Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Woman He Loved Before

The Woman He Loved Before, written by Dorothy Koomson, was one of the many books I bought while visiting the Land of E this summer.  It was a book which sounded like a promise of a good read but failed to come to fruition.

The Woman He Loved Before is about the relationship between Libby and Jack, complicated pasts, and twisted family ties.  Libby, Jack's second wife, is haunted by the unanswered questions behind the death of Jack's first wife, Eve.  Koomson takes readers on a tale of love, sensuality, and abuse as she explores the life of Eve and it's impact on Jack's new relationship.  Libby comes to question her relationship with her husband and the possibility of his hand in the murder of Eve.  The book's main question:  How and why did Eve die?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Book Thief

Photo taken by Ms. C
I had been in a Holocaust-themed reading rut for a long time prior to reading this book.  In fact, I could not bring myself to read any literature on the Holocaust since visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in April 2011. 

I could research the topic into oblivion during my Undergraduate days...  I would read book after book on the Holocaust prior to my visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Yet, I was now unable to read the first few pages of any Holocaust-themed item.

What was the weirdest part about my reading rut?  The actual visit at Auschwitz-Birkenau did not move me to the degree that I thought it would.  I found that the camp, while an emotional site, had become too tourist-centered.  It was only after I returned to Canadian soil that the thought of reading about events at the place I had just visited began to disturb me.  I could vividly picture what the authors were writing.  I could recall walking in that very camp the authors were so expertly describing, and if I closed my eyes, their stories and my experiences at the same site began to overlap.

Consequently, I have a large pile of Holocaust literature sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. 

I told my friend, K, my reading problems... and the fact that I really wanted to read a book called The Book Thief.  After a little persuasion, I left a store with The Book Thief placed neatly into my shopping bag.  I began reading the book later on that afternoon.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Photo taken by Ms. C. 
I found Stella Newman's Pear-Shaped at a little bookstore in Newcastle, UK.  To be honest, I was attracted by the cover.  The light blue background, teeny tiny pear shaped white dots, bright pink font, and 1950s style woman beckoned to me.

Pear-Shaped is about Sophie, an English girl, who meets and falls in love with James, a man who is completely and utterly bad for her sanity.  James is an older and slightly overweight man who has a history of dating models and fraternizes with a host of womanizing men.  Newman's tale focuses on the turbulent relationship between Sophie and James.

I am torn with this book.  Newman's writing is, at times, hilariously funny.  I think many people can relate to Sophie's story - a girl who falls in love with the wrong man.  Newman is able to depict Sophie's dilemmas in an entertaining, engaging, and funny way.  However, most of the time I wanted to slap her characters.  Why?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who cares what they're gonna say

Jennifer Lopez : Dance Again

This song has been stuck in my head for awhile now.  Maybe it's due to Glee's interpretation of the song last month or just the fact that my local radio station plays it so, so much... I can't seem to escape it!

I just saw this music video today and... well, holey glitter and people-ceiling.  So much could be said, but I think I'll just leave it at that.

Title extracted from the lyrics of Jennifer Lopez's Dance Again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

In the post

Earlier this week I received two packages in the mail from E.  You see, sometimes the UK has things that you just can't get in Canada.  Like awesome specialty teas, Trebor Extra-Strong Mints, and good books published in London.

So, what were in the packages you ask?

J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy and Jojo Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind!

Photo taken by Ms. C.  
Photo taken by Ms. C.  
Of course, Rowling's newest book can be purchased in Canada... but I really wanted a copy of her book from her country itself.

As for Moyes - if you have visited my blog before you know I love her work.  Sadly, it is very difficult to find in Canada... there are only a few select titles available.  The Girl You Left Behind is her newest edition that I cannot wait to read.

And, the big question... what should be read first?  
I sided with Rowling, like any good Potter fan would.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Moyes' Interview

Above is Jojo Moyes' discussion of her work Me Before You at the Richard and Judy Book Club 2012 hosted by WHSmith, a bookshop in the UK.  I absolutely loved this book and I think it's topic is incredibly pertinent in today's society - this clip is worth a listen.

The Richard and Judy Book Club 2012 have conducted interviews with all of the authors from this years reading list.  Their other interviews can be found on YouTube by clicking here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Angel's Game

Photo taken by Ms. C.  

I am the first to admit that I do not quite understand Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Angel's Game.  The novel centers around David Martin, a conflicted writer, and a series of spooky, sinister events - that I can assure you is correct.  However, much of the plot has left me unsure of what truly happened.

Me Before You

Photo taken by Ms. C. 
Jojo Moyes has often been labelled a chick-lit writer.  However, I think she is anything but the producer of fluffy, inconsequential romances.  Moyes does write love stories... but her tales are able to combine controversial topics, emotion, hilarity, and intense drama.

Moyes explores the everyday life of individuals with severe physical disabilities within her work Me Before You.  The story centers around Will, a quadriplegic young man who was once highly active, and his budding relationship with Lou, his caretaker.  Readers are introduced to each character before they meet - thus we are able to view Will as a young athletic business man at the top of his world and Lou as a recently laid of cafe employee supporting her parents and sister on minimum wage.  Moyes does an excellent job of developing the characters and portraying the tensions in each one's life which ultimately bring them together.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It belongs to P.F. Sloan

Rumer: P.F. Sloan

Perhaps its Library/Archival school... but all I can think of is copyright issues when I hear this song.  Pretty fitting for mid-September, I think.

* The title for this post was extracted from the lyrics of Rumer's P.F. Sloan.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Twilight: New Moon

Awhile back I read and reviewed the first installment of Twilight (you can read it here).  I found the first book so addictive that I had to borrow K's copy of New Moon a few weeks later.

Monday, September 10, 2012

That smile on your face like summer

Matchbox Twenty: Overjoyed
Matchbox Twenty's latest CD, North, was released last week. I fell in love with this song over the last few days and just stumbled across its very own music video. The band and director Ben Boutwell have created such a cute story.

* Post title extracted from the lyrics of Matchbox Twenty's (2012) Overjoyed.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Why Have Kids? Preview

Jessica Valenti's Why Have Kids? was released earlier this week.  I eagerly await to read this book though I am not quite sure when I will manage to find time amid university deadlines.  However, I did find a snazzy little video preview of the main questions and premises within Valenti's latest work.  Check it out below. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Picture Me Wednesday - Heart

Photo taken by Ms. C. 
My iPod Touch sock =) 
It comes with me everywhere now that I am commuting all the time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - The Angel's Game

Photo taken by Ms. C. 

"Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.  In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands, a new spirit..."
- Carlos Ruiz Zafron - The Angel's Game (2009, p. 430).

You can participate at Should Be Reading's Teaser Tuesday by clicking here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Secret in an Envelope...

The Civil Wars: 20 Years

I first heard this band and song in England earlier this summer.  Perhaps I feel a bit nostalgic as summer is now mere hours from being officially over... but I swear I can feel myself being transported to Nottingham when I close my eyes and listen to the lyrics.

Hope you all enjoy the last official day of summer and have a lovely Labour Day!  
I'm back to uni tomorrow.   

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Trailer - The Girl You Left Behind

I absolutely love Jojo Moyes and cannot wait to read her next book, The Girl You Left Behind. Check out the trailer below - sounds good, no?  It comes out 27 September 2012!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Feature & Follow - Aug 30

This week's Feature & Follow question is...

Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?

A: A book I read recently comes to mind. I absolutely fell in love with the cover of Pear-Shaped by Stella Newman.  The bubbly pink font, cute baby blue background, teeny tiny white pear dots (not sure if they show up in this picture!), and stylish lady beckoning another time era made me give this book a shot. But, the story? Not so much for me to love there.

A review of the book is scheduled for next month.

The Best of Me

Photo taken by Ms. C. 
I began Nicholas Sparks' latest book, The Best of Me, tentatively.  It's not that I don't like his other works.  I love his older novels.  However - prior to reading The Best of Me - I found his recent tales tiresome, repetitive, and with too strong a focus on criminal activities.  Sparks came to be an author who wrote love stories that always included a crazy person with a gun somewhere within the plot.  And that, to me, is not an attractive story.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Picture Me Wednesday - Shakespeare

Photo taken by Ms. C.
Why Shakespeare, you ask?  A few months ago I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon with E.  I absolutely *loved* my stay in Stratford - which is incidentally the city of Shakespeare's origins.  I bought this pin from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  Quoted here is a famous line from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Monday, August 27, 2012

Remember how that lasted for a day?

Taylor Swift: We are Never Ever Getting Back Together
 This song is all over the media right now... and I absolutely love it, especially the emphasized "we"!  The video is way too cute =)
*Post title extracted from Taylor Swift's We are Never Ever Getting Back Together lyrics.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Before Ever After

Photo taken by Ms. C
I first heard of Samantha Sotto's book when she commented on my blog.  I like to respond to people's comments and see if they have a blog I can visit in return.  Low and behold, Sotto's comment led me to her blog post about Before Ever After - a book she had released a few days prior.  Her book sounded amazing and its cover was gorgeous... I mentally filed it into my TBR list.  Last month, while browsing my bookstore's shelves, I found Sotto's book and knew I had to give it a read.

Sotto provides us with the story of a bereaved widow's quest to find the truth behind her late husband's life. Shelley, the widow, is told that her husband is alive and somehow seems immune to aging three years after his supposed death. The story is based on Shelley's  recounts of how she met her husband on an European trip and his intimate knowledge of history during her flight halfway across the world in search of her late husband.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Picture Me Wednesday - Yarn

I haven't written a Picture Me Wednesday post for awhile now.... and I think it's high time I bring it back to the blogging world.  Below is a little glimpse of what my hands have been busy creating when I'm not typing out book reviews...

My knitting project. 
One day (hopefully soon!) all of this yarn will be a nice, long, and cozy ribbed  scarf =)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Before Ever After

"He pressed the sharpened edge to his chest and called to his boys, "Wait for me! Papa's coming home!"  He pushed himself off the scaffolding and fell on the brush's point."

~ Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto, p. 113.

Click here to participate at Should Be Reading's Teaser Tuesdays!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Feature & Follow

 This week at Parajunkee's Feature & Follow we are asked:

What blogger inspires you?  It can be any kind, it doesn't have to be a book blogger.

A:  Jessica Valenti -- 110%.  I was introduced to Valenti's blog and Feministing (which she founded!), through a university course many years ago.  I love that she is able to discuss feminism and why it matters in today's society in such a straightforward and engaging way.  He writing have sass and an attitude that I just cannot get enough of.  I have blogged about her published books repeatedly over the years - check some of them out if you like :)

Yes Means Yes!
Purity Myth
He's a Stud, She's a Slut

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Photo taken by Ms. C
I spent a good part of last year browsing bookstores, finding Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, thinking it sounded like an excellent read... but ultimately returning it to its store shelf.  It cost $20 and I couldn't justify buying it.  Flash-forward to a few months ago, and a copy of Bender's work was held tightly in my hands.  After looking and waiting for a copy for *so* long I decided to give it a shot.

Bender tells the story of Rose, a young girl, who can taste emotions in her food.  It is with only one bite of a lemon and chocolate cake that Rose discovers her mother's, the cake chef's, depression.  Bender explores Rose's childhood, family turmoil, and her unique ability to trace emotions in food within this work.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove

The Civil Wars : Dance me to the end of love 

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
*Post title originated from The Civil Wars' Dance Me to the End of Love

Music Monday Feature

Hi everyone! 

I haven't been religiously blogging (and by that I mean keeping up with a schedule of posts) for awhile now.  Earlier today I thought that I needed something to keep me grounded in the blogging world, something to recap the weekend, and perhaps even a little something to act as motivation for whatever is to come during upcoming weeks.  That's when I thought of a Music Monday Feature.

How did music become the solution? 

While I was visiting blog's this weekend I noticed that a few bloggers have installed music players into their sites (ie: you visit their home page and -boom- there's Taylor Swifts' voice).  I love hearing what music other bloggers listen to but sometimes I find it really distracting to be reading posts and paying attention to an artists' lyrics.  Perhaps music would be best enjoyed as a post and feature all by itself?

Tune in to Coffee Tales each Monday for one of my favourite of-the-moment music videos or songs.  Each post will be labelled with a lyric selected from the featured song.  Sometimes less well-known artists will be featured... and sometimes those artists don't produce music videos.  In that case, please excuse any corny graphics that may come along with the YouTube version of a song.

Ms. C

Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow Friday

This week's question on Parajunkee's follow feature is:

What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?

A:  I would have liked to network and connect with other bloggers at a faster rate.  I was unaware that a whole universe of book bloggers existed when I first set out to create my blog and it took a few months for me to connect with others. 

I also would have wanted to start out with the name that I currently have - Coffee Tales.  I began my blog as Coffee Tale Reviews because Blogspot kept on giving me an error message when I wrote 'Coffee Tales' while creating my space.  I lived with the name Coffee Tale Reviews for about a year and then decided to just change it without a URL switch.

Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to follow your blogs and answers!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wedding Cookies

Sweet Sunday Yummy Lit Review:
Wedding Cookies

JJ (my brother and new sister-in-law) were married July 21st.  I, being the family baker, was in charge of helping create the wedding guests' gifts.  I spent one day making over 170 cookies, and another day presenting them on china plates which were designed for the couple in E's factory.  Here are a few pictures of the gifts in the making:

Cut out cookies with lemon icing and chocolate peanut-butter cookie duo were made by the dozens that day.  You can find the recipes here:

Cut Outs
Chocolate Peanut-Butter Cookie Duo

The cookies were later wrapped up in cellophane, tied with ribbons, and presented to guests... but alas, I have no pictures until the professional photographer sends his along.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Earlier this month I was nominated for the "Liebster Blog Award" by Aspen at Confessions of an Inner Aspen.  Check out her site if you have not already - it is truly lovely!

I haven't heard of this blogging award before, so here are its details:

Winners answer 11 questions provided by whoever tagged you, provide 11 facts about themselves, and choose 11 followers to bestow the award upon, so long as they have 200 followers or less.  

They sure do make you work for this award!  I have been majorly stuck on time this month (lots of wedding prep for JJ) and would find it really difficult to select 11 blogs under normal circumstances... which is why I have not yet responded to this nomination.

I would like to thank Aspen for nominating me.  However, I won't be nominating a further 11 blogs nor will I list 11 facts about myself due to time constraints.  But, in honour of the award and Aspen's kind choice to include me on her blog list, answers to her 11 questions follow....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why Men Love Bitches

Argov's Why Men Love Bitches is one of those non-fiction, self-help-y books that circles of female friends often pass around.  I remember my friend recommended it to me years ago. If I must guess it was around early 2007 when she burst into my workplace claiming that I had to read this book... it was just that good.  And, with  a title like its own, I clearly remember the first day it was introduced to me.

But, what was all the fuss about?

Argov claims that women all-too-often become dependent and much too obliging to the men they date.  Argov suggests that men will have fun with the gals who are that way... but they won't keep them.  Who do men fall in love with?  Bitches.  Not the girl who gives everything up, but the girl who stands her ground, is independent, and has respect for her body and mind.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafron's The Shadow of the Wind is a hypnotizing tale of the impact of literature on both readers and writers.  Zafron's work is written with the air of a suspenseful mystery, adventure, and romance tale. 

Zafron tells the story of Daniel, a young boy who locates The Shadow of the Wind, a fictional novel in Zafron's story which is purportedly written by Julian Carax and had been long-forgotten in a labyrinth library titled the 'Cemetery of Forgotten Books' during the 1940s.  The mystery begins when people in his city, Barcelona, discover that Daniel has this book and seek to remove it from his possession.  Zafron chronicles the life of Daniel, as he slowly grows into adolescence and adulthood, and begins to learn the secrets of Julian Carax.  Daniel soon finds that the author is similar to himself in more than one way.  Eventually the plot thickens to a race of time and wit and will culminate in a very climatic conclusion.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sweet Sunday's Yummy Lit Review: Chocolate Crackles

 Sweet Sunday's Yummy Lit Review: 
Chocolate Crackles

Decadent.  Rich.  Gorgeous.... and not too sweet. 
Oh my goodness, these cookies are so, so, so delicious!

I have always wanted to try Martha Stewart's Chocolate Crackles recipe.  Dark, chocolatey-brown cookies with a white layer of confectioners sugar are hard to resist.  Really hard.  I decided earlier this week that it was finally time for me to beat my no-baking rut and try this cookies on for size.

The recipe for these bad boys can be found here.   The recipe is also located in Stewart's (2008) Cookies book (that's what I used).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday

This week's Follow Friday question is:

Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from??

A: I love this question... if only because it is my birthday this weekend! So, who to jump out of my birthday cake...

I would have to say Harry Potter. Harry Potter is my absolute favourite series and I grew up reading, and re-reading, the books with a passion. I was recently at the London Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour (which was amazing!). The thought of being able to meet Harry would just be the icing on the cake.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Written Impact

I recently finished a Jojo Moyes novel.  I cannot get enough of her writing!  I began a Google search of her work after I finished the final page of Me Before You (Moyes, 2012).  I had already read The Last Letter From Your Lover (which is high up on my favourite book list - check out my review here).  Moyes has a couple other books out which I know I will soon be reading.

My Google search was fruitful apart from finding Moyes' other novels.  It turns out Moyes, a journalist, has also written some interesting articles for The Telegraph.  In one from 2010, she explores how difficult it is to write a sex scene in a novel.  She also discusses literature's ability to help calm individuals (both readers and writers) under stress, anxiety, and depression.

One of my favourite Moyes' lines is: 

...writing really well about sex can be problematic in itself. If I write about war brides, Sixties society, or haute ├ęcole dressage, everyone assumes I’ve read around my subject matter. Equally, on the few occasions I’ve written something even vaguely explicit I’ve had knowing looks – even the odd wink – at the school gates.
~ from: Writing a sex scene is an impossible task.

I love how Moyes, apart from producing amazingly powerful novels, is also able to explore the intricacies of writing in an engaging and entertaining way.  Thank you, Moyes!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Punctuate Me Up

My classmates recently brought my attention to this guest post by Leah Petersen at Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Apparently how we write reflects our personality type.  Are you a guy/girl who uses lots of commas, periods, exclamation points, or colons? 

I'm somewhere between a "..." and "-" girl... which means I am creative, indecisive, and flighty (among other things).  Actually, I use parentheses a lot, too.  Perhaps I should add scatterbrained and mutli-tasking to my list?  I think I could find a few people who would attest that I hold all of these traits.  Especially indecisive... oh boy, am I indecisive.

.... I think it's time I stop analyzing.

What does your punctuation say about you?  Click here to find out.

Something From Tiffany's

Melissa Hill's Something From Tiffany's questions the decisions behind love, engagement, and ultimately finding one's happily ever after.  How do you know your partner is truly 'the one?'  Is 'the one' even a honest-to-goodness real concept or are people just settling under its pretenses?  Is the bling more important than the love that is shared?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To Read or Not to Read, That is the Question

In one of my prior posts I mentioned the fact that I planned, and tried reallllllly hard, not to buy any books in Europe. I did not succeed.  In fact, I failed the task so badly that I had to pay for an overweight bag at the airport. 

This has led some readers to ask what books I purchased and what is currently on my bookshelf and eReader TBR pile.  Well, here goes...

Kindle's Special : Dead End Deal

Just a quick little newsflash ---

I am currently reading Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler.  It is a medical thriller and it is really gripping .... but I haven't yet finished the book.  Stay tuned for a full review in the near future.

I did, however, want to point out to you all that Dead End Deal is listed as Amazon's Summer Reading Promo. 

I am a lover of both print and electronic books, and I can't help but point out to you all that if you are thinking of purchasing a book which reads really well (as far as I can tell thus far) then it might just be the right time.  From June 19th to June 27th you can purchase a Kindle edition of the book for $1.99.   Bargain!

If you do purchase a copy, through Kindle's special or some other means, I would love to hear your views on Wyler's work, too!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Can't Believe I Read It

I love my Sony eReader so much that  I decided to load it up full of books (purchases, author reviews, and library loans) prior to leaving Canada last month.  I had around six electronic novels waiting to be read and I thought I would be set.* 

One of the books I brought along, electronically speaking, was Twilight by Stephenie Meyers.  Twilight has such a bad reputation - before purchasing it on my Sony eReader account I ummed and awwed while wondering if I really wanted to bridge into the universe of Twilight.  I remembered reading one chapter after the first movie was released and deciding it just wasn't for me.  Was it time for me to revisit this book?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Love, Books, and Marriage

I stumbled upon a story of love, books, and marriage while surfing through Twitter earlier this afternoon. 

This article, featured at Quill & Quire, describes Naly and Ben's recent Toronto wedding (congrats!).  The couple, who met at Davenport Public Library, decided to hold their wedding vows at Ben McNally Books as the store's name is eerily similar to their own. 

This led me to ponder.... would I want to get married in a bookstore or library? 

While reading this article I immediately thought of Sex and the City and Carrie's use of the New York Public Library for her wedding venue.  She rationalized that the library was the perfect location for a wedding as it held all of the world's greatest love stories.  How romantic!

Me.... while, I've always wanted to get married in a castle.  Or someplace that looked vaguely like a castle.  I recently joked that I should just find a brick wall somewhere, considering the amount of castles Canada has to offer.  However, I can see potential if a really cool, old-fashioned, European style library popped up on my soil.

Would you combine love and books on your big day?

Monday, June 11, 2012

From the Land of E to Home

Over the past four weeks I have been in England.  I seem to have good timing for travel - last year I was able to see Will and Kate's royal wedding while the jubilee was in full swing this time around.  I swear I didn't plan it!  Actually, I didn't even know the true date of the jubilee until I landed and heard all of the British news coverage leading up to the big weekend celebrations.

So, how was the Land of E? ---- Great! 

I loved each and every minute... besides those dreadful final goodbyes.   E and I were able to visit awesome literary sites (the birthplace of Shakespeare and the Harry Potter studio tour in London). Partly my jet lag and partly my cold - I managed to be sick my entire stay and am currently propped up in bed - prevent me from further explaining these awesome sites.  That, and the fact that Potter and Shakespeare deserve far more than a few sentences.   Over the next little while I will upload both photos and stories from these very places.

PS - I may be a coffee addict but tea is another one of my weaknesses.  Stay tuned for a very British tea tasting review held from Nottingham!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Yes Means Yes!

Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman's collection of essays in Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape is an engaging, fast-paced exploration of sexual assault in contemporary North America.  The work contains twenty-seven essays written by various authors which seek to understand issues central to sexual assault such as consent, virginity, the media, stereotypes, race, and sexual orientation.  Yes Means Yes! echoes the personal tales of many different lifestyles.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Temporary Life

Martin Crosbie's My Temporary Life is a complex and dark tale of the life of Malcolm, a Canadian-Scottish man in the late twentieth century.  Crosbie delves into the childhood, adolscence, and adulthood of Malcolm as he experiences the hardships of his parents divorce, trans-Atlantic life (he spends his summers in Vancouver with his mother and remaining time in Scotland with his father), puberty, and his slowly developing romance with Heather which sends him on a suspenseful chase throughout Canada.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

"Doctors took her cells without asking.  Those cells never died.  They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry.  More than twenty years later, her children found out.  Their lives would never be the same." - Skloot, [cover].

Skloot, a science writer whose work has graced many magazines and journals, weaves an emotional tale of Henrietta Lacks, a poverty-stricken American woman of colour diagnosed with cervix cancer, during the 1950s and onward in her work The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Doctors harvested cells from Lacks' cervix following her diagnoses of cancer.  However, her cells continued to reproduce in the hospital's petri dishes and came to be one of the most important tools in developing vaccines, gene mapping, and the ability to clone animals.  She and her family never received recognition or funds despite the wealth of information and money Lacks' cells have brought to the field of medicine throughout the twentieth century.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Helen Warner weaves a tale of weddings, lost loves, and mixed messages in her novel RSVP.  Warner tells the story of Anna, a love lorn young woman who never got over her ex, in modern London.  Emotions come to a boil when she is invited to her ex's wedding ten years later.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Helen Humphreys' Conventry: A Novel portrays the National Socialist bombing of Coventry, England, during World War II.  This book is a fast read which permits its readers to become lost in English culture and values during the turbulent 1940s. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday, a weekly meme at shouldbereading lets readers share two random sentences from a random segment of their current reading material.  I haven't participated in this meme for a verrrrry long time (perhaps a year!?) so here it goes:

BookSomething from Tiffany's by Melissa Hill

"He ran a hand through his dark hair, wondering why all of this felt so surreal now, when back in Tiffany's it had seemed so right.  Covering her little hand with his big one, he continued: "just know how much I love you."" 
- Hill, 2011, p. 24.

Valenti's Purity Myth

"While boys are taught that the things that make them men - good men- are universally accepted ethical ideals, women are led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs.  Literally." (Valenti, 2009, p. 13)

Virginity is a  convoluted subject.  What is the act that marks the loss of virginity?  Why does North American culture suggest that all females must be good, wholesome girls who wait to 'lose' their virginity on their wedding night while our culture is so sexualized in and of itself?  How do we, as young women, balance these two contrasting roles - the highly sexualized and the highly de-sexualized persona of womanhood?

Friday, April 27, 2012

London Under

What exists under London's streets, the Thames, and England's historical past?  London Under, written by Peter Ackroyd, examines these very questions.  I found this book during my trip to the Land of E last Spring and knew I had to read its contents.  London Under's title page, in-and-of-itself, spiked my interest and its pages of text made this quick read.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lets Unite

Love, love, LOVE this video.  Oh how I wish I would have found Madeline sitting on my school bus back in the day... I adored her stories! Who is your favourite character featured here?

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Year of Grad School Complete!

I finished the first year of my MLIS/MAS dual degree Easter Monday.

What did I do to celebrate?
Jumped on a plane to Las Vegas!
It was a great way to unwind, relax, and get prepared for a fun-filled summer spent away from graduate school.

However, I still have a HUGE stack of library books which need to be returned... 22 books to be exact. I already returned over 30 books which I packed into a suitcase. Yes, I traveled to university with an actual suitcase full of books to be returned (it felt super odd). I also kept all of the receipts from this semester's library books, mostly to keep track of what book came from what library. There is quite the collection... at least I feel that I'm putting the library to good use as an upcoming librarian myself!

Receipts for the 55 library books I rented this semester.
(Photo taken by Ms. C)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Objectification & Sexualization

When I visited Facebook this morning my home page contained a link to an article about the use of Photoshop and the modeling world. You can view it here.

My take:

Photoshop is only one expression of the messed up standards in society. But, it's probably never going to leave - it makes too much money due to the men who buy the images and fantasize over them, and the women who look at it and think they need the next cosmetic line, fad diet book, or some other item that 'should' make them look just like that female on the glossy pages. Photoshop all you want - just know that all you are saying is that women are pieces of ass for sexual gratification.

On the other hand, Photoshop does occur for images of men... just not the same extreme and probably not as socially powerful. Girls are taught from a young age that they're objects which should be objectified and sexualized for men (aka - take a look at your Sun (if you're in England) - you don't see any naked men in there, do you).

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Parisian bookstore - tres chic

An interesting little video on a Parisian bookstore. I love, love, *love* the bookshelves and aura of this shop!

Ps - sorry, couldn't avoid throwing a little French into the title for this post! ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's hard to forget the first time...

Somebody That I Used to Know, by Gotye, is pretty popular of late. Yet, I cannot stop loving the first version of the song that I heard a few months ago.

I was browsing YouTube for songs from Ingrid Michaelson's newest CD in early January when I stumbled upon this song:

The title screams that this is a cover, but I actually didn't pick that fact up until a few weeks ago when Gotye's version became popular in my hometown.

Today I am loving this song.
and those glasses, oh my goodness!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

From 1 masters degree to 2

First off - yayy for awesome songs!

*LOVE* this song! Carly is one of my favourites - this CD came out on valentines day!

In other news... Grad school life hasn't been that exciting - I don't even have any crazy stories to report on over the last month. February flew by, partly because it was a mad-dash to get ready for March assignment due dates. First year is officially over in less than a month!! I have a huge stack of books (you know, the fun ones with awesome plots and reviewable material) that I cannot wait to dive into starting April 9th.

I'd like to say that I am halfway done my two-year MLIS degree... but things have changed since I last wrote. I decided to do a dual masters degree. Two years from now I will be the proud owner of two masters degrees - an MLIS and MAS. I am so excited and so happy that I have this opportunity! Some of you may have picked up along the way of reading my posts that I am a history fanatic. The thought of being the person who manages, preserves, and promotes our cultural record is amazing. Someone pinch me!

Speaking of which, my newest assignment is finding out how to spend $6000 on preservation materials for a rbsc library. I should really get back to discussions on mold, appropriate shelving, and pH testing.... sigh.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In Remembrance

All photos personally taken by Ms. C

Today, January 27th, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Research, education, and promoting remembrance and respect of the Holocaust is a strong passion of mine. Last April I traveled to Krakow with E and visited the city's old Jewish district along with Auschwitz and Birkenau. Paying homage to the millions of Jewish, Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, and political opponents who suffered through the activities of the National Socialist state has always been a desire of mine. On this day of remembrance the Holocaust seems all the more vivid as I recall walking through the buildings, chambers, and fields of these camps.

Events during the 1930s and 40s, and the destruction of uncountable communities, families, and lives must never be forgotten.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

eReader resurrected ... kinda

I have a new eReader! The store exchanged my faulty reader for a brand new copy. it came with an update which is supposed to fix problems with the touch screen....

Fingers crossed this one lasts -- I'm nervous to even touch it right now!

Thanks for all of your helpful advice over the last few days!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Librarian 101

You know you're becoming a librarian when:
your writing a paper and need to find a source on what 'privacy' means in the Canadian context.


I know plenty of you are wondering how this all fits into becoming a librarian... let me explain.

This morning, when confronted with this very problem (and fueled by 8 cups of coffee), I began searching my university library's OPAC for academic journal articles. I've always looked to scholarly journal articles for citation needs - they were perfect in plunking a bit of needed credibility into my old undergrad term papers.

However, journal articles weren't cutting it for me today. I took a step back... I thought... and then I realized what I'm actually searching for -- definitions! One flashback to classes on reference sources and "that's a bingo!!" I found the perfect (reputable and Canadian) online dictionary for my needs.

Suddenly all of last semester's information on 'where to look for what' when answering reference interview questions is paying off for my own paper-writing needs.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sony eReader -- Why?

Just a quick (little) note --

I mentioned in my post how much I *love* my eReader yesterday.
I still do... but it's gone and killed itself.

The touch screen doesn't work anymore and it won't turn off. It did this once before but it didn't last very long. This time, however, it's been over 16 hours of nothingness. So glad we decided on the extended warranty!

Do any of you have the new Sony eReader? Have you ever experienced this problem?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello, Hello!

So sorry to leave this blog unattended for so long! I finished my first semester at Library School in early December. I was exhausted and the thought of blogging was way too much for my body or mind to fathom immediately after handing in my last assignment.

Flash-forward a week after gaining freedom from Library School's due dates... and E was here for the holidays. He *almost* missed the plane. He's asked me not to glorify his actions - but I can't resist. He was stuck in traffic in London and ended up running for the plane (he's got all the athletic skill in this relationship haha). There were a few minutes I believed he wouldn't make the flight... and when he finally told me he was seconds from take off I was ecstatic!

During the holiday season I acquired a Sony ereader. I know this blog proudly displays the sign "i pledge to read the printed word." And, don't get me wrong, I still do. However, I have fallen in love with the ereader... and I know it will come in handy next time I travel across the Atlantic (*hint - there's a future trip a'brewing!).

I'm now in Library School's second semester. I am so glad I finished my foundation classes - they were brutal. However, I now have major procrastination problems... I'd like to think that is not why I'm writing here... but you and me both know it probably has something to do with it ;)

I may not be able to read as frequently as I would wish, but I am still planning to keep Coffee Tales up. Future posts will provide accounts of caffeinated graduate school adventures of many shapes and forms... along with book entries and hopefully a recipe or two.

Hope all is well,
Ms. C
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