Monthly Archives: August 2016

August Updates

Posted 31 August, 2016 by Lianne in Website / 2 Comments

Geez, where has the month gone? But in a way I’m relieved because that means that it’s soon autumn weather over here and I’m so done with 30+ degrees Celcius weather with humidex. Anyway, I’ve been sort of busy with work and stuff–weird schedules and all–but as always it’s been busy here on the blog. Here’s what has been going on around here for the month of August:


  1. Books reviewed this month include: Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (review), Kelley Armstrong’s Omens (review), and Federick Backman’s A Man Called Ove (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. One ARC was reviewed this month: Joseph Kessel’s The Crew (review). You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
  3. One movie was reviewed this month, Studio Ghibli’s Only Yesterday (review). You can check out all of the movies I’ve reviewed in the past in this tag.
  4. My article for the July/August issue of Femnista is live! The theme is everything William Shakespeare, and I opted to focus on his historical play Richard II (review) 😉 There’s been some changes to the publication recently, all of which you can find out about along with a link to my article in this post.
  5. For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I recommended books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, one of my favourite authors. Fun fact: I had initially scheduled it for last month but opted to focus instead on Canadian authors. But here is my CRZ post now! 🙂 For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.


And that’s about it from me for the month of August! Wishing you all a wonderful week and a wonderful September ahead, and to my fellow American and Canadian readers a happy long weekend 🙂

Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 30 August, 2016 by Lianne in Meme / 13 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: Back to School Freebie

Hmm, this has to be the first September in ages that I’m not going back to school or anything but anyway, for this week’s freebie I decided to go with Books to Complement a History Lesson because duh, studied history and everything 😉 For this week’s list though I’m going to format it a bit differently…

If you’re studying Russian history, read…

Fathers & Sons by Ivan Turgenev (review) — I was studying 19th century Imperial Russian history when this book was on the required reading list. Good choice on my professor’s part as it really captures the state of the intelligentsia and the ideas kicking around during the early 19th century. Highly recommended!

If you’re studying Soviet history, read…

Animal Farm by George Orwell — The classic alliteration of the Russian Revolution of 1917. I was personally glad to have read it when I did and not any sooner as knowing the events of the revolution and the characters and political groups involved really adds to the richness of Orwell’s short tale. I also recommend 1984 if you’re studying Stalinist history & histories of authoritarian regimes!

The Archivist’s Story by Travis Holland (review) — For those studying Stalinist history. This is a different take as it focuses more on the Great Terror and the mass arrests that was happening in the late 1930s, the censorship involved, the rewriting of history and covering up events. Again, eerie stuff, but the book is beautifully written.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (review) — Okay, so basically if you’re studying Soviet history, I’m a trove of information if you’re looking for fiction set during the period 😛 I also recommend reading this book if you’re studying the Stalinist period leading up to World War Two; this book focuses a lot on the intelligentsia (the writers and the artists/stage performers) living under the regime at the time and the policies that they had to work under (Socialist Realism, the role of the Central Committee in the production of art and thought). I was personally pleasantly surprised as the intelligentsia was the focus of my graduate thesis.

The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin (review) — For the flipside of Soviet history, this is definitely the book to check out if you’re studying the decline of the Soviet Union leading to its collapse. The author does such a wonderful job in portraying the effects of Soviet policy on society, the resulting stagnation, the ideas of art and thought floating around underneath the veneer in the latter 20th century, and the status of the apparatchik. I cannot recommend this book enough.

If you’re studying World War One, read…

A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot (review) — It’s a mystery, it’s a love story…It also sheds a very frank look at the politics during the First World War in France and the way the troops were treated at the front, as well as the government’s attitude towards particular practices during the war immediately afterwards. Again, beautifully written, highly recommended!

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres (review) — Not directly set during World War One per se but alongside the events of the war. This book is set in Turkey during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire, and it does such an amazing job in portraying the complications of nationalism and national idependence on communities that have lived together for centuries. It’s both an eye-opener and absolutely heartbreaking and very good to read if you’re studying the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

If you’re studying the Spanish Civil War, read…

Nada by Carmen Laforet (review) — I remember pushing this book like crazy a few years ago, it’s one of my favourites hands down not because it was stunningly written but it also gives such a glimpse of life in Barcelona shortly after the Spanish Civil War and the way that society and social interaction was greatly affected by the events of the war. Very atmospheric too, you can feel the stifling tension all the way through.

If you’re studying World War Two, read…

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (review) — A very informative book in giving readers a first-hand glimpse of what it was like to live under Nazi Occupation in France from the everyday perspective. Stunningly written, heartbreaking to read.

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (review) — There are so many books out there set during World War Two set in France, Germany, the UK, the big players, that one can forget at times that smaller countries were also affected by the war. Whilst this book is set for a good chunk in France, it does also reveal a lot of how Hungary was affected during the war, which was an eye-opener.

And those are the books I’d recommend to complement history lessons! What books would you recommend for the above categories? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Review: The Angel of Eden

Posted 29 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Angel of Eden (The Mesopotamian Trilogy #3)
By: D.J. McIntosh
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

The thrilling conclusion to the Mesopotamian trilogy about the origin of angels and the real location of the lost Garden of Eden

In 2011, D.J. McIntosh took the book world by storm with her bestselling debut novel, The Witch of Babylon. Praised by The Globe and Mail for its “stellar research” and “superb writing,” it introduced readers to John Madison, a rakish New York art dealer who uncovered a fabulous treasure trove of antiquities in the hills outside Baghdad and the truth behind a famous story long believed to be a myth.

In this highly anticipated conclusion, Madison is hired by a famous magician to find a rare sixteenth century book on angel magic and the former assistant who stole it thirty-five years ago. Madison’s quest leads him from the great mosques and churches of Istanbul to the ruins of Pergamon and the temples of the ancient Near East, where he discovers the true location of the Garden of Eden, the nature of angels, and the dark story of his birth.

I don’t think I ever got around to reviewing the first novel here but I’ve greatly enjoyed the Mesopotamian trilogy thus far (review of the second novel) and the different locations and history that the author chose to focus on for her lead character. I was surprised when the third novel sprung up on the publication scene last year. I meant to go back to re-read the first two novels but in the end I just jumped right into reading this one 😛 The following may contain some spoilers as I will make some references to events from the previous novels!

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Review: Scandal Takes the Stage

Posted 26 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Scandal Takes the Stage (The Wicked Quills of London #2)
By: Eva Leigh
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness . . . and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist…

For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work, and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.

But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be . . . and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.

I decided to check out this title because the main character is a playwright (and I like main characters who are writers) 🙂

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