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!


View all my reviews

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.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (23)


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 Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Release Date: August 14, 2014

Book Summary: (From Amazon.com) "Katie's got it pretty good. She's a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie's life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all--but they don't come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:
1. Write your mistake.
2. Ingest one mushroom.
3. Go to sleep.
4. Wake anew.
And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She's also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms--and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it's against the rules. But Katie doesn't care about the rules--and she's about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions."
My Thoughts: I have been oh-so-patiently waiting for a new Brian Lee O'Malley graphic novel! Literally refreshing his author page on Goodreads and Amazon.com for updates, after reading the Scott Pilgrim series and Lost At Sea, for over three years. The release date for "Seconds" has snuck up on me while I've been busy. Can't wait to see what's new in O'Malley's awesome Canadian imagination.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazingly refreshing! Fangirl is truly a contemporary novel for the young book nerd at heart.

The main character/fangirl, Cather, writes online slash fanfiction for a Harry Potter-esque series called Simon Snow. Although I’m not personally a fan of slash fanfiction, because I’m too much of a canon nerd, I can appreciate Cather’s obsession through the eyes of friends who do enjoy it and many random people I’ve encountered online. I think it’s safe to say there’s some slash fanfiction in nearly every fandom.

The novel takes place as Cather starts and struggles with college. Her long-distance relationship isn’t going well, her twin sister wants to ditch her to meet “cool” people, her roommate seems to hate her, her roommate’s boyfriend is annoying, and for the first time she’s balancing writing fanfiction and an actual fiction writing class.

Four stars, cause I felt that the story ended too quickly! For me, things were left wide open…almost begging for a sequel. Does Cather succeed in writing something other than fanfiction? Does she move on from her fandom? Did her relationship work out? Or does she find someone she has more in common with eventually as college goes on? So many questions, I felt like there needed to be one more chapter or an epilogue at least.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Blogging Confessions

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 Ten Blogging Confessions


1.) Realistically, I will never read and review all the books that I own. The first time I moved (back when I had more time on my hands) I packed 800 books. That was almost four years ago. Some of my books are multiple editions that I collect, antique books, and books I have just for research or how-tos.

2.) I really don't understand book fandom rivalries and I won't bash a series I don't like or try to argue what series is better. That time and energy is better spent reading.

3.) I kinda fell into blogging. This 'project' so-to-say started as a way for me to take notes on the books that I liked or disliked and why as a form of self-expression and a way to better understand myself. It's sorta a 'know thyself' project for me.

4.) I wish I had more time for blogging and/or I was better organized. Since starting this blog, I have gotten married, my husband has finished medical school, and I have been working on my B.A. the whole time. When I do have free time, there are days I'd rather move on to the next book than focus on one I read weeks ago. I do procrastinate and at times I spread myself thinly on other projects.

5.) Sometimes I write reviews on Goodreads and do not post them on Vonze's Reader Blog. At times this is due to laziness, feeling like I have a bigger audience on Goodreads, or the greater sense of community on that site.

6.) When buying books, I really, really love Amazon.com, but I've pledged not to buy books from them for a while, in hopes that my local bookstores will stay in business. I miss Borders so much.

7.)  I know most bloggers seem to prefer Barnes & Noble, but honestly I am a Books-a-million girl. To me, Books-a-million is more laid-back and the employees are down-to-earth. I'm probably a little biased because I grew up visiting Books-a-million.

8.) I have OCD about keeping my books in like-new condition. I carefully turn pages, I try not to crease spines, I always use bookmarks, and I don't eat and read. I give a lot of the books I read away (Paperbackswap, Goodwill, or blog giveaways), so I want them to look nice for the next person. Or myself if I do keep it and re-read it.

9.) There have been times when my reading choices have influenced by upcoming film adaptations.  I didn't start Harry Potter until I was impressed by the third movie. I moved Twilight higher on my reading list when I learned about the movie. Same was true for The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Ender's Game.

10.) Just because I sit a book aside for a while, doesn't mean I don't like it. Sometimes I might be anticipating a new book or I might be seeking a more light-hearted read. For example, The Book Thief, from what I've read, is well written, however it's not a great for before-bed reading. I strive to finish everything eventually.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Classic 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!

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 Ten Favorite Classic Books


I love classics, they make me feel smart, teach me about the past, make me feel proper, hoity toity, and hipster-ish. Here are some of my favorites:


1.) Tie for 1st place - Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice: Yes, Bronte would probably roll over to know I tied her with Jane Austen...who she famously disliked. However, I can't help it. I can't choose. When I'm in the mood for something gothic and mysterious, I'd tell you Jane Eyre is my favorite. If I'm in the mood for something more light-hearted yet full of family and individual drama, I'd tell you Pride & Prejudice is my favorite. It literately depends on what day it is.


2.) Little Women: I don't have a sister, but I vicariously understand what having one might be like through this novel. Having a little sister like Amy probably would be annoying, but having an older sister like Meg might be fun. My temperament is a lot like Jo's, so I also enjoy her outbursts. 



3.) Anne of Green Gables: Hilarious and sweet, all-in-one. It belongs on every little girl's bookshelf. Anne Shirley is one of my favorite heroines, she's kind, but quirky at the same time.



4.) Sense and Sensibility: More sisterhood! I like Elinor and Marianne, because I see bits of myself in both characters, sometimes too impulsive, sometimes too reserved.



5.) The Secret Garden: At a young age, this book probably contributed to my love of mystery and nature. For a children's book, it has several eerie and haunting elements.



6.) Daddy Long Legs: I think people who've had pen pals can appreciate this novel and Judy's mysterious benefactor who wants letters in return for paying her tuition. To me, it's a little like a old-fashioned, young adult version of "You've Got Mail." Dated, but still charming.


7.) Treasure Island: This novel is a great adventure and a good example of a typical kid who gets caught up in extraordinary events. It's the reason I love pirates! I'm also sentimental about it because it's one of the few books my late father gave me as a child.



8.) Robin Hood: Robin Hood is the definitive good guy, helping those who cannot help themselves while the good king is away. As a kid, I learned a lot about taking a stand, helping others, and old fashioned-romance from Robin Hood.



9.) King Arthur: This one further fueled my love of history. There's something I love about the honor and chivalry of that time. Oh, and everyone should have an awesome Merlin-mentor in their life.



10.) Little House On The Prairie: More sisterhood, hardship, and history (sensing a pattern here?). I always liked Laura because she's high-spirited and seemingly fearless even though her family faces several challenges.

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