21 Jun 2011

Favourite Book Challenge Blogfest and a Game of Tag.

To celebrate hitting 100 followers, fiction writer Teralyn Rose Pilgrim has organised the Favourite Book Challenge Blogfest, in which we were asked to pick our top 5 favourite books and write one line of what it is about and one line of why we liked it.

If you want to take part, you can still join in (until June 22nd).

I knew both parts of the challenge would be equally hard - there are so many books I love and I'm a woman of many words - which is why I simply had to take part. A challenge indeed!

My Favourite Books.

Patrick Süskind, Perfume.

- The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a boy born with an extraordinary sense of smell and without a scent of his own, who - after being rejected by everyone close to him - starts to learn the art of creating perfumes and the overwhelming effect scents have on people.

- This novel took me to a whole new level of sensory awareness and made me pay much more attention to scents, flavours, colours, beauty and ugliness in the world around me.

A.S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance.

-  In this novel, two academics, each fascinated by a different Victorian poet, meet after one of them has found a mysterious letter that suggests their poets had a secret romance, and when they start investigating the past they get caught up in a complicated relationship of their own.

- I loved Byatt's clever writing, the poetic atmosphere, the depth of emotion and the intricate plot with which she wove together the past and the present.

Jim Butcher, Codex Alera series (beginning with: Furies of Calderon).

- This fantasy series recounts the adventures of Tavi, a young man who is born without magic in a world where citizens control elemental furies to do their bidding, and as a result he has to learn to rely on his intelligence to help save the realm from destruction by powerful enemies.

- I love the complex and consistent world and the unique, highly believable and fascinating characters the author has created. One of my favourite fantasy series so far.

Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere.

- When Richard Mayhew finds an injured girl (named 'Door') on the streets in London, he discovers the existence of a dark, magical parallel world called 'London Below', and as he helps the girl, his old life disappears, forcing him to find his way back or lose his old self altogether - which might not be so bad.

- I liked the characters, the atmosphere and the clever way (and wordplay) with which the author entwines real-life London with this underground fantasy world.

Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking.

- Pippi Longstocking (or Pippi Langkous as it's called in Flemish) is a young girl with superhuman strength and a suitcase full of gold, who lives without parents but with a monkey and a horse, when she becomes friends with Tommy and Annika, the neighbour's children, with whom she has many adventures.

- This was my absolute favourite book as a child. I must have read it (and the sequels) at least 20 times and I never got tired of them. I loved Pippi's imagination, her chaotic lifestyle and most of all her attitude, especially towards grown-ups who abused their power by mistreating animals or looking down on defenceless others.

And Now For a Game of Tag!

Yesterday I was tagged by the wonderful Rosalind Adam of Rosalind Adam is writing in the rain.

I've decided to be - mildly - naughty and change the 'tagged' rules & questions, so here are my answers to the new, personalised set:

1. Link, upload, ... a picture that makes you laugh:

2. When was the last time you ate chocolate?

Yesterday. Oh wait, that just changed. I'm having some right now - the dark, Belgian kind. OmNomNom ...

3. If people had a theme song that started playing whenever they entered a room, which one would yours be and why (- if you want to share)?

Ooh, tough one! There are many, depending on the situation and the mood at hand, but if I had to pick one, I'd go for Tori Amos' Welcome to England.

4. Tag 3 blogger friends:

Tag, you're it! :-)
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  1. Thank you for tagging me, my dear K. C.! I love the cookie monster cupcakes. Did you make those?

  2. Suze: no, I just admire them. :-) I found the picture online and it makes me laugh every time I see it. :-)

  3. I still need to read Perfume, and you have me very interested in the Codex Alera series. I read a short story of Butcher's and liked it, so I might have to check the series out soon. And Neverwhere is by far my favorite Gaiman novel. Loved it.

    Thanks for changing the Tag rules. They were getting a little stale. Figures you'd add chocolate. :)

  4. I haven't read any of these. Thanks for the good suggestions!

  5. I totally want to read Neverwhere now! Thanks for the reviews! (I'm a new follower :))

  6. L.G.: I think you're going to love the Codex Alera. (Well, let me know if you do - or don't. :-) ) Make sure you have plenty of undisturbed time, though. It's quite a journey. :-) (And yes: chocolate. Of course!)

    Heidi: yours were interesting as well. Nice to meet you. :-)

    Lady Gwen: Neverwhere's great. It's been quite a while since I've read it, but the atmosphere is still very much alive in my mind, which is a good sign (and slightly disturbing at times). ;-)

  7. Did you like PERFUME movie too? It was great :)

  8. DEZZ: oh YES! =) Great atmosphere, great cast. I was apprehensive before I went to see it because I could think of so much that could go wrong, but they did a fab job.

    One of my friends thought Ben Whishaw was too handsome to play Grenouille, but I think he did a great job. So did Rachel Hurd-Wood, who should have red hair all the time imho. :-)

  9. Love Cookie Monster!!

    Those books all sound terrific - I'm adding to my wishlist! :)

  10. I haven't even thought about Pippi Longstockings in the longest time! I used to love those books!!

    And I'm a Butcher fan as well :)

  11. Jemi: great. :-) I wish you a lot of good reading time in the near future. :-)

    STSH: I almost forgot to add that one to my list, but I wanted to add at least 1 book from my childhood, and that was The One. :-) Great to meet another JB fan. :-)

  12. I've seen the Perfume movie and love it, will have to seek out the book. And the Codex Alera series sounds right up my street too.

  13. Haven't read any of these, but I have the Perfume movie on my Netflix list.

    Tossing It Out

  14. I haven't read these so I guess it is back to the library

  15. Those cookie monster cupcakes are awesomeness!


  16. I love that you've included Pippi Longstocking in your book list! I have only one problem with your tag response. I now wish I'd answered those questions instead. They're such good fun. Those cakes made me laugh out loud and I love the way you found your third question so hard... Come on! You devised them!! It's not that difficult. In fact, I have been known to enter a room singing 'The Bitch is Back'!

  17. Neverwhere is one of the best books. EVER. I loved it to bits. Did you see the Neverwhere BBC series?

  18. Angeline: I loved the movie as well as the book. I'd read the book first, so I don't know what the effect will be the other way round, but it should be good either way. :-)

    Lee: I'd definitely recommend it! :-)

    Misha: yes, and I love this batch in particular. I googled 'cookie monster cupcakes' because I was trying to find the original image and the name of the person who made them (I didn't find him/her unfortunately), and so many came up. I still think these are the best :-)

    Rosaling: LOL okay. Well, it was an easy question to come up with, but a tough one to answer because my theme song had to tick so many boxes. In the end I chose this one because it ticked a lot of them, and it's the perfect song to walk in with attitude and a good sway to the hips. =)
    (Come to think of it - En Vogue's Free Your Mind might have been a good one as well. Oh well, I'll alternate. =))

    Sam: Nooo, unfortunately I haven't - yet! I want to though, so it'll happen. :-)

  19. Pippi Longstocking is awesome!! :D Glad to see her on your list. And I've heard of a movie called Perfume...don't know if it's an adaptation of the book or not?

    Neat blog by the way! I've enjoyed this blogfest.



  20. TRA: she is =) The film's a couple of years old, and yes: it's an adaptation of the book and quite true to the story and the atmosphere, I thought.
    Nice meeting you. :-)

  21. Hey there and thanks for following my blog. 5 books I've never heard of (I must live under a rock!) All sound fascinating and I'll read them one day - it's getting to be a long list now! Love the cup cakes (I think that's what they are) and a great new song. (I was born in the midlands btw)!

  22. Hi Cheryl :-) Maybe you could read Pippi Longstocking to Merrilyn; I'm sure she'd enjoy that. =)

  23. I'm really curious about Neverwhere now, I definitely want to read that.

    Absolutely love the cookie monster cookies!!

  24. Julie: it's such a great novel, even better than cookie monster treats! :-)


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