In the News: Red Riding Hood

It’s been a while sine I’ve jumped into the papers and pulled something out of there for discussion.  I’m not sure if that’s because I couldn’t find anything interesting or I’m really slacking here.  But I found something that was really interesting in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.  This one all about Little Red Riding Hood and where fairy tales come from.

The debate, and it sounds like a heated debate, is how did fairy tales originate.  One side of the debate claims that fairy tales were created by a particular author.  The other side believes there is a long oral tradition that dates back much further than the printed sources.  I will say that I side with the second group, most stories have some sort of oral history.  And that group also claims that due to the oral history you can find similar stories with slight twists to suite the region.

Have a look at the article and weigh in on this interesting debate:

Little Red Riding Hood’s not out of the woods yet – debate ensues over origins of fairy tale


Booking Through Thursday #36

Booking Through Thursday

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

This a really difficult question to answer but here is my best shot!

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird 
  2. The Book Thief
  3. The Gargoyle 
  4. Wild Geese
  5. The Hobbit
  6. Animal Farm
  7. Charlotte’s Web
  8. An Appointment With My Brother
  9. Dracula
  10. We Need to Talk About Kevin
  11. Maus I
  12. The Politics of Jesus
  13. Ragtime
  14. The Cellist of Sarajevo
  15. We Wish to Inform You that We Will be Killed With Our Families

Weekly Geeks 2009-18


This week, take us on a literary tour of your hometown!

Do you live in a place where a famous author was born? Does your town have any cool literary museums or monuments? Does Stephen King live at the end of your street? Was Twilight set in your hometown?

Share your fun literary facts about the town or area where you live. You can talk about famous (or not so famous) authors who live there, novels that have been set in your area, or any other literary facts that you know about where you live. Feel free to embellish with pictures of places and/or authors, maps of the area, and fun facts about the authors.

As usual, feel free to personalize this. Don’t like your hometown? Pick another! Do you live in a literary wasteland? Feel free to expand and discuss a region. Feel like returning to a place you lived 20 years ago? Go for it!

Have fun…and I look forward to reading about your literary tour!

Living in a town like Stratford offers some unique encounters that wouldn’t happen in just any town.  Living in the home of North America’s largest respiratory theatre.  We have many visitors yearly and sometimes those visitors are people that are writing the books you’re reading, or we watch them weekly on television, or starting in the latest blockbuster. 

It was a while after I was working for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival I found out one my colleagues is a published author.  Melissa Strangway author of 56 Water Street works the in the same department as I do and I hear that she’s working on her next novel.  I feel bad that I haven’t read 56 Water Street but because I work with it’s one that I should work on hunting down and read.  But she isn’t the only author that has called Stratford home.

The other, this one is a stalwart in the Canadian literary world, is Timothy Findley.  He’s an author and playwright known most, perhaps, for Not Wanted on the Voyage a retelling of Noah’s days on the arc.  I found the story exhilarating and couldn’t get enough of it.  One of Findley’s last works was a tip of the hat to the town he called home.  Spadework is a novel set in Stratford.  I read this one while living in Manitoba.  It was great reading something like that because I knew exactly where things were happening and know some of the great Stratford landmarks that his characters would have passed while navigating the Stratford streets.

Those are the authors that I’m aware of that live in town.  I’m sure with some research I would find others that are currently residing here or have lived here.  But I do know we’ve had visitors like Michael Ondaatji, Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood just to name a few.  

I know now that the festival is underway again I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more writers in our midst.

Booking Through Thursday #35 – Gluttony

Booking Through Thursday

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I’m definitely one that buys more books than I could possibly read.  I hear about books and rather than keeping a list I go and get the book.  In fact, I have two books that I need to pick up at the store now that I’ll get on my way to work.  I’ve been trying to curb my book buying but it’s proving to be a difficult task.  The only way to really curb the book buying would be to stop reading reviews and not enter the book store.  

I don’t know about you but it is almost impossible to walk past a book store while walking through the mall or down the street.  Are you also the type that must walk in when you see a book store?

Still Alive!

Hello All,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  There are a number of reasons for that.  First and foremost is I’ve had some major writers block, these past few days I feel as thought I’ve had nothing really to say.  Since I have noting to say I decided to keep my trap shut, not sure what the point is in posting if you feel there is nothing valid to say.  Another reason for not posting is that I’ve had an idea for a novel floating around for the last couple days.  I’ve always wanted to do some writing but have never really had the gumption to do it.  So, I’m allowing these ideas to ruminate for a while and try and make decisions on the possibility of pursuing this.

I’ve also wanted to take an opportunity to say thank you to a couple of people on here.  As those regular readers of That’s the Book! know I’ve had some health issues for quite some time.  There’s been lots of speculation and guessing at what the problem may be.  Unfortunately, nothing much has worked, so I was left with being ill since November and it’s been becoming a rather frustrating process to say the least.  Well, the last couple of weeks all that has changed, and is continuing to change.

I started with a trip to Dr. Stephen Lafay a chiropractor.  After taking some X-rays one day he showed me how totally messed up my neck is.  After looking at the X-rays it was not much of a surprise that I was getting regular migraine headaches.  After seeing him a few times I noticed a change in the headache situation.  And for that I’m thankful to Dr. Lafay and the staff.  

The following Monday, last week, I decided I’d make a trip to a naturopath, which brought me to Sunrise Health Services.  They have four doctors and I got to see Katie Branter and it didn’t take long for her to figure out what the problem is.  So now I’m taking some things to put my adrenal glands back to normal.  After being on the natural medication for a few days I noticed a change.  I used to crave sweets all the time now I don’t even think about it, which is fantastic.  When I go back on June first the plan is work on my insomnia, and if that works just as well as this is I’m really looking forward to getting some sleep.  

I hope to be back posting regularly again soon.  For the time being I’m going to consider this whole writing idea.  I’m also getting some reading in which is great.  Tomorrow you can look forward to a discussion of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for Theatrical Thursday.

Booking Through Thursday #34 – Graphic



Booking Through Thursday

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

– Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
– How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
– Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

Yes, I read graphic novels regularly.  It’s a relatively new genre for me but I’ve really gotten into it.  I really lie them because it’s a different way of telling a story.  The images in a graphic novel are just as important, if not as important, as the text found with this the little bubbles we associate with comics and graphic novels.  

I’m finding there is little difference between comics and graphic novels.  I say that because most books that are considered graphic novels started out as comics and have been compiled to form the graphic novel.  That’s not to say that there aren’t books that were originally intended for this genre.  The more important point to make here is that style or type doesn’t matter as much as the tale that is being told.  If the story isn’t good it doesn’t matter if it’s comic/graphic novel/fiction.  

I would definitely say that Fables is the must read series.  I suggest that one because I’m still getting into the genre and learning more about it all the time.  I really enjoyed Walking Dead as well, I’ve only read the first book but I’m really looking forward to getting the other ones.  A great Canadian work would be Pyongyang about Guy Delisle’s trip to North Korea to work on an animated show.  Yesterday I picked up the first book in the Sandman series and I’m really looking forward to reading that one, I’ve only heard good things about it.

CBC Book Club Update

A number of things have been going on this week over at the CBC Book Club.  There were a few things I wanted to share with you and maybe get you excited about the group.  I hope these few things will entice you to get involved.

The first exciting news to come out of the CBC Book Club this week was the top 10 list of funny books.  Everyone was welcome to suggest funny books and Hannah compiled to list to get the top 10.  Some of the books I suggested made it on to the list and I must say that I’ve read books 1-8.  So, here it is, the CBC Book Club top 10 funny book list:

1. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Friend by Christopher Moore
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
5. Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler
6. JPod by Douglas Coupland
7. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
8. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
9. The Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson
10. TIE: Village of the Small Houses by Ian Ferguson and The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

I was a little surprised to find Catch 22 and A Confederacy of Dunces on the list.  They didn’t make me laugh as much as the other books did while I was reading.  I guess it just shows the different tastes we have in books.  I’ve never read anything by Bill Richardson so I’m interested to read that one and the Ferguson brothers are quite funny so I’m sure Village of the Small Houses will be humours.

It was also announced that they’ll be giving away 2 Sony Book Readers.  Just like the one I won a month ago.  To be entered all you need to do is send questions to the author of this months book selection The Man Who Forgot How to Read by Howard Engle.  I also got an email from Hannah asking me about my thoughts on the book and sent her my response.  I’ll post our conversation later this week.

The most exciting news this week was that we are going to be discussing Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.  This is a graphic novel I’ve wanted to read for some time now and I actually ordered the book just a couple days before the announcement was made.  I hope it brings about some good discussion.

Weekly Geeks 2009-16


I only ask you to do one, some, all or none of the following:

1. Explain your review format – if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?

2. Highlight another book-blogger’s review format by linking to a favorite example – don’t forget to tell us why they are a fave! 

3. Do a review in another book-blogger’s format of your latest read. I did this just the other day when I had read a great post discussing what makes a good review and ‘borrowing’ from a comment by 
Ramya. That post was one of Bethany’s and my example giving Ramya the credit is here.

4. Highlight a past review that you are particularly proud of and why the format or structure may have had something to do with it.

I would have loved to have seen how Dewey would have presented this – she was always so gracious and helpful with her comments on reviews. It’s wonderful that her spirit lives on with this community we are building, the conversations we are sharing, the friendships we are making and the BOOKS we are READING!

Last, and certainly not least, Dewey’s blog featured a page devoted to her 
review questionaire format which is what inspired my idea in the first place.

Happy Geeks!

I don’t think I really have a review format, and I definitely don’t have a rating system.  There are somethings that I think are important to have in the review but it really isn’t a hard and fast format.  

I’ve toyed with the idea of a rating system but I really don’t know what to use.  There are some great systems out there but I don’t want to copy something just because it works for one person.  I’d like for a system to be unique to each blog.  And it should be easy to follow.  I just haven’t been able to think of anything that would work for me so I’ve decided not to go with a rating system.

When I write my reviews I like to include a little about the book, a short synopsis.  Then state my like/dislike for the book and explain why I didn’t really like or why I did like it.  I think that’s the most important aspect of a review.  Without this even a rating system is rather useless.

Booking Through Thursday #33 – Worse?


Booking Through Thursday



Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?


I must say I’m truly stumped on this one.  It’s probably because I’m way to judgmental when it comes to reading.  So, if I love a book a lot I tend not to read anything else by the author for fear that it will be terrible and thereby taint the book I love.  And if I don’t like a book by an author it’ll take a lot of convincing to read something else by them.  I guess I just don’t know why I would want to put a book I love into jeopardy by reading something else and maybe not liking it or disliking something else and torturing myself because if one was buy what are the chances I’ll like something else by them?

But then you get favourite authors who write with varying degrees of greatness.  Take Douglas Coupland for example.  I love Douglas Coupland and enjoy his writing.  Some of his novels I enjoy more than others – jPod (loved) Miss Wyoming (not so much) – but that doesn’t mean totally disliked the novel.  And there are other examples of this I could talk about but I’m sure you get my point.  I didn’t enjoy the book as much as ones I’ve loved but I also wouldn’t say it was terrible.

I guess this is another answer I’ll have to chalk up as one I just don’t know the answer to.

Now that I’ve gone back and read the question after that very long rant I guess I’ll really answer the question (oops).  I would have to say it would  worse to find a book I love then hating everything else they read.  That’s why if I love a book I generally don’t read anything else by that author.

Tough Decision

I seem to be having a difficult time deciding on a theme for my blog.  So, I want to take a moment to apologise for the ever changing themes.  I find I need to “live” with a theme for a couple days before I know if I like it or not.  There are some great themes and some that I can eliminate very quickly because they are too plain for me.  

If I’ve got a theme up that you really like let me know because I like to hear from you wonderful readers of That’s the Book!  I’ll be using you as a sounding board so it’s going to be huge help if you tell me which theme you may or may not like.  

I’m currently looking at this theme because it’s nice and fresh.  But my fear is that it is a seasonal theme.  If they come out with something crisp, clean, and pops for each season I could see this working really well.  

I guess to sum things up I just want you to stick with me as I try to make a decision, and feel free to voice your opinion on this.  Thank you!