Thursday, March 31, 2011

Follow Friday

I've decided to spice up my Friday meme this week and give Parajunkee's View a second go. I'm usually a Book Blogger Hop girl, so joining in for a new Friday meme *almost* feels like cheating.

Ah, well.

This week's question is:
What is the book that you really don't want to admit loving?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

You can participate here.

1. This week I've been loving Paolo Nutini's music. I absolutely adore this man's unique voice. E introduced me to Nutini's music earlier this year and I fell in love.

2. I love the muffins I made this past Sunday night. They were so so so yummy. I usually can't get muffins to rise like the store-bought variety, but I managed to with this recipe.

Also, never ever make a Facebook status that says: "I can't believe what is in my oven right now!" People assume you're with child and not that your ever-so proud of your rapidly rising muffins! Whoooops.

3. And, what I love most of all? In just a few short day's I'll be with E. I'm off to England!

Picture Me Wednesday - 2011 Week 8

Bring on April!

The Cookie Speaks

Tonight, after a dinner of Chinese food, I was greeted with three fortune cookie paper slips. One cookie, three slips... that's bang for your buck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Call Me Mom

This memoir contains two stories for me - how I acquired the work and the tale it tells.

On December 4, 2010 I attended a St. Nicholas Day celebration in the City. St. Nicholas Day is the traditional day of celebration and gift-giving during Holland's Christmas season. It was at this celebration that I met Fred van Zuiden.

van Zuiden, the author of Call Me Mom: A Dutch Boy's WWII Survival Story, had scheduled a book signing during the City's annual celebration. When I met him I was intrigued by his past experience as a Jewish boy in Holland during World War II. He seemed like a charming man, he signed the book, and we said goodbye. van Zuiden is the first (of now many) Jewish Holocaust survivors that I have had the pleasure of meeting. I know I will never forget him and his story.

The signed copy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Double Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Sweet (Non-Sunday) Yummy Lit Review:
Double Chocolate-Chip Muffins

I finally did it!!
Did what, you ask?

Made muffins that actually look "bakery bought." They are fully risen.

See, in the past my muffins have risen... just not like the muffins you see in stores. I've never been able to make muffins expand very far over the top of their paper tray liners. "Top of the muffin to you" - normally, not so much.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Sales - Yes or No?

Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early to head into the Big City. Okay, maybe it wasn't bright and early, but I did get up with a mission.

You see, the main library was hosting a Book Sale and it just so happened that I had books to return (like the recently reviewed The Heretic's Daughter). I love spending an afternoon at the library on ordinary days, so with a Book Sale in full swing, I knew I had to visit.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This week at Jennifer's Crazy-for-Books' Book Blogger Hop we are asked:

If you could physically put yourself into a book or series... which one would it be and why?

The Heretic's Daughter

Kathleen Kent's The Heretic's Daughter provides an account of the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts during the early 1690s. A town's superstitions and the dynamic relationships between family members and neighbors accused of witchcraft are explored in her work. Kent centers her tale on the trial of Martha Carrier, a young mother accused of sorcery and turning three of her children into witches. In doing so, Kent weaves an emotional story of love, devotion, betrayal, and redemption.

I have to admit that I was disappointed in this novel. I was so excited to delve into Kent's book when I found it on the shelf at the local library - its book jacket summary screamed of a good read. Once home, I performed a quick blog search looking for others' reviews. I read only compliments and acclamations. So, a few days ago I set out to read it, too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Picture Me Wednesday - 2011 Week 7

The most bookish Picture Me Wednesday to date...

Last week I blogged about my love for Jojo Moyes The Last Letter from Your Lover which just so happens to not be sold in Canada or America. But, I had a special delivery sitting on the kitchen table when I came home from work this Monday. E, my wonderful Englishman, seems to have read my blog and promptly sent me a copy of my new favourite book. I am so delighted that I can now add this book to my 'real life' bookshelf!
Thanks so much, E!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesday

This past week I've had Adam Lambert's Fever stuck in my mind. I usually don't listen to his music unless it pops onto the radio... Perhaps American Idol being in full swing has influenced my music selection? That show is seriously one of my guilty viewing pleasures.

You can participate at G-Read's Tune in Tuesdays here.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Welcome to my newly renovated blog!

Lately, I've been craving a blog design dominated by the colour white - so clean, fresh, crisp, and classy. Coffee Tale Reviews' old pale blues, pinks, and browns just had to go (at least for a little while). I can never settle on one blog design, but I have a feeling this one will last awhile.

I hope you like!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon Cookies

Sweet Sunday's Yummy Lit Review:
Lemon Cookies

Ahh.... a Sweet Sunday's Yummy Lit Review! I can't believe January was the last time I baked cookies and wrote one of these posts. Oh, how I've missed Sweet Sunday's!

Last night I decided to hop into Spring by making a batch of sugar cookies decked out in bright and cheerful coloured icing. I shared my favourite sugar cookie recipe last October. So, this time around, I thought I'd try lemon cut-out cookies.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This week on Book Blogger Hop, hosted at Crazy-for-Books, we are asked: Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Picture Me Wednesday - 2011 Week 6

As I was walking around the city a few weeks ago I stumbled across this fountain. I'm not even sure what the story behind this artwork is... but it looked so beautiful as the sun highlighted its golden elements and cascading water that I had to take a photo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Last Letter From Your Lover

I just fell in love... with a book.

The Last Letter From Your Lover is one of the best love stories I have ever read. I know that is a huge statement. Jojo Moyes' work speaks to me. I find her words echoing within my mind hours after putting her work down.

Moyes' tale portrays the growth and endurance of a love affair that faces all odds. It is a tale of forbidden and unfilled love. It is a tale of a woman's self-discovery. And, it questions just how far one should go to be with their 'soul mate,' just how long one should wait to be with the one they love.

When I started Moyes' book I assumed I was in for a light, cute, and chipper piece of contemporary chick-lit. Instead, twenty pages into her work, I found myself confronted with a love story that spans over forty years. This book is powerful, emotional, romantic, dramatic, and suspenseful.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Read and Sniff

I love the smell of books. New, crisp and clean books. Old, musty and well-loved books. You name it. But, I don't think I love the sweet smell of typed words as much as this lady.

Rachel Morrison has set out to smell (and record) every book in the Museum of Modern Art's Library collection. Visit this link for the story, and check out pictures of her records here.

I particularly like her vivid descriptions of books that ranged from smelling similar to "hugging grandma, her wool winter coat, faintly smokey" to "gross, dog poop."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A little bit of happy

Good Sunday, everyone.

I've been watching CNN's coverage of Japan's 280+ earthquakes*, tsunami, and potential nuclear meltdown since late Thursday night. The film footage and interviews are astounding and addictive - I don't even want to think of how many hours I've spent watching or listening to the coverage. My thoughts and kindest regards are with those in Japan and their friends, loved ones, and family members throughout the world.

Not to make light of (or detract from) a situation, but I think we can all do with a little bit of happy during this time. This Youtube video was very popular in February (perhaps you may have already seen it). This is exactly what I need right now - a little bit of happy.

Take care,
Ms. C

* latest count at time of writing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Follow Friday

I've decided to mix the meme up this week. I've seen many bloggers posting about Follow Friday. Nine months in the book blogosphere and still no Follow Friday for me? I think it's time I gave it a shot.

This week's question is: Who are You the Girl, instead of You the Blogger?

I've been trying (and trying again) to make my blog more personal. When I saw this query at Parajunkee's Follow Friday I knew I had to participate!

So, who am I?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Picture Me Wednesday - 2011 Week 5

I'm an eh-speaking, all-around Canadian girl who loves her national sport.

These are my 'boys in blue.' This was taken during the last game I attended in January 2011. Recent Canuck news? We're still holding number one position in the ranks and Luongo (our goalie and my favourite player) just scored his 300th win. Bring on the playoffs!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good News!

I am ecstatic that today is International Women's Day. I woke up this morning feeling rather dull. After making a cup of tea I ventured onto facebook, blogs, and finally to my e-mail accounts. What did I find? An e-mail of 'unofficial' acceptance into the graduate school I've always wanted to attend!! I couldn't think of a better day for me, a self-proclaimed third wave feminist, to find out (even if it is tentative). I think within the next week I should be officially informed of my status.

But, I have a confession. I had no clue it was International Women's Day until a few short hours ago. I feel ashamed... slightly. For, while I think it is great to recognize women's issues, I also think it is important to recognize the problems that all genders encounter. Equality for all, right?

Tune in Tuesday

I participated in Ginger's Tune in Tuesdays at GReads back in December 2010. It feels like yesterday. I know it sounds so cliche, but time is flying by lately... can you believe it's already March... and almost Spring!

I thought I'd give Tune in Tuesdays another shot this week.

E and I had a late night craving for desert and drinks during our latest visit to Vancouver Island. On one of the city's main streets we found a little Irish pub. Live acoustic music greeted us before we opened the door. Inside, we found Paul O'Brien with guitar and microphone in hand.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Vanishing Acts

People say that you should venture outside of your comfort zone. Try something new, try something that has never really attracted you. You never know what you are missing until you've given it a little taste.

I've avoided reading Jodi Picoult for many, many years. I have glanced at the summaries of her novels - mostly, it seems, containing plots of court cases (ie: murders, child sexual abuse) and other high-drama situations. To be blunt, I'm not into law stories. However, I found Picoult's Vanishing Acts gleaming on a bookstore's shelf and I thought it was high time I gave her work a shot.

Vanishing Acts confronts issues of memory, loss, addiction, and the reinvention of identity. Picoult provides readers with the tale of a father who kidnaps his daughter from his divorced wife. She provides reasons to justify the Father's behaviour, but ultimately leaves it to the reader to determine the gallantry of his actions.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Zookeeper's Wife

I finished reading Daine Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife a few days ago. My final review is rather delayed (you can read my first one here). I just can't seem to place my feelings for the book down onto paper... or cyberspace.

Ackerman tells the real-life tale of a couple in Warsaw during the Second World War. The couple, zookeepers by trade, find their zoo bombed and animals gone within the initial outbreak of war. Throughout the rest of the war, the couple assist Jewish individuals escaping the Warsaw Ghetto and Nazi brutality by hiding them in the zoo's animal cages. Ackerman furthers her tale with accounts of Nazi eugenics and the manipulation of human, animal, and plant genetics. National Socialists wished to remove non-Aryan people, non-Aryan animals, and non-Aryan plants from the world.

I've heard both good and bad comments about Ackerman's work. Some fellow bloggers have suggested that the book went into too much detail about little obscurities. Others have thoroughly enjoyed the work. So, where do I stand?

Picture Me Wednesday - 2011 Week 4

I'm stuck in the throws of crazy-a** weather. Last weekend was comprised of removing snow from the drive. Today my Province is scheduled to have 'hurricane-force winds.' But, this picture taken only a few weeks ago reminds me that we're on the verge of Spring... bring on the sun instead of snow! It's March!
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