Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Summary for 2010

Okay, I found this book summary somewhere and figured I should do it. My stats are a bit off because I didn't really pay attention to what I was reading until June. I know I read more books than 11 plus the book of Negros. Maybe I got up to 15? I'll keep better track in 2011 because my goal is 24.

What about you? What did you read in 2010?

How many books read in 2010? I'm not sure - I didn't really keep track at the beginning of the year, but 11 since June

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio? since June almost 50/50 - 6:5

Male/Female authors? since June 4 male, 7 female

Favourite book read? The Book of Negroes - I read it before June, so it's not on here...

Least favourite? Hmmm...I guess the Constant Princess...I lucked out this year and read mostly good books!

Oldest book read? I think it was Mrs. P's Journey...a lot of the books I read were published in the last few years

Newest book read? The Good Daughters

Longest book title? Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where The Wine Is (9 words)

Shortest book title? A bunch with 3 words, but I'm too lazy to count letters...sorry...

How many re-reads? none

Books in translation?

Most books read by one author this year? three

How many books were borrowed from the library? a bunch

Name a book you've read this year which was recommended by a blogger? Mrs P's Journey

Giving it away...

Okay readers, I have a copy of The Good Daughters, my copy to be exact, that I want to give away. Melynda mentioned she wanted to read it after I wrote about it, but I didn't email her fast enough and her husband had already downloaded it to their e-reader.

One of my goals for 2011 is going to be reducing the number of books we own - not just sticking to the book diet. I figured since, while I enjoyed The Good Daughters, I probably won't read it again, I'd pass it along. (I am going to try to pass on a few other books as they come up too...)

What do you need to do?

  1. Leave a comment telling me what your big resolution/goal/change is for 2011 OR what your reading/writing goals or aspirations for 2011 are OR both (I'm interested in both!)
  2. Link to your blog (where I can find an email address to get in touch with you) or leave your email address in the comments. If you're not comfortable leaving your email address (and you don't have a blog) be sure to check back on Monday to see if you're the lucky recipient.
  3. When you're done with the book (and if you think you won't read it again) pass it along to someone else - a friend, relative, coworker, neighbour, some random blog reader, a second hand bookstore, a thrift shop, leave it on the bus, in a plane, on a train, donate it to the library or hospital,'s up to you.
  4. OPTIONAL - Come back here and tell us what you thought.

That's it. This giveaway isn't affiliated with anyone or anything. It's just me. If there's more than one person interested, I will get to pick a "winner."

You have until 11:00 pm PACIFIC TIME on Sunday, January 2, 2011 to leave a comment. I will try to announce the recipient by 12:00 noon Pacific time on Monday, January 3, 2011 and attempt to get the book in the mail to you on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Good Daughters

I finished my December book in about two days and read most of it on Christmas Day. We had a very relaxing Christmas this year...just how I like it!

Alex's parents gave me Joyce Maynard's The Good Daughters for Christmas. It was one of the three books I brought with me (the other two are non-ficiton).

Alex, who claims he doesn't read (but I know otherwise) actually read the bulk of this book over my shoulder. Which is amazing. Because he doesn't read fiction and this book didn't really fall into the chick-lit genre, but its audience was certainly female.

the good daughters
This book is hard to is well written but it felt a bit like a beach know, the kind that you read when you want to read a book, but don't necessarily want to think too hard.

When I read the jacket blurb, I thought I might have figured out the plot. Then after I read the first two chapters (that's how far I got the first night before I had to go to sleep), I knew I'd figured it out. And somewhere in the next couple of chapters, I thought maybe I'd figured out the twist. And it turned out that I did.

And sometimes that makes a book a not very good read (and apparently sometimes that makes my grammar horrible). But this was an enjoyable read even though I knew the end. What made it enjoyable what how the book got to the end. There were a few things that were a bit surprising and there were a few plot devices that were used in different ways than I thought they might be.

The book is written from the perspective of two women, Ruth and Dana, and the chapters alternate between the two voices and I really liked the format. The chapters were a good length...some were only a couple of pages, some much longer, and they were perfect for reading when there was a two year old around who needed attention.

Overall, I think I would recommend this book...especially if you're looking for something that's light on the brain work, but still well written and not fluff.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Does anyone know...

The title of a book, written by a woman, with a yellow cover, about our disposable society that overspends?

It's a one word title if that helps.

It might be something like Spend or Buy or Consume or Cheap. But it's none of those four.

I checked.

The writer lives in New York. There's at least one paragraph about paying for a parking spot.

I think it was published in 2009.

I saw it when we were on Salt Spring Island this summer and decided that I'd get it from the library instead of buying it. I took a picture of it with my phone. But when we got home, it appears I actually took a picture of the floor.

I saw it on a book blog a while ago and went, AHA! That's the name of the book.

But do you think I thought to write it down.


Because apparently I'm not smart like that.

Anyone have any idea?


PS this might show up twice in your RSS feed because I posted it here and there. Sorry if you got it twice.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everything Men Know About Women

So, November was brutal. I spent the first week of the month in bed with a lung infection. I was sleeping, oh, at least 15 hours a day. Then I decided that I needed some help with fatigue and ended up on the GAPS diet which resulted in a healing crisis. Ever try to read during a healing crisis? No? That's probably a good idea. The healing crisis is pure evil and trying to read just makes it worse.

Because November was brutal, I pulled this book off my shelves and figured it was time to take a look.

everything men know about womenIt's a gift from a friend.

more everything men know about womenWhat does that post-it hanging off the side say? Open here? Okay.
a glimpse inside everything men know about women

Ooops, it's empty! And the back claims it's based on years of research and that it's "frank and brilliantly insightful" (more on Amazon, scroll down, way down!)

So that's my book this month.

Next month I will try to return to reading books with words. I did read quite a bit of The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare, Nourishing Traditions, and Santa Claus: A Biography, but I didn't finish any of them. (Heck, I don't think I'll ever really "finish" Nourishing Traditions since it's a cookbook)

I'm looking at this and wondering how I will ever do the next step of the challenge - reading two books a month in 2011...eep! Oh well, we'll deal with that when we get there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Christmas is coming!

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Christmas is coming...I gave this book to Alex a few years ago for Christmas. I *know* he hasn't read it, but I thought I'd give it a try. I'm just a handful of pages in, but I'm enjoying it...I wish I had more time to read!

We spend at least one month out of each year of our lives under the spell of the planet's most widely celebrated holiday. At no other time are our feelings as intense; at no other time are we so caught up in a relentless round of preparation, enjoyment, and recovery.
Santa Claus: A Biography, Gerry Bowler, page vii

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This book doesn't count for the challenge because, well, it's a reread...but it does count for this!

By Easter my recasting was complete. And I felt new things had become natural.

French Women Don't Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano, page 48

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday...I'm back!

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I'm back...hopefully I can keep doing this every Tuesday. I have a new book now too...finally! Yay for a new month!

It took a while for the Bible to leave the room. Shakespeare's solemn phrases hung in the air like the afterglow of a shooting star.

The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare, Robert Winder, page 47

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Mrs P's Journey

I'm a couple of days late posting about October's book...

After I read about this book on Ann's blog, My Villa Life, I had to search it out. Partly because I love maps. Partly because I love London. Partly because I was intrigued by this woman's story.

mrs p's journey

I have read a bunch of background and it's hard to say whether this is a true, non-fiction biography or a historical novel. Certainly it's based on facts and many of them from Phyllis Pearsall, but there is a lot that the author had to fill in herself. I had trouble categorizing it...

I also had trouble finding it. It appears it is out of print in North America and the VPL didn't have it. But the UBC library did. So that's where I finally got it. I don't often get books from the UBC library mostly because you only get them for two weeks, not three. But, unlike the VPL, you can renew them as many times as you want as long as there are no holds.

Phyllis had a colourful childhood and yound adulthood and it definitely helped frame how the A-Z was born, but I loved the last part of the book that detailed how the A-Z came about. I love the A-Z. One of my favourite things to do when I lived in London and had enough of people was to get on the underground and get out and wander with only my A-Z as company. I figured it was pretty hard to get lost in London - if you had an A-Z you could figure out where you were and if you could find a tube station (the A-Z could tell you) then you could home. Maybe you could find yourself not knowing where you were, but you weren't lost!

I liked this book and if you like London or maps, it's definitely something worth reading. The editor side of me wasn't happy with a few things that were missed (how many siblings did Bella have? Five or eight?) but overall, I was happy with my choice.

Thanks Ann for writing about it...I never would have known it existed otherwise!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making time to read...

How do you make time to read?! I need to figure that out...

I'm not sure the last time I picked up a book I wanted to read. I've read lots and lots and lots of How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You, Elephant, I'm Gonna Like Me (yes, I know she's too young, but she loves it,so I figured it wasn't going to hurt anything), and Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball in the past couple of weeks, but not a lot of adult books. I've had a ton of reading to do for work, but it's not going on here...

For a while I was going to bed half an hour early so that I could read...this worked, kind of...either I'd read for half an hour, I'd fall asleep (or put my book down early) or I'd stay up WAY TOO LATE. This week if I went to bed half an hour early, I can guarantee that I'd be sound asleep before I even opened the book (I might just do that tonight, because, hey, sleep is good...

Strategies for getting more reading time in anyone?!?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It was a gift...really...

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Apparently this book changed the lives of my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law. So my mother-in-law thought I might be interested in it...umm...anyway, when (IF) I finally get through this, we can talk about that more....

When you are feeling good feelings, it is communication back from the Universe saying, "You are thinking good thoughts." Likewise, when you are feeling bad, you are receiving communication back form the Universe saying, "You are thinking bad thoughts."
The Secret, Rhonda Byrne, page 33

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan

I know, I know, I'm posting this a day late. But. September was nuts.


So glad it's gone.

And reading, ha! That's a pastime for those who are retired, independently wealthy, or who aren't trying to juggle a toddler with a new daycare and essentially a new job and, because of a temporary change at their spouse's workplace, all of the meals and grocery shopping and most of the housework life.

I seriously went to bed last night a bit disappointed with myself. I thought I'd failed September.

I have about three books in progress. I've been writing tons. I've been reading tons, actually, but for the purposes of this challenge I had to finish a book. And magazines, they don't count. And browsing through cookbooks, that doesn't count. And reading about 50 million blogs a day, that also doesn't count (although on that note, I have culled a number of blogs from my feed. This morning there were only 96 posts for me to read. I skipped most of them. It makes me sad.) And reading articles and papers for work, well, that doesn't count either.

So sad. I only survived three months of my challenge.

But then I remembered this AWESOME birthday gift from my brother-in-law.

the amazing mackerel pudding plan
It's not literature. It's not a biography. It's not thoughtful or instructional. It might qualify as thought provoking.

But it made me laugh. And cringe. And possibly throw up a little in my mouth.

And, best of all, IT'S A BOOK!

The premise: A woman found her grandmother's (she assumes, since no one will own up to actually being the original owners) set of Weight Watchers recipes from the 70s. She keeps them, because, wow, easy laughs! And the book is great. It pokes fun at the actual recipes. It pokes fun at the names of the recipes. It pokes fun at the staging of the food.

I loved it! I don't know which recipe was my favourite, but this book had me cracking up. Even Alex read a good chunk of it.

What I do know now though, is WHY people lost weight (and probably lots of it) on Weight Watchers in the 70s - the food was just too gross to eat. And if they did eat it, it probably made them have tummy aches, so they didn't eat much.

I'm glad Weight Watchers uses a healthier model for weight loss these days!

I just googled the book and you can see some of the cards and commentary here.

EDIT: Also check out this page - it's got Weight Watchers information from the 1970s...scary stuff!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Mrs P's Journey

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I haven't forgotten...really...just, September came. And with it came the insanity of back to school. But now that September is almost over, well, now I can get back to routine...maybe.

This week's teaser:

In the swirls of her subconscious and memory, it is highly likely that Phyllis interpreted her family's erratic dashes around Europe when she was between the ages of four and ten, and their perpetual moving house as a soothing, lulling momentum. For on such a trip the happy package of mother, father, sister and brother were tightly tied together, and the attention of both parents was bound to their children.

Mrs P's Journey, Sarah Hartley, page 43

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 30: Is there an author who you will read anything they write?

(UGH again with the weird sentence structure!)

Irène Némirovsky. Suite Française was super! I loved it. I didn’t want it to end. And when it did end, I wanted more. Fire in the Blood was also excellent. This is a woman who’s life ended too early and who I wish had had the opportunity to write more. If you haven’t read Suite Française, I can’t recommend it enough!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 29: What author do you avoid?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger. UGH. And even more so since she went on her rant a few weeks ago.

When I was in university, I worked at a fast food place one summer. The girls who decorated cakes had a work station in the back next to the break table. And they listened to Dr. Laura on the radio. And she drove me nuts.

Then my grandma gave me The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands as a shower gift. She hadn't read it (which is strange for her, she usually reads everything before she gives it away so she can discuss it with you) and I don't know that she would have given it to me if she had. I think maybe Dr. Laura is a misandrist. And she's narrow minded. And she gives bad advice. And she makes me mad. MAD.

So I avoid her. Because I don't like being mad!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 28: What book do you wish you had never read?

Lolita. I hated it. I was very uncomfortable the whole time I read it. It bothered me. But I finished it. And I wished I'd never picked it up. We read it for our book club with Reading Lolita in Tehran. I enjoyed that, but not Lolita.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 27: What book would you write if you had all the resources?

I don't know. I've never really thought I’d write a book. So I don't have the next great Canadian novel floating around in my head.

Do you have the next great novel (Canadian or otherwise) buried in your imagination? Or is there a non-fiction book you would write?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 26: What is a book you wish would be written?

I sort of wish there was more Harry Potter. But maybe not. I feel like the epilogue tied everything up nicely and if there was more Harry Potter, it would be boring. Or boring compared to the first seven books.

I don't really have a lot to say...I figure if there was a book that I really wished would be written, then maybe I should write it myself!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 25: What is your favourite autobiographical or biographical book

(Ummm...again with the weird sentence structure...isn't “What is your favourite autobiography or biography?” better???)

Almost French: love and a new life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull. My copy is lost and I'm very sad. I loaned it someone who loaned it to someone else who doesn't remember what happened to it. I don't know if you can get it over here, my friend in Australia read it and thought I'd enjoy it and posted her copy on up.

It's about a woman who met a man in Eastern Europe. She went to France to visit him. And the story goes from there. I'm not going to spoil it. Anyway, besides their relationship, it's about her adventures in adapting to French culture. She describes how she was dressed when she arrives – flowing broomstick skirt and Birkenstocks I think – and how it contrasts to the French women around and how eventually her style evolves.

I really enjoyed this book. I read it a few years after moving back to Canada after spending the better part of three years abroad. I was still adjusting (some days I think I'm still adjusting and I've been back for eight years). I was wrestling with what to do with my own life and her story gave me some perspective and possibly, unknowingly, some advice.

I am off to see if I can locate a copy of this at the library or online. I want to reread it now!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 24: What book did you later find out the author lied about?

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. That's the only one I could think of, maybe because it was big news when it came out that he lied. I didn't care that he lied. I figured it was a novel and while it was based on his life since it was a novel, why shouldn't he expand, elaborate and create when the story line needed it? I never saw or read his interviews with Oprah or anyone else, so I don't know exactly how he presented himself, but if he's promoting his book, maybe it was all part of the show? Who knows.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 23: What is your favourite romance novel?

Well, this took some thought. And then I settled on two – though one might not be classified as a novel and the other might not want to be classified as a romance...I'm not sure.

The first one, definitely a novel, is Gone With the Wind. I first saw the movie when I was six or seven – well, parts of the movie – I was at my grandma's house and she was watching it for the twenty eighth time or something and she kept turning it off and then turning it back on. So I wouldn't see things like Bonnie (that's her name, right?) falling off her horse. And then I saw parts of the movie many times over the next few years. It's a long movie and I wasn't up to sitting through it. I'm not sure when I first saw the whole thing – maybe when I had a retreat at Chez Piltz in 2002? Possibly when I had my wisdom teeth out, but anything I watched then doesn’t count.

But the book, I have read the book! When I moved to London there was an extensive library where I was living, made up mostly of books that were donated or left behind by travellers or staff who were moving on. I was there for six months and there wasn't a lot of time for reading, but I decided that I'd try to read Gone With the Wind because I should be able to do it in that amount of time! I know it took me a while because I was in one room for the first three months and another rood for the last three and I have memories of reading it in both rooms.

Part of me loves reading epics – they tend to last longer than other books and that makes me happy. Part of me hates reading epics – they tend to last longer than other books and that can be frustrating. With this book, I was happy. I knew the story fairly well and I really enjoyed reading it. Scarlett drove me nuts sometimes because she was so self-centered, but she evolved and while she could still be very self-centered, she became a stronger person. Rhett just drove me nuts. Ashley and Melanie were a bit whiny, but overall, I really did just like reading it.

So, what did you think about Gone With the Wind (I know there's at least one differing opinion out there!)?

The second romance I mentioned is Pioneer Woman's story of how she met her husband, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. I couldn’t stop reading it. It's broken up into blog posts and I had to limit myself to three a day or I would have just wasted all my time with Alex and J and all of my time at work to reading it as quickly as possible. Not a good use of my time...Check it out! And I think I heard she has expanded it and it's coming out in book form.

So – does that count as a novel? What is your favourite romance??

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 22: What is your favourite series?

Harry Potter.
What? You want more?

I love Harry Potter. Earlier in the challenge I wrote about Harry Potter. I could also have written about Harry Potter as my favourite book. But I didn't. Because which book is my favourite? The Philosopher's Stone? Prisoner of Azkaban? The Half-Blood Prince?


Favourite series.

Because I can reread them over and over and over. And never get bored. And find things I missed the last time. And they help get back into the reading groove when I've fallen out. And, well, I just love them. That's all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Teaser...

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I just finished this this morning, so I've decided it counts:

She would look back and marvel that she could have woken that day with no idea of what lay ahead of her. That she could start the day as a - oh, as a child! - and end it in his arms, his hands clumsily stroking her hair, their slick bodies clinging to each other, exhilarated, exhausted.

I Remember You, Harriet Evans, page 269

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Bonus Book: I Remember You

i remember you

So, this book wouldn't count for my little challenge, since I went out and bought it. I KNOW! I needed a book though. We were going to a wedding and I was getting my hair cut before we left and I needed a dress. So I went to get the dress before my appointment. And it was quick and easy and I had an hour to kill and nothing but my wallet, my phone and a pack of gum in my purse.


Brit Chick Lit. Seems fitting seeing as I wrote about chick lit being my guilty pleasure books for the 30 day challenge today!

The not having a book with me excuse actually worked out quite well as we were away on holiday for three days and this was the perfect book to read on the ferry and in the morning before Alex woke up - what can I say, my body is used to my usual pattern and wanted me to be up at 6:30 even though we were on VACATION. Alex, he didn't have that problem.

Can I just say that I love how there is a section of this book that is rewritten pretty much word for word? On purpose. And it confused me, because I was sure I hadn't succumbed to my sometimes bad habit of reading ahead to see what happens later because the suspense is killing me now...and I hadn't, it was just there twice.

So, basically (no spoilers here, the back of the book has more details) Tess moves back to the town she grew up in because her life fell apart. The only person (her age) she knows is her childhood friend Adam. And then she becomes an old lady (figuratively) and figures out who is she and turns herself young again. Ha! That's horrible Shannon, it sounds like it's some kind of magic book. It's not. It's a fairly close to some kind of reality that's not my own kind of book.

Ignore me. And if you like the occasional chick lit book, I recommend this one. It's not overly cheesy or unbelievable or gooey-lovey-dovey. It was a good weekend read!

And yes, I will be reading more Harriet Evans as my busy painting and parenting schedule allows.

Day 21: What is a book you read as a guilty pleasure

Ummm...I don't have too much to say here. Marian Keyes and other Brit chick-lit type books (I know Marian Keyes is Irish).

They're fast reads. They don't demand too much from me. They're entertaining. They don't usually talk about poop, puke or boogers. The library has an endless supply.

When you have a toddler, sometimes those are the qualities you need in a book so that you don't go crazy.

What about you? What do you read as a guilty pleasure?

PS Also (okay, not a book, but likely fiction, and it's reading and reading counts, right?) gossip magazines in the grocery store line up. Some of those celebrities are busy - getting married, getting divorces, renewing their vows, getting along just fine, fighting like cats and dogs. All at the same time. Each truthful, honest report in a different magazine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 20: What book would you recommend to an ignorant/racist/closed minded person

I'm not sure I would...

But if I did, I think I would choose Five Smooth Stones. I read it so long ago, I don't remember much in terms of details, but I remember loving it and being outraged by it at the same time. The book itself didn't outrage me, but the way people were treated certainly did. It was an eye-opener and really reminded me that we are lucky to live in the times we do. It may not be perfect and we still have a way to go with a lot of things, but it's better than it was.

Recommending a book to someone who is ignorant (in hopes that it enlightens them somehow) might be okay - it may just be that they need to be educated or have only heard on perspective on an issue - but someone racist or close-minded might miss the message anyway because they've already made up their minds.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 19: What book changed your mind on a particular subject (non-fiction)


So I get to talk about non-fiction.

There's no book here.

I have a strange relationship with non-fiction. I like it. I read it. I just can't pick it myself.

All of my non-fiction reading in the past few years has been either given to me or recommended to me or it's been me wanting more information about a subject that I've recently read about. After reading The Kitchen Boy, I was obsessed with finding out more about Nicholas, Alexandra and their family. After reading Suite Française I needed to read more about World War II and the holocaust and France.

So I don't have a book that changed my mind. I usually approach non-fiction because someone recommends it (and usually I don't know much about the topic or haven't read much about it) or because I'm interested in learning more.

Does that sort of but not really answer the question???

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 18: What book do you love but is out of print

This is a book from my childhood - Skate Like the Wind.

It was a Canadian book about a figure skater who goes to Nationals. There's some cutesy romance (she runs into an old friend who also skates and by the end they two of them are having pillow fights and he's holding her hand) and some evil skater-mom parts.

I discovered this book around the time of the Calgary Olympics. I was ten. I wanted to be a figure skater and go to the Olympics even thought I knew I had two left feet and didn't know left from right and had never taken lessons and was probably getting too old to make it to the Olympics.

Can you believe that. At ten! Too old. I'm not sure where that came from, but maybe that year there were lots of female skaters who were in their teens?

I used to take this book out of the library over and over and over again. I looked for it everywhere, but I think it was out of print even before I started reading it. I've been looking for it again, thinking maybe one day a little girl at my house will be interested in figure skating!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 17: What book turned movie do you dislike

Also easy. The Devil Wears Prada.

The movie missed the boat on so many things. Andrea's (Andy in the movie) relationships with Lily, Alex (Nate in the movie) and her family are never really developed in the movie and they are central to Andrea's development and story in the book. Lily is almost a non-character and the Nate character rubbed me the wrong way because I felt like he was a different character completely from the one in the book.

The way she blows Miranda off in Paris is done well in the movie, but could have been better if it had followed the book. In the book, Andrea kills her relationship with Alex in her pursuit of something she later realizes she doesn't want. In the movie, there is a glimmer of hope in her relationship with Nate - even though I felt like Andrea and Alex were better suited to each other than Andy and Nate. I also don't remember Andrea sleeping with Christian in the book (I might be wrong - let me know), but Andy did in the movie...changes dynamics a bit, I would think.

Anyway, as a stand-alone movie, I think The Devil Wears Prada was very well done. I love Meryl Streep as Miranda. Even though she made my tummy turn because she reminded me of a former diva boss. But, as an adaptation of a book, I was very disappointed!

What do you think?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 16: What is your favourite book turned into a movie

EASY! Finally. I didn't have to think about this one at all!

Dr. Zhivago.

I love it. I love the book. I love the movie. I love the haunting Lara's Song and I hear it in my head when I read the book.

I saw the movie first. I think I was maybe 13 or 14. My then-single aunt took me and my cousin home to my grandma's with her after Christmas dinner. A big new event, spending Christmas night away from home. Not sure why I thought it was such a big deal, Christmas was over. Anyway, to get back on topic, she took us home with her specifically to show us her favourite movie, Dr. Zhivago.

I loved it even then. The three of us opened out the pull out couch, an ugly, scratchy brown, uncomfortable thing, got lots of afghans and quilts and stayed up very late, glued to the screen. Then my aunt wore her Lara hat for the rest of the holidays and wished she was Lara.

Years later I picked up the novel in a bookstore on my way to the airport for a long flight home (at Christmas...). I didn't get to it, because I had two books with me and while I made decent progress on the other book, I slept most of the way to make up for the lack of sleep the previous two days.

When I finally read it, I was amazed that I enjoyed it sooooooo much. I don't often enjoy reading books after seeing the movie - the other way around isn't so bad. I just feel like they did an excellent job of adapting it and keeping the tone and atmosphere the book creates. And Omar Sharif and Julie Christie are perfect in their roles.

So good.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 15: What is your favourite book dealing with foreign culture

I had a really hard time with this question. I don't know why, there isn't really a reason for it...I finally decided on Edward Rutherfurd's London. Mostly because I love London. Love it. And I loved this book that took me from the beginning of time (well, not really but Julius Caesar is kind of the beginning of time!) to the more modern London that I know and love. Maybe this question should be what is your favourite epic...because I think I maybe loved James Michener's Hawaii almost as much.

Is it cheating that both books are about foreign cultures, but I've lived both places and would be glad to spend the rest of my days shuttling around between here and those two???

While both are obviously novels, I loved how they felt so real and described things so different from my world. Come of that foreign culture is foreign because it's a different place, but some of it is different because it's a different time. They did things differently during the plague in London that they do here in Vancouver or than they do now in London.

And do you know why (according to Michener, I have no idea if it's actually true) why women weren't allowed to eat bananas?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ever heard of Teaser Tuesdays?

No? Me either until today.

I discovered them on Should Be Reading via Must Read Faster.

Here's the drill:

teaser tuesday
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I need a new book, but I am kind of reading this one. So, my teaser is:

But then came autumn and the equinoctial gales began to blow, stripping the trees of their leaves as if they were disgraced. The lake turned grey and sullen and the swells weren't gentle anymore: they heaved ominously, and tattered rags of spray blew off their tops.

The Other Side of the Bridge, Mary Lawson, page 95

with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Day 14: What book should be on a required reading list for high school or college?

I had a hard time with this question and ultimately, I have no answer.

Anything I came up with, like To Kill a Mockingbird was something I had read (or should have read) when I was in high school or university. (I say should have read because I switched schools in grade eleven and it seems, in retrospect, that a lot of the high school cannon was reversed between the curricula of the two schools. Books like The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies were read after I left one school and before I got to the other. Some books, I read twice, because the opposite was true [Hamlet was one of those - I think I read it four consecutive years or something silly like that]. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I still haven't gotten around to reading The Catcher in the Rye or Lord of the Flies. Maybe they will show up in my challenge to myself!)

The only book that I can think of that maybe should be on a required list is The Little Prince. It's just such a good little book...and I read it so long ago that I can't really discuss it properly.

What book do you think should be required reading?

Monday, August 23, 2010

I want one...

the ultimate bookcaseThis thing of beauty was featured on Apartment Therapy. If I had one, I don't think I'd even come out again! Do you think it has a bathroom hidden somewhere in there? I love it!

Day 13: What was your favourite childhood book?

This was even harder than the first question. I decided one picture book and one chapter book. But of course, I couldn't choose between two picture books, so it's two picture books and one chapter book.

1 and 2. Winter Wedding, Robert Welber and Maisie Middleton, Nina Sowter

Theses were two of my absolute favourites as a child.

I renamed myself to include Maisie Middleton in my name when I was about 3 years old. This book was about Maisie who got up before it was time to get up and got herself (and her animals dressed) and cleaned up. Then she woke up her daddy who made her a burnt breakfast and fell asleep on the stairs. So she made her own breakfast of cakes and jello and all kinds of good things. It's British and I think maybe it's out of print.

I don't remember a whole lot about Winter Wedding except that we took it out of the library a lot when I was little and then one of my sisters gave it to me for Christmas. They were babies. Like maybe 8 months old. And I was surprised they knew what to pick for me. But I was happy! And I loved it. It was my favourite story - a little boy and little girl build a fort at daycare/preschool and get married and in the spring a plant grows. There was more to it than that, but I can't remember it off the top of my head. I think this one might be out of print as well!

I still have both of them in a safe place for J when she's old enough to read them.

3. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

This was the very first book I read so much that it fell apart. And being me, I still have it. I never got another copy, I just taped it back together. I remember being outraged at how Mary was treated when her parents died. I still love how this angry, unsociable, spoiled little girl becomes self-assured and good company!

What were your favourite books when you were a kid? I've left off a bunch like anything Roald Dahl and The Story Girl (Lucy Maud Montgomery).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 12: What book was so emotionally draining you couldn't complete it or had to set it aside for a bit?

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald


As much as this book is one of my top books, it's hard to read. but before I get to that, one of the reasons this book is one of my favourites is because it's written in a circle. It ends where it started. I discovered that by accident as it was a book I'd taken with me to Australia, hoping that because it was thick and I was going to be busy it would last me a good chunk of my nine weeks there. Yeah. No such luck. I had it finished by the second week. And at that point I'd even spent ten days at a friend's house and read books she owned instead of my own to make Fall on Your Knees last longer.

When I finished it, I flipped it back to the beginning to check something and for some reason started reading from page one again. Yup. Big circle.

So, it was hard to read the first time, but I found it harder to read the second and third times because of the way it is written. Some of the incest scenes are so well written that what's actually happening in them isn't necessarily apparent until details are revealed later on. But knowing the plot, well, they're not hidden any longer when you re-read the book.

What book drained you emotionally?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 11: Name the book that made you fall in love with reading

There isn't one.

Reading has always been a big part of my life - I don't remember not reading. My parents introduced books to us when we were just tiny babies, so our love of reading isn't tied to any particular book, just to reading.

We started looking at books with J when she was just weeks old. Now one of her favourite things to do is read. She's already trying to get us to read her more before she goes to bed. If we tell her she can have two stories before bed, she usually comes back with two - in each hand!

Is there a book that made you fall in love with reading?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 10: What is the first novel you remember reading?

Easy! Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. I don't think it was actually the very first (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator probably happened first), but it was early on! I took it out of the school library and I think I was in kindergarten. It was one of the first "chapter books" I read with my mom. I loved it. I still remember how they used raisin filled with something as bait. I think I need to reread it (or maybe I should wait three years and read it with my five year old).

I can't remember the first novel I read on my own...probably something not very exciting or maybe something "old fashioned" (meaning: belonged to my mom or my aunts or uncle) from my grandma's book cases.

The first novel my mom and I read together that I actually read out loud from was The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery. That's one of my favourites of hers.

What was your first novel?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 9: Name a book you've read more than once

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

This is a book I've read a few times now. It's soooooo good. And it has twists. And every time I read it, I see things I missed or I'd forgotten.

My book club even read this book. And my dad. And he liked it.

I haven't read it for a while, so I'm not sure what to say about it and I don't want to spoil it if you haven't read it...

Have you read Middlesex? What did you think?

Maybe I'll add it to my list for next year's challenge!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 8: What unpopular book do you think should be a best seller?


Again...strange question. And I don't have an answer to it.

I think bestsellers have some strange pull to them or their authors. If you look at the bestseller list it tends to be either wonderfully written books with authors who may or may not be established and recognizable OR they are books by authors who are well known and may or may not be good writers.

Not everything I read falls into either of these categories. I read random books. I sometimes choose books by their covers (sometimes that works, sometimes it's horrible). Sometimes I choose books because they're on some newspaper's top ten list or because the Chapters website suggests something. Sometimes I read something that has been given to me as a gift or that a friend has lent to me with high praise.

I kind of feel like being a best seller doesn't make a book a good book nor does it mean that book is not good, it just means that it's summertime and 83,298,392 people bought the newest (name your favourite mass produced pocket paperback writer here) book to read at the beach or the cottage or in the hammock in the backyard.

Silly question.

What do you think?!?!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 7 : What is a book you found hard to read?


There are so many ways this could be interpreted. But I chose to it to mean difficult in terms of subject, not writing style.

When I was in second year, I had to read Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison for one of my classes. It was hard. There is abuse. There is rape. I can't remember it entirely, but I do remember it taking a long time to read and that I had to put it down and come back to it on more than one occasion. It drove me nuts that the mother of the little girl (Bone) allowed her to be hurt is so many ways.

I don't have much to say on this - partly because it was so hard to read and partly because I read it so long ago I can't remember the details. It's in my bookcase at home, but I'm not sure that I will ever reread it.

Oh, and they made a movie of it - I haven't seen it though.

Have you read this book? What is the book you have found hardest to read?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bonus Book: The Constant Princess

I've read a few Philippa Gregory books and quite enjoyed them. I started The Constant Princess when we were on holiday in July and then picked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Constant Princess was forgotten. Until I got a notice from the library on Saturday reminding me that it is due back on Wednesday and I've used up all my renewals on it.

the constant princessugh...must stop being lazy and delete the old photos on my memory cards so I can use my camera and not my phone for these pictures

So, I looked and it and figured I could read it four nights - I was halfway through it after all. Heck, technically I had five nights because as long as it was in the return box before the library opened on Thursday, they consider it being returned on Wednesday.

I finished all but about 25 pages of it on Saturday. And the rest of it before breakfast yesterday.

And I was disappointed. It wasn't that good. And I kept reading because I was hoping it would get better.

I enjoyed it up until Arthur dies. Then it just annoyed me. And that's when The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made her appearance (it's also when I started getting sprinkled by the beach some other reader took the book to).

So, when I picked it up again, I thought it might be better, maybe a little vacation from it would help. But no.

It still annoyed me.

Part of it was the way King Henry, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella all treated Catalina while she awaited her fate after the death of Arthur (which is essentially based on fact and was not out of the ordinary for the time) and the various voices used to tell the story. I'm not entirely convinced by the alternating narration and found it hard to read. Catalina's (later Katherine's) thoughts seemed overly whiny to me.

While this wasn't my favourite Philippa Gregory novel, I would definitely read more of her books - historical fiction is one of my favourite genres.

Day 6: Which book made you cry?


Umm...again with the weird phrasing...since more than one book has made me cry. I mentioned one such book in my first post for this challenge.

But the all time winner for most tears and most heart wrenching and most gut-turning-make-me-want-throw-up cry is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenenger. (Until I read this book, it was a book that I read when I was a kid about a girl whose dad dies from cancer and her struggle from the time of diagnosis until the year after he died. I cried a lot. I can't remember what it was called though.)

I have read this book a few times and even though I know what's going to happen, I still sob when I reach the part where Henry dies. I get all teary now when they mention the deer dying for the first time and it's just foreshadowing. But I know that Henry is going to die in a few hundred pages and I cry. And then when he does die. UGH.

The last time I read this book, I actually had to put it down and come back later. Because I was crying too much to see the words.

The first time I read it, I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it. Alex was working nights and I finished it just before he got home. I couldn't turn the light off I was so upset, so when he came home I was in bed, asleep, with the light on and I had a soaking wet pillow and puffy eyes and cheeks. He woke me up to see what was wrong - fearing the worst about some unknown friend or family member - and of course before I could tell him it was just a book, I started crying.

Seriously, this book is at the top of my list for all time favourites. And it will make you cry. My sister, who never cries at books, cried. A lot.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 5: What non-fiction book did you actually enjoy?

Okay, so I hate this question. What does it mean? That as a reader I'm not supposed to enjoy non-fiction? And this riled me up so much it took me a VERY LONG TIME to come up with a non-fiction book I "actually" enjoyed.

But first. Non-fiction is a broad that pretty much means anything that's not fiction. I checked out a few definitions and decided to go with Wikipedia's definition...after ready the section on major types of non-fiction, I finally decided on a book.

It was hard. And there were a few others, but some I've already mentioned on this blog and others I'll be mentioning later on in this challenge.

The book I decided on was Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Even though this a cookbook, I actually read it. From cover to cover. Now, I didn't read every word, but I did read it. It has a longer introduction than most cookbooks and it talks about Jamie Oliver's project and his goals with this cookbook, in particular his challenge to teach some of the recipes to someone else. It also has numerous anecdotes throughout from people who have participated in his programs. And it has recipes.

Recipes that made my tummy grumble even though I read it one evening after dinner. So I wasn't actually hungry. Mmmmm...

While we haven't cooked anything from here yet (just waiting for it to cool off a bit so we can use the oven again), I'm very excited to use this book. J and I gave it to Alex for his birthday because come September and a change in routine for all of us, Alex will be doing a lot of the cooking. The first section, 20 minute meals, was the real selling point! We'll see how it goes!

Have you ever read a cookbook? Have you made anything out of this particular cookbook? What work(s) of non-fiction did you "actually" enjoy?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 4: What book reminds you of home?

Umm...yeah. This is a hard question. I have a bunch of definitions of home. Home is a number of places, some that I no longer reside at and some that I no longer have any kind of connection to.

And the home I decided on was one of those no connection places.

We lived in the same house until I was fifteen and the books that remind me of that house are the Little House books. I remember waking up before everyone else and reading in bed until my dad kicked me out to go to school. And then I'd read at the table (if I could get away with it) and in my desk at school and as soon as I got home from school. I was like that with lots of books, but I remember reading the Little House books in particular. It was winter and it was still dark and cold when I woke up, but it was worth it! Years later I reread The Long Winter for a class and it was dark and winter then too and I remember feeling the blizzard and having to be wrapped in a quilt the whole time.

Reading was a big part of growing up for me - my parents, sisters and many of my friends were also voracious readers. Because I read growing up, I still read now, so picking one single book to represent home was not an easy tasks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 3: A book that completely surprised you (good or bad)

That would have to be Harry Potter.


Harry Potter.

And it surprised me in a good way. A very good way.

When book four came out, I was living in London, on my way back to Canada. I caught all the hype. And I couldn't figure out what was supposed to be so great about this silly book that had been in the news for ages.

And then, well, then I was at my aunt and uncle's after I came home. I'd been to a wedding the night before and when I got up, everyone was out on a bike ride or something. I wasn't sure what to do with myself until they came home, so I picked up this silly Harry Potter book and thought I'd check out the first chapter. I didn't think I'd read much further than that.

Um. Yeah. I think I'd read the first three books by the time I went to bed the next night.

And when books seven came out in 2007, guess who went to the big launch party at VanDusen

What book(s) surprised you? Were you as surprised as I was about Harry Potter?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 2: What is your least favourite book?

Ugh. Hard question.

I'm going to go with Moby Dick (Herman Melville) because I didn't enjoy reading it at all and I never actually finished it. Which means a lot because I like to punish myself by forcing myself to read books until the last page even if I'm not really enjoying them. I can't remember a lot about it other than those were painful classes and painful times trying to read the book. I felt like it was dry and endless.

I know I wasn't a huge fan of Life Before Man (Margaret Atwood) or Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray) or Middlemarch (George Eliot), but I can't think of anything else at the moment - I'm sure there have been a number of books I haven't enjoyed, but maybe I've just suppressed the memories very very well! I also think that certain books might not be very good at certain times in our life, but we may enjoy them at another time.

I read The Sound and The Fury (William Faulkner) in grade eleven and hated it. I had to read Light in August when I was in university and while I was dreading reading another Faulkner, I really enjoyed it. I went back and reread The Sound and The Fury and discovered it was quite good, I just probably wasn't mature enough for it at age 16. So all four books mentioned in here might get a different reception if I were to read them today!

Did you enjoy any of the books I didn't like? Did you also dislike them? Is your memory better than mine and you remember why you liked or disliked them? What are your least favourite books?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

Yesterday I could barely keep my eyes open.

And I blame it all on this book!

the girl who kicked the hornet's nest

On Monday, while Alex was doing some stuff in the kitchen and I was waiting for him to finish so I could do the dishes, I decided I'd take some me time (instead of, you know, doing some laundry or something else productive) and read. I was about half way into this book and I'd been taking it slow - a few chapters here, a few chapters there.



I'm not going to spoil it for you, but at the end of the book there is a trial. And it takes up a good part of the last 100 pages (yes, I do read ridiculously fast when I'm not being interrupted).

So I just started the trial and Alex simultaneously finished in the kitchen. Off I trundled to do the dishes. And then go to bed. Except. Well. This book had my attention. More than either of the previous books. And I NEEDED to know what happened. And I needed to know NOW. So I stayed up way past my bed time reading. And I finished the book. And then I didn't sleep very well at all because my mind was racing and trying to figure out where Stieg Larsson was going with this series before he died.

Verdict: READ THESE BOOKS. But do it when you have lots of time and can read all night if you have to.

I don't want to say too much because I know not everyone has read them...if you have read them, are there any characters that you wonder about? There are a few names that have been strategically dropped and I wonder what would have happened in the subsequent books. There is one female in particular who I think would likely have figured very prominently in the later part of the series.

So, if you've read these, leave your thoughts and comments in the comment section. I'd love to hear what you thought about any or all of these books!

If you haven't read these and would like to, assume that entering the comment section means you're opening yourself up to spoilers!

Day 1: What is your favourite book?

This was a very hard question. I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it some more.

And still couldn't come up with only one book. But I looked at the other questions and I tried not to duplicate anything if I could help it.

So. Two of my favourite books, in order of how I discovered them.

1. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

I don't know when I got this book - but it's in tatters. I love it.

It also made me very mad in some parts (and still makes me mad, although not as mad).

I hated Amy (now I just dislike her and think she's a bit spoiled and petty), but I still have a hard time with the Laurie-Amy marriage. For a long time I didn't understand why Alcott decided that Jo and Laurie should not be together, but now, I get it. And I understand why Amy needed Laurie so she could leave Europe and come home but I look at their marriage as one that might be a bit strained. Laurie married Amy so he could be a part of the March family even if he couldn't have Jo (who I think he is still hopelessly in love with). Amy was constantly trying to show Jo up (burning her first novel, taking her place with Aunt March) and I feel like Amy marrying Laurie was just another one of those incidents.

I loved gentle, sweet, kind Beth. I still cry and cry and cry whenever I read those pages where she dies. And I know what's going to happen. It's not a secret. But I cry.

I haven't read this for a while but I think I should go back and reread it just so I can remember all of the other reasons why I love it!

2. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

I got this for my 17th birthday. I took it with me to a family reunion and one afternoon I retreated to the front seat of the van for a rest (we were camping in tents). I didn't come out except to eat. I loved this book. It was written so poetically and beautifully and the story was gripping too.

I took this book back to boarding school with me and it actually made it onto our curriculum for grade twelve.

I have two copies of it, I love it that much. I have one that has scribbles in it from four or five people who read it pretty much simultaneously and one "good" copy. The messy copy has bath warped pages and travelled Europe, Australia and New Zealand with me. It's one of those books I would insist on packing I was ever told I had a limited number of books I could move with me.

What is/are your favourite book(s)? Have you read either of my two favourites? What did you think?

Monday, August 9, 2010

A different kind of challenge

So, when I started this blog, I thought it might get me to write a little more often...maybe...but, well, life is busy.

Then I found a 30 day book challenge. There are 30 questions relating to reading and books. I'm going to post them one day at a time and I'd like to invite you to comment on any/all/none of them...

In order to give myself a bit of time to think and get ready, I'm going to start publishing them on Wednesday, August 11. There will be 30. Join in at any time!

And, because the challenge is about books, it might give some of us (all of us?) ideas for books we might be interested in reading.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bonus Book #2: The Girl Who Played With Fire mere, what, three days later, I finished book number two.

the girl who played with fire
I'm already dreading the end of book number three because, well, there isn't a book number four. And that makes me sad.

I think I read this one faster than the first one.

And I've come to the same conclusions. Read it if you haven't. And I'll probably read it again at some point in my life.

The only thing that bugs me a little was the violence, but it was definitely central to the book and the plot, so it wasn't that bad.

And now it's late. And I can't think of what else to write. And I'm definitely going to have strange dreams.

Have you read any of these books?

(Yay for July - I tripled my goal!)

EDIT: photo added 05/08/10

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bonus Book: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I did it...somehow this month I managed to read more than one book! It might have had something to do with being on vacation. It might also have had something to do with staying up a little later that I should have reading. And just maybe it had something to do with this book being extremely hard to put down.

the girl with the dragon tattoo

I'm already a fair way into The Girl Who Played With Fire and I'm wishing the author didn't die before he finished the series. I have no idea what's going to happen over the course of the next two books, but already I'm sensing that I'm going to be disappointed that there is NO MORE.

Crime novels tend to be my quick reads. I really enjoy Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell and pretty much any other random crime book my dad is reading. I loved that even though this book was in translation, I didn't feel like it was.

I'm not sure what grabbed me about this book, but I certainly recommend it...just like every single person I've talked to who has also read it.

(In some strange way this reminds me of Harry Potter - it has a huge following, lots of "non-readers" are reading it and I think I could probably reread it even though I know exactly what's going to happen at the end.)

EDIT: photo added 05/08/10

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One Year To An Organized Life

I finished July's book last week. It had to go back to the library (someone else had a hold on it), so there was some panic reading it. And now I don't have it in front of me to reference, so I'm going to wing it.

one year to an organized life
This month's book was One Year To An Organized Life by Regina Leeds. I saw it in Chapters one day a couple of months ago and thought I'd check it out. I'm not totally disorganized right now, but I don't feel like I'm as organized as I'd like to be. I'd been sort of dabbling with the whole FlyLady thing, but I didn't really feel it was working for me.

I liked parts of this book.

It put a strong emphasis on journaling and some of the questions seemed so relevant. The big one that hit me was a two parter - did my house always feel this disorganized and if not, how did it get this way. And then she tells you not to beat yourself up about it, but instead do something about it.

I thought about her questions, but I didn't do much journaling (maybe because I was reading 12 months worth of organizing tips, strategies and skills in three weeks). As I was reading, I kept asking myself, do I need to buy this book? I loved how it was broken down by month and then by week. Even the huge tasks seemed less daunting (although, again because of the library thing, I didn't really put anything into practice).

There were a few things that drove me nuts.

One was the constant references to The Container Store (which we don't have in Canada) just because I felt like she was saying there was no where else to buy boxes/containers/organizing equipment. The colour coding of the closet seemed a little over the top to me. And I guess that's where you let your own judgment take over. I group my clothing either by type (all sweatshirts together, all blouses together etc) or by outfit. Looking at a rainbow in the morning would not help me get ready faster.

So. Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think I would. It motivated me to get moving on some things I was procrastinating on. I think I got some good tips. Would I buy it? Maybe. It depends on how often I find myself wishing I could refer to something in that book in the next little while.

Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where The Wine Is

My first book in this challenge is Laurie Perry's second installment: Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where The Wine Is (I also read her first book in May - I wrote a little bit about it over on Get Fit Chicks).

home is where the wine is
I love Crazy Aunt Purl and I visit her website practically every day. I've read a huge number of the archived posts too. I love her honesty and bluntness and humour and even her cats (and I'm not a cat person!).

With both books I wondered how much I'd enjoy them because I do read her blog all the time. But that woman amazes me. Most of the stories in her book were new ones and if they weren't entirely new, they were definitely expanded to add more details and more giggles and the occasional cringe or tear, but they were definitely different. There were some things that I had briefly wondered about that she hadn't address on the site that were in the book.

I loved that it was written in pretty much the same style as her blog. It wasn't all prettied up and changed so it sounded like someone else.

I also loved the knitting recipes at the end of both books. There were a couple I wanted to take a closer look at in the first book but it had to go back to the library and I couldn't even renew it because someone else had a hold on it.

Anyway, I pretty much thought this book (and the first one) was great. I'm waiting for installment #3! Both of these were quick reads for me - I think two days each.