Saturday, January 29, 2011

my first e-book

My parents were in town recently and my dad brought his Kindle along so I could try it. It was awesome! I've looked at the Kobo from Chapters a few times, but I found that the pages refreshed, or changed too slowly for me. The Kindle was faster for sure, plus my dad has the older generation and had seen my uncle's newest generation Kindle- and reported that it was even a bit faster and the contrast was indeed much better.

So.....I bought a Kindle!! HURRAY!! I must say though, I hate UPS. They definitely do not try to be convenient when it comes to delivery. Picking up packages-yes absolutely, but delivery no sir!! I won't go into details because I don't want to feel frustrated all over again, but my UPS centre in all of the GTA that allows you to come get your package, in Concord Ontario!! SERIOUSLY!! Well, really it's Vaughan, and only because it's on the north side of Steeles Ave, but I mean honestly, in a city this big, there is NOTHING DOWNTOWN!! AND they don't delivery on Saturday, nor can you go get your package on Saturday. Anyway, enough ranting about UPS, more about KINDLE!!

I am still trying to figure out how I can get library books for the Kindle, because the most common library e-books are ePUB format, and Kindle doesn't support that, so I either need to figure out how to convert those files, or something else. Thank goodness my husband will be back in town this week to help me figure this out. Well I guess I miss him a little bit too....OR A WHOLE LOT!!!

FYI-I wrote this post on Thursday-not whichever day I decided to schedule it to post!

Anyways, I have my Kindle and it's so light and easy to to hold with one hand, awesome for reading in bed, and it will be even awesomer when I am holding out baby!! Half way there!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: The Distant Hours

I was SOOOO EXCITED to read Kate Morton's newest book The Distant Hours. The Forgotten Garden was one of my favorite books of 2009 and maybe even of all time!! (Yes I realize this sounds a lot like my post about A Secret Kept -the similarities don't end there either!). I also loved Morton's other novel The House at Riverton. I am yet again disappointed!! I need to stop doing this to myself, but come on people, when you absolutely love a book to the point where you buy copies for other people, and the author comes out with a new book, how can you NOT be excited?

From Goodreads: "This long-awaited novel by the author of The House at Riverton begins with a long lost letter. Its contents compel young Edie Burchill to journey to the eerie realm of Millderhurst Castle, where her mother, then just 13 years old, waited out the London Blitz. What Edie learns about those distant hours in that faraway place will forever change her view of her mother and her".  Sorry I got lazy and stole, I mean borrowed with a proper reference to a synopsis so you could know what it was about.

A big part of all of Morton's novels is suspense-with what you think are big revelations throughout the books-but really those are just teasers, with a bombshell dropped right at the end. You get tidbits of information about things that happened in the past and then BAM something shocking is discovered!! With The Distant Hours, I just wanted her to get on with it already!! I was actually a bit bored, and ended up putting the book aside for a few days so I could read A Secret Kept on my dad's Kindle.

Another so-so read for 2011. I hope it doesn't stay like this all year!!

What are you reading? Do you have any good suggestions for me??

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Heavy

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January 27. 2011: What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?

My answer: I feel like I've read many large/heavy/long books but I'm having a hard time remembering boks by length to be honest with you. However, according to Goodreads the longest book that I've read is Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on your knees at 672 pages. I am pretty sur eI read a book that was over 900, but I can't confirm that!!

How about you?

Book Review: A Secret Kept

A Secret Kept is by Tatiana De Rosnay-author of Sarah's Key-one of my favorite books of 2010!! This also happened to be my first reading experience on an e-reader, my dad's Kindle, but we'll talk about that later.

I expected A LOT from A Secret Kept because I loved Sarah's Key SO MUCH-and I was a bit disappointed. It was an ok read but definitely not a top pick for 2011, that's for sure.

A secret Kept is about a brother and sister's discovery about a big secret behind their mother's life and untimely death when they were still children. De Rosnea also explores the brother's relationships with his parents, his ex-wife, his new girlfriend, and his children I usually really enjoy books that delve into these nitty gritty details-and De Rosney did do a good job with this, but there was something missing. I can't put my finger on it though!

Anyway, A Secret Kept was so-so. that's pretty much all I have to say.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Upcoming posts

Stay tuned for the following upcoming posts:
  • My first e-book experience
  • Book review: A Secret Kept
  • Book review: The Distant Hours
  • A knitting related post
Aren't you so excited!!! Ok maybe not, but I am!!

Hope your week is off to a good start :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-03

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-03 (My answers in RED)

FFI we go!

1. So many of us are luckier than we'll ever know!

2. Love is amazing even in hardship.

3. Those who are accepting of others are the best!

4. You would never hear someone say: Sara is waiting quietly.

5. Light is in both the ....umm I don't know how to finish this one...

6. again....I don't know what to make of this one....._____of all that is ordinary.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Pho Rex with my parents, Marcia, and Jesse, tomorrow my plans include shopping with my mom and finishing the Pillars of the Earth miniseries, and Sunday, I want to sleep in and go grocery shopping before my parents leave :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Periodically

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January 20, 2011: Even I read things other than books from time to time … like, Magazines! What magazines/journals do you read?

My answer: I have been reading The New Quarterly since I came across Issue 113 at Book City. It is now on Issue 116 and I have made sure to RUN to the store every day for about a week when I know a new issue has been released. It is a quarterly magazine about Canadian writers and writing and I love it. I hope one of the book stores in Red Deer has it...or maybe I'll get a subscription!!! YAY!

I also have a subscription to O magazine, YES OPRAH! I was a Christmas gift...that I requested... and it's a guilty pleasure I will admit!!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear BLOG, Happy birthday to you!!!

It was officially ONE YEAR AGO TODAY that I started this blog!! (If I look back at the first post it was actually done at 7:59pm...but I can't wait that long!!)

Thanks to all my loyal followers and my new ones too-I hope you continue to join me on this journey! It's been great so far- I love having a venue to talk about books (and some other stuff too) and really appreciate every single comment I get on here OR in real life! I write for me, but it feels great to know that their are other people out there who pop in to see what I have to say!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-02

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-02 (My answers in RED!)

FFI we go!

1. Right now I need to eat something delicious.

2. Iced tea is what's in my glass.

3. A copy of this letter will be sent to you mother!

4. Ice cream is best with a spoon.

5. The best movie I've seen lately is How to Train Your Dragon.

6. Magazines I like; but books I love.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to skyping with my husband, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in and maybe some laundry, and Sunday, I want to enjoy a week long visit with my parents!!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Firsts

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It's been a few weeks since I've done Booking Through Thursday, here we go!
Do you remember the first book you bought for yourself? Or the first book you checked out of the library? What was it and why did you choose it?

My answer: Tough question!! If I think back, I remember that I used to buy all the books from R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series! I am pretty sure I started out by picking them from the Scholastic flyer at school!! I loved those books-and I was thrilled when they had the t.v. show on YTV. I am sure I bought books before those but not that I can specifically remember. As far as library books, I can actually see myself at the Charleswood branch of the Winnipeg Public Library through the years. First in the kids section to the right of the door, then the teen section almost right beside the counter, and then in the fiction stacks across from the door. Sigh. I remember my mom picking me up from junior high when I used to walk from school to the McDonald's parking lot and then we'd pick my sister up from Elementary school and then go to the library and I used to bringing a Safeway bag to bring home all the books I would get!! One of the first things I did when we moved to Toronto was get a library card, and this will be one of the first things I do in Red Deer!! Ok back to the question-the first books I can remember getting from the library were ones that taught you how to draw. they came in different categories, like people, or cats. I remember I would have such high hopes of becoming a fantastic artist, but alas it never worked out that way!! The books I most vividly remember getting from the library were the Piers Anthony Xanth books with their clever play-on-words titles!!

How about you? What is the first book you either bought, or borrowed from the library?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: The Sea Captain's Wife

I just finished the Beth Powning's The Sea Captain's Wife today-it was fantastic!! The Sea Captain's Wife basically follows Azuba, her husband Captain Nathaniel Bradstock and their family as they sail the world on The Traveller, between 1862-1865. Powning does and amazing job of depicting the relationships of the family members, ad well as what it would have been like to have been a captain's wife, sailing around the world in the late 18oos. As I mentioned in my previous post, this was a book that I wanted to read both fast and slow because I couldn't wait to read what would happen next-would Nathaniel allow Azuba to join him on the ship, what would Azuba feel like as the only woman on board, would they make it through the next storm, would they starve, would they make it to Antwerp in time for her to give birth-but I want to take my time with this novel because I never wanted it to end. The ending of the book definitely surprised me and I am pretty sure I had my mouth hanging open on the subway!Plus to top it off, the cover of the book is pretty cool too!

Speaking of cool covers, my next book is the much anticipated (by me) new novel from Kate Morton-The Distant Hours-and it's cover gives me shivers of delight!! How dorky does that sound!! Ok it doesn't truly give me shivers, but it sort of does on the inside because I am so excited to read it and I pretty much forget what it is supposed to be about, but I loved her other novels-especially The Forgotten Garden (which I kind of want to read again!).

What are you reading?

Sunday, January 9, 2011


As many of you my know from reading previous posts, my husband starts s new job in Red Deer next week, and he went yesterday. Sigh. I am doing ok (so is he) but not really feeling like chatting too much. I feel better today than yesterday, but have been keeping myself occupied. How you may ask, am I keeping myself occupied if I don't feel like talking (because if you know me you know I am always talking!!), I will tell you. In fact I will show you too!
1. Watched some movies (When in Rome, How to Train Your Dragon), as well as beginning Season 4 of Mad Men.

2. Knitting!! Yay!!I've been meaning to start a new project for a while and thought this was a perfect time! Dave helped me pick out some wool on Friday and I have started a baby blanket-for our baby!! Actually knitting kept me somewhat sane yesterday because it helped keep my mind focused.

3. I cleaned a bit. Who cleans when they're sad? Me apparently. I did dishes and cleaned the bathroom. I might even do a load of laundry tonight. But probably not.

4. I'm reading a FANTASTIC book my aunt (and uncle) gave me for Christmas called The Sea Captain's Wife. It's the kind of book you want to read super fast and super slow at the same time because it's so good but you don't want it to be over.

5. I did a Prenatal Pilates DVD today. My abs are totally feeling it. I'd like to pretend this is hard because I am pregnant but the fact is I am out of shape because it's been MONTHS since I've doe pilates, and I truly miss it!

6. I am now making homemade pizza. Well, Dave made the crust last week and froze some for me, but I still had to roll it out, shred the cheese and place the pepperonis lovingly around ALL BY MYSELF.

7. Skyped with my husband! Having the webcams will make a huge difference to not feeling so far apart! For those of you wondering (and why wouldn't you be!), he made it to Red Deer safe and sound after waking up to a snow storm here in Toronto and then landing in one in Calgary and having to take a bus that almost turned back around. He's settling in and his friend was picking him up to take him to get some groceries and a few other things.

8. Now I am blogging! I hope to get back to my Booking Through Thursday and Friday Fill-Ins this week!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I am sitting in my cozy bed typing this post as my most amazing husband makes me a big batch of chicken soup to freeze so I have plenty to eat once he heads to Red Deer this weekend. I am in bed, rather than at the desk in the living room, because I cannot STAND the smell of the food cooking right now. Oh pregnancy! Add to that my basically non stop headaches, and a new interesting stretching feeling on my right side, things are just peachy. I know I know-suck it up! Things could be a lot worse!! But as my (wonderful!) husband says, they could also be better :)

Ok so now on to the review! Jamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (HonCoBaS) is my first book of 2011 and the selection for my January book club! I really enjoyed this book, even if it did result in a sobbing mess this weekend! I will explain.

 HonCoBaS is set in 1986 Seattle with flashbacks beginning with 1942's Japanese-American internment. Henry is a Chinese American who is reflecting on his childhood friendship with Keiko a Japanese girl who is sent to the internment camps, as well as his complex relationship with his father, who vehemently disapproves of this relationship. As a Chinese man, his father views all Japanese as his own personal end. In 1986,Henry's wife has recently passed away and he has always relied on her to communicate with his son. Henry begins to share this part of his history with his son and his new fiance. Ford effortlessly switches between time periods, helping us to understand a very interesting part of American history and how it may have touched individuals. At one point Henry is meeting with Keiko at an internment camp and they are saying goodbye because the Japanese are being sent further inland to try to cut off potential communication via the coastline. Their parting was heartbreaking to me, and being at a very emotional part of my life (pregnancy AND my husband moving) I totally lost it!! At least I wasn't on the subway!

I look forward to further discussions with my book club!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Definitions #4

A list of words that I had to look up-I think they were from Carol Shield's novel Unless. Thank you!

Efflorescence:  (Given the context of the novel) The highest point; the culmination

Solipsistic: The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified OR The theory or view that the self is the only reality.

Probity: Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness.

Chitinous:.....ummm I think it means hard: A tough, protective, semitransparent substance, primarily a nitrogen-containing polysaccharide, forming the principal component of arthropod exoskeletons and the cell walls of certain fungi.

Panthenogenesis: is a form of asexual reproduction found in females, where growth and development of embryos occurs without fertilization by a male.

Calumny: A false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation.

Embouchure: the mouthpiece of a woodwind or brass instrument, The manner in which the lips and tongue are applied to such a mouthpiece

Harridan: A woman regarded as scolding and vicious.

Divagation: To wander or drift about, To ramble; digress.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Resurrection

Another late review!! I read Resurrection by Tucker Malarkey over the holidays. I actual bought the books for $1 at Seekers, with the intention of finishing it Winnipeg and leaving it behind. That didn't happen!

As with many of my late reviews, I tend to forget things/get lazy, so here is an excerpt from the book's website:
"Resurrection draws on actual events surrounding the discovery of the Lost Gospels of Nag Hammadi. Suppressed by officials of the early Church, these sacred texts disappeared nearly two thousand years ago and were rediscovered unexpectedly in the 1940’s in the desert south of Cairo. Around these remarkable events, Tucker Malarkey has crafted a suspenseful and eye-opening tale of love and war, religion and murder.

When Gemma Bastian receives a telex that her archaeologist father has been found dead in Cairo, she flies from ravaged post-World War II London to Egypt to bury his ashes and close his affairs. While staying at the home of her father’s oldest friend in Cairo, Gemma finds nothing is as it seems. She is both helped and hindered by David Lazar’s handsome enigmatic sons, half brothers who appeal to different parts of her war-weary heart."

I really enjoyed this book!! It was a little bit of a mystery but not too much and a little bit history, which I love! The love story line that runs through was a bit lame to be honest with you, but I was able to get past that! Totally worth $1!!!


Book Reviews: Unless and Be Good

WAAAAAAY back in 2010, ok so really I mean last month, I started reading a selection from each of Canada Reads: Unless by Carol Shields, and from Canada Reads Independently: Be Good by Stacey May Fowles. I basically just picked the ones from each list that had the shortest wait time at the library. What was interesting is that they both deal with "goodness" in very different ways. The other interesting thing is that they are both similar in size and shape roughly 5x7 inches.

Unless is told from the perspective of Reta, a middle age woman whose seemingly perfect life is disrupted when Norah, the eldest of her three daughters drops out of university to beg on a street corner of downtown Toronto. Norah sets herself up at Bathurst and Bloor (just down the street from me!!) and is basically mute, with a hand printed sign reading "Goodness" around her neck. Shield's follows Reta as she tries to understand how this happened to her daughter and how to continue on with her life. I finished this book on December 16th so my opinion of the book is as follows: it was alright. That's all, sorry. I didn't love it, I didn't dislike it, was just alright.

Be Good on the other hand, is told from the perspectives of a a group of 20-somethings making in Vancouver and Montreal, and at times is quite raw. It's not always pretty, and lives are full of things left unsaid, hurt feelings, and longing. To me, Be Good is about how people get by day-to-day trying to love, both romantically and in friendships, while trying to protect themselves. I finished Be Good on December 28th....I remember feeling like the novel dealt with some gritty details of the character's sex lives, I wasn't disturbed by it,  but I also didn't necessarily feel like reading about it at the time

I was surprised by the fact that I had never read a Carol Shields novel, and like to think that I would have eventually gotten around to it at some point if it weren't for Canada Reads. AS for Be Good, I probably would never have come across this book on my own, and although I wouldn't say I absolutely loved these novels, I'm always glad to read work by Canadians-and Canadian women!

******BY THE WAY...THIS WAS MY 200th POST!!!!!******

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top Ten books in 2010

The following is a list of my top 10 favourite books I read in 2010. Most of them were NOT published in 2010, it's just when I read them! I have also linked to my reviews of each. Enjoy!

Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
Day After Night – Anita Diamant
The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway
Crow Lake – Mary Lawson
The Book Of Lost Things – John Connolly
Room – Emma Donoghue

Have you read any of those books? What did you think? Have any of them now caught your eye? What were your favourite reads of 2010?