April Round Up!


April felt like another busy month in the book0sphere, but now as I take an inventory of what I read, I realize it may not have been too productive. As always, links go through to my reviews.

  1. The Other Side of Paradise by Julia Cooke
  2. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
  3. The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn
  4. Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  5. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose
  6. The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris
  7. Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth
  8. The Setting Sun by Bart Moore-Gilbert
  9. The Explorers by Martin Dugard
  10. How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

Of these my favorites without a doubt were The Other Side of Paradise and The Marrying of Chani Kaufman. I highly recommend both of those.

I also reviewed the following.

  1. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui
  2. The Heart Broke In by James Meek
  3. The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag

Special Blog Posts

  1. World Book Night 2014
  2. Reading Diversely – A Top 10 List

My Reading Diversely post was the most viewed and the most commented upon. If you have not taken a look at it you, go on over and take a look.


Reading Diversely – A Top Ten List


The bookternet has been abuzz for the last few days since Book Con announced it’s line up of guests for 2014. Grumpy Cat aside, the list is appallingly white. In spite of the multiple conversations taking place in the public sphere about diversity in publishing, BookCon stuck to the same old theme. Continue reading

Cover Wars – Listen to the Squawking Chicken

In Canada Elaine Lui, aka Lainey Gossip, is big news. So when she recently came out with a memoir of her mother, Listen to the Squawking Chicken (my review), it was big news too. Lui is not a complete unknown south of the border either and her book was released in the United States this week.


The two covers are very different. Canada went with a more spring time look in white. And the chick is rather cute too. The American version has gone for basic black. And to me it is at least a little surprising that neither went with an overtly chick-lit feel (yes, that is a pun).

So, what do you think? Who wore it better?

World Book Night 2014

I didn’t know what World Book Night was when I moved to the UK two years ago, but I found the idea of it to be terribly exciting. Basically, inspired readers go out into the night and hand out copies of pre-selected books, donated by publishers, to reluctant or non readers. What could be better, right? As for the WORLD part of World Book Night, well it only takes place in the United Kingdom and United States. That’s probably why I didn’t know about it.

World-Book_night_2014 Continue reading

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose

Lovers-at-the-chameleon-club, Paris-1932Sometimes I just don’t know how to start a review, so I will just jump in with both feet. I was not thrilled with Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. Was it because I generally really like the author, Francine Prose? Was it because I expected amazing things out of this complex novel about the years leading up to the Second World War in Paris? Was it because I wanted this novel to be so different than anything else i’ve read? I don’t really know. Continue reading

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris

The-Marrying-of-chani-kaufmanYou know when you get a book hangover, and you just can’t move onto a new book even though you’ve finished the previous one? Yeah. The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris did that to me. It’s been two days, and I’m still not ready to leave those characters behind. You may recognize the title as Harris’ debut novel was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013. Continue reading

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