JoJo Moyes (again, Jade) who are fulfilling my romance quota at the moment.

Harry Potter

Yes, this is a fantasy series. Yes, it is aimed at young adults. But this series is so awesome, and so entwined with my youth that it warrants its own section. No book or series will effect me in the same way (I don’t care how sad that sounds). I love every one of the books, even the extras that are featured and have been produced (e.g Tales of Beedle the Bard).

Yes, I think a couple are weaker than other, but I have picked this series up for a re-read so many times i have lost count, and I will continue to do so long into the future. I am re-reading them as part of this Bout of Books!

My Top 10

1. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee: OK, so everyone says you should read this before you die. It always features on best novels of all time lists. There is a reason. It is as close to flawless as I have ever read, and is undoubtedly my favourite book. The characters, location, and story is so detailed, rich, and well-crafted that it should be compulsory for everyone to watch. I don’t blame Harper Lee for stopping; don’t mess with things that aren’t broken. Stop when you have reached perfection.

2. The Gemini Contenders Robert Ludlum: When I first began reading proper adult thrillers (not adult, just ones aimed at adults) I read fairly shoddy authors so my brain could keep up. I tried to read Bourne, and struggled, so my Mum advised this. It was gripping, intelligent, and thoroughly entertaining (and maybe worth a re-read soon). I’d advise anyone who likes a good thriller to give it a go, very few write better stories in this genre than Ludlum.

3. The Golden Eagle James Twining: I have recently watched a lot of White Collar, and it has reminded me how much I love a good heist, a thrilling con. This may not be the best crafted book ever, but I do love the central characters, and the absurdity of the plans are entertaining before they attempt to carry them out.

4. Matched Ally Condie: This is a book (the first in the trilogy of the same name) that I feel epitomises the genre. It is less predictable, and more believable than other I have read, and holds through from the first page to the last. It feels distinctly unsentimental, which is a rarity in this sort of book, a feature I especially like.

5. The Plantation Chris Kuzneski: Don’t read this if you like proper books, y’know, classic ‘n’ stuff. If you want a fast-paced, slightly ridiculous adventure-come-thriller-come-crime-come-vengeance-come-rule breaking tale with a pair of superbly hilarious protagonists, then this is definitely for you.

6. Casino Royale Ian Fleming: You have probably seen 007 in action, and if not, you will have heard of James Bond’s antics. As much as I love the films, and I really do love them, the books are brilliant to, and shed a whole new light on a character that has been portrayed by numerous men. It’s worth a read even if you just want to know what Fleming’s Bond really should be like.

7. Me Before You Jojo Moyes: At the time, I remember telling my friend Jade how I didn’t think this book was great. I didn’t think it was bad, but I didn’t love it. To be honest, I still don’t. I liked that it tackled big issues, and I like the fact that it doesn’t necessarily end the way you expect or may want it to. Apparently a tearjerker (although my cold insides weren’t left heartbroken) it’s a different take on the romance genre.

8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I don’t know if this counts, as it’s a selection of short stories, but I’d advise anyone to read it. Hound of the Baskervilles is the most famous work featuring Sherlock, but the short stories within this collection, I believe, are Conan Doyle’s best Holmes’ works. For me, The Man with the Twisted Lip, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League, and The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb are story-telling at it’s best.

9. Niagara Falls, or Does it? Henry Winkler and Lin Davies: My cousins are at an age where they are starting to appreciate reading and books, and so when I last visited their house before travelling, my cousin read some of Hank Zipser to me, and I thought it was ace. I’ve only read this, the first one, so I can’t speak for the whole series. The World’s greatest underachiever is a funny protagonist, and the novels show how kids books can be informative, and moralistic, without lecturing the reader. I really advise anyone, big or small, to give it a go, Hank’ll hook you in!

10. Gone Girl Gillian Flynn: I haven’t included this because I liked the book, I have recommended this novel because it left an impression. I have never read a book where the psychology of the characters was so well formed and understood by the author (and heaven knows they need to be) and that the crazy, twisting plots and time-frames can be both convoluted and clear at the same time. Read it for the uniqueness if nothing else.

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