Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

hundred-year-houseI feel like I’m going against the grain on this one, but I’m going to have to say I wasn’t that impressed with Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai. I went into it with high expectations, but overall felt it was unevenly written.  Continue reading

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels

If you are Canadian, you have undoubtedly already read Us Conductors by Sean Michaels. I think everyone got it for Christmas. And even if you haven’t read it, you have heard amazing things about it and probably gave it to somebody for Christmas. It won the Giller after all, and for Canadians that is a big endorsement. Continue reading

Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

running-like-girlPhysically, I hate running. Philosophically, I think it is the perfect sport. It is cheap, environmentally friendly and feeds my desire for solitude. That is why I sought out Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. I want to love running. I want to feel the joy that my friends feel when they’re running. I want to push myself to the limit (kind of). Continue reading

Cover Wars: An Untamed State

You  had to know this was coming. An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (review) has just been released in the UK, with a cover that is very different from the American one. I’m in no position to judge it objectively. The American cover has become burned on my brain. But what do you think?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


I don’t normally participate in the wonderful meme, It’s Monday! What are you reading?, hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, but my 2015 is getting off to a slow start bookwise.


communist-cookbookThe Communist Cookbook by Sharmishtha Roy Chowdhury. Love the cover, love the title, but the book just did not live up to my expectation. In fact, I felt so blah about it, that I’m not even going to review it. Was it me? Was it the book? Who knows. It just didn’t work.






us-conductorsUs Conductors by Sean Michaels. This book has received a lot of acclaim in Canada, where it surprised everyone by winning the Giller Prize this year. I’m reading it as part of Jazz Age January hosted by Leah at Books Speak Volumes and to catch up with the brilliant CanLit podcast, Write Reads.

Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda

bonita-avenueWhat is it about Dutch-Scando-wegian literature that makes me so uncomfortable? Admittedly, I have not read much, but what I have read always takes me to an uncomfortable place. It takes rather black and white issues and blurs them all together into innumerable shades of gray. Continue reading

Mini-Bloggiesta To Do List


I wasn’t going to participate in this Mini-Bloggiesta, but then I thought, why not? I’ve been so busy lately with other projects and travel that I’ve fallen woefully behind on EVERYTHING to do with my blog. I should take this opportunity to catch up with my blog and the blogging community.

So my To Do List:

  • write 2 reviews
  • update archives
  • clean out my feeder
  • organize my to read list
  • do one Bloggiesta challenge
  • comment on 5 blogs for Bloggiesta
  • tackle the chaos that is my Twitter

It’s not too late for you to join in too! Go to the Bloggiesta website for all of the latest news and the sign-up post. Best of luck!

2014: The Numbers

This post is so woefully overdue that I almost wasn’t going to write it. Then I thought, hey, what’s the use of all this data just sitting here all by itself? I know there are numbers nerds out there, so I’m going to share.

Total books read


This is down from 2013, which was at 101. Do I have excuses? You bet i do! Do you care? Probably not.


The gender break down: Not bad, if I do say so myself!! And more female authors read than the year before. But am I giving male authors a fair chance?

pieChart_jpg (1)


The genre breakdown: Yowzers! Not a great split. And when you look at the gender breakdown of the authors, it’s even more depressing. Only 40% of the non-fiction I read was by women. Ponder to yourselves what that may mean. I think it means I don’t read many memoirs and that so-called serious books tend to be written by men, and yes, there is a problem with that.

pieChart_jpg (2)

Author’s Nationality: Looks like I read a lot of Americans this year. Again. But I also read many more Brits, and that was one of my goals now that I’m living permanently in the UK. And you can see that CanLit suffered as a result.

I also made up the category of Global. There were quite a few authors I read this year that truly are global citizens. For example, born in India, went to university in the US, and divides their time between the UK and India.

pieChart_jpg (3)

Where in the world my reading took me: Unfortunately, this neat little map does not show how much I read set in each country. So, for example, it looks like I did a lot of Russian reading, when in fact I read only one book set there. Australia, on the other hand, fared quite well in my reading in 2014.

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Burma Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fassu Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria


Map Legend: 10%, 27 of 263 Territories


AfghanistanAmerican SamoaAustraliaBelgiumCanadaChileCubaCook IslandsEgyptFrench PolynesiaFranceGermanyHaitiIndiaJapanKenyaNetherlandsNepalPakistanPortugalPapua New GuineaPhilippinesRussiaTanzaniaUnited KingdomUnited StatesVietnam


Where my reading took me

The Expats by Chris Pavone

the-expatsI don’t often read spy thrillers, but when I do they will be by Chris Pavone. It’s like he gets me and knows what will hook me into an action packed read. Earlier this year I read and reviewed The Accident by Pavone and my love of it propelled me to read his first novel, The Expats. Continue reading

Friendswood by Rene Steinke

friendswoodOops, my bad. I read Friendswood by Rene Steinke way back before Christmas, but didn’t write down my thoughts. I know I thought something about it. Ok, here we go, I’m going to try to reconstruct my thoughts. Continue reading