You gotta read this!

Hi everyone! I am so sorry I have been such an infrequent blogger this year. Interesting, original blog posts have been hard to come up with, and life has been so busy that I haven’t had many opportunities to read. But I hope I will be able to create more posts as we move into the second half of 2016.

This year, my goals is to re-read some of my favourite books, as well as to read some of the classics that I still haven’t read yet. Future posts will bring you up to date on my progress in those areas, but this post is about some new, interesting, and entertaining books I’ve read lately that I highly recommend.

  • The Case of the Secretive Sister by Nilanjan P. Choudhury

IMG_2076
I first heard of this absolutely delightful book from another blogger, The Bibulous Bibliobiuli. His review here is definitely worth reading to get more of a sense of this witty, engaging read. It’s published in India, and I have not read much contemporary Indian fiction, but this was a quick read that was fun from cover to cover. Perfect summer reading, or just to get away from everything for a while, I know you’ll be glad you read it.

  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

IMG_1974
This is the second book I’ve read by Amy Stewart, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Girl Waits With Gun takes place in pre-WWI America, and is based on true events. The author brings the past vividly to life in this story about a thug and his gang of hoodlums who hit a horse-drawn buggy while they are driving in their car. The three Kopp sisters were in the buggy at the time of the accident, and the story unfolds as they try to get the driver to pay up for the damages. A very satisfying story with a dose of history as well!

  • The Great Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby

IMG_2079
The Great Pearl Heist falls into the true crime category. It’s a well-researched tale of the amazing theft of the world’s most expensive necklace. It happened in London in 1913, and as well as full details on the theft itself, we also learn a lot about policing and the art of detection at that time. For a synopsis, click here – but I have to warn you, if you don’t already, you will want to read the book after you learn more about it!

More Book Headlines: Graphic History, YA Controversy, and 15 Signs of Book Addiction.

It’s as if they were reading my blog yesterday! (I wish..) The Independent reports on a new history of U.S. civil rights, as told in the style of a graphic novel. Read all about it and its 1950s comic book inspiration in A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form.

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting on the backlash received by a Governor General Literary Award-winning book for young adults. Read, Critics of ‘vulgar’ book for young adults want Governor General’s award rescinded to find out why there’s a petition to the Canada Council to have the 2014 award rescinded.

Lastly, you may be addicted to books. That’s not a bad thing, though! The Guardian shares 15 tell-tale signs to watch for if you’re still not sure this is you: 15 signs to prove you’re a book addict

WWW Wednesdays

Well, here it is, Wednesday already. A couple of weeks ago, I tried participating in Should Be Reading‘s WWW Wednesdays event, and it was kind of fun. I missed last Wednesday, but I thought I might try it again today. The rules are, you share (1) What you are currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you plan to read next.

(1) I’m currently reading, The English Girl by Daniel Silva (2013). A spy thriller, and good so far, but I’ve barely started it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 11.30.59 PM

(2) I recently finished reading The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014). It was heart-warming, but also sad. A keeper, though. I love books about bookstores.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 11.25.54 PM

(3) Next I think I will read The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller (2011). Set in post WW1 England, it’s also a thriller, and it was a Christmas gift from my father (thanks, Dad!).

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.09.37 PM

That’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday installment. Feel free to comment with your own WWW Wednesday titles, or put a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments, or go straight to the source and comment at Should be Reading.

A Book-Lover’s Candy Store: Libraries

What book blog is complete without a post about libraries?

Having just visited a beautiful library myself, I’d like to open this post up to all of my loyal fans and ask that you write in with a library (or libraries) that you have personally visited. Please tell us which library you were at, a link to it, and a brief description of what made it especially awesome!

I’ll go first to get things going: Last week I went to the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and it was as glorious as ever:

IMG_1050

 

With roughly 700,000 holdings, this library is the largest of its kind in Canada, and ranks third (I think) in North America. Their claims to fame are a Shakespeare First Folio, one of the largest Alice in Wonderland collections in the world, and a Babylonian cuneiform tablet, among many other gems and rarities.

Their website is http://fisher.library.utoronto.ca but it’s not tremendously exciting. If you want pictures to feast your eyes on, I suggest doing a simple Google search for Fisher Library images, and sit back and enjoy!

Red Rot: What is it?

Have you ever noticed that old books can leave their mark on you, in more ways than one?

Vegetable-tanned leathers can start to break down as a result of exposure to less-than-optimal environmental conditions like high relative humidity, airborne pollutants, or high temperature. The leather becomes powdery and reddish-brown in colour. The damage is permanent and irreversible, but further deterioration may be prevented or slowed by the application of a sealant that protects the leather from further contact with air. For all conservation or preservation procedures, application by a professional is strongly recommended. Locate a book binder or conservation expert near you to find out what they can do and how much it will cost.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.20.27 AM

(image retrieved from http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk)

In the meantime, it’s best to keep books affected with Red Rot isolated. Sleeves of polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene are best because they are chemically stable and will therefore not affect the items stored in them. Paper boxes or enclosures work too and should be acid-free and slightly alkaline.

For more information on conservation and preservation, visit:

The Canadian Conservation Institute at http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works at http://www.conservation-us.org

There are also many museum and archive associations that will be able to guide or direct you if you have any questions.

Fiction Titles – A Shoutout to the 1990s (approximately)

Landscape of Lies by Peter Watson

photo 1

  • This is a page-turning thriller based on an enigmatic message from a medieval painting. Set in 1989, it’s also a entertaining trip down memory lane. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com, but beware, this link is to a new edition from 2005, so I don’t know how much editing has occurred in it.

The Eight by Katherine Neville

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 10.49.53 PM

  • The Eight is truly epic, spanning centuries and the entire globe. Also set around 1990, this book is a page-turner thriller. Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 10.57.53 PM

  • I read this book in my early twenties and found it a very intense read, but I was proud of myself when I finished it.  Another work that falls firmly into the ‘epic’ category, it is a fascinating account of seventeenth-century science and a riveting mystery with a very unexpected ending. Highly recommended! Check out more reviews on Amazon.com.