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Showing posts from 2018

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente

The title of Fred Van Lente's book is brilliant, to say the least. It's a novel about a comic book artist, in particular Comic Con artist, who spends his days with no fixed address, going from one comic book convention to the next giving talks and signing books. 

Mike Miller gave up his house three years ago, and now lives entirely at cons. They fly him out, put him at hotels, and he spends time at the cons drawing sketches at the Artists' Alley table. 

This time however, Mike Miller's arrival at San Diego Comic-Con there's an incredibly high honour entrusted to him. Mike is to present a lifetime achievement award to Benjamin Kurtz, the creator of Mister Mystery, who also happens to be his oldest friend and mentor in the business. 

But, things don't pan out quite as he planned. He finds out on his cab ride to the hotel (on Twitter none the less), that Ben has passed away. 

Devastated and in shock, Mike is having a hard time processing this information. Then to top …

How Business Works - THE FACTS visually explained

Business schools in general, and the MBA degree in particular, have been maligned of late: everything from the corporate malfeasance after the dot com crash as seen in cases like Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski to the collapse of the global financial system in 2008-09 has made a case for critics to argue that Business schools were culpable

Reality, as always, is a bit more messy and complex than a visceral critique would lead you to believe. As an ex-MBA, I can say without hesitation that DK's How Business Works - The Facts Visually Explained would have helped me greatly while I was in biz school and it remains relevant today, for those of us navigating the real world.

The fact is that every graduating MBA leaves with a bunch of frameworks in their head. These frameworks are, more often than not, strategic templates with which to view business environments and the challenges that lie confront leaders of enterprises. 

But what if you --as the leader-- have to scratch below the surface b…

8 of my favourite book gifts for Mum

As a preface to Mother's Day, we will be scrambling to articulate the meaning of motherhood and the importance of our mom's in our lives, as well as express the appreciation we have for them. 

For 2018, here are some suggestions from your's truly that attempt to show who they are, what they mean, and things they might like. Enjoy! 😊

200 things I LOVE about MOM
by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar
Published by Chronicle Books

You've seen me tweeting about this a lot on Instagram (@sukasastyle and @shilpartistry) since the beginning of May, so you know I'm obsessed about this series of books. But because it is May, the 200 Things I Love About Mom holds a special place in my heart, since it reminds me of all the lovely things I do with mom and that she does for mom hugs, a shopping spree, and making a phone call to mom...just because. The illustrations are so simple, but cute and tug at your heartstrings. 💖

Published by DK Books

I rec…

Big Island, Small by Maureen St. Clair

Big Island, Small by Maureen St. Clair, plays out in real time, a slow awakening of the soul. A friendship blossoming. A passage of time. Life isn't as it happens.

The format of the book is unique. Written almost as a journal, a daily account of the day, of feelings, of how the situation is viewed by the two main characters of the novel. Two sides of the story, alternating chapter by chapter, are told from the perspective of each girl. This is a format that would backfire greatly if each of the characters weren't as properly developed, or if the narrative itself wasn't as interesting. (Think about reading somebody's can be incredibly mundane, or revelatory.)

The story revolves around two girls bound by a common thread. They both come from a Small Island (at different times in their lives) and have now made Big Island their home, where the promise of a better future lures folks from shores of Small Island. Think of it as the big city life vs. growing up in a ru…

Take a walk on the wild side

Open up a big world of discovery

From the colourful chameleon, to the king of the jungle, The Incredible Fold-Our Book of Animals will delight and educate readers of all ages. 

This interactive lift-the-flap book published by DK Books is giant-sized, which adds to the enjoyment of reading. 

Kids can get up close and person to each animal. The photography is stunning. The facts are simple to grasp and visually entertaining. Did you know for example, that toucans are some of the loudest and most colourful birds in the rain forest? Their brightly coloured beaks are massive – almost as long as their bodies. It also has a very long, thin tongue to help in tasting, but also to catch food. 

This is not a just a book kids will flip and toss aside. It's one they will interact with, marvel at the brilliant photography, spark their curiosity, and create a sense of wonder and mystery for nature.

Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who loves to tap into the intersection of both her righ…

Stories should end any way you please

Whilst leaving footpaths should never be done,
Straying from stories is all sorts of fun.

It's the same old wolf.
It's the same little girl...although she's on her way to the library (no surprise there from the title). 

The wolf is very persuasive, trying to lure her away from the safe path. Will Little Red Reading Hood take the bait? Think you know the ending. Think again.

Little Red Reading Hood is an inspiring take on a classic fairy tale. There's more to this story. And, there's also more to the little girl. (Talk about great character development by author Lucy Rowland.) So Little Red Reading Hood loves to read books. It's one of a favourite activities (yes, bookworms can relate).
She reads in the bathroom, in the porch, and even late at night by the light of a torch. Now this is a heroine we could definitely get used to. 

The story celebrates the true creative spirit. Why accept things the way they are? If you don't like something, change it. 
You don't l…

Vi a novel by Kim Thúy

Referred to as one of the most interesting new voices in Canadian literature by CBC Books, Kim Thúy really needs no introduction to avid followers of CanLit. Book bloggers have release dates blocked out in their calendar when there's a new book announcement. 

Her previous two novels were huge successes. Ru was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Mãn was a poetic masterpiece reviewed on SukasaReads. 

In Mãn, Kim Thùy creates a poetic masterpiece. Words and sentences caress the page as does paint a canvas; such is the dedication to the craft by an artist. ~ Shilpa Raikar Kim Thúy brings that same love of the craft to Vi. Every sentence has a purpose. Every book has a message. Kim Thúy moves you with her powerful words that have been precisely translated by Sheila Fischman. 

The novel speaks to the struggles of the Vietnamese refugees as they try to not only adapt into the new world they are immersed in, but also to reinvent themselves in their new surroundings. It's a stru…

Vacation by Blexbolex

A picture says a thousand words. But what does a book full of pictures say? 

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Beachy Hill. A beautiful, yet haunting locale, that would be the centre of a murder investigation. It's the place where copycat suicides occurred, almost a year apart. A husband, and a wife. But were they really suicides? Or murders? 

That is what Detective Murray is investigating. The couple's daughter, Anna Johnson, has pleaded with him to reopen the case. It's a tall order, especially since it seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide. Other detectives would scoff at this, but Murray has always subscribed to a different set of rules. His motivation was people, not crimes. Victims, witnesses, and even offenders fascinated him. He was compelled to investigate the mysteries of their lives. 

Anna Johnson, is feeling extremely vulnerable. In a year, she has lost both her parents and had a baby. Anonymous notes and threats force her into a state of confusion. She's had a hard time accepting that her parents committed suicide. Her dad who had no previous history of mental …

The Steves by Morag Hood

Competition can be healthy (and fun). And, when it's two puffins competing, the entertainment level is off the charts. Especially when Morag Hood does the writing.

She's the creative genius who wrote about an unlikely friendship between vegetables - Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea

There's a playfulness to her writing and the illustrations are adorable. She knows just how to appeal to kids (and adults alike).

In her new book, The Steves, she once again brings the same level of humour and engagement. Two puffins, both called Steve, compete to be "Number One". 

When Steve first meets Steve, he's flabbergasted. How can there be two Steves? One must surely be the first Steve, they reckon, or perhaps the best Steve. Or perhaps the fastest, or the strongest. Or, the wiser, or the taller. 

What ensues is a competition. Which Steve can catch the most fish? Which one is the strongest?

Not long after the competition takes a dark turn. They start insulting one another. Steve s…

How Money Works - THE FACTS visually explained

I have to admit to an eccentricity; I'm one of those people fascinated by how things work in reality rather than how they work in theory, and at the top of my list of fascinations is money. 
It isn't enough for me to have studied about the financial system in graduate business school, or read papers in journals related to financial markets -- because, by and large many of the abstractions in these papers and texts are wrong. 

But I'm a geek in this regard; I'll happily pore over text like Godley and Lavoie's Monetary Economics, or Stigum's Money Markets, but what about the rest of the population that isn't (thankfully) as eccentric like yours truly, but just wants to be better informed? This is where DK's How Money Works comes in. 

DK takes a page out of Simon Mitton's advice to the late, great Stephen Hawking, prior to his preparation of A Brief History of Time, by eschewing equations in the exposition of some complicated material, In Hawking's ca…