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Showing posts from June, 2017

When Option A fails you, there's always Option B

Grief is a demanding companion. Sheryl Sandberg's story of finding strength in the face of adversity is illuminating. 

After Sheryl Sandberg's husband suddenly died, she felt certain that she would never find happiness again. 

C.S. Lewis 
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
For the first few weeks and months Sheryl Sandberg tried to end the sorrow, but the pain and fear was constant and it felt like the grief would never subside. 

That's when she reached out to Adam Grant, professor and psychologist at Wharton. Her husband Dave had read Adam's book Give and Take a couple of years prior, and was a fan. Adam convinced Sheryl that there was a bottom to this seemingly endless void. 

A word of caution. Recovery doesn't start from the same place for everyone. It's a sad reminder that adversity isn't evenly distributed amongst the greater population. The unfortunate truth is that marginalized and disenfranchised groups inevitably have more challenges throw…

What makes a killer?

Peter James knows. After all, he's written thirteen books on the subject. Featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Peter James' detective novels have sold 18 million books worldwide. I reviewed his last book, Love You Dead, and when Need You Dead arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Publishers Group Canada, I was ecstatic. 

This new crime novel, delivers on the hype. A woman is found dead in her bathtub. Is it a murder? Is it a suicide? 

Three suspects emerge. A husband. A lover. A blackmailer. 

It's a classic case of whodunit, and Roy Grace believes that every killer makes a mistake. Somewhere. All he has to do, is to find it. His instincts are usually dead on, but this time, will they let him down? 

Referring back to his mantra of assuming nothing, believing no one, and checking everything, Roy Grace proceeds to uncover the grim outcome of the victim, who was trying desperately to find another life for herself before she died, one that would be kinder to her than her pres…

My Canada is the best place on earth. Happy #Canada150

Packing information in a visually engaging format, My Canada - An Illustrated Atlas is the ultimate kids guide to help celebrate #Canada150. 

Each province is displayed as a full-colour map with iconic places, landmarks, and more. One of my fave places in Canada is the Canadian Rockies. The kid in me, loved identifying memorable landmarks that have been etched in my mind, such as Jasper Skytram, Banff National Park and the hot springs, and the Columbian Icefield. If you haven't been to Alberta yet, make this one of the must-see places on your #Canada150 list. 

My Canada - An Illustrated Atlas, is educational for all ages. The icons on every spread, highlight things that should be in every kid's repertoire, such as the provincial flag, symbols and flowers. 

Did you know New Brunswick's bird is the black-chapped chickadee, while its flower is the purple violet? Do you know what tree symbolizes Ontario? Well, if you are stumped for an answer, you'll just have to look it up f…

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness

A Novel by Arundhati Roy

"How to tell a shattered story?

By slowing becoming everybody.


By slowly becoming everything."

It's been a mere twenty years, and the queen of misery is back with a new novel. Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize-winning author of The God Of Small Things, brings her rare storytelling back in the fray with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

Jahanara Begun has borne a son, Aftab. Or so, the world thinks. In reality, She's actually borne a daughter. For the first few years of Aftab's life, Jahanara Begum's secret is kept safe. Fiercely protective and anxious, she would not let Aftab stray too far away from her.

When she finally told her husband, Mulaqat Ali about Aftab, he was convinced that there must be a simple medical solution to their son's "problem". A doctor in New Delhi said he could recommend a surgeon who would seal the girl-part. He did however suggest that despite the treatment, there would be "tendencies" that wo…

The Unlikely Redemption Of John Alexander MacNeil by Lesley Choyce

80-year-old John Alexander MacNeil lives alone in rural Cape Breton.
His sharp-tongue made him unpopular with both the clergy and the politicians. But that's who he is. For as long as he could remember, he'd been waging war against someone or something --no matter the size for when he was nine, he took on the Catholic church's archdiocese. But in his defence, he also admires feisty determination in others in whatever form it takes as long as (as he puts it) it doesn't harm children, harm the environment or infringe on a neighbour's property. 
His wife Eva died of asbestos in her lungs. The same asbestos that came from the asbestos mines he worked in at St. Simone, Quebec...a job he took on, ironically, to provide a better life for Eva. She never asked for a better life. She was happy with their life just the way it was. But John Alexander MacNeil just wanted to do more for the love of his life, and give her all the things he thought she deserved. 
Now although Eva'…

The Unexpected Visitor

The Unexpected Visitor by Jessica Courtney-Tickle is a beautiful story that reminds us to take only what we need from the ocean and not to be consumed by greed. 

The perfect read on #WorldOceansDay!
This book just makes you feel good the moment you pick it up. Could it be that the paper comes from sustainable forests? Perhaps. If you are going to publish a book that speaks about saving the oceans, then it only makes sense to use paper that helps protect endangered forests and the animals that live in them, so that we can all feel good about everyone having a safe home in the future. You can learn more about Egmont Publishing's initiative at 

But it's more than just that. Everything about this book draws us into the majestic ocean. From the warm-hearted illustrative style to the neutral friendly colours, there's a natural cohesiveness to this picture book by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, that just makes us care. 

A must-read for kids of all ages, but espe…

The Girl On The Train goes Into The Water

If it seems like this is a sequel to Paula Hawkins blockbuster novel, The Girl On The Train, I apologize for the misrepresentation. Into The Water is a standalone tale, that is suspenseful and takes the reader into another gripping adventure. 

Water is the prevailing theme of Paula Hawkins new novel Into The Water. A single mother is found dead. Did she commit suicide? Was it an accident? If the latter hypothesis holds true, then it’s a question of whodunit.  

There are people who are drawn to water, who retain some vestigial primal sense of where it flows.
Nel Abbott is the mother in question. She’s always had a fascination with water. She is also an aspiring writer, who's focusing on a book about the people who died in the local Beckford Drowning Pool. Is it ironic that she becomes one of the drowned herself? 
"The name carries weight; and yet, what is it? A bend in the river, that's all. A meander. You'll find it if you follow the river in all its twists and turns, swe…

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Is it our own fault that we find ourselves alone? Do we shun away those that love us because of our inability to commit or cope?
Haruki Murakami explores this concept in his new book Men Without Women. As you can tell by the cover, Men Without Women explores relationships from the perspective of men. In this series of short stories, Haruki highlights several male characters with varying life experiences, who somehow find themselves alone. From a lovesick doctor, to an actor, each character reflects on their own situation, and come to grips with what they endure in their relationships. 
"Relationships, between people, especially between men and women, operate on -- what should I say -- a general level. More vague, more self-centred, more pathetic."How do men cope with loneliness? Perhaps they try to reason with the loss. In Haruki Murakami's novel, one story centres around a man who has lost his wife to cancer, but in reality, he lost her long before the diagnosis. His wife…