Monthly Archives: January 2016

Review: Night Film

Posted 6 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Night Film
By: Marisha Pessl
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Another one of those books that have long been on my TBR queue (two years, maybe?). I must’ve added it to my autumn TBR list a few times but I think the length sort of kept me from picking it up and finally delving into the story. Anyway, I finally got around to reading it last autumn (hurrah!).

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Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 5 January, 2016 by Lianne in Meme / 36 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: Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2016 (can be bookish, personal resolutions, “I resolve to finally read these 10 books, series I resolve to finish in 2015, etc.)

Happy New Year to my fellow book bloggers! To prepare for this post this week, I decided to take a peek at my resolutions from last year to see if I succeeded in doing some of what I listed. I have to say I succeeded in some bits (got through Middlemarch (review) at long last, whoo-hoo!; and I have something of a schedule when it comes to replying to comments now 🙂 ) and totally missed the mark on others (*ahem*book buying*ahem*) so you’re going to see some repeats here for 2016 😉

Starting with the book-related resolutions:

  1. Re-Read! — This ties in with the second point, but there’s a few books on my shelf I’ve been meaning to revisit for some time (I was a big re-reader growing up). Surely with my blogging schedule filled up for the first few months of the year (I know, I know, how did that happen? :3 ) it should be incentive for me to finally revisit them.
  2. Buy less — I don’t know what happened in 2015, I swear O_O Book-buying ban in effect until Easter again this year *cue tears and gnashing of teeth*
  3. Get back to reading more classics again — Granted, I read quite a number of short stories, novellas, and plays last year but strangely enough I read far less classic litearture last year compared to previous years. I hope to rectify this matter this year as I do have a number of classics that have been sitting long on my TBR queue waiting for me (i.e. Wilkie Collins, Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady, some of Thomas Hardy’s books to name a few) (and resolution #2 should help matters along 😛 )
  4. Try and read the books longest on the TBR pile first — This is 50/50 since I’m such a mood reader but I am hoping to at least chip through the TBR queue from the oldest first. For example, Guy Gavriel Kay’s books have been sitting on that queue for a couple of years now, as well as Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear and Almunedas Grandes’ The Frozen Heart. I will read them this year! Hopefully *fingers crossed*

And now for some blogging-related resolutions for this year:

  1. Reorganise…everything — I actually started this over the Christmas holidays, starting with small things like merging categories and getting rid of plugins I don’t use. I think I should be done by the end of the month?
  2. Logo? — My blog’s been around for almost a decade now (celebrating my ninth blogoversary next month!) and I’m thinking in efforts to prettify the blog that maybe it’s time to devise something of a logo? (especially as I’m pretty settled with this url now)
  3. Expand out — I didn’t talk about this last year but I was thinking about this. It didn’t take off or go any further than I wanted it to as I was preoccupied with completing my programme but I do want to offer my writing/editing services on the side in some form (whilst working on/finishing my current writing projects). Plus this discussion post by Ashley @ Nose Graze has me thinking. I’m not sure how I’ll go about any of the ideas that’s half-baked in my head but we’ll see where the year takes me?
  4. Work on the email subscriptions feature — Sort of ties in with resolution #1 for blogging, but the email subscription feature is actually a recent thing here on the blog. I’m actually not sure what it looks like when you guys receive the updates (I think it’s the same as the WordPress emails) and I’ve been meaning to take a look into it and see if there’s any way I can improve it (again, given that it’s attached to Jetpack on WordPress and all)
  5. Figure out a new way to follow blogs — I’ve been using Bloglovin to keep track of the blogs I visit, but I haven’t been logging in to it lately, not to mention I don’t like all of the changes that it’s made in the past year so I’m thinking of just following the blogs I visit regularly by email or something. Not sure yet what works best for me but I’m definitely looking for a change.
  6. Facebook: keep or no? — This has been an ongoing see-saw for me as to whether or not Facebook has actually brought new readers to my blog or not. It doesn’t help that I don’t log in often enough to check what’s happening there (not to mention all the changes) but it may go. I don’t know. Thoughts?

And finally, some writing-related resolutions:

  1. Finish editing your (main) writing project — Oops, sort of tapered off from editing the third draft of my writing project. Surely this final draft will be THE draft?
  2. Unsubsribe from a few writing-related accounts — I follow a lot of writing-related Twitter accounts and blogs and I realised in the last year that rather than they being helpful in my writing journey, they’ve been rather…I’m not sure what’s the word, but as sensible as their advice is, I find it to be more discouraging than encouraging. All around not really helpful? So I plan on unsubscribing from the lot of them (except K.M. Weiland because her advice does help *owns many of her structuring books*) and stick to that one piece of advice Neil Gaiman once gave: “You write. You finish what you write.” Edit: Done and done 🙂

And those are my resolutions for 2016! What are your resolutions for the year?

Review: Russka

Posted 4 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

By: Edward Rutherfurd
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my purchase

Spanning 1800 years of Russia’s history, people, poltics, and culture, Edward Rurtherford, author of the phenomenally successful SARUM: THE NOVEL OF ENGLAND, tells a grand saga that is as multifaceted as Russia itself. Here is a story of a great civilization made human, played out through the lives of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of their land.

This was my first Edward Rutherfurd novel. I read it back in 2008, when I was finishing up my undergraduate programme and was eyeballs-deep studying Russian history 😛 I was impressed by it but I never wrote a proper review of the book here on the blog. Ever since reading some of his other books (see author tag), I had been meaning to revisit this book.

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List: Some Favourites from 2015

Posted 1 January, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 10 Comments

A Happy New Year to everyone! Hope everyone had a wonderful celebration 🙂 So like last year, I decided to put together a bit of a generalised list of some of my favourite things from 2015 🙂 The only thing of course not included in this list are books; for my books recap for 2015, check out my 2015 list for the End of the Year Book Survey.


A couple of awesome albums were released this year, both from artists that are new to me and some favourites 🙂 But I’m also including two features from albums not released this year but I was super late getting around to…

Dear Rouge

Probably my favourite new discovery this year. They’re from Canada (yeah!) and their entire album, “Black to Gold”, is fantastic with the retro alternative sound. Hands down my favourite song off the album is “Kids Wanna Know” (click here if the embedding below doesn’t work; I can’t recommend it enough) but I have so many favourites, I can just listen to the whole album on loop all day 😀

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