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Bambbles Rambles

Books, Reviews, and general awesomeness

About Julia

Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.

I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.

Feel free to follow and reblog!

Currently reading

The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Jacob Grimm,Wilhelm Grimm,Noel Daniel,Matthew R. Price
Progress: 21 %
I Love it When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech
Ralph Keyes
Progress: 28/271 pages
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Christopher Moore
Progress: 42/420 pages

Review: The Lightening Tree by Patrick Rothfuss

Rogues - George R.R. Martin,Gardner R. Dozois,Gillian Flynn,Neil Gaiman,Patrick Rothfuss

First off, I am probably only going to read a few stories from this anthology, so I will review them all individually as I read them. I only have 21 days with this book though, so if you have read it, let me know which ones you think are worth reading. 


I started reading The Kingkiller Chronicles about three years ago at the insistence of one of my friends who wanted a female opinion on the first book. He said I would like it because there was some romance in it (my predominant genre), but honestly I liked it way more for the fantasy. Rothfuss' world is so unique. I love the world building here and I can't get enough details. So far there are only two books out in the main series (The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man's Fear respectively), with a spinoff type character centric prequel book coming this fall. But we have another cool glimpse into the everyday workings of the world with this newest entery, The Lightening Tree.


The Lightening Tree focuses on Bast, a sidekick of sorts to our hero. It literally just follows what he does throughout his day, which I kind of really enjoyed. We got to see a little bit more of how his brain works and how he can use his Fae skills to manipulate and trick the world around him. 


Mixed in this light day are some serious concepts. There are few more details given in the world, but more importantly we get to see what Bast is capable of on his own without Kote to hover or, you know, be the main character. I liked that. 


I had some problems with it, though. Primarily since Bast is Fae he sleeps around a bit... which you know more power to him I guess, but it's like three in a day man. It's just icky and at points a little manipulative. But I guess that explores his character more and shows just what he does to get his end goal. 


Personally a funny story I had around this one was my coworker mentioned something to me after he read it of something in this story changing the way he saw the whole series. So I read with a careful eye. I talked to him today about it and he had no idea what the hell I was talking about. Talk about a sadness... maybe I dreamed it... who knows.


So, is it worth a read? Yes, if you are a fan of the series. It's quick and fun (ish) and just a nice glimpse into the psyche of Bast.


The series is great, by the way. I eagerly await the next installment, hopefully due out sometime this decade. :)

DNF: Cinderella Ninja Warrior

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior - Maureen McGowan

I am going to start this by saying this isn't a DNF given out of intense dislike and hatred. This is given out of having different expectations from the book than it gave me.


Let me explain. Cinderella Ninja Warrior, one of the best titles ever by the way, is a Twisted Tale. A sort of Choose Your Own Adventure book. Or at least that it how I interpreted it. There are points in the story where you get to chose where it goes next, which to me is Choose Your Own Adventure. But there is only one ending. No matter what you decide, the book ends the same. Once I realized that my sails were deflated. I made it one more chapter before just giving up.


The book wasn't bad. A little too teenage angst perfect protagonist for my taste, but it was a different retelling of Cinderella.It was still the same general story but with magic and ninjas. If I were a preteen (the age group suggested for this book), I would have ate this up.


But alas I am not. I read it for the Choose Your Own Adventure aspects of it. I wanted to relive my Goosebumps days where I ended up a zombie or falling out of a window and there were bad endings and good endings. This isn't that. The destination is the same no matter what you do; it's just the journey that changes.


I ended up giving my copies of this and Sleeping Beauty Vampire Hunter to a coworker who has a preteen. I think she will love them. 


On the topic of Choose Your Own Adventure books, do they make Chose Your Own Adventure books for adults? I would love that. Love it to pieces. I know my sister mentioned to me that there is a romance novel video game in Japan where she is teaching that is choose your own adventure, sort of. There are six guys and the choices you make determine who you end up with. It's super popular. Maybe I should just go find some Goosebumps... 

The "C" in ARC Does Not Stand for "Contract"

There is a really interesting discussion going on at Dear Author today regarding ARCs and the contract or lack there of to read a book upon request. I thought I would share since it seems relevant to all of our interests. 

Water for Elephants: A Novel is $1.99

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

Julia says: This was a wonderful book. It is definitely worth picking up if it is $1.99!


On my Circus list! 



Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter in Final Hours

I feel like people have probably already heard about The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter but I wanted to bring it up again seeing as they are so close to their $5mil stretch goal and have 18hrs left. 


Seth MacFarlane is actually going to match the last million if we get there, which is kind of cool. 


In general I think bringing reading rainbow to tablets and web based is a great idea. I've never seen the existing app but if this the collateral they need than I'm glad they asked. 


In more selfish reasons, I added money to the Kickstarter today so that in addition to my mug and t-shirt I get this sweet picnic blanket. 



So help if you can. I know that when I was little I liked books more than getting read via a TV, but some people aren't as lucky to get parents that will read to them or take them to the library. That's all.


Well there also is a Book Depository 25hr sale going until 5AM EST tonight. Every half hour a new book is discounted. Free worldwide shipping. 

Progress Post: Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

Codex Born - Jim C. Hines

Reading progress update: I've read 242 out of 326 pages:


A section of the story that has almost nothing to do with the story, but I just love it.

Plato once said that human beings were created with two heads, four arms, four legs, until Zeus split them in half. Ever since, humans have spent their lives searching for their other half, the one person who could complete them.


What a narrow-minded, messed-up, asinine system.


Do the math. There are more than seven billion people on the planet. Say you do a lot of traveling, and manage to meet a million of those people in your lifetime. That gives you a mere 1 in 7000 chance of finding "the one."


Maybe that's why they created me. To be their other half, the answer to the myth. Easier than scouring the planet for an impossible dream. Easier, too, than learning to set aside the dream and embrace a human being who is as flawed and imperfect as you.


Humans are so obsessed with true love, the perfect relationship. They imagine that one elusive person who fits their quirks and foibles and desires like a puzzle piece. And of course, when a potential mate falls short of that perfection, they reject them. They were too old, too young, too silly, too serious, too fat, too thin. They liked the wrong TV shows. They hated chocolate. They voted for the other guy. They didn't put the toilet seat down.


They invent a million excuses for rejection, a million ways to find others unattractive. Their skill at seeing ugliness in others is matched only by their ability to see it in the mirror, to punish themselves for every imagined flaw. No matter who I've become, I never understood that facet of humanity.


I remember when Isaac introduced me to Doctor Who. In the episode, the Doctor met a man who said he wasn't important. The Doctor replied, "I've never met anyone who wasn't important before."


I've never met anyone who wasn't beautiful. People have simply forgotten how to see.


Frank Dearing was a selfish, petty, controlling bastard, but when he was working in the field, the hard muscles of his body shining with sweat as he coaxed life from the dirt...the man was an asshole, but he was a hot asshole.


Nidhi Shah was softer. She dressed to minimize the physical. Age and stress had mapped faint lines onto her face. And she was gorgeous. Even before you stripped off her clothes and kissed your way down her neck...


Then there was Isaac Vainio, a skinny geek of a man who lugged his pet spider around everywhere he went. But he had such passion, such raw joy and excitement. That passion transformed him into something sexier than any rock star. 


The more we narrow the definition of beauty, the more beauty we shut out of our lives.


Reading progress update: I've read 115 out of 315 pages.

Scandalous (Banning Sisters Trilogy) - Karen Robards

Urgh. I can't take it any more. I'm officially DNFing this book. the hero is a giant dick. How am I suppose to get into this book when half of the main characters are so unlikeable? I can't think of one redeeming quality in the 115 pages I've read. The heroine is fine, I guess but boring and generic. And I mean I understand that there is more than half the book but the hero has been lying in a bed pretty much this whole time and as soon as he wakes up continues to be a giant asshole. How can I cheer for their love when I can't stand this guy?


In related I can't read this sort of fashion there is so much telling and not enough showing. most of what has happened so far is unrelated to what I can perceive is the main plot of the book. So shopping...long drawn-out descriptions of the days of the sisters. The only interesting part was when the leads met in the beginning but even then it was just sort of passibly entertaining. So I'm done. I'm mad that I paid for this. this is like one third of a burrito bowl. 

Just Finished Reactions: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

A nice concept. The book is pretty self explained by the title. I read this in a high school religion class and we were told to write a little essay based on this books style and our own lives.

I do not think I would like this book outside of that setting. But good for those who like an uplifting experience in a soul searching way.


Originally posted on GR in May 2009

Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

An intense look into the life of an Afghani boy as his life is twisted in many different directions including being torn from his homeland and sent to America along with his journey back to his home. 

I read this book in a literature class at my college and the discussions that were had throughout the course of the book were very interesting. People take certain aspects of the book and interpret them differently giving people a different feel toward the main character. 

I highly recommend this book to a book group because what happens in its pages is meant to be discussed. Even if you read this on your own, it is an intense novel worth your time.

The only problem I had was that after the high page turning quality of the beginning of the book, the last 50 or so pages were very anticlimactic and dragged for me. But other than that a good read.


Originally posted on GR in 2007

Just Finished Reactions: The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman

The third book in Pullman's His Dark Material's series, this book had me completely engulfed. The only downside is that the completeness that you would expect from the last in a trilogy is not neatly wrapped up and left me wanting to know more. It felt rushed at the end but is still a good read.


Originally published on GR in Dec 2007. I talked about this one as well in one of my RetroReviews... which I can bet that one was full of more OMG SO AMAZING. lol

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

It's a gripping world Scott Westerfeld has created, one that you can clearly see as a possible outcome of our future. I don't read many YA novels, I didn't read many YA novels when my age fell into that category, but completing Uglies after a day of marathon reading made me wish I had the next in the series sitting on my nightstand. 

The story is about a girl, Tally, and her journey to become a "Pretty." At the age of 16 everyone gets an operation to make themselves beautiful. Being on the younger end of the year, all of her school friends have already gotten the operation, leaving her pretty much alone. Until she meets Shay, who starts talking nonsense along the lines of "We are only Ugly because it's what they tell us to believe" or "I like my face, asymmetrical though it is." 

And that is all the catalyst life needs to throw Tally into a story she never wanted to be in.

Also, I got this book as a free ebook from the publishers and you can too as long as it's before September 5th 2009 (I believe thats the right date).


Originally posted on GR in Aug 2009. Guess we are a little past the deadline for a free copy... also it is interesting that this was one of the first YA books that I read. I didn't know that.

Just Finished Reactions: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - Julia Quinn

I read this book sometime in 2007 and just picked it up again to reintroduce me to the characters before I read the next book,What Happens in London. I love Julia Quinn, but this one is not one of my favorites due to the lack of really anything happening. I know not every book can have a virgin stealing pirate or a epic wedding stopping declaration of love, but I just felt that there could have been more. 

It is still a good book. But Quinn has better.


Originally published on GR in 2019

Just Finished Reactions: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume - Julia Quinn

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the new perspectives on a story we already knew (mainly the first half of this set The Lost Duke of Wyndham). Part of me, though, wishes it were just one big book so then the main plot wasn't old hat. But overall, I love Julia Quinn's writing and recommend her to everyone who likes to be entertained.


Originally posted on GR in December 2008

Just Finished Reactions: Secrets of a Summer Night

Secrets of a Summer Night - Lisa Kleypas

As the first book in the Wallflowers quartet, this book does a good job at giving us a little bit of information into who the characters are, but at the same time gives weight to the heroine.

The problem I had with this book is that toward the end it just kind of meandered along, with too much detail into what was going on. And it wasn't even that interesting of happenings. I feel like a good deal of editing, especially the latter parts could have made this a better book. But it was still enjoyable.


Originally posted on GR in Jan 2009

Just Finished Reactions: Another Place at the Table

Another Place at the Table - Kathy Harrison

I don't usually read nonfiction as it takes more to draw me into the story. I don't know why this is and plan to rectify this upon returning to the US and better access to novels in English.

But this book was easy for me to read. It was a compelling story about this woman's start of foster parenting. The story flowed well, and i could have kept reading about her children forever.


Originally published on GR in May 2009.

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

You know I started off liking this book. I really did. Even at 200 pages in I was still enjoying it. But then something happened and it started to lose its "magic." It's been a while since I actually read it, but I remember the feelings of "What?" and "I am pretty sure I could have conveyed the exact same feeling/thing in about 20 fewer pages" pretty well. 

I think it started near the climax. It was done acceptably well. Now lets get to the wrapping up part. What there are still 200 pages? What the hell happens there? 

One of the things I really hate when reading is a book that goes on and on after what is clearly the climax (my biggest problem with Kite Runner as well). I mean there were some interesting parts that happened after, but since this was already going to be a series, why not just move it over a book and end it with the reader feeling invigorated and not end already!

I feel like I am in the minority in the dislike. And going back to some notes I took while reading it, I was enjoying it. But I have this feeling that if I pick up the next books in the series, I will hate myself. 

So in conclusion. It was OK. Just OK. Maybe a good. An OK and a half. Will I be picking up the next books in the series? Unlikely. I feel like there are better books in the world that I can spend my time reading.


Originally published on GR in Aug 2009. Despite this review, I will be watching the new Stars series. Maybe it will hold my attention better than the books did.