Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

Listen-to-the-squawking-chickenI think that absolutely everyone who picks up Listen to the Squawking Chicken is going to do so because it is by Elaine Lui aka Lainey Gossip. And I suppose that’s an ok reason to pick it up, but the reality is, this book deserves much more credit than that. It is a humorous and thought provoking memoir about Lui’s relationship with her mother that is filled with insight about both Chinese and Canadian cultures. Continue reading

The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn

The-interns-handbookI haven’t been very discriminating in my reading lately. What that means is that I’m picking books based on the cover or a catchy title without really knowing what it’s about. That’s what happened with The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn. I liked the cover and I’ve been an intern, so I figured I could relate. Besides, internships are making the news all over Canada right now so I thought this novel might fuel the flames a bit. Continue reading

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

astonish-meI read Maggie Shipstead‘s previous novel, Seating Arrangements, before I started this blog, but for those of you who read regularly you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I loved it. So when I heard that she had a new novel, Astonish Me, coming out in April, it was marked as must read immediately! I knew that Seating Arrangements for me was going to be a hard act to follow – it was a book that rang all my bells – so could Astonish Me do it? Continue reading

Cover Wars – Frog Music

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue seems to be all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic. I haven’t read it yet, but as always I do have an opinion on the cover art. The United States has come up with something very different than the UK, but which do you like better?


If you are interested in hearing more about Frog Music, here are some reviews of it at:

Gilmore Guide to Books

The Relentless Reader

River City Reading

Words For Worms



The Other Side of Paradise by Julia Cooke

other-side-of-paradiseCanadians love Cuba. For many, it is the sun filled destination of choice. We like it for many reasons: the people, the beautiful beaches, great music and of course the absence of Americans (sorry American friends). We feel like it is our playground. But few Canadians make it past the resort gates. The Cuba we know and love has absolutely no relation to the Cuba that exists for its inhabitants. And that is why The Other Side of Paradise by Julia Cooke is such a wonderful and engrossing book. Continue reading

The Heart Broke In by James Meek

heart-broke-inThe Heart Broke In by James Meek was my latest selection from the Willoughby Book Club and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have been meaning to read The People’s Act of Love, also by Meek,  since it came out in 2005 and have just never gotten around to it. So I dove into The Heart Broke In and devoured it. It is an almost perfect novel about modern times. Continue reading

Cover Wars – Worst. Person. Ever.


I reviewed Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland a couple of months ago when it came out in Canada and the UK. I have no idea whether or not Coupland is as popular in the United States as he is in Canada, but his book is being released there this week.


I’m interested in this cover for two reasons:

  1. Coupland is a graphic designer himself. I’m pretty sure that he was not the designer of either cover, but the Canadian one feels much more in keeping with his general aesthetic.
  2. The covers are so different. The American cover makes more sense after having read the book, but the Canadian cover is more in keeping with the Canadian editions of many of his other books.

Continue reading