A Mother’s Day Drawing

Last weekend families in many parts of the world celebrated Mother’s Day. To be honest, the day was similar to what I have experienced since we were asked to stay at home. This year we could not go out, and my family could not go shopping for flowers and treats. My daughters, however, did not let the day go by without giving me the gifts that they had made for me.

My youngest drew a picture of me reading on the sofa – a sight that is frequently seen in my home. In addition, she animated it (I am unable to post the animated version here). Her digital portrait of me still makes me smile. I love it so much that it is my new profile picture for my Instagram account. 🙂

What has made you smile during the past week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Currently Listening: Taken by Storm

Since the start of social distancing, I have discovered the joy of audiobooks and have started borrowing books from the library through their virtual checkout. I have found that listening to stories distracts me from my boredom – especially when I am no longer able to read physical books. I now listen to novels while doing household chores, cooking, and journaling.

Currently, I am listening to an author I have enjoyed in the past: Tami Hoag. I have read many of her thrillers and have now discovered that she wrote romance when she started publishing work. It is interesting to know that she changed genre. While listening, I can still enjoy the way she writes.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Buddy Read: Little Secrets

At the OLA Super Conference this year, I was fortunate to receive a signed copy of Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier.

On Instagram, I signed up for a buddy read with a group of people who also have the ARC. I had not read this author before and I was looking forward to exploring the novel with them. Last weekend I began my read of the thriller and have found I cannot stop at the required chapter for the discussion – I need to know what will happen!

I passed the halfway mark of the novel yesterday evening and I know I will finish reading the novel by the weekend. I will have to find a way to prevent myself from giving spoilers at this weekend’s online discussion. 🙂

Have you participated in an online buddy read?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

A TBR Crate

During my Summer Break, I am spending time organising my home. While shopping with a friend of mine at IKEA yesterday, I came across a small wooden crate that would be perfect for me to keep the books I plan to read for the month in a neat space. I grabbed it enthusiastically, even though I noticed that I had to build it myself.

Earlier this afternoon as I prepared to build the crate, I hoped it would not be too complicated. IKEA instructions are not always as easy as one would hope.

I pieced the crate together like a puzzle and referred to the instructions to determine which size screws to begin the construction.

Screwing the pieces together were not easy as not all of the holes had been pre-drilled. I found myself having to use my body weight to ensure that the screw would sink into the wood.

I managed to complete putting the box together on my own. For a moment, I thought I would have to wait for my husband’s help and strength to screw the pieces together as I had some difficulty sinking the crew into the wood. Determination and perseverance, however, ensured that I succeeded.

My TBR is now neatly placed in the crate next to my bed. Seeing the box when I enter the room makes me smile. What makes me smile even more is that I managed to build it on my own without any help. 🙂

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Marking Pages

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.

Do you mark your pages when you read?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

My Day is Booked!

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?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

Weekend Coffee Share: Reading and Things

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday was the perfect day weather-wise. This morning was a bit chilly but at least the sun is shining. We are so ready for the warmer weather! The kids too – the weather has been perfect to take them outside to play, and they have eagerly gone outside for longer recess breaks. We have been stuck inside for too long and are now eager for days to take in some sun and feel the warmth of the sun on our bare limbs.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Sunday I took part in the readathon organised by the folks at Harper Collins Canada. I spent the day reading along with others online and taking part in the prompts and discussions on social media. It was such fun to connect with other readers and to see their response to the prompts. Even though I did not finish my novel ( a 400 page historical fiction), I put a serious dent into it. If you want to read more about the event and have a look at my photos, you can go here to see the post.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been one filled with assessments at school. I have been testing the children in one area of the curriculum every day as this week as I need to begin writing the report cards. It is a stressful time for us at school and one that I look forward to ending. Once the report cards are done, the atmosphere at school will definitely be more relaxed. In addition, my planned tasks for the year with the children are almost done and then we can move onto more fun things.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have also been practicing for my practical exam which will take place next Saturday. The exam is the final step towards my becoming a group fitness instructor and once that is done, I will have completed one of my New Year Resolutions 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that it is already June – the months seem to have flown by! This month will fly by too – before I know it, the school year will be over, and my youngest will have graduated from high school. But until then, I will enjoy the passing of days. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, have a wonderful week, and speak to you next Sunday.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Top 5 Books I want to Reread

Remember that time when you were a child and would reread a book you loved MANY times? As an adult, I enjoy rereads as well – but on a less frequent basis. Today I will share with you 5 books on my shelves that I have enjoyed in the past and would love to reread sometime soon.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This novel is my all-time favourite classic. No matter how many times I read the book, or see the movie, I am swept away by the story. I love the humour in it too and always smile at the character Mrs. Bennett. Pride and Prejudice is not just a love story. In the novel, Austen also makes a commentary on society and the prejudices we have about people.

TThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My Favourite Fantasy novel of all time is The Hobbit as well as The Lord of the Rings. The time has come for me to once again enjoy this story. I picked up an edition of this story from Scholastics and hope to read the story again this year. Of course, after reading this one, I would need to pick up The Lord of the Rings!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowlings

I have started a reread of the Harry Potter series this year. So far I have enjoyed the illustrated editions of the first two novels in the series and soon I hope to enjoy the third. In the meantime, I enjoy the presence of the book on my shelf. I have already had a look at the illustrations and they are beautiful.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations was the first story I read by Dickens . I enjoy his writing – the intricate characterisations and storylines. It has been a while since I have read any of his work and I think it is time to enjoy once again the story of Pip and Miss Haversham.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I read Wuthering Heights first year at university when we studied Gothic literature. I have forgotten the minute details of Heathcliff and Catherine’s story and have a yearning to revisit it. Hopefully I will get to it this year but, if not, it is waiting for me on my bookshelf.

Have you enjoyed any of these novels? Would you reread them?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Bionic Book Worm and the Top 5 Tuesday challenge. This week we are listing the top 5 books we would like to reread).

Penguin Bookmarks

Last week Thursday was World Penguin Day – a day that we celebrate every year at our school. Why? Because our mascot is a penguin. Penguin activities are a great way to not only learn about penguins (there are 18 species), but also to create school spirit.

One of the activity ideas our principal came up with this year was to make bookmarks. I love reading and immediately decided that I would do this. The materials needed were: tongue depressors, a black marker, an orange marker, and some felt.

Creating Bookmarks. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

The children loved making their bookmark and enthusiastically came to my table when I called them. Some children had trouble cutting the felt so I helped them. After I had traced the outline of the penguin onto the stick, they mostly worked independently. At the end of the day, all the bookmarks were lined up on my table. I left them to dry overnight and the children took them home the following day.

Some children immediately took out their current read from their backpack and inserted their bookmark. Seeing that made me smile as I knew that what they had made would be used. My sample is also being used and it works quite well.

Seeing the uniqueness of each bookmark brought a smile to my face as the creation reflects the personality of the creator. I am hoping that each time my student uses their bookmark, they will smile when they think of the day they made it.

Would you make a similar bookmark?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

Top 5 Mind-Blowing Thrillers

I enjoy reading a good psychological thriller – the twistier, the better. I love the nail-biting tension and the unexpected surprises left for me by the writer. I have some novels on my bookshelf that I picked out for this post with no hesitation.

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton’s debut novel kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not believe the obsessive nature of the main character and I had to see what she would do next – and whether she would get away with it! This twisty story is well written and I cannot wait to see what this author will write next.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This novel is a story that would make an excellent film – and I was excited to learn that the rights to the story have been bought by film makers. The story – which touches on mental health issues – had some unexpected surprises within its ages. I loved it! Finn is another author who has published only one novel thus far.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of my go-to writers for thrillers. She adroitly teases the reader and takes you along the unknown path right until the end of the story. Pieces of Her is her last published novel and I am looking forward to her next.

I Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan

Gilly MacMillan is another author that I buy with no hesitation. Like her other novels, I Know You Know is a twisty story with a surprise ending and one I did not see coming. I cannot wait for her soon to be released novel that will be available this year.

All The Wrong Places by Joy Fielding

The most recent novel by Joy Fielding confirmed why this author is known for her thrillers. There is not one novel of hers that has disappointed me. The new story has cleverly used the theme of online dating to explore a possible danger. Loved it!

Have you enjoyed any of these thrillers, or authors?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Bionic Book Worm and the Top 5 Tuesday challenge. This week we are listing the top 5 mind-blowing thrillers).