Books to Cozy Up With During These Last Few Weeks of Winter

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It is that time of year where the end of winter is within reach but it still feels ways away. That leaves us with many opportunities to get cozy with a hot drink and a page-turning read. During the colder months I tend to enjoy a lot of mysteries and thrillers, but I am very much a mood reader, and some days I may feel like reading anything from science-fiction to a nice contemporary romance. Here is a suggestion from different genres. Hope you find your next cozy read! Continue reading “Books to Cozy Up With During These Last Few Weeks of Winter”

A Year in Review: Favourite Books of 2016

“Because every day with a book is slightly better than one without, and I wish you nothing but the happiest of days.”

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It is that time of the year already. Choosing favourite books of the year is not always an easy task, especially when there are so many great ones to choose from. For me, the favourites are the books that really made an impression on me and ones I would love to revisit and reread at some point. These are ten standout books I read in 2016:

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Select a book for the full review!

I thoroughly enjoyed these books and if any of them look like something you might enjoy as well, I absolutely recommend giving them a try.

Happy reading!

My Favourite Books About Books

IMG_2029“The words you can’t find, you borrow.
We read to know we’re not alone.  We read because we are alone.  We read and we are not alone.” – Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

My recent read of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, a book about a secret Library society, spies, and of course books, made me think back to some of my favourite books that have books as one of the main themes.  It is always wonderful to read something that captures the love of reading so many of us share and the beauty of a story.  These are my favourite books about books:

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Young Daniel becomes fascinated by a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax.  When he sets out to find other works by tis mysterious author, he discovers that someone is destroying every book Carax had ever written.  Beautifully written and engaging story with an intriguing mystery.

2. Mr. Peneumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Young protagonist Clay Jannon stumbles upon a pattern in customer book selection, and sets out to uncover the mystery of Mr. Penumbra’s bookstore with the help of his friends.  A fun adventure that examines the relationship between new technology and old school books.

3. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Independent bookstore owner A.J. Fikry is grieving the loss of his wife and has isolated himself from just about everyone.  When he discovers an unexpected package left at his bookstore, his life takes a turn in a whole new direction.  A beautifully written and touching story. Continue reading “My Favourite Books About Books”

Top Five Summer Reads

IMG_1846“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” – Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

Summer is such a wonderful season for reading.  Even with work, classes, or whatever activities occupy your time, there is an atmosphere of relaxation.  After we have fulfilled our daily obligations we can enjoy the beautiful weather, breathe in the fresh air, and be very thankful that the winter is well behind us.  When I think of great summer reads I think of page-turning stories that you can’t help but get lost in.  These are my favourite summer reads from my virtual bookshelf:

1. 300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
In order to get away from career and relationship troubles, Joanna decides to embark on a trip to Faro, Portugal where she meets Nathan, a man in search of information on a kidnapping that occurred decades ago.  Nathan asks Joanna for her help with his investigation due to her background in journalism.  Their search leads them to a book that was sold as a work of fiction but in truth may hold the answers they are looking for.  A total page-turner that brings the sights and sounds of Portugal to life.

2. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Finding herself stuck and lost in life, twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles, determined to turn her life around.  Upon her return, her best friend Gabby throws her a welcome home party where Hannah runs into her high school love, Ethan.  As Gabby is set to leave the party, Hannah has the choice of either going home with Gabby or staying out later with Ethan.  As we all know, choices have consequences. The book splits into two timelines showing us what happens with each scenario.  A fascinating look into how one choice can affect the entire course of a person’s life. Continue reading “Top Five Summer Reads”

I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

BLOG“How lucky they were to find each other in this big, mad world.”

I’ll See You in Paris is a charming novel that takes the reader back and forth in time, travelling from the English countryside to the streets of Paris.  Young Annie has many questions regarding her family history, one that her mother Laurel has never fully spoken about and prefers to leave in the past.  When Annie discovers a mysterious book about the infamous Duchess of Marlborough, she becomes fascinated with the story, which as it turns out is closely tied to her own history.  The book takes turns giving us Annie’s perspective and her discoveries, and going back in time to the story of the Duchess herself (who went by Mrs. Spencer) during the period when a young writer was writing her biography.  This biography being the book that would find its way into Annie’s possession.  We meet the writer Win, and a young woman named Pru who was the caretaker/assistant to the elderly Mrs. Spencer.  As their story and experiences with the Duchess unfolds, many of Annie’s questions are answered as well.

A captivating story that kept me engaged from start to finish, I’ll See You in Paris is a beautifully written novel that is full of endearing characters.  Inspired by the real life Duchess of Marlborough, author Michelle Gable crafted an intriguing and intricate story that is sweet, funny, and heartwarming.  The narrative switches from different time periods and perspectives, and it does so effortlessly.  It unfolds as somewhat of a mystery, and while I thought I knew what was coming and how the story would progress, that turned out to not be the case.  It kept me guessing and I simply couldn’t put it down.  The heart of the story for me were the characters of Win and Pru whose dialogue and interactions were so incredibly amusing.  I also really enjoyed the historical aspect of the novel and learning about the character that was the Duchess of Marlborough.  I’ll See You in Paris is a charming and well-crafted novel whose characters will stay with you well after the story has reached its conclusion.

ARC provided by NetGalley for review.  Publication date: February 9, 2016.

“We all have our time machines, don’t we.  Those that take us back are memories… and those that carry us forward, are dreams.” – H.G. Wells