Category Archives: Top 5

Top 5: Jane Austen adaptations

TV and film companies love Austen. Maybe it’s the enduring appeal of the novels, maybe it’s the huge in-built audience of Austen fans that’ll guarantee success, maybe they just like the clothing, or maybe they’re just too damn lazy to find and utilise less known novels. Who knows? Either way, it means that the market place is flooded with films, tv series, plays, webisodes – period versions, modern-day versions, Bollywood versions, time travelling versions, versions with zombies… (and that’s just for one book!) basically pretty much any ‘twist’ you can think of.

Well before I read any Austen for myself I had seen TV and film adaptations of most of her books, some good some…not so good. Here are just 5 of my favourites – and yes, they are mostly (but not all) period versions, maybe later I’ll put together a list of my favourite modern-day versions but for today it’ my all time favourites and these are simply the ones I love the most. Continue reading

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Worst 5 reads of 2012

While I liked most of what I read last year there were a few duds, as there always are, that sipped through the cracks. So as a companion piece to my top 5 reads of 2012 here are 5 of the worst books I had the misfortune to encounter. This was actually a much harder list to put together than my favourites list. Three books immediately jumped out at me as some of the worst books I could recall reading ever, but it took a very long time and lots of scrolling through the blog to even remember reading the last two on my list.

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Top 5 reads of 2012

So I haven’t quite finished catching up with the last of my 2012 books that need reviewing, but since none of them are going to make an appearance on either my 5 Best or 5 Worst lists this year I thought I’d just plow on and get these up.

2012 was a pretty good year for books for me, I managed to fit more books in than I have for a very long time, and I enjoyed almost all  of them – which is always good! That should probably make any ‘top 5’ of 2012 a quite difficult task, but when I actually got down to looking over the books I’d read this year the standouts were obvious. These were the books that I really loved, not just enjoyed, but ones that found a special place in my heart and that I will happily try to force on any and all acquaintances. So, in no particular order: Continue reading

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Top 5 – Female characters in children’s fiction

This month’s top 5, an issue  I think is very important – children’s books that get it right when it comes to female characters. As I’m sure a lot of girls will attest to it is disheartening as fuck when the characters who are meant to represent you are always portrayed as wimpy and annoying, relegated to a side character to fawn over the male hero or, even when given the title role, have a character arc that consists of silently putting up with all sorts of crap so that they can win the heart of a rich and handsome man they’ve barely even had a conversation with before. Not that there’s not a place for those stories – there is strength in traditional femininity and for some women finding a husband and starting a family is the most important thing,  and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it’s not true of all women and it shouldn’t be the sole characterisation of all women in literature either, especially that aimed at children in their formative years. So this month I’m going to celebrate a few authors who do something more with their female characters.

Actually, I think these days children’s books get it right more often than adult books when it comes to portraying women as something other than an object to be either won, overcome, or jerked off to. In fact, I ended up temembering so many awesome female characters that I decided to split this into two parts and do a top 5 female characters in illustrated books for smaller children next month.

Most of these books are pretty modern for the simple reason that I avoided the children’s classics that were marketed towards girls like the plague when I was a child precisely because I wasn’t a girly child, and the ‘boys own’ classics I did read didn’t have many female characters at all. This sort of marketing is actually something I would love to see change –  girls should enjoy Robin Hood and Treasure Island and boys fairy tales or Black Beauty without being made to feel abnormal for it. I’m sure there are strong female characters in older books though and I don’t mean any slight by not including the girl from ‘The Secret Garden’ or ‘Little Women’ or whatever – I simply haven’t read those books. I’ve also tried to keep it ‘children’s’ and not cross too far into  ‘teenage/young adult’ – so no Tamorra Pierce here (who does do a good job of portraying women of all personalities as strong, even if I think her plotting and worldbuilding are pretty shit) or Katnis from The Hunger Games (which I haven’t read and don’t really have any intention to). Also not included are any ‘girl disguises as boy’ plots where the reveal is meant to be a big surprise, that’s just spoilery. I’ll have to sneak that awesome heroine in through in another top five instead.

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Top 5: Book to TV Adaptations

So I was a bit busy at the end of April to get a ‘Top 5’ post up…better late than never though. From now on I’ll make more of an effort to get them pre-written in time to go up on first sunday of each month.

This month, to belatedly celebrate the return of Game of Thrones, it’s book to TV adaptations. Now there is a lot of great TV adapted from books, so I am rather limiting myself in only picking 5 –  especially as there are lots that I haven’t seen and I’m ignoring series I have seen but are based on books I haven’t read (thus disqualifying The Jewel in the Crown, North and South, Daniel Deronda, Little Dorrit and a whole host of other really wonderful stuff).

I’m certain there is plenty of stuff that’s objectively far better quality than some of my picks here but these are all TV series that hold a special place in my heart that I could (and in some cases do) watch again and again. So judge away, argue with my choices and, please, do recommend others – but don’t expect me to change my mind on any of these.

So here it goes – Louise’s list of top 5 TV adaptations (from newest to oldest) Continue reading

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Top 5 – children’s books that had the biggest impact on little-me

New monthly feature!

So I’ve not posted for a while and I probably won’t have my next review up for a while either (due to uniwork I’ve not even picked it up in a week despite absolutely loving it so far). So partly because I don’t want to abandon this blog for too long and partly because I think it looks like a fun idea, I’m going to take a leaf out other bloggers books and start a monthly ‘Top 5’. As always do feel free to comment, disagree with me, share your own choices, and recommend me subjects to use for future posts.

This week, top 5 children’s books that had the biggest impact on little-me (In the order that I read them) Continue reading

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