Thursday, December 8, 2011

Booking Though Thursday: Mystery or Love Story

It's been a long time....
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Booking Through Thursday December 8, 2011: All things being equal, which would you prefer–a mystery? Or a love story?

My answer: I'm not sure what all things being equal refers to, but this is an easy one: LOVE STORY. You could have paired almost any other genre against mystery and I would pick the other genre (except Western...then maybe I would pick mystery). For some reason I really don't like mystery novels...I find the suspense frustrating...I just want to get on with it!!! I do like love stories in their own right too!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Intentions for 2012

December 6 Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
Last year my answer was a scarf, and my answer is scarf again this year!! I've made a few scarves this year with some delicious wool I found in Halifax, and then some fairly decent wool at Michael's. I am really enjoying living in Red Deer,but among the many many things I miss about Toronto are the wonderful yarn stores!!

December 7Community Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
In 2010 I discovered the blogging community. In 2011 I have discovered the "mommy" community in Red Deer. For a smaller city there are SOOOOO many opportunities to meet other new moms-many of which are free! I've met people through the Babytimes program at the library, from one of the prenatal programs I was in, and from swimming lessons. In 2012 I would like to connect more deeply with this mommy community, but I also wouldn't mind meeting other people (in Red Deer period) that have similar interests that may or may not have babies (or kids).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Intentions for 2012

Last year I participated in a blog thing called REVERB 2010...unfortunately I can't find anything on it anymore and nothing similar for this year. So I thought I would review what I wrote last year and respond to the ones that I think are interesting or important. We'll see how it goes. I'm heading back to Winnipeg next week and probably won't be doing much (if any blogging) but I'd like to at least try it out a bit.

 Reverb 2010 started out last year (December 1)
December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? with one word for the year-I had selected the word "EXCITING" and boy has it ever been exciting. When I wrote this post last year I was just starting to tell people that I was pregnant but hadn't posted it on the blog, I was also expecting Dave to find a job-little did I know it would bring us to Red Deer separately!! So January 2011 started out with my husband moving across the country, and me going on maternity leave early and moving out here in April, living in a house rather than a tiny apartment...oh ya and having a baby!

So now that it is the end of 2011 I would say that while my year was exciting, I would now say that "CHANGE" best encapsulates my experiences this year.

 My word for 2012 is "BALANCE". As the year progresses I know I will need to find balance in my life for my family and for myself. I know that in becoming a parent things change. I don't want to use the words :Give up" or "lose out" because that is not at all how I feel. But there are things that I (and we) don't do now that we have a son (WE HAVE A SON!!!) i.e. going to the pub frequently, staying out super late etc, doing groceries at 9pm, reading all the time etc, but I haven't once felt like I'm losing out-but I do know that I (and we) need to make sure we take some time for just mom and just dad, and just mom and dad, so that we can be better parents-so 2012 will be about finding that balance.


December 3Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
Last year my moment involved fireworks at Lake of the Woods -something that I very much missed this year, since we didn't make it out there during our trip home with a new baby!
This year my answer is EASY!! The moment I felt the most alive was the day Félix was born and the midwife handed him straight to me as he was born. All I really want to say about that day is that it was everything I thought it would be and more. It's unreal to think that I gave birth to something so perfect. 


December 5Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
Last year I wrote that I had let go of the need to finish every book I started in 2010 and that for 2011 I wanted to let go of what I can't control- I think I managed to get at least a bit better at this. I did let go of reading period in the last half of this year because I was kind of busy tending to my baby!! I've started to  get back into a bit (it helps that he goes to bed at 8pm now so I do have some time again). In 2012 I think I will continue to try to let go of the things and people I can't control (this will likely be a lifelong goal).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review: The Golden Acorn


I found Catherine Cooper's The Golden Acorn on amazon.com as a free Kindle book. Clever considering there are two more in the series and they each cost over $7! Oh well, the first one WAS free and I don't HAVE to buy the other two, except I do. I want to describe it as a young adult novel along the lines of Harry Potter but I guess that's not true (although it is VERY much a YA novel).  It's easy to call any book that has magic in it "like Harry Potter"...so no it's not like Harry Potter but it does have magic in it, and there is a prophecy about the main character Jack that he is "The one", even though he himself among others, does not believe this to be the case. A very quick and easy read, The Golden Acorn was entertaining nonetheless. I must admit I'm a sucker for magic, other worlds, talking animals, prophecies, and rooting for the underdog (when you know he's going to win).
Now to PAY for the nest one... Glasruhen Gate!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: The Reading Group

I just finished Elizabeth Noble's The Reading Group (I was determined to finish it tonight so that it would count as my 4th book in November). I picked this up at Chapters a few weeks ago because it was in the bargain section and well, look at the title!! The Reading Group is about a small group of women who all at least sort of know each other, who meet up once a month  to -you guessed it!- have a book club. I miss my Toronto book club terribly. I really miss reading a book and discussing it with people, but mostly I miss the women!! After meeting on a monthly basis for a few years I was getting to be really close with some of the members and I miss their friendship so much! Ok back to the book...it was told from the different voices of the women in the group as well as some of the significant people in their lives. These women dealt with everything you can think of over the course of a year...love, loss, betrayal, pregnancy, weddings, sickness, death...you name it and it happened to at least one of these women. A light easy but engrossing read-I do recommend it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What we're reading

I have been reading for myself a little bit lately, but most of my reading these days is to Félix, and although I know I can read anything to him at this point, it's more fun reading kids books. We read a few books a few times a day, and Dave usually spends some time each day reading to him too. Félix will sit and listen and try to touch the pages, and grab them if he can. Surprisingly at 5 months he does have a few books that he prefers, and others that he doesn't really care about. Ok without further ado then, this is what we've been reading lately:

Good Morning World and Good Night World

This is Félix's absolutely favourite book. We read it every morning and as soon as he sees it he gets super excited and makes all kinds of sounds and wants to touch it the whole time. As I mentioned we bought this in Vancouver and it's also one of my favourite's. The artwork is gorgeous, with lots of bright colours and simple fun (and educational) text (ie:Good morning whales playing and singing in a pod). Good Night World is also enjoyable, but for the same reasons but there's something about the morning version that Félix seems to like best.

Goodnight Moon
 
 Does anybody not love this book? This is one of  Félix favourite night time reads. I mean, seriously, how can you not love "...and the quiet old lady whispering hush"? She kind of creeps me out to be honest,but I that's what I love about her!! I also love the page  that says "Goodnight nobody". That's just great. We picked up a book while on vacation in Nova Scotia that is loosely based on Goodnight Moon (and it's pretty good too).


A Porcupine in a Pine Tree

I saw this book a few times and finally decided to buy it this weekend. It's awesome!! It's a Canadian take on a Partridge in a Pear Tree. I love the drawings and Félix loves the singing aspect, especially "Five Stanley Cups!". You can also buy a really cute porcupine toy, but we didn't because we have  lots and lots of stuffed toys...but it is super cute!


Simon et les Flocons de Neige

We picked up this beauty from the library.  I love love love the illustrations and it's a nice easy read for me-I can speak french, but it isn't always pretty. I don't think Félix really cares much about this one though.


Last but not least, my parents brought a few more french books for us (they are super hard to find even at the Chapter's here in Red Deer-where there is no French section!!)...

Le plus beau des bonhommes



This one is extra fun because the snowman (bonhomme) is shimmery. The first time we read this book Félix  could have cared less about the shimmery bits, but now he likes to touch them. I find that most ""touch and feel" books don't have big enough spots for him to touch so he usually misses out, and he usually doesn't appreciate it if I try to help him out!

Do you have children's books you'd recommend that are either Christmas or winter themed?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Canada Reads 2012


I love Canada Reads, and for the past 2 years I have tried to read all the books. I did so in 2010, but  I only read a few last year but ended up bailing out early. This year I am not going to attempt it. "Why not?" you may ask, and I will answer, because I don't have time!!! I still read a little bit every day, but I don't really have the time to read like I used to (no 45 minute commute...oh and that baby takes up a lot of time too!!).

I will however continue to follow Canada Reads 2012 and maybe for the first time ever, I may actually listen to the debates instead of just reading about them online!!

This year's finalists and defenders are:

- Alan Thicke defends The Game by Ken Dryden
- Stacey McKenzie defends On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini
-Arlene Dickinson defends Prisoner of Tehran by Mariana Nemet ** I've actually been meaning to read this book for a while so I MAY read this one!
- Shad defends Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
-Anne-France Goldwater defends The Tiger by John Vaillant 
  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I finished a book!!

Yes friends you read the subject line correctly!! I finally finished a book! Take that October!! I read Elin Hilderbrand's Barefoot while on vacation last week! That';s the first book I've finished September and I managed to do that while on vacation to-woooohoooo!! Now I should review it...right...maybe later. I'm exhausted!

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins OCtober 21, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins time again! (I'm filling this out on Thursday evening, but am pretending it's Friday!)
My answers in RED!

And...here we go!

1. Old me would need a bottle of wine to get drunk, new me would need half a glass. (that's what having a baby did to me!)

2. My previous answers do NOT look like I'm taking responsibility.

3. So...in a way I may not be all that responsible.

4. But who cares, right?

5. The big difference is I am responsible (but I was before too, I just didn't have a baby to consider...man this became way more serious than I expected).

6. Having our family makes me happy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing Bronwen and David and Marcia and Jesse, tomorrow my plans include Marcia and Jesse's wedding!!!! and Sunday, I want to start exploring Nova Scotia!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Vacation

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Booking Through Thursday question for October 20,2011: I’m on vacation this week. I didn’t go anywhere exciting or exotic, I’m just not at work. Spending time puttering around the house, playing with the dog and … oh yeah. Reading. A lot.
Do your reading habits change when you’re on vacation? Do you read more? Do you indulge in lighter, fluffier books than you usually read? Do you save up special books so you’ll be able to spend real vacation time with them? Or do you just read the same old stuff, vacation or not?

My answer: Guess what-I'm going on vacation too!!! To Nova Scotia for Marcia and Jesse's wedding (HURRAY) and to see Dave's brother Richard (hurray)! Do my reading habits change while on vacation-yes-sometimes I get to read more, sometimes (like now) less. In the summer I do tend to read "fluffier" books, or books that are "easy reads". Sometimes I will save a book for vacation but I will usually start reading it a day or two before so that I'm already well into it before getting to the airport or my destination. I get distracted quite easily-especially if I'm just starting a book, or not really loving it.  With that being said here is what my vacation reading will look like: I am only bringing my kindle- I have been reading the book The Forever Queen for what feel slike forever-it's really quite good, but it's a long one (which I love) but it's a bit slow so I've "put it to the side" for now and I'm reading a novel called Barefoot-it was actually one of the Kindle Daily Deals that I bought for $1.99. It's a bit on the fluffier side and I'm really enjoying it. I'm not sure how much reading I'll get done-maybe none, or maybe 5hours worth on the plane on the way there if Félix doesn't sleep-but either way I'll still have a book to fall back on (that I'm already into) should I happen to finish Barefoot.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Knitting: COMPLETED: Spring mobius cowl!!

So remember back in February when I started knitting that awesome scarf? No you don't remember? Well check here if you are interested! Anyways.I finished-last week actually!! I have it worn wrapped twice, it can be worn in just the one loop, but it's too long for my liking.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins September 30, 2011

It's time again for Friday Fill-Ins! My answers are in RED
And...here we go!

1. I need to finish packing for our trip!

2. Can you believe how lucky we were.

3. A great deal more!

4. I'll have a cold beer in a big tall glass.

5. It was announced that Amazon is releasing a whole bunch of new Kindles.

6. For our wedding my aunt and uncle gave us steak knives.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to packing, tomorrow my plans include driving to Calgary and flying to Vancouver and Sunday, I want to explore Vancouver-even if it rains!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins September 23, 2011

It's been a while since I've done Friday Fill-Ins-but here we go! My answers are in RED and my mom's are in BLUE (we were chatting on the phone so I had her do them too!).

1. When I walk around my neighborhood I see construction.
Mom: When I walk around my neighborhood I see beautiful trees.

2. Chili is my favorite thing to cook.
Mom: Paella is my favorite thing to cook.

3. Life is wonderful.
Mom: Life is always changing.

4. My Félix makes me feel all warm and fuzzy
Mom: My home makes me feel all warm and fuzzy

5. I don't have one...is my favorite Autumn vegetable.
Mom: I don't have one either...is my favorite Autumn vegetable.

6. Cake is better when it is chocolate.
Mom: Life is better when it is shared.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with my husband, tomorrow my plans include going to the Farmer's market and Toys 'R Us, and Sunday, I want to sleep in!
Mom: And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a chicken dinner with friends, tomorrow my plans include enjoying the lake life, and Sunday, I want to do more of the same!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: In Public

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Question September 22, 2011:  Do you carry books with you when you’re out and about in the world?
And, do you ever try to hide the covers?

My answer: Absolutely!! When I'm reading a book I usually take it with me EVERYWHERE! Well, by usually I mean before Félix was born. If we're out and about at this point it's because we are running errands so that doesn't really leave time for reading. When we were living in Toronto and I was on the subway for 45 minutes each way I ALWAYS had a book with me. Did I ever hide a cover.....I don't think so but I know there were a few times where I felt a bit self-conscious about a title/cover, but I can't think of any specific examples.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Too long...and The Irish Country Series

I can't believe it's been 1 whole month since I've posted ANYTHING on here-not even a Booking Through Thursday or Friday Fill-Ins!!! How can this be? Well, I suppose having a 2 1/2 month old baby may have something to do with it, plus the visitors we've had, plus the 2 weeks we just spent back home in Winnipeg visiting family.

I have managed to read a few books since my last post-namely the first three Irish Country books by Patrick Taylor: An Irish Country Doctor, An Irish Country Village, and An Irish Country Christmas.

Please check out his website for book descriptions!! I know I should be reviewing them since this is a blog about reading (mainly), but as I think I've mentioned recently, I'm having a hard time finding the time and patience to give a thorough review, but I do want to keep blogging about reading-so I figure it's better to write a little something (even if it's just the titles and author's of the books) so that I don't completely stop, in the hopes that one day I will be able to write more! SO I hope you keep stopping by, but I'll understand if you don't!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: National Book Week



Booking Through Thursday August  11,  2011 Question: It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status
(We’ve done something similar to this before, but it’s always fun, so … why not?)

My answer: I am currently reading an Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor on my Kindle. This question taught me to use the search or "Go To" function! So on page 56 (of the Kindle addition) the 5th sentence is "He finished the last of Mrs. Kincaid's cold lobster salad and put the plate on a coffee table beside his armchair."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Review: Minding Frankie

Two books so far this month-woooohooooo!!! I just finished Maeve Binchy's latest novel Minding Frankie. I actually got this one for Christmas but because of the 2nd line in the description I thought I would be too emotional to read it while pregnant (and it's a good thing I waited).

From the author's website: "Baby Frankie is born into an unusual family. Her mother is desperate to find someone to take care of her child and she doesn't have much time. Noel doesn't seem to be the most promising of fathers but despite everything, he could well be Frankie's best hope. As for Lisa, she is prepared to give up everything for the man she loves; surely he's going to love her back? And Moira is having none of it. She knows what's right, and has the power to change the course of Frankie's life... but Moira is hiding secrets of her own. Minding Frankie is a story about unconventional families, relationships which aren’t quite what they seem, and the child at the heart of everyone's lives".  

I love Maeve Binchy's work but the last few novels haven't been as great as some of her earlier ones, but I thoroughly enjoyed Minding Frankie! It was a quick easy read-which is what I need right now!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: The Passage


Hurray!! I finally finished my first book since I had Félix (5 1/2 weeks ago can you believe it!!). I started Justin Cronin's The Passage at the end of June and finished it yesterday!!I don't think it's ever taken me that long to read a book!! I kept coming across The Passage at the bookstore, on blogs, and from amazon and chapter's recommendations so I decided to give it a go!  A mix of the movie Outbreak + vampires + army experiments + the future, The Passage was nothing like I imagined-and referring to the Cronin's virals/smokes/dracs as vampires does not do this book justice. I am looking forward to the next two novels in this trilogy-as well as the movie adaptation of The Passage!!

Sorry-not much of a description, or review for that matter,  but I'd rather at least write something rather than nothing, because I want to keep up with this blog-if only in a lackadaisical kind of way :)

Booking Through Thursday: Anticipation

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Question August 4, 2011: What’s the last book you were really EXCITED to read?
And, were you excited about it in advance? Or did the excitement bloom while you were reading it?
Are there any books you’re excited about right NOW?

My answer: The last book that I was super excited to read was Jean Auel's latest Earth's Children novel The Land of Painted Caves (my review here). Although the first of theses novels was released in 1980, I came across the series a few years ago. I was so excited last year when I read that Auel would be releasing a 6th and final book in the series. I did enjoy The Land of Painted Caves, however it wasn't all that I thought that it would be-see the review.

As for right now, I am pretty excited when I have ANY time to read-but find it hard to concentrate I will be using the "blame the baby brain" excuse thank you very much!!

Does anyone have any awesome book recommendations for me?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Repeats

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Question July 21, 2011: What’s the first book that you ever read more than once? (I’m assuming there’s at least one.) What book have you read the most times? And–how many?

My answer: The first book I can remember reading multiple times is The Hobbit. I think I've probably read it 4-5 times, so it's also the book I've read the most.  I have always loved The Hobbit, and although I also LOVE The Lord of the Rings movies, I could never really get into the books. Another book that I've read at least 3 times is Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. I think that one is due for another read sometime soon (by soon I mean maybe this year).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

11-0

So far this year I have read 42 books. Wow! In June, as I *patiently* awaited the arrival of my little lovey Félix, I read 11 books!! ELEVEN!!  So far this month I have read  ZERO books. I can't remember the last time I read so little!! I've been working on The Passage since sometime around June 23rd..I originally started it in hardcover, but realized I would NEVER finish it before the baby arrived so I bought it for my kindle. This was a good idea because I tend to find a few moments right before sleeping (whatever time of day or night that may be), so it's easy to handle AND it has a handy reading light too!
I am only 30% of the way into it, so I HIGHLY doubt I will finish it this month, which means I will have to enter a big fat ZERO in my list of books I've read for July for the first time ever!! Oh well!!

What are YOU reading now?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BABY!!!

In case you hadn't noticed, I've been MIA. You did notice??? THANK YOU!!!!! Well if you noticed then you are likely my family, or one of three people in Toronto who follow my blog (I love you guys!!), if you are someone else, then THANK YOU again!!  And if you noticed then you probably figured out that I have been MIA because OUR BABY FINALLY SHOWED UP (aka was born)!! Almost a week late!! His name is Félix and he is absolutely beautiful!! He is now 2  1/2 weeks old and is doing very well-gaining weight like you wouldn't believe!! Now our little family of two is now three and it is wonderful!
So I will do my best to try to add a post here and there as we get settled in, but I don't have much time or interest in reading, I'm kind of busy feeding, and sleeping-and sleep is largely thanks to the most amazing husband in the entire world (seriously!!) and my parents almost constant help right now!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Soundtrack

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Question June 23, 2011: What, if any, kind of music do you listen to when you’re reading? (Given a choice, of course!)

My answer: The only time I ever listened to music while reading was when I was taking the subway, and that was mostly so I could drown out other people. When I read I generally like to have it quiet. If I'm reading while someone else is watching tv or a movie, it usually doesn't bother me if I'm really into a book. If I'm having a hard time getting into a book,or concentrating, then I will usually go to another room, so no music for me!

Book Review: This Cake Is For The Party

Still no baby! Book #11 for June completed! I read This Cake Is For the Party, Stories by Sara Selecky. 

From The Globe and Mail: "...while the collection explores sites of emotional and physical volatility, Selecky sinks her teeth into something far more powerful than the violence of loss: She skillfully wrests devastation from its customary gloom of lamentation and regret, and bares its overwhelming beauty...Indeed, Selecky catches each of her characters in the midst of acute crises and keenly extracts the stories behind the stories we tell ourselves. Our capacity for vision depends upon our ability to look again – to see the cake that is not one.

I found myself flying through these stories and had to pace myself so that I could absorb them individually.  Regardless if you think you like short stories or not ( I used to think I didn't) I highly recommend This Cake Is For The Party!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: Plantation


June book #10 completed: Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank. Wow.... I don't know if I've ever read this many books in one month before (...checking my list....) nope, my previous best was 9 in both May 2011 and May 2011. The way things are looking I should be able to fit in another book or two, because I  don't think this baby is quite ready to come out ( I was due YESTERDAY!!!).

Back to Plantation, according to the reading guide: "Caroline Wimbley Levine always swore she’d never go home again. But now, at her brother’s behest, she has returned to South Carolina to see about Mother—only to find that the years have not changed the Queen of Tall Pines Plantation. Miss Lavinia is as maddeningly eccentric as ever—and absolutely will not suffer the questionable advice of her children. This does not surprise Caroline. Nor does the fact that Tall Pines is still brimming with scandals and secrets, betrayals and lies. But she soon discovers that something is different this time around. It lies somewhere in the distance between her and her mother-and in her understanding of what it means to come home…"

Although I am basically sitting around waiting for baby and have a fair bit of free time, I find it hard to stay focused on anything for more than 20 minutes at a time. With t hat being said, I was totally caught up in Plantation! Another easy read, and again another book dealing with the relationships between women. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish I had some o Frank's other books with me right now, especially more of the Lowcountry novels!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Burning The Book of Negroes

An article on the Toronto Star's website caught my attention this morning about a group of Dutch people  that are going to burn Lawrence Hill's novel The Book of Negroes because of the use of the word negro in the title. For those of you that don't know, this is THE BOOK OF MY LIFE!! I think it is absolutely amazing. Sorry, off track there, so as I was saying, I came across this article and then  came across Lawrence Hill's response to the situation. 

I can't believe that people would even consider burning books "in this day and age"!! I understand that people may not like the use of the word negro, but the title of this book is referencing an actual historical document of the same name.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind

I finished my 9th book of June last night: Ann B. Ross' Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. Meh. Not my favourite. It started out as the kind of book I've been reading but this one had a bit of "mystery" to it that I just found frustrating! Just get on with it already!! And some of the plot was simply ridiculous.

From the author's website: "This book begins the series that features the sharp-tongued, but soft-hearted in spite of herself, Julia Springer of Abbotsville, North Carolina. In it, Julia learns of her recently deceased husband's perfidious activities when his mistress, Hazel Marie Puckett, and his nine-year-old illegitimate son show up on her front porch without a nickel to their names. In spite of counselling by Pastor Ledbetter, criticism by her friends, gossip in the community, a kidnapping by a televangelist and the discovery of a new will that threatens to send her to the poorhouse, Miss Julia takes Hazel Marie and Little Lloyd into her home and learns to hold her head up high."

Needless to say I will not be reading another Miss Julia book. On now to book #10!

Friday Fill-Ins June 17, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins time June 17, 2011....my answers are in RED! And...here we go!

1. One of my favorite birthday presents was the earrings my husband gave me this year.

2. No thank you, it was as simple as that.

3. The moon was full and bright.

4. Nothing ever includes batteries.

5. I was tempted by cupcakes yesterday!

6. Swimming, reading, and watching fireworks are some of the things I like to do on vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having a baby, tomorrow my plans include having a baby, and Sunday, I want to HAVE A BABY!! If I don't have a baby this weekend (I'm not due until Monday)....then I guess I'll just relax, rest, and read :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity


I finished my 8th book this month!! Kathleen Gilles Seidel's a Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity.

From the author's website: "Her own daughter...one of the popular girls? On the first day of middle school, Lydia Meadows, a former lawyer turned full-time mother, is startled to discover that her daughter Erin is one of the popular girls, a tight foursome whose mothers are also great friends. Lydia has always thought of popular girls as ambitious little manipulators who enjoy being cruel. But Erin is kind and well-adjusted. Maybe this popularity thing won’t be so bad after all.

Then a new student ruthlessly targets Erin to boost her own popularity, and Lydia helplessly wonders what to do when her daughter’s phone stops ringing..."


Seidel's novel fits the bill for what I've been looking for these past few weeks :a quick, easy read that deals with relationships between women this. This one had it all: friends, sisters, mothers and daughters....it's been great! 


Onto book number nine!!

Booking Through Thursday: Interactive?

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Question June 16, 2011: With the advent (and growing popularity) of eBooks, I’m seeing more and more articles about how much “better” they can be, because they have the option to be interactive … videos, music, glossaries … all sorts of little extra goodies to help “enhance” your reading experience, rather like listening to the Director’s commentary on a DVD of your favorite movie.
How do you feel about that possibility? Does it excite you in a cutting-edge kind of way? Or does it chill you to the bone because that’s not what reading is ABOUT?

My answer: I don't really know how I feel about the interactive component of eBooks. I have a Kindle and like it for ease of portability, it's light and it's easy to have a few books on hand at once! I haven't read any with interactive features-but I will say I've used the dictionary a few times, and that was convenient. IT kind of makes me think about when CDs, especially movie soundtracks, started having special features you could play on your computer. I specifically remember my Romeo and Juliette soundtrack had stuff you could do on the computer, but I don't remember ever being interested in that. At the same time though, I think of how often I end up searching on the internet after reading a book-especially historical fiction-to find more specific information, or to find discriminate between fact and fiction.
So after all of that-how do I fell about possible enhancements to eBooks.....I guess I'll have to come across one that does and see if it adds to or takes away from the reading experience!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: The Ballroom on Magnolia Street

After reading Sharon Owens' The Tea House on Mulberry Street I was very excited to read the next novel in the sort-of series: The Ballroom on Magnolia Street. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed. Although similar in style, I just could not get interested in the characters or their stories! Oh well. I've read quite a few "gooders" as my friend Marcia might say, so  I guess a dud was due!

I have a stack of 8 library books to choose from and I'm hoping to get at least one more in before this baby makes an appearance (I'm due in 5 days) so I could very possibly not meet that goal, or finish all 8!! We'll see!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: Firefly Lane


Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane is about a lifetime friendship between two women, Tully and Kate. The first chapter reveals that somewhere along the way the women had a major falling out and one of them (we don't know who) is finally reaching out to the other. I totally thought I knew what the falling out was all about and I was 100% wrong. Not only that the book ended in a way that I never would have expected. I almost finished it last night but was super tired so I went to bed-and thank goodness I did, because on the very next page something happens that I know if I had read it before bed I would NEVER have been able to sleep. I won't say more about it, but that it completely caught me off guard.  The past few books I've read have all been about the relationships between women, as was this,however Firefly Lane definitely was not a light read! I did enjoy this book but need something lighter right now!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: A Country Affair


I am on a ROLL!!!! I read Rebecca Shaw's A Country Affair this afternoon. WOW! It's the first of her Barleybridge novels and I can't wait to read the next ones! Another quick easy read-this one set at a veterinary clinic in rural England. I found it to be similar in writing style to some of Maeve Binchy's works as well as the last book I just read and reviewed by Sharon Owens, in that it deals with the lives and relationships of a fairly large group of people in a small town.

From the author's website: "It is Kate's first day in her new job, and she is more apprehensive than she thought was possible. But there is no time for nerves, and her anxieties soon vanish as she finds herself flung headlong into the hectic world of the busy vet's practice and the clients who visit it.

But it's not just the animals who win Kate's affections: the staff are friendly and welcoming, particularly Scott, the Australian, whose wicked sense of humour and enthusiasm for life Kate finds hard to resist, despite his rather colourful reputation.

Before long, Kate begins to feel there are other changes she wants to make in her life - and her boyfriend, Adam, is not at all happy about it. As Kate struggles to cope with Adam's increasingly erratic behaviour, she realises she must make some very difficult decisions . . ."


I have a whole bunch of books from the library so I don't know which one to pick next...I'll give it an hour or so to decide :) I unfortunately did not get any of Shaw's other books....next time I guess!!

Book Review: The Tea House on Mulberry Street

I am just flying through books this week-it's great!! I picked up Sharon Owens' The Tea House on Mulberry Street at the library because on the inside cover a reviewer compared Owens to Maeve Binchy's Quentins, and I  LOVE Maeve Binchy-especially that book!! I was not disappointed. The Tea House on Mulberry Street has an interconnected cast of characters that are involved in or are guests at a tea house in Belfast. It was very Binchyesque and as I've said in my past few reviews, exactly what I'm in the mood for: nice, easy, uncomplicated reads, that I can lose myself. Even better when they are set in United Kingdom!!

As of today I have now been to BOTH libraries in Red Deer, and have a total of 19 books checked out (2 of which are baby related). I wanted to have plenty to choose from over the next days or weeks before this highly anticipated baby makes an appearance and I no longer have time to read-or will I?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: Ladies of the Lake

Hurray!! I finished another book!!! The last few days have just been the best!! I've been relaxing and not going crazy over baby related stuff. I've gone for a massage, seen the chiropractor, bought new nail polish (that I've been trying to find FOREVER--->see here), found a neck shaped magic bag to replace the one that I lit on fire in our apartment in Toronto, went out on a date night for Chinese food with my husband, went for ice cream and had the right kind of cotton candy ice cream (the dark blue and pink kind, NOT the pastel version), made delicious pizzas on the bbq while watching the canucks beat the bruins with our tv on the deck, started and finished two books, took at least one nap a day, met a friend for cupcakes, said friend gave me flowers just because, and just plain lazed about!

Ok, so now onto my book review. I found Haywood Smith's Ladies of the Lake at the library and just knew it was the right kind of book for me. A bit of chick lit is what is in order right now! Although I have been reading more and trying to blog more, I am still a bit lazy when it comes to the reviewing piece right now (SORRY!), so I will borrow from the author's website:

"Sisters Dahlia, Iris, Violet, and Rose--all with grown children of their own--have a complicated relationship, so when their grand - mother's will requires them to spend the whole summer--without friends or family--"camping in" at her run-down lodge on remote Lake Clare in order to inherit the valuable land, old rivalries and new understanding emerge, with plenty of laughs along the way...As tempers flare and old secrets are revealed, four grown women discover that the past is never truly buried."

What I found interesting about this book was that the main characters are all in their late 50s early 60s. I say this is interesting because in my experience, books "like this" are usually about younger women in their 20s and 30s, and sometimes 40s. I often felt like these characters should have been in their 30s or maybe 40s base don how they interacted with each other, but then I stopped myself. Why couldn't women of these ages be going through the same types of things? I should so stereotypical of what people-and especially women-should be like at any age!! At times I found some of the plot to be a bit ridiculous but in the end I liked how things turned out. This was a very light read and I truly enjoyed Smith's writing-I will be looking for more of her books next time I go to the library (which by the looks of things may be this weekend!!).

What are you reading?

Friday Fill-Ins June 10, 2011

Oh Friday Fill-In (June 10, 2011) -how you make my brain work!! My answers are in RED...And...here we go!

1. I remember when I first heard that I was accepted to the University of North Dakota-I could barely believe it and was so excited and terrified.

2. I love when the rain is showering down the side of our house.

3. Most humans have more to be grateful for than they realize.

4. I'm hungry but there's nothing to eat..sound familiar?

5. I was inspired by my parents that no matter how difficult times may be, you get through it together, not alone.

6. Life will take you who knows where!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making another delicious meal on the BBQ, tomorrow my plans include putting in the car seat (ok ok, watching my husband put it in) and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Review: The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder

Finally!! A book I could lose myself in!! I've had such a hard time concentrating on non-baby related things lately, and I was starting to miss the feel of  being completely absorbed in a book. Rebecca Wells' The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder was exactly the kind of book I was in the mood for!! Wells' is the author of the Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood-one of my favourite books AND movies! I somehow never got around to reading the Crowning Glory until now, and boy am I glad that I waited-because I loved it and I needed a good book this week!!

From the author's website: "The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily’s life set in Wells’ expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is cut short all too soon."

This book was chock full of love and loss, and there were many times I was very close to tears (I held them in because I thought if I started to cry I might not stop!!), but I loved every minute of this book. It was easy to become totally wrapped up in this book-I finished it in less than 24hours- the characters were very accessible, and Wells truly excels at writing about women and their relationships with each other. It made me realize that although I am very happy with our move to Red Deer, I am definitely missing all my Toronto friends!!

Now onto another book!! I have a bunch I picked up at the library so I hope I picked some that will be just as captivating as The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder!!

Booking Through Thursday: Own or Borrow?

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Question June 9, 2011: All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?

My answer: OWN!!!! If I had all the money in the world (and the space too!!) I would absolutely want to own every book I read. For a number of reasons, they include:
1. I love looking at my bookshelf. I have my books organized by colour because it looks pretty and makes me feel good inside. 
2. I could then lend my books to other people-I do already, but I could lend them even more books!!
3. I would be supporting the author (and their teams) by purchasing their work
4. Ummmm that would just be super awesome.

What about you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Book Review: The Tsarina's Daughter


It's been a while since I've posted a book review!! I just finished reading Carolly Erickson's The Tsarina's Daughter. It started out really good, then became so-so, so overall it was ok.  

From the publisher's website "It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. But she is not who she claims to be—the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.
            At the heart of the story is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia. When her younger brother is diagnosed with hemophilia and the key to his survival lies in the mysterious power of the illiterate monk Rasputin, it is merely an omen of much worse things to come. Soon war breaks out and revolution sweeps the family from power and into claustrophobic imprisonment in Siberia. Into Tania’s world comes a young soldier whose life she helps to save and who becomes her partner in daring plans to rescue the imperial family from certain death."

**Spoiler alert**
I do enjoy historical fiction, and was interested in this novel because I don't think I've read anything set in Russia, and nothing during the period of its final tsar's reign. While I expect an author to take liberties when writing a piece of historical fiction, I found it a bit odd that Erickson wrote this story as though Tatiana/Tania lived to tell her tale. I don't know why she didn't just write it from Tatiana's perspective but allow for her actual death to be the end of the story. I don't feel like there was anything added to the story by having her live while the rest of her family is murdered...if anything I felt like it took away from the story once I found out she lived. The other thing I didn't really like about this book, was that I found aspects of Tatiana's behaviour hard to believe. On a number of occasions when her family is under persecution, it is Tatiana that people come to when trying to formulate a plan for their escape and survival, and it is up to her to convince her father the Tsar that they must go through with these plans. Seriously? I just couldn't buy it! Finally, I don't know why this book was titled The Tsarina's Daughter....while the Tsarina was a predominant figure in the novel, she was not more so than the Tsar, Tatiana, or any other number of characters. Wow, I feel like I am talking myself out of liking this book at all!! I would give Erickson another chance with some of her other historical fiction novels as she definitely wrote in such a way that I felt like I was witnessing Russia during this time period.

Now to try to get some more non baby related reading in before our little one makes his or her appearance!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins June 3, 2011

It's Friday Fill-In time again, my answers are in RED  and for a special treat, my parents are visiting this week, so for double the fun my mom will answer too!! Hers are in BLUE!
And...here we go!

1. Hey! We're going to have a baby in less than 1 month!!
Hey! YOU! Get off of my cloud.

2. In every joke there is a kernel of truth.
 A single kernel of truth.

3. Eat your vegetables, then have some cake :)
Eat, drink, and be merry.

4. Monkey in the middle.
I'm stuck in the middle.

5. First thing to note: I need to go to the bathroom!!
First thing to note: must have coffee!

6. When I was in Toronto and my husband in Red Deer, knitting was the best distraction.
I'd like a nice distraction.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to our first BBQ EVER, tomorrow my plans include getting raspberry pie and meat pies from the Farmer's Market, a walk in the park if my body can handle it, and maybe some fireworks, and Sunday, I want to sleep!!
And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to steak on Sara and Dave's new BBQ with some nice wine and good company, tomorrow my plans include possibly fireworks in the evening, and Sunday, I want to enjoy our last day with Sara, Dave, and baby Girardin!
 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Reviews

btt buttonQuestion June 2, 2011: Do you read book reviews? Whose do you trust? Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

My answer: This question seemed very familiar so I took a look at my previous BTT posts, and lo and behold I found it: June 24, 2010: Book Reviews! My answer continues to be: no not really. Sometimes I'll notice that a book is getting a lot of "press" whether that be reviews on other blogs, in magazines, or posters on the subway (that was back in my Toronto days-ok ok a month ago!), and that may grab my attention. I don't trust one more than the other, and I rarely buy books these days-I've been getting most of them from the library!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: Botticelli's Secret



I finally read a non-baby related novel this week! Hurray! Marina Fiorato's The Botticelli Secret caught my attention because I had thoroughly enjoyed her Glassblower of Murano novel a few years ago.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Botticelli Secret! Luciana Vetra, a prostitute in 1482's Florence, is asked to sit for what will become Botticelli's famous painting Primavera. At the end of her sitting Luciana finds a small replica of the painting with only her face missing. She is feeling frustrated that she has wasted a day unable to "turn tricks", and with Botticelli acting strangely after something Luciana has said in conversation-she steals the painting, replacing it with a leaflet she received earlier in the day from a monk, Brother Guido. Almost immediately her roommate, then her lover are brutally murdered.
She seeks the safety of  Brother Guido only to find that another monk from the printing press at the monastery has been murdered as well. Brother Guido and Luciana flee the city for the protection of Brother Guido's uncle, a nobleman in Pisa. Brother Guido and Luciana realize that this miniature painting holds many secrets about an alliance of prominent figures and so the mystery unfolds.
Botticelli's Primavera

There has apparently been many interpretations of Botticelli's Primavera, but the one revealed in The Botticelli Secret is quite interesting. I felt like I was reading an Italian version of the Da Vinci Code with a very crude lead female character who is falling in love with a devoted man of the cloth. At times the novel felt a bit drawn out, but overall I truly enjoyed this book!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 27, 2011

It's time for Friday Fill-Ins again-yay!! Remember my answers are in RED!
And...here we go!

1. This week I enjoyed a visit from my in-laws, spent time with a new friend, read a bunch of baby books, went to the dentist for a filling, and hung out with my husband in the evenings!

2. I don't like making returns.

3. It's all about getting ready for the baby right now!!

4. After all this rain I can't wait to sit in the sun.

5. I demand sunshine!

6. So far I love my life's path, it's filled with love and fun.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with friends, tomorrow my plans include a trip to Edmonton or Calgary to pick-up a lawnmower and then a dresser for the baby  and Sunday, I want to relax with husband!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Rut

btt buttonQuestion May 26, 2011: Do you ever feel like you’re in a reading rut? That you don’t read enough variety? That you need to branch out, spread your literary wings and explore other genres, flavors, styles?

My answer:  I have definitely had that feeling before!! Sometimes I like to immerse myself in a particular author or genre-but I usually have enough after about 2-3 books-especially if there are a bunch of other books I want to read. My last book review post was about Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea cycle and I did feel like I was a bit stuck in a  self created rut because I wanted to read all 4 books in a row, but there were so many baby related books I wanted to read I had a hard time concentrating on anything else!  Generally speaking though, I think I do read a bit of a variety from sci-fi and fantasy, to literature (often what's popular), historical fiction, nd now some YA too.

What about you my dear readers??

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: The Earthsea Cycle books 1-3


I've been reading the first three novels in Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle over the past month or so (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore). My cousin-in-law lent them to to me recently after discussing sci-fi and fantasy works that we;'ve enjoyed. I love getting book recommendations, and I rarely get sci-fi or fantasy recommendations so I was super excited for these novels. Unfortunately my mind has been highly occupied with baby related reading material and was not really giving Le Guin's work my full attention. There is a fourth book in the cycle (Tehanu)b and I'm not sure if I'll get around to reading it or not. Earthsea is a magical (obviously fictional) realm made up of a sea with many islands-all things that make for a good basis for sci-fi/fantasy in my opinion! The novels are geared to more of a young adult audience in my opinion, and as a whole are fairly interesting, but as I said, my mind has been preoccupied, so I don't think I appreciated Le Guin's work as much as I would of had I read these books at another time. If you like this genre and like a fairly quick read, then I would recommend Le Guin's Earthesea cycle!

Friday Fill-Ins May 20, 2011

Oh Friday Fill-Ins!! My answers are in RED!! And...here we go!

1. I see rainbows every time it rains in Red Deer (for real!!)

2. Don't scratch.

3. They begin at the beginning.

4. I wish I started keeping track of the books I read so many years earlier.

5. This I know: I can't wait for baby Girardin to arrive!!

6. I love having breakfast for dinner.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the beginning of the long weekend, tomorrow my plans include going tot he farmer's market and a visit from my in-laws, and Sunday, I want to sleep in and enjoy some company!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Age Appropriate AND Age Inappropriate

I didn't get around to doing Booking Through Thursday last week, and it just so happens that this week is a bit of an extension from last week-so I will do both!

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May 12, 2011:
Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?
May 19, 2011:
          In contrast to last week’s question–What do you think of censoring books BECAUSE of
          their intended age? Say, books too “old” for your kids to read?

My answers: I do read books meant for other age groups. I've read a few young adult novels recently and really enjoyed them (Hugner Games Trilogy!!). When I was in late elementary and early junior high I read a lot of Stephen King books-I'm not sure that those were above my age level necessarily but I know my mom thought they were and wouldn't let me read Gerald's Game because she felt like it was inappropriate.I actually think she threw it out after reading it because she found it so offensive.  I could easily have found a copy at the library but because my parents had never told me what I could or couldn't read I guess I just accepted that if it was that bad I probably didn't want to read it anyway. When I look at the  description of the novel I'm glad that I didn't read it!! So how do I feel about books being "censored" based on age...well censored is a pretty strong word, but I do think that some material -specifically of a highly violent or sexual-or violent AND sexual nature-is inappropriate for younger readers-but I also think it depends on the individual, and I think parents not only have a right, but an obligation to protect their children.  I don't necessarily think a parent should just say "no absolutely not" to a novel without a very good reason-and if anything I think they should then read the book in question to determine why they don't want their child reading it and have a discussion about it. I may feel differently once it comes to my own children though!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What I've been reading lately

Hello bog-I miss you. Yes I have been posting Booking Through Thursday and Friday Fill-Ins fairly regularly, but I have not been posting many book reviews-and those that I have posted haven't had as many details as they used to.

I thought that when I went on maternity leave 8 weeks early that I would have tons of free time to read and blog, and knit, and relax. Well...I do..but I don't seem to be reading fiction very much right now-I've been reading pregnancy, baby, and breastfeeding books OH MY! 

When I found out I was pregnant I didn't want that to be all I blogged about, and I don't want this to become a baby blog. I LOVE baby blogs-or family blogs, especially if I know the person writing, but I started this blog to talk about my reading (oh ya and beading) endeavours. I realize that blogging about baby related books is still book related, but I don't really feel like sharing all my thoughts and opinions about that kind of material on this blog.

Ideas and beliefs about parenting are so individual and for some reason always under criticism from others. Maybe criticism isn't necessarily the right word to use, but everyone has an opinion about every single little thing to do with babies and parenting, and there is so much information and misinformation available these days! Many of the ideas I've come across have seemed intriguing, logical, illogical, crazy, obvious, "out there", nonsense, simple, fantastic...you name it!! Some of the ideas that I would have thought were too "out there" for me actually make a lot sense, while there are some things that I thought I was absolutely certain of that no longer seem logical to me!  A few of the books that I've either fully read, skimmed through, or look at daily are (in no particular order): Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Birthing From Within, The Pregnancy Bible, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books.

With that being said, I am still reading my usual type of books (I don't use the term for pleasure because I get immense pleasure from my baby related reading materials!), but the reviews may be slower in being posted!

Thanks to each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog-I really appreciate it (and your comments too)!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 13, 2011

 Yay it's the weekend!! My answers in RED!
So...here we go!

1. I know how lucky I am!

2. I would like to have an easy birth if at all possible.

3. This weather has been great for going for walks.

4. I am grateful that in my pregnancy I haven't had a problem.

5. I'm really happy I have the ability to have the career that I love and was meant to do.

6.  If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all...or something to that effect.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out with my husband, tomorrow my plans include going for a walk, and Sunday, I want to do more of the same!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 6, 2011

It's time again for Friday Fill-Ins! My answers are in RED!

And...here we go!

1. The Notebook is my favorite TV show (or movie) because everything about it is beautiful, even the sad parts.

2. Go to page 45 of the book you're reading or of the book closest to you; go to the 6th paragraph and make a sentence out of 7 words from it: "Giving birth is a very powerful experience." (From the book Birthing From Within)

3. I am SOOO happy our furniture arrived this week!

4. I miss going for long walks.

5. Take some time to rest and relax before things get CRAZY :)

6. My skin needs a bit of sunshine.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to unpacking, tomorrow my plans include more unpacking and going out for dinner, and Sunday, I want to do some knitting!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Not in Theaters

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Question May 5, 2011: And–the reverse of last week’s question. Name one book that you hope never, ever, ever gets made into a movie (no matter how good that movie might be).

My answer: Easy: I hope Freedom by Jonathan Franzen never makes it to the big screen!! Oh man that book was so boring I couldn't finish it. One movie that shouldn't have been made into a movie but was is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I read it in 2009 but apparently didn't review it. I found it to be incredibly pretentious and even though Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are in it, I can't make myself watch it!!

What do you think?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: Chicks with Sticks: It's a Purl Thing

Elizabeth Lenhard's Chicks with Sticks: It's a Purl Thing is YA (young adult) meets chicklit meets knitting. I think that pretty much sums up this book. A quick, easy, angsty read. Enough said.

Friday Fill-Ins April 29, 2011

I haven't done Friday Fill-Ins for a while-my answers are in RED!
And...here we go!

1. I love to feel our baby moving around-most of the time!!

2. Nothing beats a big hug and a smile.

3. It's how you get through the hard times that really matters.

4. Is it a boy or a girl-don't tell me!

5. Well, would you like someone punching you in the ribs all day? (I kind of do)

6. Ummmmm...what are spring peepers.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to moving some of our things into our house, tomorrow my plans include picking up the baby's stroller in Edmonton, and Sunday, I want to relax with my husband!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

I just finished reading Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches on my Kindle. I chose this book because it kept coming up on other blogs, bookstore websites (amazon, chapters) AND there was a poster for it on the subway (back when I lived in Toronto...ok so that was like 2 weeks ago). I was really excited for this book based on the title and what I gleaned from a quick glance at the "blurb" -I knew it was a modern day tale that involved witches and vampires.

From the author's website: "When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume."


It took me longer than expected to read this book, I didn't realize it was so long because I didn't have  a hard copy- and I find that on my kindle the whole percentage of book read and location xx of 11559 doesn't mean much to me but apparently the hard cover book is actually 579 pages! I did enjoy this book but at the same time it felt like I was reading Twilight with adult characters.  There was a bit more of a  romance feel to it than I expected and it became a bot cheesy for me. I think Harkness did a good job with character development with a number of the characters-not just Diana and Matthew (the main characters). I liked the idea of different "creatures" witches, vampires, and daemons, and how they are at odds with each other and humans, and yet how some are trying to work together. The Globe and Mail's review does a pretty good job of summing my opinions too! I didn't realize this was intended to be the first book in a series (All Souls Trilogy), but based on how this novel ended with a lot of unanswered questions-I am happy there is more to come.

As I said I did enjoy A Discovery of Witches, but not sure that I would recommend it for others to read.

What are you reading now?

Booking Through Thursday: Coming to a Theater Near You

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Question April 28, 2011: If you could see one book turned into the perfect movie–one that would capture everything you love, the characters, the look, the feel, the story–what book would you choose?

My answer: I would love to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society turned into a movie!! I loved this book BOTH times I read it!! See my review here. I loved the characters, the time period (just after World War II), the setting (The Channel Island of Guernsey!), and everything about this book. I would love to see it on the big screen!!  I would also like to see The Hunger Games as a movie. (My review of the book here). This book totally caught me by surprise and I want other people to discover this book for themselves, so I don't want to write anymore about it-but I do think the movie would be quite exciting!

What book would YOU like to see turned into a movie?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Cover

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Question April 21, 2011: CAN you judge a book by its cover?

My answer: Well of course you CAN! Do you, or should you are completely different!!!  I do judge books by their covers, especially if I am browsing at the book store (rather than online). If a cover catches my eye I will pick it up and look at the title and read the back blurb-yes I read the blurbs!! At the same time, if I don't like how a book looks, I may not pick it up.  I think I am more intrigued or dissuaded from books based on their titles than any images. Should I? I may miss many good books this way, but I can't possibly read every single book, or even consider every (or even most) books that I see!

What about you?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review: The Land of Painted Caves

After 30 years, Jean Auel has finally written the final book in her Earth's Children Series: The Land of Painted Caves. I came across this historical fiction series a few years ago on a receommendation from former a patient and I fell in love! According to Goodreads Earth's children is "...a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals".

I loved every single one of these books, although I will be the first to admit they are not exactly well written. At over 750 pages, The Land of Painted Caves had a lot of repetition-not just to bring you up to speed from the previous novels but within it as well. That gets a bit tedious. Now I really like to read LOOOONG novels, but this was a bit much-too much thrown together-almost like watching a whole season of a TV show you used to love. I'm glad I read it, and would recommend the entire series, but don't expect the most amazing literary experience. I realize that may sound harsh, but it's my blog and I get to say what I want! I should reiterate though- I did enjoy this book-maybe because I had been waiting a few years for this one to come out (not 30 years, but maybe 2-3)-but I did enjoy it! 

(p.s. I read it on my Kindle and thank goodness because 750 pages in hardcover is TOO heavy!!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society


I had to interrupt my reading of Jean Auel's newest book to read Beth Pattillo's The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society because I needed to return Pattillo's book to the library. Why didn't I renew you may ask? Because I am moving to Red Deer, Alberta this weekend!!!! Finally!!! I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few weeks-but I have been trying to get organized for moving and so have been reading a bit less, and have had less time to post!!

Ok so now book review time. I checked out the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society because I have been totally into chick lit knitting books the past few months. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society was a bit of a let down unfortunately. From Pattillo's website "On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst".

I found the cast of characters all unlikeable and couldn't feel any connection to any of them. Not only that, I didn't find any of them likable, and if I had to pick a favourite-I can't. You should always be able to pick a favourite! Oh well, it was a quick, easy read, and I will likely end up reading her second novel The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love.

Back to The Land of Painted Caves!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Visual

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Booking Through Thursday question for April 7, 2011: So … the books that you own (however many there may be) … do you display them proudly right there in plain sight for all the world to see? (At least the world that comes into your living room.)
Or do you keep them tucked away in your office or bedroom or library or closet or someplace less “public?”

My answer: Our books are in the bookshelf in the bedroom based on space issues more than anything. I am definitely not hiding them. I love my books, and love when somebody sees one they'd like to read and then I get to lend it to them. I wish I could have an actual library, or room  for books-I would spend all my time in there!!

What about you?