A Thriller TBR

October is the perfect time to open the thrillers I have on my TBR stack.

Most of the books in my stack are new releases. I look forward i particular to reading Gilly MacMillan’s new novel as I have enjoyed reading every story she has written. in addition, Karin Slaughter is another of my favourite authors.

Are you picking up any thrillers this month? If so, which one are you going to read first?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

TBR: August 2020

I have decided to keep my TBR small for August: I have a couple of e-books, a few books from July’s TBR which i will try to get to, and these beauties. School starts up again in September so I know I will be spending a lot of time getting ready for the new school year – especially as I didn’t have a chance to clean up at the end of last year!

How many books do you have in your TBR for August?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Currently Listening: The Switch

Currently I am listening to The Switch by Beth O’Leary while starting a new crochet project. I am now working on an afghan for my cousin (remember my yarn haul of a few weeks ago?)

The story I am listening to centres on Leena and her grandmother Eileen. Ordered to take a two month long sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother’s house. Once there, the two women decide to switch lives for the period: Leena takes over her grandmother’s life while Eileen, a 79 year old woman, goes to London to look for love and a change of pace. Stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected – ad leads them to learning more about themselves.

I am enjoying this 2 POV narration that is spot on. The narrators of the novel are perfect for the two generations of women in the story – their voices sound their age! I cannot stop listening as the storytelling just draws me in. I loved The Flatshare and I am enjoying The Switch just as much. Beth O’Leary has done it again in that she has created a relevant story for today’s times that is so different to the other stories out there.

What are you currently listening to?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This audiobook is the 105th novel in my book pledge for 2020)

Last-Now-Next: 29 July 2020

My previous read was The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza: the second book in the mystery series featuring DCI Erika Foster. I enjoyed the novel and appreciated, especially, the unusual murder story and the sassy, no-nonsense detective. This was the third novel I had read by this author and he is now definitely on my authors-to-read list.

I am currently reading The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin. This novel is a YA contemporary story that features the life of travelling magicians. The important part of this novel is that it centres on mental health issues and self-harm. It is an important story to be out there – though I do find it a little predictable.

At the moment I am binge watching Chinese marshal arts films on Netflix. I love watching the fight scenes as I find the choreography and strength of the fighters beautiful. I am definitely in the right frame of mind to read the autobiography Bruce Lee by Mathew Polly. My husband (who is a huge Bruce Lee fan) has read this title and enjoyed it and have decided to spend time with this book. I hope I will enjoy it as much as he did.

What are you planning on reading next?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Friday Feature: Serenity Harbour by RaeAnne Thayne

One of the titles I picked up from the library is by one of my favourite romance writers, RaeAnne Thayne. Serenity Harbour had been on my wishlist for a while and I thought now would be the perfect time to pick it up and read it.

The story takes place in Haven Point and centres on two characters named Bowie Callahan, a computer tech millionaire, and Katrina Bailey, a schoolteacher.

Bo is struggling to look after his young half brother, Milo, while settling into a new job. Kat is willing to help him with the care of the child because working with Milo will give her the money to get closer towards her goal of adopting an orphaned girl.

I enjoyed this read that hints at autism and special needs children. I also enjoyed the personality of all the characters – it made the story more enjoyable to me. Serenity Harbour was a perfect read for me this past week as it was not too intense and ended with a positive note.

Have you read any titles by ReaAnne Thayne?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This novels was the 101th novel in my book pledge for 2020)

Diverse Reads: The Book of Negroes

I am horrified to hear of what is currently happening in the US and the steps that have been taken to silence voices. World-wide people have struggled and sacrificed for decades so that they can be heard – and in a few moments all the progress that has been made is taken away. We need to respect the voices of the disempowered; we need to listen to what they are saying.

I ask myself what I can do as an ordinary person living an ordinary life. I can listen and respect the experiences of those different to my own. I can pay attention to the voices of the disempowered. I can read the stories written by those whose lives are disimilar to my own. I can speak up when comments and actions are made to disrespect the experience of those living without ingrained privilege.

Reading fiction is one way in which to explore the voices of those that are often submerged in society. Experiences described by authors of colour can give an insight into a life different to our own. When I was growing up, these reads were not available. Now, however, the shelves in the bookstores are slowly showcasing stories written by authors of different races and culture.

Today I share with you a powerful story written by a Canadian author: The Book of Negroes. Lawrence Hill gives voice to those who were forced from their home country in West Africa and sold as property. The novel centres on the story of Aminata Diallo from the time she was captured, sold into slavery in the United States, and fought for freedom. This powerful novel not only brought tears to my eyes, but it made me think on the slave trade and the far-reaching consequences of this moment in history. Hill writes Aminita’s story with empathy and brings the experience of the woman to life. This is a novel that I have recommended to others to read; and it is one that will always have a place on my bookshelf.

What diverse read has resonated with you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Currently Reading: Crescent City

I have read a lot of good things about Fantasy author Sarah J. Maas – all of them good. Recently she has released the first novel in an Adult Fantasy series she has written and when I saw the stunning cover, I knew I had to purchase it and immerse myself in the story.

I am 200 pages into this 800 page novel – and it is starting to get interesting. I suspect I will soon be unable to put this one down.

What are you currently reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Currently Listening: Wand Fasted

Currently I am listening to a novel I have previously enjoyed: Wand Fasted by Laurie Forest. My intention is to listen to all of the audiobooks of the series before the next book is available in June.

I am enjoying this revisit of a story and characters that I have previously enjoyed.

What are you currently listening to?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Book Covers

As part of my participation in the bookstagram community on Instagram, I often take pictures of book covers. I take these pictures outside sometimes so that the background to the book may look a little interesting.

I take these photos no matter what the weather:

Sometimes I take them at home and surround them with silk flowers:

Or I place the book next to my potted plants and pair it with a snack,

a candle,

or even a drink.

Sometimes I photograph the book with only the potted plant accompanying it, showing off its green leaves

and sometimes its flowers.

From time to time, I pair a book cover with some of my students’ work:

Recently I have taken to listening to audiobooks during the social isolation period and have even shared these tops with the community.

I enjoy opening the covers of the books I read and often try to think of ways in which I can show off the work created by the artists who designed them.

Do you enjoy looking at book covers?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. During the month of April, we are challenged to share photos featuring #squaretops)

TBR: April 2020

When choosing my To Be Read stack for this month, I was not too ambitious despite my knowledge that I will be staying at home until the end of the month. Although I will be home, I will be working on creating tasks for my students through my online classroom.

I have tried to choose a mix of genres and have included some middle grade stories, fantasy novels, and some contemporary fiction. There are a number of titles here that I am quite excited to read.

What titles are you planning to read this month?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020