Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pride & Prejudice + Eligible

The last book in the Austen Project finally has a cover image! I have been waiting around for this one for a while so I am glad we finally have something new about the book.  

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope was a good start but with each new book, I found myself enjoying the series less and less.  That is just me though and the opinions on each book really vary.


The book will be coming out April 19th, 2016.

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Eligible
by Curtis Sittenfeld

When Mr. Bennett falls ill, Elizabeth and Jane leave their lives in New York and return to their old home in Cincinnati.

However, they come home to find that their old house is falling apart and that their other sisters Mary, Kitty and Lydia are largely absent and more concerned with their own lives.  Mrs. Bennett too is more focused on marrying off each one of her daughters.

Jane and Elizabeth realize that a lot has changed since they left. There is even a new Doctor in town named Chip Bingley, who recently starred in a reality dating show.  At a holiday barbecue, Chip and Jane meet and their connection is instant.  

Elizabeth is happy for her sister but less happy when she meets Chip's friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A New Way To Find Me

Hello readers down below!  I am just making a quick post to say that I now have a tumblr.  I'll update it with new posts and reblog things that I think are pretty neat.

People on tumblr are so creative and even make photosets based on their favorite books.  I have seen quite a few Jane Austen edits about.

You don't have to have a tumblr to view it.  I hope to see you there!

Link to the Tower

Bell Let's Talk Day 2016

It's that time of year again.  I know I mentioned this last year but this cause is so incredibly important to me and it should be to you too.

Bell Let's Talk Day is about raising awareness about mental illness and ending the stigma. It is also about raising funds for mental health services in Canada.  The money is so needed in order to get people the help that matches their needs.  So please, on January 27th spread the word about it.


Bell Let's Talk Website

















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I am also going to list four books that have characters suffering from mental illness. These are not self-help books so don't take them as such.  These reading suggestions are fiction. Also, take care with these books, they will have intense subject matter.

A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki

In Tokyo, Nao has made-up her mind about how to end the endless bullying from her classmates and her own painful loneliness.  But before this, she has one thing she wants to do.  She wants to record the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun.  Her diary is the only place where she finds comfort.

Across the ocean, an author living on a small island finds a lunchbox washed up on the shore.  Could it be debris from the 2011 tsunami?  Slowly, the mystery surrounding each item is uncovered, including their connection to sixteen-year-old Nao.

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She's Come Undone
by Wally Lamb

After experiencing heartbreak and trauma, Dolores Price eats food to cope. By the time she reaches her 17th birthday, she is 257 pounds.

Despite setbacks and the harshness of the world, Dolores strives to keep trying.

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The Nature of Jade
by Deb Caletti

Jade knows she isn't going to die, but when a panic attack hits her and she can't breathe or think straight, it feels like she just might.  She tries her hardest to stay calm.  One thing that seems to help is watching the elephants at the zoo on a live webcam feed.

It is through this that she notices a boy in a red jacket, holding a baby. Sebastian is young and raising his son on his own.  Jade admires his strength and his heart. However, Sebastian has had a hard life and he still has some secrets.

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Fig

by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

Fig's mama is sick.  She lives in a dream world where fairies exist and feral dogs wait in the woods.  Fig wants to save her and bring her back.   As her mama falls deeper and deeper into her own world, Fig risks losing herself too.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Spotlight: Star Wars The Force Awakens

If you have not watched the new Star Wars movie, then you are missing out on a fun space adventure with giggles and tears and amazing spaceships.

If you have watched it, then you know this post is fueled by an ardent longing for more Star Wars stories.  Let's expand that universe of yours with some books that are meant to add to The Force Awakens.

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Star Wars: Before the Awakening
by Greg Rucka
illustrated by Phil Noto

A book that focuses on the characters Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron.  It gives readers a little look into their lives before they appeared in The Force Awakens.
We really meet these characters in the middle of their lives.  We only know as much as the movie gives us.  So a book giving us a little more? Is great and really makes the characters much more solid and fleshed out.  Finn's life as FN-2187, Rey's life as a scavenger and Poe's life as part of the Republic.  It's worth a read for anyone who wants to know more.

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Rey's Survival Guide
by Jason Fry

My name is Rey and this is my guide to survival on the desert and graveyard planet of Jakku.

In this book, Rey gives you tips on how to survive on the planet Jakku. It comes complete with sketches and descriptions of the people and areas of Jakku. It acts as a bit of a journal for her and you will even get her thoughts on meeting some characters like BB-8.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakensby Alan Dean Foster
In a galaxy far, far away, though the second Death Star and the Emperor are gone, the universe is not safe.  The First Order is gaining power.  Luke Skywalker is missing.  But there has been an awakening in the galaxy.

This is a novelization of the film.  Why am I putting it on this list? Because describing a character's actions and thoughts can offer insight into their personality. It also offers some stuff that was not in the film so that could be worth while to read.


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Another Trio of Books

These next few books are part of a Journey to The Force Awakens Series.  Phil Noto and Greg Rucka just keep pulling me into a vortex of other Star Wars books to read.  Dangerous but fun.


The Weapon of the Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventureby Jason Fryillustrated by Phil Noto
After destroying the Death Star, Luke Skywalker feels that his destiny lays beyond serving the Rebellion as just an X-wing fighter pilot.  He is the last and best of the Jedi and he searches for what that means in this new world.

A character study book that is supposed to give us hints about what is to come in The Force Awakens.  Also, Jessika Pava makes an appearance in this book, which is incredibly exciting.  This story takes place after A New Hope.

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Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adentureby Jason Fry and Cecil Castellucci
illustrated by Phil Noto

After the loss of the battle on Hoth, Princess is Leia is on the run from the agents of the Galactic Empire.  Surrounded by rebels that are sworn to protect her , she feels the Empire getting closer.  Leia must make a tough decision that will see her sacrifice something dear to her.

I am so excited for this one because it is a Leia specific story. I feel like we need more of her adventures since she is such a strong character in the first trilogy and now, in the new trilogy.  This story takes place between the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  

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Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo and Chewbacca Adventureby Greg Rucka
illustrated by Phil Noto
Chewbacca and Han Solo are once again in the Millennium Falcon and on an important rescue mission for the Rebellion.  If they don't succeed, their failure could tear apart the Rebellion.

This one is going to be a fun story.  How could it not be since it's Han and Chewie? I have always loved their friendship in the movies and can't wait to pick this one up and read it.

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Gif from here



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Everyone's Favorite Pilot in the Resistance: Poe Dameron


It was announced today on USA Today that Poe Dameron, the best pilot in the Resistance (and in our hearts), would be getting his very own comic book series this coming April.  The project will be lead by Charles Soule (writer) and Phil Noto (illustrator).

Awesome.  I am happy we are getting more information about a character that is beloved but whose backstory is a misty moor on the English countryside.  In other words, a mystery.

We know he fights for the good guys and that he is fantastic at what he does.  But what about those days, weeks and months leading up to the moment we first saw him in The Force Awakens?

A few things the creative team will be looking to get to in the comics are:

- Poe's status as General Organa's chosen Resistance fighter.
- The other pilots we saw in the film.
- The First Order and even a new villain.
- Fleshing out Poe's personality.
- New locations and old settings.

I am definitely interested in finding out more about him.  Also, I am in love with the fact that Phil Noto is attached to draw the comics.  His work on Black Widow was so amazing.  He is one of my favorite artists.   I could gush about his work all day if I had the time.

My hope is that we will get to see more of Jessika Pava, a female pilot that we saw in the last half of the film. I adored her.  Another hope is that Mr. Soule and Mr. Noto will make decisions and be unafraid to make them.  Good luck to them on this new adventure.

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With the announcement of an ongoing comic book series about Poe Dameron, I thought I would include something that carries the story of his parents.  Star Wars: Shattered Empires gives us all a look at Poe's Mom and Dad (i.e. Shara Bey and Kes Dameron).  It's pretty cool since Poe's Mom was also a pilot.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire
by Greg Rucka
illustrated by Phil Noto & Marco Checchetto
& Angel Unzueta

Shattered Empire takes us to the aftermath of The Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star.  

The major battle is won but the fighting is far from over as our heroes discover worlds to be liberated and bases to be infiltrated.



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Gif by dekabreak101

Family Literacy Month

It's Family Literacy Month (i.e. January) and guess what?  I'm super excited about it.  


Literacy is such a huge term now.  It can be understanding health information and numbers or the ability to read or use a computer.  

For me, Family Literacy Month is about encouraging families to learn something new or work on something they are struggling with -  together.  Learning is a process and we all go through it so take your time and have fun.

Now that that's said, I'm going to give you a few reading suggestions that are fun to share.

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13 Words
by Lemony Snicket
illustrated by Maira Kalman

This book is literally about 13 seemingly random words.  It doesn't follow the alphabet.  It's just these unexpected words that the reader will get to explore in the pages of the book.  

Exciting and funny, this book is a great read for new words and for inspiring creativity. My favorite word in this book is Haberdashery.

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Viva Frida
by Yuyi Morales
photographs by Tim O'Meara

This picture book celebrates the creativity, sadness and color of Frida Kahlo's life.

I picked this book because it's about creativity, not just Frida's but also the author and photographer's.  It's not meant to deliver the entirety of Frida Kahlo's life.  It is meant to be a glimpse, which will include some of the tragedies she experienced.

It is such a neat book that also has some Spanish in it.  Exposing kids to different languages and cultures could really inspire new interests.  Reading this book together could also lead to exciting little art projects.  Frida Kahlo was a unique artist and kids should learn how to express themselves in their own individual ways through art.

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On a Beam of Light
by Jennifer Berne
illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

A boy dreams about moving at the speed of light.  The boy grew into a man who illuminated the world's understanding of the universe.  His name is Albert Einstein. 

An introduction into the story of Albert Einstein's life.  I loved this book because it really inspires its readers to follow their curiosity.  Albert Einstein was an individual driven by his own curiosity.  He questioned why everything we knew was the way it was. 

I think reading and watching him grow in this book will be fun for readers and their families because it recognizes that intelligence comes in different and unique forms.

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Sonya's Chickens
by Phoebe Wahl

Sonya is given three baby chickens by her Papa.  She feeds them, gives them a home and loves them.  One night, one of them goes missing.  What happened to her?

The lesson to be learned here is an interesting one: the circle of life.  Essentially, that animals need one another to survive.   It treats the subject matter in such a sensitive and lovely way that the reader is comforted by the end of the book.  The illustrations and colours are also really stunning.  A fantastic picture book for Family Literacy Day.

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I thought I would also include an interesting video on this list.  This one is from Reading Rainbow and it covers the topic of 3D Printing.  Really great to watch because the video breaks down what it is and makes it easy to understand.




Friday, January 8, 2016

Reading List: The Moon

The theme tonight is the Moon.  It inspires and it amazes, that giant thing in the dark sky. I will be listing some beautiful picture books that feature the moon in its story. 

So snuggle with your little ones on a full moon night with one of these great reads.


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Moonday
by Adam Rex

One night, the moon comes down from the sky.

I'm used to Adam Rex only being an artist so it was great to see his own original tale with this book.  

The art is so beautiful that the moon seems to glow within the pages of this book.  I also think the story is sweet.  The moon comes down into the backyard of a little girl and with the help of her parents, she tries to get the moon back into the sky.  There are a lot of fun details in the pictures and a limited amount of text.




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The Boy Who Loved the Moon
by Rino Alaino

A little boy will do anything to win the heart of the moon in the sky. 

This book is absolutely stunning.  Each page seems to glow warmly with the artist's use of various shades of yellow.  It just makes you happy while reading it.  The story itself is simple and sweet: a boy tries to win the heart of his love.  He fails several times before doing something different and unexpected.


This book is also based off of a movie by Rin Alaino, which I've posted below.



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The Man in the Moon
by William Joyce

There wasn't always a man on the moon.  This is the story of how he got there and how he became the first guardian of childhood.

A perfect read aloud story to share with kids.  Magical and whimsical, it's a creative story with beautiful artwork.  While sad at times, it is an uplifting book with a kind hero at its heart.



If you remember the recent film, Rise of the Guardians, then this book will look familiar to you.  It inspired the film and is the first in a series.  

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Red Knit Cap Girl
by Naoko Stoop

In an enchanted forest, there lives a little girl in a red knit cap. One of her greatest wishes is to talk to the moon.  With the help of her friends from the forest, she goes on the journey to meet the moon.

This is a really adorable book with beautiful colours and a soft art style.  The story is a quiet and simple one that comforts the reader as they go along.  I really enjoyed the idea at it's center, which is about friends coming together to help one another succeed.  



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Paper Moon
written by R.M. Hedgcoth
illustrations by Tony Tibbits

Paper Moon is sleepy and slowly, it slips away into its dreams.

Such a gorgeous book.  It also describes the phases of the moon in an easy to understand manner, making the information accessible for all ages.  The images and the writing together are captivating.


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The Way Back Home
by Oliver Jeffers

A boy finds a plane and decides to go on an adventure in outer space.  He soon runs into engine trouble and crash lands on the moon.  But he's not alone.  There's a young Martian on the moon who could use some help too.

This was such a cute book about friends in unlikely places.   The boy and the martian, despite being from different worlds, share a problem. They're stuck on the moon! They come together to help each other and get one another home.  It's such a sweet little story and the art is so much fun.  I'd use it to get kids to draw their own little Martian friends.


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I Took the Moon for a Walk
written by Carolyn Curtis
illustrations by Alison Jay

At night, a boy travels the world with his friend, the moon.

A lyrical little book that takes you on a bit of an adventure.  It presents the moon's phases really well.  It's a great read for bedtime or if you're reading it to a group of little ones.  You can talk about the moon and the little details in the illustrations.

Also, it has one of my favorite things in the world: cool information about the moon and some nocturnal animals at the end.  I love it when picture books have a little more to offer.



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La Luna
by Enrico Casarosa

One starry night, a father takes his son to work with him.  The little boy discovers that his father and grandpa are the caretakers of a very big and important thing.

A small coming of age story about a boy taking his own path. It's beautiful to take in each page and see the story unfold. A great book and work of art.

La Luna even has a short film, which I have posted below from Youtube.  It's quite lovely!




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Note:  This post is dedicated to a friend of mine who passed away recently.  She loved art and had the kindest heart.  I did this post in her memory.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Discovering Horrible Histories

I've picked up on a show recently that is both funny and educational.  It isn't a new thing. It's been around for some time but I've only recently seen it air on Canadian television. Watching it on youtube, clip by clip, was torturous. 

Horrible Histories (the series from 2009) is a comedy show about history.  It delivers strange and gruesome historical facts about different time periods (i.e. Frightful First World War) and ancient cultures (i.e. Awful Egyptians) in humorous ways.   

I've posted two of my favorite clips below.   The first is about the reasoning behind Britain going into the First World War.  The second is about Guy Fawkes and his plans to blow up Parliament and how it didn't quite work out.





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There is also a book series by Terry Deary!

It's like the show in that it's supposed to give you a bit of history with a bit of a giggle.  Let's be honest, history delivered in the same constant tone can be a bit on the dry side.  

But history paired with a joke? It makes for a much more fun reading experience.  You're also more likely to share the fact and the fun with a friend.

These books are geared towards children but anyone can pick one up and give it a read.  After all, history is for everyone to discover.

Shelf Sightings #5: Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

I was at the bookstore during the holidays and it was so exciting to see everyone rushing around with piles of books in their arms.  You just know they're going to pick up something they like.  Or you know...despise and then actively blacklist on every social media platform. 

Anyway, I was in the children's section just loitering about the Star Wars display when I saw this book on the shelf. 

I don't think I've ever been charmed so quickly by a title in my life.

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
by Josh Funk
illustrated by Brendan Kearney

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have been the best of friends for so long but their friendship is tested when they discover that there is only one drop of maple syrup left.

It is every breakfast food for themselves as they each race to be the one who wins.  Or will they realize that victory is sweeter when shared with a dear friend?



I flipped through the pages and read a bit of it and it's such a fun book.  It's laugh out loud funny and full of action.  The text rhymes and just begs to be read aloud.  You can really make it into a fun performance for kids.  The illustrations are creative and hilarious.  Never has the food in your fridge seemed so entertaining.

New Year! 2016!













Happy New Year, readers!

I have several hopes for this blog in 2016:
1. To keep it a happy space in the coming year.
2. To create some more exciting themed posts of awesome.
3. To have fun with each bit I put into it.
4. To engage with other book bloggers.  

For you readers, I wish you the best.  In books.  In life. 
I hope you branch out and try something new.  I hope you discover what you don't like in stories and in characters.  I hope you all stay safe and well.  Go forward, be brilliant and keep happy.