Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jana Reviews "Illusions" (Wings, #3), by Aprilynne Pike


Title and Author: Illusions (Wings, #3), by Aprilynne Pike

Publishing Info: Harper Collins; May 3, 2011.

How I got this book: Harper Collins sent it to me for their Dark Days of Supernatural summer tour.

Why I read this book: I read the first two, and loved them! I love the idea of faeries and trolls, and the supernatural. The first two were written beautifully, and I was captivated. Of course, the third would be just the same.

Stars: 5



It's really hard to review a book that is number 3 in a series of 4, especially when books 1 and 2 have not been reviewed on TB&TB. I don't want to spoil the first two books for readers who have not yet discovered this series, or have not gotten around to reading them. So what I plan to do is post the blurb from the back cover of all three books. If you have not read books one and two and are interested in doing so, read at your own risk and I will do my best to not include any spoilers!


Book #1, Wings:
"Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.  
Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever."

Book #2, Spells:

"Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?"


Ok, those are the blurbs for the first two books. Luckily they are both pretty vague, which is how my review of Illusions is going to have to be. Illusions was actually my favorite of the three books. It was magical, romantic, adventurous, and I got through it in 24 hours! Here's the blurb for this book:

"Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail."

For the most part, I really like the characters. There's Laurel, her boyfriend David, her sentry/guardian Tamani, her best friend Chelsea, and Chelsea's boyfriend Ryan. There's also a troll-hunter, Klea who I don't like, and Klea's foster child from Japan, Yuki. They are all different, they have personality, and they are all people I could see myself being friends with. These people are not annoying, whiny little teenagers. I forget they are in high school. Thank you, Aprilynne.  It's so nice to read a book where the highschoolers don't act like sterotypical highschoolers.

So, these characters are off attending high school, keeping the secrets of Faerie a secret, going to school dances heavily guarded by more sentries, protecting themselves and their human families, and avoiding the trolls that are out to discover the secret gates to Avalon, home of the faeries. Laurel spends most of her free time with David, Tamani, and/or practicing her faerie skills in her bedroom. This brings in a whole new cast of characters: the other faeries who live in Avalon and train Laurel on being a faerie during her summer breaks. She has one friend there, Katya, who I really like. She's adorable. I also like Laurel's teachers and mentors. The descriptions of Avalon are amazing. It sounds gorgeous, from the scenery, to the description of an out-of-this-world new year's festival, to the architecture, even the clothing and accessories the faeries wear. I would LOVE to go to Avalon!

And then we have the characters in between: the sentries, faeries who keep a watchful eye on everyone else,  and Laurel's parents, who are extremely understanding. SO many characters to keep track of, but it doesn't seem like it while you're reading. It just sounds like a lot when I type them all out in a list like this.

Obviously there's a love triangle, just like there is in any other YA paranormal romance. I like both the guys, David and Tamani, involved in this love triangle! I find myself rooting for one, and then the other. Usually I have one favorite and I root for him throughout the entire book/series. I'm confused on who Laurel should end up with, though. I can only imagine how confused SHE is, since she's the one actually living it. She has a very sweet bond with both the boys. In this book, though, she takes the time to focus on the guy who she's spent most of her time brushing off, and it was adorable! This guy loves her so much, and he is so willing to wait for her to decide. I swear, I wish I had one of these guys going after me. Laurel gets both. It's not fair. Or maybe it is. I think I'd really get stressed out loving two different men.

There's tense moments, romantic moments, tender moments, beautiful writing, amazing settings, fun characters, and magic, magic, magic! The end had a twist I wasn't expecting, and dropped to quite a cliffhanger! I really feel like giving away any more details would spoil everything, so I need to just stop and let you read them for yourself! I hate writing such a vague review, but it must be done! If you have read these, I'd love to hear what you thought! If you haven't read them, hopefully my review pushed you towards giving them a try. I hope I didn't spoil anything for anyone, and at the same time I hope I did the book justice. Thanks so much to Harper Collins for sending me this book! I'm excited for book 4, which has no title yet and is being released sometime in 2012.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Bookish Websites, Organizations, Apps. Etc.





Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



TO SEE FUTURE TOP TEN TOPICS ...click HERE!

Aside from blogs there are quite a few other websites I find myself on throughout my week!

1. Goodreads: This website really got me back into reading again towards the end of my college career. I know some people prefer LibraryThing or Shelfari but I am a Goodreads fan through and through. I was really involved in groups there for a while and I found a genuine community of bookish people that helped me to find new books to read that I might not have ever read before. I also love having a way to catalog what I already own, what I've read and want I want to keep an eye out for.

2. Paperbackswap: I used to use this site a lot more than I do now since I started blogging. I tend to swap or give books I've read to other bloggers but I still find myself putting up books on here when I see I'm moving up the list for a book I really want. It's especially perfect if you don't have a good used bookstore nearby because you can get rid of your old books AND get new ones...and only pay shipping costs for what you send out...which with media mail is pretty darn cheap for a book in good condition!


3. Audible: This is a must for lovers of audiobooks!

4. Shelf Awareness: I subscribe to their newsletter also but this site/newsletter is my source for news with the bookish/publishing world. I learn about so many titles as well as things happening around the country. I like feeling on top of the news.

5. Project Night Night: This isn't just about books but it is one of the things they collect for homeless children in addition to blankets and stuffed animals. A group I was involved in on Goodreads worked with and donated a lot of children's books to the project.

6. Random Buzzers: This is a great site for teens (and lovers of YA) that is part of Random House. You can earn "buzz" bucks by reviewing books, posting pictures, answering questions or participating in discussions. You can redeem your buzz bucks and buy books. They also have great giveaways. I've won SO many books through it!

7. NetGalley: I freaking love NetGalley. It has helped the amount of books I have to find temporary homes for (because I don't keep ARCs unless they are signed) and it gives me something to read on my Nook! Seriously, if you are a blogger, you should be signed up for NetGalley!

8. What Should I Read Next: When I find an author or a book I really really love, I use this so I can find similar books or authors. It's helped me to find some great books or remind me of a book that I have sittingon a shelf somewhere.

9. Inkpop: Before BEA I had vaguely heard this site mentioned but when I was at the Harper Teen breakfast the publicity team took some time to talk about it and I learned so much about it. It's a GREAT website/community for aspiring writers...I believe primarily of YA fiction? But I could be wrong on that one.

10. Better Book World: I love buying books from here! They aren't a non-profit but they do partner up with a lot of various literacy organizations and I love that a good portion of my money goes to something great!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Get to know TB&TB Interview with Kimberly + Giveaway

Hello everyone! Now it’s my turn to tell you about myself. Here goes!


I’m Kimberly. I’m 21, a student at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah and an intern with the Air Force. I am also a hopeless bibliophile. My love for books is what led me to the College Students group on Goodreads, and when the idea of a book blog came up, I jumped at the chance. The opportunity to write about books I’ve read and share it with others? Heck yes! It’s been a great year! I had never blogged before so it was all new to me. I’ve had so much fun sharing what I’ve read with everyone!




Ok, so Jamie gave us a few questions we could choose to answer…
Strangest Encounter While Reading a Book: Ok, I wasn’t actually sitting there reading the book at the time, but I did get a job because of what book I was reading. Or at least it helped me to get my job. I went to interview at a bookstore, a place I’d been dying to work. I was fresh out of high school and needed a job to start saving for college in the fall. When I went for my interview the manager asked me to tell him about a book I was currently reading. I started talking about the book and how much I was enjoying it and why. Turns out that not only was he reading the same book, it was also a book that the store was trying to sell a lot of. (They had a list each month of certain books and the number they needed to sell.) I got the job offer a week later. :) It was a good job too! I worked there for 2 ½ years until I got my full time job with the Air Force. I worked both jobs for a while but school full time, work full time and a part time job as well was just too much.Link
What is Your Dream Bookish Job?: Ah. This one is easy to answer. Here in Ogden we have the famous Historical 25th street. During WWII and up to about the late 70’s, 25th street was notorious. The Union Pacific Train Station is at the bottom of the street, and it brought in a… unique group. 25th was known for its brothels, bars, and other not-so-pleasant types of shops. There is also a rumor (that is mostly likely true) that there are tunnels running underneath the street. They run under the road from the train station to the old Ben Lomond Hotel (which is haunted, by the way. Cool, huh?). These were most likely used during the Prohibition, although there apparently used to be a lot of opium dens there, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the tunnels were used for that as well. It was popularly known as “Two-Bit Street” (my Grandparents referred to it that way). The area obtained such a seedy reputation that Al Capone is rumored to have said that Ogden was too wild a town for him.
Now however, the street has been restored. It is lined with buildings that are over a hundred years old mixed in with some newer ones. There are tiny little antique shops, restaurants, a bakery, fudge shop, ice cream, boutiques, art galleries… So many fun things to explore. I could spend hours on that street poking in and out of the various shops. My dream is to buy one of the old buildings that is still sitting empty. I would have it restored so that it looked like it originally did. High ceilings, lots of brick, old fashioned. Just the way I like it. (I’m a history geek, can you tell?) Anyway, I want to buy one of those old buildings and turn it into a used bookstore. You should see these buildings! Most of them are two stories tall from the street, with a basement as well. (And some of them have doors that lead into the store next to them!) It would be perfect for a used bookstore. And working on 25th street? That would be amazing!
How Do You Organize Your Bookshelves?: I used to be super picky about my books. They were organized first by size, then by genre, then by series/author. Then I started running out of room… Now I put them wherever they fit. I still keep all of my series together though. I hate looking for one book and finding the 3rd book in the series and I find the 1st on a different shelf. I’m also picky about the way my books look. I like them to be in as good condition as possible and they all have to be in the same format. I’m picky enough that I have duplicates of my favorite books so I can lend one out and keep the other in good condition. I’m also a huge cover shopper. If I like a different cover more than the one that I own, I buy the other one. So far I’ve bought books from Canada, the UK, and Australia. Oh, and one thing does remain of my pickiness about organizing. All of my B&N special editions sit on the top of my bookshelf. They look pretty. Oh, and just to show how many books I have, every one of those shelves except for the bottom is doubled. So you can actually only see half of my books. I have more too, mostly children's books, that are packed away in a box. (Sorry about the not so great pictures, it was hard to get a picture of my shelves, my dresser is in the way.)

Do any of your friends, family, or significant other share your passion?: Kinda. My mom reads, and several of my friends enjoy reading. (One of them is even a published author! Check out my review for Cupidity.) A few of my cousins read as well. That’s about it though, I’m definitely the biggest book geek in the family. I’m the one they call when they need a new book to read. Or when a movie comes out that is based on a book, they call me and ask if it’s good, because of course… I’ve already read it and probably own it. (Another of my quirks. Can’t see the movie without reading the book.)
Do you have any authors whose books you'd put on an "auto-read" list...no matter what they wrote?:
Not to copy too many of my fellow TB&TB authors, but J.K. Rowling is a must read. No matter what she writes, I will read it (I'm am so excited about this 'Pottermore' thing!! No matter what it ends up being, J.K. is behind it, so I'm all for it!). Maria V. Snyder is another author that I will read anything by. I’ve read everything she’s published and every short story that she’s written and put on her website.
Ok, so here are a few facts about me:


1.I am a Thespian (theatre geek) through and through. (You may remember one of my posts, Where Bookishness and Thespianism Collide) Part of my degree is in theatre. A major part of my music collection consists of show tunes and soundtracks. The musical I was in closed just a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing. It’s called Shelter, it’s an original musical, never been performed before. I was lucky enough to be part of the incredibly talented cast. I was even on live tv with some of my cast mates! We performed a number from the show. It still amazes me to think I was on tv, doing what I love. Singing and dancing. The show was a fundraiser for the homeless in Salt Lake City. And guess what? We raised over $10,000!!!!! We were also in the local newspaper and the host of ‘Showtunes Tonight’ (it’s a radio program that plays Saturday nights and plays showtunes only) anyway the host mentioned our show and put all of the information about our show on her website, and then she played a song in dedication to the amazing playwright. She played “Thank you for the music” from Mamma Mia. (Below is a picture of the amazing cast of 'Shelter'!)
2.I love anything that will keep me outdoors and in the sun. I go camping at least 3 or 4 times each summer and we always find the best hikes. My favorite places are Zion Nation Park (Angels Landing and The Narrows are incredible!) and Yellowstone National Park. I also will go on hikes with my friends. I’m lucky enough that where I live I’m only about 15 minutes away from some great hikes. I love boating! We used to own a boat but it was old and ended up costing too much to maintain. ( I swear we had more problems with that boat than was normal.) I’ve also recently gotten into Archery. I go out to the outdoor range near where I live 2 or 3 times a week.
3.LOVE quotes. Quotes about friendship, theatre, literature. Anything. My list of favorite quotes on Goodreads is HUGE. Here is one of my newest favorites. It was said by James Earl Jones at the Tony’s this year. "The house lights dim, the curtain opens and the stage begins to glow. Theaters are shrines. They are mysterious temples brimming with magic. The floorboards are worn down by generations of players. The curtains are imbued with secrets of days gone by. The actors in their quest to create wonder and ignite debate dwell among the great spirits of the past."
4. I love animals. Just about all of them. I own two dogs and spoil my relatives and friends pets silly. I was going to be a vet, until I did a job shadow with a vet and I had to watch a surgery...Anyway, you know how you always see on tv or in the movies where a dog will follow the kid home? That really happened to me. Except I was in college at the time. Long story made short, I saw her running in the middle of a very busy road, pulled over and picked her up and put her on the sidewalk just to have her follow me to my car and proceed to fall asleep in my lap. We already had two dogs and couldn’t have another. My grandparents ended up adopting her. She’s the cutest thing ever! Although she can be a bit of a pain, she likes to steal stuff, like hair ties and kids toys, wallets etc… We’ve learned to keep stuff out of the way.
<----This is a picture of Justie (Short for Justice) one of my dogs. : )





5. Although I have very little time to watch tv, I have a couple of shows that I love. NCIS, The Mentalist, and my newest obsession… LOST. I almost hate to admit it because so many people are obsessed with the show. I just started watching it and I can see why people were so into it. It just sucks you in...

So I think I'm the only reviewer that included this, but I thought it would be fun to share who I consider to be my 'hero'. Especially since having him in my life is what helped make me, me! That would be Keith E. Whittaker, my Grandpa or Gramps, as we called him. He was one of the greatest men I've ever known. He was a Wyoming cowboy, he served in the Air Force, and knew everything about anything. Ask him a question and he knew the answer. My cousins and I all have a healthy sense of hero worship for him. He taught us how to tie knots, shoot guns safely (target shooting) , he told us stories about growing up on a ranch and about the war that would leave us wide-eyed for hours afterwords. No one can possibly be more amazing than Gramps. Something my cousin said about him sums it up rather well. "I find it hard to believe there was a cooler cowboy in existence." Gramps died when I was 17, in honor of him my cousins got matching tattoos. They have combat books, a gun, helmet, and the years that he lived. Love you, Gramps. : )

Ok, enough about me! Thank you for reading through this entire post!

GIVEAWAY TIME!


Mine isn’t as fancy as some of the others are. I’m paying for tuition, very expensive tires, and my car so I don’t have a ton of money.
I’m giving away two books. The first is Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson.
The other is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
(The Help was the first book I ever reviewed for TB&TB!)

+ You are not required to be a follower, but we'd sure love it if you were!
+ This giveaway is open internationally.
+ Ends on July 4th.

Fill out the entry form here!

Blog Tour: Tahleen reviews "War and Watermelon" by Rich Wallace

Thanks for joining me today at The Broke and the Bookish for the blog tour of Rich Wallace's War and Watermelon!

Author: Rich Wallace
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 2011
Where I got it: I received this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours. (Thank you!)

Rating: ★★★½

It's the tail end of the summer of 1969, right after the moon landing and before Woodstock, during the Vietnam War and while the Mets started getting hot on their way to the World Series. Twelve-year-old Brody is growing up in New Jersey at this time, anticipating the jump from elementary school to junior high, playing on the football team, and trying to figure out girls—while also trying to come to terms with the bigger issues of the time. Joining his older brother Ryan at Woodstock starts him thinking about peace, love and rock and roll, and how his brother might not always be there—especially once he turns 18.

I enjoyed this story. I mean, once Woodstock was mentioned, I was all over it—I have this great fascination with that insane and incredible concert (I own one of the two CD sets of the concert's recording). There were a lot of music references, including periodic top tens listed by Brody, and very brief descriptions of Joan Baez during Brody's experience at Woodstock.

The setting is so important in this book. We see not only New Jersey during 1969, but also the attitudes of the time—racism is slipped into the dialogue like a whisper, and opinions about the Vietnam War are often vocalized by Brody's father in response to Ryan.

I did have a few minor quibbles with this book. I loved all the music references because of my love for the music of the time, but I wish there was some sort of appendix or something in the back with a little bit of info on all the musicians mentioned. A lot of kids probably won't know who Joan Baez is, or what the songs mentioned sound like (I know I didn't recognize all of them and was too lazy to look them up at the time). I also got pretty bored with the long descriptions of Brody's football games; they seemed unnecessary. I did, however, like the football game in which Brody's female classmate played touch football and did a nice job at beating the other team.

This book would make a really nice companion to a school unit about America in the late '60s. There are themes that are for more mature audiences (there are a lot of references to marijuana and partial nudity), but the language is simple and easy to understand. It's a great way to give younger teens a look at what life was probably like for their parents. I'd recommend it to lovers of the '60s, music lovers, or sports fans looking for a good read.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get To Know The Broke And The Bookish: Interview with Jen & a Giveaway!




 
Hey everyone!  I'm Jen, I'm 24 and I live in Rhode Island.  I've really enjoyed contributing to the blog this past year.  This week has been my favorite because it has also given me the chance to get to know my fellow contributors better!  I love reading and it's been so nice to find other people who love to read as much as I do!  You can also find me on Goodreads and Twitter.



1. What were some of your favorite books as a child?

My three favorite books growing up were Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte's Web and Island of the Blue Dolphins.  I remember reading those over and over and over.  I also liked the Magic School Bus, the Babysitter's Club, Goosebumps, the Boxcar Children, and the Little Golden books.

2.  Favorite books quote:

I'm going to cheat and list two:

"Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories" (Fahrenheit 451)

"Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage" (A Little Princess).

3.  What do your bookshelves look like and how do you organize them?

I have two small bookcases and a random shelf that I keep my books on.  A couple weeks ago I reorganized all of my book storage and donated a bunch of books to the library.  I was so happy!  No more piles of books on the floor!  Then I moved a box and there was a pile of books behind it.  Organization fail.  That pile of books may or may not still be sitting on the floor.  I don't really have a organizational system.  Really I only prefer having all hardcovers together and I keep books by the same authors together on the shelf.  Other than that it's pretty random.

4.  Book that changed your life and why?

The Hunger Games trilogy and Twilight.  Both got me back into reading.  Once I started college I pretty much never picked up a book for leisure.  After I graduated I had a lot more free time (no more papers to write, no more studying) and honestly didn't know what to do with myself.  One day I was in Target and saw The Hunger Games.  The title caught my attention.  I read the summary and didn't think I would like it but for some reason I bought the book and ended up loving it!  A couple months later two girls I worked with talked me into reading Twilight.  I had been resisting, didn't want to give into the hype but I'm actually glad I read it!  Now I just have to give into the Harry Potter craze, I haven't read any of those books yet.

5.  What are you currently reading?  

I started reading Suite Francaise while my car was being inspected the other day.  I've been meaning to read this book for a year and for some reason I'm just now getting around to it.  I'm not too far into it but I'm really enjoying it.  I just got Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Crank from the library and I'll be reading those next. 


Five Random Facts:

1.  Since the beginning of the year I've really gotten into running.  I track my time and distance so I can tell when I'm improving, and I love that I can tell how much I've improved over the past few months.  By the end of the summer I'd like to run a 5K but I'm not quite there yet.

2.  I don't know why but I love buying "touristy" t-shirts when I go somewhere.  It's usually just a shirt with the state/city name but I buy them and wear them on my lazy days around the house.


3.  One day I want to live in a palm tree climate.  I love palm trees and wish I could have one in my backyard.  Unfortunately our winters are too harsh.

4.  I have an obsession with roasted broccoli and macaroni & cheese.  I make both at least once a week for lunch or dinner.  Delicious.

5.  The top three places I'd love the visit are Australia, Ecuador and Prague.  Prague actually tops the list and an honorable mention goes to Paris.


    Giveaway! I am giving away one copy of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and one copy of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider.  I have reviewed both books on the blog.

    Rules:
    + You don't have to be a follower but since it IS our blogoversary & we are celebrating our time in the blogosphere...we'd LOVE for you to check out the blog!
    + Open to International folks
    + Giveaway ends July 10
    + One entry per person

    Fill out this form. You are able to enter for both books!

    Get to Know the Broke and the Bookish- Interview with Heather & a Giveaway



     Hi everyone! I'm Heather and I'm a 25 year old Massachusetts native living in the lovely state of California. I'm the newest contributor at The Broke and the Bookish, and although I've only been blogging here for about 6 months, I've had my own blog (Recklessly Reading) for almost a year now. You can also find me tweeting about books and blogging at @recklessreader. I've had such a blast since joining the book blogging world and it's been so great to share my love of reading with others, although my current job makes it somewhat difficult to read and blog as much as I would like to. Anyway! Read onward to get to know a little more about me :)

    What does your bookshelf look like and how do you organize it? To the left is the main bookcase that I use and just recently filled up (a proud moment!) Most of my books are organized by size and whether or not I've read them. The majority of these have been read. I used to have them organized by color which was a lot prettier, but when I moved I decided to try it this way. This bookcase is up in the loft in my apartment. The other shelf (right) I have is all unread books on a bookcase in my bedroom. I LOVE having this right next to my bed. And look at all the room for more books! I also have a couple of boxes of books under my bed that I keep meaning to list on Bookmooch or bring to a thrift store.

    Strangest encounter you've had while reading a book or while at a bookstore, book event, etc.? Last time I was in Borders, I was browsing the shelves when a young woman talking on her cell phone came up to me and after telling the person on the phone to hold on a second, she said "Excuse me but I just wanted to let you know that I'm getting really good vibes from you right now. You just have this really wonderful aura and I knew I had to tell you right away. Something was telling me I had to come into this store and find you." It was such a weird thing for someone to say to me that I just stood there for a minute awkwardly before walking away.


    Do any of your friends, family or significant other share your passion? None of my friends or family share the same strong passion for reading like I do, but my mom does try to read when she can and many of my friends come to me when they are looking for a new book to read. My boyfriend is really trying hard to get into reading because he knows how much I love it but our tastes are so opposite. It's really weird for me to not even know where to begin when buying books for him.

    My favorite reading spot!
    Where is your favorite place to read? I love to read almost anywhere that is comfortable (although I've read in plenty of uncomfortable places too). One of my favorite spots is on the roof of my apartment. I just finished decorating it up there with furniture and lights and it's such a great place to unwind at the end of the day.

    Book that changed your life and why? Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince is the book that really turned me back on to reading. After spending much of my childhood devouring books (probably at an unhealthy rate), my reading really dropped off between late middle school and midway through college. I had started The Half Blood Prince probably about two years prior to when I actually picked it back up to finish. Once I picked it back up, I couldn't stop reading, and I really haven't stopped since then. I started keeping a list of all the books I read and setting goals for myself each year, beginning with that book.

    5 random facts about me!
    1. I have an extra rib. They call it a floating rib because it just kind of hangs out around my collarbone/neck. It doesn't actually move and you can't see it, but sometimes I have people touch it to freak them out. It sounds creepier than it really is, I promise!

    2. I'm really obnoxious when it comes to burping. My cousin taught me how to burp when I was little and it's something I'm far too proud of. I've had way too many burping contests with guys that I've won proudly.
    One of my favorite photos that I've taken with my Supersampler camera

    3. One of my hobbies aside from reading is photography. I love collecting toy cameras that have fun effects. I used to be obsessed with polaroids and I have hundreds of old photos from college but now I'm building my collection of lomographic cameras.

    4. I have an awful memory when it comes to important things but I will remember random things from when I was little, like old friends phone numbers or the birthday of someone I hardly knew.

    5. I played softball for about 15 years and at one point when I was in high school I was playing for 3 different teams at once. One of those teams I was also the assistant coach for and another I was a team captain. Now that I'm out of school and getting older, I'm going a little crazy not being so busy with sports. I've been thinking about getting into coaching a local girls team but I feel a little creepy since I'm not a parent or relative of any players.

    GIVEAWAY!
    I'm giving away a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan to one lucky winner!
    + You don't have to be a follower but since it IS our blogoversary and we are celebrating our time in the blogosphere...we'd LOVE for you to check out the blog!
    + Open internationally
    + Giveaway ends July 8
    + Fill out the form below to enter!



    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Get to Know The Broke and the Bookish: Interview with Julia + Giveaway!

    Hey awesome readers! Get to know The Broke and the Bookish Blogger’s week continues with my installment. So sit back, relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents… sorry a little side tracked. Let’s begin again.

    This is Julia. I’m 24 and I work as a traveling computer software installer at a company based near my hometown in Ohio (which has slides… the headquarters, not the hometown… though the hometown probably does as well, as it does have some parks). I enjoy singing, being sarcastic, and of course reading.

    I feel like this is the part of the introduction where I would point you to my blog. Currently it is, shall we say, in a state of hibernation? Unfortunately, even though I have had my job a year (this week! We started the blog and I started my job the same day!) I am still trying to figure out that work/life balance thing. Anyway, my Goodreads account is way better for now. And I occasionally freak out about book like stuff on twitter (@bambbles). Okay. Down to the good stuff shall we?

    1. What does your bookshelf look like and how do you organize it?
    I think my preferred method of organization can be called “shove it if it fits there” As of right now I am living with my parents to save some money, so I have one room for me. One relatively small room with, at the current count, three bookcases (a fourth is in the garage because the only other space I’d have in the room is in front of the door. Secret passageway time, maybe?).

    I wish I could show you pictures. Unfortunately, I am on the road in Kalamazoo and there are no bookshelves in my hotel room! Quite a misfortune.

    2.How do you balance reading and school/work?
    Well, it took a while but I have struck a small balance with the reading (not so much with the blogging.. and on time delivery…). It involves weekend reading a good deal. The best part about traveling though is the airplanes/airports where all I can really do is read. Plane rides are best past with my Nook or pre-Electronic device reading material (magazine, book-book, Skymall, etc.)!

    In fact this afternoon it was beautiful here and I had some time to myself and just wandered, found a park and took out my book. It was bliss. I finished it today so tomorrow I may try and find some cool used book store. (The book was The Golden Compass if anyone was wondering).

    3. Most awesome thing about books and social media
    So I have had some pretty interesting experiences since merging my love of reading and love of computers with authors’ twitters and/or facebooks. I absolutely adore following authors on both media, especially chatting back and forth on twitter (it’s happened! I die each time it does!) But I have one stand out squeal moments that kept me glowing for weeks.

    It happened on Facebook. I adore romance novels and was following Julia Quinn, one of my favorite authors (sidebar: She friended me! I have no idea to this day how she found me but I just about died on the spot when I got that request… this was before fan pages). Anyway, she posted about how she had some of her books translated in different languages to give away to library’s foreign language sections and if you were a librarian to contact her. Not being a librarian I was chagrined, so I posted “Any way I could sign my library up? I am trying to keep my Chinese skills fresh and would love to do that by reading one of your books” She messaged me and told me she would send me a copy directly. I was floored. I still have the business card with the handwritten “Enjoy!” written on it along with the book! So awesome!

    4. Do any of your friends, family or significant other share your passion?
    Yes, actually. My sister reads quite a bit and is a great companion for book releases, trips to the bookstore, and just in general fan-girling. She is the one picture with me. I am in the orange.

    My parents really cultivated my love for reading by reading to me every night starting super young. I loved books for forever. There is video footage of me at my second birthday opening presents. I get a cabbage patch doll, put it aside, new dress, into the pile, book about how milk is made, start reading immediately! My dad is a big reason I use the library as much as I do. I think it was Wednesday that was library day. Every week after school we would go and just leave with heaps of books.

    My cousin was the one who introduced me to romance novels around when I was 12 or so. A lot of my close friends read and I get some great recommendations from them. So I guess what I am saying is it is strange for me when I meet and interact with someone who doesn’t like reading. Hearing that is a foreign to me as someone telling me they don’t like fresh air.

    5.Do you have any bookish quirks?
    This is kind of weird, but I often finding myself thinking of what a certain character would be like if s/he existed in the real world. Would their magical characteristics carry over into this world? How would they adapt to things like microwaves? Would they stay or want to go back? Could I convince them one way or the other? I thought a lot about logistics because I used to dream of creating a machine that when programmed correctly could take a character and take them out of the book. I mean, seriously. Who wouldn’t love to talk to Mr. Darcy?

    On the flip side, I think of how I would adapt in the world of the book. Questions like what house would I be in, what would my daemon be, how would I survive in the Hunger Games? But I don’t think that’s as unique :)

    Random list time:
    1. In high school, I had a Geocities page for characters in books/movies I thought were… lustable and made badly photoshopped shrine for each. Sadly, Geocities is no more, but I will link you to Oocities page that has the header image and the text. I was particularly proud of Aragorn.

    2. I like to create musical numbers out of stupid or everyday scenarios. I have been known for songs that range from “I am unloading the dishwasher” to a parody on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’s song “Everybody Ought to have a Maid” entitled “Everybody Ought to have a Snape”

    3. I like really spicy food, a benefit from living in Chengdu, China followed by Seoul, Korea.


    4. For a basic English class in college, I once wrote a research paper on romance novels. I got an A.

    5. I like photography and traveling. Combing the two you get awesome things to take picture of. Like the Chicago skyline.

    NOW THE GIVEAWAYS:

    I reviewed both of these for the blog and wanted to share the "love".

    First, we have a book from the romance genre that The Smart Bitches have said is the book you have non-romance novel readers start off with if they are curious, The Spymaster's Lady. Don’t worry. It has been reprinted with a less…chesty cover. So if you are interested in dipping your toe and want to do it cost free to you, enter the contest.

    The second book is The Science of Kissing. This was a really interesting non-fiction book that goes into the science behind the world’s favorite pastime. Really engaging and worth the read.

    Rules:
    + You don't have to be a follower but since it IS our blogoversary and we are celebrating our time in the blogosphere...we'd LOVE for you to check out the blog!
    + Open to International folks
    + Giveaway ends two weeks from today which is July 9th

    Fill out this form. You are able to enter for both prize packs! Hope that was a enjoyable extra special glimpse into my life.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Get to Know the Broke and the Bookish: Interview with Tahleen + Giveaway!

    Let's get it started.
    I'm so glad I'm getting a chance to let all of you know a little bit about who I am! I hope you all enjoy the reviews and posts we all write, but it's certainly nice to get to know a little bit more about the people behind the blogs we all read.

    My name is Tahleen, @Tahleen on Twitter, and I'm a 24-year-old graduate student of library sciences at Simmons College in Boston. I work at a library part time, and have worked at a Barnes & Noble for about 7 (!) years—though I will be leaving soon to start another bookstore job, this time at an independently owned children's bookshop! I'm very excited about that. Anyway, here is the actual interview with me:


    1. What is a book that changed your life, and why?
    When I was in elementary school, I discovered a book called A Voice in the Wind by Kathryn Lasky. I loved it so much that I ended up checking it out of the library once every summer to reread it—I rarely find a book that I love so much that I'm willing to reread it 8+ times. This book started my deep interest and desire to visit the Southwest. I have yet to do this, but it's been a dream of mine since I read this book. This was my first taste of setting as a character, and I've sought out books set in the same area since. Side note: I was fortunate enough recently to have Kathryn Lasky sign my copy of this!

    2. How do you balance reading and school/work?
    I'm lucky in that I work with books at my job, and for some of my classes. Unfortunately my lit classes have concluded, but I picked up a lot of books that I'd never have thought of otherwise because of them. The best way I've found to slip reading into my life is audiobooks—I commute to Boston for school and have a fiance that lives 30 minutes away from me, so I make use of the time in my car by listening to the books I can't find time to read during the day. I also make time to read, either before bed or on breaks at work. Also, my computer had to be sent off for all of last week and I used the time I usually spend online reading instead—it's so sad how much time I'm on the computer!

    Me and Bill Bryson's signature!
    3. Do you have any authors you'd put on an auto-read list, no matter what they wrote?
    Well, I actually have yet to read all the works by these authors, but I plan to do so at some point in my life. First of all, Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson is my personal hero and I love everything about him. He is an awesome narrator for his own audiobooks, he is hilarious, he has great perspectives and makes fantastic observations of everyday life, and he is probably the most genial man I've met in my life (I had the great fortune of meeting him for about 10 seconds at the Boston Book Fest last year, but it was probably in my top ten best moments of my life. He shook my hand!). I still need to read a number of his books, but I will get to them in my life.

    Another author on my auto-read list is John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. (Though I did like Paper Towns better.) I have An Abundance of Katherines waiting on my bookshelf, and I can't wait for his next work to be published (or at least announced—we're close to getting a title I hear).

    4. What is your favorite book from childhood?


    This scary cover is the one I had!
    Aside from A Voice in the Wind, my all-time favorite book ever is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. As far as I'm concerned, that book is perfect and I will read it over and over again. I still get goosebumps every time I read the line "There is such a thing as a tesseract."

    The new, pretty cover.

    5. Do you have any friends that share your passion?
    Unfortunately my non-blogger friends and my fiance don't really share my bookish enthusiasm (not to say my fiance doesn't read—he does! He's just not crazy like me), though I try to get them into it. The problem is I love teen and children's literature, which is not an easy passion to share with others. It's part of the reason I sought out an online community with whom I could share my love of books and reading, starting with GoodReads and then moving on to the blogging community. Though, being in the Simmons program has brought me into contact with a lot of great people who read the same things I do.

    Five Random Things About Me
    1. I am a singer (mezzo soprano, woot).

    2. I am getting married next May!

    3. I HAVE to eat breakfast every morning (oatmeal or cold cereal please!), unless I'm taking communion at church that day.


    4. I have an incredibly good knowledge of actors and movies, and often quote the ones that I love the best (Little Giants, Heavyweights, anything with Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller pretty much. Except Meet the Parents and sequels—far too awkward for me).

    5. I went to Ithaca College for my undergraduate degree (in English, surprise) and miss Ithaca a whole lot. I've visited the area about four or five times since I graduated in 2009 and hope to visit again!

    A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
    Giveaway!


    Just for sticking this long with me (in both this post and the blog as a whole), I'm giving away your choice of either one copy of Bill Bryson's book, A Walk in the Woods, or a copy of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, which I loved and which draws heavily from my childhood favorite, A Wrinkle in Time. Here are the rules:

    *You do NOT have to be a follower to enter.
    [WHEN YOU REACH ME]BY STEAD, REBECCA(AUTHOR)[HARDCOVER][WHEN YOU REACH ME]ON 2009*You must be 13 years or older to enter.
    *Giveaway ends June 25, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
    *One entry per person.

    Fill out the entry form below!



    That's all for me! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line or ask in the comments.
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