Bookish Things I Hope Santa Brings Me

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books I hope Santa brings but I couldn’t limit myself to just books so instead I’m pretty much just posting my bookish Christmas list in the hope that Santa stumbles across it 🙂

These are all things I would be happy to receive or that I would recommend for the bookworm in your life.

A book from my wishlist

I have loads of books sitting on my Amazon and Book Depository wishlists so I would be more than happy to receive any or all of them. These are typically the books I really want but are kind of expensive so can’t justify buying them for myself when I already own about 300 other books I haven’t read yet. Obviously if someone else buys me them it’s totally fine. These four are probably the ones I’m closest to caving on and just buying.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide, #1)Eliza and Her MonstersWarcross (Warcross, #1)Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

A Collectors Edition Classic

I can never resist the collector editions and will quite happily spend hours drooling over them in the bookstore. Waterstones do a really lovely leather bound set with pretty patterns on the covers which I love. I already own Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre but I would love to collect the others. I also have my eye on an illustrated edition of The Princess Bride and Murder on the Orient Express.

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas WritingsGreat ExpectationsMurder on the Orient Express - Poirot (Hardback)The Princess Bride

Book Vouchers

This may seem kinda boring but most of my friends and family refuse to buy me actual books (apparently I have all the books and am therefore difficult to pick for) so this is the next best thing. I usually request Amazon vouchers so I can load up my Kindle but Book Depository is also good. I usually use them to pre order all of those sequels I desperately need. Like these ones…

Legendary (Caraval, #2)Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3)War Storm (Red Queen, #4)


If you read a lot of books you need a lot of bookmarks (or is that just me). I have a bit of a tendency to leave bookmarks in books so I need one for each book. OK maybe not need but you know what I mean. I have quite a few bookmarks I’ve received in book subscription boxes and the ones I’ve loved the most have come from Ink and Wonder (Australia based woodmark company) and Happy Hello Co (Canada based & make magnetic bookmarks)

Magnetic Bookmarks • Faeries of the NightIt Floats Woodmark

Bookish Candles

As someone with an asthmatic cat scented candles aren’t always the best idea (unless I fancy a trip to the vets) but I do love bookish candles and currently have about 20. My favorite shops are Meraki Candles (UK based) and In the Wick of Time (US based).

The Night Court

Bookish Mugs

Who doesn’t need a mug (or twenty)? I personally am completely addicted to Evie Seo’s designs at the moment, I currently own four mugs I think but have my eye on about another half dozen.

Reading is Beautiful - Splash Coffee MugA Court of Thorns and Roses book quote design Coffee Mug


Again I have a lot of prints (maybe a whole wall but don’t tell anyone) but I’m always happy to get more of them, especially prints with quotes. I won’t recommend any shops as I’ve never bought directly from any.


I absolutely love bookish jewellery particularly pendants and steampunk style necklaces and rings. Oh Panda Eyes have some very cute little pendants although I have to admit the one necklace I did get from them was a pendant with a quote which was a little squinty. I still love it though.

Handmade Bookish Terrarium

A Dragon

I haven’t been fast enough yet but Julie Kagawa (author of Iron Fae, Talon and Blood of Eden) makes the cutest little dragons and sells them occasionally on Etsy. They are not exactly the cheapest but sooo adorable that I want them all. Unfortunately they usually sell out in minutes but one of these days I will get one.

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes

Anything else book related

OK I could probably go on forever but I’m starting to look a little bit greedy so I’ll just sum it up by saying pretty much anything else book related, doorstops, tote bags, laptop sleeves, pillow covers, duvet cover, shower curtain, coasters (which I need for all of my mugs), badges, tea towels and stickers. There’s probably more I’m missing but mostly i just want this Hodor Wooden Doorstop 🙂

So those are some of the things I would love to get as a gift either at Christmas or any other gift giving event. Would you be tempted by any of these or is there something else sitting on your wishlist that you’re hoping for?

Let me know in the comments below and I hope whatever you get and whether you celebrate Christmas or not you have a great time.


Top Ten New To Me Authors I Read in 2017

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books from 2017 but, as 2017 isn’t over yet (and because I’m a bit of a rebel… haha I wish), I’ve decided to switch around a couple of top tens and do the top ten new to me authors I read in 2017. Looking through my list I don’t think many of these are new authors, I’m just really slow in discovering how great all of those existing authors are despite being told numerous times.

1 Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)The Hating Game

So the first one on my list actually is a new author. I read her first novel The Hating Game in February this year and absolutely adored it, so much so I’ve re read it I don’t know how many times since (here’s my fangirly review). It’s a contemporary romance and is one of the freshest and funniest ones I’ve ever come across. It may not be wholly unique in story but Thorne’s writing really lifts it. I’m anxiously awaiting her next book which I think is due in Summer next year.

2. Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine)Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Yep another new author, Honeyman wrote another of my favorite books of the year, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. This was a book I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own but was chosen for my real life book club and I’m so glad it was. It was one of those books I knew from the very first page I was going to absolutely love. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking, touching, sad but also somehow hopeful. There are a couple of elements in the story which are a little unbelievable but who cares.

3. E Lockhart (Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars)We Were Liars

I bought a copy of We Were Liars years ago but kept putting off reading it, I think because of the vagueness of the blurb and all of the hype around it. I finally got the push to read it when I heard Lockhart was coming to Glasgow to promote a special edition and also her new book Genuine Fraud and I’m so glad I did because it absolutely blew me away. It was completely different from what I was expecting and just very unique. Reading Genuine Fraud was a similar story. It may not be a wholly unique plot but the way that it’s told in reverse certainly is. It’s very cleverly done.

4. Ryan Graudin (Invictus)Invictus

This is another author whose book I had sitting lurking on my kindle. In fairness I still haven’t read Wolf by Wolf (although I plan to) but I did get the opportunity to read Invictus and wow. I have a lot of admiration for any author who writes a book about time travel. There’s all of the research to realistically create multiple historical time periods added to that the science and rules around time travel and, in this case, also creating a futuristic world where all of this is possible. Graudin absolutely smashes it all and somehow also creates a cast of characters who I want to hang out with. Brilliant.

5. Andy Weir (Artemis)Artemis

Speaking of authors who somehow manage to work a lot of complex information into an action packed story, Andy Weir has an incredible knack for this. I’ve only read Artemis so far but it really impressed me how much science and technical information he managed to fit into what is essentially an Ocean’s Eleven style heist story. I know this book has had some criticism for its characterization but just the level of detail and research he must have done (unless he is a genius and already knew it all) was unbelievable. What’s even less believable is that I actually understood most of it. That is definitely a talent 🙂

6. Fredrik Backman (The Scandal / Beartown)Beartown

I know Backman has been around for a while but until this year I didn’t have any inclination to read any of his books, they just didn’t sound like my thing. When Beartown popped up on NetGalley however and I saw lots of my fellow reviewers raving over it I couldn’t resist. As far as I understand the style of Beartown is not Backman’s usual but I really loved it. It’s very episodic, switching between characters sometimes within the page. It took a little getting used to but once I did I thought it worked perfectly. Backman created very real characters but more than that he also gave a real sense of the community. It may have been set in a completely different country but it reminded me a lot of my home and upbringing.

7. Joe Hill (Strange Weather, The Fireman)Strange Weather

As someone who’s always looking for a decent horror I kind of feel like I should have read Joe Hill before now. Again it was the fact that I was going to get to meet him that finally gave me the push to pick up the Fireman. I have to confess I still haven’t finished it but I did enjoy the writing, so much so that I requested a copy of his brilliant novella collection, Strange Weather from NetGalley. It’s a really great read and shows just how talented a writer he is. The way he crams so much characterization and story into so few pages.

8. Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Stardust)The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Yeah this is embarrassing, until around 9 months ago I’d never read a single Neil Gaiman and I’m pretty sure the only reason I finally did was because it fit a challenge I was taking part in. I absolutely loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it was so completely different than what I was expecting. So much darker, more grown up and just creepier. I will admit I didn’t love Stardust quite as much when I read it (I think I love the film too much) but he really has a great imagination and is a wonderful story teller.


9. Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow was a book I requested from NetGalley, got approved for and then had second thoughts about. If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m very wary of historical fiction so it’s a bit of a mystery why I requested it (I’m assuming it was the pretty cover). I eventually ended up reading it as part of a structured group read on GoodReads and it completely amazed me. It’s slow paced, heavy on description and very little happens but despite these all being things I hate I fell in love with it. What Towles excels at is creating very vivid places and people. I could visualize every room in that hotel and every single character, flaws and all. The descriptions of the food also made me incredibly hungry. Truly beautiful writing.

10. Holly Bourne (How Do You Like Me Now)

Why did no one tell me I should read Holly Bourne’s books? I very recently finished How Do You Like Me Now and honestly it absolutely wowed me. It was like she had looked directly into my mind and put my thoughts into the head of the main character. So real and so relateable. I was expecting light and fluffy chick lit but while this has it’s funny moments and is very enjoyable it has a lot of real messages running through it and a really strong feminism vibe. This book just spoke to me so much and I’m currently hunting down every other book Bourne has written.

So those are my 10 favorite new to me authors of 2017. Are you a fan of any of them? Have you discovered any great authors this year?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is top ten bookish settings you’d love to visit. I have to admit I’ve found this one a bit difficult as I read quite a lot of dystopians and thrillers and who really wants to visit any of the places in those types of books. I was kinda tempted to include The Hunger Games, the food, clothes and hairstyles in the Capital do sound pretty good, but I’m not sure about the entertainment choices.

Anyway, here are 10 places I’d kinda like to see.

1 Diagon Alley (Harry Potter Series)

I have a sneaky suspicion that the wizarding world of Harry Potter might crop up in quite a few posts this week (I could fill the whole top ten with Harry Potter places) so I may as well put it up front. I was a little bit tempted to go with Hogwarts but I think I’m a little too old for school so where I really want to visit is Diagon Alley, otherwise known as shopping heaven.

alley GIF

I mean joke shops and owl emporiums sound pretty fun and I do need to go pick a broomstick, some robes for swishing, maybe a wand, a cauldron and some other magical junk. I also really, really want to go to Flourish and Blotts although I suspect I would never leave. And I suppose if I get the munchies I could always nip into the sweetshop or go to the Leaky Cauldron for some butter beer… mmmm.

2. Artemis (Artemis)

Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the book addict Ali. OK maybe not but a colony on the moon does sound like it would be pretty cool.

Image result for moon colony

I’m not sure it’s somewhere I’d want to live (I think it’d be a bit claustrophobic) but would be fun for a visit. I’d like to have a bounce around on the surface of the moon, be able to lift really heavy objects due to low gravity and see the site where Neil Armstrong supposedly took his first steps.

3. Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park)

I know they had a few issues with health and safety but I live with a very violent fluffy monster so I’m sure I’d be fine and really what’s the worst that could happen…

jurassic park GIF

Some of the dino’s were pretty cute and from memory of the film the food looked pretty good.

4. Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle)

Obviously I’d rather go after it’s had a bit of a clean, cos ya know it sounded a bit manky at the start of the book (and I hate cleaning) but I do love the idea of a castle with a door that opens into different places and that just kind of wanders around.

howls moving castle GIF

5. Gomorrah (Daughter of the Burning City)

There were also a few health and safety issues at this travelling circus/city and I would not want to go near any acts involving animals (they’re cruel) but I would be kinda tempted by the food stalls which sounded amazing (are you spotting a bit of a theme here).

6. The Library (The Invisible Library)

It’s a library so of course I want to go for that reason alone

beauty and the beast book GIF

but add to that the fact that time doesn’t really pass in the Library (you don’t get any older) and you have access to different realities (and their books) and it could be heaven.

7. Invictus (Invictus)

Time machine, do I need to say anything else? OK, red panda??? I really, really want to join the crew of the Invictus on one of their thieving adventures or even just on their vacations. They sound like such a fun group and while conditions may be a little bit cramped I don’t mind snuggling a red panda.

nathan fillion firefly GIF
I don’t have a pic so here’s a Firefly gif

8. The Metropol Hotel (A Gentleman in Moscow)

An actual real place this time (although who’s to say the previous ones don’t exist), The Metropol Hotel in Moscow is where Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in 1922. It’s a grand and luxurious hotel with fine food and drink, shops and with it’s proximity to the Kremlin it’s frequented by some of the most famous residents and visitors to Moscow. I’m not sure they’d let me in but I wouldn’t mind a little bit of luxury and reading this book made me so hungry for the food.

Image result for the metropol hotel moscow

9. The Red Abbey (Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff)

A little less luxurious than the Metropol hotel, I still kind of like the idea of the island with the Red Abbey. I don’t mind mucking in and doing a bit of work and with no men it would be quite good for a proper girly holiday.

10. Strand Bookstore, NY (Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares)

Shockingly I have never been to New York but it’s somewhere I’ve always been desperate to visit especially at Christmas. I did have quite a few books to choose from to get me there but I really, really loved the New York from Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. They seemed to go all over and find all of these little hidden gems including what sounds like the most awesome bookshop.

Image result for images of strand bookstore new york

I mean look at that sign, “miles of books” who doesn’t want to go. Also you never know, maybe some handsome stranger will have left a notebook for me to find.

So that’s my 10 bookish settings I want to visit. Would any of these make your list or do you have somewhere even better?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

12 Books on my Winter TBR

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books on your Winter TBR which is perfect for me as I was planning on writing a winter TBR post. I’m not very good at sticking to a plan for my reading but I do find it helps to motivate me if I actually note them down. I can’t guarantee I’m going to read all of these but they are the ones I hope to get to.


I’ve been making great progress on my ARC’s over the past few weeks and finally managed to get my NetGalley ratio over 80%. Assuming I don’t go too nuts with the request button I only really have the following books due.

EverlessEverything Is LiesThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy, #1)

  • Everless by Sara Holland (YA Fantasy) – There seems to be quite a lot of hype around this which is making me kinda nervous about it but so far all of the reviews look positive so I am looking forward to it. I do love the idea of time as a currency.
  • Everything is Lies by Helen Callaghan (Thriller)  – I read and loved the authors debut novel Dear Amy (review) so I jumped at the chance to get a copy of her new one. This one is about a woman who finds her parents dead in an apparent murder suicide. She doesn’t believe it so starts digging into the past.
  • Cruel Prince by Holly Black (YA Fantasy – This will be my first Holly Black book but I can’t wait to read it. It’s been far too long since I’ve had fey in my life.
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Another YA Fantasy) – Hmm there seems to be a lot of YA fantasy on this list, oh well. This is a book I was swithering over requesting on NetGalley and ended up getting a copy in a book subscription box.

Library Books

Because I clearly don’t have enough books to read I’ve been hitting up the library yet again to get some more.

The MuseTurtles All the Way DownForgive Me, Leonard PeacockThe Silent Companions: A ghost story

  • The Muse by Jessie Burton (Historical) – This is my next book club read but is one I’ve been curious about for a while. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but there’s something very tempting about that cover
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (YA Contemporary) – I know I swore after reading Looking for Alaska that I was never ever reading another book by Green but it seems to be everywhere so I feel like I have to read it. We’ll see how it goes and whether my Green ban is reinstated or ditched.
  • Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (YA Contemporary) – I read another Matthew Quick book a year ago (which I totally can’t remember the name of) and found it weird but brilliant so I’ve been keeping my eye out for another book by him.
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell (Gothic Horror) – I spied this at the library and couldn’t resist picking it up. I like a good spooky ghost story so I have high hopes.


I have so many books, physical and ebooks, that I just never seem to get round to reading that I’m hoping now my ARCs are semi under control I can finally get to. These are probably more possibles than definites as it will depend what I’m in the mood for.

They Both Die at the EndIt Only Happens in the MoviesWhen It's RealThe Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)

  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (YA Contemporary) – I keep buying Silvera books but never seem to get around to reading them. This is my latest purchase and probably the one I’m most excited about.
  • It only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne (YA Contemporary) – I’ve literally just finished an ARC of How Do You Like Me Now? and absolutely loved it (it’s rare to come across a book which is just so real) so I really want to read another book by Bourne and this one is sitting on my kindle waiting for me.
  • When It’s Real by Erin Watt (NA Romance) – With all of these serious books I think I’m going to need a bit of romance so would really like to pick up this one.
  • The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (YA Fantasy) – I have started this book three times and haven’t made it past chapter 2 yet. Nothing against the book, it’s just never been the right time. It does seem like it’ll be a good one for the Christmas holidays so maybe I’ll go on a series binge, fueled by mince pies and chocolate.

So that’s my TBR for the next couple of months. I would also really like to sneak in a classic or two, maybe a re read of Jane Eyre and my first attempt at Great Expectations or another Dickens, but we’ll see. I’m not generally very good at sticking to a reading plan.

Do you have a list of books you’re hoping to read over the winter period? Can you stick to a reading plan or are you more of a mood reader? Have you read any of the books on my list? Any I should race to read or avoid like the plague?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

My Ten Top Reads for Halloween

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is a Halloween freebie. I have to admit I went into a bit of a panic when I heard this as there are just so many things you can do. I have however realized that I’ve never actually done a post on some of my favorite Halloween reads so, while it’s probably not the most original take on the prompt, that’s what I’ve decided to do.

These are probably favorite recent reads rather than all time faves but I’ve tried to include a good mix and some lesser known books so there’s something for everyone.

Young Adult

Frozen CharlotteThe Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)MonsterThere's Someone Inside Your House

  • Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – Remote and isolated location, weird goings on in the middle of the night, mysterious deaths and some very creepy little dolls, what more do you need for a very spooky story that will have you jumping at every strange noise.
  • The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker – I see dead people. Yeah, thankfully I don’t but Mattie Hathaway does. She’s been doing her damnedest to ignore them but when something happens to a friend she has no choice but to open the lines of communication. I do love a ghost story and this has plenty of shocks and twists.
  • Monster by C.J. Skuse – Another remote and isolated location (a girl’s boarding school in the middle of nowhere), a group of girls left alone during a blizzard and the legend of the Beast of Bathory, a big cat rumored to roam outside the school. This is a little slow to get going but once the blizzard starts it’s truly gripping and keeps you guessing till the very end.
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins – There’s someone inside your house and for some reason they feel the need to move around your furniture and then bump you off in a violent and gruesome way. Not exactly the scariest of reads (not scary at all in fact) but it’s an easy read with plenty of diversity and a cutesy romance.


The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Girl with All the GiftsThe Beast of Barcroft (The Fatal Folklore Trilogy Book 1)

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Not sure why but there was a lot in this that creeped me the hell out. I mistakenly thought it was YA when I started it but it’s really not. Beautifully written and absolutely horrifying at times.
  • The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey – This was not at all what I was expecting when I first picked it up. I personally wouldn’t say it’s a particularly scary read but it does have the odd moment where you kinda want to cover your eyes. Absolutely brilliant, as is the film.
  • The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart –  Something is terrorizing the neighborhood killing the local wildlife, pets and a few of the neighbors. Could it be some mythical beast, or has someone’s dog gone rabid (hint: it’s not the latter)? This is the book that taught me the meaning of cryptozoology and also had me looking into the Beast of West Lothian (totally a real thing just like apparently the Beast of Barcroft was).

Paranormal Romance

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)The Skeletons of Scarborough House (The Chapelwick Mysteries #1)Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned, #1)

  • Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost – If you’re going to get involved with a vampire might as well make it Dracula, wait woops not supposed to call him that. He might get angry and torch the place. Jeaniene Frost books are definitely my fave guilty pleasure read and Vlad Tepesh is by far my favorite alpha male. Hot, hot, hot and hilariously funny at times.
  • The Skeletons of Scarborough House by Kitty French – I see dead people, sorry already done that. This time it’s Melody Bittersweet who sees dead people and decides to use her talent by starting the Girl’s Ghostbusting Agency. Unfortunately being the local nut doesn’t leave much potential for love and the only options seem to be scumbag ex and competition and the local reporter determined to prove you a fraud. This is a funny read but also more emotional than you would expect. Also Kitty French is the master at creating chemistry in the most unexpected of places.
  • Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman – Vampyres with a Y this time (is there a difference?). Anyway, girl goes to get hypnotized to stop smoking and winds up a vampyre, it could happen to anyone. I love Robyn Peterman books, they’re very crude but extremely fun reads.

So that’s my top ten Halloween reads. Have you read any of these or have I tempted you to pick them up? What are your favorite Halloween reads?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

Rubber Ducks, Frogs, Elephants and Elegant Hedgehogs – Ten Books with Rather Unique Titles

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is ten books with unique titles. This topic is absolutely perfect for me as I absolutely love weird and quirky books and that starts with the title. I have been known to buy books purely based on a bizarre title or cover. It’s a shockingly bad way to pick books but it has led to some brilliant discoveries. Anyway, these are some of the most unusual titles I’ve come across, some I’ve read, others are on my TBR.

1 Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Chris Brookmyre

Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

Do you believe in ghosts? Do we really live on in some conscious form after we die, and is that form capable of communicating with the world of the living?…Aye, right. 

That was Jack Parlabane’s stance on the matter, anyway. But this was before he found himself in the more compromising position of being not only dead himself, but worse: dead with an exclusive still to file.

From his position on high, Parlabane relates the events leading up to his demise, largely concerning the efforts of charismatic psychic Gabriel Lafayette to reconcile the scientific with the spiritual by submitting to controlled laboratory tests. Parlabane is brought in as an observer, due to his capacities as both a sceptic and an expert on deception, but he soon finds his certainties crumbling and his assumptions turned upside down as he encounters phenomena for which he can deduce no rational explanation. Perhaps, in a world in which he can find himself elected rector of an esteemed Scottish university, anything truly is possible.

One thing he knows for certain, however: Death is not the end – it’s the ultimate undercover assignment.

I could have filled the whole top ten with books by Chris Brookmyre (I haven’t, in case you’re worried) as all of his earlier books had very unusual titles. This is book five in the Jack Parlabane series and is probably the last one before the titles became kinda boring (Black Widow, Want You Gone). I miss his older books but I get the feeling the odd titles were putting people off, particularly outwith the UK.

2 A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love one debilitating phobia at a time.

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them. 

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares. 

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love.

This is one of the books I picked based on the cover (there’s a lobster, a lobster!!!) and a title that’s a little different. As it turns out the whole book is a little bit different but absolutely brilliant. It’s all about dealing with anxiety and other issues. The way it’s written is a bit quirky but it’s actually one of the most realistic portrayals I’ve come across. There’s definitely a lot to relate to.

3 The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres

The War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts

Louis de Bernières’s sardonic pen has concocted a spicy olla podrida of a novel, set in a fictitious Latin American country, with all the tragedy, ribaldry, and humor Bernières can muster from a debauched military, a clueless oligarchy, and an unconventional band of guerrillas. There’s a plague of laughing, a flood of magical cats, and a torture-happy colonel. The cities, villages, politics, and discourse are an inspired amalgam of Latin Americana, but the comedy, horror, adventure, and vibrant individuals are pure de Bernières.

This masterpiece, the first of a trilogy, is followed by Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman.

It’s been a long time since I read this, I went on a de Bernieres spree after reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but from memory it was an enjoyable read. Like all of his books there were some long waffly bits that I’m pretty sure I skimmed over but other parts I loved. My favorite book in the trilogy is however Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord. It has a much more interesting story.

4 The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

The Ragged Trousered PhilanthropistsThe Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen’s spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is both a masterpiece of wit and political passion and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written

I’m supposed to be reading this right now for my real life book club but so far I haven’t made it past the prelude. I suspect the title is the most interesting thing about this book as that blurb really doesn’t appeal. I was having a very funny chat on Friday with another member of the club who’s made it to 20% and absolutely hates it. It’s written the way the working class apparently spoke so the spelling is interesting to say the least. H’s seem to be dropped from words they should be in and added to words beginning with a vowel.

5 The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the HedgehogRenée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society’s expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renée passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. 
Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. 

Another real life book club book and another book I was not a fan of. It was funny watching the library assistant’s face when I asked if I could reserve a copy of this (I think she asked me the title three times) but that was pretty much all I liked about it. Far too heavy on philosophy and too light on action for me. Plus the whole 12 year old planning her suicide storyline really annoyed me.

6 Oz the Schnoz and the Elephant Rebellion by Nick Pirog

Oz the Schnoz and the Elephant RebellionOz Wimbly is fat, slow, has a huge nose and is an easy target for the bullies of his school. One day Oz gets a letter, he has been drafted into the ‘Elephant Rebellion.’ Oz is whisked off to Fort Loxo, located in a galaxy far from ours, and learns he is an elephant that has been hidden on Earth. Oz, along with a fledgling cast of other kid elephants, tries to survive ten weeks of Basic Training. But Oz soon finds out the grueling hours of PT, the obstacle courses, the krams, the Top Trunk tournament, and the thousands of push-ups are preparing them for battle. Ten of them will be chosen for the most dangerous mission ever attempted by the Rebellion. To retrieve the Firestones. And possibly win back their planet. And it might all just be up to Oz. 

I love Nick Pirog, his books are always full of humor and have that something a little bit out there about them. They shouldn’t work but somehow they do. I have to confess this is the only book of his I haven’t read but it’s definitely on my TBR.

7 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

From elephants to an Oliphant. I love this book sooo much I had to put it on the list. The title is maybe not that unique at the moment, there seem to be a lot of people who are fine or not OK but her name is pretty unique so I’m sneaking it in.

8 A Girl’s Guide to Kissing Frogs by Victoria Clayton

A Girl's Guide To Kissing FrogsA girl may have to kiss some frogs before she finds her Prince Charming, but Marigold has found herself a real toad. On her way to becoming a prima ballerina, she is bent over backwards – literally – working her way to the top. But a painful fall sends her limping back home, where an old friend is ready to sweep her off her feet.

OK yeah there are quite a few Girl’s Guides around at the moment but are they about kissing frogs? This is another one I’m sneaking onto the list because I love it so much. It is pretty much just a romance and not a lot happens but there are some very eccentric characters, some ballet dancing, a whole gothic castle type bit and a lot of commentary on class, manners and education.

9 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueHenry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I suppose if girls are getting guides it’s only fair that gentlemen get one too 🙂 I haven’t read this yet but I really, really want to it’s just sooo expensive and I have lots of books I haven’t read so can’t justify buying it. Unless y’all tell me it’s brilliant and a masterpiece and then I’ll have to buy it.

10 The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Another book I absolutely love and adore and would marry and have its babies if I could. I have however only read it once as it’s far too much of an emotional rollercoaster to read again.

So that’s my top ten books with unique titles. Have you read any of these or have I tempted you to pick them up? What’s the most unique title you’ve come across?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

8 Books with Seriously Scary Covers

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is ten books with fall/autumn covers but having had a futile search through my books and feeling all Halloweeny I’ve decided to do spooky covers instead. Whether they’re just a little bit creepy, kinda gross or down right terrifying, these are the covers that either draw you in or send you running for the hills.

Read on if you dare.

1 The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)The Ghost Files 2 (The Ghost Files, #2)The Ghost Files 3 (The Ghost Files, #3)

I think every cover in this series has been creepier than the last, I mean look at them. I know a few people who out and out refuse to even attempt this series about a girl who sees dead people purely because of the covers but they are totally missing out. Yes, it’s kinda creepy with ghosts popping up all over the place but it’s pretty good. I’ve just discovered book 4 is out so I’ve already downloaded.

2 Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell

Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston, #1)

This is a serial killer thriller rather than a horror but definitely wins an award for one of the creepiest, most horrible covers I’ve come across. The story is a bit less scary than the cover but still pretty disturbing.

3 The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart

The Beast of Barcroft

This series has been one of my recent favorite horror reads. You have to love a good monster in the woods story and this is a good (or really evil) monster in the woods story.

4 The Rats by James Herbert

The Rats

As the owner of a cat who is an expert hunter and someone who spends a lot of the time in barns and stables, I am for the most part ok with mice but rats…. Sorry, I know some people keep them as pets but no, no, no. I read this book a long time ago and despite being horrified for most of it really enjoyed it. I’ve been very tempted to do a re read but those beady little eyes are putting me off.

5 The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The HatchingSkitter (The Hatching #2)

Bleugh!!! I hate spiders, I don’t mind the odd little tiny one but when there’s as many as there are on these covers (or in my shed) expect much running and screaming. I haven’t read either of these books because of the covers which suggest there might be more than the odd spider in the story.

6 Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Another book I haven’t read but based on that cover I really, really want to. Creepy mist, creepy house, creepy sky, lots of blood, looks good to me.

7 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1)

The word that springs to mind with this one is yuck. Again haven’t read but I’ve seen the film. I didn’t really like it and that actually put me off picking up the book despite liking the sound of it. Maybe at some point.

8 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend and Other Stories

I think this cover pretty much speaks for itself. This has been on my TBR forever and I really should read it soon. I loved the film although I only managed to watch it once because it’s just too sad.

So that’s my top eight (or should that be eleven) books with seriously scary covers. I’m pretty sure I’m missing a few good ones.  Have you read any of these or want to read any? Do you know a book with an even creepier cover? I’m always on the hunt for a good creepy story so any recommendations gratefully received.

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.