Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

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This topic is right up my (Lori) alley! I love food. I love reading about food. I love making food. I love eating food. I'm surprised I'm not 84,000 lbs.

1.  Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan--This book is basically what it seems on its face: a comedian rhapsodizing on food. Yes, I think the American diet is horrible, but you can't deny that most Americans love their food. :)

2.  Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days by James Salter and Kay Salter--The book is divided into 365 short entries, one for each day of the calendar year. Each entry has a note about entertaining or recipes or a variety of food related topics that helped make me a better cook and hostess.

3.  An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler--Filled with essays on food, this book forever changed the way I make scrambled eggs and boil pasta.

4.  Heartburn by Nora Ephron--Ths novel describes the end of Ephron's marriage to Carl Bernstein. It also contains a few recipes by Ephron, a known foodie.

5.  Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living by Julie Powell--I loved this book! I love how Powell used cooking to change her life and pull herself out of a major rut. It's one I think of whenever I get a little blah about my life.

6.  Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook--This cookbook has so much yes. Full of amazing southern style recipes, it added a fantastic tweak to my already near-perfect fried chicken recipe and gave me my chili recipe (which has needed very few tweaks over the years). Highly recommend.

7.  100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life--This is my go-to cookbook whenever I know someone getting their first apartment. It has everything. Yes, the recipe titles might be a little strange or creepy (Let's Make a Baby Pasta? Seriously? But it is damn good pasta, with a nice kick of spice!). It's very budget-friendly and has so many recipes that I always recommend it.

8.  Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli--I first heard of this cookbook in one of those celebrity reading lists. It's a huge book, with a pretty good-sized price tag, which kept me from purchasing it for quite a while. I finally found a good used copy. :) It is full of food porn and for that I love it.

9.  Audrey at Home: A Kitchen Table Biography by Luca Dotti--What a wonderful idea for a biography! Hepburn's son compiled photographs, details, and recipes that say so much about the beloved actress and humanitarian. I love the idea of using someone's favorite foods to tell their story! If anyone ever writes a biography about me, this is how I want it to be done!

10.  To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Phillip Greene--A book of alcoholic recipes related to the novels and stories of one of my favorite authors? Yes, please!

Honorable Mentions:
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker--I haven't read it yet, but it sounds fun.
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford--I love Italian food. Probably more than I should. This sounded like a good read.
Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble--I've started and stopped this one a few times. Sometimes it delves a bit more into the science than I am really interested in knowing, but I love the idea of using my dollars to make a statement.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jana Seeks Recommendations for Gothic/Atmospheric Romance

Hi all! It's during this time of year that I start craving creepy gothic romances that are not going to kill me with the scareds. I love the atmosphere and the ominous happenings in these books, but I don't enjoy stories that are heavy on the supernatural or demon/ghost/etc. stuff. I'm happy with YA or adult, historic or contemporary.

Here's a few gothic and/or atmospheric books I really enjoyed so you know my tastes:

Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #1)

I'm reading Of Monsters and Men by Jessica Verday, and it's pretty meh at this point. It's not giving me what I want! So, help me please!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ten Books With Fall Themes and Covers

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It's officially fall weather here where I (Jana) live, and this is when I love to whip out my fall reads and get cozy. The following books just scream fall to us. If you have recommendations for others, please tell us in the comments!

Lori says:

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust--This cover always reminds me of fall. It's a super vibrant and yummy red.

The Raven (Tales and Poems) by Edgar Allan Poe--Probably more Halloween-y and because of the subject matter, but this cover just screams fall.

Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe--Maybe not specifically fall-ish, but I frequently find myself turning to this book in the fall. Probably just a me thing. :)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy--This cover looks like fall. And isn't it deer season when the novel starts? I don't know. Whatever.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey--Full confession: I haven't read this yet. But I can't talk about the fall without drawing in the spooky, haunted stuff, so here we are.

Jana says:

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco - This book takes place in December, but the cover is beautifully fall and creepy for this time of year! And I loved it, so there's that too!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - A beautiful fall cover for a beautiful fall book! This story takes place in October and November, when the wind is chilly and the sea relentless. It's super fall and unique and atmospheric. It's the perfect read for this time of year.

The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni - This gothic mystery/historical fiction novel is very fall and very creepy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - I always get the urger to read this series in the fall.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Such a creepy cover!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

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Today we're proclaiming our love for those book boys we love so dearly! Do you agree with any of our picks? Who will we have to fight you for?

Julia's Picks

1. Remus Lupin from Harry Potter - I have no idea now why he was the one that I loved the most out of them. It must have had something to do with FanFics and being 15. I thought he was a stand up guy. Plus I loved recreating the Love Shack lyrics and making them the Shrieking Shack. Oh to be 15 again...

2. Colin Bridgerton from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels - I've always loved these novels, and I have always had an affinity for Colin. He's the funny one in the first three novels, and then when he gets his own, he turns into a dashing hero but while still keeping his character. All the hearts.

3. Legolas Greenleaf from The Lord of the Rings - Yeah, I am stretching here because my love for him didn't come solely out of the books... I mean it may have had something to do with Orlando and being 17.... maybe.

4. Tarver Merendsen from These Broken Stars - I really, really loved this book. And I remember really liking Tarver. Probably more than I like Lilac. So he wins a spot in my five.

5. The guy from the book I read as a pre-teen called, Both Sides of Time - This was one that I read again in college and even though it was middle grade, I still really liked it. This was probably my intro into the time traveling romance genre. I just loved it. 

Lori's Picks

6.  Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind - I know. Me and just about everyone else who's ever read this novel. But! I love how he always called Scarlett on her BS. He didn't fit the mold of the perfect gentleman, yet he respected a true lady.

7.  Florentino Ariza from Love in the Time of Cholera - I love how he waited for his love, Fermina Daza. Yes, he went on his adventures and slept with scores of women, but he always held back a part of himself for her. Love.

8.  Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird - This is one that has come under fire in recent years with the publication of Go Set a Watchman. I get that. But this Atticus was the pillar of virtue. Yet he wasn't a total goody-goody. He was kind of Rhett Butler-ish, but a lawyer set in the 1930s...

Kimberly's Picks

9.  Valek from Poison Study - Ooooh. So swoon-worthy. He's clever, kind, and funny. My favorite combination. He also doesn't take crap from anyone--it's an attractive trait.

10. Elend Venture from Mistborn - I started off thinking he'd be the rich snob. Instead, he's smart and kind. He knows he loves *her (I'll keep the name out for spoilers). She's not an easy person to love. Some men would be resentful, instead he keeps working at his relationship. He's a fitting match for his love interest. He also later becomes an even more powerful character, instead of changing who he is, it just enhances who he already was!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September Faves and October TBR

I know I say this every single month, but I cannot believe another month is drawing to an end! We're already entering the last three months of the year! I'm experiencing this weird paradox where time is simultaneously dragging and flying as I near graduation in December. Anyway, here are our favorite reads from September and the books we're most looking forward to in October...

September Favorites

Jana says...

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco: This was such a beautiful, creepy, and romantic story! It takes place at Dracula's castle in December, and it's so atmospheric and amazing. Kerri's writing is beautiful. I loved it a million times more than Stalking Jack the Ripper!

Lori says...

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran: It took me a while, but I finally finished this great collection of essays. Moran writes with such pointed humor that even when she talks about the inequalities and unfairnesses that should break my heart, I walk away with a smile and some hope. I have one more collection of essays by Moran--Moranifesto--and then she needs to get cracking on publishing some more. :)

October TBR

Jana says...

Renegades by Marissa Meyer: I'm on the blog tour at the end of the month, and I'm so excited to read Marissa's new book!

Lori says...

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Fiction hasn't so much been my jam lately because my time to read is limited. So I'm opting for something short. I even cheated by starting this on September 30. I'm looking forward to reading about this exploration of humanity and feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Top Ten Books with __________ Characters

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This week's post is a character freebie, and we didn't quite get our acts together this week so we will not be posting our character list. So sorry! However... good news!!

I, Jana, just updated the future Top Ten Tuesday topics for the rest of 2017, so you can start getting those ready before the end of the year/holiday craziness starts up! 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Banned Books Week, September 24-30

Source: @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter

I always love Banned Books Week. I still find it amazing in our day and age that we even need to celebrate such an event, but the sad fact remains that books are still banned to this day. I mean, I guess I can see why. Books promote ideas. And what could be worse than people having ideas? They might change their life-views, expand their horizons, question the status quo, think for themselves! Horror!

It's one of the things that has truly shocked and disappointed me about my family dynamic. I grew up in a pretty sheltered, small environment. To be sure, my parents freely encouraged me to read and never really monitored what I read. I guess they felt that if I wasn't ready for something, I just wouldn't get it, but I wouldn't be scarred by the experience. And I think they were right. I am so grateful for that kind of freedom growing up. Then I went to college. Not only was I reading things, but I was discussing these things. I was no longer in a vacuum. I participated in the free exchange of ideas. And I changed. I broke off the shackles that fettered me to my parents' modes of thinking; in a way, I outgrew them. Eventually, I even became more vocal about disagreeing with my parents and questioning them and the status quo.

And it's like they don't really believe me. Like they think I'm going through some phase, like a rebellious teenager. If they even acknowledge it (my dad usually turns a blind eye and a deaf ear). This turn of events has certainly put a strain on the relationship. Mostly we can get along, but sometimes I just have to walk away or call bull-shit. Or pour another extra large glass of wine.

I wouldn't change it for the world.

I wouldn't dare go back to living a small-minded, closed-minded existence for the sake of familial harmony.

This is why we're here--to question, to think big, to dream big, to move beyond.

I am so grateful to books for giving me this medium to expand my horizons. This is so important in the current political climate. Books have made me question, books have made me wary, and books have made be fight.

This week I celebrate the perpetual quest for knowledge and growth by promoting open access to books. I hope you will join me by picking up something controversial and thinking about it. Maybe it will change your view, maybe it will reaffirm your view, but it will definitely change you and make you grow.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Books On Our Fall TBR List

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Are you are excited for fall? I (Jana) am! I'm looking forward to cool weather, sweaters, changing leaves, and cozy blankets! I'm also excited about the books coming out this fall. Here are some of the ones we're looking forward to.

Jamie's Picks 

1. Forest of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao: This YA fantasy sounds AWESOME! Definitely on my list for the fall!

2.  There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins: I'm sooo excited for Steph's newest! I mean, it's horror and it's quite a departure from her adorable contemporary series but I TRUST HER. She's a huge horror geek and knows her stuff plus I just tend to trust my favorite authors.  Jana seconds this pick!

3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone: I've been pining for this one since I heard about it (like when the deal was announced) and I follow the author on Twitter and she is wonderful so this one is very high on my priority list for Fall! 

Jana's Picks 

4. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco: I really enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper, and am excited for another creepy read for Halloween time!

5. Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Another Marissa Meyer book! I'm not even totally remember what it's about right now, but I'm super excited!

6. This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis: I love thrillers, and this one sounds awesome!

Lauren's Picks 

7. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware: I loved Ruth's first novel, In A Dark, Dark Wood, and I liked her second, The Woman in Cabin 10, as well. So of course I've got to read what ever is next!

8. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer: I enjoyed the first book & maybe half of the second book from Jeff's Southern Reach Trilogy, but I felt like the longer it went on, the less interested I became. This novel (so far) appears to be a standalone, so I figured I'd give him another chance. :)

9. Machine Learning by Hugh Howey: I think everyone knows by now how much I love everything by Hugh Howey, so yeah... I'm excited for this.

10. Artemis by Andy Weir: I absolutely loved The Martian, and this novel is set on the moon! Let's go, guys!

What are you hoping to read this fall?


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ten Books We've Read and Loved Since We Started Blogging Together

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For today's throwback freebie we've decided to throw it ALL the way back to when we started blogging together back in June of 2010. Today we're highlighting the best books we've read over the last 10 years.

Julia's Picks
I can't believe that it has been seven years and some change since we have been blogging here at The Broke and the Bookish. These are my favorite discoveries since June 2010. 

1. The Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan - I found Firelight through a blog tour I believe, and since that I have devoured the series (which sadly I just finished the last book of a few weeks ago). I remember fondly recounting the plot of Firelight to one of my coworks and forcing him to go to Barnes and Nobel while we were on the road to find the next in the series. I couldnt remember the title and while I was starting to google search, he randomly picked a book off the shelf that was the exact book I was looking for, Moonglow. I am so glad to have found this series. (Here is a link to all the reviews I have done for this series: Firelight, Moonglow, Winterblaze, Shadowdance, Evernight, and Soulbound)

2. The Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt - My first ever review here was for the first book in this series, and I have enjoyed it through the highs and lows. It is still going on and though I am a bit behind I do look forward to reading every book!

3. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys - Does anyone else remember when I asked for recommendations during the Great Reading Slump of 2014? I took every recommendation from people and called it The Slumplist. And I just started reading. This was my favorite of the books I read based on your recommendations. I also did A View from Page Thirty review for this book - my impressions after just reading the beginning of the book. This was such a great read and find!

Jana's Picks

I'm fighting a nasty virus right now, so I'm going to link you to my reviews (if available) so you can see why I love these books so much! 

4. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard really changed my life. (My review)

5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is the perfect office hate to love romance. So funny and swoony.

6. Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout is my absolute favorite romantic suspense. (My review)

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins was my very first YA contemporary love.

8. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves is phenomenal. Period. (My review)

9. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas might be my favorite book ever.

10. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae is adorable and Italy and such a comfort read. (My review)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ten Books We Struggled to Get Through (Or Didn't Get Through at All!)

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This week we're talking about the books we struggled with in some way. 

Jana's Picks

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - *dodges tomatoes* Wait! Listen! I tried so hard to read this as a kid the year it came out (I was 11 then) and I found it in my school's Scholastic book fair. The second book hadn't even been released yet, I had heard nothing about it, and I just thought the cover was cool. So I tried to read it, made it a few pages, and donated it to a local charity. Fast forward about 18 years. It was an assigned reading in my YA lit class during grad school, so I had to go re-buy it for way more than I paid at that book fair... and I LOVED it. So magical and sweet! So, a happy ending.

2. The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye - I loved The Crown's Game, so this breaks my heart more than it does anyone else's. It was almost a DNF for me. The story went in the worst possible direction, and the magic was gone for me. :(

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Don't get me wrong. I loved this book. But it took me two years to read it because I didn't want to get too attached and cry too much. Basically, I was Joey and put the book in the freezer. A lot. And for your viewing pleasure... 

Jamie's Picks

4. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender: SOO I tried to listen to this via audio on my commute and I just could not get into it AT ALL. I really struggled to stay engaged with it which normally I am really into audios on my commute to make me forget how horrible it is. Should I try this again with a physical book?? 

5.  Preacher by Garth Ennis: I had heard good things about this comic series and then I heard that AMC was making it a tv show so I tried to pick it up...once in 2015 and then again right before the show was premiering and I could NOT get into it. SAD. I still haven't watched the show yet. TOO MANY SHOWS TO WATCH.

Lauren's Picks
6. Feed by M.T. Anderson: I wanted to DNF this one so bad, but I just had to finish it. I am not a completist by any means, but I don't know... with this book, I just felt obligated. I was just plain bored. It had such a promising plot and I can't get enough of anything remotely dystopian, but this one just missed the mark for me. 

7. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson: Unless you've read this book yourself, you're probably not going to believe me. BUT... damn it was awful. It was like a kid writing a horror book. I couldn't finish it. There's just no way. The writing was all over the place, there were was not a continuous flow of what was actually taking place in the house, and once again... I was bored. Oh well... there's plenty of other horror novels out there that are just waiting to scare the heck out of me!

8. Lucifer's Flood by Linda Rios Brook: This one only received one star from me, but it honestly might be my fault. I think I set my expectations way to high for this one. It could've been so much more, quite literally celestial, but it just fell flat.  

Julia's Picks

9.  A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin: This book was painfully long to get through. After all of the excitement of Storm of Swords, then getting to a book where half of my favorite characters were not there? Brutal. It literally took me two years to read this book.

10. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: I saw this book on so many lists when I was big into reading and doing challenges. It had a solid summary, but for some reason when I started reading I just couldn't connect. Like at all. I had to just give up and stop. 

Which books have you really struggled to get through or completely given up on?


Friday, September 1, 2017

August Faves and September TBR

Ahhhh...the end of the month.  It's the perfect stop to stop and reflect on our favorite reads and our hottest upcoming TBR.... :)

August Faves

Lauren says:  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood - This is definitely a controversial book that I can see many people having different opinions on. My opinion is simple... this was very well written and I legit read in one sitting. While I don't in anyway condone situations that occurred in the book, it was completely engrossing and heartbreaking.

Lori says:  Run River by Joan Didion - I practically inhaled this novel!  It was Didion's first novel.  The subject matter (cheating spouse) kind of hit a nerve with me (I just don't like reading about infidelity), but I read the novel more for research on Didion and her craft and tried to shake off the infidelity.  She doesn't use many spare details or words.  Her style is very precise, which makes it very deeply felt.

September TBR

Lauren says:  The Wonder by Emma Donoghue - I picked this book up to get back to my historical fiction roots. I've neglected that genre for too long. If anyone can help me leap back in, it's mystery historical fiction book by Emma Donoghue.

Lori says:  A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - Every now and then I get this itch to read a John Irving novel.  It's usually in the fall.  I don't know why I always associate his stuff with the cooler months, but I do.  Whatever.  I've been meaning to read this one for a while and am going for it.  Bonus Pick:  It by Stephen King - I want to read it before the movie comes out.  I actually snuck this into a textbook order, so please don't tell my mom...

What did you love in August?  What are you looking forward to in September?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cocktail and Conversation

It's time for another Cocktail and Conversation with the Broke and Bookish ladies!

This week we're talking about fall:

What are you most looking forward to as we head into fall?

Bridget says:  I am sooo looking forward to opening the windows, lighting candles (Yankee Candle Kitchen Spice or bust), wearing boots and sweaters and jeggings, offices being a reasonable temperature instead of feeling like a refrigerator, the leaves changing, finally having an excuse to wear tights with my dresses, less humidity aka less frizziness...I could go on!!

Jana says:  I love the cool, crisp weather that makes sweaters so cozy! Pumpkin bread from my favorite local bakery. Drives up the canyon to see the leaves change colors. I love the atmosphere of the excitement surrounding Halloween and the spooky novels I read around that time. And I loooove Thanksgiving! 

Lauren says:  I'm looking forward to the weather cooling down and not freaking out every other day. I'm ready to sit on the swing outside to read without sweating to death. Oh yeah... and new book releases of course. :)

Lori says:  I can't narrow it down!  I've started missing my boots and scarves.  I will always be a summer girl, but I do love those clothes.  College football, for sure.  I love waking up on a Saturday and knowing my entire day is already full of the games.  It doesn't even matter who is playing--it's just fun to watch.  Lastly, the endless supply of chili that goes with the endless supply of college football.  I have an awesome recipe.

What are you looking forward to with fall?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Ten Hidden Gems in Historical Fiction

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This week we're talking about hidden gems in the genre of your choice. We here at TBTB decided to talk about historical fiction! We can't wait to see which genres you picked. Let us know if you have any historical fiction recs you think we'd enjoy based on our picks this week!

Jamie's Picks

1. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: Ruta's other two books get a lot more attention and I feel like this one is way underrated! The setting (New Orleans) is amazing and vivid and I loved the characters! 

2. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee: This book came out last year and I don't know why it wasn't more popular! It was a great story and a great setting. 
3. Brazen by Katherine Longshore: This one was quite the addictive romp through King Henry VIII’s court! It's part of a series of companion novels and it's great and super underrated!
4. I Shall Be Near to You by Erin McCabe: The other picks I gave are all YA books but if you are looking for an underrated adult historical fiction, I recommend this book set during the Civil War featuring a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to be with her husband and fight in the war. 

Kimberly's Picks

I second I Shall Be Near To You! That book is beautiful. 

5. River Of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergen: Okay so this isn't strictly HF. It's time travel. But oh this story! Every book in the series is incredible. The setting is amazing, the romance is sweet and believable, and the character growth is PHENOMENAL. 

6. Red River Series by Chie Shinohara: Okay. Normally I don't recommend manga here, because it's not for everyone. But this is one heck of a story. There was obviously a great deal of research put into the writing. This is one of those reads where I feel like I'm learning something, and I'm constantly googling for even more information. It also has wonderful characters (with amazing character growth as well) an engrossing romance (watch out for tropes, there are many, but you'll love it despite / because of them). 

Lauren's Picks

7. Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick: This is a very realistic historical fiction book recounting a boy's survival through Cambodian genocide and Khmer Rouge. Fair warning... there will be ugly crying. 

8. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent: I felt like I was a true insider when reading this gem. It depicts the life of the daughter of one of the first women accused and hanged during the Salem Witch Trials.

9. The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran: This is my go to author for all things historical fiction relating to Ancient Egypt. 

10. The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer: Y'all know how much I love Margaret Atwood... and The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite books. This book is very similar and pretty heartbreaking. I read this over five years ago and it still sits on my Goodreads favorites shelf. 

Jana's Pick

11. The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni: This is gothic YA at its finest, in my opinion. I love the setting and the atmospheric writing. The story, which takes place in 1867,  surrounds the mystery of a real pair of caged graves in present-day Catawissa, Pennsylvania. 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Haul--8-27-17

It's been a while since I've shown off my new acquisitions, so I thought I'd throw together a book haul post.  Also, it's more fun than working on some homework.  :)

Since our last Book Haul back in July, I have acquired the following:

This is my non-fiction stack.

I read two of Moran's books over the summer--she is a delight!  Now I own all three.  I haven't started Moranifesto yet, but will probably do so soon.  Legendary Authors is a lovely volume.  It briefly profiles authors who are known for their clothing.  I'm still reading it, but yes, I have read the Joan Didion entry.  :)  Girl, Interrupted was difficult to put down.  It's the only one in my haul that I have finished.  Heat and Cork Dork just looked like a lot of fun.  I haven't had a ton of time to cook lately, but I think these might help me vicariously live in the kitchen.  First They Killed My Father I picked up after reading the (somewhat controversial) Angelina Jolie interview in the September issue of Vanity Fair.

Here's my fiction books.

I cannot quite remember why I bought Room, but it sounds really interesting.  I purchased the Dostoevsky after watching the Mark Wahlberg film with the same name.  I just knew it was based on some novella and once I figured out whose, I pounced.  I bought the Conrad because he keeps coming up in all of the Joan Didion stuff I've been reading.  Except! This volume doesn't have the novella Victory, which I most wanted to read.  Whatever.  The three Didions--I might have a bit of an obsession.  She's just so wonderful and raw.  Another Brooklyn has just been popping up on my radar a lot, so I bought a copy, easy peasy.

There you have it--my recent acquisitions.

What have you gotten lately?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Back To School Freebie - Books We Wish Had Been Required Reading in School

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For this week's back to school freebie, we're talking all about required reads. I don't know about you, but I (Jana) read a lot of books I hated in school. A LOT. Required reading made me hate reading, and it took me until I was about 19 to rekindle my love. Some books should not be required at all, in my opinion. But there are many amazing ones that should be, and we're here to tell you about them today.

Lauren's Picks

Just to preface - I am cheating a little on this one, I'm a little older and these books were published after I graduated high school... so... my list encompasses books I hope will one day be required reading/books if they were written earlier, I would have loved to have read when in school. :)

1. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer: I honestly believe if I could've read this book when in HS, it would have gotten me even MORE pumped up for college. I would've been the weird girl at the back of the english literature class with googly eyes waiting for some straight up magic to happen.

2. Night by Elie Wiesel: I can't express how much this book moved me. I think I've cried every single time I've read it, and I recommend everyone to read it. It is heartbreaking, but it is simply truth. The truth of what forms humanity can take. 

3. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross: I love a good historical fiction novel as much as the next person, but add in an empowered female who legit posed as a man and changed and world? Holy smokes... literally. :)

Jana's Picks

I'm kind of with Lauren on this. Some of these books were published after I graduated high school, and are books I would love to see high schoolers reading now.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is a beautiful, unique Holocaust story the emphasizes a love of people and books. And the fact that it's narrated by Death, gives us a whole different picture of the kinds of things that happened during this time. There's lots to discuss and contemplate.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I would have loved to read an actual FUN book in high school, and The Hunger Games has a lot of talking points and discussions surrounding it. 

6. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristins McMorris: Before I read this book, I had not understood the magnitude of the racism and segregation the Japanese-Americans dealt with. It's an important topic to know about and understand, and the writing in this book is beautiful. Plus, there's a hint of romance that was very sweet.

Lori's Picks

7.  Sex Object by Jessica Valenti:  This would definitely be more for juniors and seniors in high school...but I think it was really useful in showing how pervasive sexism is and how it affects both males and females.  I think high schools need to do a better job of discussing sexism instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.

8.  Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe:  Full disclosure--I have not finished this book yet.  But from what I know about it and the beauty of the prose, I think that this might be a lovely book for high schoolers, who are getting ready to embark on a new journey.

9.  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi:  LOVED this book!  I think it provides a great look at African and African American history, which is something that I feel gets glossed over a lot in many high school history classes.  Plus it's a great book!

10.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed:  This is a great book for teaching you that it's OK to get lost for a while and that you can find your way back.

Which books do you wish were required reading in school? Or which books do you think are super important for people to be taught about in school?


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ten Graphic Novel Recommendations

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.

Hi everyone! We're back! Thanks so much for hanging in there with us while we took a much needed break. Some of us are dealing with some health issues and we've got a whole puddle of new babies who need their mommies, so life kind of got in the way! We're still figuring out our mojo in light of all these changes, so thanks for your patience as we sort through what the future holds for us. :)

We can't wait to see what direction you took this week's topic in! Link up your posts and we'll do our best to stop by and visit you. :)

Today I, Jana, am tackling this topic on my own and decided to highlight some graphic novels I've read and enjoyed recently. I'm a baby when it comes to this entire world of graphic novels, so recommend some of your favorites if you'd like!

1. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neil: SO cute, very pretty illustrations, and lots of adorable tea dragons!

2. The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais: A topsy turvy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Kind of dark, but beautiful.

3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: Fantasy with an awesome heroine! And villains!

4. The Arrival by Shaun Tan: A very sweet, wordless immigration story.

5. Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale: A wild, wild west Rapunzel!

6. Spill Zone by Scott Westerfield: A sci-fi graphic novel that Marissa Meyer blurbed!

7. Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky: Guy is in love with a ghost. HELLO.

8. Saved By The Bell #1 by Joelle Sellner: It's SBTB!

9. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer: It's The Lunar Chronicles! I loved seeing my old friends.

10. In Real Life by by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang: It's about gamers!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Cocktail and Conversation

It's been a couple of weeks since our last edition of Cocktail and Conversation.  Pour yourself a drink, pull up a chair, and let's chat.

This week's question:  What is your favorite room/spot at home? (Not just for reading, but generally)

Lori says:  I love our back porch.  My boyfriend and I sit outside on the back porch for hours, just chilling and having a couple of beverages.  I also love doing yoga, eating, and reading out there.  I bought a lot of plants and flowers to cover the porch this spring, which makes it just lovely.

Jana says:  My favorite spot in my house is my bedroom. I just re-did the entire thing last summer, so I've got a book nook and tons of bookshelves, a really comfy chair with throw pillows and soft blankets, and a cute little lamp that puts off the coziest warm light. I love spending my time reading there or watching my favorite old movies.

What about you?  What's your favorite spot in your home?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Faves and August TBR

I can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by!  It's time for another post about our favorite reads and our TBR.


Jana says--So... I read one book in July and hated it, so I don't have a favorite. lol

Kimberly says--I didn't read a single book in July.... It's been a weird month. (Good! But weird. Haha)

Lauren says--The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti--I have so many books on my TBR that I gave my boyfriend 3 book titles and this is the one he chose. I wasn't disappointed! This was a suspenseful psychological thriller that keep me guessing until about 80% into the book. Which for me is pretty damn good.

Lori says--Moranthology by Caitlin Moran--This book was such a delight to read!  Moran speaks out on a variety of topics that had my laughing out loud.  This is one of those books where I drove my boyfriend crazy by regularly reading him passages.  It made me purchase all of the rest of her books.  Can't wait to dive on it!


Jana says--Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett--It sounds like a really exciting fantasy with lots of snow, which is great because the heat is stifling in my neck of the woods right now! And it's about royal explorers! Sounds great to me!

Kimberly says--I am currently reading The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller. It's Adorakable. I don't care for that word? But it's kinda perfect to describe the book and its characters. 

Lauren says--Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris--I picked this one up because I enjoyed The Vanishing Year. I was just in the mood for another thriller. I've just started and I'm already engrossed in the story!

Lori says--Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults by Laurie Penny--I pre-ordered this one a while ago.  I. Love. Essays.  I love essays especially about feminism.  I don't know why (OK, probably PMS), but I've been angry lately and I am just chomping at the bit to read some kickass essays.
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