Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like to Own

15 Apr

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

Here are the top 10 bookish things I would like to own right now.

1. Old books candle from Etsy

Old Books

The description reads, Part of our Book Lovers’ Series, this candle is a completely original scent inspired by the smell of old books! Ideal for bibliophiles of all sorts. The scent is a sweet, earthy smell with a hint of must. (Not mildewy, rotten old books!) It will make you want to curl up with your favorite Classic. Scents: Timber, White Tea, Newsprint, Musk”

Doesn’t that sound delightful?!

2. Harry Potter movies 1-5 on Blu-Ray

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I have 6-8 on Blu-ray and 1-5 on DVD. I think it is time to upgrade the first ones and this snazzy looking collection would do nicely.

3. Old card catalog turned furniture

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It would be a dream come true if someone gave me one of these. I personally doubt I can afford the prices people are asking for these beauties, but a girl can dream.


4. Smart Mudflap Girl from ThinkGeek

eddb_smart_mudflap_girlI actually toyed with the idea of getting something similar tattooed on my body at one point, but the only place I could think to put it was my lower back and I am very anti-tramp stamp (even intellectual-ish tramp stamps). But I could totally sport one of these magnets on my car instead. 

5. One of these posters from ALA

Multilingual READ_poster_200x300 Continue reading

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7 Jan

Okay, so maybe it has been awhile since I posted anything here, but I have been in a long reading rut. I don’t think I’m completely out of it yet, but I felt inspired to review Fangirl. 

I am also a fan of the cover art... It is just so cute!

I am also a fan of the cover art… It is just so cute!

This book was exactly what I needed right now. As we entered 2014 I realized that I will in fact be turning 30 this year. The problem is I don’t feel that “adult” yet.  Fangirl reminded me of how far I’ve actually come in the last 12 years of my life. I am old enough now to appreciate how much more I understand about life, but still young enough to remember what it felt like to be naive, confused and trying to figure it all out. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I think I’ve come a pretty long way since those first 2 post high school years. 

I digress… Rainbow Rowell’s college aged protagonist, Cath, is superbly written. Even though I personally was much more like Wren, Cath’s more outgoing twin sister, I had a lot of the same doubts about life that Cath has in the book. She has no idea how to cope with the new world she has been thrust into. Before college she always had her sister to lean on and be guided by, but now even though they are at the same university they are exploring it in very different ways. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

9 Jul

I haven’t posted a Top Ten Tuesday in like forever, but I really liked the topic of this one.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

The Best

1. The Mists of Avalon

This is my favorite book. It is also my favorite book to screen adaptation. Because the book is about 900 pages long there was no way  this could have been made into a traditional movie and incorporate all the great aspects of novel. So a mini-series was definitely necessary and it was really awesome. Like other adaptations it isn’t 100% perfect, but I love it just the same. I even like the ending change, which is not what normally happens.

2. All the Harry Potter films

I know a lot of people think there is a lot missing from these movies, but I love them so much. It would be impossible to make any of the movies completely accurate without them turning into a mini-series (see above). The characters are perfect, the sets are amazing and they truly bring the stories to life in a way I never could have imagined on my own.

3. The Help

I sped through this book so fast. I loved every minute of it. And I thought the movie was awesome. It was so great to see the stories that I so loved reading played out in such a great way.

4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Another great book about crazy southern women. I am addicted to Southern chick-lit and Ya-Ya Sisterhood is one of my faves. I thought the casting in this adaptation was flawless and the movie was so good. Some stuff was left out, but I didn’t feel like it was anything important.

5. The Princess Bride

Even if you have never read the book, you probably already know that this movie is amazing! I loved that the book was an assigned reading for high school English and I was super shocked at how few people knew it was a book. Unlike many adaptations I think this is one you can see first and read the book later. They are both so good, you can’t possibly get bored even though you know the ending.<!–more–>

The Worst

6. The Handmaid’s Tale

This movie is awful. The acting is terrible, the story is unbelievable and it is just so 1990 looking. The book was one of my favorites in high school and I was so disappointed in the movie. I had to do a comparison paper for English senior year between a novel and its film adaptation… I chose this one before ever seeing it and it was very easy to compare and contrast the two. Book=great/Movie=awful.

7. Confessions of a Shopaholic

I actually liked the movie, but it really isn’t like the books. It also doesn’t make sense because the main character isn’t British and isn’t in England. That is kind of a big deal for the book series. Plus there is no way to make a sequel work since the 2nd book is all about her moving to New York (the setting of the movie) and getting accustomed to American life.

8. The Hunger Games

I love the book. I thought the movie was going to be amazing… I was wrong. The movie was okay, but confusing. I took my boyfriend with me to see and he had no idea what was happening. Since I’d read the books I didn’t realize how confusing it must be for someone who hadn’t read it. So many things just aren’t explained and it makes the movie plot scattered and confusing.

9. The Other Boleyn Girl

This book is definitely Philippa Gregory’s best work, but the people who made the movie didn’t understand the concept of all. The book is about Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn. She was with the king first, bore him a child and was then cast off for the seductress Anne. The movie is all about Anne with a bit of Mary just thrown in. It makes no sense. I saw it once and that was more than enough.

10. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Whoa there… don’t jump on my case without reading further. I love this movie. I have the poster hanging in my dining room. I dressed up as Holly Golightly for Halloween once. It is an incredible piece of pop culture. But it isn’t a true adaptation of the book by Truman Capote. The movie is a romance between a young man with little means and young woman working the system to survive. In the book the man is gay and the woman is basically a prostitute. Not quite the material of a mid 60s Hollywood romance. Still a great film, just not a great adaptation.

5 Awesome Easy Chapter Series You May Not Have Heard Of Yet

27 Jun

Finding books that appeal to K-2 girls, but aren’t too easy and aren’t “Readers” can be hard. There are a lot of great children’s series out there, but the younger kids just aren’t ready for them yet. They want pictures still and “not too many words”. Sure one day my daughter will probably love to read the Ramona books, Harriet the Spy, and everything written by Roald Dahl. For now she is content with me reading those things to her. But she wants chapter books that she feel comfortable reading and we have found a few series to keep her busy and interested until she feels ready to tackle the “too many words” books on her own.

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1. Nancy Clancy series by Jane O’Connor

Does your daughter love Fancy Nancy? Mine does. I was so excited when Jane O’Connor decided to start a chapter book series about a slightly older Fancy Nancy. All the same characters are there and Nancy is still very precocious, but now she is a bit older. So far there are only 2 books published, with a 3rd coming out in October.

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2. Violet Mackerel series by Anna Brandford

I saw the 3rd book on display at the library and the cover reminded me so much of my daughter that I had to pick it up for her. Fortunately, she loves these books now. She read the first three over the past week and is eager to get the fourth (which won’t be published in the US until Sept).

In the 3rd book (admittedly this is the only of the books I know anything about), Violet catches a ladybug and decides to keep it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to take care of and it dies. Violet learns a lot in this book about natural habitats, including how to share one with her older sister.

Heidi Heckelbeck Book 1
3. Heidi Heckelbeck series by Wanda Coven

Heidi is 8-years-old and has never been to school before because she has a big secret. Heidi is a witch and has to keep her powers a secret. But she has the same problems most 8 year olds find themselves having. The only difference is that Heidi can help herself a bit better than the average kid. Filled with tons of pictures and big bold text, these books are a great transition for girls that have just outgrown Early Readers and are a bit nervous about reading chapter books.

77889024. Princess Posey series by Stephanie Greene

Princess Posey is adorable and perfect for girls just starting 1st grade. The first book is even about being nervous about starting 1st grade. They are quick reads, with not too many words and lots of cute illustrations. There are already 5 Princess Posey books with a 6th coming out soon (I believe it is a Christmas themed book).

76402625. Frankly, Frannie series by AJ Stern

Frannie is ready for the working world, but she is still a kid. Her series follows her through all the different “career” plans Frannie comes up with. The books are wonderfully illustrated and interesting to look at. This series already has 9 books and will keep your little “grown up” busy for quite a while.

Recommend An… Author Similar to One I Love (Tamora Pierce)

15 Oct

Chances are if I love an author I will probably love similar authors as well. But an author I super love is Tamora Pierce. I’ve been reading Ms. Pierce since I was 11. That is 16 years of reading and loving her books. Since she has been putting out great books my entire life it is super easy to find other authors similar to her now. Here are some of my favorites, complete with approval from the great lady herself.

Hosted by ChickLovesLit

Kristin Cashore

Author of Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue.

Her books all take place in a very Tamora Pierce like world. A world where magic is real, kingdoms exist, and there are really strong heroines.

Tamora Pierce’s Goodreads rating: 5 stars for Graceling and Fire

Jane Yolen

Author of Sister Light, Sister Dark, White Jenna and The One-Armed Queen.

The Great Alta books are a great series that is a little bit more grown up than Tamora Pierce’s books, but totally great reads. The bond between the women in these books is amazing and the world building is so in-depth. Finding them can sometimes prove a little difficult. Even the ginormous library system I work for doesn’t appear to have any copies of the three books. They can be found for really cheap on Amazon though and I highly recommend them.

Tamora Pierce’s Goodreads rating: 5 stars for Sister Light, Sister Dark, 4 stars for White Jenna and The One Armed Queen

Sherwood Smith

Author of Crown Duel.

Aside from the fact that this author has an awesome first name, her books are pretty cool as well. She has written a lot of books, but unfortunately I’ve only read Crown Duel. It is a great Tamora Pierce like book. Lots of action and fierce heroine awesomeness.

Tamora Pierce’s Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Honorable Mentions: Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Patricia Wrede.

**Have you read any Tamora Pierce books? Which series is your favorite?**

**Do you have any other recommendations for authors that are similar to Tamora Pierce?**

Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

11 Oct

A sci-fi book about pregnant teenage girls on a cruise-ship turned boarding school that orbits Earth sounds utterly ridiculous for sure. Unfortunately, for Elvie Nara the phrase “things can only get better” does not apply to the situation she has gotten herself into at all.

Typically I wouldn’t read a book about teenage pregnancy. They usually fall into one of three categories: 1) cautionary tale, 2) religious cautionary tale, 3) societal cautionary tale… None of these things particularly appeal to me. The only kind of cautionary advice really given in Mothership is to perhaps be more careful about trusting your teachers. You never know when they might turn out to be baby snatching aliens.

This book is unlike any book I’ve ever read.

For starters the language is spot on with how teens and young adults talk. Frequent use of such cute little phrases as “shit balls” appear all throughout the book. In general people look at swearing as way for so-called less intelligent folks to express themselves, but honestly it is just how we all think and speak in the real world. Elvie isn’t going around swearing non-stop, but the use of “bitches”, “slut”, and “screwed” show up frequently and seem completely appropriate to the situation she is in. Continue reading

Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I’ve Never Read

9 Oct

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a bit embarrassing, but perhaps such a public admission will give me a kick in the pants to finally read all of these books.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I know, I know… How and why has this not been read by me?! For starters practically everyone I knew read it in high school, but it somehow missed me. Secondly, it isn’t even that long! At 180 pages I could read this in an afternoon, but it has just never happened. It sounds a lot like a book I would love, so maybe I’m just scared it will disappoint. Someone please assure me that it will not disappoint.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This is another popular high school English teacher selection and another one I was able to avoid. Unlike Gatsby I really have no desire to read this one. From what I’ve heard the whole Catherine and Heathcliff thing sounds tiresome. I might be completely off on this one, and feel free to argue in its defense, but I’m not planning on reading this one anytime soon.

3. 1984 by George Orwell

Again I think I was probably supposed to read this at some point, but missed it. When you move across the country in the middle of high school there are a lot of things that get lost in the transition. This actually is a book I want to read and hopefully will get to it one day. For the time being I know just enough about it to understand the pop culture references and that is about it.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Don’t judge me! I’ve seen the movies and I love the story, but I never read the book. I don’t know why. There’s no excuse really. It just hasn’t happened yet. And there are so many new books I want to read… And maybe I’ll pick this up at the library soon and read it already.

 

 


5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I don’t know anything about this book except that it about books being burned and that the title is wrong. The title supposedly refers to the spontaneous burning temperature of paper, only Bradbury got it wrong. In fact, 451 celsius is about the right temp for spontaneous burning of paper. Oh well… I should probably have read this last week in honor of Banned Books Week, but I promise I will get to it soon.


6. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Here’s the thing. I actually read Judy Blume books as a kid, but I know I never read this one. I didn’t know anything about it at all until I was an adult. I just knew practically every girl I ever talked to seemed to have read it. Honestly, I don’t think this is a book for me. All the religious discussion just isn’t my cup of tea anymore. Oh well, I seemed to manage puberty pretty okay without reading it.

7. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

I can’t believe I haven’t read this. I’ve read other Mo Willems books, but this one has continued to escape me. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if I didn’t have a kid… but I do. So I really have no excuse. I will make a vow to pick this up for my daughter next week at work.

8. The BFG  by Roald Dahl

I think every kid in my 5th grade class read this book. I somehow managed to avoid reading practically all of Roald Dahl’s books as an actually child. The only ones I ever got to were Matilda and James and the Giant Peach. Both of those books are excellent of course, but once I did get around to reading some others I realized what fun I missed as a kid. In an effort to not make the same mistake twice I’ve already bought by daughter several awesome Dahl books (just not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… that movie freaks me out and I want nothing to do with any of).

9. Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

This series has been highly recommended by 2 awesome ladies that I completely respect and look to for advice in all things bookish. Why haven’t I read it, you ask. Because it is huge. Each and every book is huge. So far there are 5 books and the combined page total is 4,197! Holy oh my goodness. I did recently download these to my reader to read over the winter so that I won’t have to carry around such a giant book all the time. I know once I get started I’m not going to be able to stop so if you don’t hear from me all winter, you’ll know what I’m up to. 

10. Ravens of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson

I am a die-hard Mists of Avalon fan. I read it for the first time when I was only 15 and it has remained my favorite book ever since. As soon as I finished I wanted to soak up all the other books that took place in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon world. Ravens is the sixth book in the series (although each book is separate from the others). After MZB passed away Paxson carried on her work. I actually own this one and still have not managed to read it. I’m thinking about going back and re-reading the first 5 before starting this one.

**What books are you slightly embarrassed to not have read yet?**

**Are there any books that most people read, but you just simply have no desire to pick up?**

Recommend A… Book You Could Give as a Birthday Present

8 Oct

I love giving presents! I especially love giving books for presents, so this week’s “Recommend A…” meme is absolutely perfect for me.

Hosted by ChickLovesLit

For everyone:

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I’ve been talking about this book a lot and with good reason. This is in my top 5 books of 2012 so far and may even be in the #1 slot. It is a bit of a long book (around 600 pages), but every page is worth it. The greatest thing about The Diviners is that I think it would appeal to a lot of different readers. Set in the 1920s New York, prohibition era, jazz music, a mystery, a splash of romance, and a whole lot of supernatural stuff going on makes for a very interesting plot. This isn’t your typical supernatural stuff either. There’s no werewolves, vampires, or witches. Not a fairy in sight. Just some good ole perhaps demonic, religious cultish apocalypse, and a dash of murder.

For my chick lit lovers:

Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

This book is adorable. For a history nerd like me, Libby’s summer job sounds like way too much fun. For the summer she works at a “living museum” teaching girls all about the ways of colonial life. There’s a lot of flirting, a mysterious haunting, a mean girl who is taking the whole thing way too seriously, and not ONE, but TWO cute boys. Perfect mixture for summer delight.

Follow up with Confederates Don’t Wear Couture (June 2013).

For my more serious readers:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This book will make you cry. No doubt about it. It is an emotionally charged ride for sure. 17-year-old Mia is in a terrible car crash and is left incapacitated. Somehow she is able to view the ongoing lives of her loved ones from outside of her body and must make a very difficult choice. Stay… or go.

Follow up with Where She Went.

For my adventurous readers:

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

This book is one of the best YA fantasy books I’ve ever read. Katsa lives in a world where people are discriminated against based on their “Graces” (or talents). Her grace is one of killing. Her uncle, the King, uses her for her skill to hold tight his reign. An unexpected ally comes into her life who has a similar skill, combat. They forge a bond and set off to uncover a secret big enough to upset the entirety of the seven kingdoms.

Follow up with Fire and Bitterblue.

**What book(s) would you give for someone’s birthday?**

**What book(s) would you like to get as presents?**

Literary Pin-Up Calendar

6 Oct

We’ve all seen the sexy library pin-ups, but artist Lee Moyer has taken it a step further and created a 2013 calendar of pin-up fantasy characters. After contacting 12 fantasy authors and obtaining permission to use their characters, he created next year’s calendar.

In conjunction with Wordbuilders all proceeds from the $20 calendar will go to the charity Heifer International, an organization that donates livestock to in need families around the world.

Moyer’s artwork is inspired by the characters from the works of Peter S. Beagle, Ray Bradbury, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Robin Hobb, N.K. Jemisin, George R. R. Martin, Terry Pratchett, and Patrick Rothfuss.

You can pre-order your copy of the 2013 Literary Pin-Up calendar through The Tinker’s Packs.

And follow artist Lee Moyer’s blog!

Wordbuilder’s mission statement is “to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to make the world a better place.” This is definitely a fun way to help out a great organization.

Banned Books Week 2012

5 Oct

In case you didn’t know this week is Banned Books Week. If you didn’t know it was Banned Books Week, then you probably weren’t aware that in the US people still try to actually have books banned. Not even kidding. Of course the government doesn’t do that so good luck to them, but people still challenge books on all levels. Public libraries and school libraries are usually the main focus of these uptight wannabe book banning silly folks.

The majority of complaints revolve around concern for children and what they might read. Goodness forbid that a parent actually takes the time to be aware of what their children are reading and make an educated decision based on real facts. It is so much easier to write an angry letter to the board (be it a school board or library board) demanding Sherman Alexie AND Stephenie Meyer be removed from the shelves!

Typical complaints are of language, sexual content, religious views, occult, homosexuality, violence, drug use, etc. My favorite is the fact that people complain about too much religion (Twilight books), not enough religion (The Golden Compass), AND occult (Harry Potter and probably every book with magic in it EVER). Funny how you never hear anything about people demanding a television show be taken off air for any of these reasons! We wouldn’t have anything left to watch.

You know what is so great about public libraries? We offer choices for everyone! If you don’t like what is in a book, the solution is very simple.

Just don’t read it!  Continue reading

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