Category Archives: the broke and the bookish

Once Upon A Time…

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top ten tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is your top ten fairy tale retellings that you’ve already read or want to read. Fairy tale retelling have taken off in literature of late, especially in the young adult genre, and many of them sound fascinating. Fairy tales are such a part of each cultures collective memory it’s amazing they are coming back to the forefront again.

In no particular order, here are my top ten picks!

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1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A Cinderella retelling I have yet to read but do currently own!

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2. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Perhaps my top 5 favorite books from childhood.

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3. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

A Sleeping Beauty retelling.

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4. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

A novel I just recently acquired at work.

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5. Beauty by Robin McKinley

A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

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6. The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

Such a cute and ingenious retelling of multiple fair tales.

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7. Fables by Bill Willingham

A graphic novel retelling of fair tale characters in a new setting.

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8. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

A Wizard of Oz retelling.

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9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I’ve been wanting to read this novel for ages.

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10. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

A Peter Pan retelling.

Coming Soon

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Coming Soon

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is the top ten most anticipated new releases of 2015. I honestly can’t say I really look for new releases in books. I more just stumble across books in various places. The only novels I actively look for in new releases are usually new books in a series or new books by an author I love. I couldn’t quite get to ten in this list but I do have 6, some of which have already been released. So, without further ado, here are my most anticipated new releases for the year!

harper lee

1. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, release date July 14

I’m a little on the fence with this one, especially with all of the controversy surrounding the release of the novel. It’s so hard when a book is so beloved to release a new companion novel. I feel like it’s almost a lose lose for Harper Lee. Everyone will compare it to To Kill A Mockingbird. We will just have to wait and see. I have high hopes for this one.

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2. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, release date June 9

This book I found in an article in a magazine at the dentist’s office. The premise sounded so intriguing that I had to put it on this list.

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3. The Lake House by Kate Morton, release date October 20

I’m a sucker for the Kate Morton formula. I love the historical fiction, mystery aspects of her novels.

lair of dreams

4. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, release date August 25

This is the sequel to Bray’s novel The Diviners. I really enjoyed The Diviners and loved the 1920s atmosphere. I have high expectations for the sequel that I’m sure Bray can meet.

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5. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

This book is already out and has been sitting at Target where I eye it every time I walk past. I’ve been dying to read this book but for some reason haven’t gotten around to it yet. I loved Oliver’s Before I Fall, and this book has an intriguing premise.

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6. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

This novel has also been released and is going to be featured in my Book Battle. Stay tuned for some good old fashioned Golden Age mystery fun.

What books are you looking forward to this year?

Movie Madness

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Movie Madness

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is the top ten books you’d like to see made into a movie or TV show. I know there are a lot of adaptations that just don’t quite hold up to the novel but I still do like to see how they adapt from the page to the screen. The amounts of work that go into each is extraordinary. It’s always interesting to see movies/TV shows that completely deviate from the novel. It always makes me wonder why. Without further ado, here are my choices of books I’d like to see made into either a movie or TV show.

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1. The Sundial by Shirley Jackson

This is one about the end of the world and the preparations that go into that. I’d love to see it made into a TV show so that they can expand and take the concept further. What happens at the end of the world? Who will make it?

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2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This novel would make a wonderful movie. Kind of like A Wrinkle in Time but with it’s own unique flair. Plus, it would be fun to see New York City in the 1970s on the big screen.

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3. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnely

Based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy, this novel tells the tale from a different perspective. There’s already been a movie about this case, A Place in the Sun with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, but I think it would be interesting to see the tale from the new characters point of view. It’s a bit more sinister.

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4. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

This novel would make a beautiful movie. If they get the cinematography right and the screenplay. I loved this book so much. It’s basically a love story to literature and the written word. I imagine a kind of Pan’s Labyrinth type of feel.

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5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I can see this being a movie or a TV mini-series. The plot line and characters were so captivating I’d love to see how they would translate that to the screen.

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6. The Echo Falls trilogy by Peter Abrahamson

This would make a wonderful TV show. Filled with eccentric characters and a delightful small town backdrop, I think these novels would be like Nancy Drew meets the Gilmore Girls.

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7. Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Movie all the way on this one. The novel had me laughing out loud and pining right along with the characters.

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8. I Am The Messenger by Marcus Zusak

I absolutely adored this book and the inventive concept. I think it would make a great movie. The writing is so colorful and vivid it would be an easy one to adapt.

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9. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

A favorite childhood book of mine. I’d love to see it made into a movie just to see how they make those dolls move.

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10. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This one would make a great mini-series to give it enough time to tell the tale. The story is so captivating and heartbreaking. Reminds me a bit of The Flame Trees of Thika in the sense that it’s about a family trying to adapt and find their way in difficult situations.

What made your top ten this week?

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is the top ten authors you’d love to meet. I’ve had the chance to meet a few authors and, let me tell you, it’s kind of terrifying and nerve wracking. It’s also exhilarating meeting the person who’s brain spawned something you love but it’s so hard trying to talk intelligently when all you want to say is, “I love you so much.” But for this weeks theme I’m going to hold it together. Without further ado, these are the authors I would love to meet (on some plane):

1. Jane Austen

First of all I think Jane Austen would be hilarious in real life just like she is in her books. I love some irony and sarcasm. I would also love to ask her what she thinks of all of these Pride and Prejudice spin off books.

2. Daphne du Maurier

This is one of the authors I would be most intimidated to meet. She’s such an amazing talent I don’t know if I could even form words. I’ve read so many of her novels and watched the movie adaptations I would love to just listen to her talk and see how her brain works.

3. Raymond Chandler

Another author I would be really intimated to meet. Chandler’s writing style is, to me, perfection. He can write a sentence with a bang like no one else.

4. Nova Ren Suma

One of the authors I’ve just recently discovered, Nova Ren Suma is absolutely amazing. Her writing is so lyrical and just immerses you in a wave of words. I would love to talk to her about writing technique and how to craft the perfect YA novel.

5. Joan Didion

This lady saw so many amazing events in her life. I would love to talk to her about the time she spent in the Haight in the 60s and what the experience was like.

6. R.L. Stine/Christopher Pike

Once again I group these two together because in my childhood I loved them like the same person. I would love to talk to them together about their writing styles and if there ever was any competition between the two in their chosen genres. I also want to know how they’re able to produce such a large body of work.

7. Oscar Wilde

This is one author who knew how to live it up. I think that if you met him in real life he would just be a crack up and charm you with his wit and intelligence.

8. Truman Capote

I would love to meet the mind that spawned such masterpieces as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. He was truly one of the best literary voices of his generation.

9. Tana French

Her Dublin murder squad series just keeps getting better. Each novel has kept me on the edge of my seat. I would love to find out what her inspirations are.

10. Agatha Christie

Last, but certainly not least, I would love to meet the queen of all suspense and the mother of the Golden Age mystery. What happened to you during those 11 days and where did you go?

Who are some of the authors you’d love to meet?

Top Ten Tuesday: After The End

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Top Ten Tuesday: After The End

This Tuesday’s topic is the top ten characters from books you’ve read that you’d like to check back in with. Who hasn’t wanted to know what happens after the book ends? I think we’re all curious about what happens next to beloved characters. There’s a whole genre for continuing character stories. So without further ado, here are the ten characters I’d like to check in on.

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1. Orianna Speerling from The Walls Around Us So I know I just read this but I already am wondering what happened next to this character especially after the novel’s explosive ending.

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2. Molly from Dreadful Sorry A favorite book from childhood and one I’ve read for the Book Battle. I’d love to find out where she is now and if she and Jared stayed together.

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3. Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice I know there’s been so many takes on this novel but I want to know straight from Jane Austen’s mouth what would have happened to these two characters.

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4. Frank Mackey and family from Faithful Place I’ve been wondering for a while what happened to Frank and his family after the tragedy at the end of Faithful Place. I know French revisits characters from past books and am hoping she will for Frank.

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5. Merricat from We Have Always Lived in the Castle This book left me wondering long after I finished the last page. What happened to Merricat and her sister after the village turned against them?

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6. Gemma Doyle The last book left on a bit of a cliff hanger and I wasn’t ready to let this trilogy go.

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7. Faina from The Snow Child This was such a beautiful take on a fairy tale. I loved the setting and the characters and would love to catch up with the snow child herself.

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8. Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle I was so thoroughly enchanted by Dodie Smith’s book and the world she created. Man do I want to read this book again.

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9. The unnamed main character from Rebecca I have read this book at least 4 times, and plan on reading it again for the Book Battle. Du Maurier is such a gifted story teller. Each time I read the tale I wonder what next.

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10. Nancy Drew By far, Nancy Drew captured my childhood. I’ve always wanted to know what happens to Nancy when she grows up. Does she leave River Heights? What about Bess and George and Ned, the long suffering boyfriend? Inquiring minds would love to know.

First Foray into Top Ten Tuesday

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First Foray into Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m so excited to finally contribute to Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve seen this post from so many bloggers I follow that I decided it was about time I get in on it as well. This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books From My Childhood That I Would Like to Revisit. Be prepared for some waves of nostalgia. In no particular order here are some of my absolute favorite books from childhood.

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1. The Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene

I was so absurdly obsessed with Nancy Drew as a kid. It was my goal to own every single mystery ever penned by the many authors who were Carolyn Keene. Nancy was always so effortlessly confident and in charge, and always managed to solve the mystery.

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2. The entire Harry Potter series

I include these books because I started them in elementary school and went on from there. I loved the world of magic and courage that Rowling created. I was one of those kids waiting for my letter to arrive by owl through the chimney.

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3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School

My third grade teacher introduced me to these books and I immediately fell in love with them. The school where nothing is ever quite what you think it is and everyone has a story, from the students to the staff.

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4. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

I must have read this book at least a dozen times in elementary school. It had all the elements. It was scary, it had a mystery, dark pasts, family secrets, and a very creepy right out of Are You Afraid of the Dark dollhouse. One of my favorite childhood reads.

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5. The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore by Joan Lowery Nixon

Joan Lowery Nixon was the queen of suspense for the elementary aged kid. I read as many of her books as I could get my hands on. The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore is one of my favorites by Nixon. A girl gets kidnapped but then no one believes her, including her parents. So it’s up to her to prove the world that what she’s saying is the truth.

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6. Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Suess

A combination of I Spy and pure magic, Dr. Suess’s Wacky Wednesday will forever remain one of my favorite childhood reads. I could read this book for hours trying to find all of the things written on the page in the pictures. So much entertainment jam packed into such a small book.

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7. Two Minute Mysteries by Donald J. Sobol

I first got one of these books at my elementary school’s book fair. It’s so simple but the mysteries are ingeniously thought out. I pictured myself as a tiny Sherlock Holmes. These books went with me on many a family road trip tucked into the backseat.

ella enchanted8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This book was also purchased at a book fair. It only took the first chapter for me to fall head over heels for this magical little book. What a great re-working and re-weaving of popular fairy tales.

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9. The Boxcar Children series  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

These books are like a staple in every elementary school teacher’s classroom library. I started reading these in the first grade and would take out as many as the school library would let me. I loved the mystery and adventure the characters encountered in the series.

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10. The Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary

I loved Ramona’s antics and her crazy schemes. Her character just flew off the page and right into my imagination. She was spunky and knew what she wanted and how she was going to get it. I also watched the TV show Ramona to add in a bit more Ramona fun.

What were some of your favorite books from childhood? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Let me know in the comments section. Happy Reading!