Top Ten Tuesday – Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

Top Ten Tuesday – Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

If I had to choose between books and bands, I’d choose books. But only just! Here are my top ten, totally imaginary, book-named bands.

1. I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Dodie Smith’s gorgeous coming-of-age novel would make a great name for a sensitive indie band with awkward charm and whimsical lyrics.

2. Autonomous

Autonomous

In contrast, Autonomous would be an industrial music band who take pride in making your ears bleed.

3. Gone Girl(s)

Gone Girl

Pop a “s” on the end of the title and it becomes a good name for a 90s riot grrrl band.

4. Kings of the Wyld

Kings of the Wyld

These guys would play swaggering stadium rock, plus some more intimate acoustic numbers with mystical, pagan vibes. My dad would adore them.

5. The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife

If The Velvet Underground wasn’t called The Velvet Underground, it would be called The Subtle Knife.

6. The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck’s classic might be a serious novel, but I always thought the title was kind of funny. Aren’t grapes like, the least angry fruit? This would be a pop-punk band with a lot of rage but a sense of humour too.

7. Dracula

Dracula

A darkly glamorous band. Lots of eyeliner, black lace and sexual ambiguity.

8. The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

This would be an all-female, hipsterish folk band. They would write the kind of lyrics that make you do mental gymnastics before you can understand them.

9. Wise Blood

Wise Blood

Woozy, bluesy swamp-rock.

10. Hogfather

Hogfather

Terry Pratchett’s Christmas classic would make a perfect name for a heavy metal band.

 

Which of these awesome imaginary bands would you listen to?

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I’d Follow on Social Media

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Characters I’d Follow on Social Media

This is a tricky one. Often, characters in books are appealing because we get to see right inside their minds. We see their struggles, their flaws and their complexity. Social media often irons that stuff out and presents a glossy, idealised picture. A person’s Facebook page is usually a world away from their diary. Still, I bet the following characters would be a blast to follow on social media…

1.  John Watson from the Sherlock Holmes stories

Fellow superfans of the BBC Sherlock series will be well aware that modern-day John Watson writes a blog detailing his adventures with Sherlock. And it’s rather brilliant, especially when Sherlock feels misrepresented and hijacks it.

2. Mr Wednesday from American Gods

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is full of brilliant characters, but none is as endlessly quotable as Mr Wednesday. Wise, witty, and frequently NSFW, you can bet this guy would get retweeted like crazy.

3. Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm

If ever a woman was destined to be a lifestyle blogger, it’s Flora Poste. Sensible, sophisticated, and offering sound advice on everything from fashion to contraception, Flora Poste will help you achieve those #lifegoals no matter how much of a hot mess you are.

4. Death from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels

Presumably he would type in all caps, which might be a bit annoying at first. But throughout the Discworld novels, Death becomes a very likeable character. And talking to him online would be much less intimidating than face-to-face.

5. Lisbeth Salander from the Millenium novels

File this one under “cool girls who scare me a bit but I kind of want to be friends with them anyway.”

6. Toad from The Wind in the Willows

Toad would totally be one of those flash bastards on Instagram with a lot of money and very little sense. All his hobbies and obsessions and misadventures would be documented with exuberance and zero self-consciousness, so he’d be a lot of fun to follow.

7. Tony from The Robber Bride

I just love the way Tony’s mind works. Often, eccentric female characters are portrayed as cartoonish kooks, but Tony’s obsessions and quirks only make her more believable and complex. She would probably post odd bits of war-related trivia, and occasionally type backwards.

8. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

Lizzy B is sharp as a tack, outspoken, playful, has a ridiculous family and a grumpy husband. An ideal Facebook friend.

9. Stephen Maturin from Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels

If he were around in modern times, Stephen would definitely blog about his adventures. He would probably write a lot about sloths and seahorses, and a little bit about people. All would be described in meticulous, brutally honest detail. Meanwhile, his BFF Jack Aubrey would probably be one of those people who Instagrams their dinner.

10. Jo March from Little Women

Jo would totally have a book blog, and it would probably be as awesome as she is.

Which characters would you follow on social media? And while we’re on the subject, I am keen to get in touch with fellow bookworms. Drop your twitter handle in the comments if you want to connect.

Top Ten Tuesday – Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Top Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

1.The cover. I know, I know. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help it. If a book has a beautiful old ship or a tiger or something else really cool on the cover, I’m bound to judge it more positively.

2. A strong sense of place. Whether a book is set in the American South or an imaginary world on top of a giant turtle moving through space, I want to feel like I’m really there.

3. A good old-fashioned adventure. Give me epic quests and faraway lands and heroes overcoming insurmountable odds. Bonus points if the heroes react realistically to all this danger and experience real fear and doubt and excitement, rather than just gliding through it like it’s a day at the beach.

4. If it’s written by a brilliant writer. I don’t mean a writer who comes up with interesting stories, because there’s always a chance that their latest story isn’t so good. I mean a writer with a style that I love, regardless of what the story is about. Raymond Chandler could write about a man standing in a puddle and I would read it.

5. The extraordinary hidden inside the ordinary. I love it when someone or something strange, magical or supernatural is tucked away in a perfectly mundane corner of the real world. That’s why I’m such a sucker for Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism.

6. A strong central friendship. Or any platonic relationship really. I’m more of a friendshipper than a shipper, and the love and loyalty between friends gets me emotionally invested far quicker than even the sweetest romance.

7. It was recommended by someone with good taste in books. I do pay attention to book bloggers, but my #1 source of recommendations for awesome books is my mum. She’s been picking out great stuff ever since she bought me Pippi Longstocking when I was eight, so if she recommends something, there’s a good chance I’ll love it.

8. Antiheroes/antiheroines. I find protagonists more interesting when they are complicated, and that often involves a bit of moral ambiguity. Antiheroines are especially fun – they are a great antidote to all the too-perfect, Mary Sue characters out there.

9. Animals. I just love stories about animals. Talking animals who wear clothes and drive cars. Metaphorical animals. Animals hunting humans. Animals being hunted by humans. They are a source of endless fascination for me, and I love animal books from The Wind in the Willows to The Call of the Wild.

10. If it’s cheap! Disclaimer – If you can afford it, you should of course pay full price for books to support the author. But if you’re strapped for cash, there’s a lot of fun to be had in hunting for cheap treasures in a charity shop or at a jumble sale. It’s a great feeling when, in amongst all the generic thrillers and endless copies of Fifty Shades, you find something spectacular.

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

This year, I’m doing the 2019 Reading Women Challenge. This is actually made up of 24 different challenges, to read different types of book. The unifying theme is that all the books must be written by or about women.

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This book is for challenge #2 – A book about a woman with a mental illness. Esther Greenwood, the protagonist of The Bell Jar, suffers from depression. Her experiences are thought to mirror Plath’s, who died by suicide shortly after The Bell Jar was published. To be honest, I’m a little scared of this book. Like so many people, I’ve had my own struggles with mental health and I suspect this will be a tough read. But I love Plath’s poetry, so I’m giving The Bell Jar a fair chance.

2. The Duck in the Gun by Joy Cowley

This book ticks two boxes: Challenge #3 – A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand (Cowley is from New Zealand), and challenge #5 – A children’s book. Before you accuse me of cheating, the Reading Women website says that if one book covers two categories, it’s perfectly fine to count it for both!

3. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

This book is for challenge #4 – A book about or set in Appalachia. I have to admit, I didn’t know where Appalachia was until I googled it. But it sounds like an interesting landscape, so I’m hoping this book has a strong sense of place.

4. Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

Another double whammy. This book fulfils Challenge #6 – A multigenerational family saga – and challenge #11 – A book featuring a religion other than your own. Since I’m an atheist, I had all the religions to choose from. But I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a Muslim protagonist, so this seemed like a good choice.

5. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

This book fulfils challenge #7 – A book featuring a woman in science – since one of the main characters is a reclusive wildlife biologist. I was particularly excited about this challenge since I have a job in science myself, though it’s nothing as exciting as studying coyotes in the wild. I chose this book because my mum recently read “The Poisonwood Bible” by Kingsolver and has been raving about what an amazing writer she is.

6. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

This book is for challenge #13 – A myth retelling. It’s all about the twelve gods of Mount Olympus living in a run-down London flat as their powers begin to fade. I’m a sucker for powerful and outlandish characters in mundane situations, and the Greek gods are always good fun.

7. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

This is for challenge #14 – A translated book published before 1945. The Tale of Genji was published waaaaaay before 1945. It was written in the early 11th century, and translation into English wasn’t even attempted until 1882. The tale is about the son of a Japanese emperor and a low-ranking concubine, and it is sometimes referred to as the world’s first novel. I’ve never read anything so old, and have no idea what to expect.

8. Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media by Heid E. Erdrich

Sometimes the title of a book grabs you and you have no choice but to read it. And sometimes the title of a book is really off-putting but you find yourself wanting to read the book anyway. For me, this is a case of the latter. Erdrich’s poetry collection fulfils challenge #16 – A book by an Indigenous woman – as she is Ojibwe. I’ve not read much of her poetry yet, but what I’ve read is fantastic.

9. Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman was hugely influential during my teenage years. I grew up reading Noughts and Crosses and watching Pig Heart Boy on TV, and she forced me to confront things that a white girl growing up in a very white, rural area can all-too-easily ignore. Then, to be honest, I forgot she existed until I saw the incredibly powerful Doctor Who episode that she wrote. With this timely reminder, she was the obvious choice for challenge #24 – A YA book by a woman of colour – and I chose Boys Don’t Cry because I wanted a male protagonist for a bit of variety.

10. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

As well as the 24 main challenges, the Reading Women challenge also contains two bonus challenges – to read a book by Jesmyn Ward, and a book by Jhumpa Lahiri. After hearing the ladies on the Reading Women podcast fangirl about Ward, I had to give her a chance. Their enthusiasm is very infectious – I thoroughly recommend the podcast if you’re in a reading slump.

Is anyone else doing the 2019 Reading Women Challenge? Are there any books by or about women that you’d like to recommend? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday – Platonic Relationships in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Platonic Relationships in Books

I’ve been really looking forward to this topic. I’m aromantic, so whatever I read, I tend to get more emotionally invested in the platonic relationships than the romantic ones. Does it count as shipping if you want characters to be together forever, but solving crimes or fighting the forces of evil instead of all the kissy stuff? If so, I’m the biggest shipper in the world and here are my favourite platonic ships.

N.B. If you’re into the other kind of shipping, that’s cool too. No disrespect intended to anyone’s headcanons!

  1. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

Let’s start with the obvious one. Holmes and Watson are an iconic duo, and rightly so. Their adventures are legendary and their friendship is rock solid. Every troubled genius like Holmes needs a good egg like Watson to look out for him, tolerate his eccentricities and make sure he doesn’t shoot too much cocaine.

2. Leah Hanwell and Natalie/Keisha Blake

Zadie Smith’s brilliant novel NW focuses on two childhood friends growing up and apart in London. While Leah doesn’t move far from her childhood home, Keisha becomes a successful barrister, changes her name to Natalie, and moves to a posh area. I really can’t do justice to how well this novel articulates the many obstacles that get thrown in the way of lifelong friendships. The TV adaptation is worth watching too.

3. Chips and Jessie

This is a childhood favourite of mine. Charmingly written and beautifully illustrated by Shirley Hughes, Chips and Jessie is about two best friends (Chips is a boy and Jessie is a girl) who have small, relatable adventures together. I stumbled across this book in my parents’ attic as an adult, and it gave me a weirdly intense, bittersweet kind of feeling. There’s a reason why the only male-female friendship on this list is from a children’s book. Chips and Jessie love each other in such a pure and uncomplicated way, and that’s something you just don’t see enough of in adult or YA fiction.

4. Anne Shirley and her adoptive parents

In L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert – middle aged siblings who own a farm – try to adopt a boy to help them with the farm work. They end up with the highly imaginative chatterbox Anne Shirley, and have no idea what to do with her. Matthew is a little scared of her at first, then proceeds to spoil her rotten. Marilla tries to iron out Anne’s quirks, but ends up learning from her. It’s a beautiful story of unexpected, unplanned familial love.

5. The March sisters

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women were a celebration of sisterly love long before Frozen came along. Sure, the girls disagree and fight and occasionally burn each other’s most prized possessions, but their love for each other is the emotional core of one of the best coming-of-age novels of all time.

6. Aziraphale and Crowley

Some of the most heart-warming stories of friendship involve two people from vastly different backgrounds, who form a bond due to similar personalities or interests. Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens (co-written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) are, respectively, an angel and a demon. Their personalities are chalk and cheese, but they bond over a shared interest in preventing the apocalypse. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if an angel and a demon got drunk together and tried to talk philosophy, you need to read it, like, now. Preferably before the TV adaptation arrives.

7. Colin Singleton and Hassan Harbish

To be honest, I didn’t really care about any of the Katherines in John Green’s YA novel An Abundance of Katherines. Colin will probably get dumped by a dozen other Katherines, and Hassan will be there to pick up the pieces with his take-no-shit attitude and unfailing humour.

8. Roz, Charis and Tony

It’s the characterisation in Margaret Attwood’s The Robber Bride that makes the friendship between these three women so believable. Each one has her own distinctive attitude to life and ways of relating to the other two. In her short story collection Stone Mattress, Margaret Attwood included a story that showed the friendship between Roz, Charis and Tony continuing into old age. They go for long walks and watch trashy vampire movies together. #Squadgoals.

9. Harry Potter and all his father figures

I was going to put Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione here, but then I figured that everyone would do that. And since I’m a special snowflake, I’m going to pay my respects to Harry’s mostly-departed father figures instead. Rubeus Hagrid, Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore and even, arguably, Severus Snape all showed paternal instincts towards Harry. Sure, they frequently led him into danger and had a tendency to die tragically, but they each guided him along the treacherous path to adulthood in their own unique ways.

10. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin

My dad once tried to convince me that male friendships don’t have all the drama and complications and general nonsense that female friendships have. Dad, may I present Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin as my counter-argument. In Patrick O’Brian’s epic series of novels set during the Napoleonic wars, Jack and Stephen save each other’s lives, very nearly kill each other (over a girl, naturally), argue constantly, love each other fiercely, and have a falling-out because Jack fed Stephen’s pet sloth some grog and got it drunk. Their friendship is one of the best ever written – I challenge anyone who disagrees to a duel.

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I’d Love to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Authors I’d Love to Meet

(Let’s pretend they’re all still alive, shall we?)

How could anyone resist the enigma of Emily Brontë? Because of her reclusiveness, most of what we know about her comes from other people such as her older sister Charlotte, who spoke of her as an untamed child of nature. Supposedly, Emily preferred animals to humans, and loved sparingly but intensely. I doubt she’d be interested in meeting me, but maybe I could bribe her with a baby hare or something.

My first Raymond Chandler was a second-hand, slightly beaten-up copy of “The Big Sleep”, which I fell madly in love with. The previous owner had doodled all over Raymond’s photo on the back cover and made him look like a badass drag queen. I’d love to meet him so I could find out if he’s as cool and hardboiled as his stories. Though I don’t know if I’d recognise him without big hair, lipstick and a beauty mark.

Roald Dahl was such a huge part of my childhood, there’s no way I could pass up the chance to meet him.

This 86-year-old writer of spy novels has probably given me more sleepless nights than any other man. I guess that’s just my type. He has also led an interesting life, working for MI6 before becoming a full-time author. He would probably be tight-lipped about his career, but a girl can dream.

The poet, playwright and famous wit is on everyone’s list of fantasy dinner party guests, isn’t he? Also, I lived in Reading for three years and he spent a year and a half in Reading Gaol because gay was illegal in those days. So that’s a conversation topic to awkwardly skirt around.

This is purely because she seems like a lovely person. Follow her on Twitter and you won’t regret it. She’s full of excellent, down-to-earth advice and good humour.

Everyone who knows which Hogwarts house they belong to (Ravenclaw for life) owes a debt of gratitude to good old J.K. Other people who owe her a debt of gratitude include parents of reluctant readers, the British tourism industry, brainy girls with frizzy hair who needed Hermione Granger for a role model, and everyone who enjoys seeing her troll Donald Trump. I’d just like to thank her for everything.

Hopefully he could teach me a bit about ships. I adore his books, especially the Aubrey – Maturin novels set in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars. However, I often find myself reading several paragraphs and all I get from them is “The ship did a thing and now the British are winning, hooray!”

If someone can write accessible atheistic philosophy and a damn good adventure story, all in one neat little trilogy, they are probably interesting to talk to.

Obviously it would be great to talk to her about the creation of Frankenstein, but frankly I want to get her tipsy and ask her intrusive questions. I’d like to find out if Shelley was as much of a douche as people on the internet say he was. I’d like to ask her if she really lost her virginity on her mother’s grave. Y’know, just girl talk.

So there’s my list. Whilst writing it, I realised it was mostly made up of dead white guys (and a couple of dead white girls) so if you have any ideas for making it a little more diverse, feel free to add suggestions in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday – Mash-Ups

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.

Okay, this is my first Top Ten Tuesday and I got waaaaaaay too into it. I’m going to have to write a tonne of crossover fanfiction to get all these mash-up ideas out of my system. Anyway, without further ado, here are my top ten…

Books You’d Mash Together

1) Northanger Abbey + Dracula

In “Northanger Abbey”, Catherine Morland is seventeen years old and obsessed with Gothic novels. She goes to stay at Northanger Abbey with the mysterious Tilney family, and becomes convinced that something horrendous happened to the lady of the house. Spoiler alert – it didn’t. I always felt like Catherine was cheated out of an adventure. Instead, she gets married at eighteen to Henry Tilney, who seems like a good bloke (he has a sense of humour, and understands muslin) but commits the cardinal sin of telling Catherine off for reading too many novels. Given the chance, I would introduce Catherine to the world of “Dracula” and she would, of course, become a badass vampire hunter.

2) Wuthering Heights + Cold Comfort Farm

I wish I liked “Wuthering Heights”. I love Emily Bronte’s poetry, and I love wiley, windy moors as much as the next woman. But then I read it and found myself very put-off by how f*cking nasty it is. People keep strangling each other’s dogs and such – how is this a love story? However, I have a solution! Introduce the thoroughly modern Flora Poste from “Cold Comfort Farm” to the moor’s inhabitants. Flora Poste loves nothing more than to fix people’s lives, and she does this very successfully with her relatives at Cold Comfort. With her influence, Heathcliff and Catherine and everyone else would probably end up comfortable, happy and well-dressed.

3) The Darling Buds of May + American Psycho

My reasoning for this is pretty much the opposite to the previous one. The Larkin family in “The Darling Buds of May” have it all figured out. They live in a rural idyll, always eat well and never worry too much about trivial things like unplanned pregnancies. So I’d like to drop an actual psychopath, like Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” into their world, just to see what happens. Actually, they would probably just take him strawberry picking and mix him delicious cocktails and he would fall in love with the eldest daughter and stop being a psycho.

4) The Naughtiest Girl in the School + the Harry Potter books

This one is pure, nostalgic wish-fulfilment. These two were my favourite boarding school series (boarding schools are, or at least they were, practically their own genre in British kids’ books) and I’d love to see them mixed together. I doubt Elizabeth Allen’s attempts to be the naughtiest girl in the school would match Fred and George Weasley’s pranks, but maybe they could teach her a thing or two.

5) Pippi Longstocking + Just William

For very similar reasons. As a kid, Pippi and William were my two favourite troublemakers. William had his gang of “Outlaws”, and Pippi had a horse and a monkey. If they joined forces, they would cause so much chaos and have so much fun.

6) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes + Anything with actual ghosts and ghoulies

I’d like to see how such a fiercely logical character would react to the paranormal. In the Sherlock Holmes canon, he’s a total skeptic – memorably demonstrated in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, when he refuses to believe there is anything otherworldly about the giant, glowing dog. But what if he were placed in a world where the paranormal does exist? Maybe he’d have a nervous breakdown. Or maybe he’d accept it coolly and rationally, remembering that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

7) Preacher comics + George’s Marvellous Medicine

This one is cheating slightly, since the “Preacher” comics aren’t actually books, but I have good reason for bending the rules. There’s not a single literary villain who scares me like Jesse Custer’s ridiculously evil grandma, and she deserves to get got. Perhaps the adorable, granny-poisoning George could mix up a special batch of medicine for her, and then she’ll stop haunting my nightmares.

8) The Chronicles of Narnia + His Dark Materials

Two completely different interpretations of Christian mythology, and maybe an awesome fight between Aslan the lion and Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear.

9) The Notebook + The Time Machine

A sure-fire way of tricking me into reading a big, swoony romance is to put time travel in it. I adore “The Time Traveller’s Wife”, for example, and the “Outlander” series. The whole “having to choose between two lovers” thing carries a lot more weight when it’s a choice between two different lives in different centuries, rather than a choice between the blonde dude and the dark-haired dude. So I think I would enjoy “The Notebook” a lot more if it was mashed up with H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”. Hey, maybe the time machine itself could be the MacGuffin that the story centres around, instead of a boring old notebook.

10) The Catcher in the Rye + The Horse Whisperer

Oh wait, somebody already wrote that. It’s called “The God of Animals” – the debut novel of Aryn Kyle. It’s an underrated gem, and if you’ve ever been an angsty twelve-year-old, ridden a horse, or endured a long, hot summer where nothing much happens but everything changes, I would thoroughly recommend it.