1st Wolf Awards (2014)

I’ve never done this before, but I thought I’d just showcase my favourite novels from 2014 and give them awards in certain categories. These are awards given to the books I read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014. You can see the list here. Five nominations are given per category, followed by the winner below. This year there are 13 categories. So here we go!


Novel of the Year:

  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.
  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • Proxy (2013) – Alex London.
  • The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.

Winner: Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.


Best Young Adult Novel:

  • The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • The Death Cure (2011) – James Dashner.
  • The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.
  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Proxy (2013) – Alex London.

Winner: The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.


Best Fantasy Novel:

  • Clockwork Prince (2011) – Cassandra Clare.
  • Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.
  • The Tales of Beedle The Bard (2008) – J.K. Rowling.
  • The Vampyre (1819) – John Polidori.
  • Clockwork Princess (2013) – Cassandra Clare.

Winner: Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.


Best Dystopian Novel: 

  • The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • The Death Cure (2011) – James Dashner.
  • The Long Walk (1979) – Richard Bachman (Aka Stephen King).
  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Proxy (2013) – Alex London.

Winner: The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.


Best Classic Novel:

  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • The Vampyre (1819) – John Polidori.
  • Castle Rackrent (1800) – Maria Edgeworth.
  • Bertram; or The Castle of St. Aldobrand (1816) – Charles Maturin.

Winner: The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Best Period Drama Novel:

  • Clockwork Prince (2011) – Cassandra Clare.
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The Book Thief (2005) – Mark Zusak.
  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • The City and the Pillar (1948) – Gore Vidal.

Winner: The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Best Crime/ Detective Novel:

  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.
  • The Vampyre (1819) – John Polidori.

Winner: Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.


Best LGBT Themed Novel:

  • The City and the Pillar (1948) – Gore Vidal.
  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Proxy (2013) – Alex London.
  • The Culling (2013) – Steven dos Santos.
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy (2013) – Helen Fielding.

Winner: More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.


Best Romance Novel:

  • Clockwork Prince (2011) – Cassandra Clare.
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy (2013) – Helen Fielding.
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • The City and the Pillar (1948) – Gore Vidal.

Winner: The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Best Leading Male Character:

  • Will Herondale – Clockwork Prince (2011) – Cassandra Clare.
  • Jay Gatsby – The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Seth – More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Thomas – The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • Syd – Proxy (2013) – Alex London.

Winner: Syd – Proxy (2013) – Alex London.


Best Leading Female Character: 

  • Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Liesel Meminger – The Book Thief (2005) – Mark Zusak.
  • Bridget Jones – Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy (2013) – Helen Fielding.
  • Unnamed Old Woman from “Holy Mountain” – Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.
  • Tracey Berkowitz – The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.

Winner: Tracey Berkowitz – The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.


Best Supporting Male Character:

  • Max Vandenburg – The Book Thief (2005) – Mark Zusak.
  • Tomasz – More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Newt – The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • Knox – Proxy (2013) – Alex London.
  • Noncorpum from “Mongolia” – Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.

Winner: Noncorpum from “Mongolia” – Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.


Best Supporting Female Character:

  • Marie Van Schuyler – Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • Salome Otterbourne – Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • Rosa Hubermann – The Book Thief (2005) – Mark Zusak.
  • Regine – More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.
  • Jordan Baker – The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Winner: Marie Van Schuyler – Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.


Books with multiple nominations:

8:

  • More Than This (2013) – Patrick Ness.

7:

  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

6:

  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.
  • Proxy (2013) – Alex London.

5:

  • The Scorch Trials (2010) – James Dashner.
  • Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.

4:

  • Clockwork Prince (2011) – Cassandra Clare.
  • The Book Thief (2005) – Mark Zusak.

3:

  • The Vampyre (1819) – John Polidori.
  • The City and the Pillar (1948) – Gore Vidal.
  • The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy (2013) – Helen Fielding.

2:

  • The Death Cure (2011) – James Dashner.

Books with multiple wins:

3:

  • The Great Gatsby (1925) – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Ghostwritten (1999) – David Mitchell.

2:

  • The Tracey Fragments (1998) – Maureen Medved.
  • Death on the Nile (1937) – Agatha Christie.

The Bone Clocks Review

Author: David Mitchell.

Published: September 2, 2014.

Rating: 9/10.


I feel like this review is a long time coming. I started this book in early January and didn’t finish it until early May. I wasn’t reading it for a solid five months, I had books to read for university so unfortunately I didn’t get around to finishing it until this month. Anyway, I digress! If anyone of you know me, you’ll know David Mitchell is my favourite writer. This was my 3rd David Mitchell novel and I loved it. I don’t want to overly compare it to his other novels (which is hard since all his novels are connected) but Cloud Atlas (2004) is still my favourite, but this was pretty mind blowing all the same.

The novel has 6 narratives which take place is different time periods, from 1984 to 2043. There are many different plots with a multitude of characters but at the centre of it all is Holly Sykes. It’s basically the story of Holly Sykes and the people who are somehow connected to her. It’s thoroughly intrinsic and in places mind blowing. Some sections I enjoyed more than others. For the purpose of this review, I’m going to give a brief review of each narrative. And there **WILL BE SPOILERS. **

A Hot Spell – 8/10

The first narrative takes place in 1984 in Gravesend, England. Holly is only a teenager and is basically trying to be independent. She’s stubborn which is quite humorous. I really enjoyed the humour of this narrative. The accents of Irish/ English were good. I really liked Gwyns back story of going from place to place. Initially this section was a bit confusing in places. I had read of non-corpums before in Mitchell’s novels. They’re basically souls that travel from body to body, usually when that body has died. In this book they’re called Anchorites (bad) and Atemporals (good). Looking back, the section makes a lot of sense with her brother and the encounters with the Anchorites and Atemporlas , but it doesn’t click together until later on. It was set up well by Mitchell. Jacko’s (Holly’s brother) disappearance has repercussions throughout the rest of the novel. Overall, a good section.

 Myrrh Is Mine, Its Bitter Perfume – 10/10

The second narrative takes place in 1991 in Switzerland & London, England. Our narrator her is Hugo Lamb who is a university student. Well-to-do, upper-middle class with all the privileges. This section was also really humorous. Hugo is pretty manipulative. I liked how he basically performed an identity and was really sleazy and manipulative. He fooled his friend, Penhaligon, into betting a massive amount which he lost and then convinces Penhaligon to sell his car in order to repay the debt. I think Penhaligon commits suicide later on but I can’t remember. It sounds really cruel but I loved how evil and manipulative he was (obviously I’d hate him in real life). I’m just really loving identity performance at the moment e.g. Gone Girl (2014). Hugo just acts really outgoing and posh but has a secret identity of corrupt behaviour. He has a secret bank account with a lot of money in it.

Holly Sykes then turns up when the Hugo and a group of his uni friends go skiing in Switzerland. Hugo ends up sleazing his way into her bed. The section then turns rather sci-fi/ thriller in nature. Hugo Lamb is then recruited to the Anchorites. That bit was a bit confusing but I just loved the whole section. The manipulation, negotiations, tactics, university lifestyle and networking were brilliant. One of my favourite sections of the book.

The Wedding Bash – 10/10

This was my favourite section of the book. It takes place in 2004. It switches between Baghdad, Iraq and Brighton, England. The narrator is Ed Brubeck, who lived quite close to Holly when she lived in Gravesend. Ed and Holly are now married with a daughter, Aoife. The story switches between the wedding in Brighton and Ed’s time in Iraq. He works as a war journalist which I really enjoyed reading about. His job literally means that he has to put his life on the line. I thought the narrative gave a great insight into what places of conflict are actually like and also the job of a war journalist. Holly obviously wishes that he would retire from the job as it posits a threat to his life. The parts that take place in Brighton are about arguments between the two regarding Ed’s desire to work in places of conflict.

I loved the metaphysical stuff ad how decisions can have massive consequences. For example, Ed’s life is saved twice. In one instance, he bends down to pet a cat just as an explosion shatters a window which would have killed him. Looking back at my notes, I realised that Mitchell had hinted (blatantly told us) of the atemporal in Jacko & I noted that I thought there may have been a soul in Holly which turned out to be right: Esther Little. The puzzle towards the end to try and find Aoife was amazing. Esther-in-Holly (I believe) gave the message of “ten fifteen” which turned out to be the room that Aoife was hiding it. The hunt to find her was so intrinsic. Loved it, and the whole section.

Crispin Hershey’s Lonely Planet – 9/10

This takes place in 2015. The narrator is Crispin Hershey, a down-on-his-luck writer. It’s basically about him going on book tours and trying to promote his books, although his sales aren’t doing great. Holly turns up, who happens to be doing really well selling her own book about her experiences with Jacko’s disappearance. There isn’t a massive amount of plot in this section and to be honest, I forget really what it was about.

Crispin tries to get revenge on Richard Cheesman who gave him a bad review. Cheesman ends up getting sent to jail for drug possession in Mexico or South America I think I can’t remember. The sentence turns out to be longer than Crispin had anticipated so he regrets his actions. Cheesman does come back for revenge but its Soleil Moore who ends up killing Crispin. When I first read it, I didn’t get it but now I understand that she was trying to get him to tell the world about the Anchorites. The character interactions and crime stuff were good. Overall, great section.

An Horologist’s Labyrinth – 10/10

This is the section where things start getting weird. It’s the climax of the novel. Mitchell really brings it home here about the war between the Anchorites and Atemporals. The story primarily takes place in 2025 and switches between a lot of places: Norway, Australia, New York and Russia. At first, I thought this part had a lot of jargon in it and was confusing to read, but suddenly everything clicked together and the whole novel was brought together. It explains the history of the Atemporals and their mission to wipe out the evil Anchorites.

I really enjoyed the reflections of the past and the back stories like in Australia and Russia. The history of humanity and civilisations was brilliant, especially when talking about the wandering souls of the Atemporals who are reborn in new bodies. I liked how it turned into a crime story/ fantasy story with the war culmination involving Holly. The retrospective nods back to Holly’s time in Gravesend, Esther Little hidden in Holly, Xi Lo being inside Jacko, Hugo Lamb being recruited and Marinus’ past was so intrinsic and really tied together.

The two missions were so epic. The retrieval of Esther reminded me of Inception (2010) because they had to delve deep into Holly’s memories in order to find where Esther was hidden, and there was even a message in Holly’s memory from 1984 that unlocks Esther after 41 years. That was just so mind blowing. I love how it all just transmits throughout time, the messages, the prompts, the hints. It’s just so massive in its ambition and patience, and also thoroughly metaphysical in nature.

Funnily enough, the second mission to defeat the Anchorites and also try to save Jacko/Xi Lo reminded me of Interstellar (2014), another of Christopher Nolan’s movies. Holly wanted one last shot to try and get her brother back fro this alternate dimension after 41 years. After the fight between the two sides, Holly escapes with Marinus and has to make her way through a labyrinth to get back to Earth. The labyrinth is an exact replica of a labyrinth that Jacko/ Xi Lo gave her back in 1984. When he got here, his memory created a physical representation of the maze as if he knew she would one day travel here. She knows the exact way to get out and makes it back to earth. That was so mind blowing and immense how Mitchell was able to construct all these narratives to fit in so perfectly with one another. It really just blew me away.

Sheep’s Head – 8/10

The final narrative takes place in 2043 in County Cork, Ireland. The setting is a post-apocalyptic earth were energy resources are scarce, people have very little electricity, technology doesn’t function well (if at all), cities have flooded, disease is rife. So its like the the world has gone back to feudal times and people have to barter at the market. China is apparently a superpower in the world that controls trade, energy, power, etc. Holly is now an old woman and she lives with her granddaughter, Lorelai, and her adopted grandson, Rafiq, who washed up on the shore after he was travelling on a refuge ship from Morocco.

It’s much more minimalist and slowed down after the last section. I really enjoyed the Irishness that Mitchell brings through in this section. It doesn’t have a major plot, its more about how humanity has ruined the planet and how people exist after everything is wrecked. Towards the end, these militia men come in to steal their solar panels and resources and a bit of a fight ensues. At the end, Marinus returns to save Lorelai and Rafiq and bring them to Iceland where it is safe. There isn’t enough room for Holly or Mo, so they stay in Cork. The ending is sad. The social commentary is good and there’s a real humanist interaction between characters.


Overall, I loved this book. Loved how everything tied together. I really enjoy stories that take place in different eras so this was a treat! So well written and developed, definitely worth the read!

On My Wisdom Tooth

A few months ago I was complaining about how my wisdom tooth was causing me pain. Well after a few days the pain died down so I just said I’d leave it. I mean I did go to my dentist to get X-rays, and basically my wisdom teeth are growing horizontally to my other teeth and their pushing against them. It looks so sore (and worse than the picture above! :L ) I’m on a long waiting list to get it pulled out in the University Hospital Limerick (that way I get if for free, or at least a VERY reduced price).

Anyway, so it’s flaring up again and the pain… It’s not even my gum, it’s my jaw. I can’t open it wide. I mean I can open it enough to eat, drink and clean my teeth, etc. But if I want to yawn, there’s no way I can stretch my mouth because it’s way too sore. Hopefully it either fades or I can get it pulled out in the hospital. I just have to deal with it for the moment! :P

On Summer Goals

Source: UCLA

I just finished my college semester so I’m officially no longer a 3rd year! It feels so weird saying that. I’ve only one year of university left. :O Those three years flew. Anyway, so now I can properly enjoy Summer (although the Irish Summer doesn’t look anything like the picture above). Hopefully we get some good weather. I’m also trying to get a few things done this Summer so I’m writing out a plan of my goals. Physically writing out my goals usually helps to motivate me. I know I won’t get all of them done but hopefully some of them at least. So here they are:

Work on my Final Year Project:

This is my priority this Summer. A final year project (FYP) is like a thesis that you submit at the end of your college career. It’s a long project (Circa 10,000 words) with a subject of your choice and has to be of a high standard. I’m doing mine on whether LGBT characters in TV shows/ movies are realistic. It has a lot to do with sexuality and masculinity/femininity. I’m going to try and do a lot of the research and get that out of the way and maybe get a first draft of 1/3 chapters. A lot of reading theories, articles and watching TV shows/ movies. Should be fun! :S

Source: Keep Calm

Find a job:

I need to get one. More so for the experience than the money (although that’s always a positive). I want to look like I’m actually doing something and for future employers to know that I didn’t spend the whole Summer on my arse. It will look really good if they see that I’ve done a few months doing something, or even just did a few things. I’m going to do up my CV and hand it into to loads of places. Nothing to do with children though. I did 6 months of my CO-OP last year working with primary & secondary children, and that’s more than enough for me. Hopefully I get one, if not I’ll look for work experience.

Source: Laria

Learn the trumpet:

I’ve been playing music for years and I was in St. Johns Brass & Reed Band in Limerick from 2004-2013. So like 10 years! I played the euphonium and I loved it. I stopped going because I wanted to try something else and I was really busy with college and stuff, but I really want to get back into music. I’m going to pick up the trumpet this Summer and try to improve my playing. I have one under my bed. :L I tried it a few times, it is different from the euphonium but I did get the grasp of it after practising for a while. Every time I hear a jazz song I just desperately want to play. Definitely going to accomplish this goal! :P

Source: 90 Miles

4th Year reading list:

I’m going to read some of the books that are on our course syllabus this Summer. I’ve never done this before, mainly because I’ve never thought of doing it. One of my friends has done this and I think its a really smart thing to do as it puts less pressure on you to tear through books during the semester. I’ve looked at my Literary Modernism module and I definitely need to tackle some of those books. James Joyce is there and yeah, apparently he ‘ain’t no easy read! I’ll switch back and forth between my leisurely books and course books so I can get a break from reading the heavy material. Keep it interesting. I just hope to God they don’t change the books when we go back otherwise I’ll have been studying books in depth for no reason! :L

Source: Talk Sparks

Write & Blog:

I’ve been working on my fantasy series for like 6 years. I really need to just write it! I just keep making excuses to put it off like being busy with college and stuff. I’ll try to write a bit, not making any promises. But we’ll see (that means no… Just kidding! I’ll try :) ).

I’ll also blog more frequently. This semester gone was extremely intense. Like nothing I’ve ever gone through. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t blog much, sorry :P I keep using the excuse “too bust with college work” blah blah blah. But I promise to blog more this Summer. With interesting things! I was pretty good at the start of the year, then it all went a bit crazy. You can read the blog I had to do for college for any of you who are media inclined. It has a lot to do with media influence and criticism. Check it out, you might like it.

Source: Autostraddle

Have fun:

Of course the most important thing is to enjoy Summer! :D Hopefully the weather will improve, like that mini-Summer we had in April! So nice. I’ve a few things planned already.

My friends and I (proper grammar :P ) are supposed to go camping at the end of May in Wicklow. I’ve never gone camping before or gone to Wicklow so I can’t wait. It’s going to be a great experience. See the scenery, go on some walks, drink a bit  a lot (just kidding).

I’m going to see Fleetwood Mac with my Dad in July. I bought him tickets for Christmas and I can’t wait. They’re legends, it’s going to be amazing. I don’t know who the support act(s) are yet, but I know they’ll have to be good to be supporting Fleetwood Mac.

Apart from that, I’ve no other plans. Obviously, I’m going to have a good few drinking sessions, hopefully go to a few gigs maybe, go to some events that I haven’t been to before. Who knows? It’s all to look forward to. Anyway, everyone enjoy your Summer however you’re going to spend it! :)

Source: Imgarcade

30 Day Minimalism Challenge

Hey, sorry for not posting since February, like two months ago! I’ve just been busy with college work and stuff. I haven’t had that much time to blog here. However, for one of my modules we have had to keep a blog. If you’re interested in the influence of media or anything to do with media, feel free to take a look at it here.

Anyway, I just found this 30 day minimalism challenge and thought I’d share it here. I’m hoping to try it, even though day 1 looks really hard, especially if I have college work to do. Then again, maybe we can do it in any order? Good luck with it if you want to try it. It could be fun!

Source: Into Mind

Worker #311692011291913

At the departing hour, it was time for him to relinquish his heart.

But his life had been laid on the tablet before his dying days, before his youth.

Even before his birth, his sacrifice had been pre-established

by those devils in suits with their sighing leather briefcases.

*

With saddened masks they wept for this man,

Paid him a eulogy and shook hands with his loved ones.

But with a wicked smile, they danced their way to the bank.

Rest in peace good slave.


Stephen Riordan. (Circa 2013).

The Door

Upon the first discovery, as a child he received the sight.

The plight was unknown.

He entered into this God-forsaken world.

This magical truth of mystery and imagination.

*

Upon the second discovery, he as a young man believed it to be real.

The shifting shadows and dancing creatures half-seen mocked his attachment to his world.

It drove him half mad: contemplating worlds and ideas you could never imagine.

He searched for the door, but never could find it.

*

Upon the third discovery, as an old man the final nail was hammered into his coffin.

“It was real all along,” he exclaimed with piteous joy.

He knew it to be real.

He could now go and join the great festivities and enjoy life.

But he died.


Stephen Riordan. (Circa 2013).