Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday --- Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016


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.


Here's my Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016:

Glen Erik Hamilton
Connie Suttle
Lindsay Jayne Ashford
Susan Wicklund
Ryan Quinn
Haruki Murakami (I've heard of his name for years, but finally read one of his novels this year!)
Aja Raden
Genevieve Jack

Thrity Umrigar
John Scalzi

Which New-To-You Authors Did You Read For The First Time In 2016??

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Paperback Edition
I remember first reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell back in elementary school some 30+ years ago!! I remember liking this novel back then, so decided to reread it again as an adult.

After rereading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, I still enjoyed this novel very much even as an adult and also have a greater appreciation for this novel even more now.

I loved the leading female character, a young Native American girl named, Karana, who is left alone to live by herself on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell is told from Karana's perspective. I liked how the passage of time was conveyed by the passing of seasons rather than by years. I also like hearing what life was like for Karana while she lived alone. I enjoyed hearing how she domesticates two of the wild dogs and some of the birds. I also enjoyed hearing how she helps to rehabilitate a sea otter and also how she makes canoes, clothing, finds food and builds a home of her home on the island. I also liked reading about Karana's experience living through an earthquake and interacting with an Aleut girl who visits the island.

Plus, I enjoyed reading Karana's thoughts on saving wildlife... There are two different points in this novel where Karana expresses her concern about wildlife. Near the beginning of Island of the Blue Dolphins, Karana expresses concern regarding the Aleuts killing of sea otters. She's concerned that the Aleuts may have killed too many sea otters that would their numbers may not bounce back. Later in Island of the Blue Dolphins, Karana decides not to kill any more sea otters and many other animals, which I found interesting. For me the take away of these actions was conservation and sustainability.

I am giving Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday --- Holiday Gift Guide Freebie ~ Nonfiction 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.


Below, in no order of importance, are ten of my favorite nonfiction picks that make for great reading for you or someone you know. The links below will take you to my reviews of each book I've listed in this post.

1. I'm not usually a huge lover of celebrity memoirs. However, I read Bryan Cranston's memoir, A Life In Parts, earlier this year and LOVED IT!! So, if you know someone who loves celebrity memoirs or is a Bryan Cranston fan, then I would recommend this book!

2. My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem is also another wonderful book I really enjoyed earlier this year and is perfect for those who are interested in feminism/women's history.

3. Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden is an excellent book that incorporates history with human desire and of course, jewelry! I love this book. 

4. The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World by Greg King and Sue Woolmans is highly recommended if you (or someone you know) loves European history and wants to know more about Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his marriage to his wife, Sophie, their lives together, their assassination and its aftermath in detail.

5. This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund is another book I enjoyed earlier this year. Abortion is such a hot topic. It seems like people are either for it or against it. I thought it was interesting to read about this topic from the point of view of a doctor who performed abortions and what her take on the topic of abortion was.

6. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is an excellent book by the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. I enjoyed learning more about Malala's life.

7. The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson is a really well written book about the history of sushi, so if you are a foodie or sushi lover, then this book is a perfect book to read.

8. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert was one of my favorite reads in 2015. I really liked this book and it makes a great gift!!

9. The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez is an excellent book and one of my favorite books that I read in 2014.

10. The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester is a book that's been out for quite a while, but it became one of my favorite reads in 2014. If you or someone you know loves history and words, then you'll love this nonfiction book about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Are you a nonfiction lover/reader? If so, please share with me some of your favorite nonfiction books.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke

Unabridged Audio Version
Okay, I've been somewhat on a paranormal kick this year. So, while I was browsing Amazon's website I stumbled across Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke. I saw that there were 595 reviews for Vampire Shift and that this novel has a 4.3 stars out of 5 stars rating!! After reading some of the reviews and the plot summary for Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke, I decided to purchase the unabridged audio version of this novel from Audible.

Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke is a young adult/paranormal novel and the first novel in the Kiera Hudson Series. Vampire Shift is narrated by Keely Beresford. Listening time for Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke is 6 hours, 33 minutes.

First off, I love the cover design for Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke. It has a lovely cover design, which is very well suited for Vampire Shift.

Secondly, I liked the audio production of Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke, because echoing was actually used when the narrator mentions there is echoing, etc. 

However, I felt that Keely Beresford was a so-so narrator. Some of the voices she used for characters was way too cheesy for my personal taste.

And thirdly, I felt that Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke started off very promising. The first couple of chapters hooked you in, but after that things went downhill fast. The story was cheesy, the characters I could care less about, and Vampire Shift wasn't the least bit scary or interesting. I won't even bother reading the rest of the series.

I just can't believe how bad I thought Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke was after I finished it. I almost gave up listening to Vampire Shift on several occasions, but kept thinking it must get better. How could so many people think it was so wonderful on Amazon??

The following is a plot summary for Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke from Audible:
When 20-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations, and missing persons, with her unique ability of "seeing," Kiera soon realizes her life is in danger. 
But when Kiera falls in love with police officer Luke Bishop, not only is her mind and her heart opened to a terrifying new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings. In a race against time to unearth the truth, Kiera must discover the identity of who or what is behind the gruesome deaths on the "Vampire Shift".
I am giving Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke a rating of 1 star out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Unabridged Audio Version
Haruki Murakami seems to be a prolific and very popular writer who's works have been widely translated into other languages outside of Japan. I have known of Japanese author Haruki Murakami for quite a few years now, but had never read any of his published works until now. 

I finally made the decision to listen to the unabridged audio version of Haruki Murakami's novel, Norwegian Wood, for two main reasons:

1. I was kind of overwhelmed as to which of Haruki Murakami's novels to read first as most of his novels sound like interesting ones to read. It wasn't until after I read an article online, which recommended starting with his novel, Norwegian Wood, that I decided to give this novel a go.

2. Earlier this year (and also in previous years), Haruki Murakami has been heavily predicted to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Alas, he has yet to win this prestigious literary award. I figured that Haruki Murakami's writing must be pretty darn good and worth reading if he has been heavily favored to win such a prestigious literary prize. So, I decided that it was time for me to read one of his novels.

I liked listening to the unabridged audio version of Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and narrated by John Chancer overall. Listening time is 13 hours, 20 minutes.

I thought John Chancer did a good job of narrating Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. As far as the novel goes, Norwegian Wood is interesting and very captivating. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is filled with interesting characters and contains an engaging coming of age story set in 1969 and 1970.

There were two things I didn't like about Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I didn't like the abrupt ending. The reader is left wondering what the leading character of Toru Watanabe means by what he says at the end of the novel and if he remains sane or succumbs to a nervous breakdown. I also didn't like how all the women in Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami seemed crazy or flawed in some way, which made me wonder if the author doesn't like women much.

The following is a plot summary for Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami from Audible:
This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event. 
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. 
A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.
I am giving Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Essential Titles For Understanding Your Reproductive Rights

As a woman, I find reproductive rights a huge issue and an important one for all women and men too. I came across an article on Bustle titled 11 Essential Titles For Understanding Your Reproductive Rights by E. Ce Miller. In the article, E. Ce Miller writes:
Of the myriad freedoms in ever-increasing peril in the wake of America’s 2016 presidential election, a Trump administration’s threat to women’s reproductive rights is an issue at the forefront of many women’s minds. In the past week dozens of publications, from CNN and the Washington Post to Elle, Glamour, Jezebel, and Vogue, have reported that the number of women requesting IUDs — a small, T-shaped device implanted in a woman’s uterus, and a form of long-term birth control that could outlast a Trump presidency and is still covered by the Affordable Care Act — has skyrocketed since the election. Planned Parenthood has received more than 200,000 private donations between $10 and $10,000 since November 8, in part thanks to the #WeWontGoBack hashtag on Twitter, which is being used to share important news and information about reproductive rights and encourages donations to Planned Parenthood in response to the election. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve defended my own vagina’s inalienable rights more in the last two weeks than I have in the last 28 years put together. Suffice it to say: women are nervous. And more than a little pissed off. 
Donald Trump’s most inflammatory policies about birth control include revoking federal funding from Planned Parenthood, returning abortion laws to the discretion of individual states (which means restricting access to legal abortions for millions of women — "they might have to drive to other states," Trump said in a recent 60 Minutes interview, as though we all just have Trump's private Boeing 757 at our disposal), and toying with the idea of “punishing” both abortion-seeking women and their doctors. But when it comes to legislating the uterus, Trump’s VP pick is a whole other story. Mike Pence’s history with women’s reproductive rights includes his being the first congressman to propose revoking all federal funding from Planned Parenthood (in 2011), signing eight anti-abortion bills into law during his first four years as governor of Indiana, co-sponsoring a bill designed to redefine “rape” in order to further restrict women from seeking legal abortions, delegitimizing condoms as a safe and effective form of birth control and STD-prevention (in a CNN interview), and closing so many Planned Parenthood locations in Indiana (none of which even performed abortions) that egregious lack of affordable care led to a 2015 HIV epidemic that has since been declared a public health emergency. So, plenty to look forward to if this proposed administration holds.
Lots of food for thought when it comes to reproductive rights! Click on the top link to discover the essential books for understanding your reproductive rights.