Category Archives: Top Ten Tuesdays

The Big Books of Summer | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday all,

I’ve been quiet since my last post, but that’s because I’ve been busy with a few projects. I’m hoping to have an update up this week regarding Pirate Eyes and I’m preparing my usual end of the month wrap-up. But I am loving this new weekly TTT post because (fun fact) I LOVE making lists 😉

If you want to participate, you can find out all the information here at The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s theme is a Summer freebie so I though I’d share with you my (wishful) summer TBR which is mostly comprised of large high fantasy tomes that could make great door stoppers or head knockers if wielded properly.

But before I jump to that list, I just want to take a moment to extend a prayer to those affected by the attack at the Manchester Arena, and to all of us really, looking for peace and love in this world.

I also want to share this tweet I posted on Twitter this morning. I was feeling really frustrated by what had happened, but then I realized a kinder truth that eased it. I hope it can help do the same for you…

Remember to stand by your values, friends, to look for the light in the dark. Standing together, holding to hope and that wish for peace, that is what will guide us through.


THE BIG BOOKS OF SUMMER | TBR

As a reader, I set aside most of my outrageously large TBR books for the summer months. Here are the top ten I hope (but know I won’t) read this sunny season…

15808621

Coming in at 1,107 pages, this is definitely one of the largest tomes I have on my TBR, and one of my highest anticipated ones as well. I read the first book (Name of the Wind) in the series last year and fell in love with the characters and the narrative style and the setting and… oh! I just fell in love with ALL OF IT ❤️️

The only thing that’s been holding me back is the fear that all wise book readers fear — that by the next time the third book comes out I’ll have forgotten everything that happened in the first two. Of course, by the logic of this, my other fear should be if I remember everything that happened in book one… 😳

Oh well, I’ll take my chances and hope that book three comes out a year from now. Hear that Mr. Rothfuss… Please don’t be another Grr Martin. 😊

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb:

27855850When it comes to this lovely book, the truth is that I forgot I hadn’t finished the series 😅 I only realized it yesterday when I was looking through my shelves to figure out my June TBR and saw it and then the realization struck hard and fast! 😳

I loved Hobb’s first series (the Farseer Trilogy) & I jumped into her second one hoping for the same feeling. While I haven’t enjoyed it as much, mainly because there’s no character quite like Fitz in it, I do love the ocean setting and pirates (I’m writing a pirate book, so pirates are always a must for me 😉) .

Anyhoo… I intend to finish this trilogy in June. At 800 pages, it’s not too intimidating a read…

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson:

243272In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

Counting this as three, four and five on the list.

Here’s one that’s been on my TBR for much longer than it deserves to have been. I’ve heard only amazing things about this series and I am making darn sure that this summer is the season when I finally indulge.

Whether or not this means binge reading the entire series remains to be seen. If it does then I can look forward to a whopping 2,168 pages of high fantasy epicness!

Not a bad thing in my mind. Not a bad thing at all…

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman:

1321064The first non-fantasy on my list, this lovely book falls into my second favourite genre category: historical fiction. This will be my first Penman novel – – though she’s been on my TBR longer even than Sanderson! In the past seven months or so, I’ve stocked up on five of her books (Book Outlet had them price at 7.00 versus the normal 20.00. Steal, am I right 😉)

This particularly gorgeous tome focuses on the life of Richard III, infamous for his villainy and twisted shape. Her retelling sheds a different light on the story and I can’t wait to see how she does! In the 936 pages that she tells it in! 😅

This magnificent retelling of his life is filled with all of the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of the fifteenth century, the rigors of court politics, and the passions and prejudices of royalty.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:

685374The fourth book in the Outlander series, I have set this one aside since I read Voyager in winter 2016.  While I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I hoped to, I loved the second one for its historical setting and did enjoy the third one as it introduced new characters and new settings to delight in.

What I really enjoy about this series is how it blends romances, history and fantasy. And Scotland. Enough said!

I really do intend to read the whole series through and if I can get through one a year that would be marvelous. So here’s hoping the summer brings an opportunity to return to Claire and Jamie (which reminds me that I still need to watch the second season of the show. Luckily, it’s now up on Netflix 😊)!

So that’s another 1,070 pages!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White:

10571Another one long on my TBR and on my shelf. I am looking forward to delving into this classic Arthurian text. It’s been too long since I read a book that deals with King Arthur and Merlin and the knights of the round table! The last was Mary Stewart’s Merlin cycle which I must highly recommend to any fellow Arthurian enthusiasts 😊

The version I have is a total 823 pages but there could never be enough pages for me to get lost in when it comes to any Arthur retelling!

Exquisite comedy offsets the tragedy of Arthur’s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

18243Nothing like a hefty classic book to make the sun shine brighter and the long days feel longer! 😅

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

I have been avoiding this lofty Russian tome for some time only because of the sheer size of it, but I am tired of hiding from it and this summer I shall attend to it with determination! Each summer I try to read a large classic (two years ago it was Les Miserables, before that The Count of Monte Cristo). They are among my favourite books and I have no doubt that Tolstoy will captivate me with his words.

Bring on all 1,388 pages! I’m ready to get lost!

Empress by Karen Miller:

2015492This high fantasy is one that was recommended to me by the lovely and talented Sarina Langer and I have it set to read for July. It’s another chunk of a novel coming in at 717 pages! But the story sounds oh so promising:

Her name is Hekat–
And she will be slave to no man.

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader.

But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her god, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.

Honourable Mentions

On the off-chance that I finish the ten books above, I also hope to get to these books as well…

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan



So there you have it! All in all, if I do manage to read these ten books this summer, I’ll be looking at a whopping 9009 pages to delight in! Actually, I rather like the look of that number 😍

What’s the biggest book you’re looking forward to read this summer? Let me know in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

Mothers in Literature | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday friends 🙂

I’m working on a few blog posts for the next few weeks, updates on my progress and for my Crafting the Series posts that I’ve neglected utterly in the wake of too many writerly goals and personal issues.

But I’ve been seeing a few TTT posts around and thought it might be fun to add this to my weekly blog lineup as I try to create a semblance of order here.

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it’s a weekly meme that’s all about books and lists based on a theme.

This week’s theme is a mother’s day related freebie! All you have to do is link back to their page. VOILÀ

As many of you may know, the main character in my debut novella is a single mother named Eléonore who fights demons by night while caring for her six-year old son, Étienne.

So my interpretation today is ten fictional mothers who inspired Eléonore!

Ready? Here we go 🙂


 

3LILY EVANS

 Harry Potter as a series defined much of my childhood and inspired a lot of my writing when I was younger. So it seems natural that some of that would rub off on Eléonore’s journey.

Though Lily’s role in the series is limited to flashbacks, it is her initial sacrifice that sets the plot in motion. And that act of sacrificing oneself for one’s child, that selfless drive to give up one’s life for another, is a quality that Eléonore is imbued with and guides most of her actions throughout the novella.

 


15881MOLLY WEASLEY

Of course, another mother from the Harry Potter series, and one who is far more prominent is dear Mrs. Weasley. A firecracker of a character, she has so much heart to her and yet is stern towards her children and husband. Her fierce nature though makes her a protective maternal figure and she, pardon my French, kicks ass when the ones she loves are in peril.

That spitfire spirit is one Eléonore owns… in my humble opinion 😉

 

 


883198

MARMEE

The strong maternal figure raising four daughters, Marmee is a gentle and compassionate woman who performs her motherly duties while her husband is away at war and, for a good part of the book, is the figurehead of the family. She also acts as a moral compass for the girls in their lives.

While Eléonore herself might lack a proper moral code, she does her utmost to impress upon Étienne the need to follow a steadier path than she.


409207CATELYN STARK

There are plenty of mothers in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by good ol’ George RR Martin, from the ruthless Cersei to Mhysa Dany, Mother of Dragons. But I am prone to think back on Catelyn, a woman who loved her children to the point that she was willing to cut a deal with the Lannisters to save her daughters.

It’s that unflinching, uncompromising attitude that inspired certain actions on Eléonore’s part.


41329LEAH, RACHEL, ZILPAH, & BILHAH

This retelling of the story of Dinah as found in the Bible is one about women primarily and the bond between mothers and daughters. But the spirituality between these women and the relationship that they embody is one I tried to capture in a similar way between Eléonore, Sinéand Rosalie–though this is something that grows in the books that follow.

It also inspired the sense that it takes more than one person to raise a child – that old ‘it takes a whole village’ idea that we’ve sorely lost on.


1885MRS. BENNETT

Mrs. Bennett might be one of the funniest mothers in literature, her satirical caricature set around arranging the best marriages for her child. It’s nothing that Eléonore has to work with, but there is a certain frenzy with which Eléonore acts and speaks and that’s in large part inspired by the rather frantically inclined Mrs. Bennett.


30253864LORELAI GILMORE

Not a mother from literature, I’m aware, but a fictional character that I would be remiss to not mention here. Anyone familiar with Gilmore Girls will recognize it for its central mother-daughter relationship and witty banter. It’s that banter that I really tried to hone with Eléonore, trying for dialogue that was sharp and witty, banter that flowed without feeling forced.

From reviews, it seems I’ve done this rather well. So thank you Amy Sherman-Palladino for inspiring me with rapid fire dialogue and cultural references!


Well, that’s less than ten, but anymore would be forcing the truth. Which mothers in literature have left an impact on you? For good or for bad.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink