Warm for Winter by Elizabeth Purchase (44)

This is a wonderfully children’s book that I won as part of the Canadian Book Review challenge last year.  I also have another 2 books that I will also review in due time. So, I thought it was time to review these books.

This is a book about friendship and the cold weather, which we are so aware of in Canada.

Doxie and Doodle are great friends and have many fun adventures together. But with the first snowfall they realize how different they are.

Can they be friends, despite the fact that they are so different?

Well, nudge nudge…you will have to read the book yourself!

Rating: 5 stars


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The Promise of Canada by Charlotte Gray (43)

This is a great book about 150 years of people and ideas that shaped our country. It is an educational book that can be read and re-read for many years to come.

On Canada’s 150th celebrations comes a richly rewarding book from an acclaimed historian about what it means to be Canadian.

Readers already know Gray as an award-winning biographer, a writer who has brilliantly captured the lives of significant individuals and dramatic moments in our history.

Now, in this book, she weaves together masterful portraits of nine influential Canadians, creating a unique history of our country.

What do these people have in common? Each has left an indelible mark on Canada. Deliberately avoiding a top-down approach to history, she has chosen Canadians whose ideas have become part of our collective conversation about who we are as a people.

Gray also highlights many Canadians from all walks of life who have added to the ongoing debate about our identity, showing that our country has reinvented itself with every generation since Confederation.

The book is beautifully illustrated with evocative black-and-white historical images and colourful artistic vision. This book is a fresh, thoughtful and inspiring view of our historical journey.

Opening doors into our past, present and future, Gray makes our first 150 years come alive as she challenges us to envision the Canada we want to live in.

Rating: 5 Stars

Posted in Author from Ontario, Author from Ottawa, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Educational book, Emancipation, Empowerment, History, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles by Christopher Moore (42)

Canada’s journey to confederation kicked off with a bang–or rather, a circus, a  civil war, a small fortune’s worth of champagne, and a lot of making love–in the old-fashioned sense.

This book offers a rare look back, through a woman’s eyes, at the men and events at the centre of this pivotal time in Canada’s history.

Mercy Anne Coles, is the daughter of PEI delegate George Coles. She kept a diary of thee social happenings and political manoeuvering as they affected her and her desires. A unique historical document, her diary is now being published for the first time, offering a window into the events that led to Canada’s creation, from a point of view that has long been neglected.

I love books from a woman’s point of view about such important topics. I found the book entrancing and wonderful!

Rating: 4.5 stars



Posted in Author from Saskatchewan, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Emancipation, Empowerment, History | Leave a comment

150 Years of Stats Canada: A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country (41)

This is an interesting book that is different and unique.  But I am sure glad that I picked it up on my new books shelf at the local library a few weeks ago.

Want to know what are the hottest new Canadian apps are?  Need a handy chart to help you decide what CanCon music to listen to? How about the top Google searches across the nation?

This is a hilarious guide to Canada, the tireless experts at @stats_Canada reveal all the must-know quirks from coast to coast to frigid coast.

The books includes helpful tips on the Vancouver housing market and planning the ultimate Montreal bachelor party, this book is on the case and will offer you a lot of advice on the matters.

Discover just how Canadian you are with the official checklist, not to mention the Tim Hortons etiquette quiz.

This book is a must read for all Canadians!  It is a book of quirky facts that will keep you wondering and reading further.

Rating: 4 stars


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At Home, Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson (40)

This is a wonderfully pictorial representation of how to fix up a home so that it gleams and is uncluttered and sleek.

The photos are clear and brilliant, encouraging the reader to rethink the different rooms in their home. How wonderful to have a book that is so encouraging and yet will show you how to create a room that all of us can be proud of.

The book is personal in that it includes photos from her own home. Creating a sense of home can be hard. However, after reading this book and meditating on some of the pictures, I have come to realize that we can all create a home that we can be proud of. All we have to have is to will to do so.

Creating a home doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple and it can be very inviting. In fact, the simpler your home décor is and the more affordable and inviting, the more likely you will create a sense of home even if you live in an apartment.

I loved this book from beginning to end. And I am going to buy the book and add it to my collection of books at home.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Home design | Leave a comment

Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui (39)

This is a wonderful memoir-type of book about the complicated relationship between mother and daughter.

When Elaine was growing up, her mother told her Why do you need prepare for the good things to happen? They’re good. They won’t hurt you? My job is to prepare you for the hard times, and teach you how to avoid them, whenever possible.”

Elaine’s approach is neither traditionally Eastern nor conventionally Western. However, this book explains how a mother raised her daughter drawing on Chinese fortune-telling, feng shui blackmail, ghost stories, and shame and embarrassment in equal measure.

Also Elaine has discovered and come to recognize the hidden wisdom and immeasurable value in her rather unorthodox upbringing.

This is an uplifting book that will help the reader to also reflect on her upbringing with her mother or father. Parents seem to have strange ways of bringing up their kids. And kids are always critical of their parent’s upbringing styles. However, there is a lot of wisdom that parents convey to their children.

I find it really hard to believe why it takes us so long to realize all the important lessons. I too had such a strange upbringing with a Russian/Ukrainian upbringing. Lui’s book made me laugh and cry as I too commiserated with my own upbringing and how similar it was not so much in content as in style.

Thank you Elaine Lui for such a wonderfully powerful and uplifting book. Your book encouraged me to also pencil my own story and all my own peculiar upbringing moments.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Coming of age story, Courage and strength, Creating Balance, Empowerment, Lives of girls, Mother-daughter relationships, Nonfiction, Parental wisdom | Leave a comment

The Way Back Home by Allan Stratton (38)

This is a book that shows the determination that teens have when they put their minds to it.

It is hard to imagine how a teen can only have her granny as a friend. But this is the situation Zoe is in.

Zoe is angry and lonely and her only true friend, the only person she can trust really is her granny. But granny has Alzheimer’s and it is worsening.

So, her parents put Granny in a home. Now Zoe is left with no one to talk to and commiserate with.

So, Zoe decides now is the time to break free. She smuggles Granny out and together they hit the road on a trip to find Zoe’s long-lost uncle.  Will they find him?

But there will be some home truths that Zoe finds along the way…..

I love road stories, and this one will really tweak any reader’s attention. It is a book that is entrancing and inviting and hilarious in places. There are also parts of the story where I felt very sorry for Zoe and even related to her in places.

What a wonderful read for a late summer afternoon!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Dementia, Fiction | Leave a comment