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Showing posts from July, 2013

"The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen

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When the boarding school of Emma Smallwood's father shuts down, he takes a job tutoring the young sons of a baronet in cliff-top manor in Cornwall.  When Emma decides to accompany him, she has no idea what mysteries await her at the manor.  
The baronet's older sons, Henry and Phillip, are former students of Mr. Smallwood's and they both remember the relationships they had with the younger Emma.  They both find themselves drawn to her and she enjoys getting to know them again.  But soon, strange things begin to happen at the manor.  At night, Emma hears someone playing the pianoforte, only to find the room empty when she investigates.  Someone begins sneaking into her room at night and soon things start to go missing.  As these frightening acts begin to escalate Emma finds herself in terrible danger and her hopes lie in an unlikely rescuer.
The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen is a historical romance that has it all - an exciting locale, an interesting time period, dash…

"Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan

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Rachel Chu has agreed to spend her summer holiday in Singapore with her boyfriend Nicholas Young, a fellow university professor.  Nicholas is returning for the wedding of a close friend and this will be the first time Rachel gets to meet his family.  Rachel is envisioning a quiet vacation, a humble family home, and plenty of time to explore the island.  But what she does not realize is Nicholas is the darling of Singapore's elite society.  
Nicholas is the heir of one of Singapore's richest, pedigreed Chinese families.  His humble family home is larger than most palaces.  His family and friends travel by private plane.  And it turns out that Nicholas is one of Singapore's most eligible bachelors.  When word spreads that Nicholas is bringing home a girlfriend, an ABC (American-born Chinese), high society finds itself in a flurry.  Especially Nicholas' mother, who has some very strong ideas about who her son will, or will not, marry.
Crazy Rich Asians is the hilarious and …

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

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Well, I did it.  I finally managed to get back into a reading groove.  And it feels oh so good.  I always think summer is going to be fantastic for reading but then it gets here and it's way too busy.  And it really doesn't help that lately I've been addicted to watching 8 Out of 10 Cats on Youtube.  But I've got a ton of good books in my pile that I really want to get to, so I'm making sure I make good time for reading now.
What I Read Last Week Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - review coming soon but let me say, I loved this book.
What I'm Reading Now Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
What I Plan to Read Next I picked up A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra yesterday and was instantly drawn in.  
After that I can't decide between Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight or The Woman …

"Parenting Without Borders" by Christine Gross-Loh

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Every culture has its own unique ways of doing things and when it comes to parenting, there is no exception.  And in a world that is growing ever closer, it's easy for us to notice how our parenting styles compare and what other cultures seem to be getting right when we are struggling.  Wouldn't it be great to know their secrets?
In Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us, Christine Gross-Loh brings "the world's best parenting strategies" right to you.  In this book she looks at parenting styles from countries such as Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, and China and compares them to American notions of raising children.  She shows that helicopter parenting is unique to America, co-sleeping is the norm in most cultures, and the world's highest academic achievers get a lot of time to play at school, among many other things.
Disclaimer: I don't like parenting books.  I think I've done pretty we…

"The Twin" by Gerbrand Bakker

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Helmer van Wonderen was a young man studying at university when his twin brother Henk was killed in a car accident.  Family obligations came first and Helmer left school to return to the home he grew up in and take over his brother's role on the small family farm.  
Thirty years later, Helmer is still a single man working on the farm.  His mother has passed away and he has moved his invalid father to a room upstairs to keep him out of the way.  But when Henk's ex-girlfriend Riet reappears after decades away, Helmer's solitary life is interrupted.  She asks if her eighteen-year-old son, also named Henk, can come and live on the farm for a while and it is his arrival that brings the past back to the forefront of Helmer's life.
The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, is a simple and subtle novel about rural life and family dynamics.  The winner of the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, it's an interesting look at the relationship between a middle-aged man and his fat…

"Revenge Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger

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A decade has past since Andy Sachs left Miranda Priestly, editor of Runway Magazine, standing in the streets of Paris.  After a year of working as Miranda's assistant, a job that millions of girls would kill to have, Andy just couldn't take it anymore and quit.  And over that decade, a lot has changed for Andy.
Not only is she married to the love of her life, Max Harrison, the heir of a media empire (and not her college sweetheart), she is the editor of a high end Bridal magazine, The Plunge.  To top it off, her partner in the magazine is her former co-assistant and nemesis, Emily.  Yes, things are a little different from when we last saw Andy.
Just when Andy thinks things couldn't be more perfect, the past walks right back into her life.  Andy's new life brings her back into the path of Miranda Priestly.  This time however, Andy is in the drivers seat, when Miranda's company makes an offer to buy The Plunge.  But just when Andy thinks this is her chance to get reven…

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

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
My reading has been all over the place for the past month, some times I'm not reading at all, sometimes I have a whole bunch of books on the go.  I'm going to have to book myself in with the eye doctor this week because I think I may need glasses.  I definitely can't see as well as before and I think that might be contributing to the fact that I'm not able to read for as long as I usually do.

That being said, I'm still pushing along and I'm in the midst of one of those reading bursts where I have quite a few books on the go.  Which ones are they?


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
I tend to read fiction earlier in the day and then non-fiction later on, I don't know why.  But I'm hoping that by next week I can report to you that at least one of these books is finishe…

"Mouthwatering Vegan" by Miriam Sorrell

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In 2010, Miriam Sorrell started a blog to help others learn and prepare delicious vegan dishes.  Her goal was to inspire other vegans as well as omnivores and vegetarians to live a healthier life.  Her blog took off and before she knew it she was approached to write her own cookbook.  The result is Mouthwatering Vegan, with over 130 irresistible recipes for everyone.  As the cover says, "welcome to the meat-free revolution."
I didn't actually know about Sorrell's blog before I picked up this book, I'm just a big fan of vegan recipes and vegetarian living and am always on the lookout for new and exciting cookbooks.  What I really liked about this one is that it goes beyond what many vegan cookbooks do and expands on the wonderful foods and flavours available.  In other words, there is more than just another recipe for black bean quesadillas and meat-free spaghetti sauce in this book.
Miriam Sorrell comes from a Mediterranean background and it shows in a lot of her r…

"On Black Sisters Street" by Chika Unigwe

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Every night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in windows of the red-light district of Antwerp, Belgium, waiting for their next customer.  This isn't what any of the women had planned for when they immigrated from Africa.  However, they must stay focused on doing what they need to do to start a new life.  
But when Sisi does not come home one night, the women must face the fact that this life will be harder to escape from than they thought.
On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe, winner of the 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature, is a novel of importance, a voice for the women throughout the world who are sold and trafficked.  Unigwe spent time interviewing African sex workers in Antwerp, which leads to the honest and brutal story that makes up this novel.
Sisi, Joyce, Ama, and Efe all come from troubled backgrounds back home in Nigeria.  They are abused, abandoned, unemployed, and alone.  They have dreams of bigger and better lives, and their saviour comes in the form of Senghor Dele, …

State of the Blog

If you read my blog on a semi-frequent basis, you'll probably have noticed there wasn't much to read last month!  With my husband having exams to mark and report cards to write in addition to finishing up his own course he was taking and everything that comes along with kids finishing up in school, and my 3 year old doing what a busy 3 year old normally does, it was a hectic month around here.  There was very little time for reading and blogging.  So that has left my blog on its own with nothing to do.

But it is summer now and though it looks to be a busy one, I know I'll get back on track with reading.  So look for my blog to pick back up its pace in the next week.  And if it doesn't, feel free to give me a swift kick and tell me to get back in gear, because as busy and wonderful as life gets, it doesn't feel complete without reading!