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Showing posts from 2018

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

If you were going to have an obsession, then Ernest Hemingway is probably not a bad option. Author, Paula McLain (The Paris Wife) has made a living out of it. In her new novel, Love and Ruin, she once again transports us through time to retell a story, from an angle that you probably haven't heard of before. 

Her protagonist is Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's third wife. The story is told from her point of view. Gellhorn's accomplishments were an embodiment of success: a great American novelist, travel writer and journalist, and considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. Did you know that she reported on virtually every major conflict that took place during her 60-year career? 

The New York Times once referred to her as "a cocky, raspy-voiced maverick who saw herself as a champion of ordinary people trapped in conflicts created by the rich and powerful." 

Martha Gellhorn had already written a couple of books when she met Ernest Hemingway, an…

Only the Best for Dad

Dinner's In The Oven

Even if Dad is a masterchef, he will appreciate this great book that features 75 recipes in simple one-pan meals. Fresh ingredients, a few minutes of prep, pop in the oven, and voilà dinner is ready. One thing less to think about on busy week days. One of my faves is the Roasted eggplants with mozarella, chilli, lemon & parsley. Yum!

Published by Chronicle Books and distributed by Raincoast Books

Days with Dad by Nari Hong

This adorable children's book, features sketches that are comprised of soft, childlike coloured-pencil drawings, that create a strong intimacy on each page. The picture book is autobiographical written in both Korean and English. The story features a relationship between a young girl and her dad who is in a wheelchair. Conversations between the two are heartwarming and enlightening. Dad regrets all the things that he can't do with his daughter; the positive daughter is quick to assure him that there's nothing to feel badly about.…

When they go low, we go high

A book about speeches is always a must in any library. But a book about speeches that helped shape the world, and a commentary of the events leading up to those historical monumental words, is priceless. Add to that a post-analysis (it is the age of analytics after all) of the timing of it all, and the impact, makes this new book by Philip Collins incredibly powerful.

When They Go Low, We Go High, pays homage to Michelle Obama's notable speech, that became the motto for the political left and an anthem for opponents of oppression worldwide. It pulled at the public's heartstrings, in a way that is rarely done nowadays. 

Storytelling in any speech is important, and as Philip Collins takes us through 25 of the greatest inaugural addresses of presidents, or the revolutionary writings of Castro or Mandela, we are reminded of how the pen is mightier than the sword. 

A bit of background. Philip Collins used to be the speech writer for Tony Blair, which means he brings a thoughtful and d…

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

This is Marisha Pessl's first foray into the YA genre, and Neverworld Wake has fans everywhere on edge. Having received an copy in advance of it's June release day, I have to say that it's unlike anything I've ever read. I felt the same way when I read Marisha Pessl's thriller, Night Film.

I didn't know what to expect with Neverworld Wake. This book was coined as a YA novel, and even though my expertise in the YA genre is limited, it sure didn't adhere to my preconception of what I imagined a YA novel should be like. 

Sure, Neverworld Wake is centred around a main cast of teenagers, but that about ends any comparison I have to any YA novel I've come across. 

Here's another disclaimer. Personally, I'm not a big fan of recurring themes in stories such as Groundhog Day, where characters get to relieve one day of their life. The loop seems endless to me, and rather repetitive. I prefer a story to move forward, each page offering a glimpse of something …

Slip into the extraordinary world of conscious creation

Creative Alchemy

88 transformative meditations.
88 rituals.
88 experiments.

Enrich your creative mind with the power of conscious creation.

I've enjoyed this book by Marlo Johnson. The book acts as a guide, but every individual will interpret it in their own way. And I had a lot of fun interpreting it in my way, through illustrations. Each day, I picked up the book and indulged in a new ritual. My personal creative journey brought me closer to my creative purpose.

Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who loves to tap into the intersection of both her right and left brains, and see the world through the eyes of her younger creative self. 

Creative Alchelmy is published by Chronicle Books, and available in Canada through Raincoast Books. 

Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente

The title of Fred Van Lente's book is brilliant, to say the least. It's a novel about a comic book artist, in particular Comic Con artist, who spends his days with no fixed address, going from one comic book convention to the next giving talks and signing books. 

Mike Miller gave up his house three years ago, and now lives entirely at cons. They fly him out, put him at hotels, and he spends time at the cons drawing sketches at the Artists' Alley table. 

This time however, Mike Miller's arrival at San Diego Comic-Con there's an incredibly high honour entrusted to him. Mike is to present a lifetime achievement award to Benjamin Kurtz, the creator of Mister Mystery, who also happens to be his oldest friend and mentor in the business. 

But, things don't pan out quite as he planned. He finds out on his cab ride to the hotel (on Twitter none the less), that Ben has passed away. 

Devastated and in shock, Mike is having a hard time processing this information. Then to top …

How Business Works - THE FACTS visually explained

Business schools in general, and the MBA degree in particular, have been maligned of late: everything from the corporate malfeasance after the dot com crash as seen in cases like Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski to the collapse of the global financial system in 2008-09 has made a case for critics to argue that Business schools were culpable

Reality, as always, is a bit more messy and complex than a visceral critique would lead you to believe. As an ex-MBA, I can say without hesitation that DK's How Business Works - The Facts Visually Explained would have helped me greatly while I was in biz school and it remains relevant today, for those of us navigating the real world.

The fact is that every graduating MBA leaves with a bunch of frameworks in their head. These frameworks are, more often than not, strategic templates with which to view business environments and the challenges that lie confront leaders of enterprises. 

But what if you --as the leader-- have to scratch below the surface b…

8 of my favourite book gifts for Mum

As a preface to Mother's Day, we will be scrambling to articulate the meaning of motherhood and the importance of our mom's in our lives, as well as express the appreciation we have for them. 

For 2018, here are some suggestions from your's truly that attempt to show who they are, what they mean, and things they might like. Enjoy! 😊

200 things I LOVE about MOM
by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar
Published by Chronicle Books

You've seen me tweeting about this a lot on Instagram (@sukasastyle and @shilpartistry) since the beginning of May, so you know I'm obsessed about this series of books. But because it is May, the 200 Things I Love About Mom holds a special place in my heart, since it reminds me of all the lovely things I do with mom and that she does for mom hugs, a shopping spree, and making a phone call to mom...just because. The illustrations are so simple, but cute and tug at your heartstrings. 💖

Published by DK Books

I rec…

Big Island, Small by Maureen St. Clair

Big Island, Small by Maureen St. Clair, plays out in real time, a slow awakening of the soul. A friendship blossoming. A passage of time. Life isn't as it happens.

The format of the book is unique. Written almost as a journal, a daily account of the day, of feelings, of how the situation is viewed by the two main characters of the novel. Two sides of the story, alternating chapter by chapter, are told from the perspective of each girl. This is a format that would backfire greatly if each of the characters weren't as properly developed, or if the narrative itself wasn't as interesting. (Think about reading somebody's can be incredibly mundane, or revelatory.)

The story revolves around two girls bound by a common thread. They both come from a Small Island (at different times in their lives) and have now made Big Island their home, where the promise of a better future lures folks from shores of Small Island. Think of it as the big city life vs. growing up in a ru…

Take a walk on the wild side

Open up a big world of discovery

From the colourful chameleon, to the king of the jungle, The Incredible Fold-Our Book of Animals will delight and educate readers of all ages. 

This interactive lift-the-flap book published by DK Books is giant-sized, which adds to the enjoyment of reading. 

Kids can get up close and person to each animal. The photography is stunning. The facts are simple to grasp and visually entertaining. Did you know for example, that toucans are some of the loudest and most colourful birds in the rain forest? Their brightly coloured beaks are massive – almost as long as their bodies. It also has a very long, thin tongue to help in tasting, but also to catch food. 

This is not a just a book kids will flip and toss aside. It's one they will interact with, marvel at the brilliant photography, spark their curiosity, and create a sense of wonder and mystery for nature.

Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who loves to tap into the intersection of both her righ…

Stories should end any way you please

Whilst leaving footpaths should never be done,
Straying from stories is all sorts of fun.

It's the same old wolf.
It's the same little girl...although she's on her way to the library (no surprise there from the title). 

The wolf is very persuasive, trying to lure her away from the safe path. Will Little Red Reading Hood take the bait? Think you know the ending. Think again.

Little Red Reading Hood is an inspiring take on a classic fairy tale. There's more to this story. And, there's also more to the little girl. (Talk about great character development by author Lucy Rowland.) So Little Red Reading Hood loves to read books. It's one of a favourite activities (yes, bookworms can relate).
She reads in the bathroom, in the porch, and even late at night by the light of a torch. Now this is a heroine we could definitely get used to. 

The story celebrates the true creative spirit. Why accept things the way they are? If you don't like something, change it. 
You don't l…