Showing posts from October, 2012

"Rot & Ruin" by Jonathan Maberry

It's fourteen years after the zombie outbreak that ended the world as it was known and most humans who survived live behind fences in small settlements.  Outside the fences lies the great Rot and Ruin, a place where zombies roam free and there are no rules.
Fifteen-year-old Benny Imura lives in the Mountainside settlement with his brother Tom, a zombie hunter.  Benny holds a grudge against Tom that goes back to the First Night when they lost their parents.  Now he is at the age where he has to find a job or else he risks losing a portion of his rations and after trying various jobs around the settlement, he reluctantly decides to join Tom in the family business.
But life in the Rot and Ruin is not what Benny thought it was at all.  Tom reveals a world where zombies are not monsters but people.  He also reveals a world where the heroes of the settlement, the zombie hunters, are immoral thugs who kidnap children and hunt zombies for sport.  When Benny and Tom set out to save their fri…

Giller Winner!!!

Last night the Scotiabank Giller Prize winner was announced in a wonderful fashion.  Aired on CBC, the award show featured the best names in Canadian literature and entertainment and was hosted by the fantastic Jian Ghomeshi.

So obviously, everyone wants to know who the winner was and that honour went to....

Will Ferguson for his novel "419"
Obviously this wasn't my choice for the winner and I must admit I was a little surprised when it was announced.  I really enjoyed the book, but there were just others I enjoyed more.  But that's the beauty of a literary prize - the books are diverse and we each have our personal tastes but what the books all have in common is great writing.  
This win speaks to the strength of Canadian literature.  It shows that CanLit is global, that our authors are diverse and that we have a rich literary landscape.  Ferguson is a humour and travel writer and this is his first novel that is serious and dark.  He is a very skilled writer and wh…

Giller Prediction

Tonight the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced.  It's Canada's biggest literary prize and it kicks off the big three of the literary season here.  This year I have been able to read all five of the books on the shortlist and thus I can make a true prediction of who I think will win!

That being said, I have no clue!  There is no one runaway book for me that I can point to and say "that's the book that will win hands down."  I think a lot of readers are also probably thinking the same thing.  It's too hard for me to say which one will be picked by the jurors.  That being said, if I were picking the winner, I would pick
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler
I haven't posted a review for this book as I just finished reading it today (just in time!)  But here is the description from the book jacket:
A young, enigmatic woman - Lily Azerov - arrives in post-war Montreal expecting to meet her betrothed, Sol Kramer.  When Sol sees Lily at the tra…

It's Monday! What Are you Reading?

It's time for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Hurricane Sandy edition.  While we definitely won't be getting the brunt of the storm here in Toronto as the US East Coast will be, we're expecting to be hit by the outer reaches of Sandy.  The call here is for up to 100mm of rain and 100km/hr wind gusts overnight tonight.  So we've got our water, food, flashlights and batteries and most importantly I've got my books.

Here is what I'll be reading during the storm (since I'm assuming I won't be able to pull in many television stations from New York on my over the air antenna tonight.)

The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler - this is the last book I need to read on the Giller Prize shortlist before the winner is announced tomorrow night.

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace - found this through another blog (Leeswammes' Blog) and it sounds very funny.

What are you reading this week?  If you're on the East Coast, I hope you're keeping safe during …

Count of Monte Cristo Read-Along

I'll admit it.  I get scared away by long books.  And that severely clashes with my desire to read more of the Classics.   So I was highly intrigued when I saw that The Estella Society is hosting a read along of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

It's an informal read along, taking place from November 1 to December 18, lots of time to get through the over 1000 pages (seriously?)  If you want to check it out, head over to The Estella Society and follow along on twitter at #countRAL.

"The Stone Thrower" by Jael Ealey Richardson

Growing up in Canada, Jael Ealey Richardson felt that she never fully knew her own story.  As the child of Black Americans, her identity was different from other Black students at her school who could trace their ancestry to the Caribbean or Africa.  But other than knowing about slavery and the civil rights struggles, she didn't know much about her family's history in America.  
Everything she did know was what she learned from television and newspapers, her father being a successful football player in the Canadian Football League.  What she didn't know were the factors and circumstances that brought her parents to Canada in the 1970's.  The reason for this is her father never spoke about those times.  He never spoke about his family or growing up in America and any time anyone asked him questions about it, he eluded having to answer them.
So when the opportunity to attend her father's high school reunion came up, Jael jumped at the chance to go and what came about w…

"Teaching: It's Harder Than It Looks" by Gerry Dee

Canadian comic Gerry Dee is having quite the year.  His stand-up specials are huge hits (my husband I saw Life After Teaching live and the man had us in tears through the whole thing), his television show, Mr. D, is a funny success and he travels the country interviewing athletes as Gerry Dee, Sports Reporter for sports station The Score.  But before his comedy success he spent ten years as a teacher in Toronto and, as he argues, not always a good one.  Those ten years are the subject of his new book Teaching: It's Harder Than It Looks, a hilarious collection of anecdotes about teaching, students and parents.
As the child of teachers I occasionally heard some of the "inside stories" from the staff room growing up.  And as the wife of a teacher, I hear them all the time.  You wouldn't think it, but schools are comedy gold, especially when you have teachers like Gerry Dee.  He started out as someone who fell into teaching (after failing to get into medical school and la…

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 great way to meet book bloggers, find out what they are reading, and get yourself organized for the upcoming reading week.

I'm still struggling in my reading, not getting much done, starting and stopping books.  So this week, I'd let to finish off those books that have been on my stand for a while.  These include:

The Selector of Souls by Shauna Singh Baldwin
Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel
The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones
With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
What are you reading this week?

"Inside" by Alix Ohlin

When Grace stumbles across a man, Tug, in the snowy woods who has tried to commit suicide, she immediately jumps into action.  As a therapist, she yearns to find out what has made him get to this point and she struggles to help him, while along the way falling in love with the man.  
Meanwhile, Grace's troubled teenage patient Annie has run away to New York where she reinvents herself.  There, she lives a life of solitude and free from attachment but when she takes in another troubled young girl and the girls boyfriend, she finds her world changing.
And then there is Mitch, Grace's ex-husband, himself a therapist who finds himself leaving the woman he is in love with to work in a struggling native community in the North.  But a tragedy has him quickly returning and finding that his old life no longer exists and he must chart a new one.
Over the span of twelve years and across the globe, these stories entwine together to form the novel Inside by Alix Ohlin.  As the book jumps betw…

Little Readers

In Little Readers, I like to share the books that my kids enjoyed reading over the past week.  
The Great Tulip Trade by Beth Wagner Brust My daughter picked this one up from the school library because it takes place in the Netherlands, which is where my family is from.  It takes place in the 1600's during the Tulip Mania and is about a young girl who trades her birthday bouquet of tulips for things for her family.
A Crowded Ride in the Countryside and New at the Zoo by Frank B. Edwards and John Bianchi These are books that are being used in my son's speech therapy.  They're cute, they rhyme and are great for working on repetition of words.  And they're Canadian!
Imagine un arbre by Barbara Reid This book pictures trees in every season, all kinds of weather and from the beginning to end.  The illustrations are done in Reid's signature Plasticine style and are beautiful.  It is available in English as Picture a Tree.
La vie rêvée de Lola! by Lindsey Gardiner This book …

"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

The year is 2540 AD but in the new order of the world it is 632 AF (Annum Ford, with the new calendar beginning in 1908, the year Henry Ford's first Model T rolled off the assembly line.)  The world is unified into a peaceful, global society in which resources abound and everyone is happy.  This is because of the scientific developments that allow for the complete control of the population.
Children are no longer born through natural reproduction but rather "decanted" in the Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres.  They are divided into five castes which are created to fulfill specific functions within social and economic spheres.  Members of the lower castes are born from one egg that is able to create up to 96 children.  They are then educated through a sleep-teaching process which gives them caste-appropriate teaching and moulds their world views.
All citizens are taught to value consumption so that it is a constant thing that allows for universal, consistent employment to…

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 great way for book bloggers to get themselves organized for the week and for book lovers to find tons of new books to add to their reading pile!
I missed writing one of these posts last week due to all the illness going around my house.  I did very little reading for about a week and a half but thanks to Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon on Saturday I managed to get a couple of those left off books finished ask well as starting and finishing two great books.
What I Read:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Inside by Alix Ohlin
The Stone Thrower: A Daughter's Lessons, A Father's Life by Jael Ealey Richardson
Teaching: It's Harder Than It Looks by Gerry Dee

What I'm Reading Now/Next: Haven't quite decided what I'm going to pick up today but here's what is at the top of my pile.

The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones
The Selector of Souls by Shauna Singh Baldwin
The Swe…

24 Hour Readathon Progress

I'm very excited to be participating in my 2nd 24 Hour Readathon.  In the beginning I wasn't sure how I felt about them, but I am most definitely hooked now!  Here I will be posting on my progress throughout the day.  Be sure to leave a message and let me know how you're doing.  And make sure to follow on Twitter with the hashtags #dewey and #readathon.

The Finish Line
Which hour was most daunting for you?
There wasn't one hour that was daunting.  This time around I didn't read straight through, I just read as much as I could.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
"Teaching: It's Harder Than It Looks" is by former teacher and Canadian comic Gerry Dee and it's hilarious, even if you're not a teacher.  It's a quick read that will have you in stitches and is a good book to read when you're starting to feel a bit burnt out.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-t…

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Tomorrow is the October 24 Hour Readathon.  This is my second time participating, and I'm not quite sure how it's going to go.  I did pretty well last time but I haven't been able to fully clear my schedule so life might get in the way just a little bit this time around!  If you've never heard of or participated in the readathon go to the website to check it out.

Last week my daughter became ill, then a few days later both my son and I fell ill, so my reading has been non-existent for the last week.  I've left a lot of books half-finished so I'll be using the readathon to really work on getting those done.  Here's my plan:



Gerry Dee's Teaching: It's Harder Than It Looks will be my go to book when I find things getting a little heavy.  I've seen his stand-up live and he is hilarious.  Though I'm sure once I start that book I'll be unable to put it down.  The Stone Thrower is my motivation to push through finishing the first th…

A short hiatus

I don't get so sick often that I need to take to my bed for a few days, but this is one of those times!  First my daughter got pneumonia, then my son developed a cough and now I'm just wiped out by a cold.  So unfortunately I haven't done much reading or blogging this past week and I probably won't for a few days more.  Hopefully it will be only a few days before I'm back and posting!

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.  From their sites -

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. 

Each week there is a question that everyone answers so we can get to know each other better.  This weeks question is:  

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

My blog is a just for fun thing.  The only thing I really hope to accomplish is to get others reading some really good books and to introduce others to some great Ca…

Little Readers

Once a week I like to share some of the favourite books that I read with my kids, both in English and French.  Here's what we read last week:
Bonne nuit, je t'aime! by Caroline Jayne Church is a sweet little book about getting ready for bed.  It goes through the steps of a bedtime routine and has the most precious illustrations!  This book is available in English and Church has a variety of books just like this one.

The Littlest Sled Dog by Michael Kusugak is about a little dog who dreams of being a sled dog in the North.  Kusugak is an Inuit storyteller and this book, which takes place in Rankin Inlet, is a great book to introduce kids to Inuit culture.

Up Dog by Hazel Hutchins is all about the things a dog can get into during the day.  Each page has a two or three word phrase that involves the word up.  I bought it for my son whose speech delay involves dropping consonants at the end of his words and up is one that we practice for him to learn how to form words properly.  I a…

"1984" by George Orwell

The year is 1984 and the world is divided into three superstates - Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia.  The states are always at war, with loyalties and enemies changing frequently.  In the city of London, posters of Party leader Big Brother bear the caption "Big Brother is watching you" and telescreens monitor both the public and private lives of the population.  Society is made up of three classes - the Inner Party which is the elite ruling minority; the Outer Party which is the middle class; and the Proles who are the uneducated working class and make up 85% of the population.  
Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party and works in the Ministry of Truth, which deals with propaganda.  Winston is an editor who changes historical records to reflect the constantly changing Party dictates.  One of his responsibilities is to remove all past mentions of "unpersons," people who have been killed by the state and whose entire existence is fully denied.
While Winston works h…