Wednesday, October 26, 2016

7th Annual Broke and Bookish Secret Santa

Well hello! It's that time. Time for our annual Secret Santa (I know, I know..Halloween hasn't even happened yet). THE 7th ANNUAL BROKE AND BOOKISH SECRET SANTA OMG. Last year we had 400+ people sign up and let me tell youuuuu....I (Jamie) was feeling it for daaaaays after doing the pairings and emailing. No, literally I messed up my back/spine/butt/whatever could be messed up from sitting so long and it hurt for days. I was convinced I had a blood clot and my husband was slightly annoyed with my moaning in pain. BUT SECRET SANTA-Y CHEER IS WORTH IT GUYS.

So, I guess I'll just get to what you reaaaaally care about -- signups! But before we get started, two things:

1. Please only sign up if you are truly interested and are committed to sending off a package (on time). No seriously, stop and think before you sign up. Can you commit to this? Will you have time and money for it? We have only had a few problems each year (and some got resolved) but I'd like to not have to spend my time chasing people down -- seriously.  It's a bummer for the person who doesn't get a package and a bummer for me to have to hunt you down for months after. And guess don't get to sit with us anymore. I keep track of that stuff and no Secret Santa cheer for you if you are Naughty Santa.

2. A word for people outside of the US/Canada who want to participate: if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you (and I work realllyy hard at it) but it all depends on who signs up and where they are from. That said we typically have a decent number of signups from England and Australia and a bunch in Europe. Last year, as a courtesy, I made a note on this post, that I updated daily, wherein I listed the countries of people who had signed up so you would know where you could potentially send to. So, just be aware, if you sign up and are outside of the US/Canada...I will try my best to pair you with someone close-ish for shipping...but no guarantees. Last year I had some people not realize how much shipping costs would be, so if you are unsure, do a quick check with the countries that I list to see how much it might be.

Things You Need To Do

1. Send an email to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com answering the following questions BEFORE November 13th  with the answers to the following questions: 

*BEFORE November 13th means 11:59pm EST on the 12th though if they slip in the wee hours of the morning while I'm sleeping I'm okay but please don't yell at me when you are past the deadline any later when I'm pairing and I say no...I have extended it too many times in the past but with 400+ participants last year I have to shut it down sometime, sorry)

  1. Full Name & Address
  2. Blog URL  (also any other social media accounts you might want to share to help your secret Santa out)
  3. List 10-15 books you'd like to read or a link to a wishlist (please mix it up with older and new releases -- aka maybe things that aren't just available in hardcover right now). DO NOT ASK FOR ARCS please. If your SS wants to throw some in there because they saw it on your Goodreads wishlist or something that's fine but once we had someone ask for mostly ARCs and not everyone has access to an ARC fairy. Also, make sure your Goodreads profile or Amazon wishlist is public at least for the time this runs.
  4. Genres you read the most:
  5. List of your bookish preferences (a few fave authors,  things you WILL NOT READ, does not prefer used books, prefer hardback or paperback, if you are okay with them not getting you something on your wishlist if they think you will like it etc.)
  6. Please give a few things you like or things about yourself (to help with your goodie). See below for examples in the guidelines.
    * Suggestions for things to add that could be helpful to tell your Secret Santa for the little gift: general info about yourself, if you celebrate Christmas, hobbies you have, your passions, music you love, things you will not eat/are allergic to,  smells or flavors you do not like, shows you watch/favorite movies, things you collect, any fandoms you are part of, if would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, coffee/tea you like, favorite colors, foods you love, your style/aesthetic, favorite animals, things you are obsessed with, etc. etc. Also maybe if you have an e-reader and would be willing to get ebooks or a gift card.  Just really anything relevant to your interests that could help them.
  7. Would you be able to send internationally if needed? Please answer with:

    A. Yes, I would actually prefer to send and receive internationally
    B. No, I cannot.
    C. Would prefer not to but will if needed

    (if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you but it all depends on who signs up and where they are from. You can check in here where I will be updating this post to see which countries are represented if you are unsure. 
  8.  Are you:
    a) Under 18
    b) Over 18
  9. Have you participated in this Secret Santa before or is this your first time?
  10.  Which closely resembles what kind of package you will be sending out (I will be pairing people with similar answers so please understand by choosing an answer I'm expecting that to be what you send out ):
    a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
    b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies
    c) 2+ books and goodies
  11. Is there somebody that your Secret Santa could contact if they have a question for you? Please ask that person before you put their twitter handle or email address here. I get a LOT of emails to me trying to figure out specific things (ie: what's their favorite color? What GoT character is their fave? Do they have this Funko pop?) to make a great package for their Secret Santa so this might be a little less work for me to be the middleman going back and forth and asking the questions and supplying the answers.
  12. Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa should know?

2. When you receive your Secret Santa match: go play Santa and buy your prezzies -- please read the guidelines below. Send it out no later than December 15th. The earlier the better as the mail is always slow during the holiday season.  IF SOMETHING COMES UP PLEASE EMAIL ME. Communication is super for me.

3. After you send off your package, please email TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com letting us know you sent it off WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION/TRACKING (changing it this year, sorry!). Email us again when you receive your package. (Unless there are questions, I will not be responding to these emails due to time but will filing them away). If you have not received your package by January 1st please then email us and I will attempt to contact your Secret Santa. Please understand I will try my damndest to work it out but there is only so much I can do in the event someone decides to be naughty. Karma is a biotch though..maybe they'll get their toes run over by Santa's sleigh.

4. FOR EXTRA FUN: We are going to use the hashtag #TBTBSanta again on Twitter & Instagram for this event! We'd love to hear and see through pictures and tweets your entire process -- maybe a sneak peek of your Secret Santa skills in action (a picture of something you are sending, the wrapped picture, the box) and we'd LOVE to see your goodies as you get them!


1. Books can be new or used. Use your discretion as far as used books go but please be kind and don't send something you wouldn't want to receive. They should be in VERY good condition -- like you can't even tell if it was read.

2. When I say "goodies" I do not mean free swag or promotional items. If you want to add that kind of stuff in AFTER you also put in some thoughtful and kind goodies that you thought your person would love...I'm all about that! But when it says books + goodies...the goodies should not JUST be stuff anyone could have picked up at a convention or something.

3. Be thoughtful: 99% of the time the gifts are really sweet and thoughtful and what you would expect but occasionally someone just throws random crap in a box and ships it off to fulfill their end. Don't be that guy. Gifts should be wrapped and there should absolutely be some sort of note in it. Please do not ship directly from Amazon or elsewhere to them (unless you talk to me the past there have been issues that I totally understand where this needed to be the case).

* If you aren't sure what kinds of things to add for goodies peruse the #TBTBsanta thread on Twitter or Instagram to see pictures of packages from last year. Lots of good ideas that will probably help you!

 * If you are from outside the US or Canada, be aware that you might have to send internationally due to the fact that there are significantly more US participants and I may not be able to pair you up with someone closer.

* Be sure to thank your Secret Santa when you receive your package via social media or reach out to me for their email!

* Feel free to grab the button to put on your sidebar or make your own!

Please ask any questions in the comments!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday -- Ten of Lauren's Fave Recently Read Horror Novels

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week's topic is a Halloween related freebie: scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest book covers, scary books on my TBR, etc. 

My go to reading genres have changed a few times since my reading adventures began as a kid, but a couple of years ago I decided to dive into the horror genre and I've never looked back. Here are ten horror books I've recently read that I absolutely loved, in no particular order. Yes... there two books by the same author, but sometimes you just find an author you love and devour all of their books. And no... these are not my all time faves, because I honestly wouldn't be able to narrow it down to ten. Enjoy and check them out if you're ready for a challenge! For a few of these books, the boyfriend caught me reading with one eye open because HOLY SHIT I was scared, ok? Ok.

Now tell me... what are some of your fave horror novels that I need to add to my TBR list? 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daisy Asks for Your Recommendations (Once Again)!

So this is gonna be me in a little while :) My bump's not big enough to actually balance something on right now, but we're slowly going to get there!

The boyfriend and I are slowly preparing for life with a baby that will actually NEED things (as in opposed to just me needing things at the moment) and while I have the whole pregnancy information thing down with all of the sites across the interweb and What To Expect When You're Expecting, which has a TON of knowledge, and also the things I know as a doctor, I'd like to be a little more knowledgeable about the stuff that comes after the baby makes his or her grand entrance.

And I wouldn't be the little bookworm that I am if I didn't want to read up on all things baby-related and parenting tip and tricks. I mean, obviously I've already made a deal with the baby that he or she will be a bundle of joy, filled with rainbows and fairy dust. But just in case he or she decides to go back on this agreement, I'd like to know everything I need to know.
SO hit me with your best suggestions! I have a chunk of time at my disposal before my due date early March. I've already got French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman, which looks awesome.

And also: what are the books you loved to read to your kids in the early days? I'm determined to read him or her lots of stories :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ten Characters We'd Name Our Children or Pets After

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

October 18: Ten Characters I'd Name A Child/Dog/Cat/Car/Etc. After -- we did this topic back in 2011 and thought it might be fun to revisit it...feel free to spin it how you need!

5 Characters We'd Name A Child After

 Jamie's Picks:

1. Jonah: I would totally name a little boy Jonah after Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. My sporadic reminder to READ THIS BOOK!

2. Adelina: I really love this name and the character it came from -- Adelina from The Young Elites. She's SUCH a complicated character but I love her so much. I would probably change the name from Adelina to Adeline but I would definitely be inspired by Adelina.

3. Levi: I really love the name Levi and he was THE BEST in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl.

4. Nehemia: I don't know that I would use this as a first name personally but Nehemia from the Throne of Glass series could definitely inspire a middle name for a future child. LOVE HER.

5. Molly: I have always loved the name Molly since the American Girls days but after reading Harry Potter (for the first time) at age 30 I fell in LOVE with Mrs. Weasley and I waxed poetic about her here. She is worthy of naming a child after.

5 Characters We'd Name A Pet After

Jamie's picks:

1. Finnikin: Well, I DID name my dog Finnikin (Finn for short) after a character from one of my all time favorite series (The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta).

2. Betsy: In one of my favorite books (Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins) the family dog's name is Heavens to Betsy. I so would name a dog Betsy in honor of Heavens to Betsy.

Kimberly's pick

 3. Cordelia (Anne of Green Gables): I've already done this! Nearly gave my aunt a heart attack. I told her she had a new grand niece... 4 months after getting married. She was happy to learn that I wasn't pregnant, and even better, giving the name to a dog and not a human baby.

Julia's pick

4. I'd name my dog Remus or Sirius from Harry Potter. I just love them but I would never stick a child with that name. 

5. Arya: My friend's dog whom is like the closest I've actually had to a dog is named Arya after the character on GoT. I always tell her that she is named after the fierce warrior especially when she gets scared when we are on a walk by a leaf...

What about you guys??

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ten Books We Read Because Of Other Bloggers

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Today's topic: All About Books You Read Because of Recommendation -- Ten Books I've Read Because Of Another  Blogger (Or Book Person) or Ten Books I Read On Recommendation From People Outside Of This Community or you could talk about recommendations of books you read from other sources -- a magazine, a podcast, a "because you read this" algorithm.

Daisy's Picks

1. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger: this came recommended by a LOT of people, but also a lot by my friend Debby, so obviously I picked it up and it was AMAZING! SO much love for this book! And the movie was fun too :)

2. Death Note Vol 1 by Tsugumi Ohba: which came recommended by our wonderful blog readers! See, I listen to you guys! I really need to continue this series. 

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer: robots/cyborgs are not my thing. But OMG THIS BOOK! I would never have picked this up if it wasn't for everyone and their aunt being in my face all over the blogosphere telling me to read it.

Jamie's Picks

4. Saga by Brian K. Vaughn: Saga was one of the first comics I ever picked up and I wouldn't have done it had it not been for seeing bloggers rave about it and especially watching my friend Lindsey go crazy for it!  

5. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry: I solely added this to my TBR list because of fellow blogger Hannah and she was totally right about it. 

6.  The Deal by Elle Kennedy: I'm really picky about New Adult romance books but soooo many bloggers I trusted were obsessed with this series and so I finally picked up the first book and loved it!!

Julia's Picks

7. Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I know for a fact I only heard about this amazing book series because of the Bloggerverse. Amazing cover and amazing series. 

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth: I still have yet to read the rest of this series but I remember that I felt like everyone in the book world had read this book but me. Everyone had so many opinions on Allegiant, so I knew I had to finally start so I wouldnt be left out of all the fun talking!

Tell us what books you read because of recommendations!

Monday, October 10, 2016

How to buy happiness (that isn't a book)

October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. In an effort to help spread awareness and encourage everyone to consider adoption first, I (Kimberly) thought I'd share my own shelter dog story. Promise you're going to love it!

I grew up with dogs, so did my husband. It wasn't even a question of if, but WHEN we would adopt a dog. We had only been married for a couple months when I started looking online at local rescues. We weren't picky about what we wanted. Just something that would be a good fit for our townhome and our full time schedules. (Smallish, not a puppy)

After a few unsuccessful adoption fairs we decided to check out the Humane Society of Utah. Before we drove out there we looked at their website to see who was available for adoption. The only one that stood out was Copper. He looked cute in his picture, was described as friendly and great with pets and kids.

When we got to HSU we asked about him first. That "small, sweet dog"? Over 50 pounds, difficult to control, completely uninterested in us, only wanted to bark at everything that moved. While I'm sure he was the perfect fit for someone else, he would have been miserable with us. (We have a small backyard. He was known to scale fences over 6ft.)

So we went back to prowling the isles.

Top: The day after we adopted her
Bottom: One year later.
So much healthier
I walked past a kennel that I at first thought was empty, I quickly backtracked when I realized there was a small dog sitting in the back. When I stopped by the door she stood up and walked up next to the door. She had a small, barely healed sore on her nose. She was silent. Every kennel around me was practically vibrating with its occupants' enthusiastic greetings.

I opened the door and crouched down, ready to catch her if she ran out. Instead, she walked directly to me and put her paw on my knee.

Just like that, I fell in love. I knew at that moment I wanted her to be ours. I picked her up and she immediately curled into me, cuddling close. Still, I was nervous. What if she was aggressive around other animals? Or other people? We grabbed a leash and took her outside to play.

She was perfect. She walked right next to me, every few seconds she'd glance back, as if she was checking to see if we were still there. When we got to the enclosed dog run we took her off her leash to play. Instead of charging the fence to bark at the other dogs, she ran right back to us. If we knelt, she'd roll on her back for belly rubs. She completely ignored the ball. I picked her up again and just like before, she cuddled into me.

I looked directly at my husband, "She's ours."

"Are you sur--"
I plopped her into his arms and she curled into him, just as she had done with me.
Then I watched him fall in love.
That was it. She was ours.

We walked her back into the lobby and I went right up to the desk and told them we wanted to adopt her. They told us what little history they knew about her. She was 7 months old, had been at HSU for two weeks. Before that she'd been in a shelter in California for over a month. She'd spent almost half of her short life in a kennel.

The adoption process was easier, but also more complicated than I had imagined. We had an interview as well as a contract, promising that we would treat her right. The questions ranged from "do you know how to train a dog" to "No scientific experiments". Apparently we passed and didn't come across as animal abusers because about an hour later we were walking out the door, a family of three.
Left: At the shelter Right: First night at home
On the way home she got a new name. In the shelter she'd been called "Annie". She didn't respond to it, and we already had an Aunt Annie and a family friend's dog was also called Annie. So, in the spirit of one of my other favorite orphans, she became Cordelia. (Anne of Green Gables, anyone?)

We stopped at on our way home and bought all the essentials. Dog dishes, food, treats, a collar, leash, puppy packet, dog shampoo, blanket, dog bed... (You're welcome, Petsmart).

That night we bathed her, fed her, and fixed up the kennel so she'd be comfy overnight. We had no sooner closed the door on the crate when  she started to freak out. Whining, scratching, shoving her nose into the wires on the doors. We pulled her out as quickly as we could. The sore on her nose had reopened and was bleeding. (Which explained what had happened in the first place.)
Instead we put her on the bed. She immediately settled down and went to sleep. She has slept there every night since.

The next several months we learned a lot.

Some of the damage.
We were planning on tiling
this anyway...
First, she was actually a pure bred Jack Russell Terrier, instead of the Chihuahua mix the shelter had told us she was. (We weren't picky about breed!)

She had horrible separation anxiety. RIP blinds, carpet, and shoes...

She didn't know how to play. We had to teach her. She quickly discovered that her favorite toy is a squeaky ball

She had issues with food. She would cower if we startled her and we wouldn't be able to get her to eat again for several hours.

She loves anything soft. I guess after spending so much time sleeping on a hard floor in a shelter she has to make up for lost time.

She rarely makes a sound, but will give a short howl of excitement when we get home.

She is very protective of anyone she has deemed to be "hers". Us, my nieces and nephews, my neighbor... She once chased a much larger dog off the block because he was too close to the little girl next door. (Cordelia is a whopping 11 pounds, this other dog was around 40.)

She no longer knocks over the trashcan when we leave it out, instead, she picks what she wants out of the top. 
This is what I saw for a
straight 48 hours when
I was really sick.
Always so concerned.

She is the laziest Jack Russell I've ever seen. She'll sleep past 10am if you let her, and is done for the day by 8pm.

She loves people, and I love seeing her charm even the grumpiest of people.

We worked through our problems and learned how to make her the happiest we could. In return, she has been one of the best parts of our lives. 

If you actually read this, you deserve a cookie. Have you ever adopted a pet? What's YOUR story? Please share in the comments below! I've included some links to help you find your own rescue baby.

The Humane Society of Utah
American Humane

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our September Faves & October TBR

We are officially into Fall and I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited. I mean, summer is my FAVORITE season but once I accept that it's GONE... then I get excited for ALL THE THINGS.

Anyways, now that September is behind us and October has arrived, it is that time for a few of us (reading slump city over here for the rest of our team) to tell you what books wowed us last month and what books are on our TBR for the next! -- Jamie

September Faves

Jamie's Pick
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold: I loved his debut and I have to say I think I loved this one EVEN MORE. Loved this ragtag group of kids and loved how the story unfolded!!

Lauren's Pick
All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: I honestly can't express how much I loved this novel. I gathered from the synopsis of this novel that it would be about a friendship between two individuals that blossoms during their childhoods. That was definitely an integral part of the story, but in my eyes not the main focus. The characters were so open and filled with raw emotion. I shoved reading time in between my lunch breaks at work, hell I even brought my kindle in the bathtub! Both fantasy and sci-fi lovers will not be able to put this one down.

Daisy's Pick
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: September was actually not such an awesome reading month for me, with zero 5 star books, which is sad. But I did enjoy City of Bones, I already talked about it here in case you missed it :)

October TBR

Jamie's Pick 
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu: Definitely one of my most anticipated books of the YEAR. This series is so awesome and I cannot wait to see what happens in this installment. If you haven't started this series, please let me tell you why you should.

Lauren's Pick
Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger: I am currently completely and utterly entranced by this novel. Enough so that I've already written down several quotes because... what reader doesn't write down quotes?! My favorite so far... "Life is an impossible twist of choice and circumstance, one rarely exists without the other." Yes, perfection.

Daisy's Pick
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: because OMG IT IS FINALLY HERE!!! THE WAIT IS OVER! I will SO read this in my epic 3,5 week vacation in October :)

What about you guys?
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Design By Designer Blogs Content © 2012 The Broke and the Bookish. All Rights Reserved