30 books 30 days: Take 2

I have fallen back into my normal reading habits again! I always find it easier to read during the colder months. I fell into a reading slump during my previous attempt at reading 30 books in 30 days and then I fell pregnant and life became hectic. November should be a relatively quiet month for me so I have decided to try this challenge once more, hopefully with more success!

While I am not going to do a set TBR, as I am largely a mood-reader, I do have various posts planned throughout November including an update on the books I have read since my last updates a few months ago as well as weekly updates on my progress throughout this challenge. Despite not having a set TBR I am hoping to read at least one non-fiction novel as part of Non-Fiction November. I will begin this challenge with my current read The Waves by Virginia Woolf, unless of course I manage to finish this tonight,


Stay tuned,



Adaptation Wishlist Book Tag

This tag was created by the wonderful SheMightBeMonica. As you all know we are both huge fans of adaptations- in particular movie adaptations therefore we were drawn to this tag and its unique concept. There are five categories for adaptations and we will both attempt to give an answer for each one.

First up is movie adaptations; what book do we want to see on the big screen?

D: I would like to see a modern movie adaptation Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. If I could choose the cast I would like to see Ryan Gosling as the lead. I believe this is a novel that would benefit from the technological advancements of today.

S: I would like to see Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, I like what are to me similar movies Dangerous Minds and Coach Carter and believe this kind of tale works well on screen. For a more unique movie I would like to see The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson because the characters are very real and Leo Denton is one of my favourite fictional characters of recent times and the world needs to meet him.


What book would we like to be adapted into a TV show?

D: I think Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay would be well suited to TV. Especially due to the fact his works are connected therefore there could be different series based on different novels.

S: I would also like to see The Darren Shan Saga as a (obviously well-adapted) tv series. I would also enjoy TV series based on Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series and Patrick Ness’s The Rest of Us Just Live Here.


Interestingly the next category is what book would we like to see as a cartoon?

D: My selection is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken as I think it would be difficult to master the special effects needed for a movie adaptation.

S: I would like to see Dr Seuss’s works as modern cartoons. I also think a children’s cartoon of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer would be great as fairytales never grow old.


What would we like to see adapted into a comic book or graphic novel?

D: I would like to see a Graphic novel adaptation of Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events due to it’s dark nature and memorable quips.

S: I’d like to see Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente as a Graphic Novel as the novel is full of imagery. I also think The Martian by Andy Weir would work well as a comic due to its wit and humour and I would like to read a science fiction comic.


The next category is book to play. Which novel do we think would translate well on stage?

D: Murakami’s Norwegian Wood is the novel that I believe is best suited to the stage. I think it would be appropriate due to the dialogue and subject matter.

S: To be honest I don’t know enough as I’d like to about plays which may be reflected in my choices. I hope to not only watch and read more of them this year but learn more about plays too. For this category I seemed unable to choose just one novel. As I mentioned I would like to see more plays and here is a list of a few I would like to see… Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald as it is differs from his other works, at least in my opinion and the relationships between characters would make an interesting drama. I would also like to see Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle stop Café by Fannie Flagg on stage and believe the plot to be if anything more fitting to the stage. I can picture the setting now. Deathnote by Tsugumi Ohba would also be absolutely incredible to see on stage. If they have been adapted in this form before then please let me know in the comments. Finally, my last wish is for Nella Larsen’s Passing to be shown in theaters, I loved this novella when I read it for University and believe the characters and plot would shine on stage.


The final category is musical…

D: I think Kerouac’s On The Road should be adapted into a jazz fuelled musical.

S: For some reason my gut is telling me The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald although this is one of my favourite novels and while it could be terrible, it has the potential to be great. Other options popping into my head are Heidi by Johanna Spyri, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.


We tag: TeaPartiesatAnteiku and TheGingerBlogster

Reading Update

Throughout February we have both started reading again. I give Mervyn Peake credit for this, as it is Titus Groan the first book of ‘The Gormenghast Trilogy’ that I’m currently reading and adoring.


Thus far in February I have read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov which you can find my opinion of here, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding  and Deathnote by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba.  I recently featured Deathnote in my Top5Wednesdays post. I hope to do a review or perhaps a Movie Adaptation review of The Lord of The Flies soon. I am currently reading Titus Groan as previously mentioned, I have 100 pages left so hope to finish this within the next 24 hours.

This month I would also like to finish reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, a contemporary dystopia that I’m enjoying so far. As previously mentioned in my February TBR post, I would like to get around to reading my first novel by Daphne Du Maurier and my second Steinbeck novel. Other than this fairly optimistic goal I would like to read Greenmantle by John Buchan on recommendation from an Instagram friend. I read the previous novel The 39 Steps last year and am looking forward to the next instalment. I would also like to read a short story from the collection Legoland by Gerard Woodward.

If, on the rare chance I get through these novels, I have some other books high up on my TBR list- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Dead Poets Society: A Novel by N.H Kleinbaum and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.


I have most recently finished Tokyo Ghoul 2 by Sui Ishida, I am looking to complete On the Road by Jack Kerouac in the next couple of days and then I will move onto the 5 books I have previously mentioned that I have been challenged to read as well as continuing with the Tokyo Ghoul series.

[Non-Spoiler] Review: Try A Chapter

I remember first seeing this craze last year and initially ruling it out. However, due to the longevity of my reading slump (caused by the aforementioned disappointing novels) I believe this will help me regain my motivation to read. As I am dedicating this year to mainly Classic Literature I have appropriately chosen five Classic novels. I will provide only a brief summary of my personal thoughts and findings in each Chapter One in order to prevent any (perhaps even accidental) spoilers.

To begin this challenge I read Chapter One of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s novel The Shadow of The Wind. I chose this novel due to my desire to read more of my owned Penguin Drop Caps edition. Here is how it went…

The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: Chapter One

I was immediately intrigued by the title of Zafón’s opening Chapter: ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ which at this time of my life could be in reference to my bookshelf that looms over me as I read. While it becomes immediately apparent that the author is using very conventional plot tropes and some clichés within their language use can be found, such as the ‘deafening silence’ described on page 3, there are already a few (impressively subtle) touching moments. It already seems harsh to judge a book or an author based off of one chapter as there is a theatrical template of mystery and tragedy (etc) in order to draw readers in and therefore one expects to find conventional plot tropes, at least to a certain extent, within a novel’s opening pages. However, if I am blunt about my experience reading The Shadow of The Wind’s opening chapter, I am personally unsure whether I will enjoy this novel.

My primary concern is that the plot is already an interesting premise, yet the book has a total of 511 pages and has very small text. From the first chapter alone it appears as though the novel could not possibly be this long. What I mean by this is that I personally find the basis of the plot more of a discussion topic or literary essay than a fictional novel. I am unsure if the premise is worth 511 pages. In my opinion, again bear in mind this is from one chapter, I see this story being more appropriate for the big screen. This is because the plot is centered around reading and a love of books which first of all seems to me like an unsettlingly easy premise for a novel but also comes across as a little boring. The main audience of Classic Literature are, of course, bibliophiles and are therefore people who have already discovered the magical world of literature Zafón depicts in ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.’ Furthermore the descriptions of settings and characters are lost due to the story building, this would translate better on screen which I would like to see as this was without a doubt one of the redeeming qualities of Chapter One.


I then selected classic Irish novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. I selected this novel as I believed, before reading the opening chapter, that this was a Children’s novel. I am hoping to incorporate children’s classics to this year’s reading list. I have previously seen the Rob Letterman movie starring Jack Black based on Swift’s novel which was the extent of my knowledge of this particular classic. I am hoping this novel is as witty as I expect it to be. My copy of this novel is a Roads Classic Edition gifted to me by The Ginger Blogster.


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: Chapter One

Ok so this was an unexpected surprise. I am unsure how I could have spent my life without the knowledge that this is not a children’s novel but a Satire! My edition of Swift’s magnum opus begins with a letter from Captain Gulliver to his cousin Sympson relating to the published account of, unsurprisingly, Gulliver’s travels. Immediately the language was vastly different from what I expected and I instantly knew this novel was more than I had believed it to be. I am thoroughly excited to continue reading this novel despite the fact its opening chapter does not give too much away. It is already witty, or perhaps snarky, despite being political therefore it is easy and quick to read. In all honesty my main interest in this novel is that it is obviously not at all what I was expecting. However there is an apparent quirkiness from the narrator and author that is apparent from the very first  page and I cannot help but find that impressive. From the first chapter I believe that this should indeed be a novel and if that isn’t something of wonder I’m not sure what is. I have high hopes and would like to read more of Swift’s work once I finish this novel.


My third choice is one of Penguin’s Modern Classics therefore I look forward to seeing a difference in writing from my last choice. My third selection is also political, described as being “a stunning fictionalization of a political drama that tore the United States apart.” That novel is of course…


The Book of Daniel by E.L Doctorow: Chapter One 

Fun (yet ultimately useless as almost all fun facts are) Fact: I have oddly chosen two out of three books so far that have a main character named Daniel. Praise number one is the quote selection that prefaces this novel including a bible verse as well as Whitman and Ginsberg extracts. The novel is split into four books, Book One is titled ‘Memorial Day.’ From the opening page I believe Doctorow’s writing style to be unique. Unlike Zafón’s novel I do not find the opening chapter expected or clichéd, I find it simultaneously charming and gritty. Chapter One I have assumed due to the layout of the novel is a mere five pages and yet it has peaked my interest. In those five pages it touches on relationships, family life, sex, politics and national identity. The opening chapter has left me eager to read more, from the first five pages I believe it will be a book of substance and character.


And now onto my fourth choice, another Penguin Drop Caps edition, another never before read author and a novel I have been meaning to read for a long time…


The Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Chapter One

Chapter One is titled ‘The Sound of the Shell’ and is 30 pages long! In the opening chapter, in the midst of a World War, a group of boys are stranded on a deserted island.They immediately begin to play adult and start their own society. Everything about the opening chapter is unsettling, the bonding over bullying, the feeling of alienation and there is almost a stabbing towards the end. Therefore violence is very much foreshadowed in the opening chapter. The writing style is very simplistic perhaps due to the fact all of the characters are young boys. Overall I thought the opening chapter was just ok. For some reason I feel as though I know the full story, just through what I have read so far and what I believe will happen. I have surprisingly had no spoilers and would still like to read it to the end despite being underwhelmed by its opening chapter.


The last book I have chosen for this challenge is the novel I know least about but was strangely finding myself most attracted to, yet again the author is new to me and the book is…


The Dear Green Place by Archie Hind: Chapter One

I love the opening line of Hind’s novel which is “In every city you find these neighbourhoods.” The opening chapter is 13 pages long and centres around who I assume to be the main character, Mat Craig, a writer who considers his upbringing and the change Glasgow has gone through from small town to big city and is soaked in history. The first chapter briefly touches upon community, poverty and survival. What draws me to this novel is the knowledge that its author knew it would not make enough money to support him but decided to write it anyway. Despite this fact it received several prizes almost instantaneously on its publication. I have not read enough novels based in my home country and this novel seems to me to hold its own integrity. I also have a habit of loving literature from the 1960’s. I am eager to read more about Hind’s aspiring writer Mat Craig and his views on his land and culture.




In conclusion I actually really enjoyed this challenge, and would recommend it,

Happy reading!




SlaythatSeries Update

The SlaythatSeries readathon is from the 13th-20th of March and is hosted by the wonderful Sara and Chami. I have previously posted my readathon tbr that you can find here. Throughout day one I read ‘The Purgatorium’  by Eva Pohler and ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ by Agatha Christie. These books may or may not have appeared on my original tbr, apparently I just didn’t find six books challenging enough. I always find the hardest part of readathons is sticking to your expected reads. Nevertheless, here are some mini-reviews of the books I read in day one.

The first book I read was ‘The Purgatorium’ which is a YA thriller. Pohler’s novel captured my attention, the plot more than the writing style, although I ultimately had a lot of issues with it. That being said the novel was really fast paced and I believe you can download the ebook for free on iBooks. Essentially the novel is about Daphne and Cam, high school friends who believe they are trying out a new holiday resort, Daphne quickly learns that things are not as they seem and begins to question why they are there.

In my opinion, the novel had a lot of potential and yet had very little substance. The setting was both the most beautiful holiday resort you could imagine, and horrifyingly foreign and dangerous. This proved problematic as not only was it cliché but at times distracted me from the plot. The two sides of the resort did not coincide. The novel depicts mental health and references several famous experiments by infamous psychologists, hence the interesting premise. This novel, done well, could have the effect of Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ as it could not only provide an honest insight into the human psyche but it could have left readers terrified.

As the readathon suggests ‘The Purgatorium’ is the first book in what I believe to be a trilogy although I won’t be continuing with the series. I found the storyline completely far-fetched, Daphne’s tragic past in particular. I did not care for Pohler’s main characters Daphne and Cam as they were foolish and manipulative. On the other hand I found the novel fast paced, and enjoyed the references made throughout. Unfortunately I was left disappointed, particularly with the ending. I’m aware of the effect Pohler wanted her ending to have but believe the events at the end of the novel were far from convincing. I’m also unsure of how this would lead to another book as it seemed to have rounded up the story, although badly. Overall I gave this novel 1/5. If you have read this series and believe I should continue to do so please let me know, does the series improve?

The second novel I read was the first of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. I grew up watching the phenomenal BBC series with David Suchet, needless to say I have been dying to finally read the novels. I was not disappointed and find that Poirot is just as loveable in literary form. Although Hastings is definitely more annoying as the clueless side-kick. ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ was a very entertaining read and I have now added the rest of the series to my tbr. Christie’s Poirot series consists of 39 books and I look forward to reading them over the next few years. 5/5

My next read is ‘The Scorch Trials’ by James Dasher which I hope to finish today. I have heard mixed reviews about the second instalment of The Maze Runner Trilogy however I find Dashner’s writing style easy to read and hope ‘The Scorch Trials’ is as fast paced as ‘The Maze Runner.’ I am also looking forward to watching the movie adaptation although I have heard mostly bad reviews.

Danny is also taking part in this readathon and is currently reading book one of Suzanne Collins’ YA dystopian trilogy ‘The Hunger Games.’ Danny will be posting an update soon to share his thoughts.

Are you taking part in SlaythatSeries? If so what are you reading?