Monthly Archives: June 2012

Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

I LOVE kids. I often ask God why I can’t have any.

Kids love me. It is not unusual for them to follow me around as if I were the Pied Piper.

But, I can understand some to the frustration that comes from being around small children. So does the author of “Go the Fuck to Sleep”.

The book is written in verse from the perspective of a frustrated parent whose child refuses to go to sleep. The first two lines of each verse begins much like something you’d read to a child to persuade them to sleep; the second two lines express the frustration and refer to all the ways that young children try to get out of sleeping. Then, it just moves into the frustration of having a whole evening ruined.

“The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle,

The sparrow has silenced her cheep,

Fuck your stuffed bear, I’m not getting you shit,

Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep.”

You will be able to relate and you will laugh out loud.

The “clean” version of the book that I found at Octopus Books.

Related: What I should be doing – Samuel L. Jackson reads “Go the Fuck to Sleep”



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Hamlet by William Shakespeare

I don’t have anything new to say about Hamlet. Poor, self-involved Hamlet has been put through the wringer of analysis too often…so, there is more than enough information about the topic out there already:

You can read the play here.

You can read the SparkNotes for it here.

You can read a review for it here.

You can even watch Mel Gibson play Hamlet, in German, here.

All I really wanted to do was show you this picture of his castle that I took  many years ago when I spent a full 2 hours in Denmark.

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Truffle Treasures

Truffle Treasures is not a book. Truffle Treasures is a lovely, classy chocolate factory, where you can read your book in comfort. Just look at all of the loveliness:

In the winter you are enveloped by the delicious, comforting smells of their gourmet hot chocolates; in the summer, by the perfume of their gelatos; and all year long by their chocolate confections of which the truffles are stars. And it’s all made from scratch in the back.

It’s not surprising that TT has won several awards and, even, made a nice generous bonbonniere of truffles for the Queen herself.



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Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

Guest Review by Nicole

Hello – I’m Nicole and I blog at Apples and Arteries.  I’m an avid reader and this year decided to set a goal of 50 Books in 2012.  I’m well on my way and am excited to share #15: Widow of the South by Robert Hicks.

This is a book that I’ve seen at the public library shelves and I finally decided to pick it up to take along for airplane reading.  I enjoy reading historical fiction and this was the first novel I’ve read that takes place during the Civil War.

The story is based on a true story and flashes back to 1864 during the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee, where 9,000 men lost their lives.  Carrie McGavok came to be known as the Widow of the South.  Her family home was commandeered for a Confederate field hospital and the McGavok’s are surrounded by death.

I don’t want to share too much about the characters and evolving storylines.  The novel is a mix of history, drama, relationships, agony, and freedom.  I hope you’ll pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks for the opportunity to guest post.  You can find me on Twitter (@applesarteries) and I hope you’ll stay tuned to my blog to read more about my 50 books and share your suggestions.

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photo I picked up The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin after hearing many glowing recommendations from friends and the interweb. The premise sounded interesting yet light. Rubin, not suffering from depression or any tragedy, was feeling a noticeable lack of happiness in her own life. She spent a year researching happiness and carrying out her Happiness Project. It was an academic pursuit but also a practical one – she sought to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful things already inher life after realizing she may be taking them for granted. I think we all are guilty of this a bit, having it good and expecting that to be the norm. Rubin knew she wasn’t being present in her own life, letting negative thoughts and bad moods run rampant, pushing extraneous joy away to make sure she was being productive and not frivolous. I can totally relate. I often times let…

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“Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self” by Monica Seles

Reviewed by Randi O’Hare, London ON
I love reading about real people’s lives—somehow, in reading about their experiences, I feel even more human.  I feel more connected to the human race, and less alone in my own struggles through life.  Reading the life stories of celebrities reminds us that they are human too.  This autobiography is no exception.
Monica Seles, as many people know, was a star tennis player from Yugoslavia.  She discovered tennis at an extremely young age, and to say that she had a knack for it was an understatement.  With her father as her coach throughout most of her career, she became the #1 ranked female tennis player in the world at the tender age of 19.  Then, in 1993 at a match in Hamburg Germany, Monica’s life was forever changed…or, as the chapter where she describes what happened suggests, was forever ‘derailed’.  A crazed fan of German player Steffi Graf’s stabbed Monica in the upper back, in an attempt to knock her out of the running and get Steffi into the position of #1 ranked female player.  Around the same time, Monica’s beloved father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
What many people don’t know is that that tragic spring day in 1993 marked the beginning of a downward spiral into depression and binge eating for Monica.  To add insult to injury, the man who stabbed her received a sentence equivalent to 2 years probation..not even jail time!   With tennis suddenly gone from her life while she recovered, and not knowing how to manage her overwhelming emotions, she turned to food for comfort.  Engaging in gruelling workouts and training sessions during the day, she’d gorge herself on high calorie snacks and sweets at night.  The extra weight she gained put her at risk for various injuries, and made her return to tennis difficult.  Tennis had been a part of her life since she was about 6 years old.  She eventually realized she needed to learn how to live without tennis in her life, and in 2003, she decided to try something new:  Instead of focussing so much on diets, exercise and what she was eating, she decided to start dealing with ‘what was eating me’.   She finally started dealing with her grief over losing tennis and her father, and began to pay attention to what her quiet inner voice was telling her she needed:  fun,  solace and to stop pressuring herself.  She reconnected with old friends, took up fun new hobbies (bungee jumping..yikes!!), and travelled for fun.  Even more amazing?  Without hardly even trying, the extra weight she’d been fighting for YEARS to lose just melted away.
Here is one of my favourite segments of the book, in which Monica describes being in an underwater cage watching a great white shark:   “All I could  hear was the sound of my respirator, and all i  could see was this terrifying and beautiful animal that could end my life in two seconds if it wanted to.  This is life, I thought.  Right now, and now , and now….I am living right this very second.  The entire dive wasn’t longer than thirty minutes, but when I resurfaced I felt like I’d taken an extended trip to another universe.  For the rest of the day I felt as if a gentle buzz of energy surrounded me .  I wasn’t just living life—I was feeling it.  The sun seemed brighter, the ocean smelled stronger, and every noise was amplified.  It was like life as I knew it had been a two and it was now cranked up to an eight.  Everything seemed more real and I wanted to experience all of it.  The life I was creating for myself was turning out to be anything but small.” (p. 275).
“Getting a Grip” teaches a powerful life lesson, one that Monica learned slowly and painfully:  once we learn to just let go, and stop controlling so much, and deal with our emotional baggage…we will be free and experience a happiness beyond anything we have ever known.


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Ottawa Small Press Book Fair

…is taking place Saturday, June 30, 2012, at the Jack Purcell Community Centre from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

For more information, click here.

Photo credit: Pinterest

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