Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford | Audiobook from library - I was just looking for some books to listen to as this seems to be the best way for me to fit in my reading lately. I listen while driving to and from work. This is my current audiobook in the car this week.

Island Girls by Nancy Thayer | This was another audiobook from the library. I had been eyeing this cover since I saw it on an end cap in Chapters a few months back.

The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff | This was a used bookstore find from a few years ago and I only just read this a few months ago. It was one of those books that looked interesting, but stayed on my bookshelf for a few years.

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan | Stumbled upon this one during a library visit last year. The title and cover drew me in. You can read my review here.

Goodnight, Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros | This was a book I picked up at the pharmacy. I was drawn to the cover and title yet again, but it sat on my bookshelf for at least a year. It was one of the books I packed to read during a trip and I adored it. Check out my review here.

Room by Emma Donoghue | This was a thrift store find that sat on my shelf for some time. The cover and title drew me in. I know it was a popular book, but when I bought it I had no idea that it was out there. Amazing story.

Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas | Bought this in an airport in Mexico. I was all out of books to read and I needed something for the flight home. This caught my eye as I'd read at least one of her books before. This was a quick read.

Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield | Bought from used bookstore a few years back, but didn't read it until I packed it for a trip. The cover and title drew me in right away.

Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi | Stumbled upon this at Walmart. Totally loved the cover and that it was about a librarian. Check out my review here.

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen | Stumbled upon this one at the library when I was browsing the YA section. Love the cover. Check out my review here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Toddlers Are A**holes by Bunmi Laditan | Review

Toddlers Are A**holes (It's Not Your Fault) by Bunmi Laditan
Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Workman Publishing Group
Pages: 176
Received: borrowed from library and then purcashed and ebook version

Toddler a**holery is a normal part of human development—not unlike puberty, except this stage involves throwing food on the floor and taking swings at people who pay your way in life. For parents of toddlers, it's a "you better laugh so you don't cry" period.

Bunmi Laditan's hilarious, satirical guide to toddlerhood offers parents instant (and very welcome) comic relief—along with the very good news that "It's Not Your Fault." Chapters cover the cost of raising a toddler, feeding your toddler, potty-training, tantrums, how to manage the holidays, and "how not to die inside." Parents will see themselves in the very funny sections on taking your toddler to restaurants ("One parent will spend their time walking your toddler around the restaurant and outside like a cocker spaniel, while the other, luckier parent will eat alone."), Things You Thought You'd Never Say That You Now Say As a Parent of a Toddler ("I can tell you're pooping because your eyes are watering."), and how to order pizza ("Spend $40 on pizza delivery. Listen to your toddler cry for 30 minutes about how the pizza is all wrong. Watch your toddler take a small bite of crust. Google 'can anger give you a heart attack?' Start the bedtime routine.").

Laditan's wildly funny voice has attracted hundreds of thousands of fans of Honest Toddler on social media; here she speaks parent-to-tired-parent, easing the pains and challenges of raising toddlers with a hefty dose of adult humor and wit.

My baby hasn't even made it into the world (7 weeks to go), but I was getting tired of reading books about pregnancy and babies. I stumbled upon Bunmi Laditan's facebook page due to friends liking some of her posts and it making it's way to me feed. I adored Bunmi's honesty and the fact that she is not afraid to share what it feels like to be a Mom who is not perfect and who doesn't strive to be the picture perfect mommy (aka the Sanctiparent/Sanctimommy). She is sassy, witty and honest. I want to be her best friend!

So I quickly reserved her book Toddlers Are A**holes from the library and after two chapters, I jumped online to order the Kindle version for my tablet as I know it is a book I will want to look back on to remind me that I am not losing my mind, that kids are crazy and it's okay to not be perfect. 

She tells it like it is. She calls out those who make others feel small and imperfect. She makes jokes out of the everyday things that happen in life with a toddler. Sure some are over the top (and probably never happen), but most are to make you laugh and not feel alone.It's parody people!

Pretty much anything you want to know about raising a toddler is in this book. You need to take the entire thing with a grain of salt and a dose of  humour, but it's so hilarious that you'll want a copy for yourself.

Sections about "Grooming Your Goblin", "Mealtime aka Hell", "How Not To Die Inside" and "Rites of Passage" are just a few of the chapters that are filled with wisdom, anecdotes and lists. 

If you haven't checked out her website, do it! Or check our her facebook page. You won't regret it. Remember to bring your sense of humour.

About the Author: 
Bunmi Laditan is a contributor to Parenting.com, Mothering.com, iVillage.com, and The Huffington Post. She lives with her family outside of Montreal. The Honest Toddler is based on her youngest child. Not potty trained, not trying, HT enjoys attention, cake, television, running & games.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Life Update/Semi-Hiatus

Those who have still been following my blog know that I am expecting my first child in about 8 weeks. This has slowed down my blogging substantially. I have still been reading (mostly listening to audio books), but haven't had the motivation to write any reviews/blog posts for the last little while. 

Baby S has been taking all of my energy and I have been sleeping as much as I can and getting things organized for her arrival, before my life changes dramatically. ;) My office had to move to make room for a baby room (you don't realize how many books you own until you have to move them all). I purged a ton of them by either donating, giving to friends or selling. I still have a ton on my TBR that I could not part with. I hope that I can read a bit here and there after she arrives. I'll just have to figure out when and how. 

I'm currently reading two books and have one audio book on the go. 

Bunmi Laditan's book Toddlers Are A**holes is hilarious. And I highly suggest checking out her facebook page. I will probably be writing a review on this one soon as I really am enjoying it. 

Undead and Unwary is a guilty pleasure of mine. I love the Undead series by MJD.

And yet another audio book of Kathy Riech's Temperance Brennan series. I love these books. I am finally catching up on all of the books I've missed in the series. I have another audio book of hers ready to go after I finish this one (which will probably be tomorrow). So far Bones Are Forever is a really great read - I love that it's based in Canada this time (most of her books are between Canada and US, but this one is all Canadian). I am enjoying the tidbits about real cases that have been added into this one (I have a lot of looking  things up to do after - I keep writing names and things down to learn more about). 

Anyway... I'm not disappearing all together. I'm just writing when I can and posting reviews, discussions etc when I get the chance. Hopefully after a few months I will get a schedule down so that I can write here and there more frequently while on maternity leave. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Still Mine by Amy Stuart | Review

Still Mine by Amy Stuart
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 320
Received: from publisher for honest review
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

The Girl on the Train meets The Silent Wife in this taut psychological thriller.



Clare is on the run.

From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she's hiding. As it turns out, she's hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna's golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna's overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.

Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she's still alive?

As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna's disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she's really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.

I think the thing I enjoyed most about this book was how you had to uncover more than one story - what happened to Clare and why she was in Blackmore and what happened to Shayna and why? Not only are you dealing with the mysterious disappearance, but you have a secondary mystery to unravel as well. It was very interesting to have this cross over. 

Clare's backstory was a little predictable once you found out more, but the interesting story of how she came to be in Blackmore was the intriguing part. You understand why she left her life, but not why is looking for this missing woman. It's pretty crazy and not what I would have thought at all. 

And Shayna, well her story is messed up too. I thought I had it all figured out, but then second guessed myself because I then thought my person of interest was too obvious and kept changing my ideas. Finally, I just stopped thinking and let it unravel quickly while reading it. 

I was engrossed by the stories of the town people and their way of life in such a remote place. Everyone knows one another, but not everyone gets along. There are long standing family feuds, gossips, and unemployed stragglers. The mix of people leave so many suspects and a lot of work for Clare. 

I loved that it was set in a mostly abandoned mountain town with so many colourful people. A nice change of pace from books set in cities or exotic locales. 

If you're looking for a good mystery novel for a summer read, this just might the book for you! It's engaging and a quick read.

About the author: 
Amy Stuart’s first novel, Still Mine, was recently released with Simon & Schuster Canada and is forthcoming with Touchstone Books in the US.

Currently at work on the sequel to Still Mine, Amy's writing has previously appeared in Exile Quarterly, the Vanderbilt CVC Anthology, Freefall Magazine and the Globe and Mail. She won the 2011 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Competition and was a finalist for the 2012 Vanderbilt/Exile Award. In 2012, Amy completed her MFA in Creative Writing through UBC under the mentorship of writer Lisa Moore. When not writing, she is a guidance counsellor at an alternative high school.

Amy was born in Toronto where she still lives with her husband and their three sons. Aside from writing, she loves hockey. Ice hockey. -source

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