Thursday, September 30, 2010

Month in Review

Oh how I love autumn. The changing colour of the leaves, the cooler weather that calls out for chunky sweaters, watching the rain fall from my window while I sip on a cup of tea. It's safe to say that autumn is my favourite season.

September was an exciting month for Canadian literature as the award season picks up. The Giller Prize longlist was announced. Many people were shocked that Emma Donoghue's Room wasn't on the list. Having read it now, I am also surprised, but I'm just beginning the Giller longlist so I can't yet compare it to the others.

Room did make the list for the Roger's Writer Trust Prize for Fiction, just announced yesterday. She is joined by Kathleen Winter for Annabel, Michael Winter for The Death of Donna Whelan, Michael Helm for Cities of Refuge and Trevor Cole for Practical Jean.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend The Word on the Street here in Toronto. It's a large book and magazine festival held every year and is a dream for readers. I picked up a couple of books from Barefoot books for my kids and a Jamaican Eats magazine for myself!

I didn't get a lot of time to look around this year as I spent my day volunteering with an amazing organization. S.T.E.L.L.A.A. is a non-profit organization that collects new and used books for libraries in Africa. If you are in Toronto I highly suggest you check out their website. You can drop off any of your old books for this worthy cause, or become involved in a book drive with your school or company.

Some of my favourite reads this month - Room by Emma Donoghue, In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut, Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan and of course Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

How was your September?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Sweet Temptation" by Lucy Diamond

It seems as though things could not get any worse for Maddie Lawson. Her horrible boss at the radio station has humiliated her live on air, her mom has signed her up at the gym for a Couch Potato membership and her kids are embarrassed to be seen with her after her disastrous outing in the mum's race at the school sports day.

Jess, a popular beautician, is also having her share of trouble. Her new boss at work has it in for her and is watching her every move. On top of that Jess is desperate to fit into a size ten wedding dress for the Big Day that is continually being put off by her not-so-nice fiance.

Lauren has found herself at a dead end in her life. Hurt by the end of her marriage, she has decided to give up on romance for ever. However, this does interfere with her job running a dating agency. She has turned to food to comfort herself, all the while listening to the men who use her agency say they're looking for the perfect woman with a sexy bum.

All three women reluctantly join Fatbusters, a local weight-watching group, and soon discover that in addition to losing weight they will develop new friendships, lasting love and the life they always wanted.

Sweet Temptation lives up to its title and is a very sweet book. The characters are all well-rounded and down to earth women, they seem just like the type of women you would want to form a friendship with. The book deals with tough subjects that women face every day in an honest and also humorous way. You will cheer these women on as they lose weight and get back to who they really are.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Blog Swap - Maid To Match by Deeanne Gist

Today I am swapping blogs with Joy from Edgy Inspirational Romance. I'm reviewing Urban Christian fiction over at her blog, and Joy has joined us here to review Historical Christian Romance, a genre which is completely new to me!

Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

If I measured the heat level of a romance by how many times I dog eared the pages to come back to them, then Maid to Match would be like a summer in Arizona. This inspirational romance was steamy, just the way I like 'em. And just so we're clear, a steamy inspirational means lots of restrained passion, not graphic descriptions.

Deeanne Gist has a way with writing dialogue- romantic one liners that just rip at your heart and bottom out your stomach (there's a scene involving shirt measurements that made me swoon). If you've been reading my blog, you already know I'm a huge fan of Gist's work. But I'd place this latest book in her top three, along with my dog eared copies of A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady.

Mack and Tillie are both likable characters with hearts for God. I found the premise of a romance between house servants at the Biltmore Estate unique, and I got such a kick out of exploring the setting- turn of the century North Carolina. One of the thrills of reading a great book is discovering new places, and Maid to Match delivered on that account too. The author hinted at a mountain man culture in that area that I'd never heard of. And the details she included about the Biltmore Estate made me wish I could visit.

I definitely recommend you put Maid to Match on your must read list!

Joy Tamsin David is a wife, mother, and Jesus lover. She's also a pre--published writer and slightly obsessed book blogger. When she's not hanging out with her husband and sons, she reads and writes romance. It gives her a daily does of girl in a house full of men. You can get girlie with her at her blog, Edgy Inspirational Romance.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In My Mailbox #19

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, designed for us to share the new books we brought home over the past week.

This week I had nothing come into the library for me (a good thing because I have a bunch waiting for me next week) but I did manage to buy one! Here's what I got.


Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

For Review:

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton


She's Gone Country by Jane Porter
(Thanks to Bookaddict4real for this contest!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Mini Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is back and with a whole new set of problems (and she wouldn't be our dear Shopaholic without any!) Daughter Minnie is now two years old and following in her mothers footsteps. She can name fashion designers, do a little online shopping and her favourite word is "Mine!" Becky and husband Luke are still searching for a house while they live with her parents, but bad luck keeps coming their way. And now, a financial crisis has hit the entire country.

So what does Becky decide to do? Cut back like everyone else? Nope, she decides to throw a lavish surprise party for Luke. If you know Becky, you know this isn't going to be smooth sailing.

Mini Shopaholic is the newest instalment of Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series. It is as funny and charming as all of the past books. While most would assume that by the sixth book of a series things may begin to go downhill, this book proves otherwise. While I don't think it's the funniest or best of the series, it was fabulous having Becky back.

Kinsella also does a great job of taking the financial crisis into account and showing the difficulties of readjusting your mentality, especially for someone like Becky. It may be outrageous or frustratingly nutty but that it was what the Shopaholic books are all about. The one criticism about the book is that the character of Minnie doesn't factor into the book as much as one expects her to given the title of the book.

Mini Shopaholic is a wonderful addition to the series and a light, fun read. And, as always, Sophie Kinsella leaves a wonderful little hook at the end for her readers!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday! Fridays seem to be coming so fast lately! Of course, it means the weekends seem to be going twice as fast.

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books. It's a great way to meet up with and network with other bloggers and find some great blogs to follow. No matter what type of books you read, there is someone there who reads the same genres!

Each week, we given a question to discuss. This weeks question is - When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I always write my reviews when I am done the book. Some I write as soon as I am done the books, others I have to put down, give some thought, and then come back the next day and write the review. I do like to get the review done as soon as possible. However, as I am reading I will often think about what I will include in the review or I will mark pages or passages that I want to include in the review. Some things will really jump out at me and I make a mental note to include them in the review.

Thanks for hopping by and I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Room" by Emma Donoghue

Room is all five-year-old Jack knows. He was born there and it's where he eats, sleeps, learns and grows. Through his imagination, Room has become the real world and what he sees through the television set is just imaginary.

Room is also the place where Jack's Ma was imprisoned at the age of nineteen by a man named Old Nick. She has spent seven years in the eleven-by-eleven foot space. Jack's existence and her love for him has led her to create a life in that small space, so that he has no need for or knowledge of the world she was taken from.

But as Jack grows physically so does his curiosity about their world and the one in the television, along with Ma's desperate need to escape from Room. Will they make it out and if they do, what awaits them in the Outside?

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Room is deserving of all of the praise it has been getting. This is an easy read about a difficult subject. It has a hint of "ripped from the headlines" but looks at the issue from a unique perspective and is more of a commentary on our world than a sensational story.

It is written from the perspective of Jack, and Donoghue has masterfully written the voice of a five-year-old who only knows the four walls that surround him. Ma's fierce love for her son and determination will hit home with any reader. This is a book that will have you thinking "what would I have done?" You won't want to put this book down. Donoghue writes it with just the right amount of suspense and will keep you wanting to know how the story ends.

A lot of people are picking this as the front runner for the Booker Prize and many are shocked it wasn't longlisted for the Giller Prize. As I mentioned, it lives up to the praise it has been getting and I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Its purpose is to show which upcoming releases we are looking forward to. This week my selection is:

Gallery Girl by Wendy Holden
Release date: 13 October, 2010

Zeb's the darling of Brit Art, the rock'n roll bad boy artist whose works go for bazillions. But can he keep his end up - in every sense - now that his powerful female patron is losing interest? Beth loves are and the traditional gallery she works in and loves her boyfriend doctor, David. But the hospital hours he keeps are putting a strain on the relationship. Marie's pop-star husband was big in the Nineties, now he's relaunching his boy band with a vengeance. But where does this leave Marie and her dreams of being a painter? Ben's a brilliant portrait artist but no one wants his stuff. Why have a picture that actually looks like you when you could have a gold-sprayed prosthetic limb? Disillusioned Ben's reduced to living in the country and holding adult education life classes. But what happened to his life? Then Beth finds herself catapulted into the crazed world of contemporary art. Marie walks into Ben's life class. And the picture changes completely.

I have liked all of the novels I've read by Wendy Holden. They have always been enjoyable, easy reads. The description on this one sounds like this will be another great one. However, it has already been released in the UK and the few reviews on Amazon aren't that favourable. So now it really has my interest, reviews always up the need to read factor for me, whether they are positive or negative.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"In A Strange Room" by Damon Galgut

In the book In A Strange Room we meet Damon, a South African who feels the need to be on the move, constantly travelling from one place to another. The book is divided into three parts, each consisting of a different journey.

In the first, Damon is walking through Greece when he meets a German dressed all in black along a trail. Damon is taken by this man named Reiner and later on they meet up and hike through Lesotho. Damon follows Reiner, falling into a curious and unspoken relationship between the two.

In the second story, Damon meets a group of European hikers and joins in on their travels through Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya, later meeting up with them in Europe. Here he becomes drawn to and fascinated by one of travellers, though they are separated by language.

In the third story, Damon travels to India with a friend who is trying to put her mental illness behind her. But she soon loses control and Damon finds himself as her guardian rather than her travel mate.

Each story looks at Damon in a different type of relationship - as the follower, the lover and the guardian - and through his travels looks at Damon's need to flee from himself.

The narrative of this book switches between first and third person often. This will be something that one reader enjoys while another does not. I found it brought a realness to the story, combined with the fact that the author uses his own name for the primary character which gives the story a feeling of being an actual retelling of these journeys.

There are a few criticisms of this work. Many feel that the cold style of writing and lack of real plot take away from the work. I personally felt that the style of writing really painted a picture for me of the isolation that can be experienced during travel, especially when one is running from something, and how precious human interaction can be no matter how flawed it is or how disconnected people are from it. This is a short and quick read and an enjoyable one as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Giller Prize Longlist Revealed

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada's most prestigious literary prize. Past winners include Rohinton Mistry, Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Michael Ondaatje and M.G. Vassanji. The longlist for the 2010 prize was announced this morning. Here are the nominees:

David Bergen - The Matter With Morris
Douglas Coupland - Player One
Michael Helm - Cities of Refuge
Alexander MacLeod - Light Lifting
Avner Mandelman - The Debba
Tom Rachman - The Imperfectionists
Johanna Skibsrud - The Sentimentalists
Cordelia Strube - Lemon
Joan Thomas - Curiosity
Jane Urquhart - Sanctuary Line
Dianne Warren - Cool Water
Kathleen Winter - Annabel

David Bergen is the only past winner on the list. Douglas Coupland, Jane Urquhart and Michael Helm have been nominated in the past.

While I'm yet to read any of the books (thought I've had a hold on a bunch at the library) from what I have been hearing Kathleen Winter, Jane Urquhart, Michael Helm and David Bergen are very deserving of the nods. I am surprised to see that Camilla Gibb's newest book was left off, I know there were mixed reviews but there had been some buzz about it in the past few weeks. This list seems to be very Canadian though - diverse. I think the biggest surprise this year will be that Emma Donoghue's Room was left off the longlist. I'm interested in hearing the reasoning behind that.

The shortlist will be announced on October 5 and the winner will be announced in November.

What are your thoughts on the longlist? Have you read any of these books?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In My Mailbox #18

Good morning! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, designed for us to share which books came into our homes this past week. This week I got from the library:

Trespass by Rose Tremain
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
Room by Emma Donoghue

(all three are listed for the Man Booker Prize with the last two making the shortlist.)

I also received one book for review:

What did you get this week?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Outcasts United" by Warren St. John

Until the 1990's Clarkston, Georgia was what one would consider a typical Southern American town. Then it was designated a refugee settlement centre and it became the first American home for families fleeing the worlds war zones - places like Liberia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Soon, the streets were filled with women wearing the hijab or traditional African dress and kids of all colours playing soccer in the street. Unfortunately, not everyone in Clarkston was welcoming of the refugees or the changes in their city.

Luma Mufleh is an American-educated Jordanian woman who was a girl's soccer coach when she discovered the young refugee boys playing soccer on the street. She founded a youth soccer team, known as the Fugees, to help unify these boys and soon found that her role would go far beyond being a soccer coach. She became a translator, a mentor and an advocate for the refugee community in Clarkston.

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town follows the Fugees through one pivotal season and their story is one that is about more than soccer. It's about the refugee experience in America and Clarkston, Georgia, a town that without its consent became a social experiment.

As Warren St. John chronicles the soccer season from start to finish, he inserts the stories of the young boys and their families, the horrors they witnessed, the wars they survived and the difficulty of starting over in a new land. He also inserts the stories of Clarkston's original residents when this social experiment began. It is honest about the prejudices people held, the fights they put up, and how over time their attitudes changed to build a new Clarkston, one that is ethnically diverse and accepting of all.

Readers will be inspired by Luma Mufleh's selfless dedication to the young boys. Outcasts United highlights the needs of the refugee and immigrant populations in North America, how and where things can go wrong and what we can do to make it a better experience for all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is for bloggers to show which upcoming releases they are looking forward to. My selection for this week is a little different than my previous choices:

Sowing the Seeds of Forgiveness by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Release date: 15 October 2010

In "Sowing The Seeds of Forgiveness," Immaculee reveals how the simple message of forgiveness in her earlier books resonated in the hearts of readers around the world. The hunger to find inner peace is so universal that Immaculee now spends much of her life sharing her story in churches, synagogues, concert halls, and stadiums all over the globe. Along the way she offers us moments of true inspiration by taking us into the lives of people whose hearts have been freed from a lifetime of pain by finding forgiveness. In this book, we join Immaculee as she travels from Iceland to Japan, from Hollywood to the Holy Land, to the White House luncheon and a meeting with the first family, and much more. In each country, no matter what the culture or language, Immaculee is greeted with the same question: "How do we forgive?" Her answer is always the same, and it is what "Sowing The Seeds of Forgiveness" is truly about--"Love."

Immaculee has a truly amazing story. She is a survivor the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Her entire family was killed, except for one brother who was out of the country at the time, and she survived by hiding in a bathroom in her neighbours house with seven other women for three months. She wrote her story in "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust." She then went on to write "Led by Faith" in which she talks about finding her way in the world following the genocide and moving to the United States. Hers is an inspiring story and it's great to see that she is now sharing the stories of others around the world who have learned how to forgive in the most extreme circumstances.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Last Night at Chateau Marmont" by Lauren Weisberger

The first time Brooke heard Julian Alter perform "Hallelujah" in a dark bar, she knew he had the talent to be a star. And after five years of marriage and working two jobs to support his career, Brooke and Julian are about to realize that dream.

After an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Julian is catapulted to instant fame. Soon Brooke and Julian are living a whirlwind life of parties, tours, television shows and even a Grammy performance. Julian is a bonafide star.

While the newfound fame is fun at first, soon the negative attention comes calling. Brooke and Julian's marriage becomes a target of the tabloids and Brooke's work life is suffering. When pictures of Julian and another woman surface, will that be the breaking point of their marriage?

Lauren Weisberger is the master at taking us inside worlds very few get to see. First it was fashion magazine publishing in The Devil Wears Prada, then the public relations industry in Everyone Worth Knowing. Now she shows us inside the music industry and especially what it is like to be the wife of a famous musician in Last Night At Chateau Marmont.

If you are into pop culture you will love all of the celebrity references in this book. If you've ever picked up a tabloid magazine this will show you how they get their stories. Even if you're not into this celebrity world, you will still enjoy the story that Weisberger tells. She does an excellent job of taking the celebrity news we hear about so much these days and tells the story from the perspective of everyone involved. This is another fantastic novel by Lauren Weisberger.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox #17

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren so we can share all of the wonderful books that came into our homes this week!

My library shut down unexpectedly last week because of construction they're doing on the rest of the building, so I was unable to get books from there for an entire week! I know, how awful. But it's open again so here is what I got from the library:

Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger
Samson by Jacquelin Thomas
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore

I also received an ARC of The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg from Tyndale House Publishers in the mail.

What did you get this week?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Happy Friday! It's time for the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Crazy For Books. Each week about 300 book bloggers participate, so you will definitely find some great blogs to follow! As well, each week there is a question/topic to answer that will help us all get to know each other better.

This weeks is: Post a link to a favourite post or review you have published in the last three months. The link I'm posting is my review of A Year of Living Generously by Lawrence Scanlan. I found this book very inspiring and it definitely made me look at the needs of those around me and how I can get involved. This book is fairly new and Canadian so it may be difficult for some people to get their hands on, but I hope that my review will also inspire you to get out and volunteer.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. It was the first week of school here, and today is my daughter's first day of Kindergarten! She's pretty excited but a little nervous. What an exciting day for her! (I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry.)

"Outlive Your Life" and "One Hand, Two Hands" by Max Lucado

We have all seen the stories and pictures on the news, of the suffering and needs that exist in the world. In just the last few weeks we have seen floods and earthquakes tear apart people's worlds. And close to home we see poverty, hunger, and prejudice making life difficult for so many people. What if we had an opportunity to change that? What if we had an opportunity to make a difference in the life of one person or the lives of many?

In Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference Max Lucado shows you how you can do that. Armed with stories of Biblical and contemporary greatness, Lucado introduces you to the many people who have outlived their lives and left a legacy in this world. In each chapter, Lucado will help you overcome the obstacles in your life and give you inspiration to go out into the world and do so.

This book will definitely challenge you and inspire you to look for ways you can make a difference in your neighbourhood and the world at large. Each chapter is short, to the point, and full of real-world examples. The discussion and action guide will help you delve deeper into yourself, the Bible and your potential. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for ways to make a difference.

One Hand, Two Hands is a book about the amazing potential a young ones hands have to make a difference in this world. It shows children that not only are their hands capable of helping them (brushing teeth, picking up toys) but capable of helping others (writing letters, wiping tears.)

This book is perfect for young children, pre-school age and early school age. I read this with my 3 year old daughter and she loved it. The message is simple and easy for children to understand and the illustrations are perfect for kids who aren't reading yet. The book easily leads into a discussion between parent and child about what kids can do to help others.

Little ones will love One Hand, Two Hands and so will parents. Being able to read this with my daughter as I read Outlive Your Life was a wonderful experience and is a perfect tool as we teach our daughter the importance of helping others.

These books were provided to my by Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. The opinions expressed above are purely my own.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day. UNESCO states that one in five adults is illiterate, two-thirds of them are women and 67.4 million children are not in school. It's not just a problem in the developing world either. A new report just released by the Canadian Council of Learning states that in the next 20 years the country's major metropolitan areas will see a significant, above-average growth in the number of adults with low literacy.

In honour of International Literacy Day here are a few links to get you started and to find out more information and how you can get involved locally or around the world to help fight illiteracy.



Where you can help

STELLAA - to send books to Africa
Children's Book Bank - provides free books to kids in inner city Toronto
Pencils for Kids - providing educational supplies for schools in Africa

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Getting to Happy" by Terry McMillan

When we first met Bernadine, Savannah, Gloria and Robin in Waiting to Exhale, the ladies were in their 30's and looking for Mr. Right. Strong and independent, the ladies were a close-knit foursome, navigating relationships and the professional world, each looking for that one good man who would allow them to exhale. When we left them, two had found love but otherwise we were left hanging as to how they fared.

In Getting To Happy we now get to find out. Fifteen years later the women are all at a midlife crossroads. Savannah has married but decided at the age of fifty-one to face being single again. Bernadine has been swindled by her second husband and turns to pills to help her cope. Robin still hasn't realized her dream of wearing a wedding dress and uses shopping to fill the void. And Gloria has learned that one moment can change everything forever. But one thing remains the same - the women are still fantastic women and fierce friends.

What a pleasure it was to revisit these women. Terry McMillan hadn't planned to write about these women again but I am glad she did. Ms. McMillan's writing has a warmth and humour to it that you feel as though you are catching up with old friends through the entire book. The reader will be taken on an emotional journey with these women - laughing, smiling, crying and getting angry. And through it all you will cheer for these women and hope once again that happiness will be attained.

What is fantastic about these characters is that they are real. When they are dealing with the tough times, they deal with it the way any real woman would. Ms. McMillan has created believable characters, right down to the small details of their lives. These are women that we know and love in our own lives (or we ourselves may be) and that is why we love Bernadine, Gloria, Savannah and Robin so much.

If you were a fan of Waiting to Exhale you will want to pick up this book right away. If you haven't read it, pick up both books. Getting To Happy can stand on it's own, but you'll want to get to know these women as best you can.

Thank you to Penguin Canada for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed above are purely my own.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Parrot and Olivier in America" by Peter Carey

It's the mid-19th century and France is in the middle of a Revolution. Olivier de Garmont is the son of French aristocrats and to say he is a snob is putting it mildly. Parrot is an Englishman who at the age of 12 was forced to flee to Paris after his father was arrested for forging counterfeit currency and ends up working for Olivier's family. When Olivier is sent to America to investigate their penal system, to his dismay he finds that Parrot is being sent along with him as his servant/secretary.

The trip does not start out well. Olivier suspects that Parrot has been sent to spy on him by his parents and Parrot deeply resents having to be of service to Olivier, as evidenced through his nickname for him - Lord Migraine. But over time, as they both explore the New World and all of the opportunities it has available for them, their relationship changes and a friendship emerges. Olivier embarks on a wider study of American life and Parrot begins to flourish in the new land.

Peter Carey modelled Parrot & Olivier in America after Alexis de Tocqueville and his work "Democracy in America" and from what little I do know of the work, it's a new way of looking at the work. Unfortunately, a lot of this may be lost on the reader.

The novel is heavy on the descriptive language. The first 200 pages of the book are full of description and honestly difficult to get through. Once Parrot and Olivier arrive in America the book picks up, there is a bit less of the imagery, a bit more storyline and it becomes easier to follow. My read-through definitely benefitted from being put on a hold for a few days around page 175, so I could come back at it fresh. That didn't last for long however and I found myself pressing through when I would have rather put it down.

The character of Olivier is highly annoying, though that is the point. Parrot provides great comedy with commentary and insight into Olivier/Lord Migraine. The storyline is rather predictable, especially the ending, and doesn't take the reader on many (or any) emotional journeys. It does give the reader a good understanding of American life in the mid-19th century and the ideals behind it.

Parrot and Olivier in America is one of those books that critics and juries will love and readers will be left wondering why. Reading this book is a big task to take on and is not an easy one. If you do give it a go, make sure you give it a lot of time and bring a lot of patience with you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

It's time to do the Hop! Hosted by Crazy For Books, it's a place to find great book blogs and find out more about the bloggers behind them!

The question for this week is: Do you judge a book by its cover?

I definitely do this. If I'm browsing the book store looking for new books or even reading blogs, then I will definitely look at a book based on its cover. And if I'm not sure about whether or not to read a book I will let the cover help me make that decision. But, if I have heard about a book and know what it's about, then a bad cover won't stop me from picking it up (though I will be disappointed for a few seconds about a bad cover.) I'm not looking for anything fancy or out of this world, just a cover that is pleasing to the eye and that relates to the book.

Well, this is the last weekend before school starts! A time to get organized and as well a time to relax (and read!) I'm a little annoyed right now, there is a great book waiting for me at the library on the hold shelf, and my library is currently closed due to construction elsewhere in the building. They're haven't said when it will re-open so for now I can just read other books while picturing a lonely Last Night at Chateau Marmont sitting on the shelf waiting for me to come rescue it.

Have a good weekend everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is for us to show which books we are anxiously awaiting the release of. My choice this week is:

Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn
Release date: 7 September 2010

On the runway of life, Tim Gunn is the perfect life coach. You've watched him mentor talented designers on the hit television show Project Runway. Now the inimitable Tim Gunn shares his personal secrets for "making it work" - in your career, relationships, and life. Filled with delightfully dishy stories of fashion's greatest divas, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Runway's biggest drama queens, and never-before-revealed insights into Tim's private life, Gunn's Golden Rules is like no other how-to book you've ever read.

I really enjoy Tim Gunn on Project Runway and anything else he does. I'm a big believer in poise and etiquette and I think he is a great example of how we can still have it in today's day and age. So I'm definitely looking forward to reading this book. And of course, I'll enjoy all the fashion gossip as well, though that's probably not the best etiquette ;)