November Recap {A.K.A. The One With a Silly Amount of Books Which Basically Means No Book Buying In 2015 — But Really Who Am I Kidding?}

 

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

November was a bit of a sad month for me … it was both happy and said, I guess. My little boy turned one year old this month! Not a baby anymore, but I am just amazed at how much he’s grown. He’s turning into such a little man! He even had his first haircut this month. They took quite a bit off and he looked so grown up afterwards. Cuddles were a lot sadder since I didn’t have any hair to play wth, but … they’re supposed to grow up, right?

And speaking of growing up, this month we had a BIG EVENT in our house … Baby Reading In Winter’s FIRST birthday!

Lucas One Year

I will admit, I cried most of the day. I never thought I’d be so emotional about it, but I can’t believe a whole year has passed. It went by too fast! We had a big party, which was a lot of fun. :) Plus, all of his other friends have birthdays around this time, so we had a few more birthday parties this month! It’s both wonderful and sad to see all the babies growing up!

Other than that, winter came which means I’ll be running lots of errands on my own in the evenings and weekends! I forgot how cold it is in the winter … I’m totally fine with the winter. I think I’m one of the few people who love the snow! But we had a few trial runs of putting the child in the car, then trying to put a winter coat on him when we get to our destination, and it’s so hard! It was definitely easier when he was a baby baby since he was in the bucket seat all the time. Of course he does look super cute all bundled up in his winter coat …

What’s been on the blog this month? So much! When I said I was getting back into the swing of blogging, I wasn’t lying! 

Reviews: 
Halloween Short Stories #1
Halloween Short Stories #2
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk {Audiobook}
Tight Knit by Allie Brennan {Canadian}
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires (A Conversation With Myself) {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
The Game Changer by Marie Landry {Canadian}
This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes {Graphic Novel}
The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman {Graphic Novel}
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman
The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier {Graphic Novel}
Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly {Graphic Novel}
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs {Graphic Novel}
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge {Graphic Novel}
Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley {Graphic Novel}
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier {Graphic Novel}
Chew: Volume 1, Taster’s Choice by John Layman {Graphic Novel}
Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
Boxers & Saints {Boxers & Saints, #1 and #2) by Gene Luen Yang {Graphic Novel}

Discussions:
Is it me? Is it the book? Is it the timing?
{Graphic Novel Week} Why Graphic Novels Are Cool (And Not Just for Children!)

Author Interview:
{Writing in Canada} Author Interview with Allie Brennan
{Graphic Novel Week} Interview with Ashley Spires

Tea Posts: 
{Book & A Cuppa #3} Wednesday’s Book & Tea
{A Little Tea Love} So, You Want To Get Started With Loose Leaf Tea? Here’s How!
{Book & A Cuppa #4} Wednesday’s Book & Tea
{Book & A Cuppa #5} Wednesday’s Book & Tea

Events: 
5-Year Blogiversary
Graphic Novels Week
How Canadian Are You? The 2015 Ultimate Canadian Reading Challenge

Miscellaneous Posts:
October Recap
{Weekend Reading} Even More Graphic Novels + Canada Love + A Reminder of Graphic Novel Week
Book Memory Challenge {Stolen from Sarah Says Read}
{Giveaway} Tight Knit by Allie Brennan
{Graphic Novel Week} My Reading List!
{Music} Theme Song (for Graphic Novel Week!)

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I am falling more and more in love with CANADA this month! As you can see I’m working more and more Canadian reads into my reading list … and can I just get a WAY TO GO! for my epic reading this month? It’s insane!

  1. This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  2. Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  3. Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  4. Binky Under Pressure by Ashely Spires {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  5. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes {Graphic Novel}
  6. Tight Knit by Allie Brennan {Canadian}
  7. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman {Graphic Novel}
  8. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk {Audiobook}
  9. Everything is Perfect When You’re A Liar by Kelly Oxford {Canadian}
  10. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge {Graphic Novel}
  11. The Game Changer by Marie Landry {Canadian}
  12. The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman
  13. I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly {Graphic Novel}
  14. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac {Graphic Novel}
  15. Skim by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  16. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs {Graphic Novel}
  17. Where I Belong by Alan Doyle {Canadian}
  18. Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  19. Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding, #1) by Rachel Hauck {Audiobook}
  20. Binky Takes Charge (Binky, #4) by Ashley Spires {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  21. Chew, Volume 1: Tasters Choice by John Layman {Graphic Novel}
  22. Devil to Pay (Night Huntress, #3.5) by Jeanine Frost
  23. Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4) by Jeaniene Frost
  24. One for the Money (Night Huntress, #4.5) by Jeaniene Frost
  25. The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  26. Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1) by Gene Luen Yang {Graphic Novel}
  27. Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2) by Gene Luen Yang {Graphic Novel}
  28. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier {Graphic Novel}
  29. License to Scratch (Binky, #5) by Ashley Spires {Graphic Novel} {Canadian}
  30. Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
  31. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L. M. Montgomery {Audiobook} {Canadian}
  32. Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier {Graphic Novel}
  33. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley {Graphic Novel}

PLUS! I’m reading more and more audiobooks … or, listening to, I guess. I do kind of love Hoopla and plug it into the car wherever I go. My only complaint is that the site really isn’t user friendly. I can’t really browse any genres than the ones they have listed on their main page AND they really don’t have a great selection of Canadian books. But they do still have some good stuff to listen to, so I won’t complain that much. So far the 5 item limit isn’t hindering me, since it takes me a week to get through an audiobook, so that’s good at least.

I’m so thinking December will have considerably LESS books read, but that’s okay … it’s kind of nice to be going back to savouring one book at a time, here at the end of November ….

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I feel like the end of the year means “stock up on books” to me because these last few months … crazy.

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How gorgeous are these Neil Gaiman books? And they’re even prettier on the inside! I really should do a post on my Neil Gaiman shelf. It’s getting to be quite epic. And there is still SO MUCH I can collect!

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Quirk Books is pretty freaking awesome. They sent me TWO tote bags after I asked them nicely if they had anything I could bring back and forth to the library, since the grocery bag I use is just not very classy. These bags rock!! AND my preorder of Amanda Palmer’s book got here right on the release day (actually the day before, but I picked up the mail on the release day), which made me super happy. AND Robin LaFevers!! I can’t wait to read this one! I loooooove this series!

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I also picked up a few more Christmas books … I’ll be sharing my Christmas reading list soon! These ones keep staring me down at Safeway, so I finally gave in. I mean, books! how can you say no to a book? And Christmas books are always so lovely. I love getting into the Christmas spirit through reading! It pairs perfectly with the snow outside and my warm cup of tea.

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The boy and I also attended the Edmonton Public Library’s Books2Buy book sale this month. I was saying to the boy that we’d go and find some new books for him and the husband said, “Yeah, yeah, you know you’re just going for you.” Sure enough, all the board books were totally marked up and stickered, so we didn’t find anything nice for him. I, however, found just a couple. *looks around nervously*

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I also picked up a few cozy mysteries — tea themed! — for Cozy Mystery Week in December, hosted by Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelves. I don’t usually do mysteries, but I’ve always wanted to get into cozy mysteries … and I love the themed ones. :)

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And just a few more tea books … (because you can’t have enough)

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The day after I got my tea books, I got these books, which I ordered after the Giller Awards were on TV. I realized there were a few Kelley Armstrong books I needed (even though I’m woefully behind reading what I do have of hers!) and I found a few other Canadian books I just had to get … including the Giller Prize winner!

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And the day after THAT the UPS man started judging me because he dropped off this other package of books … including more Canadian reads! And I just couldn’t resist getting the new Ally Condie book (I still have to finish reading her first series!). It’s a really BIG book! Like, not thick, but akwardly (sic?) sized.

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The M. G. Vassanji book was given to me by Brie’s(from A Slice of Brie) mom. It looks super interesting! I’ve never read anything by Vassanji, so hopefully I like it. Nightmares (complete OPPOSITE of the Vassanji) was bought at Save On Foods because I can never go anywhere without buying a book apparently.

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And finally (did you think it would never come?!?) some books from the library’s ongoing book sale and the dollar store. That’s right, I can find a book to buy ANYWHERE.

all the books

Ha! Gotcha! There was more. I know. Feel free to judge.

Aaaaaand just a few ebooks (because, you know, I didn’t have enough books to begin with):

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year the truth about us devil to pay magic graves home for the holidays
I won the Marie Landry book through a blog hop and am so excited to read it! And TJ Hannah is the pen name of Allie Brennan for her NA books. How different could these two books be? Ha ha … one is winter and one is bathing suits in a lake … Then, towards the end of the month, I went on a bit of a Jeaniene Frost buying spree! Not only did I order the books I still needed from her Night Huntress series, but I had to buy the ebooks for the novellas as well. Already read two of them!

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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October

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

October in one word … WINDY! Seriously, what is with the wind in Alberta in the fall? I love the leaves when they start to change, the green changing to gold, the crispness in the air … and then the wind comes and changes it all! The leaves all fall off the trea so we’re stuck with skeletons, and then the wind sends a biting chill down your spine.

And really? How does one dress a baby who is mobile for cold weather? Am I the only one dreading those -40 days?

Part of me has been in major stock-up mode and making sure we have lots of food in the house for when we have those days or weeks when we can’t go out for groceries. This also seems to include premaking casseroles and dishes, baking bread, stockpiling homemade soups, etc. We even bought a second freezer since we have a half bison on the way.

That’s right. Winter is coming.

Thanksgiving happened this month and I only realized the day after that it was actually Lucas’s very first Thanksgiving! I probably would’ve taken more pictures had I realized. We did have a big milestone happen that day — he took his first steps! I might have cried a little. When did my boy get to be so big? Soon we’ll be celebrating the big ONE!

Not a lot of exciting things happened on the blog, though I did feel inspired to write about one of my favourite musicians, Amanda Palmer. Then I tweeted about and she responded, which basically meant my heart (and blog!) exploded:

amanda palmer shares my blog post

I can’t wait for her book to come out this month … it’s going to look beautiful on my shelf! AND Indigo had signed copies, which is awesome.

Tea business was awesome this month — my second recruit, Ambur from Burning Impossibly Bright, had her launch party and I can definitely say that I made the right decision getting into this business. The tea is delicious and everyone raves about it when they try it! I love it!

I did a slight blog makeover this month, with a new header and some new background colours and textures. LOVE it. I feel like it represents more of where I’m at right now, with my new little reading buddy, my tea business, and of course, my neverending love of winter and where I live.

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Plus, the blog has been going through a few changes since I’m not reading hundreds of books a year anymore. I wanted the new look to reflect the fact that there will be more than just bookish posts on the blog. And I don’t have a ton of time for songwriting anymore, so I wanted to take the wording out about songs being on the blog. Maybe one day I’ll get back into writing more bookish songs …

What’s been on the blog this month? Lots of great stuff!

Addictions: 
Being Erica

Reviews: 
The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
A Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rule of Scoundrels, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2) by Kenneth Oppel
Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1) by Maya Banks
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary, #1) by Hilary Monahan
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1) by Megan Shepherd
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Hell House by Richard Matheson (Audiobook)
Say Her Name by James Dawson
Revenge of the Living Dummy (Goosebump Horrorland, #1) by R. L. Stine (Audiobook)
The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark and Grimm, #3) by Adam Gidwitz

Discussions: 
How to Move Forward and Backwards at the Same Time
{Reading With Little One} Sharing a Love of Reading — Is It Supposed to Be Hard?

Tea Posts: 
{A Little Tea Love} Tea — It’s Not Just Your Grandma’s Drink!
{Book & A Cuppa} Wednesday’s Book & Tea
{Book & A Cuppa #2} Wednesday’s Book & Tea

Events: 
Horror Shorts #Readathon Week

Miscellaneous Posts: 
Challenge Update: Anne & Kristilyn’s 2014 Book Bingo Reading Challenge (Update #3)
{Blog Tour} The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C. K. Kelly
Musician Turned Author Turned Queen Of the World {A Love Letter to Amanda Palmer}

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I’m happy that I’ve been working in more reading into my day — I’m doing so much better than last month! I’m trying to find that perfect balance between family, business, reading, and blogging and one day I’ll get there …

  1. Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins
  2. The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
  3. A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rule of Scoundrels, #1) by Sarah MacLean
  4. Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2) by Kenneth Oppel
  5. Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
  6. Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary, #1) by Hilary Monahan
  7. The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1) by Meghan Shepherd
  8. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
  9. Hell House by Richard Matheson (Audiobook)
  10. Say Her Name by James Dawson
  11. Revenge of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps: Horrorland, #1) by R. L. Stine (Audiobook)
  12. The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #3) by Adam Gidwitz

I actually did a big reading push at the end of the month since Halloween crept up on me! I love reading a good scary book, so I read quite a few! Plus a whole bunch of short stories. I also rediscovered audiobooks this month, which was great. Our library got Hoopla and I signed out two audiobooks on it this month. I only wish that we could take out more than 5 items in a month. So far I’m just using it for audiobooks and it’s working out okay … I wish they had more of a selection!

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This month the boy and I went NUTS with our books. We found some great sales for his books so he got quite a few …

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Sandra Boynton is the BEST when it comes to kid’s books! Her stories are always so cute and funny. And I love the Daniel Howarth books … we have a few of the ‘Why I Love …” books. I debated getting the Why I Love Hockey book but I think we’ll wait until the boy actually knows what hockey is!

Then there are MY books for the month … I may have gone a little crazy. Sorry some of the pictures are blurry. When your child is barelling towards the books with sticky hands you take the picture!

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I had bought The Magician King, thinking it was the first book in a series — or not part of any series — and then I got home and realized it’s the second. Oh well. Maybe I’ll find the first for really cheap, then! I had bought Alan Doyle’s book for his book signing on the 18th, but now I can’t go — still really looking forward to reading it! I loved Great Big Sea growing up. :) And yay for A Sudden Light! Loooooved The Art of Racing in the Rain. Still one of my favourite book covers! october2

The Rosie Effect!! I’m so excited to read that one … and I think I remember seeing somewhere that it’s not the last in this series? Who knows … at any rate, I’m excited for more Don and Rosie! And I caved and bought Rooms. Probably won’t read it anytime soon, but I think it’ll be a good one to have on hand when I feel like a spooky, ghostly read. october3

Tea books! I had been at Chapters for their home promotion, where I was planning to get my $10 gift card and I saw this book on an end shelf and knew I had to have it. It’s just so pretty! And I’ve heard really good things about Teatime for the Firefly … of course I can’t pass up a book with tea in the title. :) october4

I am CRAZY excited for My True Love Gave to Me! I know it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to crack that one open when I’m feeling festive. And I read Black Ice already this past month … wasn’t a huge fan. :( I’m hoping to squeeze in Sense and Sensibility as my Classic read for Book Bingo … happy I finally found a copy! I’ve been to a few book sales and can you believe no one ever has this one for sale? I find TONS of Emma and Jane Eyre, though. october5

I got these ones at my library’s ongoing book sale. I vaguely remember hearing good things about the Sherman Alexie book and who can pass up some scary Christopher Pike? At $0.25 each, I couldn’t resist! Now I just have to remember to check out their book sale more often …

Jane Christmas

And lastly (finally!), the weekend before Halloween, the library was hosting author Jane Christmas. We just happened to be in town doing some trick or treating in the business district (a special day and time just for kids), so I stopped in and met the author, bought a book, and got it signed. It looks really good!

Aaaaaand just a few ebooks:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00031]Girl and wayinferno park
Allie Brennan sent me an email a while back and she is just too cute! I finished Tight Knit a few days ago (since it’s already November and I’m late at writing this) and loved it. I can’t wait to read Under the Dusty Sky now! I love that I’m working more Canadian authors into my reading. We have some real gems!

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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September

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

WHERE DID SEPTEMBER GO?!?!?!? I know I’ve said this in every single monthly update, but this year is FLYING by! Though, while we’ve had a great summer, it’s nice to have the temperatures drop, turn on the furnace again, layer up in sweaters, cozy up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a book … it’s perfect. :)

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Of course, in previous childless years, I could get LOTS of bookreading done this time of year, so with a new baby AND my new tea biz, it can be a little tricky. AND if you love TV as much as I do, you’ll discover NetFlix and never get any reading done again …

This month I got completely addicted to Heartland, a Canadian TV show about a girl who trains horses. Seriously, I’d been seeing bits and pieces of this show on TV for some time now but never really sat down to watch it, then managed to watch all 7 seasons in two weeks.

There’s no time until there’s a TV show to watch!

And now LO turns his head whenever the theme music comes on. This show is kind of like Doctor Who to our one dog. Grace runs whenever the Doctor Who theme song comes on since it’s my ringtone. She’s convinced that something exciting is going to happen!

Meanwhile, there have been tons of commercials about Gracepoint coming to TV and my husband had to remind me that David Tennant — you know, Ten — was in the show. As if I didn’t already know. Being a huge Broadchurch fan, I’m still hesitant to watch, but if anything will sway me, it’s David Tennant ….

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I’m striving to get more bookreading in during October, but with all the great TV shows coming, who knows what will happen! Ha ha …

This month we didn’t do a heck of a lot. We had a few playdates, I got stuck in crazy winter mode and started stocking the freezer and pantry (yes, I’m aware that I do live close enough to grocery stores), and my husband and I had our wedding anniversary! He took us all out to the Devonian Gardens, which was so lovely. The air was a little crisp, so it was a great time for leggings and scarves … can I just say that I LOVE fall? My favourite time of year!

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Definitely hasn’t been the summer of reading for me …

  1. Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins
  2. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
  3. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Seriously could’ve done more reading this month, but like I said — TV! Not only was Heartland on my TV all the time, but then there were the Outlander reruns …

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Get addicted to TV and then get caught up in business stuff equals NO TIME for buying books!

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I’ve been eyeing A House in the Sky for SOOOOOOO LONG! It’s the cover — I love the birds! Personally, I prefer the hardcover with the black cover and birds, but kept seeing this one at Costco (the only place I seem to go with books) and finally picked it up. I’m also not a HUGE Oprah fan, but I just love the look of her new book. I can’t wait to read it! It has such an old-school feel to it.

I also got just a couple ebooks this month:

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Definitely not crazy like previous months, but I’m a little sad that I didn’t go browse a bit more. :(

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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