Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jen Reviews The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen


The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Published: Viking Juvenile, 2013
Source: Purchased myself
Rating: 3 stars


Meh. That was my overall feeling while reading The Moon and More. No push to keep going but didn't want to put it down either. To me this book was average, nothing to dazzle me. Which was such a disappointment because I love Sarah Dessen novels.

The book takes place in Colby, the fictional North Carolina town Dessen fans know well. Emaline has just graduated high school and is enjoying the summer before starting college in the fall. Her and her boyfriend break up in I believe one of the first few chapters. Emaline's father who hasn't been around her whole life is suddenly in Colby for the summer. So maybe "enjoying the summer" isn't the right phrase. But she gets through it and as with all Dessen books there's a mini lesson or realization in the last few pages.

Question: do you love every book written by one of your favorite authors?

I feel kind of bad not being a fan of this book. But I couldn't connect to it like I can with her other novels.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Daisy Talks About Catching Fire


I went to see it on Monday and OMG, it was simply amazing! I love how they're translating the book to script and screenplay and it's just so good to see it done well! Because let's be honest, a lot of times it doesn't work that way.

Some of my reactions to the movie:

-I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson! I was firmly Team Peeta from the books, and the movie only strengthens this for me. I was SO hesitant about the choices for the actors before the first movie, but man, they are mindblowingly good!
And seriously, that moment when Peeta is showing Katniss the locket and saying she needs to survive cause people need her back home and she goes 'I need you' and MY HEART CAN'T TAKE IT! TEARS!

-I was pleasantly surprised by Jena Malone, loved her as Johanna! I did have a funny when I though about her playing Donald Sutherland's daughter in Pride and Prejudice and now he's sending things at her to kill her.

-The arena was just how I pictured it! It was so well done!


-Those baboons are so gonna give me nightmares... *shudders*

-Sometimes things are actually worse when you know they're coming. Like those mutt baboons. And poor Mags... And Wiress... And Cinna...

-I love how the movies give us a little peek behind the scenes with President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee and the whole controlling of the Games. It adds a little something extra.

So I'm guessing a lot of you have also already seen the movie, let's discuss! Did you like it or not? What are some things that stood out for you? Are you scared for the third movie? I'm really wondering how they'll translate the first half of Mockingjay into a movie!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Cocktail & Conversation With TBTB Crew - Gateway Books!

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.

Bridget asks: Hey ladies! Here's my question: if you wanted to get someone irrevocably hooked on your favorite author, what would you say is their best "gateway" book? 

Jen says: My favorite young adult author is Sarah Dessen. I think The Truth About Forever (or This Lullaby...I can't decide!) is the best book of hers to start off with. There is just so much I love about both books.

Julia: Let's go historical romance world here with Eloisa James. The book that I would get you into her books is When Beauty Tamed the Beast. It's a play on Beauty and the Beast where the Beast has a dash of doctor house. It's a fun romance and one of my favorites!

Paula: When I recommend Neil Gaiman to someone... I tend to stray away from his best known book American Gods and recommend Stardust instead. It is a much faster read and much easier to get into and enjoy. It still has a lot of his staple story telling (multiple stories that seem like they are unrelated and then crash together wonderfully in the end). 

Tell us YOUR favorite author and the gateway book that you'd recommend to get others hooked on them! We want to try some new authors here!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Things We Are Thankful For

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

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday in the USA, we thought it would be fun to see what we're all thankful for! This can be bookish or not. It's completely up to you!

Jana says....

- I'm thankful for where I am in my life! This has been a hard year for me, and full of a lot of big changes. Those changes have turned my life into something great, though, and I'm happy about where I'm headed!

- I'm thankful I have such an awesome mom, who understands me. We're best friends!

- I'm thankful for warmth! Warm food, drinks, blankets, homes, beds, people. It has been SO cold, and I have been SO sick the last week. I'm so thankful for the blessing it is to be warm.

- I'm thankful for those books that make you never want to read again, because you know that the next book will never top that one. 

Jen says...

- I'm thankful for my public library: the majority of the books I've read this year have been borrowed from the library. I'd be lost without the library!

- I'm thankful for music: listening to music is such an outlet for me. There are songs I can listen to twenty times in a row and never get sick of them. Hans Christian Andersen said one of my favorite quotes, "where words fail, music speaks".

- I'm thankful for hot drinks: specifically coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. It's been brutally cold in New England for the past few days and hot drinks have been heavenly.

- I'm thankful for TB&TB girls: I've loved participating in this blog with them over the past few years! I love reading their individual posts, getting book recommendations and overall getting to know all of them. Thanks ladies, you rock! :)

Jamie says...

- I'm thankful for having a great first year of marriage: We've certainly had our trials this year as newlyweds but we've managed to make the best of it. Seriously, some days we just sit down and laugh and poke fun at the messes of life.

- I'm thankful for being an auntie: There's nothing so beautiful as watching my two nieces (2 years & 3 months) grow up. I always get so teary eyed talking about them but I would do anything for those babies.

What are you thankful for this year? Have a great Thanksgiving, friends!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tahleen reviews: "The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches" by Alan Bradley

Title: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
Author: Alan Bradley
Publisher: Delacourte Press, due out January 14, 2014

Rating: 4.5 stars

Well, I said the last book ended on a cliffhanger, and I'm happy to say this next installment delivers with the answers to all the questions, or at least, all the questions left unanswered in the previous book.


Harriet has finally returned to Buckshaw, to be put to rest. Obviously things are not normal for Flavia at home, as things are finally being brought to a close. Buckshaw has become a place of renewed mourning, with villagers coming for viewings and the de Luce family staying up to watch guard over Harriet. To add to the chaos, some estranged cousins show up at their doorstep on the day it all begins, a Lena de Luce and her daughter. To cap it off, a man falls under the train at Harriet's arrival under mysterious circumstances after giving Flavia a cryptic message. More is at stake than ever for Flavia and her family as she begins to uncover the circumstances leading to her mother's death.

Alan Bradley, you are awesome. I am so happy I got to read this book sooner rather than later, as I've been waiting for it to come out since I finished Speaking from Among the Bones last year. This didn't disappoint. Flavia, through chemistry, luck, and ingenuity, works through long-hidden clues to find out what exactly happened to her mother all those years ago. The answer is buried deep, with plenty of intrigue and espionage going on.

I'm looking forward to where we'll meet Flavia next, as Bradley seems to have decided to move the series in a different direction, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am hoping for exciting things for Flavia, and I hope I'm right.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 11/10 - 11/23

Daisy's Book Haul

-The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead: Yes I know I haven't started this series yet and haven't finised the Vampire Academy series and maybe I should get to that... I KNOW! I still can't resist buying these as they come out.
-Deadly Thorns/Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock: I really enjoyed Hemlock and I'm definitely NOT a werewolf fan, so obviously I need to continue this series!
-Just One Year by Gayle Forman: so I haven't read Just One Day yet and I keep hearing less than stellar things about this one, but it's Gayle Forman! I will try and read this soonish.

Not pictured because of cold and laziness:
-Champion by Marie Lu: I keep buying all the books in a series before I've even started the first book... I keep hearing good things about this series though, so it's ok :)
-Also Known As by Robin Benway: this sounds so fun and cute! I'm dying to read it!

Egalleys for Review:
-A Creature of Moonight by Rebecca Hahn: a princess who is half dragon, half human, living in exile: YES OF COURSE I'M DYING TO READ THIS!
-The Emperor's Blades by Mark Staveley: this sounds like it will make my fantasy-loving heart VERY happy!
-Be With Me by J. Lynn: I'm a sucker for the brother's best friend plot and I'm still looking for an NA book to blow me away!
-When the Duke Was Wicked by Lorraine Heath: I love when the matchmaker falls in love with the matchee! And I usually really enjoy Lorraine Heath's books :)
-The Bride Says Maybe by Cathy Maxwell: Cathy Maxwell's books are a bit hit or miss for me, but the heroine is gambled away by her father into a marriage, how could I resist??
-Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen: I have a thing for dukes ok?
-How To Lose A Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke: first off: I love the title, and I really enjoyed the first book in this series and have already met the couple this one revolves around and I'm INTRIGUED!
-A Wicked Pursuit by Isabella Bradford: falling in love over a sickbed, this sounds all sorts of swoon-inducing!

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, November 23, 2013

Bookish Deals (28)

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!

Good day/eve, everyone! I was thinking today we do something different. Since the nation's advertisers, retailers and some people are already crazy with Black Friday, seriously some people in my area are already camping out at Best Buy, I thought I would highlight some deals that book lovers may be interested in.

First let's look at Kindle's. I have a feeling that a lot of people are turning to the Fire line for their children because of the parental controls available plus the access to everything Amazon. Deal News has a list of supposed Black Friday ads, and here is their listing for Kindle. Depending on the size it looks like they are ranging from $140 to $230.

Speaking of Amazon, they have a whole section of their Black Friday preview for Books. It looks like it is divided into gift suggestions.

If you need Children's storybooks this year, it looks like the major retailers (WalMart, Kmart, Meijer, Toys R Us) will have cheap deals. Target looks like it will have 50% off select books. You can find more book sale rumors at Deal News' Book tag. Seriously, Deal News is where I go year round to find good deals.

I'll end with a sale for a book that I enjoyed so you don't feel like you missed out.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton - $1.99
If you are in the States this week, Happy Thanksgiving. If you are in the rest of the world Happy Beginning of the Christmas Season Almost :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Julia Reviews Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Title/Author: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Publisher/Year Published: 1985 by Tor
How I got this book: I was given it in an RAK
Why I read this book: I wanted to before I saw the movie, because it was supposed to be amazing.
Rating: 5 stars

For years now I have had friends, mostly people who I would consider readers but not voracious readers, telling me that I need to read Ender’s Game. As soon as I heard the movie was in production I figured I should get on that. I received the book in an RAK by coincidence a year or so ago. But still with all of this, I didn't pick the book up until I literally had one week to read it before I was planning see the movie.

Here is what I knew about Ender’s Game before starting to read:

  • It’s a sci-fi series starring a young boy protagonist (named Ender) by Orson Scott Card
  • Aforementioned Card is an outspoken homophobic douche canoe
  • Because I didn't read it when I was a kid I would not get or connect with this book on the same level as if I would have read it as a young'un.
  • Everyone gets there panties in a twist at how amazing this book is.
  • Harrison Ford and the kid from Hugo and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas were going to be in the movie.
  • Seriously: Douche. Canoe.

That is all I knew, which I think worked in my benefit because damn it count me among those whose panties are twisted. (Maybe I should get a better metaphor since it’s a kids book.. eh whatever).

Ender's Game is unlike any book that I have read recently. It pairs this scientific world with one that is grounded in enough reality to be familiar, but also enough differences to make it unique. Ender is six years old when this book starts off, but he isn't like any other six year old. He is abnormally smart. Well he was bred to be. You see there is a battle going on in the universe, or one is being held at bay really. There is an alien race, called buggers (because they look like bugs... sure), that moved into our solar system looking for a new place to colonize. Well we humans didn't take too kindly to that and fought them back. We won a huge battle and since then have been preparing the resistance. How? By finding the best and brightest kids to get pulled from their lives and trained to fight and command.

This book really follows Ender on his physical and emotional journey as he becomes not only one of those kids but THE one of those kids, the one who will save the world from the buggers.

What an interesting read! Like based on point three above, I really thought I was going to enjoy it but not be overwhelmed by it because of my advanced old age of 26. No I really did enjoy it. The world building was excellent. Harrison Ford in my head as one of the space trainer people was amazing, but really pulled me out of the story when they called him fat. Lol wat?

I feel like there are many more reviews around the net that talk more in depth about why this book is good, why its bad and what Card’s personal influence means in the context of the pages, but I just want to focus on the fact that I haven't been this wowed by a book in a long time. Maybe not since The Hunger Games.

It was written well, flowed pretty okay… maybe a little slowly at times but nothing noticeable. It ended in a place that lets you continue a series but still wraps up the book (one of my biggest pet peeves with fantasy series), the characters are dimensional and relatable… I can’t find anything that I don’t like about this book, really.

Since writing this and posting over at my Booklikes page, I've seen the movie, too. Book of course was better, but not for the reasons that one would think. I thought the movie suffered from being too much like the book and not making enough translations into the visual medium. It didn't give the background that it lost by not being narrated by Ender. Or the movie did have the voice over, but that doesn't make you connect with a character like it does when you are reading it. Ender just came across as robotic. It was an okay movie, but I not one I would see again.

I am sad I took so long to read this, but glad that I finally did. If you haven’t yet and enjoy adventure stories with a moral and philosophical commentary on humanity in them, seriously give this one a read. Put aside Card’s asshatery for a second and read it. If you feel bad about giving him money, go to a second hand store or donate double what you paid to an LGBT group or something. It’s worth your time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lori Reads--Hopping on the Divergent Train

You guys know me.  I don't read young adult lit.  I stick to the classics, which I love.  But sometimes I just want something different.  So I switch it up with some chick lit or something.  This time I switched it up with a young adult adventure--Veronica Roth's Divergent series.

I have to credit with the decision to read this series.  Last week I saw an article about the first movie, which is coming out in March.  I probably wouldn't have looked at the article if the headline hadn't been "Watch Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet & Shailene Woodley in the Divergent Trailer."  I love Ashley Judd and Kate Winslet!  As I read the article, something just kind of caught my eye and I found myself looking at Goodreads to see which of my friends had read it.  Most of them had and they rated it quite highly.  I asked one of those friends about the series to see if she really liked the book.  Then I found myself at the Barnes and Noble website buying the first book and looking at it on my phone.  At $3.99, I figured that I really didn't have much to lose.

Good choice.

I spent Friday reading the first book.  I spent Saturday reading the second book.  Zach was very surprised and noted that this was the first time he saw my switch from Nook/iPad to phone while we were out.  I read while we were in the Chick-fil-a drive-thru.  I read while we waited in line at the video game store.  I even tried reading at the stoplights (Zach was driving), but they kept turning green too quickly for me to make much progress.

I'm not going to review the book in this post.  A few of the other TBTB-ers have already done so.  Much like Bridget's post, I'm going to talk about my reaction to the books...

I loved the plot of the series.  It was mostly adventure.  There were some things that I saw would happen from a mile away, but there were a couple of surprises.  It was quick and snappy and I blew right through the books, which I like.  I hate wasted space.  Most people have compared it to The Hunger Games, which I've never read, but I can see their point based on what I know about that series.  I want to also add that parts of it remind me of the Harry Potter series--being sorted, each group having a type, massive upheaval of the system, awkward teenage romances, etc.

Speaking of awkward teenage romances, Four was totally hot.  I liked how Tris kept thinking that she was all wrong--what girl hasn't been there?!  Confession, as I read the first two books, I kept expecting some fabulous sex scene...then it dawned on me that there probably wouldn't be a sex scene because this book is written for 14-17 year olds.  So I moved on.

Speaking of 14-17 year olds, there were very few times I wanted to smack the characters for acting like 14-17 year olds.  But there were a couple of times I wanted to just yell at Tris for being annoying.  This was a big plus for me.

Again, I liked the style.  There wasn't a whole lot of time wasted in creating this elaborate backstory.  Every detail mentioned in the book was there for a reason.  I hate it when I go into editing mode while I'm reading something because the author said a whole bunch of useless things.

Yes, the first two books went by like a blur.  Then I started the third book on Sunday.  I've read close to a third of it.  But I spent most of the day reading other things.  See, it really bothered me that the first two books were narrated by Tris, but the third book has both Tris and Four narrating.  Consistency!  I like consistency!  I totally want to finish the series--I mean, what IS out there? I have to know--but I am not sure how long it will take me to finish book three.

And, yes, I suppose that now I will have to finally get around to reading The Hunger Games.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books We'd Recommend To X Person

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

We decided to tackle this topic by making each recommendation to a different person but you could do it that way or by making the 10 recommendations for one person. However you choose to interpret it!

Lori's picks

1.  For a smart, sassy gal in her mid-twenties (or older) who needs to know she's not totally crazy--Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.  I read this book when I was nineteen and I didn't really "get" it, but I reread it this past summer at the ripe age of twenty-five and it made so much more sense!  And was so much funnier!  I may have done some ridiculously stupid things around guys, but nothing ever was quite as bad as what Bridget got herself into.  Also, she always got out of the messes--that's important to remember too.  (Note:  I have not read the third book in the series)

2.  For someone who loves language--The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.  I loved this book as a kid and I still love thinking about it (which means I need to reread it soon).  I love all of the messages of this book--say what you mean and mean what you say, there is no reason to ever be bored, words are extremely important, and so on.  It's just a fabulous exploration of the many nuances of the English language (my memory prohibits me from commenting on how this book my translate to another language).

3.  For someone who needs or wants to remember what bravery really is--To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I adore this book.  There is so much I want to say about it, but it all seems so inadequate.  Just read it and cry at the end like I always do.

4.  For someone who wants to try to get their...stuff together--The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I might not be able to get myself to carry out a project on this type of scale, but I can still think about it and I can ponder what makes me happy.  I think that Rubin does a great job of presenting her research and engaging the reader in that presentation because you really do start to think about what would be in your personal happiness project as you read the book.  Her website has a lot of fantastic tools to help you get started, if you do want to conduct a happiness project of your own.

5.  For someone who finds themselves getting inexplicably cynical and hostile around the holidays despite promising themselves that they will enjoy it this year--Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.  This is a short collection of essays that is just absolutely hilarious.  David Sedaris is definitely part Grumpy Cat, just like I am, so he always has something interesting to say.  I think I'm going to need a get a new copy because, though the holidays haven't really even started yet and I am already feeling my holiday cheer becoming more akin to:

Julia's Picks:

6. For my bestie who loves Ender's Game --  Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. I am actually pretty sure I did recommend this to my friend and she did like it. This book is amazing and amazingly narrated in the audio version. It is set in a dystopian world like Ender's Game, but also has enough philisophical ramifications to the world, that I thought she would enjoy it.

7. For my colleague who loved Fifty Shades of Gray -- Bared to You by Sylvia Day. I can't say that I have read either of these books, but I have heard that those who liked 50 Shades, also enjoyed Bared to You. I actually was the one who rec'd her 50 Shades after she told me how much she loved Twilight. Insane how that worked out so well (50 Shades started off as Twilight fan fic in case someone was wondering.)

Jamie's Picks

 8. For my friend who just read and loved If I Stay by Gayle Forman (obviously I gave her Where She Went) - The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Like If I Stay, it's emotional, beautiful and poignant.

9. For anyone who feels like they need an adventure of the armchair variety -- Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard: Travel through South America with a girl trying to find herself a bit -- loved the adventure, the soul searching and the romance.

Bridget's Pick

10. For anyone who appreciates stark beauty in literature -- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's funny, sad, thought-provoking, and devastating. My friend recommended it to me a while ago and I finally got around to reading it a few months ago. It's wonderful.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jamie Asks: What Is My Problem?

For the past week I've been in an epic reading slump where two pages read feels like an accomplishment. It's infuriating.

The thing is...I'm not a person who reads when I don't want to. If I feel burnt out on reading or feel like I just want to do something else for a few days..I do it. I don't feel compelled to read if I don't want to. I might always have a book with me, just in case, but I might not read for a couple days. And that's okay with me. I don't want to force it if I'm burnt out.

But the thing this time around is that I can't tell if it's the current book I'm reading (The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert) or if it's ME. I can't tell if I'm just super stressed with job hunting and other things or if I'm burnt out and I don't know it.

The book is quite slow, yes, but I don't mind that typically. I don't have any opinions of it really at about 18% in so I don't know if I want to put it down or not. I just seem to not want to pick it up and I hate that I can't figure out if it is the book or maybe I'm not in the mood for that TYPE of read or if it's just ME and no matter what book I'd pick up would be the same.

Does my dilemma make sense?

So how do you figure out if it's just the book you are reading or if it's YOU (stressed, preoccupied, burnt out, etc.)?? I'd love to hear your methods and tips!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Cocktail & Conversation With TB&TB Crew -- Bookish Accessories?

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.

Jana asks: What's your favorite bookish accessory? Is it a particular tote bag, piece of jewelry, book light, etc.?

Bridget says: I'm going to go with the pillows my future in-laws bought us for Christmas this year. We got Edgar Allen Poe and Jane Austen (pictured below):

Jane actually creeps the hell out of me, but Edgar isn't so bad. Couldn't find a picture of him though.

Jamie says: This necklace that my friend Jen got me -- it's a quote from John Green's Looking For Alaska! It says "When I look at my room I see a girl who loves books."

Paula says: My favorite accessory is necklaces. I am a necklace fiend. So my favorite book related accessory is also necklaces.
So I have the Hogwarts seal, the Deathly Hallows, Hansel and Gretel, and Brave New World (my hands down favorite book). I also have a pair of "I <3 Neil Gaiman" earrings. And comic book shoes that I made (and shared here before). In the future I am planning on making a book clutch so if you ask me again in a few months I might have a different answer :D Oh gosh I have so many book related things that I love that I could list here actually... I'll spare you though!

What about you guys? What are YOUR favorite bookish accessories? Tell us...and maybe link us so um maybe we can do a little shopping??

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paula Video Reviews the MaddAddam Trilogy

Hey all - I couldn't quite put all my feelings into a text post... so I made a video review for one of my favorite series: The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood. Check it out below! Since it is about an entire series- I tried to keep it vague and spoiler free- but I did have to mention one or two things in order to make my review coherent (nothing that can't be found on a back of the book blerb though) - so here is your heads up.

If you don't feel like watching a video- my elevator speech review is: I am a fiend for matching bookshelves... and I ignored my paperback copies of books one and two and raced to buy the hardcover of book three because I was so excited to read it when it came out. Great dystopian and apocalyptic series by the talented Margaret Atwood.

Oryx and Crake  5 stars
The Year of The Flood 5 Stars
MaddAddam 4 Stars

Have you read the series? I would love to hear what you think about it! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top Ten Covers We Wish We Could Redesign

*Before we get started with TTT, have you seen that signups are open for our 4th annual Secret Santa??*

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

Jamie's Picks

1. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

I don't have a problem with the cover itself (I actually think it's REALLY pretty!!!) but I want something a little gorier looking instead of this pretty girl there. Something to reflect the strangeness of this story!

2. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

This is one of my most favorite books and the cover just makes it look like a romance (which I love) but this book is SO much more than this! I actually think it's a story some guys would dig but the cover totally is offputting to them. Travis is SUCH an amazing narrator. I don't know how I would redesign it but I would make it less of a  kissing cover. Maybe the dog tag incorporated because I like that?

3. The redesigned Delirium series covers

I know these have already been redesigned but the face is just SO BORING. I would rather go back to what the old Delirium cover looked like. There's just nothing TO the cover here. It just lacks the spark and blends in with all the other face covers.

4. Any cover that doesn't reflect the MC -- like whitewashing or when it's an MC that is not a thin person yet the person on the cover is. I want them all changed.

Paula's Pick:

5. Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.

I am listing this as a case where a redesign was unnecessary. The original cover (on the left) is so much more eye catching to me. It was the one that made me pick up the book and go "hmm what's this..." where as I would walk by the redesign in a second. Which is a shame because I would walk by one of my favorite books without even giving it a glace.

 6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This is a redesign that I wish were real instead of concept art. Artist Elizabeth Perez designed this cover of Fahrenheit 451 that I saw on tumblr that I wish I could actually own. Man oh man it's beautiful.

7. And while it's also not a "redesign" I would also love for the Harry Potter series to be released in a leather bound set. I have actually dreamed of owning one. And let me tell you how disappointed I was when I woke up and found that they are not a thing that exist.

There is concept art on the internet of House themed sets of the books. Come on JK do you know how many fans would buy these in a heart beat?
Let me have a Ravenclaw set pretty please!

Bridget's Pick:
8. The Casual Vacancy

I just find this cover kind of boring...I wish it had been something a little more engaging. 

9. I also wish I could UN-redesign every book cover ever that shows a still from the movie made from the book when the original book cover was miles better (as it always is). 

10. Tahleen's Pick:

I really hate this cover, especially because the book itself was so good. It's a historical fiction novel within a historical fiction novel; a girl in the 1960s travels back to the 1800s and is mistaken for a slave, even though she is white. Anyway, I think this cover probably has turned off at least a few people.

Do you agree with any of our picks? Disagree? Which ones do YOU wish you could redesign?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 10/27 - 11/9

Daisy's Book Haul

So 2 weeks ago I had nothing to share, and then this past week the books just kept coming in... Not that I'm complaining of course ;)

-The Fault in Our Stars
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Paper Towns
An Abundance of Katherines
Looking for Alaska by John Green: I'm a sucker for pretty boxed sets... Even though I already owned The Fault in Our Stars. So now I have no excuse left as to why I still haven't read one of John Green's books yet..
-Teardrop by Lauren Kate: this was a total steal, I mean, 5 euros for a hardcover? I haven't read her first series, but maybe that a good thing?
-The White Princess by Philippa Gregory: I love Philippa Gregory's historical fiction! So obviously I needed to own this one as well :)
-Allegiant by Veronica Roth: I'm trying to avoid ALL opinions about this book until I read it myself. And I need to read Insurgent first, so it could take a while...
-After Eden by Helen Douglas: TIME TRAVEL!!
-The Sum Of All Kisses by Julia Quinn: EEEE!! NEW JULIA QUINN BOOK! ALL THE EXCITEMENT!! :D
-This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: So I still haven't read The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight, but this sounds really cute!
-Mage's Blood by David Hair: I can't help myself when my eye lands on a exciting sounding fantasy novel!
-The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: so I haven't read the first book yet, this was a total bargain I just had to...

Birthday present from my wonderful brother!:
-Tirza by Arnon Grunberg: My brother says this is an amazing book, so I'm sure I will love it! And also, even though he's probably not reading this: thank you so much! And I'm sorry you had to go back to the store twice because I already owned the book you picked out for me...

Egalleys for review:
-The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier: SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!! I LOVED Juliet by Anne Fortier and have been stalking Goodreads since I read it to see if there would be another book and now there will be!! EEE! :D
-Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe: I love Katharine Ashe's books and this sounds like a sweet Christmassy read :)
-Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare: Tessa Dare writes AMAZING historical romance, so I'm sure I'll be very much loving this book when I read it! And it has a mysterious fortress! This has my name written all over it.
-The Barrow by Mark Smylie: along with my historical romance, I love a good fantasy and this is a STANDALONE. It's 700 pages, but it won't be another series staring me down because I haven't finished it :D Or making me wait YEARS for the sequel. SO YAY!
-Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira: this book might just break my heart.
-On the Rocks by Erin Duffy: this sounds like a cute read and I love the sound of two friends spending a summer at a sea cottage, meeting handsome men!
-Tease by Amanda Maciel: the aftermath of suicide seen through the eyes of one of the bullies, I'm SO interested to see how the author will handle this!
-The Taking by Kimberly Derting: So I haven't read either of Kimberly Derting's previous series, but this sounds SO GOOD! SO YES I WILL READ THIS!
-The Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman: I tend to avoid books dealing with World War II, but for a story about a girl who is SO close to Hitler, I will reconsider!
-The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White: an MG witch story. Do I really need to say more? This sounds like it could be AWESOME!
-Talker 25 by Joshua McCune: you can't really tell by the cover, but it has DRAGONS in it!
-Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton: I've heard really good things about her Witch in Winter series, I REALLY hope this one will be good! I love witchy YA books :)

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, November 8, 2013

Tahleen reviews: "One Summer: America 1927" by Bill Bryson

Title: One Summer: America, 1927
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Random House Audio, 2013 (print available through Doubleday)
Narrator: Bill Bryson

Rating: 4 stars

Of course you all knew I would get here eventually. Bill Bryson is one of my very favorite people in the whole world, and I love just about everything writes. As usual, I got an audio edition of his latest book, One Summer: America, 1927 and enjoyed his narration.

Bryson tells the many stories of what went on in the United States in the summer of 1927, as the title suggests. He mostly chronicles aviation and how Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic sparked off this huge reaction around the world, but he also talks about Babe Ruth and his record-breaking 60 home runs in a season, Al Capone, Sacco and Vanzetti, Prohibition, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, various sensationalized murders, and lots of other things. A lot happened that summer.

And that was part of the problem with the book, I think. There is TOO much going on. If I am going to read anything about history, I'd rather have Bryson write it, but the sheer amount of information in here made it difficult to keep everyone straight, especially since I was listening. I would often find myself wondering who he was talking about. That said, this made it easy for me to turn off and back on again without feeling like I needed to know what was going to happen next.

Bryson has this conversational tone that makes me feel like I'm hanging out with a very interesting and very smart friend. That's why I love his books, and that's why I will continue to buy them so long as he keeps writing them. He can make anything interesting, and I know a lot more now about the 1920s than I did before, that's for sure.

Disclosure: I bought this audiobook.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Need Some Christmas Reads?? Big Ol' Giveaway Here!!

We are so excited to team up with Harlequin for this giveaway for you guys!! I don't know about you but I am all about getting in the Christmas mood after Thanksgiving -- movies, music, books and all sorts of festive activities.

One winner will win ALL of the books below plus custom made Harlequin gift tags!!

Quick things:
- US & Canada Only
- Giveaway Ends: November 14th at 12:01am
- To enter: Leave a comment (with an email address or Twitter handle to get in contact with you) telling us your favorite Christmas song, movie, book or share a holiday tradition!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Top Ten Sequels We Can't Wait To Get Our Hands On

**Before we get started with TTT, have you seen that signups are open for our 4th annual Secret Santa??

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

 This week we are talking about sequels we can't wait to get our hands on!


Tahleen's Picks:

1. Of Neptune by Anna Banks. I just recently discovered there is going to be a third book in this series, which surprised me because the second one ended so neatly. I'm looking forward to what Banks has got in store for the Syrena.

2. Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier. I know this one is already out, but I have been waiting for this one for MONTHS. I can't wait to find out how it all resolves! I'm hoping to get a copy of the audiobook, so I might make myself wait a little longer. If you haven't read this series, you really should.  It starts with Ruby Red and continues in Sapphire Blue, ending with this one.

Jamie's Picks:

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi: OMG I need this now. I know Tahereh Mafi is going to make this series EVEN better after this one. I know it. And honestly we all need to know what happens regarding Warner/Juliette/Adam and WILL WE SEE ANOTHER CHAPTER 62??

In the End by Demitria Lunetta: I can't wait to see where this story is going after how In The After ends. As far as I know this is only 2 books so I am excited for the conclusion after the revelations at the end!

Paula's Picks:

 A Dance With Dragons: I know that this book has actually been out for 2 years at this point. But I haven't read it yet because I have been waiting for the mass market paperback to come out because I need my bookshelf to match. Thankfully it finally came out on Tuesday and you can bet that I will be picking it up as soon as I finish reading my current book.

Daisy's Picks:
This is so hard for me! I have so many series I'm impatiently waiting for the sequel to come out!

Untitled sequel to The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: OMG! SO MUCH LOVE FOR THE BURNING SKY!! I cannot wait to find out what happens next for Iolanthe and Titus!

Unhinged by A.G. Howard: I absolutely LOVED Splintered and I need more Morpheus in my life! So happy this is going to have a sequel and I can get my hands on it soonish!

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: THAT ENDING! AAAAAH! Also: Sturmhond. I really don't even need another reason to want this.

Julia's Picks:

Cress by Marissa Meyer: I absolutely loved the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, thus I cannot wait for the thirds installment!

Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan: It is no secret that I absolutely adore the Darkest London series. I cannot wait to see where they take it now that we've seen all three books of the sisters. 

What are YOU guys excited for??

Monday, November 4, 2013

Five Years--What a Difference

I know that at some point I should cease to be amazed by the changes in my reading life--insights, perceptions, reactions--but I can't help it.  The latest incident comes from re-reading a favorite that I read five years ago--Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

I started and stopped this book a number of times before finally pushing through to the end, which I vowed to do by my 21st birthday.  I succeeded in finishing a couple of days ahead of schedule.  I loved the book.  I became so totally engrossed by the ending that I felt what Anna K felt--I understood her desperation and her fear and all the emotions.  There were, to be sure, long speeches on government and politics that I glossed over.  But I finished the book.

Now, just before I turn 26 next week, I am re-reading Anna K.  I didn't do it on purpose.  I just felt that yearning to read something fabulous and Russian that would make me feel...everything.

So I picked up a copy, in a different translation (for Russian authors, I always favor the Pevear and Volohonsky translation) because that was all the local pseudo-bookstore had available and I just had to get my hot little hands on a copy immediately.  I've been interacting with the text, underlining, bracketing, writing questions/thoughts/reactions in the margins and marking things to come back to, which was something I did not do on the first go.  I think this was because I was too swept up in what Tolstoy was doing and also reading so furiously that I just could not stop.

The main thing is that I am also looking at things from different angles this time.  I got this idea from Amanda at Dead White Guys, who has written a few times about Anna K, but this mention of the book in a Top Ten Tuesday and this review of her re-read are my favorites.  The first link gave me the idea of re-reading the book and focusing on Levin, who is supposed to be a semi-autobiographical representation of Tolstoy.  The second reminded me of the grandeur of the book.

I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying this re-reading.  I am getting sucked into the book in ways that I didn't the first time (does this happen to anyone else?  Maybe I should read everything twice!).  I find myself thinking of the characters and the plot and the words even after I have set aside my copy for the time being.  I would love to take off work and real life for the next week so I can just finish.  But maybe have to read in fits and starts is helping it soak in more than if I just indulged in my impulse to immerse myself.  Maybe coming up for breaks is helping me digest it better.

And in thinking about the overall book, I can see why Levin is in many more ways the hero and the point of the story.  Anna might be a cautionary tale; but Levin is the ultimate message.  At 20, I just sort of figured that the book was named after the character for a reason, so that was where I focused.  Not necessarily, my friends.

I am super excited to be reading this.  Granted, I always go into any reading experience whole hog and then it peters out (usually).  But I don't see that happening this time.  I am too intrigued by what I am noticing as I read and the characters that I notice and am thoroughly enjoying.  So fun!

Has anyone else ever tried re-reading a favorite from a different perspective?  How did that work for you?
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