12/31/13

Bookish Resolutions for 2014

I used Grammarly for proofreading this post because it leaves more time for reading!

Happy New Year Everyone!  I wrote a post last week about looking back at my bookish resolutions for 2013, and now it's time to make some new resolutions for 2014!  It's hard to believe that the year is over already...and what a year it was!

1. Read.
I know this sounds like a dumb resolution, but let me explain.  I'm doing something crazy this year ... I'm NOT setting a Goodreads reading challenge!  Last year, even though I set my goal much lower than usual, I didn't read much at all for the first three months or so in the year.  This meant that, every time I looked at Goodreads, that little box would remind me just how far behind I'd fallen.  And you know what?  I don't need that in my life this year.  So, instead, I'm just going to read.

2. Read more books that I already own.
I failed in the most epic of ways at this resolution last year.  SO, I'm going to work harder at this next year.  Just like the resolution above, I'm not setting myself a goal to reach, but I'm just going to be better at picking books off the shelf rather than borrowing from the library.  I currently only have three books on hold at the library, so hopefully this will be more manageable!

3. Read some more "big kid" books.
This is another resolution from last year, which I achieved, but I'd still like to work on this next year.  I still read more YA than adult fiction (and it may always be this way), but I read some really great adult titles last year and I'd love to delve more into some great books.  Plus, I think that by not worrying about how many books I'm reading, I won't be too concerned if a book takes me longer to finish...some of these adult titles are really long!

4. Conquer my series TBR.
Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat and I are co-hosting this awesome challenge: the Sequel & Prequel Challenge.  You can read all about (and sign up!) here.  Basically, we were talking on Twitter about how ridiculous our TBR piles were for unfinished series and the idea was born!  Jessi hosted the Prequel challenge last year, which encouraged participants to read beyond just the first book in the series, but we expanded on it and added a points system ... so the more series books that you read, the more points you earn, with BIG POINTS for finishing the whole series.

5. Be more selective with review titles.
A few months ago, I posted a discussion post about saying no.  This was the serendipitous moment that I realized that I don't need to finish each and every review title that I request.  Nor do I need to go crazy requesting titles.  I was recently white listed for Harper Teen and, although I now have access to all of their titles, I almost had to physically restrain myself from downloading ALL OF THEM.  I need to remember that, although the ladies on Epic Reads are excited about all of their upcoming titles, not all of them will necessarily be my cup of tea.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my resolutions.  If you've posted some bookish resolutions, or have any suggestions for me on how to meet my goals, please leave me a comment and I'll stop by and visit. And Happy New Year to everyone -- hope you read many, many wonderful books this year! xoxo
Read More

12/27/13

A Look Back ... Bookish Resolutions of 2013

I cannot BELIEVE that 2013 is almost over ... where has the year gone?  It's hard to believe that this time last year, I was super pregnant and we were planning for the arrival of our new little one, not even knowing that it was a little boy!  And now Marko's almost 11 months old, growing, changing and surprising us each and every day.

At this time of the year, I usually look back at the resolutions that I set for myself and see what I've accomplished, and what I still need to work on.  So, with no further ado, here are my bookish resolutions from 2013.

1. Read 50 books.
Not only did I meet my goal, I surpassed it!  I definitely read more this year than I thought I would.

2. Read more books that I already own.
I honestly didn't think that I'd be able to read books with a library deadline, but I did manage to do just that and therefore did not read as many books on my shelves as I'd planned to.  Plus, I also bought a lot of books this year, most of which I didn't read.  But there's always next year, right?

3. Read some more "big kid" books.
I really like that I didn't set a number goal for myself on this one, so I can definitely say that I achieved this goal.  YA was definitely still high up on the list, but I did read a number of "big kid" titles.

4. Be okay with how much (or how little) I post on the blog.
I found myself in a blogging slump over the summer, which was definitely related to how much I was struggling to keep up with the blog.  I found myself not enjoying books, annoyed with my towering review pile and just frustrated by the whole blogging experience.  Out of that slump, I feel like I have a renewed and refreshed focus on blogging and was reminded by several followers that it's okay to not post often and it's okay to not review every book I read!  I've also started posting discussion posts and sharing reviews of old favourites.  Being able to write up some of these posts well in advance and when I actually have some time to sit down at the computer has really helped and made me feel proud of my blog once again.

5. Continue to enjoy the blogging community.
This is one resolution that I have definitely kept.  I feel like I've nurtured some good blogging friendships this year, especially with those that helped me to overcome my slump in the summer.  Plus, I overcame some of my shyness and approached a couple of bloggers about co-hosting some blog events ... and that absolutely reignited my blog fire again!

How about you?  Did you keep your bookish resolutions this year?  Please leave me a comment below and thanks for stopping by! xoxo
Read More

12/26/13

Life of a Blogger - Favourite Movies


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new 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 movies.  I'm a bit all over the place when it comes to movies that I love, but I'll try my best ...

  • Movies that make me cry because they're super sad and mushy ... like The Notebook, P.S. I Love You and City of Angels.
  • Movies that make me cry because I'm laughing so hard ... like Bridesmaids, Dumb & Dumber and Zoolander.
  • Movies that have "Whaaaaaaaat?" twists ... like The Sixth Sense, Saw and A Beautiful Mind.
  • Movies that are made for little kids ... like Up, Brave and Happy Feet.
  • Movies that are based on books ... like Harry Potter.  Wait, actually just Harry Potter in this category.
  • Movies that I could watch over and over and over again ... like She's All That (probably my all-time favourite movie!)
  • Movies that are starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling or Tobey Maguire -- yum yum!
Read More

12/20/13

A Look Back at Fall...

I've seen other blogger's monthly round-up posts, and always thought that it seems like a fun idea, but the thought of committing to one per month is a little much, so I thought I'd go by seasons! I've always enjoyed the Top Ten Tuesday posts for seasonal TBRs, so this round-up post will go along with my plans for the coming season ... a look back and a look forward!

I made lists about about bookish turnoffs, my predictions for the best and the worst for series enders (because, you know, it's not like I'm good at finishing many series!), books that I was forced to read, books that I can't wait to get my hands on, 2014 releases that I can't wait for and the books on my winter TBR.

I started a new feature called Friday Favourites, where I share some of my all-time favourite reads from before I started blogging.  During the fall, I shared the Harry Potter series, Fall on Your Knees, The God of Small Things and White Oleander.

I also shared a few discussion posts.  I've really enjoyed putting these together, and it's really taken the pressure off review writing, since I feel that I can share some original content in addition to memes, without stressing myself out about reading books at such a fast pace.  During the fall, I wrote about bookish hype, saying no, adult fiction and the importance of moments.

In Canada, we had Thanksgiving in October and I posted about bookish thankfulness and in November we had Remembrance Day, so I shared some thoughts (and a book) on the topic of remembering the sacrifices that our armed forces have made.

I celebrated my third wedding anniversary and shared a post on how it all began (with a link to last year's post on the same topic -- our how we met story!)

And finally, the books!  Here's the full list, with links to my reviews:
  • I started the fall off with a Christmas-y read, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.
  • I had an incredibly personal connection to Me Before You because of my dad's spinal cord injury, so I shared a bit of my personal story and a photo from my wedding.
  • I dove into Wally Lamb's latest book, We Are Water, which I absolutely LOVED.  It was great taking some time to enjoy a longer read, even if the pages flew by so quickly that it felt like a shorter book.
  • I officially decided that I was done with Julie Kagawa's fairy books after reading The Iron Traitor.  They're not bad books, but I think I just read too many of them in a short span of time.
  • Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always was a book with a contemporary cover, but filled with tough issues.  It walked the fine line between being a good book and being too preachy, but the writing saved it for me.
  • After loving Five People You Meet in Heaven and thinking that Tuesdays With Morrie was ooooohkay, I ended up enjoying The First Phone Call from Heaven.
  • I finished The Girl of Fire & Thorns trilogy with The Bitter Kingdom -- awesome series!
  • I'm still on the fence with Rainbow Rowell's books.  I liked Fangirl better than Eleanor + Park, but not as much as Attachments.
  • I read my second Sarah Jio novel of the year with Morning Glory and REALLY liked it.
  • I started the Pushing the Limits series.
It's funny because, looking over my list of books, it seems MUCH smaller than the list of books that I read during the summer.  Part of this is due to the fact that I've read a number of review books for next year already.  I was white-listed for Harper Teen a couple of months ago, so I downloaded some highly anticipated titles and just couldn't wait to dive in.  In hindsight, I'm glad I did start reading these books early, as it's given me a chance to have a number of reviews already scheduled for January and February, which means that I can relax and read what I want to over the holidays.  Isn't that what the holidays are made for anyway?

Thanks for stopping by!  As always, your comments warm my heart!
Read More

12/19/13

Life of a Blogger - My Husband


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new 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 significant others ... I'm going to cheat a little and just link to my how we met story from last year.  If you missed it, click here.  There's pictures from our wedding!

Basically, in a nutshell, my husband and I met in a bookstore -- I worked there, he was a customer.  After dating for five years, he took me back to the same bookstore and proposed.  We had a bookish wedding and, just last month, returned back to the same bookstore with our little boy.  It's amazing how one bookstore, and one book in particular, have brought us to where we are today.  This Sunday, December 22nd, we will celebrate nine incredible years together!
Read More

12/16/13

Top 10 New-to-Me Authors Read in 2013


It's Tuesday and time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is top ten new-to-me authors that I read this year ... and I'm extending it to include a thank you to those bloggers who gently nudged me towards reading these great books!

1. Veronica Rossi -- I fell in love with Under the Never Sky & Through the Ever Night last summer.  A BIG thank you to Hannah @ So Obsessed With for encouraging me to keep going with the first book, even though I was confused.  It was SO worth the effort!

2. It was the summer of Colleen Hoover for me, as I read ALL of her books.  I'm glad that Cassie @ Books With Cass raved about her books!

3. E. Lockhart -- Magan @ Rather Be Reading convinced me to pick up The Boyfriend List, and I'm so glad that I did!

4. Rae Carson -- I used to be a big fantasy buff, but have shied away from the fantastical books as I got older.  It was Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books who nudged me gently towards trying out The Girl of Fire & Thorns, and I'm so incredibly grateful because I LOVED it!

5. Jojo Moyes -- Cassie, yet again, encouraged me on this one.  Although it was a tough read for me on a personal connection level, I'm so glad that I read Me Before You and will definitely be trying more of Moyes' work.

6. Kristen-Paige Madonia -- Estelle @ Rather Be Reading recommended Fingerprints of You and I loved it!

7. Rainbow Rowell -- I can't even give proper credit to the bloggers who inspired me to pick up Eleanor + Park because, well, it was ALL OF YOU.  But before E+P came into the library, I read Attachments, which I ADORED.  E+P was good too, don't get me wrong, but Attachments is still my favourite of hers so far.

8. Hilary T. Smith -- Again, can't really give proper credit because there was SO MUCH blogger love for Wild Awake.  And it didn't disappoint!  I will definitely be watching for more books from this talented lady.

9. Rob Sheffield -- Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner has raved about Love is a Mix Tape on many occasions and it always sounded like an interesting premise for a book, although memoirs aren't usually my thing.  But I'm really glad that her enthusiasm convinced me to give it a try!

10. Elana K. Arnold -- This was a random pick on Netgalley where the cover picture grabbed my attention, but I'm glad that I took a chance!

Thank you for stopping by my Top Ten Tuesday post this week!  Please leave me a link to your post in the comments, and I'll stop by!
Read More

12/11/13

Life of a Blogger - TV Shows


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new 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 TV shows.  As a new mom, I honestly don't watch that much TV -- although sometimes it's easier to zone out in front of the TV than it is to focus on a book.  So, here's what I have on the go at the moment...

On my PVR ...
  • How I Met Your Mother -- I binge watched the first eight seasons on Netflix, and am now watching the last season as it airs.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it all ends.
  • Big Bang Theory -- this show just makes me LAUGH.
  • House Hunters Renovation.  I used to be SUCH an HGTV junkie, but now this is the only one I watch.  I'd never buy a fixer-upper, but I love watching other people do it!
On Netflix ...
  • Breaking Bad -- we are just about to start watching this one.
  • Trailer Park Boys -- a Canadian comedy.  My hubby thinks this is funnier than I do, but I like watching it with him!
On DVD ...
  • Dawson's Creek -- I'm just starting the final season.  I forgot how much I loved this show!
  • Star Trek Voyager -- I bought my hubby all the seasons for Christmas a few years ago, and we've been slowly rewatching the series from the beginning.  He has a tiny crush on Captain Janeway ;)
Waiting for...
  • The Walking Dead -- AMC is considered a "premium channel" here, so I have to wait for the current season to hit Netflix.
  • Game of Thrones -- when?  Oh when?

Read More

WWW - December 11


Happy Wednesday Everyone!  W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I'm still reading Amy McNamara's Lovely, Dark and Deep, and the wintery cover perfectly fits the dusting of snow that we received this week!  On my e-reader, I just started Rosamunde Hodge's Cruel Beauty.  It's more fantastical than I was expecting, but the writing is beautiful.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished Megan Shepard's Her Dark Curiosity a couple of days ago.  I liked, but didn't love, the first book, and I think I'm still on the fence about the series.

What do you think you'll read next?
Hopefully Katie McGarry's Dare You To!  I'm just waiting on my library copy.

What are YOU reading this week?  Please leave me a comment below!
Read More

12/9/13

Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR


It's Tuesday and time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish.  I have a confession to make: although I LOVE putting together these seasonal TBR piles, I absolutely SUCK at actually following through.  I thought that, rather than putting together a new list each month, I'll add in the books from last month's TBR that I didn't read, then pick a few new titles to add to the list.  Hopefully, after I see a book on more than one TBR list, I might actually read it!

1. The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
2. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
3. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
These three are from my fall TBR list, as I was in the mood for some darker titles.  Well, in my defense, we actually had a pretty sunny fall; therefore, these books have not yet been read!

 

4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
5. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
6. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Three books from my series list, which are also off my fall TBR!  In my defense, I actually don't own a copy of Allegiant just yet -- it's on my Christmas wish list.


 

7, 8 & 9. The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
I keep saying that I'll read this, and then it sits on my shelves.  This just MUST happen.


I'm going to stop at nine books to try and make this more do-able!  What are the books on your winter TBR list?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll stop by!  Happy Reading!

Read More

2013 End of Year Book Survey


One of my favourite end-of-the-year moments is when Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner launches her end of the year book survey!  It's a great opportunity to look back through the books that I read last year.  Plus, I LOVE reading other blogger's responses.  So, if you took part in the survey, please leave me a link below so that I can check out your answers!  Without any further ado, here goes...


1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
One of my favourite parts of this survey is simply looking back over the books that I read this year ... and going "Oh yeah, I forgot about that book!"  It's amazing how many good reads I enjoyed this year.  If I have to choose just one, I think I'll go with Wild Awake.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Eleanor + Park.  I loved Attachments so much, and this one was WAY too overhyped for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
I don't think I expected to fall in love with Hopeless as much as I did -- this book prompted a summer spent reading ALL of her books!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Probably Hopeless -- I just bought a copy for my sister-in-law for Christmas!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Either Under the Never Sky or Girl of Fire and Thorns.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
I read a LOT of new-to-me authors this year ... but, again, if I must choose one, I'll go with Rae Carson.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Girl of Fire & Thorns -- I'm not that into fantasy, but I LOVED this series!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Unravel Me.  I might die reading Ignite Me.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I have re-reads planned for next year (lots of book 1s in a series that I plan to finish), but none are ones that I read this year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Fuse -- I love all the covers in this series!

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Hmm, probably Ruby Oliver!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Definitely Wild Awake.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Another easy one: Me Before You.  My dad's injury mirrored Will's and that book tore my heart out in a completely unexpected way.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
I read a lot of newer books this year, and not so many older ones.  I did TRY to read Under the Never Sky last year, and then put it down again because I was confused.  Thankfully, I was encouraged to give it a second shot and I'm SO glad that I did!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
Since Wild Awake took the most beautifully written book category, I knew I had to choose a quote from this book:
People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn't know were there, even the ones they wouldn't have thought to call beautiful themselves.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.
Longest -- We Are Water by Wally Lamb (576 pages!)
Shortest -- Goodbye Chunky Rice (only 128 pages!)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Yikes, is it a bad thing when I didn't read any books that made me do this?  Perhaps it's because I've kind of stayed away from series this year ... those are usually the books with the WTF endings.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Elisa and Hector, hands down.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
We Are Water -- I love all things Wally Lamb.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else.
Me Before You could win this category as well, but Cass will probably get too many book pushing shout-outs, so I'll go with Fingerprints ofYou, which was a recommendation from Estelle.  Although, actually, I only heard about it because Cass said she recommended it -- so I guess I have to give Cass credit on that one too!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
It was a pretty contemporary heavy year this year!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Confession: I don't really have fictional crushes, but I have to say that Hector was pretty swoon-worthy.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I didn't read many 2013 debuts, but I think I'll go with Someday, Someday, Maybe.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The world in the Under the Never Sky series was amazingly vivid.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Probably the Ruby Oliver series ... she's such a fun likeable character, and I loved her lists and her snark.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Since I'm a new mom and have therefore been overly emotional at random times this year, I'm going to go with one of my new favourite picture books from this year, Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
I think that there's so much love out there for Eleanor + Park and Fangirl, but my favourite of Rainbow's novels still has to be Attachments.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
I recently stumbled across Swept Away By Books, which is run by a Vancouver blogger, Alyssa.  Although I'm not actually IN Vancouver, but just outside, yay for local bloggers!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
Me Before You, as it is definitely my most personal review on the blog thus far.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Probably my post on losing my e-reading virginity.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner immediately jumped to mind on this question, mainly because I find that she'll post a discussion post about something that had JUST been on my mind -- like we're psychically connected or something.  Instead, I'll link to just this one, where she wrote about a quote from Jessi Kirby's Golden: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?  SUCH an amazing post.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Sadly, no author signings this year.  Cassandra Clare came to town, but it was just after Marko was born, so I didn't have the time or the energy to go!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
Probably getting white listed for Harper Teen titles on Edelweiss -- I literally squealed when I realized that I could download Panic!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
By number of comments, it's probably my post announcing Marko's arrival into the world.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I'm going to be shameless for a moment, and just plug the challenge that I'm co-hosting next year.  *ahem*  If your series TBR is out of control, you should sign-up for the Sequel & Prequel Challenge!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Hubby and I did a mini roadtrip out to Chilliwack over the summer, as we're somewhat considering moving there.  Not anytime soon, but just a tentative plan.  Whenever we go somewhere new, we ALWAYS check out the local bookstore.  It was a HUGE plus in Chilliwack's favour to discover The Book Man.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I finished my Goodreads challenge last month, but failed epically at my TBR challenge.  Not that I set any goals for myself anyways, but I hadn't planned on reading ANY library books this year, yet that's exactly what I ended up doing!


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The one that's probably at the top of my list is Days of Blood & Starlight.  I had to return it to the library unread because of my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, but I'm planning to reread Daughter of Smoke & Bone and then the next two early next year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
I already did a top ten Tuesday post on this, and completely forgot THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK OF ALL.  Morgan Matson has a new book coming out!!!!!!!!!  This book is CLEARLY at the top of my anticipated reads for 2014 ... I can't BELIEVE that I had forgotten about it until I was reading through everyone else's posts!

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I'm not much of a debut anticipator ... I usually wait to see others' reviews before picking up an unknown author's book.  But I did already read No One Else Can Have You and really liked it!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
Definitely Ignite Me -- I can't WAIT!

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging in 2014?
Next year is going to be the year of completing all (or at least making a significant dent in) my series TBR pile.  It's out of control and ridiculous.  There are so many other series that I want to start, but I just feel like these others are looming over my head!  2014 is the year!
Read More

12/6/13

If We Were Having Coffee ...

Jaime @ The Perpetual Page Turner comes up with the BEST post ideas, and this one is inspired by one of her favourite bloggers, Your Super Awesome Life.  Reading her post, and those that have popped up from other bloggers, was a great way to get to know Jaime a little better.  So, I hope that you get to know me a little better too!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I'm freaking out a little about returning to work.  We've almost secured daycare for Marko, with this amazing Serbian lady so that he can learn his dad's mother tongue ... but there's a part of my heart that's breaking a little about the thought of not spending my entire day with my little man.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that, even though I'll be sad about leaving Marko at daycare, another part of me is also a little bit excited about having something (even if it is just work) that's MINE and only mine.  Where I get to be an adult for a little while, and don't have to worry about things like having enough diapers with me or what colour his poop was.

If we were having coffee...I'd be honest and tell you that the REAL reason that I'm freaking out a little about work is that I've been in to visit three times now and none of the other admin girls (the girls that I will be working with again) have said hello to me.  I mean, the first time, I thought that maybe they were all having a really busy day.  The second time, I thought maybe they were just uncomfortable being around a baby.  But when I went in last week, by myself, to discuss my return to work with my boss, I was really, really, really hurt.  And I'm trying not to worry about how it will feel working in close proximity to these girls again, but sometimes it feels like high school all over again.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that, even though I've lost most of the weight that I put on during my pregnancy, I haven't lost all of it, and that wreaks havoc with my self esteem sometimes.

If we were having coffee...I'd bring it back to the bookish world for a minute, and ask you if you've read anything sensational lately?  Working on my end of the year bookish survey has made me realize that, even though I've read some great books this past year, I haven't been totally and utterly blown away by a book in a long time.

If we were having coffee...I'd ask you how YOU'RE doing because, even though I just blabbed a lot about about myself here, most of the time I'm the one that does the listening on a coffee date.  So how ARE you doing?  Please let me know in the comments below ... and if you've joined in the fun with Jaime's post idea, please leave me a link and I'll stop by and have coffee with you!
Read More

12/5/13

Life of a Blogger - Career


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new 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 CAREER.  Are you ready?  Here's the story of how I got to where I am today in my career...

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who loved to read.  So much, in fact, that I decided that it would be the best job in the whole wide world if I could work in a library one day.
Me Reading
But I grew up, as little girls do, and thought that being a writer would be way more fun.  In high school, reality hit home that it would be really hard to make it in the big bad world of writing, so I decided to go into journalism.  Two years into my degree, I realized that I just wasn’t hardhearted enough to make it as a journalist either.  The catch phrase “if it bleeds, it leads” just didn’t sit well with me, and so I contemplated a life as a teacher, where I could share my love of reading and writing with my students.  So I embarked on a one-year, post degree teaching program, which was going quite well until I realized that I also had to teach math, and science and … Physical Education.  After a lot of soul-searching, I withdrew from the teaching program and questioned everything career decision that I’d made thus far.  While looking for a job, any old job to pay the bills, I stumbled into property management and learned all there was to learn about stratas, before deciding to return to school part-time and pursue a library technician’s diploma.  It’s been a long but steady trek, but it feels good to be heading in the direction that my 8-year-old self knew was the right one all along.
If I could turn back time and choose this path from the beginning, would I take back all those wrong turns?  Sometimes I say yes, but other times I feel that I would make the same wrong choices if given the chance.  In the end, it is all those wrong decisions that have brought me to where I am in life and molded me into the person that I am now.  And I wouldn’t take any of that back.
Read More

On the Importance of Moments

I spontaneously decided to write this post today to share a moment with you all.  It's funny because I've been working on scheduling some posts in advance so that blogging becomes fun again, rather than feeling like a chore, but somehow in the midst of that, I lost the spontenaity of it all.

So I just wanted to take a moment to share THIS moment with you all.  I spent the morning at Kinder CafĂ© with Marko.  It's this local coffee shop that has a whole play area for kids.  Although he's not yet walking (and I had to keep a close eye on him to make sure that some of the bigger kids didn't trample him as they ran by), he had SO MUCH FUN.  It was just incredible watching him discover the world around him.  In a whole room full of new toys, he just crawled from place to place, taking it all in (mostly with his mouth of course!)

Then, we returned home and he went down for his nap.  Feeling rather festive, I hauled out the wrapping paper, brewed a delicious cup of David's Tea (Glitter & Gold, my absolutel favourite) and wrapped all my Christmas gifts while watching yesterday's ARC Party on Epic Reads Tea Time.  The sun is shining outside, although it's freezing cold -- we have snow in the forecast -- and I'm just feeling so at peace with the world.  Happy, fulfilled and seasonally blissful.  I've already scheduled my "If We Were Having Coffee..." post for tomorrow, which I wrote, earlier this week, and the sentiments expressed in that post seem to not really matter right now.  This just reminded me of how moments can be so fluid and change so quickly -- what seemed to be bothering me earlier this week seems less important at the moment.

So I just wanted to share this moment with you -- this moment NOW.  Not scheduled last week, or last night, just right now.  This moment will be gone as soon as Marko wakes up, and I launch back into mommy mode, but for now I'm just going to curl up with my current read and see if I can get in a few pages before he wakes.  Hope you're all having a delightful Thursday afternoon.
Read More

12/4/13

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry

If you follow Book Rock Betty's blog, then you know of her love for all things Katie McGarry.  On a whim, I decided to request Crash Into You for review and, when my request was approved, decided to read the entire series.  I've only read the first one so far, so I'm not 100% sure if these books have to be read in order, but I thought I'd read them beginning to end anyways.

I liked Pushing the Limits.  I can't say that I loved it, or really fell in love with any of the characters.  If I recall Hannah @ So Obsessed With's review correctly, I'm pretty sure that she liked the series better as it went on, so I'll keep reading.  I found Noah's anger to be a bit much at times -- sure, I knew that he'd been dealt a rough hand in life, but when his future was balanced so precariously, I just didn't understand why he kept behaving the way he did and jeopardizing it all.  And it annoyed me soooooooo much that he kept calling Echo his "nymph" and his "siren."  I don't know why -- the nicknames just made me want to laugh and throw the book across the room at the same time.

But the story was good enough that I'll keep reading, especially since I've heard that each book focuses on a different character's life.  So stay tuned for my review of Dare You To, just as soon as I pick up my copy from the library!
Read More

12/2/13

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying to Read

I used Grammarly for proofreading this post because chasing after my almost ten-month-old takes up most of my time these days!


It's Tuesday and time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is top ten 2014 releases that I'm dying to read!  In no particular order, here we go ...

1. Ignite Me - Tahereh Mafi
2. Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi (I just read this one last week -- but I'm still excited!)
3. Cress - Marissa Meyer
4. The Retribution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
5. Burn - Julianna Baggott
6. Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor
7. Isla& the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins
8. UnSouled - Neal Shusterman
9. City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
10. Panic - Lauren Oliver (it's taking some serious willpower to NOT dive into my e-galley!)

Are there any books on my list that you're super excited for?  Any 2014 releases that I've missed? (I know there's a few other books that I can't wait for, like the rest of Brodi Ashton's Everneath series, but I still haven't read book 2 in those series, so I can't say that I'm AS insanely excited as I am for these ones).  Are there any that you've already had the pleasure of reading?  Leave me a comment below!
Read More

11/29/13

2014 Sequel & Prequel Challenge

preqseqbutton

Welcome to the 2014 Sequel & Prequel Challenge, hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads! This year's challenge is an expansion on the 2013 Sequel challenge. We've compared our unbelievably long series TBR lists and come to the conclusion that we need a bit of extra help knocking those sequels of our TBRs and we're sure that a few of you have the same problem!

The goal: To read as many prequels and sequels as you can. You set your goal at whatever number works for you.

Guidelines

  1. The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st.
  2. Any books started before Jan. 1 will not count.
  3. All books in a series count for points (see below)
  4. Novellas count, either prequels or sequels (i.e. #0.5, #1.5, #2.5, etc).
  5. Books can be of any publication date. They don’t have to be released in 2014.
  6. In order to get 10 points for a completed series, there must be at least 3 full-length books in the series.
  7. You can still get sequel points for a duology, you just can't get the 10 bonus points for finishing it.
  8. Sign-ups will be open until December 1st, 2014.
  9. To join, add the URL of your challenge post to the linky widget. (If you’d like to wait, it’s ok to use your blog URL and send us your link when you get the post up)
  10. At the end of each month we will post a linky for you to add your sequel reviews to. The linky will rotate between our blogs on alternate months, so you can link up at Novel Heartbeat at the end of January, March, May, July, September and November, and over at Writer Grrl Reads at the end of February, April, June, August, October and December.
  11. We will try to do some giveaways throughout the year for participants (as long as we can afford it), as well as some mini-challenges and read-alongs ... so stay tuned for further details!
  12. There will be a giveaway at the end of the year for all participants who completed the challenge!

The Point System


For each prequel and sequel read this year, points will be awarded as follows:
  • 1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
  • 2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
  • 10 points for completing and reviewing a full series
  • **You do not get points for the first book in a series
  • **The 10 bonus points is for finishing a full series.  That means that all books must be published (unless you got an advance reader copy early).  I.e. If you are completely caught up on a series, and the next book is not releasing until 2015 (and you do not have an advance reader copy), that does not count toward the 10 bonus points.
  • **If you started the series before 2014, you can still get the bonus points for finishing it if you reviewed the other books in the series at some point.  For example: You read The Hunger Games in 2013, but read Catching Fire and Mockingjay in 2014 - you would get 2 points for both sequels (4 points total) and 10 points for finishing the series.  You don't have to start the series in 2013 to get the bonus points.
To get points, you must review the book/novella somewhere. If you want to earn points, please link up your reviews at the end of each month, and enter the number of points earned (we will give examples in the linky). Each point earned is an entry into the giveaway at the end of the year for all participants who completed the challenge. So, the more sequels you read, the better your chances of winning the giveaway! Plus, we are also considering one prize for the "overacheiver award" -- the person who gets the most points!

10-25 points: Newbie
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran


So let this year be the year that we stop whining about how many sequels are sitting on our TBRs or cluttering up our shelves! Take control of your reading destinies and sign up to read with us!

Grab a button!

preqseqbutton


Read More

Friday Favourite - White Oleander

Happy Friday everyone!  This is a new feature that I'm starting here on the blog, highlighting some of my all-time favourite books.  This is partially inspired by Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner's Before I Blogged series, where she highlights books that she read and loved before she started blogging.  I have SO MANY favourite books to share and plan on doing at least a couple of these per month ... it'll take off the pressure to post frequent reviews, since I'm sharing thoughts on books that I read a while ago, while also giving me the chance to plug some older titles that you might not have read.

Janet Fitch's White Oleander was one of the first adult titles that I read.  I think I originally picked it up after it was reviewed in Seventeen magazine (but I was in Grade 12 at the time ... so my memory might not be 100% accurate on that detail!)  I absolutely fell in love with the writing style; it's so beautiful and poetic.  If you've seen the movie, the novel is so, so, SO much better.

White Oleander is the story of Astrid, whose mother has just been convicted of murdering her lover.  Astrid is thrust into a series of foster homes and, with each new home, her world is shattered in new and unexpected ways.  The story is beautiful, yet horrifying and heart-wrenching. It's difficult to read about the things that Astrid experiences, but at the heart of the story is Astrid growing stronger and becoming an independent woman who refuses to live her life in her mother's shadow.  Where some might see this book as depressing, I really enjoyed watching Astrid grow as a character.

I fell in love with this book from the opening pages and was so upset when I finished that I flipped back to the first page and started reading Astrid's story all over again.  It is truly a heartbreakingly beautiful story that will tear your heart out, but one that I highly recommend.
Read More

11/28/13

Life of a Blogger - Pets


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

This week's topic is pets.  Since I talk a lot about Marko on here, I thought I'd join in this week to talk about my other baby -- my fur baby, Romeo!  After we had to put our previous cat down in April 2011, we waited for our hearts to heal (and until we'd been away on our honeymoon) and then went to the SPCA "just to look" (my words).  Well, as soon as we saw Romeo (whose name was Love because of the little black heart on the back of his right paw), we just knew that he would have to come home with us.  As you can see in the picture, he's a tuxedo cat and he has a Marilyn Munroe mole!  He has filled our hearts with so much joy and he's really good with Marko too.  He's still not too sure what to make of the baby, but he hasn't hissed or swatted at him, so that's a good sign.  I can't wait for them to grow up together and be the best of friends.


Read More

11/27/13

WWW - November 27 [Anniversary Edition!]

Before I get on with the WWW post, a brief announcement: today is a special day.  On November 27, 2010, three years ago, I married my very best friend.  Last year, on our other anniversary (December 22nd -- our first date), I shared a post about how we met in a bookstore and a bit about our bookish wedding.

Earlier this month, we made a trip back to Victoria and visited the bookstore where it all began.  Of course, our lives are much different now that we have our baby boy, but we thought we'd take a picture of our new little family, with the book that started it all.  I thought I'd share it with you all!


And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

Happy Wednesday Everyone!  W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
Veronica Rossi's Into the Still Blue and Amy McNamara's Lovely, Dark and Deep.  I finally made a dent in my library TBR, so was able to pick a book off my shelves ... and read one of the books on my fall TBR list!

What did you recently finish reading?
I read Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits last week.  I was hoping to blitz through all the books in a week, but Dare You To was due back at the library, so that thwarted my plans.  I'm still hoping to make it through the last two books before my e-galley of Crash Into You expires.

What do you think you'll read next?
Probably my next book club read, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford.

What are YOU reading this week?  Please leave me a comment below!
Read More

11/26/13

Morning Glory - Sarah Jio

I read Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio earlier this year and loved it, although some scenes were hard to read as I was eight months pregnant at the time. Now that I have my beautiful baby boy in my life, there were moments of this book that were even harder on my heart; however, I think that the emotional response I had is also testament to Sarah's incredible storytelling ability.

There were a lot of similarities between Morning Glory and Blackberry Winter, especially with regard to the story structure.  Morning Glory switches narration between Ada's story, set in the present day, and Penny's story, set in the past.  Ada has just moved into a houseboat in Seattle, after choosing to take a break from her life in New York City, and to escape from a painful situation and let her heart heal and grieve.  Penny, who lived in the same houseboat decades earlier, is a newlywed, but unhappy in her marriage.  Ada has learned about Penny's unhappiness and subsequent mysterious disappearance and resolves to learn more about this mysterious woman.

I think I love Sarah's books for the same reason that I love Jodi Picoult's writing.  Although the storylines of both novels that I've read were similar in execution, I absolutely adored the writing and the storytelling.  If Sarah's other books are similar in storytelling, it'll be nice to always be able to return to one of her books whenever I'm in need of a predictably good story.  And by predictably good, I don't mean predictable -- but just one of those writers that you just KNOW is going to write a good book, with no disappointments.

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

11/20/13

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

In all honesty, I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'm a fan of Rainbow Rowell's writing.  I know, I know -- how scandalous of me to say such a thing, right?  I think my expecations are often too high when I pick up one of her novels, which saddens me.  I LOVED Attachments when I read it last spring, so when I picked up Eleanor + Park, I was expecting to be blown away, especially since so many of my blogging buddies adored it.  It was good, but just not as spectacular as I'd been hoping for.

When reviews of Fangirl started popping up, it seemed like the blogging community had mixed thoughts.  So I went into Fangirl not expecting much, and ended up enjoying it.  I didn't love it, but it was a pretty good read.  There's not too much that I can add to what's already been said around the blogosphere.  The fanfiction bits were a bit odd, so I found myself skimming or skipping them altogether.  I liked the characters though -- I think that's one of Rainbow's ultimate strengths as an author.  She writes fan-freaking-tastic characters that are so well developed and REAL.  I also like that not all of her characters have to be likeable -- they have flaws, but that's what makes them seem so lifelike.

If you're a fan of Rainbow's work, then you'll probably like this one.  If you're on the fence like me, I still think it's worth a read.  The most interesting thing about Rainbow so far is that none of her books are alike -- from adult to YA to new adult -- so I am interested to see what she comes up with next.
Read More

11/18/13

On Adult Fiction

As I posted earlier, I'm planning to write some more discussion-type posts in the future.  I had previously posted about having the blogging blahs, and I think the stress of trying to read and review in order to have content for the blog was really getting to me.  I keep reading all of these GREAT discussion posts (like Cass' Thursday Thoughts and all of the great discussion posts that Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner posts) and I HAVE all these bookish thoughts, just never the guts to post them.  So here goes.

Hannah @ So Obsessed With and Cass @ Books With Cass started a new feature a little while ago, where they read an adult book together and each post own their "Favorite Factor."  I really enjoyed reading their first post, which got me to thinking about my own reading habits.

At the beginning of the year, I posted my bookish resolutions for 2013.  One of my resolutions was to read more "big kid" books.  I will be doing a full resolution recap towards the end of the year to evaluate where I succeeded (and where I didn't), but I wanted to take a moment and just think about adult literature.

Prior to blogging, I used to read a blend of young adult and adult books.  If I heard that a book was good, I'd pick it up.  In fact, I'm honestly not certain that it really mattered what section of the library or bookstore the book came from, I read and loved them all.  Yet nowadays, I read primarily young adult books.  I think that this switch originated for several reasons:

1. Young adult books are shorter.  I'm sure that you've all felt that pressure when you look at your Goodreads challenge and it reminds you that, at your current reading pace, you're two books behind schedule?  And then you purposely pick a couple of short-ish books to pick up the pace a notch?  Yup, I've totally done that.  In an effort to reach my reading goal for the year, I've often steered away from reading some really hefty reads, just because I know it's going to take a month or so to plow through it, therefore reducing the number of books that I'll be able to read during the year.

2. Adult books are sometimes boring.  Please don't hate me for saying this!!!!  Not ALL books are boring, but sometimes I find that adult writers just feel like they're trying to hard to be all fancy and literary, and I get so lost in trying to decipher what the heck is going on that I end up losing interest in the book.  Case in point: J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy.  Granted, I only read the first chapter or so, but I just couldn't get into the book or the story or the characters.  And after having that experience in several adult books, I crave the linguistic simplicity of a young adult book.  But with that being said, there are some young adult writers that can be a little over the top with the writing too.  I'm not trying to generalize at all here.

3. The pressure that I put upon myself to generate enough content on this blog.  This ties in with my first point of reading a certain number of books.  If I take the time to savour a book over the period of a month, what am I going to post about?  Well, I'm hoping that this will change next year, since I'm trying to get way ahead with some review books and discussion posts, which will hopefully mean that I can just slow waaaaay down and read some books for pleasure.  Because there's really nothing worse that a reading slump that gets generated by trying to read too much in too short of a period of time.

I'm sorry that this discussion post is a little all over the place.  I came up with the idea a few weeks ago, and should have written it while it was a little fresher in my mind, rather than waiting for a break between school projects.  Alas, such is life -- if you have any thoughts on adult lit vs. young adult lit, please leave a comment below!  Also, any recommendations for great adult lit are very much welcomed!!!
Read More

11/15/13

Friday Favourite - The God of Small Things

Happy Friday everyone!  This is a new feature that I'm starting here on the blog, highlighting some of my all-time favourite books.  This is partially inspired by Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner's Before I Blogged series, where she highlights books that she read and loved before she started blogging.  I have SO MANY favourite books to share and plan on doing at least a couple of these per month ... it'll take off the pressure to post frequent reviews, since I'm sharing thoughts on books that I read a while ago, while also giving me the chance to plug some older titles that you might not have read.

Last month I highlighted Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees as one of my all-time favourites, which I'd read as part of a Women's Studies course in university.  Fortunately, I also read The God of Small Things as part of that same course and fell in love with this book too!  Arundhati Roy's story is heartbreakingly beautiful as she tells the story of a man and woman who fell in love, but were from different castes.  The story is told from the point of view of the woman's son and daughter (who are fraternal twins).

I'll be honest and say that this story may not be for everyone, as there are some devastating moments that result in a loss of innocence for the narrators, but if you're okay with handling some heartwrenching content, then the writing and the storyline make this book soooo worth it in the end!
Read More

11/14/13

The Bitter Kingdom - Rae Carson

I read The Girl of Fire & Thorns in May and then The Crown of Embers in September.  I must say that I'm quite proud of myself for reading this entire series in one year!

Judith @ Paper Riot posted this great post last week about her enthusiasm diminishing for certain series over time, and I have to agree with what she wrote.  I think this is why I have such a problem with finishing series; I read book one and I'm all "This is AMAZING!  I can't wait for the next book!" and then by the time the next book comes out, I'm just "Meh.  I want to read something else."  BUT with this series, I gobbled up book one, waited for book two to come in at the library, and by the time that one was finished I didn't have long to wait until book three came in.  I think it also really helped that my memory was so fresh on the storyline too.  I have a tendency to be really forgetful with books and I think I don't finish series specifically because I just can't remember what happened in the first book, nor do I have that sense of urgency that comes just after I've finished reading the book.

BUT I digress.  I have to say that I still liked The Crown of Embers a little bit more, but this was a fitting end to the series.  There was one part that I still don't think I really understand.  Just in case I'm being spoilery, if you've read this (highlight the next part) -- what was up with the oasis?  I think I need someone to e-mail me and help me make sense of that part.  I'm a little confused.

I recommend this series wholeheartedly.  It's a great story, fantastic world building, characters that are really well developed and an interesting premise.
Read More

11/13/13

WWW - November 13


Happy Wednesday Everyone!  W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I'm almost finished Fangirl.  It's pretty good, not amazing, but pretty good.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished Courtney C. Stevens' Faking Normal from Harper Teen via Edelweiss.  I was SO FREAKIN' excited when I got whitelisted for their titles that I went a little crazy downloading them and just dove in without really looking at the release dates.  This one doesn't come out until the end of February 2014.  Oops.

What do you think you'll read next?
I said Anna Godbersen's Beautiful Days for my series challenge on my last two WWW posts, and then I said I'd read Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits but then Fangirl came in at the library and, well, that happened.

What are YOU reading this week?  Please leave me a comment below!
Read More

11/12/13

The First Phone Call From Heaven - Mitch Albom


My first Mitch Albom book was The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and my review on Goodreads says simply this: Read this one on the ferry back to Victoria. Crying in public is a little embarrassing.

I liked, but didn't love, Tuesdays with Morrie, so I approached this title with eager anticipation, hoping for a book that would touch my heart the way the first book had.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is typical of his other reads, and by that I mean that the goal of the book is to make you think a little about life and things that are larger than life.  In the small town of Coldwater, several residents begin receiving calls from loved ones in heaven.  Sully Harding, who has recently returned to the town after being released from prison, is determined to prove that the calls are a hoax (he has his own personal reasons for wanting to do so).  What results in a story that both tries to prove and deny the existence of heaven as the narration flips from character to character.

What I liked about the story:  It made me think.  There were some beautifully written passages that made me say, "Wow!"  There were a few characters' stories that really tugged at my heartstrings.

What I didn't like about the story:  There are a LOT of characters and the story flips around between them a bit too much.  While sometimes it was fluid, other times the switch was a bit jarring.  There were a couple of moments where the story became a bit preachy, but luckily it wasn't too much of the story.  I'm torn on whether I really liked the ending, or if I felt like I needed more.  It's a short read (just over 200 pages) and I felt like I needed just a couple more chapters.

It's perfect that this book is coming out before Christmas, since I think it's a good stocking stuffer for someone who's a fan of Mitch's books.  I'm already planning to pick up a copy for my sister-in-law -- if you loved Five People You Meet in Heaven, you'll probably enjoy this one too.

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

11/11/13

On Remembering

Usually I have discussion posts up on Mondays, not every Monday, but just those Mondays that I feel like I have something to share with you all.  Today is Remembrance Day, a day to remember those who have fought and given their lives for the freedom that we enjoy today.  In Canada, we don't have quite the same constant reminder of war that many other countries have, as we're mainly involved in international conflicts as peacekeepers, although there still are Canadian soldiers that are losing their lives today in the pursuit of peace around the world.  So today is a day to thank them for their dedication to peace, and to remember some of the worldwide tragedies that resulted in so much death and suffering.

On this day of remembrance ... I just can't help but talk about a book.  Because, you know, it's what I do.  This is a favourite from many, many years ago: Iain Lawrence's Lord of the Nutcracker Men.  I remember being absolutely blown awake by this book ... the story is childlike in its simplicity (it's middle grade after all) yet really packs a Book Thief-like punch in the historical significance and beauty of the storytelling.  Oh, and it's totally a Canadian author ... oh yeah!  Here's the Goodreads summary, for those who may be interested:

Ten-year-old Johnny eagerly plays at war with the army of nutcracker soldiers his toymaker father whittles for him. He demolishes imaginary foes. But in 1914 Germany looms as the real enemy of Europe, and all too soon Johnny’s father is swept up in the war to end all wars. He proudly enlists with his British countrymen to fight at the front in France. The war, though, is nothing like what any soldier or person at home expected.

The letters that arrive from Johnny’s dad reveal the ugly realities of combat — and the soldiers he carves and encloses begin to bear its scars. Still, Johnny adds these soldiers to his armies of Huns, Tommies, and Frenchmen, engaging them in furious fights. But when these games seem to foretell his dad’s real battles, Johnny thinks he possesses godlike powers over his wooden men. He fears he controls his father’s fate, the lives of all the soldiers in no-man’s land, and the outcome of the war itself.

Read More

Flexible Template by ScreenWritersArena

Custom Design by Lea Christine Designs