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.)

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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).

A Weekend of Relaxation

The Easter weekend is over and so is my time of relaxation. During these past four days, I took some time out for myself and recharged my batteries a little. I spent time with an old friend, lingered over dinner with my family, and did a fair amount of reading.

This year I did not buy Easter eggs and bunnies for my family. While looking at what was on offer in the supermarket, I decided instead to buy each member at home a small bag of Lindt ball chocolates. The smooth texture of the hazelnut filling is so much better that the sugary sweetness of most commercial Easter chocolate. My husband loved the idea and will enjoy the treats with his tea after supper in the evenings.

The long weekend, the stories I read, and the fact I did not eat too much sugar were definitely things to smile about.

Did you enjoy the Easter weekend?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Top 5 Book Spines

I love seeing the books I have set out on my bookshelves. Their colours are aesthetically pleasing to me – especially those books that have beautiful covers and spines. I have noticed that a number of new releases are competing with some of the older copies on my shelf. And the spines of Fantasy books? Sometimes they have no competition from the other genres.

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon

I fell in love with this spine from the first moment I saw it on Instagram. The beautiful orange contrasts well with the blue. The hint of a dragon across it definitely adds to its beauty. When I received my pre-order, I saw that the spine looked as beautiful in my hands as it did on social media.

ENCHANTEE by Gita Trelease

I love anything related to Paris – a city I have spent a year in and that I loved visiting. This beautiful spine highlights the colours of the French flag and seems to fit perfectly the story within. I have not read the book yet but the spine will encourage me to pick it up when I am in the mood for something French related.

THE CERULEAN by Amy Ewing

From the first moment that I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that I wanted to read it. What a bonus when I saw the beautiful cover – and the spine certainly looks attractive amongst the other books.

THE SWORD OF SUMMER by Rick Riordon

The Magnus Chase books all have beautiful spines. My daughter has the entire collection on her shelf and they look stunning together. I have put the first in the series on my TBR shelf as I have been curious about these stories for a while now.

NIGHTBLOOD by Elly Blake

The spine of the third book in the series by Elly Blake looks absolutely stunning next to book 1 and 2. The Frostblood Saga is yet another series that I am hoping to read during 2019. I had the opportunity to hear Elly Blake speak last year and could not resist getting to know her more through her story.

I know I will get to read these beautiful books sometime but, until then, I will admire their beauty on my shelf.

Which book spines are among your favourite?

© 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 that beautiful spines). 

Reading Buddy

I always try to encourage a love of reading in my classroom. I have created a reading space in the room, and I give children time during the day to spend with their library books. Some children in my class gravitate towards the centre when all their tasks are done and immerse themselves in their story while others like to share what they are reading with a friend. One of my students (who enjoys reading) left his reading buddy with a book while he went out to recess.

A Reading Buddy. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I could not help but smile at the sight. Not only has he kept his spot in the book in a non-traditional way, but his action highlights how much he enjoys spending time with stories.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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