Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Saddest Book I’ve Ever Read

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

black and white photo of slumped over man reading a book while sitting on a park bench outdoors The saddest book I’ve ever read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

It was a dystopian horror tale about a man who was trying to keep his young son alive in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth in which every plant and animal they found had died.

The writing itself was decent, but there were so many awful things that happened during the course of the plot that I really struggled to finish it.

If you decide to read it, I strongly recommend reading some spoiler-y reviews first or asking someone who has already read it to warn you in advance about certain scenes. Some of them were pretty disturbing, and that’s coming from someone who read horror for years.

I don’t read books like this one anymore. My tastes have since shifted to require more hope in plots and endings, but kudos to those of you who enjoy this type of horror.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Five dandelion seeds floating through the air The instructions for this week’s prompt said to list the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to a wishlist so that people can grant your wish.

I’m tweaking it just a little because a) my TBR pile is already huge, and b) I don’t have actual titles or authors for any of my wishes…yet?

Instead of asking any of you to buy books for me, I’m asking for recommendations instead if you know of any titles that might match up to my bookish wishes below.

Wish #1: Fiction about neanderthals. 

For example, I liked:

The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel

The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

These all happen to be loosely based in the speculative fiction genre, but I’m quite open to other genres. Neanderthals are cool no matter which genre they appear in or whether they’re a main or side character!

 

Wish #2: Cozy mysteries about main characters who are part of minority groups

I occasionally enjoy a good cozy mystery, but I haven’t read many about characters who are people of colour, LGBT+, disabled, etc.

It’s time to change that if any of you can help.

 

Wish #3: Non-romance stories about animals who do NOT die in the end.

A romantic subplot here or there is totally fine, but I’d prefer the main storyline to be about something else. Mysteries,  fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, mainstream fiction, or any other genre works perfectly well for me. A sprinkling of horror is cool, too, so long as it’s not gory.

The important thing is that Fido or Fluffy lives happily ever after.

 

Wish #4: Alternate history 

For example, I liked:

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

I enjoy alternate history books based on specific historical events just as much as I do the ones that get creative with their world-changing events. See also: the aftermath of a zombie uprising.

 

Wish #5: Humorous short stories or novellas

They can be from any genre or era.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve spent the last eighteen months actively seeking out cheerful and uplifting things to read.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Best Parts of Each Season

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Can you guess which season I like the most based on these lists?

a chocolate ice cream in a cone held up against a blue and white sky

Summer 

Many different fruits and vegetables are in season.
Lots of sunshine.
The sun is still in the sky at dinner time.
Festivals and parades happen during the summer.
Ice cream is an acceptable dinner on a hot, humid day.
Nearly every day is a good day for swimming

 

A path through the woods in autumn. Red maple trees line both sides of the path and have littered it with their fallen leaves.

Autumn

Halloween!
Leaves changing colour are beautiful.
Candy corn is on sale
Some fruits and vegetables still in season.
Mild temperatures.
New seasons of TV shows begin.
peeled tangerine next to two whole tangerines

Winter 

No seasonal allergies for months on end
Clementines, oranges, and other citrus fruits are in season.
Most TV shows are still airing new episodes.

 

Close-up photo of cherry tree blossoms

Spring

The days get longer, sunnier, and warmer.
Mild temperatures.
Spring thunderstorms are awe-inspiring.
Flowers bloom and bring colour to the landscape.
Migratory birds and other species return to Ontario.
The first green shoots and buds appear in early April here.
All plants once again have leaves and/or flowers by May.
The first spring vegetables like asparagus are available again.
Strawberries, one of my favourite fruits, are in season at the end of spring.
The cherry trees blossom. They smell and look incredible.
One can go outside with a light jacket or even no jacket at all.
Parks that closed over the winter will reopen again.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer 2021 TBR

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Somewhat blurry shot of two pages of a book that are slightly kept apart. You can see a sliver of the sky or a nearby blue wall through the end of them. As always, this TBR list is not set in stone.

So much depends on which books are available at my local library, how long their waitlists are, and whether I find other titles that demand to be read first.

I admire those of you who can make a TBR list and stick to it no matter what. That is impressive!

If no release date is noted in the list below, that means the book was published earlier this month.

So they can be purchased today or maybe even requested from your local library (if libraries exist where you live and it’s available there).

There’s something nice about having a mixture of books that can be read immediately and ones that will require a few months of patience.

 

Shirley Chisholm Dared- The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress  by Alicia D. Williams book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a black woman wearing glasses.

1. Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress  by Alicia D. Williams  

Why I Want to Read It: This is a slice of U.S. history I know nothing about. In my experience, picture books can be a fun way to learn about historical figures you’re unfamiliar with.

 

Wake- The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts  by Rebecca Hall book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of eight slaves standing on a hill as they watch a city begin to burn.

2. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts  by Rebecca Hall

Why I Want to Read It: Same as #1.

 

Sisters of the Neversea  by Cynthia Leitich Smith book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of three children wearing pajamas and flying in the air above their homes.

3. Sisters of the Neversea  by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Why I Want to Read It: It’s a retelling of Peter Pan. How cool is that?

 

Hola Papi- How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of the author wearing a sombrero and typing on a typewriter.

4. Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer 

Why I Want to Read It: This memoir looks like it will be a heartwarming, hilarious read.

 

Far Out- Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy  by Paula Guran book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a magical woman in a blue dress who looks like she's doing a spell. There are twinkling lights around her.

5. Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy  by Paula Guran

Why I Want to Read It: I’m always interested in new queer science fiction and fantasy.

 

We Have Always Been Hereby Lena Nguyen book cover. Image on cover shows a rocky outcropping on an alien plant that has a huge moon in the sky.

6. We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen

Release Date: July 6

Why I Want to Read It: This book encompasses some of my favourite science fiction tropes like enduring radiation storms, exploring dangerous new planets, and seeing how humans react to androids who are nearly indistinguishable from them.

 

Cursed Bunny  by Bora Chung book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of an alert purple hare.

7. Cursed Bunny  by Bora Chung

Release Date: July 15

Why I Want to Read It: Honestly, the title and cover were what made this a must-read for me. I love rabbits and am so perplexed by the idea of them being cursed.

 

The Book of Accidents  by Chuck Wendig book cover. Image on cover is a black-and-white-photograph of a ghost standing in front of an old and possibly abandoned house in the woods.

8. The Book of Accidents  by Chuck Wendig 

Release Date: July 20

Why I Want to Read It: The Covid-19 pandemic has squelched most of my interest in horror, but Wendig is such a creative storyteller that I just might see if I can handle the scary stuff he comes up with. Plus, it’s Halloween-themed, and I love Halloween.

 

Cat Problems  by Jory John book cover. Image on cover is of a stressed-out cat sitting in a cardboard box.

9. Cat Problems  by Jory John

Release Date: August 3

Why I Want to Read It: Cats are enigmas to me in part due to my terrible allergy to them. I can’t be around them at all, so everything I know about them comes from the funny stories and occasional complaints people share about them online. The thought of a cat having a list of complaints about the humans in his or her life makes me grin.

 

Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America by Margarita Longoria book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a man with a butterfly on his shoulder walking into a Mexican village.

10. Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America by Margarita Longoria

Release Date: August 21

Why I Want to Read It: To listen to the contributors’ perspectives. I’m also an immigrant and love reading about the wide variety of experiences that can be found in immigrants around the world.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Best Gift I Ever Received

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A black gift box with a gold bow on it. The best gift I’ve ever received was learning how to have a wonderful time while spending little to no money.

When I was a kid, my parents taught us to enjoy hikes, camping, picnics, storytelling (courtesy of library books or amusing tales from my parents’ childhoods), and swimming in local bodies of water among many other activities.

This was a tradition they continued even once their financial situation improved and we could technically afford the occasional visit to a movie theatre or amusement park.

Yes, there were times when I was a preteen and teenager that I envied the flashier outings and presents some of my classmates talked about after summer vacation. I don’t intend to portray myself as a saintly kid or anything like that, but the funny thing about growing up is how much your perspective can change over time.

I entered adulthood with a vivid imagination and a long list of hobbies and interests that I can enjoy regardless of how much money is or isn’t left over after all of the bills are paid.

Even when I do go on something closer to a traditional vacation, I’m happiest when I enjoy it by swimming in the hotel pool or wandering around town and pretending I’m a local. You never know what cool parks, monuments, or hole-in-the-wall diners you’ll find if you go with the flow, walk past the tourist traps, and see what hidden gems are a few blocks or miles away.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Favourite Book and How I’d Cast It for a Movie

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year. This is one of those topics I could write an entire book about. There are so many amazing stories out there that have either never been… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: LGBT+ Book Quotes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Pride month is just around the corner. Since all in-person events for Toronto’s Pride events have been cancelled again this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to start the celebration a little early here instead. May it be safe for us to celebrate in person next year!… Read More