Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.


For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Release Date: July 14, 2015

Book Summary: (From Amazon.com:) "An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right."

My Thoughts: I literately (pun intended) haven't been this excited about book news since I learned J.K. Rowling is also Robert Galbraith.

The news about Harper Lee's second novel really came out of nowhere for me. When a friend told me, I nearly flipped my lid. Apparently everyone found out about this before I did!

I'm really looking forward to reading to this book. However, at the same time, I'm also holding my breath. New info on old characters could be a good or bad thing. What if new information tarnishes Atticus' image as the model father and classic hero? What if Jem and Scout have grown up to be bums? I can imagine all sorts of terrible things that would destroy the tale I know and love in my memory.

So, in July, I'll be rushing out to get this, full of curiosity and hope that the book adds to To Kill A Mockingbird and doesn't take away from the beloved classic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

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!

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books


1.) Katniss- I think Katniss is one for the ages. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I feel the creation and acceptance of her character in pop culture is a positive sign that women are more respected and accepted in powerful roles and leadership positions.

As a kid, I wanted to go on adventures. But there weren't many female characters I could pretend to be. Supergirl was the counterpart of Superman, not original in and of herself. Princess Leia was cool, but she's not always fully part of the action.

Granted in the meantime, female heroes have greatly improved since then. Powerpuff Girls, Kim Possible, Totally Spies!, Dora the Explorer are some seemingly nice examples. However, for me, it's just great to know that any future daughters or granddaughters that I have, will have a character like Katniss. She's in the action, she's skilled, she's self-reliant, she's original. (okay, Katniss rant over).


2.) Josephine "Jo" March - Some would probably think that going from Katniss to Jo is an extreme. However, I love that Jo's character is a day-dreamer and creative. She probably wouldn't write the Hunger Games, but I imagine her creating other strong female characters in her dramatic stories and plays. She's not afraid to take command and get her sisters involved in adventures they wouldn't have otherwise.

On a personal level, I enjoy Jo's temper because I see reflections of my own temper in her character. And I like how Jo greatly stays authentic to herself. She tries to respect her old Aunt Jo, but doesn't pretend to like her, because Jo is ruled by how she feels. And, although there is a part of me that wishes she would have ended up with Teddy, like a fairytale, I do like that she's honest about how she feels. She doesn't foolishly rush into things.


3.) Elizabeth Bennet - Where Jo is creative and passionate, Elizabeth is quick-witted, clever, and honest. For the time it was published, one of the unique things about Elizabeth's character is the fact that she stands up for herself, regardless of the other person's money or status. This would have been very shocking to readers in Jane Austen's time. However, today Elizabeth is simply a great role model.

It's interesting that Elizabeth is also very loyal and a good friend. For example, even though her mom is annoying, Elizabeth tries to be a good daughter to her. When her best friend marries the ridiculous Mr. Collins, Elizabeth accepts it. And, even though one of her sisters goes crazy renegade (and most of us would give her a piece of our mind), once Lydia is married, Elizabeth doesn't appear to harbour hard feelings towards her.


4.) Jane Eyre - Poor Jane as a lot of adversity to overcome. I wouldn't trade place with her for one moment. That said, the great thing about Jane is she doesn't waste a lot of time feeling sorry for herself. She rolls with what is thrown at her. She has an inner strength. There's a calm sense to her character, as though she knows she has the power within her to make it through life's hardships.

Through all the drama with her love interest, we know that Jane is strong and will be okay, even when it looks like she'll end up on her own. She's independent and honest with herself. She is a survivor. In the end, she's also displays a great example of unconditional love.


5.) Mary Lennox - Mary from The Secret Garden doesn't get enough credit for being a rule breaker. Although girls of her time were encouraged to be more Pollyanna-ish, Mary behaves how she likes and doesn't apologize. She's told to stay in her room and to ignore the mysteries around her. But instead she explores her new world, and solves problems in the process.

A major trait I liked about Mary's character is the fact that she doesn't back down from her opinion. When she believes that something can be done, she isn't swayed by the thoughts and claims of others. She sees possibilities.


6.) Anne Shirley - Anne's character is proof that a little positive personality can go a long way. While self-described as "plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley," what she thinks she lacks in looks and interest, Anne makes up for with her hope, wits, kindness, and day-dreams.

I love, love how over-dramatic she is. As an over-thinker, it's easy to identify with her character. Laughing at her is a good-natured way to laugh at one's self.


7.) Hermione - Hermione is really a role-model for all us book nerds and geeks who enjoy studying. Her character feels classic: the know-it-all, bright girl, who isn't afraid to run with the boys. However, off the top of my head, I can't name another female character from the books I've read similar to Hermione. In stories involving groups of friends, there's often a smart/genius character, yet, it's not often a girl.

I like how prepared Hermione is. In the Muggle world, she was probably a Girl Scout at one time. Seriously, what would Harry and Ron do without her knowledge? They're lucky she has awesome memory and retention skills.


8.) Stargirl - Susan Caraway, aka Stargirl, is a recent addition to my favorite heroine list. Be yourself is a timeless message, however, Stargirl's character truly embodies that lesson. She's happiest as her unique eccentric self. I enjoyed reading her child-like fun, how she helps others, and how she isn't afraid to let her spirit shine. Her character is also great because she's happy-go-lucky and doesn't let set-backs get her down for long.

The world needs more people like Stargirl who believe in kindness and nonconformity. Stargirl is a strong example of a self-assured girl with leadership potential.


9.) Main Jane - Main Jane from "The Plain Janes" graphic novels, is a good example of a smart, female rebel. She combats the norm by befriending fellow misfits, even though they have little in common other than the first name, Jane. She fights the problems around her through art. I like that each Jane takes an active role in their unique mission.

Overall, Main Jane is a good role model for eccentric and artsy-fartsy types who are looking for a form of expression. And, maybe, anyone who secretly likes graffiti.


10.) Mrs. Frisby - Do fictional animal characters count? Since I'm out of ideas for characters on this list (listing ten items is always a challenge!), I'm going to say yes this time.

Although she is in fact a mouse, Mrs. Frisby is, in my mind, a great example of a brave female hero. She's a mother, desperate to save her son, who ends up helping and saving a whole society. She goes out of her comfort zone and challenges her own knowledge and strength, facing many fears along the way. In my opinion we need more human heroines like her!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Ten Book Related Problems I Have

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!



Top Ten Book Related Problems
  1. Shelf Space, Shelf Space, Shelf Space - Although I have 5 bookcases in my apartment (4 for me, 1 for Oshie), there's a constant struggle to find room for all the books. I double layer my books, and I have even triple layered shelfs with paperbacks to the point that the third layer is slightly hanging off the shelf.
  2. What To Display? - Another problem with shelf space is what to display on the outer layer for the world to see? Family visiting? Hide those romance novels with the embarrassing covers! Other bookies around? Try to display something that would entertain them.
  3. Where Is It? - A large problem with layering books happens when you can't find one you're looking for. I tilt the outer layer back...nope, still can't find it. Remove all from shelf. Still can't find it. Wait and travel back to hometown, look on the bookshelves there. Nope. Look in the basement, nope. Give up and start reading something else...then randomly find the missing book under the bed or in your backpack.
  4. The Plague of Page Yellowing - There is a method to my book stacking madness. Older paperbacks have to be on the same shelf and kept away from the innocent, new books. Why? Page Yellowing! I try to keep my new books in like new condition for as long as possible. Once, long ago, I placed a new paperback next to a very old and yellowed used paperback. I swear that it speed up the process of the new paperback turning yellow. Like the chemicals on the old cover were absorbed into the new cover...
  5. What To Read In Public? - I tend to over-think things, including what I read in public. In the past, I've often been randomly approached by people who want to know what I am reading and what the story is about. Maybe they're honestly book lovers or maybe they see someone reading and think that person must be bored and needs someone to talk to. Either way, it's easier for me, as an introvert, to tote around an easily-explained conversation piece. It's hard for me to explain my quirky little interests to strangers, so something that has wide appeal saves me from feeling awkward.
  6. Media Mail - I used to trade a lot of books (I'm talking hundreds) through Paperbackwap, Bookmooch, and Swaptree. I was probably nicknamed the "Media Mail Queen" by my hometown post office. However, back in my hometown there was a certain level of trust that everything I was mailing was in fact a book. When I moved to this place, that level of trust was gone and I've actually had postal workers become very hateful and suspicious. A friend suggested that I create my own "clear" book mailers with tape and bubblewrap, but it's not very convenient. So, I try to avoid the post office and media mail unless I'm back in my own stomping ground.
  7. Books To Movies - When you enjoy a book and hype the movie up to others who haven't read it, and they go with you to the theater, and then the movie isn't as good and they sit in judgmental silence...and then you try to explain. Or when filmmakers assume all viewers have read the book and don't do a good job of transitioning scenes, and others lean-in during the movie and want you to explain what is happening and you try to whisper, but they still can't hear you.
  8. Glasses - I don't mind wearing glasses, in fact, I feel that they fit my personality. However, it's kinda sad when you have two pairs of glasses and suddenly when you want to read, you can't find either pair. Should I send out a search party or risk really red eyes?
  9. Time For Bed - I am a reformed night owl. In my teens and early twenties, I would stay up reading 1am...2am...5am...yes, it's true. There's something so peaceful about the quiet of night and a good book. But, in the end, it catches up with you and it's not healthy. One reason I still need tons of eye concealer. Glasses, when I can find them, kinda help hide the dark circles.
  10. Bookmarks - I know I have plenty of bookmarks...somewhere. But until I find them, probably in the same imaginary number space as my glasses and that book I'm looking for, any piece of paper can be used as a bookmark. A postcard, magazine subscription inserts, stamps, business cards, sticky notes, ticket stubs, a store receipt, an envelope, a sheet of return address labels, coupons.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.




For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck.

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Book Summary: "Prince Stephen came to America to escape responsibility. But what he found complicates his life more than ever.

Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could have been.

But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife's appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever."

My Thoughts: Sounds dramatic! And a little different than the first two novels in the series by Hauck. However, changing it up can be a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how Prince Stephen and this mysterious Corina Del Rey work things out.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jane in January Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice


Manga Classics: Pride & PrejudiceManga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Stacy King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I'm a little biased for this book, because I love Pride & Prejudice AND manga.

Me when I found out about this book:

pure wonder

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

The illustrator did a great job on all the characters, but especially Darcy and Elizabeth:

Darcy and Elizabeth

The author does put her own, slight, spin on the story. But for me, it kept it fresh. Much like watching the differences in the many tv and film versions of Pride & Prejudice, the heart of the same story is there.

Can't wait for the Manga Classics' version of Emma. I truly hope they make Manga Classics out of all Jane Austen's work!


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (24)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy.

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Book Summary: (From Goodreads) "Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes."

My Thoughts: I love the Smythe-Smith family and their horrible family musicale (forced tradition). I'm curious to find out what the big secret is, or my bad, secrets!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: A Good Food Day by Marco Canora


A Good Food Day: 125 Recipes for Great Food and Great HealthA Good Food Day: 125 Recipes for Great Food and Great Health by Marco Canora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, how's everyone's 2015 diet goals?

Marco Canora describes himself as a lifer, a professional chef for twenty years. He loves cooking and he loves food. However, like many people who enjoy cooking, it eventually caught up with Canora's health.

He had a wake-up call and decided to make some changes. He would cook healthier. He then created his ten principals for a good food day. These principals include: eating must be enjoyable, cooking empowers you to eat better, proper prior planning prevents poor performance, get in sync with Mother Nature, quality ingredients are everything, eat real food, be a conscious eater, a twinge of hunger isn't the end of the world. diversify, and make indulgences a guilt-free part of the program. His recipes are broken down into: breakfast, salads, vegetables, beans & lentils, great grains, fish, meat & poultry, snacks, and sweets.

So far, my husband and I have enjoyed the recipes I have made from this cookbook. My favorites include: New York City Jewish-Style Chicken Soup, Flavor-Pounded Chicken, and Ginger-Scallion Turkey Burgers.

Yet, some of the advice in the book needs to be taken with a grain of salt, so to say. If you eat a lot of fast food and switch to this book, you will be healthier. But if you already have a healthy diet, some of the recipes call for a lot of carbs and oil, and you probably won't see a difference. I applaud Canora for making personal changes. Still, he is in the business of making food taste good and it's easier for men to lose weight than women. So, that needs to be taken into consideration. Personally, the book includes many ideas that can be tweaked into a healthier recipe. Use fat-free Greek yogurt and leave the coconut oil behind.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this cookbook and Canora's story. For me, his snacks and sweets are a better choice to bring to large family gatherings over the commonly used traditions. For reluctant health eaters, this book would be a gentle introduction. It's a fair start to a good health day.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.


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