Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: March 2017


Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, including discussing books read that month, challenge progress, and a summary of all posts for the month.

Last month I read a total of fifteen books: Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence, How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle & Sarah Miynowski,
Life and Death by Stephanie Meyer, Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard, Drakenfeld (Drakenfeld #1) by Mark Charan Newton, The Named (Guardians of Time #1) by Marianne Curley, The Dark (Guardians of Time #2) by Marianne Curley, The Key (Guardians of Time #3) by Marianne Curley, The Strain (The Strain #1) by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K. Dick, A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar, Bastard Prince by Beverley A. Murphy,
Magus of Stonewylde (Stonewylde #1) by Kit Berry and The Still Point by Amy Sackville.

March was an odd month for reading. Before I moved, I wanted to read a load of books from my pile of ‘read then donate’ books – these are ones that I’ve probably bought second-hand and don’t reckon I’ll love enough to keep. I was definitely right, and found myself with quite a few disappointing reads. However, this did mean that I got quite a lot of reading done, and managed to squeeze fifteen books into the month!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve now moved and started a new job. This is one of my first posts in two weeks or so, and posts might be slow for a bit, just while I’m getting used to everything. However I’ve got some recently read review copies, so hopefully I’ll be sharing my thoughts on those soon. 🙂

Challenge progress:

  • I have currently read 44 books towards my Goodreads goal of 52. Still unsure whether to raise this when I hit it, or not…


Currently reading:

How was March for you?

Top Lists

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Books I’d Like To See As A Movie Or TV Show


I’m joining in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s theme is:

Top Ten Books I’d Like To See As A Movie Or TV Show

I first read this series when I was about ten or eleven, not too long after it had first been released in the UK, and absolutely fell in love with it. I was lucky enough to interview Marianne Curley a couple of months ago, and The Named was also my first ‘Five Reasons Why You Should Read This Book’ feature. As it’s set in Australia, there would be some beautiful scenery – not to mention all the time travel scenes. I even have an idea for cast members – I could see Douglas Booth as Arkarian because of his chiseled features, and Robert Sheehan as Ethan.

One word: epic. This space opera series is just absolutely fantastic and would make SUCH a brilliant series of films. With a great variety of characters, there are plenty of actors and actresses who would fit in so well. Plus seeing the Shrike on the big screen would be amazing. There’s just the right mix of action and character development to make this a silver screen hit, in my opinion. Apparently Warner Bros. have had the rights to make a film for several years, and Matt Damon has expressed interest in working on the script, but they have yet to make any progress on it. It would certainly be an expensive project so I guess that’s the main issue at the moment. I also featured Hyperion as my second ‘Five Reasons Why You Should Read This Book’.

Oh, this would be a tough one. With the fanbase it has, the film version would need to be perfect and match Rothfuss’ writing precisely. It could be an absolutely stunning film, a sort of Harry Potter for the older generation (popularity, not strictly content wise). My book group actually discussed a fantasy casting for a film of this, and came up with some pretty interesting ideas. I haven’t yet read The Wise Man’s Fear, but several friends have said they did not enjoy it as much as the first book – I’ll have to wait and see.

This series. Read it now. Another one that I’ve featured in ‘Five Reasons Why You Should Read This Book’ – it would make a brilliant fantasy epic. Although I wasn’t as impressed with The Daylight War as I have been with the other two (I plan on putting a review up soon), I still love Brett’s writing. He’s pretty awesome and interacts with his fans a lot, including hosting fanart contests. I’d love to see how the different types of demons appear on the big screen, and the fight scenes would just be fantastic.

This would make such a fun movie, although it could be potentially problematic what with all the pop culture references. I also wonder how the OASIS would appear. Would they just film it normally so it looks real? Or would there be a subtle hint of illusion hidden beneath everything? I could also imagine the stark differences between reality and the game, and how well that would work on film.

As with the Guardians of Time trilogy, this is another series I fell in love with when I was younger, and another of my favourite childhood authors that I recently interviewed! It would make a lovely film series for the middle grade audience, and would definitely be something different to the usual fantasy series. The only problem with making a film like this would be finding the right cast – for example, in my opinion the first few Harry Potter films suffered because of the acting skills of the cast when they were younger.

I’m so amazed that this hasn’t been adapted yet. It’s been out for over fifteen years, has a massive fanbase and it just so, so brilliant. Perhaps when it was published the techniques hadn’t yet been developed to allow the film to be created to its full potential, but now they definitely have. The last news of a film based on the series was in 2008 – someone in the film industry is missing out on something big!

Yeah so I haven’t even read the second or third books. I’m STILL waiting for Fire to arrive at my local library (it’s been in transit for nearly three weeks?!), but I know that Graceling would make a fantastic film. I discussed in my review of Graceling that I somehow pictured Po as Fenris from Dragon Age II… so if he doesn’t look like that in the film I will be very confused, even though his description is completely different. Oh, and this one actually is heading to the big screen, it’s just not clear when.

My first non-fantasy or science fiction suggestion! I really loved this book and think it would make a beautiful film, as it’s set in Cambridge, as well as an excellent thriller. The casting for this one would have to be very well done though, as the portrayal of each character is very important.

And my last choice… some historical/mythology-based fiction. I love Greek mythology, particularly the stories surrounding Troy, so I would definitely watch a film of this. I also think that it would be wonderful to see Miller’s take of the story on screen as it covers a homosexual relationship, a part of the story that many screen versions of Achilles leave out. Of course, it’s not completely certain what the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus really was (if the two ever actually existed), but it’s nice to see it addressed this way for once. Plus the story is beautifully written and highly emotional.

Author Interview

Author Interview: Marianne Curley

The other week I was thinking about how great it would be if I could interview some of my favourite authors. So I decided I’d send out some emails and see if any of them had some time for me. I was so happy when Marianne replied – taking time out of her busy schedule for me – and now I can proudly post my short interview with her!

If you’ve never read any of her books, I highly recommend them if you like Young Adult fiction, Paranormal or Fantasy fiction or anything to do with time travel. I’d say they also appeal to historical fiction fans, for their time travel scenes.


The Named, The Dark and The Key – the Guardians of Time trilogy 

Old Magic – a standalone novel

About Marianne

Born in New South Wales, Australia, Marianne discovered her love of books at the age of eight years old. The first novel that had an effect on her was Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Throughout her school years, the library was one of her favourite places – and it was when she read Katherine by Anya Seton that she found a passion for historical fiction.

After marrying and starting a family, Marianne started working towards her dream of becoming a writer, inspired by the beautiful country of Australia. Her first novel, Old Magic, was published in 2000 by Bloomsbury. She then started writing the Guardians of Time trilogy, undertaking much research into the historical periods that Isabel, Ethan and the others visit.

In 2004, Marianne was diagnosed with Myelfibrosis. As this can be a difficult subject to talk about, I would like to use her words here: “It was a huge deal in my life and my family’s life. Without a stem cell bone marrow transplant I was going to die. Fortunately my sister was a wonderful match and though I was given only 35% chance of surviving the transplant, with no other option, I enthusiastically embraced the transplant. I spent months in hospital, in quarantine, undergoing high doses of chemotherapy. I lost my hair and nearly died from kidney failure and a host of other problems, but I came through it with the help of the life-saving medical staff of Westmead Hospital, my beautiful sister’s beautiful, healthy and abundant stem cells, the support of my family (all of them) and the incredible amount of prayers that were said for me. I am truly thankful. 

For a year after the transplant, I was unable to concentrate well enough to even read. But it gradually returned and I began writing again. After such a dramatic experience the first writing I did was more cathartic than publishable. I wrote a novel called “Chains” about two brothers of Italian descent named, Julian and Vincent, who lose their mother to cancer and battle through their grief in different ways. And while this manuscript is close to my heart, it may never be published.

I mention this because it has been seven years since my last book, The Key, was published, and many of my readers wondered what happened and why I hadn’t written anything since.”
(from Marianne’s website)


Rinn: Who or what inspires your writing?

Marianne: I am inspired every day by my surroundings. I live on a mountain with beautiful scenery of waterfalls, rainforests, fresh-water creeks, interesting foliage, and an abundance of Australian wildlife. The birds are especially beautiful. I am also greatly inspired by music and always have songs playing when I am writing. I love to listen to dramatic music or songs that tell a passionate or epic story.

[Rinn: I lived in Australia when I was five, and I have such vivid memories of it. I can imagine just how inspirational it is!]

Rinn: What are some of your favourite books and authors?

Marianne: ‘Katherine’ by Anya Seton was a favourite book of mine for many years when I was a teenager. Later in life my favourite books were ‘The Thorn Birds’ by Colleen McCullough, ‘The Girl in Times Square’ by Paullina Simons, and ‘Battleaxe’, the start of a brilliant fantasy series by Sara Douglass. More recently my favourites are ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller, because it is so beautifully written, and ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor, a breathtaking fantasy that is rich in description and imagination.

[Rinn: The Song of Achilles was a beautiful book. I still have to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.]

Rinn: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Marianne: When I’m not writing I’m usually reading. But also, I like to potter in my garden, knit scarves, beanies and blankets, and collect pictures from around the world to pin on my ‘Pinterest’ boards online.

Rinn: Is there anything you find challenging when writing, and how do you overcome it?
Marianne: My biggest challenge when writing is the creation of the first draft. I get a little edgy until the draft is safely on file. I listen to music during this phase as it helps to loosen the thoughts and bring visual images into my head. I thoroughly enjoy the rest of the writing process.

Rinn: What made you choose the particular periods of time that the Guardians/Order travel to in the trilogy?

Marianne: I chose those time periods because firstly, I believed they were interesting; and secondly, I felt there were important enough events during those time periods that would have a significant effect on the present should they really be altered.

[Rinn: Definitely! I think they were great choices.]

Rinn: If you could travel to any period in time, when would it be?

Marianne: The truth is I wish I owned a time-travel machine! I don’t know if I could pick just one period. I’d probably start with the dinosaurs and work my way through to the future! I suppose if I had to select one I would probably visit the Romans during their peak domination of the world.

[Rinn: I think I’d be too scared to visit the dinosaurs… I’ll stick to Jurassic Park 😉 Another great choice, a really important civilisation.]

Rinn: Who is your favourite member of the Guard, and of the Order?

Marianne: My favourite member of the Guard is Ethan, because whatever I threw at him he still remained loyal. As for the Order, I don’t actually have a favourite.

[Rinn: Mine is Arkarian. And Isabel too, because she has a great name ;)]

Rinn: If the Guardians of Time trilogy was turned in a film series, who would be in your perfect cast?

Marianne: I think, if I had a choice, I would like to go with a few relatively unknown, up-and-coming young actors. I would watch them try out and read for the parts and select them from there.

Thank you so much to Marianne for letting me interview her! I’m so proud to be posting this, and really grateful. This is a series that I’ve loved since I was young, and still re-read. I cannot wait for her next novel, Hidden!