Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it -- do a list of 3 or 5 or 20 on your list. Your post, your choice!

Today's Topic: Ten Three Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.)

1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. This is a series that I now feel considerably less love for. Like a lot of people out there I started reading this series after getting sucked into its TV adaptation Game of Thrones and at first I enjoyed the series very much. The first three books in this series are pretty great. However the last two books in the series were extremely tedious reads for me: the snail-like pacing and lack of any real plot progression bored me beyond belief, I didn't care for any of the new characters (the Greyjoys, the Martells), and previous characters in the series that I used to love (Daenerys, Tyrion) frustrated me beyond belief. At first I thought I'd just stick with the TV show for a while but the rape of Sansa Stark and Shireen Baratheon's character getting burned at the stake last season were massive deal breakers for me. So I've given up on both ASoIaF and GoT now and I haven't found them myself missing them at all. I don't even feel any bitterness or anger towards them like I have with other series that I feel have got worse over time (e.g. the TV shows Heroes and Sleepy Hollow). If anything I feel relieved that I'm done with them and that a weight's been lifted off my shoulders! :D

2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Mansfield Park was my least favourite Jane Austen novel for many years. It took three readings and the web series adaptation From Mansfield with Love for me to appreciate this book as much as I do now! During my first two readings of this book I struggled with it quite a bit due to my great dislike of most of its characters but now my feelings on the book have changed somewhat. Mansfield Park certainly isn't Austen's most entertaining or engaging novel I think - it's definitely not as fun and delightful as Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey or as romantic and moving as Persuasion - and the Bertrams still frustrate me at times. And yet this book has rich themes, is deeply thought-provoking, and is full of drama. The Crawford siblings are two of Austen's most fascinating and complex characters - certainly the most morally ambiguous I think - and although Fanny Price is by no means my favourite Austen heroine I've always pitied her and have felt that her character really doesn't deserve all of the hate that she gets. In fact if only Edmund Bertram were a more likeable hero I don't think I'd have the slightest hesitation in naming Mansfield Park as one of my Austen favourites!

3. Room by Emma Donoghue. Room isn't actually a book that I've read yet but it's on the list because it's gone from being a book that I thought I'd never read at all into one that I probably will. I first found out about Room about three years ago and I was immediately turned off by its subject matter: about a young woman and her son being imprisoned by a Josef Fritzl-like captor. It sounded too horrifying and disturbing, too much like misery lit. I only changed my mind about this book when my brother saw the film adaptation and insisted that there weren't any rape scenes on screen and that he thought I'd enjoy it. So I watched the film for myself and he was right. Yes, it was upsetting at times but I was deeply moved by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay's stunning performances and the love between their characters and I felt that the film ended on an uplifting, hopeful note - which is why I now want to read the book :)

I don't often change my mind about books which is why there's only three on the list this week. So, what books have you changed your mind about? :)

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc)

Found on Jacksonart.com
1. A happy May Day Bank Holiday Weekend to any of my fellow Brits who might be reading this! :)

2. The book that I'm currently reading is Dorothy L. Sayers' Clouds of Witness which is the second novel in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries. Once I'm done with that book I'd like to finally get started on W. Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil.

3. I'm going to update the "About Me" page on this blog sometime next week and I've also been thinking of writing up more "mini book reviews" in the future. Sometimes when I read a book I'll end up having a lot of thoughts and feelings about it and will be able to write up a fairly detailed, multiple paragraph review of it quite easily but then they'll be other times when I'll read a book and I'll find that I could quite easily cover everything that I thought and felt about in just a few short sentences. I imagine a lot of book bloggers will be able to understand where I'm coming from on this. So in the future what I thought I could do is, instead of trying to write a lengthy review of a book that I just don't have very much to say about, is to wait until I've read about four or five other books like that and then to review them all together. The reviews would only consist of a short paragraph and I don't think I'd give the books full synopses like I do with the lengthier reviews that I write. Another reason why I'd like to do mini-reviews is because I personally find it really hard to give in-depth reviews for non-fiction books without summarising everything in them *sigh*

4. I've only been to the cinema once this year and that was to see Midnight Special. There were a couple of plot points in that film that I'd have liked to have been better explored but it's still a fantastic film! :) It's a highly atmospheric and suspenseful SF thriller, its cinematography and music are both beautiful, it has strong spiritual overtones, the acting in it is superb, and I was wowed by its special effects. I love great cinematography and visual storytelling in films but I'm not usually very impressed by CGI even though I know that a lot of hard work goes into it. But in Midnight Special the CGI is genuinely awe-inspiring and makes the film look way more expensive than it actually was. And another great thing about Midnight Special is that it's an original film when there aren't nearly enough of them in the film industry. 

5. During April I shared a lot of poems that I like on this blog as part of a Poetry Month Celebration that my blogger friend Hamlette put together and I ended up writing a few poems of my own which I really wasn't expecting. If you haven't already seen them you can read them here: 1, 2 and 3. The event has also inspired me to read more poetry and I've ordered a collection of Pablo Neruda's poems to get started with. I wanted to share poems for every day of the month but, um, yeah, I failed on that one and I should have prepared for it better (I'm truly sorry, Hamlette!)

6. If you read my previous Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts post you'll know that I've been working my way through the complete boxset of Avatar over the past few months. I finally finished the show about a week ago and I really miss it. Thankfully I still have its spin-off The Legend of Korra left to watch but I thought it would be a good idea to leave it for a month or two before I get started on that show. I've heard that Legend of Korra isn't as good as Avatar and I think if I try to watch it immediately after Avatar I'm likely to be more critical of it. 

7. I did a bit of a baking in April. This is a picture of a Lemon Drizzle Cake that I made yesterday.

8. I'm now seeing Dreamgirls at the West End this December. It's not actually a musical that I know very well but my mum is a huge fan of it and asked me to go with her. Speaking of musicals, I've also downloaded the Hamilton cast recording. I haven't had much of an opportunity to listen to it just yet but I love the songs from it that I have heard and I'm happy that Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to be in the sequel to Mary Poppins along with Emily Blunt!

9. I got my hair done recently and went for a Balyage as you can see here :)

10. There are two things that I'm hugely excited about. One of these things is the new adaptation of Watership Down (one of my favourite books from my childhood!) that was announced the other day. It's going to be co-produced by the BBC and Netflix and the cast for it is just wonderful: James McAvoy, John Boyega, Nicholas Hoult, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Coleman, Ben Kingsley and Anne-Marie Duff! The other thing I'm hugely excited about it is Star Wars: Rogue One. As someone who's always adored the Jedi and force mysticism in the original films, at first I really wasn't sure how I felt about the thought of Star Wars spinoffs that would veer away from that. But a heist film set in the Star Wars universe is such a ridiculously awesome idea that it wasn't long before I was won over by Rogue One and I do love Felicity Jones. And the trailer! I now love Jyn Erso's character already, the cinematography in it is gorgeous, and the film looks suitably gritty and epic. I was also stunned at how much the actress playing Mon Mothma in this trailer looks like the actress who played the character from the original trilogy and I love the first shot of the rebels that you can see in this trailer at about 7 seconds in. I didn't realise this until someone pointed it out but the uniform that they're wearing is exactly the same as the uniform that the rebel soldiers are wearing in the first scene of A New Hope. It's a lovely touch.

Also, if like me you're also a huge fan of both Star Wars and Jane Austen I think you'll very much enjoy this.

I hope you enjoyed reading these various ramblings and flailings of mine! I'm now going to go off and eat dinner and then later on tonight I'll be making an index post of all of the poems that I put up on this blog in April. And I'll be also getting back to everyone who left comments on my blog recently as I know I've gotten very behind on replying again!