Feature Stories

Feature Stories 

I like to sprinkle feature story posts throughout the month so it’s not just one-note book reviews all the time. Below you can find a list of feature stories that contain read-a-like lists, exploration of a theme or genre, think pieces/opinions/rants, and stuff that’s just plain fun (I hope!).

Burn Your English Textbooks: Read to Keep Your Heart Beating (pub. 8/25/2017) It’s hard to say what kind of reader I really am. This revelation has made me rethink the supposed merits and drawbacks of reading widely and of reading narrowly, of having tightly constrained “canon” vs. a free for all, and what is best when using reader’s advisory to help readers find their next favorite reads. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at a typical “haul” (pile of books, bounty, loot, etc…) of my pre-orders… Tags: bookish life, rant

Narration, Authorship, and Memorial in John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”(pub. 4/9/2017) Here is an in-depth look at John Green’s novel. This post contains spoilers for The Fault in Our Stars… also, I wrote this as part of my application for MFA programs in spring 2017—and it worked! Tags: contemporary, disability, mental illness, romance, writing, YA

Christmas-Themed Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction – Updated 2016 (pub. 11/30/2016) Updated for 2016! make yourself a mug of peppermint-flavored hot chocolate, put on “The Nutcracker” soundtrack, and snuggle in by the fire. You’re in for a cozy Christmas with these holiday chick lit romance novels. Tags: British, chick lit, Christmas, contemporary, feature story, lists, Romance

Books about Fangirls, Fanboys, and Fandom | A Reading List(pub. 8/12/2016) When it comes to my own writing, 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. Tags: fandom, fangirls, lists, nerds/geeks

5 Quick and Foolproof Ways to Read More Books | How to Read More(pub. 6/17/2016) This year I’ve seen my reading game upped a lot. Last week I finished five books alone, and this week I’m forecasting three. How did I do it? How did I go from someone who read 26 books a year, then 52, then 65? Here are my five dirty tricks on how to read more books. 

Books for Fans of Lifetime’s UnREAL (pub. 06/06/2016) You’ve arrived here at Broke By Books having gone ahead and blown through the first season of Lifetime’s UnREAL. You’re pumped up for the second season of the show (airing starting in early June), but you need a fix now. Fortunately there’s a backlog of fiction titles to feed your hankering for UnREAL-esque characters, plots, and themes. Allow me to introduce you to these enchanting novels perfect for fans of Lifetime’s UnREAL… Tags: feature story, lists, readalike, tv

20 Best Books to Read in Your Twenties | Books for Twenty-somethings (pub. 05/21/2016) Consider the following list a reader’s advisory for the twenties, handpicked novels, books, and comics that should help a reader navigate the rocky post-college years, entry-level job situation, student loans, career indecision, “adulting,” love, and, perhaps most of all, friendship. Tags: bookish life, feature story, lists

What I Wish Romance Writers Knew About Nerds | Best Nerd Romance (pub. 02/14/2016) Here’s my wish list of what writers should know about writing nerdy characters, followed by some recommendations for the best nerd romance novels. Enjoy! Tags: nerds/geeks, Romance, tips, writing

An Epic List of 52 Book Blogging Ideas: From Cookbooks to Confessions (pub. 01/29/2016) Today, I’m lifting back the veil and giving you some book blogging ideas in hopes that you may take them and personalize them for your own blog. Whether you’ve got blogging writer’s block, feel like the well of inspiration has run dry, or am just looking to vary things up, my epic list of 52 blog post ideas for book bloggers (one for every week of the year) is sure to have something for everyone. Tags: blogging, lists, tips, writing

Some Writing Advice for YA Authors: Why Your Novel Is A DNF (pub. 01/13/2016) Lately I’ve been thinking about what kind of advice for YA authors or aspiring YA authors I’d give on how to avoid the dreaded DNF or Did-Not-Finish. And so in this article about tips for YA authors I target avoidable traps that authors so often fall into due to conventions of the genre. Tags: rant, writing, YA

Book Recommendations for “Downton Abbey” Withdrawal (pub. 01/08/2016) It’s finally happening. Downton Abbey is airing its last season here in the U.S. But it does not have to end there. Book recommendations for Downton Abbey withdrawal is my specialty and here is a list of all the books you need to soothe your pain. Tags: books, Downton Abbey, epic, lists, readalikes, recommendations, tv

Genre-bending Book Recommendations for “Game of Thrones” Fans (pub. 12/20/2015) So everyone is Game of Thrones fans right now. But TV adaptations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Well, whether you’re a dire-hard fantasy fan who is sick of the same old “What to read if you like Game of Thrones” book recommendations or you’re a non-fantasy fan looking to gently ease into the genre, this list contains something for everyone. Tags: asoiaf, books, fantasy, feature, game of thrones, list, recommendations, Romance

Christmas-Themed Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction (pub. 12/16/2015) Here are some of the best Christmas-themed chick lit titles to get you snuggled up, cozy and in the Christmas spirit. Tags: British, chick lit, Christmas, contemporary, feature story, lists, Romance

9 Reading Challenges to Try in 2016 (pub. 12/01/2015) Who doesn’t love a good reading challenge? Here are 9 reading dares I challenge you to try out in 2016. By trying out some of these dares you should be able to read more mindfully, more widely, and more diversely. Tags: challenge, feature story, lists, tips

Tips and Advice for Book Bloggers (pub. 11/17/2015) These are my must-have tips for aspiring book blogs or anyone who’s looking to use their book blog as a launching point for bigger things. Tags: blogging, tips, productivity, advice, feature story

The Bipolar Male Character in Fiction (pub. 3/5/2015) This is my most visited post of all time, and maybe that’s saying that seeing is it was the first post I ever really came right out and made my illness public. This article, which discusses how male characters who have bipolar disorder are presented in literature and fiction, is close to my heart and what I want to be accomplishing here on Broke By Books. Tags: disability, feminism, lists, mental illness, bipolar, romance

9 Reading Challenges to Try in 2016 (pub. 12/1/2015) Who doesn’t love a good reading challenge? In this article I look at 9 inspiring challenges to try in 2015. This goes with my mission to get readers to read more mindfully and with more intention. From “Think global, read local” to “Read books that scare you,” it’s all here. Tags: challenges, reading, reading mindfully, feature story

Brothers Grimm 2.0: Contemporary Authors Who Write Fairy Tales (pub. 7/30/2015) In which I rant about why we should be making new fairy tales in the twenty first century and list a few authors who are doing just that. If you’re sick of yet another YA fairy tale retelling, check out this article for writers who are original and inspiring spinners of enchanting tales. Tags: feature story, lists, read-a-likes

Books about Bipolar Moms (pub. 8/23/2015) Bipolar and mentally ill women are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to fictional depictions of their mothering and maternal instincts. I take a look at some books both fictional and nonfictional that look at the bipolar mom. Includes a few video clips from some of my favorite films. Tags: feature story, lists, mental illness

Lifehack: 8 Creative and Fun Ways to Organize Your Home Library Bookshelves (pub. 6/13/2015) In this post you’ll find 8 unusual ways to organize your home library. A lot of people organize by color, title, or no method at all, and this article builds on my library and information science training and background. Arranging bookshelves is alarmingly addictive and sensationally fun. Tags: lists, bookish life, library science

Brothers and Sisters in Fiction: Great Siblings of Literature and Fiction (pub. 6/17/2015) This article explores famous and not as well known brothers and sisters in literature and fiction. Tags: lists, siblings, posts with cat pictures

Books for Fans of Lifetime’s UnREAL (pub. 6/10/2015) This story contains read-a-likes for fans of the Lifetime TV show “UnREAL,” or just anyone who is interested in learning about reality TV culture behind the scenes. Tags: lists, TV, readalikes

Why We Don’t Need the New York Times Book Review (pub. 6/7/2015) In which I deconstruct the grey lady’s flagship book review and challenge the book community to start radically reforming our content and coverage to be more reflective of a more diverse society. Tags: challenge, diversity, diversity 50, manifesto, rant, weneeddiversebooks, wndb

YA Novels about Disability and Illness: Some History and a Forecast for 2015 (pub. 6/3/2015) Although this list is geared more as a preview for upcoming young adult (YA) novels about disability and illness, there’s plenty of discussion of older titles that will appeal to those looking to find stories where illness and disability are portrayed. Tags: contemporary, disability, preview, list, guide, YA

Nonfiction Books for Fiction Readers: An Introduction (pub. 5/20/2015) Are you like me–do you wrinkle your nose at nonfiction or just avoid it altogether? This post might make you reconsider that attitude by highlighting some nonfiction titles that match well with fiction qualities. Tags: lists, guides, nonfiction

The $260 All Freelancers Need to Add to Their Annual Budget (pub. 5/14/205) As I am writing this summary for this page I am sitting in a cafe enjoying being around other people. This post is for every freelancer who holes up at home and seeks to break that reclusive tendency. Tags: freelance, writing, telecommute, productivity, work

Romance Novel Quotes I’d Like Benedict Cumberbatch to Read to Me (pub. 5/2/2015) Both a collection of great quotes from romance stories and a celebration of Benedict Cumberbatch’s delicious voice, this post should have a SWOONING AHEAD sign nailed up a mile away. Tags: audiobooks, anglophile, Sherlock, book boyfriend, chick lit, classics, contemporary, lists, romance

Books for Wes Anderson Fans: Children’s Literature Edition (pub. 4/30/2015) Wes Anderson is a true “auteur” director in which everything he makes has a distinct sense of style. This article teases out some of those Andersonian quirks and points to examples of children’s fiction books that would supply you with those same idiosyncrasies, themes, settings, and characters. Tags: children’s literature, film, lists, readalikes, middle grade

The Epic Bildungsroman: An Appreciation (pub. 3/27/2015) I’m a huge Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire nerd, and this little reflection explores the theme of coming-of-age stories in epic fantasy series. Tags: fantasy, GOT, ASOIAF, coming-of-age, epic, series

Fiction that Revives: Books to Live For (pub. 3/19/2015) So many times in my life a book has “saved” me in a dark time. These books are full of life, full of hope, or simply books that make you wake up and live your life. This list is a starting place. Tags: lists, the feels

Angsty and Crazy Beautiful Couples of Literature: History and Highlights (pub. 3/17/2015) Sometimes you just want to ugly cry with the rest of the world as you read the drama-heavy relationships of some of fiction’s greatest love affairs. This list praises these passionate relationships and celebrates them for their over the top, truly mad love. Tags: book boyfriend, chick lit, classics, contemporary, lists, romance, faves, top-10

Books to Read If You Loved The Goldfinch (pub. 2/19/2015) This was really my first feature story on here and presents a few diverse picks for read-a-like novels to read if you loved The Goldfinch as much as me. Tags: lists, read-a-likes, Donna Tartt


  1. Davis G. Michael

    Love your blog. Please send blog mail.

  2. I think your blog is my new authority on reading lists. We seem to have a lot of the same tastes. Is there any way you could expand into science fiction or is that just not your thing (which is cool, I’m just a space/math nerd)? And, letting ya know: your backspace doesn’t work in comments and a lot of your older posts are coming up “404 not found”. Thanks for all your work! 🙂

    • Sarah

      Science fiction is on my list for 2017! 🙂 And thanks for giving me a head’s up on the bugs with comments. I’ll also have to update the links in this page. Thanks for reading and happy new year! 🙂

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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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