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Showing posts from July, 2015

Month In Review

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July was a slow reading month once again.  Usually I get a lot of reading down while on vacation but this year, our trip was just so busy there wasn't too much time for reading by the pool.  Actually, it was too hot to sit outside the pool and read, I spent all my time in the pool.  And even at home it's been too hot to do anything but veg out on the couch.

Here are the books I read this month with their GoodReads Ratings:

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan *****
Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons *****
Villa America by Liza Klaussmann ****
For the Love by Jen Haymaker ****
Seinfeld FAQ by Nicholas Nigro ***

Challenges

Diversity on the Shelf (1)

What I'm Looking Forward to in August

My plan is to tackle my TBR pile as best as I can ahead of September aka Canadian literary awards season.  It's a big pile but I think I can make a big dent in it.  Wish me luck!

Non-Bookish Things Month in Review

Fun Stuff

We spent Canada Day at the Blue Jays game which is always a fantastic experience.  So much patriotism and it was a great game as well.

July is also the month that our family takes a road trip.  This year we spent a few days in Washington DC (our first time there) and then went to Myrtle Beach for a week (second time there.)  Highlights:

Udvar-Hazy Center (National Air and Space Museum) - my husband is a space and flight geek so he was in his element here.  It was awesome to see the Discovery Space Shuttle and of course the Canadarm.  I loved seeing the pod that Felix Baumgartner jumped out of and my husband was obsessed with the Lockheed SR-17 Blackbird.

Nationals-Dodgers Game - Ok, so the game ended up being suspended because a few of the lights went out.  But we've decided to do the Major League Baseball stadium tour and that is stop #6 for me.  Nationals Stadium is pretty cool.

The Beach - it is hot as all get out down in South Carolina but that doesn't matter whe…

"China Rich Girlfriend" by Kevin Kwan

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Our favourite socialites, billionaires, and eligible bachelors are back!  And this time, there’s even more shopping, secrets, and scandals.
American-born Rachel Chu is about to walk down the aisle and marry the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes, Nicholas Young.  Nicholas, who is willing to sacrifice his inheritance to marry Rachel, hasn’t spoken to his mother in months and has been keeping his wedding a secret from his family.  But something like that isn’t going to stop his mother, especially when she has news that will turn everything upside down.
Rachel has never known who her birthfather is.  But when she discovers his true identity she is thrown into a world she could have never imagined.  The upper echelon of Singapore is about to gain a new member.
China Rich Girlfriend, by Kevin Kwan, is the follow-up novel to the wickedly fun Crazy Rich Asians and this sequel is just as fun and outrageous.  
When I reviewed Crazy Rich Asians, I pointed out how the book was like the tele…

Author Interview: Annie Lyons

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I recently reviewed the book Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons, which I named as one of the best books I have read this summer.  And today I'm excited to share that Annie agreed to answer a few of my questions!  Here's what she had to say:
What books influenced you? I can remember my mum reading The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder to me and being completely caught up in a world that was so unlike my own - I love books that transport me far away from my own four walls.  
As a teenager I was obsessed with Wuthering Heights and actually very surprised when I first read it. It wasn't what I expected at all - so dark, passionate and often very disturbing but completely absorbing.
My dad introduced me to P.G. Wodehouse and I can remember gorging myself on his books one summer. The observations on life are witty and wise, and the characters are comic perfection. I've always had a secret ambition to win the Wodehouse Award for comic literature beca…

"Life or Something Like It" by Annie Lyons

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Cat runs a very successful PR company with her best friend, and secret crush, Jesse.  She is renowned in the celebrity world for the work she does and how good she is at it.  She loves nothing better than seeing her clients in the spotlight, even if it comes through sacrificing her personal life.
But as everyone knows, when a celebrity falls from grace, they fall quickly.  And when one of Cat’s footballer clients ends up looking bad in the press, her career is put on hold.  Without her job, Cat doesn’t know what to do.  So when her brother calls her in urgent need of someone to watch his kids for two weeks, she agrees to help him out.
“Auntie” isn’t exactly a role Cat has been keen on taking on in the past.  She’s never wanted kids and doesn’t know a thing about looking after them.  And her niece and nephew, Ellie and Charlie, know it.  But Cat isn’t completely alone at this.  She has hunky Finn, Uncle to Ellie’s friend, to help her along, even if he does infuriate her at every step.…

*First Chapter* Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin

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Last month I reviewed a lovely novel called Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin (read my review here).  I adored it and if you’re a fan of the chick lit genre, I know you will too.  This is Holly’s 4th novel and it is just as enjoyable as her first three, all of which I absolutely loved.  
Yesterday was the release day for Fairytale Beginnings and today I am thrilled to be one of the lucky bloggers that get to share the first chapter of the book with you.  If you like what you read (which you will), you can download the book from Amazon and keep reading.  The Kindle edition is just $2 in Canada and the United States, and in the UK it's 99p for the next few days.
Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin
Milly drove up the steep, curvy, cliff top lanes with the warm sun on her back and the wind in her hair. From up here, she could see the sparkling blue of the sea below her stretching out for miles into the horizon. It was a beautiful day, made even lovelier by the endless yellow fields…

A Bookish Guiness World Record Attempt

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A couple of years ago, my husband and I were at a local bookstore and we met a young Canadian author who was selling his self-published novel.  We spoke to him for a little bit, were very impressed by him, and bought his book.  You can read my review of Struggles of a Dreamer by Yahaya Baruwa here.
Then last month, we were watching a local news program and there was Yahaya on our screens!  Not only has he been working hard at selling his novel and preparing to release his second, he has taken on a very large goal.  He is attempting to break a long standing Guiness World Record by printing his book as the World’s Largest Novel.
8 feet, 5 inches in height and 5 feet, 5 inches in length, this book will contain approximately 200 pages and have a full colour hard cover.  It will be mostly constructed by hand and will be fortified with aluminum, synthetic (tear resistant) paper, and sewn together with nylon stitching.

Want to learn more about this project and the author?  Check out Yahaya’…

"Seinfeld FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Show About Nothing" by Nicholas Nigro

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Is there actually anything left to say about the show about nothing?  It turns out there is.
When The Seinfeld Chronicles debuted in 1989, no one expected it to become the pop culture phenomenon that it ended up as.  By the end of its run, millions of people were recounting the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer at the water cooler the next day.  "Master of my domain", "yada yada yada", and "no soup for you" became catchphrases that are still in use more than 15 years after the show went off the air (my eight year old daughter uses yada yada yada.)  Seinfeld continues to be considered one of the greatest television series of all time.
The book Seinfeld FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Show about Nothing, by Nicholas Nigro, will take you back in time, remind you of everything you loved about the show, and probably actually help you learn a thing or two about the show you thought you knew everything about.
I started watching Seinfeld later th…

"Broken Glass" by Alain Mabanckou

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Credit Gone Away is the name of a squalid bar in Congo that plays host to a very interesting set of customers.  Broken Glass, one of the most loyal, has been given a notebook by the bar owner, Stubborn Snail, and asked to write down an account of the many people who frequent the bar.  
Broken Glass himself has a story of love and loss.  An alcoholic and disgraced teacher, he is haunted by the drowning death of his mother.  His wife has left him and he has lost all respect in the community.  And so he takes on the task of writing about the patrons of Credit Gone Away as a farewell of sorts.
Broken Glass, by Alain Mabanckou is a fascinating and funny story of a colourful cast of characters.  Full of heartache, laughter, love and loss, and full of literary and pop culture allusions, this is a captivating book. 
I first picked this book up after reading an article online discussing contemporary African authors that should be read by everyone and Mabanckou’s name was one that I was unfamil…