Thursday, October 31, 2013

4th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa!

Hello everyone! We are planning a Secret Santa exchange again --broke and bookish style. We did it for the past three years and it was a TON of fun, we've had SO many participants and we got great feedback from everyone! We want this to be a low key and fun Secret Santa that doesn't put too much of a damper on your wallet.

Please only sign up if you are truly interested and are committed to sending off a package. We have only had a few problems in the past 3 years but I'd like to not have to spend my time chasing people down -- seriously.  It's a bummer for the person who doesn't get a package and a bummer for me to have to hunt you down for months after.

Things You Need To Do

1. Send an email BEFORE November 17th to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com with the answers to the following questions:

  1. Full Name & Address
  2. Blog URL 
  3. Would you be able to send internationally if needed? Please answer with Yes, No or Would prefer not to but will if needed (if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you but there have been only 10-15 international participants each year).
  4. List 10 books you'd like to read or a link to a wishlist (please mix it up with older and new releases -- aka maybe things that aren't just available in hardcover right now). DO NOT ASK FOR ARCS please. If your SS wants to throw some in there because they saw it on your Goodreads or something that's fine but once we had someone ask for mostly ARCs.
  5. List of your bookish preferences (a few fave authors, your fave genres, things you WILL NOT READ)
  6. Please give a few things you like (to help with your goodie). See below for examples in the guidelines.
  7. Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa should know.

2. When you receive your Secret Santa, go play Santa and buy your prezzies. Send it out no later than the week of December 6th-10th. The earlier the better as the mail is always slow during the holiday season.

3. After you send off your package, please email TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com letting us know you sent it off WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION (changing it this year, sorry!). Email us again when you receive your package. If you have not received your package by January 1st please then email us and I will attempt to contact your Secret Santa. Please understand I will try my damndest to work it out but there is only so much I can do in the event someone decides to be naughty. Karma is a biotch though..maybe they'll get their toes run over by Santa's sleigh.

4. FOR EXTRA FUN: Thanks to Estelle from Rather Be Reading for this idea! We are going to use the hashtag #TBTBSanta for this event! We'd love to hear and see through pictures and tweets your entire process -- maybe a sneak peek of your Secret Santa skills in action (a picture of something you are sending, the wrapped picture, the box) and we'd LOVE to see your goodies as you get them!

Some guidelines:

* Books can be new or used. Use your discretion as far as used books go but please be kind and don't send something you wouldn't want to receive. They should be in VERY good condition -- like you can't even tell if it was read. Please pick at least one other goody to put in the package.

                           So your package should look something like this:

  1 or 2 books + some sort of little goodie or two (candy, bookmarks, something bookish) & a card or note.

* Suggestions for things to add that could be helpful to tell your Secret Santa for the little gift: things like music you love, Harry Potter/Star Wars/etc. fan, collects keychains or something else, would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, tea fanatic, loves stationary, loves chocolate, etc. etc. Also maybe if you have an e-reader and would be willing to get ebooks or a gift card. That way maybe they can find something related.

*We would love to again have this be open internationally and will make an effort to pair up people from the same countries to keep costs down. However, if anyone would like to do an international exchange, you can let us know. It was hard on some people who had to send internationally but using The Book Depository could be a good option. If you are from outside the US, be aware that you might have to send internationally due to the fact that there are significantly more US participants and we may not be able to pair you up with someone closer.

* Feel free to grab the button to put on your sidebar or make your own!

Please ask any questions in the comments!!

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for my 4th annual End of Year Book Survey. Check out the 3rd annual End of Year Book Survey to see all the fun we had!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Julia muses: Because I am a Reader

I'm in a reading slump. There is no getting around it. I just don't have the time (or when I do the want) to read. I've been working a lot, dreaming of traveling, getting as much moneys worth as I can a month with my Netflix account. I guess we all need a break from time to time.

But really does the act of reading ever leave us? I've had real life examples lately where it doesn't. Because I am a reader, it's hard for me to enjoy some of the Netflix shows I've been watching. Because I've read history. I know what really happened, and I know what Hollywood would need to do to that to make a good story.

Because I am a reader, it's hard for me to picture a person who doesn't read as much as me. Who doesn't seep in all the new vocabulary and start using it in their day to day lexicon. I've noticed myself having to define words a lot more lately. Some of them, sure I guess they are a little antiquated and I can understand people not knowing them who don't live their lives in the pages of historical fiction. But others I can't even remember where I've picked them up. Just don't ask me to spell them.

Because I am a reader, even though I am in a slump, the books never truly leave m. And that is kind of an awesome thing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Books To Read During Halloween

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the future topics, click here!
This week was all about the creepy --whether or not you chose Top Ten Books To Read During Halloween or Top Ten Creepiest Covers!

Bridget's Pick: Since horror is pretty much my favorite genre, this is kind of hard for me, but in the end I think I'll have to go with the easy one: IT by Stephen King. It's super long, but it's a deliciously scary tale of 7 kids who band together to fight the monster that feeds on their town. Definitely a great Halloween read! And if you REALLY want to be scared, buy one of the 25th Anniversary Editions that have black and white AND full-color illustrations.

Jen's Picks: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - I'm not a fan of scary books so The Graveyard Book won't make you jump with fright. But I loved the story of Nobody Owens, a boy who is raised in a graveyard by ghosts.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury: Growing up my grandma would get this book out every October and we'd read it at least three times before the month was over. It was a tradition between her, my brother and myself.

Jamie's Picks:

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater:
If you don't like scary but want something that is so atmospheric and just FEELS like Fall? The Scorpio Races is beautifully written and um KILLER HORSES.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting:
I wouldn't say this is SUPER scary but it is a little creepy. Great YA series to read around Halloween that follows a girl who can hear the echos of dead people.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil: Did you use to love slasher-y type RL Stine or Christopher Pike books? Pick this one up if so! The body count is high and you are always trying to guess "whodunit".

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: I love Gothic novels in the Fall and this one is one of my all time favorite books! Definitely a good one if you don't want something super scary or of the horror variety.

Daisy's Pick:
Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow: this books reads like a dark kind of fairytale and some of it was SO CREEPY! I think it'd make for a perfect Halloween read!

Julia's Pick:
I am not a person who likes to be scared. So horror is not my genre, but this October and lead-up, I have been gravitating toward Steampunk. I read Kiss of Steel and Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster. Both were enjoyable.  

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook I think would be another really good Steampunk read for October! I hear the rest in that series are excellent as well!

Have any of these on your list? What books would you suggest for us to check out for good Halloween reads??

Monday, October 28, 2013

Libraries still exist?
I get the majority of the books I read from my public library. Free books! What could be better? One day last week I was talking to a couple people I work with and one of them asked how I can afford to read so many books. I told her I get them from the library and her response was, "libraries still exist?"...Yes, my coworker really said that. And she reads too! Not often but she reads at least a few books a year.

I am still shocked that there are people who think public libraries are extinct. Is it just because people are unaware of the free books, DVDs and CDs that library offers? My town's library is small but I can usually get any book I want from any other library in the state.

It breaks my heart to know that people are unaware of the fantastic resource that is the library. The library is so much more than just doing research for a school paper or project.

So fellow readers, are there people in your life who are also clueless about all of the wonderful things that libraries have to offer?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 10/13 - 10/26

Jamie here to share the latest books that have found good homes here on my shelves! Very good past week or so so I'm excited to share and hear what you got!!

First and foremost, Gayle Forman came to my area on my birthday!! You'll have to check out my blog to see what happened in my awesome Gayle Forman-filled celebration but naturally I bought a copy of Just One Year which I LOVED. Seriously, I love Gayle Forman, my local indie and my book club friends for everything they did to make my birthday special!


The lovely Jen from Pop Goes The Reader gifted me with two books she loves and I'm SUPER excited to read them. If you don't know Jen, you should probably mosey on over to her blog because she is an awesome blogger who is among my favorites!

* The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion -- I've been curious about this one for a while and I remember Jen made me excited about it after she read it so I'm SO excited to read this soon!

* Vision in White by Nora Roberts -- super excited about this one as I've been getting more into the romance genre lately and the cover is stunning!

My lovely friend Mitali sent me these for my birthday and I'm SO excited. Firstly, MUG CAKES. YOU CAN MAKE AMAZING DESSERTS IN YOUR MICROWAVE. You need this book. I want to make 99% of these!! And secondly, I've always wanted to read Janet Evanovich so I'm excited to check this one out! Have any of you guys read her books??

For Review

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: EEEE!!! BEYOND EXCITED. Seriously. I loved Frankie Landau Banks and have the Ruby Oliver series on my shelves but this book seems completely different from what she typically writes and I'm excited because I LOVE psychological thrillers. Make sure this is on your TBR for 2014!!

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill: This one sounds really cute and I love when I read a summary that features an MCs I've never seen anywhere -- a hockey player and a figure skater! So looking forward to this!

 Premidiated by Josin L. McQuein: I've been wanting to read this one so I was very happy when it showed up here! It's gotten good reviews by some reviewers I trust!
Red by Allison Cherry: The premise seems a little weird but I'm intrigued based on chatter about this one! Let me know if you've read this one!
Indigo by Gina Linko: I've never heard of this one but it seems to be paranormal and possibly a standalone? Anyone heard of this one? It is set in New Orleans which is a city I've been wanting more books to be set in!
Splendor by Elana K. Arnold: This is the sequel to Sacred which I have on my shelf but haven't yet read! I'm really interested in it though!
Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin: I've been intrigued by this one for a while and I love a good mystery so I'm hoping this will be good!! I have another one of her books, Tighter, on my shelf..has anyone read that one?

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: One of my fave authors and I am SOOOO looking forward to this one! LHA has done so much for the YA scene and she writes some of the best books out there!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This was a reread for me for book club. Was very excited for this opportunity to share this book with the rest of the book club ladies as it is a favorite. PLUS, if you checked out my "In Memory of Lost Books" post, you'll know why I'm super excited.

 Have you guys read any of these?? Let me know what you thought so I can prioritize! Or let me know which ones you are planning to read/also own!

Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves & Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bookish Deals (27)

Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - $1.99  
Everything is in ruins. A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them. So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Note: There are quite a few YA books on sale over at EpicReads. If you are looking for some good YA deals, check them out as a good number of them end Oct 28th.

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano - $1.99  
Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett's chagrin, all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

When Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton's path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn - $1.99  
Honoria Smythe-Smith is: A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed "Bug" as a child
C) not in love with her older brother's best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is: A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend's younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they: A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever and the world's worst musical performance
C) fall quite desperately in love
It's Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .
D) all of the above

Night Train to Lisbon by Emily Grayson - $0.99  
Carson Weatherell is a privileged young American woman traveling in Europe in 1936, courtesy of her aunt and uncle who live abroad and have kindly offered to show her the sights. A bout of illness and self-pity almost send her back to her sheltered Connecticut life, but on an overnight train to Lisbon, she suddenly can't imagine returning home. On that train she meets Alec Breve, a young British scientist traveling with a group of colleagues -- and in his company, Carson finds that she's enjoying herself, certainly for the first time since she left New York Harbor, and quite possibly for the first time in her life.

In Lisbon, Carson and Alec begin an intense love affair, but their bliss is threatened when Carson's uncle reveals that Alec might be a spy for Germany. He insists that it is essential that Alec be trapped and brought to justice, and the only person who can deliver an unsuspecting Alec to the proper authorities is Carson. Desperate to believe in her new love -- and terrified of discovering she has fallen for a traitor -- Carson must choose whether to prove her lover innocent or leave him to face the consequences on his own.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tahleen gets ready for Hallmark Christmas

Hi! It's Tahleen.

Sooooo please don't hate me for this, but I'm getting excited about Christmas. JUST A LITTLE. Stop scowling.

Deal with it.

I can't help it! I've been watching the Hallmark Channel and during every episode of Cedar Cove, they have a little promo letting us all know IT'S COMING. Starting November 2, The Hallmark Christmas movies are coming. And they are starting with a Thanksgiving movie, so there.

This got me to thinking about how Debbie Macomber, author of the Cedar Cove books, constantly has her stuff turned into these made-for-TV movies. And how often, the movies are wayyy better. Sorry, Macomber lovers.

I do read my annual Christmas story by her, maybe even a few, because the stories are HEARTWARMING. But her writing is ...not my favorite. That's why I am super happy every time I see Hallmark is turning another one of her books to an easily digestible, 90-minute nugget of Christmas fuzzies. And why I was really happy Cedar Cove became a series. She just has this knack of creating a great foundation, then Hallmark takes over the rest of the character development and story etc. I don't know what it is, but it works.

And soon, I will be checking out our Christmas collection at the library, currently hidden away in a secret cabinet, looking for other books that will make me happy it's one of my favorite times of the year again.

Are there any movies you like better than the books they were based on? Or do you have any favorite Christmas/Thanksgiving/Hannukah/whatever holiday coming up?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

pick jana's next book!

Image Source

Hi all! I know this is probably really silly to some of you, but I'm in a bit of a book slump. As I write this, I am reading my most anticipated book of 2013: Just One Year by Gayle Forman. When it came in the mail, I flailed. I was so excited. I threw my book schedule to the wolves and interrupted regularly scheduled programming to read it. And I'm enjoying it... but, I'm already disappointed in it. And I don't think there's anything wrong with the book, to be honest. I just think I'm in a reading slump. I'm not sure anything will please me right now. I don't know why!!!

Anyway, I thought I would try something for my next book choice. I want YOU to tell me what to read! If you go to my Goodreads profile (and if we're not friends already, please add me!) and check out my various shelves (like favorites, to-read, DNF) you'll get to see kind of what my reading preferences are. You can keep that in mind while you come up with a book for me, or you can ignore it completely and shove me out of my comfort zone. I love that. I will randomly select a book that has been recommended, and will report back here soon with my thoughts! If all goes well, I'll be doing this more often. I really must expand my horizons and read awesome things, and who better to ask for help? :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Unusual Character Names We've Encountered In Books

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the future topics, click here!

This week was all about character names -- top ten character names I LOVE or top ten most unusual character names! Feel free to come up with your own twist on the character names if this doesn't work exactly for you!

Jamie says:

1. Katniss from The Hunger Games: I can't help but want to call her catnip. SORRY K!
2. Renesmee from Breaking Dawn: Look, I understand wanting to honor people in your life by maybe naming your child after them but you can't just smoosh 2 names together! STOP TRYING TO MAKE FETCH HAPPEN. It's awkward to say and no me gusta.
3. Echo from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry: I don't think I've ever heard of anybody named Echo!

Jana says:

4. Cassia from Matched by Ally Condie
5. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Paula says:

6. Coraline from Coraline by Neil Gaiman. He actually talks about how it originally came from a misspelling. And there is a running joke in the book where people keep calling her Caroline.

Julia says:
7. Pretty much any Kathleen E. Woodiwiss heroine. Here is a list for you of the ones I find strange, and you can judge for yourself: Erienne, Shanna, Lierin, Cerynise, Abrielle, Synnovea, Raelynn, and Shemaine.

Jen says

8. Rhine from The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano. It's just an odd name but it really fit with the book.

Daisy says:
9. Belly from the Summer series by Jenny Han: I feel like I keep going on about this, but that name is just odd, I'm fine with Bella, Belle, pretty much anything other than Belly. That's the body part that holds your food.

10. Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss: I know there's pronunciation guide somewhere on the internet, but I still can't manage to wrap my head around it.

Have any unusual names that could top ours?? Do you have any of these on your list if you chose to do this particular topic?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Paula Wonders how your 2013 reading goals are going

Hey all! So for the past two years I've checked in with you all in the fall to see how the year's reading goals are going for you all. I figured it's a tradition now and so:

Oh my gosh there's only two months left in 2013 how is your reading goal progress going?

Here's how mine are looking:

-Read at least 40 books: The current book I'm reading (The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury) is number 37 for the year. So I think I should be okay to hit this goal. Unless of course I get stuck on a big book for over a month... which is what happened to me in September with Drood by Dan Simmons. One book in one month- I was so frustrated!

-Read at least 15,000 pages: The past two years I read well over 15,000 pages so I  thought this wouldn't actually be a challenge for me. I lowered the number so I could try and tackle some bigger books and not stress out. But here I am in October and I've only read 10,000 pages. So unless I somehow manage to read 5,000 pages in 2 months I will probably fail this goal.

-Read 5 books from shelf before buying more: Completed this goal back in March before my city's huge library sale (always my motivation so I can go) I might have to up the goal to 10 books next year because my to-read shelf is getting way out of control

-Read Lord of the Rings Trilogy: I haven't even started... I'm just so intimidated by his world building and that I've been told they are such dense books. But I gotta get my nerd cred guys. How can I claim to love all things scifi and fantasy and still never read one of the staples. Maybe I can pick up at least the first one by the end of the year...

-Read more Discworld: This is on my list every year. I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld but there is so much that I have to make myself explore the next book. So far I haven't done it this year...

-Read a book over 500 pages: Completed in March!

-Read a book of short stories: wanted to make myself read something out of my normal habits. Completed in August!

Yikes! I've only completed half of my 2013 goals and it looks like some might not make it. I certainly hope everyone else is doing a better job than me! Share your progress in the comments and have a happy October! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bridget's Mini-Review of The Perfect Storm

When I picked this up maybe a month or two ago at my local Goodwill, I remembered that there had been a movie of the same name a while back and that my dad had really liked it. We tend to have similar-ish taste in movies and books, so though I hadn't seen the movie and I'm sure he hasn't read the book, I thought I would try it. For 50 cents, why not?

What I didn't realize was that when the cover said "A True Story," it really means a true story. Not based on a true story. As I was reading the introduction (something I rarely do, actually, but I'm glad I read this one) and the author started going on about how he wanted this to be a good "piece of journalism," my non-fiction-disliking brain said "uh oh."

I'm not finished with it yet, but I don't think that "uh oh" was totally justified. Maybe partially, since I was expecting something of a swashbuckling tale of "men against the sea," not speculation about what actually happened that night (since nobody can actually know what happened to the men on the Andrea Gail who, SPOILER ALERT, perished in that storm).

The Perfect Storm is actually a combination of very intensive research into sword fishing, boating/fishing culture, safety, and the like, and other fishermans' recollections of what happened during that storm. It makes for an interesting read, but it should definitely be noted that the author assumes SOME knowledge of boating, and that is not true at all for me. My eyes glaze over a bit during the parts where he's talking about all the different things that can happen to a boat during storms because, as exciting and intriguing as that is, I don't know what the large majority of the words mean, so it's a bit hard to follow.

I can't knock this book since I picked it up with mistaken expectations, but had I known that it was actually straight up non-fiction and not a "based on a true story" type of novel, I probably would have given this one a pass. Maybe that's not the same for you, though! If you like non-fiction and you're interested in sword fishing/fishing in general/meteorology/maritime stuff, check this out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Cocktail & Conversation: Bedtime Stories As A Kid!

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

What was your favorite bedtime story to have read to you when you were a little kid?

Julia says
: I had a ton of favorite bed time stories that I would get read to me. Digger Dan, The Little Engine that Could, a book about where milk comes from. But the one that I think annoyed my parents the most was Green Eggs and Ham. I memorized it after a while, so no corners could be cut! Dr Seuss was my favorite.

Tahleen says
: I honestly don't remember very well, but I do remember a book we had called Which One Would You Choose? by Edith Kunhardt that we read over and over. Basically, a girl and a boy go through their day and make choices. We as readers got to make choices too. We'd switch it up each time we read it.

Jamie says
: I had this Precious Moments picture bible thing and I was OBSESSED with it as a child and made my parents and babysitters read it to me every night. I only wish I would have kept it when I moved in 7th grade because I would have loved to pass that on to Genevieve.

Paula says:
I don't have a particular book that stands out. Some of my favorite childhood memories are that my mom and I read together every night for an hour until I was in 7th grade. We read lots of fantasty series. Harry Potter, So You Want to be a Wizard, something that was all about dragons... And usually it was us reading together for awhile... her falling asleep... me finishing the chapter and giving her a summary the next night.

What about you guys? What were your favorite bedtime stories as a kid?

We'll miss you, Kelly!

The Broke and the Bookish crew is sad to see our beloved Kelly go, but happy to know she has made the right decision for herself. Kelly has recently taken on a second job, and is one busy little bee these days, both work-wise and life-wise. We hope to continue seeing her lots on twitter, though! We thought we'd show her some love today.

Jana - Kelly, you have done so much for the blog! I just checked, and you contributed 78 posts of fun surveys, historical book reviews and giveaways, and other awesome things. We knew we could always count on you having your posts up way ahead of time, and I know I have loved getting to know you these past couple years! Thanks for being a part of this with us, please stay in touch, and good luck with your crazy busy life!

Julia -  Kelly has been with us since the beginning three years ago. I always loved reading her historical fiction posts; I know I have added a ton to my TBR because of her! I am positive she has brought over 80% of the giveaways on this blog here! Kelly, good luck with everything that life brings! I hope you still have time to continue reading all the books. We'll miss you here. Thanks for everything :)

Jamie - Kelly! Thanks for embarking on this journey with me from day 1 when I had this crazy idea and decided to see if anyone in the College Students group wanted to join. It's been amazing getting to know you more from blogging and I appreciate everything you've done for TBTB. You are our historical fiction expert and I feel like I'm going to have to stalk your Goodreads to make sure I'm getting enough historical fiction in my diet. Best of luck!!

Jen - Kelly, it's been so much fun getting to know you through Goodreads and TBTB! You share my love of books, music, nail polish, cats, and all things sparkly. Thank you for being a great friend! Good luck with everything! We'll miss you on the blog! :)

Tahleen - Not to sound like a broken record (is that phrase still relevant?), but it's been great getting to know you and wonderful working with you on The Broke & the Bookish. I hope we continue to see you on other social networking platforms, and maybe we'll be paired in another Secret Santa somewhere along the way! :) Good luck with everything!

Bridget - Thanks for being awesome :) we'll definitely miss you here on the blog and like Julia said, I hope you still have time to read, even if not enough time to review! Good luck with your new job!

Daisy - Kelly, I'm so glad that we've gotten to know each other better because of this blog! I love geeking out with you over A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter and anything remotely related! I don't think I would have survived the Red Wedding without you! I'm sad you won't have time to be a part of TBTB anymore, but I know you're crazy busy and we'll still talk! And of course we'll always have shirtless Gendry ;)

Farewell to our friend and blogmate, Kelly!! We will miss you! If you loved her historical fiction reviews and great giveaways and awesome TTT picks, give her a nice sendoff with us!! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finishing A Series

Finishing an entire book series or trilogy is not something I have accomplished often (according to Goodreads I have only completed five series/trilogies). For me to want to read a whole series I need to be highly invested in the book and its characters. Or sometimes if there is too long of a gap in between when I read the first book and the second book...or if the other books just aren't out yet, I'll obviously forget details and need to reread book one but there are SO MANY BOOKS I want to read that I never get around to doing a reread. This is one problem.

My other issue is that when I finish a series I feel...lost. The world that I've grown to love and felt like I've been a part of is over. There is no more. That makes picking up a new book to read hard! I still feel stuck in the mindset of the characters that I just left behind.

This leads to my question:


I've picked up books from the library, browsed for books online to buy...but nothing sounds interesting or like it'll hold my attention anymore. I think I'm suffering from a Harry Potter hangover. Help me find a cure!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Books I Was "Forced" to Read!

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the future topics, click here!

This week we are talking about the books you were "forced" to read! Obviously, in most cases, you weren't LITERALLY forced to read it but you know what we are getting at here. Those required reading books, book club picks, books for your job or those books that it simply feels like other readers were going to tie you down until you read it!!

Jamie's Pick's

1. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
: This was a required read book in high school and I managed to NOT read it, write an essay and STILL get an A. But then, in college, it got assigned to me in a class and I had to write a HUGE paper on it that could NOT be done without reading it again. I'm SO glad it got assigned to me again because I ended up LOVING it.

2. Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand

I was picked to be the newbie for the Epic Reads The End Is Near event they had. I had to read the books and do some guest posts on their blog. I was obviously a willing participant but I was "forced" to read it in a sense.

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Book club made me read it! It was on my radar but I likely wouldn't have gotten around to it as soon as I did had it not been for book club!

Jen's Pick

4. The entire Harry Potter series: Kelly and Kimberly knew I had only read the first book and were basically like, "you're reading all of the books this summer".  And I did. I really liked the books A LOT more than I thought I was going to.  But I think my favorite part of being "forced" to read the series was texting Kelly and Kimberly whenever I got a part that made me sad, angry, happy, etc, and discussing it with them. Thank you to you both!

Julia's Picks

5. The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy: I took a class in high school called "Classic and Modern Novels." We had to read one book together, and this was it. I went into it thinking that I would seriously hate it, but I came out loving it. Recently I am wondering how much was nostalgia and how much is actually this is a great book, so I picked up a copy and plan on giving it a reread.

6. Fatherland by Robert Harris: In my high school world history class, we had to read one book each semester that was on the teacher's pre-approved list for things that had relevance to history. This one is an alternate history "what if the Nazis won WWII" book. It's a mystery detective story and amazing. I read have read this one since high school and it held up to my nostalgic scrutiny. If you like this sort of book, do yourself a favor and check it out!

7. Macbeth: I had read Romeo and Juliet earlier in my highschool career and kinda felt meh about it (except for the fact that I loved the Leonardo DiCaprio movie). But once I read Macbeth I fell in love! It was such a cool work. I really want to see a good rendition of the actual play. Someday.

8. Much Ado About Nothing; In the same vein, college had me read this comedy. It was my first of Shakespeare's comedies. I had no idea how funny it would be (once I read through all the translations from old timey english to modern english/explained some of the references from the time). I would have never picked it up myself.

Bridget's Pick

9. Pride and Prejudice, easily. We had to read it over the summer before my senior year in high school for my AP Literature class. Later, in college, I took a class on Jane Austen just so I could read all her novels (even though I had actually read them already). JA rocks!

Tahleen's Pick

10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
. I was assigned this book once a year for the first three years of college, all for different classes and professors, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. And how much I hated the title character. Seriously, he's awful. But the book itself is one I feel fortunate to have been able to discuss with different groups of people in different contexts. I'm not sure I'd have picked this up on my own otherwise.

Which books were you "forced" or were gently nudged to read?? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Running Like a Girl

I want to run.  For fun.  For exercise.  For me.  I used to run all the time when I played soccer because that's part of the game.  I never really got into running long distances around the track as training in the off-season, like so many of my friend did, but that didn't mean I wasn't jealous.  Fast forward nearly ten years, two undergraduate degrees and one, almost two, masters degrees, and I would kill to be running as a way of losing the grad school weight.

I mean, really, I would love myself a lot more if I were doing ANYTHING to be losing the grad school weight.

So I search the best way I know how--books.  I read books upon books about losing weight.  Both sides of it--how to stop eating a ton of shit and how to get off my ass.

I've found books on clean eating, on eating healthy on a budget--both financial budget and time budget, on skinny Italian food, on eating six meals a day to lose weight--even when you aren't hungry.  I've read books on being a vegan--but I love bacon and steak and chicken too much.  I've read books on how to be a yogi--both from the diet and the exercise standpoint.  But I've never read a book on running.

I love yoga, but I think that yoga is more of a "me" thing--I do it (or, rather, want to do it--let's be honest, I'm not DOING much of anything lately) because it makes me feel good.  So I need and want to find something else to shed the pounds (a dear friend of mine runs to lose weight and does Zumba to feel good).  I like that philosophy.  This way yoga won't become my make it or break it thing.  It will be my calming down thing.

This post had some bookish point...

I recently found Running Like a Girl:  Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley, which is part memoir and part guide.  Heminsley shares with readers her journey to become a runner from being not a runner in her 30s, then she creates the guide that she wished she had had when she first started out.

Confession--I've only just started reading it, so I can't review it yet.  But I wanted to call everyone's attention to the book in case, like me, you are wanting to soak up the nice fall weather and start running before it becomes all icky and winter-y.  You can totally expect a review and a status report next month.

Do any of you have any good guides for getting started running?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 9/29 - 10/12

Daisy's Book Haul

Birthday Books!
Like I said last time, I'm a lucky girl and have wonderful people in my life who buy me books for my birthday :) My mom got me these:
-Sabriel by Garth Nix
Lirael by Garth Nix
Abhorsen by Garth Nix: the beautiful boxed set of The Abhoren Trilogy! I'm so excited!! People keep telling me how amazing this series is :D
-The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle: I've heard a lot of good things about Lauren Myracle's Shine and this sounded like it could be my kind of book!
-Five Summers by Una LaMarche: because seriously, I love books about friendships. Even if they're falling apart, because that's life and not every friendship lasts forever. Also: SUMMER CAMP! EEE!
-Relativity by Cristin Bishara: because look at the gorgeous cover!! And I'm fascinted by alternate realities!
-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling: I owned the whole series in English, except for this one and now I can blisfully stare at my beautiful complete set! :D

You're probably not reading this, but thank you so much mom!!

-The House of Hades by Rick Riordan: YAY PERCY JACKSON!! I really need to start this series... But I'm trying to re-read Percy Jackson first...
-Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein: VENGEANCE YES!
-The Mark of Athena by Percy Jackson: see also excitement about The House of Hades
-Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn: I'm slowly making my way through Julia Quinn's backlist :) It is awesome!
-Unbreakable by Kami Garcia: Ancient. Secret. Society. That's all.
-A Radiant Sky by Jocelyn Davies: I started this series way back when the first book was released and have yet to find the time to actually continue with it. But I want to!!
-De Laatste Zomer by Tatiana de Rosnay: Dutch version of A Secret Kept, I keep hearing amazing things about her books and it was a total bargain!
-The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima: so I haven't started this series yet, but I LOVED her Seven Realms series and obviously I needed to own this. And it is SO PRETTY!
-Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano: I loved Wither! And this new series sounds really exciting :)
-Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson: because it is YA by Brandon Sanderson!! How could I resist this??
-Ten by Gretchen McNeil: this sounds insanely creepy! And I like to creep myself out every now and then :)

Ebooks for Review:
-Pawn by Aimee Carter: I totally loved her Goddess Test trilogy and am so excited about this new series!!
-Pushed by Corrine Jackson: I haven't read the first book yet, but I do own it and this sounds like an interesting series! I'm not really loving the new cover design though.
-A Gentleman 'Til Midnight by Alison DeLaine: A LADY CAPTAIN! YES!
-One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern: her books are a bit hit or miss for me, but this sounds like it has a lot of potential!
-Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction by Jayne Fresina: scandalous business arrangements! Yes!
-Nil by Lynne Matson: OMG! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!! :D
-Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette: I really need to read the first book, this series sounds so good!

Jana's Book Haul

I have received quite a few books over the last month, so I'm just going to highlight the ones I am SO EXCITED about! I'm sorry, but I don't have time to link to Goodreads like Daisy did!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Pre-order)
Just one Year by Gayle Forman (I got a pre-order for my birthday in June, and it came!)
Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
Camp Kiss by J.K. Rock

ARCs sent for review:
Cress by Marissa Meyer (YAYYYY!)
NIL by Lynne Matson
Unforgotten by Jessica Brody
Sekret by Lindsay Smith

eARCs for review:
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (It was AMAZING)
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Panic by Lauren Oliver

Finished copy from publisher as a thanks for my review:
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (AMAZING book, people.)

Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves & Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Julia Reviews These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title/Author: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher/Year Published: December 10, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
How I got this book: I snagged an early review copy from NetGalley
Why I read this book: The concept seemed really interesting, and it was!
Rating: 4.5 stars

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder-would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.
Where to start with this one? I was lucky enough to snag a review copy of this a few months back and I freaking devoured it. I am pretty sure I read it in one cross country plane ride I was so entranced. I took some notes and sat on this until closer to early December, but I think now is the perfect time to introduce you to this book and pre-order.

Going into this book, I was a littler weary. I actually didn't know much about it form around the net. I literally read the summary, thought "I'd probably like this" and read it. No hype. No expectations. 

Apparently some are calling this "Titanic in space" and I can't agree with that. The only way this book would be like Titanic is if we saw one dinner before the wreck, the ships sinks and we spend the rest of the story learning about how they survived in open waters working together while trying to be rescued

This is a survivalist story and if that isn't your thing, this book wouldn't be for you. Fortunately for me, it is my thing and I really liked that aspect. This part of the book combined with its very original plot suck you in. The characters are what keeps you reading.

Lilac and Tarver are awesome. Both are fleshed out and not cardboard cut-outs. In my notes I have the line, "Backstory and depth all leading to awesomeness."  Both are very traditional yet also nontraditional in their gender roles. And you know, that's how people are; that is what makes these characters so relatable. 

The story itself it told in alternate first person pov's jumping between Lilac and Tarver. I usually cannot stand first person, but I think that when it alternates like this and I get two narrators that could potentially negate any unreliable narration I may be getting from the other, I don't mind it. Just like Across the Universe. I loved it there, too. And it really lends it well in this story.

There were some things that didn't work for me. Certain aspects of the plot were just too hard for me to believe or were explained by too much of a convenience or not at all. Maybe these will be addressed later in the series, but I like this a bit more clearer than they sometimes were. It almost has to do with a weakness with the world building, or being able to convey to me what the rules of this world are, so that when they are broken it's more of a shock and less unrealistic. 

But really, overall, I liked this. It was a fun sci-fi romp in space. The characters were interesting  the plot full of twists and turns, and in the combined product is something unique and original. I can't even be mad that it's another series to add to my collection. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Daisy's Mini-Review of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Title/Author: Doon (Doon #1) by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Publisher/Date published: Zondervan, August 20th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: DOON...

Veronica doesn't think she's going crazy. But why can't anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna's great aunt — and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica's daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they've longed for... or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

Summary sound familiar? The premise of Doon is loosely based on the musical Brigadoon. And while I have never seen this before, I'm guessing some of the more thespian-oriented readers among us probably have. I'm not actually sure whether this would have been better or worse.

I'm a bit conflicted about Doon, because on one hand, I liked the premise and I found myself wanting to keep reading it, but on the other hand there were a couple of things that made me want to throw my e-reader across the room and roll my eyes and make lots of frustrating noises.

What I liked: I liked the storytelling, the overall plot is interesting and fairytale like and it worked.

What I didn't like: I was confused by one of the lovestories, because the prince was being a jerk and I just couldn't see it. Veronica's parental situation was crazy and for me unbelievable, it was a bit of a too conventient absent-parent thing. The constant fangirling of Veronica and Mackenna over each other was really annoying.

I'm not entirely sure this needed to be a series and I'm still debating if I want to read the next book or not. There were too many things that annoyed me and not enough great moments in between to compensate.

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top Ten Best/Worst Series Endings -- Top Ten Tuesday

More information about Top Ten Tuesday and future topics can be found here.

Best Series Endings

Jana says:

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi: Have no fear! This book could not have wrapped up the series any better. I just loved it so much.

Jamie says:

Boundless by Cynthia Hand: This was one of the best last books ever! Always kept me guessing and it was just SO GOOD. I will say that a certain part of how the love triangle wrapped up made me sad but overall this was such a great series ending!
Seconded by Daisy!

Julia says:

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis: This series was great and the ending sure did not disappoint! It took quite a turn from the other books, but I didn't mind at all. Across the Universe in general is one of my favorite YA series. If you like space and dystopian drama, definitely check this series out! It won't waste your time.
Julia says:

A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James: I loved this six book romance series set in Georgian England. The ending book was especially lovely because it gave us a conclusion for a specific character we had been following all series. Technically there is another book coming out that is tangentially related to this series, so this may not be considered the end, but I still loved how it tied up the overall story line of the first six.

Daisy says

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: I cannot even begin to describe my love for this series and this book in particular! It was everything I could have wanted from the last novel in a series and though I'm still heartbroken I won't be going on adventures with Elisa and Hector (HECTOR!!) anymore, I still love this book. It was the perfect ending to an epic series!

Kimberly says

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: There may be many who will disagree with me, but to me, the final Harry Potter book was perfect. It tied everything together. The characters were wonderful from the beginning, but it here that we saw how incredible they could be. (Neville anyone???) I cried over the characters I lost, and cried for the characters that found happiness. Actually, I spent a lot of time crying over this book. But only the best books do that to me, the ones that impact me the most and the ones I care about. I could not have asked for a better ending for this series.... Except, perhaps, MORE books. ;)

Worst Series Endings

Jamie says:

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
: I HATE THAT THIS HAPPENED FOR ME. It's funny because her last paragraph is one of the most beautiful, strong last paragraphs ever but I really didn't like this book at all. I just didn't feel satisfied and I promise you I'm NOT a person who has to have neat, happy endings. You can read my full review of Requiem by Lauren Oliver here to find out why it disappointed me.

Jana says:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: I closed this book and went, "well... that sucked." I loved The Hunger Games, and I was even invested in Catching Fire because I was so intrigued to find out what happened! And THEN Mockingjay came along and I had so many feelings of rage and frustration by the end of it, because I honestly no longer knew what the point was anymore. It was so hard for me to read that I didn't even review it. Haha.  <Jamie says...I actually loved this one!! *runs away* >

Daisy says:

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han: I'm probably going to be voicing and unpopular opinion here, but UGH! I am still so mad at this book! I mean, I was LOVING this series and it was so good and cute and had real issues and I was digging the lovestory and though I was still annoyed by the name 'Belly' (because seriously, worst name ever), I was willing to overlook this. And then this book happened. And I was like WTF??? What is going on? I lost some of the respect I had for Belly and I just... I'm just still disappointed by the the events in this book.

Julia Says:

The latest books in the Dark Hunters Series.. for like by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Oh, how obsessed with this series I was in the beginning! I had plans to go to the convention. The first six or so books just ripped my soul, but then as book 10... 14... 16 came out, I realized that every single book was the same. Bad boy and a girl whom he would never consider before have wild sexytime and save the world. It gets old fast. It's a shame because I really liked the concept and the characters, but it got tedious. The series is still going on... on book like 26 or something.

Which series had the best and worst endings in your opinion? Do you disagree/agree with any of our choices??

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