5 reasons to read North and South by E. Gaskell

Title / North and South
Author / Elizabeth Gaskell
Publication Date / 1855
Page no. / 544
Overall Rating / 
It’s time for another 5 reasons to read style review and today I wanted to talk about one of my all time favourite classics, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I first read this back in secondary school and it’s remained a favourite of mine since then. Let’s get started.
  • The writing is fantastic and I personally found it to be quite an easy classic to read. I think this would be a great book to read if you are new to classics and want to start reading them.
  • There is a great cast of characters and I love Margaret as the protagonist. All of them are well written from a range of backgrounds, which gives the reader a better look at society as a whole at the time. Some of my favourite characters include Bessy and Nicholas Higgins but I love all of them really.
  • It’s such an interesting look into society at the time and what the British landscape looked like at the time. It was so interesting to see the differences between the countryside and towns, and how our protagonist adapts to these changes.
  • If you are a big fan of reading classics and/or have enjoyed books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters etc then I think you will love this book.
  • As already mentioned it’s one of my favourites, so of course I’m taking this opportunity to recommend it. Also the BBC adaptation starring Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage is fantastic and well worth checking out too.

 

 

That’s all for today. Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought of it. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

If you liked this… try this…

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title I going to be sharing some recommendations in the form of a if you liked this… try this post. I’ve never done one of these before but I thought I’d try it out today. No surprise that all the books I’m going to be talking about are fantasy books, so let’s get started.

 

If you liked Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay then I think you may like the Initiate Brother duology by Sean Russell
Both of these books have East Asian influences as well as political intrigue, a fantastic cast of characters and a compelling plot. If you enjoy slower paced fantasy that are character driven then you need to check out both of these books.

 

If you liked LOTR by J. R. R. Tolkien then I think you may like the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon
Although the Pellinor series is very much its own series, you can clearly see the influences from Tolkien. I have to admit I did find LOTR quite dense but I still really enjoyed it. The Pellinor series is one of my all time favourites and want to recommend it to as many people as possible.

 

If you liked Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier then I think you may like The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden.
Both of these books have a distinct fairy tale feel to them as well as a great female protagonist. I loved both of these books. Each of them contains a compelling story, fantastic writing and a great cast of characters.

 

If you liked the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan then I think you may like the Greatcoats series by Sebastien de Castell.
Both of these fantasy series are full of humour and are just so entertaining to read. I love both of these series and would highly recommend them if you are looking for a fun, fast read. Both of these series are so good.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I quite like doing a recommendation post in this format. Have you read any of these books? Or would you recommend any other books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Recommendations: More Fantasy

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s been a while since I’ve done a recommendations post so I thought I’d share some more fantasy favourites with you guys. I’ve written quite a few of these already so if you think any books are missing then check them out too – I’ve linked them all below. You guys should know by now that I read a lot of fantasy and I love sharing it with you all :). Let’s get started.
Fantasy recommendations: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6

 

Under Heaven / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★★
This was my first five star read of this year so of course I want to recommend it to you guys.  Everything about this book was fantastic – the writing, the characters, the world, the plot etc. I’d been meaning to try something by this author for a while before reading this and now I want to read all of his books. I love this book and would recommend to everyone who loves fantasy too. I will have a full review of this book up sometime next month.

 

Traitor’s Blade / Sebastian de Castell / ★★★★
This is the first book in the four book fantasy series, the Greatcoats. I’ve not finished this series yet but I have loved the three books I’ve read. This is such an entertaining fantasy series with a great cast of characters and compelling plot.

 

Forgotten Beasts of Eld / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★★★
If you enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale feel to it then I highly recommend checking out this fantastic book. This was my first book by this author so I didn’t really know what to expect but I loved this book. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written.

 

The Initiate Brother duology / Sean Russell / ★★★★
This is a fantastic two book fantasy series inspired by East Asian. If you enjoy fantasy with political intrigue then this is well worth checking out. It can be a little slow at times but I found this to be a very compelling read and I thought the writing was great. The world is detailed and interesting with a range of well written characters.

 

 

There are so many fantastic fantasy books out so I will definitely be doing more recommendations in the future. I’d love to know if you guys have any recommendations for me. Have you guys read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Favourite Books of 2017

Hi guys I hope you are all well. It’s the first day of the new year and so I thought I would share my favourite books of the past year. I’d been wondering whether to post before the year was ended but decided to at the start of the year. These are my favourite books from everything I read in 2017. I did full reviews of a lot of these books so I will link to any of them for you to check out if you so wish. I’m not going to go into detail about these books but just know that I loved all of them and would highly recommend checking them out. Let’s get started.

 

Disappointing books of 2017:
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
  • Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 

After reading some pretty fantastic books in the past year, I’m looking forward to another year of reading. What are some of your favourite books of 2017? And have you read any of my favourites? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Bookish Academy Awards 2017

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and if you aren’t I hope you have a great day anyway. I did this tag last year and I think it’s quite a good way to round up the year. I will be doing a whole post about all my favourite books though, so keep an eye out for that. If you hadn’t already noticed about me I’m quite an indecisive person so for most of the questions I have multiple answers. Now I’m just going to get straight onto the questions.

 

Best Actor: (Best Male Protagonist) 
Once again I can’t just choose just one so I’ve a couple to share. Two of my favourites are Vaelin from the Raven’s Shadow trilogy by Anthony Ryan, Tormalin from The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and Ven from the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst.

 

Best Actress: (Best Female Protagonist)
There are so many options for this one so I’m sure you’re not surprised that there’s going to be multiple answers for this one too :). My favourites include Noon from the Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, Mara from the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, Vasya from the Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, Daliena from the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst and Pole from Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan.

 

Best Cinematography: (Best Plot Twist)
My answer for this is kind of cheating but I want to mention it anyway as I never expected it to happen and that is the development of Malta in the Rain Wild Chronicles. I know it’s not technically a plot twist but while reading this series I was so surprised by her development. She starts off as a completely unlikable character and slowly progresses to be such an interesting character. Other than that, I’m drawing a blank for this one.

 

Best Costume Design: (Best Book Cover)

 

Best Supporting Actress and Actor: (Best Male and Female Sidekick)
For best male sidekick I’m choosing Hokanu from the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts and for female sidekick I’m choosing Sonami from the Tensorate novellas by JY Yang. I’d love to know more about both of these characters, although Sonami is more of a secondary character then a sidekick. I don’t know that either of these characters would be considered sidekicks but I want to mention them anyway.

 

Best Original Screenplay: (Most Unique Plot/World)
There have been some amazing worlds in the books I’ve read this year so I’ve got a couple to share. Firstly Ebora from The Ninth Rain by Jen Willams, secondly Aratay from the Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst and the world of the Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I also love the world of the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay: (Best Book-to-Movie Adaptation)
To be honest I think I’ve only seen one book to movie adaption and that was Fantastic Beasts, although I haven’t actually read the book. I enjoyed the film though.

 

Best Animated Feature: (A book that would work well in animated format)
I’m not too sure about this one but maybe the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series so far and I think that it has potential for an entertaining animated show.

 

Best Director: (A writer you discovered for the first time)
Once again I have more than one answer for this one. I’ve come across some great new authors this year including Juliet Marillier, Madeleine Thien, C. J. Sansom and Patricia A. McKillip.

 

Best Visual Effects: (Best Action in a Book)
I would say a lot of the books I’ve read this year with action scenes were written really well. I thought the action in The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. The action in Anthony Ryan’s books are great too.

 

Best Short Film: (Best Novella or Short Book)
I don’t actually read a lot of novellas but I did read and really enjoy The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho. It’s only about 50 pages long (I think) so it was a pretty quick read.

 

Best Picture: (Best Stand-Alone)
The best stand alone is probably The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. Mckillip, which I loved. I picked it up on a bit of a whim and I am so glad I did – it was fantastic. I did also really enjoy Artemis by Andy Weir, which is another great standalone.

 

Best Documentary: (Best Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction)
I haven’t read a lot of historical fiction books this year but I did read the first two books in the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom. I loved both books so I’m excited to continue on with the series. Another historical fiction book I enjoyed was To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin – I loved the setting of the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’ve read some pretty fantastic books this year so keep an eye out for my favourite 2017 books post which will be posted soon. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Winter Book Recommendations

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title of this post I’m going to be sharing some books that are great to read in the winter. These are books that are ideal to snuggle up to read on a cold day with a blanket and cup of tea, if that is what you like to do. If not then these are still great books to read.
The Bear and the Nightingale / Katharine Arden
The setting of this book makes it a great book to read in the winter time. I actually read this last winter and plan to read the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, this winter.
His Dark Materials / Philip Pullman
Of course, I recommend reading this any time but I think reading it in winter is a great idea. Basically I love these books and will take every opportunity to recommend them.
The Hobbit or LOTR / J. R. R. Tolkien
I don’t have much to say about this one other than I think settling down with a dense fantasy over winter is a good idea. Although I read fantasy year round there’s something about winter that makes me think of the fantasy genre.
Daughter of the Forest / Juliet Marillier
There’s something about books with a fairytale/folklore feel that is perfect for winter, so the Sevenwater series is perfect for that.
That’s all I have for you guys today. I have to admit that I don’t tend to read books based on the seasons but there are definitely some books that have a wintery feel to them. Are there any books that you like to read in the winter months? 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