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Wrapping Up Summer 2011

September 2, 2011

Welcome to Vancouver. These are your dinner choices.

Well, that was a busy summer.

Okay, so June and July were basically business as usual, even weather-wise. But August nearly knocked the wind out of me. In a good way. When you live in a place where the rain dries up and you get continuous sunshine for one month only, let me tell you, you’re going to want to take advantage of that month. I filled my August evenings with fireworks at the beach, outdoor theatre, outdoor movies, a harbour cruise, fish & chips next to the ocean, and a picnic next to the river. Plus, the husband had the month off from his masters studies (which he’s doing part time on top of working full time), so we packed as much family and friends time in as we could. Which meant late nights playing boardgames and eating fresh blueberry turnovers with the brothers-in-law. Actually, I think that only happened once.

Pinwheels + Balloons = Summer Wedding

On top of that, my mom and I helped a lovely couple (and good friends) plan their wedding, as well as act as day-of point people. Well, days-of, as it was a two day affair. It was exhausting but also so much fun. Thankfully we had beautiful weather that weekend and wonderful helpers, which made for a little less stress and many more laughs.

But never fear, even though I wasn’t active on the blog, August wasn’t a bookish-free month! The first bookish highlight was that after 28 days I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell! Anyone who has attempted to read it will understand what an accomplishment that is. When I finished it, instead of jumping for joy, I just sat, dazed, going “I finished it. I really actually finished it.” I’m still not entirely sure if I liked it or if I’m just proud of myself for not giving up. I think I liked it. I’ll have to get back to you on that.


Second bookish highlight was that after being inspired by Eva’s blogging desk, I decided I needed my own blogging space, too. Enough of balancing my laptop on the couch. I wanted a separate area where I could sit and blog and comment. After a bit of rearranging and a little trip to Ikea (after trying a bunch of second hand stores that all decided to be closed that day), my blogging space became a reality! Now that the summer’s over, I might actually have time to use it :)

Last, but definitely not least, my third bookish highlight of August was the inaugural meeting of the 4everYA book club! Started by the ladies at, the idea is that groups meet every month, all over the world, to sip cocktails (or coffee) and discuss the same book. I love the whole concept so much. Our local chapter met near the beginning of August, with just 3 of us, but it was so much fun to chat about books while munching on popcorn with bacon. Guys, this is the first ever book club I’ve been in and it was so awesome to be able to say “I’m reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” and, instead of that being met with blank stares, having the other people say “I tried to read that! It’s ginormous!” I just finished our September book and cannot wait to get together with these ladies again to gush all over it. The September dates for all the groups have just been posted and you should definitely check to see if there’s on in your city.

Now let’s get to what I read over the summer, because I did read more than just Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (did I mention that I actually finished it?). Although I haven’t done a monthly round up since March (!!), I’m just going to skip back to June for this round up.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffen
[Yup, just one. Sad, I know. I’m not sure what happened here.]

Ruffles On My Longjohns by Isabel Edwards
Wedding Season by Katie Fforde
Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Now I’m working on getting some reviews up so my blog won’t be such a wasteland anymore.

What have you been up to the last few months? What was your favourite book of the summer?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2011 3:35 pm

    oh jeez fave book of the summer? I got too many! right now The Goddess Test just toppled everything else.

    I kinda have my own blogging space but it’s rather uncomfortable. I’m going to have to change it. Congrats on reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell!! I have it, haven’t started yet ;)

    • September 5, 2011 4:16 pm

      A comfortable blogging space is a must! Glad to hear you liked The Goddess Test.

  2. September 2, 2011 3:40 pm

    Sounds like you had fun! I’m jealous of your board game nights: I always find it difficult to find a fourth player, lol. I loved JS & Mr N and am actually planning on rereading it next month, but I think if I were ambivlent about it it would have been an uphill struggle. So go you! ;) (Also, I’m happy to have inspired you: I hope you enjoy your desk as much as I do mine. :D)

    • September 5, 2011 4:18 pm

      With 4 brothers-in-law and on father-in-law who love boardgames, our problem is that there are usually too many people! But hubby & I have also stocked up on boardgames that can be played with at least 2 people, so we can play just the two of us. Yup, that’s how we spend our Friday nights…. ;)

  3. September 2, 2011 5:22 pm

    I’m glad you found a book club! There isn’t a 4everYA club in my area, but I did start my own book club a while ago with some former library colleagues, and that’s a ton of fun. I don’t think I had a favorite book of the summer, but I did just finish Witches of East End which was very good. Have a great weekend!

    • September 5, 2011 4:20 pm

      Finding this book club is a dream come true. I tried to start one earlier this year with some friends, but it just didn’t work out. So I was more than a little excited when the 4everYA one worked out.

  4. September 2, 2011 6:24 pm

    Wow. I’m jealous. Your summer sounds awesome.

    • September 5, 2011 4:22 pm

      Thanks! Those activities were mostly crammed into 3 weeks, which was a little overwhelming. But it was a very fun August!

  5. September 2, 2011 7:08 pm

    i’m so jealous of your august! it sounds like you had an amazing time!! fireworks on the beach? geez what is the weather like over there? we’ve had a burn ban in texas not to mention water restriction (please send your rain this way) and an endless amount of days of weather above 100 degrees. Oh wait, it was a bit cooler today at only 95 degrees. :p absolutely green with envy over the weather ya’ll are having.

    • September 5, 2011 4:29 pm

      We had a really cool summer and didn’t have any kind of dry spell until August. Still we only had a couple days were it got close to 30 C (85 F, I think?). Definitely not anywhere close to needing a burn ban!

  6. September 2, 2011 8:34 pm

    love your new space–perfect for blogging. :) my summer seemed to zip past without letting me know. i’m on the cusp of a new school year and have nothing much to show for my summer. survived my first earthquake, lived (and stayed dry) through a hurricane, and managed to turn 37 (GASP!!!) without fainting from the shock of it. glad you had nice weather and a productive august! xo

    • September 5, 2011 4:31 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad I finally have some time to use the space. Sounds like you still had an eventful summer!

  7. September 3, 2011 8:35 am

    Sounds like you have been plenty busy. And congrats on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. My favorite book of the summer was probably Everything Beautiful Began After, which I see you also read. Or maybe Vaclav and Lena. I read a lot of good books this summer actually.

    Also, I just checked and there is a Forever YA book club near me! I will definitely be looking into that.

    • September 5, 2011 4:36 pm

      Everything Beautiful Began After was a pretty fantastic book. Although I may have trouble putting into words just how fantastic it was.

      I hope you’re able to meet up with your local 4everYA book club! If you do, let me know how it goes.

  8. September 3, 2011 10:40 am

    Congrats on Jonathan Strange! That thing is monster, which is why I haven’t reread it yet despite really wanting to.

    My favorite book of the summer is probably…The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong? Followed closely by Feed by Mira Grant, Bliss by Lauren Myracle and Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder.

    • September 5, 2011 4:37 pm

      It really is a monster. I’ve heard so many great things about Feed – I should really get around to reading it!

  9. September 3, 2011 5:12 pm

    Oh it looks like you had an amazing summer! I barely got to the beach this year sadly, but at least I achieved lots of reading. My favorite? I think Aftertime, by Sophie Littlefield.

    • September 5, 2011 4:39 pm

      I think that the fireworks day was the only time I got to the beach this year, but I’m thankful I made it there at least once. Aftertime sounds really intense!

  10. justbookreading permalink
    September 4, 2011 8:38 am

    Enjoy your desk. Looks like a great place for writing. Yea for finishing Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell! It’s a beast of a book.

  11. September 5, 2011 2:59 pm

    I’ve been MIA for the past month, so I’m happy to see this recap here! Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell has been on my shelf and my TBR for years. Glad to hear you made it through — that gives me hope! I hadn’t heard about the 4everYA book club, but I will definitely check it out. As for me, I spent last month in India visiting my husband’s family and the two months before that taking a pair of intense summer classes. As for favorite books of the summer, I’m going to have to say Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell in print and His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik on audio!

    • September 5, 2011 4:44 pm

      Wow, a month in India would be amazing! I just saw that you wrote a bit about it on your blog – off to check it out in a minute!

      Definitely check out the 4everYA book clubs! Hopefully there’s one near you.


  1. Wrapping Up September 2011 « alita.reads.

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