Friday, December 12, 2008

Falling Down On This One, Aren't I?

Sorry for the lack of posts. Certainly not because I haven't been reading...just not writing about what I've read. I suppose I'm just waiting for that one, "Oh my God! You have to read this!" book to post about. I am currently reading the new Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed. It is great so far, so hopefully I will remember to write a review when I am done...

In the meantime, Happy Holidays, and go read!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Saint's For You!

From kindergarden to grade 13, I went to a Catholic school. In school we had religion classes, and hen we were being confirmed in grade 8, we had to pick out a saint in whose name we would be confirmed. So we spent the better part of a week poring over books of Catholic saints, looking for divine inspiration...then the girls in the class discovered that our teacher, Mrs. Kelly, was confirmed with a male saint's name, Saint Frederick.

After that, of course, all of the girls (or most of them anyway) leaned toward boy names, including myself. (Saint Robert). I had long-since forgotten what he was the saint of. I always told people that he was the patron saint of sarcasm...but for years I've been wanting to buy a book of saints.

Today I found a great one! "This Saint's For You!" by Thomas J. Craughwell has detailed information on "300 heavenly allies for architects, athletes, brides, bachelors, babies, librarians, murderers, whales, widows and you". And St. Robert? Turns out he is the patron saint of catechism teachers. Hmm. Who knew?

Cruising through this book has given me some new saints to pray to though, geared especially to me:

St. Expeditus: The Patron Saint of Procrasination (Feast Day, April 19). In art, he is often depicted trampling on a raven that is labelled "cras", Latin for "tomorrow".

St. Martha: Patron Saint of Those Stressed by Guests. She is a good pick for this, as who would be more stressed than the woman who served dinner to the Son of God?

St. Bonaventure: Patron Saint of Bowel Disorders. As a sufferer of IBS, I now know who to pray to in times of abdominal distress.


St. Marculf: Patron Saint of Skin Rashes. I am also the queen of brutal eczema, so this is a good one to know as well.

Listen, there is a helpful saint out there for all of you...

Parents of Disaapointing Children? Pray to St. Matilda
Physically Unattractive? Pray to St. Germaine Cousin
Sore Throat? Pray to St. Blaise
To Find a Husband? Pray to St. Andrew

There's hope for us all...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rock On

Okay, it's not that I haven't been reading...I am just terrible at getting on here to do a proper review.

Instead, here is a book that you MUST read, because it is hilarious, and I laughed out loud 20 times in 30 minutes.

It is Dan Kennedy's "Rock On: An Office Power Ballad". It is a memoir of Dan's 18th month stint at a record company in the death throes of the business. If you love music, you will love this book.

Think: The Office meets Atlantic Records. It's a win-win-win.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Delible by Anne Stone

Read or Pass?

Here is the jacket blurb, and why I picked it up to begin with:

"Growing up on Toronto's desolate margins in the eighties, sixteen-year-old Mel Sprague has a lot on her mind: The A-bomb. Acid rain. Where her dad's been hiding out for the last fifteen years....
Mel's younger sister, Lora, knows that despite her sister's 'talent for misery,' Mel's preoccupations aren't unusual. After all, Mel might stay out all night now and again, but in the Sprague family, teenagers are troubled by definition. When she vanishes, however, what were once the diversions of a teenage girl are taken up as evidence, leading investigators to ask if Mel Sprague chose to run away, this time for good. Lora, for her part, just knows that someone has taken her sister and, disquietingly, fears that it wasn't a stranger.
Being a fifteen-year-old girl isn't easy — and that's without experiencing an event that transforms everyone in your life into a suspect or a potential victim. Before her sister vanished, Lora's world was relatively simple, but Mel's disappearance creates a new and indelible division; everything changes, and there is nothing that is untouched by her loss.
Delible is Lora's story. Through her unblinking eyes, we witness one family's experience of sustained uncertainty and come to see how our identities also exist in those traces we leave behind."

I wanted to like this book. For a while, I did. But I thought that the book fell a little flat. Maybe I am just a person who likes loose ends to be tied up. I didn't honestly expect a chapter on the body being found, or a suspect arrested, but it is mostly a book of, in my opinion, disjointed thoughts with strange red herrings thrown in for good measure.

I read a review that compared this novel to Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones", a review that I thought was insulting. How can you compare? It is judging a high school essay against a classic novel.

So, my vote? Pass. Especially if you are a reader that needs some sort of literary meat to bite into, and not a gossamer veil of ponderings and teenage angst-inspired diatribes.

And with that, I am off to my book pile.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ready to Roll...

...or to read, as the case may be.

I have finished the Dexter series (which my brother mislabelled so I read them out of order 2,3,1, which irks me to no end!), and I read Flight of the Sparrow this morning, and found it as great a book today, as I did as a child. I must find a younglet to lend it to.

So now, I am ready to sit down and read my recent purchases and say my piece. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm Not Slacking...Honest!

I know I promised a book review...of the new books I recently bought. That was until my brother Paul brought me over 3 Dexter books. Have you read these? It is a series by Jeff Lindsay, (now a series on HBO) about a man who is a CSI blood splatter specialist by day, and a serial killer (of bad guys only) by night. Fabulous reads. It takes a really special writer to make the reader come to love the character of a sociopath.

I am currently on book two (of three that Paul lent me) so it may be a while before I get to my reviews of my other books.

Also, I ordered on-line (gotta love E-Bay, especially now, with our awesome Canadian dollar!) a book that I had loved, loved, loved in childhood, called The Flight of the Sparrow, by Julia Cunningham. I want to re-read that again soon, to see if it is as good as I remember it being at the age of 9.

So, be patient, and work your way through my previously posted recommended reads. Reviews to some. I promise :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

For the Love of a Good Book

I don't just love to read. I LOVE to read! As a speed-reader, I go through books at a pace too fast to suit me, but I can't slow myself down. And if the book is a good one, I will put aside most of my life to read it in a single sitting.

With a teensy bit of money burning a hole in my debit card, I headed over to Chapters this morning to pick up a few books. Thankfully, my buddy Patrick was working today, and got me his staff discount. I managed to save $29.67, so, you know...SWEET!

I had put out a request for recommended reads, and my friend Christy was astounded to hear that I had yet to read Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth", especially with its sequel "World Without End" just hitting #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers' List. So I dutifully picked that one up. I also bought "Delible" by Anne Stone, "Vandal Love" by D.Y. Bechard, and "A Hidden Life", by Adele Geras. Enough to keep me busy for the next couple of weeks.

The purpose of this new blog, at the behest of my friend Christine, was to review books that I have read, which I will do when I get through the first of my haul that I picked up today.

However, you won't have to wait to get a recommended read list from me. Here are a few books that I absolutely LOVED, and you must go out and read straight away:

"Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver
"Four Fires" by Bryce Courtenay
"My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult
"Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore

and for great "junk-food" reading:

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
"Sushi For Beginners" by Marion Keyes
"The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory

There. That should hold you for a while. Reviews coming soon. I'm off to read.