Monthly Archives: January 2016

January Updates

Posted 31 January, 2016 by Lianne in Website / 4 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is off to a great start with 2016 ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a bit hectic earlier this month for me, partly on the technical side of the blog, partly offline and taking my board exam, but all is well ๐Ÿ™‚ (more on stuffs next week when I post my Bookish & Not-So-Bookish post ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

So interesting this about this month’s activity on my blog, which is going to be the case for the first quarter of the year: all of the reviews featured were from books I read late last year. You may remember me mentioning at one point that my blogging schedule had spilled over to 2016, so here we are ๐Ÿ˜› (This will actually continue until…*whispers* the end of April (more or less) *blushes* With some notable exceptions of course (namely eARCs and Brandon Sanderson’s books)


  1. Books reviewed this month include: David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (review), Susanna Kearsley’s Named of the Dragon (review), and Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. One ARC review was posted this month, Federico de Roberto’s The Viceroys (review). You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed in this tag.
  3. One movie was reviewed this month, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (review). You can check out all of the movies I’ve reviewed in this tag.
  4. For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I decided to feature Sarah Addison Allen. I’ve pretty much read all of her books to date save for her latest, First Frost (which from the premise I wouldn’t have included in this list anyhow so we’re safe), so yeah, if you’re interested in checking out her books, my recommendations can be found in this post. over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
  5. On the technical side of things, the blog did experience a bit of downtime earlier this month; I do apologise if you were trying to access the blog later in the week of January 11th, I think it had something to do with a plugin update that didn’t mesh well with my other plugins that were active. It was a good time to prompt me to clean out and reorganise, which I’m slowy getting around to doing (in conjunction to some of my New Year resolutions for the blog ๐Ÿ˜› ).


And that’s about it from me for the first month of 2016! Not much going on here other than catching up on book reviews from last year, really. I do have some bookish resolutions that I hope to fulfill this year so fingers crossed! Meanwhile, be sure to stick around next month as it’s going to be my blog’s 9th blogoversary ๐Ÿ˜€ Wow how time flies!

I suppose I should warn you–and I admit, it seemed like a good time to do it as Valentine’s Day (-_-) is next month–but about two-thirds of my book reviews next month are going to feature historical romance titles. Don’t say you weren’t warned ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, how was your January? Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Movie: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Posted 29 January, 2016 by Lianne in Entertainment / 6 Comments

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.


I had been curious about this movie ever since I heard that it was being filmed in Rome (<3 Rome). Then the trailer came out and my curiosity was further piqued my interest but as always, it took me a while to get around to watching this movie ๐Ÿ˜› May contain spoilers ahead!

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 28 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

And here we are, first batch of mini book reviews for 2016! Sort of…granted, the reviews featured below were from titles I’ve read in 2015, but no matter, it was an interesting assortment of titles I read towards the end of last year ๐Ÿ˜› Included in this batch of reviews are:

So without further ado…

The Last Witness
By: K.J. Parker
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When you need a memory to be wiped, call me.

Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I’ve ever mastered. But now, I’m holding so many memories I’m not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more.

Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I’m trying to bury…

I’ve been eyeing the Tor novellas for some time; the stories sound interesting and the artwork for them are fantastic. I decided to pick up this novella first as the premise sounds really interesting and holds a lot storytelling promise and direction. Suffice to say it didn’t disappoint; I found myself really gripped to my eReader, chest tight with anxiety as I read this unnamed narrator’s story as a man who could wipe your worst, most unwanted memories away. It’s eerie what he can do–and why he can be such a dangerous person and/or weapon–and his dubious morals makes him a rather fascinating character to follow. Despite of his faults, which he freely admits to, I found myself strangely rooting for him, hoping that his shady dealings doesn’t catch up with him, even as some of the things he had done were pretty =S

The novella was also interesting in that the narrator finds himself contemplating about memories, how they define us, how they are tied to truth, etc. I really appreciated how these themes weaved in and out of the story, not necessarily on the fore, but it’s there, especially as our narrator proves to be terribly unreliable. The story can be dark, the character flawed and dubious, the worldbuilding interesting enough with a lot of political changes happening in the backdrop, but overall it was a fantastic novella. Definitely worth checking out!

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Review: Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Posted 27 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons #4)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London . . .

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought of as nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the sameโ€”especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. When he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threatโ€” or his promise of a happy ending?

At long last, preeeccccious, I finally has it <3 It was quite a wait, waiting for the new edition (with the second epilogue included!) to be released and for it to ship xP Between reading An Offer From a Gentleman (review) to reading this book, I read a good ton of her other books, lmao (many of which the reviews will be going live next month). Contains MAJOR spoilers for plot points in this novel!

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Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 26 January, 2016 by Lianne in Meme / 24 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: Freebie Week

Oooh, what to choose, what to choose…*thinks* Okay, how about Favourite (Theatre/Drama) Plays? That’s different, and something I don’t think I really compiled together outside of Shakespeare (see author tag) ๐Ÿ˜€

Warning: There’s a lot of Shakespeare in this list ๐Ÿ˜›

In no particular order:

  1. Pedro Calderรณn de la Barca’s Life is a Dream (review) — I forgot how I came about this play but it’s a very interesting one. There’s family drama, but its deeper philosophical ponderings on life, fate, and the line between illusion and reality were very fascinating, and quite ahead of its time.
  2. William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (review) — Forever and ever will this be one of my favourite plays. I revisited it for the first time in years (since reading it in high school, actually) and it was much funnier than I remembered.
  3. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (review) — Hamlet gets such a rap these days for his melancholy but it’s a fascinating play with so many aspects to it. Not to mention so intense!
  4. William Shakespeare’s Richard II (review) — It took a second read for me to really appreciate how wonderful and complex and structurally amazing this play is. Definitely a favourite amongst Shakespeare’s histories.
  5. William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (review) — This play has a special place in my heart as it was the first I had studied in high school. It still holds up years later in the themes it tackles and the characterisations and some of the major speeches it contains.
  6. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest — Read this play years ago but never reviewed it here but suffice to say I remember really enjoying it, I thought it was very amusing.
  7. Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II (review) — Hands down my favourite Marlowe play. It’s got it all: politics, fast-paced development of events, drama (omg the drama, the theatrics). Of all his plays I read, I recommend this one fist and foremost.
  8. Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding (review) — Definitely the most memorable of his plays that I read with all the drama and bloodshed, the imagery and the tragedy.
  9. Sophocles’ Antigone — Strangely enough I never reviewed Sophocles’ plays despite having talked about re-reading it here but anyway. It was one of those plays I read in first year university and that had stuck after all this time. There’s just something about Antigone’s inner strength, in sticking to her principles despite the changing laws of the land.

And I actually couldn’t decide on a tenth play, it was a toss up between Shakespeare’s As You Like It (review), Julius Caesar (review), and Much Ado About Nothing (review), and Aeschylus’ The Oresteia (review forthcoming). And those are some of my favourite plays! Have you ever read any of these plays (or watched any of their adaptations)? For some more theatre/play goodness:

What was your freebie topic for this TTT?