Top Ten New-To-Me Authors 2016

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An ever-so-slightly belated TTT, the best new-to-me authors of this year! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature combining lists and books, run by the lovely folk at The Broke and the Bookish

Leigh Bardugo

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I loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom – intricately plotted fantasy adventures with fantastic characters.

Zadie Smith

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I have been meaning to read Zadie Smith’s work for a long time, and I have just finished Swing Time. I adored it, Smith’s writing certainly lived up to my expectations.

Laura Ruby

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Bone Gap was one of the best books I read this year. I’m delighted that it is being released in Ireland and the UK this month (I received an ARC, and it is already available in the US). Stunning magical realism, I was enchanted by it.

 

Hannah Rothschild

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I adored The Improbability of Love, it is one of my staff picks in the bookshop now. Set in the London art world, and featuring a mix of mystery, history and romance, this book is perfect for art lovers.

Curtis Sittenfeld

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I really enjoyed Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s spirited retelling of Pride & Prejudice, and I also read her novel Prep – an engrossing coming-of-age story.

Samantha Ellis

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How to be a Heroine is part literary criticism, part memoir and I loved it. Ellis’ life is fascinating, and her love of reading leaps right off the page.

 

Dave Rudden

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Knights of the Borrowed Dark was a cracking fantasy adventure, and I am excited about the second book, due out in 2017. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will love KOTBD, and Dave Rudden is certainly a writer to watch!

 

Melissa Keil

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Melissa Keil is an Australian author, and her book The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was released in the UK and Irish market this year. I adored Alba and her story, and I am keen to track down some of Keil’s earlier books.

Jan Carson

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Jan Carson’s short story collection Children’s Children is full of strange, moving and memorable stories, and I loved that they were set in Northern Ireland. Her novel Malcolm Orange Disappears is on my TBR list.

Frances Hardinge

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Frances Hardinge is another writer who has been on my list for some time, and when I read the Costa award winning Lie Tree, I was enthralled. I will be catching up on the rest of her novels for sure.

Post the link to your TTT below, point me to more amazing authors 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: My Ten Most Recent 5* Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish, combining lists and books. This week’s theme is My Ten Most Recent 5* Reads. I don’t star the reviews on my blog, but I went back through the ‘Read’ shelf on my Goodreads page and picked out the last ten five star reviews.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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This is very recent, I finished it in the early hours of this morning and completely loved it. The characters are believable and totally sympathetic, and Williamson creates an interesting story while also exploring the experience of being transgender. An important and moving read.

Plain Jane by Kim Hood

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A moving book about growing up, illness and sisterhood. I really enjoyed it, and think Kim Hood is a real rising star in the Irish YA world.

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

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Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors, and I was sad to reach the end of her Walsh family series. This is one of her best books, deftly mixing humour and darkness.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

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A cracking fantasy adventure with a compelling narrative, intriguing magic and monsters that are properly creepy. Believe all the hype, and read it!

Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes

Making It Up As I Go Along

Another Marian Keyes book! I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of essays and articles, it made me laugh out loud at points and is a great book to dip in and out of.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

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Rainbow Rowell’s World Book Day title is a very sweet read. I can’t wait for her next book!

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

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A very atmospheric read, with memorable characters and a strong mystery plot. I was delighted to see a YA book winning the Costa award!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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I can’t speak highly enough of this book, it was so beautifully written and I have only heard praise for it from friends, colleagues and customers alike. Doerr’s protagonists are strong and he offers a very interesting perspective on WW2. A book to savour.

Spinster by Kate Bolick

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A cross between memoir and literary criticism, I found this book really interesting and (for the most part) quite empowering. I am looking forward to reading more work by the various women Bolick discusses.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)

A great fairytale retelling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Little Red Riding Hood. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

All cover images from Goodreads.

Do leave a link to your TTT in the comments, I’m always glad to get new book recommendations 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Resolutions for 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for the first TTT of 2016 is resolutions, so here are my ten bookish resolutions for the new year.

  1. Read 100 books this year.
  2. Write more, and complete my second NaNoWriMo.
  3. Read all the bookclub books, and make it to the meetings.
  4. Read more poetry (recommendations welcome!)
  5. Read more short stories.
  6. Read books that are outside my comfort zone/my usual genres.
  7. Interview more authors for my blog.
  8. Use the library more!
  9. Collaborate with other book bloggers (let me know if you would be interested!)
  10. Blog regularly, at least one post a week.

A very happy new year to you all, and thank you for reading my posts and supporting me in 2015.

Top Ten Spooooooky Books

Hallowe’en is almost upon us, so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is perfect. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely ladies at The Broke and Bookish, which combines books and lists. My list covers children’s books and Young Adult and the books are in no particular order. I was surprised I could come up with as many spooky reads as I did, I thought I would struggle with this topic. Read on…if you dare!

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Boxed Set (Harry Potter, #1-7)

Unrest by Michelle Harrison (review here)

Unrest

Demon Road by Derek Landy (review here.)

Cover image from Goodreads

The Nightmare Club by Annie Graves

Help! My Brother's a Zombie!

A series of spooky tales for young readers. Titles include ‘Help! My Brother is a Zombie’, ‘The Demon Babysitter’ and ‘Brain Drain Baby’. Read them, if you dare!

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Room on the Broom

The Awesome by Eva Darrows

The Awesome

A friend of mine described this book as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Princess Diaries’ and I really don’t think I can top that!

Goth Girl by Chris Riddell

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl, #1)

Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz

Groosham Grange

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson

Which Witch?

Cover images from Goodreads, gif from Photobucket.

Let me know what BOOks you would recommend for Hallowe’en in the comments, please leave a link to your TTT if you took part this week 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Irish YA 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101.’ I have decided to do Irish YA, as I am always keen to discover and promote Irish writers. It is great to read something that relates to your own place, and there is a lot of talent in Irish children’s and young adult fiction at the moment. This was a hard list to make, but I tried to get a mix of authors and genres. Happy reading!

IRISH YA 101

Bog Child – Siobhán Dowd

Bog Child

Solace of the Road – Siobhán Dowd

Solace of the Road

The Primrose Leary Trilogy (Prim Improper, Improper Order, Primperfect) – Deirdre Sullivan

9246512 Improper Order (Prim, #2) Primperfect (Prim, #3)

Annan Water – Kate Thompson

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Sisters…no way! – Siobhán Parkinson

Sisters...No Way!: Cindy's Diary, Ashling's Diary

Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours

Taking Flight and Grounded – Sheena Wilkinson

Taking Flight (Declan Kelly, #1) 15698391

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan

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The Moorehawke Trilogy (The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows, The Rebel Prince) – Celine Kiernan

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Chalkline – Jane Mitchell

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Extra reading: Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, Rebecca series by Anna Carey, Anila’s Journey – Mary Finn, Finding A Voice by Kim Hood and October Moon by Michael Scott.

All cover images from Goodreads.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish, combining two of my favourite things – books and lists. I love fairytales so this week’s theme was right up my street – Top Ten Fairytale Retelling I’ve Read/Want To Read.

Read

1) The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

This is one of my all-time favourite books. It is a beautifully written book that expands the original fairytale and takes the reader on an emotional journey.It is the first of The Books of Bayern series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

2) The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

I read this book of short stories for my Twentieth Century Women’s Fiction class in college, and it blew me away. Carter tackles a range of fairytales in her dark and sensual retellings. I wrote an essay on her interpretations of Beauty and the Beast.

3) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A twist on the Cinderella story, this is the tale of a girl burdened by the curse of obedience. Ella must always do what she is told, no matter the consequences for her or those she loves. This book was made into an excellent film starring Anne Hathaway but the book is well worth a read.

4) The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Gaiman’s storytelling skills combined with Riddell’s intricate ink illustrations create an evocative retelling of Sleeping Beauty with an excellent twist. A beautifully produced book, and a truly magical retelling.

5) Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Technically this is a retelling of a ballad and not a fairytale, but it was too good not to include on this list. It is based on Scarborough Fair, the heroine must complete the three seemingly impossible tasks mentioned in the song such as finding an acre of land between the seawater and the seashore. Dark, magical and compelling.

6) Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A retelling of Hansel and Gretel, with references to Red Riding Hood as well. I was completely drawn into the world Pearce created – a memorable and chilling tale with a lot of mystery.

7) North Child by Edith Pattou (published as East in the US)

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A retelling of ‘East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon’, a Nordic fairytale. I vividly remember borrowing this from my local library and not being able to put it down!

8) Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A mash up of fairytale references, brought into the modern day. I really enjoyed this, and want to read more of Alex Flinn’s retellings.

Want To Read

1) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

2) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

2) Wicked by Gregory Maguire

3) Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

4) Beastly by Alex Finn

Please leave your recommendations in the comments, or a link to your TTT. I am always eager to find new fairytale retellings!

Top Ten Tuesday: Newly Acquired Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is ‘ Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies).’ I’m looking forward to seeing what other bloggers are reading at the moment…I’m sure I will be adding lots of books to my TBR list! My list starts with my most recently acquired book.

Books, glorious books!

Books, glorious books!

1) Demon Road by Derek Landy (ARC)

This review copy arrived in the post yesterday, with a map! I am very excited about this book, Landy’s first non-Skulduggery novel.

2) Butterfly Shell by Maureen White (ARC)

I recently received a review copy of this YA novel, and am enjoying it so far.

3) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (bought)

Sarah Dessen is now one of my favourite YA authors now, I wish I had read her books sooner! Looking forward to reading this, her latest book.

4) Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries) by Meg Cabot (bought)

I am a big fan of Meg Cabot, having read over 30 of her books. I grew up reading about Princess Mia, and was excited about this new book. However, I had mixed feelings about it…review coming soon!

5) The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman (bought when on holidays)

This was a very gripping historical novel, with the wonderful setting of Coney Island in the early twentieth century. It was haunting, atmospheric and emotional…definitely one I will remember! Review coming soon.

6) Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski (bought)

A fun YA read about telepathic teens, reviewed here.

7) How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle (bought)

Road trip! An enjoyable summer read from three great YA authors. Review here.

8) Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine (ARC)

I was delighted to get to review this book, I love Jenny Valentine’s work. The ending is superb. Review here.

9) A Lonely Note by Kevin Stevens (ARC)

The first adult book from children’s publisher Little Island, this is a stunning coming of age story. I am reading it at the moment, and loving it.

10) Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (borrowed from a friend)

Marian Keyes writes wonderfully – she can make me laugh and cry, and this is one of her best books. Strong characters, emotion, humour and spot-on dialogue.

Please leave a link to your TTT below! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books of 2015 (so far!)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish, combining two wonderful things – books and lists! This week’s topic is Top Ten Books of 2015 (so far!). I have read 31 books this year so far (not including college books!) so I had plenty to choose from 🙂

1) My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

2) I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Sun

Cover image from Goodreads

3) Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertallli

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

4) All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

5) Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

6) The Wordsmith by Patricia Forde

Cover image from Little Island

Cover image from Little Island

7) Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

8) The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

9) Still Falling by Sheena Wilkinson

Cover image from Little Island

Cover image from Little Island

10) How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle.

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

Leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday in the comments, and happy reading for the rest of 2015 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re discussing the top ten books on our summer TBR (to be read) lists.

1) Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries) by Meg Cabot

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I am very, very excited about the new Princess Diaries book, I grew up reading the series and am looking forward to seeing what happens next. Unfortunately it’s not out here until July.

2) How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski.

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

Currently reading this fun roadtrip story, with three very memorable protagonists. E. Lockhart is speaking in Eason O’Connell St in Dublin on Thursday.

3) Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I am a big fan of Jenny Valentine, especially her YA novel Broken Soup. Delighted she has a new book out!

4) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

Patrick Ness’s books are always compelling and thought provoking, and I’m sure this will be no exception!

5) The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I heard Amanda Palmer speak (and play ukulele!) at the Dalkey Book Festival this weekend, and she signed my copy of The Art of Asking. It should be a very interesting read.

6) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I am a recent convert to Sarah Dessen (my favourites so far are Just Listen and The Truth About Forever), and I am looking forward to reading her new book!

7) Another Day by David Levithan

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I loved Every Day – can’t wait to read the companion book!

8) One by Sarah Crossan

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I’ve heard great things about this book, and I am sure there will be tears!

9) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I am a big fan of fairytale retellings, and have heard a lot of good things about this book.

10) Trouble by Non Pratt

Cover image from Goodreads.

Cover image from Goodreads.

I really enjoyed Remix, and Trouble has been on my TBR list for a while.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and do leave a link to your TTT below! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet. I have been lucky to meet some really great writers and illustrators at book festivals and events, but there are many more I would love to meet! This was a hard list to make, hopefully I will meet some of these wonderful writers in the future…

Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke

Image from Goodreads.

Inkheart is one of my very favourite books. It is a book for lovers of books, with each chapter starting with a quote. It really is a magical book, and one I vividly remember reading for the first time years ago.The Inkworld is absolutely enchanting, and I would love to meet the woman who created such wonderful books.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling

Image from Goodreads.

I imagine this author will make many of the TTT lists this week! Can you imagine meeting J.K. Rowling…how amazing would that be?! I love the Harry Potter books so much, I imagine I would be speechless!

Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell

Image from Goodreads.

I love Rainbow Rowell’s books – Fangirl is my favourite, followed by Attachments. I would love to meet her, and be her friend of course! I missed the Landline launch in New York by one day but my very lovely friend Kathleen was there, and got me a signed copy of the book. I treasure my signed copy, and hope to meet Rainbow Rowell myself some day. She did tell my friend she might come to Ireland…

Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot

Image from Goodreads.

I have read more books by Meg Cabot than any other author – over 30! – and I think she would be a lot of fun to talk to. I am a big fan of both her YA and adult books. I love Teen Idol and Victoria and the Rogue. I grew up reading the Princess Diaries books, and am eagerly awaiting Royal Wedding, the next installment of Mia’s story.

Jane Austen

Image from Goodreads.

Image from Goodreads.

No one said this had to be a realistic list! What Austen fan wouldn’t want to travel back in time and meet the writer of such timeless classics as Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion?

Shannon Hale

Shannon Hale

Image from Goodreads.

The Goose Girl is another book I love, and remember being enthralled by when I first read it. I would love to discuss fairy tales with Shannon Hale. Since she wrote Austenland, we could also talk about our favourite Austen books! She writes brilliant articles on her blog as well, such as this one about gendering books: No Boys Allowed: School Visits as a Woman Writer

Maria V. Snyder

Maria V Snyder

Image from Goodreads.

I haven’t been reading much fantasy lately, but it is a genre I love and I really enjoyed Maria V. Snyder’s Study Trilogy. Yelena is such a strong character, and the plots of the books were very exciting and compelling. I always get sucked in to the exciting worlds of Snyder’s books, and I would love to meet her.

Michael Scott

Michael Scott

Image from Goodreads.

I really enjoyed Scott’s The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, it was exciting and compelling, and I loved all the references to history and mythology. I think he would be a really interesting person to meet, I would love to discuss which historical characters he most enjoyed researching and writing about.

Jandy Nelson

Image from Goodreads.

Image from Goodreads.

I have been fans of most of the authors on this list for quite some time, but I just finished Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun and I loved it (review coming very soon!). She writes so powerfully, and her passionate descriptions of art blew me away. Art is a great love of mine, and I would really enjoy discussing it with her. I really can’t wait to read The Sky Is Everywhere.

Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick

Image from Goodreads.

I am really interested in illustration, and loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret which is told through both words and pictures. I would love to talk to Brian Selznick about the different modes of storytelling he uses and about creating his stunning illustrations.

Please post a link to your Top Ten Tuesday in the link, or let me know if you have met any of these authors!