Latest Stuff..

In my upstairs renovation adventure, I sold our single guest bed online last weekend. We only bought our twin/single last year, but having a single mattress limits the amount of people who can stay over. (ie. not couples) Right after the buyers came and picked it up, I prodded Hubby into going to Sleep Country where we found a nice double plus frame that was on sale. Yay! My brother from Toronto will be staying with us next week, so it’s nice that it will be used right away. We stayed with them, now they get to stay with us! 🙂

It will be nice too when the master bedroom and guest bedroom are exactly how I want them. We haven’t been making major adjustments or anything, it’s more surface changes, but it’s still enough to be quite expensive.  Hopefully it will be worth it in the end!

I’ve also been reading a lot lately. In terms of the aforementioned Canadian content, I finished Laura Best‘s Bitter Sweet and Troy Little’s Chiaroscuro awhile ago. Both were excellent, but very different. Bitter Sweet is a heartwarming tale about enduring hardship and familial love that is safe reading for people of all ages.

A family moves into a small home, but is quickly thrown into turmoil when the father runs away and the mother dies. It is up to Pru, the main character, to keep the family together. Pru’s inner strength and love for her ailing mother and family really tugged at the ‘ol heart strings.  There is a deep bond between mothers and daughters and I think this book really represented that bond well, it was very touching.

Chiaroscuro, on the other hand, is targeted more towards young adults, and has a slight Kevin Smith underdog feel to it. Art graduate Steve just can’t seem to get motivated enough to paint on the blank canvas that sits in his apartment. Not even his dingy surroundings or teasing from his best friend, will get him to stop bitching and start creating. It’s not until some strange men, mistaking him for the former tenant of his apartment, start harassing Steve that his life finally begins to change. It was great reading this book and seeing the references to Canadian artists and the National Gallery. I am quite fond of Troy’s drawing style and dry sense of humor.

Of course, I haven’t just been restricting myself just to Canadian authors. (I never could restrict my author list to just one country) My brother’s girlfriend, after discovering my intention to go to the Silver Snail to pick up more Sandman books, lent me Neil Gaiman‘s “Stardust” and “American Gods”.  Between Sandman, my birthday gift of “Neverwhere” from Jen and these two novels, I am up to my eyeballs in Gaiman! But the more I read his stuff, the more my obsession grows with acquiring more, so I am very happy to be able to read all these books.

Here is one Neil Gaiman quote for all of you and my brother’s girlfriend, who works in a library:

“[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read… ”


10 thoughts on “Latest Stuff..

  1. Jen

    I love the cover art for both books!

    I just finished both books you loaned to me. I loved Sandman! It was a great story that had the zesty Gaiman flavour I’ve come to enjoy. I’m glad you are enjoying his novels, too

  2. leashieloo

    You make me feel lazy! I really need to get my house in order. I want to convert my guestroom into a study, but thought of having to paint the walls makes me instantly lazy. And my bathroom is in dire need of renovation…urgh.

  3. Laura Best

    Awww! Thanks so much for this, Pauline. I’m very touched that you would write a review of Bitter, Sweet. Sometimes it’s awkward knowing that someone is reading your book. I have never asked, nor would I ever ask someone if they liked my book. But it’s always nice when they have good things to say about it. 🙂

  4. Kate

    “The most important thing is that people read.” YES. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

    I still purchase books sometimes if I really want to support the author. I just pre-ordered Sarah Vowell’s book on Amazon because I love her so much. She deserves my hard-earned money.

  5. Zhu

    First thing I did when I came back from traveling was to head to the library. After using book exchange in hostels, it was nice to pick my own books! I’ll dig into Canadian author too as soon as I’m done with my first batch of novels.

  6. joylene

    I own Bitter, Sweet, haven’t read it yet, so I really appreciate your review, Pauline. I love mother/daughter stories. In fact, I’m scratching my head wondering how I can clean my plate so I can dive in now instead of later. I knew the winter would be long, but I piled too many books on my desk and haven’t even reach the halfway point. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could read to our heart’s content? No housework, cooking, cleaning, or shoveling snow — just reading, reading, reading!

    Ah, in my dreams.

    Both reviews sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Have a safe winter day.

  7. Pauline Post author

    Jen-Sandman is great! It’s my favorite of Gaiman’s so far!
    Leashieloo-Well you will be going to Europe soon! If I had to pick between reno and Europe, I would pick Europe!
    Laura Best-I just hope that I did a semi-decent review. I was also going to mention that I liked the flashbacks in the novel, like when Pru is on her walks in the woods with her mom gathering ingredients. Anyways, it’s an excellent novel and you must be so proud!

  8. Pauline Post author

    Kate-Neil reminds me that I should go to our local library more often! But yes, most of the time I just buy books at the second hand bookstore around the corner or online. This Sarah Vowell sounds interesting. What kind of books does she write?
    Zhu-Yes! There are lots of great Canadian authors, who write in French and English.:)
    Joylene-I like the way you think (In terms of being able to read and not have to work or do chores) and happy reading to you too!

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