Tuesday, 24 January 2017

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 --- that super specific list you want to make?? All yours to tackle this week!

My first post of 2017 sooo... I'm alive! :D I hope everyone reading this has had a great year so far! Today's topic is a freebie which works out well for me as it allows me to do a topic that I didn't get around to last year - my Top Ten Books of 2016. Some of these books I still haven't got around to writing in-depth reviews for yet so I'm glad that I get to talk about them a little here :) So in alphabetical order they are:

1. Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen
I first became aware of Sarah Andersen after seeing some of her "Sarah's Scribbles" illustrations floating around on Pinterest. This book is a compilation of many of Andersen's drawings and I'm a big fan. I find her drawings to be so funny and relatable!

2. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of 'The Princess Bride' by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden. 
The Princess Bride is one of my favourite films of all time (it would easily make my top 10) and this book is a delightful memoir from its lead actor Cary Elwes about the making of that film. The majority of it is told from Elwes's perspective but there are still plenty of asides from various other cast and crew members. If you're a fan of The Princess Bride then I'd say that this book is an absolute must-read as it's full of funny and interesting stories and its tone is thoroughly affectionate and positive. I'd especially recommend the audiobook version of this book as well as it's read by most of the cast and you'll get to hear Elwes's excellent impressions!

3. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness.
Since I loved Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls so much (which you'll also find on this list) I decided to read his YA dystopian series Chaos Walking for a blog event called the Sci-Fi Month. My feelings on the first two novels in the series were initially very mixed as I was reading them and I couldn't quite work out if I actually liked them or not... but the final book was so great that it made me look back on the series as a whole far more favourably! And now I'd even say that this series has surpassed The Hunger Games as the most impressive YA dystopia that I've yet read. Although this series is rather violent and difficult to get through in places, its concept is so unique, its world and characters are so well-developed, and its themes are so rich and thought-provoking.

4. The Court of Thorns and Roses Saga by Sarah J. Maas.
Last year I finally got around to reading the hugely popular YA high-fantasy author Sarah J. Maas and I was very much impressed by her ACOTOR series! Not only was the quality of the writing far better than I was expecting - I found the prose unexpectedly lush and atmospheric - it's a very imaginative and fun series. The books are set in a super interesting world ruled over by various fairy courts and are filled with adventure, political intrigue and sexual tension. And a big bonus point is that its covers are gorgeous! I can't wait to read the third book in the series which is due out later this year and to eventually get started on Maas's Throne of Glass series!

5. East O' the Moon, West O' the Moon by Naomi Lewis.
This book is a middle-grade picture book and is a faithful retelling of a beautiful Norwegian fairy tale called East of the Sun, West of the Moon. This book would make for an ideal Christmas/Winter read and I loved it very much. It features absolutely stunning illustrations from P.J. Lynch and the fairy tale itself has an active and resourceful heroine and a story that is strikingly similar to the much more famous French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, which is probably because both of them were drawing from the same source material (the Eros and Psyche story of Greek mythology).

6. The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman.
This novel is such a bittersweet and haunting work of historical fiction and concerns a young Jewish couple called Lenka and Josef who find themselves separated during WWII. The writing in this book is exquisitely beautiful and lyrical, the difficult subject matter is well-handled, and I became so invested in Lenka and Josef's characters and love story. I'm still thinking about this book months after I finished it.

7. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
A Monster Calls is a middle-grade low-fantasy novel and is a brilliant work. It's such a moving, poignant and powerful read and - although the story is a sad one that concerns death and grief - I still found it to be extremely inspiring as there's so much courage, love, hope and forgiveness in it as well. I'd also especially recommend the illustrated paperback version of this book as it features beautifully eerie drawings from Jim Kay. I'm looking forward to finally getting to see this book's film adaptation tomorrow as well :)

8. The Original Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.
The original trilogy of Brandon Sanderson's high-fantasy series The Mistborn pretty much blew my mind and was every bit as amazing as I'd heard! It's got action and adventure, political intrigue, a truly fascinating and imaginative world, humorous dialogue, hugely likeable characters, an utterly unique and detailed magic system, a lovely romance, genuinely shocking plot twists, and an ending that gave me ALL THE FEELS! :) I do really want to read the second Mistborn series as well now but I've decided to put that off until 2018 and will instead focus on reading some of Sanderson's other works for the rest of this year (e.g. Warbreaker, The Reckoners). I'm glad that he's such a prolific author!

9. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
This book was somewhat outside of my comfort zone since it's contemporary fiction (which I don't tend to read very much) but I loved it so much that I then bought it for two of my two best friends! This book is hilarious (one of the funniest that I've ever read!) and is such a quirky and heartwarming read. I also loved its refreshing choice of setting as most of this book takes place in Melbourne, Australia.

10. The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today by Bryan Doerries.
This book is both a memoir and a piece of literary analysis. It was written by a man called Bryan Doerries who runs a charity called The Theater of War that puts on productions of plays (mainly Greek tragedies) for soldiers, prisons, churches, synagogues, hospitals, and natural disaster survivors. Doerries includes some stories from his personal life and the people that he's met over the years that I found very moving and I loved getting to learn more about the Greek tragedies. I'd also highly recommend the audiobook version of this book which was read by Adam Driver - one of my favourite actors and my biggest celebrity crush :)

Honourable Mentions: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham, and Legion by Brandon Sanderson.

What were your favourite books in 2016? What topic have you chosen to do today? :)