Monday, June 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics of Today and Tomorrow!

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 10 Classics of Both Today and Tomorrow (All covers courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise linked.)

Top books that are already classics today:

5) Dracula by Bram Stoker -- Let's face it: Stoker's classic is the reason vampires so permeate our culture today. You'd think the original that started it all would be tired and dated by now, but it's truly not. If you've never read this classic novel, do it for Halloween this year. It'll totally creep you out!

4) Hamlet by William Shakespeare -- Arguably the greatest work of the greatest bard who ever lived. If you've never read it, you'll be amazed how many lines from this classic play still permeate our pop culture today.

3) The Once and Future King by T.H. White -- Like Shakespeare, White didn't create this classic story, but he wrote down the most common version that has survived and still informed all our ideas and opinions about King Arthur and his world today.

2) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens -- I love Dickens, but this is probably my favorite story by him. So epic. Such great, wonder, tragic, moving historical fiction. You'll think about it for days after reading the final line, and will never forget how you first felt about it.

1) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad -- I know, I know. I gush about this one a lot on my various blogs and top ten lists, but Conrad was a genius. He lays out the best argument I've ever come across (I've never found it's equal) about why exactly, philosophically, evil is dangerous to the human race and the human spirit. It'll change the way you look at, you know, everything. 

Top books that will be the classics of tomorrow:

Arguing about whether to read what is popular or what is classic is silly because, as in every era that's come before ours, the popular books of today will be the classics of tomorrow.

5) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare -- Worldwide Bestsellers. 'Nuff said.

4) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -- Okay, I haven't read this, though it's on my list. But, I've heard a lot about it and the impact it's having on people. And it was the most reviewed book on Goodreads...uh, last year, I think. 

3) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer -- No matter what you think of the series, it's made such a huge impact on our culture and society, that it will probably be seen historically as the thing that changed the way we view vampires. It's totally a sociological thing, but this is exactly the kind of thing that's taught in schools to show how society was thinking during particular time periods.

2) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- A classic, YA dystopian that ought to be taught alongside The Giver and 1984. I think in a few years, once the novelty/blockbuster status wears off, it will be.

1) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling -- Come on, does anyone really think our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will not be reading Harry Potter in school?

What are your top ten picks for classic novels?

Einstein on Writing


I was actually different favorite quote of mine by Einstein when I found this one on Pinterest. It really spoke to me because I'm mapping out a couple of different stories and I keep hitting walls in the plots.

So what does this mean for writing? It means you've got to think outside the box. Think on a deeper level than your reader would. If you don't know what happens next in your story, go back to your themes, your characters' motivations, what their Objects of Desire are. If you want something to happen to a character (something they would react to that isn't their own doing) then consider the motivations and OODs of their enemies, or your story's antagonist. 

I once had someone ask me if I knew what happened in my series beyond the book I was working on. I said, "Yes. I have the first three books planned out. And I'm already planting seeds in book 1 that won't really come to fruition until book 3." The person I was speaking to told me how abnormal that was. She was kind of curt about it, but I took it as a compliment. It just means I'm uniquely suited to writing a series, and I'm cool with that.

So, how does Einstein's wisdom figure in your writing?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight Read-Along, Week 6


Welcome to week 5 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 13-16. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk! 


Tar Valon (Source)
1) Nicola and Areina are still around causing trouble. Do you think they'll stay around? Reveal Egwene's secrets? Get sent home?

I do vaguely remember what becomes of these two. I think they're antagonists of the annoying kind, rather than the evil kind. Nicola in particular would go much farther in her training and in the eyes of the Aes Sedai if she would just buck up, quit whining, and learn her stuff. No one likes pupils who act the way she does. I believe Min once had a foretelling saying she'd cause trouble, which I suppose she already has by trying to blackmail Myrelle and the others about Lan and also now being whiny about her lessons. But I don't think this is the end of the trouble she causes, if I remember right.

That said, maybe go back and re-read what they said she'd Foretold: battles with the Seanchan, an Amyrlin imprisoned, the Dragon Reborn doing nine impossible things. As someone who's read the series before, let's just say she's definitely not faking that gift. Though she does seem to be trying to use it to manipulate the Aes Sedai. A slippery slope if ever there was one.

Cuendillar Seal (Source)
2) What do you think Egwene is planning with the newly-rediscovered method of making Cuendillar?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Follow Friday: Favorite Mugs

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Post a picture of your favorite mug or mugs!


I don't actually drink coffee, but I still have plenty of mugs I drink other things out of. This is my favorite for several reasons. 1) It's cute. 2) It's big. 3) Most importantly, it belonged to my grandmother who passed away just over a year ago. She had a huge collection of mugs and they let all the grandkids pick one to take home. This reminds me so much of my grandma. Her personality, her sweetness, her loving kindness. This is definitely her mug, and I think of her every time I use it. :D




What does your favorite mug look like?

Thoughts for Thursday: Cormac McCarthy

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Cormac McCarthy! For those who haven't read him, Cormac McCarthy has a beautiful, poetic writing style that doesn't always come across very well on screen, but is unfailingly thought-provoking to read. I always think of him as the writer's writer. His books take a little bit of work to wade through, but it's always worth it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Enclave

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I've had the Razorland series on my TBR forever, and I finally got copies of the first two books for this last Christmas. Even so, it's taken me this long to actually get around to them.

Plot: Deuce lives in an underground community known only as the conclave. After some kind of virus wiped out civilization and left behind "freaks" (their word for monster-zombies) the few survivors eek out an existence far beneath the rest of the world. Deuce receives her name (before she was known only as a number) and because of her physical prowess and fighting skills, becomes a Huntress. It's what she's wanted her whole life. She is paired with Fade, a boy who recently joined the enclave from the outside (which is rare) and who doesn't seem to have or want any friends. He and Deuce are sent on a dangerous mission, the results of which will turn Deuce's world upside down.

Characters: I really liked Deuce's character. She's strong, determined, and doesn't let anything or anyone define her, or tell her what she can't do. Despite that, she's willfully closed her eyes to the problems and possible lies of her society. It creates a wonderful dichotomy which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Fade's character is a bit more cliche. He's the mysterious boy no one knows much about, and it's obvious right away that Deuce will be the one that unlocks him and gets him to open up. Despite the cliche, it actually worked well for the story, and I was intrigued.

World Builidng: He book felt very dystopian, which I liked (being a dystopian fan myself). The characters end up wandering around quite a bit, which is how they explore the parts of the world Deuce has never seen. That said, this aspect was kind of meh for me. I didn't hate it, by any means, and honestly it might be a by-product of the YA problem, which I've ranted about before. The world-building wasn't bad, but it just wasn't terribly detailed or original, either. Being a fan of guys like Robert Jordan (who can't go two pages without mentioned embroidery or the styles/fashions/customs/culture of some group of people), Brandon Sanderson, etc., I just didn't have much umph for this. As is my problem with many YA novels, it was just a bit too bland for me. I need more edge. But, if you're big on YA novels, this probably won't be a problem for you.

Plot/Ending: The action in the beginning of the novel was great. About 2/3-3/4 of the way through, I have to admit the story stalled for me. It picked up again at the end, and I thought it ended on a good note, but like the world-building, it was just a bit  blah. Not bad, by any means, but it really didn't blow me away either, which was surprising. I thought I'd love this book. That said, I plan to read book 2. Partly because the story was good enough to keep reading, and left off in such a way that there are endless possibilities for the next installment. And partly because I have book 2 on my shelf. So, I might as well. :D

Writing: Superb. No problems at all there.

Overall: It was no The Walking Dead or The Road, which are my faves because they're a dose of gritty, often tragic reality that I get addicted to. But, some people find them too dark. If you're looking for something a little more tame that still feels very dystopian, with a healthy dose of YA thrown in, this may just be the book for you! Check it out.

Has anyone else read Enclave? What did you think of it?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends

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 10 Book Cover Trends I Like/ Dislike (All covers courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise linked.)

I'm really not overly critical of book covers, so it this was hard for me. I didn't come up with very many.

I Like:

The Best Way to Get Your Writing/Editing/Important Tasks Done

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Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope you're all on track to have a great week!

One of they best books you could ever read to ensure your own success is Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I'm making my way slowly through it, and I found a particular suggestion that I took to heart. I've done posts before about how to be productive, and this goes hand in hand with that.

Mr. Canfield suggests keeping a "success journal." Basically, it's just something in which you write down the successes you had during your day.

In our society, we focus far too much on our failures. We think, "sure, I did x, y, and z, but I didn't get this other thing done." And we totally beat ourselves up for that one thing, without giving ourselves enough credit for the things we did get done. 

Our successes can be anything and everything we did right during the day. Did we wake up on time? Squeeze in a workout? Eat a healthy lunch? Did we get any reading, writing, or editing done? Did we spend quality time with the family, or do some cleaning we've been meaning to get around to for a while? All of these are successes.

So, find a journal or notebook, and right before you go to bed, write down everything you succeeded out during the day. You can be grateful for what you got done, and dwell on the positivity of your day, which will put you in a success mindset for tomorrow. You can also look at what you did and plan what you want to get done tomorrow. I've started doing this, and it's not only helped keep me on track for my tasks, but it puts me in a "go and do" mindset. I want to have things to write in my success journal, which motivates me to stay on task and get things done. 

It's such a small, simple thing--some people may even think it foolish--but give it a try. You might be shocked at what it does for your productivity.

Happy Monday, Everyone! Have a successful, productive week!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight Read-Along, Week 5


Welcome to week 5 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 13-16. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk! Also, Sue of Cookies, Coffee and Chili Peppers is our host today, so make sure to hop over and check out her answers in a few hours too!


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1) Chapter 13 starts with Elayne returning to her bath and Aviendha alludes to some joke Birgitte played that relied upon the feedback loop built into her bond with Elayne. Any guesses as to what this joke was?

I don't know, but when I read this I was reminded of when Elayne got drunk and couldn't remember anything that happened, but everyone was laughing about something she did while drunk. I wonder if it was something like that.

2) Dyelin returns with the High Seats of Mantear, Haevin, Gilyard, and Northan. Do you foresee any issues concerning the ages of these High Seats? Dyelin seems to have an unhealthy curiosity about Brigitte. Do you think she is merely in disbelief about Brigitte's abilities, or do you think Dyelin is studying her for more nefarious reasons? 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Game of Thrones Recap: Season Finale!

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Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Episode 4.10: The Children

Ahh season finales. This one had plenty of epic-ness, though because I've read the books, none of it was a surprise to me. I did have a couple of issues, I will admit. But overall, I thought it was pretty dang good.

We start out with Jon Snow, setting out to find Mance Rayder, which he does. They talk and drink to Ygritte and Grenn and all their other fallen colleagues. Mance says he doesn't actually want to destroy everyone. He just wants to hide behind the Wall. If Jon will just let them through, no one else will die. If he doesn't, they'll destroy every last one of the Night's Watch. Suddenly, the Wildlings are attacked by *sounds of trumpet* Stannis, Sir Davos, and his army. They come to the aid of the Night's Watch and basically defeat the Wildlings. Mance refuses to kneel when he surrenders to Stannis. Then Jon introduces himself and Stannis says Jon's father was honorable. Jon asks Stannis to spare Mance and listen to what he has to say. This was done differently in the book--Stannis's army showed up while Jon was actively fighting and defending the Wall--but that change didn't bother me much. It was still very effective.

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Cersei stands up to her father, insisting that she will not marry Loras Tyrell or leave the capital for High Garden. If he tries to force her, she will tell everyone that Jaime is truly the father of her children. I don't think this ever happened in the book. I could be wrong, but I don't think Cersei would ever tell anyone that, not her father, and not to keep her way of life. She'd come up with something else, but not that. Then she goes and tells Jaime that she stood up to their father and they...we'll keep it PG-13 and call it a make out session.

Across the sea, Dany has to deal with elderly people who are too old to change. They want to go back to being slaves, rather than deal with the responsibility of freedom. She agrees to let them enter into contracts with their former masters, as long as the duration of the contract is for no more than one year. Barristan warns her that the former slavers will take advantage of this. Then, a man brings the charred bones of his 3-year old daughter to her. Drogo, her black dragon, has killed the child with fire. Teary-eyed, Dany shackles the other two dragons in the catacombs. This is a setup for one of my favorite aspects of book 5, obviously set to be filmed for next season.

Then we go to Bran. This was the most action-packed sequence of the episode! He, Hodor, Meera and Jojen find a beautiful Weirwood tree that is not entirely affected by winter. They believe it to be the home of the three-eyed crow, but just before they reach it, they're ambushed by wights. These are basically skeleton white-walkers that are scary fast and totally creepy. Bran jumps into Hodor's body to help fight then, but Jojen is stabbed. This is a deviation from the books. Jojen doesn't die at this part, though soon after he falls into a deep depression and Meera tells Bran Jojen has had a prophetic dream about his own fate, and it isn't good. I suppose maybe they just didn't want to continue Jojen's character, especially if he will die soon anyway. 

They make it into a cave beneath the tree and when the wights try to follow, they basically explode. (So cool!) Bran meets the children of the forest--a young girl and an old man. The man, part of the trees roots, was less than amazing in my opinion. This guy just looked like he was sitting among the roots, and it was very dark. Perhaps it's just a matter of not being how I pictured it, but I wasn't impressed. In the book, he had roots growing through him, out of his head and such. I pictured him a bit more like an Ent or Robert Jordan's Green Man. More human than either of those, but definitely more like them than this guy was. Still, I'm glad Bran has reached this lair and can begin to learn about his own powers and abilities now.

Meanwhile, close to the Eyrie, Brienne and Pod come across Arya and the Hound. Now, this is a huge departure from the books. Brienne wants to take Arya with her, but the Hound doesn't want to let her go. They sword fight, beat the snot out of one another, and Brienne ends up pushing the Hound over a cliff. 

Now, on the one hand, this was an epic showdown between two awesome characters, and it really was pretty cool. (Brienne even bit off his ear at one point, which I'm pretty sure was a nod to her fight in the book, which was with Biter and some others, rather than the Hound.) But on the other hand, I have to a be just a wee bit bitter and say that this is what comes of stream-lining characters. In the book, she never came across Arya and the Hound, and when Biter started eating her (no, that's not an exaggeration) Gendry helped her, and ended up taking her to...uh...someone else important that obviously won't be showing up until next season either. But, they've already gotten rid of Gendry due to meshing his story line with another, so this couldn't happen. (I'm hopeful that we'll see him again, but I was bitter with the way this went because some of my favorite scenes with him and Arya got cut.

Anyway, Arya goes down to see the Hound, and he begs her to kill him, but she refuses. Not a bad scene by any means, but still. It just wasn't as tragic, and therefore not as compelling, as the book. The whole point in the book was that, after all the violence and injustice the Hound perpetuated in his life, it was a little infected cut that did him in. He and Arya have an argument about honor and whether there's any left in the world. She doesn't kill him, not because she doesn't want him dead, but because she doesn't think he deserves her mercy. This scene, while well-acted and with a lot of lines straight from the book, just felt a bit short-changed for me. Soon after, Arya, flashing the coin Jaqen gave her, boards a ship headed for Bravos.

Finally, the other other epic-ness from the end of book 3. Jaime frees Tyrion, and they have a tender moment, but rather than go straight up to Varys who will help him escape, Tyrion goes to confront his father. In his father's chamber, he finds Shay in the bed. When she lunges at him, he strangles her. Then he goes and finds his father on the privy. They argue and Tyrion kills Tywin with two crossbow bolts. Then he goes to Varys, who sneaks him out of the city as cargo. I don't have much to say about this scene. There was almost no deviation from the book, and it was sufficiently shocking (for those who hadn't read it before). Perhaps Shay's death could have been a bit more drawn out, just to make it darker and more dramatic, but he still kills her, so maybe they didn't want to overdo it. I thought this particular part was well done.

So, a sufficiently epic season finale. The issues I had stemmed almost entirely from earlier changes that are messing with the plot, but that's to be expected when converting books to TV, I suppose. Overall, I liked this finale. I thought it was much more epic and satisfying than the finale for season 3.

What did everyone else think of the season 4 finale of Game of Thrones?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight Read-Along, Week 4



Welcome to week 4 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 9-12. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk! Also, Sue of Cookies, Coffee and Chili Peppers is our host today, so make sure to hop over and check out her answers in a few hours too!


1. Well, I suppose that we now know that Faile is alive and well, more or less. Do you think that Nadric will avoid her from now on, or will he simply wait until she is more alone? What do you think is going on between Galina and Therava?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Follow Friday: Armchair Travels

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Armchair Travel! Tell us about your favorite book in a setting you’d like to visit (a real place for this question).

That's easy! And yes, I'm going to totally do a promo on my own book, but it also happens to be true for this question. One place I'd love to visit is Russia! In college, I was a history minor and while searching the school catalog for classes to fulfill my credits, I found a Russian history class.

I think I had once heard of Ivan the Terrible, and then there is the infamous story of Rasputin and the Romanovs, but I didn't know much more than your average lay person, and I decided--especially since I needed the credits anyway--that I wanted to know more.

And the rest--no pun intended--is history. I fell in love with Russian history, especially that of the middle ages. Kremlins was born! Incidentally, book 1 Citadels of Fire released on May 27th. 

So, would I like to visit the setting of this book (a.k.a. Russia, the Kremlin, and all things surrounding them)? Uh...yeah. *Rubs hands together* And I will someday. When the book becomes a best seller. :D

Just sayin'...

Click here to order Citadels of Fire


How about you? What favorite book setting would you love to visit?


Thoughts for Thursday: Pursuit of Perfection

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

My historical fiction debut, Citadels of Fire is available now, and the launch party is this Saturday! In honor of that, this week's theme is the Pursuit of Perfection!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movie Review: Maleficent

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I am SO behind on my movies. I've missed a ton of them. Life is just too crazy right now. But...my sister insisted on taking my 3-year-old niece to see Maleficent. Everyone was raving about how good it is, and my niece sits through Disney movies, especially of the princess variety, quite well. So, we all went.

It was a fun experience, not only for the film itself but because my niece hasn't been to a movie since she was little enough to sleep through it (since she was an infant, in other words). It was fun to experience what is essentially her first film in a movie theater with her. When we went in, for some reason the lights were all the way down, even though the movie didn't start for another ten minutes. She was afraid because it was so dark. Then I put her up on one of the seats. (You know, the fold-up theater-style seats?) Now, my niece is very tall for her age, and skinny as a whip. She only weighs about 34 pounds. I put her in the seat and it folded up on her. She started screaming and asked to go home. LOL. Poor thing. Ah the trama of childhood. Anyway, we got her a booster seat which helped keep the seat from folding, and gave her some popcorn and she felt better. She sat through the movie fairly well, though the surround sound was too loud for her and she got afraid a few times. Every time she did, she would grab my hand with her little fingers and my heart melted a little bit.

Okay, onto the movie review. I am going to talk about the film a bit, but I'll keep things largely spoiler-free

Monday, June 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Reads So Far This Year

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 10 Books I've Read So Far This Year (All covers courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise linked.)

This one's kind of hard for me because so far I haven't read as many books this year as last year, and of the ones I have read, most are part of series. So, I may list series instead of individual books, which means I probably won't hit ten.

Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 4.9

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Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Episode 4.9: The Watchers on the Wall


So this is the penultimate episode of the season! (It always goes so dang fast!) Jon Snow's story line has stalled a lot this season. We've actually seen a lot of him, but he hasn't done much. He keeps trying to convince the leadership of the Night's Watch (Sir Alastir and his lackey Sir Slynt) that Castle Black is going to be in big trouble when the wildlings arrive, but so far his arguments have fallen on deaf ears.


"Yup, we're screwed..." Source
We start out with Jon and Sam up on top of the wall, looking down. They have a funny conversation about sex. Sam wants to know what it's like, but Jon gets frustrated trying to describe it, and complains that he's not a "bloody poet." Sam turns lawyer while analyzing the oaths of the Night's Watch, and how they specifically forbid sex. Just marriage and children. It's a humorous moment between these two friends in the shadow of the battle hanging over them.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight Read-Along, Week 3



Welcome to week 2 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 5-8. Remember that everything in this section, as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Darkhound (Source)
1. We learn a lot about Darkhounds from Masuri and Elyas. Do you expect that this will be the wolves' role in the last battle? Whom could this large pack be after, if it's not Perrin?

I think there's a good chance this will be (at least a big part) of the wolves' role in the last battle. Since Darkhounds were created from the souls of wolves, it only seems fitting that they help bring them down. (If there were dark felines or horses or, you know, squirrels, we'd see other animals helping, C.S. Lewis-style.) Of course, wolves hate all Shadowspawn, so I'm sure their Tarmon Gai'don activities will not be limited to Darkhounds. Either way, it should be awesome to see them in action.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Words of Radiance, Final Week!


Welcome to week 10 of our Words of Radiance Read-Along. It's our final week and that makes me sad. Chances are the next book won't be out for at least a year! :( This week we read chapters 82-END. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk! 


1. Phew! Kal proves to be the honorable hero that we wanted him to be and decides to save Elhokar. Did you agree with his reasoning? Do you think the king can actually improve, or will Lopen’s mother need to beat him with a spoon?

I would have been cool with whatever reasoning helped Kaladin reach the right decision. That said, his reasoning was definitely, um, reasonable. It actually showed a lot of insight into himself and his own motivations. He was able to step outside himself and really analyze what his brother's death did to him and how it is still affecting him in the present. 

As for Elhokar, I really think he can improve. The mere fact that he wants to shows promise. If he makes a real effort, with men like Kaladin and Dalinar to help him, I don't think he can help but succeed. Of course, I hope Lopen's mother beats him anyway. Just for the comic relief. :D

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Words of Radiance

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Okay, I've been reading this for a while--we'll finish our read-along this week, actually--but I never featured in on Teaser Tuesday. So, here it is! And it's awesome! Words of Radiance, Book 2 of the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson.


"Contradictions. Those were what made people real. Jasnah exhausted, yet somehow still strong--stronger, even, because of the vulnerability she revealed. Jasnah terrified, but also brave, for one allowed the other to exist. Jasnah overwhelmed, but powerful."

What are you reading this week?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 4.8

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Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Episode 4.8: The Mountain and the Viper


Another pivotal episode is upon us!

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We start with poor Gilly, living in the brothel in Molestown. The Wildlings attack and kill almost everyone. Ygritte sees Gilly and the baby and motions for them to be quiet. Presumably, she'll let them live. Back at Castle Black, Jon, Sam and the others hear about the attack. Sam believes Gilly is dead because of him, but Jon knows that if they've attacked Molestown, the Wildlings will be at their door next. I'm excited for the actual battle to happen. They're just really taking their sweet time getting there!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight, Week 2



Welcome to week 2 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 1-4. Remember that everything in this section, as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


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1. Why do you think no alarm was raised when Mat kidnapped Tuon? How will this play out going forward?

They actually hinted at possible reasons for this later in the section. The Seanchan want everyone to think that they're perfect rulers and they have everything under control and nothing could possibly be wrong. While this may be worrisome, I actually think it could be an advantage. If they're hiding something as huge as the heir to the Crystal Throne being kidnapped, what else are they hiding? Obviously they aren't an empire that practices transparency, right?