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!