Making a Difference

Yesterday I went into Chapters to purchase a couple books –more about that on next week’s IMM post- but I also “purchased” something else. Something even more important…

I donated money to Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation. As careful as I need to be with my money right now, I had to do something to share my love of books with others in a more profound way than just writing about them on my blog.  How can I do nothing to help others learn to love reading?

In Canada, schoolbooks are abysmal. Our textbooks were old and ratty, and the school libraries were never au currant with very little selection. Schools are underfunded and understaffed when I attended over ten years ago; I can hardly imagine what grade schools and high schools are like now.

I have only just discovered that annual funding provides as little as one-third of a book per child and most kids don’t own any books themselves. Is it any wonder that students are failing their literacy tests and forty-two percent of adults lack basic literacy skills?

My cousin, now in high school, hated reading and did everything she could to avoid picking up a book. I started loaning her my books, ones that were more recently published, and now I sometimes borrow books from her. It is not that students are not willing to try, it is that they have no incentive to. Just like my cousin, they just need to be given something they feel worth reading to awaken their imagination.

Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation selects an elementary school each year to receive funding for three years towards books and literacy programs. You can donate money, purchase LOR merchandise, and sign an online petition to the government to make literacy a priority in schools. Last year, 1.5 million dollars in grants were given to schools in need. In the six years this program has been running, 9 million dollars has been given.

LOR is also partnered with ECHOage, a North American charity-driven online birthday party service.  Guests of the party donate to ECHOage with half the money going to the charity and the other half goes to purchasing a gift the birthday kid wants most. One of the charities is, obviously, Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation and in the States there is the Reading is Fundamental organization.

 

My cashier asked if I was willing to round up my purchase to the nearest dollar to give to the LOR foundation. That is it, just eighty-six cents. Most people dislike having change in their pocket, so why not give it to a good cause? I did.

 

I recently saw on the Reads, Reviews, Recomends blog that two girls in Texas, Farrah and Britney, are trying to raise awareness and raise money to buy books for two hospitals. You could donate to them, or start your own campaign for your own local hospitals and charities.

Perhaps, getting children interested in reading again will prevent our local libraries from closing like is happening in England, and from other bookstores going bankrupt like Borders in the States. Can you imagine life without books? Because if we don’t do something about it, we may soon be living it.

Don’t just talking about it, do something to make a difference.

 

 

Previous Blog Posts: And So It BeginsTruth about Book Bloggers

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Books In My Mailbox (Feb-4)


This meme is hosted by The Story Siren

For the first time in, like, ever I got books in the mail! *happy dance* Okay, so technically it is only within the last six months, at this address, and not school textbooks that I bought via online but whatevs. Here is my first IMM post that has books actually in my mailbox :0)

29 by Adena Halpern – Won thanks to Chick Lit Central
Our Daily Bread by RBC Ministries

 

 

Previous IMM: Feb-1, Feb-2, Feb-3

Simple Smile Saturday! (Feb-2)

Thanks to Jen Armentrout and hannahelt, I came up with this meme. They claimed I get excited over the simplest things, so I decided that every Saturday I would post something “simple” that I get excited over just to prove that the smallest things really do make you smile :0)

Since I began my Valentine’s Day themed week last Saturday with my awesome heart socks, I will bring it to a close with…

My Valentine’s Day card!

Apparently my dad forgot to mail it on time, so I didn’t get it on Valentine’s Day. The mail system must be pretty good here, as I got the card on Tuesday.

If you can’t read it, it says “Happy Valentine’s Day to our Lovely Daughter. We hope you didn’t embarrass you too much when you were growing up… We meant to spread it out evenly over your entire life.”

In the pic you can sort of see a whole bunch of writing. This is because my mum usually buys me candy every year, but didn’t want to mail it so she sent me a couple bucks to go out and buy some.

What simple things made you smile today?

 

 

Previous Simple Smile: Heart Socks

Book Review: Into the Night by Kate Hoffmann

Valentine’s week is soon ending, so here is one more romance novel book review for your enjoyment.

Warning: May Contain Spoilers

Synopsis: Tess Robertson has been secretly seeing Jeffery Beales for over four years. After all, it wouldn’t do for everyone to know that the horse farm manager is dating the boss’s son.  Tess expects Jeffery to propose at his parents’ New Years Eve party, and she plans to accept… though she doesn’t love him.  On her way to the party, Tess gets stuck in an elevator with Derek Nolan who impulsively asks Tess to run away with him to the Caribbean for the weekend, no strings attached. Having been responsible her whole life, Tess accepts and finds herself having the time of her life. Tess knows what she has with Derek is too good to be true and can’t last in the “real world”… or can it?

Author: Kate Hoffmann is a Wisconsin girl who has been writing Harlequin novels for years. She has over sixty novels published, some of which are on my bookshelf. If you want to be tempted, pick up one of her profferings.

Character: I adore Derek and not just because he is rich, handsome, and willing to whisk a girl off to paradise on a whim. He follows his heart, doing whatever it takes to get to know the girl he’s interested in better. Yes, he wants to sleep with her –he’s a guy after all- but he’s willing to let her set the pace. When Tess isn’t ready for a relationship, he calls her once a week to stay in contact but give her the space she needs. He puts her first because he loves her *swoon*

Point of Interest: I noticed the majority of the book is carried by just the hero and heroine, with very little involvement by outsiders. Being a romance novel, this may not sound odd, but usually the main characters interact with friends and family often discussing or trying to avoid discussion about their love interest. In this novel, the minor characters pop in for about a page or two before disappearing for the majority of the book.

Unfulfilled Promise: Every book gives a promise to the reader and usually does the expected. I felt the novel did not uphold one “promise” that was implied, that of Derek’s ex-girlfriend/sister-in-law arriving on the island. If there is a phone call saying the ex is on her way, you at the very least expect something more to come of it, yet nothing happened. The ex did not show up and there was no mentioned of hearing that the ex did show up after the couple left the island.

Ponderings: I want to know if more books are planned following Derek’s family, as I have not seen any done previously. When you find out about them you think, there’s a story there! You want to know what is going to happen with Derek’s older brother who’s marriage is falling apart and the little sister who has no direction.

Quote: Just a few seconds later and they would have passed each other by, never knowing the other existed.

The Verdict: A hot read, not for the faint at heart…

What would you do if the person you had been dating and expected to marry announced their engagement at a party you were invited to? What would you say if a stranger asked you to run away with them to a tropical island?

 

 

Previous Vday Week Reviews: Sheer Delights, Diamond Mine, Heaven Scent

Book Review: Sheer Delights by Leslie Kelly

Warning: may contain spoilers

Synopsis: Meg thought she was modeling for a hair salon, but soon is told that it was actually a lingerie store. Meg investigates and when sees her schoolmarm self wearing barely there underwear, she starts crying in the store kiosk. Since buying a gift certificate at the boutique mall for a family member, Joe has been going back to the kiosks to look at the girl of his dreams and rushes to the rescue of the girl crying next to him… only to find out that his dreams have just come to life.

Author: Leslie Kelly is also one of Harlequin’s award winning authors. She not only writes witty romances, but also danger-ridden suspense novels under the pseudonym Leslie Parrish.

Character: Alfred Willis is a recurring minor role in the anthology Behind the Red Doors; he’s the awesome British butler we all wish we knew and would totally be slightly intimidated by. Mr Willis also channels a bit of The Princess Bride movie by always answering teasing comments with “As you wish”.

Romance: This story is more fairy tale-ish, a knight in a leather jacket slaying computer demons for a damsel in distress. He woos her courteously over a short time and wins her heart… and then totally blows it by not being truthful with her since the beginning. Not to worry, all fairy tales end with a happily ever after.

Subplot: Running through all three novellas that take place at The Red doors boutique mall, is the love story between store manager Dixie and her secret admirer. In this final book, we find out the admirer is just who we hoped.

Quote: Every guy ought to dig down and discover a little bit of romance in his soul for Valentine’s Day.

The Verdict: A wonderful conclusion to this lovely anthology.

How would you feel if your picture was used for something you found embarrassing? Is there ever a time you wish someone would have rescued you?

 

 

Previous Vday Week Reviews:  Diamond MineHeaven Scent

Book Review: Diamond Mine by Stephanie Bond

It’s the midway point of my week of romance themed novels! Here’s another novella in the anthology “Behind the Red Doors”.

Warning: May Contain Spoilers

Synopsis: Faith’s date was not only late, but when he finally shows up he didn’t even know it was Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, Faith kicked him to the kerb and vowed to have a better holiday the following year.  As a new jewllery store owner, Faith decides to display the legendary Valentino diamond which requires extra security… and is assigned none other than the man that got away: Lieutenant Carter Grayson.

Author: This southern girl never intended to be an author, but when an instructor commented on her flair for writing Stephanie decided to try her hand at a romance novel in her spare time. Her contemporary books range from sexy romance to mysteries.

Format: This novella is set up on a day-by-day basis. The prologue is Valentine’s Day the year prior and each subsequent chapter –starting on Februrary 1st– counts the days up to the following year’s big love-in.

Character: Faith is the sister of Dev in Vicki Lewis Thompson’s book story “Heaven Scent”.  She is just as rich and just as gorgeous, but actually looking for someone to spend her life with rather than running from it. Faith is what every single girl should be: confident, business savvy, and knows when to let go of a bad relationship.

Romance: This is a the-one-that-got-away story. Faith and Carter are perfect for each other, if only Carter wasn’t so afraid of a lasting relationship. Faith dumps Carter, but when they see each other a year later Carter lies to prove he is “commitment material” by claiming to have a girlfriend. Faith tries to be happy for his future engagement, but realizes she’s still in love with Carter. If it wasn’t for the fact that, as a reader, we know that Carter lied about practically being engaged, we’d hate them for having an affair behind Trudy’s back.

DiY: How to tell when a man isn’t ready for commitment? He is in his mid- to late-thirties and still rents a shabby apartment.  His coworkers laugh when at the thought of his ever owning a dog, let alone having a steady relationship.  He doesn’t wear a watch and is always late, if he shows up at all. He thinks a bulletproof vest is too confining even though he’s a cop. He can’t even remember Valentine’s Day, let alone birthdays.

Quote: What would you say about a man who stood you up on Valentine’s Day? That he had better be embalmed.

The Verdict: A must read sequel to Heaven Scent by Vicki Lewis Thompson.

What would you do if your date stood you up on Valentine’s Day?  How would you feel if you found out that the one-who-got-away was in a relationship with someone else?

 

 

Previous Vday Week Reviews:  Heaven Scent

Teaser Tuesday (Feb-2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading Share the title & author, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!

Jump Start by Lisa Renee Jones

But Mike, lovesick puppy that he was, had already opted out.

They did their jobs. They knew the risks and they took them seriously.


 

Previous Teasers: Feb-1