Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: Dynamic Duos

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish! This week is Top Ten Tuesday Rewind, where you choose one of the topics previously done. I don’t know why I hadn’t listed these back then!

This list doesn’t contain any couples; just pairs who worked great magic together in their books!

1. Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.

2. Hazel and Bigwig from Watership Down by Richard Adams

3. Jeeves and Wooster from the Jeeves series by P.G. Wodehouse

4. Fred and George from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling; also Sirius Black and James Potter; and Harry and Ron; even Dumbledore and Grindelwald; and…

4. Pretty much everyone from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

6. Pi and Richard Parker from Life of Pi by Yann Martel

7. Liesel and Max Vandenburg from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

8. Tom and Huck (the list won’t be complete without these two!) from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

9. I had a hard time choosing: Death and Susan Sto Helit OR Death of Rats and Quoth from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

10. Sears James and Ricky Hawthorne from Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Who are your favourite bookish duos?

Favourite Literary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke
and The Bookish.
I have a feeling most of these are going to be from fantasy
novels. But I would be lying, if I wrote otherwise.
1. DEATH from Discworld series by Terry Pratchett – Along
with Granny Weatherwax, Susan Sto Helit, Lord Vetinari, Tiffany Aching and even
Rincewind. But if I only had to choose one, it would be DEATH. HE’S FANTASTIC,
PLUS HE LIKES CATS. (see how I switched to Death-speak there?)
2. Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter series by J. K.
– While I do also like Sirius, the Weasley twins, Hagrid and others,
the only other character that I come close to liking as much as Dumbledore is
Tom Riddle (the smart, handsome, obsessed-with the Dark Arts wizard, before he
turned into Voldemort, that is.) But Dumbledore wins. As J. K. Rowling herself
put it, “Everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives.”
3. Jack Torrance from The Shining by Stephen King – Also,
Dick Halloran. I don’t mean the character as portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the
stupid movie version, because he peeled off all the layers off the awesome
character that was Jack Torrance, and chose to act like a freaky psychopath
instead. I liked Torrance in the books; the guy through whose eyes you see the
story and you know that he’s not as bad as he appears (or, at least, he doesn’t
intend to be that bad) and you end up pitying him the most.
4. Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – The
socially inept, kindhearted but confused landowner was probably my favourite
character in the whole book; or at least, the one I could relate to the most. I
now want to get a dog, just so I can name her Laska.
5. Dr. Hannibal Lecter from the Hannibal trilogy by Thomas
Harris –
The Silence of the Lambs is one of the few movies adapted from books
that I actually like as much as the books. Anthony Hopkins is amazing as
Hannibal the Cannibal, and the character is probably the worst and the most
intriguing serial killer in fiction.
6. George Smiley from many novels by John le Carre – The
first Smiley book I read was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, followed
closely by Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I loved both the books! John le Carre
really knows how to create memorable characters, and George Smiley is one of
7. Elijah Baley from Robots series by Isaac Asimov – Lije
Baley always reminds me of Jack Carter (of Eureka) (…or maybe the other way
round) though the latter doesn’t constantly say ‘Jehoshaphat’, which is
probably the funniest word ever. Teamed up with R. Daneel, Lije is one of my
favourite characters from the series.
Making a list of ten is too hard, because I keep changing
it. So I am going to go with the list I have so far. I might have missed a few.
These are my Top Seven Favourite Book Characters ever; which
is good. As my Harry Potter obsessed sister once reminded me (in a
not-so-mildly disapproving fashion) – “Have you not read Harry Potter? 7
is the most magically powerful number, hello!” So, there.

Who are your favourite literary characters?

Top Ten Favourite Non-fiction Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Favourite Non-fiction Books (in no particular order):
I finished reading the book Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life yesterday. I realized I have been reading quite a lot of non-fiction these past couple of months. I love fiction, but there are a bunch of non-fiction books that I just couldn’t help loving just as much.
1. Danse Macabre by Stephen King – (that’s French for Dance of Death) a look at horror books, movies, comic books, tv series and more by one of the best horror writers ever!
2. Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – “how little things can make a big difference”; one of the first non-fiction books I read and liked.
3. The Wonder that was India by A. L. Basham – an amazing book on ancient Indian history that studies the culture of India before the arrival of Muslims.
4. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach – a wonderful popular science book about the use of cadavers in science and the ethical issues surrounding it.
5. A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain – a collection of hilarious essays about a journey through central and southern Europe!
6. Lectures on the Science of Language by Friedrich Max Mueller – Well, this is pretty much the first book I have read on linguistics and I love it.
7. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones – a must-read for all fantasy fiction fans; written in the form of a tourist guide, the book pokes fun at all the cliches of fantasy fiction.
8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King – this is another favourite by Stephen King; a book that deals with the art of writing fiction and King’s own journey to becoming a famous writer, written more in the form of random anecdotes and experiences than a story.
9. The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers by Ayn Rand – an extensive analysis of the four basic components of good fiction: theme, plot, characterization and style..
10. The Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett – how a real cat is hardly anything like the ones that you see in cat food advertisements. This is a must read for all pet owners!!
What are your favourite non-fiction reads?

Books I read because of the Cover/Title!

Well, I try not to judge a book by its cover or title. Mainly because a lot of books I like have pretty dull titles or covers. But there are exceptions to every rule 😉 Top Ten Tuesdays is a bookish meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books You Read Because of the Cover or the Title:

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – I love this cover; a lot more than I like the book, in fact. I love the colours and how mysterious it looks.

2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente – The title reminded me of all my favourite childhood fairytale stories and I just had to read it! The blurb by Neil Gaiman – “A glorious balancing act between modernism and the Victorian fairy tale, done with heart and wisdom” – on the cover page made me pick it up.

3. Papillon by Henri Charriere – I love the book cover. I love how it is so related to the plot, with the tarnished old lock and key being a symbolic prison and the butterfly being the fugitive nicknamed Papillon because of the butterfly tattoo on his chest.

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – I love the book’s title; it made me very curious about the incident with the dog. The book is so great too. And after I read the book, I loved the title even more because it is so exact, and yet so much different from what you could have imagined!

5. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – The cover is so magical. I love the colours and the fairy-tale-like look with the green lizard and the little winged fairy. And it does look like someone is climbing out of a window from a different world into our own; which is sort of how the story goes!
6. The Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett – The title just made me want to read the book. Of course, the fact that it was written by Terry Pratchett helped. I was kind of eager to find out what my favourite author had to say about my favourite animal. I am glad I read it, it’s one of the funniest books anyone acquainted with cats can read!

7. Room by Emma Donoghue – The cover makes the book seem so eerie and mysterious and that is just how it it. Normally I hesitate before reading books by authors I don’t know; but I am glad I read this one. Just like its cover, it’s a really beautiful book. I even like the other cover, the white one, but nothing compares to this pretty blue!
8. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino – My first reaction was “if on a winter’s night a traveller… what?” The title sounds so unique and incomplete that it just made me want to read the book to find out that “what”! The book is even more unique. I love it.
9. Marley & Me by John Grogan – How can you possibly resist the cute little face looking up at you with twinkly eyes filled with innocence? It makes my heart melt.
10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I know it was really all the hype and the great reviews that made me check out the book. But I read it because I loved the title. I mean, isn’t a book thief exactly someone, whom bookworms like you and I would like to read about?
So, is it only me or do you choose (judge is strong word) books by their covers and titles as well?

Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First time

(I am going to keep this list simple. These are, in no particular order, some of my favourite books ever; that were either my firsts by that author, or my firsts in that genre, or I read them in just a couple of hours and was hooked from the first word. I still clearly remember the first time I read these books and I wish I could re-live it.)

1. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

3. Misery by Stephen King

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

5. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones

6. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

7. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

8. Dracula by Bram Stoker

10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Top Ten Tuesday #15

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books I want to Re-read:

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – I read what I thought was the abridged version of this book a long time ago (around the time when I read and liked Enid Blyton) and I hated it. I saw this book in a bookshop years later and realized what I’d read was the original book and it is supposed to be pretty good. I need to re-read it!

2. The Book Thief by Makus Zusak – When I read this book, I just loved it. I want to re-read it to re-love it!

3. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – I remember loving this book. But it was the kind of thing where you stay glued to a book for twenty hours straight without eating or sleeping; and later it seems very unreal; like the whole thing was just a big dream and you get back to your routine and reading that book is only a hazy memory. (Or, maybe, it only happens to me)

4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I just re-read Anansi Boys and it reminded me so much of American Gods that I want to read it again!

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – I miss Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Okay, I don’t really miss Wormtail…

6. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett Because I am only one re-read short of a thousand reads.

7. The Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkeinThe third time’s the charm. When I read this for the first time I hated it. When I re-read it, I liked it. Maybe if I read it one more time, it could convince me to finally read the Lord of the Rings series.

8. On Writing by Stephen King – I do keep reading it over and over in parts. So often, however, that I don’t remember the book as a whole at all.

9. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – I loved this book and I’d like to be reminded why.

10. The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones – Haven’t read anything by her in a long time and I had enjoyed this book a lot!

Top Ten Tuesday #14

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books I feel as though everyone had read but me:

There are a lot of books that have hit the bestseller lists, but I still haven’t read. But most of those books and the kind which I’m most likely never to pick up. For instance, any Nicholas Sparks novel or the books that fit into the ‘paranormal young adult’ genre. But there are some books that I could have read by now, along with the thousand other people who read them; but I didn’t get around to it. There are the books everyone seems to have read, except, unfortunately, me:

1. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R Tolkien – I am going to save these for some long vacation somewhere down the road.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

4. The Stand by Stephen King

5. The Tiffany Aching books (from the Discworld series) by Terry Pratchett – I will read them. Soon.

6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

7. Sandman series by Neil Gaiman – I am still not convinced that I could like comic books.

8. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

10. The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher – From this entire list, I probably want to read these the most!

TTT – To-Be-Read List for Fall

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is, “Top Ten Books that are on the top of my TBR List for Fall!”

I’ve decided to go a bit classic time of the year. Catch up on all the famous literary works that I should have read by now, and a bit of serious-ish fiction that is lying around on my TBR pile for just too long. I need a break from fantasy fiction. I generally referred to the Wikipedia “100 Classic Book Collection” to pick out my classic reads.

Here are my top ten fall reads: (in no particular order!)

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – When I read Dracula, I actually wanted to read this one. But I read Dracula instead and never got back to Frankenstein. So this one has been on my TBR list for a really long time, just dying to be read.

2. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R. L. Stevenson – It’s crazy that I haven’t read it yet and more so because I have wanted to read it for as long as I can remember.

3. Time Machine by H. G. Wells – I can’t say exactly why, but I think I will (most definitely) like it.

4. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain – I completely adored The Adventures of Huck Finn. So, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I have heard much too much about Heathcliff, so I want to read this more out of curiosity than anything else. I am just hoping to avoid a Jane Eyre fiasco!

6. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger– Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Catcher in the Rye, I do want to read this one. I have read too many good reviews not to!

7. The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Guevara – I have been recommended this so many times, I have lost count! I do want to read it though – it should be one of the firsts on the list!!

8. The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald – I am guilty of reading this only halfway through. I loved it though, so I do want to finish it!

9. Perfume by Patrick Sueskind – Another recommendation, though I am still not sure I want to read it – maybe only when I run out of all other options (which is another way of saying probably never!)

10. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – That would be “New York, New York” and oh.. “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” 🙂 I haven’t read many Charles Dickens books since I was a kid, I want to start by reading this!

What are your fall reads?

Top Ten Books that make Great Gifts

I was away for a couple of days and couldn’t find time to reply to the comments on my previous post. I’ll get to that a bit later, along with some serious blogging that I dearly missed. But let me start with a Top Ten Tuesday post – a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new topic every week and this week is a freebie.

I have always considered books to be the perfect kind of gift – there’s hardly anyone who totally hates reading. Many of my friends’ birthdays are coming up, not to mention, my own birthday is less than a month away. So, this week I’m going to list ten books that I think would make perfect gifts for everyone (no matter what age they are or genre they prefer!)

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Despite the Booker prize, I think this book is seriously underrated. My sister received this as a gift; she loved it and so did I! In fact, I don’t know anyone who hated this book. It’s unique, well written, exciting and also very moving. I think it makes a perfect gift!

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This book is amazing. And if you’re going to be skeptical about that, I have to say I was doing just that until a few months ago. The book is brilliantly written, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters! I would gift it to any of my friends and would love to have it gifted to me (say…for my birthday?!)

3. The Godfather by Mario Puzo – The Godfather is another one of those books that (almost) no one actually hates. In fact, everyone I know, girls and guys, love this book. It would be a great gift, and I actually remember having given it to someone as a birthday gift.

4. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome – This book is hilarious; one of the funniest books I have ever read. It is situation comedy, written in such a simple manner that anyone who reads it is bound to love it. I can’t think of a book I could relate to more. It would be a great gift, for all ages, really!

5. Love Story by Erich Segal – I guess this one is sort of a “love it or hate it” kind of book. It’s just I know more who’ve loved it than hated it. Maybe it’s just a you-want-to-read-it-once kind of book. Either way, it might be one of the okay-ish love stories I’ve read. And I just know too many people who love love stories.

6. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein – I gave this book to my best friend on her birthday. I didn’t love it when I read it, but she totally did. I’d also given her a Harry Potter book, but in retrospect, I think this one made a better birthday gift than that. Mainly because it is sort of an introduction to the Lord of the Rings series; but unlike Harry Potter, it’s also a stand alone book.

7. Agatha Christie – Although I have hardly read any books by her, I think she has written the sort of detective fiction that is loved by everyone. Her books are funny and smart, and not too Sherlock Holmes-ey either. I love Hercule Poirot, though Christie’s books without her usual protagonists are also nice. Many years back, I had even given one of my friends And Then There Were None on her birthday.

8. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – I think fans of science fiction will love this book for how awesome it is, and non-fans will like it because, well, it is kind of amazing and at the same time, it isn’t too Sci-fi-ey for beginners. This collection of unique, funny short stories would make a great gift!

9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – This is a beautiful and touching tale of a young autistic boy, from the point of view of a young autistic boy. It takes you to a place where very few books can. In case of this book, I am somehow not sure many people would buy it for themselves, which makes it a perfect gift.

10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – This great combination of fantasy and humour is one of my favourite reads. I might be a bit partial when it comes to this book, but you can’t blame me. It is two of the best fantasy and humour authors together – and it may not be the perfect gift for you – but it’s definitely the perfect gift for me!!

Book Trends I’d like to see More/Less of

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. All you do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week’s topic:
Top Ten Trends You Would Like to See More or Less of

Less of:

1. Human girl – Supernatural guy – No more vampires or werewolves falling in love with innocent human girls, please. I’m dying for this trend to go.

2. Covers like these – I don’t judge a book by it’s cover. But I don’t really see the purpose of having different cover designs, if all are going to be so similar, and so similarly tacky. I haven’t read these books to know/like them, but I am tired of even looking at such covers!

3. Self-publishing – As much as I like to try new authors; and some of these self-published books can be really good, I do think that self-publishing (“at a very affordable price”) has reduced the competition and made it very easy to write books! You don’t just wake up one day and decide to publish a book. Self-publishing does produce piles of books that could use more work, which isn’t to say that traditional publishers produce genius.

4. Journal/Diary format – Don’t you get tired of people (mostly troubled teenagers) pouring their hearts out left, right and center? Something really needs to be done about that.

5. Dialogue – I always consider too much dialogue as a draw-back in a book. If you cannot convert a page long conversation into a paragraph, you can’t write all that well!

6. Series that go on forever – There are so many book series, where you just know the writer is planning the story along the way. And by the time you reach the end of the series, it’s hard to believe how it started off. Twilight, for instance. A series should either be like Harry Potter, connected from the start to the end. Or like Discworld, where only the setting is common for all the books and you can pick any book and start reading the series there!

More of:

1. Longer books – Most of the books I have read lately aren’t longer than 200-250 pages! Of course, there are long books too, I just think there should be more of them. The book shouldn’t end right after you get really into it!!

2. Translations – I know that translations sometimes lose the magic of the original book. But I would definitely like to read more books from the non-English speaking parts of the world!

3. Book to Television – Following the news about an American Gods (Neil Gaiman) HBO series and the fact that I really don’t think movies do justice to books, I think there should be more television series based on books – and really good books – not just Gossip Girl or the Vampire Diaries!

4. Humour – I would definitely like to see more humour. And by that I mean more of actual sharp makes-you-chuckle-at-every-line wit; and less of situational comedy!