Showing posts from October, 2010

"The Tapestry Of Love" by Rosy Thornton

At forty-nine Catherine Parkstone is having a fresh start in her life. She has been divorced for eight years and her two children are now grown and on their own. So Catherine does what many people long to do. She sells her home in England, moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cevennes mountains of France and sets up a business as a seamstress. It sounds perfect.
But adjusting to life in her rural idyll isn't as easy as she had thought it would be. Days can be lonely, neighbours tend to keep to themselves and boy can it rain. On top of that, French bureaucracy is making it incredibly difficult to get her business started. Add to the mix an intriguing and mysterious male neighbour, and Catherine begins to question her decision and wonder if maybe she wasn't cut out for this life in France.
The Tapestry of Love is a beautiful story. It's the story of a woman who does what many of us dream of doing - falling in love with a new place and a new way of life and leaving everything …

Book Blogger Hop!

Happy Friday! It's time for the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. It's a weekly meme for book bloggers to find new blogs and get to know each better. Each week over 200 bloggers take part, so it's definitely a party!
This weeks question:
What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?
Well, I own a TON of books as does my husband and right now we live in an apartment so all of our books are in boxes and being stored at a few different places. So when we own a house, my dream is to have my own library. The walls would be covered with bookshelves, there would be a comfy reading chair and a desk with my computer. The books would be shelved by subject and in alphabetical order, and yes, if someone borrowed a book there would be a computer program to keep track of that! It would be lovely!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. If you're hopping by please leave a link to your hop and I'll come visit. I'm having t…

"Holy Rollers" by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Nita, Coco and Audra have spent their lives looking for love in the wrong place. Thinking that they can find love in the arms of flashy pro athletes, all they have ended up with is a string of bad, failed relationships.
So when a conference for young Baptist ministers comes to town the girls hatch a plan - pose as God-fearing churchgoers in the hopes of landing a prominent pastor. And the girls "holy rolling" seems to pay off when they all land a new man. But even a relationship with a man of God can be full of drama.
Holy Rollers is another great book from ReShonda Tate Billingsley. The characters are refreshing and their exploits will have you hanging your head. These aren't women who go to church to find God, these are women who go to church to find men. And you know that isn't going to go over well!
But while it seems like a recipe for disaster and there are good laughs, this book covers some very serious topics. Infidelity, domestic abuse, deception, even …

"Curiosity" by Joan Thomas

Forty years before Charles Darwin published his famous work, a young woman named Mary Anning made an important discovery in the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England.
At the age of twelve, Mary found the first ichthyosaur skeleton (a giant marine reptile that resembled a dolphin.) Her discovery countered the belief of the time in the Biblical account of creation and proved that extinction was a reality. She then went on to discover three other separate species.
But Mary couldn't fight the prevailing beliefs of the 19th century, and her gender and social class prevented her from receiving full credit for her contributions to the scientific community.
Curiosity tells the story of Mary's life and scientific contributions but with a more in depth look at her personal relationships with those around her. In addition to this, it examines a romantic relationship between Mary and her friend Henry De La Beche, a man of higher class standing.
I had a hard time getting into this book. It is obv…

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's a place for bloggers to come together and share what they read in the past week, what they are reading and what they plan to read. She also offers a cool weekly contest for participants!
I'm so excited to participate in this meme for the first time! I love Mondays (is that weird?) Weekends are always so nice and relaxing but I rarely get much achieved, so Mondays is a return to order for me!
Books I read last week:
Holy Rollers by ReShonda Tate Billingsley - Urban Christian Curiosity by Joan Thomas - longlisted for Giller Prize
What I am currently reading:
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton - women's fiction
What I plan to read next:
The Matter with Morris by David Bergen - shortlisted for the Giller Prize How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengistu - Ethiopian-American writer
I haven't been reading as much as I usually do so I don't have too much planned for this week, but I defi…

"Cool Water" by Dianne Warren

Welcome to the town of Juliet, Saskatchewan, population 1011. At first glimpse you would think that there isn't much to this dusty oasis. But a closer look at some of the inhabitants show that this town is full of life and that its people are its heartbeat.
Lee is a young man, afraid to take responsibility of the the farm suddenly left behind to him by his adoptive parents. Bank manager Norval is carrying the weight of his clients, many of whom are at risk of losing everything, while dealing with his own inadequacies. Willard, who runs the local drive-in, is developing feelings for his sister-in-law Marian who continues to live under the same roof as him despite the death of his brother. Vicki and Blaine are the parents of six young children and are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads. Hank and Lynn's decades long marriage is threatened by the discovery of a small piece of paper in Hank's pocket.
Over the course of twenty-four hours these characters will fa…

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday! It's time for the Book Blogger Hop again, hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books.
This weeks question is: "Where is your favourite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"
My reading spot right now is definitely the couch. Next to it is a table with a basket where I keep my books and a lamp with the perfect amount of light for reading. No one is allowed to sit in my spot (it's also my tv watching spot. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, my family often hears me say "that's my spot" in my best Sheldon voice.)
We live in an apartment so I don't have many options for reading spots. When we own a house I hope to have a comfy reading chair inside as well as outside.
How about you, what's your spot?

"Been There Prayed That" by E.N. Joy

New Day Temple of Faith has a faithful congregation, but one thing is for sure - no one is perfect. The New Day Divas are definite proof of that.
Been There PrayedThat is the second book in the New Day Divas series, which has been coined as a soap opera in print. And a soap opera it is!
In this book Mother Doreen, head of the New Day Singles Ministry, has taken a sabbatical to care for her ill sister whose truck driver husband spends most of his time on the road. But Doreen starts to get suspicious when she notices that the assistant pastor of her sister's church seems to be hanging around a bit too much and not only that but her sister's belly seems to be growing.
Back at New Day, Lorain has taken over the Singles Ministry but she keeps clashing with Unique, a young single mother of three children from three fathers. When the pastor appoints them co-heads of the Ministry, things are taken to a whole new level.
And while Tamarra and Maeyl's relationship seems to be heading…

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's purpose is to highlight upcoming releases that we are looking forward to. My choice this week is still well in the future, but I think this one sounds great. The Baby Planner by Josie Brown Release Date: April 5, 2011 Katie Johnson may make her living consulting with new moms on the latest greatest baby gadgets no parent should be without, or which mommy meet-ups are the most socially desirable, or whether melon truly is the new black, but the success of her marriage to husband Alex depends on controlling her own urges toward motherhood. He's adamant that they stay childless. Sure, Katie understands that he's upset over the fact that his out-of-town ex-wife rarely lets him see their ten-year-old son, Peter. But living vicariously through her anxious clients and her twin sisters' precocious children only makes Katie resent his stance more deeply.While helping a new client—Seth Harris, a high…

"The Twelfth Imam" by Joel C. Rosenberg

Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran is rapidly developing its nuclear weapons program and calling for the annihilation of Israel. The Israeli Defense Minister is threatening to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. CIA Operative David Shirazi, an Iranian-American, is sent to Tehran with only one objective: disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons program using any means necessary.
But as David gets close to Iranian government leaders he begins to learn of sightings of the Islamic Messiah known as the Twelfth Imam. News of miracles and healings are spreading and the government and clerics of Iran are preparing a final strike against Israel to bring about the End of Days. Can Shirazi achieve his objective before it is too late?
The Twelfth Imam is a fantastic, fictional-but-all-too-real look at Middle East politics and Islamic End Time theology. Rosenberg has crafted a story that is engaging, thrilling, and educational. He is not afraid to tackle the political or religious iss…

Spread the Word

A few weeks ago when I was at the Word on the Street festival here in Toronto I had the opportunity to volunteer with a wonderful organization that collects books for libraries in Africa. I spent most of my day sharing with festival attendees about the organization and how they could help out. And the response I got the most was "where have you been? I have so many books that I don't know what to do with!"
This got me thinking about how many wonderful organizations there are out there that are helping to boost literacy in our own communities and around the world, but also how difficult it can be to get yourself seen in what is a very busy world.
So I have decided to do a feature here on these organizations called "Spread the Word." Once a month (maybe more) I'll post about an organization and the work they are doing. And I would love for other book bloggers to join in and do the same!
If you are interested, it's very simple. There's no commitme…

Awards Love!!! Come get to know me.

First I have to say that I have been awful about posting about awards here and passing them on. For that I am truly sorry because I really appreciate the awards given to me and there are so many fabulous bloggers out there who I want to pass my awards on to! So I finally am doing it!
First up: The Versatile Blogger Award (given to me by Bethany at words, words, words)

The conditions of this award are that all recipients must:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award
2. Write 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award

Here's me: 1. Obviously, I love tea. Orange Pekoe with lots of milk in the morning or afternoon. At night, Vanilla Rooibos. 2. But I can't start my day without a cup of coffee and reading the Toronto Star. 3. Speaking of coffee, I love my Keurig! My husband bought it for me on our last anniversary…

"Cities of Refuge" by Michael Helm

One summer night, twenty-eight-year-old Kim Lystander is walking to work in downtown Toronto when she is attacked by a stranger. In the days, weeks and months that follow, her life is thrown into turmoil. The attack doesn't just affect her but is felt throughout several lives.
Her estranged father Harold, a Latin American historian, decides to investigate the crime on his own, stirring up troubles from his past. His investigation introduces him to Rosemary Yates, a woman who gives asylum to anyone who seeks it and Rodrigo Cantero, a young Colombian man who is in the country illegally and staying with Rosemary. As Harold also involves Father Andrew Rowe, a local priest, in the situation it brings everyone to a troubling crossroads.
I have to say that I had high hopes Cities of Refuge. I love books that are set in the city of Toronto and the plot sounded like it will shed light on a hush-hush world that exists here. But I just could not get into this book.
For me, it felt like …

Book Blogger Hop

Thanks for hopping by! I love the Book Blogger Hop, such a fun way to meet other book bloggers and get to know them. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. Each week over 200 bloggers participate! So you will definitely find something for you.
This weeks question is: When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?
Lately I've had a couple books that I just could not get into. Which is a little strange for me, usually I can stick it out. So what I usually do is put down the book for a few days, move on to the next one, and then come back it to it. This usually fixes things but lately I've had ones that this didn't even work. But I hate giving up on books so I'll usually just read a little bit of that book a day while reading others at the same time.
I always try to push through because sometimes the book can redeem itself, or get a bit better. I read…

"Lemon" by Cordelia Strube

Lemon is not your average teenager. She has three mothers, a deadbeat dad, a protege stricken with cancer, two outcast friends and one tree hugging stepbrother. She doesn't care what others her age are doing, she would rather read the Classics. And while everyone else around her is obsessed with getting high and having sex, she's just trying to get to the end of high school without having to deal with any of that nonsense. But it's not going to be easy.
Lemon is a smart and funny book. While this is definitely not a young adult book, the voice of Lemon is authentically teen and authentically annoyed at the world around her. Like many teens she is full of conflict, but unlike the others around her she shows a deep understanding for the pain and conflict that exists in our world. But in her attempts to be as little like her peers as she can, it turns out that Lemon is not immune from teenage angst and misery.
The language in this book is strong. Written in a teenage voi…

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme for bloggers to share what upcoming releases they are looking forward to and is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here is my pick this week:
New York Valentine by Carmen Reid Release date: 22 February 2011
Newly-wed Annie Valentine is busy filming her third TV series of How Not To shop when she receives a distress call from New York. Elena and Svetlana's fashion company, Perfect Dress, is about to go belly-up and no one can help them more than Annie. Annie is dazzled by New York but the hard work that her friends are doing in the fabric houses in Brooklyn is far from glamourous - it's downright dangerous. But Elena needs a fabric bargain and Annie is going to find it for her. Meanwhile, back in the UK, Annie's husband Ed has been suspended from his teaching job after vicious rumours about him and a sixth form girl are circulated on the school's email system are investigated. Can Annie save her friend's business and her husba…

"Samson" by Jacquelin Thomas

Samson Taylor is the new assistant pastor of a thriving church. But while he is following his calling he still struggles with a terrible sin - his uncontrollable lust for beautiful women. Even though he recognizes the conflict between his personal life and his job, Samson cannot fight off his sin. It isn't long before his lust causes him to lose his marriage, best friend, child and job. But even that isn't enough to make him change his ways.
When Samson meets Delinda, the wife of a famous NBA star, he falls head over heels in love and quickly begins an affair. Even though Delinda warns him of her husband's temper and the dangers of their affair, he refuses to stop. When he finds himself involved in a violent confrontation with the man, Samson loses one of the things most precious to him.
Now Samson must rebuild his life. But will he be able to turn back to God and get his life back to what it was supposed to be or will he let bitterness and regret take over his life?

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! This morning as I struggled to get out of bed I thought "oh thank goodness it's a long weekend." I heard this morning on the news that the Daily Bread Food Bank here in Toronto is only about halfway to its goal for this holiday, so if you're out grocery shopping this weekend, remember your local food bank.
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly gathering for book bloggers to get to know each other better and discover great blogs to follow. It's hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. Each week we answer a reading related question. This weeks question is:
What's your favourite beverage while reading, if any?
Well, I'm pretty sure you can figure out my answer! I love tea and I love just curling up with a cup of tea, especially in the colder months. At afternoon tea time (which is a daily tradition of my Dutch family) I drink a good ol' cup of orange pekoe with milk. Any other time I drink decaf flavoured teas, my…

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a weekly meme designed to highlight upcoming releases we are looking forward to. My selection this week is:

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French Release date: 23 November 2010 (in Canada)
Everyone hates the perfect family. So you'll love the Battles. Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn't understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologists, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey. Inside and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children. Dora is about to hit the big 18...and about to hit anyone who annoys her, especially her precocious younger brother Peter who has a chronic Oscar Wilde fixation. Then there's Dad...who's just, well, dad. A Tiny Bit Marvellous is the story of a modern family all living in their own separate bubbles lurching towards meltdown. It is for anyone who ever share…

Giller Prize Shortlist revealed!

This morning, the shortlist for the Giller Prize was announced. The Giller Prize is one of Canada's top literary prizes. The winner will receive $50,000 and past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood and Austin Clarke.
This years shortlist is:
The Matter With Morris by David Bergen The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud This Cake is for the Party by Sarah Selecky Annabel by Kathleen Winter Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod
There quite a few things to note with this year's shortlist. David Bergen won this prize previously in 2005. Only M.G. Vassanji and Alice Munro have won the prize twice. David Bergen's book is also the only book on the list to be published by a major publishing house, the rest coming from indie firms.
Sarah Selecky and Alexander MacLeod's books are both short story collections and are their first books ever. Kathleen Winter and Johanna Skibsrud's entries are their first novels. Winter is known for her award winning short stories and …

"If You Have to Cry Go Outside" by Kelly Cutrone

Kelly Cutrone is the no-nonsense, straight-talking head of People's Revolution, one of the most powerful fashion public relations firms in the world. She built the firm from the ground up years after moving to New York City from Syracuse as a young woman with a dream of something bigger.
Along the way she was partying in the hottest nightclubs while homeless and living on her friends couches. When she did get things together she started her own PR firm only to step away from it and fall into a meth addiction. From there she had her own spiritual awakening, did a stint as a tarot card reader in California and ultimately found her way back to public relations.
She now runs her own wildly successful firm, mentors countless young women in the industry and is a single mom. Given the crazy journey she has been on, she is definitely one who can give advice to other young women dreaming of something bigger.
If You Have to Cry Go Outside And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You is le…

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is where book bloggers share what books came into their homes over the last week.
This week I got five books from the library. They are all longlisted for the Giller Prize, which is a very prestigious Canadian literature prize. I'm hoping to get through the entire longlist before the winner is announced in November.

Player One by Douglas Coupland
A real time, five hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge. Five people are trapped inside when global disaster strikes. (You can read my review here.)

Cool Water by Dianne Warren The stories of people living in Juliet, Saskatchewan, whose 1,011 inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century-old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead.

Curiosity by Joan Thomas More than 40 years before the publication of The Origin of Species, 12-year-old Mary Anning, a cabinet-maker's daughter, found the first intact skeleton of a prehistoric dolphin-like creature. This book blend…

"Player One" by Douglas Coupland

In an airport cocktail lounge in Toronto are five people. Karen is a single mother waiting to meet her online date. Rick is the down-on-his-luck lounge bartender. Luke is a pastor on the run across the country. Rachel is a beautiful blonde who is truly incapable of understanding humans. The fifth is a mysterious voice, known only as Player One.
As the five go about their lives in the airport lounge, a global disaster strikes. To survive, they barricade themselves in the lounge while outside there are snipers, chemical explosions and anarchy. The world as they know it is about to come to an end.
Player One: What Is To Become of Us is a novel set over five hours, in five different voices during one major catastrophe. This novel is a part of the CBC Massey Lectures, in which a noted scholar gives a week-long series of lectures from within their field. For 2010 Douglas Coupland was the scholar and he wrote his lectures in the form of this five hour novel.
Player One is a unique way …

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday! It's time for the Book Blogger Hop. I love the questions we get each week to get to know each other better. I've been learning so much from all of the wonderful bloggers out there.
This weeks question is: "How do you spread the word about your blog?"
When I first started blogging I had no clue there was such a big book blogging community! I started out with just my friends following, then I discovered Book Blogs Ning. That helped me really discover the community.
I began participating in memes such as this one as well as In My Mailbox and Waiting on Wednesday. I also got involved with Bloggiesta this year. In addition to this, I include information about my blog in my email signature and I often post about what I'm doing on my blog on Facebook.
And of course, there is networking through blogs. I love reading other blogs and I try to comment as much as I can. I've been having a hard time lately keeping up with the busyness of back to schoo…