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

For future topics, click here.

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

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.

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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