Top Ten Tuesday; Top Ten Books of 2014

Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started by The Broke and The Bookish. Although this was actually a list for a few weeks ago, I thought I’d give myself time to read a few more books before doing this list. I didn’t read quite as many books as I hoped to this year, only reading 23.

10. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

With a fascinating premise of a woman who relives her life every time she dies, giving her a chance to fix the mistakes which lead to her death, this never quite lived up to my expectations. Some lives were much more fascinating than others, leading me to wish that I could skip certain parts of the novel. The lack of consistency in this novel prevents it from being higher in this list.

9.The Making of A Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This Victorian novel subverts the typical romantic and melodramatic genres by having very realistic and non dramatic characters at the helm, which creates a very interesting read, even if the end is anti-climatic and disappointing.

8. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The beautiful and detailed descriptions in this novel are what truly makes it engaging. Although the story of a child seemingly created from snow is fascinating in itself, it is the writing which makes this book so enjoyable.

7.1984 by George Orwell

With a sense of impending doom building throughout the novel, and a realistic and hopeless tone throughout, this is a definitely intriguing, if bleak novel, and would have been higher on this list, if not for the dull middle section.

6. More Than This by Patrick Ness

One of my favourite writers, this has a very intriguing plot – like all of Ness’ novels – and deals with a boy who commits suicide only to wake up later in an abandoned place strangely similar to his childhood home. Using a dystopian concept to explore the importance of friendship, the hopeful tone of this novel was what made it really touching to me.

5. Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Funny, fresh and touching, this managed to combine amusing tales at the beginning with real life and heart breaking issues, keeping the reader engaged through the variety of multi faceted characters.

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson

A beautiful romance novel about the unexpected nature of love, this tale of how one autistic man can change his mundane life in order to gain happiness was touching in a way it did not expect it to be.

3. Dracula by Bram Stoker

The gradual build up of suspense through several seemingly unrelated plot points make this incredibly gripping – until the rather anti climatic ending, which prevented this from being higher in the list.

2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

These sexually charged, vivid, Gothic stories based upon fairy tales are unique and fascinating, twisting their source material to create much weirder, darker and passionate tales.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
One of my top three novels of all time, this classic story of a woman’s search for happiness on her own terms was infinitely empowering to me.

Read my full review here;  https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/jane-eyre-reader-i-loved-it/

Month in Review; July

Books, Film, music, Theatre, TV

Songs I’ve loved this month;

Do You Remember The First Time – Sophie Ellis Bextor (originally by Pulp)

Recently I have become a big fan of Sophie Ellis Bextor, and I especially love this cover of a classic Pulp song which she did for Britpop at the BBC.

Wasted by Tiesto

This is not the kind of music that I would usually listen to, but the tune is so upbeat that I think it’s perfect for summer. It’s especially great when combined with the very feel good music video.

Book of the month;The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion a feel good romantic comedy about a man with aspergers and his attempt to find his perfect wife. Enter Rosie, the chaotic but fun girl who is completely unlike what he’s looking for. The plot may sound cliché, but the viewpoint was very interesting and amusing as you had a glimpse into the protagonist’s ridiculously ordered life. It was also incredibly endearing to see him experience things he never expected, and his character development raises this book above your standard chick lit.

TV Shows I’ve loved this month;

In The Flesh – as I have said numerous times on this blog, I started watching this show earlier this month, and it’s since become one of my all time favourites. Although it’s about zombies, it follows very human issues, and manages to be meaningful whilst also being exciting.

Utopia – a conspiracy thriller, Utopia is about five people who take interest in a graphic novel and then start to be hunted by a secret corporation. Filled with unexpected plot twists and complicated, likable characters, who seem realistic, Utopia is definitely worth a watch.

Best Thing I Saw This Month;

Les Miserables at The Queens Theatre, LondonLes Miserables Tickets poster

Hardly a ground breaking suggestion, Les Miserables is well known for it’s great
soundtrack and epic story. All the cast are incredibly talented, and this is one of the most powerful things you can see at the theatre, so if you haven’t seen it yet, then listen to the hype, and go see it.