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Is Lena Dunham a child molester?

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Like most of us interested in film and feminism, we've heard of Lena Dunham. Her film Tiny Furniture, followed by the HBO series Girls has made waves. Waves large enough for critics to refer to Dunham as "the voice of a generation." Well, my "baby" sister is of this generation. So when Dunham's memoir started getting some buzz, I picked up a copy. Recently, though, the memoir has been getting far more than buzz. She's been accused of being a … [Read more...]

Three Books. Three Measly Books.

painted

I really expected to read a book a week this summer -- at least. Most summers, I work and then maybe take a week or two off for a vacation with my family. But, as you might know, this summer was 6 weeks of no work. Almost 7 weeks actually. With a lot of wait time in airports and sit time on planes. So, I figured I'd be packing in one or two books a week with all that time. But, no. Three books. Three measly books. Okay, perhaps there might … [Read more...]

Gift Guide for Young Boys (Age 4-7)

Toys for Boys

Are you reading this post because you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet? Eep -- I haven't either! But, hey, there are still SIX WHOLE DAYS before Christmas Eve. And you know what that means? Yep, anyone who has all their shopping done before Christmas Eve is a super-organized super-star! So if you have a young boy on your list, like I do (my son Max is 5 years old), I have some great gift ideas for you! Playmobil Puzzle For … [Read more...]

Amanda Lindhout and the Power of the Human Spirit

amanda

Thanks to the Ottawa International Writers Festival, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Amanda Lindhout and hear her story in her own words. If Amanda's name does not ring familiar, let me explain who she is. She is a young Canadian woman who has published a memoir (A House in the Sky) of her experience as a hostage in Somalia for 460 days. Let that sink in for a moment: Four-hundred and sixty days. These were not 460 days in a … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

wonder-by-r.j.-palacio

Have you ever been with your children and cringed at how they reacted to someone on the street? I have. The other day my 5-year-old son and I were walking down the sidewalk and a man walked by. I didn't even notice him. But immediately afterwards, and far louder than I would have wished, he said in a matter-of-fact tone: "He looked weird." I'm not sure what "weird" means to my son, or where he might have conceived his definition of what "weird" … [Read more...]

38 “Must Read” Books, as suggested by @coffeewithjulie Readers

book stack

In response to my post "3 Books that Changed My Life," I received so many fantastic suggestions for "must read" books that I don't want to forget them. They came in via Facebook, Twitter, and in the Comments section of the blog. In no particular order, I am listing them here for handy reference. 1.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path - suggested by @ReadyDressedGo 2. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol - suggested by @ReadyDressedGo 3. … [Read more...]

3 Books that Changed My Life

real simple magazine, June 2013

Last week, I treated myself to two magazines (oh, how I still love my printed magazines!). One of these was Real Simple. In it, there was an article "50 books that will change your life." It had been mentioned on the cover, and was one of the reasons I chose this magazine over the many other beckoning covers. Once I got home, I flipped right to that article. I felt oddly disappointed. As an avid reader, I had expected that many of my favourite … [Read more...]

You’re Not the Boss of Me! (+ a fun book giveaway)

I am so the boss of you, by Kathy Buckworth

Thankfully, I have not heard this uttered from the mouths of either of my children (yet?) but I can vouch for having spat them at my parents once or twice. To prepare myself for hearing these words one day, I picked up Kathy Buckworth's newly launched book I Am So The Boss of You. Okay, let me back up. I actually picked up the book so that I could have it in hand for when she arrived into Ottawa for her book launch celebration. You know ... … [Read more...]

Books I Can Remember Reading in 2012

bookstack

In follow-on from Dani's post, I'll list out the books that I can remember reading in 2012. I love looking at what books other people are reading, so I thought you might enjoy it too. While Dani was able to keep her list accurate by using GoodReads through the year, I wasn't able to get into the habit of using it so I have to rely on memory. (There's always next year, right? I really do like the GoodReads site -- you can find me here on … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

Book, Warp Speed by Lisa Lee

Next in Stella's book recommendations for her peers (she is 10) is Warp Speed, by Lisa Yee. In fact, she's asked me several times to post this up, but I'm just getting around to it now. Marley is the central character in this book. As a seventh grader, excluded socially from most of his school's crowds, he would rather remain invisible or run at warp speed so that he can escape from the bullies. He does, however, find some solace in the AV … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Book cover for: The One and Only Ivan

Stella goes through books like I imagine most kids go through cheerios. You'll find four or five hoarded under her pillow case, others scattered about on her bedside table with an overflow pile on the ground beside the bed. Her massive, double-sided bookcase is already filled and she's reluctant to part with any of them. I used to indulge her taste for books with constant trips to Chapters. But between the cost and the sheer volume of books … [Read more...]

Where did that Baby come from?

Picture of It's not the stork book

We have a beautiful addition to our neighbourhood gang -- a new baby! In trying to explain to Max, who is 4, that his friend has a new baby sister, some questions arose. Yes, *those* kind of questions. Stella, our 10-year-old daughter, immediately jumped right into this and offered that he could borrow her book It's NOT the Stork. "Um, I'm not sure Max is ready for that book," I blurted out. You see, Stella is like a walking encyclopedia. … [Read more...]

Terra20, Gillian Deacon, and My Cosmetics Quest

Gillian Deacon and Julie Harrison

In my quest to learn more about what chemicals are in my cosmetics, I took a second visit to Ottawa's new eco-store Terra20 this past weekend. Gillian Deacon, who wrote Green for Life and There's Lead in Your Lipstick, was scheduled to be in the store to autograph books and to chat with store visitors. As soon as I walked in, I thought: Where have I seen her before? Take a look at this photo and see if you have the same reaction: So, it … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

The Boy in the Dress

I've been meaning to share some recommendations and reviews on books for tweens ever since I wrote about UNBORED (which will be released next week -- get your copy, it's fantastic!). Instead of the traditional "back-to-school" clothing shopping, I took Stella, my 10-year-old daughter who has no interest in clothing, to the bookstore and let her pick a ton of books. (Hey, I was saving a fortune on clothes, so why not?!) One of these books was … [Read more...]

Cold Quinoa Salad

Looneyspoons Quinoa Salad

I don't want to shock you or anything, but I've expanded my cooking repertoire beyond Bananaberry Bomb muffins to now include a quinoa salad. That keen-noa, people. Don't make the same mistake as me and go around called it key-no-ah for at least a year before figuring out that you're pronouncing it all wrong! For a while, I've been trying to sway the household into eating quinoa instead of pasta and rice, but with only limited success. … [Read more...]

50 Shades of Colouring

50 Shades of Colouring

So, my first attempt at creating a mountain slide of traffic to my blog by piggy-backing on the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey has been a total failure. But I'm not going to give up. No, siree! I'm no quitter. Today, I present you a photograph sent to me by one of my girlfriends. For Canada Day, her family had gathered up at the cottage to celebrate and hang out. Here, you can see a heart-warming image of cousin-ly love and children who are … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: UNBORED by Joshua Glenn & Elizabeth Foy Larsen

A major highlight for me when it comes to attending BlogWorld (now called NMX, short for New Media Expo) in New York City is that Book Expo America takes place at the same time, in the same building AND your pass for NMX also grants you access to Book Expo. Books and Blogging, all day, for three days -- How can I NOT attend?! This year, I took only one carry-on bag and it was half-full to allow space for books on the way home. So, although … [Read more...]

A muffin-making virgin no longer.

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Last week, I got all inspired by my copy of The Looneyspoons Collection (TLC) and made muffins. For the first time. Ever. Please don't ask how I got this far in life without having made muffins because then I'd have to admit to you all the other things that I've never cooked or baked. It's a long list. I was actually going to make a cookie recipe because it had fewer ingredients (and therefore seemed less intimidating), but Stella, my … [Read more...]

The Looneyspoons Collection: A Giveaway!

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A little while back, I wrote about David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns. (And did you hear the news that he's going to be one of the "dragons" in the next season of the Dragons' Den? I think he'll be fantastic!) In the most recent book, he details how he came to publish massively popular Looneyspoons cookbook with sisters Janet and Greta Podleski.   Published in 1996, Looneyspoons broke publishing … [Read more...]

The Wealthy Barber Returns: 5 Takeaway Tips

Yes, my eyes are closed. What of it?

Have you ever read The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton? The year before I graduated from high school, this book on personal finance hit the bookstands with a storm! Over two million copies have been sold in North America, and I think that’s because of its unique fictional format. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the book: The book is structured around a story of three people in their late 20s visiting Roy, the title character, for lessons in … [Read more...]

My Bedside Table Books: January 2011

A while back, Stella (my nine-year-old daughter) and I added Amazon widgets to the sidebar of this blog -- take a gander over on the right-hand sidebar of the blog's homepage. We didn't have any ambitions of getting rich off of our 4%, but rather to share what's on our respective bedside tables as fellow bookworms. I don't know about you, but I just love poking around people's bookshelves and knowing what people have cracked open and set their … [Read more...]

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