US vs UK Book Covers

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Since these posts seem to do quite well and I enjoy doing them, I thought it was about time to do another UK vs US covers post. For reference the UK covers are on the left and the US are on the right. Let’s get started.

 

Artemis / Andy Weir
This one definitely goes to the US cover. I’ve said a few times I’m not a big fan of people on the cover and so I’m just not a huge fan of the UK cover. I really like the US cover though. I think I like the colour scheme of the US one more too.

 

The Girl in the Tower / Katherine Arden 
I think this one is going to the US too. I really like both of these covers but there’s something about the colour scheme of the US cover that I really like. The UK cover is really nice though.

 

 

Nevernight / Jay Kristoff 
Now I’m not the biggest fan of this series, but I do really like the UK covers so I thought I’d include them anyway. I don’t like the US covers although I think they do fit quite well with the story – the UK ones are great.

 

The Name of the Wind / Patrick Rothfuss
This is abit of a tough one as I quite like both of these covers… but I think I would say the US is my favourite. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the people on the cover. I think it comes down to the colour scheme again – I like the blue of the US cover.

 

I really enjoy doing these post so I hope you like them too. This time I preferred more of the US covers. I definitely plan to do more of these posts in the future so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Recommendations: Historical Fiction

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some more historical fiction recommendations with you. I really enjoy this genre but I actually haven’t read a whole lot of books from it. I get easily distracted by fantasy books :). I’ve got three books to recommend today, so I’m just going to get straight into it.

 

To Capture What We Cannot Keep / Beatrice Colin / ★★★.5

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Synopsis: Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love. 

 

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the setting. The story itself is quite romance heavy which is not normally my thing but with the back group of the construction of the Eiffel tower I think it really worked. The characters are compelling and well written, although the secondary characters could perhaps have done with a little more depth. The writing is easy to get into and I found that I was invested in the story from early on. For me this was a quick, enjoyable read with a fantastic setting. If your not a big fan of romance heavy books than this may not be for you, but otherwise I would definitely recommend this.

 

The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon / ★★★★

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Synopsis: One cold morning in 1945, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel to a labyrinthine library of forgotten titles, hidden in the old city of Barcelona. Allowed to choose one book, Daniel pulls out The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. But as Daniel grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to discover the truth about the life and death of Julián Carax, and to save those he left behind…
This is a fantastic book. I’d been meaning to read this for quite some time before actually picking it up. From the beginning I was immersed in the story and world, although there were a few sections that did drag for me. It is a slow moving plot, so if that’s not your thing than I wouldn’t recommend it. As I’ve said before I don’t mind a slow plot but it’s probably something to do aware of. Although the characters are generally well written, they are a little flat in my opinion and could do with a little more depth. The writing is good too.  Overall this is a great book and I would definitely recommend checking it out.

 

Empress of Bright Moon duology / Weina dai Randal / ★★★★
Synopsis of book 1: A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor’s attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. But young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget. Mei’s intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.

 

I picked this up mainly because it is set in ancient China and I’m glad I did. These books are definitely not perfect but I found them to be very enjoyable historical fiction to read and I loved the setting. I will say I think everything is quite surface level with these books, especially in terms of the characters. I wanted more depth but it’s only a minor complaint as I still really enjoyed these books. The characters are still well written and I found the plot to be quite compelling. Once I started reading I didn’t want to be the book down. The writing is so easy to get into and it really immerses you into this world. Basically I really enjoyed these books and I’m definitely interested in more books set in ancient China.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’d love to know if you guys have a favourite time period for reading historical fiction – I’m not sure about mine :).  I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Words That Make Me Want To Pick Up A Book

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some key words that will immediately make me interested in a book. We all have certain things that make us what to read books and I have quite a few things that attract me towards books. Sorry for the long title but I couldn’t figure out a way of shortening it :). Now these don’t necessarily mean I will definitely pick up the book but these words will make me intrigued to check it out. Let’s get started.

 

General:
  • Hidden identities
  • Mythology
  • Strong group of friends
  • The author

 

Fantasy:
  • East Asia inspired
  • Animal companion
  • Strong female lead (especially if she’s good with a bow)
  • Great world building
  • Assassins

 

Historical fiction:
  • WW1 and WW2
  • Ancient China

 

Other things that may sway me to pick up a book include beautiful covers and/or a recommendation from someone I trust. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them right now :). What words or phrases make you want to pick up a book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Favourite First Lines

Hi guys, how are you? I am pretty happy that we are a fair way into the cooler months now. I am definitely more of a autumn/winter person. Anyway today I thought I’d talk about some of my favourite first lines. I think first lines can really draw you into a book, so I’ve come up with a few that I think are great and set up the book really well. Let’s get started.

 

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”
The Magician’s Guild / Trudi Canavan

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen

 

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”
The Name of the Wind / Patrick Rothfuss

 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
The Hobbit / J R. R. Tolkien

 

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time
The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

It actually took me a while to come up with these as I’ve probably forgotten the first line by the time I’ve finished the book :). I think first lines are a great way to pull the reader in though. Do you guys have any favourites? I’d also be interested in know if you’re autumn/winter people or summer/spring people… I also just want to quickly apologise for not responding to comments for a while – I’m not in the best mental space right now so please bear with me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Recent Favourite Music

Hi guys, so today I thought I would talk about something a little different. Basically I am going to be sharing some of the music that I’ve been loving recently. I love listening to music and there’s some great songs out at the moment. I’ve been loving Spotify ever since my mum got the family account thing. It’s a great way to find new music too. Let’s get started.

 

I would say I have a quite eclectic taste in music, although I’m not a fan of heavy metal or anything that involves shouting. I also find it quite interesting how your taste in music can change over time – in my late teens I wasn’t really listening to the stuff I am today. Anyway I would love to know what you guys have been listening to lately. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Current Favourites

Hi guys, how are you? I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some of my current favourites. This is going to be a non bookish post so I hope that is alright with you. So I’m going to be talking about things I’ve been loving over the last couple of months – really since I did my last favourites post back in December, I think. Let’s get started.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn is probably my favourite game of the year so far, but I also really enjoyed Uncharted: the Lost Legacy. Both are fantastic video games. I cannot wait for the release of the new Assassins Creed game in October!
  • My Birkenstocks – I have annoyingly small feet with a wide foot and skinny ankles so I have always struggled to find shoes that fit me well. The ones I have are from the kids section but they fit well and they are super comfortable. Definitely a new favourite, although I probably won’t be wearing them any time soon now.
  • The Electra Jeans from Mango – finding a good pair of jeans is always a struggle but these fit nicely and are comfortable. They are my go to jeans at the moment. I do have to hem them though as they are too long for me.
  • Dua Lipa’s debut album is fantastic. I’ve been listening to it a lot over the past few months. My favourite song is probably New Rules.
  • Two TV shows I’ve recently enjoyed are Orphan Black and Person of Interest. The last season of Orphan Black was recently released and it was so good. I’m currently waiting for the last season of Person of Interest to be released on Netflix.
  • Aussie 3 Miracle Oil – my hair had been feeling a bit rubbish so I decided to try this and I’m happy to report it definitely made my hair feel a bit healthier. I tend to use this before shampooing but you can also use it on damp or dry hair.
  • Almond milk and honey soothing and restoring lotion from the Body Shop – my skin can be quite sensitive so this has been great at soothing and moisturising at the same time.
  • White Company Orange Grove Diffuser – this just smells amazing and lasts really well.
That’s all I have to share this time but I definitely plan on doing posts like this in the future. Unless you guys hate it, in which case I probably won’t Anyway what are some of your favourites right now? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Black Magicians trilogy / Trudi Canavan

Title / The Magicians’ Guild, The Novice and The High Lord
Author / Trudi Canavan
Publication Date / 2001, 2002 and 2002 (first published)
Overall Star Rating / 
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

 

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”

 

This is one of my all time favourite series so I thought it was about time that I did a series review on it. For me this will always be a fantastic trilogy. I am well aware that it has some flaws but they don’t detract anything for me. Basically this is quite a sentimental favourite. I didn’t have a great time during my teenage years and this is one of the series I would escape to. Anyway let’s get started with the actual review.  This is a three book fantasy series set in Kyralia. It is divided up by districts and the capital is Imardin. I would say that this is a fairly traditional fantasy setting, but that is not a bad thing as the world is an interesting one. If you are looking for unique settings though, than you won’t find that here, but if you enjoy fantasy school settings than you may want to check it out. Not only do you get a good grasp of the culture, politics and magic system of the world, but you also get a good idea of the landscape and terrain of the place as well. Everything is well thought out. Personally I think the world is one of the main strengths of this trilogy. The writing is good, although it is a little repetitive at times. These books are very easy to get into and can be quite quick reads. The first half of the first book is definitely quite slow in terms of pacing. It does drag but do bear with it as it does get better and the pacing even outs. Due to this I think the series as a whole could have been shorter overall. I personally think the plot is quite compelling though.

 

It does rely on the rather overused ‘special’ main character who is more powerful than other people. I think perhaps if I read it for the first time now I would have got a little frustrated with it but at the time it didn’t bother me at all. I think as a whole the characters are well written and you come to really care about them by the end of the trilogy. Sonea is one of my favourite characters, but the secondary characters are just as good – I seriously love Rothen so much. Yes they can probably be seen as quite cliched and stereotypical but I still think they are well written. Perhaps it’s something to be aware of though. The character development through the three books is great and I loved seeing how each of them progressed. I will admit they are quite simply drawn but you’ll still come to care for them. The relationships are good, although some do develop quite quickly. This one is actually quite a tricky one to review. As I’ve mentioned I am well aware of it’s flaws but I still love this trilogy so it’s tricky to come up with a balanced review, if that makes sense.

 

Overall this is a fantastic trilogy that I have reread a few times. I am well aware it isn’t perfect and has flaws but I still love it. Perhaps if I read it for the first time now as a more critical reader I would have a completely different reaction to it. I don’t know. This trilogy will always be one of my favourites as it helped me through a tricky time. I would definitely recommend checking this out, especially if you love the fantasy genre. Have you guys read this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa