Top Ten Books that I Plan to Have in my Beach Bag this Summer

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

(This is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish)

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I've read a couple of the Throne of Glass novellas but that's as far as my Maas reading extends. I fully intend to read the Throne of Glass series but this book was quite intriguing. A blending of Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. My reading of fairy tale-esque novels is quite minimal so it'll be good to try something out of my comfort zone.

2. Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker
I stumbled across this book whilst doing research on cover design for my master's degree and the concept of the novel was intriguing. Modern American Liberalism, assasination attempts, bankruptcy and depression. What more could you ask for really?

3. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
What's a bag full of beach reads without a delicious romance novel? I'm not the biggest fan of romance novels but the summary of this book drew me in with an equal measure of lust and danger. I fully intend to read this before the film is released.

4. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
I've wanted to read this book ever since its release was announced last year. Stephen King writing crime fiction? What more could I ask for?

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I have heard nothing but great things when it comes to this book and I'm dying to read it. It's been hyped as a Hichcockian thriller and comparable to Gone Girl so my hopes for this book are relatively high, that's for sure.

6. All the Pretty Girls by J. T. Ellison
The summary of this novel was hauntingly sinister and I love a good mystery thriller. I hope I find it just as unputadownable as the In Death series by J. D. Robb because I've almost read all 30+ of them and I need something to fill the void it'll leave in my soul.

7. Dare Me by Megan Abbott
Truthfully, I've never heard much about Megan Abbott but this novel sounded interesting enough. If the reviews on Goodreads are enough to go by then I'll likely enjoy this. I hope.

8. Emma by Jane Austen
One of the Austen novels I have yet to read therefore, have to read.

9. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
How many mystery novels do I have on this list now? Here's another...

10. The Witness by Nora Roberts
What is a beach reads list without Nora Roberts? Not the In Death series but another romantic suspense/thriller with an intriguing blurb. That'll do.

Sansa Stark: Bowed, Bent and Broken.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Warning: This post contains triggers of sexual assault and rape.
Spoilers to follow for “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” - Season 5 episode 6 of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is a show that has pushed the boundaries plenty of times over the last five seasons and the grim conclusion to episode six is a boundary pushed too far.

The show has had a long standing women's problem - not in the sense that women are often portrayed as weak, pathetic Mary Sue's but rather as frequent victims of unnecessary male violence. At the very beginning of season one, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss transformed a consensual sex scene between Daenerys and Khal Drogo into rape. The same transformation was repeated in season four between Jaime and Cersei Lannister, when Cersei was raped by her own brother over the corpse of her son.

The end of season 5, episode 6 saw the rape of Sansa Stark at the hands of Ramsay Bolten; a voyueristic turn of events Theon Greyjoy became forced to watch. It saw the loss of Sansa's steady growth in power, confidence and dignity. The fate of women is no longer being shown through their own eyes. We must instead bear witness to Sansa's rape in the reflection of Theon's tears, the sounds of ripping cloth and the cries of pain. This trope did nothing for the development of Sansa's character but her whole storyline now becomes hinged on this moment. If she appears strong, it is because she is a survivor. If she appears weak, it is because she is a victim. If she appears evil, it is because the rape has transformed her, destroyed her purity and innocence. Sansa becomes an object assigned to a category, no longer in possession of her own agency. Rape is so oft used as a mechanism to put women in their place.

The rape scene was a gratuitous, vicious assault that never centred around Sansa in the 'experience'. Theon is instead inadvertently raped through the literal rape of another human being. It's his pain we see, not Sansa's. I'm not averse to sexual violence in the media but this scene was nothing more than a plot point for the development of a male character.

Three of the main female characters have now been raped and I'm steadily losing my faith in this show. Writers need to stop brutalising their female characters and making them victims of rape in order to call them 'strong'. Women are strong. Rape is not a plot device that should be used merely to shock. Audience members are not over-sensitive to be angered, horrified or feel contempt for a scene that violates the female body so pointlessly and horrifically.

The Catch

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

I am beyond excited for this show for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's the newest addition to Shondaland. Shonda has a brilliant knack for bring us these complex shows with amazingly badass women and they just get better and better. Secondly, MIREILLE ENOS. Enough said. If you've seen the U.S. version of The Killing then you know what I'm on about. This woman is a goddess. Her acting is forever on point. Pus, she's shared the screen with Brad Pitt. Thirdly, it's a show about con artists aka something that you don't see very often and if you do its pretty male dominated. But hello, female lead. Mireille. Shonda. The bar is set high and I am ready.

The Catch Trailer:

The one woman you don’t mess with just lost everything. Now, it’s time for payback. From the Executive Producers of #TGIT comes #TheCatch! #ABCUpfront
Posted by The Catch on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

aspiring author attempting world domination with a bit o' magic and some kickass moves.