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Happy Friday. I was going to write about something
else this week but I read a great mystery last weekend
that I had to share. I know I am late to the table for this series
but it is so good I think others who may have missed these books
should know about them. The book is The Water Rat of Wanchai
by Ian Hamilton and the edition I read came with a prequel
called The Dragon Head of Hong Kong. Both were fantastic stories
with great settings, good characters and lots of Chinese food. (How could one
go wrong with that trio?) The main character Ava Lee is Chinese Canadian and is
a forensic accountant – a very good one as she is called upon to recover
peoples missing monies (large amounts!) She has to travel to all sorts of places
to track down the missing dough and is great at what she does. If you haven’t read
Ian Hamilton, you should give him a try!
Have a great weekend.
Let me just make things clear: I am not a yogi. I don’t think hanging upside down until
my head explodes as I breathe with the intention of…sounding like an ocean (what?) is
the way to find inner peace. I especially felt this in my first yoga class when I took it
in a room that used to be the meat aisle in an old Loblaws. However, in the spirit of the
Ampersand Health Hustle, I do take one nooner class every (well, most) Wednesdays. It’s
across the street from our office and there’s one teacher that is awesome. If she wants you
to stretch your arm, she’ll say something like, “Now, stretch your left arm” instead of
“Reach your left tree branch towards the sky and breathe life into its growth.” So after her
class I walk out feeling well stretched and refreshed, instead of in pain and confused.
This past Wednesday I went to yoga and walked in the door to find someone else
in her place. A man. A yogi wannabe. My co-worker and I spent the next 70 minutes listening to
our instructor talk and talk and TALK, about being thankful that we can do yoga, all the
while trying to contort our upper bodies into opposite versions of our spiralling lower
bodies (we’re still not sure what it means to “spiral”). Even the awesome sleeping part
at the end was interrupted with whale sounds and a loud bell that turned out to be a
real singing bowl sitting in front of our instructor whose smug face read: “Yes, it’s true. I
can make this bowl sing.” It was everything I dislike about yoga and when we left the class
we were a sweaty, confused mess. It reminded me of my original feelings about yoga, and then
I saw this and it summed it up nicely for me.
Today is my first day back in the office after a vacation in Vegas! Which isn’t so much a vacay as it is a
whirlwind of heat and pools and bright lights. So I think next up for me is a nice, relaxing staycation. As
fun as Vegas was, my ideal way to spend some time off involves a whole lot of reading! And my TBR pile is
looking quite large!
Here are a few books that I’d like to spend my staycation with:
Friendship by Emily Gould
Raincoast Books / Macmillan – Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Why I want to read it:This is a novel about two friends learning the difference
between getting older and growing up. I can relate.
Lost for words by Edward St. Aubyn
Raincoast / Macmillan – Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Why I want to read it: This man writes hilariously funny and dark satires
like nobody’s business. If you haven’t read The Patrick Melrose novels, you’re
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien
Raincoast / Macmillan – Roaring Brook Press
Why I want to read it: 1 – She wrote The Birthmarked Trilogy. 2 – That COVER!
3 – It sounds a bit like a YA version of The Truman Show.
Hello all! I hope everyone had a most excellent weekend. I know I did! For months now, I’ve been training to run 10kms in under 55 minutes, and I FINALLY DID IT! I’ve been using a program on Runkeeper’s app, and it’s been super helpful. Up until now, my running was usually a simple 5kms, a few times a week. This program has pushed me to run farther than I ever have before (14kms!), and faster too. Hurray for me! There have been many blisters and shin splints along the way, but here we are. I’m pretty excited to reward myself with a pedicure (sorry nail technician!), and a new pair of running shoes. Oh, and a week or so away from running!
This week we had one of our semi-regular
staff potluck lunches where we all pick something
from a cookbook and bring it in to share. We take
turns doing the different parts of the meal and this
week I made dessert. Please note the luscious
cookies on the bottom right of the book cover.
Moist chocolate chunk cookies with flake sea salt.
That’s what I made. My results were not quite as photogenic.
The author of the cookbook
grew up without chocolate chip cookies as part of
his childhood (his mom is Turkish and I guess
chocolate chip cookies aren’t part of the regular
Turkish sweet selection.) This is his take on
the chocolate chip cookie. He does an outstanding job
and for the piece de resistance he sprinkles Maldon
salt flakes on top – outstanding!
Have a great weekend!
Wink, wink. We know someone who has a crush on you. Who is it? I’ll give you
a hint. She is in Liberty Village. Still don’t know? It’s Amy Kwong who just opened a
new store called, I’ve Got a Crush on You. Amy’s the mastermind behind our awesome
line Smitten Kitten and you can visit her store at Unit 201 at 51 Jefferson Avenue. Want a
sneak peak at the store? Check out InnerSpace’s feature here.
I didn’t get too much reading done this weekend, so unfortunately I can’t update you on any of those exciting
books I mentioned last time. BUT, I can update you to let you know that I’m now the rep for Ottawa
and Quebec! If you’re out there, look for me around bookfair time.
I’ve been enjoying Mark’s What I’m Reading posts so much that I decided, ”Hey, I ought to do my own!”
This weekend, I was faced with the difficult decision of what to read next, and to my surprise, found
myself grabbing an ARC of SWAY by Kat Spears. This YA contemporary book, about a boy who can get
just about anything you want (for a price), finds himself having to get a girl. For someone else. Sounds
like a fun, if cheesy, premise (She’s All That, anyone?) – like a lighthearted romance, a look at a bad boy
and his growing feelings for a nice girl. Sure, this book does deal with a romance, but it is so much more.
Sway by Kat Spears
HC | September 16th, 2014 |
Raincoast/Macmillan – St. Martin’s Griffin | 9781250051431
SWAY is actually a darkly funny story about a high school boy named Jesse Alderman (also known as
“Sway”, much to his chagrin). Jesse is not your usual protagonist. He’s blunt and crude and a bit of a
jerk; he deals drugs; and when football star Ken pays him to get a girl named Bridget to date him, he ends
up going through with the deception. He lies to her and feeds Ken information so that he can finally win
Bridget over. But this time around, Jesse starts feeling things again – for this girl he’s handed over to
someone else for money, for her kid brother Peter with cerebral palsy who is starting to hang around
him (and doesn’t know when to shut-up), and for his business partners who might just consider him a
friend. This is a book about Jesse’s relationships – the one with his father, with his dead mother, with the
people he’s known for years and those he’s just met.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book and couldn’t put it down! So if you’re looking for a dark, honest
YA contemporary story, look no further. I know I’ll be looking forward to more from Kat Spears.
Happy Friday. My summer reading is in full swing and
I need more hours in the day or the ability to function well
with little or no sleep to keep up the momentum.
Reading is great any time of the year but
I seem to require more reading in the summer time
to keep me happy. As you know, I am crazy about mysteries
and sometimes I get to read books that I don’t sell. Andrea Davies,
owner of Hager Books in Vancouver gave me a book called
The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
It is the first in a series about Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator,
and is a fun, informative and funny mystery. The story is set in
contemporary Delhi, there is a marvelous cast of characters
(Vish nicknames his associates and others – meet Handbrake,
Facecream and Flush) and lots and lots about food.
Vish’s wife wants him to lose some weight but he just can’t resist all
the fabulous food available to him at his favourite roadside stands or
cafes. (Luckily for me a handy index of Indian terms has been provided
so I can decode everyday Indian words and phrases that
I’m not familiar with.)
Vish uses investigation techniques that predate Sherlock Holmes;
indeed he bitterly resents any comparisons bewteen himself and the famous
detective. This is the first in a series and Vish is hired to investigate a
servant girl who has gone missing.
His normal routine is doing background checks for prospective mates in arranged
marriages so this is a change of pace. The story is sharply written and
I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. The book
doesn’t sugar coat the way things are and are done in India
and one gets a picture of some of the good and not
so good qualities about Indian life while being entertained by an engaging
story. I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.
Speaking of not sleeping:
Have a great weekend.