Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Month In Review"

August was a pretty slow reading month for me.  I started the month by starting a few different books and finishing none of them.  They won't end up a DNF's for me, I will finish them soon but they just weren't what I needed to read at the time.  A mid-month Bout of Books did help get me reading and now I think I'm back on track.  You know how summer can be.  Now that school is starting, I'm sure I'll get much more read.

Here is what I read with GoodReads ratings in August:

Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga *****
The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter *****
When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren ****
OMG Baby! by Emma Garcia ****
Wait For It by Jesse McLean ****
Ice Creams at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown ****

Canadian Book Challenge (1), Diversity in Books (0), TBR Pile (0), Classics Club (0)

What I'm Looking Forward to in September

The announcement of the ScotiaBank Giller Prize long list on September 16th.  That will decide for me what I will be reading for the next two months!

Friday, August 29, 2014

"The Love Detective" by Alexandra Potter

Ruby Miller is a best-selling romance author who gave up on love after her fiancĂ© cheated on her.  Which would explain why she is suffering from a terrible bout of writer’s block.  When her editor tells her she should clear her head by going away on vacation, she takes the opportunity to go visit her sister in India.

Ruby is happy to see Amy and she enjoys the rest and relaxation a week at a yoga retreat in India can give you.  But when her sister informs her on the day they are supposed to head home to London that she is staying behind to marry Shine, a yoga instructor, Ruby’s bliss comes to an end.  

Soon, Ruby is on a chase across India, trying to track down her sister before she make a terrible mistake.  And with the help of a sexy American she meets on a train, she may actually find her before it’s too late.  But maybe, before she gets there, Ruby will discover that love isn’t something to run from but rather toward.

The Love Detective is the latest novel from Alexandra Potter, author of nine romantic comedies.  While I thought I had read one of her books before, it appears I haven’t so this is my first novel of hers and it definitely won’t be the last.  This is a breath-taking, gorgeous novel that is hard to put down.

If you have ever been to India, you will love the way Potter makes the country leap off of the pages.  If you have never been to India, you will feel as though you have been when you are finished reading this book.  This is what people mean when they say you can travel the world through books.  The scenes set at the Taj Mahal were especially spectacular.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book.  Ruby is fantastic, a romance writer who has given up on love is a great idea.  Even the American, who I thought I wasn’t going to like much at all turned out to be a wonderful character for most of the book.  Everything inside this book is as beautiful as the cover.

Oh how I wish I was along on this journey with Ruby.  This book will make you want to buy a ticket right away.  If you’re looking for romance, laughs, and gorgeous scenery, this is the book for you.  A five star read for me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Everyone Says I Must Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This one is hard for me.  People generally don't recommend books to me, probably because I'm always recommending books for them.  So I honestly couldn't pick ten books that people have been telling me I must read.  But there are two books that for the last year anyone I talk to about books asks if I have read and when I say no, they tell me I really should.  Those two books are:  

It always makes me laugh when people recommend these two books because as much as I like reading award winners, I don't really like reading very long books (reason being with so many other books I want to read I don't feel I have the time to devote to them.)  I did start The Luminaries but I couldn't finish it before I had to return it to the library.

What do you think?  Should I take everyone's advice and read these books or should I be okay with missing them?

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Wait For It: The Legen-dary Story of How I Met Your Mother" by Jesse McLean

Nine years ago Robin, Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Barney came onto our televisions and into our hearts.  We watched as the five best friends experienced highs and lows, love and heartbreak, success and failure.  We saw them get jobs, travel the world, buy homes, get married, have children, and we waited in anticipation of finding out how Ted met the mother.  

It’s safe to say that for many, How I Met Your Mother was more than just a television show.  And Jesse McLean is here to share all of that with you.  Wait For It is the ultimate companion book for fans of How I Met Your Mother.  Whether you are a new or old fan, you’ll lose yourself in the stories, gags, and behind the scenes sharing inside this book. 

McLean begins by introducing you to the people behind the show - the creators, writers, and actors.  After that he takes on the show season by season, discussing the overall themes and stories, the viewership numbers, and its place in television and popular culture.  He reviews the highlights, running gags, and catchphrases of each season and then moves on to discussing the best episodes of the season.  Each chapter is completed by looking at the candidates for Mrs. Moseby, famous guest stars, and reactions to the season.  

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book.  I began reading the book while binge-watching seasons 8 and 9 and each chapter made me want to go back and watch every season all over again.  For me this show was never really about finding out who the mother is, I just really enjoyed the five friends and all of their escapades.  Let’s admit it, Barney Stinson is one of the best characters ever written for television.  I also loved all of the Canadian jokes on the show and because Jesse McLean is Canadian, he included these in the book, explained them, and dispelled a few myths.

What do I wish this book had more of? Photos. The only photos that are included are head shots of the actors.  I would have loved photos of episodes, classic moments, and behind the scenes.  This would have greatly enhanced the book for me.

Thanks to Netflix, I’ll always be able to watch How I Met Your Mother.  And that’s a good thing because after reading this book there are quite a few episodes I want to go back and watch.  If you are a fan of the show you will definitely love this book.  I do recommend trying to get it in paperback as this kind of book tends to look better on the page rather than in e-book form (or at least that is my opinion.)

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley.  The opinions expressed above are my own.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's list is Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read.  I've divided this list into two - the first half is books I have bought but I'm not sure I want to read and the second half is books I put on my Classics Club list and I'm not that amped to read anymore.

Books I've Bought
Who doesn't love a good bargain on books.  I can't resist the Buy 3 Get the 4th Free sale at Chapters Indigo especially on the bargain books.  Nor can I resist the bookshelves at the Goodwill down the street.  So that is how all of these books ended up on my shelf but I'm not sure I'm going to read them considering they've been on my shelf for a few years now (some, over a decade.)

Books on my Classics Club list
I joined the Classics Club so that I could achieve my goal of reading more classics and I chose 50 books off of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list that I really wanted to read.  Only now that I'm faced with the knocking books off the list, there are a few there I kind of wish weren't on the list on anymore.

If you have read any of these and think I should, please convince me of it!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

"Reasons My Kid is Crying" by Greg Pembroke

It all started when Greg Pembroke posted a few pictures online of his son crying for what to adults seems like a completely trivial reason - he had broken his bit of cheese in half.  Parents around the world completely understood what was going on and soon Pembroke’s blog, Reasons My Son is Crying, became a pop culture success.

Now, Pembroke has turned that blog into a book titled Reasons My Kid is Crying.  The best submissions to his blog, each picture comes with one sentence explaining what made the child cry.  Some of my favourites include:

“I told him he didn’t need that band-aid anymore.” pg. 58

“Water got on his bathing suit.” pg. 150

“I wouldn’t let him play with the dead squirrel he found in the yard.” pg. 152

“We took her to see Santa.” pg. 181

“I have no idea why my son is crying.” pg. 192

This is a lovely book, one that you can quickly flip through.  Reading through it, I didn’t find it to be about poking fun at children or trivializing their problems, but rather a celebration of their innocence and how they view the world.  This is a great gift for parents of every stage and one I will definitely be sharing with all of the new parents I know.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Ice Creams at Carrington's" by Alexandra Brown

Ever since a reality television show put Carrington’s Department Store in Mulberry-on-Sea on the map, life has been incredible for Georgie Hart.  She is in her element working in the personal shopping department of the store, in addition to writing her own magazine column.  And oh yeah, she’s happily coupled up with Tom, aka Mr. Carrington, owner of the store.

But when Tom’s mother Isabella comes to town for a visit, everything goes crazy.  Georgie is convinced isabella hates her and in her bid to impress her, she finds herself roped into planning Mulberry-on-Sea’s Regatta.  And just when she finds herself deep in the planning, she is sent to New York on a whirlwind trip that may derail all of her hard work.  Add to that an aging father driving around Europe in an old van, a best friend who is stressed as a new mother, and a boyfriend who is growing increasingly distant, and Georgie isn’t sure if she’ll be able to pull anything off.

Ice Creams at Carrington’s is the third novel (though fourth instalment) in the Carrington’s series and is just as much as fun as the first two books.  Georgie Hart is a gorgeous character who is growing and maturing through each novel and her loveable friends and family are always enjoyable.  

This is such a lovely series.  I really enjoyed the first two books and I like how much material there is in all of the books.  There is never a lull in the fun, romance, or drama.  This novel is no different.  All of the beloved characters are back and there are some fresh new faces as well.  I really enjoy how all of the characters are developed as people, how characters like Eddie still get full stories even if they don't play out firsthand on the page.  

There is so much going on in this book and Brown doesn’t shy away from difficult topics.  I really appreciate how she touched on motherhood and postpartum depression with the character of Sam.  This, and other topics, make it so much more than a fun escape novel.

My only criticism of this book is the relationship between Georgie and Tom.  I feel as though we never really got to see how the relationship developed or why their relationship works so well because it was just all about the sex they were having.  Sure, that can drive the relationship but for the relationship to be as serious as it is now, there had to be more to it and I feel like that was missing from the book.  But other than that, I really can’t complain about this book!

I really hope that this isn’t the end of the Carrington’s series.  Georgie and all of her friends are characters that I want to visit again and again and again.  If you haven’t read any of this series, get started now.  And when you begin this one, make sure you have lots of ice cream stocked in the freezer!