Top Ten Tuesday: Who are you?!

Hello again everyone!! Its been a while since I have updated this blog, I do apologize, I even have a giant update to post about last months EOG Book Club (Spoilers: It was epic). But seeing as my brain is currently a wad of cotton-pudding hybrid, I figure I should start out with a Top Ten Tuesday to get me going. This weeks topic: “Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving (those covers or titles that don’t fit the books, a book that was totally different than its summary, or those books you thought were going to be fluff that turned out to be more serious etc etc.)” Me likey this topic! Its one where I can pick favourites or disappointments. Though in retrospect maybe I should call it misconceptions in a few places.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Spent years trying to muscle my way through this novel, but in the end Cole’s Notes’ed my way to  a passing grade. I adored both the movies, (Colin Firth have all my babies please) and was determined to read the book. About a year ago I stumbled on a cheap copy of the book (my previous attempts were from school or my enormous complete works of Jane Austen 20lb tome.) It was simple, clean, and hard cover bungee bound, which meant it could survive the various abuse it was sure to suffer during its travels in my purse. When I got it home to finally read it I was delightfully surprised that the otherwise very boring cover hid some treasure, the book had not only the novel, but several essays, graphs, and character synopsis’s that helped me to see Austen’s world in context, and know who the heck everyone was. With this new knowledge and understanding I was able to pound through Pride and Prejudice and actually enjoy it, pick out the little jokes and laugh and feel Elizabeth’s emotions.

2. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: Had heard a lot of really good things about this book, and the synopsis made it sound like it would be an engaging and thought provoking book into the mind of a mother dealing with the guilt of a son jailed for a school massacre. Opened the book, tried reading, and found myself face to face with some of the densest and (in my opinion) the most pompous writing I’ve ever read. Its supposed to be written in the style of letters, but to my knowledge no person on earth writes personal correspondence   as though they are trying to write the next great Russian novel… I was super disappointed and gave up after the first letter.

3. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham: Bar none one of my favorite novels. Bar none one of my least favorite covers… OK, there’s a cuckoo, on someone’s head, whose lying on the ground, with their eyes open, staring all creepy at you. Granted after reading the book I get the symbolism , but for a person picking up the book for the first time it looks like crazy birds are running around killing people, and while that is an awesome story, it is not this story.

4. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde: I found this book by asking around my local book store. I wanted another fairy tale retelling and had hit a wall in my search. Not a fairy tale but nursery rhyme retelling I was game to try something new. Though billed at a detective story I really didn’t expect it to have much of a mystery involved. Boy was I wrong, I have never in my life been more surprised by an ending. The twists and turns were wild and unexpected and lead me on a epic romp that I will never forget. Something I expected to be quick comedy turned into a delightfully complex mystery.

5. Mine Until Midnight by Lisa Kleypas: I apologize to the world!!! I actually liked this book!! They synopsis and cover quickly lead the observer to draw all sorts of conclusions about the quality and content of the book. It was my pick for our mandatory romance book for last months book club, I picked it cause it looked like it would be hilariously silly… not so friends, not so. The story was well thought out, and while not perfect by any means, much better then I had anticipated. I found myself getting invested in the well being of the main character and when it wrapped up suddenly, running to the book store to pick up the rest of the series.

6. Door in the Dragons Throat by Frank Peretti: Its a kids book, I read it when I was 14 because it looked interesting, and like a quick light read. It was in fact quick, light not so much, what I had not anticipated, absolutely terrifying. Frank Peretti is a fantastic suspense/thriller writer. 14 year old me did not know this, 14 year old me did not expect this, 14 year old me had nightmares that had me sleeping with the light on for at least a week.

7. Identical by Ellen Hopkins: I had read one book by this author before on  suggestion from a friend. I had greatly enjoyed the book despite my less favourable attitude towards the writing style. When I went to the book store to look into more of her titles I found them to revolve mainly around drug addiction, something that didn’t peak my interest. Then a few months later Identical came out. Nothing, and I repeat nothing could have prepared me for how this book wrecked me. Without saying too much about the plot lets just say the synopsis and cover while accurate are insufficient.

8. Secret Six – Unhinged by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazelwood: Woo, a delicious comic for everyone out there!! 😀 I have had the great luck of finding a large company of nerdy comic book type friends in the last couple of months. They are amazing. ❤ I however am a nerd of a different sort, more sci-fi and manga then comics and super heroes. One lovely friend did me the great honour of borrowing a few trades of one of her favorites. It was DARK! I had anticipated the fighting and the nitty gritty, but it was infinitely darker then I could of imagined. I was thinking back to my cousins comics with Spiderman stopping kids from doing drugs and busting smugglers in Manitoba (an issue I still love and cherish). Not to say I didn’t like them, the writing was superb and the characters dynamic,  it was just so much different then I thought.

9. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines: If you’ve never read a book by this author then you are really missing out. His obvious love and care for his characters bleed through the pages, while his imagination takes you on wild adventures filled with magic and sword play. I was lucky to have stumbled onto this series by accident when trolling the science fiction/fantasy section at Chapters, their system while nice does not allow for searching by plot or theme like the magic card catalogue at the library. The cover makes it looks like silly fluff, fantasy written specifically for girls, with no real meat or substance to it. The synopsis while not horrible does nothing to dispel this myth. These characters were some of the most complex and interesting ones I had found in a long time, and the stories while they did have their share of fluff, were complex and interesting.

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack: I know, I know here it is again! 😀 And if it wasn’t such a good book then maybe I would feel bad, but its awesome so I dont… This book is marketed for tweens and teens, thus a lot of adults shrug it off as inconsequential. A person could never be more wrong. I have harped on the awesome that is this book in almost every Top Ten Tuesday because it is so well written and moving, so honestly if you haven’t read it get off your butt and get on it!

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More or Less: Top Ten Tuesday

Good day everyone! 😀

I found this nifty little blog meme/challenge type thing while meandering around online. I had been hoping to find some sort of  activity like this to fill in the gaps in between my review posts. Low and behold I found Top Ten Tuesdays  hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. So far the topics all seem very interesting and relate-able and there are so many other people who are participating, it will make for good reading. Swing by and check it out! 😀

This week is a freebie, which means I can make my own list about anything. I figured I would go back and pick from their huge list of topics and go from there! The topic I picked was:

Top Ten Trends You Would Like to See More or Less of


1. More: Dystopia
I absolutely adore dystopian novels. The sense of what might happen, what could happen, even more so then science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good sci-fi too, I just find in general it focuses much more on the technology and less on the human interactions that I’m really after. Also just the the idea of a world gone wrong, when all along they thought they were right. ❤

2.More: Recognition for Canadian Young Reader’s Author
Growing up I was absolutely obsessed with Canadian children writers like Kit Pearson, and Monica Hughes. On top of being amazing writers, they brought a sense of wonder to the world around me. Just hearing my province named was a huge thrill. People should be just as familiar with names of these novelists as they are with Margaret Atwood and Robert Munsch.

3. More: Fairytale Retellings
 Oh man, don’t even get me started about how much I love fairy tale retellings!! I mean obviously Gregory Maguire with this retelling of Snow White, and Cinderella. His retelling of Oz is amazing too, not strictly a fairytale but it might as well be. Robin McKinley’s Beauty, and Rose Daughter. Jim C. Hines Princess series. Even Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime Division series is spectacular. Just the idea of taking  a story we all know and love, characters we thought we knew finding out something new. Seeing a whole new prospective. Just fantastic! ❤ ❤

4. More: Strong Female Lead Characters
I know this shouldn’t even be a trend, but after the wave of sub standard , spineless, and useless female leads running around in my fiction,  I’ve been in dire need of a great  strong lead heroine! There is something simply inspiring about cracking open a book and getting punched in the face with  a characters bravery and work ethic. To see them stop at nothing to reach their goal, to survive. To have  women (and girls) like Katniss from Hunger Games, Tris from Divergent,  Mary from  The Forest of Hands and Teeth, all characters that were strong and willing to fight.

5. More: Zombies
Don’t ask… After having read Carrie Ryan’s forest of Hands and Teeth I was hooked!! Its not the gore (I hate gore.) Its not the scare (I get terrified so easily.) Its just the idea of an enemy that can’t be stopped, of an enemy that you become if you don’t watch your footing? Its just fascinating.

6. Less: Terrible Supernatural Fiction
This one almost makes me sad. I really like stories with witches and werewolves,  the occasional vampire and ghoul, but with all the tripe that’s been thrown around lately I’m scared to pick up anything even remotely related. Too many bad burns of  terrible writing, terrible plots and terrible characters. If one more love triangle between a girl, a werewolf and a vampire shows up in fiction I think I’m going to explode. Think your characters through, give them proper motivation, back story and dimension. aksdljfask… just… No…

7. Less: Vague, Dark Cover Art
I remember when I could pick up a book, look at the cover and have a general idea of what that book was about, or even if was a little cryptic, I could look at it and was intrigued by the concept of what could possibly be hidden in the pages. We don’t get that any more. Its all black, with shadowed figures, swirls of two primary colours… what the crap? What is this book about? I don’t even want to know. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but how can I judge a book if I can’t even stand to flip to the first page.

8. Less: Stories About Abuse
I’m not even going to post any cover art for this one. I love a good biography, its true that so many times truth is stranger then fiction. And in the case of this wave of abuse tales its even more terrifying. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are people who have gone through a lot, who have endured incredible pain and abuse, but I have no desire to read about it. Its different if its part of a greater picture, someone who was abused who grew up and founded a home for abused children, a politician or actor who overcame their circumstances to be more then a victim. Its the books that sit there and say here is all the crap I went through, I didn’t grow, I didn’t break out and use my experiences to help people,  I’m just writing this books so you can know. I  mean no disrespect to these people, I get that sometimes just leading a normal life is a huge accomplishment for them, and that writing out your experiences can be incredibly helpful, but that is stuff to be shared with therapists, and other survivors, not the entire world.

9. Less: Diaries of Socially Awkward Kids
Oh my goodness… this is more a pet peeve then anything. If there is one thing I get, its being made fun of as a kid. Its not fun, it pretty much sucks. I love a good underdog story, root for him til the very end. You can do it buddy! But for real people? The endless stream of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dear Dumb Diary, Dork Diaries… Ok I get it, not popular children putting their thoughts down, 90% of the time in rude, sarcastic and just plain mean ways. Why are we teaching kids that its ok to be mean and hateful, so long as your not one of the popular ones?


10. More: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud
Wanted to end this on a happy note after those last four entries of ranting! I don’t know one person who doesn’t love to laugh. Laughing makes a person feel all over amazing, to giggle and just feel silly for a moment is the most amazing thing! I wish there were more books out there that could make me laugh. I’m currently  reading Dear Fatty, by Dawn French and there hasn’t been a chapter yet that hasn’t at least made me snicker somewhere in it. Most of the time I have to find my laughs from the awkward romance found in my Manga, so its nice to read a good wordy book and still get that good chuckle!

Well, I really enjoyed that!! I sincerely hope you did too!! I encourage all my blogging friends to take this one, I’d love to get your prospective too!

❤ Much Love