#TBT Review: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Aslanea

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: January 2005

Read: March 2014

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) ‘Girls of Riyadh’ captures the trials and tribulations of a middle-class society quite unlike our own and blows the lid off all our preconceptions of Arab life.

Review: This was an interesting book that I am glad I read but will probably not read again. It is a story about four different women who is from Saudia Aribia or lives there now. Being someone who has never traveled there or known anyone from this particular country I can’t say for sure if it’s an honest telling but I can say it’s an interesting take on a different culture and society which I will never be  a part of. I do know people who are Arab but I was unable to ask them if they can vouch for this book or not.

Each story is different and follows the women through a part of their life. New love, going to school, going to America are some of them.

Some of the stories are great, as the women who find love and go to school have wonderful and fulfilling lives and are happy. They set their own rules and do what they want to do and makes their dreams come true. Despite their dreams being different from each other.

The story of the women who went to America bothered me a lot. I know this much happen a lot but it was still hard to read. Her husband turned out to be super abusive and she had a child and came back to her parents but because was getting a divorce and had a child she was an outcast and unloved and considered below everyone. I could not even imagine what it’s like to be like this and it hurts to read about despite it probably being true.

This was a story that was well written despite the content and I think it’s important to read and learn about other cultures despite not agreeing with them. I feel this is a good book to read now as with what is going on in the world and the views that are expressed about cultures like this one.

I will not read it again but I am glad I read it once.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS STORY IF YOU LIKE: Different cultures, stories about women, stories about different women, fiction like The Kite Runner.

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Review: Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

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Category: YA Fiction (Teen)

Published: October 2008

Read: December 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Review: This was a great read to kick off another holiday season. The perfect part about reading this book is that when I started to read it, it actually started to snow where I live. It was a pretty picture to go along with my book. I have also never read any of these authors (I know not even John Green) and was excited to check out a bit of their work. 7201c0d4401ed6af670b5986412cc751

I am a huge fan of short stories and these did not disappoint. The book consists of three stories from each author. They are all set to the back drop of a HUGE snow storm hitting a small town. When they talk snow storm they are talking, white out and can’t drive anywhere snow storm. Stop a train snow storm! They are all connected as only stories set in a small town where everyone knows everyone can.

blizzard-011You start out with The Jubliee Express by Maureen Johnson. It’s about a girl Jubliee who is on her way to visit her Grandmother in a quick last min trip and get’s stranded in said small town when her train breaks down. She meets Stewart who lets her come to her house to stay. Minus the never go anywhere with a stranger thing that bothered me it was a cute story where two people who don’t know proper romance love meet, and well…the rest I am sure you can figure out. They are both strong characters and mesh well together.

The second story is by the famous John Green, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle. I must say I LOVED this story by far. I found it funny and action packed and great characters. You meet one who’s catch phrase “Ass Hat” is used throughout and I must say I noticed I was saying it myself as I was reading this book. It’s a cute story of three friends trying to make their way to the waffle house because there are cheerleaders stranded from the storm. To teenage boys this is a really big deal. Chaos ensues as different groups try to make it there in this storm. Hence the humour throughout the whole story. For my first John Green story I was impressed and loved it. From this alone I would read another one of his books. 7502878b29ed67ed816baf4b1323c75a

The last story if about Addy, in The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle. I didn’t like this one so much and this is why I gave the book a 4/5. I found the main character very whiny and I couldn’t stand her at all. I know the story was about her and getting over her “me me me” attitude but it was hard for me to get over it. It wasn’t  a bad story but it was annoying and I found myself just struggling to get through.

For a teen book it is what you expect. There was talk of sex and some drugs but nothing hard core. It would be a good read for the younger to the older teens, and a great little book full of Christmas spirit. It is all based around Christmas eve and morning so that is the nice part about it. I would recommend this as a stocking stuffer or a great gift for any teen girl or anyone who loves quick short romance stories without the heave PDA.

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My Board Book Recommendations

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As a soon to be second time parent and with lots of people i know having babies I thought it was about time I did a list of what I think are great board books. I have also noticed that a lot of people are giving books instead of cards for baby showers. So if you’re in a stitch and need to find a good one check out this list.

There are books you wouldn’t normally think of but are gems in themselves. I know the classics are always good go to’s but these are also good choices 😀

BEDTIME 

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Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin 

This is a cute little book. It’s not too long and not so short you’re looking for another one. It’s good for both boys and girls and the illustrations are very beautiful. It’s about the different animals that take you to your dreams and how you get there. It’s one of the favourites I read with my son nightly. If you’re looking for a good bedtime book this is my pick. It’s beautiful in both words and pictures and would be a great addition to your bedtime routine.

INTERACTION 

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Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter

This is a book that first came out as a 3-5 book but was turned in to a board book and its super cute. It’s part of the interaction books where it get’s your wee ones involved and they will have just as much fun as you. It’s not long book  and the illustrations are simple but it’s still great. My son loves this one and will push the “button” and shake the book when needed. If you likes these books that get’s this involved this is one for you as it will start them on the path to these kinds of books and when they are older, and a bit more gentle on their books you can bring in some of the 3-5.

COUNTING  

9780670060306 Corduroy’s Day by Don Freeman 

This is a great counting book and not one you can find in most book stores, so it might have to be ordered online. It’ counts up to 10 with things like what Corduroy has for breakfast, playing with trucks and having cupcakes with friends. It’s short and sweet and the illustrations are rich and full of color. It’s a take on a classic and a great way to start counting things with the little ones.

ABC’S 

51NehYp+G-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_My First ABC, a DK Book

There are a lot of books like this out there and we have most of them but this one is great. ABC books are fun but I find the best ones are the ones with actual pictures. This helps them connect the letters with real life items and with great wonderful pictures this is my big book. There are a few items per letter which also helps. I find the best pictures are the animals and they are clear and precise.  

FUNNY 

7e36a7cf3f77d509da5b8e80113e2bd6 Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein

This one is a super funny book. A Dinosaur that just wants a kiss but some things turn out bad…like you accidentally eat a bug you were trying to kiss. It’s one you can enjoy reading out loud because of the different voices you can use and get the kids involved as well. It’s a short but fun book and the illustrations are fun as well with the main dinosaur being super cute. This one is great for both boys and girls and one you won’t find is being given by a lot of other people.

FUNNY BONUS 

amon001 Another Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone 

This is just like the first classic Monster at the End of the Book but this time with Elmo included. It’s funny and stays true to the classic. Simple illustrations and a comic book form of writing. If you little one liked the first one make sure to pick up the 2nd. I also recommend this as a “book as a card” gift as it’s cute and can be again used for both boys and girls.

ANIMALS

a373d89f1d11eb00e4bf5a864ea641fbTHe Babies and Doggies Book by John and Molly

Last and not least is this little gem. This was given to my son as a gift and he loves it. I have heard, and don’t quote me on this, but it’s good to have books with real life pictures of babies as it makes it more interesting for the wee ones. this is a book that compares babies and doggies and what they do…like eating and playing and sleeping. There are all kinds of dogs and different babies of all kinds of ages and backgrounds. It’s fun and it rhymes and it’s a great little story. Especially if you’re a dog lover this one has to be in your library.

 

So these are my choices for books and I hope they help you in some way. I am in love with board books and I have so many but it’s totally worth it when you help a kid read. I am also a big fan of them for gifts and think you can pair a book with any gift to make it magical. 

If you have any to add let me know 😀 I’d love to hear your opinion on what your favourite board book might be 😀 

 

It Happened…A Book Catastrophe!

So a quick little story for you all about what happened to me. I had left my book at work the other day. download

To give you a little perspective, I have been an avid reader my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t reading a book. Most of these times they have gone with me everywhere. Not so much during high school but every job I have had since I have taken my book to read on break or during my lunch. So taking it to work this fateful day was not out of the norm.

It was on my desk and then when I get home I realize that I didn’t have it. I was busy at work and was rushed out after my shift so maybe that is how I forgot?

imagesI was in shock. This has NEVER happened in my life before and I didn’t know what to do. I am a creature of habit and I read every night before bed and what do I do when I don’t have a book to read? I am not one of those people to have a lot of books on the go, so I couldn’t start another one. I just hoped that the book was actually at work and didn’t fall out somewhere, then what could I do? I’d have to finish it somehow !

I did what any normal book-worm would do, I went through the stages of grief at the loss of my book. I know what your thinking it’s only one night, but one night is a night too long for me. shocked-face

I ended up grabbing some of the many magazines that I have to read. It was not the same, it felt weird reading them before bed but I had to have something.

The next day I went back to work and behold, my book ❤ I was so happy that I had it back in my hands and every day now I am making sure it’s in my bag before I leave. I can’t believe this happened to me, but I guess even the most avid book lover can have these mishaps. There is always hope that it will never happen again and all I can do is be more vigilant.

This is my story and I am happy I can share it with you all. Do you know where your book is?

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An Ode To Bookmarks

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What can I say I love bookmarks. They are the one thing that every book lover has. And if you don’t actually own a book mark you have something that passes for one. This is also an ode to those as well.

Book marks keep your spot in a book. They make the spot obvious if you happen to drop the book. I don’t know how or why but the book mark will actually leave a small opening where you last were. Unless you just put in there and then book falls…than your out of luck until you find your page again.

Bookmarks are a reflection of who you are. You pick ones that you love and that are something that appeals to you. You can find ones for anything and everything from Harry Potter, to animals and even Star Wars. You can find ones that are strings or just clip on to your book. What ever your heart’s desire you can probably find in a book mark.
bookmark Some people have book marks that they keep forever. I have one that I have been using for about 5 years now. Thank goodness it came with a protective plastic covering or else I wouldn’t have it now. I am not that nice on my book marks. I take them out, put them down and sometimes forget where I put it, and then I realize I am actually sitting on it.

Some people don’t use them but turned down the pages corners. Now I am not going to knock people who do this, it’s their choice, but I am not one of those people and I hate seeing books with turned down corners. I feel like a book cries every time this happens.

So this ode is to the wonderful book marks. Who keep our places in our books, who are there through many many books and many many years. I am happy that these monster_bookmarks_460were invented and that I can use them to save my books from too many turned down pages. So please take a moment and appreciate how wonderful and great these little things can be.

Organizing Book Shelves

Hello Everyone!

I have spent this weekend organizing my book shelves down stairs. We are turning the big room we have in to a play room/library. So a place I can hang out with my son, which is super exciting. It’s a lot of work thou and it’s amazing of how many books I actually have. 0ae02e99-fdec-4060-955c-6e12a8a72abe

There are some things I have realized about this process. I have way to many books. I know I am surprised I am actually saying this but it’s true. I am in need of at least two more shelves. I get so many books I actually had a ton of doubles. There are a lot of books that looking at them now I realize I would never read them, not that they are bad but because I don’t have time and they just don’t appeal to me. It also takes forever to organize. Even if your books to put away are already in alphabetical order.

So it’s done for now, I am waiting for more book shelves to finish. I have Adult fiction to go starting at M. It looks fabulous and I am super excited we are getting somewhere. It’s also important to point out that I have left room for more books…because in reality that is SOOO going to happen.

d0f76931-1f76-4977-ae03-27f412438747So here are a few tips to use when organizing your books:

-Make sure you have a plan of action. How are you going to organize? I do Alphabetical by last name, but some people go by genre, and sometimes even by color (I have to applaud these people I could not organize this way).

-Be honest with yourself, are you really going to read this? Even if it’s five years from now make sure you want to read it or it appeals to you because otherwise it’s just going to sit on your shelf and take up space and collect dust.

-Make sure you donate anything you don’t want. Books are gold and if your reject book helps someone become a lover of reading than all the better. Do not recycle or throw them away.

-You can stack them up or put them side by side, or go crazy and do both. Makes for a better catch of the eye.

-Your going to get hurt. The books will fall  on you, you will have paper cuts and bumps and a few bruises. Do not keep hand sanitizer closer because this will only worsen the pain. Remember, this too shall pass.

-Keep space for more. There will always be more. 54f2a19c-f919-4908-a3fd-859c1f47f014

-Put the kids books where they can reach them and pick out their own. I am waiting for the day that this happen with my son.

-Be prepared, it is a workout, and will feed as such when you are done.

These are a few good tips to start with. I am sure there are many more but these were my go to all weekend. I am hoping to get shelves soon and get it finally finished. The best part is when you are done, it’s the greatest feeling of the world. I can’t wait to sit down there and look at all my BOOKS 🙂

Book Covers 101

You have all heard that saying “never judge a book by its cover” and quite frankly this is just not true when it comes to actual books. We all do it, we all judge the books by their covers. I know I have, there are many books I have not picked up and read because of how the cover looked. It didn’t appeal to me, it didn’t look like a good story…or it just didn’t even catch my eye.  Then there are covers that are beautiful and amazing and pieces of work in and of themselves.  Book covers, or so I believe, can make or break a book. If it’s a great cover, you hear about it and you see it all over social media.

You can also tell the type of book (usually) by the book cover. This helps you determine what kind of book it is even if you are not looking at the back or inside cover. myfairvikingRomance usually has half-naked men and windswept hair. 9-12 books are usually drawn covers with action happening. Teens can vary depending on if they are fantasy or romance. So you see even different age groups you can usually figure out what group they genera they belong to just by the cover. Although Adult Fiction can 15507958vary as well, most of them are simple pictures and the title or author in big letters.

Some covers are simple and some are so complicated. It’s great when you get a little bit of what the story is on the cover but when it’s just two people or a single object it’s hard to convey the message of what this book is about. Then you have the random books that have something on the cover and once you finish the book you realize it has actually nothing to do with the story.

Some of my favourite covers are the 3-5 age group. You always get an idea of what the story is about, and usually the pictures are rich in color and so well drawn they are beautiful in and of themselves.

Some of my favourite covers ever are the following:

5043 51L9OpRzjIL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_02 The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 9781594634475_custom-a1c60d0db7c4d3d9fce99ec338b463c8ea95ca03-s400-c85

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As you can see they range in how they look and you can kind of get what each book is about a little bit. You can also see that my examples are exactly what I described above. Now are any of these books ones you’d want to read because of the cover alone? I can tell you that for certain I have picked up all of these books because the cover was so appealing I had to find out what the book was about.

The other things about covers is when they change. Harry Potter is a great example of this. It’s hard to find original covers anymore and they are gold when you do find them. Sometimes you should just not mess with perfection.

So the next time you go in to a book store, check out the covers you are drawn too. Also check out the ones that don’t appeal to you. Even thou the cover might not be pretty or doesn’t match the story it could still be the best read of your life. So in conclusion judge a book by its’ cover, but then again…don’t!

What are some of your favourite covers?

Happy reading fellow book lovers.