Friday, February 28, 2014

Julia's Blog Tour Stop: The Trouble with Honor

Hey romance fans! The lovely people at Harlequin were kind enough to include The Broke and the Bookish in the blog tour for Julia London's new book The Trouble With Honor, which hit the stores this past Tuesday.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Harlequin
Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.
Julia London answered a few questions for you all here giving a little more insight into the series and Ms. London herself  :)

If you could be any one of your characters in the Cabot Sisters series for a day? Who would you choose?

I guess I would be Honor. I liked how she was unapologetic for going after what she wanted and needed. I think a lot of women, myself included, apologize when we put ourselves first instead of our families. But sometimes, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do and she shouldn’t have to apologize for it. That’s the way Honor is. I’d be like her, gutsy and bold. Mostly in my head. But in my head, I would make a great Honor.

Where did you write this book?

Mostly at home, but I write wherever I am. Thank goodness for laptops because I’m always on the go. I have an office, but I like to move around and change scenery. It helps me stay productive. Sometimes just a move from the office to another room is enough to get me off the stinking internet and writing again. The internet is the bane of my existence. I have no discipline when it comes to social media.

What are you reading now?

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger. It’s a great look at modern day marriage and the secrets that no spouse want’s to discover.

Thanks to Julia London and to Harlequin for the stop! You can find more Julia London at her website, Twitter or Facebook.

Okay readers, we know what book Ms. London is reading, but what are you all reading this weekend? I know I am sure going to be cuddling up with a book to hide from the snow... Oh, Spring! Where are you? 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Daisy Talks About Her Shelf of Shame

So basically, this is me pretty much all the time:

And since I have a paycheck coming in every month, I don't have to go on a book buying ban as often as I used to.


But now I have a whole different problem: I keep buying all the books in a series and not actually reading them, which results in me having whole sets of completed series that I haven't started the first book from.

Which brings me to the title of this post: my shelf of shame. It's an actual shelf on Goodreads too, called own-full-series-haven't-started-first-book. Because I noticed it was becoming a thing and I like to keep track of things (if you read this post, you probably already knew this). As of today, I have 15 series that I own that are completed and I'm ashamed to say that I haven't even begun reading the series yet.

I simply can't seem to help myself, it's just that I always intend to catch up with a series and then I like having all the books on hand in case I simply HAVE TO HAVE the next one when I'm done reading the first and if I feel that it will be a me-series, I will just buy the next book when it comes out and so on. Also, The Book Depository tempts me with the 15% off they do on pre-orders. Which always seems like a really good excuse to pre-order EVERYTHING. Cause obviously I'm saving money that way...

So, what I'm really asking you is: do you guys do the same? Tell me I'm not the only one going a little crazy hoarding books sometimes?

Also, if you took the time to click the link to my Goodreads Shelf of Shame, which series would you recommend the most from this list?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind!

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here! This week is a Rewind so Kimberly and I decided to just do a Freebie and talk about dead authors and characters we wish had Twitter accounts!

Which authors/characters would you love to have a Twitter account?

Lori says:

1.  Dorothy Parker--I think she would totally rock Twitter with all of her fabulous one-liners and quippy remarks.  Parker embodied the phrase "brevity is the soul of wit."  She knew how to turn a phrase.  She had an interesting outlook on life and I think would have been very interesting to follow...kind of in the gallows humor kind of way.

2.  Ernest Hemingway--His wry observations on life and a record of his travels to bullfights and safaris in Africa would be super interesting to read.  I could totally see him saying something abrasive and controversial and getting embroiled in a major storm.  And it would be great.

3.  Hunter S. Thompson--His tweets would probably be a bit convoluted on account of the drugs, but I think that they would be very interesting.  Especially when I think about live-tweeting Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  He was a great commentator on events in America during a time of great social change and I think that seeing his unedited opinions on things would have made for some great reading.

4.  Holly Golightly--I don't know that she'd be the best at Twitter--I could see her updating every now and then--but I think her tweets would be interesting.  I think that Holly lived a difficult, but interesting life with all of those parties and adventures.  I admire her ability and willingness to just pick up and leave whenever the room got a little hostile.

5.  Oscar Wilde--I haven't read much by Wilde, but he's another one who made these great, wry comments about life and people, so I think he would be worth following.  I think he would have a lot to say about culture, art, and food--which would make him rather versatile.

Kimberly says:


1. C.S. Lewis- I'm watching the second Chronicles of Narnia as I type this... I love his little bits of inspiration that are sprinkled throughout his novels, I feel like seeing tweets from him in my twitter feed would make me smile on a daily basis.

2. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)- Cress is hilarious. And spastic. I want to see what she'd tweet. I think I'd spend most my time laughing. 

3. Hazel Grace (The Fault in Our Stars)- Well, from what I've heard and kinda seen, she's Tumblr in the form of a girl. So imagine what her twitter account would look like? I think it would be a mix of humor, and wry observations of life. (Probably something similar to John Green's twitter)

4. A (every day)- Just imagine the insight we'd have to A's life! And the diverse type of tweets we'd see! Actually, I think I heard a rumor that there was a twitter account for A... I should check on that. 

5. J. R. R. Tolkien- Now, he might have had a difficult time sticking to the character limit, but I feel like seeing tweets from him would have made my day.

Monday, February 24, 2014

ender's game with dad

A few years ago, when we first heard about Ender's Game being made into a movie, my dad started asking me about it.

Him: "It's a book?"
Me: "Yep. Bestseller."
Him: "Have you read it?"
Me: *pause* "Are you really asking me that?"
Him: "Oh. Right. Is it good?"

Now, my dad is not a reader. The most reading he has ever done is when he read Harry Potter 1-6 in about 3 months time. Normally he averages 1 or 2 a year. But Ender's Game caught his interest. I gave him the book, and he had it for several months. Then he saw another trailer. He picked the book up again and had it read within a few days. It's always a treat for me when I get to chat about books with my dad, since he so rarely reads. Talking about Ender's Game was great.

Then came the movie. He geeked out as much as I did. Both of us loved the movie. Not only was it a great movie alone, it was a well done adaptation of a well loved novel. My dad kept poking me during the movie, pointing out details and saying "hey! I remember that from the book!". (Yes, dad. I read it too.)

My goal was to turn my dad into a fanboy, at least for the day. And what can I say?

So what about you? Have you ever introduced a relative or a friend to something and had them love it as much as you? What was it? Or did they introduce you to something amazing?

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I know I am not the only one who takes notes while they read and I'm probably not the only one who does so in a variety of formats.

Sometimes I underline and write comments in the margins of my books or on sticky notes to put within the pages of my books (I have a personal code regarding what kinds of books I'll write in and what kinds I will use sticky notes).  This type of interaction with my books, I feel, helps me understand the book better.  I react to the text, which makes me remember parts of it long after I am done reading, and I am creating a record of my experience that may be interesting to note the next time I read a novel.  Underlined passages help me recall lines that I really enjoyed and want to encounter again.  Questions written in the margins give me things to ponder as I go.  I know that there is a huge controversy over writing in books.  So, before anyone breaks out a pitchfork and some torches, I will say that it's a matter of preference and move along...

With non-fiction, I like to use a physical notebook instead of reacting to what I am reading within the confines of the covers.  (Though I am working to develop the habit of copying favorite quotes into a notebook)  I think I do this because items in non-fiction are likely to be useful in real life and having to run back to the page is just more difficult.  These notebooks create a record of what interests me and when.  So I collect things in notebooks.  Usually I provide a citation of sorts, like the title, though not always the page number, which I am sure will prove to be problematic at some point in time, but I'll let future Lori worry about that.

I currently have four notebooks going:

  • The polka dot notebook is to be used for writing down quotes from books I read.  It's a good size notebook to keep on the side table in the living room or on my nightstand.  I just need to start actually copying things down...When is a good time for that?  Once I'm done with the novel?  Immediately?  At the end of the day?  
  • The little blue notebook resides in my purse (even if I'm carrying just a clutch for an evening out, I always have my blue notebook and a pen, along with my license, cards, and emergency cash).  It's the perfect size for jotting down anything I feel is important--phone numbers, recipes, menus, etc.  It's become such a fixture that I feel odd going out without it.  I used to carry a black one that flipped up instead of over.  I miss that one--it made me feel like a journalist!
  • The orange notebook is a brand new one.  I got the idea from the book I'm reading--Life Is Meals by James and Kay Salter (which is the red book you see at the top of the photograph).  The Salters have been compiling notes from their cooking experiences for years.  They have recipes and notes on the recipes--variations, to whom they served it and their reactions, wine pairings, and so on.  I loved this idea!  I grabbed one of my spare notebooks immediately and wrote down the recipe for a Low Country Boil (using Old Bay, crab legs, and shrimp) that we made on Wednesday, along with the variation we were going to attempt last night (using Cajun seasoning, sausage, and crawfish).  I need to update it, now that I mention it.  I've been looking for a way to compile all of the tried and true recipes that I really like and I think I am going to switch directions and do this.  It feels more personal than a binder.
  • The open notebook is actually my planner.  I chose this one in particular because it has the days of the week on the lefthand page so I can write down my to-do lists and appointments and the righthand page is lined so I can write down anything.  I've used these pages to write down quotes, plan projects and parties, recipes, and currently my notes from Life Is Meals.

I have no idea what the future of these notebooks will be.  Maybe someday I'll be a fabulous freelance writer and can organize, flesh out, and publish a couple of these notebooks as books.  But for right now they are helpful tools that aid me in collecting the information that is important to me.

Do you have any notebooks going?  What do you keep in them?  Also--do you have any ideas for how I can solve my quandary about copying quotes from novels into a notebook?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tahleen reviews: "Relish: My Life in the Kitchen" by Lucy Knisley

Title: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Author: Lucy Knisley
Publisher: First Second, 2013

Rating: 4.5 stars

Lucy Knisley is the daughter of two gourmands, and as a result grew up around all types of delicious food. In this graphic novel, she tells her story through the foods she's tasted, whether its fresh empanadas, spinach and garlic, Japanese cuisine, her mother's farm-to-table cooking, or just plain old junk food.

It took me a little bit to get into this book, as the amount of text is more than I'm used to for graphic novels, but once I hit my groove I devoured the whole thing. Pun intended.

Knisley has a way of making you crave just what she is describing. During my reading, I wanted to go find a bakery or a gourmet food shop or a cheesemonger, or cook one of her many delicious-sounding recipes inserted throughout the book (I love these, and I love the illustrations included with each step.

Here's one of her recipes! I definitely want to make this.

This is a memoir, yes, and it's a graphic novel. But most of all, it's a love letter to food, and to dining with people you care about. If you at all enjoy the act of eating, I highly recommend this one.

I'm glad this won an Alex Award, because without it I might never have picked this one up!

Disclaimer: I got this book from my local library.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Julia Reviews Cress by Marissa Meyer

Title/Author: Cress by Marissa Meyer
Publisher/Year Published:  Feb 2014 by Feiwel & Friends 
How I got this book: The Library!
Why I read this book: This series is my favorite YA series at the moment. So freaking good!
Rating: 4 stars

It's been a long time since I read a really long book in a day. Thinking back on it, the last one I did was the previous book in this series, Scarlet. But really I have not wanted to read more of a YA series this bad since Harry Potter. 

The Lunar Chronicles are just so freaking interesting, imaginative, and full of things that keep you wanting to turn pages. I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. Cress is the third book in the planned quartet. 

Following with tradition, Cress is a retelling of a beloved fairy tale. We've had Cinderella (Cinder), Red Riding Hood (Scarlet) and now we have Rapunzel. My favorite part of these stories is how she takes the elements of the original story and makes them her own while keeping them familiar.

The plot picks up where the last one left off and we meet Cress, held captive on a satellite orbiting the Earth, forced to spy on the Earthens for the Lunars (people of the moon). She has been helping Cinder and crew and I guess we briefly met her in the other books but I couldn't remember much about her. 

She tries to help Cinder et all but things go down and she ends up on Earth with the object of her infatuation, Captain Thorne. Thorne we met in the last book, and his characterization remains pretty consistent which was nice. He is still sarcastic, mildly selfish and entertaining as hell.  

I don't want to say too much about the plot because a) it's spoilers for the last book and b) it's kind of all over the place (in a good way). Cress isn't a book that is primarily focused on the titular lady which is different from Cinder and Scarlet. Scarlet I think was still primarily about Scarlet even though we still saw some things going on with Cinder. Cress though we may see more of Cinder than we do of Cress.

And to be honest, Cress is kind of boring. Cinder is really the heroine of this story still. I enjoyed Cress' time on screen (on page?) well enough I guess, but the real story I wanted to read about was still Cinder's. 

One thing I do appreciate is that Cress has her own characterization that is different then both Scarlet and Cinder. There is not cookie cutter heroines here. They are all pretty individual. Cress is shy and social awkward, which makes a ton of sense considering she has spent 7 years alone on a satellite.

The reason why this is rated a bit less than the other two is that there was a point about half way through when I thought, "What has really happened so far?" I could think of two or three really important things, and the rest was just supportive fluff. Maybe it was a necessary thing to set up things for the climax of this book and maybe some things for the next book, but I still thought it. Right after I thought that the story picked up again and didn't slow down until the end.

Overall I love the hell out of this series. I adore how she weaves in the elements from the original stories and pulls no punches. I can't wait to see how the series wraps up. The next one, Winter, is Snow White. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

If you are looking for an imaginative fantasy/sci fi YA novel that really grips you and doesn't let go, this is it. Cinder and Scarlet are a must read before this one though.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Reader/Book Blogger

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here! This week we are talking about why we love being a reader/book blogger!

Jamie says:


1. I love being a reader always gives me a chance to connect to people. It's amazing the conversations I've had with strangers about books, the friends I've made because of books or the way I can reconnect with random people from my past on Facebook when they ask for recommendations and my big mouth can't NOT answer.

2. I love being a reader because...I'm never bored. I can always have something to do with the zillion books I own. There's always a new story to be had and I can take them with me in my purse.

3. I love being a reader because...I can experience lives I would otherwise not live. I can have adventures I might not get to have. I also think I connect to HUMANITY as a whole when I read because most books touch on some part of being human and I feel like I'm one step closer to the other people in the world.

4. I love being a reader because...when the zombie apocalypse happens I will still have MY hobby because I don't need technology to read. But seriously, I love being a reader because my hobby can be so simple and it doesn't require me to rely on technology. I love my Kindle but it is SO less reliable than my books because I DO NOT HAVE TO CHARGE THEM.

5. I love being a book blogger because... I love being able to shout my love out loud for books that meant something to me or that I really enjoyed. Cheating but also because: I love being able to have found MY PEOPLE. And I love that I have a creative outlet here and on my blog -- The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Lori says:

6.  I love being a book blogger because...of the people!  Some Most of my favorite people are book bloggers and I interact with them way more than I interact with people I know in real life...because they get me.  We never run out of things to talk about because books are a big part of our lives and then we find we have outside interests as well.

7.  I love being a reader makes me more interesting.  I think that reading books just makes you more interesting than people who don't read.  Reading is such a personal thing because you bring in all of your life experience and when you talk to people about your reading or even about your real life, you have so much more to say than just the basics.  You find you can talk to a wide variety of people in a variety of situations just based on what you've read about--even if you aren't specifically mentioning any books.  You know things.

8.  I love being a reader's a much healthier habit than buying drugs.  I mean, I have to spend my money on something, right?  Why not something that won't spoil or go out of season or rot my brain or land me in jail?

9.  I love being a reader allows me to be anywhere but here.  Real life sucks sometimes--winter won't freaking go away, your job is awful, you're feeling down on yourself for not being where you thought you would be by now, whatever.  Reading allows me to go someplace else for a while.  Sometimes it's just a nice trip to the seaside or sometimes it's a good reminder that things could be a lot worse.

10.  I love being a book blogger gives me a place to talk about what I've read, especially when I know that no one in my real life has read it.  Through book blogging I can talk about this awesome book I've just read (it's great to be able to express myself), but also, chances are, someone else has read it or heard of it too and can talk back...which brings me back to number 6--you guys just rock!

What do you love about being a reader? About being a book blogger? 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 2/2 - 2/15

Daisy's Book Haul

-Infinite by Jodi Meadows: I LOVED Incarnate! I haven't gotten around to reading the second book yet, but I just had to have the final book in the series because it's SO PRETTY!! I love these covers!
-Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi: this is another series that I LOVED the first book from but have been failing from then on... But I need Perry and Aria and Roar in my life!
-Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi: so this is turning into a walk of shame, but I'm not caught up on this series either and I hear so many swoony things about Unravel Me's chapter 62... THIS NEEDS TO BE READ SOON!
-Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout: Romeo and Juliet retelling?? YES PLEASE!
-Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore: I LOVED Tarnish and Gilt and cannot WAIT to read this one!

-Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf: I've heard so many good things about this book! I'm excited to read it myself!
-Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer: I adored How Zoe Made her Dreams (Mostly) Come True and Debby was raving about this one, so obviously it went on the must-buy-now pile.
-Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: so this is a pretty big leap of faith for me, cause I've been hesitant about this series, but EVERYONE loves it and I decided to just give in to the urge to buy the second book just because.
-A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Walker: so this is totally Debby's fault as well! Not that I mind of course ;)
-Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace: "What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?" TELL ME that doesn't fascinate you??

Egalleys for Review:
-Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson: So I will basically read almost anything that has Mr. Darcy in the title! This sounds really cute!
-Hexed by Michelle Krys: I AM EXCITED! This is one of my most anticipated debuts of 2014!
-Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle: he's a SCIENTIST! :D
-Knight Assassin by Rima Jean: Witchcraft! And the Knights Templar! EXCITEMENT!
-Witchfall by Victoria Lamb: so I didn't realise this was the second in a series until I'd clicked request and now I'm just gonna have to get my hands on the first book :)
-The Hero's Guide to Being and Outlaw by Christopher Healy: if you haven't started this series yet, you should, because it is AWESOME! I laughed so hard at the first book The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom! Highly recommended!
-Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Mel has been raving about it and it sounds so exciting!
-Renegade by Debra Driza: I haven't read Mila 2.0 yet and I hear mixed things, but I'm still really curious, so I will give this series a chance.
-On the Fence by Kasie West: I LOVED Pivot Point and this just sounds ADORABLE! So yes I WILL READ THIS!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bookish Deals (30)

Hello! 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!

Before we start, I wanted to point out that EpicReads has four eBooks on sale for $1.99 until February 17th: A Long Way from You, Rock and a Hard Place, Firelight, and Mistwood.

Where the Stars Still Shine
 by Trish Doller - $1.99  
AZ - (review)
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility. 
Jamie says that this was one of her favorite books of 2013! 

The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin - $.99  
It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang Li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China...

Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she's content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress—until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang.

Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, yet alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang's position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine—will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?
I am all the time wishing to read something new in my historical romance novels. I've been hearing of Ms. Lin for awhile now and finally tried a novella of hers which was wonderful! I picked this one up myself and can't wait to read it!

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase - $1.99  
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Love

Happy Valentine's Day fellow readers!

Going along with the theme of love, I want to know what books you LOVE. I'm talking crazy, head-over-heels, can't stop thinking about love. What book do you gush over the most? Or what is your favorite love story?

The book I am most in love with and have been thinking a lot about lately is Golden by Jessi Kirby. I love the message of not being afraid to go out and do something and not always staying in your comfort zone. I could really use that extra push of motivation again. A reread is necessary soon.

I've also been stuck in another reading rut so I look forward to hearing what book(s) you're in love with!

No matter what your plans are for today I wish you all a lovely day! 
After work I plan to eat lots of pizza, drink some wine, and dwindle down my Netflix queue (I've been marathoning One Tree Hill lately).

Thursday, February 13, 2014

8 Songs About Love That I Wish Were Novels

If you read my (Jamie's) personal book blog (The Perpetual Page-Turner),  you know that I'm obsessed with music. I don't know that obsessed is even the right word for it. I think I live because of music. I'm always amazed at how a song can make me feel anything -- exuberance, deep despair, nostalgia, love, etc. I feel it deeply.  With my whole being. I think a lot of good songs tell a story that can affect you just as profoundly as words in the pages of books can.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow, here are 8 songs about love that I wish were books because I want the whole story. Love is a complex and the stories in these songs reflect how messy love can be. SO sorry..most of these aren't cute love songs. haha. But love is so complicated and messy and crazy. 

1. Explosions by Ellie Goulding

 This was actually the song that made me think about this. Funny because it's about a breakup (I think) but it speaks to how deep down love affects us and the power of that loss on us. I want to know this story so bad. I want a story about a breakup that really makes me feel how devastating a break up can be that shakes me like this song.

2. Dust To Dust by The Civil Wars

I just want to know the story of the two in this song. The breaking down of the walls we construct because of the past. The loneliness we feel because of those walls. I want to know the past and the pain that led them to this part. I think the bringing down of those walls would be a beautiful story.

3. Let Me Hold You by Josh Krajcik

This song kind of reminds me of Fault Line by Christa Desir actually but I want this song to be a novel of its own. I want to meet the guy that would be in this story and I equally want to know the girl he's trying to save and why. I just love this song and the lyrics and the feel behind it.

4.  Shape of Love by Passenger (ft. Boy & Bear)

This would be a great start to a story. I want to know what he observes about this stranger in the coffee shop that makes him think she's the shape of love. Do they talk? Do they leave together? I NEED TO KNOW.

5. Across The Ocean by Azure Ray

 THIS SONG. Everything about it. It would make a great story. A love that is no longer -- are they broken up? Where has she traveled? How long has she been gone? Could it ever be again? It's just, to me, about those people who linger deeply within you even after it may be over/there's distance/etc.

6. Your Ex Lover Is Dead by Stars

I can see this one so clearly. Meeting up with someone that you used to love. That nostalgia -- remembering the good and bad of the relationship. "Not sorry that I met you, not sorry it's over, I'm not sorry there's nothing to save." I like the image of these ex lovers sharing this taxi together and all the memories and feelings that must be running through their head. 

7. The Summer by Josh Pyke


I love summer love stories and this song is just amazing and I need to know the story. Young love, the idea of how life is fleeting...I don't know but this song is just perfection. So many ideas for stories because of this song.

8.  Blood Bank by Bon Iver


Pretty much I need novels out of every single one of his songs because he is an amazing storyteller and his songs just always haunt me.Who knows what this song is really about but I love the story told and I want something similar to it. Finding love in an ordinary place...a chance meeting. And just the getting stuck in the car during the snow and spending all that time together getting to know one another. I NEED THIS NOW. 

SIGH I could go on and on about songs that I want to be books (um Sufjan Stevens songs FOR SURE) but I'm just going to give these ones. I just love how some songwriters/bands can really tell a story that makes me FEEEEL and want to know more. 

Are there ever any songs that you hear and think would make amazing books or is that just a me thing? I know lots of people hear a song and relate it to a story (myself included) but there are some songs that just warrant this NEED for me to know more and wish there was a book version. haha.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Keeping Track of the TBR-list

I totally found this ecard on the internet when randomly googling TBR list, isn't it awesome?? Also, it's totally me :D
See, I have this overflowing TBR list on Goodreads and it doesn't really seem to get any smaller, no many how many books I read a year. And it's grown a bit out of control actually. So I've been thinking of ways to keep track of the books that are on it.

Back when I first had a Goodreads account, everything I had any interest in reading went on the to-read list and aside from the shelves 'read' and 'currently reading', that was pretty much as far as my categorization skills went at that moment. To be fair, it was a step up from the Word document I had before.

Then I discovered the wonder that is adding your own shelves and now I have all different kinds, even one that lists all the series that I own all the books in but haven't started the first book yet from. I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I own, the books I own and haven't read yet, the ones I've ordered and pre-ordered and the ones I have received from Netgalley or Edelweiss for review. And this has been working pretty well for me so far.

I also have a color-coded TBR list spreadsheet with where to find the books on it, whether I own them, can borrow them, have pre-ordered them, etc. It's not actually up to date at the moment as it consumes a crap ton of time to actually add everything to it and I've fallen so far behind now that it'll be a beast to do.
But I do love to establish a little order in the chaos that is my TBR list and when I came across my friend Debby's posts about using spreadsheets to manage your yearly reading and book inventory and review copies and LOTS MORE, all my nerdy spreadsheet-loving senses were all tingly and I couldn't resist and made a digital review copy spreadsheet. AND I LOVE IT!

It took up a lot of time, but I have now added all my digital galleys into a spreadsheet sorted by release date and it's heavenly. I don't have to scroll through several lists to see what I should be reading next, I just open up Excell and BAM there it is, complete with genre and publisher and everything.

So while I love my Goodreads shelves, these add a little extra order and I'm liking it so far. Let's see if I manage to keep these updated ;)

But what I really want to know: how do you keep track of the books on your TBR list? Any tips for me?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Books that Will Make You Swoon

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

Daisy's Picks

Oh man, this is so hard! Basically: I love to read swoony books, so I have TONS that could have been on this list.

Crown of Embers by Rae Carson: actually, this whole series was a big swoonfest for me, aside from being an amazing epic fantasy. YOU GUYS, Crown of Embers is where I fell in love with Hector! You should all meet him!!! (my review)

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: I'm betting it will make our TB&TB Julia happy that I listed this one, cause she recommended it to me so many times and she was SO right! It's swoonworthy and funny and just everything I want in a historical romance! (my review)

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean: I was drawn in by the witty title and stayed for the beyond awesome romance that Sarah MacLean brings EVERY TIME! I count on her to bring the swoon and she does. (my review)

Captured by a Rogue Lord by Katharine Ashe: he's a PIRATE! I LOVE PIRATES! So much tension in this book and romance-y goodness and just SO MUCH LOVE! (my review)

Julia's Picks

Just like Daisy, I read books that by definition should make me swoon every time, so narrowing this down is going to be rough! But I will do my best!

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare: Oh man did this one come out of no where and surprise me! It was a romance novel book club pick that I just happened to fall into. It's the third in a series and I hate reading out of order, but it didn't matter so much with this one. And I adored it! (review)

Moonglow by Kristen Callihan: This is the second in the much adored by me Darkest London series. Steampunk meets paranormal in this one and everything just melds together to give me a proper case of the feels. (review)

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: This book is outstanding. I loved every second of it. Being a survivalist sort of dystopian, it's surprising that it makes my swoon-worthy list, but it does. It is a great romance in the midst of hard times. Oh, my emotions were wrecked by this book both the good and bad ones. (review)

Scandelous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt: I love the Maiden Lane series by Ms. Hoyt. It's Georgian and mostly set in the shadier, gin ravished part of London and not the upper crust. This book I picked because I loved the romance between our puritanical Silence and her pirate king Mickey. I have a thing for pirates too :)(review)

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James: Oh, this book. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the beast kinds sorta resembles Dr. House. Now that I have read all of the fairy tale retellings, I can firmly say this one was my favorite. Such a great story! (review)

What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long: This book is by far in my opinion my favorite Julie Anne Long book. The couple just sizzles and make you root for them the entire book. Then the end comes and *swoon* (review)

Alright, everyone! Tell us about all your swoon worthy books. I fully expect my TBR pile to grow with new books from all genres!

Monday, February 10, 2014

When You Find Out A Book Series Is Going To Be Cancelled...

I feel like I had never really heard of this happening before. I'm sure it definitely is something that happens but I must have just been oblivious to it but I've heard of two instances in the past month or two of series being cancelled or put on hold.

The first was Dearly Departed by Lia Habel. I own the two books that are published but have not read them.The author talked about it here  and explains a bit about what happened.

The second one is The Archived by Victoria Schwab, a book I bought and got signed, which she talks about here on Tumblr. Her editor who was championing the series left, the sales didn't really merit a third book and the publisher was possibly not going to publish the third. Since she wrote this post, the book blogosphere has gone CRAZY and are raising up in support for this series. And, for a very short period of time, The Archived is only 99 cents!!

** I had a friend clarify something for me in this case: "The Archived is not being cancelled. They only ever bought 2 books and are not buying a third. Cancelled is technically when they buy 3 books and then decide not to publish books they bought." **

It's such a hard things for the author and for the fans and I'm even sure for the publishers and anyone who worked on the books. As a potential reader who owns BOTH of these, and knows nothing about them really, I feel stuck if I should start them. I already decided I was probably going to read The Archived by Victoria Schwab soon because I was really excited about that one when I bought it and apparently they don't end on cliffhangers. However, I don't know much about the Dearly Departed series and I feel like I don't really want to start a series that might not be resolved ever. (If you have read this one, please let me know!)

In the case of The Archived, I feel like reading and supporting this series soon will make the rest of the series happen but I'm not so sure, by reading the author of Dearly Departed's post, if that would make a difference until, rightly so, the author is ready to start working on it again.

I feel this same conflict with tv shows I find out are cancelled. Even if they are awesome, it's hard for me to want to read if they aren't resolved. I didn't know Veronica Mars, when I watched it years ago, had kind of just ENDED because the network cancelled it...but things were wrapped up enough that I felt OKAY but still obviously more because of how it ended/how amazing it was. And here we are all these years later with A VERONICA MARS MOVIE coming out soon because fans of the show championed the hell out of it! 

So, readers, my question for has this ever happened to you? What do you DO? Do you read the series anyways if you own it or don't? If you know anything about the Dearly, Departed series can you tell me if it ends on a cliffhanger? ALSO, as I said, I feel like even though I'm sure this happens a fair amount...what are some series that have been cancelled?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lori Reviews Labor Day

Title:  Labor Day
Author:  Joyce Maynard
Published:  William Morrow Publishers, 2009
Where I Got It:  Bought on my Kindle

I am a sucker for books that are being made into movies with actors or actresses that I really like.  Ever since I first saw the press for Labor Day starring Kate Winslet, I've been interested in the book.  I read a couple of summaries, but they didn't really do a good job because I didn't immediately want to buy it.  I thought that maybe I just wasn't truly interested in the story, so it was on the backburner.  Then I saw a preview for another book to movie adaptation that looked interesting (though I am decidedly neutral towards the actor in it).  As I was investigating that book, I saw that one of the recommended books was Labor Day and it was only $4, so I bought it.

I finished it in less than 24 hours.  

It seems rare that a book can so completely suck me in that I just speed through it, but that's exactly what I did.

Goodreads Summary:  With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.

But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.

In a manner evoking Ian McEwan's Atonement and Nick Hornby's About a Boy, acclaimed author Joyce Maynard weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy—and the man he later becomes—looking back at an unexpected encounter that begins one single long, hot, life-altering weekend.

That really does a pretty good job of summing up the plot of the novel.

My thoughts:  I loved this writing style!  It was kind of gritty and raw and emotional and real.  It's the kind of writing style that I wish I had been able to cultivate in my days as a creative writing student.  (Maybe it has to do with the topic...)  Maynard creates an excellent sense of place and rendering of the characters.  Yes, there are how many stories about a single parent, who has a secret that makes them a bit off, living in a kind of run down house with their kid and then life changes.  But this one was different.  It was real.  The characters were vibrant and alive.  The narration really put you in the place of the novel.

Lately, I've been dealing with feelings that life isn't turning out like I had anticipated that it would.  So many things have not gone according to my pre-grad school plan.  But occasionally I remember that this is a life.  It's different and not what I had imagined, yes, but it's something that I am willing to work to maintain because it's that important to me.

I think that that is why I loved this story so much.  

Life doesn't always go the way you plan for it to, but it works itself out in ways that you can't really even imagine.  And that's OK.  Probably better, even, because who wants such a simple and bland life?  You eventually learn, like Henry, that there is more to life (and adult relationships) than fleeting connections and sex.  True and deep human connections come along so rarely that when they do, you have to hold on and fight for them and sometimes wait patiently (or impatiently).  You do things for the person you love that you wouldn't do for anyone else and that's what makes that love special and worth having.

There's that Hemingway quote--"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."  This novel closes with a passage that reminds me of this:
What she will register, at least, will be the fact that she is not alone.  And it has been my experience that when you do this--slow down, pay attention, follow the simple instincts of love--a person is likely to respond favorably.  It is generally true of babies, and most other people too, perhaps.  Also dogs.  Hamsters even.  And people so damaged by life in the world that there might seem no hope for them, only there may be.
It's the millions of little things that make up and sustain relationships--not the big things.

Anyway, read it.  

Sidenote--Who else winds up reading a book if they see an actor or actress they really like is going to be in the film adaptation?  It can't be just me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kimberly reviews For Darkness Shows the Stars

Title/Author: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Why I read it: I stumbled across it on goodreads and was intrigued by the premise

Rating: 5+ Stars (and I’ve been stingy with 5 star ratings lately!)

I graduated back in December with my undergrad. The last several months of school were extremely stressful, as were the conditions at my job. I hardly ever read anything that wasn’t school or work related. I couldn’t sit down and read because I knew I had other stuff that needed to get done.
It took me more than two weeks to break out of that mindset. Things had calmed down at work, and I had officially graduated. I had so much free time, I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.  I was almost more stressed now, because I didn’t have all that work anymore. I kept thinking there was something I needed to do… but there wasn’t. I was finally allowed to have some time to myself. It didn’t sink it. Apparently what I needed was a couple of weeks to adjust… and an amazing book.
For Darkness Shows the Stars was that book for me. I was completely sucked into the story. I had read one or two books since graduation, and I’d come across some very weak main characters. I was frustrated by their lack of backbone or determination. It’s one of the many reasons I was so instantly in love with this book.

“It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's
Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Elliot is a fantastic character. She is strong, stubborn, loving, compassionate. Forgiving, sometimes to a fault… However, she doesn’t let those who try to oppose her, or change her, sway her in the least. She knows what is right, and is not about to let anyone dissuade her of that. However, even then she doesn’t let that determination blind her to things she needs to know. Which I realize makes her sound a bit contradictory… In reality, she is an extremely well written character.
The world building is fantastic, at first I was a little confused at some of the references, but the author doesn’t let the reader stay like that for long. She creates a society that is rich with details. History, class systems, established rules.  The more I learned the more I was drawn into the story.
I could not put this book down. I finished it within a couple of days, faster than I’d finished any book in months.
I would highly recommend this book. Especially to those looking for a strong MC, lovers of retellings, and anyone who enjoys a story set in a dystopian society.

Also… The sequel is even better!
Has anyone else read this?? Anyone else experience a post graduation slump like me? Please share!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

This week's topic is books that will make you cry. Usually the books that made me cry the hardest tend to be the ones I love the most.

Jen's Picks

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Crying during this book was unexpected. But that one tragic  thing that happens took me by surprise.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Did anyone read this book without shedding a few tears?

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: I'm pretty sure I cried the entire time I was reading this book. How could you not?!

4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling: I read the series for the first time over the summer and I'm sure you can guess the part I started bawling my eyes out.

5. Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty: I mainly cried because it was the last book of the series and I didn't want to let the characters go.

Kimberly's Picks

1. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: The writing is so beautiful and you become incredibly attached to the characters, parts of this book bring me to tears every time. 

2. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling: I know Jen already listed Half Blood Prince, but I'm including the entire series. I grew up with the series and am about as emotionally invested as you can be. I can't read the first chapter of the first book without getting misty-eyed. I've read each of the books numerous times, and there are certain parts (most of you will know what I mean...) that I cry every time, even though I've already been through it before.

3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes: I knew going into this book that it would be emotional, the subject matter alone told me that. Everyone who recommended it to me also told me so. I was a complete mess when I finished it, tears, anger, more tears.

4. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher: I've read reviews before that said that this isn't a book to be "enjoyed", it's one to be experienced. That is one of the most accurate ways I can think of to describe it. I was pulled into the story and was so involved that half my preconceived ideas went out the window while reading. I was surprised by the tears, mostly by what caused them. Or rather, WHO caused them. 

5. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: This was another one that surprised me. I knew the topic would be potentially emotional, but there were a few characters that I simply couldn't stand... at least not at first. What amazed me was the growth of the characters and how much I grew to care about them. Definitely was in tears multiple times.

Tell us!! What books made you cry?? Any of our picks?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tahleen puts her New Year's Resolution in action

Logo from YALSA's The Hub blog

If you all remember my resolution from a recent Top Ten Tuesday, I resolved to read as many of the Youth Media Award winners as I could. Now is the time to put that plan into action.

As you may know, the awards were announced last Monday morning, to my great pleasure. Today, the Best Fiction for Young Adults, Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, and Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists were all released, as well as a few others, some already released and others to be released soon. What am I getting at?


The 2014 YALSA Hub Reading Challenge.

This challenge begins today, and participants have until June 22 to read or listen to 25 of the award winners or titles on any of the book lists specified in the starting post. Once the starting post is on The Hub, you can sign up there—at the time I published this, it wasn't up yet. (UPDATE: You can now enter here.)

There are a few reasons I'm doing this and also telling you about the challenge. As a teen services librarian, I feel like it is my duty read these books anyway, and it is pretty fun—I read a bunch of books I probably wouldn't have otherwise when I participated last year, even though I didn't finish. This year I will succeed! I am also a member of a task force to spread the word about these awards and lists, which put a spotlight on the best literature for teens. So, here I am, spreading the word! (This is, full disclosure, not something I was assigned to tell you by the task force; it is all on my own!)

Oh, and if that's not enough motivation for you all to jump in, there's more. Those of us who complete the challenge will be entered into a pretty awesome drawing to win a tote bag full of 2013 and 2014 teen lit titles. AND you get virtual badges along the way! For bragging rights, of course.

Will you be participating in this challenge? Are there any other challenges you're working on this year?
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