• Books

    Gilmore Girls: The Reading List

    gilmore_girls_netflix_posterIt’s unimaginable to think that it has been 16 years since we first fell in love with this TV mother/daughter coffee addict duo. 16 years! Needless to say when Netflix announced the revival of Gilmore Girls, the fans rejoiced. What will these two ladies be up to in this new mini-series?

    I’m personally excited to see which books we will see Rory read. Throughout the 7 seasons of the original show, she read…a lot. I was able to find her complete reading list. Brace yourselves! It’s a long one. I can already cross off a few but I still have a long way to go to complete this reading challenge.

    How about you? How many of the following books have you read?

    Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Netflix on Friday, November 25, 2016…wait…IT’S TODAY!

    *xXx*

    1. 1984 by George Orwell
    2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
    5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
    7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
    10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
    11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
    14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
    15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
    17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
    18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
    19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
    22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
    23. The Bhagava Gita
    24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
    25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
    26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
    27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
    29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
    30. Candide by Voltaire
    31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
    32. Carrie by Stephen King
    33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
    36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
    37. Christine by Stephen King
    38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
    41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
    42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
    43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
    44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
    45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
    46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
    49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
    51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
    52. Cujo by Stephen King
    53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
    55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
    56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
    58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
    59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    61. Deenie by Judy Blume
    62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
    63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
    64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
    65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
    66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
    67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
    68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
    70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
    71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
    72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
    73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
    74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
    75. Emma by Jane Austen
    76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
    77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
    78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
    79. Ethics by Spinoza
    80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
    81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
    82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
    83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
    84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
    86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
    87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
    88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
    89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
    90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
    91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
    92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
    93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
    94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
    96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
    99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
    100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
    101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
    102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
    103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
    104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
    105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
    106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
    107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
    109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
    111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
    112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
    113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
    117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
    119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
    120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
    123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
    124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
    125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
    126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
    127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
    128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
    129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
    130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
    131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
    132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
    133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
    134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
    135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
    136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
    137. The Iliad by Homer
    138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
    139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    140. Inferno by Dante
    141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
    142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
    143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
    144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
    146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
    147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
    148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
    150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
    151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
    152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
    154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
    155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
    157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
    158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
    159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
    160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
    162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
    163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
    164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
    166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
    168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
    170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
    171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
    173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
    174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
    175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
    176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
    177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
    178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
    179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
    180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
    181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
    182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
    184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
    185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
    186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
    187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
    188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
    189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
    190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
    191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
    193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
    194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
    195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
    196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
    197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
    199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
    200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
    202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
    203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
    204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
    205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
    206. Night by Elie Wiesel
    207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
    209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
    210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
    211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
    213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
    217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
    218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
    219. Othello by Shakespeare
    220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
    221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
    222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
    223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
    224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
    225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
    226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
    228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
    230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
    231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
    232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
    233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
    234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
    235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
    236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    237. Property by Valerie Martin
    238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
    239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
    240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
    241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
    242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
    243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
    244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
    245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
    246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
    248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
    249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
    250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
    251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
    252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
    253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
    254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
    255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
    257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
    258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
    259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
    260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
    261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
    262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
    263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
    264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
    265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
    267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
    268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
    269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
    270. Selected Hotels of Europe
    271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
    272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
    275. Sexus by Henry Miller
    276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
    278. The Shining by Stephen King
    279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
    280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
    281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
    283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
    284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
    285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
    286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
    287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
    288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
    289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
    290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
    291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
    293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
    295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
    296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
    297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
    298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
    299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
    301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
    302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
    303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
    306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
    307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
    309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
    311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
    313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
    314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
    315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
    316. Ulysses by James Joyce
    317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
    318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    319. Unless by Carol Shields
    320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
    321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
    322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
    323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
    324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
    325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
    326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
    328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
    330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
    331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
    332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
    333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
    334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
    335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
    336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
    337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
    339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

    Source: http://goingdownswinging.org.au/category/the-rory-gilmore-reading-challenge/

  • Books

    Kindle Oasis: A Review

    Kindle Oasis“Welcome to the 21st century!” That’s how everyone responded when I told them I finally decided to get myself a Kindle Oasis. I think I resisted the idea of an e-reader for as long as I could because I just love the feeling of holding a book in my hands, the texture of its cover underneath my finger tips and the smell of the pages that swallow you whole in an unexpected and unforgettable journey. I felt like I would be betraying my love for hard copies if I went electronic.

    So why the sudden change of heart? Why opt for an impersonal piece of technology instead? Aside from the lack of shelf space as I acquire more books day by day, I scream in terror (internally) when the corner of a book gets folded accidentally in my handbag or gets wet by sudden rain. An e-reader would solve most of my problems.

    The Good

    – It can contain thousands of books without taking more than 5.6″ x 4.8″ x 0.13-0.33″ of space.
    – It easily fits in a purse.
    – It weighs practically nothing at 131 g. Sure I can read on the Kindle app on my iPhone but it’s too small.
    – Its light weight makes it comfortable to hold with one hand and to read for a longer period of time without a tired wrist.
    – Definitions can be easily looked up when connected to Wi-Fi.
    – E-books can be purchased instantly at a lower price compared to hard copies.
    – It syncs with all devices with the Kindle app.
    – Long battery life.
    – Turning pages is made easy at a click of a button or gentle touch on the screen.
    – NO MORE DAMAGED BOOKS! (Though scratches on the device can equally make me cringe.)

    The Bad

    – Monochrome. The artwork of the book covers can only be enjoyed in black and white on Kindle devices unlike its app for smartphones, tablets and PC/Mac.
    – The highlighting feature is not as precise as on a smartphone or tablet.
    – There is a small delay when the screen “wakes up.”

    New Love?

    After a month of reading on my Kindle Oasis everyday, I can positively say that I do not regret this investment. I still struggle when trying to highlight certain passages; either I’m unable to select all the text I want or too much is selected. However, it doesn’t ruin my whole experience. It’s so much more practical to carry it around. It’s light and doesn’t take too much space in my handbag. Sometimes, I even forget that I have it with me. On top of everything great about this gadget, the Kindle Oasis in particular comes with a charging cover which makes the battery life last even longer.

    So far, I reserve e-book reading time when I’m not home and the good ol’ hard copy for before bedtime. I will still buy hard copies but only when they are worth it. That way, I won’t look too much like a book hoarder with piles of books everywhere. :P

    Do you prefer reading a physical book or did e-readers steal your heart?

  • Books,  Tech

    RECO, Indigo’s New Recommendation App

    Indigo, the largest bookstore chain in Canada, launched a recommendation app last week called RECO. Similar to the beloved Goodreads, this new app allows its users to “share, discover, capture and discuss the books you love with friends and trusted experts.” Is it an app worth downloading to your smartphone?

    Since Indigo is my favourite book retailer and I love everything that they do, I obviously had to try RECO. After only a week of playing with it, I think I’ve made up my mind whether it’s an app I’ll be keeping on my phone or not.

    The Good

    First of all, the app looks great. It’s clean and simple. The white background helps highlight the content superbly. The images used are large and of excellent quality. The size of the font and spacing between each line that is slightly wider than in most apps make it easier on the eyes. I really appreciate the amount of white space between the different elements.

    A feature that I think is great to have in an app like this one is the “Buy” button. When viewing books, you can simply click on the button at the top and the app will redirect you to Indigo’s webpage to purchase it. There is also a barcode scanner to make searches a lot simpler whether you want to add a book to your reading list or to view it in the app.

    You can easily browse the different book categories and genres. When signing up, you are able to personalize your profile as a reader by selecting different criteria according to your personal interests like Fiction, 19th century British Literature, French Cuisine, etc. The app will then be able to suggest you books in line with what you like. I think it’s an essential feature to have with an app aimed at book lovers.

    The Bad

    Since RECO has been available only for a little over a week, there are not a lot of users to connect with. The app also gives you the option to follow public figures and publishers. Again because the app is so new, there are only a few interesting people to follow.

    Compared to Goodreads where it contains a great amount of reviews from other readers, RECO doesn’t seem to have that many. Different editions of the same book are not consolidated and each contains its own reviews. In addition, the app has its own rating system from 0 to 100. I’m not sure how that is determined though the higher the RECO rating, the better the book.

    Worth It?

    I think it’s a great looking app and I absolutely love that it included the “Buy” button. My only suggestion is to make it possible to pair RECO with Indigo’s actual store app. It would be a lot simpler for current online customers to buy their books directly from the Indigo app rather than being redirected to the website and having to enter their credentials from the small screen of their mobile phone.

    As improvement, the book reviews from different editions should be consolidated into one single place, it will be a lot more efficient for readers to get all the different opinions they need before buying the book.

    I think RECO is a good addition to have on any bibliophile’s smartphone if you want to connect with others. It’s more of a social app to share your reading list and have discussions about books. I will still predominantly use Goodreads as a reference tool simply because of the extensive amount of reviews. It helps me decide to buy or not to buy a book.

    It’s currently available on the AppStore if you want to give it a try. For Android devices, the app will be available later this year.

    Make sure to share your experience with the app below in the comment section. Let me know what you liked or didn’t like.

  • Health&Beauty

    Frank Body, a Coffee-based Skincare Review

    Warning: May contain nuts! Really!

    Sweet Cheeks Bundle“Coffee-based skincare that rubs you the right way.” – Frank Body

    If that doesn’t catch your attention, try navigating Frank Body’s website or swipe through their pictures on Instagram!

    In early May, I had written about my impression of my first Frank Body order (click here to read the unboxing). I was convinced by my friend S to give this Australian beauty brand a try because the cold weather in Montreal had left my skin unpleasantly dry. Normally, this type of topic doesn’t quite belong on my blog but since the complete product line is coffee-based, I made it an acceptable exception. It IS coffee after all.

    Before beginning my new beauty regiment trial, I had one concern: will these products have an overpowering artificial coffee scent? Pleasantly, Frank Body was “brewed” just right. So far, so good!

    The Grind High Club

    The Grind High ClubCurrently sold out, this special and limited edition bundle of four coffee scrubs is ideal for those that want to try the different scents before ordering the full-size: peppermint, coconut, cacao and original. These minis are also perfect to carry on vacation or perhaps to a sleep over ;) The coffee grounds are packaged in re-sealable paper packets with a waterproof lining that allows you to leave them in the shower without any worries. Though they are meant for single uses, I was able to stretch it out to 3 to 4 uses per packet.

    I saw a difference in the texture of my skin immediately. My body was smooth, every inches from my heels to my elbows. I thought to myself “Good heavens! Even my homemade olive oil and brown sugar scrub never left me this soft.” Not to sound completely perverted but I couldn’t stop caressing my…skin.

    At the end, it all came down to personal preferences with how the coffee scrubs smelled like. Even though all four technically have different properties y favourite would be either the original coffee scrub or the peppermint one. The smell of the latter wasn’t as imposing as I thought it would be (which was perfect) and I prefer the coffee freshness over the sweetness of the cacao or coconut.

    S had warned me about the mess after a good scrub. Luckily, everything washes away very well and doesn’t leave the bath tub greasy and slippery.

    Sweet Cheeks Bundle

    This face-bundle definitely deserves its name. Aside from leaving my face at its softest (ever), the gentle smell of the ingredients used in the Creamy Face Scrub, Creamy Face Cleanser and Everyday Moisturizer simply feel refreshing and natural. I’ve been looking forward to cleaning my face at the end of each day because of this and also every morning before starting my day.

    The pump used for the Creamy Face Cleanser dispenses a very small amount of product at a time. I used 3 to 4 pumps the first few times but a single pump is actually enough. This “portion” control is great since I tend to use too much product at a time. However, you may need to repeat a few times if you have makeup on.

    The Creamy Face Scrub felt a bit rough and grainy at first but the more I used it, the more I loved it. Not only did it leave my skin so soft, the smell is delicious. When I use it first thing in the morning, it helps me wake up before my cup of joe. Of course, I only used it every 2-3 days since too much scrubbing can damage your skin.

    Last but not least, the Everyday Moisturizer is the treat that completes the softer skin routine. After a good cleansing and/or exfoliating, I only use a small amount to hydrate my skin. Since it does not contain any SPF, I apply the moisturizer at night only or when I lock myself indoors with a book.

    Brew Me Some More

    Aside from the coffee scrubs in cacao and coconut smelling too sweet to my liking and the Everyday Moisturizer not containing any SPF for daytime application, I absolutely love every products I ordered. I’m already eager to place my second order to try the rest of Frank Body’s products.

    I was already sold on the packaging because it is absolutely adorable. But there’s more to a product than its packaging, right? After using everything for close to two months, I was beginning to think whether my addiction to coffee drinking had anything to do with my love for everything Frank Body at the moment. Coffee-based, vegan, cruelty-free and good for your skin…How can anyone not love this brand? #letsbefrank

  • F&B

    My Little Cup

    My Little CupI haven’t had the chance to visit any new coffee spots lately. However, there is one in particular that I walk by every morning on my way to work that caught my attention ever since the renovations began for its new installation. My Little Cup opened some time around January or early February of this year. It didn’t take long before professionals working in the area would line up every day for an espresso and some freshly baked goods. Why did it take me 4 months to finally give it a try?

    I was early for work last week which is something very rare for me (ah, maybe that’s why it took 4 months). There were only two people standing at the counter so I thought: “Here’s my chance to finally try their coffee! I won’t have to wait too long.” I was right. It took less than 5 minutes for the barista to finish the two orders before making my cappuccino. During that time, at least four other people walked up to the counter for their morning coffee.

    The man who took my order, whom I suspect is the owner of My Little Cup, was simply pleasant at such an early time. He greeted with a smile and was very polite. There are places that I’ve been to where the employees were just lazy-looking. This team is definitely not like that. You can feel the positive energy flowing behind the espresso machine.

    When it comes to the location, I think it’s ideal mostly for people that take public transit and those that work in the area. It’s located in the underground tunnel of the McGill subway station which is the main one to downtown. There is another successful coffee counter with a similar concept called Tunnel Espresso Bar not too far away. What differentiate My Little Cup from that place is that it has better visibility, it’s more spacious behind the counter and around it, it’s better equipped and it simply has more to offer to its clientele when it comes to drinks and food. In addition, the owner decided to open his business next door to a Second Cup. It’s a brave move but also, very smart.

    My Little Cup - OrderI ordered a cappuccino and an almond croissant which came up to $7 or $8. Considering the size of the coffee, you may think it’s expensive compared to a similar order at a Second Cup or a Starbucks. However, you wouldn’t have gotten the same flavourful taste. Nobody should have to drink watered-down coffee and that’s one of the problems with big chain coffee shops. The quality is just not there most of the time As for the almond croissant, it was delicious and too much for me to handle. I was only able to eat half of it and saved the other half as a snack for my night class.

    I’m happy to say that I have found my new favourite place to have coffee. I would have loved for My Little Cup to have the same setup as the original one in Belgium, an actual coffee shop where people can sit and read a book or do some work. Perhaps with time, Montrealers will be blessed with such a place.

    My Little Cup
    2055 Robert-Bourassa Blvd.
    Montreal, QC  H3A 3H9
    Website