Friday 31 October 2014

October Wrap-Up Post.

Yikes, October was pretty poor! Only four books again! It looks like my new job, coupled with the amount I have to do averages me out to about four books a month. That feels weird for me but it's something I'm going to have to adjust to. So, I managed my three challenge reads plus the crossover book! I suppose that isn't terrible, I just wish I could do better.

Physical Books:
  1. 'The Ocean At The End Of The Lane'; Neil Gaiman. This was my only physical read of the month but I really enjoyed it! It is most certainly my favourite Gaiman read so far, with a magical world that was made up of a lot of imagination. I liked the characters, and the world(s) they inhabited. I wish it had been longer! 3.5/5 stars.
Kindle Reads:

  1. 'Under Fishbone Clouds'; Sam Meekings. I finally got round to reading this book, hooray! It was an interesting outlook on Chinese history, as well as containing a heartwarming romance and some lovely Chinese myths and legends to pass the time and highlight certain aspects of the story. I loved the narrator too! I did feel a little distant from the characters though, and all the jumping around got a bit confusing. 3.5/5 stars.
  2. 'The Witch Of Salt & Storm'; Kendall Kulper. As it was October, of course I had to get a witch  book in there! This one was pretty good and had some really lovely moments in it. Kulper writes really well and I was pretty gripped by the latter portion of the book. The romance was very good too, I really rooted for the main couple here. It was a slow starter though, it took me a while to get into it. 2.5/5 stars.
  3. 'Red Rising'; Pierce Brown. This was a fantastic book and definitely my favourite read this month. I don't read a lot of Sci-Fi but it had great characters, huge plot twists and world-building that blew my mind. It was rather fast paced and I missed a couple of plot developments that felt a little glossed over, but this book is too good to miss and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel! 3.5/5 stars.

Horror: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane; Neil Gaiman.
Freebie: Under Fishbone Clouds; Sam Meekings.
Set In Space: Red Rising; Pierce Brown.
Witches: The Witch Of Salt & Storm; Kendall Kulper.

Book Review: Red Rising; Pierce Brown.

So I've been pretty busy and it took me a while to get through this one but oh my goodness, I am so glad I did and can't wait to share my thoughts! First though, I'm entering it into the Jumble Your Genres Challenge this month as a Sci-Fi book.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Red Rising
AUTHOR: Pierce Brown
SERIES: Red Rising (#1)
PAGES: 400
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Young Adult, Adventure

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

What I Liked:
  • The characters in this story were just written so well! They were complex, likeable and each with their own story. Brown had clearly put a lot of thought into each and every one. Darrow in particular amazed me because he had so much character development. As I read, I saw him turn from a spontaneous, loving man willing to accept his lot in life to an intelligent and deep thinking leader wanting more. The characters that surrounded him were just as good and by the end of the book I wasn't sure who was the enemy and who was a friend.
  • The world-building was just spectacular in this one. Brown had obviously put a whole heap of research and imagination into this one because I felt like what I was reading was real. It wasn't just the physical descriptions of the scenery. It went far deeper, into the political, social and historical context of the people of Mars, and how they came to be there. It was well worth the read for that alone!
  • The plot just kept me gripped! It was full of dramatic twists that happened so frequently that I never left the edge of my seat. The story has a pretty huge change in direction about halfway through, but I found it interesting and loved every second. 
What I Disliked:
  • I have one small issue with this book. Pierce Brown is very fond of using short sentences. One after the other. Over and over again. This happened especially in the latter half of the book, and because of it, I missed a few key moments. It just felt like some elements to the plot were a little brushed over. 
Overall Conclusion:
For anyone looking to read a masterpiece in the making, look no further than here. I haven't read too much Sci-Fi before, but this is one of those books that definitely makes me want to get into this genre! It was masterfully crafted and had only one minor niggle that I think will definitely be ironed out by the next book. I can't wait to see what young Darrow gets up to next!

Thursday 30 October 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Halloween'.

I really love Halloween and get so excited at this time of year because it just feels so Autumny! However, I've never really done anything very special to celebrate it. I've never been trick or treating for starters which might shock some people. My parents never really saw the point, and much preferred to hand out sweets to the children that came to our house. I really used to enjoy doing that too though!

As I grew older, I found myself really enjoying watching Horror movies and so spent a fair few Halloweens with friends doing just that! Also, a good friend of mine would regularly hold a Fireworks party at her Gran's farm and it used to be so much fun to freak ourselves out wandering the Gardens. Especially as they live in Pluckley, the most haunted village in England! Whenever I do something, I love to dress up! Last time, I chose Mrs Lovett from Sweeney Todd as my costume idea and had a great time!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Films To Get In The Halloween Spirit'.

It was so difficult choosing between the three potential topics up for grabs, but I felt like a bit of a change. As well as being a book lover, I'm a huge fan of films. Of course I had to list my ten favourites for Halloween! I have a bit of a mix of both fun and scary on here, so I hope you guys enjoy!

1) Hocus Pocus

I love all things Witchy, and this film is no exception. I remember watching it a few times as a child and absolutely loving it/being a little scared by it! It tells the tale of a group of children and their quest to stop three witches from regaining their youth by draining the life forces of the children in the town. I remember Bette Midler being hilarious, and I was absolutely mesmerized by Sarah Jessica Parker's character when she sang 'Come Little Children'. 

2) Little Shop Of Horrors

Now this film is just one of my all time favourite scary comedies. It's a musical, set in the slums of New York City. It tells the story of a young Florist worker, who is cursed with endless bad luck until he nurtures a mysterious, rare plant. It seems he is set to become rich and famous but all is not as it would seem. I've actually been in this musical on-stage and it's a lot of fun! The songs are catchy, the content a little gruesome and some of the jokes are side-splitting!

3) The Grudge

Now while this is not necessarily the scariest film, it was the first horror film that I ever watched. It made me love the genre and it certainly scared me! I don't think I'd watch it alone, even now! Set in a cursed house, where all that set foot inside are doomed to be haunted the spirits that reside there until they die, and attempts to escape their fate are fruitless. If you are after something a little scarier with a heavy dose of the paranormal, this is the film for you.

4) Shaun Of The Dead

Anyone who has watched and enjoyed this film knows why it is here. It's hilarious! A spoof of the well-known 'Dawn Of The Dead', it marks the second film of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's 'Cornetto Trilogy'. Just to let you know 'Hot Fuzz' (the first) and 'At World's End' (the third) are pretty scary/funny too! I would recommend them all if you want to jump a few times and laugh a lot!

5) Coraline

Now this one is a bit different because it's an animated film. Yet it's a great take on Neil Gaiman's original book and genuinely very scary to people that watch it. The story of a girl whose 'Other Mother' on the other side of a secret door offers her everything she ever wanted in order to lure her into giving up her soul is a terrifying one. Give this a watch if you want something with a slightly different style to it.

6) It

I'm going to go for one of the oldies, though it's still pretty terrifying. I've watched this film/TV two parter a couple of times. Despite being unimpressed with the CGI/effects of the time, I still found it worth a watch for the story. And Tim Curry is just marvellous in it. He makes that film the classic that it is.

7) The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Yet another Tim Curry film, this is probably one of the strangest movies I've ever watched. It's a musical about transvestites, sex and aliens. Weird, right? But who doesn't know the Time Warp dance? It's the perfect example of a cult classic and is beloved by many.

8) Deadly Silence

A seriously scary film and one of the best I've seen in a long time. I had to include this one! It has a crazy, old lady in it that loves and owns far too many ventriloquist dummies. Of course, such an eccentric and vengeful character refuses to just slip into death peacefully. If you're a fan of ghost stories, this is a good one for you.

9) Jaws

Let's go for a scary film that is slightly different from the rest. It's a classic once again, but there are no witches, zombies, ghosts or werewolves to be found here. Instead, our heroes find themselves facing a humongous shark that is out to eat any human being it can get it's teeth into. It has a few jumps and a very scary concept.

10) Death Becomes Her

A definite black comedy that is a must for fans of the genre. Two female rivals find themselves drinking a potion which they are told is the secret to eternal youth. One, along with the other's husband, plots to murder her but they find themselves in for a nasty shock when the potion reveals it's other side effect. Immortality. Meryl Streep is in this one and absolutely hilarious!

Monday 27 October 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (October 20th - October 26th)...

Well this week didn't start out too fantastic for me. I've been pretty ill, with a horrible cold! I stayed in bed all of Monday and didn't actually go to work on Tuesday. I did get to watch a couple of films though which made me happy. The rest of the week I spent at work, despite still feeling pretty terrible on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the week I felt a lot better.

On Sunday I went home to see my family, and spent the day at my Parents house. It was really nice seeing them all again and being back at the place that I used to live! We had a nice long chat, played Uno and ate curry!

I Reviewed:


Life Of A Blogger: Origin Of My Name

I Posted:

Friday 24 October 2014

The Autumn Book Tag!

At the start of the month, Ashly from Book 'N Go tagged me to do this and I finally found time to do it!

1) What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

I am a very big fan of Halloween, though I don't ever really go out.  Also, I love seeing all the leaves change colours.

2) What books on your shelves remind you of going back to school/ your school days?

Wow, so many could go in this category. Mostly the ones that I read while I was at school, favourites at the time being the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling), the Saga Of Darren Shan/ the Demonata series (Darren Shan), all books set in Tortall (Tamora Pierce) and the Inkworld series (Cornelia Funke).

3) Find a book on your shelf that has something Autumn related on the cover.

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss

The book has Autumnal leaves on the Front Cover!

4) What is your favourite Horror/Halloween story?

The Woman In Black - Susan Hill

I seriously love this book. It is short, but absolutely terrifying and having watched the Stage Show twice and the movie multiple times, it had to be on here!

5) What is your favourite Horror film?

The Woman In Black, The Grudge, Mama, Orphan, Let The Right One In etc. are just a few of my favourites. I'm a pretty big Horror fan!

6) Which book release are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

The Slow Regard Of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss

I haven't read the second book in this series yet, but I loved 'The Name Of The Wind' so much that I am very excited about this release!

7) Which film release are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1). I don't really count December as part of Autumn like some people do, for me it's Winter! This film is released in November in the UK and I'm so excited!

8) Show three books that you are hoping to read this season.

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
A Natural History Of Dragons - Marie Brennan

These are probably the three books I'm looking forward to the most of my Autumn TBR list.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Origin Of My Name'.

I've always been a big fan of Etymology, or the study of names so this topic very much excites me! My post on this will probably be a bit nerdy, but hey! That's what blogs are for, right?

So my name is Katrina. Google and various other websites have told me this:
  1. Derived from the Dutch and German Katrine, a variant form of Katherine meaning pure or unsullied.
In fact, most websites lead me back to the name Katherine or Catherine, so I'll give you a short history of that name to give some context.  The etymology is debated, and either derives from the Greek 'Aikaterine' or 'Hekaterine' (related to the Goddess 'Hecate'). It has also been associated with the Greek 'Aikia' (meaning "torture") or from the Coptic name for "my consecration of your name". In the early Christian era it became associated with Greek 'Katharos' or "pure", and the Latin spelling was changed from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this. It has been common in England since the 12th century in many different spellings, with Katherine and Catherine becoming standard in the later Middle Ages.

Famous historical Catherine's or Katherine's include:
  • Catherine of Siena, a 14th-century mystic.
  • Catherine de' Medici, a 16th-century French queen. 
  • Three of Henry VIII's wives, including Katherine of Aragon.
  • Two empresses of Russia, including Catherine the Great.
But enough about Katherine's (which incidentally, was almost my name). Plenty of Katrina's have made history too (in good and bad ways), and we mustn't forget our fictional friends of the same name! Here are some examples:
  • Katrina Leskanich, from the band 'Katrina And The Waves'. If I had a penny for the amount of times their famous songs have been sung when I have revealed my name, I would be a very rich girl.
  • Hurricane Katrina. I'm sure most people reading will know all about this devastating storm and the many lives that it affected/took away. During that time period, I'm not joking when I say that people stopped singing 'I'm Walking On Sunshine' and started treating me with extreme caution and suspicion/ jokingly blaming me for the colossal chaos Hurricane Katrina brought. I didn't find it very funny.
  • Katrina Van Tassel, a character from The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. I've never read this book (though I'd like to) but I hear she causes a fair amount of trouble.
  • My favourite, Katrina in the Inheritance Cycle. You guys have no idea how happy I was when I realised that Paolini had included me in his amazing book series! I was completely flabbergasted!

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane; Neil Gaiman.

I always find myself getting a little bit excited when I start a book by Neil Gaiman. His worlds are always built so well and I find myself really enjoying them! I thought this time, having read a couple of children's books, I'd go for something a bit different. I bought it a couple of months ago and it fit perfectly into the Key Word Challenge for this month. Also, being under 300 pages, it definitely fits into the Quick Fix Challenge too!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman
PUBLISHER: Headline Publishing Group
PAGES: 255
GENRE: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror, Adult

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

What I Liked:
  • Neil Gaiman's imagination seriously never ceases to amaze me. Some of the crazy things this man comes up with are so bizarre, and yet I love it all! This book was no different. He created a world that seemed like nothing more than a man's distant memory of a somewhat magical childhood. And yet, there was an underlying sinister tone that something was not quite right. Did it all happen or was it in his head? I was gripped from start to finish, and there were some pretty horrifying events that kept my eyes glued to the page.
  • The characters were pretty cool in this one. The Nameless Boy was a likeable hero, despite the fact that nameless main characters usually irritate me. The Hempstocks were a curious, fun family and they reminded me a lot of one of my friends, her Mother and Grandmother. Seriously, the likeness is uncanny. I also really liked Ursula Monkton as a villain.
What I Disliked:
  • The fact that the story was short meant that it was a bit of a whirlwind and I couldn't help but feel disappointed that the story wasn't longer and more fully explored. Ursula Monkton for example could definitely have stuck around a bit longer to cause more havoc than she did! She had so much potential!
Overall Conclusion:
I have enjoyed a few Gaiman books recently, but this is definitely my favourite so far. It had a really cool concept, good characters, and a fantastically creative world in which it was set. I will forever worship the imagination of Neil Gaiman, it amazes and horrifies at the same time. I just wish the book had been longer!

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'New Series That I Want To Start'.

Well today I'm off ill, but feeling a bit better, I thought I'd do this list now and at least be a little productive today.

1) 'The Gentlemen Bastard' Series; Scott Lynch.

Fantasy is a favourite genre of mine and so for this list, I thought I'd include a lot more of that because I have so many good ones to read! Scott Lynch's well-loved series is just one example. I have not read a single one of these books. This is partly because I haven't had time and mostly because I'm a terrible person. I definitely need to get onto these!

2) The 'Demon Cycle' Series; Peter V. Brett.

A friend of mine bought the first book, 'The Painted Man' for my birthday and urged me to read this series. Since then I haven't, and every time I have seen them, they have told me off for not doing so. I really ought to get round to it if I can because I feel like I might be missing out on something spectacular!

3) The 'Languedoc Trilogy'; Kate Mosse.

I bought myself 'Labyrinth' a while back too and thought it looked great! I'm a pretty big fan of Historical Fiction and Kate Mosse is a name I see everywhere in this genre. It's a fairly big book though, and so part of an even bigger series. I can't wait to find time to get into it.

4) The 'Anna' Series; Kendare Blake.

Just look at the artwork for this series! It's not only gorgeous but it looks ultra creepy too! I have a slightly strange part of myself that is a huge fan of scary books and I think this one has the potential to be. I really want to start and find out!

5) 'The Raven Cycle' Series; Maggie Stiefvater.

This series just look so awesome! I have wanted to read a Maggie Stiefvater book for a while and I would love to get into this series. A lot of fellow Bloggers seem to agree and it seems to be a very well-loved series of hers. Hopefully I can start it soon and really get into it!

6) The 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' Series; Ransom Riggs.

Well as I included the 'Anna' series because it looked like a chilling read, I couldn't not include this series! The covers are particularly terrifying and I can't wait to see exactly what this series is actually about. The title doesn't give a huge amount away but it has been recommended by many people!

7) The 'Throne Of Glass' Series; Sarah J. Maas.

I know that it is pretty terrible that I haven't read this series. So many people, friends and bloggers alike have told me that it is very good and I adore the cover artwork. The sooner I can get round to this series, the better.

8) The 'Scarlet' Series; A.C. Gaughen.

A series based on the age old tale of Robin Hood? Yes please! I have always loved those stories and cannot believe I haven't read this series yet. The covers look great too! It just screams 'strong, female lead' (something that I adore)! There's a new book, 'Lionheart' coming out soon too. I can't wait!

9) The 'Chaos Walking' Series; Patrick Ness.

I want very much to get round to this series because it looks like such a good one. Patrick Ness is one of those authors that I hear such good things about, and I've never got round to actually reading. I plan to rectify this ASAP, as soon as I get time!

10) The 'Mistborn' Series; Brandon Sanderson.

The same friend who bought me 'The Painted Man' also gave me another book for another birthday. The first book of this series. I'm not ignoring her bookish advice on purpose, honestly! I just have so many books to get through, that I'm finding it difficult to actually get through them.

Monday 20 October 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (October 13th - October 19th)...

So this week, other than being at work and having a pretty good week there, has been non-eventful. I was supposed to be seeing a friend of mine on the Sunday, but then we both ran into a terrible problem. Illness. Despite desperately trying to avoid it, it would seem winter is coming and I am destined to be ill again. I've been feeling a little odd all week but the Weekend has definitely proved something is wrong. In fact, as I write this, I feel pretty terrible!

In other news, the Flat has got into Once Upon A Time in a big way and I'm enjoying re-watching it. I'm still suffering from Game Of Thrones withdrawal symptoms though and can't believe I have to wait so long for the next series!

I Reviewed:


Top Ten Tuesday: Places That Books Have Made Me Want To Visit
Life Of A Blogger: Favourite Toys

Sunday 19 October 2014

Book Review: The Witch Of Salt & Storm; Kendall Kulper.

Hooray! Another book bites the dust! This one will be entered into a couple of challenges too. The first being the 2014 'Key Words' Challenge, as the word 'The' is in the title. As well as that, this book fits nicely into the 'Monthly Motif' Challenge category of Witches!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Witch Of Salt & Storm
AUTHOR: Kendall Kulper
PUBLISHER: Little Brown Books
PAGES: 416
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

You don't know what you must give up to become a witch.

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before.

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

What I Liked:
  • Kulper's writing was very good. Yes, there were some niggles that I shall get to later, but this book is very quotable in some respects and I really felt she had thought a lot about her writing style. The book gripped me pretty well, particularly in the second half and it was filled with many twists and turns to keep the story alive.
  • I liked the romance. In other reviews I've seen some complaints, but I thought it was nice and I supported them the whole way through. It was so full of emotion and heartache, as well as lovely moments. I suppose some could say it was rushed, but in my eyes the situation was urgent and the romance had a purpose, in that it furthered the plot.
What I Disliked:
  • I am not sure if this was a purposeful move or just appeared on my copy, but there were a fair few consistent grammatical mistakes. Sentences didn't begin with capitals, chapter names had a happy mix of both, and though this didn't exactly ruin my reading experience, it irritated me a bit. If it was a purposeful move then I don't really understand why it was like that.
  • It was a little bit of a slow-starter. There was a lot of description, particularly on the topic of Roe Witches and Whaling. While these were interesting to read, it meant the plot was a little more basic than it could have been.
Overall Conclusion:
I found it pretty tough rating this book. Part of me wanted to give it 4 stars because I did enjoy it. However, there were a few things that bothered me and I decided I couldn't quite give it that. If you're into Witch books, it's a pretty good read! It covers Witchcraft well, has a good romance, and I really enjoyed the writing. There were some grammar issues that bugged me, and it took me a little time to get into it, but if there are follow up books I would love to read them.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Favourite Toys'.

Oh my goodness, I grew up with and loved so many different toys over the years. Being born in the 1990s also meant that I had many awesome, classic playthings! Here are some of them!
  • Cuddly teddies. Most notably, my toy Raccoon, Ricky. I talked a little about him in my 'Prized Possession' post a couple of weeks ago.
  • Polly Pocket. I used to have quite a few of these, my favourite being a House/Pet Salon.
  • My Little Ponies. I actually collected a fair few of these and loved playing with them (as well as toy horses in general). They looked a little different to how they look now but I loved them all the same.
  • Playdough. I literally loved this stuff and made so many things from it. I used to love the smell too.
  • Hot Wheels Cars. I wasn't just a girly-girl, I collected toy cars too. In particular, I used to ask for Hot Wheel Cars because I always liked the fact that there were so many of them!
  • V-Tech Laptop. For a long time, this was my only source of entertainment. There were so many great games and things to do on this thing that I would spend hours on it!
  • K-Nex. This was like the next best thing to Lego for making things. My Dad and I used to have a whole trunk full of it and work very hard on making huge models of Rockets, Ships, Cars, Ferris Wheels. At one point, we even made a Robot Spider that moved (though I got scared and quickly dismantled it).

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Places That Books Have Made Me Want To Visit'.

This week's topic is one I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Maybe because there are a huge number of places that I read in stories that make me go 'I want to go there'!

1) Hogwarts (The 'Harry Potter' Series; J.K. Rowling).

I am fairly sure that The School For Witchcraft And Wizardry will appear in a lot of lists. Who doesn't wish that their Hogwarts letter would come through the window via owl? I certainly waited a long time for the invite that would lead me through the busy corridors, from classroom to classroom learning amazing things. And can you imagine the Library? Heaven.

2) Tortall (The 'Song Of The Lioness Series', etc; Tamora Pierce).

I have always praised Tamora Pierce, and her amazing world-building abilities. She wrote many series set in Tortall and I loved them all. But more importantly, I loved the world! The Palace, the Carthaki Empire, Sarain etc. were so well described and sounded like such beautiful places to visit and I would love to see them properly.

3) Inkworld (The 'Inkworld' Series; Cornelia Funke).

This was such an interesting world. I remember loving the front covers for these books because the world they depicted just looked so magical. I would have loved to have seen the world that Dustfinger lived in, met Bluejay's gang, seen the White Women (or perhaps not!) etc. Awesome books with an awesome world!

4) Misselthwaite Manor ('The Secret Garden'; Frances Hodgson Burnett).

When I read this book as a young girl (and watched the film), I loved the thought of running around this huge house. It's filled with secret passageways and many rooms to explore and of course, there is a beautiful garden outside to see too. It sums up the idea of an old Victorian House perfectly.

5) Prague (The 'Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' Series; Laini Taylor).

That's right, I'm not talking about Eretz. I've never been to Prague but it sounds like a beautiful place to go! I've done a bit of research and the architecture looks stunning. It would be such fun to hang out with Karou and Zuzana at the Poison Kitchen, see The Charles Bridge, or attend The Marionette Theatre.

6) Alagaesia (The 'Inheritance' Quadrilogy).

Okay, so under a tyrannical King this might not be the best place to live. But I would love to visit this place purely to see how beautiful it was! In particular, Du Weldenvarden sounds like a gorgeous forest (I am a bit of a fan of forests) and is of course the home of the elves! Who doesn't want to visit elves?!

7) Trollus (The 'Malediction' Trilogy).

I loved this book when I read it and can't wait to read the next one! One of the things that really became clear was that the City of Trollus, despite being surrounded by a deadly Labyrinth and residents trapped inside, sounds like a pretty cool place to be. It has gardens, libraries, and some very interesting residents.

8) Westeros & Essos (The 'A Song Of Ice & Fire' Series; George R.R. Martin).

Once again, not necessarily the friendliest place to visit. Yet the world is built so beautifully that I would love to visit. From the snows of the North and beyond the wall, to the beautiful meadows and cities of the South, then across the Narrow Sea to the scorching heat of Essos. The characters would be fun to meet too. Danaerys, Arya, Tyrion, Varys, etc. Of course there are some characters that would be best avoided I feel.

9) China ('Under Fishbone Clouds'; Sam Meekings).

I read this book recently and liked it a lot! It made me really want to visit China. There was a lot about the Culture and Myths in the book and it sounds like a graceful and lovely country to visit.

10) The University, Tarbean ('The Kingkiller Chronicles'; Patrick Rothfuss).

I love this series a lot. The world is built well, but in particular I would like to attend the University and learn Magic. The University felt like a more complicated Hogwarts and very much appealed to my slightly more mature mind.

Monday 13 October 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (October 6th - October 12th)...

We are now a week into October and I confess I'm a little disappointed with my reading progress. I am enjoying the month so far though, and this week has been no exception. As usual, I have worked for most of it. It has been pretty busy all of a sudden at work so I've been pretty tired after shifts. One thing I did manage to accomplish this week was watching the rest of the Game Of Thrones series so far, meaning I'm fully caught up and waiting for Season 5 like everyone else! As a result, the flat are now going to watch Once Upon A Time from the beginning and I'm excited to revisit that series!

My parents and sister also came to visit on Sunday, which was nice. It felt like such a long time since I've seen them that I had been looking forward to them coming to see me. They came bearing gifts of a chocolatey nature too, which were well appreciated!

I Reviewed:

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Driven Novels
Life Of A Blogger: Scents