Monthly Archives: March 2015


March Updates

Posted 31 March, 2015 by Lianne in Website / 4 Comments

Ahh, March, I hardly knew ye. Where has the time gone? Seems like yesterday it was Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday and now Easter is upon us! (along with warmer weather *knocks on wood*) Anyways, so March was a rather varied month of posts, lol


(image source; I was clearly having way too much fun on the Ides of March looking up macros and references 😛 )

  1. Books reviewed this month include: Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (review), Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (review), and Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. ARCs read and reviewed this month include: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (review) and Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman’s The Seige Winter (review). You can check out all of the ARCs that I recently read in this tag.
  3. Movies reviewed (though not necessarily watched this month) include: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (review), Begin Again (review), and Song of the Sea (review). You can see all of my movie reviews in this tag.
  4. On the theatre note (hehehe, shiny new category 😀 ), I finally get around to watching my DVD of Twelfth Night performed at the Globe back in 2012 (review) as well as RSC’s Hamlet from 2009 (review). Earier this month I was also talking about Shakespeare adaptations and productions on a whole–feel free to drop in and chat! I’d love to hear from you 🙂
  5. For So You Want to Read… this month, I focused on J.R.R. Tolkien’s works to coincide with Tolkien Reading Day (see post) 🙂 You can see the post of recommendations here.
  6. On a final note: it’s spring. Hence the layout change (a preset theme from Tweak Me V2) 🙂

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And that’s about it from me this month! I hope everyone had a wonderful March and is having a good week 🙂

Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 31 March, 2015 by Lianne in Meme / 17 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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!

This week’s topic: 10 Books Recently Added to TBR List

Okay, I admit, I was a little perplexed by the title as I have my actual TBR list and then there’s my want-to-read list. I opted to go for with my want-to-read list (books that I want to read but don’t have on queue or in my possession) for this week’s TTT just to show you guys what books have caught my eye recently (sort of; I’ve added some more books since I put this post together. Besides, you guys have seen my TBR list more or less :P). Pretty eclectic mix, lol (well, sort of; added a ton of Russian titles recently). I’ve included links to GoodReads so you can check out the premise of the books 😉

  1. Grigori Vladimov’s Faithful Ruslan (Goodreads)
  2. Sergei Dovlatov’s A Foreign Woman (GoodReads)
  3. Sergei Dovlatov’s The Compromise (GoodReads)
  4. Andrei Bitov’s Pushkin House (GoodReads)
  5. Vasily Aksyonov’s The Winter’s Hero (GoodReads)
  6. Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers (GoodReads)
  7. Austin Wright’s Tony & Susan (GoodReads)
  8. Jeremy Massey’s The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley (GoodReads)
  9. Seth Greenland’s I Regret Everything: A Love Story (GoodReads)
  10. Roberto Tiraboschi’s The Eye Stone: A Novel of Venice (GoodReads)

And that’s my list of books for this week! What were the 10 most recent books you added to your TBR list?

Review: Painter of Silence

Posted 30 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Painter of Silence
By: Georgina Harding
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When she leaves the ward she feels the whiteness of the room still inside her, as if she is bleached out inside. It is the shock, she tells herself. She feels the whiteness like a dam holding back all the coloured flood of memory. 1948. A man is found on the steps of the hospital in Iasi, Romania. Wet with morning dew, he is as frail as a fallen bird and utters no words. It is days before anyone realises that he is deaf and mute. The ward sister, Adriana, whose son still has not returned from the war in Russia, sits at the man’s bedside and whispers to him, keeping herself company. But it is a young nurse called Safta who thinks to bring paper and pencils with which he might draw. Slowly, painstakingly, memories appear on the page: a hillside, a stable, a racing car, a grand house as it was before everything changed for ever. The man is Augustin, the son of a cook at the manor house in Dumbraveni where Safta was the privileged daughter. Born six months apart, they had a connection that bypassed words, but while Augustin’s world stayed the same size Safta’s expanded to embrace languages, society, the breathless possibility of Paris. And love, one dappled summer’s day, in the form of a fleeting young man in a green Lagonda. Pictures are always in the present. But a war has raged and ebbed since those days, leaving in its wake a new, Communist regime. Walls have ears, words and images are more dangerous than ever before, and even neighbours with old-world mirrors and samovars cannot be trusted.

Georgina Harding’s kaleidoscopic new novel is as intense and submerging as rain, as steeped in the horrors of our recent history as it is in the intimate passions of the human heart.

I believe I first came across this novel when it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in Women’s Fiction in 2012 (now the Baileys Women’s Prize). The premise caught my attention (as did the book cover…a bit different fromt his one, though, a little brighter but still blue) and so it had been on my wishlist for a few years until I finally picked up the eBook during a sale 🙂

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Review: 2 of John Ford’s Plays

Posted 29 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Decided to combine my reviews of two of John Ford’s players here as I didn’t have much to say about the second play, however interesting it was. I also just wanted to keep track of my thoughts on this play here.

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‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
By: John Ford
Format/Source: eBook

The tragic story of incestuous love between Giovanni and his sister Annabella.

When Annabella is found to be pregnant by her brother, she agrees to marry her suitor Soranzo. But when the lovers’ incestuous secret is discovered, vengeance and bloody murder follow.

I was curious about this play after hearing that it had a successful run at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in late 2014. John Ford is one of those playwrights who lived and wrote in and around Shakespeare’s time (actually short afterwards? His plays are considered Jacobean). The book blurb pretty much tells the story more or less, though from the opening sequence the reader is already well aware that this play will not end well for (almost) everyone. Giovanni and Annabella, the Jaime and Cersei Lannister of Jacobean theatre, I rather felt sorry for them, feeling the way they do; if you take out the brother & sister context, their love for each other was the purest and most sincere of the entire cast. Everyone else were either out for their own interests, were greedy, insincere, etc. But man, it got really bloody at the end when they are discovered and almost everyone dies. There’s also quite a swipe made towards the church at the end, as well as the sad state of women’s position in society during this time; the claim that the Friar makes sounds directed at Annabella, which is outrageous as despite of her connection to her brother was quite sincere and innocent.

I am amused though that Annabella’s lady companion’s name was Putana. Whose side do you think she’s on? 😛

Also, I have to say, if you’re going to listen to the play, I wouldn’t recommend LibriVox. I started listening to the play through there and I had to stop about halfway through Act 1 because the person playing Giovanni was playing him very creepily. The whole thing with Giovanni and Annabella is already problematic, no need to amp the creep factor up. I couldn’t ignore it, I had to stop.

Overall, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore was an accessible read with some interesting themes and food for thought about feelings and the sincerity of them.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The Broken Heart
By: John Ford
Format/Source: eBook

The lifeless trunk shall wed the broken heart.

The scene is ancient Sparta and the loving couple Penthea and Orgilus are forced apart by her brother and Penthea is pressed into a loveless marriage with a brutal and jealous old man. Orgilus, disguised as a poor scholar, watches, waits, and as events unfold, unleashes a terrible cycle of revenge.

I immediately picked up this play after reading the last one, partly because I’m on a roll and partly because this play is on right now at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It’s gotten some mixed reviews but at the same time it’s considered one of John Ford’s lesser-performed plays (despite of its absence of any controversy, unlike the previous play). It’s an interesting setting–Sparta–but it follows the John Ford scheme of love, tragedy, and bloody revenge all around. It’s an interesting play but there’s a lot of different storylines under this title; it takes a while to figure out how everything will factor in together at the end. The main storyline, the situation there, really sucked and I felt so sorry for Penthea.

Not sure what else to say about this play as I was half-asleep when I read a good chunk of it, but yeah, it sucked for everyone. Nonetheless it was an interesting read.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review: Spellbound

Posted 28 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Spellbound (Spellwright #2)
By: Blake Charlton
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my purchase

Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses. But when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death, Francesca finds herself in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand—one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again.

Ten years ago, Nico escaped Starhaven Academy, leaving behind his failed life, in which he was considered disabled and felt useless. Now, in Spellbound, he’s starting fresh, using his newfound gifts in the dark Chthonic languages to pursue the emerald that holds his birthright. Unfortunately, he can’t escape the chaos of his old life. His mentor suffers from an incurable curse, agents of the fabled Halcyon hunt him day and night, pieces of Francesca’s story don’t add up, and the prophesized War of Disjunction looms on the horizon.

Nico and Francesca don’t know it yet, but they are going to have to fit together the pieces of an age-old puzzle and discover the demon’s darkest secret….

Having finished reading Spellwright (review), I jumped in to start Spellbound and continue Nico’s adventures in understanding his birthright and facing the prophecies surrounding his existence.

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