Tuesday, 28 June 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: FREEBIE WEEK -- topic of your choice or go back and do one you missed!

For today's post I've chosen to do a Top 10 Books You Could Read in a Day list :) All of the books on this list are either very short (at around 200 pages long) or very gripping or both so they could all be easily read in the space of a single day.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone if you're an American reader!) by J.K. Rowling. The first book in the Harry Potter series which I absolutely adore! This series was a major part of my childhood: I was 11 years old when my parents bought me the first three books as a Christmas present back in 1999 (thank you mum and dad!) and by the time the final book came out in 2007 I was 19. My favourite book in the Harry Potter series is actually the third book The Prisoner of Azkaban but all of the seven books in this series are brilliant and even its companion novels (The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) are great fun! The humour in these books is amazing (I have quite literally cried with laughter while reading them!) The characters are complex and engaging and completely unforgettable. The worldbuilding is fantastic and its themes (friendship, love, courage, sacrifice, etc) are deep and powerful. The books are also thoroughly gripping and suspenseful and, although I know some have criticised Rowling's prose, I really love her descriptions and think that she's a wonderfully visual writer. This series completely lives up to its hype! :)

2. William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher. If, like me, you're a massive fan of both Star Wars and Shakespeare then this book is an absolute must-read! This book is the first in an officially licensed series that rewrites the dialogue of the Star Wars films into Shakespearean iambic pentameter. Now some of you might be thinking that this is an awful gimmick and a horrible idea but this series is actually quite wonderful! Not only are the books hilarious and laugh-out-loud funny, they're also extremely well-written, are full of meta, and really make you appreciate just how Shakespearean the Star Wars films actually are (e.g. the themes of fate and destiny). At this moment in time Ian Doescher has written retellings of all of the current Star Wars films with the exception of The Force Awakens but he seems confident that he'll be given the chance to take that on at a later stage (yay!)

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The first book in the YA dystopian trilogy, I read The Hunger Games back in 2012 just a few weeks before the film adaptation came out. I'd heard a lot of good things about the series so I was pretty confident that I'd like the book but even so I was taken aback at how much I enjoyed it. I could not put this book down! The Hunger Games is such an intense, suspenseful, and powerful read and is a very clever satire on reality television, with Collins also drawing inspiration from Greek mythology and the Roman gladiatorial games. The second book in this trilogy, Catching Fire, I also thought was brilliant and almost as good as the first book although I must admit that I found the final book Mockingjay to be rather disappointing. I still consider myself to be a huge fan of the trilogy overall though and I think it's about time that I gave it a re-read...

4. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm moving onto cover some classics now. The Hound of the Baskervilles was the first Sherlock Holmes story I ever read and it's still my favourite out of the Sherlock Holmes novels. It's full of suspense and spooky gothic creepiness, has some highly eccentric and memorable secondary characters, and is a particularly great story for John Watson (who gets lots to do in this one). If you're a fan of any of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations and are wondering which of the books you should start off with then this is the one that I would most recommend.

5. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. I remember being shocked at how short this play was given the length of its famous musical adaptation My Fair Lady! Inspired by the Pygmalion and Galatea story in Greek mythology, Pygmalion is such a delightful and charming play and I hope I'll eventually get the chance to see it live some day. The play is extremely witty and a lot of fun and yet it has so much social commentary. If you've seen My Fair Lady the story and much of the dialogue for Pygmalion is essentially the same but it has a completely different ending which I vastly prefer!

6. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. I feel like I go on about this book a lot and my regular readers are probably starting to get tired of hearing about it but I am quite a fan of this one. I read it for the first time last year and I was so surprised because I really wasn't expecting it enjoy it as much as I did! This book is hilariously witty, its characters are full of depth, it has deep themes, and it's partly set in Italy (one of my favourite countries!)

7. Summer by Edith Wharton. Edith Wharton is best known for her New York high society novels (e.g. The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth) but she actually spent most of her adult life in France and this highly underrated book of hers is a novella that's set in rural New England with characters who are considerably lower down the social scale than the characters in her more famous works. Wharton's descriptions of the countryside are so lush and atmospheric in this book and I found it to be a deeply fascinating read. This book was also rather scandalous when it first came out due to its exploration of female sexuality (you go, Wharton!)

8. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. One of the Persephone Classics titles (I keep meaning to read more of their stuff!), this is such an adorable, sweet and warm-hearted book. It's kind of like a modern (well, 1930s) Cinderella-esque fairy tale. Also the entire plot of this book actually takes place over the course of 24 hours so I think reading it in the space of a single day would be extremely fitting!

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read The Great Gatsby for the first time back in 2011 or 2012 (I can't quite remember which year) and it's definitely due for a re-read. This book is beautifully-written and poignant and has profound themes and a fascinating setting (New York City and Long Island during the Jazz Age).

10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I often find myself thinking about this book so you could say that it's left quite an impact on me! I'll be watching the news or reading an online article or whatever that will suddenly make me think "OMG that is so Fahrenheit 451!" This classic dystopia is still so eerily, uncannily relevant to today and is such a powerful read. The book is also extremely thrilling with beautifully-written prose that's full of symbolism.

So what are the books that you would consider to be great one-day reads? :)


Carrie said...

I have never understood why they changed the title of the first Harry Potter for us in America. I mean... do they think we can't figure out what a philosopher is in that context? lol


IloveHeartlandX said...

I haven't read most of these books, but I have read HP and The Hunger Games and loved both of them!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/top-ten-tuesday-63/

Hannah @ Broc's Bookcase said...

This is such a great choice of topic and I LOVE when I can read an entire book in one day.
I've done this multiple time with the Harry Potter books,in fact I actually read all 7 in about 5 days (there wasn't much sleeping!)
I could easily read THG in a day too. Love that trilogy!
Once again, great list! :)

Hannah said...

Carrie - I've heard that they changed it because they thought that American kids would assume that any book with the word "philosopher" in the title would be dry and boring but I've always thought that that decision of theirs was incredibly condescending, especially when that didn't stop the book from being a huge hit in the rest of the world. *frowns*

HeartlandX - Yes! Glad to hear that you're a fellow Harry Potter/Hunger Games fan! :)

Hannah - Oh, thank you so much! I have no issues with reading larger books that you can really sink your teeth into but I do love it when I can read an entire book in a day as well! And I've done that multiple times with the HP books too, reading the whole series over the course of a week :) I'm sorry that this reply was late as well. I'm not brilliant when it comes to replying to comments quickly although I am trying to get better *blushes*