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Showing posts from September, 2015

BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert takes readers on a ride to conquer their fears and tap into their inner creativity, in her new book Big Magic. She cautions though that when she talks about "creative living" she does not necessarily mean talking about pursuing a life that is professionally or exclusively devoted to the arts. 

"When I refer to 'creative living', I am speaking more broadly, I am talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear."
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a creative life being an amplified life; it is a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and apparently, a hell of a lot more interesting. 

"Living in this manner - continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you - is a fine art, in and of itself."

She further elaborates that creative living is where Big Magic will always abide. 

In the first part of the book, Elizabeth Gilbert forces readers to meet their fears head on. It is…

Work: An Occupational ABC by Kellen Hatanaka

When I grow up, I want to be an...


This is quite an impressive list consisting of the most obscure jobs you can imagine. After all, we do tell our kids that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. Kellen Hatanaka is one step closer to making that happen. 

Visually engaging with simple illustrations and a understated approach at poking humour with an artistic flair, Work: An Occupational ABC doesn't possess the typically artistry you'll see in children's books. It has a retro feel. And a healthy dose of eccentricity is sprinkled throughout the picture book. The Lumberjack cutting a tree is being outsmarted by a beaver also knawing the same tree further below (disaster looms); the Postal worker with a stooped back struggles to carry a very big parcel (ironically a large "P").

The diversity of the professions is refreshing. This alphabetical tour is sure to open the minds of chil…

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

In The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood does what she does best. Amuse. Bemuse. Delight. Horrify. And finally, make us just a bit more aware of our world. The author manages to move readers towards a bigger cause without making them feel the weight of the ramifications.
Margaret Atwood never fails to provoke a discussion and invoke introspection. And her ideas linger in the soul long after the book starts collecting dust on your bookshelf. You hesitate to loan it to any of your friends on the off-chance you have an epiphany --a eureka moment-- and need to reread the book for clarification. 
The Heart Goes Last is about a seemingly normal couple (Charmaine and Stan) who have had hardships befall them. Times are tough and the story starts off with them living in their car. Then an opportunity arises, one which Charmaine is more excited about than Stan is. He is a cautious guy, after all. Why would someone just give them a chance to be part of an ultra important experiment - The Positron P…
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is an brilliant example of how small things can make an admirable difference. Every word has a place. Words evoke an imagery that is imprinted in the reader's mind.

The Australian Alps set the background for this personal tale of perseverance that spans almost a century. Born in 1898 Andreas Egger is orphaned at a young age and sent to live with a farmer uncle and his family. A Whole Life actually begins on a February morning in year 1933, when we meet Andreas Egger faced with a challenge (well, perhaps a challenge to us, but to Andreas Egger it's just something that he would do). 

The mission is carrying the dying goatherd Johannes Kalischka to the village along the three-kilometre mountain path that's buried beneath a thick layer of snow. 

It was by chance that he stumbled upon the goatherd's body. An intuition actually. As Andreas Egger picks up Horned Hannes (nicknamed as such by the village dwellers) in both arms like a child and plac…

Leading Lines Blog Tour

One of the most beloved heroines Pippa Greene is back with a fun-filled book in the third installment of Chantel Guertin's series. 

Leading Lines continues the story of Pippa. Genuine, relatable, it's a ride you'll want to go on again. 
With the right mix of romance, drama and an emotional roller coaster ride, Leading Lines is touted as being one of the best instalments of the series. 

Don't miss these out stops on the ECW Press Leading Lines Blog Tour 

September 11: Guest Post, Dear Teen Me 12: Review and Excerpt, Brains Books and Brawn 13: Review, Musings of a Writer 14: Review, Ramblings of a Daydreamer 15: Review and Giveaway, The Book Bratz

Way More Than Luck

Just as school is about to commence for another year, it's time to get pumped up and gear yourself to reach for the sky. As Mindy Kaling says, “If you believe in yourself and work hard, you have a fighting chance at having your dreams come true.” (Excerpt from her new book Why Not Me releasing this September.) 

It's also a reminder that you need Way More Than Luck to succeed. You need talent and a perseverance to go the course. Which is why this book piqued my interest. I've always wanted to learn how to write an amazing speech. I am speechless when I hear the inspiring words come out of some of the world's greatest leaders. 

Way More Than Luck features some of the best commencement speeches, with advice on how to do big things in the world. While some inspire more than others, each speech holds its own merit when it comes to the audience it was intended for. Medeleine L'Engle talks about facing challenges with courage while Eileen Myles focuses on choosing poetry ov…


Notoriously down-to-earth with a straight-forward edge to her story-telling, Mindy Kaling (of highly popular sitcom The Mindy Project and The Office) is back with a new book. Why Not Me chronicle’s Mindy’s journey to find contentment in her life and her amusing view on the everyday moments. (If you watch The Mindy Project you will know just what I mean.) Just like in her show, she has a knack for taking us along the journey, while making us chuckle as we find the humour in the life’s experiences.
She credits some of her success as an actress to her experience working with Steve Carell on The Office.
“The reason is because I went to the best comedy acting program in the world: the Steve Carell School of Acting. The Office was like sitting through a seven-year master class on comic acting led by Steve.”
Going from what she says “a gleeful and inexperienced writer” to someone who has a hit comedy show that has just been picked up by Hulu (after Fox cancelled it) is quite an accomplishment.�…