Top Ten Characters Who Would’ve Sat at Jorie’s Lunch Table in High School


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten characters who would have sat at Jamie’s lunch table in high school

1.  Cinna in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy 

2. Yuni in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 

3.  Linda Ramirez in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex

4. Ralph Ames in J.A. Jance’s J.P. Beaumont Series

5.  Sonali in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake 

6. Annika Gianinni in Stieg Larrson’s  Millennium Series 

7. Jonas in Lois Lowry’s The Giver

8. Han Solo from George Lucas’ Star Wars   

9. The Little Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince

10. Sara in Alisa Valdes’ The Dirty Girls Social Club series

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Top Ten Books Jorie Can Hardly Wait to Read


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten books Julia wants to read but doesn’t own yet

(This looks a lot like last week’s list… Thank you,  LibraryThing for the images)

1.  Sandra Brown’s Mean Streak 

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

2. Junot Díaz’s This is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

3.  Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

4. J.A. Jance’s Partner In Crime (J.P. Beaumont/Joanna Brady Crossover) 

Partner in Crime by J. A. Jance

5.  George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones 

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

6. Stephanie Perkins’  Isla and the Happily Ever After 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie…

7. David Platt’s Radical… 

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the…

8. Rainbow Rowell’s Landline  

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

9. Jared C. Wilson’s Otherworld

Otherworld: A Novel by Jared C. Wilson

10. Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle…

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Jorie That She MUST Read


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten books people have been telling daisy that she must read

(Thank you,  LibraryThing for the images)

1.  Sandra Brown’s Mean Streak 

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

2. Junot Díaz’s This is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

3.  Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

4. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

5.  George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones 

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

6. John Piper”s  Think…

Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of…

7. David Platt’s Radical… 

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the…

8. Liesel Schwarz’s A Conspiracy of Alchemists 

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

9. Jared C. Wilson’s Otherworld

Otherworld: A Novel by Jared C. Wilson

10. Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle…

National Hispanic Heritage Month – Junot Díaz


Junot Díaz | Goodreads

This post is part of a feature at Jorie’s Reads by Starry Night Elf called “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao changed my perception of something which seemed so scholarly – footnotes. My goodness, I’d never seen anything like it – little contradictions and factoids to add to the story of the woeful ghetto nerd Oscar. Within a page, I got narrative and the Dominican Republic’s volatile history. His work pointed me towards other books about the DR. I felt I had an idea and that’s mostly due to Díaz.

Goodreads states:

Junot Díaz is a contemporary Dominican-American writer. He moved to the USA with his parents at age six, settling in New Jersey. Central to Díaz’s work is the duality of the immigrant experience. He is the first Dominican-born man to become a major author in the United States.

Díaz is creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2008.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Díaz has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. He was selected as one of the 39 most important Latin American writers under the age of 39 by the Bogotá Book Capital of World and the Hay Festival. In September 2007, Miramax acquired the rights for a film adaptation of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

After reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, this book became a staple on my Top Ten Tuesday posts 🙂 … I also pushed through his previous work Drown, a collection of short stories (not my favorite prose) simply because they were written by Díaz. Lucky for me, Yunior, Díaz’s narrator, was there, too.

His latest – This is How You Lose Her – is on my TBR pile. Why? Well, his blend of facts and narrative bring forth a gloriously clear picture of what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Thus, I couldn’t celebrate without mentioning Díaz.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth


Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri | LibraryThing

Lahiri, J. (2008). Unaccustomed earth. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 9780307265739

Reasons for Reading : I’m not a big fan of short stories. However, as I’ve enjoyed Lahiri’s The Namesake, I pulled Unaccustomed Earth off the shelf at the HCPL branch where I work.

Summary: Lahiri tells eight stories of first generation Bengali Americans.  All these stories deal with the ups and downs of families and relationships.

Unaccustomed Earth is broken into two parts. Part I is comprised of the first five stories. Among them are “Unaccustomed Earth,” “Hell-Heaven,” “A Choice of Accommodations,” “Only Goodness,” and “Nobody’s Business.” The book is the namesake of “Unaccustomed Earth” tells of Ruma, a young mother in Seattle. When Ruma hosts her visiting widower father, she prepares for him to live with them. While her father tends to her garden and bonds with her son, he has his own ideas about what he wants to do. “Hell-Heaven” confronts the topics of social strata in both old and new worlds.  “A Choice of Accommodations” shares the nearly failed attempt of a husband to turn an old high school friend’s wedding into a romantic weekend for his wife. Lahiri tells of a sister who doesn’t know what to do about her alcoholic brother in “Only Goodness.” Part I ends with “Nobody’s Business,” a lovesick grad student watches his lovely Bengali roommate’s life implode.

Part II is called “Hema and Kaushik.” These three stories – “Once in a Lifetime,” “Year’s End,” and “Going Ashore” focus on two characters – Hema and Kaushik. Teenage Kaushik and his family stay with young Hema’s family. While they go on to lead very seperate lives, circumstances reunite them twenty years later.  

What I Liked : Lahiri’s writing style compels me to continue reading her work. I found myself empathizing with the jerkiest of jerks and understanding their plights. Lahiri’s talent shines from within Unaccustomed Earth.

What I Disliked : By the time I’m absorbed and enthralled in the story, it has ended! I especially wanted to read more about Hema and Kaushik.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Nicola Conte – Dossier Omega – YouTube

Setting: Cambridge Massachusetts, Seattle, India, Italy, Thailand

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Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art


Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore | LibraryThing

Moore, C. (2012). Sacre bleu: A comedy d’art. New York: William Morrow. 9780061779749

Reasons for Reading : I posted Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art on my TBR list. Check out my reasons for reading there.

Summary: News of the suicide of volatile artist Vincent van Gogh rocks Parisian baker and artist Lucien Lessard and his good friend  Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Compounding issues is the sudden reappearance of Lucien’s MIA girlfriend, Juliette and the nasty little guy who’s known as The Colorman. Lucien and Henri take the reader for a ride on the crazy train, encountering figures in the French art scene along the way.

What I Liked : Author Christopher Moore is uproariously humorous. There were numerous “ROL” (read out loud) moments throughout this novel. Characters such as fictitious Lucien and Juliette appealed greatly. The physical book is gorgeous with images discussed in the narrative and has blue typing.

What I Disliked : Some curse words here and there don’t bother me but the language used by various characters was beyond nasty. Also, I thought sometimes Moore crossed the line between amusingly irreverent and crazy wicked. One point late in the novel made a reference to bestiality that had major cringe factor.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet – YouTube

Setting : Paris, France with stops in the French countryside, Italy, England, and the US

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For more on Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, check out the following sites:

Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller Series


The Lincoln Lawyer | Front Row Reviews

Connelly, M., & Grupper, A. (2005). The Lincoln lawyer. New York: Time Warner AudioBooks. 9781594830884

Connelly, M., & Giles, P. (2008). The brass verdict. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600244018

Connelly, M., Giles, P., & Connelly, M. (2010). The reversal. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600247255

Connelly, M., & Giles, P. (2011). The fifth witness. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600247224

Reasons for Reading On my way home from England, I saw bits and pieces of Brad Furman’s The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey. I enjoyed what I saw enough to request the audiobook via HCPL, I have since read all of the Mickey Haller series – thus far.

Summary These books are told by attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller, a street-wise defense attorney who practices law from the backseat of a Lincoln Town Car. Haller offers his services to the greater Los Angeles area, meeting clients wherever they may be. He’s on speaking terms with both of his ex-wives and aims to be a better father to his daughter Hayley. The series highlights Haller’s more unusual and that is true in the first book – The Lincoln Lawyer. Throughout the series, Haller faces his growing discomfort with representing the truly guilty.  

Review I really like the Mickey Haller/Lincoln Lawyer Mysteries by Michael Connelly.  While I may not always care for Haller, he seems realistic and he describes much of what goes on in trials in layman’s terms.I haven’t read of the Harry Bosch books that Connelly writes but I’m currently reading Nine Dragons where Haller makes a small appearance. So far, I liked The Reversal the best as there isn’t just one reversal at play in this book.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪2Pac – California Love [HD] – YouTube

Setting :  Los Angeles, mostly

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For more on Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller Series, please check out the following links: