Monday, October 17, 2011


So I'm sitting in a waiting room with my Kobo and our latest pick:
"The Fates Will Find Their Way" and I'm still playing on my iPhone and
reading magazines around me...

This is not a good sign (especially considering that I brought this
suggestion to BFab!) I just cannot get into this book ladies :( Is
anyone else with me? I mean, I do like going into the minds of the
young boys and remembering what it was like at their age, but I'm
getting easily confused trying to follow along and find that I'm not
really interested in what happened afterall!

I am only half way through the book and have had plenty of
opportunities to finish, so when Nat D sent her reminder email this
morning I realized how far behind I am! I am so looking forward to
hearing what everybody else thinks.

See you next Tuesday at our Newly-Engaged Bfaber Nat D's house!!!

xoxo RFab

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The Fates will Find Their Way
October 25th
Hostess: Natalie D

Cutting for Stone
November 22nd

Paris Wife
January 10th
Renee?? (possibly Erinn, we'll see how things are going with our dear soon to be momma)

Fall 2011 Book Club

Welcome back from the summer and welcome to the new members, Tracy, Jamie and Rebecca! Julie started the round of book club on an excellent note. Thanks for the delicious food and new recipes.

We selected 3 new books for the next several months. They were, The Fates will Find Their Way, Cutting for Stone and Paris Wife.

The Fates will Find Their Way by Hannah Pritchard

Hannah Pritchard also wrote the book the Virgin Suicides, which you may recall was made into a movie starring Kristin Dunst. Has anyone seen it?

As for her current novel, The Fates will Find Their Way it is a similar story to the Virgin Suicides in that it is centred around a tragedy within a town. If you are interested in what someone else thought about the book, there was a review in the New York Times It’s not glowing, but it will be interesting to compare the reviewer thoughts with our own at the next book club.


Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she's left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.

As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what-ifs, Nora Lindell's story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.

Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard's beautifully crafted novel tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of the boys in her thrall. Far more eager to imagine Nora's fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into an adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl–and a life–that no longer exists, except in the imagination.

A masterful literary debut that shines a light into the dream-filled space between childhood and all that follows, The Fates Will Find Their Way is a story about the stories we tell ourselves–of who we once were and may someday become.

Cutting for Stone by Ambraham Verghese

When I was searching for information on Cutting for Stone I came across this interesting website called Good Reads. Here you can search for a book and read other peoples reviews and see what others have rated the book. Cutting for Stone got 4.24 out of 5 from 34,000 reviewers. So it looks like a LOT of other people liked the book!


Book Description:

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him—nearly destroying him—Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Book Description

No twentieth-century American writer has captured the popular imagination as much as Ernest Hemingway. This novel tells his story from a unique point of view — that of his first wife, Hadley. Through her eyes and voice, we experience Paris of the Lost Generation and meet fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. The city and its inhabitants provide a vivid backdrop to this engrossing and wrenching story of love and betrayal that is made all the more poignant knowing that, in the end, Hemingway would write of his first wife, "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her."

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's next???

Hey Erinn??? I came on tonight to check which books we had decided on for the next three months only to find ... gasp... no post from you!!! Now you've had a solid week - We want/need to see your recap of our BFab night and the choices we made so we know what to do. Give us direction pretty please!!! (or you're fired)... Oops who wrote that? Rude!

xoxo RFab ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It actually exists!!!

Ok...enough picking on Tara already. This is not a case of "Glass Floorboard" as we suspected. "Human Smoke" is a novel and is written by Nicholson Baker, however, it seems like a really heavy non-fiction. (Also please note that I chose the picture stating how they are practically giving it away at 100% off!!!) LOL!

Here's the synopsis in case we wish to change our selections:

Bestselling author Nicholson Baker, recognized as one of the most dexterous and talented writers in America today, has created a compelling work of nonfiction bound to provoke discussion and controversy -- a wide-ranging, astonishingly fresh perspective on the political and social landscape that gave rise to World War II.
Human Smoke delivers a closely textured, deeply moving indictment of the treasured myths that have romanticized much of the 1930s and ''40s. Incorporating meticulous research and well-documented sources -- including newspaper and magazine articles, radio speeches, memoirs, and diaries -- the book juxtaposes hundreds of interrelated moments of decision, brutality, suffering, and mercy. Vivid glimpses of political leaders and their dissenters illuminate and examine the gradual, horrifying advance toward overt global war and Holocaust.
Praised by critics and readers alike for his exquisitely observant eye and deft, inimitable prose, Baker has assembled a narrative within Human Smoke that unfolds gracefully, tragically, and persuasively. This is an unforgettable book that makes a profound impact on our perceptions of historical events and mourns the unthinkable loss humanity has borne at its own hand.

So what do we think? If we're not sure, check out all the details listed under "About the Author" on Chapters/Indigo website:

About The Author:
Nicholson Baker lives in Maine.

Ha! Thanks...I'm super intrigued!!!

Good night ladies and thanks for great re-start of BFab. Looking forward to another fun year full of delicious treats, drinks and conversation. Julie raised the bar on this one!

xoxo RFab

BFab tonight!

Looking forward to finally getting back into it tonight ladies, and especially to see what suggestions everyone has to bring to the table. I am currently reading a real literary treat called "Sleeping Arrangements" but Madeline Wickham. O.K., so it's really Sophie Kinsella and it takes no brain to get through it, but I am enjoying it, although it's not as funny as many of her other books...a little sad really.

I wanted to share some random possible suggestions for our next year ahead. My only problem with looking up new suggestions to read is that most book descriptions now give a little too much away. I do like some element of surprise when reading. Nothing's worse than knowing someone is going to die when you meet them at the beginning of a story, eh?

Anyways, check out these three suggestions:

Called "The Fates Will Find Their Way" By Hannah Pittard

Here's what was written about it:
A 16-year-old named Nora goes missing from her tight-knit community one Halloween night and is never seen or heard from again. Though the premise sounds familiar, Hannah Pittard's mesmerizing debut, The Fates Will Find Their Way (Ecco), is no police procedural. With every carefully chosen word—and in this short, intense novel, each one counts—Pittard brilliantly draws us into the maturing consciousness of a group of neighborhood boys who make Nora's sudden but continuing absence the defining event of their lives over the next 30 years. Narrating in a collective first-person voice reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides, the boys reveal their life stories through the prism of their fascination with the missing girl's fate. They collect clues and hearsay, and imagine scenarios for Nora that range from murder to teen motherhood to lesbian love in Mumbai, all the while experiencing their own rites of passage—sex, drugs, marriage. As husbands, they maintain collective fantasies and share "vague and unfair comparisons between what our wives were and what she might have been." Gradually we see how the boys, at times indistinguishable, have developed as individuals: The one envied because he may have slept with Nora becomes a sexual predator; the pitied "weird kid" ends up happy. He's the one, in fact, who compels the others to let go of the past and accept "the obvious realization that this—this, all around us—is our life."— Liza Nelson

And then, there's a novel called "Before I go to Sleep" by S.J. Watson

which is described like this:
"As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I?m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . ."

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love?all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

And now...we want to know more right? I like this description...gripping!

And for my third, a novel called "The Ninth Wife" by Amy Stolls

"Thirty-something Bess Gray has resigned herself to a lifetime of being single when she meets handsome, charming, and hilariously funny Rory. Rory and Bess hit it off instantly, and before long, he’s asked for her hand in marriage. Imagine Bess’s shock and surprise when Rory reveals his big secret just after their engagement: he’s already been married eight times. Bess decides that in order to accept his proposal, she needs to get as many facts as possible about these wives. So along with her aging grandparents and her gay best friend, Bess sets out on a journey to meet as many of the wives as possible and get their sides of her future husband’s story."

I'm really not sure what kind of book I'm in the mood for next, obviously, but these three seemed interesting. There were many more I would read, but among all the members of BFab, they've been read!!! Damn you all!

Looking forward to tonight...see you at Erinn's!

xoxo RFab

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thoughts on movies???

I do get excited whenever I see that I book I read has been made into a movie. I was just telling Rob last night that I was wondering if "Water for Elephants" is available on DVD yet since I just finished that one, and he kindly replied: "Why do you keep watching the movies of the books you've read? You just get all angry and disappointed and annoying!" Touché Rob, but I do just need to see them for myself anyways...who's with me?

Of course the movies are rarely better than the books, they usually take their own liberties and they sometimes even change the plot; but none has been worse most recently than a movie I watched on holiday two weeks ago: "My Sister's Keeper." I mean really, are you kidding me? I read this book years ago and kept meaning to rent the movie, so I was stoked when I had some free time to watch it on my own, with a box of kleenex (just like I needed when reading it!) But the ending (spoiler alert) had me so ticked off, that I just couldn't even cry - that is a serious deal, changing which sister actually dies...the whole point was that she was able to donate her organs in the end and save her sisters life anyways, not that the sister with cancer dies, as one would have predicted, and the other sister feels shitty about it. I was so angry I was throwing couch cushions at the tv!!!

LOL - oops, that was quite the rant! Anyways, all that being said, I am actually still looking forward to seeing the latest "Jane Eyre" movie re-make, "Water for Elephants" (although I have trouble picturing Reese Witherspoon in it) and "Sarah's Key" which is out in theatres now.

I'll keep you posted as always! xoxo RFab

Couldn't resist...can't wait!

CLICK HERE to watch the official Hunger Games trailer ;)

Eeeeeekkkkkk!!! I feel like reading them again!

Couldn't resist...can


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Need new suggestions...

Hi BFabers!

I need to download some books onto my kobo for my next little vacay and wanted some suggestions...I am almost finished "Water for Elephants" and just read Madeleine Wickham's "The Wedding Girl" after having gone through the heavy "Jane Eyre," "Sarah's Key" and "Book of Negros."

What should I read next???

xoxo RFab

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Help...the Movie

A little disappointed that I couldn't see this movie with any of my fellow B-Fabers, I dragged my bro and Rob to see The Help in theatres last night. It started at 8:20 and we didn't get out until just past 11 (yikes - long movie!!!)

Besides the fact that it was long, I thought it had both some bad and some good points. It is definitely worth seeing. I will start with the bad to get that out of the way:

-I was trying to watch it in the perspective of someone who didn't just finish reading the book and found this a little impossible. The movie moves very fast between characters in the beginning, leaving the non-reading viewers a little confused.

-Many of my favourite parts in the novel were absent from the movie, making it a little more difficult to really get into some relationships (even though the movie was over 2 hours long!)

-We never meet Stuarts family, or get his reaction to Skeeter driving the truck with attached plow,

-Skeeter's dad is almost non-present in the movie,

-Charlotte's struggle with cancer is not super prominent in the movie,

-Mae Mobley never uses Aibileen's special bathroom,

-we never see Celia's bed-ridden struggles creeping around in empty rooms upstairs longing for a baby,

-the only "racial problem" we see/hear about in the film is the shooting of the black man by a KKK member, but no other beatings or other aggressive behaviour

-and most importantly - there's no crazy naked man harassing Minny and Celia in her backyard!!! (A chance for Celia to save Minny and form a new bond)

-a few things were changed or forgotten obviously to help the filming move along, so maybe we can discuss those at the next BFab???!

Great stuff:

-the "terrible-awful" is most definitely a highlight of the movie (although my bro said if he heard the word "pie" one more time in the movie he was gonna in, too much about it!)

-the acting was excellent, with Minny (Octavia Spencer) stealing the show. Just the expression in her eyes was enough in some scenes...she was awesome!

-Hilly was a well-played bitch (Bryce Dallas Howard). It was easy to hate her from the beginning and the interactions between her and her little minions remind us just how young these ladies were!

-Skeeter and Aibileen had amazing chemistry as all-in-all, loved the characters.

-loved all the church scenes, the singing, the sense of community

-Hilly's mom...OMG, she was a hoot! A little younger looking than I pictured her in the book, but really well played.

Looking forward to hearing everyone else's opinions on the film version of the book in September, or feel free to post here!

xoxo R-Fab

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Help

So I just finished reading Kathryn Stockett's first novel, and our July BFAB selection The Help and have to admit that it grew on me. I wasn't completely into it at first, but as the characters progressed, I found myself more involved in the story and wanting to know more. I know, you're thinking, isn't that the way with all novels of this type? Not for me - there have been so many that have me gripped from the get-go, just not this one.

I love Aibileen's character the most, in the same way I loved Mrs. Huxtable growing up and wanted her to be my mom. Minny and Skeeter's mom both made me laugh the most though. Here are some of my fave highlights from the book:

Chap 7 - When Mae Mobley goes "tee-tee" for the first time and answers "tee-tee" too all of Aibee's questons: "What did baby girl do today?"..."Tee-tee." What they gonna write in history about this day?"..."Tee-tee." "What does Miss Hilly smell like?"..."Tee-tee!"

Chap 9 - When Miss Skeeter's mom starts thinking Skeeter's a lesbian because she hasn't found a man to marry her 23!!!

Chap 11 - Tongue kissing will make you blind!

Chap 23 - I loved Aibee's special secret stories she told Mae Mobley...but my fave was the one with "Martian Luther King" who was discriminated against for being "green!!!"

Chap 24 - The dirty naked man in Miss Celia's backyard offering them some of his "pecker pie"!!!

Chap 26 - Miss Hilly's own mom sayng that she would be known as "the lady who ate two slices of Minny's shit!" In this chapter, I start loving Miss Celia too, since she writes a cheque out to "two-slice Hilly" after Minny shares her horrible story about the special pie she made!

Stockett does a great job of making you freak out to learn just what Minny did to Miss Hilly as well as what the true story is behind the relationship between Constantine and Skeeter's mom, and then Lullabelle too. At this point, all you're thinking is...what did they do to each other???

I was happy to have so much travel time yesterday from Ottawa to Hamilton by train and then from Hamilton to Marietta, Georgia by van on the way to Florida! I was able to really get into the story, jot down my fave parts and share them with you! Tonight, in our hotel room already at 8pm, I turned on the TV to TLC and lo and behold, it's a wedding-type show marathon, with a special feature on the motion-picture of...THE HELP!

Can't wait to see it on the big screen and how the characters are depicted...I am picturing Rachael McAdams as Regina in Mean Girls as the perfect Miss Hilly!!! But who can pull off Miss Celia...? When are we getting our tickets ladies?

xoxo RFab

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Because you've all read it by now...

A couple little items for your reading and guilty pleasure today:

The cover of Entertainment Weekly features "Peeta" and "Gale" from the Hunger Games movie. Check it out here and lemme know what you think.

Check out the Cast of Actors set to star in the movie in 2012 here.

Finally head to and scroll down to watch a fan-made trailer/movie of the Quarter intense. It makes me want to read the books all over again!

Eeeeeek...I'm so excited!!! Do you think it's obvious?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yikes - Four Months Later!!!

O.K....I had no idea it had been that long?!!! Erinn, we are totally fired! Well, the exciting news is that we have both been reading up a storm and, therefore, have lots to share over the next few weeks!

We are also in the midst of planning our next book club, which is not always easy in the summer - either Tuesday, July 19th or the 26th at Nat D's new place...can't wait to see it!

I have finally calmed my vampire addiction down with some heavier, incredible books and am feeling like a better person (although I have to admit that Sookie Stackhouse's sexy adventures with vampire Bill did warm up my long winter's nights!!!) hee hee hee

So here's to promising to be a better blogger this summer - CHEERS and Happy Summer Reading to all!

xoxo R-FAB

Monday, March 28, 2011

I want more!

Just finished The it, read it, read it BFabers!!! I
want to talk with you about it but can't without giving anything
away...who's going to join me?

I am happy having just finished such a thrilling story but also sad
because it's am I supposed to go to sleep now?!! Isn't it
the best when you just can't put a book down...I even skipped Gossip
Girl to finish it tonight (that's huge!) lol

xoxo RFab

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More vampires!

So last week I had torn this article out of the Books section of The Ottawa Citizen and meant to write about it sooner. The heading reads: Blood Relations - Forget Twilight and bite into this smart, funny vampire family tale. The book is called The Radleys, named after the family of which it was written.

Home sick this weekend, I was on the couch yesterday and got caught up watching Twilight: New Moon on tv, when I was reminded of the article. This is when my little Kobo comes in handy - I was able to run upstairs, hook it up to the computer and download the book in a minute. By the time I passed out last night in a sudafed/advil coma, I was already half-way through the book!

The Radleys story, so far, is really nothing like Twilight, besides the fact that vampires are living with normal people in a normal community and abstaining from drinking human blood. However, it is an exciting read. The author switches quickly between scenes and characters right from the get-go with chapters as short as two pages, or as long as eleven. It was a little bizarre at first; however, it truly allows you to get into the minds of each family member and almost always leaves you wanting to return to their thoughts and their stories.

Helen and Peter Radley are adult vampires with two teenage children who are unaware of their own true identities. The parents have given up their wild lives of blood sucking to give their children a chance at a normal life in a normal town. The children, Clara and Rowan have always felt anything but normal thanks to their pale skin, aversion to garlic and the fact that all animals growl and run at the site of them! A nasty event has the truth exposed and a new character, uncle Will, introduced. Uncle Will, Peter's brother, is still a practicing, blood-thristy vampire with a history and special connection to Helen...ha ha! Intrigued yet?

Interspersed between chapters are quotations taken from "The Abstainer's Handbook" - a book for vampires who wish to lead normal human lives free of blood-thirst. These quotations always foreshadow the next chapters coming events in such a teasing way. For example: "We have to learn that the things we desire are very often the things which could lead to our own self-destruction." It's so interesting to think about why the quote follows a certain character's chapter and what the implication might be...

As a reader, I feel both intrigued and disgusted by the character of Will, the practicing uncle. He kills with no hesitation and keeps labelled wine bottles full of his victims blood to quench his thirst. The fact that he lives in a sleeper van doesn't increase his appeal; however, he does have a unique ability to "blood-mind" people, meaning that he can make them believe what he is saying. ( you can't help but think of the Volturi here).

You feel for both Clara and Rowan, but mostly for Rowan, the teenage boy who is tormented on a daily basis by his class and bus mates for being pale, weak...a "loser." Rowan is quite the little romantic, is into poetry and old literature and feels like he is living in the wrong century really. He has a huge crush on his sister's best friend Eve. Clara is quite pale as well, but has friends and is the love-interest of a classmate - so at least she has those things going for her. Her biggest problem (until the "event") is the fact that she loves animals and they won't go near her!!! Finally, with Peter and Helen you get the sense right away that there is a lot of regret in the relationship and a lot of unhappiness. You begin to learn, early on, how they came to this point in their lives and feel for them as well.

Wow - I can't believe how much I just wrote when I'm only half-way through. I hope you all get a chance to read it because it's really quite good so far...I'll keep you posted on my final thoughts without divulging too much either!

R Fab xoxo

See you later...

Ok, even though I read this book in a day, I have to say that I was a little disappointed with it. I remember reading Christopher Pike books in my early teens and wanting to be a part of them (ie: the cool and pretty girl at the outrageous parties of course!!!)...but this particular story really had none of that.

See You Later is set in modern times (in the 90's) and holds a little mystery, but without giving anything away to those who haven't finished reading it, I found myself not really caring what the long explanation was...I wasn't feeling the connection between the nerdy, yet handsome computer programmer, and his crush Becky!

Where this book did not disappoint, however, was with the incredible descriptive writing throughout: (some examples I loved)

"...I walked behind her. She wore bright yellow pants and a short-sleeved shirt to match. For a few seconds, I imagined what she'd look like in a bikini....I wasn't getting a crush or anything. It must have been the heat." (p3)
- Ahhhh yes, yellow pants....soooo sexy!!! And a bikini? Risque language, wouldn't you say?!!!

"Becky stayed late at my place, though not the entire night.WE didn't talk much. WE didn't have sex. We just lay beside each other on my bed and rested, listening to each others heartbeats." (p88)
- Every great date ends with spooning and listening to heartbeats in high school right? Well, to be fair, these two kids had just graduated, so they were more mature...infact, mature enough to even "think" about s-e-x...

I'm looking forward to trying another Christopher Pike, perhaps Remember Me, and am hoping this one's story is a little more interesting?! Looking forward to hearing everyone else thoughts at Book Club or here!

On a positive note, I am so glad I found these gems for a dollar at the Book Market!

R Fab xoxo

Monday, March 21, 2011

All the time in the world...

I have started the selection for next months bookclub. I picked up a Christopher Pike trilogy a few weeks ago. It has 3 novels, Remember Me, The Return and The Last Story. The trilogy centres around the life/afterlife of main character Shari Cooper. Does anyone remember reading this one?

I did a little bit of research about our dear friend Christopher Pike, but there was not much to be found because he is a very private person and has done only a few rare interviews. Christopher Pike is actually a pseudonym for Kevin Christopher McFadden. Also weirdly, although I couldn't find an explanation for this, most of his books have a character named Ann.

If interested you can join the Christopher Pike Fan Club lol!!

Have others picked a book yet??

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All my friends are dead...

I hope the pictures work! So after a long weekend spent tiling a 4x6
shower in the basement, I was super excited to get a thick package in
the mail from one of my BFFs in Hamilton. She's always finding gems
and sending them my way - who does that anymore? And why doesn't
everyone?...Getting mail, even before you know what's in it, is the
funnest and most underrated surprise of life!!!

Anyway, I open it up to find this book:

Monday, March 7, 2011


Allo Bfabers...just testing my email posting capabilities ;)

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, March 6, 2011

REMINDER: BFab this Tuesday!

Hi BFabers!
Looking forward to discussing Three Cups of Tea this Tuesday at my place at 7:30. Let's see how long we can stick to talking about the novel this time! LOL! Oh, and you'll be happy to know that I discovered Belgium chocolate-covered fruit at M&M's this week...the owner said to make sure they are eaten within an hour, which of course killed me - as if they'd last that long?!!!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again and picking our next three selections, so don't forget to bring your lists please! "Room" is #1 on the Bestseller list today, followed by "Secret Daughter" in the #2 spot, so we've been reading some popular work!

Are we still game for a throwback to an old Christopher Pike thriller selection? We may need to get to a city library to check those out!!! Who has a library card?

One of my suggestions comes off the bestseller list and is a fictional story of non-fiction events called "Sarah's Key:"
De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. (From

See you on Tuesday!
xoxo RFab

Three Cups of "Juicy" Tea

If there's one thing David Oliver Relin does really well in the novel "Three Cups of Tea" it's give really juicy descriptions of the settings throughout the novel. He uses such beautiful language to describe the most simplest of spaces, such as a river:

"Here the river was as ugly as the ice peaks that birthed it were beautiful." (Chapter 10)

It's amazing when you can form the exact scary image of the unforgiving waters in your mind as you read it. (Maybe I am hung up on this because I'm in the process of attempting to teach my little grade ones to use "juicy words" to add detail to their sentences at school?!! LOL)

When I was finding the first few chapters long to read, I did enjoy the scenery and could imagine the mountain scape spread out before Mortenson as he was lost high up. I discovered the website of the late photographer Galen Rowell and his wife, who have taken the most incredible pictures. You have to check this one out, it is almost exactly what Mortenson describes seeing as he awakes on Baltoro to the sunrise. Stunning.

Looking forward to discussing the novel this Tuesday BFabers...

Oh Jane, where have you been all my life?

I can't believe what a snob I've been for thinking a Bronte novel just wasn't for me. When I went to see Black Swan at the theatre, a preview for a movie really caught my attention and left me wanting more...the title of the movie: "Jane Eyre." I thought, it must be another? I've had the novel sitting on my bookself for as long as I can remember, and have never been tempted to pick it up. That night, I discovered it was also included free in my Kobo (as a classic title) and began reading right away. What a fantastic and sad story - I am nowhere near the end, as I am working hard to finish our book club selection for this Tuesday, but so far I am in love and thinking: What took me so long?

The opening of the story has a Cinderalla feel to it (in a bad way), as Jane is being raised by a horrid aunt on the promise she made to her dead husband, Jane's uncle, after Jane's parents both succumbed to Typhus. Treated like a dog, attacked by her cousin and left often in seclusion, she dreams of leaving the estate and finally gets the opportunity to attend a boarding school. My favourite character thus far (besides the fabulous Jane herself) is Helen Burns, her friend at Lowood school for girls. Helen appears more introverted than Jane herself, yet is the type of wise and forgiving young woman we should all aspire to be. When Jane confides in her of her past at the Reed's estate and her resentment towards them all, Helen replies "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs." What a beautiful thought (perhaps not practical, since what else would we gossip about today) but wouldn't it be nice to live this way?!!

I have much more to read and share and am so looking forward to the film. Who's coming with me?

Flavia's Back!

Lol - check out the heading from the Books section of this mornings Ottawa Citizen: "Unsinkable, endearing Flavia: Precocious child detective charms readers once again." I thought of our club and how most of us had so much trouble getting into the book and into her character (some of us, who shall remain nameless, didn't even finish the book - tsk, tsk). After reading the book "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie," I can see why readers would be drawn to her charm - she appears far smarter than most 11 year olds and she knows it. She speaks quite like an adult, yet she has childish tendencies as well, such as being subject to surprise or driven to frustrated tears.

In the latest adventure by Alan Bradley "A Red Herring without Mustard," Flavia, her sisters and father still reside at Buckshaw manor, but a fortune-telling gypsy becomes the latest victim with mysterious surroundings.

It actually sounds intriguing enough, but I think I will have to put it on my summer reading list for now! (I can guarantee it won't get voted into our book club list!!!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dabble Magazine Launched

Kimberly Seldon (of HDTV's Design for Living) is the editor of a new on-line magazine for anything stylish in design, travel and food called Dabble. It just launched online on Monday and was featured in today's Ottawa Citizen, so I thought I would share it!

It has the usual make-you-envious pictures of wealthy people's stately homes, extravagant vacations and exquisite menus, but offers budget friendly options as well. We know we want to see what we can't afford anyway and live vicariously through the pages, right?!!

Check out the editorial in the First Issue (March-April 2011) on Diane von Furstenberg - I was actually looking behind her in the picture at her gorgeous bookcase/shelf with the ladder. Reminiscent of the bookshop and library in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, I have always wanted one of those!!! I was also personally thrilled with the "How to choose tile" article as Rob and I are stuck on that final element of our basement bathroom. The tips were super helpful.

Things to take note of: the shopping event called Designer Market, held in Toronto's Distillery District in April and May (page 18), the oh-so-sweet pink flower cushions for your couch (page 92), the name of lunch hot-spot in Nashville "I dream of wienies!" (page 97), the gorgeous shots of Prague (starting on page 121) and finally the recipe for Bikini Muffins (page 177).

The beauty of online magazines is that they can pack in so much without the cost of printing 200 glossy coloured pages. I'm keeping it on my radar to check out bi-monthly!


Oh there anything you can't do?...

So Kobo's tagline reads: "eReading: anytime. anyplace." After receiving one as a gift for my birthday before Christmas, I couldn't agree more. I was travelling alot and was able to ready a ton of books at the airport, on the plane, in the back of the car, around the pool - basically it came almost everywhere I went on holidays. Now back to reality at home and the need for hot, relaxing baths (frequently) has set in and I'm left searching for paperback books that I haven't finished or started reading yet, when I have perfectly great books waiting for me on my Kobo. Don't get me wrong - I am no tech snob and love paperback books, but I have bought new books online for the eReader that I WANT to read. So anytime. anyplace. I think not! Here is my short list of places that you cannot bring your eReader:

* bathtub
* hottub
* a nordique spa
* a sauna or steam room
* within 6 feet of a children's pool
* outside on a super hot tanning day, or muggy, rainy day
* within three feet of a good campfire

That was my little rant about that! Second annoying thing is that Rob (who has maybe finished reading two books in the 13 years we've been together) is falling for the classics that come free with the Kobo and we are now fighting over who reads it in my bed at night! He's already 49% into "The Call of the Wild," 55% into "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" and 37% into "The Art of War." I am so torn between really wanting to encourage this new love of reading and wanting to read my saved books as well!!!

We all know that as soon as I were to buy him one, it would sit there collecting dust anyway - I bet he's just scrolling through the pages to annoy me?!!! LOL!

Sorry for the wait!

Wow...two months of hiatus - brutal. Sorry about that BFabers! I have so much to share and have been writing notes in my bedside table, just never getting around to plugging them in on-line. Time has flown by since Christmas, I can't believe we're already in March - yikes!

So I finished "Mindless Eating" which was recommended to me by follow blogger Erinn and absolutely loved it. It's a really fast and interesting read that forces you to think about your surroundings and emotions when eating and to put yourself in check. If you don't care about that stuff though, it's still a great book because it makes you laugh. "Mindless Eating" explores the studies of Dr. Brian Wansink (Ph. D.) who is also the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab as well as Professor of Marketing and Nutritional Science at Cornell University. He and his team have performed countless studies involving food consumption that will have you laughing and sometimes crying (thinking, I have been fooled like this before too!) If nothing else, it gives you really intersting facts to bring up at dinner parties around the table!!! Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Thanks for the sweet Christmas cheer Erinn! I thought I better start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year too! What a great holiday that was: I finished Room and Cocktails for Three and am halfway through Escape...and the best part is that I love all three!

Cocktails for Three ended in the predictably happy way that the rest of her novels do, but it was a pleasure reader and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I just love the way she writes (as a Brit) and uses smart language that makes me giggle and sometimes has me reading with an accent in my head...LOL - have you ever done that?!

Anyway, I'm well into Escape right now and cannot put it down. I was up past midnight last night (after heading to bed at 10) and had to force myself to stop so that I could be a good, patient teacher today! What an interesting story - Carolyn Jessop really opened the doors to what was/is happening in the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and it is quite scary to read. To wonder why and how anyone would want to stay in such a "cult," yet you read the chapters on her childhood, and when you really don't know any better from birth, or believe that anyone or anything beyond your walls and beliefs are evil, what difference does it make to you? As a school teacher, I am especially touched by the beatings which occurred in the schools and the deliberate alterations of fact and science. As a woman, I am touched by the whole story - her dreams of becoming independent like her aunt and working as a pediatrician, her enslavement in an arranged marriage to a man her grandfather's age and her courage to escape.

Powerful stuff...looking forward to discussing further at book club. Click here for a link to Carolyn discussing her story and book.

xoxo R-Fab