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Showing posts from March, 2014

Month In Review

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This month I managed to read more books than I can fit in the collage (by just one.)  The fact that it was March Break and the weather wasn't great meant that I was able to get in one good week of reading and push my monthly total higher.  Here is what I read this month:

The Midnight Rose - Lucinda Riley *****
Unfinished - Steven K. Scott *****
The Replacement Wife - Tiffany L. Warren ****
The Guestbook - Holly Martin ****
Fortune and Fame - ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray ****
For Today I Am a Boy - Kim Fu ****
All Our Names - Dinaw Mengestu ****
Boy Snow Bird - Helen Oyeyemi ***
The Divorce Papers - Susan Rieger ***
A Heart's Rebellion - Ruth Axtell ***

Challenges
TBR Pile Challenge (0), Diversity on the Shelf (6), Classics Club (0), Canadian Book Challenge (1)

A Look Ahead
Here are the April releases I'm looking forward to reading

Sunday Headlines - Quiz Edition

Here are some literary quizzes I came across on the internet this week
*Which literary heroine are you?
*How well do you know Irish literature?
*Test your knowledge of literature written in prison.
*How many of the greatest books by women have you read?
*What is Literature Jeopardy Alex?

"The Midnight Rose" by Lucinda Riley

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Eleven-year-old Anahita Chavan finds her life is about to change when she befriends Princess Indira, the daughter of Indian royalty.  Her own family is noble but impoverished and her friendship with Indira opens a new world to her as she becomes the princess’ companion.  But it is when the two girls leave India and head to England for school that Anahita’s life really takes a turn.
It is there that she meets Donald Astbury, a reluctant heir to a declining fortune, and his mother who will do everything she can to keep control over the estate.  Donald and Anahita fall passionately in love and following the end of World War 1, they make plans to spend their lives together, no matter what society thinks.  But unfortunately, it is not meant to be.
Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has arrived in England to star in a period film as a 1920’s debutante.  Thrilled to be away from the paparazzi, she settles into Astbury Hall, a now crumbling manor in the countryside.  But she soon d…

"The Divorce Papers" by Susan Rieger

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Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl loves her job as a criminal law associate at a New England firm.  All of her clients are behind bars and it means very little personal contact, which for her is perfect.   But one weekend, all of the big partners are away and Sophie must do an intake interview for a woman looking for a divorce lawyer.  Sophie agrees to the interview but doesn’t expect that the client will end up requesting her to take on the case. 
Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim was served divorce papers from her husband while dining at a popular restaurant.  A Mayflower descendent, she is shocked to find out that her marriage of eighteen years is over.  Even more, she is shocked that her husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, is out for blood.  He wants custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane and to leave Mia with very little while he starts fresh with one of his colleagues.
Told only through personal correspondence, office e-mails and memos, legal…

"The Guestbook" by Holly Martin

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Welcome to Willow Cottage - throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home.  Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!
Annie Butterworth is the landlady of Willow Cottage, a beautiful cottage in the English countryside with a colourful array of guests.  Every guest is encouraged to write their thoughts in the guestbook and do they ever!  Love, loss, happiness, sadness, guilt, affairs, births, and surprises, it’s all in there.  Even Annie’s life gets caught up in the book.
As a young widow, Annie herself is going through some changes.  And the appearance of her brother-in-law, celebrity crime writer Oliver Black isn’t helping.  As the guests of Willow Cottage go about their seaside vacations, Annie and Oliver must figure out how to move on in their lives, and most importantly, if they will do so together.
The Guestbook by Holly Martin is a lovely, sweet, and unique book.  Written in the format of notes left in the guestbook, readers get a g…

"For Today I Am a Boy" by Kim Fu

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Peter Huang is the prized boy in a traditional Chinese family living in small-town Ontario.  Named Juan Chuan, meaning powerful king, he is the only son in the middle of three girls.  His immigrant father was thrilled to have his one boy to carry on his legacy.  But Peter is carrying a difficult secret, one that he believes will shatter his parents.  Peter is certain that he was born in the wrong body and is really a girl.
Peter and his sisters Adele, Helen, and Bonnie all long to break free from the confines of their home and small town to live as who they truly are.  As Peter’s journey takes him to Montreal, he is free to explore who he is though the shadow of his father is difficult to shake.
For Today I Am A Boy is a coming-of-age book that is sensitive, beautiful, and honest.  The debut novel by Kim Fu, it is a story of what happens when culture and identity clash, and the burdens that we carry with us.
There are two issues at play in this book.  The first is the story of an immi…

"Susceptible" by Geneviève Castrée

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Goglu is a French Canadian girl who lives with her alcoholic mother and resentful stepfather.  All her life she has been a child surrounded by grownups.  Goglu keeps to herself, her life full of sadness and dreams of breaking free from the troubled lifestyle of her mother.   But as she grows older she escapes into a life of punk rock and drugs.  She tries to start fresh with her biological father on the other side of the country but she just cannot escape the turmoil.
Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée is a coming of age memoir that speaks to what happens to children when the adults that are entrusted with their well-being aren’t up for the task.  This graphic novel is beautifully drawn and heartbreakingly wonderful.  It is painful, touching, hopeful, and mesmerizing.
I had not heard of Castrée until I read CBC Books' 10 Canadian Women You Need to Read.  She has been drawing all of her life though has never studied art formally, and at 32 years of age, this is her seventh book from …

"All Our Names" by Dinaw Mengestu

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Two young men, both named Isaac though not necessarily their real name, meet on a university campus in Uganda while the African revolution rages on the streets.  Though their lives may have had similar humble beginnings, their paths part as they are drawn deeper into the movement.  One works his way up through the ranks of the revolution while the other finds safety in exile to America.
Pretending to be an exchange student, Isaac settles into life in a small-town in the American Midwest and falls in love with his social worker.  But he cannot forget what he left behind, both his part in the revolution and the friend he left behind, the one who sacrificed everything so Isaac could gain freedom.
All Our Names is the newest book from Dinaw Mengestu, a talented and acclaimed writer who is a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award, The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 award, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant.  It is safe to say that when he publishes a novel there a…

Sunday Headlines

Here are a few stories that caught my eye this week
*Joseph Boyden's The Orenda won CBC's Canada Reads this week. #WabKinewforPrimeMinister
*The longlist for Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction was announced this week.
*The Oscar's were last week.  Here is a look at the CanLit that has inspired films nominated for Oscars.
*HarperCollins Canada's HCC March Madness has begun again.  Make sure you cast your votes.

"My Journey" by Olivia Chow

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There are a few things most Canadians know about Olivia Chow - she is an immigrant, politician, and half of one of Parliament’s biggest power couples.  But there is so much more to the woman we see in the media. We know she is a fighter for justice and for many people she is one of the more relatable politicians.  But many may wonder what has driven her passion for politics and commitment to making her country a better place.  Now she is sharing that story.
My Journey, by Olivia Chow, is a candid look at her life in politics and the events and issues that have shaped who she is today.  From her early childhood in Hong Kong to her teenage years in Toronto, she honestly shares the frustrations and hardships her family faced and the difficulties and violence that marked this time period.  She recounts how her life changed when she settled into self-discipline and excelled in school, and how her desire for social change led to her political career.  
As a school trustee first, then a Toro…

"Boss Girl" by Nic Tatano

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Sydney Hack is a single thirty-something with a high-powered job as VP of news for a television network.  But the network isn’t doing well and Sydney is under pressure to get viewership up.  And with her new idea, she is about to strike gold.
Sydney realizes that like herself, many over-thirty women want a chiselled young trophy buck on their arms.  And she thinks, why not give it to them on their nightly newscast.  Imagine, instead of the older male/young beauty queen combination that is currently on television, you pair an older woman with a piece of male eye candy.  When her brilliant idea becomes an overnight success, she and three of her fellow female managers are catapulted to national fame and their very own 24 hour network.  
The four women are ready to infiltrate the Old Boys Club and they’re going to do it acting just like men do - casting couch included.  That’s right, Sydney and her friends take advantage of a decades old tradition and not only are their young male anchor…

Month In Review

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I just realized that I didn't do a month in review for February.  Once again, it was a great month.  I got quite a few great chick lit novels through Netgalley and also read some great Canadian fiction and non-fiction including a graphic novel which is totally outside of my reading comfort zone.  Here are the books I read this month with the ratings I gave them on GoodReads.

Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishamel Beah  *****
Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée  ****
The Bear by Claire Cameron  ****
How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake  ****
Never Google Heartbreak by Emma Garcia  ****
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan  ****
Reclaiming Eve by Suzanne Burden, Carla Sunberg, and Jamie Wright  ****
Boss Girl by Nic Tatano ***

Challenges
TBR Pile Challenge (0), Diversity on the Shelf (2), Classics Club (0), Canadian Book Challenge (3)

A Look Ahead
Here is what I'm looking forward to reading in March