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Showing posts from 2017

April Review/May at a Glance

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April
April has by far been the best reading month in terms of getting into a good reading groove and spending the whole month with a book in my hand. And because of that I ended up reading 10 books and for the first time in years am still ahead on my reading goal (which at this point of the year is usually already failing.) I'm also trying out a new way of posting here, by posting 2-3 reviews of recent reads that all share a similar theme. The reviews are much shorter but this way there is a lot less pressure on me and I feel content to just read.

Here is what I read in April:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter - Scaachi Koul
Baseball Life Advice - Stacey May Fowles

⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Bluebell Bunting Society  - Poppy Dolan
The Child - Fiona Barton
Welcome to Lagos - Chibundu Onuzo
Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan
There Are More Beautiful Things Than BeyoncĂ© - Morgan Parker

⭐⭐⭐
Rock Solid: My Life in Baseball's Fast Lane - Tim Raines
The People at Number 9 - Felic…

Recent Reads: Thrillers

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I Found You by Lisa Jewell (out now)
Thanks to the dominance of the psychological thriller in the book market over the last two years, I have been reading a lot of mysteries lately. And recently, they’ve all started to blur into one and I have been getting tired of them. Enter this book. I Found You renewed my love for the genre and showed me that Lisa Jewell is one to read.

Right from the start I was hooked on this one. I really liked how the book went between different people and their parts of the story. Then when the book picked up in the past in the second part, I really didn’t want to put it down. I spent the majority of the book playing detective, trying to piece it all together before the book did it for me, which I absolutely enjoyed in this one. Jewell gives you just enough in each chapter to move the story line along and keep you absolutely hooked, wanting to know what happens next.
The Child by Fiona Barton (release date: June 27)
The Widow was a wonderful surprise, the firs…

Recent Reads: Non-Fiction

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One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter - Scaachi Koul

A unique voice, Koul is the first generation Canadian daughter of Kashmiri immigrants whose stories will resonate with everyone. Even this extremely pale Northern European could relate to her piece on body hair. The essay “Mute,” about the online harassment she experienced after encouraging non-white, non-males to submit pieces to her workplace, is reason enough to get this book. It is horrifying and a must-read for all.  The rest of this book is just as fantastic. This is the first of Koul’s work I have read but I’m definitely following her everywhere now (you know, in a non-creepy, admirer of her writing way.)
All The Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers - Alana Massey
I picked up this book after reading a very short blurb which pretty much included the title and said it was one to read this year. Based on the title I was expecting a lighter commentary on pop culture, which i…

March Review/April at a Glance

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March I'm reading. I'm totally reading. But I'm not blogging. I can't do it all people! Between reading the books and selling the books, I'm just not finding the time to blog the books. I'm much more active on Twitter and Instagram so follow me there (@goodbooksandtea) where we can really discuss books. But I do promise that I will be posting a bit more in depth reviews on here in the weeks to come. I think I may have found a way that works for me, we'll see how it goes for the month of April.

Here is what I read during March:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dear Ijeawale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria - Wendy Pearlman

⭐⭐⭐⭐
I Found You - Lisa Jewell
A Blessing and a Curse - ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray
The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson

⭐⭐⭐
The Lonely Hearts Hotel - Heather O'Neill
In This Moment - Karma Brown
Is Canada Even Real? How a Nation Built o…

"Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin" by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

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He is the boy whose murder shocked the world. They are the parents whose grief and loss launched a movement. 
In February of 2012, on an average evening in a small town in central Florida, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death while walking home from the store with a bag of candy and a can of juice in his pockets. The head of the neighbourhood watch got out of the car against the advice of the authorities he had contacted regarding a suspicious person and followed the young man. This encounter ended with the man drawing his gun and taking Trayvon’s life.
In the days that followed, Trayvon’s parents tried to get answers from the police but were ignored. They couldn’t understand how the man that murdered their son was allowed to walk free. Their grief overtook them but they knew they had to fight for their son and as time went on the world joined them in calling for justice for Trayvon and all victims of racism and gun violence.
Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon …

On Ancestry, Identity, and Telling Stories...One Reader's Perspective

If you haven’t heard, celebrated Canadian author Joseph Boyden has come under the microscope over his Indigenous heritage. This isn’t the first time it has happened. Boyden, author of the novels Through Black Spruce, Three Day Road, The Orenda, and most recently the novella Wenjack, has for years been positioned as a spokesperson for Indigenous people in Canada. In the past, some have posed questions surrounding Boyden’s heritage and pointed out inconsistencies in his own personal stories. But it seems those questions were largely left to be minor discussions in the public realm.

Until a couple of weeks ago when Jorge Barrera, journalist with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and blogger Robert Jago raised the question again, this time having done research into Boyden’s genealogy based on his own words and coming up with no evidence to back up what he has claimed.

For a little while, Boyden remained quiet on the subject other than issuing a statement reaffirming what he…

"The Trophy Child" by Paula Daly

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Release Date: March 7, 2017
Tiger mothers have nothing on Karen Bloom. Things may have not turned out so well with her son Ewan but she is definitely not letting her daughter Bronte slip through the cracks. Straight A’s, music lessons, and dance classes dominate the young prodigy’s life. Karen expects her family to always be at 200 percent and nothing less.
But behind the facade of the perfect family lies a wealth of secrets. Karen’s husband Noel, a successful small-town doctor has a taste for women and alcohol. Noel’s teenage daughter Verity is under strict discipline at school and at home due to her aggressive behaviour. And Bronte, the one on whom everything rests, longs to run away from it all.
When Bronte actually does go missing, a domino effect hits the family. As tragedy strikes the family again, all of their secrets and lies begin to spill out, leading readers to wonder how far people will go in their quest for perfection in The Trophy Child by Paula Daly.
After reading What …

Canada Reads 2017 Longlist

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Every March, the CBC hosts a one week discussion surrounding the question "what is one book that all Canadians should read?" (I know, just when you think Canadians can't get any more awesome, you find out we have literary debates on national television.) The longlist for this year's event, taking place from March 27 to 30, was announced this past week. Here are the contenders:

Company Town by Madeline Ashby
A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.

even this page is white by Vivek Shraya
Vivek's debut collection of poetry is a bold, timely, and personal interrogation of skin - its origins, functions, and limitations.

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness.

I Am Woman by Lee Maracle
One of the foremost Native writers in North America, Lee Maracle link…

"Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

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It takes a brave person to fill the shoes of Jon Stewart, one of the (if not THE) most successful satirical news hosts on American television. At the helm of The Daily Show for 16 years, Stewart built the show into a 23 time Emmy-winning show that averaged 2 million viewers each night, becoming the authority on news and politics for the younger generation. It is only natural that his successor would be held to a scrutiny that few could withstand. But Trevor Noah was more than ready for the challenge.
Everything in Trevor's life was leading him to The Daily Show. Starting as a young comedian in South Africa, he took all sorts of jobs that would eventually lead to him headlining one of the biggest stand-up shows the country had ever seen. Pretty soon, the rest of the world came calling and Noah was set on the path to taking over one of the most coveted seats on television.
But it is the start of Trevor’s story that is most compelling. Born in apartheid South Africa to a white Swiss…

Here's to a New Year!

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"Out with the old, in with the new," has never been a more appropriate saying than it is for 2017!

Today marks my 7th year with this little blog. Over the last year it has suffered quite a bit with my trying to balance family life, work life, and writing life. Sadly, the writing life has suffered greatly. But as New Year’s Day brings about another year of blogging, I’m committing to a refresh and once again giving it my attention.

My holidays have been a busy one. It was full-on right up until Christmas Eve (everyone who works in retail knows what that is about) but I’ve thankfully been able to have some good downtime to spend with my family and, of course, watch television. Because I’m all about the binge-watching. These holidays have been spent doing a massive Coronation Street catch up but also getting reacquainted with my Netflix account and watching Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Crown, and Black Mirror. And of course my beloved British Christmas specials …