Category Archives: Books

Short Books I’ve Enjoyed

Let’s hear it for the short books!

The slender ones that you can slip into your handbag, your “man-purse” or even a (very large) pocket. I almost always have one such book with me when I go to a place where I have to wait: hospitals, for example.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the following in recent months, and some I have even reread (short books are good for re-reading).

Unfinished Business by Michael Topa  (available from: greenoaks2@yahoo.com)

This is poetry about everything from the creation of the universe, to growing up in a strange family situation, falling in love and travel to intriguing places. Some of these poems are very moving, and all are beautiful in some way.

Blog Photo - Caboodle & the Whole Kit

Caboodle & the Whole Kit by Kevin Cooper

This book is an anthology — an unusual mix of topics and story types — and, as Kevin says, “inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavory characters”. 

I have read and reread my favourites from it, including the author’s hilarious visit with a famous fictional character. Kevin is a musician, author, editor and blogger. Caboodle includes a mix of short stories, poetry and songs, and topics include romance, faith, family  — the whole kit and caboodle of life.

Blog Photo - My Vibrating Vertebrae

My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Graham

I have loaned this book to 2 friends, and they also enjoyed it.

It asks the intriguing question:  What if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?

The answer comes in the clear, strong poetry – and humour — of Agnes Graham. The book was published (after her recent death) by her children, who said:

“From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like. Ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.”

Well-known book blogger Chris Graham is Agnes’ son, by the way.

Blog Photo - PS I forgive you

D.G. Kaye’s P.S. I Forgive You

D.G. Kaye writes on a powerful topic: forgiving a very difficult and abusive parent. Yet she does it in a clear-eyed way, in simple and taut writing. The topic may be difficult, but this book is easy to read, and more memorable for it.

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Filed under A Good Home, Books

The Library: My Home Away from Home

Thank you, Toronto Public Library, for including me in your ongoing feature about the people who frequent the library.  I am ‘a bit’ late to post this on my blog, but as you know from the many late fines I’ve paid over the years, I’m always ‘a bit late’!

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting

Meet Sarah and Cynthia…

“I’m a bookworm and I’ve loved public libraries since I was a child. Steeles branch has a special place in my heart. Why? Because of the kindness of the librarians there over the years when I struggled to recover from injuries caused by a car accident.

“Sarah and I bonded over a book. It was a PD James book and I really wanted to read it. But I was shocked at the long waiting list. I was #1341 on the list! I showed up at the library every two or three weeks to ask a version of the same question:

“What’s my number now?”

“After a while, I didn’t have to ask any more. Sarah would see me arrive and hurry to her computer to start checking.

“We’d share a laugh and sometimes I’d pretend to be outraged that I was nowhere near getting that book.**

“When my book was published, my librarians were among the first people to receive their own signed copies.

I think they were both happy and proud – after all, they had seen me on days when I could barely use a computer.”

**And yes – I did also get the PD James book! It was “Death Comes to Pemberley”, a perfect blend of Jane Austen sensibilities and PD James’ wonderful murder mystery skills.

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Filed under A Good Home, An Honest House, Authors, Book lovers, Books, Libraries