Category Archives: Books

Penguin Drop Caps Series

27th February 2016

penguin-drop-caps

The Penguin Drop Caps Series is a GORGEOUS series of 26 special edition classics in hardcover, that would make any booklover weak in the knees. Their covers feature an illustrated letter of the alphabet by type designer Jessica Hische, and create a lovely rainbow when displayed as a set.

I can’t believe it took me this long to discover these – they are so pretty and a great way to discover some reads you may not have considered otherwise. Penguin has so many great collections but this just might be my new favourite!

I bought myself the first five with a gift card I received for Valentine’s Day and ordered G, H, I, P, and X online which I know seems random but they’re the hardest to find evidently, so I grabbed them when I could. I’m still waiting for those to arrive, and dreaming of the other 16 I still need to get.

Are you in love with the series too? Have some of the books and need a few more to complete the set or want to buy the entire thing in one shot?? I’ve discovered an amazing online shop that will allow you to do just that. In fact if you love gorgeous books, you must check them out. JUNIPER BOOKS is based in Boulder, Colorado but they will ship internationally. If you’re a booklover, do yourself a favour and check out their book shop. Not only will you see so many of the beloved classics and series that we love to collect, but also some incredibly unique and beautiful custom book sets as well. Prepare to fall in love. Seriously.

Check out the full listing below!

penguin drop caps

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  3. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  5. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  6. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  8. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  9. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  11. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  12. Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
  13. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
  14. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
  15. Butterfield 8 by John O’Hara
  16. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  17. The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
  18. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  19. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  20. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  21. Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset
  22. Candide by Voltaire
  23. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  24. Sky Burial by Xinran
  25. When You Are Old: Early Poems and Fairy Tales by W.B. Yeats
  26. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Penguin English Library

25th February 2016

penguin-english-library
I LOVE books. Love love love.

I read every single day and more often than not, you’ll find me at home reading a good book. I am a party animal.

The last year or so, I read most of my books as ebooks, and read very few books in hand. I think many of us had an ebook moment. For me, that moment has mostly past. I am back to reading (and buying) actual books and I love it.

I’ve also discovered the book community on Instagram (bookstagrammers) recently, and am mildly obsessed. Honestly, I have no idea how it works or how one gets thousands of followers and likes, but that’s not really why I’m trying it out. I love it because I’ve discovered so many great books and collections by following the #bookstagram hashtag. One of these collections is the PENGUIN ENGLISH LIBRARY.

The Penguin English Library is a collection of 100 beloved classics, with book covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. They are lovely and in paperback format,  so they are very affordable. And their spines are dreamy, as you can see above, especially when displayed as a collection.

Aren’t they dreamy?? Check out 60 of the 100 below.

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

You can find these beauties in stores and online, although you might have to get resourceful if you’re after the entire set. I sadly don’t have any of these just yet, but they’re on the official husband-buy-me-these list for when he needs gift ideas (which is always). I’m partial to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters so I’m starting with those.

Do you own any of these Penguin English Library editions?? Check out the full list below:

  1. Emma by Jane Austen
  2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  4. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  7. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  8. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  10. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  11. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  13. Evelina by Fanny Burney
  14. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
  15. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland andThrough the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  16. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
  17. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  18. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  20. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  21. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
  22. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
  23. The Five Orange Pips and Other Cases by Arthur Conan Doyle
  24. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  26. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  27. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  28. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
  29. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  30. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  31. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  32. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  33. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  34. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  35. Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
  36. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
  37. Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
  38. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
  39. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  40. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  41. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  42. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
  43. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  44. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  45. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  46. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  47. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  48. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  49. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  50. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
  51. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  52. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  53. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  54. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  55. New Grub Street by George R. Gissing
  56. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  57. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  58. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  59. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  60. Tess of D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
  61. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
  62. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  63. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  64. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
  65. Daisy Miller and the Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  66. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  67. Washington Square by Henry James
  68. The Wings of a Dove by Henry James
  69. Dubliners by James Joyce
  70. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  71. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  72. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
  73. Melmuth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
  74. The Confidence Man and Billy Budd, Sailer by Herman Melville
  75. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  76. The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allen Poe
  77. Pamela by Samuel Richardson
  78. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  79. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  80. Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett
  81. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne
  82. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  83. Treasure Island and The Ebb-Tide by Robert Louis Stevenson
  84. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  85. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  86. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
  87. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  88. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope
  89. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
  90. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
  91. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
  92. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  93. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  94. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  95. The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells
  96. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  97. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  98. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  99. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  100. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

New Kid’s Book – The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? and a GIVEAWAY! #TheHueys

12th January 2016

the-hueys

I remember when I first discovered an Oliver Jeffers book was when I was in the bookstore with my then toddler son looking for something funny for his bedtime story that night. I just happened to find The Incredible Book Eating Boy on the shelf, and immediately adored the illustrations. And then I read it and fell in love with it’s story and just how funny it was. It became one of our absolute favourite family reads and led to our love of all things Oliver Jeffers. If you haven’t yet read anything written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, you are missing out. They’re creative, hilarious and will amuse your kids, regardless of their age.

the-hueys

Today is the release date of Oliver Jeffers’ newest book called The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? This is his latest book in The Hueys series, which explores the funny world of opposites. The Hueys are a quirky little bunch that will delight your children. The book is available in hardcover picture book and in board book formats today as well, so even your littlest one can enjoy this delightful book.

I’d love to share my love for Oliver Jeffers’ books with a giveaway today. This prize will include:

  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE? (hardcover picture book)
  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE (board book)
  • The Hueys in THE NEW SWEATER (board book)
  • The Hueys in IT WASN’T ME (board book)
  • The Hueys in NONE THE NUMBER (board book)

hueys

This giveaway is open to Canadian AND U.S residents and will run until January 21, 2016.

Good Luck!
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Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: Picture Books

14th December 2015

I’m going to be sharing my Holiday Gift Ideas all this week for those late shoppers like me who are still looking for great gift ideas. None of my lists are sponsored in any way – you’ll be seeing products I actually like, endorse, WANT and not because I’m paid or asked to do so.

First up, some fantastic children’s picture books for your little (and big) book lovers. These are all fun and special in their own way. I think they would make wonderful gifts and they’re a great way to bring joy without a huge investment. Books make the BEST gifts!!
Childrens Picture Books

childrens picture books

childrens picture books

12 Days of Picture Books – ROBO-SAUCE

9th December 2015

This might just be the absolute coolest, most ingenious picture book I’ve seen in a very long time.

robo-sacue

I must warn you however, because ROBO-SAUCE by Adam Rubin, is actually two books in one. This awesome picture book turns into a ROBO-BOOK! Seriously. My kids and I were so impressed by how unique this picture book is. The illustrations by Daniel Salmieri are perfectly matched with this delightful story of how a boy who discovers how to turn himself into a robot.

Flash! Bang! Boom! You need to gift this cool book to your favourite little people this holiday season. I promise you they will love the twist at the end!! I shared it with a girlfriend at our local bookstore, and she immediately bought it for her boys.

robo-sauce

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of SIX copies of ROBO-SAUCE, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY and TOMORROW!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/10/15. GOOD LUCK!

12 Days of Picture Books – Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

8th December 2015

I crazy love this book so much.

mitford at the fashion zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is written and illustrated by the incredibly talented and creative artist Donald Robertson. If you’re not following him on Instagram, you are missing out. I refer to him as the Canadian Warhol – the man has talent!

This lovely picture book is the story of Mitford the Giraffe who desperately wants to work for the fashion magazine Cover. If you know anything about fashion or fashion designers, you will delight in how creative this book is. You’ll encounter the talented Zap Possum, Shark Jacobs, and Mikael Boars just to name a few. The real star of this picture book is the illustrations – they are as Rachel Zoe would say, “Bananas.” Truly incredible.

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is a fun story that kids will love as much as any adult. This is a winner under the tree this year for sure!

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of FIVE copies of Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/09/15. GOOD LUCK!

12DaysofPB_blog tour

12 Days of Picture Books – Pom Pom Panda Gets The Grumps

3rd December 2015

Books are the absolute BEST gift to give (and receive) this time of year. Or anytime of year quite frankly. A gorgeous picture book is a perfect way to show a little person in your life that you adore them. Why not gift them a book that will make them smile like Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps by Sophy Henn.

Look at that grumpy face!

pompom panda

This is a story about a little panda named Pom Pom who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, and is just a total grump. This is me, Monday to Friday – although I do tend to perk up on the weekends.  This adorable tale follows Pom Pom on his grumpy day where nothing seems to go right, all the way until he gets to school. I wonder how his friends will feel about his grumpy attitude?

Pom Pom Panda is a sweet picture book that any little person would enjoy. The illustrations are SOOOO cute – just love them.

pompom panda

That is a face to love.

Would you like to win a copy for yourself?? For the next twelve days, Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of TWO copies of Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/04/15. GOOD LUCK!

12DaysofPB_blog tour

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History #awesomegifts

26th November 2015

smithsonian design book

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History lays out the complete evolution of design, from its origins in early cultures to the contemporary design – physical and digital – of today. This comprehensive volume covers every major design movement, along with the iconic designers and manufacturers who influenced everyday life through the objects and buildings they created.

If you’re a fan of design, you will absolutely love this book. Smithsonian Design is a gorgeous coffee table book that covers all aspects of design. It takes the reader through the evolution of design, from the Arts & Crafts period (1850-1920) to the Mid-Century Modern (1940-1959) to the Postmodern & Contemporary of the 80s and onward, and everything in between. At the back of the book, you’ll also find a glossary of design terms and a designer index.

smithsonian-design

Smithsonian Design is full of large, gorgeous photographs that complement the book beautifully. In each section, key dates are outlined and after a brief description of the era, specific pieces are highlighted, naming the designer and estimated date of the piece. There are also several pages that focus on the evolution of the design of specific items, such as chairs. This really gives you a great glimpse of how the design has changed over the last century.

smithsonian-design

If you’re looking for #awesomegifts this holiday season, this is a winner. I’m such a fan of DK Canada coffee table books – they’re always such a beautiful and quality read. They have something for everyone, so make sure to click on the #awesomegifts graphic below to take you to some other great gift ideas from DK Canada. You can find DK Smithsonian Design online at Indigo.

dk awesome gifts

The Time Chamber – A Coloring Book by Daria Song

6th November 2015

the-time-chamber

You know, it’s very cool to colour these days. Personally I’ve always loved colouring – I just find it so relaxing and void of technology. Really you should try it – put down your phone and your iPad, turn your tv off and sit and colour. You get bonus points if you convince the children to join you.

Convince, bribe, force – you get the idea.

The lovelies at Penguin Random House just sent me the latest colouring book by artist Daria Song called The Time Chamber. Actually, it’s not just a coloring book but also a ‘magical story’ about a fairy who enters the human world when the clock strikes midnight. The Time Chamber features lovely illustrations that will appeal to all ages. And OWLS – owls will always garner bonus points in my book. My 9 year old and I both agree that this colouring book is a beautiful addition to our collection.

time-garden

The Time Chamber is actually the second colouring book by Korean artist Daria Song. The Time Garden is her first and it is where we are first introduced to the lovely little fairy who explores at midnight. Either of these titles, or better yet both, would make a great gift for anyone (including  yourself) who enjoys colouring,

daria-song-coloring-books

The Time Chamber is available now in stores and retails for $20.99 in Canada ($15.99 U.S.).

Max and Marla #books

21st October 2015

max-and-marla

Max and Marla is the story of Max and his bestie, his pet owl, Marla. But they’re not just besties, they’re also teammates AND Olympians. They’re adorably sweet, ingenious and always prepared.

This is just the loveliest children’s book about dreams, perseverance and friendship. They just refuse to give up on their Olympic dreams, no matter what is thrown their way.

The illustrations are perfectly matched to this sweet tale, from their matching outfits to the cute doughnut medals, each page will make you smile.

max-and-marla

My nine year old thought Max and Marla was “really cute and funny” and I would have to agree. It’s adorable and perfect for children aged 3 years and up, although I’m a big fan of reading picture books to the younger babes too.

Max and Marla is the debut title by Alexandra Boiger, as both the author and the illustrator. It is published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, and is available in stores now.

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