23 Jun 2015

#TTT: Happy 5th Birthday, Top Ten Tuesday!

Fun fact: Top Ten Tuesday first appeared over at The Broke and the Bookish on the 21st June 2010. In honour of this fun fact, this week's #TTT prompt is 'My Ten Favourite Top Ten Topics We've Ever Done in the Last 5 Years.' Given that my participation in this weekly meme is both a) a recent thing and b) sporadic at best, I was thankful that the lovely folks over at the Broke and the Bookish list pretty much every Top Ten Topic they've ever done over on their blog. What are your ten favourite top ten topics?

10. Top Ten Books I HAD to Buy and Have Still Not Read: Sometimes I get so excited for a book that I pre-order it or have to buy it the day it comes out, but then I get side-tracked by life and it takes MONTHS for me to actually read the book. Solidarity, guys.
9. Top Ten Minor Characters: Sometimes it's the minor characters that surprise you. You don't think they'll get enough page time for you to fall in love with them, and then BAM! they go and do something dorky or funny or brave and you're like, "Oh, no. Not again." On the other hand, as an (amateur) actor, I spend a fair amount of time talking about fictional people and how one would interact with them. I get to do a lot of period drama and stage adaptations of books - like playing Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice - and need to come up with a back story to explain why they behave like they do. Sometimes with minor characters - who are so overlooked and can be written rather one-dimensionally - you need to be a bit creative and fill in the blanks. Sometimes they need more love, because they do help push the story along.
8. Top Ten Favourite Love Stories: I'M A ROMANTIC AT HEART, OKAY?
7. Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read Except Me: As both a book blogger and an avid user of Tumblr, there are many books that I feel like I should read just because everyone else is reading (and raving about) them, but I have zero interest in. It's good to be upfront about your tastes.
6. Top Ten Books I Have Lied About: Because when you feel like everyone has read a classic except you, sometimes you need to fake your way through it (as my friend Katie demonstrated during her HSC English exam...). Or, if you're like me, you lie about your love for The Ranger's Apprentice. When the first book came out, I was in a perfectly acceptable age range (12) to read that book. By the time that last one came out, not so much.
5. Top Ten Most Intimidating Books: You know, I have The Lord of the Rings sitting on my shelves. I have for a couple of years now. As someone who has started stacking her books in boxes because she's run out of shelf space, I now think of shelf space as a precious commodity. I still haven't read The Lord of the Rings. I've picked up The Fellowship of the Ring a couple of times, but have only ever gotten a few pages in before I set it aside and promise myself I'll finish it another day. Why? Because these books have some very vocal, very passionate fans, and I'm kind of scared to find out what happens if I don't like them. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in this whole 'being intimidated by a book' thing.
4. Favourite Kick-Ass Heroines: You know, there seems to be a belief in the entertainment industry that girls and boys will be interested in a book/film/television show that has a male main character, but only girls will be interested in a book/film/television show that has a female main character. To which I say: congrats on the fantastic display of sexism! But thanks to the Katniss Everdeens and Hermione Grangers of the literary (and subsequently film) world, that misconception is slowly being changed. Women can kick ass, and not just in the literal sense! There are so many ways that women can display strength - just read the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, because there are a dozens of women who show strength in their own way. Give me those kick-ass heroines, pronto!
3. Top Ten Favourite Covers: I'm a sucker for a book with a pretty cover. It's why I have multiple copies of Austen.
2. Top Ten Books I'd Hand to Somebody Who Says They Don't Like to Read: Here's the thing about studying English at school - it tells teenagers what kind of books they should be appreciating, but it doesn't tell them why they should appreciated, what it is about that book that they should appreciate. They hand out classics to teenagers, but they don't give any context to the time period it was written in. Although it's still written in English, the English spoken in the 1800s is different to the English spoken in 2015, and people struggle to understand it. As a result, there are generations upon generations of people who state, with pride, that they hate to read and it breaks my heart. Mostly because they most likely don't hate to read, they just haven't found the right book.
1.  Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition: I'm always amazed when I see a review that asks if there's something in the water in Australia that makes local authors so darn good (to which the answer is 'no, the industry is just smaller - which means only the best of the best get through,' although anyone who's read Halo by Alexandra Adornetto will disagree. Just because she CAN write better than most teenagers, doesn't mean it should be published), mostly because I don't expect Australian authors to get international attention. Just because I don't expect it, doesn't mean I think they don't deserve it, though. There are so many Australian authors who deserve to be internationally adored, and at the top of that list is Melina Marchetta and Jaclyn Moriarty, who can cross genres like it's nobody's business.

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