10/19/14

Book Haul [13]

Holy moly -- I can't believe that it's been two whole months since my last book haul!  Here's what I've added to my shelves over the past couple of months...






Thrift Store Finds:

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness
Lauren @ Lose Time Reading's love of these books is infectious, and we have similar reading tastes so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love the series too.  Hence why I bought TWO books in the series, even though I haven't read the first one yet!

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
This book has RAVE reviews all over the place, and Marko loves looking at the puppy on the cover!  He keeps pulling it off the shelf, saying, "PUPPY! PUPPY!"

The Birth House - Ami McKay
A long time ago, I was chatting on Twitter with a few bloggers about amazing adult titles, and Lauren recommended this one.  It has been on my TBR wishlist for a long, long time!  I love that it's a Canadian story, and hope my heart can handle the pregnancy/birth parts of the story.

The Last Letter from Your Lover - Jojo Moyes
Ummm, it's Jojo Moyes, so I HAD to buy it.  I was surprised to see that the thrift store actually had THREE copies of this book -- when I buy a Jojo book, I hold onto it forever and ever and ever!  The premise sounds super interesting: it's another past-present story, like The Girl You Left Behind, which I LOVED. 

For Review:

All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews
I actually received a finished copy of this book from Random House a few months ago, but I forgot to include it in a haul post.  It's a sister story, so I'm sure I'll read it this fall or winter.  I loved A Complicated Kindness when I read it years ago, and I've heard that Miriam's writing just gets better and better with each book.

Adult Onset - Ann-Marie MacDonald
When I received an e-mail from Random House and saw that this book was on the forthcoming titles for September list, I honestly got all choked up.  Ann-Marie is one of my all-time favourites, insta-buy, love forever authors.  I have read, and loved, both Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies, and have been waiting since 2003 for a new book!  Long overdue, Ms. MacDonald, and I can't wait to dive into this one.  My hubby and I are planning our first night away together to celebrate our anniversary in December, so I think I'm going to wait and savour this one at our spa day!




A Cold Legacy - Megan Shepherd
I liked, but didn't love the first two books in the series, but couldn't pass up the pretty cover when I saw this up on Edelweiss.  Might as well finish off the series, since I've invested so much time in it!

 

The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J. Maas
A month or so ago, Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I decided to take the plunge and start reading the Throne of Glass series together, but we decided to start with the novellas, so I downloaded this one on my Kobo.  I LOVED it -- we're now onto the first book in the series!

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10/16/14

Life of a Blogger - Favourite Toys


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is favourite toys.  After the post on most prized possession a few weeks ago, I was intrigued by the fact that I saw a few favourite childhood toys make the cut for most prized possession.  I hadn't even THOUGHT to include something like that, even though most of my childhood toys are still back home with my mom.  For today's post, I've decided to list them for you!  Here goes...
  • Daddy Rabbit is a pink bunny, who has lost a lot of fur on his nose from so many kisses.  His ears used to stand up too, but they long since started to droop.  I've had him since I was born.
  • Mummy Teddy (can you tell that I'm super creative with names?) is a brown teddy that I've also had since I was born.  She's got that fur that you can tell used to be soft, but is now scratchy because she's been in the washing machine one too many times.
  • Miss Bunny is a knitted rabbit that my grandma made for me when I was about two or three.  She has a few knitted outfits, including hats that have holes for her ears and little shorts that go under her dress that has a hole for her tail.  Yes, my bunny wears booty shorts.
  • Puppy is a little brown dog that has a bell inside.  We were inseparable when I was younger.  My dad fondly tells stories of me asking to bring Puppy along when we went out and he'd agree, provided that I carried Puppy the entire time.  I'd always solemnly promise that I would, only to ask my dad halfway into our journey if he would mind carrying Puppy for a little while.
What about you?  What were some of your favourite toys growing up?  Leave me a comment or a link to your post below!

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10/15/14

Rabbit Ears - Maggie De Vries

This is a book that was really hard to read, and is equally hard to review.  It's a sad story and heart-wrenchingly true.

The story centres around Kaya, an adopted girl who is struggling to find where she fits into the world.  During her search, she stumbles into a network of people in the Downtown Eastside and a world of sex, drugs and prostitution.  It's a dark, downward spiral and results in a book that physically hurt my heart.  Kaya's character is based on the author's sister, a woman who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside and her body was found years later on Robert Pickton's farm.  This farm, which is a five-minute drive from where I live, was the scene of a gruesome police investigation as investigators located the remains of over 30 women that had all disappeared from the Downtown Eastside, a less desirable section of downtown Vancouver where drugs abound and many people live on the street.  It's the darker side of my otherwise beautiful city, but it's a harsh reality for many people.

Rabbit Ears is told in alternate points of view, between Kaya and her sister Beth.  What I loved most about this story is that Kaya's points of view are told in second person, so it's like her sister telling Kaya's story too.  This makes sense because it's like Maggie telling her own sister's tale, and adds that air of chilling truth to the storytelling.

All in all, this book really resonated with me because it, quite literally, hits close to home.  It's not an easy story to read, but definitely a well-told fictional memoir.

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from Edelweiss.  The fact that I received a copy of this book for free did not influence my review in any way.


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10/14/14

My True Love Gave to Me - edited by Stephanie Perkins


I had requested a couple of titles from St. Martin's Press, but hadn't had any luck with having my requests approved, so I wasn't feeling too hopeful when I hit the request button on Netgalley.  When my request was approved, I was so excited!  There's nothing that I love more than a good Christmas read, especially when it's filled with works by some of my favourite authors.

My True Love Gave to Me didn't disappoint.  My only qualm is that I wish it had been wintery outside when I read it, but that's only due to the fact that I read it before its release date, rather than at a more appropriate time of year.  This book is the perfect wintery read, curled up with a blanket and a mug of something warm and yummy.

I was pleasantly surprised that it's not a book that's purely filled with contemporary stories, especially since Stephanie Perkins is the editor.  I was expecting some cutesy Christmasy love stories (think Dash and Lily's Book of Dares), but there's a wide range of topics and genres included in this book.  Each author stays true to his or her particular style and genre, and I loved being able to revisit some favourites.  From the opening Rainbow Rowell story to ending the book with the gorgeousness that is Laini Taylor, I loved every moment of it.  I even enjoyed reading some stories by authors that I haven't experienced before, like Myra McEntire.

This book would make the perfect Christmas gift for anyone.  Know someone who's read everything?  Here's a book filled with stories that they haven't read yet!  Know someone who isn't much of a reader?  Here's a book that is filled with stories that will give them a taste of a whole bunch of different writers that will, hopefully, encourage them to pick up another book by one of these authors.

When you're doing your Christmas shopping this year, be sure to add this one to your shopping list, even if it's just for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

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10/13/14

On Author Events

You guys, I need some help.  There's an author event coming up this weekend, and I can't decide if I want to go or not!  There aren't many author events in my area -- since I started this blog, I've gone to see Maureen Johnson, Lisa Genova and Marissa Meyer.  All of them were great: I had book(s) signed by the author, got to chat a bit and had my picture taken.  I always feel like I'm meeting a celebrity and I get so giddy and excited to be meeting these amazing people IN REAL LIFE.

So, I found out recently that Veronica Roth and Tahereh Mafi are coming to my area.  I immediately thought, "No WAY!  This is going to be AMAZING!"  And then I found out more about the event.  Basically, I can only meet the authors if I buy one of their books on the day of the event.  I already own both trilogies in full, so the only books that I could buy would be novellas, neither of which I had really planned on reading.  There's only 200 wristbands being given out on the day of the event, to the people who have purchased books.  So unless I plan on being there super early (which is unlikely), my chances of snagging one of those wristbands is pretty slim.  Even if I do manage to get a wristband, I can have the book that I bought personalized, and only one other book by the author signed, which kind of sucks.  If I'm going to get one book from the series signed, it would kind of be nice to have all of them signed, you know?

I'm not entirely sure if I want to go ... and I'm feeling torn.  On the one hand, I want to show my support for these writers, whose series I enjoyed, even if they're not the top of my all-time favourites list.  On the other hand, I do understand that there's the potential for everyone to want to have 6 to 8 books each signed, which could result in a ridiculously line-up.

But then, a couple of weeks later, Kristen & P.C. Cast are coming to the very same Chapters location and personalizing copies of the last book in the House of Night series.  The event is on a first-come, first-served basis, and they will also sign ALL OTHER COPIES of their previous books.  Personally, I haven't read the entire series (I think I stopped a couple books shy of the latest one), but this kind of author event has motivated me to put the last two books on hold at the library so that I can finish the series and, if I feel like it on the day of the event, even buying a copy of the final book, just so that I can meet them!  That, to me, is what an author event should be about.

In conclusion, I understand that both Veronica Roth and Tahereh Mafi are hugely successful writers and, as such, they can place these types of rules on their event, but it seems disappointing as a reader that I'd have to jump through these hoops in order to meet them.  I might go and just hear them speak, and skip the whole wristband debacle, but I'm undecided at this point.

Have you seen/met either of these two authors?  Should I make the trip to the event?  Leave me a comment below -- I really need your help in figuring this one out!

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10/9/14

Life of a Blogger - Scents


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is scents, so I'm going to give you my top three favourites, and my top three least favourites.

Top three least favourite scents:
  • B.O. or just stinky people in general, with a particular note to couriers who smoke all day long in their cars and then come into the office to deliver parcels trailing their rank pack-a-day odour -- ugh.
  • Indian curry.  This goes hand-in-hand with foods that I don't like, and also a place once that I just couldn't consider renting because too much Indian food had been cooked within its walls!
  • Cigarette smoke.
Top three scents that are my favourites:
  • Peppermint.  I've also loved the scent of peppermint, from candy canes at Christmas to peppermint-scented candles year-round.
  • Vanilla.  I also burn vanilla candles since they make my house smell like I've been baking.  All of the perfume that I've ever worn is vanilla-based, starting from when I was a teen and would buy vanilla essential oils from The Body Shop!
  • Jean-Paul Gauthier's Homme.  My hubby has quite a few colognes, and they all smell amazing, but this one is my all-time favourite.
What about you?  What are your favourite smells or least favourites?  Leave me a comment below!
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10/8/14

Of Scars and Stardust - Andrea Hannah [DNF Review]

In all honesty, I requested a review copy of this book because it had a pretty cover, which reminded me a little of Lovely, Dark and Deep that I read last year and really liked.  In the heat of summer, I thought a chilly, winter read would be a refreshing change, so I dove into reading this one on a sticky summer afternoon while Marko napped.

The premise was immediately intriguing: wolves that watched from the shadows and loved periwinkle blue and cherry-flavoured anything.  I read about 100 pages, but didn't really feel like the characters were growing and progressing.  Plus, the stuff about the wolves was just WEIRD.  I just couldn't bring myself to pick the book back up and keep reading, so this beautiful book went onto my DNF list.

If you read and liked this one, I'd love to know why!  Leave me a comment below!
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