My recommendations: If you liked… (Part 1)

One of my favourite things about book blogging is getting new book recommendations, so I’ve pulled together some of my top recommendations based on other popular books out there. These are all books that I’d recommend based on my own experiences and similarities in theme, writing style or general feel. This is part one, which mainly looks at the fantasy, urban fantasy and dystopian genres. Other genres, such as crime/thrillers and general literary fiction, are still to come! Continue reading

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Calling all Game of Thrones fans!

Fans of Game of Thrones have been given the chance to be immortalised in fiction after author George R. R. Martin auctioned off new characters in his next novel for charity.

Readers were given the opportunity to have a character named after them – who will then killed off in a typically brutal manner! – in the next book in The Song of Ice and Fire series. One male character and one female character were available and both were snapped up within hours at a whopping £20,000 each. The winners, one of which is Facebook employee Dave Glodblatt, can also choose their status in the world of Westeros – from a lord, lady or maester to a knight or a common peasant.

People are still able to donate money in exchange for a whole range of other prizes in the online auction, which is raising funds for The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and a food depot that helps to feed tens of thousands of people across North New Mexico. Prizes include opportunities to meet the author and Game of Thrones memorabilia, from t-shirts, maps and board games to signed scripts and George R. R. Martin’s own hat.

The auction has just four days to go – so if you fancy parting with your money for a good cause, and getting some signed goodies in return, go to…

https://www.prizeo.com/prizes/georgerrmartin/a-wolf-sanctuary-tour-and-helicopter-ride

If you’re on a budget, even a small donation will enter you into a prize draw to win a trip to Santa Fe and share a helicopter ride to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary with George R.R. Martin himself.

So far, the campaign has raised over $450,000.

People waiting for the next instalment in The Song of Ice and Fire still have a long way to go – George R. R. Martin is still working on a draft of The Winds of Winter. If you just can’t wait, he has published several chapter extracts from the unfinished book to keep fans happy. They’ve all been complied here…

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/03/how-much-winds-of-winter-is-out

Enjoy!

Book release countdown…

After an intense hour browsing the internet for books to buy – and having read countless reviews and bloggers top read’s lists – I’ve come to the conclusion that most the books that I desperately want to read haven’t been released yet. With this in mind, I thought I’d put together a list of my own top five books to look out for this year. Make a note of the dates!

1. And the mountains echoed – Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury, 21st May 2013)

From the bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed is set in Afghanistan in the latter half of the twentieth century and focuses on the devastating effects of war on a country and on the families that live there. The author has a history of exploring powerful, evocative issues and it’s had rave reviews from everyone that’s read a preview copy.

2. Prisoner of Heaven – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Phoenix, 11th April 2013)

Admittedly, this isn’t technically a new release, but I’ve been waiting for months for the paperback version to come out and it’s finally (almost) here! Previous books in the series – The Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game – created an intricate world and a fascinating cast of characters. The Prisoner of Heaven completes this gothic, literary themed trilogy. Hopefully this lives up to the expectations I’ve got from the first two!

3. The Golem and the Djinni – Helene Wrecker (Blue Door, 15th August 2013)

This debut novel from Helene Wrecker has been compared to The Night Circus and A Discovery of Witches – both of which are amazing books that would probably make it onto my all time favourites list. Set in 19th century New York, it’s described as a tale of two fabled creatures, one made of fire and one make of clay, struggling to live, love and to overcome a powerful, villainous adversary.

4. MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury, 29th August 2013)

Margaret Atwood is one of those rare authors that, in my opinion, can write amazing fiction about any subject under the sun. This hugely anticipated finale to her dystopian trilogy (which also includes Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) is being released at the end of the summer and I’m practically counting down the days.

5. The Winds of Winter – George R. R. Martin (Voyager Books, TBC)

I’ve put this one on the list because I want it to come out soon, but I’m not holding my breath. The author hasn’t given many clues as to when the manuscript will be finished, but sample chapters keep being released to keep everyone on tenterhooks. With a pretty dramatic cliffhanger at the end of the last instalment, I’m still hooked. If anyone has any news on this one, let me know!