Thursday, 16 July 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Things Anticipated Pre-Orders fort he rest of the Year. Just in case anyone is new to this, Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

I have quite a few anticipated pre-orders for this year, so here are my top five!

1) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: 1st September 2015

I've already pre-ordered this fourth book in Throne of Glass series and I'm very excited for it to come out so we can see what happens next with Celaena!

2) Winter by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: 10th November 2015

Another book I've already pre-ordered out of excitement. I only recently read the first three books in this series so I'm really looking forward to this final instalment!

3) Armada by Ernest Cline
Release Date: 14th July 2015

I can't wait to see what Ernest Cline has written next as I absolutely adored Ready Player One. Being a massive fan of old video games and geeky things, that book was easily one of the most amazing things I've ever read. I'm actually very fortunate to have an ARC copy of this which I'll be reading soon. I still definitely plan on buying a final copy though! (I know this has already technically been released but it hadn't when I wrote the blog post!)

4) Before the Dawn by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

Release Date: August 2015

This is the final book in The Ending Series which I read the rest of earlier this year. The first book was a free ebook so I thought I'd give it a try and it was great! This series is an interesting twist on dystopian young adult fiction and I really loved it so I can't wait to find out what happens to the characters. So much was left up in the air! You can see my reviews for the first three books in this series on my review page.

5) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: 6th October 2015

Fangirl was another of my favourite books of last year and its combination of fanfiction, university life, social anxiety and family dynamics really made this book stand out from other contemporaries; I absolutely loved it. So naturally I'm excited to read about the fandom that was talked about throughout the whole book! Really looking forward to reading more in this world!

So these are my top anticipated pre-orders. I'm sure many of you had these on your lists! Comment below to let me know what you think or if you did a Top Five Wednesday leave your link below and I'll check it out! (p.s. Sorry my post is late!)

Friday, 10 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
(Translated by Henning Koch)

Genre: Adult Fiction

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Spoiler Free Summary:
At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'état that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so? In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible.

The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman's heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step - and less ready to judge on first impressions a man you might one day wish to have as your dearest friend

**Spoiler Free Review**

I actually read this book because the Book Club at my work was reading it and a colleague kindly lent it to me after they were finished. I could not be happier that they did! I absolutely loved this book!

The way the story is told is just so beautiful and well done. Backman successfully interweaves the past and present of Ove's life, constantly revealing more above who Ove his, that are deeply sad yet so real. The characters are what really made this book for me. They are absolutely wonderful and so believable as people. They are all very three-dimensional and it becomes so easy to view them as real people. First of all we have Ove himself; his integrity and believes, his misfortunes and happiness in his life really paint the picture of this incredibly complex human being. The book really demonstrates how quickly many people judge others based on looks or a one time meeting when everyone has so much more to them than what's on the surface.

Ove's wife is such a warm and caring character in this book and I find it incredible that despite her smaller appearances, how much I felt I knew her. Her relationship with Ove was so touching and sweet. It was refreshing to read about such a loving couple who were clearly devoted to one another unequivocally. They're relationship was beautiful and I really enjoyed the anecdotes throughout the book about their life together and how it all began.

The slow growing relationship with his neighbours, both old and new, added an interesting dimension to the story and really portrayed Ove in a different light. The side characters were just as witty and fascinating as Ove himself. I particularly loved Pananeh and her family, who insisted on seeing the good in Ove no matter what. It was funny to see them accidentally force their way into Ove's life and have a lasting impression on him.

This book had me laughing out loud at some of the funny incidents that happened to Ove. One of which was definitely the what happened with the clown. I just loved Pananeh coming into the waiting room to find Ove sulking like one of her children because of what he'd done. Ove's unsuccessful attempts at controlling both his life and his relationship with the cat were humorous and really added to Ove's character. Although he appears to be a grumbling, grumpy old man, so much more is shown to be underneath.

The translation was wonderfully done and definitely does justice to this book. Despite being a translation it was still raw, powerful and heartwarming, I would love to be able to read the original so I could experience the book as it was originally written, but the good thing about this book is that the translation definitely doesn't hinder the book's message in the slightest.

The ending was so beautiful, heartwarming and simultaneously sad. I have to say, I really welled up towards the end and I just felt so attached to Ove and his family and friends. I didn't want it to end. I absolutely loved this book and it definitely deserves more than 5/5 stars! I didn't expect this book to be as witty, funny, heart-warming, yet heart-wrenching, as it was. This is book that just makes you appreciate everything about life and the people in it. I highly recommend this to anyone, young or old, lover of adult fiction or not; its such a wonderful story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Things on Your Bookshelf that Aren't Books

So I missed last week's Top Five Wednesday because I was quite with meeting people and work, but I'm back now! (Although this is another busy week for me because I commute to work and there is a simultaneous tube and train strike this week!). Anyway, this week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Things on your Bookshelf that Aren't Books. Just in case anyone is new to this. Top Five Wednesday is an idea created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

Sadly, because the place I live in is so small, I currently only have one bookshelf up as opposed to my usual five, but I have still managed to squeeze a few things on that aren't books!

5. The Penguin

My fiancé used to go to the university of Derby and before he left he gave me this 'stress penguin'. Now that we live together it has a pride of place on my bookshelf to protect the books.

4. Bands (no not actual musicians)

A DFTBA and a Doctor Who band, and why not? I don't think these need much explanation other than I'm a Nerdfighter who loves Doctor Who!

3. The Snake
My fiancé very kindly bought me this snake made from glass from the Lucky Duck Shop in Whitby. If you've not heard of it (because it's quite famous in the North East) they hand-make (blow) glass animals; they're particularly famous for their lucky ducks, and they are beautiful! I already have a duck so Liam bought me this very pretty snake.

2. Consoles
Because there's limited room in our studio, the top of my bookshelf also acts as a shelf for my gaming consoles. This also means I have all favourites things to do in one place (gaming and reading)!

1. Jewellery

I tend to keep my jewellery on my bookshelf as well because I always walk past it before I leave the house, so I remember to pick up my necklace and ring!

And those are my Top Five Things on my Bookshelf that Aren't Books! They're not particularly interesting and when I had more bookcases I had a few other interesting things on my shelves that I'll probably share in the future. So what are your favourite non-bookish things on your shelves? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you did a Top Five Wednesday post or video below! :)