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Archives 2017 > w/o June 2 to 8, 2017

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message 1: by ❀ Susan (last edited Jun 02, 2017 07:34PM) (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4242 comments Mod
Welcome to the month of June! As we welcome the sunshine, here's hoping that the summer brings lots of time to relax and read outdoors!

Any final comments on The Handmaid's Tale? or our May Challenge?

Welcome to the group read of The Ragged Company, an June Indigenous Challenge and the summer Cross-Country Challenge. Whether your join in or follow along, it is a great time to read some great Canadian authors!

What has been your reading this week? What is on deck?


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments It's Friday!

The weather's been great in NL this week so I've been spending a lot of time outside and not a lot of time reading. I'm slowly getting through East of Eden and really enjoying it, but it does lack that "can't-put-it-down" quality.

I finished the audiobook Anything Is Possible and will definitely be reading more Elizabeth Strout. Now I'm listening to The Lonely Hearts Hotel, which is pretty good, but not amazing. I've heard it compared to The Night Circus, but no, I just can't agree on that. It has a magical tone, but Heather O'Neill's story is more raw, with a lot of drugs and sex, which she seems to write about often.


message 3: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ wrote: "It's Friday!

The weather's been great in NL this week so I've been spending a lot of time outside and not a lot of time reading. I'm slowly getting through East of Eden and really enjo..."


What part of NL are you in? I'll be arriving in St. John's next Saturday and I've been watching the long range forecast and it doesn't look great. Mind you the weather (Montrea) here is not much better but it is about 10 degrees warmer than NL it seems.


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments I'm almost done listening to Land of Love and Drowning which is fabulous!!! Such a gifted writer. I need to read everything she has written now.

In the past I have listened to two Louise Erdrich books and I was disappointed. She has the reputation of being such a wonderful writer yet both her books The Round House and LaRose fell flat for me but I suspected the reason for that was because I listened to them on audio instead of reading off the page. So this time I am READING Love Medicine and WOW WOW WOW! Loving every bit of it.

On a side note, we had our regular book club meeting last night and decided on our *Brossard Reads* format coming up for our first book club meeting of the season in Sept (we are taking the summer off). Three members will defend 3 books. We are combining 2 book clubs so we'll be anywhere from 20-30 members. I am defending The Break (I hope I do a better job than Candy, lol). The other two books are The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet (the person defending that book hasn't read it yet so she may be disappointed), and Ragged Company. This should be a lot of fun.


message 5: by Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (last edited Jun 02, 2017 05:20AM) (new)

Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments @Louise, I work in St. John's and live about 45 minutes west of there. I should clarify that by great weather, I mean 12-15 degrees. It's been about 2-5 degrees the last couple of weeks with that biting northerly wind, so this a significant improvement. The company I work for has an office in Montreal so my colleagues there are always rubbing their nice temps in our faces!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments @Louise, "Brossard Reads" sounds amazing! I'm sure you'll do a great job defending The Break, but I wouldn't stress about it too much. Candy set the bar quite low!


message 7: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ wrote: "@Louise, I work in St. John's and live about 45 minutes west of there. I should clarify that by great weather, I mean 12-15 degrees. It's been about 2-5 degrees the last couple of weeks with that b..."

I'll be happy with 12-15 degrees and sunny. I'm arriving next Saturday and staying until Tuesday. Then making our way to Trinity, and Twillingate, then on to Gros Morne. From what I can see the west coast is a bit warmer?


message 8: by Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (last edited Jun 02, 2017 06:02AM) (new)

Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments That sounds about right @Louise. The west coast gets warmer summers and colder winters than we do.

I was going to suggest we could meet up, but I'm going to Toronto on Tuesday, June 6 and then to Niagara Falls on Saturday, and back home on Tuesday, June 13. It sounds like you'll be leaving the east coast just as I'm getting back! I haven't been to Ontario in nearly 10 years and my kids have never, so we are looking forward to the trip.


message 9: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ wrote: "I was going to suggest we could meet up, but I'm going to Toronto on Tuesday, June 6 and then to..."

Aw too bad. You will love Niagara Falls!


message 10: by ✿✿✿May (new)

✿✿✿May  | 989 comments Happy Friday! It is sunny in Toronto today and tomorrow, but another big round of rain on Sunday, urgh!!

@Louise, have a great time in NFL!

@Allison, East of Eden is one of my all time favourite!!

This week I finished A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. The former is definitely my favourite of the two. The latter is full of fairy tales, very endearing for the granddaughter, but it made the first half of the story slow and confusing. It certainly picked up in the second half when all the characters came together, which I liked much better.
I'm now reading The Color of Our Sky from the library. Looking forward to reading Ragged Company for this month after all the positive reviews!
Have a great weekend!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments May wrote: "This week I finished A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. The former is definitely my favourite of the two. ..."

I loved A Man Called Ove so much that I bought a copy for my mom! It's a really nice story.


message 12: by ✿✿✿May (new)

✿✿✿May  | 989 comments @Allison, enjoy Ontario! Hope you bring some good weather with you since we've had sooooo much rain so far!


message 13: by Rainey (last edited Jun 02, 2017 06:10AM) (new)

Rainey | 830 comments I am listening to:

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter - OMG - people must think I am nuts as I laugh/nod vigorously in my car - to/from work.

The damage we do as parents to our children is on full display here. Hilarious.

For my BDA book club: I, Lucifer - jury still out on this one - not sure if I like it - will keep reading.

Started Ragged Company - I do love his writing.

Finished the buddy read A Fatal Grace and book 3 of the series. Love the series.


message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison | 2250 comments So glad to see that @Louise is on this morning because the one book I completed this week was Next Episode, which she sent me for my Secret Santa present!! :)

@Louise -- I was worried about rating it two-stars because I didn't want to offend YOU!! It's a very, very hard book to rate! I'm SO glad that you sent it and that I have finally read it.

It's strange, obscure, unique and crazy. It wasn't a fulfilling read in terms of reading experience in comparison to other books, but it definitely WAS in terms of seeing some abstract word-art at play, and to see the skill with which someone can mask a political obsession with a fictional story. If you know a ton about the separatist movement in the 60s, it may make more sense and be a really entertaining ride.

Anyway, THANK YOU, @Louise! I really wanted to get it it, and now I have. Plus, I used it for Translated Novel in BINGO.

I also made my way through (by skimming, so I'm not really counting it as "read this year") Canada's Big House: The Dark History of the Kingston Penitentiary. I found a signed copy in a LFL, and as I'm going on the Pen Tour on June 24, I browsed through it to learn a bit. It's pretty technical; reads like a PhD thesis. I expect the tour will be a lot more enlightening.

I have buried myself in other books on the go: Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations, The Best Laid Plans, and The Nest.


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments I hope so too @May!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments If there are any fab bookstores I should visit in my travels, please let me know!


message 17: by Allison (new)

Allison | 2250 comments Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ wrote: "If there are any fab bookstores I should visit in my travels, please let me know!"

Ooooh! @Allison! The Book Outlet actual store is in St. Catherine's, really not that far from Niagara Falls!!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments Allison wrote: "Ooooh! @Allison! The Book Outlet actual store is in St. Catherine's, really not that far from Niagara Falls!! "

Hmm, I feel I must fit this in!


message 19: by Allison (new)

Allison | 2250 comments Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ wrote: "Allison wrote: "Ooooh! @Allison! The Book Outlet actual store is in St. Catherine's, really not that far from Niagara Falls!! "

Hmm, I feel I must fit this in!"


Oh, you should! I've been wanting to get there for years. I just never make it to that part of the province! I know @Susan goes now and then.


message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1585 comments Allison wrote: "So glad to see that @Louise is on this morning because the one book I completed this week was Next Episode, which she sent me for my Secret Santa present!! :)

@Louise -- I was worri..."


Allison please rate it honestly. No offense will be taken here. I sent it to you because you mentioned that you wanted to read it, and since I am from Quebec I thought it was fitting but I have not read it myself yet. I have heard it's a difficult read but sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone. I am sorry that it didn't turn out to be as good as you had hoped but I'm not sorry I sent it to you if that makes sense :-)

I am embarrassed to say that I have not had time to read my Secret Santa gift yet but I certainly plan on reading it some time soon. Someone in my book club suggested it but our leader said it was too long (she tries to stick to shorter books so that books have a chance to be passed on to other members).


message 21: by Rainey (new)

Rainey | 830 comments I haven't managed to fit in my secret Santa read either - The Best Laid Plans. Hubby has taken the book so waiting for him to finish. Since he is reading that and The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin - its going to be awhile. He isn't the fastest of readers.


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 929 comments Louise, I also really enjoyed Land of Love and Drowning. Glad you're enjoying it so much. And your book club debate format sounds like a lot of fun.

This week I finished reading Ill Will and Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, both of which were completely crazy reads in their own way.

Now I'm reading Little Sister, which will be bingo square #13 for me - I'm trudging along slowly but surely with bingo. I'm enjoying this novel but it does have me a little puzzled. I'm about two-thirds of the way through and am hoping that all will be revealed by the end of it.


message 23: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 628 comments Happy Friday everyone!

It's been about +30 here in Edmonton this week, but we're getting a downpour right now.

As usual, you are all reading so many amazing books, I need more hours in my day!

I finished Random Passage this week. It was my secret santa book and I loved it. Has anyone watched the CBC miniseries? I wonder if they did it justice.

I'm in the midst of Bhagavad-Gita: A Walk Through for Westerners. It's a translation into modern English.

I'm also about to start Aloha Candy Hearts. It's a Canadian murder mystery featuring a gay detective. I can use it for two bingo squares (Canadian mystery or Written by LGBTQ author).


message 24: by Diane (new)

Diane (Tvor) | 548 comments Still working on Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler (not loving it, not hating it, but that makes it harder to commit to reading it, too), The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (found it difficult to get into but it's settled down a bit now, but again not loving/hating it so I keep avoiding it!), Gold Fever by Vicki Delany (fun, light, will probably finish it quickly) and still pacing myself through Impact to Contact: The Shag Harbour Incident. Can only seem to read about 10 pages at a time with that one though it is interesting.

I absolutely loved Ragged Company when I read it last year! I'm going to read Indian Horse and maybe The Next Sure Thing to start off the Indigenous reads. Love Medicine sounds very good, as well so I might see if the library has that one.


message 25: by Emmkay (new)

Emmkay | 383 comments Hi everyone,

We have had soooo much rain, but I can tell summer is on the way because I'm freezing in the office air-conditioning...

@Allison, I have to say Toronto isn't the best of cities for bookstores, but if you are looking for a great children's bookstore during your visit, Mabel's Fables on Mt Pleasant is wonderful. And if you are wandering around the Financial District at some point, Ben McNally on Bay is a lovely general bookstore.

This week I had a fun time finishing Victorian sensation novel Lady Audley's Secret. The author, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, had quite the life, going on the stage in her teens, living scandalously in sin with a married man, etc etc. Really the opposite of one's idea of a Victorian lady novelist.

I also read The Best Kind of People. A page-turner for sure, but a bit disappointing given the hype. Fascinating issues, but kind of tv movie-like.

I usually only read one book at a time but right now I'm trying to balance two, as Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, though fascinating, is too heavy for my commute. So I'm also reading How to Be Human, which I'm looking forward to but having a hard time getting into while commuting.


message 26: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 563 comments I started a couple of new Challenges June 1, 2017. so I put off starting any new books until Thursday. It was a weird experience not reading anything for three days. I actually listened to music on my commute, and read some magazines, and got my email cleaned up!

Now I am finally reading Minister Without Portfolio and listening to The Sellout. Definitley need to keep the windows rolled up while listening to this one-I don't want to offend anyone at a red light with a random out of context phrase-there is some pretty explosive language in this one.

Have a great weekend everyone, we are expecting thunder showers tonight.


message 27: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4242 comments Mod
@Louise and @Allison- have a wonderful trip

@Rainey - you make me wish that I had listened to One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter! I found the Terry Fallis podcasts had me laughing in my car - a nice way to end a work day!

@Allison - the book outlet store is close to the Niagara QEW in St. Catharines. It is totally worth a trip but save some time. it is much bigger than I expected and you can spend a fair bit of time there.

@Heather(Gibby) - I enjoyed Minister without Portfolio and having met him, the incinerator part of the book is based on a true experience Wiinter had!

In my quest to finish the Anne of Green Gables, I finished the seventh book, Rainbow Valley which shares the hijinks of the generation of Anne's children. One more to go as I begin Rilla of Ingleside.

In non-fiction, I also finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which was a reread for me. It should be great discussion at book club and The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Two Days Off which was a bit slow but had some good tidbits.

On audio I listened to the The One-in-a-Million Boy which told the story of a young boy who died leaving his father to befriend and help his 104 year old friend who he was encouraging to get into the guiness book of world records. the local library has chosen this as the monthly goodreads pick and although I might not have picked it up otherwise, I enjoyed it.


message 28: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4242 comments Mod
One more thing - I went to an event in Hamilton tonight and met Jane Urquhart who was a terrific speaker and spoke about A Number of Things: Stories About Canada Told Through 50 Objects. I almost didn't go after a hectic week but am glad that I did!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2039 comments @Susan, my book club is reading The One-in-a-Million Boy for our summer selection. I've heard it's a really nice story so I'm looking forward to it. Glad to hear you liked it.


message 30: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4242 comments Mod
It was a sweet story - at first, I did not love the narration. His voice was very low tones and it took me a while to get used to it and not have to have it unreasonably loud.


message 31: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Alan McGill | 4 comments I recently read D M Wiltshire's Prophecy 6 -Book 1.
It was interesting in that it was a reasonably gentle Sword and Sorcery Fantasy novel. It was definitely not a Game of Thrones sort of thing.
She is just getting into writing and I believe that it is a first novel to which she has written a second installment.
What I like is that she introduces the characters in such a way that you kind of get attached to them and wonder what might come next.
There is some resolution yet an overall sense of mystery.


message 32: by CynthiaA (new)

CynthiaA (bookthia) | 121 comments Hi Everyone! I'm a bit late, but I actually have books to report, so I don't want to miss out! Haha!

I finished The Handmaid's Tale and really enjoyed reading it. I'm glad I did, and I'm glad my timing fit in with the May readalong. I raved about it so much, my husband is reading it now.

I also finished Mudbound by Hilary Jordon on my Kobo, and I was not disappointed in this one either! Excellent.

I am currently reading Pachinko and it has me hooked. On my Kobo, I plan to start Canada by Richard Ford, as my travelling and late night reading.

Does anyone else keep a notebook of book quotes they happen upon while reading? I keep a small notebook, usually its in my purse, and I write down things that make me stop and consider, or things that make me say YESSS!!!. Ninety percent of my "personal lectio" is from books but occasionally from podcasts, or even from students at school, when they say those marvelous things that kids say and you just want to remember them. Anyhow, I mention this because a colleague saw me writing in it last week and was astounded at this habit of mine. She thought it most unusual. But I don't really think it is... surely others must do stuff like this... and where better to ask than a group of readers!? So... anyone keep a "log" or "journal" of book excerpts?


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan | 929 comments Ooh, Mudbound is such a good book! Glad you enjoyed it!


message 34: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4242 comments Mod
@CynthiaA - I had to look up "lectio" and love that you keep a collection of "divine reading". I too write things down but tend to be very unorganized in keeping the quotes and comments. I have a number of notebooks, keep them in notes on my phone and files in the computer. I like to think that someday I will some of these notes in other writing!


message 35: by Magdelanye (new)

Magdelanye | 625 comments @CynthiaA
How nice to confirm that i am not the only one doing this! Sometimes i do wonder if I've become too fanatic about this, when i note how much time it takes from actual reading, but my habit is to mark exemplary passages with post its as i read. then transfer them to a notebook kept for the purpose. In fact, it does help to reinforce my appreciation of a book and to refer to when writing reviews. And of course it is a good reference for my imperfect memory.
Ive been doing this for years and find i go through one of these journals every 6 months or so. It's very useful to have an index as well,especially when i cant remember if ive actually read a book or just about it!


message 36: by CynthiaA (new)

CynthiaA (bookthia) | 121 comments Magdelanye wrote: "@CynthiaA
How nice to confirm that i am not the only one doing this! Sometimes i do wonder if I've become too fanatic about this, when i note how much time it takes from actual reading, but my habi..."


Wow, Magdelayne, I think you are far more diligent at this than I am, LOL. I go through maybe a journal every 2 years, sometimes I can go a month or more without writing anything down. Other times I feel like I am copying entire books, LOL. I try to limit my excerpts to one or two sentences. I also re-read my journals on days when I'm feel a little out of sorts. Its quite amazing how much better they can make me feel. I feel like they are my own personal blessings.


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