Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s the holiday season in Canada where we eat our fill of turkey and drink our fill of wine, spirits or in my case … beer :). I love this weekend in October because I get to see my family and enjoy some nice rest and relaxation in the home that I grew up in. Usually, we go for a small hike or walk through the woods but the weather has been pretty drizzly so far this weekend so it has been spent inside with board games and the smells of delicious food filling the house.

I have been marking papers and reading a little bit but mainly catching up with old friends. I hope everyone out there is having a good Thanksgiving and are thankful for the important people they have in their lives. This applies to you too my American friends but in November 😛

I am thankful for my family and the friends that are pretty much family to me. For the people that just bring a smile to my face. And for all those books out there still waiting to be read 🙂

So with that, Happy Thanksgiving! Tell me about your Thanksgiving traditions if you have any in the comments below.


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How to Create the Purr-fect Writing Space — The Cat’s Write

Hey bookworms! Every once and a while, I like to share a fellow blogger’s post to highlight some of the amazing talents we have in our blogging community. I felt that this post was fun and could apply to reading spots as well as writing spots.

Check out Samantha Blann’s creative and fun post on creating the purr-fect writing space.

by Samantha Blann Ahh the writing space: that magical place where all your words fall onto the page. It might seem like a place that only exists in your dreams, but it’s real, I promise you. The purr-fect writing space is different for everyone: Some writers like loud, busy cafes, while others prefer quiet rooms […]

via How to Create the Purr-fect Writing Space — The Cat’s Write


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Book Review: The Wealth Taboo

We have another book review from our external reviewer Sara MacTaylor of the book The Wealth Taboo by Carlos Aguirre. Sara has been busy working away at her creations on her Etsy shop but has set some time aside to read for us.

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Synopsis: IS THE US EDUCATION SYSTEM FAILING YOU? ISN’T IT TIME YOU DISCOVER HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS YOU AND TAKES CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE?

When the education system in one of the richest countries in the world fails to teach you how to build wealth or, at the least, to have a wealthy mind, and the International Student Assessment (PISA) test demonstrates that American teens have average financial skills, you know that personal financial literacy is faulty. The education system, at all levels, teaches you to become a working bee. However, it does not teach you how to make money. YES, how to build wealth and have the lifestyle of your dreams. If you, like the average American, are part of a society that lives paycheck to paycheck, then you are a pawn of the finance system, a consumer chained by debt, allured by your false purchasing power, where ghost money is created by banks and financial institutions. A scary, shocking, and detrimental reality. You have not been prepared to understand and prevent falling into the finance system trap.

This book starts off with a very good premise, of improving the average millennial’s financial knowledge. Most of us do not receive much education at school regarding how many financial systems work, and so this is a really great idea to simplify and educate those of us lacking this essential knowledge.

Unfortunately, the execution is really lacking. He continually states the importance of improving our knowledge to improve our lives and the fact that various systems are taking advantage of the consumer, but almost never gives any concrete tips or statistics to actually improve our knowledge. Entire chapters feel like repetitions of the same lack of knowledge without actually educating the reader in that area.

This book is a great idea and touches on some great points of interest, but I feel like I didn’t learn what he was trying to teach me! I’d love some more concrete tips and tricks on how to actually improve in each of the areas he touches on. If this book gets revised I’d definitely be interested in trying this again.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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Giveaway Winner

So I wrote this whole post, saved it, scheduled it and then went back to it to find out that the entire thing had been erased. Here I am rewriting the giveaway winner post……fun. Anyways, The giveaway winner of Tiger in Trouble by Eric Walters and some fun cartoon stickers is…..

Jose Maria Hazan

Congratulations on winning your prize. I will be in touch to get mailing information. Stay tuned for more fun contests that will be happening this month.

If you haven’t checked out my review for Trailer Trash – an 80’s memoir by Angie Cavallari yet, go read that post. She was a really fun author to review for.

Talk soon bookworms.


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Book Review: Trailer Trash – An 80’s Memoir

New book review up on the blog. This one is called Trailer Trash – An 80’s Memoir by Angie Cavallari.

Synopsis: Trailer Trash tells the story of Angie Cavallari, your typical girl growing up in the 1980s who finds herself cradled in an arm of a society that would be considered anything but your paradigmatic suburban neighborhood.

In 1980, Angie and her two siblings are dropped into a world of the poorest tenements during a decade where material wealth was worshipped. But these are not your usual run-of-the-mill Florida retirement occupants—these are tenants with issues that Angie soon realizes are the same that can happen anywhere—even under her own roof.

Her place in society is further confused by the fact that she doesn’t live in a trailer but nonetheless, shares a postage-sized backyard with a less-desired community by societal standards and attends a prestigious private school more than 45 minutes from her cinderblock castle.

After spending a decade living in a world of indiscernible differences, Angie’s family decides it’s time to pull up stakes, sell the trailer park and buy a double-wide trailer of their own in the Carnie Capital of World, Gibsonton, Florida.

Funny at times, nostalgic throughout, Trailer Trash hits on some serious notes and undertones about societal differences and the trials of surviving childhood in any decade and any environment.

I really enjoyed this book. The writer tells the story of her life with such ease and humor. It was very easy to read and cool to see how she grew up. I never knew what it was like to live in a trailer park but now I have some insight into it.

The author seemed to have a lot of guilt pushed on her about her weight as a child and that saddens me to know that her mother would make her feel like she had to look a certain way. We all have those relationships with our parents that regardless of how they unfold, tend to mold us into who we are today. If you read my last review for Fat Girl on a Plane, I talk a bit more about body weight issues and how we need to make ourselves feel empowered in our own skin.

At one point she talks about wolf spiders and if I was in that trailer where they were, I would be sleeping in a sealed tent outside. No way in hell would I be anywhere near those things…

My favorite character would probably have to be her grandmother. She could be a hardass at times but she seemed like a very fun woman. I don’t want to give too much away so I will stop there.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants some light reading and to have a laugh. Angie will keep you smiling as you read how she took on life as a child and young adult in the world of trailer parks and all the fun/interesting people that come with them.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Amazon or Goodreads or connect with the author on Twitter 🙂

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.

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Book Blogging for Beginners | Planning and Writing Posts — Adventures of a Bibliophile

Hey there Bookworms. I have been busy working away but I did stumble across this post which I found to be very helpful. I wish I had this when I was starting out. Take a read and follow this blogger 🙂

For me, at least, the most challenging part of blogging is actually writing blog posts. With a full-time job, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to blog (and still read enough to blog about). I’m sure most – if not all – of my fellow bloggers will agree: blogging takes so much more […]

via Book Blogging for Beginners | Planning and Writing Posts — Adventures of a Bibliophile


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Book Review: Fat Girl On A Plane

Aloha fellow readers!

I just finished Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos and it was phenomenal! This book presented a very positive message in a fun and entertaining way.

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Synopsis: Fat.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush and put her life on track.

Skinny.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

So first off, props to Kelly for making a book that empowers people of all sizes. This is truly amazing. No one should ever be shamed or belittled because of the way they look or how big or small they are.

The main character, Cookie, is a strong female protagonist that doesn’t always have everything handed to her and she has to work hard for what she believes in. There are times when life becomes “unfair” to her but she always puts her best foot forward and strives on. She is very talented and a fashion guru. A lot of the clothes that she made in the book sounded very cool and the inner geek in me would hope that she would make some of these for men so I could wear some original Cookie Vonn.

I really enjoyed her best friend Piper. She was such a hoot! And she was from Australia which is epic because that is my dream destination to visit someday. Piper was the “giver of no f**ks” and I felt that she embodied that very well 🙂

Tommy kind of annoyed me a little bit because of how he would handle situations with Kennes being a complete asshole to the person he calls his “best friend” but that was just a minor detail.

This book is a rare one that will get a great rating from me! There are few out there that I would give 5/5 but I have to give it to this one! I am usually pretty generous with 4/5 but I found I couldn’t put this one down and would read it at every opportunity I had.

I would recommend this book to anyone out there who feels like they don’t like their body or are uncomfortable in their own skin. Let this book take you on a journey with Cookie to become empowered and feel positive about yourself because you are beautiful inside and out.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads. You can find the author Kelly DeVos on Twitter and Instagram.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read and give an honest review.

PS. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my Giveaway Post where I am giving away a free book and some stickers!


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What are you reading?

Hey bookworms.

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t made much progress in terms of reading books so I figured I would ask you all what you are up to! I want to know what you have been reading!


What are you currently reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think you will read next?

I want to know. Let us start a conversation and talk about it. I can tell you all the books I plan to read (better take a seat and grab a snack because it’s a long list) and you could tell me if you have read them or what you think of the book covers or whatever we decide to discuss about.

I’m going to get back to my current book Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos now and hopefully get a big chunk of it done. I’m excited to write a review for this one 🙂

Comment below and lets chat 🙂 Happy reading!


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Update: Teaching College

So as many of you know, I am now teaching at Canadore College as a professor for the Appreciation of Media Design course. I never thought way back when I was in the Graphic Design program that I would ever be up at the front doing the actual teaching. But alas, here I am.

It has been taking a lot of my time as I have to lesson plan for each week and my books are feeling lonely (at least I think they are). On top of this, I still have my full-time job as a web developer and decided to do indoor volleyball for the autumn and winter season.

I am still doing my best to read as much as possible so have faith book bloggers, I will be adding more reviews soon. I am currently reading Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos and am about half way through.

How do you get through week by week with so much to do? Comment below what helps you stay organized? Maybe I could pick up some tips or stargies from you!

Talk soon bookworms!

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Guest Post: How to Make Your Books Both Enjoyable and Educational

This is a guest post by author Fiona Ingram as part of her book blog tour.

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Teachers and parents welcome with open arms books that help kids enjoy reading, immerse them in a wonderful new world and encourage them to want to learn more about the subject or topics covered in the story. The hardest part of writing fiction that involves facts, history, mythology, geography and the details that my middle-grade adventures involve is knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

My first middle-grade book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, is set in Egypt. Although I actually went to Egypt with my mom and my two nephews (who later became the templates for my young heroes), going to a place and writing about it are very different. I think Egypt was even more daunting than I imagined because so much has been written about the country, its history, and its culture that I felt under enormous pressure to check, double check, and check again (just in case) all my facts. There are also conflicting opinions of experts so one must be careful whose opinion one chooses.

I confess I overwrote the rough drafts of the first manuscript. There was so much information that I ended up almost drowning in it. It seems a shame that hours of research goes into looking up facts that will make perhaps only a brief mention in the chapter concerned. However, there is no point in inundating readers with lots of information. After careful thought, I realized that all I should include was what the young heroes needed to know as the plot unfolded. Details should be carefully and subtly woven into the story, always being an integral part of what the heroes need to know to move along in their adventure.

So, after the excitement of Egypt, what came next? The next book in my adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone takes place in Scotland, where the heroes are in search of the Second Stone of Power. The title is The Search for the Stone of Excalibur and that should be enough of a clue for fans to see where the story is heading. I had already spent a few amazing weeks in Scotland, researching old castles. Ask me anything about castles … with or without drawbridges, moats, portcullises, battlements … you name it, I visited it.

Finally, I settled upon the fabulous, fairytale setting of Dunrobin Castle, for me
an exquisite vision, as the setting for Book Two. Interviews with experts are a real boon. Leila, our fantastic guide in Egypt, was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on the country. Contrary to what one might think, travel guides (the official ones) in any country, have a vast amount of knowledge on their subject. It came as no surprise to find that Leila had a university degree!

In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico, the young heroes must play an ancient form of a ball game, the Mesoamerican ball game, to survive. I was fortunate enough to find an expert on the subject whose advice and book were invaluable. Again, so much has been written on this topic, as well as the ancient cultures of the Maya and the Aztecs—that feature in the story—that I really had to pare down the details to just what was integral to the plot and to the young heroes’ survival. Dialogue is a great way to include details that are necessary and having characters exchange information makes the detail realistic and interesting. I try to include storytelling by characters to share information. In all my books there are old stories or legends that make an appearance and add to the mystery. Told as a story within the main story makes it interesting for young readers. This could also lead on to further activities—for example, the students might enjoy acting out scenes from the stories, or even undertake their own research to find out if and how the fictional version deviates from the known facts.

Stories within the main story are a must. This gives an added depth and introduces cultural elements that are so unusual for young readers in a modern, media-driven and technologically saturated world. Within each of my books, the young heroes are told old stories, either legends or myths or in the case of Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, the old ghost stories surrounding the castle. What a lovely experience, with delicious shivers going up and down their spines! In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, the young heroes hear some important stories about the ancient Aztec and Maya gods, and when their adventures are finally over, they tell the story of their exploits to the villagers seated around the campfire, perhaps creating their own legends in a way.

Another excellent idea for authors whose books contain facts and relevant information is to include an appendix, either a young readers’ guide (which I do) or even just a glossary of unfamiliar words. Parents can then encourage their kids to read this to enhance their enjoyment of the story, achieve a greater understanding of the environment and atmosphere of the events, and teachers can use it to inspire further research. Contrary to popular opinion, kids love to learn, be it new words or new facts and/or details. Books that inspire the desire in kids to learn more deserve a top place on every bookshelf.

You can find Fiona at –
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/
Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn
Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com
Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram


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