Upcoming Reviews On the Horizon

Wow it has been a busy early spring. I have fallen quite behind with my Literal Life postings but wanted to take some times to post a list of the novels I have read and will be reviewing here very soon.

I have been busy in my reading, owing to two factors (not including the general state of bibliophilia that encompasses me, that is) : a) the acquisition of a Sony Reader in early February and, b) participation in the HarperCollins Canada 50 Book Pledge. The pledge is not too much of a stretch for me; I read nearly 70 books in 2010. I don’t put too much pressure on myself or get stressed about reading MORE, but between reading for work and reading for pleasure (though, to be fair, it is all rather pleasurable), I go through a sizable stack of books each year. Having an electronic reader, though, has really amped up the reading. In Particular, I have been enjoying borrowing ebooks from the Toronto Public Library. It is so efficient!

Alright, without further ado, here is the list of upcoming reviews:

* My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young
* Good To A Fault by Marina Endicott
* Benevolence by Cynthia Holz
* A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
* Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
* The Keeper of Lost Causes By Jussi Adler-Olsen
* The Infinities by John Banville
* The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Muhkerjee
* The Immortal Life if Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
* Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
* War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
* Slash by Slash
* Life by Keith Richards
* A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates
* Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff
* Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark
* Breath by Tim Winton
* Galore by Michael Crummey
* The Leopard and Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

Gretchen Rubin & Conor Grennan

While many people are marking today, “Blue Monday” (the most depressing day of the year) by staying hidden under their covers; wallowing in chocolate or drowning their sorrows at a local pub, I was busy having the best morning of the year! Okay, granted it is only the 17th day of 2011, but still…today was awesome!

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the offices of HarperCollins Canada for a breakfast meet and greet with authors Gretchen Rubin and Conor Grennan. Rubin has become known, over the past year, as the woman behind The Happiness Project. This project clicked with thousands and thousands of people and, upon turning her experience into a book of the same title, has vaulted Rubin into the bestselling author stratosphere. Conor Grennan volunteered his time at the Little Princes Children’s Home, located in Godawari, Nepal, back in 2004. He has become forever changed and connected to the place as a result of his experiences. His first book, Little Princes, examines the issue of child-trafficking in Nepal, while detailing Grennan’s work at helping reunite these children (who, unknown to their parents, were not taken to safety – away from the war zone – but abandoned in the “chaos of Kathmandu”) with their families. His book debuts later this month.

Both authors were extremely gracious with their time and there was the opportunity for one-on-one conversation with each of them. I found Rubin to be very engaging and open to interacting with her readers – she was keen to take Twitter usernames from each of us and told us she loves following people on Twitter. Rubin will be appearing at Indigo, Bay & Bloor location, tonight at 7pm. Grennan, in Toronto to speak at The Rotman School is a really interesting guy. He is funny and insightful and was very interested in what each person he chatted with had to say. That both authors are intelligent, open people made this morning’s event really special.

Many thanks to Shannon Parsons, Cory Beatty and Charidy Johnston, of HarperCollins Canada for a terrific time!