Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Our Ten Favorite Books of 2017


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I seriously cannot believe that the year is almost over, can you? Today we're taking some time and reflecting on all the great books we read this year. Which have been your favorites?

Jana's Picks

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber: It's pretty magical and unique and Stephanie's writing is amazing!

2. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco: I had NO CLUE I'd love this like I did, but suspense and swoons everywhere!

See the rest of my picks at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl!

Jamie's Picks

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: okay so technically I read it last year but I never formerly talked about my top reads of the year and this still is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Read it!!!

4. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: this book was yet another example of why she is one of my faves!!

Kimberly's Picks

5. Geekerella by Ashley Poston:I just adored this book! The characters were lovable, the geeky references delighted me and the story kept me coming back for more, despite being in my weird pregnancy brain induced reading slump.

6. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: This was such a fun romcom, and the references to classic movies made me want to rewatch all of my favorites all over again.

Lauren's Picks

7. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant: Science expeditions to the deep, open open to prove killer mermaids exist? YES. YES. This book exceeded my expectations and I absolutely loved it. I cannot WAIT for the sequel.

8. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: All my non bookish friends nag me when I don’t immediately jump onto a popular author bandwagon. So I purposely waiting to read a book by the author just because I’m stubborn. I shouldn’t have waited. This book was absolutely riveting, but oh so depressing. I didn’t figure out the mystery of the book until towards the end either, which is always a nice surprise!

9. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: Finally the legend of Achilles told from a brand new perspective... that of his (maybe lover) best friend, Patroclus. It’s a toss up whether Patroclus was Achilles’ lover or his bro, but this novel chooses the former. It was such an emotional ride and I was left with a few tears as I read the last pages.

10. The Genius Plague by David Walton: Any gamers out there? This plague reminded me of the plague from the game The Last of Us (amazing game, by the way). A fungus from the Amazon starts infecting people and making the more intelligent. The NSA gets involved and shit goes down. I loved the plot of this book and was so glad it delivered.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ten Bookish Settings We'd Love to Visit

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For today's topic we're gushing about all the amazing places books have transported us to, as well as bookish places in general that we'd love to visit. Which bookish settings would you like to visit?

Jana's Picks:

1. The Snow Crystal Ski Resort from Sarah Morgan's O'Neil Brothers trilogy is beautiful and cozy and isolated! There's luxury cabins and lots of snow. It just sounds so romantic and picturesque.

2. Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Well duh!

3. Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia because duh!

4. Dracula's castle from Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco because it sounds creepy and beautiful.

5. Caraval from Caraval by Stephanie Garber because it sounds pretty magical.

6. The Frost from Kate Avery Ellison's Frost series because I love the cold and the snow, and it sounds beautiful

7. The glittering undersea world of Marin from Vanessa Garden's Submerged Sun trilogy because it's underwater!

8. The Night Court from Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Mist and Fury because of all the reasons.

Julia's Picks:

9. Trinity College Library in Dublin: This place looks gorgeous and has some of the oldest books on display. Not only is it literally bookish, the architecture makes it seem like it could be the settings to any good historical fiction novel.

10. Hyde Park in London: I read a lot of historical romances, and I love big parks. I have been here before, but it was only for a quick bike ride. I'd love to go back and have the time to explore the place correctly... along with some old houses so I can picture things properly as i read.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Books On Our Winter TBRs


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Winter is coming (or if you live on the other side of the world, summer is coming!)! What's on your to-be-read list this season? We're showing you a few of the titles we're most excited about. Which ones should we get to first? Which ones should we not bother with at all?

Lori's Picks

1.  The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch: I bought this one for myself to celebrate finishing my last semester of law school. I cannot wait to dive in!

2.  Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte: I just stumbled across this one day while browsing on Amazon. It sounds pretty interesting.

Julia's Pick


3. La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1) by Philip Pullman: I meant to reread all of His Dark Materials before reading this new foray into the land of daemons, but I just cant wait. I am so excited that the Book of Dust is actually coming out... and part one is already out! I must read this... and soon.

Jana's Picks

4. Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier: I love reading wintry books this time of year, and this fantasy sounds amazing!

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling: I'm having fun reading this series for the first time ever, and I can't wait to continue!

6. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I've been so excited to read this book, and it's wintry too! It seems like the perfect book to snuggle up under a blanket with.

Lauren's Picks

7. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: I might’ve gotten a head start on this one. Don’t judge! 😇 I love Greek Mythology and am excited to read another version of this amazing story. When the

8. When the English Fall by David Williams: Y'all know I can’t contain myself around anything dystopian. And here pops up a dystopian novel involving An Amish community... hells yes I can’t wait!

9. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden: I read the first book in this series and adored it. The storytelling was amazing and made me want to believe in real, actual magic. I can’t wait to get into this sequel!

10. Into the Drowing Deep by Mira Grant: I love everything by Mira Grant and I was lucky enough to get an ebook copy from NetGalley! *squeals*

What are you hoping to read this winter?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Cocktail and a Conversation: Thanksgiving Edition


We have so much to be thankful for this year. Seriously. Some of us had kids. We have great partners. Some of us got new jobs. We got new houses. We're graduating. We're healthy.

But of course we are thankful for all of that!

So this year at Broke and Bookish, we decided to break with tradition and divulge our silliest, most off the wall things that we are thankful for.

Bridget says: I am thankful that we will be on Long Island for Thanksgiving this year, which means I will get to partake in real pizza, which my life is currently lacking. (No, we don’t eat pizza FOR Thanksgiving. But I wouldn’t complain if we did.)

Daisy says: I'm thankful for Zoey the Zebra, a toy that endlessly entertains my daughter and makes her dance, which is the best thing ever. I'm also thankful for the existence of sushi, since I can eat it again now.

Julia says: I am thankful over the air digital receivers so that I will be able to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while not having cable. Also for free XM for the weekend so while I am driving around Ohio to hit up all the family gatherings, it will be with a great variety of music.

Jana says: I’m so thankful for cozy blankets because they make me unbelievably happy. If I’m sad or not feeling well, I curl up with one. I love being surrounded by soft things, so I own way too many blankets.

Lori says: I am so thankful for hot toddies. Bourbon. Little bit of honey. A hot drink on a cold night. I think the citrus will help prevent me from getting scurvy this winter. And I'm thankful for fuzzy socks. I could live in them!

Kimberly says: I'm grateful to have a dog to help clean up the floors after my nieces and nephews have picked through their Thanksgiving meal.


What off the wall things are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Ten Books We're Thankful For

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Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers in the USA! I (Jana) hope you all have a wonderful day with your families, eating lots of good food. This week's topic is books we're thankful for. Which books have touched your heart and left you feeling SO thankful that it was written?

Jana's Pick

1. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: This book seriously changed my life. It's the kind of book that encourages you to take the bull by the horns and go with it. I just felt so refreshed by the end, like I had been the one to go on a whirlwind trip that changed my life. It prompted me to make amazing goals: to travel more, to practice my art more, to be spontaneous, to let my hair down and not worry what other people think, to look to the future, to develop other talents, to conquer fears, and to enjoy my life more. I ended up going on a whirlwind trip just like Bria did, and I cam home a completely changed person.

Kimberly's Pick

2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: No matter how many books I read I always come back to this series. I'm so grateful for what it has taught me and the joy it brings me! It's the first thing I ever read to my daughter, I was still in the hospital after my c-section when I started.

Jamie's Picks

3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman: this book really resonated with me at where I was in my life and inspired me to make some big changes in my life. I will always be thankful to Gayle for writing this.

4. Twilight: Yep...I'm one of those people who fell in love with YA because of Twilight and I'm so thankful I took a chance on it even though I thought it sounded terrible.

5. The Wonder Weeks: lol I'm thankful for this book (and the app) as a new mom because it helps me be patient with Riley when she is going through a developmental leap which tend to be hard on babies. It helps make sense of things plus helps me know what she is working on!

Lori's Picks

6. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: These poems first started my love of language. My dad would read them to me at night. It was always so much fun.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This is one of the first classics I ever read, which definitely got me thinking about the genre as a whole. It also first got me thinking about law school.

8. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion: Didion. OMG! I love her. I can't keep away from these essays and her other collection, The White Album. Her commentary on her times is so astute. And oddly widely applicable to today. Very inspirational to me in my writing.

9. Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough: This book got me thinking about becoming a history major. It's really interesting and an extremely accessible history of five criminal groups at large at the same time during the Depression.

10.  East of Eden by John Steinbeck: In terms of storytelling and retellings...this one is tops. I can't get over it. Steinbeck was truly a master.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want Young People to Read

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Happy Tuesday! Today's topic is all about the books you love so much that you want the young people in your life to read and love and grow up with. These young people could be your children/ future children, nieces/nephews, godchildren, students, etc. We can't wait to see what you've picked this week!

 Jana's Pick: 

1. You Are Special by Max Lucado: This is the sweetest picture book that reminds children and grown-ups alike how wonderful you are.

2. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: Such an exciting survival story!

3. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: This is a beautiful Holocaust story about friendship.

Lauren's Picks:

4. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: I absolutely loved this book when I first read it years ago. I only wish I could've discovered it when I was younger!

5. The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry: I think most children read The Giver by Lois Lowry these days, which out-shines this one. It's a short, but powerful read.

6. Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick: Another historical fiction novel that will one day be a classic. A must read for young adults!

Julia's Picks:

7. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: This book I adored at 13. It made me think while expanding what I was exposed to in the safe environment of books - a precursor to adult and high school teen issues. I read it again as an adult, but this one really has a power in reading it as a pre-teen.

8. The Illustrated Harry Potter Books: How cool would it be to grow up with Harry Potter, but with it coming out every year and having super cool pictures in it?

9. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: I always, always wanted to check this book out as a kindergartner, I just loved all of the short poems and how vividly they lit up my imagination.

10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. Man, I loved library day in grade school. I'd love it when the librarian would read to us, and this book is one I just wanted to hear over and over again. It has been a repeat hit with my little cousins when I have gotten it for them around age 2.:) 


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rules for Life

Having recently marked the occasion of my birthday, I began contemplating what all I've learned and what all I've concluded during my years.  I shot for thirty, one rule for each year.

Here's what all I came up with:

1. Always keep a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge for celebrations, like Thursdays.
2. Even the inexpensive champagne can be quite good.
3. By all means, reduce your intake of carbs, but never give up on them.
4. Add a little half and half or cream before scrambling eggs.
5. Sometimes the best meals are for one.
6. Invest in boots, purses, gloves, olive oil, books, jewelry, coffee, planners, notebooks, knives, and your laptop.
7. Even savasana can be a rigorous practice.
8. Baked goods are perfect for winning over the hearts of children.
9. Otherwise, baking is largely overrated.
10. Cooking well, even just one dish, can garner admiration.
11. Bar stools make great places for thinking and writing, plus you get better service.
12. Find a local liquor store and make friends with the workers.
13. Buy toilet paper in bulk--you won't not use it.
14. Pack light, but always bring an extra book or two.
15. Buy multiple copies of your favorite books.
16. Re-read old favorites, even if you only read part--it's good for the soul.
17. Don't be afraid to say goodbye. If someone was meant to be in your life, they won't hold it against you and will welcome you fondly.
18. That said, apologize if you need to.
19. Conversely, don't give someone too many chances.
20. Throw things away.
21. Don't spend much on sunglasses.
22. Don't smile if you don't want to.
23. Try to be good. If that fails, try to limit your damages.
24. Always keep a corkscrew in your travel kit (but check TSA if flying).
25. Keep those little NCIS flashlights scattered throughout your house.
26. Get yourself presents for the holidays too--from you, to you--and to hell with anyone who snarks at you for it.
27. It's OK to disengage from being social at any time.
28. Never let your birthday plans depend upon someone else coming through.
29. If it's not working, try pivoting a few times. But know when to pull the plug.
30. There are always exceptions and exceptions to exceptions and so on.


What rules for life have you come up with?
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