The Other Amber's Throwback

This Throwback Thursday was nominated by Amber.

She recommends Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh as a FIVE STAR read for creatively telling the story of three family generations in one coal mining town.

Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens -- and the five children of the Novak family -- the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill.

Sima's Selection

 Sima gave American Gods by Neil Gaiman FIVE STARS.

She says, "Just thinking about it makes me want to re-read it ASAP."

Days before his release from prison, Shadow's wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

We seem to have a lot of Gaiman fans in the group!

Top 10 Unusual Character Names

  1. Ford Perfect, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  2. Wellington Books, Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
  3. Millon de Floss, Thursday Next
  4. Veruca Salt, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  5. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
  6. Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry Potter
  7. Daenerys Targaryen, A Song of Ice and Fire
  8. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

Comment to finish our list? We came up short this week!

Each week, The Broke and Bookish inspires a Top 10 Tuesday list. 
Our responses are group member generated.

Project J

Today's throwback was suggested by yet another (former) group member, J.

She gave it FIVE STARS. If you haven't picked up this trilogy yet, it is a must read!

Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride.

Intrigued by this member's selection? Find out more about her here.

Liebster Award Nomination

We've been nominated!

Wait, what is the Liebster Award?

There are many variations of this blogger to blogger award, but the most detailed account we could find is here.

Our blog was nominated by Sarah at My Other Book Club.

Participant Rules
  • Each nominee must link back to the person who nominated them. 
  • Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator. 
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers. 
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer. 
  • Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them. 
Our 10 Questions
  1. If you could live in the setting of one novel, which one would you choose? 
  2. You must choose three things to take to a deserted island – what would you take? 
  3. What is your most prized possession? 
  4. If you could go back in time and relive one memory, what would it be? 
  5. What is your favorite song? 
  6. Who is your best friend? What is he/she like? 
  7. Where was the last place you went on vacation? 
  8. Who would you most want to sit down and have dinner with? 
  9. Why did you start blogging? 
  10. When is your birthday? 
Our 10 Answers
  1. There are so many books that I love! So many that I have been pulled into so deeply that putting it down is simply not an option. There are two books that come to mind when answering this question. The first is Pride & Prejudice (or Emma) by Jane Austen and the other would be Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I know... totally different books, but they both end up in England during what seems to be much simpler times. But there is still intrigue, mystery, and enlightenment along the way. I'm not sure that I would want to live there on a permanent basis though... maybe just visit for a while like in Shadow of Night. ~ Jackie
  2. My Kindle, solar generator and gaming PC. ~ Izzy 
  3. A doll I've had since I was a little girl. ~ Amber 
  4. My first date with my husband. It was such a great, fun night and he was so sweet. I'd like to go back to sitting in the gazebo with his arm around me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy thinking about it! ~ Lauren 
  5. Pictures of You, The Cure ~ Yvonne 
  6. Answer 
  7. The last vacation I went on was just a few weeks ago to Orlando, FL. ~ Marjorie 
  8. Answer 
  9. Two reasons: I am a verbal processor (gotta get it out!) and people have repeatedly told me that they want to hear more of my story. ~ Cherish 
  10. January 10th ~ Amber B.
You've Been Nominated!
*Listed are group member blogs that may not fit the criteria, but we support our own!
  1. With Just A Bit of Magic 
  2. Book Babes Unite 
  3. Optimistic Mommy 
  4. My Twenty-something Life 
  5. Bibliophilia, Please 
  6. A Life In Gummi Form 
  7. Random Thoughts 
  8. Desperate Houselife 
  9. Random Acts of Amy 
  10. Read Between the Lines 
Attention Nominees: Your 10 Questions
  1. What do you LOVE about blogging? Give us all the steamy details.
  2. What do you HATE about blogging? Be honest!
  3. Have you ever had a star-struck moment? Tell us about the time you met one of your favorite celebrities.
  4. Blogger or Wordpress? Tell us how and why you chose your blog's platform.
  5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so, tell us about it or name those on your to-go wishlist.
  6. Traditional blogging or micro-blogging? Tell us which one you prefer and why.
  7. What is the best way to engage with your readers? From comments to contests, tell us what works for you.
  8. What are your favorite blogging tools? Tell us what they are and why you dig 'em.
  9. Did you keep a diary/journal as a child? Explain how that impacted your adult desire to blog.
  10. Do you vlog? Tell us why video is special or why you're beyond terrified just by the thought of it.  
The purpose of this award is to recognize emerging bloggers and also to encourage people to visit and interact with other bloggers.

*Content sited to the members of Casual Readers when possible.
**Until completed, this post is a work in progress awaiting group response.

Caturday #2

“If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats.” ― Lemony SnicketThe Wide Window

Sanctioned by Lauren

Lauren recommends The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen for this week's Throwback Thursday.

She simply states that it's fantastic!

Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil–human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder. But whoever this nameless woman was, and whatever befell her, is knowledge lost to another time. . . 

Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, Norris Marshall, a talented but penniless student at Boston Medical College, has joined the ranks of local “resurrectionists”–those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market. Yet even this ghoulish commerce pales beside the shocking murder of a nurse found mutilated on the university hospital grounds. And when a distinguished doctor meets the same grisly fate, Norris finds that trafficking in the illicit cadaver trade has made him a prime suspect.

To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer: Rose Connolly, a beautiful seamstress from the Boston slums who fears she may be the next victim. Joined by a sardonic, keenly intelligent young man named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Norris and Rose comb the city–from its grim cemeteries and autopsy suites to its glittering mansions and centers of Brahmin power–on the trail of a maniacal fiend who lurks where least expected . . . and who waits for his next lethal opportunity.

You can find out more about Lauren's thoughts here.

November Secondary Series: Naked Werewolf #1

Our first secondary series group read begins on November 1st with How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper.

I know what you're thinking. The cover looks cheesy, and the trailer is even cheesier!

Surprisingly, this series has gotten rave reviews. We will either adore it or rip it to shreds in group discussion.

Either way, join us!

Star Wars Reads Day

Join our event & let's read something Star Wars-y together!

You can find out more about the official Star Wars Reads Day here.

Not sure what to read? Find suggestions on this list.

May the force be with you.

Hand-picked by Kayla

 This week, Kayla chose our Throwback Thursday read.

She lists The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz as one of her top five favorite books of all time!

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú — the ancient curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim - until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last.

With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious beauty-queen mother Belicia, and in the epic journey from Santo Domingo to Washington Heights to New Jersey's Bergenline and back again. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere - and to risk it all - in the name of love.

Check out some of Kayla's other reviews here.

Poll: November Group Read

The poll is now open for members to choose our November group read.

Make sure you vote before it closes this Friday, October 4th!

Top 10 Book Turn-offs

  1. What always gets me is sexual or gratuitous violence. I can definitely appreciate some violent scenes that are necessary for the progression of a story, but stuff that's only there JUST BECAUSE... Nope, not for me. 
  2. I hate the dumb heroine. By dumb, I'm talking about the ones that have no survival instincts. When something should tingle her spider senses, she doesn't act. 
  3. I despise love-triangles. Unless the book is really good, I may defenestrate it. 
  4. I hate it when in a FPP narrative series, the main character keeps talking accurately about events from previous books. 
  5. I can't stand books that read like a lecture done by the author on his/her view of the world. 
  6. I don't want a book that contains profanity, inserted just for shock value. 
  7. I can't suffer the obvious lack of incoherency between the description the author gives and the actions of the characters. Oliver Twist acting like a butt-face? No, thank you. 
  8. It really annoys me when, having defined a set of rules governing the world as the story develops, the author then consciously breaks those rules. 
  9. I don't like foreshadowing of the plot as well as an absolute lack of intrigue. 
  10. I can't read a book with little dialogue and even lesser descriptions.

Each week, The Broke and Bookish inspires a Top 10 Tuesday list. 
Our responses are group member generated. 

*This week's answers were brought to you by Kayla & Kamil.