Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Jen's Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To

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 and bookworms. 

Check out future Top Ten Tuesday topics, including some new one's listed for March at the Top Ten Tuesday page!

I thought that this week's topic would be so easy for me.  Books and music are two of my favorite things!  I had iTunes, Spotify, last.fm, Goodreads and YouTube open while trying to match up which ten songs would go best with the ten books I had selected.  Needless to say, this topic took way more time than it should have.  BUT I did have a lot of fun with it!

*Please note that I probably changed my mind at least three times before decided on one song per book.  I'm too indecisive this week.

Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To:
(and please tell us the song and why you'd pick it for the book!)

  1. Perfect Fifths: "Here's To The Night" - Eve 6.  I don't want to give anything away but I think if you've listened to the song and read the book you'll understand why I picked it.  "In a day and a day love I'm gonna be gone for good again"..."Here's to goodbye tomorrow's gonna come too soon"
  2. Wanderlove: "Takeoffs and Landings" - The Ataris.  Confession: I haven't read this book yet.  BUT based upon the synopsis and multiple reviews I've read I think this song fits perfectly.  "Passport, customs, carry on/remember to shut off all your electronic devices/Fell asleep on Tuesday woke up Monday afternoon/I slept right through your International Date Line"
  3. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour: "The Mixed Tape" - Jack's Mannequin.  I can't even come up with an reason why I think this song goes with the book.  It just does (to me).  "I'm swimming through the stereo/I'm writing you a symphony of sound"
  4. The DUFF: "The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World. To me, The DUFF, was about being comfortable in your own skin and not worry about what others are saying about you.  I feel the same thing about this song. "Hey, you know they're all the same/You know your doing better on your own, so don't buy in/Live right now, just be yourself/It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else"
  5. Revolution: "Firework" - Katy Perry.  First, fireworks play a pretty big part in Revolution.  Second, both main characters, Alex and Andi, feel like can't escape certain problems in their own lives.  "Do you already feel buried deep/six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing"
  6. Fever: "The Lucky Ones" - Brendan James. Okay, so I haven't read this book yet either, but based upon how Wither ended I think this song would be great for Rhine and Gabriel.  " City lights as far as the eye can see/You and I, we will live differently"
  7. A Northern Light: - "Anything To Say You're Mine" - Etta James.  I'd consider this Grace's song.  She's a minor character that plays a big role in the story but the song is a perfect fit for her.  "You promised to write me each and every day/But I haven't heard from you since you went away"
  8. The Hunger Games: "Survivor" - Destiny's Child.  Imagine Katniss belting this out to the Capitol in the arena.  "You thought would fail without you but I'm on top/You thought it would be over by now but it won't stop/Thought I would self destruct but I'm still here"
  9. The Great Gatsby: "Play Crack The Sky" - Brand NewOne of my favorite songs.  Ever.  It has been awhile since I read The Great Gatsby but I remember thinking this song fit well!  "The wrong words will strand you, come off course while you sleep"
  10. And I'm drawing a blank.  SO close.  I'll try my best to think of one more song before the end of the day!
Don't forget to link your list! I'm SO excited to go through other lists to discover new music (and books!).

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Daisy Discusses Medicine and Fiction

    This was originally posted on my personal blog Between the Pages

    So I might have mentioned sometime that I'm studying medicine and this always makes me a bit hesitant to read a book or watch a movie dealing with health related issues. Or at least where it's a huge part of the plot. Cause there are SO many inaccuracies there and I almost always spot them and it bothers me.

    Why does this bother me? Well, I'm living and breathing this stuff sometimes 50-60 (and sometimes more) hours a week and if you can manage to research whole time periods as an author/movie/TV producer you can't tell me you can't research a disease. It sometimes seems a bit sloppy to me.

    I always annoy people around me with my shouting of various forms of: 'that SO doesn't happen like that'...

    Some basic examples of what has bothered me and basic stuff:

    *If you're a doctor, that doesn't mean you know EVERYTHING about EVERY specialty. I mean, really, I want to be a GP, that doesn't mean I will know how to do complex surgeries. Especially not by myself.

    *Not all brilliant doctors are jackasses:

    I think pretty much everyone knows the character this man plays. Med School isn't very accepting of this kind of behaviour. Not even if you're a genius.

    *You don't take X-rays of a head to see if there's infarction/bleeding/tumors etc. It's a CT or MRI, X-rays are for bones.

    *On the same note: I read a book recently in which they checked for ligament/meniscus damage with an X-ray of the knee. You can't see those on an X-ray.

    *If you're mortally wounded and will die within seconds, you usually don't have time/strength to do anything meaningful in said seconds.

    *If while making love the man pulls out before the finish line so to speak, the woman can still get pregnant (this annoys me in historical romance).

    *On the pregnancy theme: if it's a woman's first time giving birth, it takes hours for the baby to arrive from the first time you feel a contraction. Seriously, some take 24 hours (or even more). So the frantic screaming of 'THE BABY'S COMING' right after the water broke is a bit premature. Unless you're really lucky (but believe me, that doesn't happen a lot).

    Ok, so I can't think of more examples at the moment though I'm sure I've rolled my eyes at other stuff and I can tell you more things that don't happen like they do in books/movies, but some of those have gruesome details that aren't very pleasant to discuss. I may in the future post more on this when I come across it.

    So, have you ever come across anything medical-related that made you think 'wait, does that really happen like that?' or do you do the same thing when you come across stuff that's related to your line of work? Cause I'm positive mistakes aren't only made in my field ;)

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Jana Reviews Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

    Title and Author: Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
    Publishing Info: February 28, 2012 (March 2012) by Kensington US, Avon/HarperCollins UK (will be released in Original trade paperback, retailing at $15 US/$16.95 Can.)
    Special Features: Discussion Guide and Asian-fusion recipes
    How I got this book: Kristina contacted TB&TB, and offered up a copy if someone was interested. I snatched it up immediately.
    Why I read this book: I was born in Japan, and was excited to read a book with ties to my birthplace.
    Stars: 4

    "A skilled violinist sacrifices her career aspirations and family's approval to secretly elope with her Japanese American boyfriend -- the night before Pearl Harbor is bombed. Torn between sides, she will make choices few people in history dared.
    Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy. 

    When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost. 

    Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss--an authentic, moving testament to love, forgiveness, and the enduring music of the human spirit."

     (Watch this trailer. It's amazing, and tells a lot about the book, and what inspired Kristina to tell this story.)

    I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to read this book. Japan is filled with amazing people, and I can't imagine the prejudices they have dealt with, especially during the time period of this story.

    I really felt for Maddie and Lane throughout the entire book. Their relationship was kept a secret, they had to elope last-minute because Lane's father had already picked out his wife, and then the war and accompanying tragedies split them apart and made their lives so much harder than anyone deserves. Both their families were incredibly against their marriage. Maddie's brother was so mad about it that it solidified his decision to join the army and fight the Japanese. I admire both Maddie and Lane for their strength, for following their hearts, for looking past the opinions of others, and for sticking with each other, no matter the hardships involved.

    I learned a lot from this book. I was not aware of the camps the Japanese-Americans had to stay in once Pearl Harbor was bombed. You only had to be 1/16th Japanese to receive this kind of punishment. Children were taken from their families. Some of the Japanese-Americans were forced to enlist in the US Army and spy on the Japanese, translating documents and sneaking into the fields at night to eavesdrop on their plans of ambush or attack. I'm grateful to Kristina for educating me.

    Kristina's writing style is gorgeous. She uses symbolic and lyrical passages that distract you from all the underlying sadness. I felt so many different emotions throughout. The heartwarming romance, the constant hope of a better life for these people, and the devastating tortures and death.

    The Bridge of Scarlet Leaves a versatile read, and has a little bit of everything. Kristina painted the war as it really was, and I think it's good to be reminded of what mankind is capable of. I think the main message of this book is to remember our pasts, learn from the, and make changes to better the future. I love that!

     About the author: Kristina McMorris

    The recipient of nearly twenty national literary awards, Kristina McMorris is the author of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, declared a "gripping story [that] hits all the right chords" by Publishers Weekly and a "sweeping yet intimate novel" by Kirkus Reviews. Her critically praised debut novel, Letters from Home, inspired by her grandparents' WWII courtship, achieved additional acclaim as a Reader's Digest Select Editions feature, a Doubleday/Literary Guild selection, and a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Historical Fiction. A host of weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, Kristina has been named one of Portland's "40 Under 40" by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in the Pacific Northwest, where she refuses to own an umbrella.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Jen Reviews "The Stormchasers" by Jenna Blum

    Title:  The Stormchasers
    Author:  Jenna Blum
    Published:  Penguin, 2010
    Source:  Library
    Rating:  3 stars


    As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather-enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses- Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic . . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever.

    Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers-passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption- and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself . . . or to someone else.


    Tornadoes.  They scare me.  A lot.  Luckily they rarely occur in New England.  However, I have been down south enough to experience the scare of tornadoes.  I've never seen one (and hope I never do!) but I have been close enough to hear the sirens go off, woken up at 4 a.m. and been told to go hide in a bathroom and see the damage the next day.  Scary, scary stuff.  Reading about active tornado cells and the characters going after tornadoes definitely made my heart rate go up!

    I was really interested in the twin perspective of the book.  When I was little I always used to wish I had a twin.  I think this was mostly due to watching way too many Mary-Kate and Ashley movies (Passport To Paris was hands down my favorite).  I always wanted that "twin connection" with another person.  Someone who knew what I was feeling even though we apart.  Unfortunately I thought that the twin relationship in this book was a little on the grotesque side.  It just felt uncomfortable reading about it at times.

    Another thing that bothered me in the book was the over-hyped "big secret".  When the secret is finally revealed it does explain a certain behavior of Charles.  You do understand why he acts a certain way but I was expecting a huge consequence to the secret being told.

    Karena joins a storm-chasing tour in hopes that she can find her brother.  I was surprised to learn that these type of tours legitimately exist!  Talk about adventure tourism.  Would you ever sign up for a week long storm-chasing tour?  I wouldn't!  I'd be on pins and needles for a week.

    Overall, this was a good book...but I was expecting more.  A few years ago I read Blum's first book, Those Who Save Us, and loved it.  It was horrifying and tragic but such a great story.  The Stormchasers is a good book, but not on the same level as Those Who Save Us.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Kimberly's Top Ten Books To Save If Her House Were Abducted By Aliens (or any other disaster struck)

    So... This list definitely shows off my geeky side. I know that replacing most of these would be simple, but still... I'd cry to see any of my books lost in any sort of disaster (heck, I wince when I drop a book or it falls off my desk) but there are a few that are my true favorites, and I'd risk quite a bit to save.

    1. Complete works of Shakespeare- First it's Shakespeare. Not only was it a gift, but it's leather bound and pretty and nice and it would be the first of the books I'd grab.
    2. Complete collection of Sherlock Holmes- I'm a hopeless Sherlockian. I mean, I have an entire board dedicated to Sherlock Holmes on Pinterest. This book would definitely make it out of the house.
    3. All of the Harry Potter books (yes I'm counting this as one book) - Not only is this my favorite series ever, but from the 4th book on I got them at midnight releases, I'm rather attached to them and the memories of when I got them. I feel giddy just thinking about standing in line waiting for midnight to come. They're all a little worn from being read so many times, but I won't replace them because of how I got them.
    4. Scripts from every play I've been in- So this may not count as a book exactly, but my scripts would be another 'book' that I would grab. Wonderful stories, all of my notes and blocking, lots of memories.
    5. The Grimmerie- Backstage stuff for the musical Wicked. I love this book, it tells me all of the amazing stuff that went on backstage of my favorite musical.
    6. Collection of Charles Dickens- From some of the other books on this list, I'm sure you can tell I'm a sucker for classics. Dickens would definitely be saved from the fire.
    7. His Dark Materials- I adore this series and I have a beautiful box set of it.
    8. The Book Thief- Oh how I love this book. I've read it a couple of times and still every time I see it on my shelf I feel like pulling it down and reading a random chapter here or there.
    9. So You Want to Be a Wizard- I read this series around the same time as Harry Potter, probably the only fantasy YA series that I will compare to Harry Potter. (HP is still my favorite though)
    10. Religious texts- Sorry, just had to throw this one on there. My set of scriptures would be in the (rather large) stack of books that I would rescue from the fire.

    Your turn! Can't wait to see what everyone else has on their lists!

    Julia Muses on Love Triangles and YA fiction

    I have strong opinions about love triangles. I don't really know where these feelings generated, but they've been slowly simmering with each new YA summary I read on Goodreads that runs along these lines:

    "Girl has always been the outcast in the crowd. Her and FriendForever have never dated, but everyone says that should. Girl doesn't know how she feels about FriendForever. One day she runs into BadBoy with his hot guy smolderer, who probably has a supernatural secret. She starts to fall for BadBoy, but all of a sudden FriendForever declares his feelings for Girl. Girl doesn't know what to do and proceeds to lead both on for multiple books in the series."

    Clearly, I am not a writer (ha), and granted there usually is more going on in the book than just this. But after reading summary after summary that all sort of sound like the same book, as well as some books where the love triangle is the main definer of the lead girl, it makes me tired and not even wanting to try.

    How do I know, though? How do I know that the summary really isn't at all like the book is written? Am I cheating myself out of some good books because I am turned off that these books, frankly, sound like Twilight knockoffs?

    I mean there are YA love triangle books that I really enjoyed. The Hunger Games, a triangle through the whole series had WAY more going on than just the love triangle. Katniss was never defined by the man she loved. The love triangle never felt too contrived to me. I would have missed out on a great series if I had read the summary and thought "Urg, not another one!"

    Luckily, the last few YA books I have read, Cinder and A Million Suns have been one love interest plus a plot. Because of this my cynicism on YA novels has subsided a bit since these were both 4 star books for me.

    I can't help that I am still avoiding books with two boys. I am not sure if this is changing, since I did just read Everneath. The description of the book made me think it would fall into the love triangle category, but the content made it clear to me there wasn't much of a choice between the two (in my opinion). As the series goes on, we'll see what happens and if this changes.

    If I wasn't so big into mythology, I would have never read Everneath and thus missed out on a great book. Am I missing out on more?

    I guess what I want to open the comments for is discussion on this trend in YA novels.
    • Do you think love triangles in YA a trend or am I just being hypersensitive?
    • What books do you think did love triangles in fiction well and which poorly?
    • What YA books that have a description that may seem like it has a love triangle should I make sure read?
    When I started this post, I had just read my first historical romance novel with an obvious love triangle. The premise was interesting, the execution poor. (Review here if interested) Can triangles be done well and the center of the story? It started me thinking about love triangles and how much I like to avoid them, which lead to me thinking of YA. That is where this came from. My initial anger has somewhat cooled, but I am still interested in what you think. I will be following the comments with bated breath on this one. :)

    PS: Another issue with YA books that I have right now is they are all series? Any good stand alone YA books (with or without a love triangle) while we are at it? I am sick of the cliff-hangers!

    Note: Since I eschew YA love triangles, the novels that make up the heart graphic came from a few Goodreads love triangle lists. If they are not actually love triangles, then mea culpa.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Win $100 E-Gift Card For Barnes & Noble From TB&TB & CouponCabin

    I've got an exciting giveaway for all you fellow broke bookworms! I can count on both hands how many giveaways we've done in almost two years but I COULD NOT PASS THIS ONE UP.  CouponCabin has offered us a $100 e-gift card to give away to one of our readers! You could knock quite a few books off your mountain of wishlist books and new releases! While I'm no extreme couponer, I do always check CouponCabin for just about anything I'm buying online or in-store because let's face it...I live up to the BROKE part of this blog. And hey, if you are the lucky winner who gets the $100 gift card to Barnes and Nobles, you should check out their Barnes & Noble coupon section for deals on things like free shipping over $25!

    We're going to make it easy peasy to enter, dear book lovers,  because we know you are strapped for time! Use the Rafflecopter entry below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    By entering this promotion, each participant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries and their respective representatives, officers, directors, shareholders, agents and employees from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions or liability of any kind resulting from or arising from participation in this promotion.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Swoon Swoon Swoon

    Last Wednesday, on my personal book blog -- The Perpetual Page-Turner, I wrote a post containing wedding readings from literature and poetry. I'm planning my wedding and pretty much every Wednesday I write a"Wedding Wednesday" post about bookish weddings and my own journeys in wedding planning. Since my fiance is not in fact bookish in the least bit, I have to try and find little ways to incorporate my own reading obsession into the wedding in subtle ways. I found some romantic and swoonworthy passages for sure but as I was perusing through ModCloth's blog I found THIS and I think it would be perfect for using on our program or I could maybe smaller lines from literature in part of my decor in some way.

    BUT THIS ONE. This is my favorite. I love the art so much and that line. I just LOVE it. I had included some Neruda in my wedding readings post but this one is fabulous!

    Check out ModCloth's blog to see more from Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and more!!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Book tour: The Turning of Anne Merrick + giveaway

    The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins
    Reviewed as a part of Historical Fiction Book Tours
    Christine Blevins' website: http://christineblevins.com/
    Christine Blevins on Twitter: @Author_CBlevins
    Tour Event Hashtag: #TurningofAnneMerrickVirtualTour

    Okay, so last week I gushed about how the early 1800s is one of my favorite time periods to read about, but Revolutionary America is right up there as well. As silly as it may sound, watching the movie The Patriot really got me into history and reading all kinds of historical fiction. In Christine Blevin's new book, The Turning of Anne Merrick, we get a great book set right in the middle of the action surrounding the American Revolution.

    This book is technically part of a series, but it can stand alone. I was only able to read a small part of its predecessor, The Tory Widow, and was not confused jumping into this one. In my opinion, this book is much more action-packed and faster paced than the other. Anne Merrick is a rebel spy in a British war camp; she sends sneaky notes to the Americans on the what the British are up to. Getting into the lives and minds of the British during this war was so interesting, as usually we only see things from an American perspective. I thought it funny how they still went to balls, plays, and fancy dinners -- in Anne's words, "as if they'd already won the war." 

    Anne herself is a great heroine, she's very likable and brave, but I really think that the secondary characters are the stars. Sally, Anne's Scottish servant and friend, is my favorite. She's sassy, fun, and has the best lines in the entire book. Titus and Pink, freed slaves, are great companions to Anne too, but Jack, Anne's love interest, takes the bait. What a hunk! Some of the officers and their wives in the British camps are really spectacular as well. I loved the wide array of personalities and characters in this book.

    As I said before, there is so much action here! I was in my Postcolonial Theory class (ironic, huh?) reading a bit about Anne barely outrunning and escaping from British soldiers on horseback -- I was seriously so nervous and out of breath while reading. I can't wait to go back and finish The Tory Widow. Overall, The Turning of Anne Merrick is a GREAT historical fiction book for all, and it doesn't hurt that the author, Christine Blevins, is a lovely person as well. Highly recommended! 

    This may be the coolest thing I've ever seen. If you love all things historical, like me, this is the giveaway for you. (Click the picture to get a closer look).

    "18th Century Stationery – just the sort of sundry Anne Merrick peddled to those bloodyback scoundrels in Burgoyne’s camp.  Supplied with a quill pen and wrapped for convenient stowing amidst your gear, these sheets and envelopes are perfect for scrieving all manner of secret messages – invisible ink not included."

    How awesome is this? This giveaway is international, click HERE to enter! You have until February 22nd.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Top Ten Books That Broke Julia's Heart A Little

    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.
    For future Top Ten Tuesday topics, check them out here!

    Hello everyone! Happy Valentine's Day! Julia (The Competitive Bibliomaniac) here :) Last year for the Valentine's edition of Top Ten Tuesday, I shared my Top Ten Favorite Love Stories. This year we decided to switch it up and go a little anti-valentine's day.

    Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little
    FYI I am going to be as vague as I can to prevent any spoilers

    1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    Hilariously enough, this book was on my list of best Love stories too. But then and now, I must admit that Rhett and Scarlett's relationship was tumultuous at best. I cried through the last 100 pages of that book.

    2. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
    Lyra is such a heartfelt little girl, sort of thrust into a quest. I am constantly heart broken from the love she receives from her family. But the end of this book seriously ravaged me.

    3. The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
    Oh this book again on one of my lists. This was the story of 4 military brothers. You grow to love these guys so much. Then the end (sense a theme here?) rips out your heart and fries it on a plate.... I need to reread this one.

    4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
    Oh JK Rowling. My innocence was stolen with some of the earlier books. Shock carried me through another book. But the final book just, gawd! I was trying to read a pivotal forest scene in a dorm room without waking my roommate. It was tough.

    5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    Oh Suzanne Collins. How much do I love you for this series? Let me count the ways... But in all seriousness, this first book slayed me. The 3rd book slayed me, too, but I was prepared for sadness in the end of series book (see entry: Deathly Hallows). This one just took my expectations and heart and squeezed.

    6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    A book narrated by Death you go into knowing it will be a sad book. This book had ways of lulling me into security and then pulling out the rug. It was a great book.

    7. On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
    Surprise! A romance novel that tore my soul. The premise for this one may not tear every soul, but when I reread this recently I was in a particular time in my life where I could really relate to what Lucy was going through. It is the last of the Bridgerton novels too, so there is always that normal heart break when a beloved series ends.

    8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    This is the other book that was on the original love list. If you know anything about this book, you can pretty much surmise that it will be heartbreaking. Time Traveling away from the one you love, urg. How horrid.

    9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
    I think this was the first book I read that I was unsatisfied with the ending. Later in life I would realize I just wanted the "Disney ending" My heart was broken in the book. Love should conquer all right? I guess you never forget your first right?

    10. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
    So this was like a good heart break if that makes any sense. Lord Ian has some sort of Autism, maybe Asperger's. It's a historical novel so its not diagnosed. But the way people treat him, breaks my heart. It is mended by the end though, so that is good :)

    So that is my list. What's yours? Share it below!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Winner of the mental_floss giveaway!

    Congratulations to Emily T. for winning the copy of mental_floss: The Book!

    And thank you to all who entered.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Daisy's Review of Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

    Title/Author: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
    Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury Children's Books, October 25th 2011
    How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

    Goodreads summary: "Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one - other than Celie, that is - takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom."

    THIS BOOK! Seriously, THIS BOOK! It was so extremely CUTE and awesome! If I had a little sister or cousin or any little girl in my life right now, I would give it to her. You want the little girls you know to read this book. Little boys too, though this feels to me more like something a girl would enjoy.

    Almost the whole time I was reading this, I had a big smile on my face! It was adorable and funny and I loved how strong Celie and her brother and sister were, faced with everything! I mean, I don't know if I could have done all that if I was supposed to run a castle without my parents suddenly.

    And the castle, seriously, the castle is AWESOME! I mean, really, living in something that is alive and thinking and adding rooms! And especially changing them so the luxury of your room showed how much it liked you! AMAZING! I LOVED the castle! And I loved that the castle loved Celie and vice versa.

    And if you have a faded stuffed toy that changed into a real lion? You've got me! I so recognized the being teased about the faded, loved, old toy. And really, I just loved Celie, our main character. She was fabulous and such a caring, intelligent girl. I love smart girls!

    I had never read a book by Jessica Day George before, but after this, I'll be sure to again. And you should all as well!

    My rating: 5+ stars

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Tahleen reviews: "Out of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper

    TitleOut of My Mind
    Author: Sharon M. Draper
    Publisher: Recorded Books, 2010 (print available from Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010)
    Narrator: Sisi Aisha Johnson

    Rating: 4.5 stars

    Melody knows thousands of words. She is pretty sure she has a photographic memory, and she has synthesthesia—to her, music has color and ta
    ste. But even though she's 10 years old, no one in her life knows any of this. She has never spoken a single word in her life and has no way of communicating to her teachers, parents or anyone else. Melody has cerebral palsy, making it impossible for her to move or speak.

    Sharon Draper brings us inside Melody's mind in this novel, told from Melody's own perspective. Her struggles, frustrations, and pain grabbed hold of my heart while I listened to Sisi Aisha Johnson's lovely narration. I became really invested in Melody and her family. I got angry when people treated her poorly, I got frustrated when people couldn't figure out what she wanted, I got sad when she knew she'd never be able to tell her parents with her own voice that she loves them. When bad things happen to anyone she loves, I got sad and sick with her. Often after I shut off the car to go to work, Melody's story stayed with me and I wondered what would happen to her when I finally returned to the story.

    But ultimately, this is a story of survival and of hope. There is help for Melody, and she and her family do their best to get it. Melody begins to integrate into the regular schoolrooms, not just in the special education classroom, and begins to be challenged in her schoolwork for the first time. And finally, she finds a way to communicate better than she ever has in her life, leading to a whole new set of challenges for her.

    Johnson does a wonderful job narrating. She sounded like a young girl, giving distinct voices to the different characters in Melody's life. She gives Melody a voice full of yearning and anger and sorrow and hope.

    Out of My Mind not only is a great book to read if you're looking for the perspective of someone physically disabled, whether you use it in a classroom or suggest it to a library patron, it also is just a great book to read, period.

    Disclosure: I checked this audiobook out from the library.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Book tour: By the King's Design + giveaway

    By the King's Design by Christine Trent
    Reviewed as a part of Historical Fiction Book Tours
    Christine Trent's website: http://www.christinetrent.com/home.html
    Tour Event Twitter Hashtag:  #BytheKing'sDesignVirtualTour

    I absolutely ADORE the early 19th century. It's one of my favorite periods of time for books and movies to be set in (hello? Jane Austen anybody?). One of the things I especially find interesting is the fashion. Ladies dresses were flowing, light, and easy to move about in. This is the era right before the big, stuffy dresses of the Victorian Age. Well, imagine how excited I was to read By the King's Design!

    Our heroine, Annabelle (Belle) Stirling, is SO likeable and easy to root for. She has inherited and runs her family's drapery shop on her own, providing the best fabrics for dresses and furnishing to London's elite. Rising in fame, she becomes a draper in the building of the Prince Regent's (the future King George IV) new palace. Belle faces the difficulties of establishing her work as a woman and of course, there's a swoon-worthy man involved, even if he does have a giggle-inducing name (Putnam Boyce). 

    The one thing that irked me was Belle's brother, Wesley. He was a very charming man and the true owner of the shop, even though he let Belle run things on her own (a good decision). He had many problems and made horrible decisions, yet Belle never opened her eyes to this. She almost blindly followed and accepted him, even when it threatened her shop, reputation, and life. It was hard to see such a strong woman be dragged down by a weak man.

    As I mentioned at the beginning, the history is what really made me love this book. The Luddites (people who strongly opposed the upcoming Industrial Revolution and sought out to destroy as much as they could) were one of my favorite parts. I wish we could've read more about George III, the 'Mad King,' as he is one of my favorite historical figures, but his son, the lavish prince, was good enough! The plot was fun, the characters well developed, and I can't wait to get my hands on Christine Trent's other books!

    One of you can have a chance to win a copy of By the King's Design
    Just fill out the simple form here to enter. 
    You have until February 14th. 
    Good luck!

    Top 10 Books I'd Hand to Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

    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.

    Top 10 Books I'd Hand to Someone Who 
    Says They Don't Like To Read

    We all know them. We sometimes like to pretend that they don't exist, but they're still there - those strange people that don't like to read. They may be foreign to us, but it's our jobs to help them out. Here are a few books I'd hand to someone who says they don't like to read.

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - A classic.
    2. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - If you were wanting someone to get into historical fiction, this would be a good place to start.
    3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - As my all time favorite book, I'd be eager to share this with those that don't like to read. Maybe the main character's love of books could rub off on the reader!
    4. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein- Sort of like Lord of the Rings, but really not at all. The Hobbit is 49839857 times lighter and not quite as wordy and thick.
    5. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - does this really need an explanation?
    6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - another obvious choice!
    7. Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen - You know, I've never met a single person who says they didn't like this book. Even my dad, who only likes war stories, enjoyed it.
    8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I recently forced my best friend who hates reading to pick this up and HE LOVED IT. Mission accomplished.
    9. Roots by Alex Haley - Besides the fact that it's really long and intimidating, it's an enjoyable and interesting read I think most people would like.
    Okay, so I could only think of nine, but what about you? What would be your top recommendations?

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Jessi Reviews Soulless by Gail Carriger

    Title/Author: Soulless by Gail Carriger
    Publisher/Year: Orbit, 2009
    Where I got it: It was the first book I downloaded onto my Nook :) 
    Why I read it: It's been on my TBR list for a while, and I've heard great things about it 

    Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. 

    Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire—and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. 

    With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? 

    SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

    Review: LORD MACCON--how I love thee, let me count the ways!

    Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I will say that if this book is any indication of how my 2012 reading years is going to be--I'm going to have an awesome year.

    There were so many things I loved about this book. First of all, Gail Carriger builds a phenomenally well-thought out supernatural world that parallels Victorian England. She really covers all her bases. This supernatural world has rules and structure--it puts other vampire/werewolf stories to shame. *ahem*

    Her writing itself was a lot of fun to read, as well. Imagine Jane Austen with a bit of a modern twist. Gail's writing took a good story and gave it substance. This is, by no means, a serious book, but at no point did I feel like I was reading fluff. She really blended genres well, too. There was a little bit of everything here: historical fantasy, paranormal, steampunk, horror, suspense, romance. This being my first foray into the steampunk genre, I was pleasantly surprised, and I'll definitely be looking for more from the genre.

    As if all that weren't enough, Soulless has an unforgettable cast of characters. Alexia, of course, is totally kickbutt. She is a beacon of Victorian propriety and decorum, but she is also completely independent and definitely not afraid to speak her mind. I loved that she would rather be alone and be considered a spinster than settle for someone with half her wit or someone who wouldn't view her as an equal. Lord Akeldama was another favorite character of mine--freakin' fabulous. Gotta give some props to Professor Lyall. I loved that at times it was like he was the only character acting with a level head. And Lord Maccon? Do I even need to go there? Totally hot. Totally Scottish. And totally perfect for Alexia. (And me, but that's besides the point). I'm telling you, I could see the steam rising from some of those pages! It probably didn't help that I was picturing him as  Jamie Dornan, aka Sheriff Graham from Once Upon a Time. Gail Carriger even does her villians well. I hated them all with a deep burning hatred, when it was Alexia's mom or the mysterious shadow man or the creepy wax man. That's when you know you have a good author on your hands.

    If you want a book that will make you laugh, make you cry, tug on your heartstrings or make you fan yourself from all the steam, you will find it here in Gail Carriger's Soulless. I can't wait to start Changeless

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Julia Reviews Everything I Know About Love I learned From Romance Novels

    Title/Author:Everything I Know About Love About Learned From Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell
    Publisher/Year Published: October 2011 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
    How I got this book: From my local library
    Why I read this book: I read a lot of romance novels and the title is pretty much out of my mouth
    Rating: 5 stars

    I read my first romance novel right around the age of 12. My cousin gave me some to read that she had gotten through various ways. She said they were really good books I would like them. 13 years later and I am still reading romance.

    As a self-professed bookaholic, people often times give me a lot of condecension for my choice of reading. When I tell people that I read 72 books in 2010 and 49% of them were romance I often get "Well those don't count." or "It's just chick porn."

    This really frustrates me. Just because it is a book that is heavily focused on romance means it doesn't count? I picked up Everything I Know I Learned from Romance Novels hoping to get some more amo to throw at these people, but what I found was a group of stories and lessons that were enchanting and eye opening.

    Everything I Know About Love was written by Smart Bitch Sarah over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, a site I often frequent. She often asked readers while she was writting to contribute anecdotes, as well as other authors and publishers. What she collected was a chain of stories about people and their relationship with romance. It was really interesting because not only did I realize what other people have taken from reading romance, I realized that a lot of that applied to me as well.

    What I Learned From Romance Novels:
    • Don't to settle for something less than I am worth.
    • Though men are not romance heros, the romance heroes have qualities (like kindness and the ability to listen) that real men can have.
    • It's not a problem to embrace sexuality.
    • The happily-ever after is not the interesting part. It's how you get there.

    I don't expect someone to ride up beside me, sweep me off my feet onto their white horse and tell me they've wait for me forever. I do expect trust and communication, understanding when something happens when life isnt always perfect, someone who will love me faults and all.

    For me romance has been an escape, a roadmap to relationships, a way to discover myself to just name a few. What this book really solidified in me is that I don't care that other people may think less of me for reading romance. They dont know what they have taught me. I know that I will be a better friend, lover, woman, and person for reading them.

    As for the book, you hear a lot of stories like this neatly divided into sections. If you dont read romance but have wondered why so many flock to it. Pick this up. It is quick and fun to read. It took me one 4 hour flight.

    I am not sure how to end my review/personal outpouring. I guess I'll end it with this. Never feel guilty for reading something. A book can mean anything to anyone. :)

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Kimberly's Review of 'Touch of Power"

    Kimberly's Review of 'Touch of Power' by Maria V. Snyder

    Book: Touch of Power
    Author: Maria V. Snyder
    Reason I read it: Because it’s by Maria V. Snyder

    I’ve been waiting what feels like forever to read this. I will pick up any of Maria’s books. I’ve read all of her books and short stories and enjoyed them immensely. I waited for the release date of this book, counting down the days until I could walk into Barnes and Noble and pick it up. Finally December 20th came, I went to Barnes and Noble and… no book. I was told by a bookseller that they wouldn’t be carrying it! I was shocked. They had always carried her books.

    So what was I to do? They said they’d “try” and order it for me. That didn’t sound very promising…

    Then there was Amazon. I have prime membership. Free two day shipping. I might as well do that… But then I’d still
    have to wait several days.


    Finally I put aside my “I want to read it so I’ll just download and read it instantly” mentality and waited. I ended up ordering it from the UK (I liked the cover art better).

    Only to go back to Barnes and Noble two days later, ask a different employee about the book on a whim and… lo and behold, they had a huge stock of them.

    (I’m doing my best not to harbor any hard feeli ngs against the first employee I talked to.) Maybe it was her first day. Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping.

    As for the book? It was every bit as good as I expected and was better than I could have hoped for. Avry is a fantastic heroine. Tough as nails, but not so tough that she has no heart. Let me tell you a bit about this story.

    “Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos. Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for h er capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….” (From Amazon.com)

    Maria has an incredible ability when it comes to world building and developing her characters. Two pages in and you’re hooked. You love the main character and you’re hungry to learn more about this world they live in.

    She also has a wonderful sense of humor. Wit is prevalent throughout the book. Action, romance, humor, and fantasy are mixed wonderfully to creat e a fantastic story.

    There was something else I liked about Avry… She’s different that a lot of female protagonists in a unique way. Most heroines are described as being very small and petite. Or they’re blond. Or they have some other characteristic that gives them the ‘perfect’ image. Avry on the other hand, is described as being 5’8, has dark hair and has green eyes. I don’t really care what the heroines in the books I read look like, but Avry was a refreshing change from the norm. Plus… I’m 5’8, have dark hair and green eyes. I couldn’t help but like her a bit more. ; )

    The story will draw you in, you will fall in love with every one of the characters. The banter between the main characters is hilarious, it’s heartwarming and fun to see the various relationships develop.

    As usual with Maria’s books, there is romance. But Avry doesn’t spend her time worrying about her feelings and whether she has a boyfriend or not. She stands on her own. Maria adds just enough romance to keep things interesting, without letting it overtake the plot.

    If you are a fan of fantasy, like strong heroines, or are just looking for a good read, I highly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t regret it!

    5+ Stars!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Julia reviews Cinder by Marissa Meyer

    Title/Author: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    Publisher/Year Published:January 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
    How I got this book: From my local library
    Why I read this book: Short answer: The cover
    Rating: 5 stars

    I am going to do something different with the Goodreads summary for Cinder. I am going to bold all of the things that made me want to read this book. Here we go.
    Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

    Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
    So Humans and Androids? Already sounds interesting right? Yes. We would be right. The intermingling of humans and machines, and human machines is awesome and unique. The machines are integrated into society just like watching a cool updated Jetsons. The futuristic piece of this novel is very well done!

    New Beijing? So this is set in the East somewhere. I LOVE Asian type books. Unfortunately this isn't maximized to it's full potential, but the mentions of the culture are there if you look. They use chopsticks, the celebrations are decorated in red and gold, things like that. But outside of the Chinese honorifics and these side things, it could very well be set in America. What's next?

    Gifted mechanic cyborg Cinder? Yes please! I love that she is, well, useful for lack of a better term. She takes control of her own destiny despite obstacles in her path. She is a very strong lead and the serious highlight of the story.

    Step-sister's illness. So I see this and I read that while it is a Cinderella retelling, Meyer also makes it her own. And it really succeeds at this. Meyer takes a fairy tale that we know from either the original story or the Disney movie and seamlessly interweaves the plot points into an awesome retelling.

    Intergalactic struggle huh? Spcae?! LUNAR PEOPLE! Well yup. There is an evil moon people and a fun story-line surrounding that. This and the post-apocalyptic atmospheric make it a wonderful SciFi dystopian.

    Forbidden attraction. Yay, a love story! Yay, not a love triangle! I love myself some forbidden attraction.

    Outside of all of that, the story was very fulfilling. A little more world building would have been cool, but there are three other books in the series. Kai's character is starting off okay, but I look forward to reading more about him and watching him develop further. Cinder however is awesome and probably one of my favorite heroines that I have read in a while. The twist, if that is what is was suppose to be, is really predictable as is the story if you are at all familiar with Cinderella, but I don't think that is a bad thing.

    It is a GREAT start to a new series that I know I will be devouring as they come out! If you like fairy tales, dystopians, scifi or YA, check this out!

    And the cover? Totally cool.
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