May 2014

Monthly Summary May 2014 One More Page

Books bought/borrowed/received/won:

*Enders by Lissa Price
*This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
*Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
*No Relation by Terry Fallis
*Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
*The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill
*The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
*Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
*Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
*Moving Sideways Forwards Like A Crab by Shani Mootoo
*The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
*Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne
*The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
*A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
*Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
*To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
*The House Girl by Tara Conklin
*Little Bee by Chris Cleave
*The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland

Books read:

*Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (My Goodreads Review)
*No Relation by Terry Fallis (Review)
*The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill (Review)
*The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland (Review)
*The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
*To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Other reviews:
*Then and Always by Dani Atkins (Review)

Holy moly. I did not realize how many books I added to my shelves this month. I think a book buying ban might be in my future… *sob*

Anyway, this was a very busy month for me! One of the highlights was being invited to have lunch with Lissa Price, the author of the Starters and Enders duology. I was so excited, nervous, and honoured to be invited! This was my first author lunch event and it was such a great experience. Lissa was so friendly, and so were all the bloggers I met! The food was delicious and it was just such a great time talking about books! Thank you so much Random House Canada for inviting me! You can read more about my experience here.

In my personal life, I took a cross-country greyhound out to Vancouver this month and boy… was it an experience! The bus ride was three days long which was a bit challenging, as sleeping on the bus was difficult. But it was also an amazing experience; the prairies were stunning (also, very flat) and I felt so overwhelmed when we were being (what felt like) engulfed by the mountains in Banff. I never noticed or cared for the mountains when I was living in the west coast, but now that I’m living in mountain-less Toronto I definitely feel their absence. It was so wonderful getting to see my friends again, and I hope to see them again soon in the future.

Reading wise, I felt like my month was a little slump-y. It took a while for me to find my groove, but I ended up loving quite a few books! The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, No Relation, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before were standouts. I can’t wait to see what June brings!

Did you read any great books in May? Were there any standout moments this month?

Monday Musings | Giveaway Formats and Winner!

Starters and Enders by Lissa Price Book CoverHappy Monday, everyone! Tonight’s Monday Musing is especially exciting for me because I want to reflect on the giveaway that I just ran and pick the winner for it! As the giveaway drew to a close, I kept reflecting on how everything went and how I can improve for next time but I wasn’t getting very far. So I decided to go straight to you!

When I’ve entered giveaways in the past, they’ve either been through Rafflecopter, Facebook, or Twitter. This time I chose to go through Rafflecopter because I wanted everyone to have a chance to win – even those who aren’t on the other social media platforms. But I wonder if there were any drawbacks to using Rafflecopter such as the need to register for an account first or connect it to Facebook? What do you think?

To readers and participants: Was it easy to follow the Rafflecopter link and enter the giveaway? Were there certain parts about it that made it difficult for you to enter? Would you have preferred a different type of giveaway?

To fellow bloggers and giveaway hosts: Have you found one giveaway platform (Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter) to be more successful than others? Is there anything I should know as I prepare for my next giveaway? (Check back for that later this week… *wink*)

I would love to get any kind of feedback from you all! I want to make things as easy for my readers as possible, and your input will definitely help make that happen! 🙂

And now, for the fun part! The winner is… Jennifer Grant! You won signed copies of Lissa Price’s Starters and Enders! Please check your email and thank you to everyone for participating!

**Thank you again to Random House Canada for the books for the giveaway**

[Giveaway] Meeting… Lissa Price, Author of Starters and Enders

Starters and Enders by Lissa Price Book CoverHi everyone! Hope you’re having a great Friday. I just recapped my April and already May has been off to a great start! I was lucky enough to be invited by Random House Canada today to have lunch with the bestselling author Lissa Price from the Starters and Enders duology!

In the world of Starters and Enders, all adults have been wiped off the Earth by the Spore Wars. Only those who were vaccinated — children, teenagers, and seniors — are left. A body bank called Prime Destinations opens up, allowing teenagers to rent their bodies to seniors for a certain amount of time in return for a large sum of money. Our main character Callie, homeless and struggling to take care of her sick brother, decides to rent out her body. But what she gets is more than what she bargained for…

Los Angeles Grilled Cheese from Cheesewerks

Besides the amazing food (from Cheesewerks, a delicious cheese-centred comfort food restaurant), the best part of the event was being able to talk to Lissa Price and pick her brain about Starters and Enders and learn more about her writing process!  She told us that the inspiration for the series came to her when she was at a Costco waiting to get vaccinated. When she was there, she found out that they were limiting the shots to seniors and children and that made her wonder what would happen if something wiped out the unprotected adult/working population. With only the vulnerable seniors and children left on Earth, what would happen? How would they fend for themselves?

As someone who is not a fiction writer, I am always interested in hearing more about authors’ writing processes. Lissa told us that she uses the “headlight method.” She knows how her books are going to end when she’s writing, but she lets the events of the book flow and develop organically on the way there, planning only “as far as headlights can see.” This was the first time I’ve ever heard of this process but I think it’s a very smart one. When describing this, Lissa used another analogy that I found very spot on. She said that her characters were like a piece of marble waiting to be sculpted; they’re already inside, but it takes time to dig them out. Beautifully accurate, right?

Fans of the series will be happy to hear that Lissa is 100% on board with turning the series into movies! Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I think the books would look amazing on the big screen. There is a lot of cool stuff that happens in the books that I think would translate really well visually. I’m crossing my fingers!

Now, for the fun part! Lissa and Random House Canada were generous enough to provide me with a set of signed books for a giveaway! Entering is simple, just follow this link to the Rafflecopter widget:

 **ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE**

CONTEST RULES:
1. No purchase necessary
2. Open to residents of Canada and the US only
3. Please do not cheat on the tasks, I will be checking them once a winner has been chosen
4. If a winner is picked and their Twitter account only has giveaway entries, I will choose again. I want the winner to genuinely enjoy these books!
5. Have fun and good luck!

Meeting Lissa Price author of Starters and Enders

Thank you again to Lissa Price and Random House Canada! I had a lot of fun. For those available tomorrow, Lissa will be signing books at 1pm tomorrow May 3rd at Chapters Barrie!

Have you read Starters and/or Enders? What did you think?