Tag: Books: Recommendations


Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 3 June, 2014 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: Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag or Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

I’m not much of a beach person (I hate hot weather so summer is pretty much the bane of my existence) but I do have a few ideas of what you may want to consider bringing should you hit the beach in the next few months 😉 (I’ll try not repeat titles I recommended last year and from 2012)

In no particular order:

  1. Lucy Clarke’s A Single Breath — My review won’t be up until the end of the month (as the novel won’t be available until July) but this is definitely a book to keep an eye out for this summer. It was such a page turner, I can’t say anymore without spoiling the whole plot! I highly recommend it though if you’re going to the beach or the park or somewhere/anywhere 🙂
  2. Lucinda Riley’s The Midnight Rose (review) — Romance, suspense, class divides…You may want to make sure you’ve put on a lot of sunscreen because you might be glued to this book from start to finish 😉
  3. Matthew Quick’s The Good Luck of Right Now (review) — I’ve heard a lot of good things about Matthew Quick’s books and I recently read this book thanks to a Twitter contest. It’s quite introspective but it’s also pretty zany and heartfelt at times.
  4. John Scalzi’s Redshirts (review) — For the sci-fi readers and fans of Star Trek, this is the one for you! It’s hilarious, it’s spoof-errific, and it’s also quite mind-bending.
  5. Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project (review) — By now you must have heard how everyone–myself included–has been raving about this novel. So all I can say is: Yes, go pick it up. Read it. Enjoy! 😀
  6. Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham’s The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) (review) — For fans of the television show and noir novels, definitely pick this novel up, it’s a nice visit back to Neptune and everything you love about the television show. There’s also a lot more than meets the eye with the case that Veronica is faced with. (But be sure to watch the movie first before reading the book as the novel picks up right after the events of the movie)
  7. Isabelle Lafleche’s J’Adore Paris (review) — Can’t go away for the summer? Love everything French? Love fashion? Definitely pick up this title, it’s bubbly and fun (and pretty hilarious at times) but it also sheds some light on the issue of international counterfeiting.
  8. Lisa Unger’s In the Blood (review) — For fans of thriller and suspense novels, this novel was certainly unputdownable and touches on a lot of social issues at the same time.
  9. Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle (review) — I first read this novel last year and re-read it earlier this year because I love it so much! It’s so much fun and yet it’s adventurous and action-packed and hilarious. If you haven’t read this book yet, you’re in for a treat 🙂 And the Miyazaki movie is so lovely <3 (movie review)
  10. Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake (review) — Finally, to fans of magical realism, this novel is perfect. It sounds a little sad but there’s a lot more to the story than that and I was surprised to read that it’s quite hopeful and happy! And it’s set during the summer so it’s the perfect summer read! 🙂

And that’s my list of books for this week! What books would you recommend to bring to the beach and/or a trip somewhere? 🙂

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 27 May, 2014 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: Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! Pick your own topic!

Yay for freebie Tuesdays! It’s been a few weeks since I participated in this meme (and in the start of Armchair BEA xD)…It took some thinking but I decided to go with the topic of UNDERRATED BOOKS (& SERIES) I might’ve done something like this before but I can’t remember and it’s always a good time to recommend books 😉

In no particular order:

  1. Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (100 Things) — One of my top favourite fantasy trilogies out there. I recently found out that George R.R. Martin was inspired by this trilogy to write ASoIaF so if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll want to check it out; it’s got excellent worldbuilding, a great story, and a lot less grittier (IMO) if gritty’s not your sort of thing 😉
  2. Sergei & Marina Dyachenko’s The Scar (review) — It’s quite rare these days to find a standalone fantasy novel so it’s delightful to see titles like The Scar that are not only standalones but standalones that are still epic and fully-realised and just all around awesome fantasy novels. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s gorgeously written but thematically amazing too.
  3. Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price Quartet (review #1, review #2) — If you’re a fan of fantasy or love novels by Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, James S.A. Corey et. al, you need to pick up this quartet. The scope of the story and the worldbuilding is just phenomenal, as is the character development over time.
  4. Olga Grushin’s The Dream Life of Sukhanov (review) — I’ve heard nothing but fantastic reviews about this novel–and greatly enjoyed it myself–and yet this novel pretty much flew under the radar. If you enjoy reading novels set during the Soviet period in Russia and/or enjoy novels in which the main character undergoes a major evaluation of his life and everything in his life is more or less dysfunctional, this is the novel for you.
  5. Jeff Backhaus’ The Rental Sister (review) — They say this was the book to watch out for last year but I didn’t hear about it until I saw it on LibraryThing. There’s a lot more than meets the eye with this novel; I thought it was going to take a turn for the weird (based off the premise of the novel), but it’s a lot deeper emotionally than I thought it would be.
  6. Owen Sheers’ Resistance (review) — I mentioned this in my review but I’m not one to read much alternate history novels but I really enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t so much the alternate history aspect of the story but rather the experiences of the characters and the emotions they go through as the Nazis invade the United Kingdom. Plus, the writing is gorgeous.
  7. Ariana Franklin’s City of Shadows — Ariana Franklin is more known I think for her Mistress of the Art of Death mystery titles, but this was her first novel, set in 1920s Germany. It’s also a murder mystery but she did such a wonderful job in bringing the gloom and sense of brokenness in Germany following the First World War and what the conditions were like then. It’s also such an atmospheric read, readers of historical fiction I think will like this title.
  8. Daniel Levin’s The Last Ember (review) — For fans of Steve Berry, James Rollins, Dan Brown et. al., I highly recommend this book. As I mentioned in the review, the mystery and the history focuses on the later Imperial Roman period and course of events moves all around central Rome, which is always fun. In a way it felt different from other novels in the genre and gave a different glimpse of Rome, which I thought was great.
  9. E.M. Forster’s The Longest Journey (review) — I’ve been recommending this book time and again but it really is an underrated classic IMO. Rickie’s personal journey is interesting and relateable; his reality is harsh but also realistic. Plus, it ties in to the next book…
  10. John Edward Williams’ Stoner (review) — I find that this book and Forster’s The Longest Journey go hand-in-hand thematically and some of the disappointments that both protagonists face over the course of their lives. I thought that it was also interesting that this novel was sort of plugged as “the forgotten American classic” (or perhaps that was only one place that I read it as) but if you’re into classic lit from the 20th century, this is certainly a novel worth checking out.

And that’s my list of books for this week! What topic did you choose for this week? 🙂

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 29 April, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 11 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 Books If You Like X tv show/movie/comic etc. (basically any sort of other entertainment)

Hehehe, okay, I’m actually going to split this list up a bit to keep things a wee bit eclectic (something for everyone, I hope? -ish?) 😉 So to start with, Books I Recommend If You Like DOWNTON ABBEY 😉

In no particular order:

  1. Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited — The classic. I wish I had written a review on it years ago when I first read it (it was a busy summer, as I recall), but it has the whole upper class element going on plus drama plus the whole historical period. I’m doing a poor job at explaining why I’m recommending it but it’s a great novel.
  2. Lucinda Riley’s The Midnight Rose (review) — I actually mentioned it in my review that fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy this novel. It’s pretty expansive as it looks at the British Empire and a love affair spanning different cultures (he’s English, she’s Indian) and of course family drama within an upper class family. There’s also a hint of suspense if you’re into that as well.
  3. Sarah Jio’s The Last Camellia (review) — As I mentioned at the start of the review, eve of World War Two + an English estate + a mystery + an international ring of flower thieves? Colour me intrigued 😀 The drama and the mystery were both solid, didn’t disappoint, I highyl reocmmend it 🙂
  4. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (review) — It took a second read to truly see and understand the brilliance of this novel. It’s a quiet novel but very reflective of the period, of the events leading up to World War Two, the decline of the aristocracy…and the narrative is just gorgeous.
  5. Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger — For those who enjoy period drama, stories set in the early 20th century with a twist of suspense and thrills, there’s this novel. It’s quite an eerie tale, focusing on a family on the verge of collapse after the war given the strains within its members as well as the costs to maintain the family home…been meaning to re-read this title, actually, maybe post a proper review 😉

And now, Books I Recommend If You Like GAME OF THRONES 😉

  1. Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings series (review of book #1) — GRRM himself recommend this novel as the “original Game of Thrones“. I’ve been meaning to check out the rest of the series (they’ve been re-released steadily since last year; they’re up to four right now, I believe) but it’s a pretty solid historical drama with plenty of intrigue and drama.
  2. Greg Keyes’ Kingdom of Thorns and Bone — This quartet sort of flew under the radar some 15 years ago. The focus was on GRRM, Robert Jordan, Erik Erikson, etc. and while this quartet was mentioned by some communities, I feel as though it should have been bigger. It’s a complex story with characters ranging from different parts of society affected and eerie things happening in the world. The darkness is on the scale of ASoIaF, only not as brutal.
  3. Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (review) — I would recommend Brandon Sanderson in general but this book, which I recently re-read as part of a read-along, encompasses Sanderson’s ability to tell a complex fantasy epic but populated with a unique magic system, compelling characters and an intriguing world I’ve never seen before. The books are massive, but they’re also very much worth the read 🙂
  4. Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (100 Things) — I can’t believe I didn’t know until recently that GRRM was inspired by this trilogy to write ASoIaF. I LOVE this trilogy, it’s possibly my second favourite fantasy series ever. It’s epic, the characters are fantastic, the world-building is amazing…If you’re a reader of fantasy fiction and you haven’t checked this series out, you need to. Right now.
  5. Kevin J. Anderson’s Saga of the Seven Suns (100 Things) — I can’t remember if I mentioned it in any of the reviews but I likened this series to ASoIaF but in the space opera/science fiction genre. It’s got a massive cast of characters (rivaling ASoIaF, I think, in POV chapters), the scope is epic, the stakes are through the roof…and the series is complete, which is always a bonus 😉

And that’s my list of books for this week! What recommendations did you give? I’d love to read them! 🙂

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 11 February, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 6 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 Books That Will Make You Swoon

Ahh, yes, it’s going to be that day later this week =P Anyways, I like this week’s topic; I like a good romance as much as the next person (I guess) but this one actually made me think because to swoon is quite a reaction, right? 😉 I’m surprised I made it to 10 with the following, lol

In no particular order:

  1. Jane Austen’s Persuasion (commentary) — The most romantic sentences I’ve ever read, the most romantic letter I’ve ever read in literature, came from the book: ‘I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan.’
  2. Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (review) — Perhaps slightly biased because of this man:


    Not my gif

    but it’s also a great book and John Thornton has some rather swoon-worthy moments here. How Margaret Hale held out, I don’t understand.

  3. Paullina Simons’ The Bronze Horseman (review) — This book has to be the queen of UST and angst. Like, big time. I mean, Tatiana and Alexander has some swoon-worthy moments but also colossal obstacles before them: family, the seige of Leningrad, World War Two, you know.
  4. Rachel Gibson’s I’m In No Mood For Love — For something a little hotter, this book easily comes to mind, haha. The chemistry between the two main characters, Clare and Sebastian, is quite palpable.
  5. Teresa Medieros’ Goodnight Tweetheart (review) — More like “aww” than swoon, but it’s such a sweet build-up, I just had to include it here =P
  6. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (review) — Levi was like the sweetest dude ever. Everything he did for Cath was just so <3 You just want to squish him in all his adorableness, lol.
  7. Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project (review) — Again, more like “aww” than swoon, but it’s such a sweet story <3 And Don Tillman really tries, you guys, he really does
  8. Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I — I heard about this title through a few bloggers so I decided to check it out! Wow, Regency period, why didn’t I hear of this book sooner? The family interaction amongst the Bridgertons reminds me of a Georgette Heyer novel <3 And yes, there are some swoon-worthy moments in this novel between Simon and Daphne =P
  9. Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? — Back when I still read her books, this was easily my favourite. It had me laughing out loud and I thought that Jack was really sweet to Emma (despite of the hilarious circumstances that got them together in the first place, lol)
  10. Sebastien Japrisot’s A Very Long Engagement (review) — Perhaps an odd choice on this list since the couple spend the novel apart (and I’m finding it hard to type a little blurb to go with this title without spoiling the story!) but I think the strength of Mathilde and Manech’s relationship is quite wonderful and swoon-worthy 🙂

And that’s my list of books for this week! What books made it on your list? 🙂

If you’re interested, I did post some related posts last year: My favourite romantic sentences, Movies for Valentine’s Day and Sad Romances in Books & Movies. I’m also celebrating my blogoversary this month (seven years!) with a book giveaway so feel free to pop on by 🙂

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 4 February, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 20 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 Books That Will Make You Cry Misty-Eyed/Sad

While I was putting together this list, I realised I had compiled a similar list a year and some ago. I’m a little more specific on that list as to what exactly left me all ;_; inside but the books still stand for this week’s list so most of them show up here.

In no particular order:

  1. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief — It’s one of those books that alludes to the reader outright the outcome of certain events and yet when the events happen, I’m all misty-eyed/throat tight and all 🙁 about what happened
  2. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (review) — I must’ve wrote about this every time I mention this book but the last few pages let me so x(, I had to keep it in lest my roommate wonder what the heck was happening to me, lol
  3. Ian McEwan’s Atonement (review) — The revelation at the end of the novel kills me every single time I read this book. Just sort of haunts your thoughts for days…
  4. Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key (review) — I’ve mentioned this in my review before but this was a rough book to get through. Any Holocaust book is a tough book to get through–throws my emotions all in the grinder and knowing generally what happened during that period of history just adds to the tension of the story–but this one was especially tough as I have a younger brother so what Sarah was going through especially resonated with me.
  5. David Nicholls’ One Day (review) — The surprising turn of events at the end of the novel was–well, surprising. Made the last few chapters especially poignant.
  6. Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife (review) — The last third of the novel when all of the pieces fall into place and the you realise what’s going to happen–yeah, it was just so very sad 🙁
  7. Mark Ferrari’s The Book of Joby (review) — There was a passage early in this novel that actually brought tears to my eyes, I was quite moved by it and was surprised by my reaction (and, given that I was reading this while in public transit, had to recover quickly =P)
  8. Brandon Sanderson’s The Hero of Ages (review) — This first trilogy was fantastic and while the ending made sense, it was very bittersweet. Like in a Darth-Vader-“Noooooooo” way.
  9. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — There’s been deaths accumulating over the course of the books but there was one particular moment that got to me and that landed this book on the list (Chapter 34, “The Forest Again”, when Harry used the stone; I fleshed it out in detail over at the other post).
  10. George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords (review) — This volume is my favourite in the series (so far?) as it’s such a gamechanger. So many things were just happening in this novel. But there was one particular event that was so shocking, I had to do a double take. If you’ve read this book or watched the latest series of the television show, you know what I’m talking about 😉

And that’s my list of books for this week? What books did you choose that would make you–or anyone else–cry/get misty-eyed/sad?