Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A bit of a break

Well, unfortunately I have fallen ill. So my reading has been non-existent and because of that my posting will be non-existent as well. I hope to be back to my usual reading self in the next week! See you all soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It is a great way to find new books to read, network with other book bloggers and of course find tons more books to add to your to read pile!

I'm still stuck in slow reading mode. I think I know what is causing it so hopefully I can break out of it soon!

Books I Read Last Week

The Debba by Avner Mandelman (longlisted for the Giller, of which the prize was announced last week and caused a few controversies in the book world.)

What I Am Currently Reading

The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett (winner of the 2010 Toronto Book Award)
How To Read the Air by Dinaw Mengistu

What I Plan To Read Next

Great House by Nicole Krauss
Subsitute Me by Lori Tharps (I've been hearing great things about this book, so I'm excited it's finally here.)

What are you reading?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Independence Days" by Sharon Astyk

Welcome to the 2010 Green Books Campaign, hosted by Eco-Libris. Eco-Libris is a company that works with readers, publishers and bookstores to balance out our books, and plant trees for each book we read.

Today for the Green Books Campaign 200 bloggers are simultaneously publishing reviews of books that have been printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. And here is my contribution:


In the last few decades we have seen major changes in our approaches to food. Supermarkets are no longer just for food (just the other day I purchased my son's snowsuit alongside my groceries) and more and more people are relying on convenience foods. The self-sufficiency of our grandparents' time is long gone.


But another shift seems to be occurring. The current economic crisis means more and more people have less and less money to spend on foods. The local eating movement has gone from being a trend to a necessity as more people rely on farmer's markets and growing their own foods.


If you are one of those people who is making a move to local eating, then Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation is the book for you. This book will walk you through every single step of food preservation including buying in bulk, storing food, and technique. And even if food preservation doesn't seem like an option for you, this book still has some easy and necessary tasks that you can do to reduce your reliance on industrial agriculture.


This is a fascinating book. It begins with food storage which applies to everyone. Astyk covers the many reasons people need to have stocked food pantries and helps you examine your own life to find out what your needs are. I've always kept a little extra food on hand during the winter months just in case of a snowstorm, but this book has helped me to develop that a bit further.


I will admit there were times it was a little depressing to think about why I would possibly need to keep 60 pounds of oats on hand at all times, but Astyk provides a realistic view of why food pantries are important. Hurricanes, snowstorms, power outages, or job loss are all reasons why it is important to have extra food on hand.


The second half of the book goes into food preservation, the tools needed, the different techniques, and how and when to preserve different food. In addition to this, Astyk includes various family favourite recipes using foods that are stored and preserved.


I can pretty much guarantee that after reading the first few chapters of this book you will already be clearing space in your cupboards and making a list of foods to stock up on. Don't worry if it seems as though it will cost a lot of money, Astyk gives you some tips on how to stock up on the cheap.


There is something for everyone in this book. You don't have to live on a farm or have a large plot of land to have need for this book. I live in a high-rise in the city and I have walked away from this book with many tips and ideas. I may not end up in my kitchen making jam or pickling vegetables but I definitely feel as though I have begun to take charge of my own food security.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?


It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where book bloggers gather to share what we have read and what we plan to read over the next week.

Books I Read Last Week

Not another good reading week for me. I managed to finish one I had going for a while, and then read another.

The Matter With Morris by David Bergen (shortlisted for the Giller Prize which is announced tomorrow)
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk (my book for the Green Books Campaign)

What I Am Currently Reading

The Debba by Avner Mandelman (longlisted for the Giller Prize)

What I Plan To Read Next

Turns out I have problems reading my checkout list on the library website. I thought I had an extra week with some books, but I read the date wrong and now I have to change around my reading schedule.

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengistu (I really need to start this one this week!)
Great House by Nicole Krauss
The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett (finalist for 2010 Toronto Book Awards)

How is your reading? Are you having more luck than I am? I seem to be stalled a bit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Green Books Campaign, November 10 2010

I am excited to be participating in this years Green Books Campaign. Launched in 2009 by Eco-Libris, the campaign aims to promote "green" books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper.

On Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 1:00 PM ET, 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish their reviews of books printed on environmental paper.

I will be posting my review of Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation by Sharon Astyk.

So remember to check back here on Wednesday for my review, and check out the Eco-Libris website to find other bloggers participating in this great campaign. And while you are there you can find out more about how you can balance your books, plant a tree for each book you read and make a positive impact on our environment.



Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop and Happy Friday! Hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books, the hop is a gathering of over 200 book bloggers so we can find great blogs, great reads, and get to know each other better.

This weeks question is: What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?

It does stink to sign in and find that I've lost a follower. I wonder, do they not like the books I've chosen? Do they not like my writing or opinions? But there could be many reasons for losing a follower. Maybe they're just not into the genres I've chosen. Maybe they've left the blogging world all together. So I try not to worry about it. Now, if there was a mass exodus of followers, then I would worry a little bit about what I've done.

I know that there are people who follow me but don't comment, just as I follow a lot of people but don't comment there. I follow too many too comment personally on every post, but I do take the time each day to sort through my Blogger dashboard and see what everyone is posting on. I may not be able to always read their blog or comment but I am genuinely interested in what other people reading, and that is why I follow them.

The only times I've stopped following a blog are when they've stopped posting for a very long period of time or if I realize that they only post on genres that I don't read. There are so many books out there that I haven't heard of until I've seen them on someone else's blog, so I feel that if I stop following people I might miss out on some good titles. So I may only check out their blog through my Dashboard, but their blog is still influencing my reading.

So I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I have some stuff that's going to take up a lot of time so hopefully I can get some good quality reading time in there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"The Matter With Morris" by David Bergen

Everyone is wondering what is the matter with Morris? His son Martin was killed in Afghanistan after Morris, a pacifist, dared him to join the army. Now he has been let go from his job as a newspaper columnist and his grieving wife has left him. He has withdrawn all his money from the bank, cut off most of his contact with the outside world, is trying to rescue a prostitute and has immersed himself in the works of great thinkers. Will Morris be able to find the answers he is looking for or is he forever lost?


The Matter With Morris is about a man in crisis, dealing with the consequences of his actions and words while trying to understand the nature of the world around him. Morris Schutt is a very interesting man. He's not Mr. Popular nor does he care to be. He doesn't always think before he acts. But he is trying to figure out how to fix his mistakes, or at least how to stop making them.


My feelings on this book are mixed. I thought the premise of the story is good and relatable - how one deals with grief in our current time of international conflict. There is a lot to question about our world, the people who run it, and those who are fighting our wars. I could agree with Morris on many of his viewpoints, especially with his reflections on how the great thinkers works still apply today. Morris' letters to the Prime Minister and the corporation who manufactured the gun that killed his son were poignant.


But there was also a lot of disconnect from Morris for me. I'm not sure why given that the book is all about Morris and how he drifts through his time of crisis. The writing style is simple and Morris is easy to follow. I did feel a bit more for him toward the end of the book.


I think in the end, I was expecting more from this book because it has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and other books from the longlist were able to pull me in quicker than this one. I do think that this is worth a read however, that David Bergen has some interesting observations on life and war and how they intersect.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Nina Garcia's Look Book" by Nina Garcia

If you have ever stood in front of your closet and asked yourself "what should I wear?" then Nina Garcia has the book for you. Nina Garcia's Look Book helps you figure out what to wear for every occasion. From a job interview to a black tie wedding, and everything in between, the fashion director of Marie Clare magazine and Project Runway judge will make sure you never question your wardrobe choices again.


This book is extensive. Every situation in which a woman finds herself is covered (including some rare situations like meeting a potential surrogate.) In addition to covering clothes, Nina talks about appropriate hair and makeup. Two cool features are "rule breakers we love" and "rules are made to be broken" which help show that fashion isn't always about strict rules but is about dressing appropriately.


This is a great, necessary book that I think all women will love. It is divided into different sections - work, dating, day, night, holidays, life events, weddings and dream travel - and every woman will find what she needs.


What is really great about this book is that it's not rigid in what it tells you to wear. You don't need to buy a whole new wardrobe, have the latest trends or dress in a certain style. The book helps you to pick outfits from what is already in your closet. The illustrations, by Ruben Toledo, are adorable and the book has a beautiful layout.


I think this book is a must-have. Nina Garcia knows fashion and she knows how to make women look good, and with this book you will never find yourself underdressed or overdressed again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a place for book bloggers to gather and share what they have read, what they are reading and what they plan to read. It's a great way to find new titles to add to the always growing to read pile! Here's what's up with me:

Books I read last week:

It was not a good week for me reading wise. I blame Netflix and the abundance of documentaries at my fingertips. So I finished one book this week:

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton (fabulous book, please check out my review below.)

What I am currently reading:

The Matter With Morris by David Bergen (shortlisted for the Giller Prize)

What I plan to read next:

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengistu (Ethiopian-American author)
Rules for a Perfect Life by Niamh Green (Irish chick lit)

What are you reading?