Monday, April 16, 2012

Bye Bye Blogger

Today is a bit of a sad day for me, but keep in mind that change is good!  Chels and a Book has MOVED!  I am extremely excited to announce that I have spent the $25 necessary to move Chels and a Book to its own domain!  Also, I have taken a new and more simplistic approach to the style of the blog and have transferred over to Wordpress.  Although Wordpress does not have a follower button, I hope you will all still stop by or sign up for the email updates =).  Thank you all for the support!  Now, please come and visit me:

P.S. This is so exciting!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (7)

My apologies for being completely MIA the past two weeks!  Between work events, visiting friends and, well, work in general, life has gotten a bit busier.  However, fear not, the reading has continued, as has the unstoppable book buying (though it has subsided slightly).  I treated myself last weekend to two books I have been drooling over since the first mention of their existence, Michael Moore's new novel SACRE BLEU and the current teen craze GRAVE MERCY by R.L. LaFevers.

If you are a big Christopher Moore fan and will be picking this up in the next few weeks, you should join the online discussion with my book club at Gin & Rhetoric!  We start our discussion May 1st.

I also plan on getting the blog back up to date this week with reviews for THE FUTURE OF US, SOULLESS and CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG!  I also finished the second book in THE TAKER Trilogy, THE RECKONING a few days ago.  For those of you who know the blog at all, you will know that I ADORE this series.  However, since the book won't be released for another few months, the review will have to wait.  But if you get the chance, PICK IT UP!

Hope everyone had fabulous book weeks!  In My Mailbox is hosted over at The Story Siren.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Books Before Blogging (Part 1)

Once upon a time, in a land before blogging, before Goodreads and before the creation of multiple book-related networking websites, there was word-of-mouth.  Still the most popular form of book recommendation, word-of-mouth has always been my favourite way of discussing books.  Also before blogging and Goodreads, I was still as obsessed with books as I am today -- only I didn't get to write long-winded reviews about everything I read.  SO!  I wanted to draw some attention to older books, but books that I still recommend to everyone and keep proudly on a special shelf in my room.  Here goes:

Perhaps one of my favourite books of all time, HEY NOSTRADAMUS was a Christmas gift one year.  I sat on my parents leather love seat and devoured it (oh, and bawled my eyes out).  Coupland wrote in a way I had never experienced before.  He was so raw and shamelessly oblivious to touchy subjects.  This story, loosely based on the Columbine shootings, centered around two teens who had secretly married so that their religious beliefs permitted a sexual relationship.  Tension arises when unexpected news is announced within the first few pages and the couple separates to go to their prospective classes.  Jason goes to class, while Cheryl makes her way to the cafeteria and is momentarily killed by a group of teen boys with guns.  The book is narrated by four characters, one chunk at a time.  Cheryl opens and narrates into death, while Jason picks up, years later -- a brutally scarred man. Jason's present-day girlfriend and his father also narrate in the second half of the book.  I cannot explain how powerful this novel is.  Like that one book you could never quite let go of, this novel changed the way I saw things.

On an entirely different note, one of my all-time favourite girly reads was Bridget Harrison's TABLOID LOVE.  I read this book the summer before moving to Ottawa to begin my undergrad in Journalism at Carleton (that didn't last long, but my love for this book sure did)!  An important note is that this is a MEMOIR!  Bridget Harrison is a real-life Carrie Bradshaw, sent from London, England to New York City to write for The New York Post.  Her other side is undoubtedly Bridget Jones.  In a new place, thousands of miles from her home and her fiance, Bridget proceeds to ROYALLY mess up her own life.  Though she makes mistakes in this novel, I felt for her -- and believe me, this is not a completely light read.  Harrison reported on the attack on the twin towers in 2001 and the passages from that time period are heart-wrenching.  She was even publicly called out for detailing the innermost secrets of her relationship with the main man of the book.  After the books publication, he expressed extreme sadness in her exposure of their relationship within the text.  Harrison responded with an article stating that although their moments were precious and personal, they were a large part of her life, which this book documents.  It was fascinating, hilarious and heart-breaking.  An absolutely wonderful story.

Another old favourite is Diane Schoemperlen's AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.  This book, written in the second person perspective, is the narrative of an older women, once abandoned by her lover in her early twenties and giving him a second shot multiple years down the road.  This novel is called a "post-romantic novel", which can pretty much tell you that it is not a heart-warming story -- however I could not put it down and loved the fresh take Schoemperlen took on her narrative.  This book also houses one of my all time favourite quotes -- EVER.

 "Many times I've googled you, and I've found that, in addition to your usual self, you are also an evangelical pastor who writes hymns and other sacred songs, a bookseller specializing in fantasy fiction, a collector of Civil War firearms, the owner of an asphalt company, the owner of an antique store, the vice president of a communications corporation, a risk analysis consultant, a jazz saxophonist, a forensic accountant, a disc jockey, a filmmaker, a Web designer, an oncologist, a psychiatrist, a criminal lawyer, and a high school football coach.  You are also a street in Seattle, a road in Wyoming, a hiking trail in Oregon, a lake in New Mexico, and a mountain in Alaska.
One in a million? 
I guess not."

BAM!  That is how I feel every time I read that quote, which remains post-noted in my edition of the book.  Such an interestingly written novel.  Short and bittersweet -- I loved this little book. (Oh, AND she's Canadian!)

There are many other books I wanted to include in this post, so for now, we will just call it part one.  Stay tuned!