First Line Fridays: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry is a fun, lighthearted read that explores a woman’s need to change the direction of her life. This romance is the perfect read for the cooler days of Fall.

“Something peculiar had happened to Marsha Kennedy. She had found herself editor of Britain’s most popular fashion magazine. While she had already edited several publications, they had been in the diet and fitness markets, promising taut bodies and rapidly shed pounds; she knew virtually nothing about fashion and had even less interest in it.”

Ellen Berry The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane (2017, Harper Collins)

I enjoyed this story so much that I went on the hunt for other books written by this author.

Would you read The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

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First Line Fridays: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was one of those books that I loved when I first read it. This romantic comedy was such a lot of fun to read: there were moments when I could not help but laugh out loud.

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.”

Sally Thorne The Hating Game (2016, Harper Collins)

I haven’t re-read this story yet – but this novel is one of those stories that I will enjoy, I am sure, with the second reading.

Would you read The Hating Game?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

First Line Fridays: Break In Case of Emergency by Brian Francis

Today I begin reading In Case of Emergency by Brian Francis. I am excited to read this novel especially because I met the author on Tuesday. The novel discusses mental health issues and describes a young girl’s coming-of-age story.

“The day I lost my mom, I turned left instead of right. If I had listened to her instructions, if I had turned right, she would still be here.”

Break In Case of Emergency by Brian Francis (2019, Harper Collins Canada)

Already I want to know more – though I will have to wait until I get home this evening before I continue reading!

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

First Line Fridays: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

My pre-ordered copy of Karin Slaughter’s latest novel has arrived!

“Michelle Spivey jogged through the back of the store, frantically scanning each aisle for her daughter, panicked thoughts circling her brain: How did I lose sight of her I am a horrible mother my baby was kidnapped by a pedophile or a human trafficker should I flag store security or call the police or -”

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (2019, Harper Collins Canada)

Slaughter pulls the reader right in with the first line into a story featuring a kidnapping, a devastating explosion, and the Centre for Disease Control.

I look forward to delving into this thriller

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

First Line Fridays: The Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

“It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died.”

The Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (2018, Harper Collins Canada)

The Shadow of the Fox is a magical Japanese Fantasy novel that features Yumeko (half kitsune and half human) and Kage Tatsumi ( a samurai of the Shadow Clan). One is sworn to protect part of an ancient scroll, the other to find it.

I loved this story and look forward to reading the next one in the series.

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

First Line Fridays: The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

He struggles to breathe. There’s blood trickling into one of his eyes. His glasses are gone. He can hear the ocean rising to meet him. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. ”

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley (2019, Simon & Schuster Canada)

I have just started this novel and it promises to be a good one!

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

First Line Fridays: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

I wake feverish. The skylight above me pulses with rain, and I spider my fingers across the sheets, remembering I’m alone. I close my eyes and find my way back to sleep, until I’m woken again, engulfed by a deep, sudden pain. I’ve been waking with a sick feeling every morning since he left, bu I know that away this is different.
Something’s wrong.”

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy (2018, Harper Collins Publishers)

This book centres on a story that is every young mother’s nightmare – the kidnapping of her child. This was an intense read with some unexpected twists.

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

Truths of Happiness

img_0731In my page-a-day calendar on Happiness, a statement on the Truths of Happiness was made:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make others happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

At first glance, the quote from my calendar may seem contradictory. But on closer reflection, the statements make sense.

It is certainly easier to make others happy if you are happy within yourself. A person’s happiness, I believe, arises from contentment and acceptance of the life they are living whether it be at home or in the workplace. Lack of acceptance of events in our lives can lead to resentment and bitterness. Regret can blemish our complete experience of happiness; jealousy can tarnish it.

When a person is happy, they are grateful for what they have – even though what they have may not seem like much. Happiness is more than just material goods (a car, a house in the right neighbourhood, a closet full of clothing). Instead happiness may be defined by relationships, love, connections with the community.

Happy people easily bring joy to others. They seem to spread their happiness through laughter, sharing what they have, and the help they give unconditionally. In bringing joy to others, happy people are able to increase ten-fold their own happiness. Helping others seems to bring about more positivity in a person’s life; it seems to increase their sense of well-being.

Your own happiness and the happiness of others seems to be closely intertwined. The challenge is to find the balance so that your own happiness is not surrendered in the desire to make others happy.

What are your thoughts on the quoted Truths of Happiness?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

A Growth Mindset

Yesterday afternoon I went on a workshop based on teaching Mathematics to children in the Early Years (kindergarten to grade 2). One of the quotes that had been put up on the wall resonated in me:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

So often children begin to believe that they are incapable of doing Math – that it is too difficult for them and that they will never achieve in this subject. Once they believe that they are incapable, they close their minds to the various possibilities of problem solving. Our challenge as teachers is to make them believe in themselves and their abilities. And to encourage them to enjoy the journey of solving Math problems. Teaching kindergarten, I have not come across a child saying they cannot do Math – and yet as children get older, some of them begin to say “I am not good at Math”, “I cannot do this”, “Math is not the subject for me”.

What I love about the above quote is that it can be relevant to other things in a child’s life: writing a paragraph or essay, participating in gym or a team sport, learning another language. As teachers, and even parents, the best thing we can give any child is the confidence to try whatever task is set out in front of them; and to have the belief that they can grow from the experience. The experience is in the doing and the process – not so much a perfect end result.

I enjoy learning and I have learned that making mistakes is part of the process. It is my hope that each day I help children realise that it is in trying and in making mistakes that we learn. It is my hope that each day I help a child realise that they can learn anything.

Do you believe you can learn anything? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

A Reader is Born

File:Tampere library shelves.jpg

“I was born in a library, in the fiction stacks.” -Luanne Rice

I came across this quote by Luanne Rice last week – and I loved it at first sight. My reading skills and soaring imagination were certainly polished by my many visits to the library. One of my early memories is of my mom taking us to the public library a car ride away. I recall the largeness of the space, the silence that echoed among the stacks, the many shelves filled with books: picture books, adult books, and the books in between.

The memory that comes to mind is of the time when I chose Dickens’ story A Tale of Two Cities to take home and read. I remember the thickness of the book, the cream-coloured paper, the scent of the pages as I turned them. I enjoyed the detailed drawings in the novel, and the intricacies of the story. I spent time engrossed in the plot while sitting on my bed, or in a shady part of our garden. I was a young reader at that time and would often forgo playing for travel into the world of the imagination.

Reading, and the many visits to the library, has definitely affected the many aspects of who I am: my sense of imagination; my ability to see in my mind what it is I am reading; the ease with which I currently write (whether for work or for pleasure); my vocabulary; my general knowledge. Would I change this part of me? No. And would I cease to visit those stacks that encourage me to wander into different worlds? I think not.

Within the fiction stacks, a reader was born. And among those shelves of books, a reader will continue to thrive.

musingmondaysDo you spend time among the fiction stacks of a library?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Luanne Rice’s quote and Miz B’s Musing Mondays)