Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

This was a great book! I got so immersed in the story that I forgot that I was reading a book and not listening to a storyteller. It was beautifully written. The narrative reminds me a little of Memoirs of a Geisha in that you get so engrossed in the story, and in the plight of this woman on this incredible journey that you forget that the author is male. Hill created a strong, sensitive, intelligent, and loving character in Aminata. Lookng forward to reading more of Hill's works.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

I really enjoyed reading The Time Traveller's Wife, so when I saw that Niffenegger had a second book out, I bought it. To be fair, the description did say that this was a ghost story. I was expecting an older version of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which I loved. I was disappointed with this book. The characters and storylines felt disconnected and I found myself not caring about their fate. I think the Edie/Elspeth storyline could have been stronger in order to compare better with Julia/Victoria. Looking back, I should have waited to borrow it from the library, instead of buying it

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marley and Me by John Grogan

While reading this book, I wanted to run out and get a dog. I have wanted a dog for some time, but my schedule is too crazy to impose on an attention-needing creature. My hubby and I keep saying, one day, we'll get a cute little pug or an adorable little Westie, but the reality of the amount of work puppies require keeps the plans at bay. Marley and Me reinforces the importance of dog-owner commitment. Marley was terrible and wonderful all at once. Who could love a big lab who launches himself at everyone, sloshes saliva on every surface, and tries to eat everything in sight? Then again, who can't love a big dog who just wants to love you - unconditionally! Grogan takes us on an adventure from selecting months old Marley from a breeder's farm through raising three kids and a feisty, strong dog (the only dog to be expelled from obedience school - no less) to the heartbreaking reality of doggie old age. A great book, for me, triggers a reaction. Whether the reaction is that I love the book or I hate the book, I am impressed with how the author made me care enough to react to it. With Marley, I laughed out loud and I held back tears. Everyone should read Marley and Me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham

As a fan of the Shopaholic books, I was curious to try out The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham, aka Sophie Kinsella. I was expecting the charm of Becky Bloomwood and all her British-ness so I was a little disappointed with the tone and language of this novel. Fleur, the protagonist in The Gatecrasher, crashes funerals to pick up wealthy widowers while their fresh and vulnerable. She woos them, takes their money, and drops them. However, when she meets Richard, she finds herself enjoying his company regardless of his money. This book was more adult contemporary than chick lit. I suppose Madeleine Wickham writes more like Danielle Steel or Jodi Picoult books than Sophie Kinsella. Perhaps I'll try another Wickham book one day, but for now I'll re-read my Kinsella books.

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

I love Cornelia Funke's writing. When Santa Fell to Earth is a children's book about Niklas Goodfellow, aka Santa, crash landing in a small town two weeks before Christmas. Niklas is the last of the real Santas. Niklas believes in children and works with elves and fairies to produce handmade, magical toys for children. The fake Santas have convinced parents of the world that children will only like store-bought presents and have made Christmas a money-making enterprise. The ruthless Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, a former Santa, is out to destroy Niklas to cement his control over Christmas. Funke creates a magical world intertwining contemporary issues with the lightheartedness of a Christmas tale. A wonderful book.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Book Mark

This summer I discovered a small bookstore in the Kingsway called the "Book Mark." It's a cute little shop, straight out of the movie You've Got Mail. The day I went in, they had a promotion for their summer reading list. The staff read lots (and lots - according to the clerk) of books and selected the ones that they thought would be of interest to their customers. Many of the authors and titles selected are ones that the typical reader may not come across on their own. If you bought 3 books, you would get a $10 gift card and you can enter a draw for more books. A sale on books with the possibility of winning more books - I'm sold. I bought, "Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him" by Danielle Ganek, "The Lottery" by Patricia Wood, and "The Ridiculous Race" by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran. I came home and immediately started reading Lulu. I really enjoyed reading it. It's chick lit with some insight into the world of art galleries. My husband started reading "The Ridiculous Race" and laughed out loud periodically. I'm glad we stumbled upon this store and this promotion.

The Book Mark is located on Bloor Street near Royal York.