Posted in Lists

On Bad Book Blurbs

When I’m looking for new books to add to my to-read list, I usually first check out listopia on Goodreads. If I’m not stopped by a cheesy title and a horrible cover, I click on the book and read the blurb – and that’s a really good way to lose interest in so many books. There are lots of decent blurbs out there, there are some amazing ones that make me want to read the book immediately, but there are also many blurbs that are really badly written. Many of them make the same mistakes. A bad blurb doesn’t mean that the book itself is a bad one, but it does mean that I probably won’t give it chance. Some of my biggest turn-offs are:

  • The Rule of Three

This one seems to be reserved for romance novels. It usually has three very melodramatic parts:

  1. She was… (usually a feisty virgin)
  2. He was… (usually a tortured asshole)
  3. But then they met and… (Oh, I’m sure the ending will shock me)

Of course it’s not always like this. But it happens often enough and that makes it very difficult for me to look past the bad blurb and read the book.

  • The 99%

At first, this blurb seems like a decent one. It describes the story and asks a question. Usually the question is about whether or not a character will make a certain choice. You are intrigued and you get the book. You start reading and of course you already know some things because you read the blurb, but that’s normal. You keep reading and the more you read the more you realize that the blurb told you everything. The incredibly important choice that the character has to make only happens a chapter or two before the ending. Everything is quickly wrapped up and that’s it. That’s the whole book.

  • If you liked…

This is the blurb that lists a few famous books and tells you that this book is a mix of them. And you have to read it because this book is MADE for the readers of those other books. Because after reading a really great book the next thing you want is to read every book that’s cashing in on the newest fad.

  • The Short History

But when you’re writing a blurb, even a short history is too long. This kind of blurb is pretty common in the fantasy genre. The writer invented a whole world and to really get what the story is about, you need to understand that world – the history, the mythology, everything about it. But if your world is complex enough, you probably won’t be able to shrink it enough to write a good blurb. And I prefer to slowly discover this new world while reading the book.

 

Confession: I’ve read many books with blurbs like these. But more and more often they just make me roll my eyes and move on.

Posted in Lists, Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Would Be Tv Shows

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten books I wish would be made into Tv shows

The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo

This would be epic!  Especially if they changed the ending a bit for the people who love The Darkling.

Nightrunner by Lynn Flewelling

Because the books are great (I still haven’t read the last one though) and there should be more medieval fantasy shows.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

Because I never get tired of period dramas.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Because Charmed is long over, and I want another show about a family of witches. And I want to watch Pynch happen. The last book was a bit weak, but the story is still amazing.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

There’s no way this is gonna happen, and if it did happen, there’s no way it would be done right. But I can still hope.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

There are so many things that the movies got wrong, a TV show would have the time to get the details right… and it would last a lot longer 😀

Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

The movie was ok, but I think this book series could be adapted into a much better comedy show.

The Vorkosigan Saga by Luis McMaster Bujold

Incredible sci-fi series that I still haven’t finished, but there is so much potential here, the show could last longer than Supernatural.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I know this has been adapted a billion times, but the adaptations usually just keep the characters and the setting but change the story. I want an adaptation that sticks to the book because that story is better than anything anyone else has come up with.

Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich

The movie flopped, so the movie series isn’t gonna happen, but I think it should get another chance in the form of a TV show.

 

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy Right Now

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten books you’d buy right this second if someone handed you a fully loaded gift card!

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I read this book and loved it, but I don’t own it, So this would be one of the first I’d buy (and the sequel too!). I want to reread those two before the third book comes out.


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The Persian Boy by Mary Renault

This is the second book in Alexander the Great trilogy, one of my favorite trilogies ever. Mary Renault is the perfect writer for anybody that enjoys reading about ancient Greece and I think this book is her best work.


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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I’m a big fan of The Grisha trilogy, but I still haven’t read this one… maybe I should wait until the rest of the books are out. But I probably won’t – I’ll probably buy it as soon as possible.


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Saga Vol 5. by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples 

The first four volumes of this crazy space opera graphic novel were incredible, hopefully the series continues that way.


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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This is the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, it seems like the kind of epic fantasy I’d love.


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The Norton Anthology of Poetry by Margaret Ferguson, Jon Stallworthy, Mary Jo Salter

This is 2000 pages long and very expensive, but it contains 1800 poems and I really, really want it. I’m getting back into reading poetry so this would be perfect for me.


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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

This is one of those books that I’ve heard so much about, I just want to read it to finally see for myself if all the hype is worth it. But I doubt I’ll get around to it anytime soon.


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Shards of Time by Lynn Flewelling

The seventh (and last) book in the Nightrunner series. I remember reading the series and being absolutely in love with Seregil, Alec and their adventures, but for some reason I still haven’t read the last book.



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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Is there anyone other than me who hasn’t read this? The second book is out too and I haven’t even read the first one. Catching up to my to-read list is getting more and more difficult.


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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Yet another series on my list… Everybody seems to love this. It’s a young adult (or maybe new adult?) fantasy that I think I’d love too. Hopefully I’ll find out soon enough.


This was a seriously difficult list to compile. The fact is, if I could, I’d buy every book on my GR to-read list 😀

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday 6

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: unusual character names.

1. Sherlock – I love Sherlock and I love his name. I wonder if there are any real people named Sherlock?

2. Frodo from LOTR – one of my favorite names. Much better than ‘Maura’.

3. Seregil from The Nightrunners series – the characters in fantasy books usually have unusual names, but there isn’t enough space for all of them on this list.

4. Zero Kiryu from Vampire Knight – his name is Zero! It’s unusual and awesome!

5. Echo from Pushing the Limits – It’s weird but very pretty.

6. Hermione from Harry Potter series – it took me ages to learn how to pronounce it.

7. Katniss from The Hunger Games – I don’t really know why, but I think it fits her.

8. Alaska from Looking For Alaska – she picked her own name and she picked well.

9. Huckleberry Finn – I didn’t know how to pronounce this one either, but at least he has a short nickname.

10. Ponyboy from The Outsiders – weirdest name ever. Why would you call someone that?

 

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday 5

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: books I was forced to read.

All of the books on my list were required reading for school. I don’t think anyone has ‘forced’ me to read a book outside of class 🙂

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Okay, so some parts were really boring. But there are some really awesome characters that I loved reading about.

2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare – I didn’t realize how good it was until I read it in English. The translation just can’t be as good as the original.

3. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo – I remember thinking ‘I’m gonna read the first chapter to see what it’s like’ and I ended up reading the whole book in one day. I absolutely loved it.

4. Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus – I didn’t like this one the first time I read it. I tried again a few years later and was surprised by how much I liked it.

5. A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen – There was a big discussion in class about whether Nora’s choice was right or wrong. I remember that because we didn’t usually discuss books much. I reread it a couple of times since.

6. Death and the Dervish by Meša Selimović – Such a beautifully written book.

7. Inferno by Dante Alighieri – We didn’t have to read the whole Inferno for school, but I did, because I really enjoyed it. Purgatorio was not that good and I never even finished Paradiso.

8. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – I was the only person in class who enjoyed this book. I read it many times and it’s still so awesome.

9. Animal Farm by George Orwell – Funny and smart.

10. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes – Hilarious book. I wish I could read it in the original language.

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday 4

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: books on your summer TBR list!

1. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

2. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

4. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

8. A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook, Brendan Halpin

9. Lexicon by Max Barry

10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday 3

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: top ten characters I would crush on if I were also a fictional character

1. Seregil – from the Nightrunners series by Lynn Flewelling.  “Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable” –  I can’t wait for the next book 🙂

2. Zero – from Vampire Knight manga. I’ve been rooting for him since the first issue.

3. Ichigo – from Bleach manga. He’s a bit too young for me, but still…

4. Sherlock Holmes – He’s a genius. That’s quite enough for me.

5. L – from Death Note manga. The same explanation as for Sherlock. Plus I think he’s cute.

6. Arthur – from the TV show Merlin. I’m watching the first season now and he’s my favorite character.

7. Sirius Black – from the Harry Potter series, in case somebody doesn’t know.

8. Miles Vorkosigan – from the Vorkosigan saga. He’s just amazing.

9. Eric Northman – from the Sookie Stackhouse series.He’s been kinda boring in the last couple of books, so I’d have a crush on the earlier version.

10. D’Artagnan– from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. My favorite character is actually Athos, but I can’t see myself having a crush on him.

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday 2

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: books I recommend the most.

The books I recommend the most:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – forever one of my favorite books.

2. Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry – the first twenty years of his life. He’s brilliant, and so is the book. There’s a sequel: The Fry chronicles, that’s also very good.

3. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle –  because it’s Sherlock. And Sherlock is awesome.

4. Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne – One of these days, I’ll write a review of this book. I tried before, but it was difficult to find the right words to describe it.

5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – One of my favorite YA fantasy books. And the sequel will be out soon 🙂

6. Nightrunners series by Lynn Flewelling –  there are six books so far in the series plus a collection of short stories. For everyone who like good fantasy series.

7. Alexander the Great trilogy by Mary Renault – and every other book by Mary Renault. I love reading about Alexander the Great and her trilogy is amazing, especially the second book (The Persian Boy).

8. Special Forces series by Marquesate and Aleksandr Voinov – Very explicit and very violent. All the books in the series are available for free on author’s website. So you can start reading them right now 🙂

9. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – I was thinking about which books by John Green and David Levithan to put on the list, and decided to simply put the one they wrote together. But everything either of them writes is worth reading.

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – beautifully written. Lord Henry is my favorite fictional character ever.

Posted in Lists

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: series you’d like to start but haven’t yet.

Last year I wrote a post titled Series I need to read. I still haven’t started any of them, so some of them will be on this list, too.

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – At this point, all I can say is: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?!?
  2. Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde – It’s a book in which characters from other books are real. And you can actually end up IN a book. And I really, really, really want it.
  3. The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner – Someone recommened this to me ages ago. I like stories about thieves, I suppose I’ll like this.
  4. The Tamír Triad by Lynn Flewelling – I love the Nightrunners series and this takes place in the same world. It’s gotta be awesome.
  5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – I read the first two books in The Infernal Devices series, so I’m planning on reading TMI, too. Hopefully, I’ll start before the movie comes out.
  6. The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss – “magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen”. Is this about Voldemort? Yeah, I’ll read it.
  7. Discworld by Terry Pratchett – I keep seeing this book in the library. It’s seems to be on every shelf that I look at. I think it’s haunting me. Therefore, TBR.
  8. Foundation by Isaac Asimov – I wanna know what the fuss is about.
  9. The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa – One of the many YA series I STILL haven’t started.
  10. Ender’s Saga by Orson Scott Card – I just realized that there are already 6 books in the series. Better start soon.