Christmas-Themed Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction – Updated 2016

A few years ago, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of a Goodreads list devoted to Christmas-themed Chick Lit Novels. I am a sucker for a good romance, and anything British, so I ordered a good four or five novels from The Book Depository to be sent over here to my American doorstep (Many of those novels were not published in paperback here in the US.) I spent many a magical evening soaking up these whimsical, spirited stories. I especially loved the ones set in small towns or villages. I was going through a pretty rough depression at the time, too, so these comforting reads not only put me in the season but also lifted my mood. They were even better than Love Actually because I could savor them slowly, and there was an almost endless supply. Even after Christmas was over, I kept an eagle eye watching Book Depository for sales on Christmas-themed chick lit and also possible new Christmas chick lit published in 2016. Now here we are, with December right around the corner, and I’ve got the best of the best holiday chick lit novels for you with buying options in the US and international. I write to...

Books for Fans of Lifetime’s UnREAL

Reality? Fiction. Fiction? Reality. Last June, Lifetime slapped the first four episodes of its new drama UnREAL up on their website free for the streaming. After my knee-jerk reaction–“Oh my god, it’s Liz from Roswell!”–I watched the first episode of the series and found myself totally intrigued. I’ve never watched the Bachelor but I do regularly binge on Top Chef, Chopped, Project Runway, and the full spread of Gordon Ramsay reality shows on Hulu. I like UnREAL‘s unsettling argument that many of the most entertaining moments on reality competitions are essentially coerced into existence through morally suspect backroom agreements, pacts, and bargains. It’s disturbing that a “real” story is entirely fabricated just to provoke a gasp-worthy moment, though I can’t say I’m surprised. It did make me wonder… Do TV audiences really believe that what they see on screen is real? Or do they not even care that it’s fiction? Because if not, why don’t you read a damn book and save reality-TV victims humiliation, shame, and public meltdowns immortalized in GIFs? C’mon people. Get your shit together.  Of course part of the appeal of UnREAL is Shiri Appleby’s character, Rachel. Rachel has recently returned to the production crew after having a very visible breakdown. Her own sense of what’s “real”...

20 Best Books to Read in Your Twenties | Books for Twenty-somethings

Now that I am on the final leg of my twenties, I look back at the younger reading me and wonder what books I would have given her to guide her through her first full decade of adulthood. I admit I’m turning into an elder of sorts, giving reassurance and guidance to my younger friends as if I’ve got all the answers. I don’t, and every time I approach an advice-type situation, I fall back on books. So 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. You can get by on very little when you’re in you’re twenties. You can forego buying a car, renting a swanky apartment, spending money on the new work wardrobe you really need, Hulu Plus, and coming up with ways to avoid that wedding. But I truly believe that without friends who are going through the same experiences, it’s not the same. Read on for a list of non-fiction, novels, comics, of all shapes and sizes reflecting diverse voices and disparate twenties experiences....

5 Reasons Not to Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2016

This year was a very strange reading year for me. I read more than I ever have before—I’ll finish out the year with 60ish books marked as “read.” My professional world started to center on books, too—writing for Book Riot, Kirkus Reviews, NoveList, Psych Central, etc…my writing career was (is) headed towards “books” as my niche specialty. I also bought a ton of books, invested in bookshelves (which I promptly filled), and even got some awesome review copies. But something felt off. Starting in August I felt this kind of choking anxiety as I realized I was sick of books. I didn’t want to think about books at all, didn’t want to describe books, write about them, write descriptions of them, or even look at them or read them. Yeah, I was having an off year of reading. And now, as I wrote on Book Riot, I’m trying to bounce back. One of the ways I will try to “bounce back” is by not doing a Goodreads Reading Challenge like I’ve done in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. My colleague at Book Riot, Jess Pryde, wrote a really insightful article reflecting on her time this year when she did not set a reading challenge on...

9 Reading Challenges to Try in 2016

Accept the Challenge: Read Like a Champ Ahhh, the reading challenge. Who doesn’t love a good reading challenge? The first New Year’s resolution I ever kept was to read 52 books in a year. I felt triumphant when I closed the book on A Visit from the Goon Squad last December having finished the 52nd book. After that, psshh, anything was possible! This upcoming year I’m setting my sights high in a different way. I’m not going to concentrate on just a number of books read but instead a more mindful reading approach. 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. Think Global, Read Local: Read books by local authors My library will often affix a “Local Author” sticker on new books in the library. We have many awesome authors from my area (Greater Philadelphia region), and I always appreciate that sticker because I think it’s important to read local writers from the area. For local authors, many of whom are published on small presses or even independently, it is important to have the backing of your community. Also, it is surreal—and...

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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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