Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Books We Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 5 years

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 Books We Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 5 years

Ah, remembering back to 2010, how time flies when you find good reads. Here are some favs that we read between 2010-now:

Vonze:

1.) Jane Eyre - Finished this one in 2011...where had it been all my life? Struggle, mystery, a strong female character, awesome hero, a gothic setting, altogether a highly recommended classic!

2.) Into The Wild - Although the book has a tragic end, through Chris' journey, I was able to recognize and deepen my own love of nature and the great outdoors. I feel that in his memory, we should do more to protect parks and wilderness areas.

3.) The Fellowship of The Ring - I was surprised at Tolkien's wonderfully witty writing style. I kept the book on the back-burner of my to-read list for years, because I wrongly assumed Tolkien would be very stern.

4.) The Great Gatsby - Oh, the classic drama and romantic suspense! The flawed characters, glorious jazz age, and tragic end. I read it before the release of the newest movie version (2013) and completely regretted that I hadn't read it sooner.

5.) Betsy-Tacy - I wish someone had recommended Betsy-Tacy to me as a child. Sweet and adorable, it captures child-like wonder beautifully. It definitely deserves more credit and belongs on the shelf with Laura Ingalls and Anne of Green Gables.

6.) Hark! A Vagrant - You don't have to be a comic fan to enjoy Hark! A Vagrant, but you do have to enjoy history and literature. In a single leap the author pokes fun at everyone from Jane Austen to Henry VIII to Tesla to the Brontes.

7.) Howl's Moving Castle - One of the best fantasy novels out there. I don't feel that Jones is given enough credit. The book as a unique perspective and unique setting, as well as the fact that Wizard Howl is wonderfully romantic hero (IMO).

8.) Pusheen the Cat - Adorable graphic novel! I learned about Pusheen through social media and I've been a fan ever since. For me, reading comics is like a form of therapy against panic attacks. I often carry this one around with me in case of emergencies.

9.) Blackmoore - Super, hot clean romance action, batman! Ok, there's no batman, but if you like regency romance, the anticipation on whether or not the characters will get together is to die for. I stayed up all night reading...and fell behind on all my work, cause I had to know.

10.) The Hunger Games - When I picked The Hunger Games up, there wasn't much YA dystopian out there (remember those days?) I was very surprised by its uniqueness in comparison to other YA titles. I remember being shocked that a movie wasn't in the works...(remember those days??).

Oshie:

1.) Starship Troopers - For it's unique social and economic philosophies set in the future.

2.) Iron Hands - Angry space marines, Oshie's favorite.

3.) Attack on Titan series - We watched the anime and Oshie was hooked. Although horrifying, the world of Attack on Titan is action-packed and suspenseful.

4.) Howl's Moving Castle - Oshie's been known to say that it's better than Harry Potter...he enjoy's the late Ms. Jones' writing style.

5.) Economix - Graphic novels and economics don't normally go hand-and-hand, but this odd find has taught us a lot about the history of the world's market.

6.) Love & Math - As a math person, it's fun to read about the journey of a mathematician.

7.) The History of Art - Cool facts about some of the world's most famous artworks and artists.

8.) The Physics of Wall Street - Can physics predict what happens on Wall Street? It's an interesting theory.

9.) Guns, Germs, and Steel - A different understanding of world history and the forces behind it.

10.) The Chronicles of Chrestomanci - After reading Howl's Moving Castle, Oshie also read this other great fantasy by Diana Wynne Jones.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale, Part 1 by Lora Innes


The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale, Part 1The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale, Part 1 by Lora Innes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The American Revolution fascinates me. It's romantic to think about the days when America was struggling towards its independence and the dreams of freedom we still put hope in today.

Although I like The American Revolution as a setting...there's not a lot of historical fiction, romantic or otherwise, about this time period. There's some books for young readers like American Girl. And there's the old Swamp Fox tv series from Disney. But that's about it.

So, I love that this graphic novel is set in the American Revolution. Unlike some historic settings (medieval, regency, westerns) there's not really a formula for the birth of the nation. The author had to do her research.

The main character, Bea, seemingly time travels whenever she falls asleep. The story begins as she's passionately kissed by Alan Warren, a member of Knowlton's Rangers, who tells her that he thought she was dead. Way to start the story. At first, Bea thinks her dreams are just dreams. But as the plot thickens, the dream starts overtaking her reality.

It reads like a good YA novel. I could see it as a series on CW or ABC Family. I first learned about the book from Netgalley, so I had no idea it was originally a webcomic. My loss! That deepens my respect for the story. Typically, webcomics are more unique than a lot of mainstream comics, and it certainly rings true for this one. If it wasn't for free webcomics back in the day, I probably wouldn't be hooked on graphic novels today.

I'm very curious how this one will turn out. Will Bea decide to live in her dream world? Or will she find the modern day version of Alan?


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Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The Worrier's Guide to Life by Gemma Correll


The Worrier's Guide to LifeThe Worrier's Guide to Life by Gemma Correll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this so much! Overthinkers unite! Gemma Correll shares her quirky worries about health, fashion, dining, love, work, travel, holidays, and modern malaises in this cute comic. Each page features a single worry. I found it very honest and relatable. I finished it in one sitting and laughed out loud many times.

There's a little something for all us ladies. The Period IceCream Truck. Less Popular Nail Polish Colors. New Eye Make-Up Looks. Stickers for Grown-Ups. Sexy Halloween Costumes. Great for laughs and encouraging others. Kinda reminds me of a female Demetri Martin, who I also enjoy.

Count me in as a new fan of Gemma Correll and her pug obsession! Hope to read more of her work soon!


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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten Authors We REALLY Want To Meet

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!



Ten Authors We REALLY Want To Meet

Vonze:

1.) Peter S. Beagle - His work was an essential part of my childhood and greatly aided my love of fantasy and imagination. I have an autographed book, but I'd like to meet him in person.

2.) Anne Rice - She visited Atlanta during my high school years, and to this day, I still kick myself for not begging to go to her book signing. But at the time, vampires were not appropriate reading material for teenage girls...

3.) Suzanne Collins - I vaguely recall the Mockingjay book tour being very short and in limited cities. I've heard that Collins is very shy, which I completely respect. If she was up for a larger tour one day, I'd be there.

4.) Richard Adams - He's 94! If I ever had the opportunity, it would be an honor to meet the author of the beloved classic: Watership Down. 

5.) Kate Beaton - Her work is an amazing combination of humor, historical, and literary fact with whimsical drawings. Who is this awesome, cool person??

Oshie:


6.) Dan Abnett - Is a comic book (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Warhammer novelist, who, seemingly, rarely crosses the pond. He's one of Oshie's top writers.

7.) Hayao Miyazaki - We're both huge fans of Miyazaki, but Oshie beat me to naming him. Miyazaki is an extremely talented animator and direction, who is also the author of several manga titles.

8.) Jeff Grubb - He's not only an author, but also a role-playing game designer. He wrote Oshie's favorite Magic the Gathering title.

9.) Graham McNeill - Is another Warhammer novelist that Oshie enjoys reading. His work got Oshie hooked on The Black Library.

10.) Micheal Moorcock -Moorcock is best known for Elric of MeInibone, a sword and sorcery character. He has been named one of the top greatest British writers since 1945.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Voyager (Outlander, #3) by Diana Gabaldon *spoilers*


Voyager (Outlander, #3)Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't know how Gabaldon does it. Just when you think the story is over, she adds new layers. Each book is a detail-rich epic chopped full of emotional ups and downs. There are times when I love and hate the characters, but the immersive story keeps me reading and wondering what will happen next.

The second novel in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber, ended on a huge emotional cliff-hanger. Claire returns to her time while pregnant, leaving Jamie to face a battle that most likely means death. The years fly by. Claire is certain that Jamie died that day on the battlefield. But amazingly, she finds new historical data that proves he survived. So, after twenty years, she decides to return through the stones to find him.

I held my breath for the moment they were reunited. I enjoy the strong, yet equally tender connection that Gabaldon created for the couple. The dialogue and everyday historical details truly bring the story to life. Again, I don't know how she does it...I wanna know how much research she does everyday. All the nitty-gritty aspects of daily eighteenth-century life are there. My only complaint is, at times, the author goes into too much detail about minor characters. Realistically, Jamie moved on with his life after he thought Claire was gone forever, but the author's style spares none of the details. She dangles the carrot of promised reunion, but forces you to tread through drama I'd just as well be told than shown. She's a wonderfully smart author who creates an all-access journey with each book. But, part of me wonders if she enjoys torturing us. However, regardless, I'll be reading the next book and waiting until I can watch the second-half of the show.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Inspiring Quotes 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 Inspiring Quotes from Books


1.) "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” - Christopher Robin [A.A. Milne], Winnie the Pooh

2.) “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” - Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

3.) “Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

4.) “Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.” - Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Lord Fauntleroy* (I think, lol :))

5.) “There's no great loss without some small gain.” - Ma Ingalls, [Laura Ingalls Wilder] Little Town on the Prairie

6.) “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” - Marthe Troly-Curtin, Phrynette Married

7.) "[T]hey can only come to morning through the shadows." - Narrator [J.R.R. Tolkien], The Two Towers

8.) “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting

9.) “It is our choices [...] that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

10.) “Every real story is a never ending story.” - Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I would be very shocked to learn that the author wasn't a personal fan of "Perks of Being A Wallflower," both novels share so many of the same elements. Whereas, "Perks" is a retro coming-of-age story, "Love Letters to the Dead" follows a teen girl as she writes to dead celebrities to work out her issues with her boyfriend and her sister's suicide.

I was initially drawn to the book because I thought writing to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, etc., was a unique concept. I'm an average Nirvana fan, but I know several obsessed fans. I thought, perhaps, the character would be a huge fan, have OCD, or Asperger's Syndrome. However, the people she writes to were mainly her sister's favorites. Throughout the book it's as though the character is trying to take on her sister's personality. While writing to these dead celebrities, in a way, she's indirectly writing to her sister. She gets mad at them because she's mad at her sister. It's one of the ways she works through her grief.

Because of the subject matter, it was difficult read at times. It's heartbreaking enough to be taken into the mind of someone who misses their sister and hero. Yet, there was added pain with a back-and-forth immature teen relationship, friends with problems, family trouble, and abuse (emotional and physical). Not for the faint-of-heart or impatient. Probably would be helpful to teens in similar situations.


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