Friday, February 5, 2016

January Faves & February TBR List

January Faves

Jamie's Pick

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner -- I had a GREAT reading month so it was hard to only mention one of the great books I read, but this one was definitely my favorite! It's incredible. I can't even describe it. You can check out my attempt to here.

Lauren's Pick

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner -- I really enjoy the first book in this series and so I picked this one up to read. I only have one thing to say... this was the second book in a series, but it could also be read as a standalone novel. CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?!?!

Jana's Pick

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Winter by Marissa Meyer -- What a wonderful ending to my favorite series! This book was everything I could have hoped for and more.

Tahleen's Pick

 Uprooted by Naomi Novik -- It has been a very, very long time since I've read a book that I feel excited to get back to, that I can't wait to pick back up, but that I never want to end. I loved everything about this book. It was surprising, and exciting, and romantic, and just wonderful. I actually want to buy this one and always have it on hand if I feel like rereading. I do not do this. So. This will be a go-to recommendation for me.

Julia's Pick

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare -- Since Jana picked Winter (which I loved, too), I'll pick Romancing the Duke. I went on a cross country flight and read this in a day. It was sweet and unique and I fell in love with the leads.

Bridget's Pick

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey -- This is definitely not your average post-pandemic science fiction story. It will definitely tug at your heart, and it will also surprise you in a few different ways. It's hard to explain without giving things away, but rest assured that the ending will make you rethink everything you knew about post-apocalyptic scenarios.

February TBR

 Jamie's Pick

The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry -- I can't get enough of time travel lately and this one was pitched as The Time Traveler's Wife meets Friday Night Lights --- which are two of my all time fave things.

Lauren's Pick

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys -- Everyone pretty much knows of my affection for historical fiction, so this one doesn't really need an explanation. Except I did read the author's other novel, Between Shades of Gray, and it is now on my favorites list. 

Jana's Pick

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson -- I'm so excited! I loved The Kiss of Deception, and can't wait to continue.

Julia's Pick

 Uprooted by Naomi Novik -- I am so excited to read this one, and seeing that Tahleen picked it as her best of for January makes me so excited!  I found it recently and checked it out as a book to read during my beach vacation next week. I am so excited to pick something up that is unique and different!

Bridget's Pick

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pamela Smith Hill (Editor) -- I'm actually about halfway through this already and have been reading it on and off since before Christmas, but I want to get it done this month! It's very interesting, but it's also exhausting to flip back and forth between the footnotes and the story. For those who don't know, Pioneer Girl is what eventually became the seven Little House on the Prairie books, but it was originally written as an adult memoir, not as a children's series. It's been really fun to see where things were fictionalized or moved around to fit the narrative that Laura Ingalls Wilder wanted for her children's series!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A (Long Overdue) Cocktail & Conversation With TB&TB Crew

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is  A Cocktail Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.

It's been a while since we've sat down for some cocktails and convo with y'all on a Thursday! Our apologies.

Here's this week's topic: 
 What is one book you recommend pretty much across the board -- regardless of genre or what the person normally reads?

 Julia Says...

One book that I usually recommend to people is The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It's a drama, I would say, but also includes hints of science fiction and romance. I adore this book and read it every few years. I'm actually do for a reread now. I love the questions that this book poses on the ramifications of time travel on not just the person time traveling but the people around them. The movie version of this was a disappointment, so if you didnt really like the movie, give this book a chance.

Tahleen Says... 

I recommend Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple to anyone at the library who is "looking for a good book" and gives me little to no extra information. It's funny, got a mystery, has broad appeal, plus it's written in emails and documents, as well as being narrated by Bernadette's 14-year-old daughter. Pretty much everyone who has read it that I've talked to has loved it. Bonus: If they liked Where'd You Go, Bernadette and are looking for something else to read, I'll recommend Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia — this one is also a quirky mystery, but set in an old hotel during a major snowstorm that traps the high school chorus and orchestra all-stars (and their teachers/chaperones) who are performing there that weekend.


Bridget Says...

There are a few books like this, but recently it's been Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You. I feel hypocritical because I always say "this book will make you ugly cry... in a GOOD way" but if someone told me that about a book I probably wouldn't read it, because I generally avoid books that make me cry. But this one was SO WORTH IT and you should read it.

Lauren Says...

I recommend Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for several reasons. It has that dystopian feel to it that most people are intrigued by these days, but it also tugs at those science fiction heart strings that you didn't even realize you had. The true front-runners of the science fiction genre have set the tone for our future. Just turn on the History Channel or TLC and you come across a documentary about today's society/culture and I can guarantee you someone at one time has written a science fiction novel about that very same topic. Take Arthur C. Clarke for example. He is best known for writing the screenplay for one of the most influential films of all time... 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Clarke was introduced to one of the first computers (which consisted of many gigantic electrical boxes that filled an entire room), Clarke legit predicts the internet and how one day everyone will own a computer that will be drastically smaller where they can look at their bank statements or work from home. SERIOUSLY? Yes, seriously. Look it up. Ernest Cline did not disappoint with this novel as he introduced a new possible future that truly meets the trends our society seems to be following. So just go pick it up. You won't be disappointed. 

Tell us, dear book pushers! Which books are ones that you will pretty much recommend universally?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Of Interest

Hey guys! Jamie here! Thought it would be fun to give you a quickie rundown of what's going on that may be of interest to you.

  • Panels discusses how to read comics on a budget which is a topic I've been mulling over as I've just gotten into comics over the past couple months. For right now I'm just getting trades from the library but I know I'm going to want to purchase some single issues especially with some new comics I'm eye-ing up right now or ones I plan to catch up with.
  • Amazon plans to open up brick and mortar shops. INNNNTERESTING. I mean, I shop all over the place -- indies, chains and online with Amazon -- but I just feel weird about this considering Amazon killed so many indies. How do youuuu feel about this
  • Interesting survey about publishing. And the results are in....publishing is very white. Surprising and shocking to probably not many people who are paying attention to the diversity in publishing convo happening online.
  • If the Hot Dudes Reading instagram makes you drool, prepare your fainting couch  because it's coming to you in coffee table book form. You think my husband would think it's weird if this ends up on our coffee table? Ehhh he probably wouldn't even notice it because he's numb to books laying around everywhere that he just ignores them.  
Let's discuss all the things. Also, am I missing anything of interest??

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Ten Historical Settings We Love

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

This week's prompt: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love / Top Ten Historical Settings You'd Love To See or Top Ten Futuristic Books You Love/Ten Futuristic Societies I'd Love To Read in Books --- basically this week is all about the past or the future....spin it however you choose!

Jamie's Picks

1 -- Old West: I have memories of watching Westerns with my grandfather as well as with my "Uncle" Bobby (RIP -- this man was the husband of my old babysitter/family friend and we adored him).  Such good memories. But out of all the historical stuff I read, I never read stuff set during this time. I've been loving the Wild West/American Frontier settings as of lately! Just gimme the Oregon Trail and Gold Rush stuff!

2 -- WWII France, Germany and England: I can't help it. I will never tired of this setting. I just won't... ever. They are often hard to read, but I've read some of my favorite historical books ever in this setting. I've always loved history and my stepdad and I would often watch lots of WWII docs on the History Channel (when it was, like, still the History Channel full of history stuff).

3 -- Tudor England: I just... can't get enough. Honestly. Esp Henry VIII court.

4 -- Civil Rights Era in U.S.: I think this period interests me because it's still so present in our society today. It's not that far removed... our parents and grandparents saw it. There's still generations who lived through it in our society. We can see the effects today and are largely still working on racial issues in today's society so I've just always been interested in it and inspired by people who sacrificed so much for rights I've just been born with and never had to fight for. I remember learning about this time in school and thinking, "Man, I can't believe this stuff happened not that long ago. Weren't we more evolved as a people than to treat people like that?" And while progress has been made because of this era, it's more evident than ever that this is still a dire issue in our country.

Lauren's Picks

5 -- When Egypt Ruled The World: I can't stop reading every single historical fiction book set during... well, any time in Egypt. Every single ruler or person of note has a rich background full of Egyptian culture that seizes my soul. Must Reads: Cleopatra's Daughter, The Heretic Queen, Nefertiti, Lily of the Nile, Cleopatra: A Life

6 -- India: This country's culture and society is so full of color and AMAZINGNESS that I am in awe every time I finish a book set in India. You will be too. Must Read: Rebel Queen, The God of Small Things, A Fine Balance, The White Tiger

7 -- Hawaii: This state has seen it's fair share of tragedy and loss, and sadly... many people don't realize it. When someone says, "Hawaii," people automatically think... vacation! I think of the suffering and obstacles so many had to overcome there in the past. It is truly an amazing and determined state that has now become one of the best places to vacation. Must Read: Moloka'i, Honolulu

8 -- Ancient Greece: Besides the obvious... GREEK MYTHOLOGY IS LIFE... other cultural aspects of this time period spark my imagination and I tend to pick up any book set in ancient Greece. Must Read: Sirena, The Iliad, Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire, Helen of Sparta, Flow Down Like Silver

9 -- Medieval: Who doesn't want to know about those crazy ass torture devices and what was knocking around in these peoples' minds regarding well... just staying alive? Must Read: Pope Joan, The Midwife's Apprentice, Incarceren, A Game of Thrones

10 -- Italy/Renaissance: So much happened. So many beautiful things were created. How can you not want to know more? Must Read: The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan, The City of Falling Angels, Juliet, The Monster of Florence 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 1/17 - 1/30

Daisy's Book Haul

-Night Study by Maria V. Snyder: I'm starting this book next, because holy wow I totally need to know what happens next!! So much love for Maria V. Snyder and particularly her books about Yelena!
-Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton: I've heard many amazing things about this so I'm excited to start it soonish :)
-My American Duchess by Eloisa James: Eloisa James knows how to write historical romance, I am always down for one of her books!
-Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: So I LOVED the first book in this series and I really need to catch up and read this last one, cause the beauties are just sitting on my shelf.
-The Godless by Ben Peek: I think this book came up on my radar because one of my friends added it on Goodreads, turned out to be a total bargain on Amazon, so I ordered it :)
-The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman: because always YES to a new release by Alison Goodman!
-Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira: this sounds UBER CUTE! So I need it. NOW.
-The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand: I've heard good things about this and then the price dropped a LOT on Amazon and I just clicked order.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bridget Reviews THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger - Lisa Lutz
Published: March 1, 2016 (upcoming) by Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

When Tanya Dubois discovers her husband dead on the floor of their home, she doesn’t cry, doesn’t call the police, and doesn’t stick around. 48 hours later, she’s in a new town with a new name, new IDs, new hair color. And this isn’t the first time.

But then she meets Blue, who looks almost as hunted as Tanya feels. After committing the unthinkable, the two women form an uneasy alliance—but Tanya can’t help but wonder about Blue’s motives…

When I first picked this up, I definitely anticipated a “Catch Me If You Can” spy-type novel. The Passenger is not that; instead, it’s the story of an average woman, like you or me, trapped by impossible circumstances into running for her life. She’s been running for a decade, and now it’s all she knows.

Naturally, you don’t find out the full story—why Tanya is running—until the end. You can pick up bits and pieces along the way, though, and by the time I got the entire story, the only things I hadn’t pretty much figured out were the details. I don’t mean to say it was predictable, necessarily; the hints and vague exposition seemed pretty deliberate, and I enjoyed being able to slowly put the pieces together rather than getting to the end and needing it spelled out for me (which happens more than I would like to admit!).

The prose is spare, but it gets the job done, and drives home the point that Tanya—or Sonia, or Emma, or Amelia, or whatever name she’s currently going by—is focused entirely on doing what it takes to survive. There’s no time for long winded, flowery descriptions of her surroundings or her emotions when her money is running out and she needs to find shelter. Tanya keeps her readers at arms length (which, when you find out her history, is more than understandable).

In some ways, this style was refreshing: it told me everything I needed to know without going into unnecessary or confusing detail. It was very straightforward, which I can definitely appreciate. On the other hand, I live in the details; I like intimate stories, and I often have little patience for narrators keeping me at arms length. In some spots, it also almost felt like an outline of a story, as if Lutz was writing brief storyline notes and planned to go back and fill them in later. This didn’t happen often, but when several days or a week passed in the span of a page, it did take me out of the experience a little bit.

The truly important thing to know about this book is that it took me a mere five hours to read, so if you’re looking for something that’s going to grab you and not let go, The Passenger is it!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lori Talks The Biggest Book Purge of All

I've written numerous times in the past about being completely overwhelmed by the number of books I own.  I've written about doing book purges in the past.  And I've written about doing the KonMari method of clearing out crap.  I got rid of a good 300 books the first go around.  I had so much crap that I actually did the KonMari method a second time to get rid of even more.  Except the second time sort of failed because I still haven't taken the stuff to a place to actually get rid of it...But I won't focus on that.  The stuff has been separated from the main part of my stuff, which is the goal, and when I finally do dispose of the stuff, I will be rid of another 50 plus books.

Anyway, the title of the post is "Biggest Book Purge of All."  I've mentioned getting rid of a good 350 books, which is pretty extreme, so how could I get rid of even more?  I moved.

When I moved back in November, I made the conscious decision to limit the amount of stuff I brought so that I could streamline my life.  I've followed an internet friend's decision of limiting her wardrobe to mostly black, white, and gray because it all goes together and totally streamlines my mornings.  I decided to not bring a bunch of kitchen gadgets because I don't have much time to cook and I hate having a lot of items I rarely, if ever, use just lying around.  We don't keep a ton of food in our fridge or cabinets and the food we buy actually gets eaten instead of becoming a science project!  I didn't bring a bunch of movies because I don't have time to watch movies.  Etc.

I also made the decision to not bring a bunch of books.  I really haven't looked back, to be honest.  I don't spend a lot of my reading time wishing I had this book or that book on hand.  I brought two book cases.  They are comfortably full (as opposed to being crammed full or having piles of books on the floor without a home).  When I have the time and inclination to read, I can quickly find something, instead of spending huge amounts of time having an existential crisis about what I should read next.

The two book cases aren't huge by any means, but they hold the books I want to be reading.  I love the idea that the books we buy are an entryway into who we aspire to be at a given time.  I'm old enough to be comfortable enough to just take myself as I am and not aspire to be too much else or someone vastly different from who I really am.  That's not to say I don't still try to get outside my comfort zones (I recently bought two Philip K. Dick books), but I'm not interested in reading the complete history of every subject I encounter or buying an author's complete backlist.

Without all of the book clutter, I feel like I can take things as they come.  I can read and enjoy myself, or I can watch TV and enjoy myself--all without feeling guilty about what I am or am not reading.  That kind of freedom is priceless.
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