simply the best subscription box

The 4 Best Subscription Boxes for Book Lovers (in Canada)

Living that book life isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to subscription boxes. I am a book subscription box addict. As much as I love books, the idea of getting a surprise book plus some extra bookish goods just has me living. It’s like a Kinder Surprise except I’m not allergic to them.

Unfortunately for me, it can be hard to get certain boxes if you’re Canadian. Book of the Month for example, is only open to U.S. Residents only. Other book services end up charging you nearly the same amount for shipping as you paid for the box which is a hard pill to swallow since the prices tend to be in USD.

So below are some boxes that won’t break your bank and that will allow you to get both pretty bookish thing

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maryvale-library-exterior

Canadian Libraries Need Your Help for #eContentForLibraries

I rely heavily on libraries to get the books that I read. They aren’t cheap here and the amount of books I’m able to read and review is heavily influenced by what’s made available through the library system. Toronto’s library is well-funded, so I couldn’t understand why there were so few digital copies of really popular books.

And now, after doing a little bit of research on it, I can understand why.

Basically, the international book publishers are throttling libraries by charging them more for digital copies than regular ones.

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Reading Slumps aren't the end

5 Ways to Break Out of a Reading Slump

Books are magical. If you’ve hit this page, then you know that they are and I don’t need to preach to the choir. But it can be hard to keep up the book reading habit once you become an adult. When you’re younger there’s more time, but with work taking a huge chunk out of your day.

When I talk about reading in the office, what I hear the most of is “I want to read more, but it’s hard to find the time” or “I don’t have the attention span for reading anymore.” When you’ve lost the habit of reading and don’t know where to start, sorry babe, but you’re in a reading slump.

Reading slumps can feel devastating for people who’ve been avid readers.

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The Ghosts of Old Finch Road

If you were ever to run into a ghost, which story would you tell them? Would you give them a ghost story? Today’s prompt is by Camilla @ Reader in the Attic and asks us to tell a local urban legend.

Everywhere has its own urban legends and stories, but when I was trying to think of what would count as a Toronto urban legend, I came up short. Casa Loma should have had something creepy happen in it. It’s begging for a ghost, but nothing. Just a guy who built a house. For books there’s always Ghosts of the Bay and all the shipwrecks that happen out on Georgian Bay, but I don’t know if that counts as local. It’s more than a couple hours drive from me.

So instead, I’m going to tell you the story of the Ghost of Old Finch Bridge.

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Facing Death: My Top 5 Nonfiction Books About Death

Death is a part of life. There’s no escaping it and while some people dread death and others embrace it, we’re fascinated by it. For example, think of the last movie you saw without a death in it. Even Disney movies kill off their villains most of the time.

So lately, I’ve been reading a lot about death. I was always fascinated by the True Crime side of things, but never really thought about what it would be like on the other side. Books about death or facing death can take on all sorts of feelings. Usually they fall into two camp: the serious and the irreverent.

For obvious reasons, I find the irreverent more fun. While they can still be terrifying and unnerving, they take the edge off a bit. I’m not including adventure nonfiction in this list, but if you’re looking for those, you can find them here.

So, which books should you look at to learn more about death? Continue reading “Facing Death: My Top 5 Nonfiction Books About Death” »

Battle Royale: The Book that Launched a Thousand Copies

Battle Royale: The Book that Launched a Thousand CopiesBattle Royale by Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki

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five-stars

Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan - where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller - Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language.

I don’t really need to tell anyone what a Battle Royale is. Thanks to Fortnite and before that, the Hunger Games, everyone knows what it is. People are dropped into a death map. They need to kill each other. The last person standing wins.

Simple, right?

Only kind of. Battle Royale is a Japanese novel from the nineties written by Koushun Takami. It was groundbreaking in its time not just for the writing, but the shock factor of it. The book was criticized by some for its violence. Where the Hunger Games feels futuristic enough to give us some distance, Battle Royale doesn’t allow it. This isn’t meant to be a comfortable topic that’s made into PG-13 movies. Even in movie form, Battle Royale doesn’t shy away from its horror.

Each year, a single class participates in a Battle Royale. It’s a shock tactic to control the children who are growing too wild for their parents. The class is picked from a lottery and there’s no guarantee that any child will be safe as they grow up. Therefore, everyone’s at risk.

The kids we follow this year? They’re in 9th grade. To put that into perspective, they would be around 12 to 13 years old when they were brought to the island.

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The Top 6 Horror Movies Adapted from Books

I don’t think I need to explain to anyone who’s reading this that movies can suck at adapting books. Sometimes the movie can add to a story like the first Bourne Identity movie. It can bring a world to life like it did in the Lord of the Rings. But other times, it can feel like it’s completely trashing the source material. (Watch out, Ella Enchanted. I’m coming for you.) As much as I want to bash some terrible Fantasy movies, it’s October, so I want to stick with the season. There are plenty of horror movies based on books to choose from.

So, when it comes to Horror movies, how do they stack up?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some terrible horror adaptations out there. I’ll be making a post about those later in the month. For now though, I’d like to focus on the positives and talk about the movies that were fantastic.

These are in no particular order, but hopefully they inspire you to check out some different movies.

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wickedest of all witches

Witch, please! My Top 5 Books about Witches

Witches are the monsters that are forgotten about when we talk about evil. Everyone remembers vampires, werewolves, and the like, but witches? They’re not considered to be as frightening. Maybe it’s because a witch isn’t a demon, they’re a human. They can be reasoned with more readily and understood. They’re not the malevolent evil of a vampire, or the brutal violence of a werewolf.

This prompt was given by Kaleena from Reader Voracious for Blogoween. Please check out her blog.

So in no particular order, here we go!

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The Monster Mash-Up! My Top 5 Monsters in Literature

Monsters are the lifeblood of stories. Monstrous people, beasts, or actions are generally added to give a story that added burst of terror. I love a good monster and the chills that they send down my spine. Although my favourite monster of all time is the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park, I decided that for this challenge, I could only use fictional monsters. Since the T-rex is a real dinosaur, it doesn’t count.

We all know that monsters can be sympathetic, otherworldly, or both. I’ve tried to avoid the sympathetic monster as well, so Frankenstein won’t make it on this list. Books I haven’t read also won’t be featured here which disqualifies Frankenstein again. Sorry! I’ll get to you, I promise.

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