Tuesday, July 26, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read


This list of shame has been following me for many years. I found books from a 2013 list! Eek.
I've loved making these lists over the years and I have actually been pretty good, although I noticed a few books that I read this year that almost made this list.
For more lists and future topics, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Cop Killer by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
spring 2022, spring 2021

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Spring 2021

This is Not My Life by Diane Schoemperlen
Fall 2017
Canadian nonfiction, a Charles Taylor Prize finalist, 

Death by Black Hole and other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Fall 2017
I've got this one on my desk at school and I am trying to read one essay a day. I bet the title essay has the word 'spaghettification' in it

Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
Summer 2019
book 3 in the Shardlake series
I like to try one big ole book in the summer and this series is always top-notch

The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J Harris
 Summer 2019, Summer 2020
a publisher freebie, I've been meaning to get to it, and then heard it recc'd on CBC, on one of those 'books to read this summer'

The Island Villa by Lily Graham
Summer 2019
described as 'the perfect feel good summer read' 

Summer 2020
Daphne DuMaurier

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
Summer 2013

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin 
Summer 2013

Friday, July 8, 2022

CHALLENGE: Historical Fiction Reading, June


Only one historical fiction from June - also a movie on Netflix but I haven't seen yet.

Their Finest by Lissa Evans
1943-44 London

Their Finest follows a group of people in London during the Blitz who work for a film company making patriotic shorts and movies. There are several story lines that will join up for the patient reader - a woman writer seconded to add some punch to the female roles in the movie, and a costume designer at Madame Tousant's who leaves London for safety and becomes involved with the film. Both women are lonely and the war is not helping.

There is a lot going on and other than getting the movie made, there isn't a driving plot. I couldn't always see where the book was going, and yet I liked it. I liked the characters and their struggles, life in London even though it was brutal, and the movie making. 

This is the second Lissa Evans book I read - I also read Crooked Heart in 2017. It was also London and Blitz related but it tugged my heart-strings more overall. The end of Their Finest (or Their Finest Hour) was good, but not necessarily a happy ending - it is the Blitz after all, but by the end I was really hoping for a few of the characters.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books On My Summer 2022 To-Read List


The topic this week is My Summer TBR list. I've been reading a bit less, and simultaneously have so many books I want to read that this list is harder than usual. I'm only picking a few books as I am not feeling like putting books on here that I may not read. Being able to make a reasonable list is as important as crossing off the books. I'm an NOT putting Cop Killer or Shuggie Bain on this list because they have been added to so many of these lists I am getting tired of not reading them. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

TOP TEN TUEDAY: Books With a Unit of Time in the Title


Thursday, June 2, 2022

CHALLENGE: Historical Fiction Reading, May


Just the one historical fiction in May, and it barely makes the 50 year mark, but I think it still counts. Good read! I am part way through my next historical fiction, but it will be in the June wrap-up.

The Island of Missing Trees - Elif Shafak

1970s Cyprus, late 2010s England

Canadians have been on a UN Peacekeeping mission to Cyprus since 1964, although it is a much smaller presence these days. I have a cousin who spent time there, so it is a place I have heard of and was always aware of the conflict there. Not the reasons or details, but by this point, it barely matters, as in any long term conflict. 

This is the story of a teenager in late 2010s London, Ada, but it is also the story of her parents and how they met in Cyprus in the 1970s. Kostas, Greek and Christian, and Defne, Turkish and Muslim, meet and fall in love as teenagers. Back and forth we go, seeing Ada in the present and her parents sneaking to the Happy Fig Tavern where they can be together. A fig tree does a fair bit of narrating, which was an interesting touch, especially if you have read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. 

There is much tragedy, sadness, but also families, and the nature of trees. Shafak writes with humor as well. There is just a lot going on but done in a very well done way. I liked the story a lot, even while flipping back and forth in time so much. That is on me as I was listening and sometimes I miss things on audio. I was predisposed to like Defne as I taught a Turkish student a few years ago named Defne, which makes the name have wonderful associations. 

I'll look for another book by Shafak.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Comfort Reads

What makes a comfort read? It should be a quick read, not too long, there should be no terrible things happen and it should feel like there will be a happy ending (spoiler- there will be a happy ending). Here's my list of books, several of which I've read more than once, that as I read the title, I get a happy feeling of remembrance.

For more posts, and future topics for Top Ten Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winnifred Watson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

A Guide to Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The Penderwick: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish Quotes Freebie


This week is Bookish Quotes. I'm not a reader who underlines, or takes note of interesting quotes. There is one character, however, whose quotes have stayed quite familiar to me. Partially because they are really good, and partially because I see them all the time on touristy things. But really, these are wonderfully postive quotes and could easily be a set of life mottos. Yes, our favourite red head, Anne of Green Gables has enough quotes for a complete Top Ten Tuesday. For more varied quotes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

“It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

“Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?”

really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”

“I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my life long sorrow.”

“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”

“Which would you rather be if you had the choice--divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

and my all time favourite quote:

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”