Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekly Geeks - Confession Time

Hmmm, an interesting twist into the lives of the geeks this week - guilty pleasures. Here's the outline:

So. Weekly Geeks, we're going into the confessional this week.

What's your non-reading guilty pleasure?
Trashy TV?
Trashier movies?
Junk food?

Share with the group. :)

Well, my first guilty pleasure is a reading one that I love and hate all at the same time...Danielle Steel novels. Arg, I just admitted it on my book blog, none of you will ever take me seriously again. I go through these phases where I will read a half dozen of her books all at once and then get so pissed of at them for their trashiness and that I've enjoyed the trashiness, that I don't go near them for another year or so. My addiction/love/hate relationship with them started when I was about 15. They were the first 'grown up' books I read. So blame it on Thurston House for better or for worse.

That's probably my biggest guilty pleasure. 2nd to that would be BBQ Lays Chips and Sour Cream (the real stuff, not the light). I can run through a tube of those like nobody's business and I try not to dwell on that one because I've been really good on quitting that addiction since the fall (with one little slip a little more recently than I'd like)

So there you have it my 2 big confessions all laid out for you, I feel like I should do something rather intellectual now like read Tolstoy while sipping a cappucino (but let's be honest, I've done neither of those either)

''you end up sitting in front of the television watching these programmes eating bread from the bag... dipping it in anything runnier than bread'' - Dylan Moran

Charlie All Night by Jennifer Cursie

I knew I needed something light this weekend - a sort of reading boost if you will, something I could read quickly and enjoy. This did the trick. It's not a great book, but it'll work. It would be a good on the beach for summer sort of book. The premise is Allie (a radio producer) meets Charlie (her new DJ) and has a one night stand...or is it? That part of the story is fairly predictable. Cursie does get involved in some other topics that I wasn't expecting, but it was like she was trying to do a little too much. Either stay light and fluffy or write something serious. The only author I've read that can do both is Marian Keyes and this book didn't live up to that standard. I may pick up another of Cursie's books at a later date though, at least I know I'm getting into a predictable, quick read with her and there is a definate market for that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Resistance by Anita Shreve

So, I admit it took me a bit to get into this book. But I think that was just me and the state of mind I've been in. I think I'd have been better off picking a light, fluffy read this week. I'm glad I stuck with this book though because it really is so well done. You know the story is well written when you can see it. And I can.
Set in Belgium in WWII, Resistance tells the tale of an American pilot who crashes into a small village and the people that live there. In particular is Claire, a woman who works on the secret lines transporting people through Belgium to freedom.
It's one of those books that I really don't want to say a lot about because I may say too much and give away the whole of the story. I do reccommend this book, with warning that it is very real (this isn't a romantic, light wartime book). Once I got into it, I really couldn't put it down.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Monday

I'll admit it, I've been having a kind of blah reading week. I'm just not getting into anything right now. The two that I've been flipping back and forth on are: Resistance by Anita Shreve and Vanity Fair (still) by William Thackery

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Hey everyone! I'm hosting a giveaway on my recipe blog here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I read this book. This was Picoult second published book and so much better than Songs of the Humpback Whale. It's like she needed a second go at it to really find her voice in storytelling. This story wasn't as ambitious as the first. Though there are 2 points of view (Nicholas and Paige), Paige's is the only one told in the first person. You still get an amazing sense of character and character insight this way. Picoult writes people and situations very well. Part of this story deals with post-partum depression and though I only ever suffered from the baby blues and not full blown depression myself, I really felt Paige's anguish and suffering. She does an excellent job with this. This book is still not the trademark Picout style that you would be used to from some of her newer books, but it is well written never the less and very enjoyable.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Monday

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekly Geeks - A Literary Tour

This week's Geek's challenge was to take a literary tour of our hometown and share it. I had 2 options with this one. The first was to take my current hometown and write about it. The second was to take the hometown I grew up with and write that instead. Both towns are nowhere near each other. (The first is in New Brunswick, the 2nd in British Columbia). I decided to go with my current hometown because of Stompin' Tom Connors.

Stompin' Tom is a Canadian legend! He is the author of over 300 songs, the most famous being...?

Sing along everyone!
Hello out there, we're on the air, it's 'Hockey Night' tonight.
Tension grows, the wistle blows, and the puck goes down the ice.
The goalie jumps, and the players bump, and the fans all go insane.
Someone roars, "Bobby Scores!", at the good ol' Hockey Game.

:: CHORUS ::
OH! The good ol' Hockey game, is the best game you can name.
And the best game you can name, is the good ol' Hockey game.

Second Period.

Where players dash, with skates aflash, the home team trails behind.
But they grab the puck, and go bursting up, and they're down across the line.
They storm the crease, like bumble bees, they travel like a burning flame.
We see them slide, the puck inside, it's a 1-1 hockey game.


Third Period. Last game of the playoff too!

Oh take me where, the hockey players, face off down the rink.
And the Stanley Cup, is all filled up, for the champs who win the drink.
Now the final flick, of a hockey stick, and the one gigantic scream.
"The puck is in! The home team wins!", the good ol' hockey game.

(Chorus x3)

The Hockey Song is by far the most requested song by my middle schoolers. They love it! They vie to be the class the gets to perform it at our Christmas Concert. It's classic (anything that will get middle school boys to sing is good for me).

My hockey loving 4 year old son loves it too. Fortunately, it has been made into a children's book, titled "Hockey Night Tonight"

He may not be fancy, but he is truly Canadian and we love him! Stompin' Tom Connors from Saint John, New Brunswick.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekly Geeks: All About Bookmarks

I am a non-bookmark kind of reader. I have tried in the past to like bookmarks. I have been given many, many, many bookmarks over the course of my life, but truly, I don't use them. They get lost or put away somewhere so they are never handy for when I need them. I'm a fold the page down to mark my place kind of reader. I also use the tried and true 'let the book rest upside down to the page I'm at' technique. I do have 2 exceptions to this rule, and they are both for my Bible reading. My regular size study Bible has a ribbon attached to it that I will use to mark my place, or a passage that I want to come back to. I like the ribbon because it never gets lost, it's right on the book. The 2nd Bible is my pocket thin NIV that I bought specifically to carry to work or wherever the day takes me. I specifically went out and bought a magnet bookmark for this. Again, this bookmark never gets lost because it attaches via the magnet. Because the Bible is a book I read again and again I never put that bookmark anywhere else. Other books I spend a couple of days on and then I'm onto the next read so a bookmark wouldn't make sense for me for them.
As for odd bookmarks? Hmmm, the one that comes to mind wasn't for a reading book, but rather my dayplanner for work, I stuffed a CD in this week to mark my spot, a first for me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thames Does Not Rhyme With James by Paula Danzinger

My classroom is being painted this week so I am temporarily teaching out of the library. I don't get into the school library very often and my visits to the children's section at the public library are guided by finding good picture books for my kids. As my eyes looked over the shelves, the name Paula Danzinger jumped out at me. I loved her books when I was a pre-teen. There were some old favorites there as well as a few new to me. I realised that this one (Thames Does Not Rhyme With James) was a sequel to my favorite of hers (Remember Me To Harold Square). She had written and published it after I had grown out of her books. So I grabbed it off the shelf and enjoyed a trip through nostalgia for about an hour. I really enjoyed it. I read a book like this and I wonder why more pre-teens don't pick up her books. You read it and it sounds like a teen age girl thinks and speaks. It was very well done.

Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult

This is an earlier writing of Picoult and it shows. It's still well written, but it's missing some of the elements that she's developed in her newer work. She still writes from many character viewpoints, but I found myself confused trying to figure out what point in time we were in in several spots (it jumps back and forth quite a bit). I'm still not sure what the point of the story was, I felt a little let down at the end. I know that since Picoult has become a 'hot' writer they've republished and remarketed her books. It's just interesting to take an earlier one and see where she has come as a writer. If you enjoy Picoult's books, you'll probably enjoy this, maybe just not as much as other ones that she has written.

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

It was half-way through This Charming Man when I remembered why I enjoy her writing so much. I first starting reading her when I found her listed among the names of Chick Lit authours. And she does fit that category; however, I think she's more than that. She takes the story and twists it so that instead of a light and fluffy book you realise that you are dealing with quite a heavy topic (or topics as in this case). It takes you by surprise and whacks you in the face. By then you are so engrossed in the story you can't put it down.
This book is written in a multi-narrated style. There are 4 different women whose story you follow. The timeline stays constant (with a few flashbacks interspersed). The women are all connected through a relationship that they have had with Paddy de Courcy (hence the title). Some people really don't like that sort of writing style, to follow one voice and then switch to another. I like it. I find it lends more angles to the story.
I really enjoyed this book overall. I felt like it was a satisfying read and I look forward to her next book.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Monday

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes