Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Word on the Street Toronto

This past weekend was The Word on the Street festival, an annual book and magazine festival in Toronto (and other cities across Canada.)  Or as I call it, Christmas for book lovers.

This year the festival moved down to Harbourfront Centre, which was a beautiful location because there is nothing like browsing books while looking out at the lake.  It was a little disorienting for me, as in the past it was always held at Queen's Park and so all of the booths and tents were along one street and very easy to browse while walking up and down the street.  Here, you definitely needed a map to get around as the booths and tents were in clusters rather than along the road.

But other than that, it was the exact same event - great book deals and tons of great readings and discussions.

I did all of my browsing when I got there, picking up some French books for my kids and saying hello to people.   I met André Alexis and told him how much I enjoyed Fifteen Dogs and that I'm hoping it does really well this awards season.  I also won a kids book pack from the Toronto Public Library Worker!  My kids were so excited when I brought it home, you can see all of the books below that were in the bag.  They are all Canadian and quite a few are Toronto books so they were thrilled about that.
Once I did all of my browsing it was time to start attending the readings and discussions I was interested in.  First up was Treasured Islands: Life in the Caribbean at the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent with Robert Hough, author of The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan and Sabrina Ramnanan, author of Nothing Like Love.  This talk was really interesting to hear about the process of Canadian authors writing stories that take place elsewhere.
Next was the Diaspora Dialogues Feature: The Story Behind the Book - Four Writers on How They Got Published at the Toronto Book Awards Tent.  This featured Jael Richardson, author of The Stone Thrower; Jon Chan Simpson, author of Chinkstar; Sabrina Ramnanan, author of Nothing Like Love; and Cherie Dimaline, author of The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy.  Each author read from their books and then they discussed the challenges facing diversity in the publishing industry in Canada and their own experiences getting published and what comes after.
Afterwards I said hello to Jael, who is the director of The Fold, which is Canada's first literary festival dedicated to diverse stories and will be happening in May of 2016.  It's always nice to connect with a Twitter friend in real life!  We first met at Word on the Street a few years ago when I bought her book so it was nice to see her there again.

And finally, at the Toronto Book Awards, André Alexis read from his Toronto Book Award and Giller Prize nominated book Fifteen Dogs and then spoke about what inspired the book.
 By this time it was getting late in the day so I decided that it was time to head home.  I was carrying around a lot of books and since I still had a bit of a journey on public transit, my day was done.  And once again, it was another fantastic year at Word on the Street.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Fifteen Dogs" by André Alexis

Over drinks one day, Greek god Hermes wonders what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.  His brother Apollo wagers if that were the case, they would be even unhappier than humans.  And so a bet is made.

They make their way to a veterinary clinic in Toronto where a group of fifteen dogs have been boarded overnight and they grant them human consciousness and language.  The dogs make their escape but very soon they are divided into two groups - those who resist the new ways and those who embrace them.  As the dogs navigate the world with a new perspective, Hermes and Apollo watch as power struggles occur within the group and a couple of them set out on their own.  Benjy moves from home to home never quite finding a place of his own, Prince becomes a poet much to the ire of some of his fellow dogs, and Majnoun forms an intricate relationship with a very understanding couple.

A contemporary apologue, Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis is a fresh and compelling meditation on the beauty and burdens of human intelligence.

Right from the start I was hooked.  A book that starts out with Greek gods drinking in a bar?  How could this not be interesting?  The apologue isn’t something I’m necessarily drawn to (besides Animal Farm) though this one may have changed my mind.  This is an emotional and thoughtful journey of a book.

Due to allergies, I’ve never been a dog person.  I’ve just never had a chance to get to know them well enough to love them.  And so when I heard dog lovers talking about how much they enjoyed this book, I wondered if I would connect with it on the same level.  The answer is, I did.  Right from the start, I found myself “choosing sides,” attracted to certain dogs and intensely disliking others.  Hmm, just like humans.  I think I became more attached to some of these dogs than I have human characters.  And because this is a story about whether or not the dogs die happy, you go through a journey with all of the dogs that unfortunately always ends with death.  It is heart-breaking for the reader.

I will admit, I felt intimidated about this book when I picked it up.  I felt like it was going to be one of those deeply philosophical books that are more than just a good read (I felt like that with Alexis' previous novel Pastoral.)  One that people would be discussing and dissecting.  And there will probably be a lot of people doing that.  But there was no need to feel intimidated, there is something about this book that every reader will enjoy.

Already nominated for the Toronto Book Awards and long listed for the Giller Prize, this is a novel deserving of all the accolades coming its way.  I was fortunate enough to hear André Alexis read from it at the Word on the Street Festival this past weekend in Toronto and to also meet him and congratulate him on the nominations.  This will be a very talked about novel this awards season and for good reason.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Funday

It’s time for Monday Funday, a weekly collection of the things which have been distracting, delighting, or diverting me both online and offline.  Why not join in and link up over at CM Claire.

What on earth was I doing last week that has kept me so busy?  I must have been procrastinating because I can't think of why I neglected the blog all week.

Television-wise, it was all about the season premieres of Black-ish, Modern Family, and Empire.  Oooh-wee Empire, I haven't been this hooked on a drama in a long time. 

Here's an article that took up a lot of my time - Vulture ranked every single Key and Peele sketch, all 298 of them.  My favourite, that my husband and I are often quoting is this one:

Another ranked list, this time Rolling Stone naming the 50 greatest boy band songs of all time. I have some issues with the list, but it's still fun.

Daily Feed has a quiz to find out if you can name the 90's movies from a single screenshot.  I managed to get 92 of 99 correct.  It's the ones where it's from a franchise that gave me trouble, it was hard to tell which instalment it was.

I loved this article from Buzzfeed about ridiculous rumours that went around every school.  I think it's hilarious that I remember most of these even though this is a UK article.  Every generation of kids on either side of the ocean has the same rumours.

And here are two things that have a much more local flavour:

This Buzzfeed article on the 21 things every Torontonian has experienced (it will always be the Skydome people.)

Ever wondered what it would be like if Drake went to the University of Toronto? This instagram account hilariously shows you what it would be like.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Funday

It’s time for Monday Funday, a weekly collection of the things which have been distracting, delighting, or diverting me both online and offline.  Why not join in and link up over at CM Claire.

When I was sitting down to write this post, I wasn't sure if I would have anything to share this week.  I just haven't had the time to be distracted this week.  But I did realize there are a few things to share.

This week I didn't watch much television but I did manage to watch the first episode of season 4 of The Mindy Project on and it was EVERYTHING I needed. 

My 19 year old self was dying when I saw this video on Buzzfeed of Craig David singing an updated version of "Fill Me In."  

I was pretty disappointed when I found out that The Josh Widdecombe XFM podcast was ending but then I started listening to his show Fighting Talk on the BBC and I'm happy again.  I love a good sports show.

And speaking of sports, the MLB season is coming to an end and the Blue Jays are still in first place.  I've got tickets to one more game and every day until then I am watching this amazing video.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"The Mistake I Made" by Paula Daly

Roz is a single mother who is at her breaking point.  She has lost her business, her debts are racking up, and her ex-husband can’t be relied upon for any help.  With her rent three months late, she comes home from work one day to find an eviction notice on her door.  She is officially out of options.

One night, at her sister’s fortieth birthday party Roz meets Scott, a friend of her sister’s and a very wealthy man.  Wealthy and married.  But that doesn’t stop Scott from pursuing Roz and knowing what kind of trouble she is in, he makes her an offer- a night with him in exchange for some money.

Roz knows she is desperate, but how desperate is she?  One night and she could get enough money to pay the rent and keep her house.  Another night and she could have all of her debt paid off.  Scott is looking for a no-strings attached relationship and discretion is of the utmost importance, so what’s the worst that could happen?  

But before Roz knows it, things are out of her control.  Someone knows about her arrangement with Scott and wants something to stay quiet.  And when someone close to Roz disappears, she finds herself having to cover her tracks before her secret gets out.

The Mistake I Made, by Paula Daly, is a captivating novel about an indecent proposal and the repercussions of an offer that seems too good to be true.

I read Paula Daly’s first book, Just What Kind of Mother Are You, when it first came out and it was one of the books that made me realize I should give the thriller genre a better chance.  I missed her second novel, Keep Your Friends Close (but do want to read it), so I made sure I didn’t miss this one (sometimes if I don’t read a book right when it comes out, I put it off and never get around to it.)  

Like the first one, this is a book that I did not want to put down and ended up reading in one day.  I started this book late in the day so I ended up reading in bed for a few hours when I really should have been sleeping.

Roz is a character that you are instantly invested in as a reader.  As I read the book I felt a mixture of pity for her because of her situation but admiration for her because of her strength.  Do I agree with her decision?  I’ve never been in her situation so who am I to say anything.  It certainly makes for a book that has you asking “what would I do” the whole way through.

In terms of story development, I felt as though much of the book was set-up and then the “thriller” part of it came in at the end.  However, that’s not a bad thing.  The set-up itself was a good read, learning about Roz and all of the difficulties she faces.  There is nothing earth-shattering about the end of the book but again, that doesn’t matter here.  Overall, the whole story flows, is an engrossing read, and sends a few chills up the spine.  Daly does a great job of crafting characters and that is the strength of this book.  

This is what I call rainy-day reading.  It’s the perfect book to curl up with on a day when you just want to stay inside.  

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling

As creator of The Mindy Project and author of the New York Times bestseller Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling has quickly become everyone’s celebrity best friend.  Her humour and easy-going nature has everyone wanting to have her in their lives.   

In her new book Why Not Me? Mindy once again proves why we all want her in our girl squad.  She opens up about her life with an attitude of “we should all be able to laugh at ourselves.”  She writes about university life, falling in love, moving to Hollywood, starting new friendships, and celebrity style.  But most importantly, she shows women that no matter who they are or where they are, they should take on life asking the question “why not me?”

I’m a Mindy fan-girl.  I never watched The Office so my first introduction to her was in The Mindy Project and I fell in love with her.  I’ve never really been one to consider a celebrity a “role model” but you can’t help but admire how hard she has worked and how much she has achieved.  All while remaining down to earth and the girl everyone wants to hang out with (despite her concerns in her first book.)

Like her previous book, this one was a sit down and read cover-to-cover book for me.  I laughed my way through the book and felt like I was sitting around a table having a few drinks with a friend.  And while she may live in Hollywood, it turns out her life is pretty much like every other woman.  She talks about the pressures of looking a certain way, making a friend but then being dumped by her, ex-boyfriends, work, and finding your place in the world.  Mindy’s writing is the ultimate self-help. This is the kind of advice I was looking for when I was in university and finding my way.  

Writing this review seems kind of funny to me.  Why on earth do I need to convince you to read a book by Mindy Kaling???  If you know her, chances are you already love her.  I guess if you don’t know her, you’re wondering why you should read this book.  Because this isn’t just a book about television.  This isn’t just a book about a celebrity.  It’s a funny and honest book about finding your place in the world.  Have you ever sat around confiding in your friends about your triumphs and struggles?  That’s what this book is.  You read Mindy’s writing and realize you’re not alone in how you feel in the world and not only that but you find yourself able to laugh at whatever it is that is being thrown at you.  Who’d have thought a celebrity could do that for you.

In a world where it seems like everyone with a little bit of fame is getting a book, Mindy’s writing stands out as one of the few deserving of its place.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada.  The opinions expressed above are my own.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Funday

It’s time for Monday Funday, a weekly collection of the things which have been distracting, delighting, or diverting me both online and offline.  Why not join in and link up over at CM Claire.

With last week being the start of the school year, I was able to settle into a routine, which includes television watching.  With the new shows starting up soon, things will become even more routine.  Right now I watch new episodes of Project Runway and The X Factor each week then spend the rest of my screen-time watching shows I've either recorded or are on Netflix.  

This week I was catching up on Coronation Street.  Usually I record the episodes during the week and watch them all together on the weekend but I haven't watched since the summer so I have a lot to catch up on.  I managed to watch two weeks worth last week and now I have just finished episodes from the first week of August.

Sigh...I miss Deirdre.

For those who are Corrie fans, here's a great article from Buzzfeed from a few years ago about how wonderful the show is.

I'm obsessed with this Hipster Barbie Instagram account.  It perfectly captures all things social media.

Today, the Golden Girls turns 30.  Hard to believe right?  I have been watching the show my entire life and it still stands today as a fantastic, hilarious, topical show.  I really enjoyed reading this article on why it is still the most progressive show on television.

I found this article on Buzzfeed about maps very interesting.  It is 18 maps that will change who you see the world  including ancient maps and where all the blonde people are in the world.

Growing up I loved Archie Comics. Recently, one of my kids pointed out that I could take them out of the library and so I've been catching up.  But a lot has changed in Riverdale since I last visited.  This article from Den of Geek has helped me catch up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2015 Giller Prize

The longlist for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize was announced today.  The Giller is one of Canada's most prestigious literary prizes and is awarded to the best novel or short story collection published in English.  Last year's winner was Sean Michaels for Us Conductors.  Past winners include Esi Edugyan, Joseph Boyden, Alice Munro, M.G. Vassanji, Margaret Atwood,  Mordecai Richler, Austin Clarke, and Rohinton Mistry.

The shortlist will be announced on October 5 and the winner will be announced on November 10.  This year's jury consists of Cecil Foster, Alison Pick, Helen Oyeyemi, Alexander MacLeod, and John Boyne.

Here is the longlist for this year's prize:

Fifteen Dogs - Andre Alexis
Arvida - Samuel Archibald
If I Fall If I Die - Michael Christie
Outline - Rachel Cusk
UnderMajorDomoMinor - Patrick DeWitt
Close to Hugh - Marina Endicott
A Beauty - Connie Gault
All True Not a Lie in It - Alix Hawley
The Winter Family - Clifford Jackman
Daydreams of Angels - Heather O’Neill
Martin John - Anakana Schofield
Confidence - Russell Smith

So far I have only read two of the novels on the list - Fifteen Dogs and A Beauty.  I definitely thought Fifteen Dogs should be nominated for awards this season so I'm very happy to see it there.  Over the next two months, I plan to read all of these books as I already either own or have a library hold on all of the books.

Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to start reading!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"If You Don't Know Me By Now" by A.L. Michael

Imogen has worked hard caring for her widowed father while working and going to school part-time and now it is time for her to take a giant step that will change her life forever.  She is going to chase her dreams, moving to London to make it as a writer.  Or so she thinks.

Imogen made it to London but becoming a writer is proving to be much harder than she thought.  And so she is working a dead-end job at a coffee shop, serving drinks to hipsters, yummy mummy’s, and stressed out businessman.  Not the dream she had in mind.

But when her gorgeous colleague Declan puts an idea in her head, she may end up closer to her dream after all.  Imogen starts a tell-all blog about London’s rudest customers, all anonymous of course.  What she thinks is just a tiny little blog becomes an overnight viral sensation.  But writing the blog means remaining in her job.  And it turns out, trying to remain anonymous on the internet isn’t so easy after all.  

If You Don’t Know Me By Now by A.L Michael is a fun book about what it is really like to chase your dreams.  Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry, or just with people in general, will find themselves laughing and revelling in Imogen’s success.

At first glance, this book seems like it could be one of many with the same plot and same characters.  Girl moves to big city to chase dreams, dream doesn’t work out the way it should but she meets a really hot guy, everything works out in the end.  But by adding in the blog that expertly captures the way people who work in customer service feel, this book takes off from the pack.

Rude customers, a scary boss, good friends, a love rival, and a cute Irish boy, this book has it all when it comes to characters.  I mean yeah, Declan truly annoyed me with his feelings regarding relationships, but his charm is undeniable and it jumps right off the page.

There are a couple of things that might annoy readers, the main one being how quickly everything fell into place for Imogen once she began writing the blog.  Of course, if it actually took a realistic amount of time, would we read a book that long?  And Declan is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  But I think that is something that readers can get past.

This book expertly sums up what life is like for bloggers and people who become the viral sensation of the moment.  I think a lot of people will relate to this book, whether it’s trying to make it in your career field or having to deal with rude people on a daily basis.  This is a fun, breezy read that will have you laughing and will definitely make you think twice about you treat the person who gets you your morning cup of coffee.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Funday

It’s time for Monday Funday, a weekly collection of the things which have been distracting, delighting, or diverting me both online and offline.  Why not join in and link up over at CM Claire.

This week I was watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black.  I really didn't think that this would be a show that would interest me back when it was first released but one day when I wasn't feeling well I started watching and next thing I knew I was through the entire first season.  

I also started watching the new season of X Factor UK. I know a lot of people think the show is getting tired, but considering I just started watching last season, I'm still enjoying it!  One of my favourite auditions so far:

It's Back to School week here, school starts tomorrow so this past week I've been doing all things back to school and found some great back to school articles.

There is this article on the best apps for college students. I so could have used EasyBib back when I was studying History in uni.

I have picky eaters who would eat the same thing for lunch every day if they could so this article on 30 days of lunch recipes is great for me.

And because life isn't complete without online quizzes, there is this quiz to find out which fictional high school you should attend.  I got The Harbord School from the OC - I never watched that show so I have no clue if that is good or bad.

And not completely school related but absolutely essential for when you have work to complete, here is the list of every song Kelly Clarkson has ever covered live (all 96 of them).  Perfect for watching every single one of them when you don't want to do your work (I was VERY good at procrastinating in uni and that was long before social media and YouTube.  Kids have it easy these days.)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

"Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

Madeline Whittier is a smart, funny, typical teenage girl.  Except for one thing - she cannot go outside. Maddy has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) meaning that her immune system is so comprised, the outside air could kill her.  And so she spends her life in her house and other than her mother and nurse Carla, with very little human contact.

That is until a new family moves in next door and Maddy lays eyes on their teenage son Olly.  Dressed all in black, Olly is mysterious and Maddy is intrigued.  They make a connection online but Maddy knows she wants more.  She gets her wish but it comes with repercussions.  She makes the decision to take a giant step toward living the life she wants but what happens next will change her life forever.

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, is a stunning and original Young Adult novel about love against the odds and risking everything for the life you want.  Complete with illustrations and conversations through email and messenger, you don’t feel like you’re reading a novel, you feel like you’re reading someone’s journal.

I typically only gravitate toward Young Adult novels when there is a certain premise to it, which is usually either diversity or a unique situation (illness, mental health, etc.) and this book has both of those so I knew that this is one I would enjoy.  I didn’t know just how much I would enjoy it though.  I was blown away this book.  

Madeline is a character that you can’t help but become attached to.  Not just because of her illness but because of her bravery, her positivity, and her determination to build as normal a life as she can - one that includes love.  The character Olly comes with his own difficulties in life and I appreciate that he had depth to him and a backstory that made him more than just the love interest.  And I loved Maddy’s nurse Carla, she is just what Maddy needs.

The plot of the book does become predictable at times.  There are points where it seems as though things progress rather fast, but I do remember being a teenager and isn’t that kind of how life goes at the age anyway, especially when it comes to falling in love.  Early on it was easy to see where the buildup was leading to but that never ruins the book.  This is a page-turner and because of the inclusion of illustrations, journal entries, etc., this book is a very quick read.  It is definitely one that you can read over the course of a day.  And you will probably want to do that because you will find yourself not wanting to put it down.

This was a five-star read for me.  I don’t know where to put it in the context of the YA genre (though early reviews seem to say that it will be one of the best of 2015) but in terms of reading a book that isn’t necessarily aimed at your age group, this is one I would recommend.  It is great to see a main character who is Black and Japanese in a book aimed at younger readers.  And the wonderful thing is, it’s only mentioned once. That isn’t the focus of the book, it’s just who she is.  Our younger generations need and deserve more characters like this.  Madeline’s diagnosis and disease put an interesting twist on the typical teenage romance story and there are many more issues that take place in this book that I won’t mention due to spoiler alerts.  What I can say is, I think this book will be on a lot of “Best of 2015” lists.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada.  The opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"A Brief History of Seven Killings" by Marlon James

On December 3, 1976, gunmen stormed the house of Bob Marley in Jamaica, two days before he was scheduled to play at a peace concert.  Marley, his wife, and his manager were nearly killed and several others were injured.  But he would go on to perform at the concert two day laters, then leave Jamaica the very next day and not return for two years.

At the time of the concert, Jamaica was gearing up for a general election.  The country was divided between the governing People’s National Party (PNP) and the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), not just at the ballot box but in everyday life.  The parties gave power and wealth to local gangs in exchange for the allegiance of their territories, which led to decades characterized by gang warfare.  The Smile Jamaica concert was meant to bring both sides together, to work toward peace.  But because it was organized by the government, many felt that it was a political event and that by participating in it, Marley was endorsing the PNP.  

Add to this the presence of the CIA (there to fight communism), the distribution of cocaine throughout the island and beyond, and a level of poverty no tourist ever sees, and you have a beautiful island shaped by a very volatile situation.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James tells the story of Jamaica in the 1970’s and 1980’s, of an island characterized by poverty and political violence but sustained by a determined people and musical culture.  

I’m going to start out this review by declaring this book my best book of 2015.  Yes, there are a few months left in the year and yes, there are still quite a few great books to come but I just know that nothing is going to be able to take that distinction from this book.  I was, and still am, absolutely blown away by this book.  With its rich cast of characters and sweeping plot, this is an ambitious book that hits every spot.

While the book is written around the assassination attempt on Bob Marley, known in the book only as “The Singer,” it uses that incident as a point to centre the story around.  But the shooting is only one piece of a very large puzzle.  James intricately weaves the sights, sounds, people, and politics of the island into a masterful story.

This isn’t an easy read, in a few different ways.  At 700 pages, it is long.  It is a length that feels very daunting at first but the more you read, the more you realize that it is a book that will give and give with each page.  This book actually took me about two weeks to read because of the effort you have to put into it.  Most of the chapters told by Jamaican characters are written in Patois, just enough that the reader gets the full vibe of the language but not so much that a reader unfamiliar with the language will find difficulty.  Keep your computer close so you can look up words you are unfamiliar with, Jamaican Patois is a language where you want to get the true meaning of the word.   The book also has a full cast of characters and at times it becomes confusing as to who is in the scene.  You’ll find yourself flipping back to the list of characters often just to keep everyone straight.

The book also leaves the island and takes place in New York in the 1980’s, when drug cartels were shipping their products north and gangs were popping up to control the trade.  I thought that this might be the part where I found the book not as interesting (that tends to happen to me when books change to another place from where it started), instead there were new characters to keep my attention and new stories to immerse myself in.  There were a few characters where you may be wondering just what they contribute to pushing the story along.  But this isn’t a book that is just about its characters, it’s about a nation, its people and politics.

A book of this size and scope deserves a review just as big.  There is so much that can be said and yet, I want to let readers discover it all for themselves.  This was a deeply personal read for me.  My husband grew up in Jamaica in this time period.  Each day as I read, I set aside the book to have him tell me of his experience.  Does this colour my review of the book?  Of course it does.  Is it acceptable to assume that others may not feel the same way about the book as I do because they don’t have that personal connection?  Very possible.  But considering the book has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and is now a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, it’s obvious the reader doesn’t need that connection to have an incredible and moving reading experience. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Month In Review

August was a busy month for me life-wise - barbecues, parties, picnics, baseball games, and work.  But reading-wise, it was one of the slowest months I have ever had.  There just wasn't much time to pick up a book, but thankfully at the end of the month I was hit with a burst of reading energy and some actual time to really enjoy it.  When the kids head back to school in one week, I'm hoping things will really take off.

Here is what I read in August with my GoodReads ratings:

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James *****
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling *****
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon *****
The Face that Changed It All by Beverly Johnson ****


Diversity on the Shelf (4)

What I'm Looking Forward to in September

It's the best time of the year - it's Canadian literary award season!  The Giller Prize longlist is announced on September 9 and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize finalists are announced on September 29th (the Governor General's Literary Award finalists will be announced in October.)  So this month I'm looking forward to finding out who all of the finalists are and reading a whole lot of good Canadian literature!