I Wish This Was Happening

Yeah, you know we’re all having a moment here where we imagine a universe with an animated Buffy series.  And Firefly.

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Adopt-a-School

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I am a big fan of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation - a non-profit charity whose goal is to not be needed any more.  Not only does the foundation raise funds to put books in school libraries, but it also advocates for those schools with government, trying to get library funding to an acceptable level.

Every year for three weeks, there is direct fundraising for local high needs schools by their communities.  The school I have adopted for this year, Brookmill Blvd. JPS, is struggling with its library.  The library budget has been merged with the technology budget, which means having to make choices between books and computers, which shouldn’t be an either/or.  The school’s population has shrunk recently, which means the budget has also shrunk – making it difficult to upgrade and renew the library, the books in which average ten to twenty years of age.

You can help out by adopting the school, which costs nothing.  You can adopt the school every day.  Because this year is the 10th anniversary of the Love of Reading Foundation, there is a bonus grant of $10,000 in books to the school from each province with the highest number of adoptions.  You can also donate – every $12 donated = 1 book given.

I hope some of you are able to help out, one way or the other, and I appreciate you taking the time to check this out!

Cheers,

Christie

 

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Star Wars + Sesame Street = Awesome

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Fall Reading!!

I love this time of year.  I love the changing leaves, the pumpkin-flavored everything, and I have kind of a sweater and boots fetish.  But that is all secondary to… FALL BOOK RELEASES!  Sorry, sorry, got a little excited.

Some of what’s coming looks great – and some of it not so great.  Without further ado…

Visions by Kelley Armstrong

This is the book I’m currently reading.  I love Kelley Armstrong, and the second book of her latest adult fiction series is fantastic (no pun intended).  I do wish that the main character was a little less wishy-washy in this one, but I have high hopes – Kelley Armstrong has a strong history of kick-ass female characters who don’t wait around to be rescued.

 

THE QUEEN OF TEARLING

 

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Soooooooo good.  I really can’t do a good enough job of describing how good.  There’s been a lot of buzz around this book because it features a tough woman with drive and compassion, is royalty, and ISN’T BEAUTIFUL.  Or even merely pretty.  That fact doesn’t make you lose the story, though… and the story is wonderful.  Really, the main problem with this book is that it is the first of a series, and I read it really quickly, and now I have to wait way too long for the next one.  Also that one of my kids spilled coffee all over my copy.  Sigh.  Waste of coffee and a great book.  I guess I’m off to get another copy.

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I love Neil Patrick Harris.  If you have never watched 1) Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog 2)Neil’s Puppet Dreams, go do it now.  Especially #1.  They are both free on You Tube, and not kid friendly.    Done?  Ok.  NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography drops October 14th here in Canada, and you bet I will be right there, getting my copy.  It’s pure NPH style, a little truth with a lot of poking fun at himself with a dash of the absurd thrown in.  Here’s the blurb from the book:

Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further thanNeil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born to New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, and make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

 

There will be more recommendations and reviews coming, not to fret.  I am partly limiting the length of this post because of the banner you may have noticed displaying before my post loaded.  I, along with Twitter, Etsy, Netflix, WordPress and others are participating in Internet Slowdown in support of net neutrality – slowing down our sites on purpose to give you an idea of what the internet could be like if some of the big telecom companies get their way.  If you want more information, check out https://openmedia.org/

Christie

 

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Delicious Indeed

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I’m sure you’ve heard the term “food porn.”  Mouthwatering photos of food, designed to get you craving the pictured delicacy immediately, no matter how unobtainable.   The part of Instagram that isn’t cats and selfies.

Delicious!, Ruth Reichl’s first fiction work, is food erotica.  Now, there is a great story here, a little mystery, a little romance, a little history.  The descriptions of food, however, are the real stars of this book.  When Reichl describes a chocolatier tempering chocolate, and the taste of it – like rain, or the desert – you find yourself fanning your face and reading passages aloud to friends.  When she describes a visit to a family owned deli, you can almost smell and taste everything along with the character.  Reichl is so good at immersing you in the sights, tastes, and smells that when you take a break from reading it takes a minute to remember that you are not, in fact, in a kitchen in New York.  She is a well-known food writer, and I have to say after reading this I’m tempted to pick up some of her non-fiction to see if it is equally marvelous. 

Reichl loves her subject matter – New York, cooking, food – and this is so evident, and so beautiful to read.  The writing is gorgeous.  Do yourself a favour, and pick this up – just make sure you’ve got a glass of wine and something delicious to eat while you’re reading.

Christie

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Thug Notes! Like SparkNotes, but way more hardcore.

You have no idea how much I wish this series existed when I was in high school.

Thug Notes is… actually, not that unlike one of my customers, who is a huge scary dude with dreadlocks and a secret love of Harlequin romance – a delicious juxtaposition that makes me really happy.   The SparkNotes that would have made overanalysis in English Lit bearable. I just about had an aneurysm I was laughing so hard – plus the analysis is spot on.  My mission in life is to try to get one of my children to present a book report like this.

 

Thanks to the guys over at Press Start (who are not only gaming nerds, but book nerds and dear friends) for putting me on to this.

I’m going to go binge watch the whole thing now.

Christie

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I don’t know where to put my feet…

bibliophiliacs:

A very powerful piece… brought back some memories I am glad are just memories.

Originally posted on Sarah Pinborough:

Sometimes time folds in on itself. A picture, a word, a passing scent can trigger a visit to the graveyard of the past. This week, for me, those pictures and words are everywhere. Attached to them are so much advice. So much opinion. It makes me feel strange inside and I want to say, ‘You know what, just shhh. You’re not helping. You’re making her ground more unsteady’.

That thought in turn makes me wonder if all these years on a small part of me still doesn’t always know where to put my feet.

One night when I was 19, at maybe three in the morning, he wrote ‘I love you’ on an empty wine bottle and waited for me to notice it. And there it began. Boy kisses girl. I was wild and free and loved to laugh and dance and stay up all night. He was wild and…

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Bookish British Columbia

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Hey fellow book peeps, I need your advice!  I will be visiting BC soon, and would like to hear your tips on which bookish destinations are not to be missed.  Libraries, bookstores, book-themed cafes… I will try to get to as many as I can.

I will be spending time in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo.  I promise to post photos of my visit.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

 

Carpe Libris!

Christie

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The Hottest Titles for Teens and Tweens

What are the big books this summer? And why should you care?

Well, one of the things that gets people reading, adults included, is recommendations.  If kids are hearing their friends talking about this book, and once they are reading it can talk about it, how great is that? It makes a love of reading something they share, and how many times have you felt a bond with someone because they, too, adored a book dear to your heart?

With that in mind, I’ll share some of the titles that are really hot at my store right now, some of which are excellent reads, and feel free to pick them up for yourself, or steal the book when your kid is done with it.  Or before, I won’t judge you.

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Target age: 9-12

This book didn’t arrive on time in-store – which was the cause of much consternation in my household.  My younger daughter is an evangelist for The Land of Stories series, dragging them with her everywhere she goes and forcing other people to read them.  They’re very good, bringing to mind classics like Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz, mixing fairytales with real life, the bizarre alongside the mundane.  And yes, it’s the Chris Colfer who plays Kurt on Glee who is the author – he really needs to save some talent for other people. A Grimm Warning is the third book in the series, and it’s worth getting them in hardcopy instead of an e-book because of the maps and illustrations in the cover.

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Target age 13+, and I really mean the plus

I loved the Divergent trilogy – and Veronica Roth didn’t wuss out on the ending either, unlike the Hunger Games.  Four is a series of short stories that take place before the Divergent trilogy, centred around Four’s life before Tris. This can be read as a present for current fans craving more, or as a prologue to the main trilogy for new readers.  Good beach reading for everyone, and if you haven’t read the original trilogy, summer is a great time to start.
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Target: 9-12+

This trilogy, of which the first two are now out, is a kind of interesting twist on the fairytale theme that’s huge right now in this age group.  Every year, two girls or two boys are chosen to attend the school of Good and Evil.  One is trained to be a hero, the other a villain.  When two best friends are chosen, one golden-haired and sweet, and the other dark haired, odd, and fond of goth-y clothes, they know who’s going where.  Their own self-concepts are thrown into disarray when the golden-haired girl is sent to the school of evil, and the goth-in-training is sent to the school of good.  This book is flying off the shelves, and anything that shakes up thinking is great by me.

 

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Target age: 13+

I will admit now, that I haven’t read this trilogy, and may not.  I am not always in the mood for romance and frou frou dresses.  Sometimes, though, that’s exactly what you want, and this series seems to fill that need for teens and adults alike quite nicely.  A sort of dystopian version of The Bachelor, the series started with The Selection, where thirty-five girls were in an elimination competition for the crown, and marriage to the prince.  The competition is winnowed down through the second book, and now in the third, The One is America Singer’s (cringing at the name) final chance to win the Miss America Pageant   heart of Prince Maxon, and the crown.  If you are looking for a frillier version of the Hunger Games, this is it.
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Target: 13+

I adore Mercedes Lackey, and read pretty much everything she writes.  I am currently reading this series she is writing with Rosemary Edghill, a kind of Mystery at the Academy trope, but with enough interesting twists to keep it from being formulaic.  Spirit White (hippie parents) ends up at an orphanage after she is the only member of her family to survive a car accident.  She finds out once she arrives there that every single person at the orphanage has magic – except apparently her.  The orphanage – Oakhurst Academy, is run like a private school for the very rich, with the added curriculum of learning to defend yourself, both physically and with magic, against evil mages who could attack at any minute.

It doesn’t contain as much of Lackey’s signature ironic humour as I would like, but it has enough of it to make reading it enjoyable, and smarter than many teen series, since the kids in it don’t just swallow down everything they’re told and do some of their own investigating.  Like a magical Nancy Drew.

 
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Target: 13+ (again, I mean the plus)

Kelley Armstrong is always a really fun read.  I loved her Women of the Otherworld series, I am impatiently waiting for the sequel to Omens to come out, and so I was delighted when this arrived, if for no other reason than I think the cover will be my next tattoo.

A really solid, epic fantasy,  twin sisters Moria and Ashyn live on the edge of the Forest of the Dead, where the worst criminals are exiled.  Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and the Seeker – charged with keeping the souls of the damned quiet – no easy task.  This year, the souls will not be quieted – and a great evil ambushes the girls, separating them from eachother and their home, the beginning of their quest to find eachother again, and warn the emperor of what is awakening.

This is book one – I really need to cut down on the number of series I’m reading.  Or only read series that are finished.  Haha, like that’s going to happen.  Sigh.

Oh, and as a bonus for you guys, right now I’m reading Warslayer, by Rosemary Edghill, which is a FREE download on Kobo.  Imagine Lucy Lawless getting kidnapped by aliens who think she’s actually Xena and will save them all.  It’s silly fun, and perfect for the patio and a cold drink.

Happy summer reading!

Christie

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Talk Nerdy to Me

I love this so much.

Christie

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