Lisa is well read

Lisa is a twenty-something social worker and book store employee in Vancouver. When not reading, she can be found baking, making jewelry, squealing while looking at cute animals, watching movies and drinking wine. Check out the things she makes.

If you want to talk about books on the internet, please send me a note.

What kind of a reader are you?
An insatiable one. I love books – reading them, collecting them, being surrounded by them… I don’t think I have ever not had a long list of books waiting to be read, and I just can’t read fast enough to get through everything I want to read (also, I can buy books much faster than I can read them). My mom gave me a bookmark in my Christmas stocking one year with a cat on it, that says, “How can you read everything with only one life?” So true, Mom, so true. I have recently had to come to terms with the fact that I will always have a collection of books on my bookshelf that are waiting to be read, because I am just so interested in reading almost absolutely everything.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Maybe not so much guilty, but I absolutely love children’s books. There is just something about kids’ books that appeals to me in ways adult fiction can just never satisfy. And although I love the Harry Potter series…I’m talking more about Roald Dahl and Kate DiCamillo, and series like the Mysterious Benedict Society, How to Train Your Dragon, and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, etc. It is just so much fun to be a kid while still being a grown-up.

I also really love Swedish crime fiction. Steig Larsson’s trilogy is just brilliant, and I’m also a fan of Henning Mankell and Lars Kepler. The Swedes just really know their stuff and how to hook you in!

Continue reading ‘Lisa is well read’

Devon is well read

Devon is a Toronto-based PR Manager who’s never met a word she can’t abbreviate. You can find her here, and also here.

What kind of a reader are you?
I read in bursts – when I really like a book, it takes over my life and I find myself talking about it to anyone who will listen, and reading as often and quickly as possible so I can finish it and get other stuff done!

What’s the last book you loved?
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I ducked out on lunch hours to finish this, and read while walking too. What a spooky story – and an ending I didn’t expect.

What’s the last book you loathed?
I read Fifty Shades of Grey for my book club, and honestly don’t get why that piece of erotica has gotten so popular when I can guarantee other ones would have more plot. However, I have had some pretty hilarious conversations as a result of reading it.

The Fountainhead, however, really got me fired up. I hated the philosophy Howard Roark espoused, and wanted to reach into the book and strangle a few of the other characters. Ditto that for Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey too, and her inner goddess, and her subconscious.

How do you get your books (buy, borrow, trade, steal)?
I’m a bit advocate of the public library, because I love the idea as a cultural institution and I want to save buying for the books I’ll read over and over again.

Continue reading ‘Devon is well read’

Lauren is well read

Lauren is a Library Sciences student with an impressive VHS collection. Ask her about the time she sold outdoor gear to Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen.

What’s the last book you loved?
Just Kids by Patti Smith

What’s the last book you loathed?
Naked Lunch. I’ve been trying to get through this book since christmas. I carry it around wherever I go, just in case I have some spare reading time. Burroughs’ writing style is non-linear, bizarre, and almost too hard to follow sometimes. My goal is to finish this book before I die (or maybe I’ll just rent the movie).

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
V.C Andrews Flowers in the Attic series (a brother and sister who “do it”?! Ewwww, but i can’t stop turning the pages)

Paper vs. eReaders. What’s your preference?
Absolutely paper. I like collecting books and arranging them on my bookshelf. I like the smell of books in old bookshops. I want to be an employed librarian.

How do you choose what books to read?
Oprah used to tell me what books to read… but now I take recommendations from co-workers, family, friends and the odd magazine/newspaper article.

What was your favourite book growing up?
The Secret World of OG by Pierre Burton and anything by Judy Blume (but especially Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie, and Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself).

Lauren’s Must Reads
Just Kids by Patti Smith
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood

Vanessa is well read

Vanessa Reads

Vanessa Wen lives in Ottawa, where she spends most of her time eating. Talents include writing hilarious emails and concocting brilliant edibles in the kitchen. She prefers underwater to land.

What kind of a reader are you?
A casual, thoughtful reader… or so I like to think.

What’s the last book you loved?
Annapurna, by Maurice Herzog

What’s the last book you loathed?
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Saffran Foer. I disliked it because in the opening part, he states the book “is not a straight case for vegetarianism.” It 100% is, and I felt duped, even as a vegetarian. I finished it anyway, but I scowled the entire time.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Sky Mall magazine that you get on American flights. Who doesn’t need an old fashioned ice cream machine that can float in a pool?

What book have you read more than any other?
Curious George Goes to the Hospital.

How do you get your books (buy, borrow, trade, steal)?
Buy or borrow.

Paper vs. eReaders. What’s your preference and why?
Paper. I don’t have an eReader. I like turning pages. And I like the point when you are about to finish a book and you realize the part in your left hand is way thicker than the part in your right hand – so much so that it’s about to collapse over. It’s like running a long distance – you can actually look back and see how far you’ve come and what adventures you’ve had along the way.

Continue reading ‘Vanessa is well read’

Funny ladies are well read

Two of my future best friends have inspired me to start the blog again!

First, the hilarious and adorable Mindy Kaling tells Entertainment Weekly about a book she pretends she’s read but never has, and what book she’d kill a bug with. Having spent a childhood phase carrying a Harriet the Spy-inspired notebook on me, this was my favourite part:

What was your favorite book as a child?
As a child, my favorite book was probably Harriet the Spy. You’ve seen pictures of me [as a child in the book]. I wasn’t child actor material at all — I wasn’t a conventionally cute child. I think if there’s one thing that I regret never having gotten a chance to do as a kid — and there’s literally only one — it would have been to audition for Harriet the Spy. That was such a great book because it was not about how cute she was. In fact, she wasn’t especially adorable or anything. She was such just an adventurous city kid and she had weird confidence even though she wasn’t that popular. She was a nosy little chubby kid who was special, and it was always one of my favorite books growing up.

Mindy’s book is released November 1 and my birthday is November 16. Just saying.
(via @outisthrough)

Meanwhile, Maria Bamford posted a fun video about a bunch of books she bought for $90.

That’s a good haul! Can someone please recommend a good used book store in Montreal?
(via The Hairpin)

So, the blog is officially back! I will be posting more regularly, if still sporadically.  All three of my readers will be pleased.

If you or someone you know would like to talk about books on the internet, please get in touch!

Ashley is well read.

Ashley manages digital marketing and strategy for a music management company or, in her words, is a “one-woman nerd department.” She has met Justin Bieber and you haven’t. Follow her.

What kind of a reader are you?
It depends, mostly on what I’m reading and how much time I have. If I’m reading something that’s well-written and I’m into the story I read like the book is oxygen for my lungs. My beauty sleep suffers, I miss my transit stop, I tune out all conversations. I could get through a book in a night or two if I’m really into it because I get into my own little world where nothing else exists, and I read fairly quickly.

If I’m reading something mindless, something I’m not that into, or something that’s a bit difficult to get through I can be very sporadic – read a few minutes before bed and pass out. A couple months ago I bought a book in the airport strictly because it was the thickest thing I could find for my long flight (bad call) and it took me almost twp months to get through it! Painful, I know, but I have a hard time not reading a book all the way through.

The worst was the time I had to read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood because someone recommended it to me as their favourite book and gave it to me as a gift. They asked me about it every week, so I had to get through it. I hated it!

I also rarely re-read anymore. I did when I was younger because I think I just had so much more time on my hands and the selection seemed more limited. Post-high school I tend to get most books from the library because they’re just too hard to constantly lug across the country (I move a lot). So sometimes it’s hard for me to remember much about what I read because I go fairly quickly and only read it once. But then I know if a book sticks with me it must be really good.

Tell me about the last book you couldn’t put down.
I just finished reading The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (note: outside of Canada the book is titled: Someone Knows My Name). Great storytelling, I couldn’t put it down and I got so wrapped up in the life of Aminata, the main character. It was a really sad and heartbreaking story in some ways, but powerful and uplifting in others. At the core it was about the characters and their experiences and relationships. I of course have never been involved in the slave trade, but I could still relate to Aminata and her pain, her struggles and determination. I love books where I get to know the characters and find a way to connect with them.

I also really enjoyed the book because even though it was fiction it was based on real events in history. It made me really think about the slave trade and how it shaped the world today, including my own personal world. It made me want to revisit my African history books. It’s awesome when one book can inspire you to read something else, or just make you really think about the world around you.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read about music?
I do work in music, but oddly I don’t read that many books on music. I tend to stick to magazine articles and blogs when it comes to music, because generally I like music for the music, not necessarily the story behind it. And I’m always looking for the next music or music trend that interests me, which is easier to find in a quick hit blog/magazine format. That said, I’m interested in reading more biographies from bands/musicians – so far none have stuck with me enough to write here. In fact, many of them tend to be pretty awful or anti-climactic. Recommends anyone?

Also, I read fiction more than non-fiction and there are not that many fiction books with music as a central theme that seem to stand out. The main character in High Fidelity runs a record shop and centres much of his life around it – does that count? Regardless, Nick Hornby’s books are fun reads.

Continue reading ‘Ashley is well read.’

A book about Little Red Riding Hood. And one box of cookies, please.


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