Six for Sunday – Bookish Hates

#SixforSunday is hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot. Each week she gives a book-themed prompt for a list of six and this week that prompt is

Bookish Hates

This is a tough one. I’m not sure I’d say hate, but these are certainly things I’m not keen on. In no particular order:

  • Didactic picture books. I don’t mind a book with a message as such, I just hate it being put across too obviously or with too much sentimentality. I read one recently where I loved the illustrations (seriously beautiful, colourful things) and I enjoyed the story…until the last page. Then vom. For some picture books with messages that aren’t rammed down your throat, try Steve Anthony’s Mr Panda series or I Don’t Want to be a Pea by Ann Bonwill and Simon Rickerty.
  • Bad rhyme. Again usually in picture books. I just hate clunky rhythm or words and phrases that have been shoe-horned in in an attempt to maintain the rhyme. Dodgy, repetitive or just poorly flowing – ugh! For picture books with great rhyme, there’s always the great Julia Donaldson, the classic Hairy Maclary books by Linley Dodd or try the Ten Little… series by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty (who I promise has not commissioned this post!)
  • Celebrity authors. So, this could be a blog post in itself. Yes, if a celeb gets a parent whose own relationship with reading isn’t great or who are intimidated by bookshops to read, buy or borrow books for their kids – I’m all for it. If their popularity gets kids reading and talking about books, brilliant. I just love it when they’re a springboard rather than an end point. And I think it’s sad the amount of hype, space and promotion they get which could be given to actual authors who need it. I tried to think of exceptions to the rule to recommend but I couldn’t. Are there any celeb authors you rate?
  • Romance. Im just not a fan. There’s nothing wrong with it, if you enjoy it that’s great, but it’s not for me. Though I think there’s maybe no greater love stories than I Love You Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-ballesteros and Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.
  • Happy endings. Not to be confused with hopeful endings. I love a hopeful ending, I just hate it when everything is perfectly tied up and fixed. I like a bit of misery/anguish/grief/bleakness in a book! I think there’s a lot of MG authors doing hopeful over happy incredibly well at the moment – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, Abi Elphinstone, Kieran Larwood…
  • Charles Dickens. We just don’t get on!

What are your bookish hates? Do we agree, or disagree, on any?

Have you taken part in #SixforSunday?

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Six For Sunday: Best Trilogies or Series

Six for Sunday is hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot. She gives a prompt for a list of six books each Sunday – the list can be found here. This week it’s

Favourite Trilogies or Series

So tough – old or new? Picture book, MG, YA or adult?

In the end I decided to go with a mixture of ages and only more recent books (bar one) otherwise it risked being a list of the obvious – Harry Potter, His Dark Materials (even if The Amber Spyglass is nowhere near as good as the first 2), Judith Kerr’s Out of Hitler Time trilogy etc. (see how I snuck some in anyway!)

Picture Books

Triangle/Square/Circle – Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

I LOVE this trilogy. SO much. Even though Circle isn’t out yet (one of my most anticipated books of 2019!) See this post to find out more!

Oi Frog/Dog/Cat/Duck-Billed Platypus by Kes Gray and Jim Field

These books are so clever. Writing good picture books is hard. Writing good, funny picture books is even harder. Writing good, funny, rhyming picture books is harder still. So to do that not just once but to take the format and create four (five including Oi Goat) hilarious books from it is quite something. Unbelievably good. See this post for more.

MG (“Middle Grade”)

The Huntress trilogy by Sarah Driver: Sea, Storm, Sky

Deserving of being on the list for the gorgeous covers alone (created by Joe McLaren) , I loved how original and exciting this series was. A truly wild adventure with the most fantastic and inventive world-building. Find out more here.

The Five Realms series by Kieran Larwood: The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, The Gift of Dark Hollow and The Beasts of Grimheart (so far!)

Another hugely original and brilliantly told series with more top class world building and interesting characters. I’ll be honest when book one came out I wasn’t sold on the idea of this adventure with talking rabbits – I read it anyway and was absolutely hooked. I gulp these down and am so pleased there’ll be more than three in the series!

The Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett: Truckers, Diggers, Wings

OK, this one breaks my ‘recent books’ rule but it was a favourite of mine growing up, as was his Discworld series (two for one in my list of 6 there!) and both require a reread soon! Dry and witty, Pratchett was a master at poking fun at the world and making the absurd seem utterly normal.

YA/Teen

Ink Trilogy by Alice Broadway: Ink, Spark (plus book 3 still to come)

OK, it’s another incomplete series. And yes, it’s another that would be on the list just for its covers and inner maps (beautifully illustrated by Jamie Gregory) but I love this series too. Rich in storytelling culture, imagery and symbolism and with a highly unique take on some very relevant themes – segregation, prejudice, propaganda and power – this is a must-read series! Looking forward to book 3!

What are your favourite trilogies/series? Do we agree on any?

Have you taken part in #SixforSunday too – leave me a link to your list!