My Best Books of 2016

Last year I decided to make 2016 new releases my guiding light in what I would order, read, and write about this year. To a large extent, I followed this quest. Many of the books I have read (more than half) were published this year. I thought this would make me more current, that I’d be like a “real” critic who had books to review every week and could say with complete authority that the best books of the year were indeed the best books of the year. I’m not so sure that was the best choice for me as I feel like I missed out on some of the backlist. Regardless, it has helped me get a better picture of books that were published this year. So, here I am, staring down late-December and the New Year, and confident with my choices. These are the Broke By Books Best Book of 2016. Here are my 10 best books published in 2016: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Literary fiction) book is not perfect. It’s a little messy, and some elements seem like kind of a reach. But it is the book that gave me immense hope for the author’s...

The Best Long Books to Savor in Fall and Winter

It just took me a whole month to finish a book—Jonathan Franzen’s Great American Novel, Freedom—and man, what a great way to slide into fall. That and tea: lots and lots of tea. Fall is my favorite season of year, closely followed by Christmas (and yes, I count that as a season, not a holiday!). I have a side to me known as “The Elf,” and the Elf enjoys a spirit of generosity, cheer, and spontaneous good deeds. The Elf goes into high gear around October 1 through December 31. Many crafts are undertaken, many ambitious baked goods and complicated soups are crafted in my kitchen, and I start another scarf I won’t finish. And of course, the fall and winter are perfect excuses to stay inside—all readers know this. I enjoyed how Freedom transported me from humid mid-September to the breezy, crisp mid-October, the chill of the AC morphed into the chilly air from my window. And so, I have been feeling a return to long novels. A few years ago, I read The Goldfinch, Outlander, and Flowers from the Storm all in a span of a few months. I was hooked on the bigger-is-better theory and read—or, let’s be honest, only acquired—many huge tomes, but...

The Best Cookbooks to Get You Excited for Fall

One of the reasons why I love the fall so much is it makes me excited about cooking again. I never feel like eating much in the summer heat, so I usually scale back my cooking and baking operation in the hottest months of the year. But as the calendar flips to September and my iPhone gives me nothing but highs in the 70s, I sigh and know it’s time to buy some yeast and stock up on parchment paper—not to mention pumpkin-themed cupcake liners and glittering red and green sprinkles. I also pull my trusted and most reliable fall-appropriate cookbooks off the shelf for inspiration. Certain cookbooks are just meant for the fall and winter months. Given the bounty of the fall harvest, I want to be making soups and stews and vegetable-heavy main dishes. If I climb out of cool, crisp sheets and put slippers on in the morning chill of first frost, I’m going to want to find something using cinnamon and nutmeg to fill the house with the undeniable, intoxicating smell of October. Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks that capture the spirit of autumn. Here’s hoping you find inspiration to tackle a new recipe, whether...

Books about Fangirls, Fanboys, and Fandom | A Reading List

Here’s the scoop. I’m writing a fangirl sci-fi mystery thriller asexual romance series—hold on! let me catch my breath!—and it’s going to be great. I have always loved books about fangirls, fanboys, and fandom in general, and I wanted to capture that spirit in One True Crime, the first novel in the series. The novels each incorporate a different fandom: the first one is Professor Zero (a.k.a. Doctor Who), the second is Deduction Seduction (a.k.a. Sherlock), and the last one I have planned so far is Thorns for Crowns (a.k.a. Game of Thrones). I love playing with fandom and how it intersects with (in this fictional universe) crime, identity, deviance, love, and friendship. All the things. Anyway, I’ve definitely taken inspiration from several novels about fandom, fangirls, fanboys, and general relationships on the internet in general. Here are some of my favorite novels about fandom, fangirls, and fanboys. and by Rainbow Rowell Of course, any list of the best novels about fangirls and fandom has to start with  by Rainbow Rowell, an explosive hit YA/NA novel by Rainbow Rowell. In this wildly popular novel, Cather moves into her dorm at the University of Nebraska and rooms with a bold, spunky woman named Raven. Her friend—or boyfriend?—Levi keeps hanging around coming...

Books to Read If You Loved The Great British Baking Show

books to read if you love the great british baking show

Last year, The Great British Baking Show lifted me from a deep depression. Oh, those soothing accents. Oh, that spunky, magical music. Oh, those desserts! I felt utterly transported to England, and I binge-watched the show with my mom. One reason why I loved the show so much was that it reminded me of my own guilty pleasure: British chick lit or women’s fiction about cooking, baking, and overall sweet delights. And if you’re just coming to the The Great British Baking Show tonight for its season premiere on PBS, or you’re a longtime fan of this show, which is also known as The Great British Bake Off in its native UK, you’re likely want to indulge and binge read the following books that are like The Great British Baking Show. Or, for my friends in the UK, books like The Great British Bake Off. Sink your teeth into these book recommendations for The Great British Baking Show. Novels Like The Great British Baking Show I’m a fiction girl at heart, and also a consumer of British women’s literature about baking, cooking, and food in general. If you have yet to discover the pleasures of this subgenre, prepare yourself. Here’s the basic formula (without being formulaic): take 1/4 foodie...

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Welcome to Broke By Books, a blog by Sarah S. Davis, where the guiding mission is to spread a contagious love for reading through helpful, thought provoking, and enjoyable writing about books. Please join me in growing an inspired, engaged, and fearless reading life.

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