January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox

It's been pretty quiet on the mail front these past couple of weeks but thats ok as I have a teetering to-read pile.
This week I received:

And the lovely Cariblogs sent me some fab swag! (thanks!!)

What was in your mailbox?

January 29, 2011

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan
Published by Knopf Books October 2010
272 pages
Reviewed from purchased copy
Summary from goodreads

“I’ve left some clues for you.

If you want them, turn the page.

If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.


3 things happened when I finished reading this book.

1. I went out and looked for a red moleskin notebook, I wanted my own and though I secretly wished that someone had left notes inside for me it was empty (it’s not really made out of moles is it?)

2. I wished that I had visited New York over the holidays instead of this past August.

3. I wished I had known about The Strand bookstore while we were there.

 I am a huge fan of David Leviathan and Rachel Cohn writing together. Their writing is always beyond clever and laugh out funny. Dash & Lily was no exception. It took a while for Dash to grow on me. He’s so pessimistic (or a realist if you prefer) but Lily (who I could relate to on many, many levels) was a superb contrast to him and they balanced each other out.
I enjoyed the premise of trading the notebook back and forth in New York and how they only shared parts of themselves at a time. As the book progressed Dash and Lily revealed more about themselves to each other and it became apparent how lonely they both were. Friendship and love can come from the most surprising places and at the most unexpected time.
This is destined to become an annual Holiday read for me. I loved the literature references throughout and have since added From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg to my to-read pile. Highly recommended.

January 28, 2011

I Love Fridays and the Hop

It's Friday! & I actually have the weekend off.
My son is turning 10 (double digits) so we'll be in party mode all weekend.
It's also time to discover new blogs and visit favourites.

The Hop is hosted by Crazy-For-Books. This week's question?
"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?
Why are you anticipating that book?"

Only one? This is hard to answer but I think i'll have to say -
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare.
I loved the first three books and I can't wait to see what happens to Clary & Jace.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

The Friday Follow is hosted by Parajunkees View
This weeks question? What was your favourite subject in school?
I really liked English but I'd have to say Music.
Singing is still one of my favourite things to do, and makes me very happy.

Happy Weekend!

January 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday-Books We Wished We Read Younger

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fab The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we feature a top ten list on a variety of topics. This weeks list: Top Ten Books we wish we would have read when we were younger.

My List: (more of a Top 7)

  1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery- She's a Canadian legend and although I love Anne and rewatch the movies made about the series every Christmas- I've never read the books.
  2. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. I actually read this series for a University childrens lit class and loved them. I don't know how I missed reading them as a kid. Fantastic mythical & magical,
  3. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis. This is another series that I read for a University lit class. I still remember crying when Aslan was laying on that Stone Table at the mercy of the ice witch.
  4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This has become one of my all time favourite childrens picture books. It's perfection...and yet another one that I discovered in a University Lit class (sensing a theme here?)
  5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. This is a classic that has been sitting on my shelf at home for years and I've yet to read it.
  6. Alice in Wonderland and through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll. (lit class)
  7. Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I, like many watched this tv show every week. I cryed every time Pa cried and loved to hate Nellie and Mrs. Olsen. I've never read the books.
I'm looking forward to checking out every one elses list. I wonder if they will be full of  classics like mine?

January 23, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White-Review

Published by HarperTeen August 2010
Hardcover 335 pages
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Summary from GoodReads
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

OK-brace yourself. I'm about to gush.
I really, really enjoyed this book. Kiersten White has created a strong debut that offers a refreshing twist on the paranormal story line. I was hooked from page one; every time I put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
 Evie is a quirky and entertaining main character and I can understand why so many reviewers have said that she is someone they could see themselves being friends with. She had a difficult childhood and had to grow up quickly as a result, but there are still so many parts of her that are idealistic and childlike -(especially her fondness of lockers, and whatever she deemed to be "normal" teenage/high school stuff.)
  She has a beautiful heart and her compassion for others is evident throughout. She has the ability to see what others don't, on the outside and I think on the inside as well. She recognizes the good in Lend right away. Though Reth proves a bit more complicated to figure out. I waivered between loving him and hating him. This was the first of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to the next. Bleeping Fantastic.

January 18, 2011

Top Ten Inspirational Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.

This week's list- Our Top Ten Inspirational Characters.

My List in no particular order: *maybe spoilers for those who have not read HP

  1. Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy. Talk about perseverance in tough times, bravery, loyalty, and a beautiful (if not slightly broken) heart.
  2. Severus Snape. This character caused so many emotions in me- from general suspicion, to dislike, to hatred to adore. He sacrificed so much. He's a true hero.
  3. Anubus from Jackal in the Garden. Rejected by her parents because of her deformity she's left to die. She's a fighter/survivor and a master at forgiving. Wish I was better at that.
  4.  Samantha from Before I Fall. Not completely likable in the beginning, Samantha shows how we can be transformed by the choices we make.
  5. Keladry from the Protector of the Small Series.Tamora Pierce (the author of this series) writes amazing "girl power" fiction. Keladry is forbidden from fulfilling her dream of becoming a Knight simply because she's a girl. I love her determination.-side note-if you haven't read anything by Tamora Pierce stop what your doing now and go to the library or bookstore-you won't be disappointed -she's one of my fav's.
  6. The little boy from the picture book My Great Big Mamma. In a book about acceptance and unconditional love, the little boy sees his mother very differently than she sees herself. She learns a wonderful lesson from him.
  7. Mia from If I Stay. If you're a follower of this blog, you know my feelings about her and this book.
  8. Mia's Grandfather. While everyone is telling Mia to fight, to stay, her grandfather is the only one who is able to give her "permission" to let go, He wants her to stay "but would understand if she didn't" I was sobbing at this part of the book. Sometimes loving someone is letting them go. sigh, beautiful.
  9. Lena from Delirium. Lena makes some very hard choices. It's a challenge to go against what you've been raised to believe.
It was really interesting to create this list. Looking at it has really defined for me what I find inspiring: overcoming obstacles, sacrifice and unconditional love.

What's inspiration to you?

January 17, 2011

Library Programming -Preschool

    I've been intending to post program ideas and plans on a consistent basis, since I began blogging. I haven't figured out the format/lay out yet but this at least gets me started. I'll also be posting lyrics to songs and maybe even clips of the songs being sung by yours truly. -we'll see.
   Below you'll find a program for 3-5 year olds based on The Mitten by Jan Brett. I actually cover different aspects of the book over two programs-this is the first.

Summary from Goodreads
Set in a snowy forest, the fun begins when, one by one, animals crawl into Nicki's lost white
 mitten to get warm until the bear sneezes, sending the animals flying up and out of the mitten.
 On each turn of the page, Jan hints at what animal is coming next in
her signature borders, inspired by Ukrainian folk art.

I've been moving away from creating a "theme" and finding books to fill it to finding a wonderful book and pulling the "theme" from it.
Over the next few weeks I'll be working out the format for these posts. If you have any questions or need song lyrics or more details on the games/activities posted above-don't hesitate to email me.

January 16, 2011

2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

The Broke & The Bookish is hosting a wonderful challenge to read non-fiction in 2011.
I thought it would be a great motivator to mix a little non-fiction in with my fiction obession.
Here are the rules:
The challenge runs from January 17th to December 31st 2011.

  • Anyone who links a review up is eligible to be entered to win a book of their choice (under $15). How many reviews you link up determines how many entries you get. Additional prizes may be added once I organize this more and depending on how many people sign up. (International readers welcome if Book Depository ships to you).
  •  Anyone can join. If you don't have a blog, you can link reviews on Goodreads or Amazon or wherever you have your reviews. 
  • You can join the challenge at any point throughout the year.
Here's the challenge:

Culture: Non-fiction books about different cultures, religions and foreign lands; memoirs & biographies count.

Art: Non-fiction books about anything art related (painters, music, architecture, photography, dance, literature, film, etc.). Memoirs/biographies of any people related to the arts count.

Food: Food memoirs, anything related to food industry, food lifestyles

Medical: anything related to the medical field--industry memoirs, memoirs about illnesses (mental included) /diseases, etc.

Travel: travelogues, industry memoirs, travel guides, etc.

Memoir/Biography: Self explanatory

Money: Anything related to finances, economics, history of money, financial improvement etc.

Science/Nature: Anything related to any scientific field, memoirs count.

History: Anything history related-- events, biographies of historic figures, etc
My Reading List (so far)

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
I Remeber Nothing and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
After the Falls by Catherine Gildiner
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Real Food has Curves by Bruce Weinstein

In My Mailbox-My Books Arrived

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren.
I need to avoid http://www.chapters.ca/ -I have no self control!
I bought 3 books this week;

I bought the book Easy Money with hopes of doing better with my budgeting this year...although I was hoping there would be an easy way to categorize buying books as a need. (not so much) I'm going to try my best to read what I have already instead of buying more.

What was in your mailbox?

January 14, 2011

Friday -Blogger Hop

It finally Friday- This week took forever!! and I'm actually off this weekend so I'm looking forward to reading & resting.

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.
This week's question:
What makes up your non-human family?
We have a dog named Blue and a Bird (parakeet) named Sumi.

The Blog Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books. This week's question:
Why do you read the genre you do? What draws you to it?

I've always been drawn to the fantasy and science fiction genre. I enjoy contemporary and historical fiction as well, but not as much as fantasy and sci-fi. I love the quests. The few destined to save the many. The ability to overcome unimaginable evil, and the fact that anything is possible.

What about you? Make sure you leave me a link so I can visit you too!

January 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday-Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Published Harper Collins February 1st 2011

Summary from Goodreads

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I've read this one already, my review can be found here. But this is one I intend to buy as soon as it comes out. I can not wait to read it again and have the hard copy on my shelf.

What are you waiting to read?

January 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday-Blogger Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks list:

Our Top Ten Blogging Resolutions:

  1. I need to remember that I began blogging because I love to read and wanted to share that...I need to make a bit more time for reading, or find a balance between blogging and reading.
  2. Write more reviews...a goal of 2 per week
  3. I will cut back on buying books-which means I won't be able to go to any bookstore or on to any book buying website unsupervised. (I told the husband this resolution and he just said "yeah right"-he knows me too well)
  4. I'll aim to write reviews on every book I read-even if it's just a short one
  5. Take notes when I read, I love quotes -maybe post it's would work? What do you use?
  6. Relax -focus on content -too easy to become obsessed with follower numbers
  7. Comment, comment, comment, on here and other blogs
  8. Become more comfortable with graphics/design and layout
  9. I would love to connect/"meet" a few more Canadian bloggers- we are out there right?
  10. Enjoy this-This is supposed to be a "hobby"
Looking forward to reading your lists- leave a link:)

January 10, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperTeen February 1st 2011
440 Pages
Reviewed using NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

   I read this nearly a week ago (maybe two) and I've been putting off the review because I'm worried that I won't do the book justice. To say it was incredible-just isn't enough. To give it a rating just doesn't seem right either.  It's challenging to describe "art" and the way you feel about it to someone else. And I truly feel that Lauren Oliver has created something amazing in this book.

   I connected with Lena right from the beginning. So much so, that I reacted in a way that surprised me. I really wanted Lena to be "Cured" I didn't want her to like Alex. I didn't want her to go against the rules. I wanted her safe. When she went in for evaluation and Alex was there I was saying things like "don't pay attention to him" "just do what you are supposed to" I spent a large amount of the book angry with Alex for interfering. In all the books I've read before, that has never happened.  I still can't explain that "protective" feeling. I've had my share of pain and heart ache but I wouldn't change the fact that I can love and be loved, of course I would want everyone to have that. In the end, (through the tears) I was cheering Lena on-I wanted happiness for her.

  The writing was beautiful, powerful and poetic. Each chapter began with quotes from books in Lenas world which explained why love is a disease and must be cured. The ending was heartwrenching and I don't know how I will wait for the next.
One of the more startling aspects of the book was the fact that it was so believable and I worry that in our "pills & procedures can fix anything society" that someday this could be a road people travel down. I wish that I had read this in a book-club enivronment - there are many parts I'd like to share and talk about with others.
When I've read a book like this, one that impacts me the way this one did I'm often left with feelings of awe and gratitiude for the writer. So thank you Lauren Oliver for writing Delirium. We, the readers are so lucky that you have. You've given us an incredible gift.

You by Charles Benoit

You by Charles Benoit
Published by Harperteen August 2010
223 pages
Reviewed from ARC

Summary from GoodReads
This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?
There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen? You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction. In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.

  As the book opens we meet Kyle, the typical teen age boy who has made some poor choices and has had to live with the consequences of his actions or inaction. He feels misunderstood, unheard and carries so much anger that it's always boiling just under the surface. Nothing seems to go right for him and after meeting the "new" kid in school his life spirals out of control.
I wasn't sure about it at first. The story felt slow in the beginning, and the second-person point of view added an unusual feel to the book- I was reminded of The Choose Your Own Adventure books I read when was I younger. But I'm so glad that I kept reading.
 I was left stunned by the end. I couldn't have predicted it, it caught me off guard. Great for reluctant readers and would be good for group discussions.

January 8, 2011

In My Mailbox-a slow week

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the fab Story Siren. Each week we post the titles we've received whether we've bought, borrowed or been given them.

This week was a slowish week in the book department, but I'm ok with that. My to-be read pile feels like its a tall as I am, and I'm really hoping to get caught up.
The book I received this week:

It's actually for grown-ups!!!! I'm being forced to read it for my adult book club. I've heard really great things about it though, so I'm hoping it won't be complete torture :)
Click here for goodreads description.
What was in your mailbox?

January 7, 2011

Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Everlost by Neal Shusterman #1 in the Skinjacker Trilogy
Published by Simon & Schuster 2006
313 pages
Reviewed from Library Copy

Summary from Goodreads
Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth. When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he's found a home. But Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost. In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

  This book has everything going for it. A unique captivating story and great writing. The characters are all well developed ( especially Ally & Nick) and while it had paranormal elements to it, it didn't feel like a "typical" paranormal book. The in-between world where lost souls exist is so sad, and as Ally & Nick navigate through it, we realize that its also very dangerous. I loved the twists and turns of the story and it kept me wanting more. I've just brought home Everwild (#2) and I can not wait to crack it open. Highly recommended.

4/5 Stars.

Blogger Hop & Friday Follow

Yay the hop is back!!! I love Fridays!!!

The Friday Friday is hosted by Parajunkees View
This weeks question is from Stalking the Bookshelves:
What book(s) have you discovered lately from someones book blog?

The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine

I can't remember what blog I saw the post on- I'm hooked! see my review here.

The Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books
This weeks question:
What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?"
It's funny because I recently did a post about this very topic:
Books have always had tremendous impact on me, (obviously I love them and love to read or I wouldn't be blogging or working in a library) but it's much more than that.
There are a few every year that stand out as my "life lesson" books. I even have a special shelf for them.

One from a few years ago was by the author Kate Di Camillo. It was called The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It reminded me during a very difficult time not to give up on love and though love may be a sacrifice in the end it's always worth it.

This year, the stand out was If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

My review is here.
If I Stay reminded me that life is always a choice even if it doesn't always feel like it. We need to hold on to the ones we love and treasure the moments we might usually miss because we never know what might happen. It also taught me that sometimes the very best thing we can do to show our love for someone is to let them go.

Do books have the same type of impact on you? If so, What was the book that impacted you the most this year?
Leave I link so I can visit you too! Happy Friday!

January 3, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fab Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic:

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2011.

I decided to use my GoodReads*To-Read shelf as inspiration. I went with the books that have been on my to-read list the longest. Afterall the list just gets longer. *Side-bar-I love GoodReads. I'd be lost without it. I often wonder if I should keep a paper copy of my lists too...

  1. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
  2. Going Bovine by Libby Bray
  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  4. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
  5. Poster Boy by Dede Crane
  6. Wonderous Strange by Lesley Livingston
  7. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
  8. What I Was by Meg Rosoff
  9. Ingo by Helen Dunmore
  10. The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty
Leave me a link to your lists! I love reading them.

January 1, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Published by Simon and Schuster Childrens Publishing
January 4th 2011
240 pages
Reviewed from finished copy provided by the publisher

Summary from Goodreads:
What if the only friend you could trust turned out to be dangerous? A new thriller from debut author Elizabeth Woods.

This one was a little disturbing as there is such a completely twisted ending. I won't include any spoilers in this review. (so keep reading :))

Cara doesn’t fit in. She’s alone. She’s tormented everyday by the girls at her high school, who take pleasure causing humiliation. It wasn’t always like this, before she moved, Cara had a best friend (Zoe) who stood by her and cared about her. Cara misses her terribly until Zoe shows up at her house one night, saying she's run away. Cara promises to keep Zoe hidden and Zoe promises to help Cara fit in. As the days go by Zoe’s behaviour becomes stranger and little scary and people around Cara are mysteriously getting hurt.
This one grabbed me right away. I felt so badly for Cara and how alone she felt and was thrilled when Zoe seemed to come to her rescue. I felt like a such a bystander reading this, helpless to do anything as I watched the situation deteriorate. Shocked by the last few chapters, I found it a little disturbing and was shaken for a while (I'm a wimp though) Overall it was a good suspense filled read.


Elizabeth Woods is a Debut YA Author.

In my Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
After last weeks epic IMM (click here to see it's awesomeness) this week seems a little boring. I picked up two books from the library, though I'm not sure when I going to find time to read them....

Inspired by GReads love for this series:

I just finished the first book in the SkinJacker Series by Neal Schusterman and it was really really good (review coming this week) I couldn't wait for the second:

What was in your mailbox?