Archive for March, 2011

I have just finished reading the last in the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy “The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.

It is a brilliant book and a fantastically complex but satisfying end to the trilogy, with a fair bit of information which eventually comes together. Lisbeth’s life comes under immense scrutiny all the way through the book, as do the lives of several other characters. The story is riveting and well-written and makes you eager for the whole truth to come out in the end, and is particularly satisfying with the annihilation of the many characters who try to control Salander throughout her life and the trial – seeing these twisted and malicious people get their comeuppance was long awaited and i was not disappointed!

Lisbeth is an extraordinary and unique heroine, with her amazing skills and sharp mind, and even though she has her tough exterior and seemingly tough interior, we do learn that she has a vulnerable side, but her instinct to survive and to punish those who do her wrong give her an amazing strength as a character.

I would love to read more about her, but unfortunately Larsson passed away before he could even witness the immense popularity of his books. I am grateful that his work was published, as he was clearly a good writer, as his books keep the suspense going and are so complex in places that it is difficult to see where events are headed but the end result is just brilliant.

I give this book 9/10, and the whole Millennium Trilogy a 10/10 for uniqueness, utter brilliance and fascinating characters. I definitely recommend reading these books!

Cover of

Cover of The Dare Game

Lately I’ve been thinking about the books I read as a child. Possibly because at uni we’re currently studying Children’s Publishing, and someone happened to ask me what I read as a child.

Having had a phase during my teens where I read very little because I was given access to my own computer with the Internet, and thus became obsessed with the new technology at my fingertips, I had quite forgotten what I read as a child, and I had cleared out all my unwanted childhood belongings in a fit of teenage desire to grow up. I am massively regretting giving all my childhood books away, as this list would be far easier to compile, and I would be a lot closer to having my own personal library!

So, I have been doing some research and I am compiling a list of books I read as a youngster, from the earliest ones i can remember, to the later ones in my teens. As I remember them I will add them to the list, so check back for my updates!

And so, in no particular order, here is my list:

  • Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm – Enid Blyton
  • The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  • Swallowdale – Arthur Ransome
  • Charlotte’s Web-  EB White
  • His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  • The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
  • The Catcher In The Rye- J. D. Salinger (school text)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland- Lewis Carrol
  • Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carrol
  • The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  • Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  • The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss
  • The Railway Children- E Nesbit
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden- Philippa Pearce
  • The Sheep-Pig -Dick King-Smith
  • The Iron Man- Ted Hughes
  • Z for Zachariah – Robert C. O’Brien (school text)
  • I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
  • 101 Dalmatians – Dodie Smith
  • Goodnight Mr Tom – Michelle Magorian (school text)
  • The Story of Tracey Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Bad Girls – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Vicky Angel – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Double Act – Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Mum-Minder – Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Bed and Breakfast Star – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Dare Game – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  • James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
  • The Witches – Roald Dahl
  • Danny, The Champion of the World – Roald Dahl
  • Not Now Bernard – David McGee
  • Where’s Spot? – Eric Hill
  • Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit (and the other stories) – Beatrix Potter
  • The Magic Faraway Tree –Enid Blyton
  • The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  • A Bear called Paddington – Michael Bond
  • Peter Pan – JM Barrie
  • Burglar Bill – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Funnybones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Famous Five – Enid Blyton
  • The Valley of Adventure (from The Adventure Series) – Enid Blyton
  • Elmer –David McGee
  • The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
  • Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • Treasure Island – RL Stevenson
  • Anne of Green Gables – L M Montgomery
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer –  Mark Twain
  • The Witch’s Daughter – Nina Bawden
  • Sweet Valley High series – Francine Pascal (only read a few in this and the other series)
  • Aesop’s Fables – William Caxton
  • Grimm’s Fairytales – The Brothers Grimm
  • The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, (and various other fairytales) – Hans Christian Anderson
  • Five Children and It – E. Nesbit
  • Pollyanna – Eleanor H. Porter
  • The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  • The Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman
  • Babar The Elephant – Jean deu Brunhoff
  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series – Ann Brashares
  • Animal Ark series – Lucy Daniels
  • Flour Babies – Anne Fine
  • Mr Men and Little Miss series – Roger Hargreaves
  • Nancy Drew: Sweet Revenge – Carolyn Keene
  • The Babysitter’s Club – Ann M. Martin
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • A Child’s Garden of Verses – R.L. Stevenson
  • Goosebumps series – R.L. Stine
  • Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • 11 O’clock Chocolate Cake – Caroline Pitcher
  • Twilight series – Stephenie Meyer
  • Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging (and other titles) – Louise Rennison
  • Blinky Bill – Dorothy Wall
  • T.Witches: Double Jeopardy – H.B.Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
  • Pongwiffy and the Spell of the Year – Kaye Umansky
  • The Wreck of the Zanzibar – Michael Morpurgo

Hello all Sci-fi and Fantasy writers!

We are still looking for submissions for our competition!

If you have a Sci-fi or Fantasy story which you want to get published, then get submitting, you have until this coming Friday 18th March!

All information is available through this link: Science Fiction and Fantasy Competition at UCLan Press

For my previous blogpost on the competition, see: Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers, we need you! competition