Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More


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! 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.

Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More


This is a hard meme for me because once I like an author, I typical read a lot of his or her work.
  1. Ursula K. Le Guin- A Wizard of Earthsea was amazing for me. Sparrowhawk is a very underrated character, in my opinion. If I'm being honest, Earthsea held my interested better than The Hobbit did in high school...just being honest! I should really finish the series and check out Le Guin's Catwings.
  2. Diana Wynne Jones- Similarly, Howl's Moving Castle is amazing and underrated. In my experience, there seems to be a stronger following for the anime than the book. We own more of her work, and I should read the Chrestomanci series when Oshie is finished with it.
  3. Terry Pratchett- I've always heard Pratchett praised for his sense of humor. The Wee Free Men was just ok for me, but I feel I need to read other Discworld titles in order to get a better feel for his work.
  4. Juliet Marillier- As far as I'm concerned Wildwood Dancing is a YA must for fairy tale fans. I also own Daughter of The Forest...but I have yet to read it.
  5. Neil Gaiman- Stardust has been on my to-read list for a long time. I had mixed feelings about The Graveyard Book, however, I cannot deny that I'm still very interested in his work.
  6. Shannon Hale- Author of interesting books for children, teens, and adults, I've only read and enjoyed Austenland.
  7. Sherrilyn Kenyon- The first volume of The Dark-Hunters manga was a pleasant surprise and in the future I need to plan to read the first, original novel in the series.
  8. Mary Balogh- I really enjoyed the maturity and lack of angst in Balogh's Simply Perfect. Looking forward to more of her work in the future.
  9. Diana Gabaldon- Outlander was a very long, but immersive read. Since I'm hooked on the Starz series, I should really pick up Dragonfly in Amber at some point.
  10. Amy Kim Kibuishi- Sorcerers & Secretaries Volume 1 was absolutely adorable. I need to buy the next volume and check out her work in the Flight anthologies.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, more unique, quirky goodness can be found in Rainbow Rowell's newest work. Having also read Fangirl this year, I'm really getting a sense of Rowell's style. I like and can identify with her nerdy, somewhat nonconventional main female characters.

At first, Landline reads like a slice-of-life of a marriage with young children that is on the rocks. There's a real sense of struggle and sadness in the story. Of wanting to do what's right for family but also wanting to advance career goals. Later, magic phone calls add an element of fantasy. For me, the magic calls were really downplayed. I assumed the story would center on the awesomeness of this power, but I really have to stress that the focus of this story is maintaining and strengthening marriage. I was expecting a little more of a romantic comedy, so I also have to stress that the story is fairly serious. It has funny moments, but also has lots of stress and family disfunction.

Most of all, I enjoyed the sweet holiday ending. It was classic Christmas movie worthy.


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Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Highlights of Decatur Book Festival 2014


We had a wonderful time at the Decatur Book Festival! This was our third visit and each year we consistently discover interesting authors, book finds, and friendly volunteers. Although we'd love to go every year, sometimes school work demands attention over Labor Day, and let's face it, Atlanta traffic is stressful enough day to day without Dragon*Con and several sporting events happening all at once. This year was a last minute decision. With recent foot issues, I wasn't sure how well I'd hold up with a lot of walking. However, after checking the awesome DBF website, it was clear that the majority of the panels we wanted to see would be held inside the Marriott hotel.

In years past, we've had a lot of fun at DBF. Although I'm usually too impatient and broke to re-buy books I already own to get autographs (publisher policies...), we've seen awesome people like Meg Cabot, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl. Hearing their insight and sense of humor is worth the trip.


This year I was happy to see Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith, whose work I own, as well as, Adi Alsaid and Isabel Gillies who I was not familiar with at the time. It was a very upbeat and chatty panel. Even though the weather was significantly cooler this year, I gotta recommend that DBF consider air conditioned tents! So, so thankful for Emory University's free Carlos Museum fans.

Farm Fresh Georgia was a pleasant surprise. I added it to our list "only-if-we-had-time," but I'm so glad that we did. Growing up on a farm and now adjusting to apartment living, Oshie and I enjoy visiting farms in North Georgia to buy apples, pumpkins, honey, and Christmas gifts. Having bought and read the book since last weekend, I've discovered several interesting road trip stops for future reference.


My favorite panel and the one I was most excited about was "How to Be Graphic" with Liz Prince and Eleanor Davis. Although I wasn't familiar with either author, as a fan of graphic novels and manga in general, I had to check with out. Hands down, I couldn't miss it. As I sometimes dabble in drawing funny little inside jokes with my husband, it was so inspiring to hear the stories of two unique and extremely talented female author artists. Eleanor Davis referred to Virginia Woolf often, which has inspired me to add Woolf's work to my to-read list. Even though I never know what to say to authors in person, in the moment, both Liz and Eleanor had a great impact on me, and I will be following their careers in the future.

All in all, a great way to start our Labor Day weekend. I regret that I didn't get to see Ellen Hopkins, and other great panels that took place on Sunday...but maybe I'll have another opportunity someday. In the meantime, I'll check out their work and keep reading!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley


SecondsSeconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We all wish we had do-overs, right? The chance to rethink our actions and explore a "what if"?

Katie mysteriously gets that opportunity in Seconds, with the help of a house spirit and some strange mushrooms. She works and lives above a restaurant, is striving to open one of her own, and is a little frustrated in her love life. At first, having a do-over in case of emergencies is great. However, the temptation to explore the possibilities and alternative timelines becomes too much, and things become really weird really quick.

I loved this. My husband had to beg me not to stay up all night reading from it. My hat is off to O'Malley for creating a cool but funny female main character who's not a teenager. Not that I don't love YA graphic novels...you just rarely see female characters my age with realistic issues in comics. I really connected with her career frustrations and snarkiness. It was refreshing for me to see a character my own age.

It's been a while since I read Scott Pilgrim, and while I really enjoyed it (hilarious series), I gotta say I liked Seconds even better. Can't wait for any and all future works by O'Malley.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan


Dad Is FatDad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jim Gaffigan lovingly refers to himself as "The Hot Pocket Guy." However, I know him best as the guy behind "Pale Force".

Gaffigan has never failed to make me laugh. However, I wasn't sure what to expect from "Dad Is Fat." I figured it was a series of funny observations about dads in general. At the time, I didn't know that Jim has five kids. "Five Kids, Catholic" in fact.

His take on life with five children is hilarious and at the same time very sweet. He covers it all, birth, living in an apartment with kids, New York, schools, playgrounds, vacations, church, family gatherings, and birthdays.

Highly recommended for dad's to be or as a father's day gift!


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From


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! 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.

 Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

1.) Julia Quinn - I became interested in regency romance around 2007 and Quinn quickly became one of my favorite authors. I own all of her books. Since my move I actually discovered that I had multiple copies of some titles.

2.) Rinko Ueda - I feel like adding manga authors is cheating on the list, since a manga series can have many, many volumes...but out of all my manga I own the most from Ueda (something like 26 volumes) who is the author of the hilarious Tail of the Moon and dramatic Stepping on Roses. I really connect with her humor (in translation anyhow).

3.) Meg Cabot - Cabot is my hero and my high school favorite. I own every Princess Diary and All American Girl novel. I have several Insatiable and some of the Heather Wells mysteries that I haven't got around to reading. I also known several of her books under her pen name: Patricia Cabot.

4.) Laura Ingalls Wilder - The Little House books were a childhood staple for me. I have my childhood set, some collector editions, and a travel diary that Laura wrote about her and her husband's move from South Dakota to Missouri.

5.) L. M. Montgomery - I own a set of The Anne of Green Gables series, a collectors edition, and one of the Emily of New Moon books (that I need to read, as well).

6.) Jane Austen - New editions of Austen works, especially those with pretty covers, are a buying weak point for me.

7.) J. K. Rowling - This kinda feels like a given, if you followed the series. I don't own her pen name/books for adults, but I have hardbacks of the HP series and Beedle the Bard.

8.) Lloyd Alexander - Yay for the only man on the list! I love the first two books in the Prydain series. Sadly, I own more of his work than I've read...so far.

9.) Stephenie Meyer - I was conflicted about this one, because I wasn't sure, again, if graphic novel titles should count. However, even without graphic novels, I still own all of her titles to date.

10.) Marta Perry - She was my gateway into the romance genre. I own several of her sweet, inspiring romances that I really need to read more of.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Oldie but Goodie Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stargirl was a pleasant surprise. I picked it up somewhere along the long-many-hotel interview trail my husband and I went on last year. As it was free, at a book swap program, I wasn't expecting much. Just goes to show how wrong I can be. Why didn't I read this years ago?

The story follows an unconventional teenage girl as she switches to high school after being home-schooled for many years. It's unique in fact that it's told from the perspective of her soon-to-be boyfriend. He's not always a wise narrator, but the reader learns as lesson as he comes to grips with some of his mistakes.

I enjoyed Spinelli's easy-going writing style. Even though the story ends on a bittersweet note, Spinelli's kind and caring writer's voice made it all okay.

Overall, Stargirl's character made a big impact on me. I think we all need to strive to be more like her. Read it and you'll see.

I bought the sequel shortly after. Hoping Spinelli will add more to the series in the future.


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