Month: October 2019

10th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa

Posted October 23, 2019 by Jana in Blog Event / 9 Comments

Surprise! #TBTBSanta has moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! I am SO EXCITED to be hosting this festive, cheerful, joyous Christmas event that has become such a tradition over the last ten years! For those of you who are new, for the last few years Jamie and I have hosted this together over at The Broke and the Bookish but she has decided it’s best for her to step away this year. So I’m doing it solo!

For the most part, this event will run as it always has. There have been a few small additions to the rules, though, as well as some clarification on things so please pay careful attention even if you’re a #TBTBSanta veteran.

Important Info:

1. Please only sign up if you are committed to sending off a package (on time). Really think about whether or not you’ll have the time and the money to send a thoughtful gift to your recipient–one you’d be happy to receive yourself. I really don’t want to hunt you down for not sending your package, or for sending one that does not meet the guidelines for the event. Think of how heartbreaking it would be to put time and effort (not to mention money) into curating a lovely box for your recipient, only to to be forgotten by your own Secret Santa. I keep track of those who do not follow the rules, and those people are banned from participating in the future.

2. I’m managing this event by myself this year, so please be patient with me. Please be understanding if it takes me a day or two to answer emails. Be as thorough as possible in your questionnaire (no amount of info is too much) so I don’t have to relay information between you and your Santa/recipient. Please utilize the event hashtag on Twitter to ask questions and hope your recipient responds, or reach out to the contact they provide. You’ll get answers much faster this way.

3. A note to people outside of the USA: Please understand that I can’t guarantee that you will be assigned someone even remotely close to you. I try to work it out geographically, but it all depends on who signs up and which level of package they have signed up to send.

Countries are divided up into mailing groups to help with shipping costs. If you live in one of the locations listed below, you will be placed in that mailing group and could be sending to any of the countries listed in that group. If you sign up for a package type that nobody else close to you has signed up for, you might be placed in a different mailing group. If you are unsure as to whether or not you can afford the shipping, please do a little research before you sign up. I will continually update this post with a list of countries where participants are from so you can see where you might potentially be sending your package.

Countries outside of the USA that people have signed up from:
– Canada
– Europe Mailing Group 1: UK & Ireland
– Europe Mailing Group 2: Mainland Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France, and Italy so far)

4. I’m capping this event at 400 participants this year.

5. I can’t ensure that you will not be assigned to someone you’ve been assigned to before, or who you’ve been paired with in other swaps/gift-giving events. It’s just too hard for me to juggle that while also trying to pair you with someone you have at least something in common with.

6. Please note that this is NOT a swap. You will not be sending to the same person who is sending to you.

Sign-ups close at 11:59 PM MST on November 12th!

(Although, let’s be honest. I’m not going to be pairing while I’m sleeping
so if you sneak in on the morning of 11/13, I won’t mind.)

How to Sign Up:

Send an email to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com answering the following questions. (NOTE: Please do not attach a Word or other kind of document to your email. Just copy and paste your answers directly into the body of the email. It’s so much faster for me.)

  1. Full Name & Mailing Address (Exactly as it should appear on the mailing label)
  2. Please choose what level of package you will be sending to your recipient (I will be grouping people accordingly, so you will be expected to send out what you choose here. Please note that ARCs have no monetary limit and will, therefore, not count towards the book quantities listed here. Think of them as a fun bonus if you choose to include them.):
    a) 1 book and small gift
    b) 1-2 books and a couple small gifts/goodies
    c) 2+ books and small gifts/goodies
  3. Blog URL/Twitter username/Youtube channel/Instagram username: (Include any social media or online presences to help your Santa get to know you. You MUST be active on at least one platform.)
  4. List of 10-15 books you’d like to read, or a link to a wishlist: (Please include old and new releases and please do not ask for books that have not been released yet. Make sure your Goodreads profile or Amazon wishlist is public at least for the time this event runs. Double check that your links work while logged out of your account. Please keep your wishlists separate if you participate in other swaps/secret people events.)
  5. Genres you read the most: (Specify YA, adult, etc. as well.)
  6. List of your bookish preferences: (a few favorite authors, things you will not read, if you prefer hardback or paperback, if you don’t care about book format at all, if you are okay receiving something not on your wishlist that your Santa thinks you would like based on your questionnaire, etc.)
  7. Food and other allergies:
  8. All the things about yourself: (Please tell your Secret Santa about yourself. The more they know about you, the better job they can do picking out your additional small gifts/goodies. For example: general info about yourself (job, age, school/major, family, pets, etc.), if you celebrate Christmas or not, your hobbies, your passions, music you love, smells or flavors you like/do not like, TV shows you watch, favorite movies, things you collect, fandoms you’re a part of, if you would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, coffee/tea you like, candy/snacks you like, favorite colors, shoe/sock size, favorite patterns, your style/aesthetic, favorite animals, things you are obsessed with, etc. Also, if you have an e-reader and would be happy to receive ebooks or a gift card, mention that and include any email addresses associated with those accounts. The more info in this section, the better. I literally rejoice when I see a lot of words here.)
  9. Would you be able to send internationally if needed? (This question mainly applies to people in the USA, since I can’t guarantee that you will not be sending internationally if you live outside the USA.)
    Please answer with:
    A. Yes, I can.
    B. No, I cannot.
    C. Would prefer not to but will if needed (be careful with this one, as you could be shipping ANYWHERE)
  10. You are:
    a) Under 18
    b) 18+
  11. Have you participated in Broke & Bookish Secret Santa before, or is this your first time?:
  12. Please provide the contact information (name and Twitter handle/email address) of someone your Secret Santa can contact with questions about you: (This person does not have to know you well. They just have to be able to contact you with questions so I don’t have to relay information back and forth between you and your Santa. Please ask this person before you put their twitter handle or email address here so they are not confused. Please also ask this person to open their DMs on Twitter if you choose to include their Twitter handle as a way to contact them. If you have no idea who to ask to be your contact, post to the event hashtag and ask for volunteers. You’ll find one quickly and make a new friend at the same time!)
  13. Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa (or I) should know?

 

Things You Need to Do:

1. When you receive your Secret Santa recipient: Have fun playing Santa! Please read the gift guidelines below. Send your package out no later than December 17th (perhaps earlier if you are sending internationally). The earlier the better, as the mail is always slow during the holiday season. Remember: is Secret Santa. For some people, this might be the only thing they receive for Christmas, so please ensure their gift arrives to them before December 25th. IF SOMETHING COMES UP PLEASE EMAIL ME. Communication is super important.

2. After you send off your package, please email a tracking number to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com (this is required). Unless you have questions, I will not be responding to these emails.

3. Email me when you receive your package. Unless you have questions, I will not be responding to these emails either.

4. Be sure to thank your Secret Santa when you receive your package. You can do this via social media or reach out to me for their email address. I know this should go without saying, but we’ve had some ungrateful people in the past who never reached out to their Santa to thank them or even acknowledged that they received their gift. That’s completely unacceptable, not to mention rude.

Another note on thank you’s… Please thank your Santa even if you do not plan to open your gift until Christmas Day (or any day other than the day you received it). Yes, you can’t personally thank them yet since you don’t know who they are, but please at least say you received it publicly on social media. Your Santa is likely stalking you, eager to know that their gift is safely in your hands and has not been stolen or lost. You can thank them again after once you’ve opened your gift and discovered their identity.

5. If you have not received your package by January 3rd please email me and I will attempt to contact your Secret Santa. Please understand that I will try my very best to work it out, but there is only so much I can do if someone decided to be a punk.

6. FOR EXTRA FUN: We will use the hashtag #TBTBSanta again on Twitter & Instagram for this event! It’s so much fun see pictures and tweets throughout your entire gift-giving process — maybe a sneak peek of your Secret Santa skills in action (a picture of something you are sending, the wrapping paper you’re using, the box, etc.) and we’d all LOVE to see what you receive!

 

Gift Guidelines & Suggestions:

1. Books can be new or used. Use your discretion as far as used books go, but please be kind and don’t send something you wouldn’t want to receive. They should be in very good condition. ARCs have no monetary value and should, therefore, only be included in addition to the number of books you committed to send.

2. When I say “small gifts”, I don’t mean free swag or promotional items. If you want to add that stuff in after you’ve put in some thoughtful goodies because you think your person would really love those swag/promotional items, wonderful! Please just make sure that those additional goodies are not JUST things anyone could have picked up at a book event or received from publishers in the mail.

3. Be thoughtful. 99% of the time the gifts are really sweet and thoughtful and what you would expect, but occasionally someone just throws random crap in a box and ships it off to fulfill their end. I’ve seen people receive expired face masks, for crying out loud. Don’t be like that. Gifts should be thoughtfully chosen based on your recipient’s questionnaire and wrapped nicely. There should be some sort of note included.

4. Please do not ship directly from Amazon or elsewhere (unless you talk to me first).

5. If you aren’t sure what kinds of things to add for the additional small gifts, peruse the #TBTBsanta thread on Twitter or Instagram to see pictures of packages from previous years. There are lots of good ideas!

Please ask any questions in the comments!!

TBTBSanta logo created with the help of Freepik


Five Books I’d Give Different Titles To

Posted October 21, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 14 Comments

So… This week’s topic is really, really hard. lol. I don’t know what I’m thinking sometimes when I write up these prompts! There’s a lot of titles out there that I don’t like/hate, but very few I’ve come up with a new title for. My list took way too long, but it was kind of fun to brainstorm and get creative… even if I could only come up with 5.

1. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett to I Wanted It to Be You
Alex, Approximately has always bothered me as a title. I never figured out where the “approximately” fit into the story. Since the book is a little bit You’ve Got Mail, why not title it Meg Ryan’s famous quote, “I wanted it to be you.” That would have been cute!

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas to The Stars Who Listen
I HATE the “A ___ of ___ and ___” titles. They’re so overused and unoriginal. But this alternate title that’s a piece of a quote Rhysand says to Feyre is thought-provoking and interesting. It also mirrors the dreaminess of the city of Velaris.

3. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye to The Two Enchanters
I feel too many Hunger Games vibes from this title, and eh. I just like the feel of my alternate title more. Vika and Nikolai are the only two enchanters, and must fight to become the Imperial Enchanter. The loser dies. My title just seems more intriguing! I like the word “enchanter”.

4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas to Toxic
This title makes the book sound juvenile and “girly”. But the one word that can sum up the entire books is “toxic”. I really like one-word titles.

5. Hunted by Meagan Spooner to Winter Forest
This book’s title tells you nothing. And you certainly have no idea the book is a lovely Beauty and the Beast retelling. My title just sounds more magical!

Ok, that was hard! What titles would you re-title? 


Ten Extraordinary Book Titles

Posted October 14, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 12 Comments

This week’s topic is “Top Ten Extraordinary Book Titles”, and was submitted by Elise @ A Book and a Cup! This topic is broad and “extraordinary” can be interpreted to mean a bunch of different things. I’ve chosen to pick titles that are really beautiful to me and don’t follow the normal title trends in the book world right now (I’m looking at you, _____ of _____ and _____ titles). There’s SO many really pretty titles out there, so it was hard to pick just ten. I’ve only read one of these books, and one is currently on my TBR. The others… kind of sound like I’d only like them for their titles. lol.

1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
3. The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
4. I Woke Up in Love This Morning by Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (I’ve read this.)
6. Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell
7. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (on my TBR)
9. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
10. The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen

Have you read any of these?
What are some pretty titles you’ve come across?


Top Ten Things That Make Me Fall In Love with a Book Character

Posted October 7, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 12 Comments

Welcome, welcome! This week’s TTT topic was submitted by Hannah @ Books Life and Other Oddities! What makes you love a character in one of your books? What is it about their character or their personality that makes you pull for them or fall in love with them or want to make them your very own significant other/parent/best friend/etc.? That’s what this week’s topic is all about! I chose to narrow things a little and share what makes me swoon hard and add a character to my long list of book boyfriends. Funny thing is, most of these are things I look for in real life boyfriends as well!

Bookish

There’s just something about a guy who always has his nose stuck in a book. Like Dash from Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares (Cohn and Levithan) or Michael Tyler from Nocturne (James).

Nerdy/Intelligent

I love nerds! Just ask me to quote Big Bang Theory and you’ll know! Logan from The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller comes to mind when I think of nerdy characters I love. Sam from Jodi Meadows’s Newsoul trilogy is also really smart and I love that about him. OH and Thomas Cresswell from Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series!

Unaware of His Hotness

I love it when a guy is confident, but not dripping with it to the point that he thinks he’s God’s gift to the female eye. I know some guys like that in my real life, and gag me with a spoon. Ransom, the Duke of Rothbury from Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare is blind and scarred and has no idea how attractive he is! He’s not so egotistical that he thinks women should fall into bed with him. I don’t want a guy who is so insecure that he whines and moans, but someone who doesn’t think if himself as a present is very appealing.

Hero Complex/Protective

I love a big, protective man who wants to save me from whatever it is that ails me (whether that’s my own anxieties and struggles or something outside of myself). Thomas Cresswell from Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes to mind again, as does Rhysand in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Loves Cats

I’m a crazy cat lady, so any guy that can appreciate that is welcome in my books. While I didn’t like Keane from The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis, I could at LEAST stand him because he loved Petunia the cat.

Slightly Mysterious

I like a guy I need to figure out a little bit! Maybe he’s really a jerk and I need to stay clear, or maybe he’s deep or shy or protective of his heart. A little danger is so appealing! Anluan from Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier is a GREAT example of a mysterious character.

Chivalrous/Respectful

I’m super traditional. I like guys who open doors for me and treat me like a lady! What can I say? Kadesh from Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little is very respectful of women, and I loved that. And Finn from Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White is so chivalrous. I love it! Oooo. Nate from The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni is too… Maybe now we know why I love historical romances so much!

Romantic/Thoughtful

Romance. Thoughtfulness. It’s hard to come by. When a character says romantic things, I just melt. Here’s a TTT I did a while back with some great quotes.

Funny/Snarky

I love a great sense of humor. Thorne’s snark in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series comes to mind. I also love Lucien from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Who else… Gideon from Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier… and a certain boy from Kerri Maniscalco’s brain (fine, I’ll stop mentioning him!), Hale from Ally Carter’s Heist Society books…

Sensitive/Intuitive

I love it when a guy shows signs of feelings! And that he notices something is wrong before you tell him! Matt Finch from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord is like this! And so is Duncan from Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Corriell. Oh, and Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. OH OH. Wolf from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles!!

There you have it! A list of reasons why I’m single… I mean. Well.
It’s hard to find guys like this, both in life and in books, so point me in
the direction of bookish or real men you think I’d like! 😂