Showing posts from November, 2012

"Selected Poems of Langston Hughes"

During the 1920's and 1930's a cultural explosion occurred in the African-American community of Harlem.  Novels, plays, music and poetry all emerged out of the Harlem Renaissance documenting the plight of Black Americans and redefining Black identity.  One of the most famous names to come out of this movement is Langston Hughes.
James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in 1902, an African American descended from relationships between slave owners and slaves.  He grew up in an educated, politically inclined family that instilled in him a strong sense of racial pride and activism.  In his twenties he began to write poetry that expressed the attitudes and difficulties of Blacks in America.  He wrote to uplift his fellow people and to preserve their experiences.  
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes is a collection of poems that Hughes himself felt were important for preservation and includes unpublished material.  First published in 1959, this collection addresses racism, identity, reli…

Little Readers

Little Readers is where I share the books that my kids have been reading over the past week.  These are their favourites, or ones that I really enjoy for learning points. Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton This is one that my son read at his speech therapy.  The farmer has fifteen animals and they all seem to be named Bob!  Bob is great for the articulation my son has been working on, but all kids are going to find this book cute and funny. Le club des verts by Annette Aubrey (The Rainbow Club in English) Kids at school start a club where it's members wear green but other kids begin to feel left out.  A great book for talking to your children about bullying and the feelings that go with it.
J'ai perdu mon chat by Philippe Beha (I've Lost My Cat in English) A little boy has lost his cat and his friends try to find him.  But they end up bringing home animals that don't quite match the entire description!  A huge shout out to TD Bank Group and The Canadian Children's Boo…

"Heads in Beds" by Jacob Tomsky

Following his college graduation, armed with a philosophy degree, Jacob Tomsky found himself with a lack of career direction and a lack of incoming funds.  And so he took a job as a valet parking attendant for a brand new, large, luxury hotel in New Orleans.  He never planned to make a career of it, but he quickly learned that once the hospitality business lures you in, it doesn't let you out.
Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality is Tomsky's memoir of over a decade of his life spent in the hotel industry.  He has done it all from parking cars to managing the housekeeping department, but most of his time has been spent at the front desk where he's on the front lines and knows the deep, dark secrets of everyone who checks in.
This is a fun, fantastic book that anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel will want to read.  At first I thought it was going to be one of those "bring your own black light and/or sheets" type of books.  …

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 connect with other book bloggers, get your reading week organized and add to that never-ending to read list!
Last week I took an unplanned reading and blogging break.  Life got busy and it was just one of those things where I didn't feel any motivation to do very much during my downtime.  Though I did manage to catch up on a months worth of Coronation Street episodes (oh man, was it a good month!  Let me know if you watch the show, we can chat!)
What I Read Last (2) Weeks:
Beware this Boy by Maureen Jennings Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky
What I'm Reading Now: This week I really need to focus on The Count of Monte Cristo for the read along.  Only a few more weeks and I really need to make a dent on it if I'm going to finish on time.
What I'm Reading Next:

I'm reading both of these books for the…

*Giveaway* "The Housewife Assassin's Handbook" by Josie Brown

Josie Brown's The Housewife Assassin's Handbook just broke the top 100 in Amazon's Romantic Suspense Category and to celebrate she is giving away e-copies of the book!

You can read an excerpt from the book here and read my review of the book here where I call it a fast-paced read with great gadgets and the right combination of mystery and humour.

To enter, leave your email address in the comment box below.  The contest runs until midnight ET on December 20th.  I will draw 3 winners at random and pass your email on to the author.

Good luck!

Little Readers

It's time to check in with what my kids are reading this week!
My daughter loves ballet.  She is very excited that next month she'll be old enough to take the proper ballet lessons in our neighbourhood.  This week she picked up Bea at Ballet by Rachel Isadora and Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp at the library.  Bea at Ballet is a fantastic book for any young girl or boy who is taking ballet.
This week my daughter's Scholastic order arrived and thus our favourite French book this week is Fraisinette: Ma première soirée pyjama by Presses aventures.  It's a cute little book about Strawberry Shortcake and her friends having a sleepover, with one of the girls being nervous because she has never been to one before.
Where is Boots? A Lift the Flap Story by Kiki Thorpe and Troubles with Bubbles by Frank B. Edwards are the two books my son has been reading this week for his speech therapy.  They are repetitive books that work on lip rounding, which is something he needs t…

"Beware this Boy" by Maureen Jennings

It's November 1940 and war is spreading throughout Europe.  In Britain, the Blitz (a sustained strategic bombing by Germany) is underway.  Men have gone off to fight and those who remain face the regular occurrences of air raids, while doing their part on the home front to support the war effort.
The city of Birmingham was already an important industrial area in England when the war broke out and many factories devoted themselves to the war effort.  It was in these factories that many women went to work for the first time manufacturing munitions, putting their lives at risk for the war effort.  And it is one of these factories that Maureen Jenning's Beware this Boy begins.
An explosion has ripped through a factory, killing or badly injuring several of the young women who work in the dangerous area.  It seems like an unfortunate accident but the chief of police calls in an investigator just to be sure.
Detective Inspector Tom Tyler works in a small Shropshire town but is called in…

Classics Club Memes

Each month, the wonderful hosts of The Classics Club post a meme question for all members to answer.  Since I just joined recently, I'm going to catch up on the monthly questions in one post!  And if you haven't joined The Classics Club, what are you waiting for?  If you don't feel like the commitment you will still find a great list of books and reviews.

August 2012 - What is your favourite classic book? Why?

I don't have one stand-out, all-time favourite classic book but there is one that is very meaningful to me in my reading journey.  In school we didn't really read the classics, at least not the ones you hear everyone else saying they read in school (The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, anything by Austen or Dickens, etc.)  We mostly read Canadian literature (which has some great classics itself.)  1984 by George Orwell was the first classic that I sought out myself to read when I was about 16.  I was amazed at how the novel stood the test of time, how it …

"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 share what they are reading and do what we do best - add books to our to read lists!

My reading has been pretty slow lately, just finishing about a book a week.  I'm focusing on finishing up my challenges and just working on finding more time to read.

What I Read Last Week:

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé (click on title for review)

What I'm Reading Now:

Beware This Boy by Maureen Jennings
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

What I'm Reading Next:

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes

What are you reading this week? Any challenges you need to finish up for the year?

"Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappé

Originally published in 1971, Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé was an important book that was ahead of its time.  A call to eat a more plant-centred diet, it was the first major book to critique our meat production system, calling it both wasteful and a contributor to the global food shortage.  Lappé praises and encourages a vegetarian diet while identifying the major issues that arise within the current food production system.
Today we see an abundance of books and documentaries on our food production system.  Vegetarian and vegan diets as well as organic and non genetically modified food movements are now common household knowledge.  Diet for a Small Planet is the original food Bible and there is a reason why this book has endured for decades as a bestseller.
This book really puts into perspective the way our food system works, why hunger throughout the world isn't a product of a global food shortage, and the ways that big agricultural is hurting both our food and ou…

"Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible" by Tim Gunn

From the fig leaf to the toga, from corsets to the miniskirt, fashion has undergone some major transformations since the beginning of time.  Today's skinny jeans, graphic tees and stiletto heels are the results of clothing evolution.  For many people, clothes are more than just something we wear to cover up with - they are political and cultural statements, influenced by weather and emotions, and can say a lot about who you are.
Tim Gunn is one of fashions big names and foremost experts and he is bringing all of his knowledge to his newest book Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet.  In this book, Tim reveals the history behind every article of clothing that is out there, from beginning to now.  He takes a look at Helen of Troy's sandals, Queen Victoria's corset, Madonna's cone bra, Hillary Clinton's pantsuits…if it was worn, he mentions it.  And it's not all about the good, it also includes the worst of fashion (jegg…

"Goodbye For Now" by Laurie Frankel

Sam Elling works in the IT department of an internet dating company, but can't find a date for himself.  So he creates an algorithm that will find a persons soul mate and it works when he meets the love of his life Meredith.  It also gets him fired since it works so well and the company begins to lose customers.
Out of work, Sam spends his day doing not much of anything.  But when Meredith's grandmother Livvie dies suddenly, he puts that time to use creating a computer program that allows Meredith to continue communicating with her grandmother.  Using her computer history, Sam creates a computer simulation of Livvie that responds as though she were still alive.
Meredith loves it but others aren't so sure.  Still, Sam and Meredith begin to consider just how this program can help others deal with their grief.  With the assistance of Meredith's cousin Dashiell, they form a company called RePose.  The company takes off with a steady stream of people wanting to come into say …

'It's Monday, What Are You Reading?"

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey
With only two months left for the year I have realized that I need to spend my time finishing off my challenges.  Which means I'll probably be reading a lot of classics over the next two months, as those seem to be the ones I've left for the end!

What I Read Last Week:

The Selector of Souls by Shauna Singh Baldwin
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler

What I'm Reading Now:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (for the Back to Classics Challenge)
Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé (for the Mixing It Up Challenge)

What I'm Reading Next:

Beware this Boy by Maureen Jennings
...and some Classic because I need to read a bunch of those to complete the challenge!!!

What are you reading this week?

"The Imposter Bride" by Nancy Richler

A young woman arrives in post-war Montreal to marry a man she has never met.  But when Lily Azerov steps off the train, her fiancee takes one look at her and leaves.  Her would-be brother-in-law takes pity on her and marries her but it quickly becomes apparent to those around her that Lily isn't who she claims to be.  And when she disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter, all of the questions surrounding her identity remain unanswered.  
As her daughter Ruth grows older she begins to wonder about her mother.  Who was she, why did she leave, and where did she go?  With only a few clues, she sets out to find the real woman behind the mother she never knew.
The Imposter Bride, by Nancy Richler, is an incredible novel full of mystery, heartache, love and longing.  From the first page I was drawn into the story and mystery of Lily Azerov and I didn't want to put it down until all of the questions were answered.  Richler does a fantastic job of not giving away too much…