Friday, August 31, 2012

With Our Last $20 - September Edition



 With Our Last $20 is a feature here at The Broke & The Bookish wherein we answer the prompt of which book we'd purchase with the last $20 left in our pocket for each month -- be it new releases or older books..basically which ever book we'd be so excited to read that we'd be willing to spend the last $20 in our pockets on. I mean, we are The Broke and the Bookish after all. We'd no doubt live up to our name and forgo other things for a new book!




 Jamie's pick: The Crown Of Embers by Rae Carson

While on my honeymoon last week I read The Girl of Fire & Thorns and I was DYING that I didn't have my ARC of Crown of Embers with me. I would totally spend my last $20 to rejoin this adventure. I don't typically read fantasy but I really enjoyed this book so I'd be sure to pick this one up when it comes out this month!





 

Jen's pick: Looking for Alaska by John Green

I've been in a horrible reading slump latey.  But I've heard such great things about this book that I think it would be perfect in helping me get over this slump!  I think a trip to the bookstore this week is necessary!

Bridget's pick: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

My college roommate and fellow Harry Potter nerd just reminded me the other day that JK's new book comes out this month (September 27th)! I pre-ordered it the other night and wouldn't you know it, on Amazon it's almost exactly $20...but with one-day shipping it was almost $40. Sigh. Looks like I'm giving up a week (or two) of Dunkin Donuts breakfasts at work, but it'll be SO worth it!






Julia's pick:  The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

I love Eloisa James! She is an auto-read author for me. Her romance novels are always so well thought out and well written. The story sucks me in immediately. This current series is a romance novel play on traditional fairy tales. This one is The Ugly Duckling, so it has quite a lot of potential to fit into Romancelandia. Apparently there are pirates, too!







Daisy's pick: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

I've been dying to read this for YEARS! (Ok, 2 years) I love her Tea Rose series and when I found out she'd written a YA historical I was SO excited. And then I never actually read it. This is very sad. And I should remedy it my next book buying spree!




Lori's pick: 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler (above) and Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style by Rosalyn Hoffman (right)

I actually quite literally did spend my last $20 on these.  I bought the Hassler book in the hopes that it will help me figure out what I'm doing and what I want to do instead of feeling a bit lost like I tend to get.  And the Hoffman book is self-explanatory.  My finances will be super tight this year and I want to figure out how to manage it better so that maybe I can save a bit.



Kelly's pick: City of Fallen Angels/City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I need the last two books of The Mortal Instruments series NOW! The wait list at the library is never ending, so much so that I'm considering just buying the last two books. The only reason I'm skeptical about that is the fact that I only own the first book of the series....and it feels a bit weird only owning three books out of a series of five. I like balance in my life - but I like these books even more!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

(Re)Introducing Lori

Hi, I'm Lori.  I was with The Broke and the Bookish in the beginning, then I took a lengthy leave-of-absence due to the craziness that is getting a Master's in History.  But life has finally calmed down enough for me to be able to return and the old regulars were gracious enough to let me.

What is your dream bookish job?
My dream bookish job would be to organize the papers of some of my favorite authors.  I would love to be a Hemingway scholar or a Faulkner scholar.  This more or less combines all of my training and loves--books, History, and the MLIS degree I'm currently working on.  But now that I'm getting into the swing of things...being a free-lance writer sounds really appealing--variety, the ability to choose my own projects, working from home.  We'll see.

Do you have any authors whose books you'd put on an "auto-read" list...no matter what they wrote?
I would definitely auto-read Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, and Plath if they were still contributing.  For an author who is still contributing (I think, I hope) I would say Rebecca Wells because I love the four books she's written and I hope more are forthcoming.  I'm sure there are others, but those five quickly come to mind.

Favorite place to shop for books?
I generally order books from Amazon or off of my Nook because Stillwater, Oklahoma doesn't have a very good bookstore.  I have Amazon Prime, so I get books really quickly.  And (I discovered yesterday) our UPS man is awesome!  He delivered a book to me at the beginning of his route because Zach and I are such good customers (his words).  But I love when Zach and I make a trip to the city and go to Barnes and Noble.  We browse for quite a while, usually one of us buys a book we don't need and don't have room for, then we sit in the cafe and have coffee and read.  It's one of the most special things we do.  In my hometown there is a fantastic used bookstore that has just about everything.  You really have to dig because literary fiction can be found in about three different sections.

How do you organize your bookshelves?
I would show you all of my shelves if I could but they're scattered between two locations.  I have just a few books at the apartment I'm sharing with Zach, so I don't have much to organize there and most of my books are at my parents' house.  All of my books are split between fiction and non-fiction.  At the apartment, the organizing ends with alphabetizing.  At my parents' house, the non-fiction is categorized chronologically (Revolutionary War, then Civil War, then late 19th century, and so on).  I have a couple of subcategories--bookish reads, sports history, and Hollywood-related books--that are separated out.  Fiction is separated into contemporary fiction and the Classics, which are divided by country (with a few categorized by continent because outside of France and Britain, I don't have much European lit)  Within each group, everything is alphabetized.

How do you balance reading and school/work?
I just do it.  Once I'm done with work, I try to read on the couch when I'm not making supper or cleaning or doing something with Zach.  Now that I've started up school again, I'm striving to get all of my schoolwork done during the week so the weekends are largely open to reading.  I'm also going to make a point to read for a bit each night.

Are there any types of books you WON'T read?
I traditionally have not been a reader of YA, but I am trying to be more open-minded and less judgmental about it.  However, I will not read Twilight or The Hunger Games.  I just don't want to get into it.  I am Harry Potter all the way as far as series go.

Do any of your friends, family or significant other share your passion?
My dad and papa will read anything I hand them and tell them to read.  Zach reads a lot as well.  Right now he's mostly reading history books because of his comp exams and then his dissertation.  But he has a pretty impressive fiction collection as well.  And he's actually read the books he owns (show off).  So, I guess you could say that the three men in my life share my bookish passion.

And for a few facts about me…
The basic: I graduated from Oklahoma State University with BAs in English and History and a French minor in 2010.  I finished an MA in History - Public History in 2012.  My thesis was a literary history piece that I would consider working on again in the future.  I will finish my online MLIS degree in 2014.  I live with Zach in Stillwater.  After we both graduate we'll get married and move wherever he gets a teaching job, then I'll find something because my options are a bit more diverse (whereas he can only teach at a university/college; not wanting anyone to think I'm being negative about his opportunities).

The bookish: I have always loved reading.  I credit my parents with this love.  They read to me each night.  Once I could read on my own, they never really monitored what I read, so I started reading grown-up books when I was about 8 and it kind of went from there.  I fell in love with Gilmore Girls when it came out because it was so literary (other reasons too, but that helped).  One of my goals is to read all of the classics on the Rory Gilmore list.  I am horrible about buying books.  My bank account will be so low that I have to transfer money over to cover my Amazon bill, but I keep buying.  It's like the Erasmus quote:  "When I get a little money, I buy books.  If there is any left over, I buy food and clothes."

The random: I have two other passions aside from reading.  I love cooking.  So much.  I usually cook Southern or Italian food, but Zach and I are shifting to a Mediterranean type diet, so I'll start cooking those dishes as well.  I wish I could spend my entire day cooking and reading because you can do one of my favorite activities with those--drinking wine.  My other passion is baseball.  I have a team, but I also just love having it on in the background while I read.  I have a few close friends who love baseball as much as I do, so we always talk baseball.  I'm afraid of birds and sponges.  I love coffee.  I am on Pinterest pinning things all the time, but I hardly ever make any of them.  

I guess that's about it.  Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Cocktail & Conversation -- Naughty Authors & Its Effect On Us As Readers

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

This week: Has an author's behavior/personality/something they said/stance on something important to you ever made you not want to read their books for that fact alone? Example? What kinds of things could deter you from reading an author's book?


Tahleen says: Actually, this happened just last week to me. I don't know if anyone heard about the Emily Giffin debacle, but what started as just a negative review on Amazon turned into this firestorm that ended up leading to one reviewer receiving death threats from a rabid fan. I had been curious about Giffin's books, but this event coupled with the fact that I already had an enormous amount of books to read, plus the fact that I was only mildly interested in the novel, made me return Something Borrowed to the library the next day. Here's a link to the reviewer's recap of the events: http://coreyann.me/?p=141



Kelly says: Truthfully? If an author is acting immature regarding negative feedback about one of their books, which we know happens quite often in the book/blogging world, it just makes me want to read their book more. I want to know if their book is as good as they think it is and if their defensiveness is necessary. However, I'll go into the book with a much more critical and guard thought process. Of course, the same goes the other way as well. I've had an author send me a bunch of cool goodies along with an ARC of their new book, so of course I was eager to read it (and went in with a good feeling)!




Jamie says: Honestly, sometimes authors behaviors really do leave a bad taste in my mouth and make me not want to read their books. The first time I experienced it was with the whole James Frey thing. I was excited to read that book and then that whole debacle happened and suddenly I had no desire to read it anymore. It's happened more since then, probably because authors are more in my life with Twitter and Facebook and blogs. I try really hard not to let personalities or strong opinions or even petty (read: not serious) drama effect whether I read a book. But sometimes I know I cannot support things and then I will quietly avoid their books.


What about you, readers? Has an author's behavior/personality/something they said/stance on something important to you ever made you not want to read their books for that fact alone? What kinds of things could deter you from reading an author's book?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Bookish Confessions from TB&TB Gang


Top Ten Bookish Confessions
Everyone has at least one bookish confession (and in my case I have six). Join us in spilling our deepest held secrets around one of our most beloved pastimes. Everyone has a bookish confession. What's yours? If you have one feel free to share it, if not feel free to commiserate with ours -Julia


1. Jana's Confession: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer was being released, and for some reason I totally forgot to order a copy of it. You know those times... you HAD to have the book YESTERDAY. I ordered it the day it came out, but it was going to take a week to arrive. So I went out on a hunt across all the bookstores of my town trying to find it for a reasonable price. I'd just have an extra copy, right? No biggie. So, I walked into the very last bookstore, and there it was again for the same price I'd seen everywhere: $10 more than I paid on Amazon. I could not handle the idea of paying that much. But I bought it anyway, and read it immediately... because I HAD to, you know? Patience is sometime non-existent in the book world. A week later, the Amazon copy showed up at my house. Wanna know what I did with it? I returned it to the local bookstore! I felt really bad, but at least I didn't return the already read one, right?

2. Bridget's Confession: Mine is similar to Jana's, but a slightly different form of book-OCD...I had bought a paperback copy of The Hunger Games at my college bookstore in March of my senior year after hearing quite a bit about it. I LOVED it, but Catching Fire and Mockingjay were both still only available in hardcover, and I can't deal with having inconsistencies in series on my bookshelf, so I decided I'd just wait until they came out in paperback. (I'm also not a big library person, so that wasn't really an option for me.) But finally, I got too impatient, and bought myself a boxed set of the trilogy, even though it was expensive. I ended up mailing my paperback copy of The Hunger Games to my cousin who hadn't read it yet, and told him he could keep it since I had my boxed set...I'm slightly ashamed but not really.

3. Julia's Confession: Oh gosh, this is hard to admit. I sometimes judge people when I find out they like certain books. I am the essence of a hypocrite considering the last book I reviewed on here (and the first one in fact) had a shiny naked man chest on it. You think because of all the harping I do about how people judge romance novels unfairly and that there are totally some well written ones that I wouldn't judge people for having their own form of cracktastic entertainment... or even not cracktastic really. It is actually something I am actively working on to change, because really. A book is anything to any one.

4. Julia's Confession: Normally, I don't buy a lot of books (well pre-Nook and stupid .99 sales...), but put my at a library booksale or a Half Priced Books and I leave with a cart. I try to stick to my rule of "Only buy books you think you are going to reread", but a fever takes hold of me and I usually end up with more books than I have room for.

5. Julia's Confession: I read a lot (duh), but often I read the same word so many times that it slips into my vernacular though I've never heard anyone actually say it before. This leads to a lot of scenarios where I look like an ass because I couldn't go to dictionary.com and hear the guy from the spelling bee say the word. Not only that you look like you were trying to be pretentious but completely failed. I usually don't notice it until someone (who I must assume has a masters in linguistics), says "Wait, you mean ...?" Some notables that stick out in my memory for me pronouncing them wrong regularly and have to unlearn it are 'assuage' and 'nefarious'.

6. Julia's Confession: I can't spell to save my life. I don't think that would be too much of a problem, but that and my very many notable grammar fails on this blog have made for some fun egg on the face moments. Not only that, though, I have been known to rip a book apart for not being good with basic grammar rules. I just need to move to Hypocrite Island.


7. Julia's Confession: Sometimes I skim. Like if I am reading a book I am just not that into and I want to know how the plot will end... but other times (like yesterday when reading Storm of Swords*) it's because its a long book and I want to keep moving, or its a fight scene that I can't picture, or I just want to read the witty repartee between the leads. Sometimes it has caught up to me and I am forced to go back and be like "Wait what just happened?" but other times, I just don't care.


8. Julia's Confession: Back in August of 2010 (Lordy that was two year ago), I wrote a Top Ten Tuesday of Books I can't Believe I Have Never Read.... yeah. I still have not read any of them. *hides*

9. Jamie's Confession # 1: I have never read Harry Potter. Never. I don't know why. It somehow passed me when it first came out because I was far too into makeup and boys than wizards and magic at the time but then I always just said, "Oh, I'll get around to it."

10. Jamie's Confession #2: I dog ear book pages. That's right. I commit that sin. But only if it is my own copy. I'd never  do it to a borrowed copy. But sometimes I just can't HELP it. I'll read passages and I just HAVE to be able to find them later because they were so swoonworthy or they jabbed the hell out of my heart and unfortunately I don't always have my quote notebook or a zillion pieces of paper to mark the spots.

All right, that's more than I can handle. I am going to go hide from the lynch mob! If you have one share it in the comments. If you share ours lets us know! And finally, if you had enough gumption to share all ten and care to link, we would care to read! - Julia



Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Quick Bookish Survey (2)


I did this fun little survey last December, and since everybody seemed to enjoy it, I decided to do it once again!

1. The book I’m currently reading: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - This isn't going very well. I've read three other books by Chevalier that I've LOVED, but this one just isn't grabbing me.

2. The last book I finished: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling - To me, summer means three things: miserably hot weather, mosquitoes, and rereading the Harry Potter series. I've shaken things up this time and am actually reading the series backwards. It's really interesting this way!

3. The next book I want to read: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - I really adore this series/author and can't wait to dive back in! Unfortunately, I'm number 84 on the library wait list for this book. 

4. The last book I bought: Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik - Paris, a travelogue, and humor? Yes please!

5. The last book I was given: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I started and finished this book in the span of a flight Miami to Nicaragua. Even though Mockingjay was quite depressing, it made the cramped, uncomfortable, and bumpy two hour trip much more enjoyable.


As always, feel free to do your own, either leaving a link or your entire list in a comment!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bridget Reviews World War Z by Max Brooks

Title/Author: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Publisher/Year Published: 2006 by Three Rivers Press
How I Got This Book: Bought it for my boyfriend, probably at Target
Why I Read This Book: See below :)
Rating: 4 Stars

I bought this book for my boyfriend several months ago. He loved it, so I thought I would give it a try, despite being rather annoyed at the whole preponderance of the zombie genre (it’s totally not my thing, although I do fully intend to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies one day, just so I can say I did). As it turns out, World War Z was actually pretty awesome.

As it says in the subtitle, World War Z is the oral history of a fictional zombie war, compiled by an unnamed narrator. The interviews all show a different facet of the war—there are civilian, military, and medical standpoints from all over the world. That’s about it for an actual summary; since it’s supposed to be “history,” it doesn’t follow a traditional novel storyline, really.

At any rate, World War Z has quite a few things going for it, its hugely imaginative premise (not the zombie thing, but the history-of-the-zombie-war thing) and fantastic writing being the top two. As with most avid readers, I’m sure, I’ve always felt that a great plot can only survive on its own so long without good writing to support it (see: The Hunger Games—after a while, the choppy, fragmented writing style just irked me), but World War Z didn’t have that problem at all. I was glued to it while I was reading. Now, if only more history textbooks were written like this, I might have actually been interested in/done well in history in school.

It was a little difficult to keep track of all the names of people the narrator interviewed, if only because there were so many unfamiliar foreign names. But that was literally the only thing I could complain about with this book—everything else was incredible. Everything was told with an eerie sense of reality, and the amount of research he must have done for all the military sections, which were all pretty technical, is considerable. Even the amount of geographical research he must have done is mind-blowing. You’re really able to get a sense of complete and total war.

Even as someone who is really not into zombies at all, I found this book utterly captivating. Anyone who wants a good scare and an awesome view of what history just might be like post-zombie-war should definitely give World War Z a try.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Cocktail & Conversation (3)

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


This week: What is one book series that you think more people should read?


Jana Says:
Seriously, this is one of my favorite trilogies of all time, and I think it scares people because they assume that since it was published by a Christian book company (Shadow Mountain), that religion will be shoved down their throats. Let me just tell you now, there are no elements of Christianity or any other religion in this series at all, so you will not be preached to. I promise. The first book introduces us to a high school student named Abby, who is living a normal life with her boyfriend... until she meets Dante, a foreign exchange student from Italy. He's this swoonworthy, mysterious guy who is completely different from anyone else. Time changes when they are together, and as Abby gets to know him better, she learns of his mysteries, like how he worked for Leonardo Da Vinci as his apprentice and built a time machine before he was framed for treason and banished to another time--500 years into the future. Turns out Abby is also more special than she thought. The whole trilogy is a race through time, to save the present from colliding with the past. The writing is gorgeous, and I devoured each book in what felt like minutes. You really must read it!


Lori Says:
Not being much of a series reader, I have really struggled with this question.  But I think that a series that made a huge impact on me when I was pretty young and not yet reading grown-up books was The American Girl Series, which presented girls around the ages of 9 or 10 who lived at various points in American history.  Samantha was my absolute favorite, but there was also Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, and Molly.  Then they added a few more that I haven't read, but I'm looking forward to having a daughter someday a few years from now so we can read the ones published later.  My parents read these to me when I was younger.  These books are fantastic.  They present strong, resourceful characters who are good role models for girls.  The stories provide a nice bit of cultural history and I have to credit them with starting my love of history at an early age.

However, for a more adult flavor, I would highly recommend reading the entirety of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood series by Rebecca Wells--Little Altars Everywhere, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and Ya-Yas in Bloom.  I think a lot of people really focus on Divine Secrets because that is the one that became a movie, however the first and third books are short stories that are told in the different characters' voices.  They help provide a back-story for or an elaboration on what happens in the middle books.  They explore the dynamics of female relationships as a cast of four quirky women grow up during the Depression, raise children during the 1950s and 1960s, and finally reach old age in the 1990s.  I love it.


So readers, what is one series you think more people should read? The floor is yours! 


Want to ask us a question for a future A Cocktail & Conversation? Fill out this form!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Books Daisy Has Read During The Lifespan Of Her Blog


So it's time to honor those favourite books you've read since you started your blog. The books that made you go over the moon and just maybe made you write a fangirl/fanboy review about.
Though it's breaking my heart to have to choose between my darlings, I'll list ten of my favourites below!

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I cannot stop gushing about this book. I know. I KNOW! It's just that this story has been with me for such a long time already and I'm beyond thrilled it's finally out in the world for everyone to read. Sarah J. Maas has stolen my heart with her amazing writing and storytelling and I just love everything about this book. My review.

2. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder: I ADORE Snyder's books. I instantly put them on my to-read list, even if I have no idea what they're going to be about. I always enjoy them and this one is probably my favourite of hers so far. I can't wait for the next book in the series!! My review.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Guys, I legit wouldn't have read this if it wasn't for all you book bloggers going crazy about this book. I totally coversnobbed it and am so glad I did pick it up! Because, OMG, it was just SO GOOD! I mean, SO GOOD! I cannot imagine not having met Anna and Etienne. My review.

4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: THIS BOOK! I mean, I was fangirling all over the place while I was reading this book and I can't imagine ever stopping. I mean, PERRY! GAH! My review.

5. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley: I haven't read many romances that tugged at my heartstrings as much as this one did. It's a pretty clean read and OMG, THE TENSION!! It was just everything I want in a romance novel and it made me laugh and cry and sigh and swoon and pretty much just feel ALL THE THINGS! My review.

6. The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin: I absolutely love the whole Inheritance Trilogy, but this one with Sieh being the main character just completely blew me away. I read it during Dewey's Read-a-Thon at the same time as one of my blogging buddies was reading it and I think that might have amplified the already wonderful reading experience for me. This is epic fantasy and I love it. My review.

7. A Night Like This by Julia Quinn: My first Julia Quinn novel, but SO not my last!! I've completely fallen in love with her writing style and can't wait to treat myself to more of her work. Historical romance at its finest! My review.

8. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson: Oh Ms. Carson, you completely had me on a high and then YOU BROKE MY HEART! All of you who've read the book know what I'm talking about. Heart ripped out, crushed, falling into a million pieces. And then she made me love it again and I'm just DYING to read The Crown of Embers! I need more of this epicness! My review.

9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: Guys, I'm not much of a classics reader. I would love to, but I just don't take the time to read more of them. But this one I read and though it's not really my genre, it's now one of my favourite novels of all time! I loved the mystery and the romance and just everything about it. My review.

10. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: This book reads like a fairytale. And I LOVE fairytales. They're one of my favourite things in the world! And reading this felt like being a kid again being read one of my favourite bedtime stories and just falling into the fantastical world Victoria Schwab created. My review.

So that's me! How about you? What are your favourites since you started your blog? Share any of mine?




Monday, August 20, 2012

Tahleen reviews: "Liar and Spy" by Rebecca Stead

Title: Liar and Spy
Author: Rebecca Stead
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, 2012

Rating: 4 stars

Georges, named after the painter Georges Seurat, just moved in to a new apartment building after his parents had to sell their house, due to his father losing his job. This makes life even more difficult for Georges, because a) he doesn't really have any friends, and in fact is bullied nearly every day, and b) he hardly ever sees his mother, who works at the hospital and has been there full days ever since the move.

On one of the first days in their new building, Georges and his dad find a sign for the Spy Club. On a whim, his dad writes the note, "What time?" and thus begins Georges's strange and unpredictable friendship with Safer, a boy his age who calls himself a spy. As Georges and Safer get deeper and deeper into investigating a neighbor whom Safer just calls "Mr. X," slowly we see that everything might not be as it seems.

I was really looking forward to reading Stead's newest novel, after her beautiful and captivating Newbery Award–winner When You Reach Me. I'm sorry to say I didn't love Liar and Spy as much as I was hoping to, but I am glad I read it and it is a lovely little story about friendship and confronting your fears.

Though I felt the story itself moved slowly, this is the type of book that you need to be patient with if you are going to get anything out of it. It is slim, so you're not necessarily slogging along waiting for the action to happen, but I personally did feel a bit antsy during the middle. However, in the end it was completely worth it and I felt full and happy after turning the final page.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the book is standing up for yourself and facing your fears, be they worry for loved ones, bullies at school, or any number of smaller everyday fears. Georges handles being teased pretty well from what I gathered, though he is mostly passive and realizes he needs to do something if it's going to stop. Along the way, he forges new alliances that might just turn into friendships. Safer also has fears to conquer, though I'll let you discover those on your own.

All in all, I enjoyed Liar and Spy, especially toward the end, though it didn't live up to my expectations after having read When You Reach Me. But maybe that's unfair. It's still worth the read.

Disclosure: The publisher sent me an advanced reader's copy of this book.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Broke & Bookish Book Haul - August Thus Far

Happy Sunday everyone! Here at The Broke and the Bookish, we decided to biweekly give you a glimpse into the books that we bought or borrowing in the past few weeks. Since this is the first one to get us started, we did pretty much August until this point... I am sure a pretty graphic will follow as soon as Jamie is back from her honeymoon. For right now, here is our haul.

All links lead to Goodreads
Julia:


From the Library:
- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
- The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent

For my Nook:
- Flirting with Ruin by Marguerite Kaye
- Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase
- A Baby of her Own by Brenda Novak
- Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan
- An Affair with Mr. Kennedy by Jillian Stone
- The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

From the Bookstore:
- Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Daisy:

Bought:
- Supernaturally by Kiersten White
- Swept Away By a Kiss by Katharine Ashe
- The Locket by Stacey Jay
- Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
- A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell
- Empress of Rome by Kate Quinn
- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
- The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
- Debutantes by Cora Harrison

For Review:
- When the Duke Found Love by Isabella Bradford
- Yesterday's Sun by Amanda Brooke
- Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson

Paula:


Birthday Gifts:
- The Mammoth Book of Steampunk edited by Sean Wallace
- Geektastic edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
- A Storm of Swords  by George R.R. Martin
- Equations of Life by Simon Morden

Bought: 
- Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne








Kelly:


From the library:
- Ingenue by Jillian Larkin
- Diva by Jillian Larkin
- The Selection by Kiera Cass

Bought  (from a charity shop):
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
- The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor


How about you guys? Any real winners you have bought this month so far? What about things that you are thinking about adding to your collection?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bookish Deals (2)

Here at The Broke and the Bookish, we have decided to start a bi-weekly feature of Bookish Deals. I have a feeling over the first few weeks it will grow and evolve, but the general gist is scouring the internet and bookstores to see what deals we can find and give to you.

First let's start with these awesome this weekend only specials in the Kobo store! These deals were brought to my attention via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author.

Kobo weekend deals. These end August 20

Added new titles to the YA selection: 75% off Youth Fiction Titles with code percyartemis75
Use coupon code for select titles aug1725yz for 25% off
30% off independent titles with promo code KWLsave30.

Now onto some specifics:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - $4.50
AZ | BN
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins - $1.99 (today only!)
AZ | BN
When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.

Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland's uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever.

Rich in suspense and brimming with adventure, Suzanne Collin's debut marked a thrilling new talent, and introduced a character no young reader will ever forget.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - $3.99
AZ | BN
"You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans on her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally...more

All summaries from Goodreads. If you have any suggestions for deals to feature, please email Julia.

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Contributor - Get to Know Bridget


Hi, I’m Bridget! I’m so excited to be writing for The Broke and The Bookish—I’ve been following for quite a while! Here are my answers to some fun interview questions.

What is your dream bookish job?
Shoot, if I could be Stephen King’s editor or his blurb-writer (if that’s a thing), I think I would die of happiness. Not only just because I love his books, either; he just seems like a really great person from what I’ve seen/read of him. But since that will never actually happen, I would settle for being a reviewer for a publication and more or less getting paid to read. I used to want to go into publishing but not so much anymore. So basically my ideal is probably doing reviews part-time for extra money while also slaving away in the non-profit sector as I do now.

Do you have any authors whose books you'd put on an "auto-read" list...no matter what they wrote?
Stephen King, for sure. A few years ago I probably would have said Dean Koontz as well, but he hasn’t been living up to my expectations with his past few books. Most likely J. K. Rowling, depending on how this non-Harry Potter book of hers turns out. And definitely Jane Austen, if she was still alive and writing (or if they ever find any more of her unpublished works).

Favorite place to shop for books?
All bookstores are magical, but for different reasons. Sometimes I crave the clean, wide open spaces of a Barnes & Noble, or I want to get something immediately and/or in hardcover, and you can’t deny that “new book smell” is awesome. Other times, if I’m just looking to browse or I’m looking for a book that I don’t want to pay full retail price on in case I don’t like it, I’ll find a used bookstore. The musty, cramped, you-never-know-what-you-might-find excitement of a used bookstore can be really fun! The same goes for library book sales—when I was at school in Boston I used to love going to those. And finally, it’s nice to be able to shop on Amazon sometimes just because then I don’t have to move my lazy butt off the couch and the books are delivered straight to my door. :)


What does your bookshelf look like and how do you organize it?
Here’s one of them:



...and here’s the other:



My boyfriend and I live together so these are shared bookshelves. The first is entirely fiction, organized alphabetically by author, and the second is a mix of the rest of the fiction we couldn’t fit on the first shelf and non-fiction, which is organized by subject. We’re going to need another bookshelf for my boyfriend’s giant stack of dental school textbooks, which is currently taking up the space by the window:



How do you balance reading and school/work?
I try to make a conscious effort to read something every day, even if it’s not necessarily a book—I love Slate.com and can always find an interesting article if I need a five-minute break at work! But I do try to bring my books to work with me to read on my lunch break, and my boyfriend and I generally like going to bed early to read together.

Are there any types of books you WON'T read?
I refuse to read any of that “paranormal teen romance” stuff that has been clogging up YA shelves these past few years. I didn’t really get into YA until after I was sort of past “the age” for it, but I love dystopian series like Divergent and The Hunger Games. I also don’t really go for romance generally, but that’s just because I burned myself out several years ago on V. C. Andrews—that was literally all I would read pretty much from the ages of 12-15. Luckily I found Stephen King right around then and haven’t looked back.

Do any of your friends, family or significant other share your passion?
My boyfriend and I are both pretty voracious readers. Our tastes differ quite a bit, though. He’s very much into non-fiction (he’s incredibly smart and is constantly on a quest to “learn a little bit about everything”), especially about the Civil War or anything written by A. J. Jacobs. We’re both huge Jane Austen geeks, and he’s also a big Oscar Wilde fanboy. I’ve gotten him into Stephen King in the past few years, but he’s had rather less success with getting me into his favorite genres, although I do enjoy A. J. Jacobs quite a bit as well. Most of my friends are also hugely book-nerdy like me. Other than that, though, neither of my parents are big readers, and my younger sister (she’s 20) literally only JUST started reading for pleasure earlier this year when I bought her a boxed set of The Hunger Games.

And for a few facts about me…

The basic: I’m a 2011 Boston College graduate, double major in Linguistics and Communications. I won’t be 23 until November but I am for whatever reason often convinced that I already AM 23. My family is huge and exhausting. I live with my boyfriend of almost four years in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and work as a Community Manager with the American Cancer Society. I am strangely proud of the fact that I was a sousaphone player in the marching band in college (hey, we had some really cool experiences, like the one below...the Dropkick Murphys invited the band to play at their St. Patrick's Day concert at the House of Blues in Boston, and the sousas got to go up for an encore). 

I'm the one all the way on the left.

The bookish: I have loved books since before I could read. I apparently used to memorize my childhood books to such an extent that I would reprimand my parents for skipping pages when they wanted to be done quickly. Other relatives quickly discovered that this was a great way to amuse themselves and they would read every other word just to make me crazy. (When I was a toddler. And they wonder why I’m messed up.) I’m slowly coming around to the concept of an e-reader and I’ll probably get myself an iPad sometime around my birthday (I’ve used iBooks on my phone and I actually like it quite a bit, especially because you can actually “turn” the “pages,” unlike on a Kindle). Retail therapy, for me, much more often consists of buying books than buying clothes.

The random: Styrofoam really freaks me out—I hate touching it, I hate the sounds it makes, I hate everything about it. One of my life goals is to learn at least one musical instrument from every “family” (i.e. woodwind, string, percussion, brass, etc.) and ideally dabble in all of them, or at least the ones in a traditional orchestra. I have a HUGE thing for men in uniform (my boyfriend is Army and most of the men in my family have been in the service at one point or another). I am DYING to own a Bernese Mountain Dog because aren’t they just the fluffywuffiest things EVER?? 

My heart just exploded.

So um…I guess that’s it about me. I’m going to go look at pictures of Bernese Mountain Dog puppies now. If you'd like to learn more about me and see some of my writing, you can check out my blog here :) Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Julia Reviews Matthew by Emma Lang

Title/Author: Matthew by Emma Lang
Publisher/Year Published: February 2012 by Brava
How I got this book: The Library eBook lending option
Why I read this book: I've been craving a Western romance novel for some time now.
Rating: 3 stars

As a mainly historical romance novel reader, I get caught up in the Regency England period, with sometimes a brief foray into Victorian or Georgian times. Rarely do I take my romantic fantasies to America, but for some reason I have been craving me some cowboy times. Maybe it was my stint seeing bull riding in Phoenix...

Enter Matthew. This is a new series about a group of eight children who live on a ranch in Texas in the 1800s. Their parents were killed and youngest brother abducted, (happy start right?) leaving Matthew as the eldest in charge of the brood and keeping their ranch running.

They have some land that they laid a claim to while their parents were alive, and when claiming it they find out that it is claimed for a family, meaning a man and a wife. Matthew needs a wife, and he needs her to be named Hannah.

Enter Hannah. In the town near the ranch, there is a boarding house run by a nice lady and her granddaughter. Through a series of coincidence and happenstance, Matthew and Hannah end up married. Let the shenanigans ensue.

When I picked up Matthew, I wasn't looking for a heavy book on the dissertation of mass exposition. I was looking for a lighter read with a cowboy. I had heard good things about this book. And you know what? It was fun.

There is that, you know, whole murder of the parents thing and their missing sibling, but I thought it was handled alright. With eight kids, it is clearly going to be a series, so it's always good to have an arc connecting them. I am actually really curious about little Ben.

Was it predictable? Yeah, kind of. Were there issues? Sure. Are they glaring enough for me to not enjoy this book? In this case no. I knew what I was going into, and that is what I wanted to read.

It is interesting right now because in my head I am drawing parallels to some YA books that I have looked at recently and have scoffed for having so many grammatical flaws and nonsensical characters that I can't read it and wonder how anyone can. Well, I guess what it comes down to is this.

We all have our fun books that we read for the story, for the fun, for the break. They may not be the best written or the most solid grammatically, but you still read them. This one was one of mine.

Matthew is a fun book with some drama, a hefty dose of romance and Texas cowboy flare. If that is what you are looking for, this book is for you.

Seriously, y'all. Don't judge me for the cover. I read the eBook. But I bet you didn't notice the horses :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Cocktail & Conversation (2)

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

What is one book from your childhood and one book that was your favorite from your teen years?

Julia says: My favorite book from my childhood, or more accurately, my favorite book that I can remember as an adult from my childhood was probably Little Women. I think this had something to do with a young Christian Bale and the movie version that came out in 1994 when I was eight. If you want to go way way back, there was a book that I had when I was two that was about how we get milk (my grandpa was a milkman).

Moving on to teenage years, we enter Romancelandia. I would have told you throughout my teenhood that Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss was my favorite book. KEW was the reason I continued reading romance novels, and Shanna was the book that I fell in love with. It had pirates, an island, a bad guy... this makes me want to reread it!


Jen says: I have two favorite books from my childhood, Charlotte's Web and Island of the Blue Dolphins.  I remember reading Island of the Blue Dolpins during silent reading in elementary school and being so absorbed in the book I almost missed recess!  Charlotte's Web is also a favorite of mine.  My copy of the book is extremely well loved.

I sort of fell off of the reading bandwagon during my teen years.  Other than required school reading I didn't read much for fun.  But I do remember really liking To Kill A Mockingbird the first time I read it (I think we read it in 9th grade). 



Daisy says: I have three favourite childhood books: Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong and Mathilda by Roald Dahl. I've read those 3 books so many times as a kid that I can still tell you step by step what happened. I think what attracted me most about these novels were the strong girls who were the main characters.

My teen years were filled with Harry Potter, Harry Potter, HARRY POTTER and like Julia, romance novels. I just read Harry Potter book 1-4 back to back and then started all over again, I probably did this for a couple of months before my mom made me read something else. Oh, and I discovered Pride and Prejudice in my teens. I also read a whole lot of HP fanfiction and stories on Fictionpress.com.

Paula says:
Gosh... picking a book from childhood? That's pretty tough. I was the kid who had books instead of friends. And I remember trapping my mom while she was brushing her teeth or putting on makeup and just going on and on about what has happening in the book that I was reading (maybe not much has changed since then ^_^) I would have to say that the two that stand out for me are The Phantom Tollbooth and Peter Pan.

Teen years... I was a bit more secretive about reading. I was still the kid who had books instead of friends- but I was trying not too be- so I shunned high fantasy and science fiction in attempts to be "cooler". I still have my copy of This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen - which I read so many times that I could have opened it to any page and followed the story completely. and What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci was a pretty big favorite. And of course Harry Potter and The Pendragon series....


What about you? What were some of your favorites from your childhood & teen years?

Want to ask us a question for a future A Cocktail & Conversation sesh? Fill out this form!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Romances You Think Would Last Outside The Book!


We're Talking Romances You Think Would Last Outside The Book!

Possible spoilers ahead!

1. Julia says: Mr Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride and Predjudice.
I think this one is no brainer, and kind of a cop out for me :). Darcy and Elizabeth overcame a lot to get where they ended up, and that makes their relationship stronger for it. They already know how they would deal with the bad times. Besides, it took them forever to get together. They should have some happiness.

2. Tahleen says: Cleo Quinn and Johnny LaVenture in Take a Chance on Me.
After my husband listed a bunch of couples that die before the end of the book, claiming that their relationships carried on in the afterlife, and then named two characters that aren't even in the same play, I came up with this one instead. Cleo and Johnny go through a lot before they finally see that they belong together, and because their relationship is so believable I have to believe they will stick together. You can read Daisy's review of this book here.

3. Jen says:  Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.
Okay, this could just be wishful thinking on my part.  BUT I really think that these two could make it work in the real world.  Anna and St. Clair compliment each other well and even in the book they just seemed real.

4. Kelly says: Harry and Ginny from the Harry Potter series.
These two, with how similar and understanding they are of each other could definitely keep it together in the real world, whether it be wizarding or Muggle. Their relationship (and sometimes lack of) was a great part of the Harry Potter books...but definitely not a great part of the movies :\

5. Paula says: Westley and Butter from The Princess Bride
Is there a more perfect example of true love? Westley becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts for her. He comes back from the brink of death for her. This is fairy tale love of your life stuff- but I do think it could work in the real world. It wasn't just a "hey I've known you for 3 days let's get married" deal. Instead- before they got separated from each other, they knew each other for years and had a real love that developed. That would last outside of fairytale land. 

6. Bridget says: Travis and Nora from Watchers
In the book, Travis and Nora are utterly perfect for one another. They each draw each other out of their respective shells in different ways: Nora finally learns the world is not the dark, scary place she was brought up to believe it was, and Travis learns to love again without fear of the "Cornell Curse" he believes to follow him around (he has ended up alone for several years due to untimely deaths of friends and loved ones). Modern-ish fairytale stuff, for sure, but under less extreme circumstances than are presented in the book, I think this relationship would have a future in the real world. Read my review here, and then go read the book because it's awesome.

And I (Jamie) would totally have a few picks up but I'M GETTING MARRIED ON FRIDAY! I totally even forgot that today was Tuesday with all the crazy rushing around I was doing sooo sorry that this went up late!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Discussion: Technology and E-Books

I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal, Your E-Book Is Reading You (found the article through On The Media).  In a nutshell the article is about how Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Google are able to track your reading habits when using with an e-reader and then what they are doing with that information.

It's kind of interesting.  But also kind of scary and 1984-ish.  From a marketing and PR prospective I think it's genius.  Publishers using this information to better suit their target market and sell more books?  Awesome.  Knowing the average time it takes someone to finish a certain book and how many times they picked the book up?  Being able to get this type of information is mind-blowing.

But then on other hand, I fear that publishers (and maybe even authors) will start using this data too much.  Instead of using the information as a tool they might abuse it and only publish what the trends are (like the ever growing vampire/paranormal books that seem to take over the YA section of bookstores).  Also, book series and trilogy's seem to be a huge trend in the book world right now.  I love reading a good series every now and then.  Getting to really know the characters and getting lost in their world is amazing.  But standalone books are just as amazing sometimes.

I'm undecided with how I feel about being tracked by our e-reading habits.  It's kind of cool knowing the average time it takes someone to finish The Hunger Games (seven hours, according to the WSJ article), or the point when most people put down a book and never pick it back up again.  Then at the same time it's just like leave me alone already.  But I suppose that's the technological world we live in now.

Fellow bookworms, I want to know what YOU think publishers tracking your reading habits.  For it?  Against it?  Going to read more books on your Nook or giving up your e-reader entirely?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Daisy Reviews the Love By Numbers series by Sarah MacLean



Title/Author: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord and Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers #1, #2 and #3) by Sarah MacLean
Publisher/Date published: Avon, 2010, 2010 and 2011
How I got this book: borrowed, received through NetGalley and then BOUGH THEM ALL

You guys, historical romance is one of my guilty pleasures. They're such relaxing, fun reads for me and the ones that are done well make me feel ALL THE THINGS. And make me cry cause I'm a romantic sap like that.

And the Love By Numbers series ranks among the best in my humble opinion. Sarah MacLean has a way with words that just has me hooked. The heroes are swoonworthy, the heroines are girls you just can't help but love and root for and the romance is HOT!

Basically, this is everything I want in a historical romance. And because I don't think they get enough credit and attention, I decided to do a series review on them.

And she never fails to make me cry, like, every other page. I'm constantly right there in the moment with the characters and just getting so caught up in the story up to the point where I'm shushing the boyfriend when he attempts to communicate with me while I'm reading one of these novels.

I decided to buy the series, as I just couldn't resist owning these amazing books and upon arrival I immediately starting rereading all my favourite parts.

I think that Nine Rules is my favourite of the three. Gabriel and Callie are just meant for each other and I get all goosebumpy remembering their story. I think I love Gabriel the most of the heroes, there's this one scene from Ten Ways to be Adored where he's talking with his brother Nicholas:

'"Of course she loves you," he said imperiously, as though he could make it so simply by being the Marquess of Ralston.
"She doesn't."
"They always love us."'

AND I LOVE IT!! (Also, while looking up the exact wording of the scene I just reread the last part of Ten Ways to be Adored...) He's arrogant and entirely too handsome for his own good and also loving and just a wonderful man. All the characters in these novels are flawed and real and just so extremely lovable!

Basically, if you like the genre AT ALL or if you want to give it a try, I highly recommend this series! I also really love the first book in her new series A Rogue By Any Other Name, but these are even better.

I hope Sarah MacLean doesn't stop writing gems like this for a loooooong time, even though I could just reread these over and over again and be blisfully happy as well.

My rating: 5+ stars


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