Friday Favourites – Standalones!

Author – Laura

Standalones SML

So. Standalones. This was a surprisingly hard list to write. It turns out I read A LOT of series, not always intentionally but it seems to be the way of things. A lot of the storylines in the books I read are so epic that to do them justice the books would have to be bigger than my head, so I’m not complaining.

Here is my humble little list of my favourite standalone novels.

The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

“Daddy! My Daddy!”

This is one of my childhood favourites. I love the simplicity of life, the slightly grubby outdoor playtime and the strength of the familty unit.

It was the first time I remember being sad reading a book, and the relief when Bobbie’s Daddy arrives at the railway station still gives me goosepimples. I sometimes use this phrase when I see my own Dad; even though I’m (mostly) a grown up, the feeling of coming home is something that just can’t be matched.

A Gathering Light – Jennifer Donnelly

This is a beautiful and sad book. I might have stolen it from my sister, but we won’t mention that. Sharing is caring. I’m not exactly sure what genre you would put this book into; it’s a YA historical horror romance. However you want to describe it the story is powerful and it feels like an understated epic. A must read.

IT – Stephen King

I read this book as a kind of ‘kill or cure’ treatment. When I was far too young to know better I watched the movie, and for months (ahem, years) afterwards I was terrified of clowns and washing lines. I decided, not that long ago actually, to get over it and read the book that the film was based on. I’m really glad I did, because not only is it a fantastic read (if a little trippy), it’s also less about The Clown and more about a group of friends overcoming their childhood fears. I love it. Not so much the film though, even now it gives me the creeps!

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

If you haven’t read this I’d be surprised. It’s one of those books that appears on a lot of Top 25 lists on Goodreads. I read it because the movie was about to be released and I have a thing about wanting the full story before I watch the film, just so I can fill in the gaps myself. It’s definitely worthy of its plaudits. Beautiful and horrifying, you feel like have to keep reading and almost hold Susie’s hand until it’s all over.

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I have written about this book before. It’s my most favouritest book in the whole entire world. You can read my review here. I love the characters, the humour and I love how the fate of the world hangs on an 11 year old boy who doesn’t really know what all the fuss is about. Amazing, amazing book.

NB – Not forgetting The Night Circus, The Prince of Mist and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. All of which have been reviewed here on The Bookspa Blog.

Advertisements

Book Tag!

Booktag

 

Author – Kiera

 

To break up the Friday Favourites a little bit, and because we couldn’t decide who got which book boyfriend, (there was a heated discussion) we’re doing a Book Tag. I know that I like finding out people’s reading habits, so here are a few questions we answered about ours.

 

What is your favourite book?

Laura – Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I don’t really even know why. It just makes me happy.

Kiera –  Book…Singular? Really? Ummmmm…. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Shhh don’t tell the other books!

 

What genre do you prefer?

L – Wow. Second question and I’m already umming. Probably Fantasy but I like Thrillers as well. Fantasy Thrillers?

K – I’m going to go with Fantasy.

 

What is your favourite book series?

L – Harry Potter. An obvious choice but they are all so magical. (Pun intended).

K – Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

 

What books did you hate reading in school?

L – We studied Daz 4 Zoe for English GCSE – it was pretty bad.

K – I can’t remember hating any of the books we had to read at school.

 

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

L – We had the Ladybird book collection – I loved the Cinderella edition with her on the front wearing a pink dress. I always wanted a dress like that *sigh*.

K – The first books I remember reading myself were probably Enid Blyton Books. It would have been either The Famous Five or The Faraway Tree, but I can’t remember which one I read first. Oooh! Or The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

 

Bookstores or libraries?

L – Kiera you buy books from libraries! I would say Bookstore. Especially the really old ones that smell amazing and have wonky floors. Mr B’s anyone?

K – Both? If I had to pick one, could I cheat and say libraries and then still order books online?

 

How many books do you own?

L – Nowhere near as many as I would like.

K – Almost 400. Plus 200ish kindle books.

 

Do you read before bed?

L – Absolutely.

K – Every night.

 

What is your most comfortable reading position?

L – Curled up in a blanket on the sofa with my book on my knees.

K – Sat in bed with my book resting against my knees.

 

What is the most recent book you read?

L – I’m reading Half Bad by Sally Green.

K – I’m currently reading Outpost by Ann Aguirre

 

What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

L – “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter Series. I love that you have to declare your naughtiness before the magic will work 🙂

K‘We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it‘ – DoSB  (there is a pattern here…)

I just think it can be applied to everyone in a personal sense and in the wider sense of global issues.

 
Science Fiction or Fantasy?

L – Fantasy.

K – Fantasy please!

 

What books do you regret reading?

L – I don’t regret reading books. I have been disappointed by a couple of highly acclaimed books recently (no names) but I don’t regret reading them.

K – I don’t think I regret reading anything. There are a few book I wouldn’t read again though!

 

On average, how many books do you read per year?

L – Maybe 3 or 4 a month? I’m a reader, not a mathematician.

K – It varies, depending on what games are out. I can’t read a book and play RPG at the same time, as I find the stories get muddled. As an average I’m going to say 52 full books.

 

What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

L – Twilight. Please don’t shoot me.

K – The Hobbit.

 

Do you like to read outside?

L – Yes, in my garden with a cold drink and a big hat.

K – No. There are bugs and other people outside :p

 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

L – It might sound terrible, but I read to escape, and I don’t generally take much more than feelings back to the real world…

K – Probably to speak out. A lot issues are left not spoken about because they are taboo or sensitive subjects. I think that a lot of problems could be solved if they were just spoken about. Knowledge is power.

 

Of the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

L – The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern.

K – Half Bad by Sally Green

 

Bookmark or a random piece of paper?

L – I have a lovely magnetic Batman bookmark, but it’s normally a receipt or something.

K – I have a pack of cards I use as bookmarks. I used to buy bookmarks all the time, and lose them just as often, so I started using cards. 52 for the price of 1.

 

Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, ect.?

L – I normally stop when I can’t keep my eyes open any more!

K – I like to at least finish the page, but I can stop reading at any point. It’s a skill developed over years of falling asleep reading, and having no choice but to find the point you can last remember reading.

 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

L – Yes.

K – Drink, yes. Eat, no.

 

Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

L – Yes. Although I wouldn’t choose to.

K – Sometimes. It depends what I’m reading and what is going on around me. I have to start new books on my own in quiet, but once I get into the book I can read through most things. I don’t tend to put music on to read though.

 

One book at a time, or several at once?

L – I quite often have at least 2 on the go.

K – I have on very few occasions read more than one book at a time. I get the stories muddled easily, so generally I read one at a time.

 

Reading at home or everywhere?

L – Duh – everywhere!

K – Everywhere!

 

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

L – I try really hard not to.

K – All the time. If the characters are having a conversation I always read through the dialog and then go back and read the rest. I don’t know why, I have tried to stop doing it, but I’m just too impatient.

 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

L – Lets just say I am more careful when I borrow other people’s books…

K – New, new, new…. Please.

 

Do you write in books?

L – Who does that?

K – No. Why would you!? That’s what sticky pads or note books are for 😉

 

 

We weren’t tagged by anyone, but questions were found at –

http://acbookjunkies.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/book-tag.html

&

http://laurenreadsya.tumblr.com/post/17329933244/tag-questions-about-books