Sunday, September 25, 2016

Banned Books Week 2016 ~ September 25th - October 1st

I'll be wearing the above t-shirt & socks for Banned Books Week 2016!!
Each year, I try to read at least one banned or challenged book a year. I've read two banned/challenged books so far as follows: The Witches by Roald Dahl and Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume. I don't remember if I've read any other banned or challenged books earlier this year or not.

For me, Banned Books Week is a celebration against censorship and for standing up for my right (and the right of others) to read what I (others) want to read. I think it's wrong for other people to decide/define which books and other materials one should read or not read by banning them. Defending the first amendment is crucial!

During Banned Books Week this year, I plan to read Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Plus, wear special banned book socks and a t-shirt to help promote Banned Books Week!

So how are you celebrating Banned Books Week this year?

Friday, September 23, 2016

28 Underused Words??

I came across an article on BuzzFeed's website titled, 28 Underused Words You Really Need To Start Using by Dan Dalton, which I found fun to read!! I learned many new words, which sound like fun ones to actually use like; absquatulate, sockdolager, mountebank, crapulent, recidivist, and hebetude are a few of my favorite words from this article!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tightrope by Simon Mawer

Unabridged Audio Version of Tightrope by Simon Mawer
I decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of the novel, Tightrope by Simon Mawer, based on a review by another blogger Carole from Carole's Chatter and also because the idea of reading a historical thriller set in post World War II London during the Cold War sounded like an appealing novel to read.

Listening time for Tightrope by Simon Mawer is 14 hours, 20 minutes. Tightrope by Simon Mawer is narrated by Kate Reading and I thought she did a good job of narrating Tightrope.

I initially felt that it was a bit difficult to get into the rhythm and flow of Tightrope by Simon Mawer. Sometimes it was a bit difficult to follow the storyline as it goes back an forth in time during some of scenes. I didn't care much for the first 65% of the novel, but felt things became more captivating the last 35% of Tightrope by Simon Mawer.

As far as the leading character, Marian Sutro, goes, I have mixed feelings about her as a character. Truth be told, I didn't end up liking Marian Sutro much by the end of Tightrope. Marian seems to be too caught up in the entire cloak and dagger thing of the Cold War once she returns home from World War II. She doesn't seem to form any real emotional attachments to any one man other than one man who does stand out towards the later part of the novel. It's like relationships with men are a means to and end for Marian. Marian has no problems sleeping with married men or even cheating on her own husband without remorse.

The following is a synopsis of Tightrope by Simon Mawer from Amazon:
This captivating historical thriller brings back Marian Sutro, ex-special operations agent, and traces her romantic and political exploits in post-World War II London, where the Cold War is about to reshape old loyalties.
As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris. One of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive, she has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration, and the horrors of Ravensbruck concentration camp, but at what cost? Returned to an England she barely knows and a postwar world she doesn't understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her, but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the monstrosities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and at the same time to find the identity that has never been hers.
A novel of divided loyalties and mixed motives, Tightrope is the complex and enigmatic story of a woman whose search for personal identity and fulfillment leads her to shocking choices.
Tightrope by Simon Mawer, just didn't really do much for me as a novel. It was just okay. I am giving Tightrope by Simon Mawer a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Paperback Edition
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson is a young adult novel. Catalyst is also the second novel I've read by Laurie Halse Anderson to date.

As usual, I found Laurie Halse Anderson's writing to be very engaging. She creates interesting leading characters. I like the plot and storylines Laurie Halse Anderson creates. I also feel that Laurie Halse Anderson is direct and to the point with the words she uses to create her novels.

I must say that the character of Teri Litch in Catalyst was not my favorite character. I initially didn't like her at all. Teri Litch is mean, rude, aggressive, angry at the world, has a chip on her shoulder, a bully, steals things, and is just not a very likable person at all... As Catalyst unfolds, we learn a lot about Teri's rough life at home and more about her background, which explains a lot about why she is the way she is. Teri never quite gets rid of her rough/gruff personality, but by the end of the novel we see a change in her personality for the better and some moments where Teri does seem vulnerable and open.

Kate Malone is the leading character of Catalyst and is an overachiever. Over the course of the novel, we see Kate's personality shift as well on how she views the world. 

Additionally, Kate and Teri have never been friends ever. In fact, Teri use to bully Kate routinely. The two are forced to share a bedroom together indefinitely when Teri moves in with Kate's family after a major fire destroys Teri's family's home. Neither of the teenagers are thrilled with this idea and do not get along. Eventually, a sort of friendship develops between the two by the end of the novel, as both teenagers are transformed by events over the course of the novel.

The following is a plot summary for Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson from Amazon:
Meet Kate Malone-straight A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, girlfriend, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it, as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, like a string of chemical reactions, everything happens: the Malones' neighbors get burned out of their home and move in. Because her father is a Good Man of God (and a Not Very Thoughtful Parent), Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's adorable, troublemaking little brother. And through it all, she's still waiting to hear from the only college she has applied to: MIT. Kate's life is less and less under control-and then, something happens that blows it all apart, and forces her to examine her life, self, and heart for the first time. Set in the same community as the remarkable Speak, Catalystis a novel that will make you think, laugh, cry, and rejoice-sometimes at the same time.
I am giving Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday --- Top 10 Audiobooks You Should Listen To!!

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.

I LOVE listening to AUDIOBOOKS!!!! I've listened to many audiobooks, especially the last 3 to 4 years. So, I found it difficult to narrow down my choices to just 10 audiobooks. Below is my list of a few of my favorite audiobooks:

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim and narrated by Bahni Turpin.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee and narrated by Reese Witherspoon.
The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss and narrated by Hollis McCarthy.
The Good Traitor by Ryan Quinn and narrated by Angela Dawe.
The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World by Sue Woolmans and Greg King and narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner.
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert and narrated by the author.
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester and narrated by the author.
The Soloist by Steve Lopez and narrated by William Hughes.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and narrated by Mike Chamberlin.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem and narrated by the author and Debra Winger.
This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund and narrated by Robin Miles.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sandra Cisneros To Receive National Medal Of Arts!!

I enjoyed reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, not once, but twice!! The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is an award winning novel coming-of-age story about a Latina girl growing up in Chicago.

Being a fan of Sandra Cisneros writing, I was happy to learn that she is being awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Obama on September 22, 2016. 

To learn more, read an article on Bustle's website titled, Sandra Cisneros To Receive National Medal Of Arts From President Obama by Kristian Wilson.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Unabridged Audio Version from Audible
Growing up in the 1970s, I loved watching the television series Wonder Woman starring Lynda Carter. 

I loved watching this television series so much that my mother made me a Wonder Woman costume for Halloween one year, which was a labor of true love on my mother's part as she can barely sew anything to save her life!! The costume turned out great and I wore it with pride for Halloween that year. I don't remember what ever became of the Wonder Woman costume my mother made for me... I wish we had it stowed away somewhere for posterity. And, I really don't remember much of the Wonder Woman television series other than Lynda Carter starred as Wonder Woman and her costume + a few additional minor details.

When I came across the unabridged audio version of The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore and narrated by the author on Audible, I couldn't resist buying and listening to this nonfiction book. Listening time for The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore is 9 hours, 5 minutes.

Whoa, this book is packed with lots of information!! It was kind of overwhelming how much information was shared with readers. I wasn't expecting so much information about the history of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator. Not only was William Moulton Marston the creator of Wonder Woman, but he was the inventor of the lie detector, a psychologist, and an attorney. 
William Moulton Marston also lived a very unconventional life with women and he was also influenced by feminism. 

There is a lot of history about feminism is The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore in addition to the life and times of William Moulton Marston.

I felt like the majority of The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore focused on the history of William Moulton Marston's life, his family, the women in his life & his relationship with them, and feminism. Yes, Wonder Woman is discussed in this novel quite a bit, but I wish more of Wonder Woman was discussed than she.

The following is a summary for The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore from Audible:
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origins of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story - and a crucial history of 20th-century feminism.
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history. 
Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the 20th century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth - he invented the lie detector test - lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history of Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights - a chain of events that begins with the women's suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
I am giving The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

FREE Audiobooks Included With Amazon Prime!!

I love listening to audiobooks and I also happen to be an Amazon Prime member. So, I was excited to learn this morning that FREE audiobooks are now included with Amazon Prime!! I look forward to seeing which audiobooks will be available through Amazon Prime.

To learn more information, read the following article I discovered through Bustle's website titled, Free Audiobooks Are Now Included With Amazon Prime, But Which Books Will Be Available? by Kristian Wilson.

Banned Book Weeks Socks!!

I love reading banned or challenged books. I try to read at least one banned or challenged book each year. This year, I've read two banned/challenged that I can recall off hand. 

I also love literary/bookish related items to add to my personal collection of all things book related. While attending an author event and signing at an independent bookstore earlier this week, I saw a cute pair of banned books socks by the cash wrap area when purchasing a book. The socks are black and white and are completely adorable!! I couldn't resist buying a pair of them. I look forward to wearing the banned books socks later this month during Banned Books Week, which will be held during the week of September 25 through October 1, 2016.

The socks cost $10 and can be purchased online through Out of Print Clothing. On the packaging for the socks it reads: "Every purchase donates one book to a community in need." I like that books are being donated to communities in need. Literacy is important and so is access to books and periodicals.

There are also other banned books themed items for sale through the Out of Print Clothing website. Check out the fun items that can be found on their website.

Until my next post, happy reading!!