Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2008). The sugar queen. New York, N.Y: Bantam Dell. 9780553805499

I enjoy Garden Spells so much that I checked out Sarah Addison Allen’s second novel, The Sugar Queen from HCPL. I looked forward to returning the enchanted world of Allen’s North Carolina.

Josey Cirrini leads a predictable life in ski resort town Bald Slope, North Carolina. The twenty-seven year olds lives with her mother, the quintessential Southern Belle, whom Josey serves hand and foot. She loves winter and enjoys her stockpile of candy and romance novels in her closet. This all changes when Josey finds local waitress Della Lee Baker living in her closet. What should Josey do?

While I didn’t adore The Sugar Queen the way I did Allen’s Garden Spells, I liked this book. Characters from the warm Josey and Chloe to the chilly Margaret Cirrini are of the slice of life variety. I wasn’t terribly crazy about the mystery of Jake’s one night stand. Still, I appreciated that Allen didn’t tie all loose ends neatly – making this an authentic novel about everyday life with a dash of magic.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – ‪The Archies Sugar Sugar‬‏

Places : North Carolina

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For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen, check out the following sites:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love

  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert | LibraryThing

    Gilbert, E. (2006). Eat, pray, love: [one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia]. New York: Penguin Audio. 9780143058526

As I sought more material for the 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge, I requested Eat, Pray, Love through HCPL.  While I hardly recommend watching the movie before reading the book, I saw the film just a month or so before requesting the audio.

Thirty-something Elizabeth “Liz” Gilbert seems to have everything. She’s a successful writer and she’s married. Yet, she is completely miserable. So, after a bitter divorce and a tempestuous relationship with a younger guy, Liz seeks out pleasure and spiritual devotion. She treks through Italy, India, and Indonesia (Bali) during one year and journals her self-discovery.

There were some points I didn’t care for in the book but I’m really pleased that I checked out this audiobook. The book seemed natural and authentic, especially since Liz also narrated. It even led me to check out what is considered a sequel to Eat, Pray, Love. While I don’t agree with her on some spiritual aspects, I appreciated Liz relating her views.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: United States, Italy, India, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

Song:  YouTube – ‪Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (2010 Version)‏

You might also like:

    • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    • Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

 For more on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, check out the following:



Top Ten Tuesday: Jorie’s Top Ten Authors She’d Love to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature 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! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

July 12: Top Ten Authors I Would DIE to meet (living or dead)

1. Elie Wiesel – He’s a survivor and a writer. Additionally, Wiesel tops my list as a person I admire.

2. Thomas Jefferson – He’s my favorite founding father and his genius continues to enthrall.

3. Rachel Carson – She related science in such a way that an artsy-fartsy type such as myself could actually “get it.”  

4. Sarah Dessen – If meeting her is anything like reading her books, then I’m there!  

5. Jeffrey Eugenides – After reading Middlesex for the second time, I have twice as many questions. I hope he has answers.

6. William Shakespeare – Wow, I don’t know where I’d begin with my questions for him.  

7. Sarah Addison Allen – I’ve read three of her books already and I like the enchanted world she has conjured.

8. Jane Addams – Another one who inspires me, Addams wrote pamphlets to support Hull House.

9. Mark Twain – Do I need to say anything else?

10. Isabel Allende – I like her books and I’d like to meet her.

Sandra Brown’s Smoke Screen

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown | LibraryThing

Brown, S. (2008). Smoke screen. Waterville, Me: Thorndike Press. 9781410405630

When I desperately needed a book, I spied a Sandra Brown book on the large print shelf at HCPL – one I hadn’t read. So, I took the book home and read it within days.

Charleston, South Carolina broadcast journalist Britt Shelley wakes up in bed with the dead body of police detective Jay Burgess. Britt doesn’t remember how she got there or how Jay died. While recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, Britt looks suspect.   

Just five years ago, Jay’s former best friend, ex-fireman Raley Gannon, experienced something similar, waking up next to a dead party girl after one of Jay’s wild parties. At the time, Raley was investigating the big fire at the police headquarters. This fire resulted in seven deaths even though Jay and three others heroically saved many. Britt and Raley team up to investigate what really happened with the fire. They also seek vindication.

While I’ve read many Sandra Brown books, Smoke Screen is the first one I’ve reviewed. She bundles explosive chemistry between Britt and Raley with sleuthing. I continue to read Brown’s books due to excellent dialogue, characterization, and description. Smoke Screen meets this criteria. I liked this novel better than a few others by Brown simply because she offered up not one but two characters seeking exoneration. She’s wickedly good at conjuring the thoughts of some rather icky characters and I was relieved Smoke Screen wasn’t one of those – see Unspeakable or Fat Tuesday for these nasty villains.

This wasn’t my favorite Brown book but I didn’t feel I wasted my time reading it. I saw that it was made into a Lifetime Movie. Maybe I’ll see it at some point.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – ‪Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water w/ lyrics‬‏

Places : Charleston, South Carolina

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  • Smash Cut by Sandra Brown
  • Play Dirty by Sandra Brown
  • Mirror Image by Sandra Brown
  • Still Waters by Tami Hoag
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Top Ten Rebels In Literature (characters or authors) | The Broke and the Bookish

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I came home last night, after a relaxing weekend on the beach, to start working on Top Ten Tuesday for today and my computer was acting all wonky..thus I could not get on it to get this ready for today.

So there will be no list from us today but I’m dropping by on my lunch break to put up the Mr. Linky real quick so you all can enjoy each other’s lists!

To see upcoming Top Ten Tuesday’s, please click HERE!

July 5: Top Ten Rebels In Literature (characters or authors) — Those people who stood up for what they believed in despite the cost of doing so.


  1. Thomas Jefferson, writer of the “Declaration of Independence”
  2. Nikos Kazantzakis, writer of The Last Temptation of Christ
  3. Marjane Satrapi, writer of Persepolis
  4. Betty Friedan, writer of The Feminine Mystique
  5. Rachel Carson, writer of Silent Spring


  1. The Mirabal sisters of Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies – These real-life heroines stood up for the Dominican Republic and its villainous dictator – Trujillo.
  2. Howard Roark of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead – Perhaps the most uncompromising rebel, Roark would do things his way only.
  3. Elizabeth McKenna of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society – Just read the book, you’ll understand what I’m saying.
  4. Atticus Finch of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – See previous response.
  5. Cinna of Sue Collins’ The Hunger Games – While Katniss is obvious, Cinna was the impetus. Many others have blogged this as well.