Bookish Giveaway!

Candle Giveaway

That’s right! I’m hosting a bookish candle giveaway to celebrate the holiday season! I have to reach 200 Instagram followers for the giveaway to occur, so make sure to follow me @victoria.loder to make sure the giveaway happens AND to be entered to win! (And yes, the giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!)

Comment below if you’re excited for this giveaway! I’d love to do more in future. 🙂


Book Love: Best Drink & Book Pairings

Some things just go so well together. Junk food and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Knitting while listening to podcasts. Tea and Downton Abbey. And there’s nothing better than curling up in a comfy spot with a good book and the perfect drink to go along with it.

Most people probably associate reading with warm drinks, but this list will include all sorts (though all the beverages will be virgin for our non-legal friends).

detectiveBook: The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thomson
Drink: Warm milk with honey
This is one of the main character’s, Jack’s, favourite drink and it constantly comes up throughout the book. It had me craving one even though I’m lactose intolerant. This book also takes place in the wintertime across a span of time where there is endless snow, and the thought of a warm drink was soothing in this otherwise edge-of-your-seat detective story.


saint anythingBook: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Drink: Orange Pop
Most people reference the food when talking about this book, but what goes better with pizza and French fries than a bottle of pop? Even though this book has darker themes, I do think orange pop is the best choice because it goes along with Layla’s bright personality so well. However, you could mix it up with Coke or Pepsi too. Anything fizzy works, in my opinion.


wishful drinkingBook: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Drink: Shirley Temple
Considering this book is about alcoholism and drug addiction, an innocent Shirley Temple is the perfect virgin drink that will still pack a punch. The fruity and sweet flavours will complement Fisher’s spunky and witty style and will help to lighten the mood during some of the darker aspects of the book.




all the rageBook: All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Drink: Coffee (black)
This drink was selected in consideration of the dark themes in this novel. I also think that Romy shows incredible maturity for her age, and I imagine that this would be her drink of choice a few years down the road.






bureauBook: The Bureau of Holiday Affairs by Andi Marquette
Drink: Cinnamon Spice Latte
This book was so fun and saucy that I thought a cinnamon spice latte would be the absolute match. Feminine yet strong in flavour, this drink is the ideal representation of the characters sprinkled throughout the novel.





call the midwife 1Book: Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
Drink: Tea with milk and sugar
This is a memoir written about the experiences of a midwife in the East End of London, England during the 1950s. OF COURSE tea is the perfect drink for it! The milk and sugar are important for making the drink sweet; the memoir has heavy moments but is overall incredibly warm and endearing.


the miniaturistBook: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Drink: Hot Chocolate
Nella, the main character of this novel, has a sweet tooth, and I just know that she would be caught sipping hot chocolate by the fire if given the chance. This book needed a warm drink because it, too, takes place in the wintertime, and the descriptions of the cold had me positively shivering. Hot chocolate would do all of its readers good!

December Book Haul

Boy, December kept me busy. On the plus side, I have a handful of new books that I’m looking forward to reading.

The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thomson
I’m so excited to read this one. I’ve been reading this group of books out of order but I wouldn’t call it a series necessarily, so things still make sense. I can’t wait to post a review of it for you guys in the coming month. I’m sure it will be glowing!






As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
I’m in the mid-beginning of this one, and while it started off promising, my interest in it is beginning to wan. Hopefully I’ll finish it up quickly though and be able to bring a review to you soon.







Stolen Remains by Christine Trent
stolen remains
It takes place in the Victorian era and is a mystery novel. What more do I need to say? This is also a part of a series but my bookstore had not had the first book in stock for over a month, so I just grabbed the second. It seems as if they work as stand-alones, so that’s good.





Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth
call the midwife
After reading the first in this series of memoirs (review here), I am so excited to dive into this next installment. I absolutely love Worth’s storytelling and I adore the show, so I know this book will just make me so happy.






Downton Abbey: A Celebration by Jessica Fellowes, foreword by Julian Fellowes
You guys, I am obsessed with this show, and so while I’m only finishing up season 4 as of today (no spoilers please!) I just had to have this book. I refuse to read it until I’m all caught up, as I don’t want to give anything away (though I already have trying to sneak a peek inside). Hence the fact that it is now sitting on my shelf where it will not be touched for the next little while.


I also received Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth, which I originally read as an eBook. I now have the physical copy which makes me very, very happy.

What books did you guys get over the holiday?

Happy reading!

Book Love: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Theme Party

December is all about the holidays. One of my favourite Christmas stories is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I’ve already watched the Disney animated adaptation twice, and plan on watching it many more times before the holidays are over. It’s inspired in me visions of the perfect Victorian Christmas tree. So for Dickens aficionados like me, today’s Book Love post is all about how to throw the perfect A Christmas Carol theme party, from the cutlery to the music, all the while hoping that the ghost of Jacob Marley doesn’t decide to crash-land in your dinner table.

1. Candles.
A Christmas Carol takes place in the Victorian time period, well before electric lighting. If you want your party to have the right mood, tone down the lighting with some romantic, non-scented candles (scented candles can be too overwhelming for some guests). These will really take you back in time and give the party a cozy feel.


2. Decorate your tree accordingly.
Back in the day, they didn’t have electric lights to string about their trees. They also didn’t have plastic figurines boasting #1 DAD hanging from their Christmas tree branches, either. For your party, put away the corny ornaments and go for a natural, simplistic look. Wooden or glass ornaments (or ones that look like them), ribbons, a string of popcorn, and pinecones are what you’ll want for this special night.
victorian tree


3. Centrepieces and other décor.
I love stuffing hurricane vases, and you can absolutely do that for this party, but if you want to really replicate the period, perhaps consider filling a bowl or wicker basket with oranges. Oranges were very popular during this period to give out at Christmas. If you want to tone down the orange scent, consider making packets of ginger, cinnamon, and allspice to set amongst the oranges in order to fill the air with holiday scents.


4. Music.
I would recommend finding a friend who can play the piano (or, even better, the harpsichord), but if your friends lack skills you can always find a CD or iTunes station that plays classic, instrumental Christmas carols. You’ll want to stick with the classics—it’s doubtful that Scrooge would be caught jamming to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.” To really get a feel for the times, consider gathering your guests in the living room after dinner for a round of caroling.


5. Cutlery and dishware.
A Christmas Carol takes place in the Victorian period. If you can find Victorian-style cutlery and dishware, that’s great, but your best bet is finding cutlery with rounded handles, usually carved, and simple china dishes. A little gold embellishment wouldn’t hurt, either.
victorian table


6. Food.
Turkeys were expensive back then, and if you relate more to Tim Cratchit than Ebenezer Scrooge, perhaps mixing things up a little by buying a Christmas goose. Try avoiding chocolate for desert and have a guest bring a fruitcake. Remember to give out oranges to the children, and roasting chestnuts or popcorn over the fire can be a fun and social activity.
christmas goose


I hope these tips have given you all some inspiration for your A Christmas Carol themed party. I want to emphasize lighting and scent as the main aspects that will really transport you and your guests back in time. A few other holiday tips: put a cap of vanilla extract in the oven at 350 degrees F for a few minutes to make your house smell like baked goods; if you don’t have a real tree, consider buying a candle or spray that smells like pine; avoid using the television for entertainment—break out a pack of cards or play some charades to get the party going instead.

Feel free to share your own tips and suggestions in the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

-Ember Book Reviews

Book Love: Holiday Gifts

As it is nearing the holiday season and many of you are probably panicking about what to buy your family and friends, here are some fabulous bookish gift ideas that are sure to please anyone you can think of. From the cheap and simple to the pricey but worth it, all of these items are thoughtfully made and wonderful to look at.

I’m going to start with the most expensive one first simply because when I saw it, I gasped it delight. Don’t tell me you didn’t do the same thing when you look below. (It’s a jewellery box!)
Shop: MyButterflySister
Price: $205.65 CAN
book box

I selected this item because I thought it was a really neat idea. The entire wreath is made of recycled books, and the colours make it the perfect home decoration year-round.
Shop: BookishCreation
Price: $47.98 CAN
book wreath

This gift would be for the legally-aged in your family or circle of friends, but I just think it’s so clever.
Shop: DrinkingBuddy
Price: $23.24 CAN
book drink

I couldn’t tell you what it smells like from the picture, but I think the whole design is simply gorgeous, don’t you? (Bonus: this candle is vegan.)
Shop: IntheWickofTime
Price: $20.56 CAN

This bracelet is lovely and quotes one of the best book series’ out there.
Shop: Scribbelicious
Price: $37.31 CAN
hp brace

These earrings are simplistic but would go with any outfit and are just perfect for your favourite bibliophile of any age.
Shop: JicsisJewellery
Price: $8.27 CAN
book ear

What were your favourites?

Book Love: Bookish Centrepieces

Having been with my partner for five and a half years, I have weddings on the brain. What does that mean? DĂ©cor, of course, and with the American Thanksgiving weekend upon us, I see no better way to celebrate than by showing you all the ways you can create a bookish centrepiece.

Here are some of my favourites for both weddings as well as holiday gatherings. I tried to find ones that could be adapted for all occasions, so explore and let me know which ones are your favourites in the comments below.

I love the rustic feel of this centrepiece. Plus, leather-bound books allow for almost any kind of colour scheme to go with your special event.
rustic book

Heading into winter and the Christmas season, this centrepiece has a gorgeous wintry feel and again, the colours would go well with absolutely anything.
wintry book

Here is a good example of how the colours of the book bindings can really inspire your overall colour scheme. Don’t the books just tie everything together?
blue book
[Pratham Books]

This is a unique take on the bookish centrepiece theme. I may have gone with a slightly more attractive setup, but the general idea—especially the cut-out pages pasted to the mason jars and illuminated from within by gentle candlelight—is a wonderfully creative starting point.
glass book
[Pointless Pretty Things]

Have you ever done a bookish centrepiece?

Ben & Jerry’s Book Tag

ice cream

Hey everybody! Last week I was tagged by Mosquiteo to do the “My Life in Books Tag” but I found that I had already answered those questions under a different tag name. So instead I will be doing the Ben & Jerry’s Book Tag.

1. Vanilla Caramel Fudge: Pick a light, fluffy contemporary.
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill was an easy read and incredibly enjoyable.

meant to bevanilla caramel fudge

2. Mint Chocolate Cookie: A new release that you wish everybody would read.
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman is fairly new (review here). I was lucky enough to read the ARC in the summertime and absolutely adored the complexity of the interwoven fictional and factual plot lines.
legacy of kingsmint choco cookie

3. Karamel Sutra Core: A final book in a series that you were completely satisfied with.
Is it terribly cliché of me to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling?
hp deathlykaramel

4. Cherry Garcia: An ending that was bittersweet.
Definitely Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson (review to come). Not everything wrapped up in the way I would have wanted, but I was still strangely satisfied with the storyline in the end.
of things gone astraycherry garcia

5. Strawberry Shortcake: A book containing your OTP of OTPs.
I don’t want to include any spoilers, but I will just say The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (review here).
the shadow cabinetstrawberry

6. Milk and Cookies: The ideal author collaboration.
A really unique and interesting one for me would be Jennifer Worth (who wrote the Call the Midwife memoirs) and Janina Matthewson. Unfortunately Jennifer Worth has passed away, but it would have been really interesting to say the stories that would unfold from these two.
call the midwife 1of things gone astraymilk and cookies

7. Boston Cream Pie: A book that had you turning the pages late into the night.
Definitely The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (review here). I still miss reading that book.
the goblin emperorboston cream pie

8. Chocolate Therapy: A book that makes you feel better after a long day.
Once again, Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth (review here). My boyfriend caught me reading it with a huge grin plastered on my face at least twice a day and didn’t understand how a single book could make me so blissfully happy.
call the midwife 1choco ther

9. Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz!: A book not yet released that you can’t wait to get your hands on.
I will have to go with Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan for two reasons: 1. She is an excellent storyteller and 2. I hear it’s a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, and I am interested to see what she does with it.
tell the windcoffee coffee

I tag:


Books and Lesser Evils


And P.S.: I’m lactose intolerant.


-Ember Book Reviews