Archive for June, 2012

Nora Ephron

I was really sad to hear that Nora Ephron died this week. Most people don’t know that in addition to writing the fantastic screenplays for When Harry Met Sally and the phenominal Julie & Julia she wrote some amazing books as well, my favourite of which is I Feel Bad About My Neck. I wrote a review for it years ago, and I think it’s time to pick it up again and have a Nora moment. If you’ve never read it, search for it. It will give you an insight into a wonderful woman, who was an exceptional writer, who died way too young.

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Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

WOW! WOW! WOW! Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anna Quindlen. In addition to writing for The New York Times and Newsweek, she has written 6 novels and her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. Lucky me, while I was wandering through my favourite local bookstore my eyes spotted this beautiful red cover with her name on it. When I got closer and saw “a memoire” at the bottom I didn’t even bother to check out the inside, I just bought it. She’s that good! And it was way better than I expected. I challenge you to get through this book without becoming emotional. What she says, and especially how she says it, will give you goose-bumps. She writes about looking back and ahead in life, celebrating marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, and as the jacket says” all of the stuff in our closets and more”. She uses the past, present and future to explore what matters most to women at different stages of their lives. Essentially the book is about her life, but also, it is a tribute to all women – past, present and future. Buy 2 copies and give 1 away – to your daughter or daughter-in-law or even a friend. Every woman should read this book! 

I love it when I find a treasure like this all on my own, without any media input or recommendation from anyone. I even beat The Globe & Mail. They interviewed Anna a few days after I finished reading it.

 

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Stray Bullets

Bravo Robert, this is a great book! Robert Rotenberg is a favourite author of mine. In his other life, he’s a Toronto criminal lawyer, and he certainly puts his legal knowledge to good use in his books. I have to admit, sometimes I find the info about how the legal system works a bit scary. Stray Bullets is his third book, and if you haven’t read his first two I think you should put them on your summer reading list (Old City Hall & The Guilty Plea). PC Kennicott, Badge 8064, D Post, of Toronto’s finest and Detective Ari Greene, who we all know from Rotenberg’s previous books, arrive at the scene of a shooting on Elm Street in downtown Toronto outside a Tim Horton’s. (Coincidentally, I read this book while in Toronto and had just been in the very area of Elm St. a few hours before I started reading it…. not that you really care, but I do. It certainly added to the atmosphere bigtime.) The city is outraged when it’s discovered that a 4 year old boy has been critically shot on the way into Tim’s with his Dad. It’s un-Canadian eh!! There are witnesses, a missing employee from Tim’s, and a host of shady characters with previous criminal records last seen running from the coffee shop. Of course everyone has a different version of what happened that night, no one can even agree on the number of shots fired, and the entire case seems to hinge on whether defense council Nancy Parish can convince the jury that her client, Larkin St. Clair, is being set up by his partner-in-crime, Dewey Booth… or is there someone, or something, else that will turn the case on it’s end. I really hate it when a review tells too much about the book so I’ll say no more. Just read it, you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend it.

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Mark Haddon… remember him?

You definitely should. He wrote the amazing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and the hilarious A Spot of Bother. I just learned that he has a new book coming out in mid June. It’s called The Red House and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Put your name on the list at the library or head to your favourite bookstore for this one. He’s such a talented writer I’m sure it will be a fantastic read.

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