Sunday, October 15, 2017

House Cup Reading Challenge | My Points Tracker

So I'm making this post as a place to track my progress on the House Cup Reading Challenge. I haven't set my reading list in stone as I'm a mood reader and I have a few review books I'm hoping to use for part of this challenge. I'm also hoping to complete some of the bonus challenges. So here's my way of tracking what I've read/plan to read. 

Here is a list of books that I'm hoping to read during the challenge (just not sure where they fit just yet, will assign a spot once I've read them). 

Funny enough, none of the above are even my current reads. Oops!

Main Challenge (20 points each)
First Year: reader’s choice
Second Year: reader’s choice
Third Year: reader’s choice
Fourth Year: reader’s choice
Fifth Year: reader’s choice
Sixth Year: reader’s choice
Seventh Year: reader’s choice

Bonus Challenges (10 points each)
Gryffindor: Read a book with an epic hero/heroine
Hufflepuff: Read a book that contains a strong friendship
Ravenclaw: Read a book that revolves around a mystery
Slytherin: Read a book set in a dystopian world
Astronomy Class: Read a book set in outer space
Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book that features an animal or magical/mythical creature
Tri-Wizard Tournament: Read a book that includes a competition
Occlumency: Read a book about a character with magical abilities or superpowers
Death Eater: Read a book told from the POV of a villain
Platform 9 3/4: Read a book that features travel
Time Turner: Read a book set in the future or past
Fantastic Beasts: Read a spin-off to a beloved series
Dumbledore’s Army: Buddy-read a book with a friend or group

Social Media Bonus Points
Use the hashtag #housecupreadingchallenge on Twitter to earn 1 point per tweet (limited to 20 points total).

Reasons I Love My Library! | Ontario Library Week 15-21 #GetTheCard

It's that time of year again where we celebrate and promote out local libraries! It's Ontario Library Week! I've decided this year that I'm going to make a post about all of the amazing reasons that I love my library.

My most recent reason for adoring my library is the children's area. Our library has an awesome play area with a train table, a giant Connect Four game, infant toy section, computers, craft area with weekly crafts, Lego/Mega Blocks, musical instruments, puzzles, colouring pages and more! And of course an overwhelming selection of board books, picture books, middle grade readers, DVDs, audiobooks, and video games to borrow!
Lately, I've been using the Overdrive application on my cell phone to listen to audiobooks and read ebooks. I love that I can download the books I'm wanting access to right on my phone and not need to run to the library to get them. I've been finding it easy to listen to books while I go for walks on my lunch hour or cutting the lawn. They have a wide selection of titles.

Hoopla is the newest application that I want to try, but I've heard amazing things from friends. I think it's going to be a handy way to watch TV shows and movies. I already have Netflix at home, but I think since there are a lot of shows missing or that have been retired from Netflix, that perhaps I'll be able to find them on there. I'll be giving it a try this week actually.

My local library hosts an annual Local Author Showcase in summer with used book sale. It's a host to a wide variety of authors from children's picture books and memoirs to both fiction and non-fiction. I've met quite a few interesting people when attending - like author/illustrator Peggy Collins.

Each week the head librarian writes an article for the local newspaper. The topics vary from new releases, upcoming programs, tips on picking the right book for you, etc. I love ripping open the paper to see what she'll write next. It's how I found out about Blind Date With A Book years ago.

They also attend the Farmer's Market and have a booth for kids to listen to stories and play games and make crafts while their parents are shopping the booths. Sometimes they even have surprise guests like Belle!

Our library has an amazing YA section and graphic novel selection. I know they are trying to appeal to the younger generations and I think they are doing a great job in our town.These sections keep growing and they are sure to bring in the hottest new releases.

There are some really fun programs that our library has started and continues to run each year. Some of my favourites are Graffiti in the Margins (I still need to try this, but I've been donating books to use), Blind Date With A Book for both adults and children (my first and second years participating), Teen Paint Nites, lending of telescopes for use at the viewing center, bicycles to use around town, museum passes for local places and in bigger cities and GPS lending for geocaching in the area. Our library is so much more then books!
I love that there are multiple branches to reach as much of the community as possible. I've attended three of the locations and they are all different. The one closest to me just closed down as it was tiny and not visited enough (which made me sad because it was a five minute walk), the main branch which hosts many of the exciting events they have during the year and another branch about a 20 minutes drive from my home that seems to be the children and teen hub (it happens to be located at the community centre where the swimming pool and arena are located).

Our library has a very active social media presence and they are interactive with those that reach out to them. I follow them via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I love interacting with them whether it's to ask a specific question, to find out upcoming events or discuss a great new read.

Overall, I love their dedication to community involvement both in person and via online avenues. It just shows their dedication to their clients and their understanding of the changing needs in our society. I'm hoping to pass along my love of reading and libraries to my daughter and they are already making my job that much easier with all that they do.

A post shared by Chrystal (@snowdropdreams) on

I also have access to another library system close by in the city that I work and I've been lucky enough to check out some of the amazing things they do as well, including a traveling exhibit about Anne Frank. But since we moved five years ago, I only visit this one a few times a year now.

So tell me what you love most about your local library. Do they have any interesting or unique programs that I should ask my library to try?

Friday, October 6, 2017

My Life In Books Tag

I'm struggling with getting caught up on book reviews, so I decided to do some tags and memes to get my blogging mojo back. I stumbled upon this tag over at Novel Ink and thought it would be fun to do. Feel free to comment or compete this tag yourself.

Find a book for each of your initials.

C - Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley
R - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
S - The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Count your age along your bookshelf, which book is it?

37 - Delirium by Lauren Oliver (funny enough, I recently listened to the audiobook version of this book to tick it off my TBR list)

Pick a book set in your city/state.

I have not read this yet, but it's sitting on my Kindle App waiting to be read. It's set in my province of Ontario and written by a local author. Waiting for the Storm (Angel Island #1) by Marie Landry.

Pick a book that represents a destination you'd love to visit.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch - My mother in law and sister in law went to Venice last spring and I would have loved to go with them, but I was pregnant at the time. Their stories of their travels of Italy have made me want to go there more then ever.

Pick a book that's your favourite colour.

Aqua/Turquoise/Teal - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - this is still on my TBR shelf and I've heard such great this about it. I really do need to get a move on and tick this off my list.

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

The Baby-Sitter's Club series by Ann M. Martin and Fear Street series by R.L. Stine. These were the books in my pre-teen and teen years that I adored the most. I had huge collections of them and wish I still had them.

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Hmm... Off the top of my head I remember an Anne Rice novel, The Wolf Gift. I just could not get into it AT ALL. I try not to DNF books, but I have done it more often in the past few years and this was one of the first I had ever DNFd.

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment when you finish it?

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - Two reasons. It's a big book and I don't read many that are this long. And this was my Mom's copy of her favourite book ever and I just haven't brought myself to read it yet. I wish I had read it while she was still alive so we could talk about it once I read it. (I also have never watched the movie, which happened to be my Mom's favourite movie too).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai | Review

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb and Archie Panjabi
Published: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Length: 10 CDs
Received: purchased
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE "I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday."

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

Inspiring! And at such a young age. How else do you sum up what Malala makes you feel. Not only did she survive such a horrific attack, but she continues to fight the good fight for the rights to education for girls around the world. Absolutely a person that I hope my daughter can look up to when she grows up. 

I had heard about Malala many years ago after learning about the attack. But only recently had I thought to learn more about her. I watched the documentary, He Named Me Malala, via Netflix. This then prompted me to check out her book. As I had contemplated buying the book versus borrowing from my library, I stumbled upon the audiobook version for sale at my local thrift store and just knew this was the way I was meant to learn her story. And am I ever glad I did. I think listening to Malala's story in her own voice is far more impacting than just reading her words on paper. I always love when an audio version of an autobiography is read by the author so you can enjoy the story the way they intended each moment to feel.

From the beautiful descriptions of her life growing up in the Swat Valley to the agonizing recovery after that attack, Malala's story is truly a wonderful autobiography that people of all ages should read/listen to. Her discussions include politics in her village, the Taliban, the right to education, the insane personal attack on her family and her new life after leaving the only home she's ever known.

Malala is such a strong young woman and to be able to stand up for her beliefs at such a young age, even knowing the possible retribution she and her family could face, is absolutely courageous. She gives me hope for future generations. 

Her story both made me proud and brought me to tears. This is the kind of story that stays with you and makes you want to be better and do better. Listening to her, as she reads, allows you a peak into a world that many are ignorant of. Malala truly uses her voice to draw attention to important matters, to ask the hard questions and to find the truth that is out there.

I'm happy that she survived such a cruel and brutal attack, amazed at her strength to continue on fighting for what she believes in and her resolve to one day move home to the valley she so misses.

About the Author:
Malala Yousafzai is a 16 years student from Swat, Pakistan. She is studying in 8th class. She wrote a diary for BBC in early 2009 with a different name "Gul Makai", she wrote about the critical situation in Swat at that time. She later on became famous and worked for children rights in Swat, Pakistan.

She was nominated for a children award by an international organization in 2011. She appeared on many national and international news channels, TV channels and newspapers. She is a brave girl and has the ability to speak out the truth. She struggled for children's Education in her region Swat. She struggled when the militants were fighting against Pakistan Army in Swat and was banning girls' school in Swat.

On 8th October 2012 she was attacked in Swat when coming back from school to home, and thus we created this blog to share love for her and share all the facts about Malala.

Malala is now living and studying in the United Kingdom, and she has started going to school. -source

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