Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re looking at the Top Ten books we could re-read forever.

There are so many books I would happily pick up and read again and again and, in the past few years, this list has only grown. Keeping this Top Ten to only ten books was, therefore, quite a challenge. But, as with all these lists, there are those books that ultimately deserve a place.

These are the books that I adored as a child and inspired my love of the weird, the magical, the fantastic and the witty; these are the books that will always have a place on my bookshelf.

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| 1. |

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 2. |

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 3. |

The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 4. |

Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling

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| 5. |

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge

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| 6. |

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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| 7. |

The Chronicles of Narnia

by C.S. Lewis heart

| 8. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass

by Lewis Carroll
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| 9. |

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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| 10. |

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

by Alan Garnerheart

Which books would you re-read again and again? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Young Characters I’d Love to Read as Grown-Ups


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Young Characters I’d Love to Read as Grown-Ups |

This Tuesday we’re looking at young characters we’d love to read after they’ve grown up. And since there are far too many to really do them all justice, I’ve decided to mostly go for those characters which made an impact on my childhood – for better or worse – with a few new favourites thrown in here or there. So in no particular order, here’s the literary line-up:
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| 1. |

Artemis Fowl

from

The Artemis Fowl Series

by Eoin Colferheart

Spoiler time. Imagine if you will a boy megalomaniac; an arrogant and resourceful genius who will stop at nothing to fulfil his most criminal desires. Now imagine that he isn’t quite the Artemis who met Holly Short, the only female captain of the LEPrecon; who through various criminal enterprises and sinister plots (with varying degrees of disaster and triumph) became almost a changed man and/or boy. This Artemis Fowl – this brand spanking new clone, this untapped criminal mastermind, this arrogant bastard of a boy-genius – is the one I want to read about. This Artemis Fowl is going to cause a riot.
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| 2 |

Lyra Belacqua

from

His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullmanheart

Ohh Pullman, you crafty devil you. We’ve had some hints – or rather outright statements – regarding future Lyra and her fascinating adventures in further education… but we want more! Who did this wonderfully feisty little girl grow up to be? Does she once more bring the world to rights? Does she fight armoured bears for a living and/or other nefarious relations? Another foray into this dark and strange world of Lyra’s Oxford – with her equally grown dæmon Pan – would not go amiss.heart

| 3 |

The Princess and the Dragon

from

The Princess and the Dragon

by Audrey Wood

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A book from my early childhood, The Princess and The Dragon may have been one of my first fantasy favourites. Not bad for what is essentially a picture book. Here we have a rotten princess – a bad mannered, naughty prankster who drives her kingdom to distraction – and an intelligent, eloquent and cultured dragon who spends her time reading and playing the piano forte. Much to the delight of the seemingly deceived royal family and all their subjects, the two decide to swap places and find that they’re equally more suited to being the other. But what happens next? Does the dragon marry a prince and have various well-mannered mutant children who live happily ever after? Does the princess terrorise the flocks and steal hapless virgins from the nearby villages? I’ve been waiting for this sequel for twenty-five years!heart

| 4. |

Maria Merryweather

from

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge
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Another childhood favourite, The Little White Horse was the epitome of magical, hidden lands; strange enchantments and ancient mysteries. Maria Merryweather, a brave an intelligent thirteen year old with red hair and freckles was my ultimate fictional heroine and I found myself lost in her world again and again. But what did the future hold for Maria and all those who fell under the spell of Moonacre Manor? I for one would love to find out.heart

| 5. |

Matilda

from

Matilda

by Roald Dahl
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Matilda finally found her place in the world at the end of her tale, but what happened next? Did she just remain the Matilda we all grew to love, surrounded by books from wonderful new authors? Or did she resent the loss of her powers and turn into the Trunchbull Mark II?! Did her powers eventually return full force leading her down the dark and depraved path to world domination?!! My money’s definitely on Matilda megalomaniac…

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| 6. |

Mary Lennox

from

The Secret Garden

by Francis Hodgson Burnett

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Over the course of The Secret Garden, Mary Lennox grew from a selfish and spoiled little girl into a kind and thoughtful girl whose transformation mirrored that of the garden under her care. But what happened next? Did Mary find she was more of a weed, beginning her embittered relationship with life anew? Did she re-cripple Colin to once more become the centre of his father’s attention leading to an adulthood of self-loathing and inevitable drug addiction?! I guess we’ll never know.
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| 7. |

Ip

from

The Copper Cat Trilogy

by Jen Williams
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Having only read the first novel in this trilogy, I’m in little of a position to say what happens to Ip and whether she is indeed around to grow up by the end of it. However, I love this creepy and devious little girl with the blood red eyes and a penchant for human heads, and I sure as hell want to know what happens to her next! Does she grow up to be a cannibal? A blood priestess? A combination of the two?! More please!heart

| 8. |

Everyone

from 

Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling
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Few words are needed. Want to know everything. Right now.heart

| 9. |

Madeline

from

Madeline

by Ludwig Bemelmans
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Small, feisty and mischievous, Madeline was yet another childhood heroine of mine. But what did this fearless little lady grow up to be? A lion tamer? An acrobat? A daredevil? Perhaps all three! But I’m longing for the sequel to:

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”heart

| 10. |

The Watson Children

from

Elidor

by Alan Garner
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Alan Garner saved me the trouble of wondering what happened to Colin and Susan post-The-Weirdstone-of-Brisingamen-and-The-Moon-of-Gomrath by writing a sequel from their adult perspective. Therefore all my Garner cravings are heaped on the Watson children from the wonderful fantasy novel, Elidor. Garner’s darkly fantastic tales were a mainstay of my childhood and this tale of parallel worlds and dark and terrible powers have always left me wondering what happened next. Did the Watson children-now-adults find themselves slipping through to Elidor at inopportune moments? Did the forces of darkness return to find their way into our world once more? Will I inadvertently find myself joining them as I wander the streets of Manchester?!! There’s only one way to find out…heart

Which young characters would you love to read as grown-ups? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land


Tough TravellingJoin me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.


| Portals to Another Land |

Fantasyland often has some unique entry points; not every traveler is born within its boundaries.  It is a regular event for someone from a non-magical place to suddenly find themselves in this world of dragons, magic, and danger.

After quite some time searching, it appeared that most of my favourite portal books were those from childhood. So this week I’ve gathered five of my childhood favourites. These are the stories of portals and time-slips, of nightmarish creatures and dangerous worlds, of brave children and unwitting adults. These are the five I’ve read countless times over the years.

| 1. |

ElidorElidor

by Alan Garner

The four Watson children enter an old and abandoned church in search of a football when one by one, they disappear through a heavy iron-ringed door. A door which leads to the world of Elidor, a dark and dangerous kingdom almost entirely fallen to evil.

| 2. |

AliceAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass 

by Lewis Carroll

Alice finds herself on all sorts of adventures after making her way down a rabbit hole and finding herself in Wonderland. It certainly doesn’t stop her from making her way through a looking-glass mirror.

| 3. | LionThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

After being evacuated from London, Lucy Pevensie is exploring her adopted home when she finds her way through the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. One by one, the disbelieving Pevensie children follow Lucy through the wardrobe to discover a world frozen in deep winter and ruled by the dark and terrible White Witch.

| 4. |TMGTom’s Midnight Garden

by Philippa Pearce

When Tom Long goes to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in an upstairs flat of a large house with no garden, he finds himself transported to the past every night when the old grandfather clock strikes 13 and the back door opens onto a magical garden.

| 5. |MoondialMoondial

by Helen Cresswell

After being sent to live with an elderly aunt in the country, Minty finds herself transported to the past every night by a strange moondial in the garden; a past where she must help the ‘lost souls’  of former residents find peace.

What are your favourite portal books? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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Blast from the Past: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner


Blast from the Past is a new feature where I discuss the books and authors that, over a lifetime, have meant something to me. These are the stories I grew up with; the books which inspired me, changed the way I thought and started me off on a journey of discovery through imagined worlds.


I remember my mum sitting on the edge of my bed, my hands clutching at the covers, as she told me the tale of Colin and Susan and their adventures with goblins and demon dogs, with warlocks, witches and wizards, and the forces for good and evil. I remember my heart beating faster, my eyes widening in anticipation, as the heroes started out on an adventure which was equal parts exciting, enthralling and terrifying. I was walking hand in hand with Colin and Susan to Alderley Edge; I was following them deeper underground, with the earth closing up around me and the forces of darkness at my heels. I was part of their adventure. For me, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen really did inspire a love of fantasy fiction which has lasted a lifetime.

Garner’s first tale of Alderley is rooted in folklore and local mythology, and is ultimately about the battle between the powers of good and evil. The book follows the story of two children, Colin and Susan, a brother and sister who are deposited by unwitting parents at a family friend’s house near Alderley Edge. Unknowingly, Susan has in her possession the Weirdstone – a magical jewel incorporated into a bracelet, and passed down to Susan as a family heirloom. This jewel holds the only magic which can defeat the evil spirit Nastrond.

When evil stirs, Colin and Susan must embark on a quest to return the Weirdstone to the wizard Cadellin, who guards an army of sleeping warriors in the dwarven caves of Fundindelve. Through tunnels and caves, forests and mountain; the children  must outrun the creatures of evil who pursue them and keep the Weirdstone from falling into enemy hands. Their very lives depend on it.

As a child, living not far from Alderley, we made frequent visits to the Edge. I spent my childhood playing in the woods and standing on the sandstone ridge, staring out onto the plains and peaks beyond. We would become witches and sorcerers at the Wizard’s Well and hunt for fairies in the Druid’s Circle. We even made trips down the old mines which riddled the area – dark tunnels breaking out into huge, earthy caves; the red sandstone glittering with coppery green. Alderley Edge was a place of magic and adventure, and there is nothing quite like discovering that your fantasy world is real. That every bird you see above you is an enemy spy, and that deep underground, under the very earth you stand on, dwarven caves and mines host an army of sleeping warriors. This wasn’t fiction – It was reality.

A few years later I was sat in a classroom, legs crossed on the floor with thirty other children, as my teacher told us the tale of the Weirdstone and how two young siblings, much like us, embarked on a journey to return it to where it belonged. After countless readings, I was delighted to find myself back in a world which, to me, epitomised adventure. I have gone back to Alan Garner’s world of Alderley time and time again, and will in all likelihood continue to do so. I love The Weirdstone of Brisingamen as much now as I did then. And perhaps there’s still something in me that sees the furtive looks between birds, and hears the rumblings from underground, and truly believes that the world of fantasy is closer than we think.

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