#SixforSunday – Authors I’d Take For Coffee

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

We have a whole new theme for this month in Six for Sunday and it is just perfect for the season ahead! October’s ‘Pumpkin Spice Goodness’ theme has all of the Autumnal feels and I’m definitely feeling those vibes now that the wind has changed, nights are drawing in and the leaves are beginning to turn.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.

Characters or Authors I’d Take For A Coffee

This week’s prompt is such a fascinating one as I normally wish that either I actually lived in the worlds of books, or that their characters could actually be my real-world best friends…so coffees for everyone basically! My list of characters and authors would be so immense that I’ve decided to focus on just the authors for this challenge. 

Sometimes I’m thinking about 1:1 coffee sessions in different places depending on each author; then other times this week’s Six for Sunday is breaking all of the UK Covid rules as I’m imagining a complete 7 person coffee gathering!! Because you know, clearly that 7th person will be the one to give us all Covid! 🙄 Anyway, here are my 6 authors I’m taking for coffee.

Neil Gaiman

Master of all fantasy and storytelling heritage, I could totally sit with Neil in a super cosy coffee shop, next to a roaring fire, somewhere in the wilds of Scotland to chat about fairies, the Anansi Boys, the world of Neverwhere and Loki.

V. E. Schwab

Ok if you haven’t heard me spouting off about how I have ‘just discovered’ Schwab, how irrevocably in love with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue I am and how I now have to own Every. Single. One. of this author’s books… where have you been?! 😂 With Schwab, we’d be going for coffee in France of course, probably sat in the sunshine on the banks of a river with croissants and baked goodies!

Kevin Kwan

Heading East to a swanky rooftop bar overlooking the Singaporean skyline, Kevin is bringing us the crazy, rich, high-society gossip with him to have us giggling into our coffee cups. Who needs Hello Magazine when you’ve got a coffee buddy like Kevin?

Ernest Cline

How could I not invite the author of one of my favourite books EVER to coffee? Clearly, we’re not actually going to a coffee shop for this one – instead, we’re grabbing our eco-friendly refill cups and getting a takeout in Cline’s Delorean whilst I grill him on all of the secrets and easter eggs he has planned for us in the upcoming Ready Player Two which comes out in November. I cannot wait!

Rebecca Crunden

I am definitely taking Rebecca for coffee to say thank you for letting me read the first book in her Outlands Pentalogy series, A Touch of Death and introducing me to the thrillingly dystopian Kingdom of Cutta (you should definitely read it! Spoiler-free review here!). I’ve just purchased instalment 2, A History of Madness on my Kindle app and cannot wait to dive into it and find out what happened to Nate and Catherine! Of course, we’ll also be talking about our most anticipated reads for the rest of 2020 and discussing which exciting projects Rebecca has lined up next!

Isabel Ibañez

Forget the coffee this time, it’s only right that we’re sipping on some hot cacao with Isabel Ibañez. I absolutely adored the references to Bolivian culture in Isabel’s debut novel Woven in Moonlight which I read earlier this year. The sequel is definitely on my pre-order list and as my Peruvian adventure was postponed this year we’d have to chat about all things South American and what the future has in store for Ximena and the Illustrians!

Which characters or authors would you be taking out for coffee? Are you more of an espresso person or do you prefer your coffees frothy and sweet – or do you forgo all hot drinks?!
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Devious Characters

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

This is the final instalment in our monthly Characters Ahoy theme this week. Who doesn’t love a Devious Character right?! They normally add lots of different creative elements to a tale and some even provide the humour in the story too! I think this was definitely the easiest and most fun list to think about this month!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A LotSteph also hosts a Twitter chat for Six For Sunday each Sunday evening around 6pm but I never seem to make it as I’m always busy at that time! Maybe this month…?! 🤔

Devious Characters

Celaena Sardothian – Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
When it comes to being the most wiley and cunning, Celaena absolutely gives this off in droves. The way she plots and schemes o play various people off against one another is definitely one of the more entertaining aspects of the whole series for me.

Thomas Cromwell – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
I finally got around to starting this trilogy off during lockdown and I am so glad I did. It’s a pretty hefty read but it was really gripping. Mantel has portrayed her main character as an absolute masterclass of strategy and wit. Cromwell knows exactly what he wants and makes no shame in doing whatever he needs to do to accomplish his goals. A very devious individual indeed!

Cardan – The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black
Cardan…Oh Wicked King Cardan… So devious and dastardly that there were so many times during this series when my brain kept flipping between whether Cardan was really a good guy or bad guy.

Alessandra – The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Snarky yet sophisticated, cunning yet feminine – Alessandra put the ‘diva’ in ‘devious’. I absolutely loved this book and it was great to see a female main character taking that kind of lead for a change.

Gollum/Smeagol – The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Wicked, tricksy, false – Gollum is definitely a prime candidate for the devious characters list. The way he manoeuvres Frodo in getting him exactly where he wants whilst all the time focussing on ‘the Precious’. Such a great character!

Amy Dunne – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynne
I devoured this book in very little time at all and when flicking through my Goodreads shelf and landing on this, I knew Amazing Amy would be the one to finalise my devious characters list. I was one of those readers that got completely sucked in by this book and didn’t guess any of the ‘big reveals’ towards the end which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Anyone who has read the book or even seen the film will know exactly why sweet little Amy is here.

Who are your favourite devious characters? Do you think every good book deserves one?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Brave Characters

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Characters Ahoy continues this week in Six For Sunday and now we’re thinking about Brave Characters.

Bravery seems to be a “must-have” trait in all SFF books. If characters don’t start out with it, then they usually always have to pluck some up Cowardly-Lion-style before the final battle at the end of the book – at least, I haven’t seen a MC back out yet! 😂

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A LotSteph also hosts a Twitter chat for Six For Sunday each Sunday evening around 6pm but I never seem to make it as I’m always busy at that time! Maybe this month…?! 🤔

Brave Characters

Severus Snape – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Anyone who knows me properly will absolutely know that I can’t think about brave fictional characters not discuss Severus Snape. I don’t care what canon says, he’ll always be a true hero (albeit a flawed one) in my eyes!

Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I think Katniss epitomises the ‘brave warrior’ style main character for me. I like the way how she shows although she’s a bad-ass, she’s also very human too and never loses her integrity and compassion no matter what is put in her path.

Jesper – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Jesper is one of my favourite characters in Six of Crows. I could also have put Nina in here alongside him but I keep thinking back to just one of Jesper’s scenes when he is with Wylan. I won’t spoil it here, but Jesper shows a different kind of bravery which comes from having the courage to be your true self in front of someone else – that’s why he made this list this week.

Arya Stark – Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I haven’t read all of the GoT books yet, or even finished watching the TV series but Arya is definitely a character that I think when it comes to being brave. She may be short in stature but she is mighty in her courage and ferocity to face her toughest opponents.

Circe – Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe’s bravery isn’t so much physical as it is mental. The types of things she faced whilst on her island exile and the ways she battled to try and fight her way out of exile showed a remarkable inner strength which she wouldn’t have been able to carry off without a little bravery.

Daniel – The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I am a huge fan of all Zafón’s work and the way he crafts his characters. Daniel is brave in the way that he persistently searches for the truth and doesn’t get deterred even when things start to take more sinister, dark turns.

What do you determine as a brave character? Who would make your list of the bravest characters in fiction?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Role Models

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

We’re continuing the Characters Ahoy theme this week in Six For Sunday and this week is all about Role Models. This was probably the hardest category of all four prompts this month to write for.

Role Models are so personal to each person based on what motivates them so the characters here are all on this list because they have a quality which I deemed admirable. I’ll explain more for each individual character below.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A LotSteph also hosts a Twitter chat for Six For Sunday each Sunday evening around 6pm but I never seem to make it as I’m always busy at that time! Maybe this month…?! 🤔

Role Models

Samwise Gamgee – Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Role Model Qualities: Friendship and Loyalty
Sam was the first person who came to mind when I thought of a fictional role-model. The way he cares for Frodo and sticks by him through the good times and the bad inspire me to want to be the kind of Samwise friend to all of my own friends.

Kady Grant – The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof
Role Model Qualities: Determination and Justice
Kady’s relentless attitude and ‘never-give-up’ motivation is what gave her a place on my role models list. I love the way that she isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in and pursues that goal right up until the very end. In today’s world of campaigns and activism for a better, more equal future for every single person on this planet regardless of race, wealth or gender, I think Kady’s character is a great role model for standing up for what is right.

Nastya – Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Role Model Qualities: Love and Resilience
Nastya’s character in Romanov was so powerful that tears were rolling down my cheeks by the final page. She is on my role models list purely because of her massive capacity for love and resilience. Brandes did a truly wonderful job of writing this character and making her come to life on the page.

Lou – Me Before You Series by Jojo Moyes
Role Model Qualities: Caring and Selflessness
Moving away from the SFF genres, Lou is the type of character that exists in our real-world lives everyday. Somewhere out there is a Lou right now, putting their own needs aside to try and better the life of someone who isn’t as lucky as the rest of us – even if it breaks their heart a little more every day. To be that caring and selfless to put another’s needs entirely before your own… what greater role model is there than that?

Yrene Towers Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas
Role Model Qualities: Devotion and Inner Strength
I know some people didn’t like the Tower of Dawn element of the Throne of Glass series but I absolutely loved it. Yrene Towers is one of those peripheral characters who ends up making a monumental contribution. Her devotion to her partner (spoiler removed!) and the inner strength she shows throughout her time as a healer but also in her commitment to helping out with ‘the cause’ makes me think she’s a brilliant role model and definitely someone you’d want on your team.

Lia Mara – A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Role Model Qualities: Integrity and Courage
Lia Mara’s character was a really welcome surprise for me in the second part of the Cursebreakers series. I wasn’t expecting to like her as much as I did considering she was an entirely new character. The way Lia Mara fought for what she truly believed in, regardless of who she was up against showed true integrity and courage, making her a character you come to admire and trust.

Six role models – all inspiring for various different qualities and traits.

Do you have any real-world or fictional role models? Who would have made your list?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Clever Characters

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

There’s a brand new theme for this month’s Six For Sunday lists and I’m so excited to get stuck in to Characters Ahoy! I think we can really underestimate at times just how important some characters are to stories and the way that we as readers interact with them – particularly those side-kick, lesser-known, periphery characters who can be a tiny cog in the big machine of a story yet crucial to making the whole thing tick.

As I kept filling out these lists each week, I became glaring aware of the fact that my choices of characters/novels seem to be limited to my ‘God-tier’ kind of books – I could literally fill each prompt with characters from my favourite worlds (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Throne of Glass) but then I keep getting bored of picking the same well-known fictional people over and over again. So this month, I’m trying to be a little more diverse in my selections of characters and although I can’t cut out some of my favourites completely, hopefully you’ll start to see a wider range of influences from all across my reading pile!

This week is all about Clever Characters. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A LotSteph also hosts a Twitter chat for Six For Sunday each Sunday evening around 6pm but I never seem to make it as I’m always busy! Maybe this month…?! 🤔

Clever Characters

I find ‘clever’ such a tricky bracket to put characters into. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines ‘clever’ as “having or showing the ability to learn and understand things quickly and easily”. The main problem, is that being clever can sometimes be heavily stereotyped, and not always in a positive way. Clever characters are often the bespectacled book-swots, straight A students who don’t have many friends, or plain characters merely exist to retain a lot of information.

So often, we forget about the other definitions of ‘clever’ such as “skilful” or for an object, “something well-designed”. Being a teacher, I think clever characters are important representatives in today’s fiction. We encourage our students to perform their best in a system rigged with exams and gradings when actually, all of us has an ability to be clever in some element of our life and not all of us fit the education-style mould when it comes to proving our cleverness.

So here’s to my six clever characters who, despite being invariably different, are all shining beacons in being their own kind of clever.

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Dubbed ‘the brightest witch of her age’, Hermione’s character maintains all of the ‘cleverness’ tropes: exam success, homework always completed (her own AND Harry’s and Ron’s), good grades, can often be found in the Library, avid reader etc… She even starts of the whole series being lonely and having very few friends. But towards the end, being part of the golden trio and masterminding part of the downfall of one of the greatest villains in fiction, Hermione’s cleverness is celebrated by all – and let’s face it, Ron and Harry wouldn’t have made it through their first year at Hogwarts without her!

Wade Watts – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I have so much love for this novel! Wade Watts makes it onto this list for his extensive ‘cleverness’ knowledge of James Halliday, 80s pop culture and his brilliant problem-solving mind. I can’t say much else without blurting out spoilers to the whole book, but his ability to try and figure out the reality from the virtual reality, spot the red herrings in a challenge riddled with easter eggs, and try to crack the mind of one of the greatest inventors in the Ready Player One world – he truly deserves his place on my clever characters list.

Magnus Bane – The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
For me, Magnus Bane is the saving grace of the The Mortal Instruments series. I love his quirkiness and the cool edge he brings to the Shadowhunters’ world. What gave him a spot on my Clever Characters list is the fact that he always seemed to know exactly what to do whenever anyone came to him for help. He’s a mightily powerful warlock and I definitely wouldn’t want to be pissing him off!

Gandalf – Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Where do we start with Gandalf’s cleverness? His extensive range of magical abilities, his skills as a tactician, his knowledge of the routes, passes and ways of Middle Earth, his sharp, quick-thinking when in danger… Everyone looks to him as a leader because he is often able to give guidance and counsel – that’s definitely earned him a place on my list.

Robert Langdon – The Dan Brown novels
Similarly to Wade Watts, Robert Langdon is an expert in his field has a vast knowledge of history related to conspiracy theories and organisations around the world. His photographic memory also helps him to quickly solve puzzles and outsmart the antagonists and rivals he’s often working against.

Don Tillman – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
As a Professor of Genetics, there’s no doubting that Don Tillman is clever. But what I find endearing about Don’s character is that he’s one of those ‘clever people’ who knows everything there is to know about his speciality but really has no idea how to navigate human existence at times – especially when it comes to Rosie!

There we go. Six clever characters, each showing cleverness in different ways and positive lights, but all of them being comfortable and confident with who they are deep down inside.

Which clever characters would make your list? What traits do you think define cleverness?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx