Bookish

T5W Rewind – Tropes you Hate

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This month’s topics for the Top 5 Wednesday series are Rewind topics – which means we can choose any previously used topic throughout the series. For today’s topic, I have chosen Tropes you Hate.

Before I dive into this topic, I really want to stress out that I do not hate any of those tropes below. They can get on my nerves when they are used as an ‘easy way out’ – as something that bypasses either characters’ developments or plots’ challenges.

I am not judging anyone who likes these tropes either. Please keep that in mind. It’s all a matter of personal preferences. 🙂


 

  1. Love at first sight, aka. instalove

love at first sight

Insta-love is probably my biggest pet peeve. I do not believe in love at first sight. I do believe of course in attraction at first sight, but that has nothing to do with love.

In my opinion, love goes hand in hand with respect. And respect is something that is usually earned through time. It is also about understanding and appreciating each other and again, that takes time.

I think the cliché of ‘their eyes met and they knew there were destined for each another’ send a naïve message of ‘as long as there is attraction between us and we are looking at each others’ eyes, it’s all good’.

In my humble opinion, it’s a simplistic and also a bit dangerous message to be sending out there.

As my favourite author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, once famously said: “Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.”

  1. Chosen ones / special snowflakes

special snowflake

Usually a character that is destined to be the hero and to save the entire world either because everyone around them or some prophecy says so, or because they have some incredibly unique power and are therefore extremely special.

I think this is a bit of a ‘an easy way out’ card. An author can potentially use it without having to think about characters’ motivations. Because you know… it’s their destiny!!!!

Of course some authors can use this cliché and make it work, yes HP fans, I’m talking about your favourite author. But in a lot of cases, this approach sometimes doesn’t go deep into characters’ motives and can make them a bit less relatable because of that.

  1. The Plain Jane who is magically transformed to win the hunky hero’s heart

plain-jane-it-is-i-dont-care

I honestly can not stand ‘The Plain Jane’ character. When you spice it up with a hunky hero saving her or his heart, I tend to lose a bit..

We are all unique and that makes us all interesting.

The Plain Jane is just a cliché that plays at our insecurities. The message of ‘there’s hope for all of us’ resonates but is it actually serving us?

I believe nobody is plain. Full stop.

  1. The evil one

evil one

The usual ‘good vs. evil’ dynamic is a cliché that gets on my nerves. We are all complex and pure evil villains are again, a bit of an easy way out.

It becomes double annoying when combined with the ‘monster is shot, stabbed, burned and impaled on a spike, and it rises again and again’ trope as well. I mean please, save us all our precious time and just kill those evil monsters off, will you?

It also has an irritable potential when combined with the evil one ‘accidentally‘ dying as well. I mean how convenient is that? When a murderer somehow stumbles and falls under a train, or off a cliff… yep, that one gets me too!

  1. Any good detective must be depressed—and preferably should have a drinking or substance overuse related problem.

dog detective

I think this one is quite self-explanatory. 😉

It’s usually closely followed by a maverick detective who doesn’t trust anyone and doesn’t need anybody’s help…


There you have it. Now over to you friends.

What are your favourite ‘tropes you personally dislike’? Fancy sharing some of them with me? 🙂

Bookish

T5W Rewind – Favourite Villains

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This month’s topics for the Top 5 Wednesday series are Rewind topics – which means we can choose any previously used topic throughout the series. For today’s topic, I have chosen Favourite Villains.


In any book I read or a movie I watch, I crave complex characters.

I enjoy discovering characters that are not entirely likeable.

The protagonists must have flaws and the purpose of their stories is to overcome them. Equally, for their antagonists, there must be still some humanity left in them in order for me to sympathise with them. I will not condone their actions, but I may at least understand, where that behaviour is coming from.

There are many evil psychopathic villains out there and they have their place. My list below probably consists mostly of sympathetic or rather tragic villains.

Side note: The Orangutan Librarian wrote a brilliant post on Why Villains are the Greatest. I really recommend checking it out!


  • Sméagol / Gollum – The Lord of the Ring Series

Gollum

Let’s pause and appreciate Gollum’s portrait by Frédéric Bennett 

Gollum is probably my favourite.

I like his character because there is still some humanity left in him, despite being consumed by his extremely powerful desire for the Ring.

He always gives me hope; that humanity can persevere.

  • Loki – Norse Mythology (and Marvel comics)

loki

Picture by incredible artist Sceith

Loki is a broken man damaged by his past.

The legends tell us the harder he tries, the harder he usually falls.

I guess that could make his actions seem somehow relatable. And I think that’s what makes him an interesting character as well.

  • Magneto – Marvel Comics, X-Men

Magneto

Image credit

Another character haunted by his dark past.

His intentions are to make the world a better place for the mutants.

Unfortunately his approach, to kill all humans, is what makes him an anti-hero material. That doesn’t mean we approve of his choices, but can at least understand what made him into that villain.

  • Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader

star wars origin

Photo credit

Because every hero has a villain potential.

And because we don’t know what we are capable of doing until everything we love is threatened to be taken away from us.

And because of that redemption and hope that goes with it.

  • Jamie Lannister from “A Song of Ice and Fire” series

George R.R Martin has this cunning ability to create complex characters that I just want to know more of.

got__jaime_lannister_by_antylopa-dazvdlv

Amazing drawing by Antylopa

Jamie is one of them.

In the first few books, he is a ‘classic’ villain. His actions are fuelled by his selfish and ego-centric behaviour and of course there is that sibling love.

Then he is forced to face his disability and he raises up to that challenge.

It has something to do with certain Brienne of Tarth. Their unlikely friendship and those first glimpses of Jamie’s humanity, that were there all along but buried deep within, are probably one of my favourite parts of the Game of Thrones series.


There you have it. Now over to you friends.

What are your favourite villains? Fancy sharing some of them with me? 🙂

Bookish

T5W Rewind – Current Favourites that Aren’t Books

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This month’s topics for the Top 5 Wednesday series are Rewind topics – which means we can choose any previously used topic throughout the series. As I am relatively new to T5W, I am excited about this opportunity! 🙂

I have chosen the topic of “Current favourites that aren’t books” as I find it currently very fitting given I read four books in March and three in April. 😉 My boyfriend, our dog and I just return from a week and half long trip in Dartmoor in West England with today being the last day of our holiday. Our washing machine is currently working over time, I’ve managed to unpack most of our things and I am finally finding time to sit down and make another list. I love list making! 🙂

Without further ado, let’s talk non books, shall we? 🙂

All of those activities below are for me to enjoy but being surrounded by the ones I love is what matters to me the most. People are my favourites that aren’t books and I feel truly grateful for all those special souls that are in my life. 

  • (Rock) Climbing

Climbing in Kalymnos

It you read my previous T5W post you know that I enjoy climbing. I call it my vertical meditation. I love how fully present I become when I climb. It’s me and the next move.

My curiosity is satisfied as well as having to piece together, at first a seemingly impossible sequence of moves, can be a fun puzzle to solve. If you don’t tear you hear out first in frustration of course.

I also appreciate that climbing takes me to some breath taking places in nature. I got to see some stunning places such as the isle of Lundy where no cars are allowed and where seals kept us the only company on those beautiful long granite sea cliffs.

And I also love the climbing community. Climbers are a fairly chilled bunch of people… must be all that vertical meditating I reckon… 😉

  • Hiking / Scrambling 

 

Nature is amongst my top values. I get fully recharged when I walk in nature. The last week and half was amazingly restorative. Walking on the moor, listening to bird-songs, meeting Dartmoor’s wild ponies and feeling an utter sense of peace and quiet. That’s happiness in my books.

I enjoy walking with my boyfriend; we have quite a few Pathfinder circular walks guides that we enjoy exploring together. I also love hiking with my sister around my native woods in the Czech Republic. I usually have great conversations during all of those walks with my loved ones. I equally enjoy walking on my own with my little dog though. I can sort my thoughts out that way really well and unplug from it all.

  • Yoga 

yoga in gower

When I’m on the mat, I feel like I’m home.

I enjoy moving gently with every breath I take. I also love how yoga teaches me to stay mindful and to get into an observer state. That ability to notice my thoughts and allow them to stay without having to react to them.

I also enjoy dedicating my practice at the beginning of it to someone. If you play sports – try it sometimes. I found, when my practice is not only about me, but also about someone else,  it gives me that tiny bit of a push I sometimes need when things get quite challenging and I want to give up.

  • Listening to podcasts

I love listening to various podcasts on a regular basis. Currently, my favourite podcasts are:

Do you listen to any of these?

And do you have a podcast you could recommend me?

I love exploring new podcasts on a regular basis. 🙂

  • Travelling

Because I enjoy exploring new places, seeing different cultures and meeting interesting people.

I don’t necessarily have to travel to exotic places though; I equally love travelling somewhere local where I have never been before or just taking a new route to places I normally go to quite regularly.

There is always so much to see when you change your direction. 🙂 Cheesy alert: I believe it is the journey, not the destination that this is all about. 🙂


There you have it. Now over to you friends.

What are your current favourites that aren’t books? Fancy sharing some of them with me?

Bookish

T5W – Favourite Fandom Items

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

In this week’s topic, let’s talk about Favourite Fandom Items.  “Whether it’s something you own or something you are lusting after, what are some of your favourite fandom items / merchandise / memorabilia? Your picks don’t all have to be from the same fandom.”


I’ll start with a long caveat. Please bear with me. 😊

I don’t own many things. I feel more things I own, more they start owning me. I ruthlessly go through my possessions on a regular basis constantly questioning if they add value to my life and if the answer is no, finding a new home for them.

I call myself a minimalist; that word may evoke in others imagines of empty walls and rooms with no furniture – that’s not me at all.

I could describe my approach as a mindful consumerism. I ask myself if I need things before I buy them. And if the answer is no, I ask myself if by owning them, I would gain any value out of them. I don’t just buy things I need though; I also buy things that my artistic self loves and that bring me joy.

I am not judging anyone who has a different approach or preferences to mine.

We are all different; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way here. Whatever brings you joy is perfectly fine. No comparing or judging at all. Please don’t take any of this as a lecturing post. I have many anxieties and this approach seems to keep them at bay.

With this full disclosure over, let’s dive in to my favourite items:

1)    Dr. Brené Brown’s books

brene browns books

I have mentioned Dr. Brené Brown name quite a few times already on my blog.

I don’t own many physical copies of books, with most printed books James and I own being either climbing guides, hiking guides or non-fiction books.

I own physical copies of all Brown’s books. I love re-reading them and use them whenever I need a little pick me up. I love Brown’s work, admire her story telling ability and genuinely want to support her message as much as I can.

2)    The Daring Way™ certification

manifesto

This one goes hand in hand with my previous point.

I am ‘lusting’ after The Daring Way™ certification.

It is an empirically based training and certification program based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. I am currently going through Life Coach certification and working toward the day when I’ll be able to certify via The Daring Way™ programme as well. As you can clearly see: I deeply believe in Dr. Brené Brown’s work!. 🙂

3)    Lynn Hill and my signed copy of her autobiography Climbing Free

If you haven’t see Valley Uprising on Netflix, I highly recommend it. It’s about history of Yosemite Valley’s climbing scene and how it has evolved through years. You don’t have to be a climber to appreciate the story and all those stunning visuals, at least I hope. 🙂

One of my favourite female climbers featured in that movie is Lynn Hill aka Lynnie. She is an extraordinary climber that defined what was possible by being the first climber ever to free climb in 1993 The Nose, a famous route on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

And this is what she said about it:

“Trying to free climb The Nose just happened to be the perfect goal for me and I liked the fact this climb was in Yosemite because I remember going there and just seeing the valley and it was just mind blowing how beautiful it was. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place anywhere in the world. For me The Nose was much bigger than me, it wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about my ego, my gratification it was actually something that I wanted to do.

I felt like I had a chance and that if I could do that it would be a really big statement to people to think about.

You don’t have to be a man to do something that’s ‘out there’ as a first ascent.

Obviously people tried to do that route and they failed on it and so if a lot of good climbers have come and tried to do it and failed and a woman comes and does it first it’s really meaningful. That was my underlying motivation.”

~Andy McCue “Interview: Lynn Hill”. www.climber.co.uk. 19 April 2013

I went to the Women in Climbing Symposium last November where Lynn Hill was the main speaker. I cherish the memory of hearing her talk about her adventures, meeting her in person and having her sign my copy of her book.

4)    Adam Ondra and his signed poster

IMG_0676(1)

This poster currently hangs in our garage opposite our little training climbing wall. Adam Ondra is a fellow Czech climber and he is considered by some possibly the best climber in the world at the moment.

I have watched his climbing movies and enjoyed witnessing his, not only physically challenging, but also mentally gruelling climbing projects. He challenges what is possible and how far our bodies can go.

Hearing him talk in London in 2014 for Urbanrock, at the Westway Climbing Centre was such a brilliant experience. He came across as extremely modest given his levels of achievement. Having him sign his poster for us was the cherry on the cake.


In order to grow, we have to be ready to continuously fail. If we are not failing, our goals are not big enough.

Brown in her Rising Strong writes about how to pick ourselves up after each of those failures.

You can say Brown gives me tools so I can be brave to continuously fail whilst Hill and Ondra inspire me via showing me what’s possible if you are courageous enough to Dare Greatly (yup, another reference to Brown! 😉 ).


5)    The Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs directed by Peter Jackson

IMG_0677

I love these DVDs. They are not just a movie adaptation. There is something epic about them. I almost felt like a received a permission to openly obsess about LOTR once they got aired as all of sudden everyone knew what those books were all about.

I still re-watch them from time to time and enjoy getting lost in the magical world J.R.R. Tolkien created for us and Peter Jackson visually brought to our homes.


There you have it. Now over to you friends.

What are your favourite items you either own or are lusting after? Fancy sharing some of them with me?

And if you have done yours in the post, please let me know. I can’t wait to see others’ treasures and their lists. Mostly because I am nosy curious! 🙂 

Bookish

T5W – Ideal Mash-Ups

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

In this week’s topic, let’s talk about Ideal Mash-Ups.


I had a lot of fun thinking about this week’s topic. My boyfriend and I discussed our creative mash-ups over the weekend whilst visiting his parents. A few of creations below are his ideas I totally bought into.

So without further ado, here are some of my favourites:

  • Sherlock vs Homeland

Imagine: London, a terrorist investigation featuring Sherlock, who is helping the domestic counter-intelligence and Carrie, who is sent over by the CIA to assist. Both characters prefer their own ways and initially start running two separate investigations.

They are complex characters known to suffer from mental health issues, both extremely skilled investigators, both using their own methods.

Who do you bet your money on? Would one of them crack a case quicker than another?…

Or..

Can you see them working together? Even starting to respect one another perhaps? I can see the latter. 🙂 I would expect some initial rivalry but I reckon Carrie could reach out and Sherlock could reluctantly start respecting her or vice versa… 🙂

This one was brought to you by… my boyfriend James. 😀

  • Black Mirror vs. American Gods

Another of James’ creations.

We had a lengthy discussion on which episode of Black Mirror to use and how to incorporate American Gods into it. Despite loving Black Mirror, I haven’t seen some of the initial episodes and my memory is… not that great.. so I’ll go with the fairly recent social media episode called ‘Nosedive‘.

It is set in a not so distant future where we can rate each other (one to five stars) for every interaction we have. The rating has an impact on our social as well as economic status. Think sites such as Trustpilot but rather than rating services, you are rating people. Nosedive gave me creeps as I could see this happening one day.

Let’s say the Technology God from the American Gods gets involved. He would love that eh? The entire Black Mirror series would be right up his alley.

As people believe more and more in technology, aka him, he starts gaining more and more power. What will he do with it? Something less than ideal I imagine… 😉 It would be fun intertwining those two series together.

  • Stranger Things vs. The Shining

You know those kids on bikes from Stranger Things? How about them stumbling upon mysteriously appeared Overlook Hotel from The Shining?

Jack Torrance, being an aspiring writer, may even offer to help them write a story of the Upside Down for them. And then of course, things start going a bit pear-shaped.

The Shining

Here’s Johnny!

  • The Lord of the Rings vs. Throne of Glass

I’m thinking: Celaena from Throne of Glass series somehow stumbling upon the Fellowship of the Ring and reluctantly agreeing to help them with their quest.

Wouldn’t she add a bit of diversity and humour to this group? And would’t she find Gandalf to be both a wise but also potentially annoying mentor? I am seeing some great banter opportunities there!

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland vs. The Game of Thrones

This one came to me unexpectedly on a whim.

I adore Lewis Carroll’s nonsensical world of Wonderland. I would be thrilled to get the Game of Thrones‘ characters, mainly Tyrion Lannister thrown into it… to see what would happen. 😉 Imagine a massive hole appears and quite a few GoT characters fall through it to Wonderland.

Would cunning and strategic Tyrion be able to deal with a world that just makes no sense?

Side note: he is extremely skilled at that but Wonderland would be pushing it to another level. 😉

Imagine John Snow having to deal with the Queen of Hearts. Fun, right? GoT is sometimes extremely sombre and serious. Let’s get Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat involved and again, let’s just see what happens. I reckon we would be in for a treat. 😀


This is the part where I stop talking and will pass it over to you.

  • What would your fun mash up be? If you have done yours via post, let me know so I can check it out please. 😊🙏
  • And what do you think of some of mine / James’ mash ups? 
Bookish

T5W – Auto-Buy Sci-fi & Fantasy Authors

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

In this week’s topic, let’s talk about my auto-buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors.


Firstly, let’s start with a caveat:

I tend not to auto-buy much these days. 🙂 I am quite a moody reader and like to choose / pick books depending on the mood I am currently experiencing.

With that said, there are a few fantasy writers, whose books I would gladly auto-buy.

Leigh Bardugo

six of crowsOh Leigh, her books really speak to me.

I enjoy both her skilled writing as well as her deep understanding of human nature.

She creates complex characters and certainly knows how to spin a highly addictive story whilst building wonderful worlds.

I also appreciate her Russian spin on most of her books even though I also loved her take on Wonderwoman.

Her books are my auto-buy books without a shadow of a doubt.

Katherine Arden

bear and nightingaleI discovered her books during the end of last year and promptly declared her one of my favourite authors.

Her writing is poetic and I need more of it. 😊

Her books are inspired by Russian folklore and have a medieval feel to them.

I enjoy her story telling, world building and that her focus is on the plot rather than romance.

Sarah J Maas

empire of stormFast-paced stories, many complex, not entirely likable characters and lots of humour = I am a fan of this author.

One second, I am laughing out loud whilst reading some banter between characters and the next one I am biting my nails as suspense is building up.

Holly Black

cruel princeAfter I finished The Cruel Prince, I started reading the Curse Workers series and found another favourite author.

Again, her characters are complex, not entirely likeable and I enjoy her writing style as well as her craftily built worlds full of scheming and politics.


I am aware that those are four, not five authors.

As this topic relates to fantasy and sci-fi, that’s it my friends.

There are many other fantasy writers, whose books I enjoy, but equally, whose books I would never auto-buy.

I would gladly auto-buy anything from Brené Brown but that’s non-fiction.

After discovering Liane Moriarty last month, I would also consider buying anything from her but that’s fiction.

Tolkien or Pratchett no longer write so I am sticking with my list of four my friends.


What about you?

Are you a loyal fan and auto-buy or do you prefer to do a bit of research first?

And if you do auto-buy, who is your favourite author?

 

 

 

Bookish

T5W – Favorite Jokesters

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This week’s topic, in honour of April Fools, let’s talk about my favourite jokesters, pranksters, and funny characters.

kaz

“Our hopes rest with you, Mister Brekker. If you fail, all the world will suffer for it.”
“Oh, it’s worse than that, Van Eck. If I fail, I don’t get paid.” 

Kaz is a clever trickster that learned how to scheme in order to survive. He is one of my favourite characters and I would love him to meet for a coffee with Cassel to plot the biggest con ever.. 🙂

cassel

“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.” 

Cassel is another smart character that is trying to stay step ahead from ‘mafia’ as well as cops and is doing everything ‘necessary’ to survive. He is funny and I hope him and Kaz will plot something together one day. 🙂

tyrion

“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?” 

Oh, Tyrion. Smart, funny and very, very cunning. 🙂 He is one of my favourite GoT characters and his quotes reliably crack me up. 🙂

celeana

“You’re a girl?”
“Surprising, I know. Everyone thinks I’m older.” 

OK, I’ll admit it. I am not her biggest fan but she is funny. 🙂 She is sassy, has a very foul mouth and some of her snarky answers made me laugh out loud.

jest

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”

Dear Jest and his quest to steal a certain heart. I guess he was meant to be funny be default given he was the king’s joker. 🙂 Still, he was an interesting character and sometimes I wish his story could have been heard as well.


There you have it, some pranksters, some funny characters. There are many more and I am pretty certain I may have forgotten a lot of them.

Now over to you my friends. 🙂

Who are you favourite jokers?

Fancy sharing them with me?