Tuesday, 23 August 2011

30 Days of Books Meme (Part 1)

This post is my first instalment in the 30 Days of Books Meme. And yes, I Googled Meme because I didn't know what it was. I know you're supposed to post one book a day for thirty days, but I'm not going to do that, I'm going to do three per post sporadically. Because I can. So, here are days 1-3. For the full meme, click the tab on the right for details.

DAY 01 - The best book you read last year
I read some really good books last year, but the best has to be either "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman, who is fantastic by the way, or "Good Omens" by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. "American Gods" just edges out the other one because "Good Omens" got a little bit dull in the middle, when they had to get all of the characters to the same place at the same time and it dragged a bit.

"American Gods" follows Shadow Griffin as he is released from prison and becomes entangled in the web of Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a former god. I won't tell you anymore, mainly because I don't remember the rest all that clearly (it fits with Gaiman's beautiful and sometimes manic style) and I don't want to give away the bits I do remember, because they're definitely spoilers. It's a brilliant book, maybe not his best, but still excellent. And I particularly enjoyed it because I read it while I was in America, and he happens to mention the town I was living in.

Day 02 - A book you've read more than three times

There are literally dozens of books that I could put under this heading. When I like a book, I tend to read it more than once. I think you get something new from it every time you read it. So, with so many to choose from, I picked the book that I seem to read at least every six months.

"Beauty" by Robin McKinley is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Last semester, we read what felt like thousands of retellings of fairytales. This one wasn't on the list, and I really think it should have been. It's a wonderful book, even if the ending is a bit crap. No, wait, very crap, but I've always had issues with the fact that the Beast becomes a handsome prince. It undermines the whole point of the story. Anyway, it's really good right up until the end, and it's a bit different to other versions that I've read. For a start, Beauty isn't beautiful. She's just an ordinary girl who gets caught up in a messy fairytale and manages the best she can with the situation. Also, it's not a modernisation. Modernisations of fairytales just don't work. And that's not an opinion, that would be a fact.

Day 03 - Your favourite series

Okay, this one's going to "Harry Potter." How can it not? I don't really think I need to explain the appeal of this incredible series. If you don't get it now, I don't think you ever will. Although I will say that if you've seen the films and not read the books, READ THEM. And maybe leave a comment telling me if you understood the films, because I really don't think they can make sense to anyone who hasn't read the books.

So, because I picked the obvious option of "Harry Potter," I'll list my top three series for you.
1 - "Harry Potter", obviously

2 - "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld - the first three are brilliant, the fourth is going a bit far.

3 - "Pure Dead..." by Debi Gliori - yes, it's for children, but it's worth a read. So funny.


  1. I think I might have to pinch this for my blog. Where did you get this from?? It's a tiny bit brilliant. It's difficult to know what to comment on in this post, because of all the books/series you mention, the only one I've read is Harry Potter, and obviously it's fantastic. I'm quite interested in the 'Beauty' book you mention. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favourite Disney films. Also, I utterly loved the fairytale module we did. So I'm interested. Want to lend it to me? Ta :)

    To be brutally honest, the Neil Gaiman book you mentioned doesn't reeeeally appeal to me ... but I honestly can't put my finger on why. I would be prepared to try it, though, so it's going on my list.

  2. My mum actually found it, she was clicking the "next blog" thing and stumbled across a blogger who was doing it, and sent the link to me. I thought it would be interesting. I'm worried I'll end up repeating books, though.

    Of course I'll lend it to you, if I remember. I love it, and I want to get her sleeping beauty one as well, but funds are currently limited. I'm meant to be lending you Uglies as well, aren't I?

    It didn't actually appeal to me either, not in the same way that Stardust and Neverwhere did, but it's just as good. I genuinely only bought it because it was by Neil Gaiman, who I utterly adore, but I thought it was brilliant.