Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End Of The Year Post

Well it is the last night of 2008 and while I didn't make my 100 Book Challenge, I did read plenty of good books this year. In 2008 I read 93 books - I consider that pretty good for spending 6 months of the year in school and working full time. School always brings my reading down; I never get to read as much as I want to. Here is a bit of a breakdown of what I read:

Total: 94

Fiction: 81

Non Fiction: 13

Canadian: 6

British: 28

Indian: 3

American: 49

South African : 2

Japanese: 1

Turkish: 1

Australian: 1

Chilean: 1

German: 1

Libyan: 1

I am surprised at how many American authors I have read this year. I had fooled myself into thinking I had read many international books this year. I really should be reading more Canadian authors.
All in all it was a great year of reading and I hope to surpass my goal of 100 Books in 2009.

Happy Reading everyone and have a great new year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

This book was very interesting and I really really enoyed it. I have been lucky to get a great run of books lately. This book chronicles the life of Oscar and his family from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to where Oscar lives in New Jersy. It is a dark novel, with humor and sadness. Oscar is overweight, has never had a girlfriend and has never really fit in. Life is hard for him and the narrator says that is because a fuku (a curse) has been put on his family years ago and has brought bad luck to all his decendents. We learn about the horrors of the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic and how the people suffered. I really liked the footnotes in the novel that gave me a background on the Dominican and other characters that I didn't know about. I felt that this helped the book flow better and allowed me to really understand the book.

This is a great book to just sit down and read, with a cup of tea and no interruptions!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Bend İn The Road - Nıcholas Sparks

I always run to Nicholas Sparks books when I need a good read. This one was no exception. Set in North Carolina the novel is about Miles Ryan, the local deputy sheriff, who lost his wife in a hit and run 2 years before. He is raising his son alone and still trying to find the person that kiled his wife. Then he meets Sarah, his sons teacher and he falls in love. Of course with all Nicholas Sparks novels, its never that easy and the story is full of sadness and tragedy but is still uplifting. It is one of my favorite of his books and hope that someone makes it into a film!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

One of my favorite things to do since I was a little girl, is to find a great book and read it on Christmas Eve. I got a chance to do it this year and loved every minute of reading The White Tiger. This book is set in India (pretty much now-a-days) and is narrated by Balram, a driver turned entrepeneur, in Bangalore. This is a tale about Balram's life and how he got to be the successful man he is today by killing his employer. This is not a story about a cold-blooded killer but a story of the things people do to make their lives better. Balram comes from nothing and works hard to create a new life for himself. This book made me angry, angry that people still are treated as slaves and forced to live in the basements of the apartment blocks that their masters liv; that they are paid almost nothing and told to be grateful. This book skillfully makes you feel for Balram, even after he has killed someone. I know I was reading page by page hoping he got away. This novel is a dark-comedy and I found myself laughing sometimes but then feeling bad about laughing seconds later.

This is an excellent read.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Artemıs Fowl, Book 1 - Eoin Colfer

Really, really enjoyed this book at the beginning. Thought it may be as good as Harry Potter. I was wrong. Not saying it isn't a good book, it's just that it gets a little boring by the end. This was the first book in a series about a 12 year old genius criminal named Artemis Fowl. His big plan is to steal gold from the fairies so that his families fortune can be restored to what it once was. Artemis goes to great lengths to find a fairy book (that will give him all the secrets and the knowledge of the fairies) and decipher it. After deciphering the language, Artemis then figures out how to capture a fairy and tries to ransom her for fairy gold. I really liked how there was a whole other magical world below that people dıd not know about. I liked Holly and I hope she is in the rest of the novels. I will read the next one in the series...I just won,t set my expectations Harry Potter-high!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Slam! - Nıck Hornby

I am a lover of all things Nick Hornby and Slam! was a good as all his others. It is a funny and sometimes sad tale of a 15 year old boy who loves skateboarding, talking to his Tony Hawk posters but who also gets his girlfriend pregnant. I found this book so interesting because I have never read a book about teenage pregnancy come from the boy's perspective before. The book made me scared to have children of my own!! I liked this story because it was about 2 regular kids who just make one mistake that changes their lives forever. I think it is a must-read if you like ıck Hornby, especially if you love all of the cultural references he uses (in this book the cultural references are a little young).

This wıll be a great movie someday!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Death du Jour - Kathy Reichs

Another book in the "Bones" is out of the way. I loved it! I travelled to Istanbul this weekend and read it on my way home. Fast-paced and excellent to keep my mind off how slow we were going. This one is set in Montreal and North Carolina and has Dr. Brennen finding bodies everywhere! A group of people are found dead in a house that was set on fire in Quebec, Dr. Brennen has to figure out if the people were murdered before the fire and why. The theme is religious cults and is really interesting to learn how people wind up in them and how it effects families. I found some of the descriptions gruesome and a bit hard to read. But it was a great book. I love that in this second novel, we are getting to know her character a bit more. I am so happy that there are many more books in the series to come.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

I always forget that Kurt Vonnegut's books are insane. I am always surprised, get half-way through and want to stop, but push my way through and am so happy that I finished. Cat's Cradle is such an interesting book, about a man (who now claims his name is Jonah)who is writing a book called The Day The World Ended, about what people were doing the day that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He ends up writing to the children of the man who created the atom bomb and then traveling to an island country called San Lorenzo to meet them. When Jonah reaches San Lorenzo, he learns about the religion of Bokononism, which ties the whole book together. It is a really interesting book that makes you think.

This is another book to cross off on my "1001 Book Challenge"!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I have done

I liked the idea of this list of things. I know it has nothing to do with books but I thought it was interesting! I scooped it off of someone else's website. The ones in bold are ones I have done :

1. Started my own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. (For like one band practice when I was 16)
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than I can afford to charity. (Does giving to the homeless count? )
7. Been to Disneyworld/land (really want to go back now that I am older)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched lightening at sea.
14. Taught myself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. (a few days ago)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown my own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train. (slept on many overnight buses, but a train as well)
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping. (Oh Bar Harbour!)
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught myself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke. (ahhh Korea!)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person. (with my mom once and with James another time)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. (snorkeling in Phuket, Thailand)
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre. (go all the time when I am at home)
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class. (kickboxing)
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching. (in Cape Breton twice)
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. (a stuffed lamb)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone. (my finger in basketball!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (Thailand...scary)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. (James and I went when we got married)
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper. (In elementary school and in high school)
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous (Glen Close when I was working in Maine)
92. Joined a book club (Bookleaves in Seoul..i miss it!!)
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone. ( in Ottawa, Cape Breton and in Seoul)
99. Been stung by a bee (many times and I am still terrified of them)
100. Rode an elephanT. (in Thailand and in Seoul)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Books I Read On Vacation

I am not going to review all the books I read on vacation last week. I finished off 7 books last week and some of them were excellent, while others fell far from being good. "Bliss" , a Turkish novel was amazing and the first book in a while that really got to me. I was thinking about it all the time during vacation. It is highly recommended. I read some chick-lit novels and the first book in the "Bones" series. It was excellent. I found myself not wanting to go sightseeing or go to bed because I just wanted to know who the murderer was. Very different then the tv show, and I loved that it was set in Montreal. The Canadian connection drew me to it. I read "Disgrace" which completely made me feel terrible. It was sad and depressing and made me hate the world I live in. I guess thats what books are supposed to do, bring you out of your comfort zone...just not on holiday!!

I also finished off the last of Dan Brown's books, "Digital Fortress". When I began it I was worried it was going to be as bad as "Deception Point" (which I absolutly hated) but it was well written, fast-paced and easy to read. My husband read it at the same time and we enjoyed talking about it. The last book of the week was called "The End of Mr Y" which was a very interesting novel that I bought when I was in England. The cover is red and intriging, while the edges of the pages are all blackened. Very interesting looking book and very interesting story. It was a good read but a little too much science for my liking.

I only have 16 books to read to reach my 100 goal.....but I only have 16 days...I will try but I don't know if I can do it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nights In Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks

I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book that didn't make me either tear up or out-right sob. Since I finished reading this at work today, I am glad that this one only made me tear up....maybe I held it in because I was at work and didn't want to ruin my make-up. This story is about Adrienne and Paul, who meet at an inn that Adrienne is watching for a friend during a winter storm in North Carolina. They are both divorced, in their 40's-50's and are not expecting to find love. But they do. And as in Nicholas Sparks tradition that love is wonderful and sad and heartbreaking and beautiful. How this guy does it, I don't know but I think he is wonderful. I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, fast but satisfying. Great tear-jerker.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Black Dalhia - James Ellroy

This book was for my 1% Challenge, where I read 10 books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I never would have picked this book up on my own but I am glad I did. It is a crime noir novel set in the 40's in Hollywood. It follows 2 boxers turn policemen who are deeply involved in solving the murder of Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dalhia. I won't tell you to much because there is so much to the story and many twists and turns. I found myself excited to read it and trying to figure out who the murderer was, not even sure if the case ever got solved. The book is sexually and violently graphic and due to the time period it seems racist and sexist. I think that the language is needed to make it authentic and even though the language sometimes made me go "hmmmmmm", it never felt too much. I had never read a novel in this genre before but I am hoping to read more crime noir novels. I can understand why this was a must read book. I will watch the movie this weekend (even though I heard it was horrible) just to see how it fairs. All in all a great reading experience!

Monday, December 1, 2008

When You Are Engulfed In Flames - David Sedaris (Audiobook)

I have to say that I do not think I will ever read another David Sedaris book. Not when I have discovered the lovely world of audiobooks and how unbelievebly funny it is to hear David Sedaris read his own works. I laughed outloud so many times that the people around me thought I was crazy. The stories are funny and sad and full of memories and I liked this as much as his other works, maybe even more because I got to listen to it in his own voice. The story "Town and Country" I had to listen to a couple times because it was soo good. I was trying to explain it to my husband but made him listen to it instead. He laughed and laughed. I recommend this to everyone. It can be a bit crude but overall its amazing!! Something great to pick up (or listen to) if you are feeling down.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Story of the Night - Colm Toibin

This book is set in Argentina in the 1980's and follows the life of a homosexual Argentinian man. He has grown up with an overbearing British mother (who passes awat when he was 20ish) and his father died when he was young. He has no other family and lives alone teaching English at an institute. The book changes pace about 1/3 in and becomes more interesting after he meets a couple of Americans who are there to promote democracy after the Falkland War. It is an interesting take on how the world sees America. We also see the beginning of the AIDS crisis and how it effects the lives of the people around this young Argentinian man.

I enjoyed this book. I usually do not read fictional accounts of people with HIV/AIDS because I find it too emotional. I can read non-fiction books on HIV, and do read plenty of it, but fictional books always get to me. When I started I was unaware of the books topic but I am glad I read it. I didn't like it as much as Blackwater Light Ship and didnt hate it as much as The Master. I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Complete Polysyllabic Spree - Nick Hornby

So I pretty much loved this book. It was exactly what I needed to read to get me back into the reading groove. This is a collection of articles/essays that Nick Hornby wrote over a couple of years for a magazine.It is all about the books he has bought and read each month. Usually he buys more books then he reads each month and I envy him for that. I love that he loves books so much and has no problem abandoning a book that he does not like or doesn't feel like reading. I force myself to read all books I start...which sometimes stops me from reading because I would rather do anything, anything at all rather than read that book. I have learned from Nick Hornby that I do not have to read every book I start and that there is no "list" of books that I NEED to read. Nothing bad will happen to me if I don't read the classics. I usually feel a little bad when I am reading "trashy" books and I feel that I have to redeem myself by reading something more literary afterwards. This does not have to be the way I read.

This book taught me that I need to read more books that I know I won't be able to put down, books that I can't stop thinking about long after I have put them down. This doesn't mean that I abandon my lists of books that I am interested in and don't know anything about or that I stop trying to read the classics. It just means I can let my books be more fun and now worry about it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hunger - Elise Blackwell

This book was interesting. I was only 133 pages but was not an easy read. I have been trying to pick shorter novels lately because I really want to finish my 100 Book Challenge, but this one turned out to be more than I bargined for. Hunger is set in Leningrad in 1941 when the Nazi's surrounded the city, literally leaving hundreds of thousands of people to die of starvation. The novel is narrated by an elderly man who now survived the seige and now lives in America. He worked as a botanist and ended up eating small bits of the seeds that he was supposed to be preserving. We see what people will do (and what they won't do) to survive.

I felt this novel had a lot to do with his relationship with his wife and how after 50 years he was still feeling guilt about his affairs and how he would have given it all up for one more hour with her. It was interesting, and sad and hard to read sometimes. I am lucky that I never had to experience hunger and do not know what I would do to survive. It was a powerful book and I am glad I read it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Harvesting The Heart - Jodi Picoult

I don't know why I continue to read her books when I know they are just going to make me angry. I have read a few of her other books (Mercy, 19 Minutes) and everytime I finish them I am angry at humanity. This book was no exception. This book centers around a young girl named Paige who runs away from home to spare her father the humiliation after she has an abortion, she meets a young med student Nicholas, marries him (way to young in my opinion) and begins the life she never seems to want. She gets pregnant and has to try and raise this child scared that she will be a bad mother because she has never had a role model (her mother left when she was very young). Her husband is selfish, egotistical, self-righteous and pretty much an annoying character. I found myself so mad when I read this book because he was such a bad guy and the wife is just drowning in her life. Paige leaves her family for 3 months to find her mother. Obviously this causes problems - but she comes back a better person.

I pretty much hated this book. I think I hate her books because they pretty much describe real life and how shitty people can be. Its depressing. I like reading sad books, not depressing ones. Its not badly written, just not my thing. I think I will leave her other novels on the shelf for a little while.

I don't even know if I should give it any stars...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still Life With Woodpecker - Tom Robbins

I had read this book when I was 16 or 17 and remembered loving it. It was weird and funny and hard to explain. I am terrible at summarizing things ( so my book reviews are never very good) and this book is harder then any other book that I have had to try and explain in words. Pretty much I am going to have to say read it for yourself. If you like princesses, pyramids, red heads and bombs - then you will love this book. If you don't - read it anyway, you might start liking them!!

5 Stars!!!

So re-reading this book has got me thinking about all the other books that I have read years ago and would love to re-read. I want to read "East of Eden" again, and all the Harry Potter books, and as I talked about a couple posts back "Native Son". I also want to re-read "Fall On Your Knees" because I remember having this wonderful feeling when I finished it. I can't remember books well, but I can certainly remember feels that I get!

James and I changed Library Fridays to Library Thursdays so we will be heading there tonight to pick up so more books. I hope they have Number 3 in the Series of Unfortunate Events!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2 - Lemony Snicket

The Reptile Room is the second book in this series and tells the tale of the Baudelaire children, who are sent to live with their distant relative Uncle Monty. The Baudelaire's have had some tough luck, their parents die in a fire, they are sent to live with evil Count Olaf who only wants to steal their fortune by any means necessary. Now they think they have found a lovely home - but they should still be weary of Count Olaf!

I like this book - its dark and funny and a good kids book. I hopefully will be getting my hands on the rest of the series very very soon. It is one of those series of books I want my children to read.

I give 5 stars for a wonderful kids book.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arcadia - Jim Crace

Arcadia is a novel about an aging millionarie named Victor, who wants to rebuild an area of town which sells fruits and vegetables called "The Soap Market", an area that he lived as a child with his homeless mother and aunt. In the novel he recounts his life and we see why he has grown up to be the man he is today. Another part of the story involves Rook, his crooked assistant and how their lives and the lives of the people who work (or live in) the Soap Market intertwine.

I had a hard time getting into this book but when I sat down and really gave it a go, I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of Charles Dickens (maybe it was the orphan in a city part) without it being as wordy. I had read another of his novels, "Quarentine" for bookclub in Korea a few years back and enjoyed it as well but this one was so very different.

I would recommend this book and give it **** stars.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sickness is still loving me this week. I felt better for a day and then last night I felt terrible again and slept for like 13 hours. This is so cutting in to my reading time. I am about half-way through "Arcadia" and now I am really enjoying it. I have decided that when I start reading books and dont't get into them right away, I need to sit down, with a clock, and read for an hour straight. Thats what I need to do sometimes to get into a book. I find that sometimes I am not focussed enough to read novels that have a lot of detail....I find my mind skips around a lot and then I end up just wanted to get through the book rather than enoying it. No more of this! I need to, if not enjoy a novel, then to at least get something out of it. Hopefully I will finishing "Arcadia" in 2 more sittings. I only have 56 days left to read 34 books. Its time to get moving!!

I think I may go out and buy some books this weekend if I feel better. I am feeling this need to buy some. It has been only about 6 or 7 weeks since I bought anything new but I feel that I am doing so much reading now a days that I need to be able to pick up a few things that I am REALLY wanting. My TBR list is sooooooo long. I enjoy going to the library here but the books are either a bit dated or only international bestsellers. I need some comedy or some chick-lit to make me laugh. I will be on the hunt this weekend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The last couple of days I have had an awful cold. Sometimes when I am sick I get tons of reading done; other times not so much. This weekend was a bit of both.

Sunday morning I woke up early to finish "Jazz" by Toni Morrison. This wasn't one of the most accessable books by her that I have ever read and when I was about half-way through I had to read back because I was a little confused about what was going on. But the end tied it all up for me. I had one of those "Ahhhhh!!!! Now I see" moments when I was almost finished the book. I like it when I have one of those. The story is about a women named Violet and her husband Joe who live in Harlem during the
1930s. In the very first page we learn that Joe has murdered his teenage girlfriend Dorcas. The novel goes back and forth between what is happening since her death and the pasts of Joe and Violet and how the entertwine. An interesting part of this novel is that Joe never gets in trouble for killing Dorcas because no one saw him shoot her and the police are not interested in black on black crime. This goes with the feeling of the novel that things just happen and sometimes no one is at fault. I liked this novel.

During my sick Sunday I also started and finished "The Saffron Kitchen" by Yasmin Crowther. I really enjoyed this novel about an Iranian-British family living in London. At first you think the story will be about the daughter Sara but then it goes back and forth between her and her mother Maryam. Maryam goes back to her home village in Iran, a place she hasn't been in 25 years and recounts all of the things that has happened to her before the Revolution. It is really interesting and I like how the characters make real choices that sometimes hurt the people they love but they must make them to move on with their lives. I have read few fiction books about Iran and recommend this.

Right now I am reading "Arcadia" by Jim Crace and am slow at starting it. I need to spend a few hours reading to try and get into it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I was speaking with a co-worker yesterday about books. When I first meet someone I usually try to gage if they love books like me and there fore if I can be their friend. Sometimes I ask directly, other times I mention that I went to the library on the weekend or bought a new book. Usually I can quickly find out who loves books...because they usually want to talk about them as much as I do.

While talking with my co-worker, I mentioned that I was currently reading "Jazz" by Toni Morrison. We began discussing African-American literature and what we had read. This got me thinking about the African-American/Canadian literature that I had read in my life and how it has affected me. When I was 15, I read "Native Son" by Richard Wright for the first time. (Check out for a review) I don't recall all the details of the book or really remember why it affected me so much - but what I do remember is how I felt after I read it. I felt as if I had seen something new - something not very pleasant but something I had never seen before. It made me look at the world differently. It sounds cheesy but it did change my life. I think that reading novels about other peoples experiences can open a persons mind and help readers understand other cultures a bit more.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I always say I am going to keep up on my blog....but time slips away from me and I end up forgetting about it. I have read quite a few books since I last wrote. A few were great...some were not so good. This is how it happens.

One of the best books I read was called "The Dew Breaker" by Edwidge Danticat. She is a Haitian-American novelist who writes amazing books about Haiti and the people who live there. The Dew Breaker is set between the United States and Haiti, chronicling many different peoples lives in a thirty year time-span. Everyone's life is somehow connected, sometimes for the worst. The term dew breaker means torturer and the book looks at the political tortures that took place in Haiti. What makes this story interesting is that the first character we meet was a "dew breaker" and we read about how this has affected his life, and his families, after they emmigrated to America. I would highly recommend this novel.

Another great book was "Empire Falls" by Richard Russo. I had been meaning to read this for a while but, to be honest, was never that interested in picking it up. I saw it at the library here and decided to take the plunge.....and I am so glad I did. This is an excellent book that looks at small town America and the struggles of the people who live there. I could relate to this book when it talked about the closure of key industries and how people were left with nothing afterwards. The characters were very real and the book had a lot of humour in it. I am not going to say much more because there was a shocking turn of events towards the end that I did not see coming!

"West of Kabul, East of New York" by Tamim Ansary is a memior about the life of an Afghan-American man. The beginning of the book discusses why he wrote the book (it was due to September 11th) and then moves on to discuss his journey from being an Afghan child to an American man. I thought it was really interesting and very easy to read. My favorite part was when Tamim recalls his trip through North Africa and the Middle East in the late 70's and how even though he was born in Afghanistan and spoke Farsi, he was still hated because he had an American passport. People who are interested in reading about how the events of September 11 affected Afghan people who were living in America would really learn a lot from this book.

There are more but I have some more work to do. From now on I will keep up to date on my reading reviews. I promise!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

James and I went on a little vacation and I brought "Thirteen Moons" by Charles Frazier and "On Mexican Time" by Tony Cohan. I really enjoyed "Thirteen Moons" at the beginning but by the end I got a little bored of it. The beginning was funny and I loved how it was written from the perspective of an older man, Will Cooper, looking back at his life. It gave insight to why the young man did the things he did. I tried not to expect too much with this book because I had loved Cold Mountain so much. I didn't want Cold Mountain to color my judgement on this novel.....but I think it did.

"On Mexican Time" was a book I had on my shelf for years and years and never read. Finally I did and I am glad I finally read it. It is a memoir about a Californian couple who moves to a small community in Mexico in the 1980's. I really enjoyed this book because it was filled with descriptions of wonderful Mexican foods, festivals and people. The food part I liked the most. It made me want to live in Mexico and eat home-made tortillas and guacamole.

When I got back to the university, James and I went to the library and I borrowed some books. James read "Deception Point" by Dan Brown a couple of months ago and really liked it. I decided it would be nice to read something easy and interesting. I finished it this morning and it wasn't that interesting. It was hard to get through. The novel was about NASA and the discovery of a meteorite with fossils something interesting inside of it. Thats all I am going to say about it because I am still not that interested.

Hopefully the next read will be more enjoyable!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When I was packing for my move to Turkey, i had a hard time deciding what books to bring. Because of weight restrictions I couldn't really bring anything besides what I was reading. I had sent I few books over with James (mostly non-fiction stuff that i knew I couldn't get here) because I wasn't sure what the library at the University offer. Yesterday i went exploring around the University and ended up at the library. They had quite a few English novels...mostly older ones but at least I will catch up on my historical fiction.

One of the books I had sent over with James and have been meaning to read for over a year is 'Dreams From My Father' by Barack Obama. My mother purchased it for me, as well as his other book 'The Audacity of Hope'(which I haven't yet read). I began reading the book a few afternoons ago and after reading 40 or so pages of it I realized how much I enjoyed it and how excited I was to be reading it. I usually am not fond of autobiographies because I find them rather dry - but not this one. It basically is about Barack Obama's family and where he comes from. It is really interesting to see the multi-culturalism that is in his family and how it has affected his outlook on life. I enjoyed this autobiography because Barack Obama is very honest about his past prejudices and also talks about his frequent drug use in his late teens early twenties. Most politicians would hide this but he didn't. I was unaware of how community minded he was, and hopefully still is. I hope many people read this book in the United States before they go and vote. I have a feeling if they do then Barack Obama will be the next president.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yesterday I flew from Manchester to Ankara and finished the book I was reading (The Island - Victoria Hislop) and began a new one which I finished today (Thanks For The Memories - Cecelia Ahern). I love buying books in England because I get British authors that I would never normally get in Canada. This happened with the book 'The Island'. This book won the Galaxy British Book Award and is about a young women, Alexis, who travels to a small town in Crete to find out about her family history. Her mother Sofia had never talked about Greece or her family but when Alexis is heading there on a trip, Sofia realizes its time for her daughter to know about her family history, which includes members of her family who were residents on the leper colony Spinalonga. The book mostly takes places between 1940 and 1960 and is a wonderful book to read. I really had only read about the horrors of leporsy, not about how people lived with it. Definitly a reccomended book!

After this heavier read I decided a nice British girly novel was in order - so I bought 'Thanks For The Memories' which is by the author of 'P.S. I Love You'. It was a pretty easy and quick read and really really funny!! I laughed outloud quite a few times on the plane. It is set in Dublin and is about Joyce, who has to get a blood tranfusion because she falls and looses her baby. Around the same time an American man named Justin unwillingly gives blood and we learn that some of the blood he gave went to Joyce and she now has some of his memories and characteristics (for example she now knows about art and speaks Latin which she could never do before). They keep running into each other but never actually meet. The best part of the book is that Joyce has to move back in with her seventy-five year old father - who is the funniest part of the book! I would definitly recommend this book if you are looking for a good laugh and a fast read - A great book for travelling!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I have read quite a few books since I last posted but I have been in the middle of moving so I haven't been writing. I just finished reading "After Dark" - Haruki Murakami. I have read many of his other novels and really enjoyed them. I picked this one up at the Toronto Pearson Airport and was excited to start reading it. The book takes place in Tokyo between midnight and dawn and looks at the lives of 5 individuals that seem to intertwine throughout the evening. It was a short novel but one that gets you thinking about life and how we turn out the way we do. Everyone should give it a read!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I finished my Doctor Who book and moved on to one of those lovely "chick lit" books called "How Will I Know" by Sheila O'Flanagan that I borrowed from the library. It wasn't as good as others that I have read. It was set in Dublin and was about a woman who is trying to live her life with her teenage daughter after her husband died a few yers earlier in an accident. It was predictable...but not in that fun predictable way that I love these kind of books. I read it in the car on the way to Halifax, so I finished rather quickly.

Right now I am reading"The Gravedigger's Daughter" by Joyce Carol Oates. Not the most uplifting of novels...I think this one will take a while to get through. James has challenged me to read 30 books before I get to Turkey...which is like in a month. I think this is a little more than I can do..but I am going to try!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Since I work a lot of evening and back-shifts, I have a lot of time to read. I am trying to read more than watch DVD's - but sometimes that can very hard. Right now I am reading a book in The Doctor Who series called "The Pirate Loop". My husband bought me three hardcover Doctor Who books when he was in England and I am about 50 pages in and really enjoying it. This is my first time reading a Doctor Who book but I have read Torchwood books in the past and really liked them.

I only have read about 40 books so far this year. I really need to get a move on if I want to make the 100 Book Challenge.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

100 Book Challange

I decided to start a book blog because I found this 100 Book challange on Facebook. I like the idea of book challanges and hopefully will find more than just this one out there. Here is an list of the books I have read so far in 2008 (not in order of when I read them!). I put them in a list on the right hand side.