Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Books On Daisy's Winter TBR

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

You can go with this however you like, books that you're planning on reading or like me, what's coming out that's in winter that's on your TBR. I like focusing on those shiny new releases that will be coming my way soonish :) And as I also did last week's TTT, I'm not adding the sequels that were on that list. But those are on the TBR as well, obviously.

1. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: I NEED THIS BOOK!!! It sounds amazing and the cover is beyond gorgeous!

2. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: this sounds like an epic addition to the fantasy genre and I think it'll be just my kind of book.

3. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder: I LOVE Maria V. Snyder's books. She never disappoints with her writing and OMG how long have we all been waiting on another story that centers around Yelena?? And Valek! And just all those wonderful characters that hold a special place in my heart.

4. Unleashed by Sophie Jordan: so much love for Sophie Jordan's writing! And I totally had feelings all over Uninvited, so GIVE IT TO ME NOW AND NOONE GETS HURT.
Thank you.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I loved The Near Witch and am embarassed to say that I own every one of Victoria Schwab's other books, but haven't read them yet... But I really want to and A Darker Shade of Magic sounds so intriguing!

6. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas: a Sleeping Beauty retelling!! How could I not want this?

7. Promposal by Rhonda Helms: this just sounds like a whole lot of cuteness and fun and prom is always a good thing in books!

8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I love the concept of this book and I'm dying to see if it's just as good as I imagine it could be.

9. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: two words: secret society. I'm so in.

10. When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill: I'm expecting lots of swoons and a little lighter read that's just what I want.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 11/9 - 11/22

Daisy's Book Haul

-Feed by Mira Grant: Huge thank you to Ciska from Ciska's Book Chest, who is a fellow Dutchie and generously donated a prize to Dewey's Read-a-Thon that I just happened to win :) I'll be reading this one soon for book club, I'm slightly unsure about reading another zombie book, but I've heard really good things about it, so we'll see.
-Ashes To Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian: I really need to read this after the ending of Fire With Fire!!
-The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron: this one come recommended by you guys when I asked for what my next fantasy read should be, so I'm adding it to the collection :)
-Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers: I REALLY need to start this series, cause my friend Mel keeps raving about it and it sounds amazing.
-Atlantia by Ally Condie: it sounds interesting and it's a standalone, so should be fun.

Egalleys for review:
If you're on Edelweiss, you have probably seen the epic load that Harper has put up the other day, so I went a teeny bit crazy. Here are my highlights of the past few weeks:
-Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge: EEEEE!!! SO much love for Cruel Beauty!! I'm beyond excited to read this one!
-Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby: How could I not click the request button for this one?? Jessi Kirby's Golden blew me away and I still cannot stop raving about it. Also, this sounds heartbreaking, so I'm in.
-Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley: this just sounds like my kind of book in all its epicness.
-Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt: I usually love Lauren Barnholdt's books, and this series sounds really good!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Julia Rants about Barbie and Technology

I don’t bring you a review. I had a book in mind but to do a View from Page Thirty from, but another crisis has been brought to my attention: Barbie. “Barbie? What does a child’s toy have to do with book site?” Well Barbie, in its ever growing empire, has spread to books. I am sure that there were Barbie books when I was a kid, but I never remember them being as bad as this.

I still really like this doll. Fun fact!
Her shirt is in binary and spells out
Barbie over and over.

The internet has been a flutter today and yesterday about I Can Be a Computer Engineer by Susan Marenco where Barbie is supposed to go through a fun story about Computer Engineering. In summary, Barbie is designing a game but doesn’t actually code it instead offloading that to the boys to do. She also breaks her and her sisters computer by infecting them with a virus that wipes design and Skipper's homework and music library. The boys fix that, too. Then in the end, in probably the cherry on top of this frosted cake wreck is Barbie taking all the credit in the end for fixing her sisters computer and for the coded game. The Amazon reviews are worth reading for this one.

It’s just so frustrating. So frustrating. I graduated college with a computer science degree. Do you know how many women were in my program and the computer engineering program put together? On average, three to five. At any point it was usually around three. This was in a computer department of about 100 I'd say. 

This is a new phenomenon. Computing was women’swork in the 1950s. The first computer language was written by a woman, Ada Lovelace. But something happen in the mid-eighties that just killed women going into computing. 

The NPR piece where this graphic comes from, When Women Stopped Codingis a great listen on that phenomena, but in general it’s because of schlock like this book getting into the hands of little girls.

It’s subconscious the way society turns girls away from technology. I don’t think people are honestly thinking, “We really don’t want more women in computing.” That’s silly. But the online harassment from women who show their faces in a coding forum, or the fact that we have to prove that we know what we are doing… it’s so sad. The original blog post from Pamie.com had this quote that I thought summed up the thoughts around this well. For context, Steven and Brian are the two guys who Barbie turns to helping fix her computers:

Steven and Brian are nice guys, I’m sure. But Steven and Brian are also everything frustrating about the tech industry. Steven and Brian represent the tech industry assumption that only men make meaningful contributions. Men fix this, men drive this and men take control to finish this. Steven and Brian don’t value design as much as code. Steven and Brian represent every time I was talked over and interrupted — every time I didn’t post a code solution in a forum because I didn’t want to spend the next 72 years defending it. Steven and Brian make more money than I do for doing the same thing. And at the same time, Steven and Brian are nice guys. 
The issue is not on a micro level, it’s on a macro level. It’s the fact that Barbie can’t just be a software developer, she designs but doesn’t code. It’s the fact that after six years of marvel movies, we have yet to have a female lead. It’s the fact that LEGO released its special “girl colored” line with “girl approved” activities. It’s the male dominated society. I am sure it is better in some aspects than it was in previous generations, but when it comes to women persuing careers and passions in technology, we are going backwards.

I want to conclude with a plea. If a little girl is interested in technology, foster it. Get her some Goldieblox to help with engineering skills. Check out books that feature women doing things for themselves. A great resource for this for books and other media is A Mighty Girl. Lists and lists of female empowerment focused lit and other products!

I stumbled into computer science because I enjoyed creating and maintaining a Geocities webpage when I was younger. I didn't know it was something that not many girls did until I got to my first programming class. I am not a coder today but still work in technology, and it is an uphill battle sometimes. So I guess I’ll end this with a cool resource that I know of that we used for our GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math and Science) summer camp for beginning programming. It’s a language called Alice and it’s free. It teaches basic programming skills while using cool graphics and not just boring code. You actually get to see the code in action.

Link me up with your own ideas for great literature or other media for young girls looking to foster their love for technology! It is close to Christmas… :)

Update: So the internet has been taking this book and fixing it to make it more something real computer engineer Barbie would say. Also apparently the writers of the original blog post are going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow so clearly this ruffled some feathers. The rewriting of the book is making me laugh at this sad situation. The twitter hashtag is #feministhackerbarbie

Make your own corrections to this book with this awesome website!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Sequels Daisy Can't Wait To Get

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

1. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: so this is cheating a bit since I've already read and loved it, due to Debby generously loaning me her ARC, but I can't wait to get my own finished copy! Also, you should all read it, cause it's REALLY good.

2. Untitled Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas: I NEED THIS!!! Heir of Fire left me with ALL THE FEELS and I need MORE. The wait is KILLING ME! If you want to see me rave and go crazy fangirl over Heir of Fire, here's my review.

3. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: I absolutely loved The Kiss of Deception, so I need the sequel in my life to find out what happens next!

4. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie: Half a King was beyond amazing and I love Yarvi so much! He reminds me of Tyrion and that's not a comparison I make lightly. Go forth and read this.

5. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn: so technically this might not count as a sequel, but it's the 4th instalment in the Smythe-Smith Quartet and I just love Julia Quinn's writing!

6. Emeralds & Ashes by Leila Rasheed: young adult historical fiction done absolutely right! I LOVE this series! Sad that this will be the last book...

7. Ensnared by A.G. Howard: THIS SERIES YOU GUYS!! There is no end to my love for it and the characters and MORPHEUS and just GIVE IT TO ME NOOOOOOWWWWWW!!! Also: how will I recover once this series is finished???

8. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: These Broken Stars tugged on all my feelings, even if I was hesitant to read it cause I'm not really all that into books set in space and weird planets and all that, but it was SO GOOD. So This Shattered World is gonna get lots of hugs when it arrives in my mailbox!

9. Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss: Patrick Rothfuss is just a genius, he has a way of storytelling that is brilliant and captivating and just perfect. So please can this no doubt amazing book get released so I can love the crap out of it?

10. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin: you didn't seriously think I'd leave this off the list, did you? Full disclosure: I haven't read A Dance With Dragons yet, but that's partly because I know the wait for Winds of Winter will be EXCRUCIATING. I respect brilliance takes time, but I can't help but want to series to be completed because I am so invested in all these characters!

So that's it for me, what's on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)

To join, link up below with the URL to your blog POST (not your blog), your name and your email (which will remain hidden). Then bounce around the Linky!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Do you write in books?

I don't just mean textbooks, or books you have to read (and/or write in) for class. (When I was a senior in high school, we were required to purchase our outside reading books and hand them in with the notes we had made in the margins. It was a bad time.) Do you write in your own personal read-for-pleasure books?

I can't decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it would be nice to have an easier way to go back to passages that I liked or that moved me; I always find myself thinking, "Well, I know it was somewhere in the 200s, and it was in the middle of the page on the left-hand side..." and if I had just underlined the darn thing I wouldn't be having that problem. There's also a lot to be said for leaving your mark on a book; do we really own something if we don't make it 100% ours? 

On the other hand, what if your book is a first-edition hardcover, and might one day be valuable? Do you get a paperback copy to write in, or do you write in your hardcover? What if you're really terrible at underlining and always end up going through the words instead of under them? (No, I'm totally not talking about myself, what do you mean...) What if the margins of the book are small and you can't write all the notes you want to, and it ends up looking all sloppy and terrible?? What then??

Why would you do this? Why?!

In case you couldn't infer from above, I am not a book-writer-inner. For the most part, I like my books to stay pristine and unmarkedmostly because I don't trust myself to mark them well or neatly. I remember finding my old copies of Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray from high school and thinking, "Why would she make us ruin a book like this?"

I can see where it's helpful for some people, especially if something really touches you and you want to remember it. I know one of my friends from high school would write in her books, but in very light pencil so that, upon rereading, she might not even notice what she had underlined before. And unlike some other things related to books, I totally won't judge if you're a book-writer-inner. It's just not my style—I don't want to reread my notes every time I read a book. If there was a way I could scan stuff from my books, sort of how you can highlight and make notes on a kindle, that would be ideal for me, I think. Having a single document with all my notes (and page numbers!) would be awesome, and the pages of my book could remain clean. But alas, such technology doesn't exist. (Yet, anyway—who wants to get on developing that for me?)

How about you? Do you write in books? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tahleen reviews: "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow on Audio

9809033Title: Little Brother
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Listening Library, 2008
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne

Rating: 4 stars

Marcus Yallow, aka W1N5TON, is pretty much a normal teen, albeit one who enjoys mass multiplayer online role playing games, LARPing, hacking, and all kinds of computer technology stuff. He also has no qualms about cutting school to further along the gaming competition he and a few of his friends are in the middle of. That is, until the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 happens in their hometown of San Francisco. After being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting picked up by Homeland Security, held for days in a prison while being questioned and humiliated, and finally getting released with the warning that if he talks they will come for him, he is forever changed. He and his friends, one of whom is still missing, must go on with their lives pretending like nothing happened. But Marcus has other ideas. Eventually, he wants to fight back and get some payback on Homeland Security for what they are still doing in his city, stripping what they once considered basic freedoms that they had taken for granted.

I would almost hesitate to call this book dystopian, since it's not really that; it's more like science fiction or speculative fiction, as this is something that possibly could happen in the future. And it is terrifying. I can very easily see this happening in our country, and it's very scary to think about.

What follows the attack mentioned above in the summary is a look at America sans freedom, America where all Internet use is closely monitored, where every move you make is put under a microscope. People are arrested for simply talking about things. It's very 1984. We are already part of the way there; I truly hope we never make it this far. It's a sobering thought, and this is a very important book for showing how we could get there.

I will say there is a lot of technical description, as well as other explanations of what things are and how they work, which might put off some people. As I listened to the audiobook while running, it didn't really bother me since I could zone out a bit while having the book go on. I was able to pay attention for most of it without getting bored though. And speaking of narration, Kirby Heyborne is great. As many of you already know.

Disclaimer: I got this audiobook out from the public library through OverDrive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Due to a scheduling mishap WE don't have a Top Ten Tuesday list today so unintentional vacation from TTT this week for us? But we can't wait to see YOUR lists!!

Also, reminder: our 5th annual Secret Santa signups end this week! You have BEFORE Friday to get it in! We hope you will join us!! :)

And while we are at it: if you have any TTT list ideas (maybe that you used for a freebie or a twist you did on a topic) please share! I can't guarantee that we will use it (sometimes things are a good idea but don't have a general appeal) or that we haven't already done it (seriously, 4.5 years of TTT we have done a LOT of things). But holler if you have a new idea or REALLY want to revisit a topic..which we usually DO after a couple years.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 10/26 - 11/8

Daisy's Book Haul


I went to Boekenfestijn last week (which is basically lots of books on sale that I can't resist grabbing) and bought a LOT of books...
-The Sorcerer Heir by Cinda Williams Chima: I still haven't started this series, I'm embarassed to say, but I loved her Seven Realms series so much that this has to be amazing as well.
-The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss: AND IT IS SIGNED, HOORAY!! Due to the awesomeness that is The American Book Center and in particular one of their employees Tiemen, I managed to get a signed edition of this pretty and I've just been hugging it :)
-Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle: because Debby is awesome, she gave me this book after she read it, and as I really loved When You Were Mine, I hope this one will make me smile as well.
-Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Lawson: and because Debby is double awesome, she also gave me this one :) It sounds like just my kind of book!
-Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black: I had this for review on NetGalley, and the cover is so pretty...
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer volume 3 by Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder, Kirsten Beyer, Joss Whedon: I couldn't help myself, I'm a Buffy fan and it was just begging me to take it home. I'm sad they didn't have the first two volumes cause it feels weird just having the third.
-Poison Heart by S.B. Hayes: I'm not really sure of this one, but it sounded good and I just impulse bought it cause that's what one does at Boekenfestijn.
-Paper Cuts by Sandy Rideout and Yvonne Collins: I mostly picked this up because it looked cute and it matched the cover for Love Inc (again: as one does at Boekenfestijn).
-Spellwright by Blake Charlton: I'm intrigued by what I think is dyxlexia affecting a wizard in training, this should be good.
-City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare: I haven't started this series yet and I feel that I should read it, so I'm just giving into the urge to buy a complete series and then reading it. Someday.

-Love Inc by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout: this has been on my wishlist for a LONG time and suddenly it was just lying there at Boekenfestijn and I grabbed it. It sounds really cute!
-Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell: I love Jill Mansell's books and I didn't have this one yet, so obviously it had to come home with me.
-City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: I am an incurable series hoarder.
-The Green Mile by Stephen King: I love the movie and I felt like I should read the book as well.
-Angels & Demons by Dan Brown: I realised I have never actually read this one, which should be remedied soonish.
-The Maze Runner
The Scorch Trials
The Death Cure
The Kill Order by James Dashner: this boxed set was too good to pass on, I really want to read The Maze Runner and see what people have been talking about.

Not pictured:
-The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: I borrowed this from Debby, THANK YOUUUUU!! And already read and loved it! So many feels!
-Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile and Fables Vol 2: Animal Farm: borrowed from one of my best friends, they look really interesting, and I've been meaning to try something new, maybe graphic novels will become a new obsession :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Julia Reviews The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

Title/Author: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Publisher/Year Published: August 2014 by Harlequin 
How I got this book: I was provided with an ARC in return for an honest review
Why I read this book: I was in the mood for paranormal in October... I wonder why?
Rating: 3.5 stars

This book leaves me a bit torn which is why I think it's taken me a few weeks to start this review. On one hand it has a very interesting paranormal plot line that I haven't read anything similar too. On the other hand the characters aren't very well written. Adrian is as cliche as they come - smoldering demon thing who can melt the pants off women with one look. Ivy is the inexperienced woman who finds herself in a situation she was destined for and somehow gets good at mastering things instantly. Then there is their romance which was very instant attraction that moves into the "I can fix him our love will save the world" cliche mix. But the plot was really interesting! 

Let's back up and talk about that plot. Ivy is a college age woman who's parents just died in a car accident and only other living relative, her sister, has gone missing. She is in New York looking for her when she is sort of kidnapped/rescued by Adrian, a humanish hunk who was sent to take her to this angel guy to start down the path of her destiny and save her from the clutches of demons. She is from some special bloodline and the last of the line and only she can do... something. I don't even really think that was clear... it of course is a series. 

Adrian didn't know who she was initially and was all trying to get in her pants, but once he realized she is the last of that line things change. You see, he is the last of another line whose paths were destined to cross with the first line but in like a betrayer way. 

It's sort of convoluted, but it is introduced easily enough. Things get answered along the way as the plot clips along. It's very much angels vs demons, heaven vs hell sort of book that pulls a lot of stuff from Christianity's history and lore. I really enjoyed that part and the vivid imagery of the demon world. 

But the characters were not as gripping. They were along the ride for the story, but just seemed like plot points or cardboard cutout cliches. I keep using that word, but it very much fits. Think of your normal leading hero in a paranormal book. That's Adrian. Think of your normal heroine in a YA paranormal. That's Ivy. 

That's another thing that bothered me. I thought this was paranormal romance, but it is more like new adultish paranormal romance sort of. When I start a romance novel, I go into it knowing a few things are going to happen. 1) The main characters fall in love (check) 2) They get a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now (it's a HFN because I think these characters are going to run through the series) 3) They have the sexytimes. (no check) I was a little saddened when I got to the end and pants remained on. This is published by Harlequin, right? Well, I don't know if it will be a plot point later or something, but I was missing the romance part of this book. Not just the sex, but like the tension. It wasn't there for me in the subtext. She told me they were falling in love, but I sure as hell didn't see it.

So in summary, it wasn't horrid. I liked the creativity of the world where it was set. I liked the descriptions of some of the demon based characters. But I didn't like the lackluster leads and their lack of realistic chemistry. Apparently it is marketed as New Adult and not paranormal romance, so if you are looking to try a paranormal story with a dash of romance, I'd say give this a try. At least read the sample and see if it grips you. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jamie Talks About Holiday Reads!

I've never been one to really read a TON of holiday books but I read maybe one every year. Lately I've been interested in them more and more but I just don't know where to start (that's where YOU are going to come in later in the comments).

At the current moment I'm reading My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins. It is SUCH a wonderful holiday collection. Some of my favorite authors have short stories in it -- Stephanie herself, Gayle Forman, David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and more! I've been reading it stretched out over the course of a few weeks and I realized it's the PERFECT read during the holidays because you can sneak in a short story here and there during the holidays. My reading feels so stilted during the holidays because I'm off to this family's house and then wrapping presents and watching Christmas movies and suddenly it feels like I'm starting and stopping abruptly in my current read. So to have a short story collection where I don't have to have a ton of time to really get IMMERSED in it is quite perfect. And it's so heart-warming and perfect. It really is. I almost wish I saved it to read DURING the holidays (next year I will read it again for sure).

I just have really enjoyed doing holiday reads because they are always a little more light and less intense than my normal reads. (MOST OF THE TIME). 

So I'd really like some recommendations for holiday-ish books to read. There isn't much in the YA world (I've read Let It Snow and Dash & Lily) which stinks. And most of the time with adult fiction they always seem to be a holiday romance that is set within a romance series I haven't read and I never know if I will be confused/not enjoy it as much because of that.

 I typically read contemporary YA/adult and I like romance! I just want a really good holiday book to read so I'm trust you, dear readers, to provide me with some good recs! Hit me with links to your blog if you have roundups of good holiday reads!

Do you read holiday-ish books during the holidays? Do you find it hard to find time reading during the holidays?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books Bridget Wants to Re-Read

 Before we get to our regularly scheduled Top Ten Tuesday...ICYMI -- the 5th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa sign-ups are open!

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

A better question might be: what books don't I want to reread?? I've read most of my books more than once, but here are the top ten that I've only read once and would love to reread:

1. The Silent Wife - A. S. A. Harrison. It's awesome. It's short, but incredibly well-written and fun to read. It's a terrible shame that Ms. Harrison passed away before The Silent Wife was published, so we won't be seeing more from her.

2. Joyland - Stephen King. A great, old-fashioned whodunit by the master of horror himself.

3. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn. I want to reread this before I see the movie, but my mom still has it and hasn't finished it even though I lent it to her probably a year ago...Mooooommmm...

4. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier. This is a lovely, haunting novel and I actually can't believe I haven't reread it already.

5. The Casual Vacancy - J. K. Rowling. As some of you may remember, a few of us here at TBTB did a group read of The Casual Vacancy, but most of us didn't finish. We did have a great discussion, though, and knowing everything I know about it now, I'd like to read it again with a fresh mind.

6. Room - Emma Donoghue. I remember loving the first half of the book, but I wasn't crazy about the second half. I'd like to read it again and see how I feel about it a few years later.

7. Desperation and The Regulators - Stephen King. I'm counting these as one because they're companion novels. I wish I could go back and read The Regulators first, for the first time, because the first time I read them I read Desperation first.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis. Again, counting this as one because it's a quick series to get through as an adult. I had never read it as a kid and finally read it a few years ago when I was 22, and I LOVED it. My younger brother and sister are 5 and 6 now, so they're almost ready to get into them and I'm so excited for them!

9. The Gunslinger - Stephen King. This is one that I don't really want to read again, but feel like I should because I didn't really like it the first time. But apparently the Dark Tower series is King's magnum opus, so I feel like I should try it again.

10. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley. Another one I felt kind of meh about last time. I'd like to give it another try to see if it'll grab me the same way it's grabbed others.

What books do you all want to re-read??

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lori's (Midway) Review of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Title:  Not That Kind of Girl:  A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

Author:  Lena Dunham

Publication Information:  October 2014 by Random House

How I Got a Copy of This Book:  I pre-ordered an ebook copy...then I had to buy a hard copy because of reasons.

Goodreads Synopsis:  "There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told," writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to "an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw." Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

My Thoughts:  Full disclosure--I'm not done with this book yet.  But I needed to write something so that I could spread the word.  Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard about this book of personal essays.  There have been a lot of great things written about it and there have been some pretty bad things written about (in my opinion, these things have been said by people who have no stinking clue what it's like to be a female in their mid-20s in the 21st century so really ought to stop speaking...anyway! moving on!).

The book is broken into five sections--Love & Sex, Body, Friendship, Work, and Big Picture.  I've read the first two sections and part of the third.  Dunham writes so intelligently on these topics because duh! she's lived them.  She shares her experiences and infuses them with humor.  She constantly makes me exclaim "Oh my goodness! My tooooooo!"  I've seen a number of friends or people I follow on Twitter comment on how her stories are their stories.  It's great to see someone to whom you can relate so closely.

The book reads like a no holds barred conversation with one of your best friends.  With alcohol that magically doesn't give you a hangover.  I don't know what exactly that means, but it sounds like the right thing to say.

Dunham's writing has made me feel more comfortable in my own skin, which makes the book priceless in my opinion.  I really like the way this book fits into the current conversations about feminism and what it means to be a female in the twenty-first century, a la Caitlin Moran (another book of essays I can't wait to sink my teeth into!).

I would highly recommend this book.  But, I must admit, it's not exactly for the faint of heart.  So if you aren't up for a frank conversation about love & sex and the female body, better hold off (but really work hard at trying to become ready for that conversation because this book is just too great to miss!).

I'll definitely be back with full thoughts once I finish the book.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

5th Annual Secret Santa Sign-Ups

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

Please only sign up if you are truly interested and are committed to sending off a package. We have only had a few problems in the past 4 years but I'd like to not have to spend my time chasing people down -- seriously.  It's a bummer for the person who doesn't get a package and a bummer for me to have to hunt you down for months after.

Things You Need To Do

1. Send an email BEFORE November 14th (meaning 11:59pm EST on the 13th though if they slip in the wee hours of the morning while I'm sleeping I'm okay) to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com with the answers to the following questions:

  1. Full Name & Address
  2. Blog URL  (also any other social media accounts you might want to share to help your secret Santa out)
  3. Would you be able to send internationally if needed? Please answer with Yes, No or Would prefer not to but will if needed (if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you but it all depends where people are from).
  4.  Which closely resembles what kind of package you are wanting to send out (I'm trying to pair similar expectations together this year):
    a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
    b) 1-2 books and some goodies
    c) 2-3 books and goodies
  5. List 10 books you'd like to read or a link to a wishlist (please mix it up with older and new releases -- aka maybe things that aren't just available in hardcover right now). DO NOT ASK FOR ARCS please. If your SS wants to throw some in there because they saw it on your Goodreads or something that's fine but once we had someone ask for mostly ARCs.
  6. List of your bookish preferences (a few fave authors, your fave genres, things you WILL NOT READ, does not prefer used books, if you are okay with them not getting you something on your wishlist if they think you will like it etc.)
  7. Please give a few things you like/about yourself (to help with your goodie). See below for examples in the guidelines.
  8. Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa should know.

2. When you receive your Secret Santa, go play Santa and buy your prezzies. Send it out no later than December 15th. The earlier the better as the mail is always slow during the holiday season.

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

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

Some guidelines:

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

                           So a typical package looks something like this:

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

* Suggestions for things to add that could be helpful to tell your Secret Santa for the little gift: things like music you love, if you celebrate Christmas, hobbies you have, things you will not eat/are allergic to, Harry Potter/Star Wars/etc. fan, things you collect, favorite, would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, tea fanatic, loves stationary, loves chocolate, etc. etc. Also maybe if you have an e-reader and would be willing to get ebooks or a gift card. That way maybe they can find something related. Just really anything relevant to your interests that could help them.

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

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

Please ask any questions in the comments!!

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for my 5th annual End of Year Book Survey. Check out the 4th annual End of Year Book Survey to see all the fun we had!

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