Bella's Bookshelves

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

I miss England (particularly North Yorkshire). It’s been three years now since I was there, though I remember it with uncanny precision, something completely uncharacteristic of me but indicative of my being present in every moment I was there. It was a short but life-changing two weeks. I spent the majority of my time there walking, dressed in gaiters and waterproof clothing and hiking shoes. I drank most of my tea from a thermos. With the absence of stress came clarity, and I found myself examining my ordinary life in…read more


LitBits 28

Posted by in LitBits

My sincere apologies for not posting more regularly. I do have two reviews coming, once I finally write them: one of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce (Random House), which I quite enjoyed and feel rather tender about, and one of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Arrested Development writer Maria Semple (Hachette). A hilarious and fast read! I couldn’t put it down. I’ve also done a couple of reviews for the Quill & Quire, one for Rock Reject, by Jim Williams, and the other for Emma Donoghue’s…read more


LitBits 21

Posted by in LitBits

The weekday after a long weekend is always extra hard for me, and I imagine it is for others, too. So let’s start off with some amazing news! 1. The Governor General Literary Award nominees were just announced today, and the fiction nominees are: Patrick DeWitt, for The Sisters Brothers, Esi Edugyan, for Half-Blood Blues, David Bezmozgis, for The Free World, Marina Endicott for Little Shadows, and Alexi Zentner, for Touch. This is only the second time ever that two authors have been nominated for all three major Canadian literary…read more


LitBits 20

Posted by in LitBits

Holy moly, we’re at number 20 already! And what a perfect day for it. Cold and grey and rainy, perfect for reading a blog and drinking tea and getting lost in a great book or magazine and wearing fleece and cuddling up with pillows and blankets and the lovely warm cat or dog. Ah, I love autumn. Happy October, readers! It’s my favourite month of the year. When else do you get Thanksgiving and Halloween? As Homer Simpson would say, Woohoo! Something for everyone, then: 1. Most readers who read…read more


Natural Order by Brian Francis: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

Some of you may remember that I had Brian Francis‘s new book Natural Order with me when I went to BookCamp TO, and that, on remembering I had it in my handbag, I pulled it out as a fine example of a lovely book during the booksellers panel. Random House did themselves proud with this one. A gorgeous and appropriate jacket design (oh, that spine) by none other than CS Richardson, of course, who also designed the layout, the fonts of which you can read about in the back. (I…read more


There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff: A Review

Posted by in book reviews

Every now and then there comes a book that quiets the lament that there’s nothing new under the sun. There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff is such a book—at least, of all the authors who’ve asked what if, I don’t think there’s anyone else who’s asked: What if God were a (lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad) teenage boy? Now if you’re at all religious or were raised as such, this may come across as blasphemous. I was raised by very strict Catholic parents, but I’ve never been one to censor…read more


Win Books!

Posted by in other book stuff, tea

Okay, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s crazy how many free books are floating around the Internet all the time! Now that I’m on Twitter I see giveaways by publishers and book bloggers all the time. It’s overwhelming but it’s a lot of fun, too, for people who love to read and review but can’t afford to support their voracious appetites. So I thought I’d post some contests here for you to enter if you’re interested: 1. Check out Booklover Book Reviews, where in celebration of her one…read more


Book Share

Posted by in books

Listening to: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5; Weather: cloudy and fresh, 15°C One of my three sisters lives in Yorkshire, in a country where books are valued like nothing else. She and I meet up on Skype usually on the weekends, and I not only get to live vicariously through her (my dream is to live there), but also I get read to. To my chagrin, she’s a far better reader than I am, aloud. Usually our chats (this one over two hours!) consist of discussing food (today was Italian apple…read more


Mailbox Treats and Upcoming Reviews

Posted by in books

I have a pile of books to read to review for this site, and I thought I’d just give you a taste of what’s to come. Now, I’m working three jobs right now, so don’t hold your breath, but I will do my best. I will be trying to fit in my reading before work on Mondays and Wednesdays, during lunches, and before bed. No matter what’s going on, reading must be a priority, both because I want it to be and I love it and also because I want…read more


More Beautiful Book Covers

Posted by in books

A while ago I did a post showcasing book covers I find attractive. I do, after all, judge a book first by its cover. I really love paying attention to design work, and I’ve come to recognize certain book designers now, like one of my favourites, C.S. Richardson, who works with Random House. Unfortunately, I can’t find a list of books he’s worked on anywhere. I just recognized one this week but I forget the title. Richardson is also multi-talented: he is the author of the excellent short novel The…read more


Man Booker Longlist is Out!

Posted by in books

The longlist has been announced for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, which will be awarded on October 12. The prize is a cool £50,000. Imagine! The list: Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (Random House Canada) Room by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins Canada) The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore (Penguin) In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut (McClelland & Stewart) The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson (Bloomsbury) The Long Song by Andrea Levy (Hamish Hamilton Canada) C by Tom McCarthy (Knopf Canada) The Thousand Autumns of Zacob de Zoet by…read more


Books in the Mail

Posted by in authors, books

My idea of heaven is having all the free time—wait, having only free time!—to read all the books I want. I’m so honestly afraid of dying before I get to read each book on my shelves, let alone those tempting me outside our home. Good books just keep getting released—and guess what? I’m experiencing a bit of book heaven on earth because of it! Over the last few weeks, I’ve received twelve novels in the mail (and I didn’t pay for them!) and I have to say, things can’t get…read more