Top Ten Tuesday: Bonfire Night Books

Remember, remember the 5th of November - my favourite day of Autumn! Although this year I'm gutted I won't get to a display or a bonfire, as I've got a course on Tuesday nights. But hopefully I'll see a few fireworks going off. This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) is Autumn reads, and Bonfire night epitomises the season for me. The nights are dark, the scarves and gloves are on, and we stand around in the cold watching basic fireworks and waiting to get back home to the warm and maybe a hot chocolate. Bliss. 
In the UK, Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes night) is when we celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder plot, when Guy Fawkes and Robert Catesby and co. tried to blow up parliament back in the reign of James I. So here are a few books about rebellion:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

In my favourite of the Hunger Games trilogy, the districts stop playing the game and the Capitol cracks down hard. I get a bit bored once they get back in the games, but I love all the stuff at the beginning. 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K Rowling

Not the best Harry Potter overall, but it's definitely got some of the best stuff in. I love when they start fighting back against Umbridge - the D.A, Fred and George with their fireworks and the Swamp, Harry getting his article in the Quibbler, the teachers and students united against the stupidity of Umbridge. And then there's the bigger war against Voldemort going on, almost in the background, but giving everything that extra jeopardy. 

The Reckoning by Sharon Penman

I read and loved the Welsh Princes trilogy, Here be Dragons was my favourite, but for the doomed spirit of rebellion, you have to read 'The Reckoning'. The first book's a love story, but the finale is about the fight. It's tragic, but also a great read. And if you've got any Welsh blood I expect you'll be throwing things at the walls. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Powerful, dark, feminist and scary, I read this for school and enjoyed it for the easy to read style, the sense of threat and the way that (unlike in a lot of dystopian stories) we get a real glimpse of the beginning of the end - when the society of Gilead started to take control and how things went so quickly downhill. The series was too much for me, but the book is a must read.

1984 by George Orwell

Never read this one - but I should someday! Another dystopian classic about an oppressive society and its people trying to fight back. Kind of accidentally started off the reality TV phenomenon when Channel 4 used it as inspiration for Big Brother. I wonder what George Orwell would have thought of that?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

A really great series of young adult books (with a TV series coming soon! So excited!) Set in a world where the white Noughts are the underclass and the Black crosses are the ruling class. It throws up a load of ideas about race and prejudice and politics, but it's also a love story and a coming of age tale. 

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 

Not read this either, but the musical's great, isn't it? I loved the recent TV series too (with Dominic West as Valjean, David Oleweyo as Javert and Lily Collins as Fantine.) Lots of stuff about rebelling students amid the misery. 

Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones 

This fits because the Gunpowder plot actually becomes a plot point near the end, but also because it's about living under an oppressive rule. But in this children's book it is magic, not Catholicism, that is punishable by death. The book starts with a note being left on the teacher's desk at a boarding school for orphans "Someone in this class, is a witch." 

Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser

Not read this either, but I needed at least one non-fiction book about the Gunpowder plot on this list!

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

And no, I've not read this one, either. Or seen the film. But it's on every Bonfire Night now, it's about a1984-like society and it has "remember, remember the 5th of November" as it's tagline. 

Read any of these? Are you celebrating bonny night this year? What are your favourite books about rebellion?


  1. Happy Bonfire Night! This was a fun list.

    My TTT.

  2. Hope you had a fun Bonfire Night! I love that it coincided with this topic. How fitting! Reds, oranges, yellows -- all those "fire" colors always make me think of autumn. Such a great mix of books on your list too.

    1. Thanks! Fire colours are definitely Autumn colours :D

  3. Fall is amazing and bonfires followed by hot chocolate sound great. Happy Bonfire night! I love that cover of catching Fire.

    1. Thanks :) The simple Hunger Games covers are my favourite!

  4. I like your spin on the topic! I’ve actually read a lot of these books. I loved Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. Thanks! I loved those books too :)

  6. These are all amazing and perfect for this time of the year! I love how you set up this weeks post and your spin on the topic! Great picks.

  7. Ahhhh I'm SO EXCITED for the Noughts & Crosses series and I'm ready to have my heart ripped out all over again. I keep meaning to try Witch Week! I've only read Howl's Moving Castle and I'd like to read more of Diana Wynne Jones's work.

    1. Same!! The cast looks so good too - it still says this year, I keep waiting for a proper trailer!! I quite liked Howl's moving castle, but I love all of the Chrestomanci ones - I reckon Charmed Life's the best to start with - or Magicians of Caprona! :)


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