Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Best Books We've Read So Far in 2017

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

Before we get to the topic at hand -- Jamie here with a little admin note. I know many people have noticed that the Top Ten Tuesday schedule hasn't been updated. As a group we've decided that Top Ten Tuesday is going to take a little break until August 15th.  I'm officially on baby watch (my due date is July 11) and Kimberly is right behind me so in July we will have 3 itty bitty Broke and Bookish babies that will have been born in the past few months (you might remember Daisy had her baby recently!) and the other ladies have a lot going on that would make it hard without all of us to contribute (plus I'm typically the one who makes sure TTT happens behind the scenes as well). So feel free to make your own lists while we take a break but there won't be any official Top Ten Tuesday's happening here. I'm on maternity leave as of Friday so I will be getting some topics ready for our return in August and hope to have them up soon so you have them well ahead of our return!

Jamie's Picks

1. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: Emery is one of my all time favorite authors and her latest just really really hit me on a personal level and was just all around amazing.

2. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: I haven't read a series ending that made me as happy as this one! READ THIS SERIES IF YOU HAVEN'T.

3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Oh man, I knew Becky would deliver with her sophomore novel. I absolutely loved this book!

4. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: This romance was EXACTLY what I needed!

5.  Windwitch by Sysan Dennard:  An amazing sequel to a series that I am just so ridiculously excited to continue on with!

Lori's Picks

6.  The Green Mile by Stephen King:  I just finished this weekend.  I know I am late to the party on this one, but I LOVED IT!

7.  The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan:  This was such a lovely collection of short stories and essays by a gal who tragically died 5 days after her college graduation. I would have loved to see what else she would have produced.

8.  Sex Object by Jessica Valenti:  Valenti wrote a very raw and vivid account of all of the ways sexism has shaped her life.  It was very eye-opening and made me angry and ggggrrrrrr!

9.  Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple:  From the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette? Who hasn't vowed to be better and different starting today?  And who hasn't had those very plans burn around them?  This is a great book about that very occurrence.

10.  South and West by Joan Didion:  FINALLY! Something new by Didion!  I loved reading her notebooks about a trip she took throughout the South with her husband and the trip she took through California.  This volume is full of keen insights, which still (unfortunately, in some cases) ring true today.

Tell us the best books you read so far this year!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Nora Ephron

Today marks five years since Nora Ephron passed away.  She was such an amazing writer that I wanted to share some thoughts on her.  She wrote a bit of everything during her long and successful career.  She began as a journalist.  She moved into film, giving the world When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail.  She turned the breakup of her second marriage to Bernstein into a humorous novel, Heartburn, which was also turned into a movie.  She wrote about food.  She became an essayist and blogger.  Literally, she did it all.  But I don't want this to be a type of obituary.  The New York Times already wrote one.  Rather, I want to talk about what all she's meant to me.

Without really realizing it, I first encountered Nora Ephron when I watched You've Got Mail at age 11.  Four years ago (has it really been that long? Apparently!), I wrote a post gushing over that film.  In so many ways, it's the book lover's dream of the romantic ideal.  At least, it was this book lover's epitome of the romantic ideal for so long.  I loved the way Nora used language throughout the plot.  Little did I know that this film was a remake, with an original starring James Stewart and a musical starring Judy Garland.  But it felt so original and was an excellent commentary on the burgeoning world of email.  How many friends do I have now that I first encountered online?  Too many to count.  I've met a few of them in person.  But that doesn't matter.  It's really all about the power of technology to bring people together.

Shortly after she passed, The Most of Nora Ephron came out.  This volume puts together a sampling of all of her writing, including the screenplay to When Harry Met Sally and the entirety of her novel.  I pre-ordered the book.  And like most books that I buy, it sat on my shelves for quite some time.

No matter.

The proper time to read the book appeared about ten months later.  At that time, my full-time job was sitting in my beloved papa's hospital room.  Unfortunately, the months of him being in one facility or another had taken their toll and he was no longer the best of conversationalists.  There was little else for me to do but read most of the time.  But my reading had to come in spurts because there were always so many interruptions.  So I picked up this and took it with me.  It was perfect.  There were so many short pieces, but there were also longer pieces for the evenings when I did have longer stretches to read.  And she wrote with such humor and honesty that I didn't feel overly sappy and sad.  (I've compared this period in my life to Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying because of the tragicomedy that ensued)  I was reading this book when I learned about the deaths of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall and just didn't understand.

Bottom line, she helped get me through that time.  She helped me be able to see the genuine humor in the little moments.  She helped me see the humor in the tragic moments.  She gave me a wonderful book to read.  She gave me something to aspire to.  She gave me a lot to think about.

This summer I picked up that volume again and read almost everything in it over the course of about four days.  I was again reminded of the wit and wisdom in her writing.  It inspired me to think about my own writing.  And it again inspired me to look for the humor, even in the humorless moments.  It's there.

I want to leave you with two very powerful pieces from the book, which were originally included in her 2011 book of essays, I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections.  These two close out her collected volume and they've always stuck with me in their smallness and bigness:

What I Won't Miss 
Dry skin
Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
Technology in general
My closet
Washing my hair
Illness everywhere
Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
Fox TV
The collapse of the dollar
Joe Lieberman
Clarence Thomas
Bar mitzvahs
Dead flowers
The sound of the vacuum cleaner
E-mail. I now I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
Small print
Panels on Women in Film
Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss
My kids
The concept of waffles
A walk in the park
The park
Shakespeare in the Park
The bed
Reading in bed
The view out the window
Twinkle lights
Dinner at home just the two of us
Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
Next year in Istanbul
Pride and Prejudice
The Christmas tree
Thanksgiving dinner
One for the table
The dogwood
Taking a bath
Coming over the bridge to Manhattan

Thanks, Ms. Ephron.  You are missed.

Friday, June 23, 2017

How My Reading Habits Have Changed

My reading habits have changed a lot over the years.  This post reflects on some of those changes...

Initially I was all about the classics.  If it wasn't a classic, I really kind of turned up my nose.  Then somewhere along the time of the great reading slump that lasted for the better part of a few years, where for every one book I read, I had started and discarded twenty (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not), I started branching out.  I've read so many wonderful contemporary books!  YA, sci-fy/fantasy...those still aren't my thing.  And that's OK.  But I'm not as wholly opposed to them as I once was.  If I started a good book and it happened to be YA, as long as it stayed good, I'd read it.  No need to be a snob.

Further, I've stopped stressing about the slumps.  I'm crazy-assed busy!  I do not always have time to read.  I still carry a book with me (almost) everywhere I go (mostly in case of a hostage situation), but if I don't have time to read for a few days, I usually wind up switching books because my interest has kind of petered out.  If I hit a string of books that I'm just not feeling, I don't bemoan my fate or wonder whether my reading days are over.  I just keep trying.  Eventually, I'll find something that grabs me and keeps me.

I stopped reviewing books.  I just didn't see the point in it.  Books were either classics that had been talked about to death (or no one but me was interested in) or new and already super hyped, so my saying anything--especially in the book community--wasn't going to sway anybody.  I'll definitely post a pic with my current read on Instagram, maybe even including a sentence about my current perception of the book.

I also talk about books differently.  My boyfriend is not a reader, so I'll tell him a snippet about what's driving me crazy about the book or what I'm liking.  Then, based on his follow-up questions, I go into way too much detail explaining the plot, complete with ALL THE BACKSTORY!  Then I think he regrets asking any questions about the book.  But I move on, he moves on.

My best friend will get the books I like or am feeling conflicted about thrust at her with a sentence--usually "Hey, read this; it's really effed up, but I kind of like it."  She'll read it and send me a text saying, "WTF, Lori!  This book is really effed up! But I kinda like it."  To which I respond, "I know, right?! That's why I'm making you read it."

As I've gravitated toward contemporary fiction, it's less often that I'll tell my dad to read something because there are fewer books that I think he'd be interested in reading.  But, interestingly, I'm more apt to tell my grandma to read things.  Books that include homosexual characters (The Nest) and the c-word! (Atonement)  She reads these books without much comment ("I liked it" or "That was hard to read") and returns them to me.

Like I said, nowadays I don't review books.  I don't even track them on Goodreads or in a notebook.  No, I sign my name and write the date I finished it on the inside cover.  Then I put the book in a cardboard box in the hall closet to make room for more books.  Some, however, like my Joan Didions, return to their shelves because I can't quite quit Joan...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cocktail & Conversation

Pour yourself a drink and pull up a seat!  This week's question for the Broke and Bookish Ladies is:

Water park or amusement park? Why?

Bridget says:  Amusement park! I hate being all wet and squishy walking around the park. Plus I always just feel slimy with all that gross water, and awkward walking around in a bathing suit all day. Gimme a roller coaster over a water slide any day!

Jana says:  Amusement park! I'm with Bridget, I hate being wet all day and walking around in a swimsuit. I also fry and end up looking like a lobster after 30 minutes. I love roller coasters and other rides, though, and I've spent many summer days hanging out at various amusement parks. So many memories!

Lauren says:  I choose... both! For now I'd rather go to an amusement park because I am on my weight loss journey and I don't quite feel comfortable wearing swimwear yet. Plus I LOVE roller coasters!

Julia says:  I enjoy both water parks and amusement parks, but I usually go to amusement parks over water parks if I am looking for a vacation or a break. In fact I am heading out to one today to ride all of the roller coasters! Let's hope for good weather.

Lori says:  WATER PARKS!!!!!  I love chillin' in the lazy river (although kids have NO CHILL and constantly bump into my tube), but I also love riding the water rides.  I like being able to be outside, getting some sun, and staying cool at the same time.  Where's my fruity umbrella drink?  :)

Kimberly says:  I really like both, but I feel like I get bored with water parks faster. It could be because the only actual water park I've been to is Lagoon here in Utah. It's fun, but once you've done a few of the slides you've done it all. But I do love amusement parks! It's something I've missed this summer being pregnant, I could go walk around but I'd have to skip all the rides and who wants to do that?

Your turn!  Water park or amusement park?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

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Lori's Pick

1. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman:  This kind of book normally isn't my thing, but I've heard such wonderful things about the third book! I feel weird just reading the last book of the series, so I'll have to push through the first two. Haha.

Jana's Picks

2. The Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson
3. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis

I don't really have anything to say about them except that people love them and I think they sound awesome!

Kimberly's Picks

4. The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella: I've heard so many good things, and I love Sophie Kinsella. I think I even own the first book. I just haven't started it yet.

5. Anything Terry Pratchett: I feel terrible that I haven't read any of his stuff! My husband isn't the bookworm that I am, and even he has read Pratchett!!

6. The Program by Suzanne Young: I've actually read the first book, but haven't continued on to the rest. I liked it! I just haven't picked up the others yet.

Jamie's Picks

7. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater: Every since I started blogging in 2010 I have meant to read this series (I even own them) but still have not even read the first book! OOPS.

8. Shades of Magic series by Victoria Schwab: I hear amaaaazing things about this series and own the first two books but haven't gotten to them yet. STORY OF MY LIFE.

9. Heir Chronicles AND Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima: A friend gave me the whole Heir Chronicles series and I keep meaning to reading but ALSO everyone who is a fan of this author says the Seven Realms series is their FAVE so I keep meaning to grab that from the library.

10. The Selection series by Kiera Cass: Everyone I know talks about how this series is the ultimate book crack that you can just binge right through. I think I'm defintitely going to binge this while I'm out on maternity leave.

What series have you been meaning to start? Have you read any of the ones we haven't started? 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Best & Worst Dads We've Come Across In Literature

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We are talking dads in literature -- the good and the bad!

 Jamie's picks: 

I honestly picked books I've read recently....not an OF ALL TIME sort of thing because I wanted to talk about books I read recently.

1. BEST: Lara Jean's dad in Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before series: Oh man how I love Lara Jean's dad. LJ's dad is so wonderful and I love how he tries to uphold all the Korean traditions of their mother after she passes away. He's just seriously the best and such a caring dad.

2. BEST: Lucy's dad in The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: Lucy's dad really reminded me of my stepfather in how he took care of my mom when she was sick. He's such a great dad to Lucy and I really enjoyed both of her parents.

3. BEST: Starr's dad in The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: OH MY GOD I LOVE HER DAD SO MUCH. Her mom too. I honestly would just read a book about her mom and dad because they are just so great.

4. BEST: Kate's dad in My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella: Kate's dad...oh I just loved him. He made me laugh sometimes with the whole glamping business thing and how grumpy the city made him (honestly kind of reminded me of my dad in some ways). He was such a caring dad and wanted his daughter to succeed but, like all dads, doesn't always show it in the most perfect of perfect ways. Loved their relationship.

5. WORST: Savannah's dad in All in Pieces by Suzanne Young: Her dad was seriously terrible. I wanted to kick him so many times. STOP BEING SO SHITTY.

6. WORST: Both Dill and Travis's dads in The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: Two best friends with two awful dads. HAAAAAAATRED RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS WHEN I THINK ABOUT THEIR DADS.

Bridget's Pick

7. BEST: Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice: He knows it's BS that Elizabeth is being pressured to marry Mr. Collins and defends her against her crazy mother. Seems like a chill dude who I'd like to have in my life!

Who are your picks??

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cocktail and Conversation with the Broke and Bookish Ladies

It's been a while since we've done a Q&A post, so we decided to give it a shot.  This week's question is:

What do you miss most about being a kid during summer break?

Kimberly says:  I miss summer days with my Grandpa. I spent a lot of time with him as a kid. I remember very distinctly the smell and feel of mornings at his house. (Freshly brewed coffee. ) We'd go on adventures and do crafts. It was paradise for a kid!

Jana says:  I miss how valuable and precious summer used to be to me as a kid. School was out, and I had a few months of freedom. The sky wasn't even my limit, and I loved living every summer day like it was a gift I was given. :)

Jamie says:  I miss endless pool days with my sister, eating ice pops all day long, bare feet, the ice cream truck coming around after dinner....I just really miss not having any structure. My sister and I had so much fun during summer break -- from playing games we made up when we were little to sunning ourselves and reading by the pool when we got a bit older.

Lori says:  I miss how the summer just seemed endless.  Each day seemed like an opportunity for something huge and exciting to happen.  I also miss the summer reading program at the library.  (Why don't they have those for adults?!)  I miss going to the pool all day and not having to worry about the tab I was running up at the snack shack.  Basically, I miss the freedom to just do.

Bridget says:  I miss not hating the heat! I used to live for summer, like a lot of kids, but now I hate it. This could be due to the fact that I live far more south than I did when I was growing up (grew up in New York, currently live in North Carolina) and the heat here is just unbearable. I truly miss looking forward to summer rather than dreading it! Give me crisp fall weather any day and gtfo with your heat and humidity!

Daisy says:  I miss having the whole summer off and just getting to spend it having fun and being lazy! No responsibilities and not having to figure out what to have for dinner or actually make said dinner. All those endless days in the sun, swimming and reading piles of books were amazing!

Lauren says:  I miss hanging out with my grandparents and following them around all day. I miss running through the sunflowers that were taller than me, chasing butterflies, picking up baby birds that have fallen out of their nest and putting them back. Out of all of the memories I can sweep up, I miss sitting on the swing with my grandma. We'd talk about anything and everything, or we'd just swing and enjoy the country life. Oh... and I miss running around barefoot. :)

Julia says:  Reading all your answers. I agree with with them all. I'm so nostalgic for summer!

There you have it...What do you miss about being a kid during the summer?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Jana's Request for Romantic Suspense Recommendations

Hi all! I went on a cruise to Mexico a few weeks ago and read Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout. LOVED IT. It was amazing, and my new favorite romantic suspense novel. I got quite a hankering for more, but I'm coming up empty. I tried a Barbara Freethy one afterwards, and DNF'd it because it was so bad. I am so unfamiliar with this genre and I've only read a handful of romantic suspense novels, even though they always end up being my favorite kind of books.

So I thought I'd take this to all of you, our ever faithful readers. I'm in desperate need of some good romantic suspense. I really only have two wishes for these recommendations:

1. No paranormal stuff. I just don't like it. lol. And this seems to be hard because all the RS novels I'm finding have paranormal elements to them.
2. No erotica. (Some sex is fine, but it needs to take a back seat to the story.)
3. (Wait, I lied.) I'm not a fan of gangs and drugs in books.

Other than that, I'm pretty open and I'm not kidding when I say that I probably have not read anything you're going to recommend to me because I'm such a newbie to this genre. So throw a TON of them at me. I will take all you have to offer! I was gifted Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard after getting recommendations from some friends on Twitter, so that's happening. I've heard it's super popular.

Anyway, help a girl out!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ten Contemporary Books We've Added To Our TBRs Lately

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Jamie's Picks

1. Stay With Me by : A story of a marriage that is set in Nigeria.

2. Calling My Name by Liara Tamani: This sounds like a beautiful coming of age story!

3. You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: Tells the story of an Indian-American immigrant family. It sounds soooo good.

Lori's Picks

4.  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid:  This is my Book of the Month Club pick for June.  An aging Hollywood star hires a reporter to tell her life story.  Super juicy, from what I hear!

5.  Marlena by Julie Buntin:  This is the story of two teenagers who become friends and one of them goes off the rails and dies.  The other is still haunted by their friendship decades later.

6.  The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo:  A guy and a girl meet while in college and fall for each other, but life kind of keeps them apart.  It's been compared to Love Story for the new generation and as One Day meets Me Before You.

Jana's Picks

7. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda: I love mysteries and suspense novels, especially in the summer so I'm excited about this one. Two women who disappear 10 years apart?? Told in reverse?? YES.

8. Diving Into Trouble by Shona Husk: I also read a lot of contemporary romance, and this one takes place on a submarine! Super unique.

9. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody: I love airport stories! And New Years Eve. And Jessica Brody. And blizzards.

10. You Say It First by Susan Mallery: Susan has a new series coming out about a destination wedding company owner. It sounds cute.

What contemporary books have you added to your TBR lately? 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ten of Jamie's Most Anticipated Reads For The Rest Of 2017

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 I have so, so many books I'm excited about that are upcoming for the rest of 2017 so this list was PRETTY hard.

1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Taylor Jenkins Reid is an auto-buy author for me as I just adore her books and this one sounds amazing! An unknown reporter, Monique, gets contacted for the job of a lifetime — an Old Hollywood legend wants her to write her biography and share all the secrets and scandals of her life as she made her way up the ranks in Hollywood.

2. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab: I really enjoyed This Savage Song so I can't wait for this conclusion!

3. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby: Jessi Kirby is one of my favorite contemporary YA writers and I feel like all her books are sooo underrated but anytime she has a new one out it is ALWAYS at the top of my most anticipated list!

4. The Girl With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke: Historical fiction + time travel! I've been so excited for this book for YEARS because I follow the author on Twitter and I've loved every time she's talked about it or shared quotes from it so YEAH very high on my most anticipated list.

5. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins: I am obsessed with all of Stephanie Perkins contemporary YA and I'm so so intrigued by her upcoming novel which is a HORROR NOVEL. I'm so game. I trust her.

6. Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley: Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon is one of my all time favorite books and I have been DYING for this one.

7. Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Excited for a fantasy series from Marissa Meyer! I've really enjoyed the books I've read in her Lunar Chronicles series (which I still need to finish before I ever get to this one).

8. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert: I really enjoyed Brandy Colbert's Pointe and I've been eagerly awaiting this one.

9.  Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush: “A thrilling new urban fantasy filled with magic and motorcycle gangs” — sounds amazing and unique right??

10. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao: “The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress.” NEEEEED.

BONUS: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

 PS. If you want to know some of the other books I'm itching to read that comes out in this second half of 2017 you can check out this post and this post.

Tell me your most anticipated releases for the rest of 2017!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Beach Reads If You Don't Enjoy Contemporary

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This week's topic: Summer Reads Freebie. We've got Daisy on the blog presenting beach reads that aren't the typical contemporary genres!


For me, basically anything can be a beach read, just put me on a beach and I will start reading. And I love a good mix of fantasy and other genres mixed in with my contemporaries.

1. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas: bet you didn't see that one coming ;) I love this series and even if you don't like contemporary, I still believe books with a strong/sexy romance are the way to go.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I'm a big fan of reading chunky books on the beach, because usually you have a pretty decent amount of time to read when you're there, this one definitely falls in that category. Also: added bonus of being able to watch the series when you get home.

3. Anything by Sarah MacLean: if contemporary romance isn't you jam, maybe historical romance is with all the balls and ruination and bodice ripping (there's actually almost never any bodice ripping), and Sarah MacLean writes AMAZING historical romances!

4. Anything by Julia Quinn: see previous explanation.

5. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: it's sure to keep your intention, and another chunky book.

6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I actually made the Mr read this on the beach and he loved it. And he basically only reads when we're on the beach.

7. The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon: these books are SO good! And the third one just came out in March, so you can get a decent way into the series if you start now!

8. The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins: if you're in the mood for somewhat light paranormal YA.

9. The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima: if you like your beach with a side of epic YA fantasy.

10. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: because it's a whole lot of fun and a graphic novel, if you're not in the mood for chunky books.

What beach reads would you recommend to people who don't love contemporary?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jamie Talks 10 Of The Best & Worst Moms/Motherly Figures She's Encountered In Books Recently

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This week's topic: Mother's Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.


1.  Agnes in Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: Agnes is the grandmother of our main character, Ramona's, childhood friend Freddie. Agnes is not only a wonderful motherly type figure to Ramona when she's little and then when she returns into her life but she is Freddie's primary caretaker and is seriously THE BEST. I loved Agnes so much!

2. Blake's grandmother from Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner: Blake is one of the main character's friends who dies in the car accident (not a spoiler..it's in the summary). She has taken care of Blake since he was little because his real mom is the worst and then when Blake dies and she Carver embark on their Goodbye Day she does some good mothering towards him when he needs it most and refused to open up to his own parents (he does have a really good mom too!).

3. Molly's moms in The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Seriously I love her moms!! They are supportive and wonderful and I really loved her relationship with them! Becky really made them feel real and vibrant and essential, with their own storylines, rather than have them kind of faded into the background as so many YA parents are.

4. Lucy's mom in The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: Oh man, I loved Lucy's mom so much and it pained me so much that she was going through so much. She is such a loving mom to Lucy and I just thought she was great.

5. Frances's mom in Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: She isn't maybe as HUGE as a part in this book as the others I've listed but it was such a wonderful and healthy mother-daughter relationship that I really appreciated. It was really nice to see how close they were!

6. Starr's mom in The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Starr got the great end of parental units. I loved her mom (and dad) SO MUCH. She's really such a great mom. I would honestly read a book about Starr's parents to be completely honest.


7.  Ramona's mom in Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: I listed Freddie's grandma as BEST motherly figure above but maaan Ramona's mom in this book was rough. She wasn't like the WORST WORST...you could see she did try sometimes...but she was a hot mess mostly from leaving them when they were younger and how she acted in some of the scenes.

8.  Dana's mom in Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: Dana's mom is awful and I really felt for Dana. I totally could have added her bff Olivia's mom to the great mom list above because she always showed up for Dana when her own mom didn't and treated her like another daughter. 

9.  Jeanette's mom in The Glass Castle: The saddest part is that, unlike the other moms listed, this one is real because this book is a memoir. Her dad was the worst but her mom was just as bad and was an enabler and just ughhh her manic personality was so hard to deal with. I could not even with the parents and their ways. SO TERRIBLE and sad...like really sad. I was amazed at how she could still find love for her mom (and dad) as an adult.

10. Joss Byrd's mom in Unscripted Joss Byrd: OH SO AWFUL. Joss is a child actor and her mom is seriously terrible and uses her and I just wanted to punch her. 

Tell me about the amazing and awful moms/motherly figures you've encountered recently!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist

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 This week's topic:

Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) -- things you want to see more of in books -- tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

We are sitting this week out because we couldn't get ourselves together this weekend to do it! I (Jamie) had plans of doing it today but I'm still feeling wrecked from my baby shower this week --- extroverting is hard. Also pregnancy is tiring, so is putting away all said stuff from baby shower. I need a nap again just thinking about it.

ANYWAYS...while we rest our brains, we can't wait to read through your reading wishlists!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

10 Books With Food Or Drinks On the Cover

Sometimes I have these things that instantly catch my eye when I'm browsing book covers. One of those things is FOOD. Maybe it's because I am very passionate about food (especially dessert) but my eye is always drawn to covers with food on them.

So I'm going to share 10 books I've read or are on my TBR that have FOOD on the cover. I take no responsibility if your stomachs start grumbling. I'm pregnant so imagine how hard it is for me to put this together! SORRY NOT SORRY.

Also tell me down below what are those things on covers that instantly attract your eye! 

-- Jamie

What food covers did I miss?? Leave em below!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top Ten Things That Will Make Us Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

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Daisy's Picks

1. Books set in space: I'm not even sure why this is, but books (and also movies, with the exception of Star Wars, because AWESOME) set in space don't work for me usually. Sadly, this limits my scifi-exposure greatly.

2. Angels; I've had a lot of misses when it comes to books about angels or angel-like species (with the exception of the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand which I LOVED), so this is pretty much a turn off for me.

3. Fae: the classic fae stories don't seem to work for me, I do love The Falconer series by Elizabeth May and A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas, but mostly, it's just not my thing.

4. World War II: Maybe it's because my grandma lived through this in the Netherlands and it's just a little too close for comfort for me, but I find myself shying away from book that are set in this time period.

Jamie's Picks

5. If it sounds too manicpixiedreamgirl: I've loved books with this trope but the older I'm getting the harder time I'm having to want to read it if I feel like the summary eludes to it.

6. Any book that seems like it is glorifying abusive or super aggressively alpha males: I'm just so not into it. 

7. (DON'T JUDGE ME) But if a book has a reallyyyyyyy low rating on Goodreads: I know, I know. I mean, some books I love have kind of low ratings on Goodreads and I don't care because I love them. BUT if a book has like a REALLY low rating and I wasn't THAT excited about it...like just semi interested...it's a pretty big turnoff even though I've been really trying to not put so much stock into ratings. 

Julia's Picks  

8. Love Triangles: I'm sick of them at this point. Can't there be an engaging story with an awesome heroine who only has one love interest? Or even dare I say zero? 

9. First person POV: This one I will usually bend on, especially in YA. But most often as soon as I see the "I", I groan.

 Kimberly's Pick

10.  Animal abuse. I'll never understand why authors think this is something that is okay to add. It's disgusting and I hate it and will refuse to read a book if it contains this. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Things That Will Make Us Instantly Want To Read A Book

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Happy Tuesday everyone! Today we are talking about those things that will just instantly make us want to read a book!

Jamie's Picks

1. Even a whiff of a hate-to-love romance type relationship: Listen, if it even hints at it in any type of book (even if it isn't a romance/rom com) I'm going to add it to my TBR.

2. Road trip: If I see the word road trip in a summary (honestly though...any kind of huge travel plot) I'm game.

3. Loss of a parent: Oookay this one probably feels like a downer but apparently this is my thing. A few years after I lost my mom in 2006 I started really gravitating towards books about losing a parent. IDK WHY. I know some avoid it for the same reason if they've gone through it but for me it's apparently cathartic and a thing I enjoy (weird word...probably not what I'm going for) so if I see that a book deals with a loss of a parent (especially a mom) in any way it's like Jamiebait. 

Kimberly's Picks

4. Magic - I'm such a sucker for fantasy reads. If the description of a book mentions magic, it immediately goes on my tbr. 

5. Horses- The 10 year old in me just can't let this go. I've always loved horses (I grew up with a Wyoming rancher for a grandpa, so it was inevitable) and stories about them just make me happy. 

Jana's Picks

6. Pirates: I'm a sucker for books with pirates in them! I've probably got a crush on every literary pirate.

7. Mermaids: Underwater worlds and mermaids are my favorite!

8. Travel: If the book has traveling in it I'm all over it!

9. Nerdy Characters: I love adorkable/nerdy/bookish characters so much! 

10. Holidays: I love books centered around different holidays. It's so much fun reading Halloween books in October and Christmas ones in December. 

Bridget's Pick

11.  Any sort of endorsement by one of my favorite authors (Stephen King, JK Rowling, Gillian Flynn, etc)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Most Unique Books We've Read

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This week we're sharing some of the most unique books we've ever read! And it'll jue be five since we weren't super on top of things this week! Whoops!

Lauren's Picks

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
This little gem was a fairy tale, a mystery, and a fantasy novel all rolled together. It was cute and made me so curious, I just flew through this book! 

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
I know I always fangirl over all of Ahlborn's books, but this one stood out from the rest for me. It still embodied everything creepy and tragic, but it intrigued me more than I expected. This is a must read for any horror fan!

Kimberly's Picks

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley 
I was warned going into this that it was "weird". But was also told it was for fans of Neil Gaiman, which instantly drew my attention. This book is so fun and so intriguing. The world building is fantastic. I loved every minute of it!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I love all of his books!! He's one of my favorite authors, and honestly, any of his books could go on this list. Neverwhere was my first by him and holds a place in my heart for that reason.

Jana's Pick

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
It's written like a letter and I got Stockholm Syndrome. What the crap?

What are some of the most unique books you've ever read?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Top Ten Fandoms We're a Part Of

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This week you get to show off your inner (or outer, because let's be honest here...) nerd with a fandom freebie! We decided to tell you what fandoms we belong to! 

Jana's Picks

The Sound of Music: Ok, so I'm not sure if there's an official fandom or not, but I've made one and I'm all over this movie. It has been my favorite since I was a little girl. I love the music, the scenery, the story, Julie Andrews, and Christopher Plummer. 

Saved By the Bell: Yeah... I own all the funkos, I own all the seasons (even The College Years), and I own the movies (Hawaiian Style and Wedding in Las Vegas). When I was a kid I learned the I'm So Excited dance routine and the exercise routine for the girls' music video. I wanted to be Kelly, I wanted to date Zack. So much nostalgia here. 

Friends: I'm kind of a diehard. I was late to the Friends bandwagon (like... the complete series boxed set was available on DVD WAY before I even watched one episode), but I have made up for lost time! I've watched the series from beginning to end probably 15 times now.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas: I've never been so passionate about a book series in my life, but there you have it. 

Mary Poppins: Again, is there such a thing? I love the movie (I think I'm in the Julie Andrews fandom, too), the music, the Broadway show (I saw it in NYC at Christmas--major bucket list item), and the cute little funko sitting on my shelf! 

Veronica Mars: Another fandom I'm late to (I just watched this series for the fist time a couple years ago), but I'm a marshmallow!

Julia's Picks

Game of Throne/A Song of Ice and Fire: This is probably the most active fandom that I am in at the moment. I read theories and anxiously await any new information the show or the book can give us. 

Disney: Yeah I guess this is a weird one, and I would say I am full out fandom, but I do follow all the new additions coming to the parks, the new live action movie news, the musicals and where they are coming (I literally had a freak out moment last night when I saw that The Hunchback of Notre Dame is going to be performed in Cleveland this fall). So I am going to count this. 

Westworld: I was definitely on the edge of fandom when this show was one. Holy cow was there so much to theorize about. I hadn't had that much fandom thinking/scheming fun since the days I was really into Lost. Great show. Great season. I can't wait to see where they go. So many possibilities!!

His Dark Materials: So this I am not currently involved in, but I am thinking about diving back in after my current reread. Ever since they announced the next book finally coming out this fall, I've wanted to dive back into the world, find some active discussions, reread my old fanfic... I am so happy this is finally a thing again. 

Let's talk fandoms!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

11 Authors That Were On Jamie's Author Bucket List To Meet & She Actually Got To Meet Them

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This week's topic is all about authors you want to meet or favorite authors you've been lucky to meet!

I've honestly been so lucky to meet so many great authors that I love between events that happened in Philly or when I went to Book Expo of America 4 or 5 times. I've slowed down the number of author events I've gone to recently (also think they've slowed up locally and I didn't go to the past two years of BEA) but I am quite pleased with how many personal bucket list authors I've met!

1. Gayle Forman: The first time I met Gayle Forman I almost cried. Then I got lucky and she came to Philly quite a few times for events and I got to see her at events in NYC. Every time I get to see Gayle is a good day. ALSO, that time I got to celebrate my birthday with Gayle. She is so so wonderful and interesting to talk to -- I could talk to her for hours!

2. Megan McCafferty: DUDE...getting to meet THE MEGAN MCCAFFERTY...author of the Jessica Darling series? AMAZING. Honestly it was even more amazing to watch my bff, Anna, get to meet her because she was the one who got me to read them and she nearly lost her shit. It was pretty epic and the mutual love between the two of them made me cry. Megan was just as happy to meet Anna as Anna was to meet her because Anna was pretty vocal about her love for all things Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. Megan is seriously HILARIOUS, too! The next time I saw her and Anna wasn't there she sang Barry Manilow into my phone for her.

3. Sarah Dessen: Meeting Sarah was LEGENDARY. She is so down to earth and wonderful and it was really awesome because my first time meeting her coincided with an interview I got to do with her. She was so candid and passionate and interesting -- I came out adoring her even more!

4. RL Stine: It was a happy coincidence when I got to meet my childhood idol. I happened to be at the right place (his publisher's booth) at the right time (when a publicist I knew could introduce me to him) and he was sooooo cool and humble...he's like CALL ME BOB. OKAY BOB????

5. Morgan Matson: Morgan's books had always hit me so personally and we had chatted over the years and I just really adored her. So it was just THE BEST when I got to meet her during BEA 2014 finally after all those years and chat for a bit.

6. Jenny Han: Jenny Han is every bit as fabulous as you can imagine she is IRL! Was so happy to finally meet her at an event her publisher threw. She had THE BEST shoes on and honestly...every time I've seen her since she's just literally the most stylish person in the room.

7. Stephanie Perkins: I adooooore Stephanie and her books and I HAD to take the train when I found out she was going to be in NYC because I had no idea if she ever would come to Philly (she did end up coming years later). She was so lovely and complimented my outfit which was the best because she is so stylish and dresses adorably.

8. Rainbow Rowell: I've been lucky enough to get to meet Rainbow a few times between events she did in Philly and BEA stuff. She's so great!!

9. Jandy Nelson: It took yeaaaaaars for this to happen and I acted like a complete crazy fangirl but I was so excited to finally meet the author of two of my most FAVORITE books ever.

10. John Green: I had been a John Green fan well before I started blogging and it was soooo cool to finally get to meet him even if briefly at the National Book Fest a few years ago. He was really kind and stayed longer than the allotted two hours so that everyone in line could get their books signed. I had stood in line trying to think what I would say to him and I was like HI OMG I LOVE YOUR BOOKS AND USED A QUOTE FROM ONE OF THEM IN MY WEDDING. He looked up and very genuinely was like...that's really awesome!

11. Tahereh Mafi: I was soooo excited to meet her. She is the sweetest and I want to raid her closet.  It was a really fun group event she was on so I got to meet Veronica Rossi which was exciting too!

I feel like that is such a small slice of the authors I've gotten to meet but they were pretty high at the top of my bucket list of authors!

Some authors I'm still dying to meet: JK Rowling (obvi), Melina Marchetta, Jessi Kirby (she might not be a big name but I am DYING to meet her bc her books are so special to me), Emery Lord, Ruta Sepetys....honestly this list is long!

Tell us all about the authors you are hoping to meet or that you've met!

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