Monday, January 20, 2014

A Great Week of Great Can Lit

Polar Vortex 2.0 (or as we used to call it - winter) is apparently ready to make a return visit. I think I'll head outside to get a bit of fresh air and sunshine before it arrives. After that, I have a great excuse to hunker down with a huge cup of tea and a book.

Like many people, I find myself with a few books on the go at any given time. While enjoying The Orenda this past week, I was also able to get through a number of very enjoyable Forest of Reading selections.

I highly recommend, for your reading pleasure:

Great Adventure!
In fact, check out the trailer for the Seven series. Two other titles from the series are also nominated for this year's Red Maple award - Jump Cut by Ted Staunton, and Between Heaven and Earth by Eric Walters. And best of all - they do not need to be read in any order. What a great concept!

Realistic Fiction written in free verse. So well done!

Historical Fiction - always my fave.

Beautiful Picture Book with a social justice message

It was a great week for great Canadian literature. I have no reason to think that this week will be any different.

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's Making Me Happy This Month - January

Readers who are familiar with the NPR program Pop Culture Happy Hour should also be familiar with the title of this post - or a variation of it, at any rate. This smart entertainment podcast wraps up each weekly show with a segment entitled, "What's Making Us Happy This Week."

I love this part of the podcast and thought it would make an excellent category for a monthly blog post. And being the good librarian that I am, I am citing my source and giving full credit to Linda Holmes and others for a perfect segment title. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

So, to begin the new year with what's making me happy this month, I have to say: podcasts in general. How great is it that I don't have to miss a single episode of my favourite radio programs? And while I love going for my morning walks in the summer and listening to Q in real time, I think it's downright wonderful that I can tune in while I'm preparing dinner during the school year.

Driving, walking, or cooking, you'll find me being entertained, educated, and enriched by some of these faves:







I have a handy Podcast app on my iPhone that makes following and keeping-up-to-date an easy task.


I've even had Mr. Fun listen to some excellent interviews while on road trips. Nothing too artsy for him. But he loved Jian's interview with Bobby Orr.

Podcasts - definitely what's making me happy this month.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Must Read in 2014

Happy New Year!

I was recently invited by Carrie Gelson of There's a Book For That, to share in a reading challenge for 2014. I like the idea behind this reading challenge. Of course, I have my Forest of Reading titles that I attempt to get through each year.  I also maintain a list of books, derived mainly by recommendations and reviews, that I want to read at some point in my life. In addition to this are the books that I have purchased and are growing into a tower on my night table. Must Read In 2014 takes the To Be Read list and makes it into a manageable collection of books that simply must be read this year.



I have chosen 10 books for my Must Read in 2014






The first of my Canada Reads selections. I love the program and 
 plan to read the majority of the nominated titles.












One of my all-time favourites: Sandra Gulland's Josephine B. trilogy. I've heard great things about this one, too. I hope I'm not disappointed.

















Another of the Canada Reads selections.



















I really enjoyed Ms. Stachniak's Winter Palace and am looking forward to the second book in the series. I'm also fresh off a reading of Robert Massie's Catherine the Great. What a character Catherine was!
















One more from Canada Reads.



















Another "second in the series" that I'm anxious to start. I love my historical fiction.


















I don't know if I'll be able to wait 'til the spring publication date of this one. I have enjoyed reading Jennifer Eremeeva's blogs and am so excited for this book.

















My first Canada Reads selection - just started this morning. Daughter1 is waiting not-so-patiently to discuss this book that she loved.

















Yup, this is going to be the year that I finally read this book.



















I've had this one on my TBR list for too long. 2014 will be the year I read another Henry James. The Portrait of a Lady was a favourite university read of mine.















Stay tuned, as I review each of my selections in the coming months.