Thursday, 24 October 2013

Small Town Library

My husband and I recently moved from a big city to a very small town. Amongst many differences between city life and country life, even the public library was very different from the ones in the big city. I went in today (for the first time) to make my new library card. The library is a quaint little building, it almost looks like a small house. The upstairs is the library portion, and the downstairs is a small thrift shop which sells used items (like clothes, toys, kitchenware, etc.) and all proceeds go to the library. When I first walked in, I couldn't help but notice the warm welcome I got from the librarians on duty. There were three female workers who welcomed me with open arms and big smiles. They were super friendly, and it almost felt like we'd been friends for years. When I looked over the front counter I noticed a dog in the library! Well that was a first for me! As far as I understand, the public libraries in Toronto don't allow animals! To my surprise, the dog actually belonged to one of the librarians. Just a lady bringing her dog to work! At the LIBRARY! The book, DVD and magazine selection was very small. However, they did have well known authors and I even saw a few best sellers. Even though they don't have quantity, they still have quality. After I was done browsing through the library, I went downstairs to check out the thrift shop. The workers and customers at the thrift shop were just as friendly and welcoming as the people upstairs! My first experience in a small town library, and I loved it!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Two Down, A Million to Go!

I learned a neat little trick from one of my dear friends, on how to read your books. I am not taking any extra books out of the library anymore. The only items I ever take out from the library are (one) book club book, DVDs and the occasional magazine. So every month, I read 2 books and alternate: one book club book, and one of my own books. Ever since I joined the two book clubs, reading just became a chore and I began dreading to read all those (boring) book club books. But, my love of reading has been restored. Yay!

So far, out of my own books, I completed The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks and am now reading the first Game of Thrones book by George R.R. Martin. Technically, Game of Thrones is not mine. I borrowed it from a family member almost a year ago, so I thought I should read it and finally return it!

Most of the books on my shelf are books which I purchased from a Clearance Book Sale last March (2012), that took place at the Toronto Reference Library. (Note: 14 used books for the awesome price of just $4.00!!!!!) The sale happened again a couple of weeks ago, and although I was tempted to go, I held back! I thought to myself: This sale happens every year. Let me just make my way through the books I currently own, and if I successfully read all of them in the next year, I can always go back to the book sale in 2014.

It will take a long time to finish reading all the books on my shelf, of course. There are almost 20 books on there, and some of them are book 1 of a series, so I will probably want to go and read the entire series! But I'm making my way through it, and even slow progress is still progress! =)

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Going Down My List.

So, some time ago I made a list of books I wanted to read. This book list is ever growing and never ending. Every time I hear about an interesting book, I add it to my TBR (AKA, "to be read") list/pile. For the longest time, I felt like this list was just growing and none of the books were being read. Furthermore, I bought so many books, and received so many as gifts that I was just overwhelmed with books everywhere!

Finally, this list seems to be slowly shrinking! Ever since I dropped one of my book clubs, I seem to have more time to read some of the books I want to read, not what I have to read. Also, I stopped taking random books out of the library, and some of the books I have on hold are currently on "inactive." This way I can read some of the books I have at home before reading library books.

So far, some of the books I've been able to cross off my list have been the following: The Coffehouse Angel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Room, and currently reading The Lucky One.

Please note: Some books which were previously on my list, I don't want to read anymore. Plus, there have been some new books added to it! lol.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Book Review 5: Room

I heard about this book a couple of years ago, when it first came out. I kept seeing it on the "new releases" shelf at the local bookstore, but after reading the synopsis, I didn't give it much thought. I had no interest in reading it since at the time, I wanted to mostly stick to happy "fluffy" reads and the storyline just sounded too depressing for my taste. I forgot about it for a while, then saw it sitting at the library a few weeks ago. This time around, I thought it sounded both creepy and kind of intriguing, and that's exactly what it was.

"Room" was inspired by the 2008 Fritzl case of a similar (yet far more disturbing) nature. The narrator of this story is five year old Jack, who lives in Room with Ma. He's never been out of this Room, and doesn't know anything about Outside. Jack thinks everything in Room is his best friend and considers it his home. But to Ma, Room is nothing but a prison, and Old Nick is her prisoner.

It was difficult for me to wrap my head around this book at first. I had a hard time trying to understand Jack's world. A world where nothing exists except for Jack, Ma, and Room. On the contrary, my eyes were glued to it and I didn't want to put it down. Although the setting is very disturbing, Donoghue did a good job of writing a nice story of a mother raising her son. Even in the most terrifying of circumstances, the power of her love (as a mother) could not be weakened. As the story progresses, it is evident that Ma's spirit is rarely crushed, and she has faith that she will one day escape this hell on earth. Furthermore, I like how Donoghue portrayed the protagonist as innocent, blinded and naive, because I think this is an accurate portrayal of a child.

I found Room to be a thought provoking tale. Despite the level of creepiness of this book, I didn't find myself shuddering as much I thought I would. It was a step outside of my comfort zone and a new experience for me to read something like this. I probably won't pick up books like this too often, nor would I recommend it to others. However, now I know I can handle it.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Humble Authors

Whoever follows my blog knows what a huge fan I am of young adult fantasy author Cinda Williams Chima. I've read all of her books, (excluding her latest release The Crimson Crown.) One of my favourite thing about her books is that none of the characters are one dimensional. The protagonists (as well as the antagonists) show immense growth through out the stories. Never have I fallen so in love with a book series (and it's characters) as I did with the Seven Realms and the Heir Chronicles.

What I find even more impressive is the connection Chima has with her fans via facebook and twitter. I often forget there a real person behind every great story, but receiving replies to facebook messages and tweets from Mrs. Chima is a good reminder. It is not every day that you meet a best-selling author who is so down to earth.

I can think of a handful of big shot authors who may have forgotten to eat their slice of humble pie.