Tag Archives: reading

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created 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! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This weeks Topic:  Top Ten Books On My Summer TBD List
There are a million books I want to read (and while “a million” may be an exaggeration, it’s not much of one), I’m going to limit my Top Ten to  books I either own or can borrow from the library.

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – I’ve been wanting to read this book since I started reading about it long before it was published, and am thrilled to have it!

2. The Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches and was so excited to get the ARC of the second book.

3. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

4. Wicked Appetites by Janet Evanovich

5. Feed by Mira Grant – I just found this series from another blogger.  This is the first book of the News Flash Trilogy, and I do love stories that lasts longer than one book!

6. Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

7. The Silence by Jim Kraus.  This is a dystopian novel (as are several on this list), and I recently read a review on this book that interested me.

8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

9. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

10. The Remaining by D. J. Molles

What books are on your To Be Read list for this summer?



Filed under reading, Top Ten Tuesday

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I know many readers are a fan of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I loved the book, and have eagerly awaited the July release of it’s sequel, Shadow of Night.  Here’s some good news – today only, Amazon is offering the Kindle version of A Discovery of Witches  for $2.99!  An 81% savings!

If you haven’t read it, you can read the description at GoodReads here, and a review at Alison’s Book Marks.

Warner Bros. has plans to adapt Deborah Harkness’ novel, A Discovery of Witches, into a feature film and, Variety reports, they’ve brought aboard David Auburn to provide the screenplay.

See the book trailer of A Discovery of Witches below:

Here is today’s link to purchase the book for your Kindle, or free Kindle reader app, for only $2.99!


Another daily deal from Amazon for your Kindle is Into the Shadows by Karly Kirkpatrick.  This e-book is normally $11.00, but today on Amazon it’s FREE!  Click here for the download.

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Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of  A Girl and Her Books.  The host for February’s Mailbox Monday posts will be Metroreader.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This weekend I stopped by my library bookstore and picked up three books:

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver – I have not read this book, but based on other reviews I’ve seen and heard, I thought it would be a good addition to my library.

“Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.”

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke – a book I bought for my daughter – she’s not quite there yet, but I think it will be a great addition to her collection.

“Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.”

Miss Julia’s School of Beauty – Ann B. Ross – This is the sixth book about Miss Julia – and I adore her!  (Miss Julia and Ann B. Ross).

“Miss Julia–now Mrs. Sam Murdoch–returns from her elopement only to find that Pigeon Forge, the marriage mill across the state line might not be legitimate. If that’s true, the whole town may find out she and Sam are living in sin.”

In the mail I received Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son  by Anne Lamott with Sam Lamott from Riverhead Books.

From the back of the book: “Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Anne Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life.  In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam – about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions, struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax’s mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child.  Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her experiences as a single mother with Sam.  and Sam recounts in his own words his own transformation from son to father.  Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.

I also received several ARC e-books:

Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding from Random House Publishing

“Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. ”

Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon, and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julie Fox, also from Random House Publishing

“The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as “Juana the Mad,” whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband’s coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne’s sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation.”

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain from Harlequin

“As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen’s specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons—hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin.

Daniel Allen has always been a good kid—a decent student, popular—but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.”

Dead of Night by Lynn Viehl from Flux Books

“Catlyn Youngblood has a secret life. Despite being a natural-born vampire hunter like her two older brothers, Cat has fallen for Jesse–an ageless boy from a centuries-old vampire clan.

Cat’s job cataloguing rare, mystical texts at a bookstore allows her to meet with Jesse alone every evening. But when girls who look disturbingly similar to Cat start disappearing from town, Cat and Jesse discover frightening clues to their whereabouts within the book collection. Together, they must stop a crazed man from realizing his dark scheme– one that would claim Cat’s life.”

The Great Lenore by J. M. Tohline from Atticus Books

“The Great Lenore” is the tale of a ravishing young Brit whose falsely-reported death provides her with an opportunity to begin a new life. Before she can disappear for good, however, she longs to know the reaction of her two-timing husband and his aristocratic family.”

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by AGS Johnson from BiblioFile Press

“The sausage maker’s youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life. It’s the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanksi is nowhere near her home in California. She’s in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law.”

The Woman Who Loved Jesse James by Cindi Myers from Bell Bridge Books

“Zee Mimms was just nineteen in 1864—the daughter of a stern Methodist minister in Missouri—when she fell in love with the handsome, dashing, and already notorious Jesse. He was barely more than a teenager himself, yet had ridden with William Quantrill’s raiders during the Civil War.”

What books made their way to you this past week?


Filed under Mailbox Monday

This Year I Will Keep Reading!

I’m really looking forward to this year. 2011 has been full of challenges I haven’t had to deal with before, and while I hope I learned from them and became better, I don’t want to go through it again! However, one bright part of 2011 was all the books I got to read. I had more free time than I anticipated, and surpassed my goal of reading 100 books in a year. I so enjoyed reading new books, “meeting” new authors, and writing a few book reviews. I’ve become a weekly visitor at our local library, and the library bookstore, and for Christmas my husband gave me a membership to the Friends of the Library!

As the new year revs up, I’m making more reading goals. Even though I anticipate being busier this year, I’m still planning on setting a goal of more than 100 books for 2012. I’m so looking forward to reading some of the books on my “to be read” shelf, as well as new books & authors I don’t know about yet. I’m planning on writing more book reviews, and enjoying my book choices.

Since reading is maybe the only thing I do just for me, I’m not going to put a lot of rules on my reading goal. In fact, other than trying to reach my goal, there will be no rules. If there’s a really great book I’m in the mood to re-read, I’m gonna do it. If it’s a young adult book instead of a classic, and I feel like reading it, I’m gonna do it. If I read a really great, make-you-think book, then feel like reading a “brain candy” book that takes no concentration and is just fun, then by George, I’m going to read it! I’m absolutely going to enjoy my year of reading!

The reading goal I set last New Year was one of the few “resolutions” I’ve set and kept, and totally enjoyed keeping! I intend to enjoy this resolution just as much!

I hope you make meaningful resolutions for yourself this year, and no matter how big or small, if those resolutions make you feel good, make you happy, and is something you enjoy, I think you’ll have no trouble keeping them!

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My 15 favorite books I read in 2011

I started out this year determined to read 100 books, and to keep track of everything I read.  No rules, just reading.  Out of the 142 books I’ve read so far (only 4 more days left in the year), only 4 books are re-reads.  I’ve always been a big reader, but this year I’ve had a little more time to make trips to the library and read blogs and book excerpts to fill up my “To Be Read” list.  Making my favorites list was difficult, and I couldn’t narrow it down to 10, so 15 it is!

“Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult – Jodi Picoult always deals with moral/ethical issues that make you reevaluate your side of the issue.  In all of her books I think I know which side of the issue I stand on, and then, after getting into the book, I find it’s harder to make a definitive stand on either side, you begin to understand that each issue is full of shades of gray.

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett – By now I’m pretty sure most of you have either read the book or seen the movie (or both).  I love the range of emotions this book brings out – I laughed, I cried and I got really angry.  When discussing this book with my daughter she was appalled at the way people are treated based on inconsequential things like race and social status, so not only was this a solid good read, it was also a golden teaching opportunity.

“The Story of Beautiful Girl” by Rachel Simon – This is the only book of Ms. Simon’s that I have read, and I loved it!  This is a story of a forbidden love, a baby, and a woman who walks away from the life she knows to take care of a baby she knows nothing about.

“Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosney – This novel is based on the historical Vel d’Hiv round up which took place in Paris in 1942.  Julia Jarmond is an American journalist who married into a French family.  As she researches her article she uncovers a link to her husband’s family who acquired an apartment after the Jewish family who lived there was deported 60 years before.  She discovers that their daughter, Sarah, who was 10 at the time her family was dispossessed, was the only surviving family member.  Julia tries to track Sarah down, and in the process, finds herself.

“Clara and Mr. Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland – Written with a foundation in the actual letters Clara Driscoll wrote about her time with Tiffany Glass Company, this novel is historical, romantic and a great drama.  You find yourself immersed in the details of the glass making, the windows, the colors and the beauty.  You find yourself impassioned with the birth of women’s rights.  And you feel emotionally involved in the life of the many rich characters in Susan Vreeland’s book.  This is a book I couldn’t wait to keep reading, but one I didn’t want to end.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs – This book was so interesting – not just the story, but the presentation of the story – it is complete with photos of the characters which makes you feel as if you were sitting in the story teller’s living room, flipping through an old photo album while listening to their stories.  This is a book I will re-read and share.

“When She Woke” by Hillary Jordan – .  The book starts with a woman waking up in a prison cell with deep red skin.  In the future, criminals, called Chromes, are branded by color, based on their level of crime.  Red is for murderers.  Hannah Payne has been convicted of murder after having an abortion.  The father of the baby is a well-known preacher and political figure with a family of his own.  She can’t bear the thought of shaming him and his ministry, so instead bears the brunt of the judicial system and her parent’s disappointment.  In prison Hannah’s  cell is equipped with cameras that broadcast her every move to the general public.  Upon she is taken to a half-way house run by a preacher and his sadistic wife whose goal is to bring the Chromes to repentance and put them back on the “straight and narrow”.  Chromes in this future do not serve much prison time, they are chromed and released into the general public to survive as best they can.

“The Walk” by Richard Paul Evans – “The Walk” is so emotionally real that at first I didn’t realize I was reading a fiction book.  Alan Christofferson is a successful young businessman with his childhood sweetheart wife, a dream house and a growing business.  When his wife, McKale is injured and quickly dies, Alan finds that his business partner has stolen their clients and employees and he is left with nothing.  In short order his home and vehicles are repossessed, and feeling like a man with nothing to live for, he contemplates suicide.  Alan chooses instead to leave it all behind, and he walks out his front door, and keeps going.  He decides to walk until he runs out of land.  Starting in Bellvue, WA, the furthest point from him is the Florida coast.  With little more than a tent and backpack, he sets off on his journey.  This book is the first of three, and documents the first 12 days of Alan’s journey across the country on foot.

“The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” by Laurie R. King – The first book in a series of 12 (so far), Laurie King writes about Sherlock Holmes and his companion Mary Russell.  “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” details their first meeting, and the beginning of their long relationship.  Mary starts as Holmes’ neighbor and intern.  As she gets older and goes to college, her growing intellect is stimulated by assisting Holmes in his many adventures.

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – this is a book for people who love books!  In January, 1946, writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a group of townsfolk who live on the island of Guernsey during the German occupation.  Forbidden to continue with their daily lives they find ways to share food, companionship and books.  The letter intrigues Juliet, and she writes to and receives letters from more and more members of this literary group.  When she is invited to visit Guernsey and attend a meeting, she jumps at the chance to meet the people she has formed a bond with through their letters, and her life is enriched more than she could have imagined.

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin – This book is about zombie/vampire creatures, the aftermath of a world wide virus that reads like an apocalypse.  You are shuttled between a little six-year old girl named Amy, wanted by the government, and a group of survivors taken by train to walled colony to repopulate the earth after the virus infects of kills a large percentage of earth’s humans.  While you find yourself jumping from page to page, anxious for the next climatic event, you also dread the shortened number of pages you have left in the book.  This is reported to be the first in a trilogy, the second book due out in August, 2012.

“Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes – Both uplifting and sad, this book details the journey of Algernon, a brilliant lab mouse, and Charlie, a mentally disabled man.  Algernon is treated with an experimental brain surgery to increase his IQ, and after it’s success, Charlie eagerly volunteers to be the first human subject of this experimental treatment.  Charlie’s IQ grows by leaps and bounds until he becomes smarter than the doctors who performed this surgery, and he begins to accomplish more than anyone ever imagined.  When Algernon inexplicable begins to deteriorate – Charlie grows fearful of sharing his fate.  This book makes you wonder if it is better to have never had something, or to experience something wonderful, then live with the pain of losing it.

“Jane Slayre” by Sherri Browning Erwin – This was one of those fun books that I like to call “brain candy”.  It’s a fun book, obviously based on “Jane Eyre” with a twist.  With the popularity of supernatural creatures, zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc., “Jane Slayre” covers them all.  Jane is an orphan, raised by vampire ken whom she detests.  After boarding school she takes a job as a governess at a secluded estate in the country, where she finds herself growing more and more attracted to her master, Mr. Rochester.  Of course love is never easy, and she finds out that Mr. Rochester is hiding a werewolf in his attic – the werewolf that was his first wife.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – Set in Germany in World War II, Liesel Meminger is a nine-year old foster child staying with a couple in Molching, Germany.  As hard times get harder and necessities are more and more scarce, Liesel begins to steal to supplement their household.  When she steals a book it brings her as much enjoyment as the scarce fresh fruit she steals.  This book follows Liesel’s life and those she comes in contact with.  Told from the point of view of Death, the story is both engaging and heartbreaking.

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair” by Nina Sankovitch – Another book for book lovers!  This book journals Nina Sankovitch’s yearly goal of reading one book a day for a year.  When Nina’s oldest sister dies, Nina turns to books for comfort and solitude.  She dedicates a year of reading to help her grieve, and come to terms with her loss.  The book details this year long journey of her reading and her favorite purple chair.


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“The Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai

This is the story of Lucy Hull (shortened from Hulkinov when her father migrated to America), a children’s librarian, and her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake.

Ian is a slightly asthmatic book worm who uses books as an escape.  His parents have forced him into attending a class every weekend run by “Pastor Bob” Lawson’s GHM classes.  GHM stands for Glad Heart Ministries where Pastor Bob is “dedicated to the rehabilitation of sexually confused brothers and sisters in Christ”.  Ian’s parents are worried that he may be gay, or at the least heading “down the wrong path”.  He is not allowed to have sleepovers, play with only girls or only boys.  His mother gives Lucy a list of content matter that Ian must avoid while choosing library books which includes Magic, Weaponry, Halloween and specific authors like Ronald Dahl and Lois Lowry.

While this story centers around Ian, and Lucy’s attempt to rescue him, it is also suggestive of banned books, and those who attempt to regulate subject matter for others.

One morning when Lucy arrives to open the library, she is surprised to find Ian bedded down on a pallet between the book shelves, building imaginary worlds with origami.  She attempts to drive him home and in following Ian’s directions ends up nowhere near his house.  He asks her to just drive a while, or maybe drive to his (non-existent) Grandmother’s house.

Before long they’ve crossed the Mississippi River and enter Illinois.  When she suggests they turn around and go back, he tells her that if she does, he will tell his parents and the police that she kidnapped him from the library the night before and wouldn’t let him go.  He says he will describe the inside of her car and say that she told him she always wanted a child, and now she had one.

While she ponders over whether she’s a kidnapper or he’s a librarianapper, they cover more ground, are gone more than one night, and in their cross country treck they travel through Chicago, Pittsburgh, Vermont, up to the Canadian border and are gone ten days before he’s finally ready to return home.

Meanwhile there is a search going on for the missing Ian Drake, news coverage, and missing posters.  How do they avoid detection for so long, and how does Ian get home, and most interesting, how does Lucy avoid arrest?

In addition to being a book about books and the love of reading, it also has a great plot and a most interesting character in Ian Drake.

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