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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

In My Mailbox #51

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

First week back on the picket line wasn’t so bad, except for the cold I seem to have caught. Obviously some of the Canadian publishers thought they’d help cheer me up by sending me some surprises! Cannot wait to read all of these books!

For review:

The Scholastic Canada books were gifts from the event I attended last weekend (post here). I swear I feel like Christmas came a month early for me. I can’t wait to read all of these books! Trying very hard to hold off on the spring 2012 ones though. I don’t know if my willpower will be strong enough.

Montreal Book Bloggers Brunch with Cecil Castellucci

Oh, dear. I started this post a week ago but couldn’t finish it and then life got all hectic and I haven’t touched my blog (or a book, really) in a week. Now I have a miserable cold and my eyes are watering as I type this, but come on, Me! Get with the program! This event was a WEEK AGO!

Sunday, November 20 a handful of Montreal Book Bloggers were invited to brunch with two Scholastic Canada reps, Nikole and Catherine (lovely name ;)) and with Montreal author Cecil Castellucci. It was a fun time for all! I have never been to an event like this, so I was super excited and nervous all at the same time. I don’t know why I was nervous, I mean, I had met the other Bloggers before but I hadn’t ever met Nikole or Catherine or Cecil before.

The brunch was a sort of book club/all things book discussion, focused mostly on Cecil’s latest novel, First Day on Earth (linked to review). It was great to talk books with like-minded people and get some inside scoops from the publicist and author perspectives. Cecil explained some of the process of books being optioned for movies, which I found very interesting. We talked review responsibilities, what we liked to see on blogs, what we thought of book trailers and more. Since I blog about books a lot differently than many book blogs it was a great opportunity to hear why others like to have certain things on their blog and that I am not the only one who feels anxious about having deadlines on review copies (of which I received only a few compared to most book bloggers).

Back L-R: Me, Avis @ She Reads and Reads,  Lucy @ Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf, Cecil Castellucci, Tina @ Bookshipper, Melissa @ YA Bookshelf, Catherine from Scholastic Canada
Front L-R: Lisa @ Starmetal Oak Book Blog, Nikole from Scholastic Canada

The small group setting was just perfect, though I was sitting at the opposite end of the table from Melissa and Lisa and would have liked to have talked to them a little more. I’ll be sure to sit near them at our next Book Blogger meet up in December! (Just realized I was sitting next to them at the first meet up, too. I guess we’re kindred spirits!)

I’m not one to go ga-ga over getting books autographed normally. I tend to want them signed if I have gotten to know the author and/or if I absolutely adored a book. I wasn’t sure if this would seem gauche or not, but Cecil was the author of one of my favourite graphic novels, The Plain Janes and I snuck that book along with me for the event in case I could sneak it to her to sign. (I also found out at the time that the first and second books were split from one full one. I suppose that’s why I originally thought that it ended rather abruptly!) Turns out others also brought books to have signed, so I didn’t feel so bad. 😉

Signed Plain Janes

I was surprised by a brown paper Scholastic shopping bag on my chair when I got to the cafe. Those kind Scholastic reps, Nikole and Catherine had prepared goodie bags for us all! I swear it was like Christmas and lottery winning all at the same time! Why do all the surprise books always come at the same time!

 Scholastic swag!

(I now HAVE to get Clarity by Kim Harrington. Good thing I had it on my Christmas list!) I was so happy about all of these books. I kept saying “It’s like you KNOW me!” Since I have never been in contact with anyone from Scholastic until this event, I was very impressed with their selections for me!

The only bad thing I have to say about the entire experience was the creepy art on the wall directly facing me. I told Avis when I was leaving, I wasn’t avoiding looking at her all morning on purpose. I just couldn’t look at her and not see this on the wall behind her:

Gah! What kind of food establishment puts nekked boobs on their wall while people are trying to eat!? Especially me! Prude Extraordinaire! I did not like that one bit. Of course I had to snap a photo to show my husband (and all of you) what I had to deal with all morning. =P

So a HUGE thank you to Scholastic Canada for including me in their little brunch and to Cecil Castellucci for coming home for a visit and taking time to meet us all and share stories and laughs for a few hours on a gloomy, raining, Sunday morning.

In My Mailbox #47 – The Montreal Book Blogger Meet Up Edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

People! Did you know that there are more than just a handful of book blogger in the Montreal area? Well! What started out as an innocent request to meet up with the 3 book bloggers I knew other than myself, escalated into a facebook group with 15 people! We decided to get together and discuss what we’d like to see in the Book community in Montreal and we had a great time! Almost all of us were in attendance, sadly two people couldn’t make it, but still, a group of 13 people, all with books in a restaurant is a sight to see. Even our awesome waiter was impressed with us. 😉

Photo by pk

Front row L-R: pk @ aisle b, Cindy @ Cindy’s Love of Books, ME!, Lisa @ Starmetal Oak Book Blog

Back Row L-R: Avis @ She Reads and Reads, Amanda @ Tales and Treats, Melissa @ YA Book Shelf, Jennifer @ Mrs Q: Book Addict, Cindy B. @ Tynga’s Reviews, Lucy @ Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf (who made the cutest name tags!), Donna @ Book Bound, Laura @ Library of Clean Reads, Tina @ Bookshipper (who happily ran the goup and kept things in order! Thanks, Tina!!)

Our awesome waiter took a multitude of photos for us in the end, he was really great!

In honour of our little get together some publishers sent a bunch of goodies to Tina for us. I’d like to send out a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada, Harper Collins Canada, Random House Canada and Scholastic Canada (see a theme there?) In the photo above we’re showing off our various spoils, be them from the pubs or from fellow bloggers who did book trades.

Please take a moment to check out our Facebook page (which we plan to keep updated with the various bookish events happening in and around Montreal) and our website for more information!

Lucy made some really sweet name tags, and I think we all loved them to pieces!

You did a really great job, Lucy! Thanks so much!

If you didn’t feel like checking out the video here’s a recap of what I got this week:

From Simon & Schuster Canada for review (surprise!):

From the Montreal Book Blogger Meet Up from amazingly sweet publishers:

  • Dark Souls – Paula Morris (Scholastic Canada)
  • Want to Go Private? – Sarah Darer Littman
  • a ton of nifty swag like bookmarks, lip gloss, post cards and paper dolls!

Bought while shopping with Tynga, Lucy & Melissa:

I realize that pretty much all I got was YA, and that’s not all I read, but those are the books that caught my eye the most! I have bunch of books on order from Book Depository.com and they should arrive in a week or so, I am so excited! (for example, I bought Ruined by Paula Morris since Dark Souls is its sequel. 😉

Again, I’d like to thank the publishers for their support and generosity as well as my fellow Montreal-area bloggers who helped make this day possible!

And just as a note – I killed the macbook I was using, so I had to use Windows Movie Maker – which I HATE! to edit this stupid video made with my camera.  The files were huge, of course and I had to scrunch it down to get it to a size tha YouTube would even consider, so I don’t think the quality is all that fantab. My apologies… I don’t think the mac will make it, as I dropped water on it and it won’t even turn on now. We’re going to take it in to see if it can be repaired, so until then I have a hardly-working computer to use at home and I am doing most of my web surfing through my iPhone. Blech.

Calling all Montreal Area Book Bloggers!

Hello blog reading friends! I come to you today with a subpar graphic (because I am now on a macbook pro and do not have all my fancy fonts and whatnots from the dead pc laptop) (but the Montreal skyline image was taken by my father who does some pretty great amateur photography) (but I digress)…and an announcement!

See, only a couple of weeks ago I thought there were only three Montreal-area book bloggers in the world. Myself, Tynga of Tynga’s Reviews and Melissa from YA Bookshelf. I mentioned on twitter that it would be nice to get together sometime this summer and meet up. Then others piped in – I’m from Montreal, too!

Then I thought I would try and email everyone to get things organizes, especially after Simon & Schuster Canada joined in with “We want to be part of the meet up, too!” Only that was proving more difficult than I thought, so I made a Facebook group, which is by invite only for those of us in the area to chat about what we want to do in July, etc.

I originally thought we could just all go to dinner and then shop at a bookstore (I mean, really, we LOVE books, right!?) and that we’d be a handful of people. But no.



I had no clue there were so many Montreal-area book bloggers! I have been online since before it was called being “online”. I used to be the rare Montreal area person in whatever group I was in. Mostly it was Toronto or the West coast. Now in book blogging, publishers rarely have English author events here. It’s always in Ontario or the West. We want to change that! We want to let the Publishers know that there is a book reading, blogging and loving community in MONTREAL (I cannot figure out how to do accented letters with this macbook…).

So, are you in the Montreal area? If you are, leave me a comment and I will reply to you (since I get them via email). You don’t have to tell me where you are exactly in the comment so that others can’t see if you want to keep your privacy all private ;)). We can be friends on facebook if you’re on there and interested and I can add you to the group!

15 people!

I had NO idea. So whatever we’re going to plan is going to be a little bigger than just some dinner and shopping. It’s a pretty large group to stick in a restaurant. Do we want to try and contact a bookstore (mostly all Chapigos here and I am not keen on that. But there is a kid lit bookstore downtown now called Babar en Ville.). If you have had meet ups in your own area, do you have suggestions?

I love that all of us book bloggers have varying areas of reading preference, too! We’re a pretty well-rounded group when it comes to genres.

We’ve been compiling a list of all our blogs, this isn’t complete, it is just what I have copied from the list we’re filling out so far. I’ll update it when I have a little more time. 🙂

What are you waiting for, Montreal-area bloggers? Let us know you’re out there so we can let the Canadian publishers know WE are here!