The 10 Best Books I Read as Required Reading

Ever since I was a teen, I’ve been fiercely against mandatory reading. I was opposed about summer reading for high school since I knew the choices were often political rather than based on literary merit. The summer before senior year, I just refused to read the assigned books entirely. I believe in the beautiful freedom to read whatever I want rather than whatever someone else wants. Over the years, though, I’ve been introduced to some amazing books that I wouldn’t have read if they weren’t compulsory to read. And thus, for my first Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book blog meme started by the Broke and the Bookish blog (no relation to Broke by Books!), here is my answer to the September 12, 2017 prompt: Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog, Favorite Books Published 5 or 10 or 15 Years Ago, Ten Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved, etc. etc. Tweak however you want! I’m also adding a back to school bookish element to it. This list is unranked and in no particular order. Enjoy! PS: Some of the covers I selected do not match up with the links to...

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 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 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”...

Why Join Book of the Month Club This June (Plus: 30% Coupon Code)

Book of the Month Club is a new thing for me, but it’s one I love. It’s a happy little indulgence all my own. I joined in February on a whim, though the subscription book club has been present in my life as far back as high school, when I read Catcher in the Rye, which was a Book of the Month Club (BOTM) selection in 1951. I joined because on of my favorite people, the reading goddess and fellow Book Riot contributor Liberty Hardy (blogger at Franzen Comes Alive) is a regular judge for them, and I’ll read anything she endorses. Let me break it down for you what exactly Book of the Month Club entails. How it works… Every month, usually on the first of the month, the selections for the month are announced. There are always four to pick from, a mix between fiction and nonfiction, with at least one selection of each. The books are chosen by guest judges. You have until the 6th of the month to finalize your selection. You can also choose up to two more books from the present month’s selections or past selections to add on at $9.99 each. Then the books are mailed to you...

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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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