Tag: Books: Recommendations


Books: Recommendations Please?

Posted 28 May, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

So I’ve sort of been going around GoodReads with the following question but I’m going to post it to my flist as well. See, I’ve suddenly developed a hankering for a good novel involving lots of internal dialogue or drama (for lack of a better word to describe it; you know, those stories where not a whole lot really happens but it’s all about the character development and internal reflections/changes/whathaveyou over the course of the novel). I was just wondering if anyone knew of a novel (or several) that features this and that you could recommend to me?

Examples that come to mind for this (to me) are Ian McEwan’s Atonement (review) and Owen Sheers’ Resistance (which I am currently reading at the moment). Lots of Russian literature also fall under this category like Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (review), Aleksandr Pushkin’s Yevgeny Onegin (review) and as someone reminded me Fyodor Dostoevsyky’s Crime and Punishment (haven’t read it in a few years so I guess it’s time for a re-visit). Oh, and I would argue that Sansa Stark’s storyline in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is more of an internal storyline.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated =D

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 2 April, 2012 by Lianne in Meme / 15 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 To Read In A Day

Fun topic for this week’s TTT! Granted, a lot of the books I read are definitely more-than-one-day reads but there’s been a few that can definitely be read in a day =P In no particular order:

01. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson — This novel is so light, sweet and wonderful that it demands to be read all the way through. The movie adaptation was just as wonderful.

02. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson — I read this last summer and I just could not believe how quickly I breezed through it! It’s a very intense novel, I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know what was going on with Christine, the main character.

03. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (review) — I forgot how slim this volume was when I re-read it last month, I managed to read the entire novel in one sitting. And yet Fitzgerald has managed to convey enough of the story without stretching it beyond 200 pages…

04. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (review) — I read this book a few summers ago and it was the perfect summer read. Written in epistolary style, it’s an absolutely charming story that makes you want to just sit put and read their story to the very end.

05. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez — A very, very slim novel contemplating on the phenomenon where everyone knew that a crime was going to be committed and yet no stopped it from happening. Curious work.

06. Silk by Alessandro Baricco — I’m currently re-reading this book (albeit very slowly) in Italian. It’s a slim novel that reads like a fairy tale but the story has a mix of adventure and sensuality.

07. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling — I started re-reading the series sometime last year (finally got around to buying myself a copy of all the series) and I was surprised at how fast I went through the first volume.

08. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill — A haunting novel that’s relatively quick to read through. I am curious to know how the recent movie with Daniel Radcliffe fared…

09. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — Still hands down my favourite book from him, the message of the story is just wonderful.

10. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (review) — I totally forgot about this book until Anne mentioned it but I pretty much read this book in a day. Gaiman does such a wonderful job of bringing in the fantastical element and weaving it into a story involving coming of age.

And that’s all I can think of for this week’s TTT…and just shy from completing my 10 too! Unfortunately the rest of my novels are definitely more than a day’s reading, lol. Might come back and update this post if I think of another book…Anyways, I hope you enjoyed that list! What’s on your TTT for this week?

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 23 January, 2012 by Lianne in Meme / 5 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: Books for a Rainy/Snowy/Blah Day

This week’s TTT is actually a freebie and I was mulling over for a while as to what to discuss for this week’s list. In the end, I chose this particular topic because it’s just so glum outside today (and feeling so-not-a-Canadian-winter at all). The following books are a selection of light-hearted with (I hope!) not-too-stressful plots to check out during days like those:

01. Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — I read this book a year and some ago and it is just the most delightful story. It’s light-hearted, zany, hilarious and fun, the story taking place in the course of a day as Miss Pettigrew ends up embroiled in the complicated and busy life of Miss LaFosse. There was a movie adaptation that was made a few years ago starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, which was equally fun and lovely.

02. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (review) — I mentioned this book in a previous TTT but this book was just a wonderous read. Although written in correspondence-style, the authors really brought the characters to life, making the overall story completely memorable. It was like making a whole new batch of friends, really.

03. Georgette Heyer’s The Reluctant Widow (review) — It was difficult to choose just one book by Heyer because I’ve enjoyed all of her novels so far (and any/all of them are totally worth picking up during those blah days) but I chose The Reluctant Widow because it’s an interesting mix of mystery/Gothic satire/family insanity/romance. The characters were interesting and I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of the craziness that ensued through this novel (which, when you read the synopsis, you’d immediately realise that a lot of craziness with follow).

04. Marie Philipps’s Gods Behaving Badly — There’s a lot of books out there about the Greek gods in our day and age. I found this one particularly amusing because of Philipps’ ability of matching them up with the occupations out there today. There were some really funny moments in this novel, which is always a bonus.

05. Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (review) — I chose NA over Austen’s other books because’s the plot is fairly straightforward and it’s fairly light-hearted. Catherine is a young, amusing and imaginative heroine (not to mention relatable with her love of reading) and Mr. Tilney is a kindly, charming and hilarious hero. I personally adored all of their scenes together. Plus, the ITV adaptation was all sorts of fun.

06. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary — Another amusing book to dispel away the slumps. Yes, we’ve all experienced some of the troubles that Bridget Jones expressed throughout the book–whether it be weight issues or guy issues–but it’s always amusing to read the way she expresses these issues as they come. You really root for her, that everything will turn out well in the end. I also like the way the novel was set up: diary format, starting from January to December.

07. Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — If you’re going through a bad day, it certainly can’t be worse than Arthur Dent’s. If you think you’re the most miserable person in the universe, you haven’t met Marvin. I love Douglas Adams’s narrative and the amusing way he describes situations. A lot of it’s quotable, which is also fun.

08. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (review) — As I stated in my review/commentary, it feels like coming home. There’s just something so familiar and homely about Middle Earth; maybe that’s just me, but the adventure’s something you could curl up in your favourite seat and read about all afternoon.

09. Stephen Clarke’s A Year in the Merde (review) — It’s been a few years since I’ve read this book but I remember being amused by this book. For those who are into armchair travelling (the actual term always escapes me =x), this book is about a Englishman who finds himself across the Channel and living in France. It was amusing to read his escapades and struggles in adapting to the French lifestyle and is overall quite a light read.

10. Lindsey Davis’s The Silver Pigs (review) — Okay, it’s a murder mystery novel set in Ancient Rome but it’s still a great read during those blah and/or rainy days because of Marcus Didius Falco’s narrative. Really =D

And that’s my list for this week! What is your TTT for this week?

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 16 January, 2012 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 Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read…FANTASY

Awesome top ten topic for this week! Naturally I chose the fantasy genre because it’s always been my first and foremost favourite genre in fiction. I love the genre because there’s just so many things you could explore with it, both in terms of character drama and scenarios. So yeah, if you’re don’t read this genre, maybe you’d be interested in checking out what I have to recommend? ^_~

01. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld — Yeah, I actually have no particular book in mind to recommend from him because you could start with any of his Discworld novels and it would serve as a great introduction to the zany and hilarious world of…Discworld =P (okay, that sentence was redundant) I personally have read almost all of the books featuring Death front and centre because he’s my favourite character so any of those books would work: Mort, Reaper Man, Hogfather, etc.

02. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (review) — No fantasy list is ever really complete without a bit of Tolkien in there somewhere. I opted to suggest The Hobbit as opposed to LOTR for those who don’t read fantasy because it serves as a good introduction to Middle Earth; it is also not as dense in lore, language and lineage as LOTR (I personally love that stuff, but I know it can be a turn-off for some people). The timing for this list is great seeing as the movie coming out in December =)

03. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn (review) — I personally think Sanderson’s one of the best novelists in the genre right now; he is consistently mindblowing in his worldbuilding, imagination and plot and he has quite a disciplined work ethic when it comes to producing books. He’s currently finishing up Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series but his own works have been just as fantastic. I recommend Mistborn over his standalones because it really shows his range as a writer; it’s the first in a trilogy but you could opt to just read the first if you’re not big on reading trilogies. Not to mention it’s pure entertaining, a mix of the fantasy tropes of defeating an evil ruler and engaging in an intriguing and dangerous heist.

04. Garth Nix’s Sabriel (review for the trilogy, SPOILERS) — I read this book many years ago and I quite enjoyed how unique and detailed the magic system is (Sabriel was trained to put the dead back to rest, as opposed to raising them) and the world that Nix created for the characters. The characters were also engaging, with their own flaws and secrets from the past. If you enjoy this book, you will certainly enjoy the rest of the trilogy, which expands on the world that Nix created in the first book.

05. George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones (review) — If you’re not so big on magical systems and fantastical worlds, there’s GRRM’s A Game of Thrones, the first in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. The magic in his books is relatively low, focusing more on character conflicts and the the harsh, gritty reality (akin to the European medieval ages) that the characters reside it. It’s quite a complex and interesting world tackling a variety of different themes such as power and corruption, and of course his books are super famous after the television show aired last year.

06. Guy Gabriel Kay’s Tigana — It’s a rarity to find standalone novels in the fantasy genre; not to say they aren’t there, but it requires a bit of looking around. Guy Gabriel Kay (fellow Canadian!) is one of those authors in the genre who does write a lot of standalones as oppose to trilogies (though he has written one). I recommend Tigana because it’s self-contained but it explores a lot of issues such as national identity and survival (topics that happen to be my academic interests as well) within a fully-realised world. It’s been a while since I’ve read this book but I remember feeling astounded by the depth and beauty of this novel.

07. Carol Berg’s Lighthouse duology — I forgot how I came across this duology but it’s an interesting story because the main character is just so flawed, well beyond that of an anti-hero. I also found the story interesting because the author explores the issue of addiction–in this case, a magical form of addiction involving a particular type of seed–something you don’t see very often in the fantasy genre involving supernatural/fantastica/magical elements (though Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy does explore this). I also enjoyed the family and character dynamics, which made for an interesting read.

08. Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (review) — If you’re into nineteenth century literature or history/culture, this is an interesting novel for you. It’s a mix of that and magic that’s almost academic in a sense yet rooted in an old, faerie form of magic. It’s hard to explain but it’s very well-fleshed out, both the story, the characters and the world that the story takes place in. There’s a lot of twists and turns in the story and explores the consequences of awakening older forms of magic. It’s a tome of the novel, but it’s totally worth it.

09. Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora (review) — This book is actually the first in a series, but it works well as a standalone. Unlike a lot of the books I mentioned here on this list, the story is relatively self-contained, focusing on a group of thieves in the city of Camorr trying to pull off a complicated heist. Sounds simple enough, eh? Except there’s a lot of interesting things that happen along the way and the grittiness of it is akin to GRRM’s books. There’s also a lot of great one-liners in this book that had me cracking up as well as some memorable characters; the title character himself was very interesting with lots of secrets in his past.

10. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (review) — Gaiman’s another one of those big names in the genre; he’s a very unique writer who comes up with these strange and amazing tales and worlds. I thought about choosing Stardust for this list but in the end chose The Graveyard Book because it has both the dark fantastical elements while still being set in our world—the novel is just so Gaiman (yes, he is an adjective unto himself). I think it’s a good introduction to his works.

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 30 May, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 4 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 A Beach Bag (your perfect beach reads!)

Yay! Summer’s usually the time when I tackle the large books like Dostoevsky and Dickens because they’re not exactly relaxing books to read when you’re neck-deep in academic literature for the most part of the year but I like to mix them up with some exciting but light paperbacks. So the following list is just that ^_~

01. Tell No One by Harlan Coben — I’ve seen his books in the bookstore but I’ve never picked them up. Then I found out that French actor/director/writer Guillaume Canet directed a movie based on this book so I decided to check it out. I actually took it with me to Europe last summer and was absolutely enthralled by the story; it was fast paced and the mystery was intriguing right up to the very end. Totally recommend this book if you’re into suspense and mystery.

02. Any of Daniel Silva’s books — I couldn’t figure out which book to recommend from him so I figure any book by him would be a great start. He’s personally my favourite novelist in the thriller/suspense/espionage genre out there right now; his novels are always totally engrossing, fast-paced filled with great lines and well-rounded characters.

03. One Day by David Nicholls — I read this book earlier this year since the movie’s coming out soon. I liked the premise of the book, focusing on two people and the state of their relationship on the same day year after year. I thought the characters were relatable and the ups and downs relatable to life today. Great beach read.

04. Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson — I read this book last year and absolutely adored it! There was a movie that was adapted a few years ago from this novel and it’s quite close to the novel. But yeah, the novel was just quite wonderful, left me in such a good mood xD

05. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss — I read this book a few summers ago and it was very unique and wonderful piece in the fantasy genre and just an enjoyable read all around with great characterisation. I look forward to reading the next book (it’s out now but I’m waiting for it to hit mass paperback =))

06. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Philipps — Simply put, this book is hilarious. Totally worth packing into your beach bag if you’re looking for a good laugh.

07. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows — Another book I ready a few summers ago and absolutely adored the story. The novel is told in correspondence and the authors do a wonderful job in bringing these characters to life. I really felt like the characters were my friends at the end of the novel.

08. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough — If you’re looking for a family saga sweeping decades and generations to bring with you, this is definitely the book to check out. The characterisations are amazing and the dynamics and relationships were also interesting to read, definitely kept me going right up to the very last page.

09.Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson — For the fantasy fans reading this list. The world he creates for the premise of this novel and the magic system that governs it is unique and intriguing. And again, another captivating story with great dialogue and fantastic characters. One of my favourite reads from last summer.

10. Where Angels Fear to Tread by C.S. Harris — This is book one of Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series; there’s five novels in this series so far and they’re quite intriguing. They’re set in the early 19th century in England so it’s both a historical fiction and a mystery as Sebastian St. Cyr sets out to solve murders while tackling with the whole classes issue. Oh, and did I mention Sebastian St. Cyr is like a mix of Mr. Darcy and James Bond? ^_~

And that’s my list for summer beach reads! I would’ve also recommended The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon but this novel has such a particular atmosphere that I would save that for an evening read when it’s dark out instead of the beach—definitely adds to the mood of the story! There were also another few novels that came to mind but I figured they were a little heftier to carry and to read and the beach or a vacation spot is a place where you’d probably want to read something lighter and fun ^_~