Just a few odds and ends and ramblings this post.
For the past 2 summers, I have enjoyed attending the Sleeping Giant Writers' Festival, but when I checked out the website to see the lineup for this summer, I discovered that it has been cancelled this year, no reason given. I am somewhat disappointed... Mind you, I may have had to miss it anyways, since I will be away for a few weeks in August visiting my sister and her growing family.
My Canada Day started with an e-mail from Niranjana over at Brown Paper, telling me that I had won a copy of The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart. Can you say excited?! Mary Stewart is a "family favourite" author; and by the time I finished high school, I think that I had read everything that she had written, courtesy of my grandmother's bookshelves and the local library. My sister Laura also read her books and the ones set in Greece (including The Moonspinners) led us to plan a trip there some day. The trip hasn't happened yet, but who knows, some day? This giveaway allowed the participants to pick which Mary Stewart book they would like to win - the hardest part was choosing which one I wanted! Her books wouldn't be considered high literature, but they are entertaining, adventurous (and possibly partly to blame for my travel bug), and usually feature strong and independent female characters. And don't forget the romance that never verges on anything distasteful. After all, my grandmother and mother and aunts and cousins and sisters all read and enjoyed these books!
I finished the Canadian Book Challenge 4 over at The Book Mine Set, reading and reviewing a total of 28 Canadian books between July 1 2010 and June 30 2011. (13 are required to compete the challenge). I had a bit of a reading and reviewing slump in January and February, so I wonder how many I would have read otherwise? I have signed up for the 5th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, and this year I plan on reading and reviewing 13 Canadian books that will be re-reads for me. There are several books that I read a while back that I want to re-visit, so this will give me an excuse to do so. This challenge got some coverage in the Globe and Mail a few weeks ago - you can read the article here.
And finally, one week tomorrow I will be on an airplane, heading for Paris. Does anyone have any book suggestions that are set in Paris? Fiction and non-fiction suggestions are eagerly welcomed! I love being able to connect places that I travel to with books, however in thinking back, I can't come up with any memorable books that I have read that are set in Paris. I'm very excited about this trip, since I've wanted to visit Paris for I-don't-know-how-many years!