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Showing posts from August, 2014

Even More Bad Parenting Advice by Guy Delisle

Kids say the darnedest things. But, sometimes so do parents. Funny man, Guy Delisle captures the essence of this humour in his new graphic book. Even More Bad Parenting Advice makes us laugh as parents say the darnedest things.

One of my favourite one is “Homework”. Dad realizes that his son has forgotten his homework at school, and proceeds to figure out a solution. His son suggests they call the other parents. What ensues is a hilarious dialogue between father and son, whereby dad rejects every possible parent because of some personality flaw. Here’s one of the comedic depictions.

Another one I'd love to share is a bit morbid. The daughter's tooth is loose and with a bit of back and forth, dad tries to convince her that the way they did it in the old days is quite effective and works every time. Here's just a bit of that negotiation. 

A chance to win a medieval prize

I recently had an opportunity to meet two amazing historical fiction writers at a wonderful medieval luncheon at Random House Canada. Marie Phillips and Lois Leveen.

Thanks to Random House Canada you could WIN a SIGNED COPY of Marie Phillips Table Of Less Valued Knights and Lois Leveen's Juliet's Nurse
More details about this wonderful event and details on the contest can be found at:

Mãn by Kim Thùy

In Mãn, Kim Thùy creates a poetic masterpiece. Words and sentences caress the page as does paint a canvas; such is the dedication to the craft by an artist. 

Kudos also goes to the publisher Random House Canada (and perhaps Kim Thùy herself) for publishing a book that is a joy to read. If you can appreciate art direction, you will love this visually smart use of white space and using the border as a dictionary.
Brevity is key. And, with just a few words, Kim Thùy elegantly conveys a lot about a culture, and the emotion of characters travelling their disparate journeys.
"Maman asked me to serve tea, that was all. I did not look at the face of the man even when I set the cup in front of him. My gaze wasn't required, it was only his that mattered."
"We could have had smoothies with soursop, sapodilla or papaya at the place next door, but that patch of garden with its blue plastic stools seemed reserved for the veiled smiles of schoolgirls and the timid touches of young l…

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami

Tsukuru Tazaki had four close-knit friends. He loved his four friends, loved the sense of belonging. "Like a young tree absorbing nutrition from the soil, Tsukuru got the sustenance he needed as an adolescent from this group, using it as necessary food to grow, storing what was left as an emergency heat source inside him." 
Like each side of an equilateral pentagon are essentially important and indispensable, so too were these five friends. They seemed to be inseparable and always did everything together as a group. 
Still he had a nagging fear that someday he would fall away from this intimate community, or be forced out and left on his own.
Then, that day came. 
The orderly, harmonious community shattered. Without any explanation whatsoever Tsukuru was shunned from ever contacting any of them again. Heartbroken and confused he moved on to pursue his dream of building railroad stations in Tokyo. But a part of him remained behind in Nagoya.
Tsukuru thought it was better to just f…

Invitation to a Killer Luncheon

When you are invited to a Killer Lunch, you accept! No ifs or buts about it.

Seriously, what choice do you have when mystery authors Chris Pavone, Tess Gerritsen and Lorenzo Carcaterra are going to be there? So, on a leisurely Friday afternoon, when the welcome gates were open for me at Random House Canada’s offices in downtown Toronto, I was ready for anything.
Well, perhaps I wasn’t ready for caution yellow caution tape marking the entrance. Construction? This is not a swift conclusion on my part. If you are wandering anywhere around downtown Toronto these days the décor trend is undoubtedly caution tape. As I walked cautiously into Random House's office, this yellow focal point was making my nerves act up…but it was a good kind of nervous. It was akin to entering a room from which my psyche would not be able to erase.
The caution tape at the Random House Canada office was just one of the many props, which lavishly set the stage for a perfect crime: body…

BUTTERFLY KILLS: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery

A university student named Leah Samson is murdered in her apartment in Kingston.
Across town, homemaker Della Munroe is raped by her husband. 
Then... a second homicide. All this takes place in a span of a few days. 
Is there a connection? At first it appears implausible -- after all, Kingston, Ontario is a small town and the paths of strangers are bound to cross.
Yet, as the mystery unfolds, the two women appear to have interconnected existences. Perhaps it's a mere coincidence? Or perhaps there's an intricate web of secrets in place?
It is this murder mystery that keeps detective Kala Stonechild in Kingston (at least for the time being) while she deals with her own demons for she hasn't quite figured out where she wants to settle down. Notwithstanding Kala's angst and search for a place to call home, Sergeant Rouleau, her supervisor, remains happy having her on his team in the interim and hopefully for the longer term.
As secrets unfold, as motives unravel, and as myster…

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

If the winner of The Man Booker Prize doesn’t impress you, then there’s no point reading further. Eleanor Catton won the prestigious award for her book The Luminaries in 2013, and now this wonderful novel is available in paperback (perfect to take to the beach).
It’s a big book. And the story presents a bit of a puzzle to solve. Much to the chagrin of teachers who teach us to draw within the lines, Eleanor Catton takes a chance in playing with the structure, and it pays off.

Set in 1866 during the gold rush in New Zealand, the book takes you on an adventure that brilliantly weaves astrology and astronomy together. There are enough reviews on this book that I will not bore you once again on the details. But, if you are willing to take the leap, this is a reading experience that transcends the ordinary. 


4 out of 5 Sukasa Stars
Review by @ShilpaRaikar for 

Lights. Camera. Action. Time for Depth Of Field Blog Tour.

YA lovers rejoice because Pippa Greene picks up where she left off. In Depth Of Field she’s on her way to the prestigious Tisch Photography Camp for 14 days of what she thinks will be a dream come true. New York promises her a chance to learn firsthand about the art of photography from one of her dad’s best friends from college (who she thinks is a true creative genius and is living the life her dad never got to live…primarily as a photographer in Manhattan). Yes, Pippa is quite intent on killing two birds with one stone.
Pippa’s mom on the other hand doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for her daughter’s fascination with New York or photographer David Westerly. But Pippa’s mom never blatantly badmouths something that’s important to her daughter.
So, Pippa’s well on her way to a fabulous creative opportunity that’s going to change her life. Will it? Time will tell. It’s a shame though that she has to be apart from Dylan (her OB) for two weeks.
It’s nice to see a heroine who has both feet o…