Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Autumnal Reading/October Giveaway

Wednesday 4th October

Like I've said in a previous post about autumn, it's the perfect season to snuggle up in bed with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book. But with all the wonderful books in the world how do you choose which ones to read? To want to spend those long evenings reading you need the perfect book so I've compiled a list of the books I think are perfect autumnal reads.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Nothing sets up a good autumnal reading session like the start of a fantasy series. The first one (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) is perfect for so many reasons, one of which is Harry's adventure at Hogwarts starts on September 1st. There is a great build up before that, but once Harry arrives at Hogwarts the reader follows his adventures across the year. It's easy to read the first three books within a few days, and the rest will take only a little bit longer to read. Theoretically, you could complete the series by Christmas!

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

Another great fantasy series; this one is more adult than Harry Potter. A Discovery of Witches, the first in the series, is based around Diana Bishop who calls up a bewitched alchemy manuscript during her research. She encounters daemons, witches, and vampires while trying to discover why the manuscript appeared to her. It's a mature vampire novel with a believable romantic thread. The description of Oxford has a real autumnal feel to it, which is why it's so perfect to read in autumn. There are three books in the series, and a TV adaptation is currently being filmed.

Dracula by Bram Stoker.

What book is more autumnal than a vampire horror story? This book really gets me in the mood for Halloween, set against the scary, mysterious backdrop of Whitby. Everyone has an opinion of Dracula; not everyone likes it, but I think that is due to the epistolary form of the novel, which isn't to everyone's tastes. Epistolary novels are difficult to perfect, but it works well with Dracula due to the complex characters within its pages as it allows the reader to delve into their minds and see the novel from their perspective.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

You can't be a classic romance and Jane Eyre is one of the best romances in the world. I read this novel in two days when I received my first copy and I absolutely adored it. Jane Eyre is an inspiring character, one that was lightyears ahead of her time and one whose quotes I still recite and live by to this day!

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien.

What a better novel to read in the autumn than an epic fantasy adventure? I love The Lord of the Rings but the Hobbit is by far my favourite of the series. I saw the movies of Lord of the Rings long before I read the books and I was always fascinated by how Bilbo got the ring; I was never satisfied by the way it's shown in the movies. Smaug the dragon is one of my favourite characters due to how cunning and intelligent he is. You can read The Hobbit as a standalone novel, which not only adds to its charm but proves what a fantastic author J.R.R Tolkien is as it's difficult to write the first novel of a series that can be read as a standalone book.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

One of the creepiest horror novels I've ever read. Ghost stories aren't always my cup of tea but I really liked the way Henry James wrote this novel. I read this novel as part of my gothic Literature module at university and it was one of five books that made me fall in love with the gothic genre.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

RLS is one of my favourite authors because he chooses a theme/plot so simple but creates something extraordinary from it. It's a gothic novel, but it is one of those gothic novels that will scare you because it's so close to reality. RLS shows the true duality of "man" that taught me we all have good and evil inside of us but we choose which side we reveal. It's a short novel, one that will take you a long autumnal evening to read; definitely one for reading around Halloween!

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee.

I've associate cider with autumn since I found out what cider is, and this novel always puts me in an autumnal mood. I love this book as it's a sweet, easy read that's perfect for a rainy day in bed.

See Me by Nicholas Sparks.

I love a good romantic thriller and this one ticks all the boxes. Nicholas Sparks never disappoints me and I loved the unpredictability of this novel; it's one that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

Twitter Giveaways:

I've decided to run a giveaway once a month via my twitter. The giveaway will be young adult books; these are the books that are up for grabs:

  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zurak
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus 
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l'Engle 
  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Möira Fowley-Doyle
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

On the 9th of every month at 7pm I'll be hosting the giveaway. All you need to do is to like the tweet about the giveaway, retweet it quoting what book you want, and follow my account for the chance to get your hands on the novel of your choosing. 
The winner will be announced on the 10th of each month at 7pm.
First giveaway starts on Monday 9th - twitter account is sunflower blog twitter

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