Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kelly reviews "Clockwork Angel:" the graphic novel

Title: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Manga #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Illustrator: HyeKyung Baek
Published: Yen Press, 2012


Okay, I'm pretty sure I'm some sort of publisher's hit list after this one (is there such a thing? I'm pretty sure there is). I received a beautiful copy of the graphic novel adaptation of Clockwork Angel in October....and here is the review at the end of June. As a HUGE fan of the world Cassandra Clare has created in her books, I devoured this in maybe an hour or so. Pretty pictures everywhere!

Hi, I'm a Silent Brother and I look TERRIFYING.



I've only read one other graphic novel, about two years ago for school, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. All of the illustrations were done by HyeKyung Baek and they are simply marvelous. I loved the aspect of further bringing this already vivid story to life. I've got to say though, some of the characters, particularly the villans, were straight from a nightmare. Just look at the Silent Brothers! ---->
I'd somehow forgotten about their horrible eyes and sewn-up mouths. I also loved actually being able to see the Shadowhunters with all of their tattoos.
Talk about the ultimate badasses, walking around Victorian London with crazy tatts. Just thinking about this novel is making me excited for the City of Bones movie coming out later this year! This graphic novel is a good refresher if you are catching up on the Infernal Devices series: it's super quick and easy to ready, plus it's so intriguing. I never thought I'd be so into a graphic novel, no matter how much I loved the book it's based upon!

Upon further investigation, I've noticed that a lot of books are being turned into graphic novels: Soulless, Beautiful Creatures, Vampire Academy, Hush, Hush, and, well, Twilight too. This is a trend I am now fully in support of! What are some of your favorite graphic novels that I should check out? Or what are some other books you think should be turned into a graphic novel? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paula Reviews Sylo by D.J. MacHale

Book: Sylo by D.J. MacHale
Publisher: Razorbill (expected release July 2013)
How I got it: Got an advanced copy at the BEA
Rating 3.5/4 Stars

Hello all! So this year I traveled up to New York for my very first BEA experience. Not to drown you all with too many details except to say that it was a lot of fun. I got to meet our darling leader of The Broke and The Bookish- and let me tell you Jamie is just as sweet in person as she is on the interwebs. I also got to see and meet some of my favorite authors! I tried to keep the fangirling to a minimum- but how are you supposed to tell someone that you grew up with their writing and adventured with their characters without being a little bit gushy. 

This brings me to SYLO- I had to be picky and choosy about books I brought home from the BEA because I limited myself to making it all fit in my carry-on bag. But as soon as I saw that MacHale would be attending- I knew that a prime spot in my suitcase would be dedicated to this book. 

The premise of Sylo is such: Tucker Pierce is an average high school kid who is floating along. He is on the football team but he hates playing. He gets average grades. He doesn't have any idea about what he wants to when he grows up. And as far as he's concerned - that's all fine with him. Unfortunately his peaceful uneventful island life is quickly changed. During the big game of the season the star player drops dead on the field. As the island mourns the player- the military arrives and quarantines the island because of a mysterious virus (the suspected reason of the player's death). Something doesn't sit well with Tucker and his friends and they are thrown into the middle of discovering what the virus is, what the SYLO unit of the military is, and what exactly is going on on Pemberwick Island...

Why I gave it 3.5/4- 
The Pace: I know first books of series tend to be full of exposition... but the SYLO did get a bit slow at points. But even with that being said- I still finished it in three days. And also characteristic of a first book in a series- I did not feel as though there was any sort of resolution. The main question of the book (who is SYLO/Why was Pemberwick locked down) wasn't answered until the last few pages. And now I have to wait a whole year to know just why these things are important.  
The Characters: I can tell that all of these characters have the potential to be really awesome. I am excited to see how the next two books have them grow. Also- without being a spoiler- Tucker was warned not to trust anyone. at all. So now I'm anxiously awaiting and guessing who might be a secret bad guy or girl. I think I have an idea... but again have to wait a whole year ahhh!

Overall it was a very entertaining book. I am excited for next year to get here and read on and find out what happens to Tucker and his friends. If you need a mystery/dystopian/new series to check out, I suggest you go track down a copy of SYLO when it is released. 

ALSO OH MY GOODNESS I GOT TO MEET D.J. MACHALE AND HE WAS REALLY NICE AND WE TALKED ABOUT PENDRAGON AND AND AND Thanks D.J for filling my childhood (and now adulthood) with lots of adventure! Hobey Ho!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Books Daisy's Read So Far in 2013


So this week we're talking about the best books you've read to so far in 2013! We're almost halfway through the year, I've read 63 books and some amazing ones I want to share with you guys! :)

More information about TTT and future topics can be found here

The Obvious Choices


The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: because seriously, while I knew I would love this book, because this series is just plain awesome, I couldn't have asked for a better ending! Elisa and Hector and just ALL OF IT! GAH, SOMEONE READ THIS AND TALK TO ME ABOUT IT!

One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah MacLean: I love, love, LOVE Sarah MacLean's historical romance novels and this one totally made me smile! And swoon! And all of those good things! The heroine is just someone I could completely root for.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin: so Kelly's yelling at me finally worked and I picked up the fourth book in this series :) I love this series so much and though Martin loves to rip my heart out, I can't help but come back for more.

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare: Tessa Dare is awesome and writes amazing historical romance that not only makes me swoon, but also makes me laugh out loud, and I LOVE that combination!

The Somewhat Unexpected Loves


Golden by Jessi Kirby: Holy wowza, I clicked 'read it' on PulseIt on a whim because I was bored at work, but OMG, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I cannot believe this wasn't on my PINING FOR list! Also: why has no one been yelling at me because I hadn't read this book yet?? Seriously!

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley: So I thought the premise was pretty interesting, but this book was just AMAZING! It totally sucked me in and it was so intense!

Poison by Bridget Zinn: OMG, SO CUTE! I so loved this story and it had that Disney movie feel to it and was just fun and witty and I just loved every minute of reading it!

Pivot Point by Kasie West: I loved that there are two different paths for Addie's future and we get to see how each will play out and then she has to make a heartbreaking decision and it totally made me cry!!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell: This right here is me pleading for Alex Lidell to write a sequel to the Cadet of Tildor because it was AWESOME!

Splintered by A.G. Howard: And this is me being deliriously happy because Splintered will have a sequel!! YAY MORE ALYSSA AND JEB AND MORPHEUS! This was such a beautiful retelling! And the cover is just gorgeous!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: This is one of the few dystopian novels I've loved in a LONG time and it was epic and compelling and HEARTBREAKING!

So, share any of my favourites? What's on your list that I definitely need to read soon?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Daisy Needs Recommendations!


So, a couple of us Broke and Bookish girls are a bit obsessed with the A Song of Ice and Fire series and I'm kinda dreading finishing A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin, because I'm assuming it will be AGES before The Winds of Winter will be released (Goodreads says 2015) and what will I do with my life until then??? Kelly and I have been agonizing over this and I'm sure pretty soon Kimberly will start getting worried as well, if she's not already.

This is where you come in. I need recommendations of amazing epic fantasy series that will tie me over until I can dive back into Westeros and all it's bloody awesomeness.

So PLEASE recommend me some books to read while I'm waiting for The Winds of Winter!


6/25/13: THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for all the AMAZING recommendations! I'll be sure to check all of them out! Kelly, Kimberly and I are eternally grateful ;)
Oh, and if you have more, please do keep them coming!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 6/9 - 6/22

Daisy's Book Haul



Egalleys for Review:

-Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone: I haven't actually read the first book in this series yet, but I've heard AMAZING things about it, very excited to dive into this series!
-Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep: I have had lots of ups and downs with this series, but the last book was SO GOOD, I'm really excited to see what happens next for Gwen and Logan!!
-How To Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe: I love Katharine Ashe's historical romance!
-Summer is For Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston: I'm all for young women in historical romances breaking society's rules :)


Bought:
So this was the book haul when LOTS OF PRE-ORDERS came in and some of my splurges because of BEA envy ;)

-An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn: Julia Quinn is awesome, I really want to read her whole backlist :)
-How To Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray: I'm trying to discover more historical romance authors to love and decided to give Juliana Gray a try.
-Keeping the Castle by Patricia Kindl: this book sounds ADORABLE! And I love castles :)
-Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers: so I still need to read Grave Mercy, but seriously ASSASSIN NUNS. Enough said.
-Reached by Ally Condie: another series I need to start, I'll just binge-read them soonish :)
-The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson: ALL THE EXCITEMENT!! And it is so PRETTY! :D
-Goddess by Josephine Angelini: I loved Starcrossed and just had to have the ending to this series!
-I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: I love Sophie Kinsella's books, they are the very best chicklit in my humble opinion.
-The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller: I'll be honest, I'm looking at a LOOOONG wait after the last of the A Song of Ice and Fire books and I'm looking for epic fantasy series to read to tie me over.
-Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin: I LOVED Masque of the Red Death, so excited to continue this series!
-Enchanted by Alethea Kontis: I've heard MANY good things about Enchanted and its sequel!
-As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott: I'm always intrigued by a good amnesia story and this one sounds really creepy!
-Storybound by Marissa Burt: it's about a school were children learn how to be a fairytale character, YES I AM SO IN!
-Identity Theft by Anna Davies: this is actually a bit smaller than I had expected, so it'll be a fast, creepy read!

Jen's Book Haul

 
 
*all books from the library
 
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys:
I loved Between Shades of Gray and I can't wait to start this book!
 
- Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler:
Started reading this one and it sounds SO FAMILIAR..like I think I may have read it before but according to Goodreads I haven't.
 
- Easy by Tammara Webber:
 I saw a raving review of this book either on a blog or Goodreads and decided to give it a try!



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.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bad Bookish Habits

Over the my years of reading, most specifically since becoming a lit major in college, I've developed some bad bookish habits.  Some were more or less benign (piling books on the floor), others were stupid (being a book snob), but one in particular stood in the way of me and my reading--the affliction of flitting from book to book.  I've complained about it numerous times before, most often over at my personal blog.


Found through Google on luxurywallpapers.net


Basically, the issue was that I'd pick up Book A and spend all day reading away, often reading over 100 pages of the volume.  Somewhere along the way, I'd begin thinking about Book B...to the point where I just couldn't stand it anymore and I HAD to pick up Book B, even though I was perfectly happy with Book A.  So I'd spend some time with Book B, maybe a day, maybe three days, or maybe a couple of chapters, before Book C came to my attention.  Occasionally, I'd be able to juggle a couple of books at once, but until one of them grabbed me hook, line, and sinker, I really didn't finish anything.  Which was such a shame because during this period of utter promiscuity, which has lasted a good five years, I kept buying books (my other bad bookish habit).  Not a couple here and there.  But a few each month.  Sometimes more.

And what's the point of owning all of these amazing books if I never finish any of them?  I don't want to be one of those people who ultimately uses books purely as decoration and hasn't actually read anything.  I'm not Jay Gatsby!

After one particularly frustrating afternoon in which I yet again abandoned a book I was enjoying just fine, I finally decided I needed help.  I think it was seeing so many people write all of these amazing reviews for the Classics Club, to which I belong, but haven't made many contributions in the review department because I haven't actually finished more than one of the books on my extremely long list...

I went to my normal avenues of help--a reader/book blogger that I admire and my boyfriend, who is quite well-read.  Their advice was to pick a book that I would finish.  The reader/book blogger recommended trying one of the shorter classics on my list.  Zach--knowing my appreciation for straight-forwardness--said to just pick a book and freaking stick with it regardless of how much I wanted to pick up something else.  But how to do that?  Wouldn't that make reading a chore?

Then it hit me--re-read a favorite novel.  So I chose The Grapes of Wrath.  I had been jonesing for a re-read because this was around the time that Oklahoma got hit by all of the tornadoes and I began thinking about the other time our state became a bit of a disaster area, but the people were strong and resilient.  So I began reading.

And I kept reading that book.  Maybe not every day.  I mean, if you feel obligated to read, are you really getting the most out of it?  My track record with assigned reading in high school and college says no.  And maybe there were a couple of books that I dallied with for a day or so.  But I always made sure to remind myself to come back to Grapes.  Until I really didn't have to remind myself--I knew I would come back and finish it.  I craved the book, but sometimes needs a little break. 

Tonight I plan to finally finish the novel.  I have absolutely loved my re-reading experience (but you'll have to go to my blog for the review).  Yes, it's taken me a month to read this novel.  The first time I read it in a few days, but I think I missed a lot.  And, let's remember, I'm trying to rehabilitate myself to being a monogamous reader.

I wouldn't say that I'm cured yet.  But if I can make it through a 450 page novel, I feel like I can make it through another novel that is probably shorter, but maybe longer, and another, and another, and another, until I really am just reading one book at a time.

Maybe two.  I am only human after all.

Do you have any bookish bad habits that you've broken?  What about advice for how to break bookish bad habits?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

GIVEAWAY: This Duchess of Mine, Fairy Tale Sampler (plus After Midnight) by Eloisa James

Eloisa James and Julia (plus T-Rex) at the signing
June 21st is a big day for us here at The Broke and the Bookish. Three years ago our first review went up! And recently, after it seems like I have been involved in the book world forever, I was able to go to an author event and book signing and was able to cross off someone from my half of the Top Ten Bookish People We'd Like to Meet list.

I was so excited when I saw that not one, but two historical romance authors that I had read and loved were coming to Ohio for an event literally 15 minutes from my house! On the Level of Excitement meter, this fell just around the "Call People to Share Happiness" level which is nestled between "Post or Tweet Happiness" and "Dance Around Singing Made Up Songs About Happiness." Unfortunately due to some crazy airport shenanigans (O'Hare *shakes fist*), Tessa Dare was unable to attend, but Eloisa James did make it and boy was it a good time.

Eloisa is a wonderful speaker! She did a brilliant job telling us about her new book, Once Upon a Tower, and answering a wide variety of questions from the audience. Not only did she play herself, but she told us about Tessa's book as well, at times switching personas by moving to lean on the opposite side of the podium.

The topics discussed ranged from her creative writing process, to "leaving behind" secondary characters, to being a successful woman with a full time job in a field not super populated with women (tenured Shakespeare professor, not romance novelist. That has a hell of a lot of women), working and motherhood, how she came up with the ideas for Once Upon a Tower, etc. My question was about her perception regarding the current shift of as an author having the be involved in the social media/internet blog circuit. It's not an option any more. It's required. All of the Q&A was all really interesting to me, and I took away more than just information about the books. It was an awesome event that I hope CLE has more of soon!

So now what you all care about right? The GIVEAWAY!
A Fairy Tale Sampler + After Midnight Novella & Signed This Duchess of Mine paperback

I have a signed copy of This Duchess of Mine, book 5 in the Desperate Duchesses series, all of which I really enjoyed. This book is awesome, and I had happened to have another copy of it, new and unread. My excess is your benefit!

BUT WAIT! I will also hook you up with Eloisa's A Fairy Tale Sampler which has it's own unique novella and essays introducing snippets of all her fairy tale themed books. These books, by the way are a set of books loosely connected with the fairy tale theme, so you can read them in any order and not miss information. So if you are new to Eloisa James and want to see if she may interest you, this sampler is perfect! The essays in front of each are really interesting as well!

TL;DR:
What: Signed Copy of This Duchess of Mine & A Fairy Tale Sampler booklet with bonus After Midnight novella by Eloisa James
Who: Open internationally to people with an address I can ship to.
How to Enter: Use the Rafflecopter below. If for some reason it will not load for you or is blocked where you live, please email Julia ( bambbles{at}gmail{dot}com) with your name within the span of the giveaway to be entered.

Everyone gets one free entry and if you leave a comment on some entry in this blog, you get one extra :) If your comment doesn't show up right away, no worries. We have moderation on because spam is all over the place.

Have you all been to any great book signings lately? Who was your favorite author that you've ever heard speak? Or, if you were like me, who is the author that you'd most like to hear speak/sign your book/meet?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Books on Daisy's TBR List for Summer 2013!


Hi guys! It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week we're talking about the books on your summer TBR list! Are you as excited for long sunny days and barbecues and lazing by the pool as I am?
As usual, I'll be featuring books that are actually released this summer, between June 21st and September 22nd.

More information about TTT and future topics can be found here

The Sequels


The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: Ok, this is slightly cheating, because I've already read and LOVED it, but I do plan on rereading it when I get my shiny finished copy. Seriously, if you're not reading this series yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? GO READ IT! NOW!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: So, all of you guys who got it at BEA or somewhere else need to stop tormenting me with your gushing, because I am PINING for this book!! I've been pining for it since I finished Throne of Glass, or maybe since I first read this story on Fictionpress, but I NEED IT RIGHT NOW! Everything shall be dropped when this lands in my mailbox!

False Sight by Dan Krokos: I LOVED False Memory and I cannot wait to see what happens next with Miranda and Peter and EVERYONE!

Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier: Shadowfell was so, SO good! I don't know why I hadn't picked up a book by this author before, but I'm definitely excited for the next book in this series!

The Books By Authors Who've Stolen My Heart Before


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: LOVE Holly Black's writing and this sounds all kinds of exciting!

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: I adored Past Perfect, I'm pretty sure this will be awesome as well!

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: I cannot gush enough about Code Name Verity! That book just ripped my heart out and stomped on it and it was GLORIOUS! So obviously I'll be ALL OVER Rose Under Fire. I even have a finished copy of the UK edition already staring me down :)

How To Lose A Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan: Sophie Jordan's historical romances are among the absolute best in my humble opinion and this one sounds like a winner to me!

The Debuts


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: YA debut, I found out she writes historical romance! Must check out! But seriously, this book just sounds all kinds of awesome and I think it'll make my fantasy/paranormal loving heart happy :)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell: It sounds majorly creepy! I'm hoping to just finish this in one go, because I can't imagine being able to put it down!

The 100 by Kass Morgan: another book I have BEA envy over ;) CANNOT WAIT!

The Mythology Fix


The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White: EEEE! EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY! All of the flailing excitement!!

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake: Greek mythology geeks unite! Seriously, a GODDESS WAR! I cannot imagine anything more epic!



So that's it for me, what's on you Summer TBR list? Recommendations for mine? I'll be unemployed this summer and have lots of reading time available :)


Monday, June 17, 2013

On a Re-reading of Animal Farm

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Published: 1945

Summary

From Goodreads: Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and form their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” An incredibly spot-on satire of the Russian Revolution under Stalin, Animal Farm has certainly endured through the years since its original publication in 1945.

Review

As someone who knows very little and cares even less about history, I probably didn’t get as much of this novel as I should have. However, it’s safe to say I understood it quite a bit better than I did the first time I read it, back in eighth grade. Since we hadn’t done much world history at that time, Animal Farm and all its references went straight over all our heads. (At least, I know it went straight over mine.) All I really understood about Animal Farm at that point was that a novel about talking animals becomes vaguely unsettling when it’s not a fairy tale. I know at least one of my friends was substantially freaked out by it.

Ten years later, I understood that it was supposed to be a satire of the Russian Revolution, that Napoleon represented Stalin, Snowball was Trotsky, etc. etc. 

This has absolutely nothing to do with Animal Farm, but I can never think of Trotsky without thinking of this.
It also reminded me quite a bit of 1984 (I wonder why), especially at the points where the pigs would manipulate the “charts and data” to show that the animals were eating more, working less, and were generally happier than they had been before the rebellion. It was really easy to see how poisonous leadership like that can really take hold--both of the leaders and of the followers.

It’s also a really quick read--it’s only a little more than 100 pages, and I think it was originally written for children, so it uses pretty simple, didactic language and not a lot of dialogue.

Now, I can’t really say I like this book as much as I appreciate its literary and satiric value. I can’t really say I’d want to read this multiple times, as I’ve done with 1984, but I’m glad I did reread it at least once, when I was much older, to really understand what was actually going on.

Bottom Line: This is great satire, but I don’t really care enough about history to make an effort to really delve deeper into it, so I’d say I’m probably not the best audience for this book.

Favorite Characters: It was hard to find any of the animals truly likeable--they were either conniving and manipulative or just stone dumb. But I did like Benjamin, the donkey who refused to learn how to read and always stuck to his principles of “everything sucks, everything always has sucked, and everything always will suck.”

I’d recommend this book for: Those who enjoy and know at least a little about the Russian Revolution.

Rating: 3 stars

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crazy Awesome YA Deals!!

I know Julia normally does Bookish Deals every other weekend but I wanted to make sure you guys saw these and I didn't know for how long they would be on sale!


($2.99) Something Like Normal: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Also Known As: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Going Vintage: B&N | Amazon
($1.99) Where I Belong: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
($1.99) Smart Girls Get What They Want: B&N | Amazon
($1.99) Peaches: B&N | Amazon
($3.79) Crash: B&N | Amazon
($1.99) Stealing Parker: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Rules of Attraction: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Some Girls Are: B&N | Amazon


($1.99) The Liar Society: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Hysteria: B&N | Amazon

($3.36) Gone: B&N| Amazon
($2.99) Partials: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Article 5: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Mila 2.0: B&N | Amazon
($3.79) Crewel: B&N | Amazon
($4.24) Graceling: B&N | Amazon

($1.99) Mind Games: B&N | Amazon
($4.99) Fallen: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Clarity: B&N | Amazon
($1.99) Wings: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Anna Dressed In Blood: B&N | Amazon
($4.99) Obsidian: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) Fated: B&N | Amazon

($4.97) The Goose Girl: B&N | Amazon
($2.99) The Scorpio Races: B&N | Amazon



Happy shopping! Hope you fill up your e-reader with some great deals for summer reading!!

Super Pop! Blog Tour + Giveaway

Title: Super Pop!: Pop Culture Top Ten Lists to Help You Win at Trivia, Survive in the Wild, and Make It Through the Holidays
Author: Daniel Harmon
Publisher: Zest Books, 2013

Rating: 4 stars

Tahleen here! Here at The Broke and the Bookish, you know we like top ten lists. This book fits right in with our penchant for listing, and adds a large dollop of humor at that. Well, more than a dollop I guess. It was pretty hilarious all the way through.

Daniel Harmon goes through five parts in his compendium, which include "Be More Interesting," "Get Smart(er), "Stop Doing It Wrong," "Find Happiness," and "Survive the Holidays." In each section he has a wealth of pop culture information in the form of lists, all listed in no particular order. He goes really into detail too, with very specific lists like "Sleep With the Fishes: The Ten Best Places to Find Your Spirit Animal" and "Drink the Kool-Aid: Touchstones for Quirky, Like-Minded People." Harmon proves himself to be a pretty quirky and incredibly knowledgeable guy himself, though he admits in the intro that he hasn't seen/read/listened to/etc all of the items he talks about.

What really impressed me was how carefully he chose which form of a story to place on each list, be it in its original novel form, its movie form, or television form. He has concrete reasons for each item he chooses.

On the other hand, I'm not really sure this is a great book for teens, just because there is so much on that list that they might not have seen yet. Granted, I work with tweens mostly, so what do I know, but I personally didn't know many of the items because they were before my time—I can imagine it would be the same for those younger than me. Ultimately I would say this is probably a fantastic book for 20-somethings, and a pretty good choice for some, but not all, teens. Thankfully, there are many recent items as well as throwbacks, so it balances out pretty well in the end. Plus, he talks about some YA books! (Though I disagreed with his observations of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher—calling a book about morals made me want to gag a little, even if it's kind of true.)

I think the best thing about this book is you can leave it anywhere in your house and someone will probably pick it up and read it when they're bored. It's got pretty much everything. Great for the coffee table! (Or bathroom, but I didn't say it.)

In the spirit of Super Pop!, I've created my own top ten list!

Top Ten Movies for Kids Who Grew Up in the '90s

1. Heavyweights, because it is hilarious and is so incredibly quotable. Plus, Judd Apatow was a writer.

2. Troop Beverly Hills, though this was made in the late '80s and I am probably one of the few people who actually own a DVD copy of this today.

3. Beethoven, because who doesn't love a giant, slobbery St. Bernard with a heart of gold?

4. Mrs. Doubtfire, during Robin Williams' golden years. Oh hey, Matthew Lawrence, didn't think I'd see you here.

5. The Sandlot, FOR-EV-VER. The best baseball movie ever. Maybe. Definitely.

6. The Little Giants, since we're talking about sports movies. Don't tell me Devon Sawa wasn't adorable, and Becky the Icebox could totally kick your ass. Who doesn't love an underdog story?

7. Jurassic Park, because this was like the first PG-13 movie I saw and it was SCARY. And AWESOME. And it's still awesome today, 20 years later. I just showed this to my tweens at the library and they loved it. Dinosaurs, man.

8. Any Adam Sandler movie, even though we were probably not really allowed to watch it. I'm pretty sure every one I saw in the '90s was at a friends house or while my parents weren't paying close enough attention. Like, Billy Madison was definitely something my mom probably would never have let me watch. (Thanks Joanne and Joanne's mom!)

9. Home Alone, because everyone knew Macauly Culkin didn't like that aftershave but no one knew why. Also, now we know what to do if we have intruders in our home. (Obviously only wimps call the cops immediately.)

10. And because I like sports movies, I'm finishing off with The Mighty Ducks. quack. Quack. QUACK. QUACK! QUACK!! QUACK!!! Like I said, I like underdogs.

You should totally check out the other stops on the Super Pop! blog tour.

Want to win a signed copy for yourself or a friend? Enter here! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Best Beach Reads



For the future Top Ten schedule and how to participate go HERE!




1. Jamie's pick: Golden by Jessi Kirby-- If you are a reader of contemporary YA this one is fabulous. It's light but not TOO fluffy if you like some substance from your beach read. Made me think a bit plus the subtle mystery kept me going!

2. Bridget's pick: Having just finally read Matched by Ally Condie, I would recommend that for a good beach read. In fact, I just lent my copy (by which I mean my sister's copy, oops, but I bought it for her so...) to a coworker for a vacation she'll be going on soon. I didn't love it, but it kept me interested and was definitely a quick, mostly fluffy read.







I've Got Your Number 3. Jana's pick:  I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Here, we have an adult contemporary about a girl about to get married... and she loses her engagement ring at a party. And then her cell phone. So, she finds a random cell phone in the garbage and uses that. Turns out, it ended up in the garbage by mistake and the owner wants his phone back. She refuses because she has already given the number to EVERYONE to call if they find her ring. She becomes his answering service, reporting to him whoever calls. Hilarity and a bunch of swoony romance ensues. It's the perfect light, summery read!



4. Julia's pick for romance: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
This one is one of the books I have read in summers past and it is a nice fun read, but not too fluffy. It's about a group of scoundrels who run a gaming hell in London. This and the second book One Good Earl Deserves a Lover were both five star reads for me.







5. Julia's pick for fiction: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
This is a book I actually did read on the beach. It is so easy to get caught up in this world of the circus and time past. If you saw the movie, just forget that and read the book. It is great!




6.  Lori's first pick:  North and South by John Jakes
This is the first book in a trilogy that follows two men--one from the North and one from the South--from their days at West Point to their service in the Mexican-American War through the Civil War and Reconstruction.  It's a very quick historical fiction read.  I haven't finished yet, but I am definitely looking forward to.







7.  Lori's second pick: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
I've been reading this one quite a bit lately.  The story follows a girl who is writing her senior thesis about the marriage plot that you find in Jane Austen and George Eliot.  It's a book for people who love books and reading for pleasure.  I find myself relating to the main character and--surprisingly--missing my days as an undergraduate literature major.







8. Tahleen's pick: Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash by Dixie Cash
Or any other book in the Domestic Equalizers series. This is the first one, and it's a funny mystery with kickass amateur sleuths and some nice romance thrown in there. It's a fast, humorous read with a plot that will keep you turning the pages—perfect beach reading.





9. Tahleen's second pick: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Told through a series of emails, legal documents, letters, and other various documents, broken up here and there with the first-person perspective of Bernadette's 14-year-old daughter Bee, we learn firsthand about the quirky title character's personality and outlook, and her behavior, before she disappears one day. Full of humor and plenty of mystery, there were so many twists and turns that I honestly had no idea how it would all play out in the end.






10. Paula's Pick:  The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Most people I've met know and love the movie The Princess Bride... but few realize that there is a real book that was written as well (not just the grandpa reading it to a sick kid). The novel makes up a classic epic story that an editor has found and decided to abridge into a "good parts" edition. This lets brilliant things such as footnotes and side stories exist. Such as- an "editor's note" explaining that he's removed an entire chapter where Buttercup is trying to decide what hats to bring along to the castle. It's a really fun light read- aka perfect for a day at the beach!



Monday, June 10, 2013

Kelly reviews "Royal Mistress" by Anne Easter Smith

Title: Royal Mistress
Author: Anne Easter Smith
Published: Touchstone, May 2013

Anne Easter Smith write fascinating historical fiction about some of the most intriguing  characters. People that you only read about in history books beautifully come to life in the pages of her books, and her newest, Royal Mistress, is no exception!

Royal Mistress mainly follows Jane Shore, a simple merchant's daughter who catches the eye of the Queen's son, Tom Grey. They are both married (or are about to be married) and Jane doesn't want to stoop to being his mistress, so they part ways. Several years later, after Jane's divorce (something that was a HUGE deal in this period of time), she this time catches the eye of Tom's stepfather, Edward, the King of England. Jane is older now and realizes that being a mistress to a high ranking man has many advantages. She becomes Edward IV's final and most beloved mistress, staying by his side for eight years until his death. Edward's brother, Richard, then claims the throne, and as a very moral man, he heartily disapproves of Jane and her background. Jane must struggle to survive using her wits in this turbulent and unstable time in England's history.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this period of time. I usually like to jump ahead and read about Henry VIII, but it's always great to come back to his ancestors. Edward IV and his family  drama is more entertaining that any show on television. So much betrayal, jealousy, murder, secrets, and, depending on who you ask...incest. I liked that Royal Mistress told us this story through the eyes of several key players, though mostly through Jane, who was a fascinating woman. She truly did care for Edward, but she states that she never really loved him, as she truthfully had no choice in the relationship. It's such a realistic look at how mistresses felt. No romantization here, just reality. The only problem I had with the story was Jane and Tom's relationship: they meet two times before they part ways and see each other maybe another two times in the following ten years - yet Jane is forever hung up on how he is her "true love" and is convinced they could live happily ever after if only they could be together. She hardly knew him! I know their relationship is historically accurate but it just seemed so far fetched here. Still, overall, this was a fascinating read, not just for historical fiction buffs, but lovers of drama, romance, and books that keep you intrigued every page.


Thank you to Simon & Schuster for my review copy!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 5/26 - 6/8

Daisy's Book Haul



Egalleys for review:
-This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: I LOVED Past Perfect, I'm really excited to read this!!
-Less Than a Gentleman by Kerrelyn Sparks: this will be my first book by this author, it really sounds like my kind of romance!
-Catherine by April Lindner: I'm actually part of a blog tour for this book, I'm always up for a classics retelling!
-Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken: EEEE! ALL THE EXCITEMENT!!! Seriously, I never expected to love The Darkest Minds as much as I did, but it was AMAZING and I cannot wait to read the sequel!!


Bought:
-Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: EEE! SO EXCITED! So much love for Code Name Verity! I think this is the UK version and for some reason it came out 3 months before the US version :)
-The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: this will be my first ever Sarah Dessen book, I've heard so many good things about her writing!
-The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham (AKA Sophie Kinsella): this was a total bargain at my local bookstore and I love her books!
-Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier: so I still need to read Ruby Red, I HAD to pre-order the paperback because of reasons! That dress is gorgeous!
-Confederates Don't Wear Couture by Stephanie Kate Strohm: I really loved Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink and am eager to dive back into Libby's life and her antics :)
-Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James: I'm fully on the Eloisa James bandwagon and this sounds really cute!
-Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: seriously, I'm DYING to read this book! It sounds so good!
-The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: I'm making it my mission to read all of Julia Quinn's backlist and our very own Julia says this book is AMAZING, so I'm excited :)
-Boys Wanted by Flynn Meaney: the paperback version of The Boy Recession, though I'm not entirely sure why they changed the title... I kinda liked The Boy Recession better. Well, anyway, this does sound like a cute read :)

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, June 8, 2013

Kimberly ventures into the drama that is Game of Thrones

I realize that just about everyone and their dog has read or watched Game of Thrones. They chat on twitter about characters that I've never heard of. I see video after video that fans have edited and put on YouTube. My own Aunt has read the series. I'm the reader in the family. I'm usually the one who has conversations like this...

Relative: "I heard about this new book and thought you might like it. It's called -----"
Me: "Yes, I've read it. And the sequel. And met the author."

So when I was camping a couple of weeks ago and my aunt started talking about the series, I realized I needed to get my butt into gear and start reading the series again. I read the first one about a year ago and never picked up the second one. Now I'm almost done with A Clash of Kings. I'd forgotten how much his writing sucks you in.

I'm also preparing myself for the inevitable emotional torture that I'll experience reading these. Luckily, a few of my friends including some of the other lovely B&B bloggers, have read them and listen to me freak out or get excited when a character I've only heard about makes their entrance. Mainly it is Kelly and Daisy that get to hear about it. (Thanks ladies!)

So, who else out there has read the series? (possibly a dumb question) Anyone else just getting started with the series?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Expanding My Horizons

Last week, I sort of started participating in Armchair BEA.  I had a good time, but just wasn't able to stick with it.  One of the posts I was able to write about was on Literary Fiction.  I really enjoyed thinking about the topic and have found myself reading more literary fiction in the recent past as I've lightened up my reading.

Just so we're clear, here is my interpretation of "literary fiction," taken straight from my blog post:

Personally, I think it falls right in line with my goal to read the classics. I feel like literary fiction is a category for books that are relatively new, but are likely well on their way to becoming classics. In this category, I would add the works of John Irving. I've only read The Cider House Rules by him, but my understanding is that his works often have a larger message about human nature--a message that will be understood fifty years from now. I think that literary fiction can be part of a genre. A work like Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton surely sends a message to readers about the consequences for playing God.
Literary fiction is a work that, like the classics, stands apart from the other works in its genre. It possesses the elements that place it in the genre. Yet it is somehow more, better, than the books in its category. However, it has not stood the test of time in order to become a genuine classic.

Yesterday and today, I have totally immersed myself in Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot.  It's about a girl in college who is writing her senior thesis on the marriage plot that Jane Austen and George Eliot explored in their work.  What I like most about it so far (and I'm not that far, only about 75 pages, is that it seems like a book written for people who love books.  It's about how books can have such an impact on your life.  And I really like reading about things like that.

What I like about literary fiction is that it's a bit lighter fare, not like diving into a plate of tiramisu, but it's more substantial than cotton candy.  Basically, a chocolate bar for your brain.  I like that I've been expanding my horizons and have chosen to include something that let's my mind take a break, but still feels like I am reading something worthwhile.  Not that I am setting in judgment on any genres right here.  I'm setting in judgment on my own reading tastes, habits, and appetites.  Personally, I like to feel like I am reading something good.  Hence, literary fiction is best for me.

How do you expand your reading horizons?  What genre do you reach for when your usual set isn't doing it for you?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday -- Books that Feature Travel in Some Way

For the future Top Ten schedule and how to participate go HERE!



This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Books that Feature Travel in Some Way.  Lori and Jamie came up with their ten picks for the best books dealing with travel.  Can't wait to see your picks!

1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac--Obviously.   You just can't write a post about books featuring travel and not include THE novel about road tripping.  Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) and his friends go on several cross-country trips and do a whole lot of drugs.  It has some really interesting ruminations about life and man's existence.  And just some funny instances because of everyone's strung out state.  I read the original published edition a few years ago.  I'm reading the Original Scroll--the transcript of Kerouac's manuscript, which had no paragraph or chapter breaks--this summer.  Should be a fun challenge.






2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert--I totally envy this trip.  I would love to go to Italy, India, and Indonesia.  This memoir is really inspirational and it makes you want to go places.  I want to eat my weight in pasta in Italy, then meditate it off at an ashram in Italy, then study with an old medicine man in Indonesia.  Who wouldn't?  I recently watched the movie and think I might need to reread the book soon.  And do some yoga...







3. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes--I count this as a book with travel...even though she's kind of mostly describing the process of buying and fixing up a new home.  But she is a US resident.  I love this book so much.  It makes me want to travel to Italy even more than I already do, which is a lot, so in a way, it IS about travel.







4. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares--I do read some YA :)  I read all four of these one summer in a complete tear.  They were light, fun reads.  The first one includes more travel than the others because three of the four girls are traveling for the summer.  They're just fun and talk about the changing nature of friendships as you grow into adulthood.  (I need to read the fifth one sometime soon!)  I went to the Greek Islands a couple of years ago and would love to go back.  Greece really is as beautiful as depicted in the movie.





5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson--Another novel about driving around and doing copious amounts of drugs.  This book was pretty funny--more funny than On the Road.  There were some musings about life and existence.  It made me wish I could be a journalist from the 1950s/1960s.  I need to see the movie sometime soon.






Lori's top 3 would definitely be on my list!



6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: I had some problems connecting with this book but I really enjoyed the travel aspect and the journey she was on!












7. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: One of my all time favorites!! I loved vicariously backpacking around South America!
















8. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck: I love this travelogue from John Steinbeck about his travels across the US with his dog Charley. It was really quiet and reflective and I get so caught up sometimes in exotic places but after reading this I wanted to do a cross country road trip!






9. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner: This was an interesting travelogue because it wasn't just about the adventure but an interesting study in happiness around the world.








10. In Honor by Jessi Kirby: A very emotional road trip that I adored!










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