This time last week my family and I were on a beach vacation in the Dominican Republic. For the last few years now, my husband has wanted to spend the Christmas period in the sun at a resort. This year we decided to agree with his wish and chose to go to the hotel we had chosen to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
I loved being back at the beach. I missed the warm sand and roaring sea so much yesterday as I was walking the cold, streets of the city yesterday.
One of the things that I am enjoying during my Summer Break the opportunity to meet up frequently with my friend and discuss our latest read over coffee.
We have noticed that we mark our pages differently in preparation for our discussions. My friend underlines sentences that resonate with her, and scribbles notes in the margin of what she thinks. She also writes down any links to her own life.
As for me, I write my notes on post-it notes. I like to keep the pages of my books pristine so that when I re-read the novel, I am not distracted by anything I may have written in the book.
I was so excited on Monday when I received the ARCs that my contact at Harper Collins Canada had sent to me because one of the galleys was Postscript by Cecelia Ahern. I love her writing and could not believe that I had been chosen to read and review her latest. Even though the book is set for release in September of this year, I could not hold off reading it.
The novel is beautifully written and continues with the experience of Holly as outlined in the novel P.S. I Love You.
The story has captured my attention and I am having trouble putting it aside to focus on other chores. I foresee spending time this afternoon with Ahern’s novel instead of continuing with the cleanup process that is happening in my home. 😀
Are you currently reading a book you cannot put down?
My daughter volunteers her time at our public library for a youth programme that entourages young people to write. Last year my daughter’s work was published in their magazine and now that she has finished high school, she wants to help encourage others who are on the journey she took. At her last meeting, the librarian offered some ARCs to the volunteers, ARCs that had been given to the librarians by the publishing houses to help them choose relevant books for the library members. My daughter came home with a few galleys of books I am interested in reading.
One of them is titled Five Feet Apart. I have read good things about this story on social media and I look forward to reading it.
The best thing about my break from school is that I am able to read on the sofa without worrying about deadlines or going to bed on time. I have spent the days of the heat wave on the sofa in front of the fan; and during the evenings I have flipped through the pages of my latest read. Now I have a pile of books to review! I really should do the review once I have completed the book, but there are times when I cannot face sitting in front of the computer.
This morning I have sat in front of my laptop and worked on a couple of book reviews and I am going to do my best to catch up with writing them by the end of the week. When writing reviews I definitely need to be on the correct head space – finding the right words to describe my reading experience is not always easy. Writing a review is the best way to support the authors of stories I have loved – and it is one of the best ways to share these loved stories with others.
While tidying and organising my book shelves, I have had to sift through my books and decide which ones I want to keep for a while longer. I have chosen to keep the books I have enjoyed immensely and feel I will read again. My enjoyment of these books may stem from the storyline, or from the issues that the writer has addressed within the pages.
As I do enjoy reading across genres, the books may range from thriller, to romantic comedy, to contemporary, and even to dystopian. In the future, the same books I am currently keeping may find their way into other homes. In the meantime, I will enjoy their covers on my shelves.
One of my goals this summer is to do a little clean-up in our home in order to pass on things we no longer use, as well as things I think we will never use. It is amazing how things just accumulate and when you need a particular item, it is always difficult to find. While doing this soul breaking task, I decided to try out an audio-book instead of listening to music. I hoped that the story would relieve the tedium and help the time pass by quicker.
I chose to begin in my bedroom and go through the clothing. I passed on the clothes that no longer fit me to my children – it seems such a long time ago that I was that size. I was pleased that I had kept the clothing, though, for my girls as they loved trying on the old clothes and picking out fashions from over a decade ago. No need to go thrifting when mom’s closet is nearby!
Now my clothing hangs freely in the closet and is so much easier to sort through. I have begun on the folded clothing and have sorted the drawers Marie Kondo style. I am loving it as it is so much easier to find the item you want – and so much more fits in the space.
I do tend to move between sorting our clothing and sorting my books. Yesterday, I worked on a large part of my book stacks. While sifting and purging my books, I switched off the audio CD as I found I could not focus on listening to the story and read the blurbs on books to decided which ones I would keep, or which ones I would pass onto my mom or friend. Yesterday afternoon, I had books strewn all over my bed. I felt disheartened as I was tired and the task felt never-ending but I persevered – I had to so we could sleep on the bed!
Most of my books on now on the shelves – I just need to sort my cookbooks and crochet books. There is still a lot to do in my bedroom, but I am determined for the room to be sorted and organised by the time my summer break is over.
This Summer I am able to spend quite a bit of time with my friend: instead of texting one another about the books we are reading together, we are able to discuss our thoughts face to face. Yesterday, we decided to expand the experience of our buddy read and eat lunch in Chinatown.
We chose to eat dumplings as this food is often referenced in the novel Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim. The dumplings were delicious and we savoured the flavours as our conversation flowed.
I have been encouraging my friend to read a retelling of Pride and Prejudice: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. The novel has been written by a Canadian author who lives here in Toronto and showcases a culture that my friend and I do not know too much of.
My friend has begun the novel and would love to discuss it with me. I read the book over a year ago and have forgotten the finer details. Currently I am re-reading this rom-com and tagging it with points I would like to discuss.
Have you re-read a book in order to discuss it with friends?
One of the genres I enjoy reading is science fiction. When I look back on my teen years, I remember reading the Dune saga by Frank Herbert with enthusiasm. I loved the otherworldly places he described, as well as many of the characters he created. The Star Wars films were also a favourite and hearing the theme song would make me think of the futuristic planes and personalities.
Moving location to the other side of the world meant I had to leave my books and films behind. Seeing the novel House Atreides at a library book sale reminded me of my enjoyment of Herbert’s writing. It may be time to re-read the saga.