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Showing posts from January, 2017

Canada Reads 2017 -- The Noms Are In

5 Books. 5 Contenders.  Who will win in the battle of the books.  This year's contenders are just as diverse as ever.

The Break by Katherena Vermette is set in Winnipeg's North End. One fateful night a crime occurs witnessed by a young Métis mother. This heartbreaking profound novel is defended by comedian Candy Palmater.

M.G. Vassanji's Nostalgia is set in the indeterminate future in an unnamed city. Defended by Canadian Armed Forces veteran Jody MiticCompany Town by Madeline Ashby features a mystery surrounding a family that owns an city-sized oil rig, and an elite bodyguard at the centre of it all. Defended by actress Tamara Taylor. André Alexis won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction for his book Fifteen Dogs in 2015. In the debates it will be defended by author and rapper Humble The Poet. It follows a group of dogs who are given human consciousness by the gods Hermes and Apollo.  And finally, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of…

Take The Journey To Somewhere Filled With Roadblocks

In the aftermath of a devastating executive order put forth by U.S. President Trump this week, I felt it was time to revisit this book once again.

What is it like to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey; one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope. 

Based on a true story - the author met two girls in a refugee centre in Italy - The Journey is told from the perspective of a young child. It's the journey of escape from a war-stricken home, in search of a better, safer life. It's the journey of hope and optimism. It's a journey that's laden with thousands of roadblocks. 

The refugee crisis is real. Thousands flee from their hometown, not on a whim, but out of necessity. 

The decision to move -- to uproot and leave everything familiar -- is hard, but necessary, if they and their families are to survive. 

Leaving everything you have ever known, is scary enough for a…

A satisfying thriller that leaves you desperate for the end

I See You. But You Don't See Me.  I know everything about you. I have your entire route to work mapped out. 
It's 2017. There are hundreds of different dating sites out there, all generally serving the same purpose. You view the profiles online, decide on the one that intrigues you, reach out to the person, and hope that they accept your invitation. Then begins a short or lengthy email exchange that either leads to the comfort level of meeting the person, or an easy rejection of them. is different. It's a secret website, one that's certainly creepy (to say the least) and by exclusive invite only. An ad appears in the local newspaper, and a hazy picture of a woman, along with a website address. But access is by a passcode which is delivered to paying subscribers anonymously. 

You do the same thing every day. You know exactly where you're going. You're not alone. 
Zoe Walker sees herself on the Metro News one day and is spooked. She thinks she's mad…

Too many ideas and too little time? Don't read this book.

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be inspired. Don’t read this book if you think you have exceptional time management skills. Don’t read this book if you are not looking for good tips to implement in your life. And definitely don’t read this book if you think you have all the time in the world to implement all your creative ideas.
At the crux of it, this is a time management book for creatives. Most creative folks love books saturated with visual inspiration and a stimulating instructional style. What is uninspiring to creatives is a verbose text book style instructional manual filled with jargon.  
To help you figure out what’s really important on your task list, David Boos asks the reader  to make a list of things they'd really like to do, and then make another list of only 3 things that they want to do the most. This simple advice is not awe-inspiring. But what the book does is bring you back into that familiar space of being reminded to focus, focus, focus. 
The ToDon’tLis…

There's an Owl in my Towel

There's a song to be sung. 

There's fun to be had.

And, is there really an Owl in my Towel? 

There sure is, at least in Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb's 
new book, called what else...There's an Owl in my Towel. 

This Lift-the-flap interactive book is small in size, but big on fun. There's hidden surprises for baby to uncover, kinda like playing peek-a-boo. Plus, there's a song to go along with it. Don't worry, the lyrics for it are cited in There's an Owl in my Towel. And, you can sing along by scanning the QR code or visit the website link available on the back cover.  

The simple story in There's an Owl in My Towel revolves about an interaction between a baby and mom. 

Baby has lots of excuses when mom asks him to do things. 

Hello baby! Let's sit down. 
But there's a hare in my chair! 

Time for breakfast, baby.
But there's a mole in my bowl. 

And so it goes on and on. The five flaps reveal five animals. A great learning and fun experience for b…

One Noisy Night something mysterious is at play

One noisy night, hedgehog and his friends have a mystery to solve. 
One Noisy Night is a touch and feel book, with the central focus being the red hat, and it delights with its assortment of animal friends and their engaging interactions. 

One morning over breakfast, Rabbit asked his friends, "Did you hear the creaking and crashing in the woods last night?" 
While Little Hedgehog didn't hear anything, his friends Badger and Fox did. Determined to find out what all the noise was about, Fox starts on an investigative journey the following night when he hears the sounds again. In the distance, he sees a red hat, similar to the one Little Hedgehog wears. All clues point to Little Hedgehog, who insists that it wasn't him. 

The puzzling mystery leads Little Hedgehog to take matters into his own hands. So, that night he decides to stay awake and find out for himself. But alas, he falls asleep and is soon jolted awake by a loud crash outside the house. 

Badger, Fox and Rabbit are…

Rani Patel In Full Effect by Sonia Patel

Sixteen-year-old Rani Patel is shattering all norms. For someone who comes from a cultural background that traditionally expects girls to conform and be demure, Rani is anything but. Indulging in poetry slams and hip-hop jams, she’s proving that she’s her own person. 
Drawing from my own personal experience, I admire Rani's character. And since one of my new year’s goals is to follow the words of Shakespeare “To thine own self be true”, this book is one of my top picks to start off the year. With writing that is electric, and a voice that is on point, author Sonia Patel brings Rani Patel to life in Rani Patel In Full Effect
A family situation that pushes Rani over the edge at the start of the book, sets the reader on a thrilling rollercoaster ride, complete with emotional turmoil and a lesson to be learnt. The book starts off by Rani shaving her head, a visible act of rebellion. As Newton's Third Law stated, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and in Rani's ca…

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Still want to hang on a little longer to the holiday spirit with thiscontemporaryretelling of a belovedclassic.#thesteadfasttinsoldierenchants a newgeneration.