Big News (especially for my teenage bookworm self)

Yesterday, I went on Facebook and my newsfeed was blown up by news that I actually cared about that doesn’t involve the vaccination debate or the inordinate amounts of snow my hometown is getting.

Harper Lee is publishing a new book!

If you haven’t heard, then check out this article from the New York Times.

Okay, a new-to-the-world book.  She actually wrote it many, many years ago.

I promptly “reposted” an article on my friend V’s wall.  Because she is someone who shares with me an unhealthy obsession with the wonderful novel that we coined “To Kill a Bird” in grade 10 IB English.  We did presentations that were way overdone with excessive bristol boards and background research.  We finished the book before we were supposed to and re-read it and loved the movie.

I’m excited.  I know other people are too.

And I don’t usually even like sequels that much (although I do have to read them for closure).

As a big nerd, I must admit, this is a book that I am looking forward to more than many other books that I have excessively looked forward to.

Top Ten “Classic” Novels I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday list with the Broke and the Bookish is “the top ten books from genre x I can’t believe I haven’t read.” I feel like I can make a list in many genres, but I am going to go with the “classic” book genre.5f1e1-toptentuesday

I like to think I am well-read. That I have read all kinds of stuff because I want to and like to, but really, there are just so many more important works that I still haven’t read and many, many people have.

  1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. We actually got this as a Christmas gift from a friend. Patrick has now read it, but I still have not.
  2. 1984 by George Orwell. I see this intermittently on sale shelves at Chapters or hear it referenced in TV shows and movies. Still haven’t read it.
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell. Another Orwell book. Clearly, I am avoiding him. I feel like a lot of people read this book in high school. I skipped that step.
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. This is another book that gets referenced all the time by different people because seemingly everyone read it in school except for me.
  5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Another high school miss.
  6. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I almost bought this with part of our Christmas Chapter’s gift card haul. But I opted not to because I know it will be easily found in the library because it is another popular and well-referenced work of literature.
  7. Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. It sounds interesting and sad and right up my alley. Yet I have not read it.
  8. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Sometimes I wonder what I really did read in high school/university given the theoretically great books I have missed out on. I still sadly don’t really know much about this book other than what movies/TV refer to.
  9. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. This is one of the few books I picked up and then put down after a few chapters.   It is shocking I actually gave up on a book.  I want to try again.
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I got this as a free ebook on my e-reader. I need to actually read it.

What “classics” do you have yet to read?

Top Ten Books That Kept Me Up Past My Bed Time

It has been a bit since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday with the folks over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is about book clubs. I would love to be in a book club (no, journal club does not count). But, alas that is not in the cards any time soon (unless you count my plans to drag the Creature with me to the kids programs at our new library once he makes an appearance).5f1e1-toptentuesday

So, I’m going with the freebie from last week. And my freebie item of choice is the top ten books that kept me up past my bed time. And I did not included textbooks that were involved with studying (plus, I don’t often study past my bedtime anyway).

  1. Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond. I didn’t know a book about an elephant could make me feel the way this one did.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Yes, I stayed up late reading the end and then had crazy dreams.
  3. Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. I just cared way too much about these characters.
  4. Looking For Alaska by John Green. Once I hit a certain soul crushing point, I had to keep going just to know what happened.
  5. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I read this whole book over the course of a call shift and post call day. I got angry when pages interrupted my reading and it took a lot of will power by the time I finally thought I could settle for the night not just to stay up and read (because I was probably going to be woken up anyway).
  6. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’m pretty sure I stayed up way to late reading each of these books while I was away on an elective.
  7. The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel. This really surprised me in a number of ways. I quite liked it and again as a result stayed up to keep reading on more than one night.
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Sometimes you just have to know what will happen, even when you already know it is probably not going to be good.
  9. The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. She draws you in and the next thing you know, you are almost done and might as well finish it the same night.
  10. Twilight and the other books in that series by Stephanie Meyer. Don’t judge. I would allow myself to read one after every exam in Med2 before things got crazy again for a period of time. Between the excitement of reading for fun and the fact that they are pretty engaging books, I wanted to read the whole thing at once.

What books have kept you up late?

Weekend library

This weekend, I hit up the big-university-that-my-residency-is-based-out-of’s library.  I love libraries and this one is no exception.  It was also surprisingly empty.  I blamed first week back to school.  The next day, Patrick and I checked out our city’s newest big fancy library and I figured out where all the students were (and half the city, I swear)… In the library.

My university library adventure was brought about due to a need for massive productivity.  Lots of presentations, studying and prep for interviews on the go these days.  My project of the day (really, this past week) has been a presentation on cannabis in cancer care.  Yes, medical marijuana.  Patrick keeps making note of how crazy that is.

It was too bad my presentation got postponed due to a scheduling blip.

The other odd part about university library is hot.  I have never been in a university library that was warm.  They are always cold.  I think they were compensating for the cold snap earlier in the week and had failed to return the heat to the usual “cool” level.  Big city library was hot too, but it was due to the droves of people (that I kept complaining “probably didn’t even really like books”).

Since coffee has finally stopped inducing vomiting, I got a hot beverage before going in to the library (I should have picked a cold beverage).  I tried a Flat White for the first time.

Life lesson… If you have been off caffeine for awhile and your fetus is not used to caffeine, a flat white is an interesting place to start (don’t judge me, “no caffeine during pregnancy puritans”).  The kid bounced around for a good hour or two after that.  It took me a while to figure out why.  I must say, it was pretty good, but to be honest, not something I would hunt down again (especially not during pregnancy).

Big city library has a cafe in it too.  It is a dream to me.  Library with built in cafe.  I just need to get rid of the droves of people.

While at university library, I was peacefully reading crazy details about the intricacies of taking marijuana when a piece of ceiling fell beside me.  It happens at my house and now at the library too.  It was a  small pice.  More a large paint chip.  I considered moving, but I opted to stay.  Classy, big university library.  Charge people thousands and thousands of dollars and have a ceiling losing bits (not much unlike my apartment, come to think of it).

I love libraries of all kinds.  Although crowded ones are my least favourite kinds. At least the city is full of cafes I can work at too (especially now that the coffee smell doesn’t kill me softly).  But, maybe the university library will stay on the empty side a bit longer thanks to the draw of fancy library, so I can hide out there a bit more.  Maybe. But probably not.

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

After one of those insane days where the work just seemed to keep piling up, I am finally back home chillaxing with the husband and watching the Buddy the Elf the Musical. It is pretty cute so far.

Because it is Tuesday, I figured it is a good way to relax while doing my Top Ten Tuesday list with the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list is the top ten books I read in 2014.5f1e1-toptentuesday

  1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I feel like every list I have made lately (all 2 of them) have raved about my love of this book. But seriously, I really did love it.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. By far the most disturbing book I have ever read, it had me glued to it (once I got past the first few chapters).
  3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This was funny and adorable all at the same time. I related to the main character in ways I’m embarrassed to admit.
  4. Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. This was by far one of my most surprising likes in the realm of books. It was a beautiful journey and took me back to another era.
  5. The End Of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I’m always weak for true stories and for stories about people living in the medical system and books. This book combines all of these things for a heartfelt look at a mother and son’s literary and life journey.
  6. This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. This was a really neat book in the way it addressed marriage and relationships as they reflect the gospel and about the covenant that marriage truly is. I learned a lot reading it.
  7. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. I was on a big marriage reading kick this year apparently. This was another fabulous look at the covenant of marriage with a more practical, but still gospel driven approach.
  8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I find myself chomping at the bit waiting for the next book in the series.
  9. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I seem to consistently love his books and this was no exception. It blew my mind how so many story lines were so closely intertwined. I loved seeing their lives play out before my eyes.
  10. The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. She is another author who never fails to impress me. Her characters are consistently so multidimensional and real, yet they have just the right level of bizarre.

What were your favourite reads of 2014?

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and Bookish is “the top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2014.” I’m way behind on my reading goals for the year (I blame residency and the parasite, but I still have a few weeks to catch up… haha), but I have had the chance to read a number of new-to-me authors.5f1e1-toptentuesday

  1. Rainbow Rowell. I read Eleanor & Park and was thoroughly impressed with how she wrote about teen angst and made me really enjoy and care about the characters.   As a result, I want to read everything else she has written.
  2. Gillian Flynn. I am one of the many, many people who read Gone Girl after hearing all the hype even though it was outside of my normal reading realm and loved it. It creeped the heck out of me. And yet, I want to read her other books even though they will likely have a similar effect.
  3. Graeme Simsion. The Rosie Project was priceless and I have the second book on my ereader awaiting. His writing is funny and just bizarre enough it is believable.
  4. Pierce Brown. I hadn’t heard of him before a friend lent me Red Rising and although it started kind of slow, it was really good and I look forward to the rest of the series.
  5. James Dashner. I started The Maze Runner series and although I don’t have an overwhelming urge to read the other books, I probably will at some point pick them up.
  6. Eleanor Henderson. I was surprised with how good Ten Thousand Saints was. In fact, I would never have picked it up (unless I was hard up for a book) until Patrick picked it up and raved about it. The book is a journey in which you really grow to care about the characters. I would read more of her stuff.
  7. Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. I read The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules and it made me laugh and laugh. Unfortunately, many of her books don’t appear to have been translated into English, but I would check out another should one appear.
  8. Jay Asher. I read 13 Reasons Why and it was shocking and sad, but overall well done. Although it wasn’t one of my favourite books of 2014, he does make the better new author list.
  9. Adena Halpern. 29 Again was a bargain book find at Chapters and it was well worth the bargain price (in retrospect, it would have been worth full price). It was a sweet, funny story and looking at some of her other titles, it sounds like a lot of her books have potential to be cute/funny.
  10. Timothy Keller. I know some people will find it strange, but this year was the first time I read a Tim Keller book. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot, so I will probably do it again sometime.

Who were some of your favourite new-to-you authors this year?

Books I Wouldn’t Mind Finding Under My Tree 2014

It has been a long time since I have done a Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish. And the topic this week is about books I’m most looking forward to in 2015. Given the fact that I have been doing little fun reading (for some reason school and sleep have been prioritized) and that I pretty much consistently live in a cave, I decided that I will participate but will do a list that is slated in a few weeks time (partly to help people who ask me what books I want this year) the list of books I wouldn’t mind finding under my tree.5f1e1-toptentuesday

First of all… Confessions…. The M family has a lot of books. And it seems that I am gaining a bigger and bigger to be read pile. Second confession… I have been too sick and busy to really window shop for books a lot, so my “books I want” list isn’t as long as it often is.

  1. Another book by Rainbow Rowell. I LOVED Eleanor & Park. LOVED. As a result, I want to read everything else she is written. Seriously… Landline or Fangirl or They all sounds grand.
  2. Lola and the Boy Next Door or Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I am embarrassed to have these on my list. But, I love a good light read as much as anyone and these definitely fall under that category.
  3. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. This was on my list last year and I have yet to acquire the books, so I am putting it on again. I have a fascination with how different cultures view illness and medicine and how “my world” and “their world” connect.  This would be a great lesson.
  4. Desiring God; Loving. Doing. by John Piper. I enjoy his writing style and really get a lot out of reading his books. These are two that I have had my eye on for a little while.
  5. Gillian Flynn’s other books. Gone Girl was probably one of the scariest, most disturbing books I have read in some time (probably since I liked scary books when I was a tween). That being said, it was a great read, so I would try another one out. Even if it will probabably freak the heck out of me.
  6. When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. I stumbled upon this in one of the many displays in Chapters. The title was intriguing but the story sounds good too.
  7. The Secret Life of Bees or The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd. I keep hearing great things about her writing, but I have yet to read anything she has written.
  8. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff. I love nonfiction, but I don’t read enough of it. This book combines the fascinating world of writers (it is like looking into a world I would like to be in if I wasn’t in my own) with a kind of coming of age/attaining status in the world story.
  9. A Train In Winter by Caroline Moorehead. I need more history in my life and this is history with the human side of things.
  10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Everyone lives grief, but I see it every day at work in addition to the stuff in my own life. I want to learn everything I can about it so I can help and understand it more and more. This book offers a look at one woman’s experience of grief and comes highly recommended in another book I loved, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwabe.

Let’s face it. I’m open to most books. And I really don’t need any books.

Ten Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From And Need To Read More

It is Top Ten Tuesday day! This week’s list is ten authors I’ve only read one book from and need to read more.5f1e1-toptentuesday

  1. Stephen King. I read 11/22/63 and loved it. Sometimes, the plots of the books Patrick reads by him sound great, but I get nervous when they are super suspenseful. Nonetheless I want to check out more.
  2. Gillian Flynn. I loved Gone Girl just like everyone else I seem to talk to. Even though mysteries and crime and suspense make me nervous, I still wat to check out other stuff she has written.
  3. Stephanie Perkins. I read Anna and the French Kiss and although it was nauseatingly annoying teenager, I did enjoy it. It made for a great easy read, so I only expect her other books to be similar.
  4. Rainbow Powell. Eleanor & Park was one of the best books I read this summer. She does a great job of getting in the heads of those characters and creating real situations.
  5. Markus Zusak. The Book Thief was an epic novel. It alone makes me want to read his other books, but I have also heard good things about them too.
  6. Pierce Brown. Red Rising was another one of those first books in a series that left me wishing and hoping for the next book to come out sooner.
  7. Iain Reid. The Truth About Luck was a journey. I kind of hope his other books are similar.
  8. Graeme Simsion. Apparently, The Rosie Project is going to have a sequel. I have mixed feeling about sequels, but I still liked the first book so much, I wanted to check it out.
  9. Timothy Keller. Everyone tells me his writing and preaching is awesome. I read The Meaning of Marriage and I must admit I loved how it was written and conveyed.
  10. Emma Donoghue. Room was great. I heard her other book (books?) is/are different, but that just makes me more intrigued in a way.

What authors have you read just one book from and want to read more?

Top Ten (Twelve) Characters Who Would Have Sat At My Table In High School

I’m a day late but this week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and Bookish was too awesome to pass up. The list is the top ten characters who would have sat at my table in high school.5f1e1-toptentuesday

My table in real high school was a bit of a mixed bag. There were other nerds like me, and then the odd people we acquired and the people we were friends with as a result of various activities (mainly band and musical and yearbook. Half the time I was busy with some lunch time activity like choir or band or various yearbook meetings. But, when I was at the table, it was an interesting time. We often filled more than one table (shockingly) and did “crazy things” like build condiment castles one day and then spend the next cramming for that IB bio test we were all going to fail.

So, I expect my bookish high school table to be similar…

  • Hazel, Gus and Isaac from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’m serious. Hazel is basically teenage me in a lot of ways, so I’m sure we would have gotten along. And the guys are very much like some of my friends in high school complete with the randomness and interesting characteristics that make them unique.
  • Quentin, Ben and “Radar” from Paper Towns by John Green. Maybe I like his books because he basically writes about characters I get or would have known. Either way, these guys all meet my table criteria. Quirky and nerdy for the win!
  • Eleanor from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Powell. Misfits and outsiders were welcome. In fact Eleanor reminded me a lot of a couple people we hung out with in junior high and high school. Plus, I would have enjoyed their awesome taste in music.
  • Clay from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Because the token nice, smart shy guy has to eat somewhere.
  • The 4 girls from The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares. Yes, all 4 of them. Because they are basically my 3 closest friends and I anyway, so why not include them all at the table?

Well, that is 12 people, so I guess the table is too full.  I think it is just a bit cozy.

What characters would have been at your lunch table?

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me I Must Read

When you read a lot, you begin to have many people telling you books that you must read. Actually, there are a lot of people in my life who have told me I must read certain books for any number of reasons. And then, there are all the book bloggers I follow and all the books they say people should read. So many books, so little time. The folks over at the Broke and Bookish are asking this week what the top ten books people have been telling you that you must read.


  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Because the movie is coming out. And because we have it on loan from the Child, so it is a must read while it is in our house.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Again, because the movie is coming out. But also because everyone that I have talked to or read who read the book loved it.
  3. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. I haven’t even watched a movie, but I know so many people who loved these books and keep telling me that I will too.
  4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Powell. This was really popular last year, but it is still on my list and from time to time, I hear I should pick it up. One day I will… One day…
  5. Mere Christianity and A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. I lump these together because we have both in an anthology I have been told I should read and have been “getting around to” for years. People tell me to read one because it is great Christian writing and the other because I work a lot with death.
  6. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I did med school. And I have internet. I’m not reading this flipping book. No matter what you, your blog, or friend may say. Also, if I were actually in charge my own fertility, I’d have birthed something by now.
  7. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. People assume that because I’m in medicine and I’m strangely okay with death, I would be interested in this book. Well, that is indeed true.
  8. Clinical Radiation Oncology by Leonard Gunderson. I know, I’m a big nerd. But, so are many other people in my life who have done the whole Rad Onc thing before me. They say this is a good textbook. Well, this good textbook is likely where much of this year’s textbook allowance is going.
  9. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. This series comes highly recommended to me by my 12 year old “nephew.” But, I have also read about it on a few blogs as well. I don’t know much about mythology, but they do sound interesting.
  10. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. This is one of those books all kinds of people that I have worked with over the years have read and recommended.   I can’t seem to bring myself to pick it up. Maybe one day I’ll change my mind.

What books have people declared “must reads” for you? And do you actually want to read these “must reads,” or could you stand to maybe skip a couple like me?