Monday, October 31, 2011

"The Free World" by David Bezmozgis

In 1978, three generations of a Latvian Jewish family arrives in Rome. It is here that they, along with thousands of others just like them, will spend a half year waiting for visas that will take them to a new life in North America.

Samuil Krasnansky, the patriarch of the family is a Red Army veteran and devout Communist. He and his wife Emma have come along with their two sons and their families, the travels being of more importance to the younger generations. During their time in Italy Karl, a father, finds himself drawn to the black market, while Alec gets a job with an immigration agency which to his surprise aids in his womanizing ways. Their time in Italy may be short, but it is a time of great importance - of limbo, of passage to a new and unknown life.

The Free World by David Bezmozgis chronicles a half-century of the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe through the three generations of the Krasnansky family. Rich in history and strong in story, the book is a fascinating look at the immigrant Jewish experience of recent times.

I expected that this book was going to be heavy reading given the subject matter but Bezmozgis' incredible and skilful writing made it just the opposite. I was instantly transported to another world, and often had to remind myself that this story is a part of recent history. The book goes beyond just recounting time and delves into the witty and the absurd.

The book goes back and forth between Samuil's and Alec's narratives, and jumps through the decades to give insight into how the Krasnanskys came to arrive in Italy. I definitely enjoyed Alec's story a bit more, though Samuil's was chock full of interesting and fascinating history. Bezmozgis drew on his family's own experiences to make this a believable and detailed story.

David Bezmozgis was selected by the New Yorker as one of their 20 under 40 novelists and judging by the strength of The Free World, his debut novel, it is a well-deserved honour. There is no surprise here that this book has been shortlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize. While Canada plays a small and outside role in this story, this book captures one of the many incredible stories that make up the narrative of our beautiful country.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Seriously...I'm Kidding" by Ellen DeGeneres

It's been pretty hard to miss Ellen DeGeneres these past few years. Whether it's dancing on her hit television show, judging on American Idol, or striking a pose in a Cover Girl commercial, Ellen is everywhere. And now she's back on bookshelves. In Seriously….I'm Kidding, Ellen takes on everything from the best way to fall asleep to the difficulty of being royalty with her trademark humour.

The book is comprised of short essays filled with witty observations on celebrity culture and life in general. It seems that Ellen can find the lighter side of almost anything as well as the absurdity of almost anything. Some of the essays give the reader some great and important thoughts on life (for example her chapter about courtesy) and some of them are meant for nothing but laughs.

I must say though, for as funny as Ellen is on her talk show it didn't completely translate on to the page for me. Some of the essays had me laughing out loud, but for the most part they just had me smiling. After a while, they started to lose their spark for me. I read the book in only a few sittings so I'm not sure if maybe I would have found the book funnier if I read only a few essays at a time. Maybe it was because I thought I would be laughing out loud from start to finish. I don't think I was expecting too much given how much I enjoy Ellen's show.

I consider myself a casual Ellen fan, so I think that the more "serious" Ellen fans will enjoy this book. You hear her voice in everything that is written so it feels like you're hanging out with her after the show.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Welcome to the 24 Hour Readathon!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon is underway!

Well as I mentioned before I went to bed, my snooze button and I have a wonderful relationship (though it seems to be a bit one-sided.) I didn't get up to finish my reading this morning, kids waking up in the middle of the night had me pretty tired when my alarm went off. So my total for my first readathon is:

3.5 books
748 pages
12 full hours spent reading.

Can't wait to try and better those totals at the next readathon!

End of event meme

Which hour was most daunting for you? I'd say the last hour I was awake, it was getting to be a struggle to admit I needed to put the book down and go to sleep
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia was a great one for me.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I can't think of one thng but I thought it was fairly well organized
How many books did you read? 3.5
What were the names of the books you read? One Crazy Summer, Tales From the Yoga Studio, My Life and Lesser Catastrophes, The House of Hope (that's the half.)
Which book did you enjoy most? One Crazy Summer
Which did you enjoy least? My Life and Lesser Catastrophes (but it was still a good book)
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn't a cheerleader but I look forward to being one next time around.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Provided the date works for me I'm really looking forward to the next readathon, and I hope to be both a reader and a cheerleader!

Update #7
It's nearing 11pm and sleep is calling my name. My bed looks so good right now. I'm about halfway through my 4th book right now, 748 pages in. I think I'm going to call it a night. My alarm is set so I can wake up tomorrow morning and still get in a few hours of reading before the end (hopefully...I'm not really a morning person and my snooze button and I are well-acquainted.) Good luck to everyone still reading...see you in the morning, this has been a wonderful day!

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? About to start The House of Hope by Elizabeth Gifford
2. How many books have you read so far? 3
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I'm hoping that I'll be able to pick up The Free World by David Bezmozgis and finish the last 40 pages.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Not too many. At one point we considered going to a play place with the kids but then they both fell asleep.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Quite a few, I just did what needed to be done and got right back to reading
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much reading I have actually done!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nothing I can think of yet.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I think I'll sign up to be a cheerleader as well next year.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Yeah, but I have two small kids so it's nothing new to me. It is a few hours away from bedtime.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? No tips, but I have really enjoyed taking small Twitter breaks. They give me a break from reading but keep me motivated to get back to it!

Update #6
Okay, now that the kids are off to bed, I'm back to serious reading! I just finished a book which brings me to a total of 3 books and 648 pages read. Wow! I'm impressed at how awesome this readathon is. I never thought I'd get the chance to do this much reading done in one day!

My second book was Tales From the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell. It's a fictional tale of four women who work or practice at the same studio and the differences yoga was making in their life. The third book was My Life and Lesser Catastrophes by Christina Schofield. Christina and her husband were in a motorcycle accident which left her husband paralyzed from the shoulders down. In the book she writes about living a new life and how her faith was tested.

Alright, quick break and then back to the reading. It's just after 9pm here, and I'm hoping to get a few more hours of solid reading in before I start to think about my bed.

Update #5
Well, we are entering hour 12 and I just took a fairly long, seriously unscheduled break and now I really need to get back to reading! I think once the kids are in bed I'll get my focus back, it can be pretty tough reading in an apartment with two little kids!

Update #4
We're well into hour 9 and I'm still going! I just finished a book so my total is 2 books and 494 pages read. I've taken a nice break, made another cup of tea (white chai) and I'm about to start my third book. I'm also tweeting on my breaks, so come check me out @goodbooksandtea.

Update #3
It's nearing 1pm so I'm off to get myself some lunch, do a few yoga poses (which fits well because I'm currently reading a book about yoga) and then find a new place in the apartment to read. Trying to switch it up so I don't get bored! So far I have read 1.5 books and 322 pages.

Update #2
Just under three hours in and I have completed 1 book and 215 pages. The book I finished is One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. It's a novel aimed at tweens, about three young girls from New York who spend a summer in Oakland with the mother they never really knew. Their mother sends them to a summer camp put on by the Black Panthers and they soon find themselves caught up in the revolution and discovering the truth about their mother. Excellent read!

Update #1: A Few Things About Myself:

1. Where are you reading from today? Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2. Three random facts about me: 1) My favourite colour is red 2) I used to be a competitive figure skater 3) I love British comedies
3. How many books do you have on your TBR read pile for the next 24 hours? 4
4. Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon? Just to read as much as I can
5. If you are a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for the people doing this for the first time? This is my first time so I'll be taking all the advice I can get!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

I have decided to participate in my first 24 hour readathon. Starting at 8am tomorrow I will read for 24 hours str....ok let's be honest here, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to read for 24 hours straight, but I will be trying to read as much as I possibly can in 24 hours. I will be getting all our meals ready tonight and letting my husband know that he gets to handle all matters with the kids.

Here are the books I have chosen to read:
Tales From the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
My Life and Lesser Catastrophes by Christina Schofield
The House of Hope by Elizabeth Gifford

The first two I have chosen from my to read pile because they look like they will be easy reads (One Crazy Summer is a book aimed at tweens) and the second two are books I have been given to review. Should I actually finish all 4 tomorrow, then I will dive back in to the Giller Prize shortlist.

So head back tomorrow as I'll be checking in to let you know how I'm doing. There will also be tons of mini-challenges through the readathon to participate in. If you're interested in participating it's not to late to sign up here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, I'm so pleased to see so much interest in CanLit! And thank you to Leeswammes for hosting the giveaway.

The winner is: The Book Whisperer!

In your comment you said you would love to read The Last River Child, congratulations! You will be contacted by email soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FIR '11: How Large is Your Book Collection?

It's Week 4 of the Fall Into Reading 2011 Challenge. I haven't read much from my list but that will change once I'm done reading through the Giller Prize shortlist! This weeks question:

How large is your personal/family collection of books? And where do you keep them?

I think most people would say that my collection is pretty big. That is if I could ever get it all together in one place. I have one bookshelf next to my bed which is now spilling over onto the floor. It consists of recent books I have been reading. My children have a very large collection of books, so big that last year I donated 1/3 of the books to my daughter's school and the bookshelf is still overflowing. And now we're adding French books to the collection.

But the majority of my books are in boxes. We live in a two bedroom apartment and don't have much space for our books. My husband used to work in the warehouse of a major publishing company and was allowed to bring home any damaged or returned books. And so he did. Hundreds of them. Those are all in boxes in our storage area right now. Any books I accumulated during my childhood, teenage and university years are in boxes at my mothers house.

So basically I have no clue how many books I actually own. My dream is to have a library room when we own a house one day. My husband plans to make the bookshelves for me, so maybe then we'll find out just how many books we own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Touch" by Alexi Zentner

Stephen, an Anglican priest, has returned to his hometown of Sawgamet, a northwest, north-woods boomtown gone bust on the eve of his mother's death. As his family settles in, Stephen finds himself confronting his past, its mysteries and its losses.

Alexi Zentner's Touch is a beautiful story of a pioneering family, the three generations that carved their place in the wilderness and the ways in which the wilderness remains forever imprinted on their lives. Monsters, witches and golden caribou roam the woods as the townspeople face love and death amidst the crippling cold of the logging town.

Evocative, stunning, haunting, page-turner - the perfect words to describe Zentner's debut novel. From the beginning I was drawn in and could not put the book down, which surprised me. From reading the book jacket this did not seem like a book I would be interested in at all but I gave it a try because of its Giller Prize nomination. This book proves once again why I love the Giller because it introduces me to incredible books I would have passed over otherwise.

The book jumps around between the stories of Stephen, his parents and his grandparents. Zentner's beautiful and descriptive language puts you comfortably in a harsh habitat and makes you feel as though you understand life in this unfamiliar terrain. His writing does what we ask of books, to transport us to new places and make those places a part of us. Easily one of my favourite books of the year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Light Sunday Reading

Here a few literary stories that caught my eye recently:

* Wouldn't you love to see these libraries popping up in your neighbourhood?

* Move over recycled paper, there's a new way of publishing eco-friendly books.

* Comic books are the next to make the jump to digital husband is excited to finally be ahead of the trend!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

I am so excited to be participating in the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted by Judith at Leeswammes' Blog. There are over 50 participants hosting giveaways on their blog between October 15 and October 19. Be sure to hop around and check out all the awesome giveaways!

My Giveaway

Award season is underway in the Canadian literary world and to celebrate I would like to send someone some fabulous Canadian literature. One lucky winner will be able to choose which book they would like me to send them. Here are the choices (click on title to find out more about the book):

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews (bought at library sale)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Last River Child by Lori Ann Bloomfield
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden (bought at library sale)

Two of the books were bought at a library sale as mentioned. They are still in good condition but are obviously well-loved and do still have the library stickers on them. The other three have been gently used.

The Rules

This giveaway is open worldwide. It is open until 11:59pm on Wednesday October 19. The winner will be announced and contacted the next day. To enter, leave a comment below with your email address. Then take a look around the blog and if you like what you see become a follower and join me on Twitter!

And be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this giveaway:

  1. Leeswammes

  2. Devouring Texts

  3. The Book Whisperer

  4. Seaside Book Nook

  5. The Scarlet Letter (US only)

  6. Rikki's Teleidoscope

  7. Bibliosue

  8. Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea

  9. The Book Diva's Reads

  10. Gaskella

  11. Lucybird's Book Blog

  12. Kim's Bookish Place

  13. The Book Garden

  14. Under My Apple Tree

  15. Helen Smith

  16. Sam Still Reading

  17. Nishita's Rants and Raves

  18. Ephemeral Digest

  19. Bookworm with a View

  20. The Parrish Lantern

  21. Dolce Bellezza

  22. Lena Sledge Blog

  23. Book Clutter

  24. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US only)

  25. The Blue Bookcase

  26. Book Journey (US only)

  27. The House of the Seven Tails (US only)

  28. In One Eye, Out the Other (US only)

  29. Read, Write & Live

  30. Fresh Ink Books

  1. Living, Learning, and Loving Life (US only)

  2. Bibliophile By the Sea

  3. Laurie Here Reading & Writing Reviews

  4. Amy's Book World (US only)

  5. Teadevotee

  6. Joy's Book Blog

  7. Word Crushes (US only)

  8. Thinking About Loud!

  9. Kinna Reads

  10. Sweeping Me

  11. Minding Spot (US only)

  12. Babies, Books, and Signs (US only)

  13. Lisa Beth Darling

  14. Tony's Reading List

  15. SusieBookworm (US only)

  16. Tell Me A Story

  17. Close Encounters with the Night Kind

  18. Nerfreader

  19. Mevrouw Kinderboek (Netherlands, Belgium)

  20. Boekblogger (Netherlands)

  21. In Spring it is the Dawn

  22. No Page Left Behind

  23. Elle Lit

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday! It's time for the Book Blogger hop, hosted by Crazy For Books. It's a weekly get together of book bloggers to get to know each other, discuss new books, and meet new people.

This week's question is: What is your favourite spooky book?

Answer: Thinking about it, I don't really read spooky books these days. I honestly can't think of one I have read recently, not even a mystery. However, back in the day I used to love reading Christopher Pike books and some of those were pretty spooky given the age I was when reading them. Here are a few of my favourites:

The covers bring back such memories! I'm going to have to head over to my mom's house and see if I still have my copies.

What are your favourite spooky books?

"Better Living Through Plastic Explosives" by Zsuzsi Gartner

Evolution, international adoption, motivational speakers, real estate, terrorism, the movie industry. Nothing is off limits in Zsuzsi Gartner's Giller short-listed collection of short stories Better Living Through Plastic Explosives.

Modern manhood is threatened when a redneck moves onto an upscale cul-de-sac. Angels are inhabiting the bodies of teenagers. Someone is killing motivational speakers. People are speaking IKEA. In Zsuzi Gartner's Vancouver, truth and science fiction have given birth to a very strange child, and nothing is funnier or more convicting.

Gartner's short stories are impressive. Her take on society, the way she easily forces the reader to turn their own eyes on society and see the absurdity that truly exists, is skillful. Some stories are stronger than others. Some had me laughing my head off, some had me shocked and some had me confused. But the strong ones, the ones that had me laughing my head off not because they are funny but because their absurdities are so true, were strong enough to make this an excellent book for me.

From what I have read, opinions are mixed when it comes to this collection. It seems that it may be hit or miss. My suggestion is if you are a fan of dark humour, if you find your head shaking at the behaviour of society and where technology is taking us, then this is a book you should pick up. If that doesn't include you, still pick up the book, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised or perhaps looking at our world through a brand new lens.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FIR '11: E-books vs. Physical Books

Oops, I've been a little MIA when it comes to the Wednesday questions so I'm hopping in at the third week. Fall Into Reading 2011 is hosted by Callapidder Days. It's all about getting some good reading done during the fall and connecting with other book bloggers each Wednesday to find out about their reading habits.

This weeks question: On what devices, if any, do you read books? Or are you strictly a physical book reader?

Well, for the past year I have flip flopped on whether or not to purchase an e-reader. Each time I'm at the store I stare at them from a distance, a few times I've gotten close enough for a quick touch. Part of me was drawn to them, most of me was stubborn and felt that books should be a physical thing.

Then my husband bought himself a tablet computer. He got it so he could read graphic novels. I was drawn to it, so I downloaded a few e-reader apps and eventually read my first e-book on it. And I loved it! I must say though I think I prefer the size of a tablet to an e-reading device. Either way, I will mostly be reading physical books but I am no longer limiting myself. Plus, I still have to fight my husband for the tablet!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Mum on the Run" by Fiona Gibson

Laura Swan has never been a fan of the sports day at her kids' school. After having three kids, her body just isn't what it used to be and unfortunately the same can't be said for the other mums at school. But this year she has promised her daughter Grace that she will participate in the Mum's Run. Things start out well but soon Laura finds herself collapsing in a heap before the finish line. And to add insult to injury she looks up to see that her husband Jed and his sexy new colleague Celeste have witnessed it all.

It's the last straw for Laura and she soon decides to join a support group for people looking to lose weight. There she meets Danny whom she instantly clicks with and they decide to take up running together. Soon, things are about more than running and Laura finds herself questioning her marriage. Will she be able to get everything right in her life or will she end up running away from it all?

Mum on the Run by Fiona Gibson is a fun chick-lit novel that many women will find themselves relating to, especially mothers. I could completely relate to Laura's feelings about her body post-baby and the difficulty of getting back into shape. She is such an easy character to love and cheer for.

The plot of the book is pretty much your typical chick lit novel but Gibson's writing is easy and funny which makes it very easy to forgive the fact that it seems rather formulaic. You'll find this book difficult to resist and hard to put down which makes for a very quick and enjoyable read.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

Happy Thanksgiving! I can't remember a Thanksgiving as beautiful as this years. The temperature today is 24C (75F) and I plan to take advantage of it by sitting in the sun on the balcony with a few good books (I think I'll skip the tea though since it's so warm!)

It's Monday What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Here's how my reading is going lately:

What I Read Last Week:

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner (Giller Prize finalist)
Married Mom, Solo Parent by Carla Anne Coroy (for Faith Filled Reading)

What I'm Reading Now:

Touch by Alexi Zentner (longlisted for the Giller Prize)
Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby (For Faith Filled Reading)

What I Plan to Read Next:

The Free World by David Bezmozgis (Giller Prize finalist)
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady (Giller Prize finalist)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Grub" by Anna Lappe and Bryant Terry

These days you can find organic food and health products everywhere, even on the shelves of discount grocery stores. More and more consumers are purchasing organic food for a myriad of reasons. If you are one of these people, or someone who is considering making the switch, then Anna Lappe and Bryant Terry's Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen is the book to read.

This book covers everything you need to know about organic foods including an expose on the industry (who knew most of the major organic brands were owned by companies like Pepsi and Dole?) and how-to's for creating an affordable organic kitchen. Aimed at the urban dweller, this book has something for everyone. Grub also has unique recipes and dining lists, organized around seasons and cultures and includes some very good soundtracks to go along with it.

Anna Lappe comes by her credentials naturally. Her mother is writer Francis Moore Lappe who in 1971 wrote the bestselling book Diet for a Small Planet which was the first major book to argue against grain-fed meat production and extol the virtues of a plant-centred diet for both bodies and the earth. Her father, Marc Lappe, was a toxicologist and author who wrote 14 books campaigning against chemical perils and arguing against genetically modified foods.

I have been eating organic for four years now and have done lots of reading on it as well as the food industry in general. Just when I thought there wasn't anything new for me to read, I learned so much from this book. I would recommend Grub as the first book to start with when making the decision to go organic. It is easy to read but packed full of useful information. I also like how this book is aimed at the urban dweller. Eating healthy and local isn't always the easiest way when you live in the city but it is getting better and this book shows that once you do a little digging, you'll be able to turn your kitchen into an urban organic oasis.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Giller Shortlist

The Shortlist for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize was announced yesterday. I'm excited because this year I have a good chance at reading most of them before the prize is announced. So far I have read one, am reading one and have two sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. The winner will be announced on Tuesday November 8. Here are the finalists:

The Free World by David Bezmozgis

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (my review here)
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

I am also excited to read Half Blood Blues and The Sisters Brothers. In addition to being shortlisted for the Giller, they are finalists for The Rogers Writer's Trust prize and The Booker Prize. They must be fantastic novels!

Have you read any of the finalists?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje

In the 1950's, an eleven-year-old boy boards an ocean liner in Sri Lanka, bound for England. At mealtimes he finds himself placed at the "Cat's Table," furthest away from the Captain's table and designated for the least of the passengers. At the table he is surrounded by an eccentric group of characters including two other young boys. As the ship makes its way through open waters and port cities the three boys find themselves immersed in the lives of the others who inhabit the ship. And it is at night as the boys slink around the ship that they discover the most fascinating inhabitant of the ship - a shackled prisoner whose crime and fate are a mystery that will stay with them forever.

The Cat's Table, by Michael Ondaatje, has been long-listed for the 2011 Giller Prize and rightfully so. It alternates between the childhood and adult life of the narrator, eleven-year-old Michael, and weaves an incredible tale about childhood discovery and the knowledge and understanding of the truth of the world that often can only come from its lowliest position.

Ondaatje is a fantastic writer, there is no doubt about that. The book begins with the set-up of the quirky characters aboard the Oronsay and the three young boys who are thrust into their world. It then moves on to they boys' adult life as it looks back on the journey and the lasting effects it had on their lives. In the end, the story returns to the ship to show how everything comes together and to reveal the mystery of the shackled prisoner.

I'll admit, I had a lot of trouble getting through the middle part. Not because of the writing but something just wasn't holding my interest. I wanted to get back to the ship, back to the mash-up of interesting characters and the mysteries that surrounded them. And when the book finally did I was instantly wrapped up in it again.

I have only read one of Ondaatje's previous works, In the Skin of a Lion, and it quickly became one of my favourite Canadian novels. From what I have read by others, The Cat's Table is one of Ondaatje's more approachable novels. Its fictional memoir feel makes it easily readable. If you're new to Ondaatje's work it sounds like this might be a great place to start. I wouldn't be surprised to see this on the Giller shortlist.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday! I don't know what it's like where you live but outside it is definitely Fall. Cold, wind, rain....oh how I love it! Seriously, dressing warm and cozying up inside with cups of tea and bowls of soup are something I absolutely love.

It's Monday What Are You Reading, hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, is a weekly meme for book bloggers to share what their reading progress currently looks like (click on Book Title for more information)

What I Read Last Week:
Into the Heart of the Country by Pauline Holdstock (long-listed for the Giller Prize)
The Last Woman Standing by Tia McCollors (for Faith Filled Reading blog)

What I'm Currently Reading:
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner (long-listed for the Giller Prize)
Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh (for Faith Filled Reading)

What I Plan to Read Next:
Touch by Alexi Zentner (long-listed for the Giller Prize)
Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby (for Faith Filled Reading)

As you can see I'm still working my way through that Giller longlist! The shortlist will be announced this week.