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?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders

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This week, in honor of election day in the USA, we're featuring characters that would make great leaders! Leaders of what? That's your decision. Who could lead a country, an army, a book club, a classroom, etc. Or maybe characters that would be trendsetters? We're taking a tiny break this week (sorry we have no picks for you!), but I've (Jana) put up the linky for you so we can come visit!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ten Bookish Halloween Costumes We'd Love to Wear

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Happy Halloween! We at The Broke and the Bookish hope you have a safe night tonight, filled with tricks, treats, and good times! For our Halloween freebie we've chosen to pick some bookish Halloween costumes we'd love to wear. We're excited to see which topics you all chose to do!

Julia's Picks:

1. Harry Potter and friends - how could a list about bookish Halloween costumes not have these guys on it. So many choices in this universe! Enough even for a family costume.

2. Superman - yes, comic books are bookish. And Superman is my favorite superhero.

3. Game of Thrones ladies - I guess the men would also be cool, but those ladies! Dany or Brienne or Arya. Kickass ladies, Kickass costumes.

4. Katniss from Hunger Games - is it still cool to be Katniss? I'd still like to be her.

5. Lyra from His Dark Materials - and I would carry around a stuffed animal to be my daemon. Or maybe take my dog around

Kimberly's Pick:

6. Mary Poppins - I dressed up as Mary Poppins a couple years ago.

Jana's Picks:

7. Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles - I actually love everyone from this series, and think it would be super fun to dress up as any of them!

8. Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series - I think it would be so much fun to dress up as a beautiful fae! And Feyre has some really pretty dresses that I'd love to try on.

9. Nancy Drew - I'd love to don a blonde wig and dress up like our favorite classic, preppy mystery-solving teen. I'm thinking a cute plaid skirt and a cardigan over a white button-up with a Peter Pan collar.

10. Alina from The Grisha Trilogy - Grisha fashion is amaaaazing. I want to wear a pretty gold Sun Summoner kefta.

Which bookish costume would you love to wear tonight?


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

8th Annual Broke & 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 8th ANNUAL BROKE AND BOOKISH SECRET SANTA OMG.

So, I guess I'll just get to what you reaaaaally care about -- signups! But before we get started, three 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 what....you 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. In all the years past, I've always gotten all pairings done within 48 hours. I (Jamie) currently have a 3 month old and I was debating whether or not Secret Santa was even going to happen this year because it is a HUGE undertaking for me and it literally takes me 2 full days to do the pairings. SO this year....please be patient...the pairings will likely trickle out in a few days, with the help of Jana this year, rather than the marathon session I normally do. I hope you can understand! Also, please be gentle if it takes me a little bit to answer emails. BE THOROUGH IN YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE so I don't have a ton of people emailing me asking specific questions to be relayed. I probably will not have much time to go back and forth to ask about specific likes and dislikes as I did in the future (unless it's really important). Please utilize the hashtag to ask questions in hopes your person answers or use their person of contact. 

3. 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. The past two years, 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.

Countries outside of US/Canada/UK that people have signed up from so far: Italy, Russia, New Zealand, China, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic,  France, Belgium (updated 11/9)

4. I'm capping it at 400 participants this year because I honestly can't commit to doing more than that!

Things You Need To Do

1. Send an email to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com answering the following questions BEFORE November 10th  with the answers to the following questions: 

*BEFORE November 10th means 11:59pm EST on the 10th 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/Twitter username/Youtube channel/Instagram username/ (any social media that will be helpful for your person to get to know you)
  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. Double check that your links work if you are viewing them LOGGED OUT.
  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 can.
    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. Please choose what "level" 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 (perhaps earlier if you are sending internationally). 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). 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 first...in 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 24, 2017

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

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If you are an avid reader you probably have seen trends in book titles -- The blah blah's daughter or the blah blah's wife or if you are into YA lots of fantasy type titles that seem to blend in together...lots of fire and blood and ash and so many other things that aren't coming to me right now but I know that I find myself getting the titles all confused. 

So this week's topic is an ode to all the unique book titles out there! 

Jamie's Picks:

1.  Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore: I mean, pretty unique right? The book itself is very unique and unlike anything I've ever read in general so the title was definitely a good indicator of that!

2. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green: I have not yet cracked into this one but immediately I thought the title was catchy and intriguing and unique! 

3. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee: Another one I haven't had a chance to read yet since giving birth but it's high on my TBR.

4. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera: If I didn't already know I loved his books the title alone would make me pick this one up! I'm currently reading it right now and I'm like DO THEY BOTH REALLY DIE AT THE END MUST FIND OUT.

Jana's Picks:

5. How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair: I'm kind of dying of laughter over this one!!

6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente: Super unique, right? All the words!

7. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison: I had never heard of this one, but it sounds super intriguing.

8. Comfort Me With Apples by Peter De Vries: I must know what this is about.

Lauren's Picks:

9.  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 

10.  The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall 

11.  Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

 Have you read any of these? Which titles do you think are particularly unique? 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

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This topic is right up my (Lori) alley! I love food. I love reading about food. I love making food. I love eating food. I'm surprised I'm not 84,000 lbs.

1.  Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan--This book is basically what it seems on its face: a comedian rhapsodizing on food. Yes, I think the American diet is horrible, but you can't deny that most Americans love their food. :)

2.  Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days by James Salter and Kay Salter--The book is divided into 365 short entries, one for each day of the calendar year. Each entry has a note about entertaining or recipes or a variety of food related topics that helped make me a better cook and hostess.

3.  An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler--Filled with essays on food, this book forever changed the way I make scrambled eggs and boil pasta.

4.  Heartburn by Nora Ephron--Ths novel describes the end of Ephron's marriage to Carl Bernstein. It also contains a few recipes by Ephron, a known foodie.

5.  Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living by Julie Powell--I loved this book! I love how Powell used cooking to change her life and pull herself out of a major rut. It's one I think of whenever I get a little blah about my life.

6.  Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook--This cookbook has so much yes. Full of amazing southern style recipes, it added a fantastic tweak to my already near-perfect fried chicken recipe and gave me my chili recipe (which has needed very few tweaks over the years). Highly recommend.

7.  100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life--This is my go-to cookbook whenever I know someone getting their first apartment. It has everything. Yes, the recipe titles might be a little strange or creepy (Let's Make a Baby Pasta? Seriously? But it is damn good pasta, with a nice kick of spice!). It's very budget-friendly and has so many recipes that I always recommend it.

8.  Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli--I first heard of this cookbook in one of those celebrity reading lists. It's a huge book, with a pretty good-sized price tag, which kept me from purchasing it for quite a while. I finally found a good used copy. :) It is full of food porn and for that I love it.

9.  Audrey at Home: A Kitchen Table Biography by Luca Dotti--What a wonderful idea for a biography! Hepburn's son compiled photographs, details, and recipes that say so much about the beloved actress and humanitarian. I love the idea of using someone's favorite foods to tell their story! If anyone ever writes a biography about me, this is how I want it to be done!

10.  To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Phillip Greene--A book of alcoholic recipes related to the novels and stories of one of my favorite authors? Yes, please!

Honorable Mentions:
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker--I haven't read it yet, but it sounds fun.
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford--I love Italian food. Probably more than I should. This sounded like a good read.
Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble--I've started and stopped this one a few times. Sometimes it delves a bit more into the science than I am really interested in knowing, but I love the idea of using my dollars to make a statement.


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