Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Worlds and Characters I Never Want to Be

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten fictional worlds we’d never want to live in, or characters we’d never want to trade places with! Here are mine – I’m going to do five of each! :)

Fictional Worlds I’d Never Want To Live In
1) Panem: I think this one goes without saying. Whilst I might be lucky and be born into the Capitol, more likely than not I would be born in one of the twelve districts and then have to worry about avoiding being picked for the Hunger Games. Because I wouldn’t do well as a tribute, not at all.

2) Westeros: As much as I love A Song of Ice and Fire, Westeros does not seem like a very inviting place to live. War, white walkers, dragons… yeah. I’ll stay happily behind the pages of a book.

3) Camorr: And the surrounding areas. I love the city of Camorr in The Lies of Locke Lamora. It’s incredibly well described and brought to life. But would I ever want to live in a place with jumping sharks, cut-throat thieves, and as much filth and grime as I could shake a stick at? No, thanks.

4) Middle Earth: I would probably be slaughtered by orcs. :( Also, there are giant spiders. Nooooo.

5) The Muggle World: I would love to live in the Wizarding World, but sadly, I’d probably be a muggle. And, knowing my luck, I’d have a magical child, so I would know about the Wizarding World and be forever jealous. :(

Honourable Mention: Gilead (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Characters I’d Never Want To Trade Places With

1) Locke Lamora: The amount of crap this guy goes through on a regular basis? No way. I love him and his brains, but I’d never want his life.

2) Anna (from My Sister’s Keeper): Anna was born specifically to be a bone marrow match for her sister, Kate, who is dying of a rare form of leukemia. Imagine having that hanging over your head.

3) Mo (from Inkheart): I love his power to read things out of stories, but it brings him so much heartache. :(

4) Hazel (from The Fault in Our Stars): *gross sobbing*

5) Sansa Stark: Because. Just read books 1-3 of A Song of Ice and Fire. I’m on book four, so things could get better, but it’s been pretty horrible so far. To be honest, this could have been any number of characters from ASOIAF, but I’m pretty sure I’d be most likely to be in Sansa’s position.

Honourable Mention: Severus Snape (Harry Potter)

So, that’s it. What would you guys choose?

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Top Ten Tuesday: A Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten things on our reading wish lists, or what we would like to see more of in the books we read. Here are mine. :)

1) More unconventional relationships in books where the relationship is not the number one focus of the text. Kind of like Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series, where the main characters are in a gay relationship. I want to explore the relationship spectrum: gay, straight, lesbian, poly, etc.

2) On that note, more LGBTQ characters/protagonists where their sexual orientation is not the main focus of the book. For once, I want to see how an asexual or transgender character saves the world. We need more LGBTQ heroes.

3) Fantasy worlds that are not based on medieval England. There are so many other cultures and so much history in our world that fantasy worlds could find their roots in.

4) Love triangles that do not have an obvious conclusion. Usually when there is a love triangle in a novel, you can see from a million miles away who the protagonist is going to end up with. Why not make both love interests equally as likely? Why not have your protagonist end up with someone completely different, or no one at all?

5)  Unreliable narrators. I find them fascinating. Related to this, unlikeable narrators.

6) Protagonists that are parents, particularly in the fantasy genre.

7) Court/political intrigue, once again in the fantasy genre. I love tangled webs of lies and characters that are able to navigate all of this.

8) YA fiction that deals with mental health issues (anxiety, OCD, autism, schizophrenia, etc) or physical disability, though not necessarily as the thrust of the plot. Similar to the above point about LGBTQ characters. Everyone is capable of being the hero of their own story; why don’t we let them?

9) Sibling relationships. I want to see more books where the protagonist is really close to their brother or sister, or when their sibling is along for the ride to save the world.

10) Unconventional gender roles. Characters that are defined by who they are and not what’s between their legs.

So there’s my list. What would you guys like to see more of in fiction? :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Debuts (That I’m Excited For)

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten debuts that we’re looking forward to in 2014. Here are mine. :)

This actually took quite a bit of research, seeing as most of the books I’m excited for are from authors I already know and love. But it was worth it, I think.

Click on the links to find out more about each book! :)

1) The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe

The Headhunters Race

2) The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

3) Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

4) Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

5) Pointe by Brandy Colbert

6) Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

7) Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

8) Fake ID by Lamar Giles

9) Alienated by Melissa Landers

10) The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

So there we have it. What debut books are you most looking forward to in 2014? :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals for 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s asking for the top ten goals for 2014. So here are mine! :)

1) Read at least 50 books this year.

2) Polish the reviews I’ve already posted on Goodreads and cross-post the best ones here.

3) After spending my book voucher today, limit buying books to, at most, once a month. I already have so many books on my shelf I haven’t read yet.

4) When I’m more established as a reviewer, check out NetGalley and request some ARCs (this is more an end of 2014 goal, I think).

5) Read at least 3 classics this year.

6) Catch up with George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (I’m on book four).

7) At least three quarters of the books I read this year should be from books already on my ‘to read’ shelf.

8) Write at least a post a week for The Book Bean.

9) Finish reading the pile of young adult books relevent to my PhD.

10) Try and read at least a chapter every day.

What are your bookish goals for 2014?

My Year in Books: 2013

My goal for 2013 was to read 100 books, and I made it by the skin of my teeth.

And, for future reference, graphic novels totally count as real books. Shut up.

By the way, if you’re looking for a post about books released in 2013, this isn’t it. This is all about the books I personally read in 2013, most of which were published before that.

If you’re interested, click on the book links for my reviews. :)

Here are my stats for the year according to Goodreads:

Total Number of Books Read: 100
Total Number of Pages Read: 26449
Longest Book: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (810 pages)
Shortest Book: King Arthur’s Knight Quest by Andy Dixon (32 pages)

And here are some personal highlights from my year of reading:

Favourite Book: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Least Favourite Book: This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath

Most Anticipated: If Only by Cherise Sinclair or The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Biggest Disappointment: Will You Love Me? by Cathy Glass

Pleasant Surprise: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Guilty Pleasure: The Look of Love by Bella Andre

Book I Wouldn’t Share with My Mother: Club Mephisto by Annabel Joseph

Favourite Male Character: Jason Grace from The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Favourite Female Character: Gemma from Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Best Author Dedication: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Favourite Graphic Novel Series: Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Keep Tissues Handy: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Darkest Book: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Most Shocking Scene: A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin

Best Handling of a Taboo Subject: Stolen by Lucy Christopher or Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Doesn’t Get Out Of Your Head: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or Bran’s Story by Sabrina ‘Maculategiraffe’ Dean

Sexiest Erotica: The Good Boy by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

I Need The Sequel Now: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Favourite Writing Style: A Thread of Deepest Black by Finn Marlowe

Favourite Cover: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills

So there you have it – my 2013 in books. I’ve made a Goodreads goal to read at least 50 books this year, around studying for my PhD. I’m hoping to make this post an annual thing, so it’ll be exciting to see what makes the list next for 2014!