Category: reading

blogger book club: the fault in our stars

I know the blog has been pretty quiet this week. These weeks are just getting away from me. I did complete this month’s book club reading for my blogger book club.

For the month of February, the theme was “romance”. My friend lent me The Fault in Our Stars a while ago, so I thought it this was the perfect opportunity to read it. It is a young adult novel so it was a quick read. If you were trying you could finish it in a couple of days.

 

fault

 

In case you aren’t familiar with the book or the movie it follows the story of two teens who meet at a cancer support group. The story is sweet, occasionally funny and occasionally extremely sad. I would recommend this novel if you’re a fan of love stories, I may even watch the movie [not likely, I rarely watch movies at home :)].

Have you read this novel? What did you think?

 


blogger book club: #girlboss

One of my resolutions for this year was to read a book a month. That probably doesn’t sound like much but sometimes it can be hard to find time to do it. So when Sarah Ohm suggested a blogger book club, I thought it was be a great chance to stick to my resolution and probably get to read something different. You can see a linkup at the bottom of others who are participating and which books they chose for their read this month.

So this book club is virtual and instead of reading the same book as everyone else, we have a theme. This month’s theme was Motivational Reading. I’ve had #GIRLBOSS on my list of a while so I was pretty excited that I could get it in time through the library (free books for the win).

If you’re not familiar with #GIRLBOSS, it is the story of the founder of Nasty Gal, an American clothing company. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in her book, I still love reading/hearing/meeting women in business. I love hearing stories of turning something from nothing. It’s really remarkable that she was basically homeless and shoplifting and is now the owner of a multi-million dollar company. I was glad I picked this book for my motivational read this month, it definitely re-inspired the #GIRLBOSS in me. It’s also an easy read, short and simply written but worth picking up.

Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What did you think?

 

 


crazy read: crazytown

I started reading Crazytown: The Rob Ford Story on my flight to Vegas and finished reading it before I left pool side on Friday. I really enjoyed the book. There isn’t really any spoilers because you’d have to be living under a rock, particularly if you live in Toronto to not know at least the very basics of the Rob Ford story.

I thought Doolittle did a great job however of going one step further than what we saw in the media by writing the story behind the story. She covers how she learned about the video and Rob Ford’s connection. It was interesting to see how the story becomes a piece of journalism, something I’m sure most people never considered. I would never have guessed that those stories were timed specifically, I would think that once the facts are straight (or as straight as possible), the story gets out there. It was also fascinating to see how “Ford Nation” developed. It gave insight into the community and the politics of Etobicoke and Toronto as a whole. I also thought Doolittle did a good job of giving some extra details for non-Toronto readers. Most readers would know the geography of the city and some of the events written about but she covers them in a bit of detail without being too monotonous. I would recommend this book for anyone who is into politics or into the scandals, it was definitely a great read. I read the updated version, that has more details than the original release but is before the most recent election. It was also interesting to read it knowing how some of the stories turned out for each of the politicians.

crazy read: five days at memorial

I don’t know if I would normally refer to a book as crazy but I don’t really know how else to describe this one.

Five Days at Memorial follows the story of one hospital in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The story begins in the days before the storm, based on true events and also explains the history of hurricanes in New Orleans. The author prefaces the story with an explanation of how she gathered the information and how she tried to keep the story as accurate as possible, based on the memories of people at the hospital. The story also follows the aftermath following the storm and how the decisions made during the emergencies changed lives forever.

The book was around 300 pages once the notes were removed. I found the story challenging to read because it changes in time occassionally and there are so many people to keep track of. The story documents the experiences of doctors, nurses, patients and their families as well as other volunteers. In addition to the people in the hospital, the story also tells the story from the point of view of lawyers, police officers, politicians and other people in the city. The book is extremely intense, sometimes horrific and not a light afternoon beach read but it is an interesting, important story that people should not completely ignore for fear of repeating mistakes.

Have you read Five Days at Memorial?

a light read: listen to the squawking chicken

Those who know me, know I’m not a celebrity gossip person. I don’t follow the Kardashians or the Biebers and I couldn’t be happier. I did however start watching The Social sometime last year, I oringinally thought it would just be another View but I actually really enjoyed it. That’s when I learned about Lainey (apparently she does lots in the gossip world but I never would have known). I occasionally find a lot of similarities with her so was curious when she said she was writing a book.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken” is a memoir about her and her mother. She recalls a number of stories from throughout her life involving her often over-baring mother. In addition to exploring her mother-daughter relationship, she also discusses a lot of what it means to be a first-generation Canadian and how growing up for her was often difficult because of cultural differences. The novel is very short at under 160 pages and is a very easy read, I finished it in less than a day and really enjoyed it. The book is funny, touching and entertaining and I’d recommend it for a quick read on a patio this summer.

Have you read this novel? What are you reading this summer?

another read

I’ve read another book…the Kobo mini does such a great job of making it easy to read on the go. Even if it’s just a few minutes waiting for someone, that time is spent more efficiently.

My latest read was also a short one, “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced”, at around a hundred pages, this is a pretty quick read. It was a very interesting story of a 10 year old girl forced into an arranged marriage in Yemen. I had just read “I am Malala” so it was a little difficult not to compare the two. I found this book to be less about the details and history of the country and more about her personal experiences. Her story is quite remarkable from the marriage to her resolve to get a divorce, I think this book is great at giving light to a story that is not often told. The book is excellently written and I’d recommend it for a quick read.

powerful read: i am malala

I just finished “I am Malala” and was completely blown away by the story. The story begins with the day Malala was shot by the Taliban. She then begins to narrate the history of Pakistan and her story of standing up for girl’s education.

As someone who grew up going to school freely and have attended a number of post-secondary programs, it’s hard for me to understand that someone could be shot just for wanting to learn. Her desire seems to basic to someone like me that had easy access to education my entire life. It is hard to imagine that there are over 57 million children who do not attend primary school and as she tells in the story over half of them are girls. I also started reading this book shortly after over 200 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria from their school, echoing that even years after Malala was shot, girls’ education is not a right around the world. It is terrifying to me that people could be injured, attacked or killed for wanting something as ‘simple’ as an education. It makes me grateful for the opportunities I have had in my life and makes me appreciate my education just that much more.

The story is beautifully told, it is a remarkable story about a truly remarkable girl. This book I believe is just the begin of her story. Although this book deals with very heavy subjects and I had tears in my eyes on more than one occassion it’s an excellent book and I recommend everyone learn more about the girl “who fought for girls’ education”.

 

book v movie: we need to talk about kevin

It’s been said time and time again that the movie is never as good as the book. I think most of the time it’s just not possible to include all the details in the 120 minutes but also you’re viewing someone else’s interpretation of the text and may not include things you found important.

I started reading “we need to talk about kevin” about a week and a half ago. I enjoyed the novel but it definitely wasn’t my favourite. It had been a long time since I read an epistolary type novel so I found it a little hard to get into. I also found the main character Eva a little grating at times. Without given away too much, the story is basically about a couple constantly at odds over their son. The mother believes that he may be a sociopath whereas his father believes that she’s just being too hard on him and constantly takes their son’s side. It was an interesting concept because I’m sure this struggle happens everywhere, maybe not to this degree but the idea of good cop/bad cop is definitely not a foreign one. I also thought the way she planned to have a child was interesting, it also speaks a lot about the parent/child relationship. The novel is pretty haunting, although I had known that going into it so that didn’t surprise me. Although it deals with some dark scenes and ideas, the novel isn’t too gruesome, something I wouldn’t be able to read.

So, I finished the novel on Friday and I watched the movie on Saturday and to be honest, I thought the movie would be scarier. It could be because I read the novel so knew what to expect but I watched it during the day because I was so afraid of being afraid (so ridiculous, I’m sure). The movie did a fairly good job of capturing the details and the timelines, although  I think it would have been important to show Eva and her husband before Kevin, which is done in the novel and gives you a completely different sense of them. I also felt they left out a few details I found important at the end but I guess that’s what happens when someone else interprets it.

This novel presents some very interesting and troubling ideas and although some of the scenes dragged a bit, I would recommend this novel.

What’s everyone reading now? I’m currently on “I am Malala” – expect a review of that soon :)

another read: the sisters brothers

I finished another novel this week. I love having a Kobo again, it just makes reading so much easier. I love that every spare minute can be used more effectively.

This week, I read The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. It was recommended to me by a friend and there was a lot of praise around the book PLUS it’s an historical fiction by a Canadian author, I was pretty excited to read it. Unfortunately, that only lasted until I started reading it. I had seen online that this was a dark comedy, but I had to say that the joke was lost on me. There were some parts of the book I liked but the real reason I finished the book so quickly was because I was excited to get on to the next one. I didn’t enjoy most of the characters in the book so I didn’t really care when something bad or good happened to them. I also thought I might enjoy this novel since I took an entire course about cowboys at U of T (yes, that was a thing) but unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it. But like I said, it could just be the joke was lost on me.

This book is highly recommended across the internet but I wouldn’t recommend it. Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?