Tag: Books: Authors

Guest Post: Anish Majumdar for MHAM

Posted 11 June, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments


Mental Health Awareness Month is hosted by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts and Ula @ Blog of Erised. It is a way to spread awareness on the issues that are often overlooked, not to mention sporting a very bad reputation. The month of June will be dedicated to reading and reviewing/discussing books that discuss Mental Health. You can sign up to participate in the event in either Leah or Ula’s blogs.

I’m happy to share with you all today a guest post written by Anish Majumdar, the author of the novel The Isolation Door (review). His book is a powerful look at the effects mental illness has both on the individual and the family.


My Mother’s Lesson
by Anish Majumdar

When I was 6 years old, my mother and I traveled from Montreal to her hometown of Srivila, a tiny village bordering Kolkata, India. While the reason for the trip was ostensibly so I could connect with her side of the family, the fact that we left immediately after a huge fight with my father smacked of one of her trademark emotional power plays. After a few weeks of shopping for saris and jewelry in the plush, air-conditioned havens along Park Street, she returned to her previous work as an elementary school teacher. I was largely left to my own devices in this new country, and often accompanied her to class. Sitting in the back of high-ceilinged rooms with slowly whirring fans overhead, I witnessed an entirely new side of her: quick-witted, withering when a student failed to live up to expectations, and possessed of a deep love for English literature. When my father arrived months later to win back his family (hint: copious gifts to my mother were involved), she once more laid her profession aside to raise me and follow the hundred unwritten rules of a wife in a conservative Bengali family. Only one element of that fiery teacher remained: every afternoon, once my schoolwork was done, I was to carry out a writing assignment for her eyes only.

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Armchair BEA: Author Interaction & More Than Just Words

Posted 27 May, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 16 Comments

Author Interaction

To be honest, all of my author interaction has been primarily on Twitter; there were a few author events that came to town that I wanted to go to over the years but either the scheduling never worked for me or I just couldn’t bring myself to go (what would I say to the author face-to-face? How do readers interact in such a setting?).

Twitter in a way has been a surprise source of author interaction for. I’m always on to sign up to new social networking websites just to see what they’re all about and initially my Twitter account was mainly used to keep in touch with some online friends and random comments on news items that I’ve stumbled across and ranting about the weather or some other irritation of the moment but I try not to do that very often these days. When I became a more regular book blogger and connecting with other book bloggers, I suddenly found myself even chatting with an author or two as part of a book blog tour or just in general. It’s

My blog has also been a way to interaction with authors on some level. I still find it delightful when an author drops in on one of my book reviews, like Beth Hoffman did when I reviewed Looking for Me or that time when David Anthony Durham dropped by my blog because I was talking about his book Acacia. It’s a surprise but it leaves me feeling rather happy that an author took the time to comment or read something I had written about their work (the same goes for tv shows, but that’s a story for another time =P). Additionally, some of the blogging events had given me the opportunity for authors to write guest posts for my blog (a little more removed but still very cool) or publishers have given me a chance to ask authors questions about their work (which was really cool).

So those are my author interactions that I could think of; I guess with the advent of social media and the continuing changes and developments in the book community, there’s always ways to connect authors and readers over books, which is great 🙂

More Than Just Words

There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?

In the last two years or so I’ve really gotten into comic books. Just to summarise a bit from this post, it was all thanks to a DVD bundle we bought the other year for Marvel’s Avengers. It came with a trade paperback comic book and we (my brother and I) enjoyed it so much that we started venturing out and checking out comic books in earnest. Today, we have a pull list and a small collection of trade paperback titles that we enjoyed. I quickly learned that Thor is my favourite super hero and that I’m more of a Marvel girl but I do read DC comics as well, as my brother likes to keep me up to date with their titles =P

Comic books are pretty awesome. They tell a story involving both the written word and visual art, which is pretty cool; sometimes the visual art aids in bringing an epic action sequence to life or conveys an emotion that may be missed in a prose format. The stories that these comic books tell are also pretty fantastic and exciting; From Marvel Now!’s Thor: God of Thunder to (more recently) the retellings of familiar fairy tales via the popular Fables, there’s a lot of great storytelling out there. It doesn’t have to be superhero comic books or book-to-comic adaptations (Game of Thrones and The Dark Tower comes to mind); there are a lot of other comic books out there that tell their own story, whether it’s literary/drama or humour or slice-of-life vignettes (I’ve been meaning to pick up more titles from the latter as there are some excellent titles out there). I’ve recently posted a bit about my pull list here for more info 🙂

On a related note (since we’re on the subject of other story mediums), before I got into comics, I used to be pretty big on reading manga. Anime made up a good chunk of my high school life (alongside LOTR =P) but it was only in undergrad and my brother was getting into anime that I also started reading a lot of manga. Again, the medium is fantastic–there’s a lot of talented mangaka out there, and plenty of interesting stories. I’m a little more old-school so my favourite titles tend to come from CLAMP’s early years (Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knights Rayearth, Wish) to Sailor Moon (thank goodness they re-issued the series!) to more recent titles like Dogs, xxxHolic, Soul Eater and Happy Cafe (I’m so sore that TokyoPop closed down a few years ago and the rest of Happy Cafe was not issued here in North America–that series made me happy, dammit! < / rant >). I thnik it’s safe to say that I read a bit of everything on the manga front but I stopped collecting just recently (finished my Sailor Moon collection and it’s only Dogs now that I’m following).

And now I turn it over to you: What’s your favourite interaction or meeting or moment with an author? Do you read comics and/or manga? If so, what are some of your favourite titles?

Guest Post: Kate Mosse on Carcassonne

Posted 27 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The other day I posted up my review of Kate Mosse’s Citadel (review) as well as details for the book giveaway contest that I’m currently hosting as part of the book tour. Today I’m happy to share with you all a guest post written by the author herself about the region in which her Languedoc trilogy is set in, Carcassonne.



More than 25 years ago, we bought a tiny house in the shadow of the medieval city walls of Carcassonne, in the Languedoc region of southern France. I’d never heard of the place before, let alone been there, but the second I stepped off the train, I felt I belonged. As if I’d come home. Over the years, living there for part of the year and bringing up our (now grown up!) children, I became obsessed with the history of the region, often bloody and brutal, the mystical and inspiring landscape. I started to dream of a series of novels – all of them stand-alones in terms of story and adventure, but linked by a sense of place. The Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – is the result. Each novel is a love letters to the place I think of as my second home, a way of celebrating the distinctive and unique character of the region. It’s also a way of putting certain periods of history – the lost and forgotten women’s stories from history in particular – on the page.

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Guest Post: Will Bashor on Marie Antoinette’s Head

Posted 7 February, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Yesterday I posted up my review for Will Bashor’s Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, And The Revolution (review) as well as details for the book giveaway contest that I’m currently hosting as part of the book tour. Today I’m happy to share with you all a guest post written by the author himself on the subject of Marie Antoinette and her famous hairstyles.



Marie Antoinette has remained atop the popular cultural landscape for centuries for the daring in style and fashion that she brought to 18th century France. For the better part of the queen’s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring that her coiffure was at its most ostentatious best. Who was this minister of fashion who wielded such tremendous influence over the queen’s affairs?

Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution (Lyons Press) charts the rise of Leonard Autie from humble origins as a country barber in the south of France to the inventor of the pouf and premier hairdresser to Queen Marie-Antoinette. By unearthing a variety of sources from the 18th and 19th centuries, including memoirs, court documents, and archived periodicals, author Will Bashor tells Leonard’s mostly unknown story, chronicling Leonard’s story, the role he played in the life of his most famous client, and the chaotic and history-making world in which he rose to prominence.

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Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 29 March, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 1 Comment

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 Authors That Deserve More Recognition

From who I can think of…

01. Elizabeth Gaskell — Well, she’s gaining recognition now from book circles but she should at least be as big as Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. Her work is just fantastic, particularly (and perhaps especially for me) North and South and Wives and Daughters

02. C.S. Harris — I don’t know if she’s big in the historical mystery base but I read her stuff last year (the St. Cyr mysteries) and they are fantastic! Her protagonist, Sebastian St. Cyr, is just wonderful (think James Bond meets Mr. Darcy) and the stories are just fascinating.

03. Ildefonso Falcones — He’s pretty big in Europe but I feel he should be a lot bigger here in North America. I read his book Cathedral by the Sea last summer when I was in Spain (I had the translated version, lol, but European cover) and it was absolutely enthralling, I couldn’t put it down; it’s quite an epic piece set in medieval Catalunya. I can’t wait for his new book to come out in English xD

04. Tad Williams — He’s well-known in the fantasy genre but I think he really should be up there with George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss as one of the best and well known in the field at the moment. I read his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy a few years ago and it is just fantastic, up there as one of my favourites. I have yet to get around to his other fantasy series but he’s just so imaginative, he should be more widely read.

05. Douglas Coupland — He’s fairly well-known here in Canada but I feel he should be getting more recognition abroad. Granted, I’ve only read two of his novels–All Families Are Psychotic and Eleanor Rigby–but they are quirky, crazy and touching all at the same time.

06. Ivan Turgenev — We’ve all heard of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky but I think Turgenev should receive more recognition from modern-day audiences. I had to read his book Fathers and Sons for my nineteenth century Imperial Russia course and I found it to be a surprisingly good read (normally when they assign books to read I’m more -_-; about it because it can be so dry and crazy-making). If you know about nineteenth century Russian society it would make the story even more enjoyable but even without it I think it’s a great read. He’s a very perceptive author.

07. Alessandro Baricco — He’s well-known for the story Silk (which was adapted into a movie a few years ago starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley) but he’s written some other good books too. I’ve only read Ocean Sea but I remember being amazed by the book. It can be a bit post-modernist in its presentation but it’s also quite lyrical. I hope to read it in its original Italian format one of these days.

…and that’s all I can think of at the moment *blushes* Will come back and add to the list when more authors come to mind xD