Beautiful Books

As a bookworm, I try not to judge a book by its cover as the old saying goes. However, some books are much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than others. Some books could have great covers but the contents of the book could be poor, this works vice versa. But today I am not talking about what is on the inside, I am talking about what is on the outside.  Not all the books I have chosen are favourites of mine, in fact some of the books I didn’t rate that much but the cover of the book is simple beautiful.

Hardback Collage

The first three books are different from the rest as they are the ones with pictures or illustrations in. The illustrated version (illustrated by Jim Kay) of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was gifted to me this Christmas by my Nanna, the illustrations in the book are sooo pretty and remind me of some of the concept art from the film. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrated by Robert Ingpen) is a beautiful book with some illustration in colour while others are black and white. I have always been a fan of Alice and her tales of Wonderland; I find the nonsense of the whole plot absolutely wonderful.  Primrose Bakery Everyday is also a new book (Christmas present from my stepdad), I asked for a baking book and this is what I received. The colour combinations of the book are well put together and they complement the stunning pictures of the various baked goods. I can’t wait to start baking some of these delights, they all look so appetising.

Paperbacks 2

These last four books are a mixture of soft and hard backs and all have great covers (or dust cover in the case of After Alice).  Fahrenheit 451 is probably my least favourite book of this whole lot but it is probably my favourite cover, it is simple and striking. The cover of Out of the Easy is a clear and crisp image. Once you have read the book, the image on front symbolises the whole book about trying to break out. Extraordinary Means sadly fell short in my expectations, yet I still find the front cover one of my favourites to date. Just like Fahrenheit 451, the tree shaped lungs tell you a lot about the novel. And the final book that pleases my eyes is the dust cover of After Alice, I have yet to read this book (another Christmas gift) but I always like Maguire’s take on retellings.

I know there are many beautiful books covers in the world but these are the few that I own and have to hand. I have seen some YouTube videos on book spines so that may be a blog posts at some point.  Do you have any books were the covers are striking or appealing, if so let me know? Or do you have different editions of the same book because you love the range of covers?

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My Reading Challenge

This year I set myself the challenge of reading twenty-one books (the same as my age), I really wanted to read more and I thought by setting myself an  achievable target I would succeed. I was wrong, so very wrong. My main and overriding rookie mistake was setting myself a challenge this year, the year I completed my degree and finished my dissertation. Dissertations are a long, hard and take up a lot of your spare time. There is also a mass of reading that needs to be done and for the first half of this year my reading was seriously dented by the dissertation.
What about after my dissertation?  Well frankly, I wanted to lie down in dark room for several hours (and finish watching Sons of Anarchy); it was fair to say reading was not my on radar for the month following hand in day. Also money played a large factor in not being able to purchase books.

As of this post I have read a total of ten books (I don’t count books that I gave up halfway through *cough cough* looking at you The Post-Birthday World), I am disappointed in my dismal attempt. Don’t get me wrong, some of the books that I have read I have really enjoyed but I just want to read more because I do love reading. By far the best books I have read this year were A Court of Thorns and Rose and Throne of Glass both by the same author, Sarah J. Maas.

Next year I am going to set myself the same task as this year. Twenty-one books, rereads do not count (f they did I would be a lot higher than ten), I will have no dissertation to contend with so the year should be on my side. I will report next year with how it went.  Wish me luck!

Monthly Favourites #4

It has been a few months since I last did a monthly favourites, but in my defence university destroyed a lot of my free time. Anyway, enough of the excuse here is this month’s favourites for September.

Film of the month – Men, Women and Children
Men, Women and Children is an ensemble comedy film that was released in 2014; it is based on the novel (of the same name) by Chad Kultgen.  The plot of the film follows a series of people and their use of the internet; we see how their use of the online world affects their daily lives.  The film is a snapshot into these characters lives but at the end, you can’t help but feel that some of the actions have long term consequences. The film makes you think about your ‘online life’ and how it effects your ‘real life’. This is why this film is one of my favourites this month.

men women children

TV Show of the month – Nashville
I am late to the Nashville party because not only does my nanna watch it but so do my two of my best friends. After speaking to the three of them about the show I decided to take the plunge and watch a few episodes and now I am on the second season.  The show starts out following the lives of two big country stars but over the seasons we are introduced to a wide range of characters. A lot of the storylines entwine with one another and there is hardly a dull moment. I recommend watching it even if you only have a slight interest in country music.

Nashville_(Season_1)

Music of the month – Nashville
Surprise, surprise! I love the music from Nashville, it is something I am listening to on repeat at the moment. Below is one of my favourite songs from the show.

Food of the month – Crispy M&M’s
I like M&M’s but Crispy M&M’s are 100% better. This is the food of Gods.

crisp M&Ms (amazon)

Book of the month – Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Set against in 1950’s New Orleans this book is everything you could possible hope for in a book set in the 1950’s. The readers get a small snapshot into Josie’s life that is filled with a wide range of diverse characters. Josie is trying to make her way through life without too much hassle from her mother (who just so happens to be a prostitute) but of course, her mother sticks her oar in. It is not a fast paced book but it is has its twist and turns that is for sure.

Out of the Easy Cover (goodreads)

Too Many Trilogies?

Lunar-Chronicles-by-Marissa-MeyerPictured sourced from bookriot.com

Unwind, Divergent, Matched, The Lunar Chronicles and Delirium are just a few young adult books that are trilogies and there is probably many more.

Now before I begin, let me start in saying that I do love a good YA dystopian trilogy, The Hunger Games was my calling. However, over the recent years as I have read more YA (which is increasingly becoming more dystopian by the year) trilogies have become increasingly common.
If you go into a bookshop (or Amazon/Book Depository if you are more online shopping) a young adult dystopian novel is mostly likely to be the first in a trilogy. I get it, everyone loves a good series just look at Harry Potter, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings all brilliant series but for me trilogies in YA are becoming too much.
Now before you recoil in shock just listen to some of my reasons:

1. Some stories do not need three books.
I have read many books where after I have finished the book it is advertising the next one/two at the back. I think to myself, well there wasn’t much of a story in this book, how on earth is it going to stretch to two more?  A quick glance on Goodreads can find evidence for my point.

2. Money, money, money.
Harry Potter did phenomenally well there is no debate about that. Selling books was something that Harry Potter took in its stride. But it feels like most publishers have now jumped on this bandwagon and turned to the author and said “Look we need you to make the story last over three books, so we can make more money.” This is a similar concept with books series turned into films (e.g. let’s split the final book in half).

3. Same plotlines, same character.
Even with three books, some trilogies brush over character and plot development. It seems that they need focus on the action or the love story. What about the characters? What about Sadie or John developing some common sense, what even is their back story? Where is this plot even trying to go? It is probably going to be a happy ending in the end.

Three simple reasons why I feel that trilogies are being over used. Something that would be great to see in a YA, is that the story is spread over one book (yeah it might be a fat book but who cares) or even better just two books, not three. It seems that the trilogies are coming at the request of the publishers and it is to make money, which is a shame. But despite all these reasons if I find a YA book that is good from start to finish and I am hooked on it then I would probably read the next in the series however many books there may be. But then again, I am a bookworm.

 

Matched-series-Ally-CondiePicture Sourced from swoonreads.com