Tag: Books: Recommendations


Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 19 November, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 16 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 I’d Recommend To X Person (your choice — could be to your mom, to a reluctant male reader, to your teenage sister, to dog lover’s, to sports lovers, etc.)

There’s so many possibilities of what kind of list I could put together for this week’s topic but in the end I decided to go with Ten Books I’d Recommend to a Jane Austen Fan (surprised? lol) =)

In no particular order:

  1. Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (commentary) — You knew this was going to be on my list ^_~ It’s Pride and Prejudice (commentary) meets Charles Dickens social commentary in the Victorian era (but not dry at all. And, you know, Richard Armitage in the adaptation =P)
  2. Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters — Another delightful title from Elizabeth Gaskell (& my second favourite novel from her!). It was never completed but the adaptation did a lovely job in wrapping the story up. I suppose it’s reminiscent of Mansfield Park (commentary) in a way…or at least in my mind =P
  3. Amanda Grange’s Captain Wentworth’s Diary (review) — For fans of Persuasion (commentary), this is a must-read. Wentworth in recent years has fascinated me because of the way he carries himself upon meeting Anne again (and comparing their behaviours; I even wrote about it for Femnista).
  4. Georgette Heyer’s Frederica (review) — I’d recommend any of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels if you’re a big fan of Jane Austen but I chose this title from the books I’ve read because it has that sibling dynamic that’s familiar in Austen’s other books and this large cast of interesting characters.
  5. Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — A comedy of manners set in the interwar period. It’s a lot of fun; if you’ve seen the adaptation with Amy Adams and Frances McDormand, definitely check the novel out, it’s even funnier and cuter (if that was possible)
  6. E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View (commentary) — A classic Edwardian romance (and set partly in Florence too!). I can’t say that it reminds me of Pride and Prejudice (commentary) or anything but there’s just an atmosphere about it…
  7. E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End (review) — In my review of this novel, I mentioned that it was sort of like a Sense and Sensibility (commentary) novel but set in the Edwardian era…
  8. Mary Robinette Knowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey (review) — For fans of fantasy, this book was a delightful read (magic + Regency manners & romance = <3)
  9. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ DiaryPride and Prejudice but set in the ’90s, it’s such an iconic novel in the chick lit genre. And just plain hilarious.
  10. P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley (review) — For fans of the murder mystery genre, I definitely recommend this novel to check out. I think James did a wonderful job in re-creating the familiarity of the setting and the characters that’s not totally out there (like some other spin-offs I’ve read) but still keeping that ominous mystery of the murder up in the air.

And that’s my list for this week! What books did you feature in your TTT this week? =)

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 16 July, 2013 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: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Ooh, good question, it actually had me thinking for a good while (scouring my bookshelves, my previous reviews, my lists on GoodReads)…

In no particular order:

  1. Elizabeth Gaskell — Okay, amongst those of us who reads a lot of classic and Victorian literature, she’s pretty well-known (also thanks to the BBC adaptation made a few years ago of North & South with Richard Armitage–is this the part where I make an excuse to post gifs from the adaptation/of him? =P) but I feel like she should have the same recognition as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. In a way, she’s a mix of both these authors with the social commentary and the heart and colour of the characters that populate her books. If you haven’t read her books yet, you really, really should =)
  2. Wilkie Collins — Like Gaskell, he’s pretty well known amongst the classic readers (plus, he was almost like BFFs with Charles Dickens) but again, I wish he was more recognised. I’ve only read about two of his books so far but I enjoyed them, they were really thrilling and I think he is one of those “forefathers” to modern day suspense and psychological drama.
  3. Ivan Turgenev — You’ve heard of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin. Dig a bit deeper into Russian literature and Turgenev’s name will eventually show up. I feel like he should be up there with Tolstoy and Doestoevsky though; he obviously has an acute sense of the prevalent issues that the Russian empire faced during the time that he wrote but his character drama is just as a good as Pushkin and Tolstoy. I feel he’s much more adept than Dostoevsky in handling these elements of storytelling (of the Russian kind) because he can present his point without thumping it over your head (and quite dryly, I might add).
  4. Greg Keyes — To turn to the fantasy genre, Greg Keyes has been around for quite a while. His quartet Kingdom of Thorn and Bones was fascinating, a mix of the gritty with high fantasy elements of an epic scale (the world was basically falling apart in the series) but I find it sadly flew under the radar while George RR Martin, Steven Erikson and Robert Jordan’s series were at the forefront of the genre (with Patrick Rothfuss, Brandson Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie on the verge).
  5. David Anthony Durham — I recently finished his Acacia trilogy (review) and they were fantastic! (it only took me how many years to get around to it *blushes*) Durham previously wrote historical fiction and I think his experience there helped in the worldbuilding aspect of his trilogy. I also find it pretty unique compared to a lot of the other fantasy series out there in terms of the issues that the novels touch on and the socioeconomic structure of the world. If you’re into rich and dynamic worldbuilding, he is definitely worth checking out and yeah, I feel he should be up there in recognition.
  6. Kevin Anderson — Okay, maybe I’m just a little out of step with what’s going on in the science fiction genre–after all, he’s written some prequels and spin-offs from Frank Herbert’s Dune series–but I feel like he doesn’t get as much recognition as other authors in the field. I’ve only read 3 books from his Saga of Seven Suns series (100 Things) but it’s fantastic space opera, totally the type of sci-fi I love.
  7. Robert ShearmanI interviewed him last year as part of a blog tour and he’s such a lovely person. His short stories are also amazing, more psychological suspense than straight-up horror, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about him and reading his collections. (Oh, and if you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’d know his work from the series 1 episode “Dalek” ^_~)
  8. Julie Orringer — I’ve only read The Invisible Bridge (review) but omg, why aren’t more people talking about her and this lovely book she wrote? The balance between character development, interaction and plot are just amazing, I must’ve recommended it a number of times last year. Can’t wait to see what she writes next!
  9. Daniel Silva — Okay, he’s actually well recognised in his genre and his books hit number 1 bestsellers on a number of lists. But I fell like he deserves more recognition and his name should be a household one. His books are awesome, very entertaining and top-notch every single time.
  10. I…actually couldn’t think of a 10th author. So I’ll reserve this spot in case I do think of one over the course of the day ^_~ Scott LynchCate’s TTT reminded me Scott Lynch. I read the first book in his Gentlemen Bastards series, The Lies of Locke Lamora (review) a few years ago and I greatly enjoyed it, I loved the character interaction and the city of Camorr. I haven’t read the second novel yet but the third novel is coming out this autumn so yay!

And that’s my list this week! Which authors did you feature on your list?

By the way, I’m currently holding a book giveaway contest if you’re interested (sorry int’l readers, it’s only open to US/Canada).

…hmm, wait, I think I’m forgetting something…

Ahh, yes:


(gif source)

😉 Happy Tuesday!

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 11 June, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 31 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 Beach Reads (however YOU define a beach read!)

Hmm, good question this week. How would I define a beach/vacation read? Something action-packed but light that doesn’t require too much thinking or critical analysis. It can be cute, it can be adrenaline mad. I’ve sometimes included the odd classic or thick epic depending on my mood or what’s available but for the most part, a beach/vacation read for me is something easy to pack and continue depending.

The Suspense/I-Can’t-Put-This-Book-Down

  • Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson — I must be recommending this book every summer but it really is quite a quick and suspenseful read. Pretty much read it in one evening despite promising to pace myself because I needed to know what happened next. Plus, it’s a good time to check this book out since it’s being filmed into a movie adaptation.
  • Tell No One by Harlan Coben — I actually brought this book with me on vacation a few years ago and it kept me entertained while taking the train between cities. Very suspenseful, lots of twists and turns and surprises. It was also adapted into a French film back in 2006, directed by Guillaume Canet.
  • anything by Daniel Silva — His books are fantastic, period. He’s the author I go to for contemporary espionage/thriller novels via the Gabriel Allon series (and they always deliver–can’t wait to read the next title that hits mass paperback! Soon, precious, soon…). He’s also written a historical fiction entitled The Unlikely Spy set in World War Two that was also quite a page-turner as well as a two-book Michael Osbourne series.

Alternatives to Dan Brown/Steve Berry/James Rollins/etc.

  • The Last Ember by David Levin (review) — For readers who enjoy the historical type of adventure-mystery-suspense, this novel is worth checking out. The book sort of flew under radar when it came out a few years ago; I had been eyeing it for some time but never got around to reading it until last year. It’s rich in history and quite a rollercoaster adventure of intrigue and suspense.
  • The Book of Stolen Tales by D.J. McIntosh (review) — I recently finished the galley copy of this novel and it was just fantastic (and can work as a standalone even if you haven’t read the first novel in the Mesopotamian trilogy). It’s unique because it doesn’t just draw from European history but also on Mesopotamian history. I would also recommend her first book, The Witch of Babylon for a beach read =)

Cute Reads

  • Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medieros (review) — I read this book last year and it was really cute with plenty of current pop culture references to boot, using Twitter as the main form of communication between the two characters.
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (review) — I warn you right now, if you bring this book with you on vacation, you may not want to leave your hotel/reading spot on the beach or at the park because this book is just too cute for words. I pretty much read through two-thirds of this novel in one night, I just had to know what happened next =P

Whodunnit?

  • Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg (review) — I really enjoyed this novel partly because it’s set in the city I live in =P It’s the first book in a series and it’s a great set up, introducing not only the detectives and police officers working on the case but also the Crown attorneys and defense lawyers assigned to prosecute on the case.
  • The Sebastian St. Cyr novels by C.S. Harris — I’ve always described the lead of this series as a cross between James Bond and Mr. Darcy, a viscount whose life experiences and intelligence makes him the perfect guy to solve crime in Regency England/Napoleonic era. I’m a bit behind in the series so I don’t know what’s been going on with Sebastian St. Cyr but I recommend these books if you like both mystery and historical fiction.

A Dash of Fantasy

  • any Discworld novel by Terry PratchettDiscworld novels are loads of fun, so zany and rich to explore. Just choose one of the many novels and enjoy!

And those are my book selections for this week’s TTT! What are your top ten beach/vacation reads?

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 7 May, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 18 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 When You Need Something Light & Fun

lol, do you know how hard this question is this week? =P It’s something I realised recently: I don’t read very many “light and fun” books *thud*

In no particular order:

  1. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella — This is the second Sophia Kinsella book that I read but by far my favourite. This one had me laughing out loud so yeah, it’s a winner xD
  2. anything by Sarah Addison Allen — I heart her novels. They’re so magical and sweet, I’d definitely re-read her books when I need to unwind or something. The Girl Who Chased the Moon (review) was my favourite but I love all of her books =)
  3. Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medieros (review) — This book was fun, sweet and poignant to read and utilises Twitter quite effectively
  4. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laura Viera Rigler — I re-read this book some time ago and rather enjoyed the romp that a modern-day Janeite went through in the Regency period…
  5. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips — What if the Greek gods lived in modern-day London, England? Yeah, it’s quite a riot xD
  6. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson — I remember reading this book in one sitting and it just left me with a big smile on the my face. Utterly charming. I really need to re-read this book one of these days…
  7. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding — I used to quote her from the book quite a bit, lol. Such a hilarious, light read =D
  8. Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (commentary) — Whenever I’m in the mood for a classic but a light one at that, I turn to Northanger Abbey. The heroine has quite an imagination, the hero smiles a lot and there’s Gothic satire and lessons on friendship, wealth and family to boot =)
  9. the happy bunny series — I have 3 out of 4 of the books from the series but this bunny cracks me up, especially when I’m in an especially sardonic mood about everything =P
  10. Happy Cafe by Kou Matsuzuki — A bit of a cheat, this is a manga series (that sadly has not been continued here in North America because Tokyo Pop closed down the other year before the rest of the series was translated and released–boo!) but OMG, I love it, it’s probably my favourite light, rom-com manga series because it’s hilarious. If you’re into manga, it’s definitely worth checking out, so kawaii! =D

Honourable Mention: Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. I just started reading it but I’m already loving it–I’d definitely recommend it for people looking for a light and fun and cute read xD

And that’s my list for this week! xD What books do you turn to for something light and fun? Happy Tuesday!

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 26 March, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 32 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 I Recommend The Most

Modified this week’s topic a wee bit, lol. I could go on and on with my recommendations (featuring the usual suspects, a.k.a. my favourite books ever) but decided to list the 10 books that came to mind first and that I read somewhat recently ^_~ It’s quite an eclectic mix so hopefully something for everyone?

In no particular order:

  1. The Smart Ones by Jennifer Close — My review’s not up for this novel yet (watch this blog next week as I’ll be posting my review before the release date!) but I finished reading my galley copy of this novel and absolutely heart it! Definitely worth checking out if you’re into novels about family drama and living at home in your 20s and 30s.
  2. Q by Evan Mandery (review) — Readers of this blog know how much I heart this novel. I first read it last year and loved everything about it: the time travel elements, the reflections on life and the pop culture references.
  3. Nada by Carmen Laforet (review) — I was just talking about this book in last week’s Flashback Friday. It’s such a moody and introspective novel about growing up and family during the Franco regime, it’s absolutely brilliant.
  4. Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva — My favourite espionage/thriller/suspense series, hands down. They’re quick-paced and intriguing (to the point that I can never put it down long enough when the suspense really kicks in) with a cast of awesome characters. Cannot recommend his books enough =D
  5. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (review) — I cannot believe it took me so long to get around to this novel, it’s such a rich, generational story about this one family set in Hungary and France on the eve of the Second World War.
  6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (review) — Catherynne Valente has a very distinct and unique imagination and voice in fantasy. This book is probably my favourite from her, it’s whimsical and magical and introspective at the same time.
  7. The Long Price quartet by Daniel Abraham — I read the quartet (at long last) in January (Shadow and Betrayal (review) and The Price of War (review)) and absolutely loved them. They’re so rich and multi-faceted, I’m surprised it isn’t more popular in the fantasy community. I highly recommend this quartet if you’re into fantasy.
  8. Redshirts by John Scalzi (review) — I read this book some time ago (my first Scalzi novel!) and absolutely loved it =) It’s such a riot, playing with the familiar tropes we know from science fiction but there’s also this awesome twist to the story which made things even more interesting. And it’s funny. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into science fiction.
  9. Stony River by Tricia Dower (review) — I read this book last year and it’s just a fantastic character drama set in a sleepy town during the 1950s where everyone is not what they appear to be…a tour de force in looking at various relationships and dysfunctional families.
  10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell — The list couldn’t be complete without a classic thrown in there ^_~ Wives and Daughters is a wonderful story (despite it being incomplete; the BBC adaptation did a wonderful job in concluding it) that’s quiet and poignant. Molly Gibson is such a sweet character and I grew to just love the characters in their own way.

And that’s my list for this week! What books did you feature on your TTT? Please leave your link, I’d love to read it! Happy Tuesday =)