the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: What to Read If Your Book Club Likes Comics

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Do you guys have any idea how often I daydream of starting a comics book club, either in person or online? I never quite get around to doing it though. But if I did, I think these would be perfect. (Also, since I don’t know any other people/ladies who read comics in my daily life, a lot of these are already pretty popular but would be good for newbies. I guess if I was in a comics group with a bunch of people who already read a lot of comics this list would probably be different, but these are all worth reading many times, so maybe not super different.)

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1 – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. This graphic novel is full of snark and whimsy, and it’s just great.

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2 – Princeless by Jeremy Whitley and M Goodwin. This series is about a young black princess who thinks the traditional fairy tale model of waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince is bullshit. She’s setting out to save herself and her sisters.

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3 – Genius by Marc Bernardin and Afua Richardson. This mini-series about a tactical genius young black girl who wages war back on the police is so great, the art is fantastic, and there’s so much to talk about there given the conversations around police brutality.

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4 – Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – This is such a wonderful space saga about an outlaw family just trying to survive.

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5 – Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn – So this isn’t actually a comic book, but it’s about Asian-American superheroines and it’s SUCH a delight to read. I think any comics-centric book club would enjoy it.

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6 – March (books 1-3) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin – These graphic memoirs are about Congressman John Lewis growing up and how he took part in the Civil Rights movement. They are as fantastic and disturbing as you would think.

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7 – Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Valentine DeLandro – Surprising no one, I’m sure. But there’s so much about feminism to talk about here, including great essays in the back of each issue written by a feminist writer focusing on a particular topic.

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8 – Nighthawk by David Walker and Ramon Villalobos – So this only lasted 6 issues – Marvel decided to give it the axe after only about 3 issues due to “poor sales”. I have many rants about this, but this one arc would be so worth the read for a book club. There’s MUCH to discuss in it about race, police brutality, and violence.

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9 – Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud – I read one of McCloud’s other books, Understanding Comics, and it was great. He uses comics to talk about comics! This one apparently tackles topics like how technology is changing comics, sexual and ethnic representation, how creators’ rights work, and more and it would be a great addition to a comics book club.

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10 – Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – This webcomic-turned-book is one of the most hilarious but also profound books I’ve ever read. While most of Allie’s stories are hilarious and absurd, she also talks quite a bit about her struggles with depression.

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11 – Maus by Art Spiegelman – Because anyone who hasn’t read this really should. The author uses animals to represent people in his tale about his father’s survival during the Holocaust.

Alright guys – what else would you suggest for my imaginary comics book club? OR, who has an interest in an online-only comics book club??


Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Facts About Me

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I usually HATE “about me” questions, but I guess I can do okay if I make it bookish. The topic this week is Ten Facts About Me.

wp-1468329570696.jpg1 – I have bookish tattoos – Harry Potter stars on my wrists, “I’d rather be reading” on the top of my foot, the NC (non-compliant) logo from the Bitch Planet comics on my wrist, and you can even maybe count the Vault Symbol behind one of my ears since the Borderlands video games series ALSO has a comic series.

2 – It’s been about 10 years since I’ve worked in a bookstore. I miss working with books.

3 – I’ve purged a ton of books this year… and I don’t really miss any of them in particular…

4 – …But I’m moving to a bigger place soon and looking forward to hoarding more books.

5 – For about half of the audiobooks I start, I end up getting the paper copy and reading it both ways.

6 – This is my favorite GIF:

7 – I have no problem writing, highlighting, bending pages, breaking spines, or any other things people consider “damaging” to their books. Some of my favorite books I have on my shelves are ones that look like they’ve been through hell by the reading of them. (For example, the Hamilton bio by Ron Chernow. Notes in SO MANY MARGINS.)


8 – I have a kitty, and I want another one. Me from a decade ago would’ve never believed that (I strongly disliked cats). I finally decided I wanted a cat because I wanted a pet to cuddle with when I read and it’s too much of a pain to have a dog in an apartment.

9 – I’m not a big “movie adaptation” person. I rarely get around to seeing the movie version of a book, and if a movie is coming out for a book I haven’t read, I’d rather see the movie first and then read the book. The exception is any comics movies, of course. Comics movies are awesome lately, and I will definitely try to read the comic arc before seeing the movie.


10 – I have a bajillion copies of the Outlander series books. I have multiple copies of the books in various formats:  e-book, audiobook, hardcover, trade, and mass market.

What are some your bookish quirks?


Top Ten Tuesday: Things That I Want That Are Not Books

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

It’s a freebie week, so I figured I’d do a topic I’m pretty sure I haven’t done before: Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own.

1 – Book-shaped plates.

This is wall is truly magical!

2 – A page on a wall. Not necessarily Harry Potter, but maybe from Outlander? Or a page from a comic?

Book Life

3 – Book Riot’s “Book Life” tee shirt.

Grind to the rhythm as you wine and dine guests with this set of Hamilton-inspired coasters. This set is perfect for the bar or home  #Ham4Ham #HamiltonBroadway #Coasters:

4 – Hamilton drinking coasters. And yes that counts as bookish.

Urban Reader

5 – A little free library. Maaaaan, just WAIT till I have my own house. 

books make me happy tee shirt:

6 – Books Make Me Happy (you not so much) tee.

Book shelf table. I really want this!!:

7 – Book shelf end table. This one in particular would be handy for magazines too.

8 – Harry Potter monopoly

An Outlander mug....great for tea or coffee while reading my favorite series of books!!:

9 – Outlander mug in size “giant” please.

10 – A readathon shirt. I actually want to two tees, one that says “#readathon” and one that says “#boutofbooks”. 

EASIEST. LIST. EVER. What bookish swag do you have your eye on?


Top Ten Tuesday: Fave 2016 Releases So Far

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I’ve only read about 27 books so far this year, so this list of just 2016 releases is kind of hard and I’m sure will be wildly different from a general “best of” list, but let’s give it a whirl. The topic this week is Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year.

Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel Jose Older – This was one of the first books I read this year, and the wait for the third book in the series is killing me.

The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales – This book got SO much buzz around it’s release, so much so that I actually shelled out the $14 or whatever it was for the e-book on release day. Angry female assassins fit perfectly in my wheelhouse, but my favorite character wasn’t even human.


Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter – The audiobook and the physical copy are both phenomenal. The closest I’m going to get to seeing the play anytime soon.

The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu – This is a novella that ties into the Tao series, and it was so great. Chu has done a stellar job at some world-building. Hey, has anyone checked to see if Trump is in league with the Genjix?

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger – Surprise favorite of the year! Quirk sent me an ARC and it was such an awesome read. I’m really hoping for a sequel of some sort.

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn – This comes out on July 5th, but I was lucky enough to read an e-galley. Lady superheroes for the win! Even though I read the e-ARC, I went on Amazon and pre-ordered myself a finished copy:



There is a pretty solid chance I’ll be re-reading it later this summer.

Grunt by Mary Roach – I love how much Mary dives deep into topics you never gave much thought before, like penis transplants and hearing problems.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Okay, so I’m actually halfway through this right now but I feel pretty confident sticking it on this list. It has been breaking my heart a little bit with each chapter, but it’s so great.

And because I couldn’t really make it to ten, let’s throw in two of my least favorite releases of 2016:

Maestra by L.S. Hinton – Premise of “50 Shades of Grey without the romance” is something I’m cool with, especially if there’s murder along the way. Cool premise, very poor execution.

The Fireman by Joe Hill – Alright, I did enjoy the book while I read it. But the more I think about it, the more little things are really bugging me – like how the title character is hardly in the book and how problematic of a character Harper seemed to be.

Alrighty kittens, that’s all I got. What have been your favorite (or least favorite) 2016 releases so far this year?


Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m Excited For

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I’ve been paying a lot more attention to new books coming out since I’ve started using NetGalley and Edelweiss more. The topic this week is Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (9/13/16) – I’ve read of a couple of Colson Whitehead’s books and they’ve been really interesting and different. This is already getting a ton of buzz – it’s about Cora, a slave trying to escape slavery via the Underground Railroad, which is an actual setup of tracks and tunnels in the novel.

The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle (10/25/16) – I’ve never read any of Boyle’s novels before, but this premise sounds like it was literally built in my wheelhouse. It’s set in the 90’s, in which 8 people are living in a glass enclosure in the desert to simulate what life would be like if they were living on another planet. I wonder if the author also has a fondness for the Pauly Shore movie Bio-Dome?

IQ by Joe Ide (10/18/16) – A man named IQ starts to take up the cases that the police either can’t or won’t solve in one of the tough neighborhoods of LA. Yes please so much to this.

The Hike by Drew Magary (8/2/16) – I’ve been waiting for Magary to write another novel ever since I read The Postmortal a couple years ago. I am beyond excited about this. I mean, it features a “profane crustacean”. COME ON.

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs (10/18/16) – A book highlighting notable women! Always here for that.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (9/20/16) – Sometimes buzzy YA fails me, but the excitement around this one is infectious. And come on – three sisters fight to the death to be queen. There’s no way I’m missing out on that.

The Rise of Io, by Wesley Chu

The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu (10/4/16) – I love Chu’s Tao series, and it looks like this is the start of a new series but set in the same universe so I will be all over it.

ADHD Nation by Alan Schwarz (9/6/16)  – A book about the over-diagnosing of ADHD in America. This is something I already think anyways, but the author is apparently a journalist for the NY Times and I’m curious to see what evidence he’s dug up.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (8/9/16) – I really liked Brown Girl Dreaming, but I am really excited that this is an adult novel and I’ve already heard amazing things.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (9/6/16) – YA urban fantasy about a teenage witch who accidentally vanishes her entire family? And Daniel José Older has said good thing about it? YES PLEASE.

My wallet can’t even handle it. What upcoming releases are you excited about?


Top Ten Tuesday: On A Whim Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

The topic this week is Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim – notice that it didn’t say Ten Books I Read On a Whim. Yeah I’m going to make use out of that.

1. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips – I just grabbed this from the library over the weekend. I had seen it around on blogs and stuff, but I literally have no idea what it’s about. It’s only 177 pages, so hopefully it’ll be a nice, short surprise.

2. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – Okay this one I actually did pick up, buy, and read on a whim and I continue to fangirl over it.

3. RunLoveKill by Jonathan Tsuei and Eric Canete – Awesome comic series, you can get the volume for like $10 so you should definitely check it out. I grabbed the first issue because I loved the cover.

4. Paradox by Jim Al-Khalili – SCIENCE PARADOXES THAT AREN’T REALLY PARADOXES. Who knew that could be such a fun thing. Happened to grab it off a B&N table one day when the honeyman was buying me books and it was so great that I didn’t notice the tub overflowing while I was reading it in the bath.

5. In The Country We Love by Diane Guerrero – I haven’t seen this actress in much, but the cover of her book looked interesting and it’s about her family getting deported when she was a child, so you know, topical to current events. Actually spent the money on it on Audible without hearing a single review or any buzz. Currently reading/listening.

6. Plucked: A History of Hair Removal by Rebecca Herzig – I don’t remember how this book crossed by radar, but I thought the concept was intriguing so I got it from the library. The intro was actually really intense and I was in the mood for something lighter so I ended up returning it before reading, but I plan on spending the $9 for the Kindle version soon.

7. The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale – Pretty fantastic historical romance that I bought at the grocery store purely because the hero had a tattoo on his chest. Tattoos on heroes are not so common in historical romance, and maybe it should be because this rocked.

8. Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling by Marc Mauer and Sabrina Jones – I happened upon this in the “new comics / YA” section of the library and grabbed it. Apparently it’s based on a book by Marc Mauer about the mass incarceration, which of course I will also have to read at some point.

9. My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek – The title and cover jumped out to me at the library one day and that was all I needed. As delightful and smart as this was, I’m still hoping that Switek will dip his toes into the “dinosaur fiction” pool because I’m pretty sure he’d be awesome at it.

Aaaand I think I’m tapped out at 9! Ah well, I got more in here than I expected. What have you picked up on a whim?


Awesome apps and websites that aren’t about books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Been awhile since I did one of these! I don’t know if I’ll get to 10, but we’ll see. The topic here is Ten Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books.

Buzzfeed – Sure they have a Books section, but Buzzfeed has, oddly enough, become a pretty reliable source of news – often more accurate and informative than CNN. Plus, you know, the quizzes and listicles and crap.

Google Drive – This is an odd one, and I don’t even know if it quite counts as a website. But I’ve basically become obsessed with the ability to save Google Sheets and Google Docs here. I have had (or still have) spreadsheets here for wedding planning, paycheck budgeting, moving, and of course the Master Reading sheet. And, similarly, I’ve started using Google Calendar and loving it – it emails me an agenda every morning for important appointments, reminders, blog to-do’s, and it automatically syncs to my phone calendar. Awesome.

Huffington Post – Yeah, another news-related thing. And sometimes Huff Post they’re really not great. But I really appreciate this:

“Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

They have that note at the bottom of any post about Trump, and I just love that.

Fenix – This is a Twitter app, and I love it. I paid $4.99 for it and I’m so glad I did. It’s functional, it’s gorgeous.

QuizUp – Basically the only game app I have on my phone. You can play against people you know or random folks, the games are only 7 questions long, and the selection is great. I’ve played a ton of Hamilton, Outlander, Friends, science, general knowledge, and a whole bunch of other stuff. The honeyman and I often play against each other in random categories while we wait for our food at restaurants.

Zedge – A ringtone/notification sound app. It’s easy to use, and they have EVERYTHING. I have Hamilton lyrics set as alarms and text sounds, I have Marvel TV show intro music as ringtones, I have Borderlands quotes set for notifications and calendar reminders… it’s awesome.

Fandango – I’ve started using Fandango more and more to buy my movie tickets because it is so damn convenient. Especially since I’ve been going at peak times more often, like opening weekend for Civil War, and maybe I’m running late and there’s a huge line at the window and dammit I want time to buy candy too.

And yeah… I have nothing else really. Basically all of the websites I go to are book-related, and ditto for apps. And it will only get worse when Litsy and TheListApp are finally fucking available on Android!

What non-bookish websites/apps should I be visiting or using?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Christmas List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

It’s almost Christmas time! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year. People rarely buy me books for gift-giving occasions – gift cards to bookstores, sure, but rarely books. I’m always hopeful though, so here are the books I had on my “Christmas” Amazon wishlist.

1 – The Outlandish Companion: Volume 2 by Diana Gabaldon – Because I have the first volume, and my Outlander collection isn’t complete with out the second one. Plus I’m going to being re-reading the books very soon, so it’d be fun to actually go and flip through the companions as I read the books.

2 – Cyanide and Happiness: Stab Factory by Kris, Rob, & Dave – This is definitely one of my favorite web comics, and I’m psyched there’s a new paper collection out.

3 – Lady Killer by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich – I bought and read the individual issues, but I want the trade copy on my shelf.

4 – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Because N.K. Jemisin. Duh.

5 – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – I read this via audiobook this year, and I absolutely need a paper copy to flip through every now and then.

6 – Fables: Volume 8 (and 9, 10, 11, and so on) by Bill Willingham – I just finished volume 7 and I am SO bummed that I can’t buy the next ones for myself until after Christmas, because that’s the rule during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas 😦


7 – The new Harry Potter boxed set – I can’t believe I don’t have this yet. Shame on me. I need to be able to see that pretty castle on the book spines on my shelf, okay?

8 – Chew card game – This isn’t really a book, but it’s a game based on the Chew comic books and I neeeeeed it.

9 – Plucked: A History of Hair Removal by Rebecca Herzig – I don’t know why, but this sounds really fascinating to me. And just think of all the weird facts that you’ll probably learn by reading this and be able to drop in random conversations.

10 – Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa Randall Do I even need to explain to you how exactly in the wheelhouse this is?

And there we have it! Possibly the most bizarre, nerd-glorious list there ever was. What books are you hoping for?



Top Ten Tuesday: Book-To-Movie Adaptations I Haven’t Seen

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I am SUCH a lazy movie-watcher. I don’t know why. Even when I’m excited about a movie, it may be years before I finally get around to it. This week’s topic is Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch.

Haven’t seen yet…

The Martian – How in the holy hell have I not seen this movie yet??? I looooooved the book. And while I wasn’t enthusiastic about Matt Damon being the main character, by all accounts it’s still a damn good movie. It has so many of the things in my wheelhouse – space, and humor, and awesomeness. Hopefully I’ll see it soon. Hopefully.

Horns – Another fantastic book, probably my favorite Joe Hill novel. Again, don’t love the casting but I still really want to see it. It’s on Netflix, so maybe one of these nights.

The Great Gatsby – Alright, I’ll give myself a bit of a break on this one. I read Gatsby, but I’m not a super-fan. I really just want to see this movie eventually because reasons.

Lord of the Rings trilogy – I’ve seen most of these… maybe 10 years ago. And didn’t pay attention to them because I had no interest. But now I DO have an interest and want to see them, but damn, they’re SO long and there’s three of them. I can barely get myself to watch one regular length movie.

The Hobbit movies – I’ve heard they kind of suck and I’m irritated they split one tiny book into three big movies… but since I haven’t actually read The Hobbit yet, maybe I’ll get a kick out of em.

Will probably see when they come out…

Deadpool – Actually, I will see this on the day it comes out if time allows. And I can say this with confidence, because I know at least three other people that will want to see it just as much.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – I will probably play hooky with my sister and go see, because yay Harry Potter things.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – I wanted to like the book so much, but just could not get through it. But it’s probably PERFECT movie material. Will probably be one of those things that even if it’s bad, it’ll be great.

Suicide Squad – Will most likely see because again, I know people that will want to go. I am kinda-sorta looking forward to it. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of faith in DC movies. But I like Will Smith, and I like really crazy characters so Harley Quinn should be interesting.

Batman vs Superman – Kind of the same deal. I don’t think it’s going to be great… the trailers bore the hell out of me. And personally, I can’t stand Batman. But maybe it’ll be fun, who knows.

Any book or comic movies that you’re excited to see?



Top Ten Tuesday: A Reader’s Wishes

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Ohhhh man, wishing is always fun. This week’s topic is 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me. Let the high hopes begin!

  1. A credit card just for books and comics that I never have to pay on.
  2. A library room in my house with an infinite amount of room – kind of like Hermione’s magic purse.
  3. More hours in the day for more reading.
  4. A much better memory so I can remember all of the things I read.
  5. For the Outlander series to never end.
  6. For J.K. Rowling to write more books set in the Harry Potter universe.
  7. To have my own moderately successful bookstore/comic store.
  8. For publishing to become more diverse and more equal, at every possible level.
  9. For book awards to be aired on TV like a big red-carpet event.
  10. To find more like-minded female readers in my area so we can have an awesome book/comic club, or to move to a city with a more active book and comic culture.
  11. To go on an international literary trip to see fancy libraries, classic author’s houses and graves, visit blogging buddies, shop at famous bookstores, etc.
  12. For reading to burn as many calories as running.
  13. For people in the literary world to be better paid – especially authors, librarians, and booksellers.
  14. A national reading holiday, that everyone gets off of work.
  15. For everyone to experience the reading of a really great book, and then another, and then another…