Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Funnies #10

'Twas the night before Christmas... Well, not really. But it's the night before the night before Christmas and that's why this week's Friday Funny is a fun (albeit a bit inappropriate) take on an old classic. Don't share this one with the kids.

When I was little, on Christmas Eve my sisters and I would all squeeze into one bed as my dad read us the story of The Night Before Christmas. It's a memory I will always cherish.

Now that we're all older, Christmas Eve involves a little less storytime, and a little more... indulging in some Christmas "spirits" -- If you know what I mean.  By the time we're home from dinner at the grandparent's house we're all feeling warm and fuzzy and we're ready to "settle down for a long winter's nap."

That's why this version resonates with me. And likely why we don't read the story anymore. Enjoy!

Click the image to view the video.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and that you get to spend time with family and friends.

Merry Christmas from Turning the Page!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide

It's down to the wire. Christmas is only a few days away.  We're nearly smack dab in the middle of HanukkahKwanzaa starts in less that a week. Diwali... was in October. But if you celebrate any of those other major holidays and festivals you probably need to get out and get some gifts for some special people in your life.

If you're done your shopping already, pat yourself on the back. You won't have to fight a desperate mother for the last Lalaloopsy doll.  Or wait in line for 2 hours at WalMart just to purchase a box of chocolates for that Secret Santa you forgot about at work.

Instead, you can just read this post and take notes for the next gift you need to buy.

Everyone else, read fast, put on your best "shopping on a mission" comfy shoes, and face the mob of last-minute shoppers, because these are gifts anyone on your list can love. (Unless you've got a list full of those people I mentioned last Friday... In which case, you're probably screwed).

Here you go! Gifts for...

Captain Keepsake
We all know someone who has shoeboxes full of trinkets from "major moments" in their lives. Like the movie stub from that time they went to see that movie with those people they're not even friends with anymore. Or the cork from that bottle of champagne from that one special New Years Eve. The list of items goes on and on.  For that person, I recommend: Listography: Your Life in Lists.  Every page has a title of a new list for you to create: People You've Lived With, Places You've Travelled, Concerts You've Attended...

Plus, it's a whole series of books where you create lists of things you have done, will do, or want to do. There's a Love Listography for relationships, Music Listography for favourites and concerts, and lots more!

Joe Jokester
Got a friend who loves to laugh?  Maybe a cousin who can't help but tell an inappropriate joke at a large family function?  You've got a Joe Jokester on your list! And good news! For him (or her) there are SO many options!

It was only a matter of time...

A little dark, but trust me, a book that sees the downside of everything is funny.

It's always funny to read about the crap that happens to other people.

The Teacher
It's safe to say everyone knows a teacher. Not all of us have a teacher on the gift-list, but for those that do, these two are a sure hit.

For the History Teacher (of even just a History Lover)
The Do-Gooder
Know someone who always seems to be volunteering time to this charity or that organization?  Someone who always seems to be coming home with a story about how she rescued a kitten while helping an elderly man cross the street to reunite with his long-lost daughter?  Or maybe you know someone who is always saying they want to start changing the world but has no idea where to begin?  Either way, this book is your answer:

From the website this books lists little things you can do each day to make a difference.
It's actually on my must-have list.

The Twi-Hard or Twi-Hater
If you don't know what this is, you probably don't have one on your list, and you can count yourself lucky or unlucky (depending on which one you ask). But the perfect gift solution for this person, no matter on which side of the fence they sit, is this winner of a novel:

Here's a sample: "He had reddish, blonde-brown hair that was groomed heterosexually. He looked older than the other boys in the room—maybe not as old as God or my father, but certainly a viable replacement. Imagine if you took every woman’s idea of a hot guy and averaged it out into one man. This was that man."

The Special Interest...Person
Okay, so that's a terrible name compared to the others. But you definitely have someone on your list with a "special interest." This can be anything from food to fashion to Ferrari's. In which case, there is a book for ALL of those things. Traditionally called coffee-table books, these books are beautiful hard cover masterpieces with gigantic, page dominating photos on high gloss paper.  Even if they NEVER open them, ever, they'll love them. Because they aren't always meant to be read.  Merely treasured.  Just walk into your neighbourhood bookstore and browse around or ask someone.  You'll find something.

I think I've made my point. Books = Great Gifts! Still at a loss for someone on your list I didn't mention? Get a gift card for a bookstore! Even if they aren't really much of a reader, bookstores are full of fun trinkets, audio books, even music and DVDs. Have a question about someone on your list?  Leave me a message, and I'm sure I can think of something.

Happy Shopping! And...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twosday Timeout

So this week I did manage to squeeze in a bit of reading between all of the holiday hustle and bustle and then prepping to start teaching in only 3 weeks! (Where has the time gone!?)

I didn't make a great dent in the novel, but the story is moving along. I hate not being able to really pour myself into this book, but you do what you can! ...Though at this pace, I'm likely to be reading this holiday themed novel well into March Break.

Alfred narrowed his eyes, studying Gabe, and he looked back at Lou with a slightly nervous smile. 'Help me out here, pal.'

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, page 80

A little mystery for your Tuesday. Could someone else, not just Sarah, post their two this week? (Thanks for always playing, Sarah! Check out her book blog after you comment on mine!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Funnies #9

At Christmas, one of my most favourite gifts to give is books. I love giving people books! Books with great stories, beautiful books, funny joke-type books. I don't think anything says "I know you" better than a book.

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks books are as great as I do. And I'm sure, more than once, I've given someone a book they've either a) never even opened or b) read and hated. That's the nature of a book. In the end, whether you love it or hate it, is totally subjective. I can't think of one book ever written that the entire population of humans has ever said "this book is AMAZING!" (Can you?)

So, in the spirit of giving gifts not everyone likes, I'm sharing this hilarious video that has taken over my Facebook feed in the last week.

Did you see how many books made it as terrible gifts!? If you didn't, I'll tell you it was 3.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twosday Timeout

Try not to compare this week's page number to last week's... How embarrassing. I think I'll blame the holidays and the corresponding "hustle and bustle" of the season. Yeah... That's why I only read one page this week.

'We find ourselves in a familiar situation,' Sergeant O'Reilly said with a grimace. 'Unfortunately for you, we both head home at the same hour.'

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, page 58

Hope you had a more successful week of reading than I did. Show me your two!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Funnies #8

It's nearing Christmas time, so I think it's about time to share "The Grestest Story Ever Told." This is, of course, the Nativity Story, or the story of the birth of Jesus.

But, let's be honest. You've all already heard that story.

So today, I bring to you, a different version. One told by none other than, Twilight's Kristen Stewart. That's right. Friday Funnies just got SUPER literary up in here. The Christmas Story AND Twilight combined? Bring it on, K-Stew.

If you couldn't laugh at the story, let's at least share a laugh at how spot on this impression of Kristen is!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Twosday Timeout

Get ready for some description!

Those were the days either made up of a sun so hot he could still taste the ice-cream as soon as he set foot on the pier, or were so stormy that the wind whipped with such strength they would hang on to one another to avoid being whisked off land and lost to the sea.  On those family days, Lou would disappear into his own world.

The Gift  by Cecelia Ahern, page 57                     

Remember to share your 2 sentences! I want to see what you're reading!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Funnies #7

Let's get back to books. Today I have a little nostalgia for you. Remember Reading Rainbow? Well I do. But I bet you won't remember ever seeing these Book Reviews.

Click the image to link to the video on
Links will open in a new window.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Good Book

As we usher in December, arguably one of the loveliest months of the year, I share with you a thought that seems fitting considering my feelings on finishing The Next Always:
I hope we all find this kind of good book this December.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: The Next Always

One thing is for sure, if she does nothing else, Nora Roberts writes characters you want to befriend, and settings you want to be a part of.

The Next Always is no different. And so the very fact that it's the start of a trilogy was a huge relief when I got to the end of the novel and realized I still had two more opportunities to "hang" with the Montgomery brothers and their obviously soon-to-be wives and girlfriends, Clare, Avery, and Hope. (Every genre has a formula and I've had Roberts' trilogy formula figured out for as long as I've been reading her --- But that sure hasn't stopped me from reading).

This novel (and series, really) is a special treat for any Roberts fan. Set in Boonsboro, Maryland (nearby Roberts' real-life residence), the Montgomery brothers are hard at work restoring an old hotel into its former glory, and with the help of their mother and some lady-friends, opening a beautiful and romantic Bed & Breakfast called the Inn BoonsBoro. It's a lot more than just a renovation story, though, as our characters encounter ghosts, danger, and of course, love.

The real treat, however, is that Boonsboro is very much a real place, and very much important to Nora Roberts, herself. The Inn BoonsBoro is also as real as it is beautiful, and the inn was rescued and restored by Nora and her husband. Equally as exciting to a Roberts' reader is that the town bookstore in the novel, Turn The Page,* is also a real bookstore owned by Roberts' husband. (Vesta Family Restaurant, the inn Gift Shop, the Creamery, etc. are all also real-life Boonsboro attractions mentioned at varying degrees throughout the story. The novel is a bit of an advertisement for the town, though Roberts claims that was never her intention).

The Inn BoonsBoro on the Square in Boonsboro, Maryland

So, not only do the readers get to indulge in another fun to read (albeit predictable) Nora Roberts trilogy, we also get to explore a bit of some of the other aspects of a favourite author's life. That, for me, makes it worth the read.

*I'd like to make it known that although "Turn the Page" and "Turning the Page" (as in the titles of the bookstore and my blog respectively) bear obvious similarities, I did not "steal" the idea from my favourite author, nor did she "steal" it from me. Simply a case of great minds thinking alike. That is all.

Recommendation: Avid Nora Roberts fans will love this novel. It has everything we have come to love and expect from a trilogy, but then so much more when you consider the close connection to Roberts' life. The characters are every bit as likeable, the town every bit as close-knit and enticing. I say we all read this novel then head to Boonsboro for a weekend at the Inn!

Up Next: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, inside anyway. The grass is still green and the snow is virtually non-existent, but it's December, (tomorrow at least) and I think it's high time I start getting in the holiday spirit. I learned about The Gift shortly after Christmas last year, so I jotted down the title so I'd be sure to read it this holiday season. I've only ever read one Ahern title (no it wasn't PS I Love You -- There wouldn't be enough Kleenex in the world for me to read that). It was The Book of Tomorrow, and I quite enjoyed it. I'm hoping for more of the same from this seemingly magical novel about a man who learns life lessons around Christmastime. Sounds a little Christmas Carol-ish, and I don't mind one little bit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twosday Timeout

Important to note before reading today's Two: This quote could have been about something exciting from the novel, like stalkers, or ghosts, or falling in love... Instead, it's about nothing really because when one of those exciting things is happening, I can't seem to put the book down. Enjoy!

"Two dogs." Avery arranged cheese on a platter for the gift shop opening.

The Next Always by Nora Roberts, page 209

Now, go on and open your own book to the page you're on, and share the first two sentences on that page!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Funnies #6

It's Black Friday! I won't be shopping. One of the reasons I won't be is because of the contents of today's Friday Funnies.

Now, I want to get one thing straight. I'm by no means intending to be rude or mean with this post. But sometimes, especially when hot deals are at stake, some of the world's craziest and most outrageous people come out of the woodwork.

Today I'm simply celebrating the... uh... individuality, and... um... fearlessness... of some of Walmart's most memorable shoppers!

Like this sweet old man... And his hot dog hat.
And this lady who was so excited to shop, she forgot her pants.

This gentleman is probably just looking for the underwear aisle...

As for this one, I'm not sure Walmart sells jelly fish food, but it's nice to just get out of the house sometimes.

Beware the Black Friday shopper who won't even break for the bathroom.
If you weren't yet convinced it's safer to just stay home, you probably are now.

For more crazy shopper fun, visit

And the next time you go shopping, you might want to look your best (and wear underwear, and pants that you don't pee in, or have some kind of outrageous hair growth), or you could end up a "Person of Walmart"... Muahahaha!

Sidenote: As always, I like to keep it literary up in here so I've attached a few Black Friday sales at the bottom of the page from some of my favourite book sites! Happy Shopping! Happy Reading! And... 

Happy Black Friday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twosday Timeout

Started a new novel just yesterday: The Next Always by Nora Roberts.

And because I couldn't wait to get it started, you aren't getting the first two sentences of the novel, but a couple sentences from a few pages in.

Deciding he'd murder anyone who called him before eight a.m., Beckett unlocked the stairwell, then climbed past the restaurant level to his door.  He didn't bother with the light, but moved by memory and the backwash of streetlights through the apartment.

The Next Always, page 16                   

Remember to share your Two!

Until next week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Cliches abound in this family drama told from the perspective of the family dog.

"That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me." (151)

"...the race is long --- to finish first, first you must finish." (157)

"There is no dishonour in losing the race... There is only dishonour in not racing because you are afraid to lose." (211)

Cliches aside, the story was a heart-warming one, as any story about a man and his dog should be. From open to close you care about the family, and you care infinitely about Enzo, the dog.

Author Garth Stein and his dog
It's an interesting perspective to witness the trials and tribulations of a family through the eyes of their dog, always watching and learning, and never able to truly step in and share what he knows. It's very much like being the reader, knowing what you know, and unable to intervene.

Although the racing analogies became a bit tiresome, they served their purpose. Enzo used racing as one of his main sources of learning about humans and their lives. Entire brief chapters would be dedicated to a racing anecdote that related in some way to the happenings in the lives of Enzo's family. It was sometimes effective, but often a bit distracting. In the end, it didn't matter. I felt too much for the characters, especially Enzo, and his "master" Denny. As expected, tears were shed. I'm human afterall.

Recommendation: If you traditionally read with your dog at your feet and your NASCAR jacket near-at-hand this is a novel for you. Dog lovers will also likely enjoy it. It's a great take on a traditional type of family drama, so if you're looking to broaden your perspective, pick up this novel.

Up Next: The Next Always by Nora Roberts
You show me a Nora Roberts trilogy or series and I've probably already read it. Dream Trilogy, Chesapeake Bay Saga, Three Sisters Island Trilogy, In the Garden Trilogy, Key Trilogy, Bride Quartet... And now for Ms. Roberts' latest Trilogy, The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy. Book 1, The Next Always was released earlier this month, and begins the story of the Montgomery brothers and their mother who run and are renovating an historic hotel in Maryland. (Cue "Hallelujah" music: I loooove this setting!) The first book centres on Beckett (Roberts always gives her male characters great names), the architect of the family who is equal parts focussed on the renovation of the hotel and on the girl he's had his eye on since he was fifteen. The plot definitely fits the bill of a Roberts trilogy, which means I'm going to love it and will be finished in no time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Funnies #5

What bothers me? Opening weekend of any Twilight movie.

Sure, the buzz and excitement is like no other night at the movies, but it bothers me to listen to teens and pre-teens scream every time Jacob appears shirtless (so like, 75% of the movie).

And it bothers me to hear squeals and sighs every time Edward does something romantic (so like, 90% of the movie).

And it bothers me to hear whispers when the movie strays too far from the book (though this fortunately doesn't happen too often).

And it bothers me when I can't have an empty seat or 10 next to me so I can have the freedom to squeal, sigh, whisper, and spaz out without disturbing the people around me every time something excites me.

Yes, I'm that kind of Twilight fan.

And honestly, I can't wait for the release of Breaking Dawn tonight! Although, I'm not going to see it until Sunday... Maaaaybe Monday. Which is a good thing. It'll likely save a pre-teen from having a bag of popcorn dumped on her head.

To celebrate my excitement I have a Twilight inspired edition of Friday Funnies brought to you by one of my favourite funny guys, Jimmy Fallon.

Happy Friday!

And enjoy Breaking Dawn Part 1!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twosday Time Out

Welcome to Twosday Time Out, my latest blog feature. 

In the interest of stimulating interest in the books I read, every Tuesday I'm going to publish the first two sentences of the page I'm currently on in the book I'm reading at the time.

This will keep me reading at an honest pace (because who wants to post the same thing 2 weeks in a row... embarrassing).  Also, once you read my Twosday sentences, feel free to post your own two sentences from your current page in your current book in the comment section below the post. (See below for a brief tutorial on commenting).

So, let's get to it! It's time for the two!

"In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life."

pg. 83 - The Art of Racing in the Rain

There is no need to explain your quotes. Just publish them for all the world to read! But make sure to let us know what book they're from, so we'll know where to go to read more!

I'll have two more for you next week!

Commenting Tutorial:
Feel free to skip this if you're a commenting guru already.
1. Below the post click "Post a Comment" (It should be in pink). If you don't see that, click on the word "Comment" next to my name and time below the post.
2. This should bring up a comment window of some kind. Once you type in what you want to say you have to choose an identity. If you want to be Batman, that's fine, but I prefer to know your real identity. I get it, though, if you want to keep it a secret.
3. Your best bet for "choosing an identity" is to select the "Name/URL" option. This is for ANYONE. You don't need a Google account or even a webpage to use this. When you choose this option, just fill in your name in the name space. The URL is optional, but if you have a webpage or blog you want to link to, just put the URL in that field and your name in the comment will become a link to your page.
Then you click "Publish Your Comment" and that's all there is to it!
4. Those with a Google account can "Sign in with Google" or something. Click that option and follow the steps. It's very straight forward.