Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Top Ten Childhood Characters We'd Like To Revisit As Adults

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
Today's topic is: Ten Childhood Characters You'd Love To Revisit As Adults (i.e. a novella or something to see what they grew up to be) -- you could always just pick YA characters you've read recently you wouldn't mind revisiting in 10 years or so. Or you could pick 10 characters and guess what you think they'd be doing in 10 years or 20 years. OR you could go the other way and wish for coming of age stories for adult characters you love. 

Jamie's Picks

1. Henry Huggins from Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins series: I fell hard for Henry Huggins as a kid...and his dog Ribsby. I so want to see what kind of man Henry Huggins turned out to be. I would also TOTALLY have loved a Henry Huggins as a teen or a college guy! But like logically I know Ribsy would have probably have passed away but like I would like to skip that. 

2. Ramona Quimby from the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary: Oh man, Beverly Cleary created some of my favorite characters ever. I loved being a part of Ramona's various escapades. I want to know what's up with Beezus, because I really related to her as an older sister of an annoying little sister, but Ramona was just my favorite. I would totally love a YA Ramona book wherein the exploration of sisterhood happens even more! Maybe a Ramona and Beezus road trip?? I remember there being a little sister in one of the last books so maybe she can be in it too but RAMONA AND BEEZUS GROWNUP.

3. The kids from the Boxcar Children series: Listen, I always made my sister play "boxcar children" with me when we were little. I would pretend our playhouse outside was the boxcar and we were little orphan children. I remember thinking it would be so cool to live by yourself (spoiler alert baby Jamie: it's not all it's cracked up to be because BILLS and you need money to like eat and stuff) and I just really loved these characters. The series went on and on and on and I don't know that I ever finished it because mostly it was just them solving mysteries so I don't know HOW it ended but I would LOVE to see how these orphaned siblings grew up.

4. Nancy Drew: Man, she was my favorite and I just devoured these books. I never read the later ones (I think she goes to college in them) but I would love to know what happened to Nancy after all her sleuthing as a teen and young adult in college. What does adult Nancy do?? Did she like go into the FBI or did she have a non-sleuthing job??
**Jana seconds this one!**

Jana's Picks

I didn't read much as a kid... lol. And when I did, I didn't read books about kids like me. I read historical romance novels. So I'm going to pick some of my favorite characters from YA that I'd like to catch up with and see where their lives have taken them.

5. Allyson from Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Is she still with Willem? How was college?

6. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Haha. Basically ditto what I want to hear from Allyson!

7. Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I just had a Hunger Games movie marathon, so it's on my mind. What's Panem like now? Is everyone doing ok? How are the kids and Peeta? How's her mom? Did Gale find love, too? Did you ever forgive him?

8. Melanie Stryder from The Host by Stephenie Meyer: Basically, give me the rest of the books you promised, dangit.

Lauren's Picks

I'm going to stick with Young Adult books with this one too. :)

9. Gemma from Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher: I can't exactly place when I read this book, but I was definitely a young adult. I remember exactly how Gemma felt when she was first kidnapped in the beginning to how she felt at the end of the book. I was fascinated by how dramatically emotions can change over time and how perspective is almost everything. I want to know... who is Gemma today? What is her perspective as a victim and when she looks outside herself and ponders how others perceive her?

10. Hazel and August us from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Most readers of our blog have probably read this one. If not, fret not... I won't spoil a thing. You know just from reading the book's description that both Hazel and Augustus are terminally ill. I want to know what happens after the book ends. Even if it's for a short period or time, where are the main characters and what are they up to?

Which characters from your childhood would you like to revisit?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Bookworm Delights

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

Top Ten Bookworm Delights (inspired by this post I did on my own blog)

The idea for this post came to me on a day when I was feeling especially blahhhh about book blogging and had kind of been keeping away from social media and the blogosphere in general. I was reading a book under like 5 blankets because it was cold out and I just had this MOMENT where the title was referenced in the story of the book and my heart just near exploded because I love when that kind of stuff comes together and you are like A-HA. It seriously was just that moment that I needed to be like THIS IS WHY I BLOG DUHHH because I just have all these delightfully book nerdy things that make me so happy. They are so random but make me so happy. So this post became kind of an ode to those things but also a reminder for me, one that I've had to remind myself over and over again after 6 years of book blogging, that whenever I feel BLAH or something about book blogging I just need to strip it down to the basics -- and that is always the pure joy I get from reading and being a bookworm. I have never written a post so fast after this whole moment happened because I felt SO inspired and rejuvenated.

 So I kind of hoped, when I extended this to Top Ten Tuesday, that maybe it will be that for you -- a reminder or maybe just something that reconfirms why you all love this so much and why it's so awesome to be in this community with other readers who GET why the smallest things can make our hearts pitter patter when it comes to the bookworm life. And that's about as motivational as I get soooo let's get to it!

Jamie's Picks

1. When your shelf is newly organized and dusted and prettified: Seriously there is nothing more delightful than when I organize my shelves. I feel so satisfied by culling and organizing and just spending time with my books.

2. Being surrounded around other bookworms: I always felt so alone before I started blogging 6 years ago and the first time I went to a book event and met other people LIKE MEEEE I was like OMG WHAT IS LIFE RIGHT NOW. The energy that I get from book club and book signings and book cons and stuff like that. OH MAN.

3. When your book has pretty endpages or something pretty under the dust jacket: I will squeaaaaal like no other when there is something pretty or cool hidden beyond the exterior of the book.

4. When you help someone in the bookstore and  you don't even work there: This happens to me so much. Once when I was on a trip in Grand Rapids a lady asked me for help thinking I worked there and she ended up with a list of like 20 books for her granddaughter and I helped her look for the ones she was looking for. Another time I heard a lady describing a book she was looking for to the employee and the employee was like "hmmm I really don't know." and I KNEW I KNEW. I felt like Hermione raising my hand in the air faster than anything and I was had to compose myself and find some sort of chill and I was like "Hi sorry to bother but I actually know what book you are talking about" and all rejoiced! Seriously though...maybe I should just work at a bookstore.

5. When you don't rage during your commute because audiobooks keep your zen: No but seriously it's the only way I can survive my commute.

Daisy's Picks 
6. Book club: seriously, my club is the awesomest ever! I love meeting up with these ladies who basically know all the series/books I talk about and can spot all the references and geek out with me and just LOVE! I love how we scare the other people at the restaurants we grace with our presence :)

7 How I'm basically never bored: I pretty much always carry a book with me and BOOM instant entertainment. I mean, hours of travel mean NOTHING to me if I can just read while on the plane/train/anywhere.

8. Finding a pop culture reference in a novel: I love when there are inside jokes about other books/movies/TV series in books because I smile when I get them :)

9. Participating in a readathon: Dewey's 24-hour readathon is my favourite thing that comes twice a year! I love that feeling of community I get when I know that all over the world there are readers joining in on this one day dedicated to reading, I feel so connected to everyone! It's particularly fun because we've turned it into a book club sleepover event :)
10. Wearing bookish socks with neat/fancy outfits: I love knowing that I'm wearing Harry Potter socks beneath the cloths I wear to work even if noone else can see them. I don't know exactly why, but it just makes me smile.

Tell us the things that delight you!! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lori Talks Books about Fresh Eating

Spring is finally completely here!  In Oklahoma, we've been flirting with it for a while, but I think we are finally done with temps that dip into the 40s and below.  Good riddance!  I hate the cold.  Our highs are generally in the 70s and 80s.  Basically, I'm a happy camper (you know, aside from looming finals...).

This nice weather ushers in the fresh fruits and vegetables that I actually enjoy eating--strawberries, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and, soon enough, peaches.  :)  My boyfriend and I decided to give our front and back porches some color.  He planted flowers and I planted some herbs and tomatoes, so that I can make lots of yummy pasta using fresh ingredients that I grew myself!  I attempted to include a picture of my plants, but computer issues.

There is a point to all of this that is bookish related...

Spring has me growing very mindful about what I'm eating.  I want to eat foods that make me feel good and are good for me.  In true book nerd fashion, I've found some reading material to go along with this new urge of mine.

Here's what I've found:

Unprocessed by Megan Kimble--I'm currently reading this one.  Kimble decided to eliminate processed foods from her diet when she was a grad student in her mid-20s.  She didn't have a lot of money and she quickly discovered that having to do things like making her own bread was time consuming--but so rewarding.  I love how, thus far, she's tying in a discussion about some of the sociological, economic, and environmental ramifications of her diet versus the American diet.  It really sparked the idea of planting my own stuff and generally making my own food.

The 20-30 Something Gardening Guide:  A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff by Dee Nash--I love books that are designed for people who don't have a ton of time or skill, but still want to make positive changes in their lives.  I haven't yet had the time to dive into this one, but it looks like it will be really useful.  It begins with container gardens, which is what I have right now, but transitions into full-fledged gardens.  It even has tips on rotating what you plant for the seasons.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan--I read this one a couple of years ago.  I need to re-read it.  This book is comprised of 64 quick and easy rules for better eating.  A lot of it is common sense and/or self-explanatory, but it helps to see things in black and white.  The book is a distillation of Pollan's In Defense of Food:  An Eater's Manifesto, which I have not yet read, but now definitely want to.  Pollan's basic message boils down to "Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants."  It certainly seems like something to strive for.

Now a couple of cookbooks that I have been loving...

Audrey at Home:  A Kitchen Table Biography by Luca Dotti--This one is part biography, part cookbook.  Everyone knows Audrey Hepburn and many view her as a classic style icon.  However, she was also really into food, particularly fresh food.  Her son, Dotti, wrote this book that talks about Audrey's life, her relationship with food as a means of bringing people together, and includes recipes for some of her favorite dishes.  I've read part of the biography, but kept flipping through to see all of the recipes.  I'll definitely have to read more thoroughly when I have time this summer.

Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes--One of my favorite parts of Under the Tuscan Sun is the recipes Mayes includes of simple but hearty Italian meals she and her husband prepared after a long day's work.  Here, Mayes and her husband have compiled some of her favorite recipes and not all of them are pasta!  :)  I love flipping through this book for recipes and the food porn.  There are excellent pictures.

And one more fun foodie book...

Life Is Meals:  A Food Lover's Book of Days by James and Kay Salter--Each day of the year gets its own treatment in this book.  Some days have recipes.  Some have food-related anecdotes.  Some have tips on entertaining.  It's a fun and thoughtful book.  I definitely need to reread it.

And lastly, I want to give a quick shoutout to a couple of food blogs that have given me a lot of inspiration--Iowa Girl Eats and The New York Times Food Blog.  I started printing copies of recipes that caught my eye.  That pile quickly became unmanageable.  I've since hole-punched them, and organized them in a binder.  I can pull out the ones I want to try that week, write notes on them after I make the recipe, get splotches of food on them (it gives them character!), and toss the ones that aren't keepers.  It's kind of fun curating my own book of recipes.

Are there any amazing food books I left off?  Any spectacular cookbooks out there?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

10 Books That Made Us Laugh // Top Ten Tuesday

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

Jamie's Picks

1. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty: Oh man, I read the first book (Sloppy Firsts) on the beach with my husband and he was sooo embarrassed because I could not contain myself I was laughing out loud so hard and had to keep reading parts to him...which he didn't find nearly as funny as I did. The series is a great coming of age story that follows Jessica Darling, one of my favorite characters ever, from high school through adulthood.

2. I Love Everybody (And Other Atrocious Lies) by Laurie Notaro: If you like funny and relatable non-fiction essays, this one made me die laughing so many times or like "OMG ME TOO!

3. Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway: Oh man, the funny shenanigans that happen in this story about a girl whose ex boyfriend writes a song about her that becomes the next big hit are too many to count! 

Kimberly's Pick

4. The Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison:  I listened to the audio books at work and actually laughed out loud. Luckily my coworkers know I'm listening to a book and don't think I'm crazy. The MC is hilariously self centered and completely oblivious.

Daisy's Picks

5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion: it has this quote "In order to prevent further violence I was forced to sit on him". The MC is awesome and smart and funny without meaning to be. I totally loved this book!

6. Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm: the MC is really outside of her element and she has the best banter with one of the guys and an awesome best friend, who all provide many funny moments that had me laughing out loud a lot!

7. Basically all of Sophie Kinsella's standalones: I LOVE her writing style and she always brings the funny and the swoons! My favourite is Twenties Girl because it had a sassy ghostly grandmother (who appeared in her 20s as a ghost).

Lauren's Picks
8. The Martian by Andy Weir -- The dude is stuck on Mars and will probably die. Not funny, right? But his personality immediately smacks you in the face from the beginning. The main character has a sarcastic/deadpan attitude about everything, which is a win for me. 

9.  F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems -- Yes, it has a cuss word in the title. Yes, it is a self help book for people with mental difficulties. Yes, the authors purposefully make you laugh because they know... humor can cause happiness.

10. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips -- The Greek gods have always been know to manipulate humans for their own enjoyment. This book turns the tables for us to get a good look at them and chuckle at least once per chapter. 

Tell us the books that made you laugh or you found to be humorous! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jamie Talks About A Side Of Reading That Has Fallen To The Wayside

For as long as I can remember I've been as much a magazine reader as I've been a book reader...although I've always leaned more heavy towards books except during my teen years when I barely read.

When I was a kid it was Highlights, Creative Kids (does ANYONE know this one??) and Girl's Life. Then as a tween I started saving all my change and dollar bills to buy J-14, Twist, YM,  Bop, Teen Beat and all the other ones that had the posters of heartthrobs in them.

Then I moved on to Elle Girl, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, CosmoGirl, Teen and more! I mean, I'm telling you I POURED through these day after day. I'd cut out things and save the articles. I cared a lot about makeup and clothes and boys so it was my holy grail and I devoted myself to these magazines.

Then in my 20's I moved on to Elle, Vogue, Cosmo, Self, Glamour but also threw in Paste (still one of my fave magazines -- music, art, movies, etc), US News and World Report, Travel + Leisure, Real Simple and more.

I always made time to read them. I would read them while laying out or while traveling (ALWAYS packed magazines for vacation and airplane rides) or just while sitting home on a lazy day. Or when I was a teen -- ANYTIME I could. My sister or friends and I would just sit in my room reading them together.

But pretty much since I started blogging in 2010 I feel like I've stopped reading magazines as much. I think it's because I always felt like I should be keeping up with all the books I've bought or gotten for review or that I find at the library. When I find myself on vacation, I'm not grabbing for a magazine anymore. It's all books all the time. I do also think that these days I do a lot of magazine type reading via articles on the internet...which I read a lot of.

And I mean, I don't hate it. I love reading all the books. But sometimes I miss the type of reading that goes into reading magazines. It's different. On occasion I'll still pick up a magazine and it's always such a nice break from reading full books. I like not feeling super committed to something in that moment. I like breaking up the content and I like the variety of what I'm able to read within the pages of a magazine and how I can pick it up and put it down.

I'm definitely always going to prefer books but I've decided that I'm going to try to add a little bit of magazine reading back into my reading diet and pick up a magazine for my upcoming trip to Europe at the end of this month.

So I'm curious....do you read magazines often? Which ones? Also, tell me all the magazines you read back in the day because I LOVE NOSTALGIA!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Books That Should Be On Your List If You Are A Non-Fiction Reader // Top Ten Tuesday

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

Today's topic is: Top Ten Books For Every X To Read 

Jamie's Picks

1. For every creative -- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert: I really think anyone who writes or blogs or is creative in any way should read this for some inspiration!

2. For people who have trouble keeping their space free from clutter -- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: Okay so some of this book is a little too out there for my mind but I really enjoyed it for the most part. It's a good book for someone like me who has struggled to keep my space clean/organized/free from clutter for my whole life. Sometimes she's a little extreme and I wasn't as strict about getting rid of everything that didn't spark me joy but it really did help me in  little ways or reframe some of the stuff I held on to and why I did.
Jana seconds this!

3. For the person who loves inspirational memoir type books -- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch: I read this at a time where I was pretty down and it was really inspiring and thought-provoking as this man faces certain death from an illness imparts some life lessons.

4. For people who like learning about random stuff (and like quirky nonfiction) -- Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach: Seriously one of my favorite non-fiction books ever. SO SO fascinating! I just really love learning random stuff and Mary Roach is so engaging!

Bridget's Pick

 5. For the introvert or the person who is just interested in psychology -- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan CainMany of our readers will relate to the struggles of living as an introvert in a world that seems to only value extroversion. This book, though frustrating in many ways, also opened my eyes to just how much extroversion is praised at the expense of introversion, and explained why so many "normal" situations always made me uncomfortable. And don't just read this if you're an introvert; it can also help extroverts understand a little bit more of why their introverted peers act, think, and interact the way they do.

Lauren's Picks

For someone who is unfamiliar with the global abuses of women and their fight for survival --

6. Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir and Damien Lewis: This was the first memoir written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur. Halima is the kind of individual that can change the world, and that she did. This is not a novel full of sadness, but a call to action with a person who spoke out about the abuses in her homeland without thought of self preservation. 

7. Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindia: You remember year ago seeing an article or two, or maybe just remembering the words, "female genital mutilation" mentioned in the news? An entire movement to stop the ritual that encompasses those words may have actually been started because of Fauziya and her determination to stand up for women everywhere. This is a powerful novel, and it will not disappoint.

Jana's Picks

8. For someone who enjoys reading survival stories -- 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin: Remember hearing about this guy in the news? Just over two years ago, he was rescued after living adrift for 438 days. This man’s story is unfathomable, and inspiring. There are really no words that can accurately describe what he went through. I don't want to say too much, but I will mention the whale shark that hung out with him for a few days. Amazing.

9. For the travel-lover -- 501 Must-Visit Destinations
This book is 544 pages of dream vacations, and I would love to visit every single one of them. I am really annoyed that the book did not come with plane tickets and travel accommodations for each of these destinations.

Tahleen's Picks

10. For anyone who likes funny books, memoirs, and a little bit of history -- The Life and Times of the Thunderbold Kid by Bill Bryson: Some of you might know about my slight obsession with Bryson's work. This is one of my favorites, his memoir about growing up in the 1950s. It's so funny, and I love how he kind of gives us a history of that time as well. Bonus points if you listen to Bryson narrate it himself. If you like this one, I highly recommend listening to his other books too, especially I'm a Stranger Here Myself and really any of his travelogues.

Tell us your favorite non-fiction books!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ten Bookish Accounts To Follow On Social Media

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
Today we are talking about all our favorite bookish accounts to follow. 


* Jamie recommends The Readables: Before Booktube was ~Booktube~ she was one of the few bookish vloggers I followed after she did my End of Year Reading survey way back when in one of the first years I did it. She's super creative and honest and reads a variety of books and I enjoy her thoughtful discussions and the way she talks about books.

* Jamie recommends Books and Quills: This bookish vlogger is newer to me but I've been thoroughly enjoying her videos!


* Jamie recommends @emerylord: Author Emery Lord, one of my favorite authors btw, has the best Twitter account. She's funny and personable and gives a great ~behind the scenes~ that makes you feel like you know her/want to be best friends with her but she also does a great job promoting her books and other authors. It's just this fun blend. I'm always howling with laughter from her random tweets but also so engaged and nodding my head when she talks about diversity or mental illness. Plus I feel like she's super honest about author life that if I were an aspiring author I'd be listening for sure. Honestly, I wish all authors on Twitter could have the sort of perfect blend that Emery has. It's fun and frivolous, important and relevant and makes me love her all the more. Plus DOG PICS.

* Jana recommends @maureenjohnson: Maureen is absolutely hilarious, just like her books! I love reading what she has to say and I usually can't stop laughing.


* Jamie recommends @seelieknight: Her feed is one of my all time faves. It's gorgeous. Just SO GORGEOUS. I love the balance of cozy indoor pics with outdoors scenes that make me want to go exploring.

* Jana recommends @Lisa_LostInLit: Lisa's feed is so bookish and pretty! She posts pictures of books in the prettiest settings, plus all the fun bookish goodies she has.

* Lauren recommends @beautyandthebookshelf: Rachel is the #bookstagrammer you will aspire to be. She is down to earth, offers up real book reviews and will go an extra 10 miles for a great photo. She may be the literary envy of all photographers. Her photos just light up my newsfeed.

* Lauren recommends @thepagemistress: Lindsey is one of those #bookstagrammers who you live vicariously through. Her photos are breathless and she is one hell of a nice girl. 


* Jamie recommends EpicReads: I'm sure everyone loves and knows Epic Reads all over the internet but Margot has really outdone herself (at least I'm assuming it's Margot running their Snapchat) on Snapchat. Hilarious bookish snaps every day.

* Jamie recommends missjennyhan: Author Jenny Han is the best to follow on Snapchat. From desserts to her travels to talking about random things...her snaps always make my day better.


* Bridget recommends Book Riot: It is a great site for a ton of reasons, but its particular strength is in how it always strives for diversity -- both in who writes for them and what books they feature. If you're looking to get into some diverse books that you might not have thought of before, as well as read some fun generally-bookish posts, Book Riot is the place to do it!

* Lauren recommends Two Chicks on Books: This is old school book blogging at it's finest. Jamie has been blogging at this site for over 5 years and she knows her books. She has evolved from a book blogger to the Publicity & Marketing Director at Month9Books! Talk about hard work paying off! But truly, she has genuine book reviews, giveaways... she is always doing features on new books that you end up adding to your everlasting TBR pile. Jamie is also a host of the Rockstar Book Tours, which is a website where you can sign up to be a part of a book tour that features newly released books. Jamie pretty much does it all and does it well. Kudos, Jamie!

You should totally follow our Facebook Page, which Bridget has taken over and is posting some A+ stuff!

Also, you should follow us individually. Here's where you can find some of us...

Tweets @brokeandbookish, which has ended up being mostly a personal bookish account even though it has this namesake and there are TBTB updates // Instagrams @perpetualpageturner // Blogs @ The Perpetual Page-Turner // Snapchats @brokeandbookish

Tweets @ArtsyReaderGirl // Instagrams @ArtsyReaderGirl // Blogs @ That Artsy Reader Girl (home of the Debut Author Challenge) // Tumblrs @ That Artsy Reader Girl

Tweets @DBetweenpages // Instagrams @_daisydebruin (which is mostly pictures of my cat and some bookishness) // Blogs @ Between the Pages

Tweets @tattooedbiblio // Instagrams @thetattooedbiblio // Snapchats @tattooedbiblio

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