Monday, August 29, 2011

Top 10 - To Be Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and theBookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

What's in YOUR TBR Pile for this Fall?

With over THREE HUNDRED books in my GoodReads ‘To Read’ Pile… it is a bit daunting to pick only TEN that I want to read in the fall.  It seems as if I have an addiction to books….an uncontrollable urge to mark books ‘to read’ after seeing someone else reviewing a book, reading the blurb, or simply seeing the cover that makes me covet those books!  Thus, the ever-growing TBR pile.

Here goes the narrowing… and the choosing of what I want to read this fall!  Barring the galleys I recently grabbed (a few will be on this list), this is a list of books I want to read before the end of the year.
    1.      Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare– I have been fascinated with the cover of this book for quite some time.  The story doesn’t look too bad either.  Now…if I can find it available at the library, I’m on it!
    2.      The Help by Kathryn Stockett– I would like to read this before I see the movie.  Yes…I know that the movie is already out, but will most likely wait until it’s on DVD before seeing it.
    3.      The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen– once again, the cover grabbed me.  I don’t read a LOT of YA…but I do like to sprinkle it in my reading list.  It’s nice to see well-written books (I hope this is one of them) geared towards young adults, to hook them into being life-long readers.
    4.      Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos– Title grabbed me one this one!  The premise sounds hilarious, too!
    5.      Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran– I have been wanting to read this long before it was published.  A few bloggers that I follow had advanced copies, and I have heard only good things about this one.  The French Revolution is one of my favorite periods to read about.
    6.      A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness -  I first saw this displayed in a bookstore in Oxford, England… and then I heard many good things about it…
    7.    Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen– I have recently read ‘Emily and Einstein’ and wonder if this one is similar.  Something about the cover just grabs me!
    8.      None but You and For You Alone by Susan Kaye– yes, I am listing two books in this one…as they are part 1 and 2.  Captain Wentworth’s side of Persuasion (my favorite Jane Austen, if you haven’t figured that one out yet, from my blog!)
    9.      Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – this is the last Jane Austen I have not yet read, and it is part of my 2011 Challenge.  I am looking forward to the book being much better than the two movie adaptations out there!
    10.   Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson– This, too, has been on my shelf for a while.  Once again, it is also a book to help me round out my 2011 Challenge.  I have wanted to read this one for some time, based upon reviews…but have always grabbed something before it, for one reason or another (usually a review deadline that I have).

I only have half of these books on my shelf currently.  I am still trying to get the others through GoodReads (BookSwap is a wonderful thing!), or some other non-bookstore means.  Not to be mean to the bookstores, but I like to support my local library…and my bookcases are already overflowing!  There are so many other books on my TBR pile, and I am sure I will be given others to review along the way.  But these TEN are the ones that I would really like to read this fall. (Hopefully the GoodReads links for the books worked.  GR was being a little cranky when I wrote this!)

Looking forward to reading your lists (so my MOSTER TBR pile will continue to grow!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

20 qs

Twenty Questions About Me and My Books

I grabbed this fun questionnaire from Living, Learning, and Loving Life.  What a cool Idea! goes....

1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest? I would have to say Russians by Hedrick Smith.  It’s been on our bookcase since college…too long ago.  I don’t know why, but it has survived several purges!  Sentimental reasons, I guess?!

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next? Right now I am reading The One That I Want.  I just finished The Alchemist and the next one I will probably pick up is Yours To Keep.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?   I wasn’t a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is on so many people’s favorite list, but it really didn’t gel for me.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t? This is a tough question.  It might be The Poisonwood Bible.  I actually started to read it, but it didn’t grab me, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to read books that you cannot get in to.  I know so many people have read it and loved it… guess I am not like so many others! (truer words …)

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”  I don’t have a specific book that I am saving for ‘retirement.’  I have no idea what my tastes will be like then!  I hope, though, that I will be able to be on a beach and read there!

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end? I am not like Harry in When Harry Met Sally and read the last page because I don’t know if I will die before finishing a book.  If I am dying… the last thing I will be thinking about is how a book ends!  Definitely in the ‘Wait till the End’ camp on this one!

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside? I have to admit that I like reading the acknowledgements.  Most of the time, it’s a skim if it just seems like a list of names.  But there have been some funny acknowledgements, plus it gives a glimpse into the author a bit… if it has been done creatively!  (I plan on having fun acknowledgements when I write a book… something along the lines of thanking Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food to help me get through a tough part of the book, or something like that!)

8. Which book character would you switch places with? Tough question.  First of all, I would only want it to be a temporary switch… and not because of Mr. Darcy, either.  (Give me Captain Wentworth….anyway, I digress).  I think that I would like to switch – for a short while – with Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.  She’s smart, she’s witty, and she gets to walk through the English countryside without cows or sheep in the fields, and she loves reading!  Plus, she traveled, as well as attended balls… that would be fascinating to me!

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)? Richard Bach, writer of Illusions and One.  These books remind me of our ‘early’ years with my husband.  He had me read Illusions which started interesting conversations, and we read One and the follow-one books together…one of them in the car, where we were so engrossed in the reading that we were pulled over for speeding.  Luckily, all of us were buckled, and we had three cute little girls in the back of the minivan…when we explained what was going on, we were told to pay attention to the speed limit and let us off with a warning!

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way. Nothing really comes to mind for this question.  I did receive a French dictionary as a gift and the card was written in French…telling me to look under the French word for ‘money.’  There I found a $50!  Pretty cool for a teenager!

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person? I haven’t given away one of my personal favorite books.  But I did order one specifically for my niece for her 5th birthday!  It was a copy of my favorite childhood book!  Edith and Mr. Bear

12. Which book has been with you to the most places? I would have to say the copy of Persuasion that my mom gave to me several years ago.  I have not only taken it to each of our moves, but will occasionally put it in my purse or bag and just carry it around with me.  It is my favorite of Jane Austen’s and it was a special gift from my mom!

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later? If I hated it then, there is NO way I will be picking it up to read now!  For instance… you will NOT find me with a copy of The Lord of the Flies and you will find me actively telling people to NOT read it!

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book? Cannot think of anything that I have found personally, but our girls have found some cool things.  One was a ‘Qutar’ monetary bill.  There was also a letter found in a book in Oxford about a writer who had ‘recently’ passed away…in the 1960’s, I think.

15. Used or brand new? If I can read it, it doesn’t really matter to me.  I am not one of those that has to have a pristine book (thus the library is a great place to get books to read), but I am also not one of those that wants old books with everyone else’s notations throughout the book.  What others have written in a book is rather distracting to me!

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses? I don’t think I would use either moniker for him.  I think he writes what he wants to…I hope that dark stories are not the opiate of the masses.  There are a few that I have read and enjoyed, but he’s just too dark for me.  I also don’t think he’s a literary genius, but he does have the story down!

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book? Yes… Julie and Julia.   I LOVED the movie…hated the book (too much vulgarity…glad that cut that out of the movie!)

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid? The Cat in the Hat… crazy, I know, but the movie ruined the book for me!

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question? There have been a few mystery series that focus/center on food that I have enjoyed…and wanted what they were making.  Cannot think of any titles off of the top of my head though.  I heard that Under the Tuscan Sun was supposed to be like that!

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take? Not sure that I would go off of any one person’s advice.  There are people I follow on GoodReads, and I value their opinion on books.  If they had panned a book that I had in my TBR pile… I would probably not pick it up unless I was desperate for something to read…or really wanted to anyway…knowing what they had said about it!  Isn’t that a wonderful thing about being human?  We are all so different!

ff 4


Last week's question was ( I know... Doing things a little differently.  I missed last week, and like the question so much better than this week's .... ):

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?
A:  Tough question.  Having read several other responses first (I know... but it really isn't cheating, since I am not copying their answers....I think....), my gut response would be a Jane Austen story.  But, which one and who would I be?  Do I make up a character and insinuate myself into the story...thus changing it?  Do I become one of the lead characters and play along?  Or, do I take one of the minor characters and and change things that way?  Should I become Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and force Mr. Collins to notice me... the way he reads Fordice's Sermons makes me swoon!  Should I be Lucy Steele in Sense and Sensibility and not confide in Elinor Dashwood about my secret love?
I think it would be fascinating to be in a Jane Austen novel.  Her characters are so well-drawn and to be able to live in Regency England would definitely be a challenge as well as educational!

What about you?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

bbt - History

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Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.
Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.

I cannot say, as a history major (hangs her head in shame) that I have ever (besides textbooks) read historical nonfiction... I may have unknowingly...  I know, I know!  For someone who LOVES history, I have found the few historical non-fictions that I have read were dry as dog bones!  So...I stopped!

Historical Fictions, on the other hand, are a completely different story!  I have to force myself, sometimes, to read something other than HF... my family was about ready to run an intervention on me.  So this year, I have taken a challenge to read something other than HF.  I love a well-researched HF!  It is enjoyable to learn while reading... a strange concept, I'm sure!

Some that have stood out are:
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James
The Josephine Bonaparte Collection by Sandra Gulland
A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander - not based on any particular historical person, but the details were amazing!

So..I am looking forward to what you think... Is history 'fun'...can it be entertaining?  Yes it can... in the right writer's hands.  Now... I will have to find out others' favorite historical NONfictions, and give those a try!  Let me know what your favorite is!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 'What If' Guy

Title by Author:  The ‘What If’ Guy by Brooke Moss
Series (if applicable): none
Publisher: Entangled
Page Count: 296
Source: Romancing the Book for Blog Tour
I wanted to read this story because of one of the first lines in the blurb – ‘Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.’  After accidentally hitting my husband with a 2x4 (among other things…and all totally accidental, I swear), I could relate!  The opening language had me completely hooked (see Favorite Quote), but I didn’t have my hopes up for the language and style to continue.  Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!  Brooke Moss’ ‘The “What If” Guy’ was not all humorous, but also very poignant and managed to capture various emotions so perfectly, you felt like you were talking with your best friend and seeing her heartache.

Autumn Cole is a single mom who just lost her job in Seattle and is heading back to her small hometown, the place she vowed never to return.  I could identify with her character and the need to not return to a small town upbringing, once you have been to the ‘outside’ world.  The author did a wonderful job of capturing that small-town mentality, where everyone knows everybody else’s business, whether you want them to or not.  Autumn’s character ran away, and now has to go home and face the music of her actions; such as, when she didn’t want her best friend to know she had become pregnant and had to drop out of school.  Because of her ‘shame,’ Autumn never spoke to her childhood best friend, Holly, since then.

All of the characters in this story are perfectly drawn.  The forgiving best friend, who opens her heart and welcomes an old friend back home, as if nothing had happened.  The couple who own the local store and know everything that is happening in the small town of Fairfield.  The town drunk, who learns before it’s too late that family is important.  The local school teacher who comes from San Francisco with big ideas that help those students who don’t quite fit in.  The student who is a little bit ‘odd’ but learns to fit in as well as stand up to the local bullies.  The woman who comes home, in more ways than one.  The characters are all a little different, which is so refreshing to see.  There is nothing worse than reading a book where everyone has the same speech pattern, and you get no sense of who they are as an individual.  That is definitely not the case here.

This being said, it is more of a character-driven storyline, than one based on a prescribed plot.  It is the story of a woman going home and what she finds there.  Having been conditioned by so many plot-driven contemporary romances, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were.  There were a few shoes placed lightly on the floor, but nothing too shocking or that throws the story completely off-kilter, making you wonder if they will ever get together.  I actually enjoyed the change quite a bit!  It wasn’t cliché, it was a story of people.

The ‘What If’ Guy by Brooke Moss is now one of my favorites, and one that I would heartily recommend.  The language was wonderful and the story flowed at a perfect pace.  It’s rare to come across a book were the ending didn’t seem rushed.  The word that comes to mind (again) is poignant.  This reader felt a part of Autumn’s world and her story, feeling her pain and her wonderment.  I wanted to sit down and share a plate of Haystacks with Holly and Autumn, have them as my best friends.

Favorite Quote:
The desperate, sad look in Henry’s eyes made my heart ache.  His brown hair fell across his forehead in rain-soaked waves, and his eyelashes gathered in dampened clumps.  Henry’s eyes, the same shade of gray as the weeping clouds above us, searched my face for answers I was too ashamed to give.  (opening of the story)

Reposted with permission from Romancing The Book

Where in the World Are You? #2

A new meme started HERE at Musings of a Book Lover!  Take the current book you are reading, and tell us "Where in the World Are You?"  What setting or place in the world is your book set... or where in the Universe, since some of us enjoy a good fantasy or sci-fi.  The beauty of reading is to take us to new and exciting places.  Or places that don't exist but in our minds.  Take us there now!

Well, I am crossing the desert in Northern Africa, in The Alchemist in hopes of finding a Personal Legend... a treasure buried under the Pyramids... but wondering if the treasure was the girl left at the oasis.

I am also in a small town in a small town in the Northwest, and I just went to the local fair with Tilly in The One That I Want.  Tilly loves being a high school counselor and planning prom every year!  Who wouldn't want to be a part of prom every year, Tilly wonders.  Though, I think that things are going to change for Tilly, since she bumped into an old friend in the Psychic tent....

Where are you in the world?  Share where you are in your stories.  That's what is so wonderful about reading, you can be in so many places, and never leave the comfort of your home.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BTT-Book Week

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It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status

"...his mother, my aunt, was very upset by Lady Catherine's letter about our... expects that you will be a fishmonger's daughter or some such ridiculous notion... Fitzwilliam  says that he defended you as much as he could without, as he put it, 'imperilling his financially dependent status'... St. George has remained above the fray... in Scotland... gambling debts... calmed down somewhat."

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