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Showing posts from November, 2015

Month In Review

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November was a great month for reading for me. It started off slow but picked up toward the end of the month and I read a lot of great books that I just could not put down.  I did realize that if I want to make my goal of reading 105 books this year, I need to put things into overdrive.  I'm sure I can hit 100 this year, let's see if I can do 105.
Challenges
Diversity on the Shelf (3), Canadian Book Challenge (3)
What I'm Looking Forward to in December
Reading, reading, reading!  Trying to press toward my goal.  There are a couple of books that I'm looking forward to reading. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is one of them and I was also given a copy of The Widow by Fiona Barton (next year's The Girl on the Train) and I can't wait to read that one!  
Merry Christmas everyone!

"Slammed" by Colleen Hoover

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Eighteen-year-old Layken has been through the toughest time of her life.  After the sudden passing of her father, she’s had to move across the country with her mother and nine-year-old brother.  She’s not happy to be in a new town where she knows no one, but she knows that she has to be the rock for her family.  She’s just not sure how she’ll hold it all together.
Then she meets Will Cooper, her 21-year-old neighbour who is cute, intriguing, and more than interested in her.  They can’t fight the connection they immediately make and after Will introduces her to the world of slam poetry, Layken begins to think that the move may not be so bad.
Until they make a discovery that quickly puts an end to their relationship.  But they still have to see each other on a daily basis which both Layken and Will find difficult to do.  And when Layken receives devastating news, it becomes almost impossible to stay away from each other.
Slammed is the first book in a young adult series by Colleen Hoove…

"Just the Way You Are" by Lynsey James

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Ava Clements has never been lucky in love.  The only time she ever felt true love in her life was six years ago when a secret admirer began sending her letters.  She was supposed to meet up with the mystery man but he never showed and the letters stopped.  Her best friends Max and Gwen were there to pick her up but she has never been the same.
Thankfully, she has been able to throw herself into her work writing for a magazine.  She lost out on the opportunity to write the dating column to the office bitch. But she has an idea of how to win back her position and it involves reuniting two lovers separated fifty years earlier.  With everything going on, she doesn’t have much time for love.  
But now, the letters have started again.  And as much as she wants to forget him, she can’t. Ava is determined this time around to make sure she finds out who he is.  Because he is the only man she has ever loved.
Just the Way You Are, by Lynsey James, is a sweet, fun novel full of love and heartbrea…

"Falling in Love with Hominids" by Nalo Hopkinson

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Nalo Hopkinson is known for her fantastic, vivid, and stunning works of fantasy fiction.  One can only imagine how incredible it is to possess her imagination.  From Brown Girl in the Ring to Skin Folk, Hopkinson is at the top of the class when it comes to fantasy.  Her mix of modern speculative fiction with Afro-Caribbean folklore makes for incredibly inventive stories.  
Falling In Love with Hominids is a new collection of short stories written by Nalo Hopkinson, most of which are unavailable anywhere else in print.  These eighteen stories were written over the past dozen years and cover a wide variety of themes.
Fantasy and Speculative Fiction aren’t genres I read much of, in fact I’m not familiar with them enough to even know if there is supposed to be a difference between the two.  But whenever I hear people discussing the genres, I hear Nalo Hopkinson’s name come up.  Brown Girl in the Ring is often held up as one of the best. I have not read that one yet but I did read The Chao…

"The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" by Katarina Bivald

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Sara has always been a girl that keeps to herself, preferring the company of books rather than people.  But when the bookshop she works at in her home country of Sweden closes down, she isn’t sure what to do next.  So when her elderly pen pal Amy invites her to stay at her home in Broken Wheel, Iowa, she goes against everything she’s known herself to be and takes Amy up on her offer.
But when Sara arrives in Broken Wheel, she discovers that Amy has died.  In fact, Sara arrives on the day of the funeral.  Now she will be staying in the dead woman’s house for the next two months, in a very small town in a foreign country.
Broken Wheel isn’t known for anything really and Sara quickly discovers that.  As she gets to know the people of the community, she realizes that the town is desperately in need of a pick-me-up.  And Sara knows just what to do - she opens a bookshop.  It takes a bit of convincing to get the townspeople on board with the idea but once it all falls into place, the town …

"Aya" by Marguerite Abouet

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1978 is a golden time in Ivory Coast, a time of stability and affluence.  In working-class Yopougan, also known as Yop City, the open-air bars and discos are thriving, the holidays are soon to come, and everyone is upbeat.  But this time may not last forever.
Nineteen-year-old Aya is a studious girl, determined to make good in life.  Along with her friends Adjoua and Bintou, she navigates Yop City with joy and laughter, trying to stay out of the gaze of nosy relatives and neighbours.  At night, young adults gather in the market square for clandestine meetings with secret lovers.  But for one young couple, what happens at the square will quickly become known by everyone and relationships and friendships will be tested.
Aya is a beautiful graphic novel written by Marguerite Abouet and illustrated by ClĂ©ment Oubrerie.  The story of a girl making her way in the world, and along with her friends enjoying the typical teenage life.
About Aya, Marguerite Abouet said, “…I wanted to show in Aya…

"Daydreams of Angels" by Heather O'Neill

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Fairy tales for grown-ups, that is exactly how Heather O’Neill’s first collection of short stories can be described. Daydreams of Angels is an incredible and descriptive collection of short stories, designed to stretch your imagination and take you on a journey that is touching and full of wonder. 
O’Neill’s novels are ones of great creativity.  She has an incredible way with words and the rich descriptiveness of her writing jumps off the page.  Often when I read short story collections I read one story and then take a break but with this book I just wanted to keep going to the next story.  I couldn’t wait to see what else her mind could come up with.  
Two of my favourite stories include:
Swan Lake For Beginners - an experiment is undertaken to clone Rudolph Nureyev but each generation is never quite right and soon a town in Quebec is heavily populated with the clones.
Dear Piglet- a teenage girl who became part of a cult is writing a letter which explains the motivation of the crimes…

Month In Review

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After a few slow months of reading, October gave me a boost.  My usual task of working through the Giller Prize longlist was responsible for it and once again I very much enjoyed reading so much CanLit.  Here is what I read in October, with my GoodReads ratings:

Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates *****
The Illegal - Lawrence Hill *****
Daydreams of Angels - Heather O'Neill ****
All Inclusive - Farzana Doctor ****
Boundless - Bryan Bishop ****
Martin John - Anakana Schofield ****
Outline - Rachel Cusk ****
Confidence - Russell Smith ****
How to be a Grown-up - Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus ***

Challenges

Diversity on the Shelf (3), Canadian Book Challenge (6)

What I'm Looking Forward to in November

In October I was able to make a dent in my Netgalley list and once I finish the last few on my list, I plan to reward myself with some fun Christmas chick lit.