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Showing posts from July, 2014

Kolia by Perrine Leblanc. Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award.

This is a story of a boy born in a Siberian Gulag in 1937. If someone were quick to judge, the story paints a picture of a life doomed. However, Kolia somehow manages to receive advantage over advantage to not only survive the miseries of some the harshest tragedies of the Soviet prison system, but also is able to rise to the ranks of an acclaimed circus clown in Moscow.
In the labour camp in eastern Siberia, Iosif, a prisoner from Western Europe, teaches Kolia the basic knowledge for survival in the harsh environment of the Gulag, in addition to other practical lessons in Calculus, Russian and French. 
One of my favourite exerts from the book: “Kolia regularly repeated what Iosif had told him to buoy up his spirits in the camp. Appear to be weaker than your aggressor. Breathe slower than your enemy. Eat only two meals a day to train your body to withstand hunger. Sleep less. Think more. Read everything you can and anything you want to. But above all, constantly question what others tel…

Blog Tour -- Depth Of Field by Chantel Guertin and EWC Press

Words of Mystery - Friday, August 1 - Giveaway & Review Sukasa Reads - Saturday, August 2 - Review & Giveaway Stay Bookish - Monday, August 4 - Tisch Camp post, Dream Cast, Giveaway Booking it with Hayley G - Tuesday, August 5 - Excerpt & Giveaway The Book Belles - Wednesday, August 6 - Review Read My Breath Away - Thursday, August 7 - Review Write All the Words! - Friday, August 8 - Review & Guest Blog Ramblings of a Daydreamer - Sunday, August 10 - Review & giveaway The Book Bratz - Monday, August 11 - Review & Giveaway

International Dylan Thomas Prize – Longlist 2014

International Dylan Thomas Prize – longlist 2014 Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles (Fourth Estate) Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta) John Donnelly, The Pass (Faber & Faber) Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking) Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing (Viking) Meena Kandasamy, The Gypsy Goddess (Atlantic Books) Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Faber & Faber) Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May (Fourth Estate) Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet Press) Nadifa Mohamed, The Orchard of Lost Souls (Simon & Schuster) Owen Sheers, Mametz (National Theatre Wales) Tom Rob Smith, The Farm (Simon & Schuster) Rufi Thorpe, The Girls from Corona del Mar (Knopf) Naomi Wood, Mrs Hemingway (Picador) Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees (Atlantic Books)

The Last Of The Independents by Sam Weibe

What do a necrophile, a missing boy, and an unsavoury PI have in common? 

The Last Of The Independents reads like a real-time drama/detective story. Sam Weibe has created a believable story around the main character -- Michael Drayton -- who runs a private investigation agency in Vancouver specializing in missing persons. At only 29 years old, Michael comes across as a much more seasoned individual, possibly because he is in the business that can take a toll on the human psyche. But he's also is haunted by another unsolved case. One of a young girl.  Now a new case lands on his desk. The son of a local junk merchant is missing. Will he let his prior unsolved case of the disappearance of a young girl haunt him? 

Time will tell. The one thing about The Last Independents is that it is a novel which is not rushed! Slowly and realistically it sets the pace for a real time crime fiction adventure. This can be unnerving for the impatient reader, overanxious to move the novel along, but for …

The Ninja Librarians

A story about a sword-swinging, crime-fighting ninja librarian. Nothing weird about that!

Dorrie Barnes and her brother Marcus chase her pet mongoose through their local library, they accidentally fall through a passage into Petrarch's Library - the headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians who have an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Anywhere in the world and at any time in history. 

Who knew that one overdue library book could change your entire life.  

Characters from the past including Socrates and Cyrano de Bergerac make this educational and bring history into the minds of young readers. 

The mythical element of the Petrarch's Library add that element of magic and intrigue. This is a headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians, where the chosen ones get trained and then sent out into different time periods. 

A great start to a new adventure that is sure to capture the minds of young readers. 


Laughing All The Way To The Mosque by Zarqa Nawaz

Laughing all the way to the mosque. Does the title have a familiar ring to it? Then you are not wrong. 

A memoir (of sorts) from the creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie. 

If you watched the TV show and loved the quirky story lines that focused on a culture clash, you probably will love this book by Zarqa Nawaz. 

She narrates her own absurd challenges to situations in everyday life. For example, wearing a hijab in western society; having inherited her dad's genes and being blessed with hairy legs. Oh the horror of having to show her legs in gym class! How can she overcome her dilemma of shaving or facing embarrassment, when her mom believes shaving legs is un-Islamic and that au naturel is better. 

Then there's flirting advice from her mom, which seemed rich to Zarqa, since her mom had always advocated that flirting was forbidden in Islam. Her mom's seduction advice was along the lines of "small talk" such as asking guys where they bought their prayer mats from.


Night Film by Marisha Pessl

There’s been a lot of talk about Night Film. And believe me, taking a plunge into the terrifying depths of this story, is an adventure well read. This excerpt from the trailer reveals a bit about the story of a beautiful young girl, Ashley Cordova who is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her father is the legendary Stanislas Cordova, famed film director of 15 psychological thrillers. But the burning question behind Night Film, is who exactly is Stanislas Cordova. Perhaps an excerpt from the book’s trailer may draw some clues.
“As a director, Cordova has a unique place in the film world. Either you love his work, or you’re too terrified to go near it. He’s hypnotic because he’s hidden. Cordova lives, thrives, underground. He’s a threat to society because he isn’t selling anything. His power exists in the way he reveals us, to us. He shows us that no matter who we are, or just stumbling around in the dark unable to see but a few feet ahead. Just get into it, Cordo…

The Meaning Of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Beep. Beep. Beep. My dad won’t stop beeping.
Love makes you do crazy things. At least, that’s what Maggie Mayfield’s Dad says.  She is about to find out for herself in The Meaning Of Maggie, a novel by Megan Jean Sovern.
As the youngest of three children, Maggie has aspirations and goals. She’s the girl you’d probably want your eleven-year-old to be best friends with. Out of her two sisters she considers herself by far the most responsible.
She wants to be president one day. She’s a good student. She follows all the rules set by her family. In fact, she actually has a book outlining all the rules that her mom has outlined for the family.
On her eleventh birthday, she receives a beautiful leather bound journal. She decides to write the story of her life – since she’s turned eleven.
She thinks her Dad – who happens to be in a wheelchair – is the coolest Dad ever.
“Dad did have something in common with all of these bravest of brave people. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Anne Frank, Dr.…