Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 End of Year Book Survey

This meme/questionnaire is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner and I thought I'd take part this year!  So let the fun begin!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 
Jane Austen-esque – Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton
Contemporary – Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
Historical Fiction Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen – there was so much hype about this book on the net, and I was able to get an ARC and was very disappointed after all of the reviews that I had read.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows – I had heard of the book, and thought that I would give it a try.  I was blown away on how good the book was, how much depth it had.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

If you look at my blog, I mention Emily and Einstein whenever possible.  I actually hugged this book when I finished!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Well, I have only read the ARC of the Lunar Chronicles – Cinder being book one…and cannot WAIT until the rest comes out… Write faster, Miss Meyer!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Where to begin?!  Victoria Connelly, I’ve read two of her books this year and looking forward to reading the next in the Darcy series.  Molly Harper with her And One Last Thing, boy did I laugh with that one!  I discovered Jennifer Becton this year, and loved Charlotte Collins, but still undecided about her Southern Fraud series.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

First off, it was NOT the best book out of my comfort zone… but definitely OUT of my comfort zone.   The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.  Futuristic setting and this book could have been so much better, but the ending completely ruined the book for me!  If it weren’t for the ending, I might have tried other books by this author.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

 I could not put down Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  I found excuses to sit down and read (and not do the dishes or get dressed).  The world could have been better drawn, but the characters completely hooked me!

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

 Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen– and just finished it… I am so glad that I read it!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The Mephisto Covenant – with a cover like that…how could it be so bad?
11. Most memorable character in 2011?

 Einstein the dog!  I loved his snarky character and antics!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips – One of those books that bounces from present day to the past, telling two different stories, and different stories they were.  The world of Venice was filled with passion and beauty, while the present day story of Claire was very humourous and completely different.  Miss Phillips did an excellent job of separating the worlds and wrote a wonderful story.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

 I would have to go with Emily and Einstein – I walked around with a glow for a few days afterwards.  I will have to re-read it to see if it deserves all of the love I have for it!

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  I have read the main four years ago, but had not picked up this one until this year.  I was underwhelmed by it, sad to say.  (But re-read Sense and Sensibility, and that one improved with time!)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

Gotta love Kindles for this feature!

“Elizabeth’s journey taught me I should listen to my brain and my heart and to neither exclusively.  Love does not demand perfection because imperfections make each of us unique.  Appearances can be false, and what is important comes from the inside.”  - What Would Jane Austen Do? - by Laurie Brown

“I will woo her with some spirit when she comes.  If she rails at me, why then I will tell her she sings as sweetly as a nightingale; and if she frowns, I will say she looks as clear as roses newly washed with dew.  If she will not speak a word, I will praise the eloquence of her language; and if she bids me leave her, I will give her thanks as if she bid me stay with her a week.”  - Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb (Taming the Shrew)

“He lowers his head and his lips touch mine.  His mouth presses softly, tender but firm, so that I have no doubt it’s happened.  Then I feel that same electric current, the one I felt that night at my house, only this time multiplied by a thousand.  My eyes snap shut, and I am transported like those people on Star Trek, blown into a million pieces and floating weightless through outer space.” – The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

I would have to say Emily and Einstein (can you tell, yet, that I loved this book?!).

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

If anything, it would have been Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – all I am going to say is that it was set during WWII – and what happened was not expected!

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?

There are so many that I love… I cannot name just one, though.  I love Write Meg, she always has the most interesting books that she has read and love her reviews, plus she has Wordless Wednesdays, which I might glom on to… very cool idea!  I love Working for the Mandroid – quirky website with interesting reviews (and they like cupcakes!).  I also enjoy checking in to see what Dana has to say on Much Madness is Divinest Sense (I still have no idea what that means), as she teaches English and reads many different books.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

 Probably my letter to Jennifer Becton on Charlotte Collins.  It was my sixth review, but I wrote it as a letter instead of an actual review.  I have found that my style changes constantly…depending on the book, how much I liked it and what I had to gush about (or not).

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

 I wish there was a way to have a true discussion on blogs!  Blogger does not allow replies, and most people do not check back to see if anyone commented on your comment… so, none come to mind!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?

Not real sure about this one.  I think I will pass on this answer.  Though I have had a ‘conversation’ on Working for the Mandroid about a few of the books she has read and reviewed!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I was really enjoying the Friday meme from Parajunkie, until it seemed that only young people who love paranormal partake, so fell off of that a bit.  I guess my favorite meme would be Top Ten Tuesdays from The Broke and the Bookish – they also did a Secret Santa that was fun!  Love Secret Santa-ing!   

Oh – festival… when we were in England at the beginning of the year, my daughter and I went to a book fair, British style and not only did I get a 1913 edition of Jane Austen’s Love and Freindship, I also got the Harry Potter series – British style, with a few true First Editions!  That was pretty cool!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

When I got my Leibster Award… I thought it was fantastic that someone wanted to give me an award!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

 Summer GiveAway Hop in August – I had 65 comments.  I surely felt the love that week!  It was great!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

 (all of them?!) Probably my Where in the World are You? Series… wouldn’t it be great to start a weekly meme?  I know that there are a lot for Wednesdays, but why can’t you do multiple ones?  I am not big into the ‘In my Mailbox’ or ‘Waiting on Wednesday’… so started my own.  Well, did it a couple of times, but am going to start it back up with the new year, as I have started mapping the places from my books…it’s cool to see ‘where you’ve been.’

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?  I love that site!  I currently have too many ARCs to read, but I now understand the beast a little better and how to manage it with my other reading! I also love GoodReads... I think of it as the FB for Bookies!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes, all of them, believe it or not.  I only had three specifically for 2011, and just finished the last one.  I completed the Historical Fiction Challenge, my GoodReads goal, and the 2011 Challenge that got me to read various types of books. 

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Possession by A. S. Bryant. I have lugged that book to England and back, and still have not read it.  It is rather dense, and have many other things I want to read before it…so maybe, that won’t be a priority for 2012 – but I do plan on reading it (hopefully) in 2012 – since I have it as a book to read for one of my 2012 Challenges.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

No idea.  My goal next year is to NOT buy any books.  If there is an ARC, however, for Scarlet, The Lunar Chronicles #2 (sequel to Cinder), that is one I will be impatiently awaiting!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

Get more people to see my blog, and follow it…and figure out a way to have a discussion on it.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have some kind of FB interface in the blog itself?  And have people follow my FB for Musings of a Book Lover… maybe we could have discussions there?!  I would also like to attempt having a Book Swap page on my blog… and see how that goes.  GoodReads got rid of their book swap, but if I have a book that someone wants and they have one I would like, we can send the books to one another and it would be a ‘wash’ as it were!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


  You are led
through your lifetime
by the inner learning creature,
    the playful spiritual being
      that is your real self.
                              Don’t turn away
               from possible futures
   before you’re certain you don’t have
        anything to learn from them.
    You’re always free
to change your mind and
  choose a different future, or
    a different

      You are
  never given a wish
without also being given the
      power to make it true.
                              You may
                      have to work for it,
original sin is to
     limit the Is. 

    Every person,
all the events of your life
   are there because you have
        drawn them there.
                        What you choose
                           to do with them is
                      up to you.

Richard Bach.  Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Review: Skipping a Beat

Title by Author: Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen
Series (if applicable):  none
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: February 2011
Page Count:  327
Source: gift
Julia and Michael meet in high school in their small, poverty-stricken West Virginia hometown. Both products of difficult childhoods -- Julia’s father is a compulsive gambler and Michael’s mother abandoned his family when he was a young boy – they find a sense of safety and mutual understanding in each other. Shortly after graduation they flee West Virginia to start afresh. Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their multi-million-dollar,Washington D.C. home. From the outside it all looks perfect – Julia has become a highly sought-after party planner, while Michael has launched a wildly successful flavored water company that he sold for $70 million.
But one day Michael stands up at the head of the table in his company's boardroom -- then silently crashes to the floor. More than four minutes later, a portable defibrillator manages to jump-start his heart. Yet what happened to Michael during those lost minutes forever changes him. Money is meaningless to him now - and he wants to give it all away to charity. A prenuptial agreement that Julia insisted upon back when Michael's company was still struggling means she has no claim to his fortune, and now she must decide: should she walk away from the man she once adored, but who truthfully became a stranger to her long before his near-death experience - or should she give in to her husband's pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but happier life?

Sarah Pekkanen is a story weaver.  The reader gets a glimpse of thread that captivates the eye, and watches as the story is woven before her.  Once in a while, Sarah Pekkanen allows the reader to see a small section of the tapestry as it is woven, but does not reveal the whole piece until the story is done.  Only then does the reader have a chance to stand back and see the tapestry, the story, as a whole and appreciate the beauty of it. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

top ten Best of 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. 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.
Having read over 60 books in 2011 (since I started keeping track, that is) I have read some very good books, and some not-so-good books, as well as a few that were not good at all!  

     1.      Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  The portrayal of Charlotte Lucas Collins was wonderful and I loved the twists in this Regency story that was a perfectly written sequel for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
     2.      Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  The story of Emily learning to move on after her husband died, and how a dog named Einstein was brought in to her life to help her.
     3.      Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  The people of Guernsey Island were so well-drawn that I was completely taken in to their lives and really cared as to what happened to them.
     4.      The Rosetti Letter by Christi Phillips
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  I loved Claire and how human she was and how detailed 17th century Venice was drawn, it made me want all the more to go to Venice to soak in the history of this fascinating city!
     5.      A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  I loved the humor, the characters and the premise of this story.
     6.      The ‘What If’ Guy by Brooke Moss
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  This was such a wonderful character story that was perfectly paced and did not have a rushed ending!
     7.      Cinder by Marissa Meyers
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  This was a fun book that I fell for the characters and wanted to see where the story took me, as well as enjoyed the intrigue.
     8.      And One Last Thing by Molly Harper
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  This was a story of a woman finding herself with some very amusing side effects.
     9.      The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  I thought that this portrayed a teenage girl well and also loved the humorous bits that were thrown in.
     10.   Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen         
Why I loved it, in a sentence:  This was a re-read for me, but I absolutely loved it more because of the characters and how true they seemed to be.
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