Category: Personal

Happy 4th of July 2016!

Posted July 4, 2016 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments


I love the 4th of July because it’s all about family and food! My family is having a barbecue tonight and then my mom, sister, and I are having a Bachelorette viewing party! Then we’re sitting outside and watching fireworks. :)

How are YOU celebrating today?

29 Bright Candles | 50 Things About Jana

Posted June 23, 2016 by Jana in About Me, Discussion, Personal / 3 Comments

Yesterday was my 29th birthday!! I can’t believe it! So often it’s all about books or blog tours or the Debut Author Challenge here on the blog, so I thought it would be fun to post a little about myself today so you can get to know me better! So I interviewed myself with questions I found around the Internet.

1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I’d love to live in a little villa in Italy somewhere, probably in the middle of the countryside but close enough so that I can visit all the beautiful places there. I’d also want to be close to a town markets and bakeries so I can buy all the yummy foods.

2. What is your biggest fear?
Losing my mom too soon.

3. What is your favorite family vacation?
A few years ago, my family and I went on a transatlantic cruise that ended in Rome, Italy. We made so many amazing stops along the way, and then spent a few days in Rome. Then my dad and little sister flew home and my mom and I spent three more weeks traveling through Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. It was amazing!

4. What would you change about yourself if you could?
My health. Definitely.

5. What really makes you angry?
Injustice! lol. I get so mad if something happens to me or anyone I’m even aware of really, that was just wrong. Or if someone gets away with something they shouldn’t have. I also get angry when someone is rude just for the sake of being rude. This happens a lot on the Internet and it bothers me so much.

6. What motivates you to work hard?
I’m a perfectionist, so my inner drive to do everything right is more motivation than I need.

7. What is your proudest accomplishment?
Wow, this is hard. I’m proud of myself for a lot of different things. I’ll be graduating grad school this December with a 4.0 GPA, I’ve got a blurb in a book and am mentioned in several acknowledgments pages, and I’ve made some choices regarding my church that were really big.

8. What is your favorite book to read?
This is hard, but it’s got to be A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It was my first and only re-read to date!

9. What makes you laugh the most?
Lots of things make me laugh, so it’s hard to narrow it down. Funny/cute cat videos do it for me the most, probably.

10. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
I saw Finding Dory on Tuesday, and thought it was really cute! Baby Dory was cute, but that short called Piper at the beginning was amazing.

11. What did you want to be when you were small?
A teacher, because I wanted to write on a chalkboard all day.

12. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Hmmm… Well, this might be cheating a little… but I’d love to have a day where booking travel arrangements was free. Like, all plane tickets, cruise fares, hotels, etc. are free. I’d book everything for the rest of my life!

13. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
I don’t really enjoy playing sports or watching sports on TV, but I do like going to the occasional football game.

14. Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
Vacuum the house.

15. If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
Cleaning, for sure.

16. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta with chicken in it. I need my protein, but pasts is love.

17. Who is your favorite author?
This is a rude question. Marissa Meyer.

18. Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
I’ve had a TON from friends and family. Probably my favorite is “Squirtie Bird”, which is what my grandpa calls me.

19. Do you like or dislike surprises? 
I LOVE them!

20. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?

21. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
Hmm… Depends on the time of year. I love Alaska (been twice) and I’m going to Hawaii next year. I don’t love hot weather, so Hawaii in the winter would be very fun.

22. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?
I’d rather win the lottery so I can stop worrying about money and do things I love.

23. Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
My mom!

24. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Travel. I’d love to spend my life traveling.

25. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
Hmm… I’d like to go back to Rome in 1508 and watch Michelangelo paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

26. How would your friends describe you?
I’ve asked this over the years, and people have described me as being doe-eyed, sweet, caring, a good listener, trustworthy, and funny.

27. What are your hobbies?
Reading, organizing, making jewelry, graphic design, shopping, traveling, watching movies, going to museums, playing games, book blogging, and so many more.

28. What is the best gift you have been given?
This is hard! I’ve gotten lots of great things, but those are not as important to me as the experiences I’ve had in my life and the people who are in it.

29. What is the worst gift you have received?
Oh wow. When I was a kid I got this weird pottery kit from a friend who came to my birthday kit that had a mold that you pour plaster into and then paint with pastel acrylics. It was the ugliest thing. lol.

30. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Honestly, my phone. And that’s pitiful.

31. List two pet peeves.
Poor grammar/spelling and people who wander through stores oblivious to the fact that they are not the only ones there.

32. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working as a librarian, possibly married?

33. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I should know this since I just organized them all, but probably 40-50.

34. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Teleportation, the ability to read minds, and the power to eat whatever I want and stay perfectly thin.

35. What form of public transportation do you prefer? 
Cruise ship.

36. What’s your favorite zoo animal?
Polar bears and penguins.

37. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
I never would have stayed at that one job that sent my health into a downward spiral.

38. How many pillows do you sleep with?

39. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep (and why)?
I think it was roughly 24 hours when I flew home from Amsterdam. I don’t even know.

40. What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top of?
Empire State Building

41. Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
Looks for intelligence. Dumb people bug me.

42. How often do you buy clothes?
One or two times a month.

43. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
I have! I had a couple in high school and one in college.

44. What’s your favorite holiday?

45. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve taken a lot of pictures

46. What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
The Bachelorette.

47. What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading 738 Days by Stacey Kade. The last book I finished was Frayed by Kara Terzis.

48. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I shower at night, so it takes me about 30-40 minutes to do my makeup and hair in the morning.

49. What’s your favorite movie?
Father of the Bride (the one with Steve Martin)

50. What language do you wish you spoke?

Thanks for stopping by to get to know a little about me! Pick a question (or a bunch) and answer it in the comments! I’d love to get to know you better as well. 

Love-A-Thon 2016 | Get to Know Me!

Posted February 20, 2016 by Jana in About Me, Personal / 2 Comments


1. What’s your name?
Jana (It rhymes with banana… interesting how many pronunciations people come up with!)

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
I live in the western USA! (I’m not saying my state because I’m participating in #otspsecretsister and don’t want to give away my location!)

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?
Way back in 2010, Jamie from the Goodreads College Students group sent out a message asking if anyone wanted to start up a book blog with her. A few of us wrote and said we were interested, and The Broke and the Bookish was born! I never knew book blogging was even a thing before this, and I really fell in love with it. I started this blog about a year and a half later, and I’m still over at TB&TB as well. :)

4. How did you come up with your blog name?
Honestly, it came to me while I was on pain meds during my tonsillectomy recovery! I made the blog so fast, barely thinking, and that entire process is a complete blur to me because pain meds are intense! I’ve never wanted to change it, though, so I guess drugged Jana makes great life choices.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
I don’t know? I tend to focus on YA, but I’ve been reading a lot more adult over the last couple years. As for genre… it’s such a mash-up of all the genres, but I’m thinking it’s pretty evenly split between contemporary romance and fantasy.

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
Well, I host the Debut Author Challenge, so I do a lot of Debut Dish posts. Those are mini author interviews, usually with some giveaways as well. I also participate in Top Ten Tuesday. My regular features have kind of suffered over the last few years since I went back to school, but I’m going to start doing more Bookish Finds and That Artsy Librarian posts soon!

7. Best blogging experience so far?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint one! Receiving my first ARC (Of Poseidon by Anna Banks), going to ALA several times, having my name appear in the acknowledgments of one of my favorite books, and receiving my first blurb in a book have been some of the highlights. I’ve loved making new friends and broadening my reading interests. Really, it’s all been awesome so far!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?
I love fangirling over books with people who GET it! And I love it when we force each other to read our favorites, and then happiness all around!

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for in 2016!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Map of Fates by Maggie Hall, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson, and Rebellion by J.A. Souders!

10. Name the 5 books you want to read in 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years!
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, A Madness So Discreet by Mandy McGinnis, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, and Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins.

11. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?
Underrated book? Definitely Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard. Underrated series would by the Hourglass Door trilogy by Lisa Mangum.

12. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?
Hale from Heist Society by Ally Carter would be my BFF! I love him!

13. Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend?
Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas makes me weak in the knees.

14. Who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad (5 characters max)?
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), Four (Divergent), Carswell Thorne (Lunar Chronicles), Cinder (Lunar Chronicles), and… Perry (Under the Never Sky).

15. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
Graphic design, singing, watching movies, listening to music, shopping, traveling, baking, and scrapbooking.

16. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?
JEWELRY. And shoes. And purses. And organizing supplies, like boxes and drawers. I hate shopping for clothes.

17. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. Sounds cliche, but I love that song so much!

18. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.
I want The Lunar Chronicles to be turned into a 5-part movie series of a TV show. I’m good with either!

19. What would your dream library look like?
The most popular answer ever: The Beast’s.

20. Author you want to meet and sit down to tea with?
Sarah J. Maas!

Do we have anything in common? Say hi, and I’ll come visit you!

Discussion: What’s the Longest Book You’ve Ever Read?

Posted January 16, 2016 by Jana in Discussion, Personal / 22 Comments

With all the excitement of the holidays last month, it has taken me since Christmas Eve to finish Winter by Marissa Meyer (I finished it in the wee hours of yesterday morning, and it was everything a Jana could have dreamed of.). Of course, this means I’ve had pretty much no content for my blog. lol. And I swear, I felt guilty that things were so quiet over here while I took three weeks to read one book. But then…

I realized, Winter is the longest book I’ve ever read (824 pages)! So basically this is a huge accomplishment. I usually feel very overwhelmed by big books because they are a major time commitment. They latch onto your emotions and take you away from this world. I’m so glad I was willing to give myself the time to read such a long book. AND it was one I bought! I read it for me, and I rarely take the time to do that.

Anyway, I’m wondering… What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? 

Top Ten Things I’m Thankful For (Besides Books!)

Posted November 23, 2015 by Jana in Personal, Top Ten Tuesday / 5 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Obviously I’m thankful for books and reading and my Kindle and authors and publishers and publicists and all the bookish things in life. I’m also thankful for my blog and my readers and the IT guy at my hosting company who fixes all my problems and humors me when I panic about little things.. But today I’ve decided to talk about everything ELSE I’m thankful for in my life right now, away from my blogging life and my reading life.

1. My Health
While I have multiple health problems that can cause debilitating pain and sadness, I’m not terminal, nor will my health problems shorten my life. There’s a lot of people out there suffering with life-threatening injuries and diseases, and I’m not one of them. I’m thankful for that.

2. My Family
My mom is my best friend and my sister is my cheerleader. We have a lot of fun together, too! I’m thankful for them. The world is pretty scary right now, and so many have lost their families and loved ones to hateful acts. My family is safe and sound, and I could not ask for anything more.

3. My Religion
I don’t ever get religious here on the blog (I see religion as a very internal and personal thing), but my belief system and my knowledge have shaped me into the person I am. I would be so lost without it. I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father.

4. My Country
As I mentioned before, this world is scary. But I feel safe regardless. I’m free to do a lot of things that people throughout the world cannot due for fear of being harmed. I’m thankful for that freedom.

5. My Friends
There are many wonderful people in my life, who bring me happiness and give me a sense of belonging and community. These are people I’ve met through school, through church, through cultural events, and even through the Internet. I’m so thankful for the people in my life.

6. My Home
I have a warm and cozy house filled with running water, heat, carpeted floors, and things I love. Working at the library this semester, I met a lot of homeless people. It gets COLD here, and I’m so thankful for my house.

7. My Education
Throughout my years of education in elementary and highs school, college, and now grad school, I’ve had the opportunity to become well-read and well-spoken. I’ve learned about culture, religion, history, literature, art, math, science, and more. I’m so thankful I live among people, and in a place, where education is valued and encouraged, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to get this education in the first place.

8. My Talents
I’m a singer, an artist, a teacher, a writer, a photographer, a designer, a jewelry maker, a seamstress, a baker, a decorator, a hair stylist, a make-up artist, an organizer, an event planner, a dancer, a gardener, a humanitarian, a mother (to children I do not have), a listener, an advice giver, a genealogist, a researcher, a typographer, a social butterfly, a friend. I am thankful for all the things that make me me.

9. My Sense of humor
I love to laugh and make others laugh. Laughter is a blessing, and I’m thankful for that.

10. My Life
I’m so happy to be here, and I’m thankful I get to live in this day and age. It’s a great time to be alive!

So, I got a little sappy. That was expected, though. Haha! During this season of thanksgiving, what are you most thankful for? Leave your link, and I’ll come visit!

Happy Halloween 2015!

Posted October 31, 2015 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments


Happy Halloween to you! I hope you have tons of fun dressing up, eating candy, and spending time with friends and family! I’m going to be watching a scary movie tonight (although, scary for me is not the usual scary… I might be able to handle Gaslight or Midnight Lace with Doris Day. Maybe a Munsters marathon?)

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Do you have any plans for tonight?

Happy 2015!

Posted January 1, 2015 by Jana in Personal / 4 Comments

Happy New Year! I’ve got high hopes for 2015, and I hope you do too! I love the idea of a clean slate, a chance to start over and make improvements. I’m not a huge fan of resolutions because my goals for life never really change. But I do have a strong resolve to make myself a better person this year, and I’m excited to see what happens! School is starting up again on January 12th, I’ve got a fun vacation coming up this summer, and lots of other little things in between! I hope you have a wonderful 2015!

Merry Christmas!

Posted December 25, 2014 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments

Can you believe Christmas is finally here? I feel like the entire holiday season just flew by. I hope you have a wonderful day with your friends and loved ones, full of food, books, giving, and laughter. The blog is going to be pretty slow until the new year, as I am spending time with my family and getting the 2015 Debut Author Challenge ready to go! Make sure you sign up if you haven’t! Merry Christmas!

Bout of Books 10 – Goals

Posted May 10, 2014 by Jana in Personal / 9 Comments

Bout of BooksI’m so excited to be officially participating in Bout of Books this week! I’ve always wondered what this Bout of Books thing is, and then I came across a couple blogs with goals posted, read a little about it, and found out it starts Monday! Now that school’s done, I can totally do this! It should be a lot of fun!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Books I want to read this week:

1. How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
2. Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
3. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
4. The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Additional goals for the week:

  • Learn the ins and outs of how this read-a-thon works!
  • Make some new blogging friends!
  • Tackle my massive review pile.
  • Get out of my reading slump, because I am dying.
  • Participate in two or three challenges.

Read-A-Thon Progress:

Monday – 5/12 – (This is the day my dad had a heart attack.)
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 9

Tuesday – 5/13 – (Dad still in hospital, had surgery for artery blockage.)
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 155

Wednesday – 5/14 (Dad home.)
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 155

Thursday – 5/15
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 177

Friday – 5/16
Books Finished Today: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore
Currently Reading: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 280

Saturday – 5/17
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 280

Sunday – 5/18
Books Finished Today: 0
Currently Reading: Carrier by Vanessa Garden (Set aside Catch a Falling Star for another time)
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 310

End-of-Week Wrap-up: 5/19/14

Well… I failed Bout of Books. I mean, if you take my last month of reading into account, one book for the week is really good for me! So in that respect, I did do well! It was a crazy week and I was just not feeling the book I tried to focus on. I should have just set it aside sooner. Catch a Falling Star is very cute, but apparently not what I was in the mood for. I’ll finish it next month hopefully. Carrier is very good, so I’m doing better with reading now! Next Bout of Books, I’ll make sure not to set my goals too high and to remember I’m just out to have fun.

Happy Easter!

Posted April 20, 2014 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments


Happy Easter! Sundays are the only days I don’t do school work, no matter what, so I finally get a bit of a break today to go to church and spend time having fun with my family!

What are you going to be up to today? Business as usual, or are you doing anything special? Whatever it is, I hope you have a lovely day!