Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Flight Path by Paul Grescoe

Flight Path: How WestJet Is Flying High in Canada's Most Turbulent IndustryFlight Path: How WestJet Is Flying High in Canada's Most Turbulent Industry by Paul Grescoe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Figured my last book of the year had to be about the company that I was just hired for and start working for them in the new year. Fascinating story and obviously well researched. I did find reading it at times to be a bit of a challenge as it jumps around a bit and some of the writing is stilted. That being said it did make me feel inspired to start working for them. They seem to be a company that truly understands that to make a company successful and make your customers happy, you hire the right people and you stand behind them and treat them well. Author does a great job at explaining PACT and how it was a fabulous solution about the problems of Unions (FYI I am a huge oppressor to Unions after having to work in a Union environment for 9 years) Unions do nothing really to help out employees and it often leads to only employees doing the bare minimum instead of inspiring them to be the best they can be. Also impressed with what the company does to help those who are scared of flying. Good background information on an inspired company.

"If you look after the employees, your guests are looked after, and if you look after your guests, you look after your shareholders. It's a pretty simple formula."


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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Unselling by Scott Stratten

UnSelling: The New Customer ExperienceUnSelling: The New Customer Experience by Scott Stratten
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Informative,on point and charmingly funny. A book that I really believe could make a difference to companies everywhere. Fantastic pieces of advice being that if you create good products/services , don't be an asshole, hire competent people and treat them well -- you will succeed. Thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot and will be picking up copies of his other books. Some other random thoughts while I drink wine and type up this review. I have never heard Social Media described in terms of donuts, but damn, it totally makes sense. The Chapter about publishing was interesting as I now get the point of pre-orders in terms of placement on Bestsellers lists. Rather amazed that after working for Chapters for 5 years and book blogging for at least 8, I didn't understand this. I was a little disappointed of the mentions of Barnes and Noble and Amazon, but no mention of Indigo. Sent the book info to one of my favourite people, Jeremy -- and I hope it was interesting and helpful for him as well. There is also a chapter that compares Westjet and Air Canada. Westjet just hired me and the chapter made me feel that I chose the right company to apply for. Oh yeah and they mentioned Forty Creek, so I decided to try some and it was good. But umm I am a wine girl and not used to stronger liquor -- sorry honey for falling asleep while watching Quantico with you -- it wasn't me -- it was the whiskey.

Favourite Quotes/Passage

"Knowledge plus passion for product and/or service equals profit."

"Hire for passion and treat employees with value and respect - that way when you get what you pay for , you'll be getting awesome work, instead of a whole lot of nothing."

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor

No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heads up this review is sort of all over the place as I am rushing to get it done before I have to go to work.

Another delightful non stop adventure with Max and her gang of misfits. St. Mary's is up and running again and ready for all sorts of adventures. As usual there are plenty of laughs, fascinating historical scenes and of course everything will go tits up on numerous occasions. The dialogue and the characters are once again the highlight of this series. The witty exchanges between characters will keep you smiling on even the darkest of days. I really enjoyed some of the scenes between Ms Lee and Max in this installment. So snarky I dare you not to laugh out loud. Ms Taylor has a gift of balancing both light and dark scenes in equal measure. There is one scene that is so beautifully dark and sad and so marvelously written it will take your breath away. I learned a lot about Botticelli in this one which gave me a yearning to go do some further research. I don't want to give anything away but there is one scene that made me cheer out loud - trust me once you have finished reading you will not be disappointed. I enjoyed this one from the very first sentence to the delightfully sweet and funny ending. My favourite scene in all of her books so far is in this installment. All I can say is Markham and Leon and a kiss -- yes you heard me. My only complaint is that I no longer can call a Penis by its true name, it will be from now on be referred to as a Todger.

Favourite Quotes/Passages

"Whatever it is, you need to face it down. You give it a good kicking, because that's what you have to do. Then you walk away. And then you turn around, walk back and give it an even bigger one, just because you can."

'"Seriously it is the best you can do, No wonder Hunter won't give you the time of day'.. This is how you really kiss a girl. I smiled and lifted up my face, but he seized Markham in his arms, bent him over backwards, planted one firmly on the lips, and in walked Nurse Hunter. "

“Beautiful books, full of knowledge and beauty and ideas. All lost, thanks to a mad monk who, in the end, became a little too mad even for the church he served.”

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Rapid Fire Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next DoorThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fabulous book for a cold November Moncton day. Once I started I couldn't put it down, yup that is why we had Pizza for dinner kiddies. Lots of twists and turns and makes you think about what you would have done in a similar situation. Also really shows you that keeping secrets from those you love is insanely stupid and can make things blow out of control. I really felt for Anne as a Mom who too suffered with Postpartum Depression, it plays hell on your mental state. It was kind of nice just losing myself in a book for the day after working so hard getting our family settled in a new province. Also, there is a women you are going to love to hate. Cynthia is such a bitch! Now that being said I hated the last chapter so much I wanted to toss it across the room. I just did not buy it and figured the author sacrificed a good ending just to do the shock factor thing. I do think this one is going to fly off the shelf and will definitely be made into a movie. Great for those needing to just escape for a while and for those who aren't the biggest readers.

Favourite Quotes/Passages

"She must stop looking at the tabloids at the grocery-store checkout and comparing herself to all those celebrity moms and their personal trainers who look terrific at mere weeks."

"She knows how judgmental mothers are, how good it feels to sit in judgment of someone else. " (Reviewers note - word!)

“...nobody makes that much money without taking advantage of somebody. It's much easier to make money if you don't care who you hurt. If you have scruples, it's much harder to get rich.”

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor

A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary's #4)A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pompeii – any story that involves Pompeii is going to make me happy. Yes, I know that makes me rather maudlin, but stories involving Volcanoes interest me – not sure why, but they do. Yup Pompeii is on my bucket list – as well as Mt St Helens and Mt. Etna, Hmm wonder if in a past life I died at volcanic eruption – oooh or maybe I am a time traveler – oops I mean I investigated major historical events in contemporary time. This one doesn’t give you a chance to breathe – Its one damned thing after another (tee hee) and you are constantly on the edge of your seat. This one has tons of action, wicked humour and dialogue that is highly original. I could totally lose myself in this world - Oh Miss Taylor, you make me sad, this is a community that I would feel home in. She really shows you the humanity of historical events – that make it feel – more human -

I also feel that this book sort of tries to fix up some of the minor fuck ups in the first couple of books, Sort of saves her from some corners she wrote herself into. But hey what the hell do I know. You have read my reviews, you know I am totally all over the place.

My only complaint is, I always have urges for Chocolate, Tea and Bacon Butty (I have no idea what they are but – Ummm Bacon is always good) while reading. Hello, if you don’t love (or want to be) Max, I am not sure we can have a civilized conversation.

And also Swans, trust me – delightful

Favourite Quotes/Passages

An hour later, we’d indulged in the traditional St Mary’s ritual for dealing with any sort of crisis, which is to imbibe vast reservoirs of tea. "

“I personally think humans have got about as far as we can go. We're wrecking the planet. We're never short of good reasons to massacre each other. Wrong god. Wrong race. Wrong color. Wrong sex. I'm quite surprised a thoroughly pissed-off History hasn't waved a flaming sword and we're all back in caves in the snow, chewing on half-cooked mammoth. And even that's more than we deserve. No wonder we still can't get to Mars. I suspect the Universe is making damned sure we don't get the chance to contaminate other planets with our stupidity. It's keeping us on this one where the only thing we can damage is each other.”

This is what happens when you let men go off by themselves. They don’t have a bloody clue. They might be able to fold maps but they certainly cannot read them. I should have drawn him something in crayon which said, “I am here.” He was off enjoying a bit of a holiday while half a volcano was falling on me.”

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Rapid Fire Review: A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #3)A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one will rip your heart out, but its going to be ok - trust me. This one had me snorting with laughter, yet a few seconds later I was bawling my eyes out. My favourite part of this one was Teddy Penrose, quite the naughty little fella. The dialogue between him and Max was quite the highlight and also made me feel the darkness of the second half of the novel a little more deeply. As usual there is plenty of wicked dialogue to soothe some of the darker moments, but friends this one is going to play with your emotions. Also a fun little aside, I got an email from my son while listening that he had to make a miniature of the Trojan horse -- there is a big part of me wants to mess with the design for him.

Favourite Quotes/Passages

“Oh, and you’ll be thrilled to hear, Dr Dawson, although too excited too remember to film the first race, definitely got the second – what little there was of it – but it quite clearly shows you head-butting a giant cheese and falling flat on your back and showing your drawers. There’s talk of putting it on YouTube. Unless you cough up. I hear the going rate is $50.”

“Once again, I was lost in an unfamiliar emotional maelstrom. However, there’s a St Mary’s ritual for dealing with this sort of thing. ‘Any chance of a cup of tea?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #2)A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a hard time rating this one, I loved it but it has some slight problems that take it from being a perfect five. I would say its more of a four out of five. My main complaint is that it jumps around a lot and had me confused at times -- but hey that often happens when it comes to time travel books. This one takes a bit of a dark turn, but at least there are some brilliant moments of humour that offset the darkness. I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about the background of some of the secondary characters and it was very fast paced. I also love the idea of going back in time and being able to witness memorable events and see historical figures in all of their humanity. Ok, I could do without the reality of the smells, lack of hygiene and misogynistic attitudes of course. The highlight of this series is of course the witty dialogue and delightfully unique characters, which make you care less about some of the plot holes that happen when dealing with time travel (oops sorry, should not use the phrase time travel, Max would be so disappointed with me.

Favourite Quotes/Passages

“Dr Maxwell. Why are you wearing a red snake in my office?’ ‘Sorry, sir. Whose office should I be wearing it in?”

"In this century. as in any other, men wore the comfortable, practical stuff, and the women wandered round expiring underneath over-decorated tea-cosies and with inadequate footwear."

"I really wasn't looking forward to this, but you can't condemn someone to death and then disown the consequences."

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

The Witches of New York
By Ami McKay
Knopf Canada
ISBN: 978-0-676-97958-9
Buy from Indigo

Description: The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom ('Moth' from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and "gardien de sorts" (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients.

All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind?

Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.

As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

The Good Stuff

  • Witches, ghost, women's rights, 1880's New York, what is not to love
  • The mood of the story is marvelous, I felt like I was right there.  A perfect book for reading tucked under a fluffy blanket on a cool fall night
  • The heroines are marvelous.  Likable, flawed and I felt a real connection to them (Ok and I sorta wish I could be a witch) 
  • Her writing is absolutely exquisite and haunting.  I felt transported right into the time
  • I am very intrigued by Adelaide and have already ordered The Virgin Cure in order to  learn more
  • I want the tea shop to be real and I want to go there,  To hang around with like minded women - I think in this day and age we are missing this kind of community of support
  • History interwoven with witchcraft inspires you to want to know more about what women went through during this era
  • Just an exquisitely written tale that you can lose yourself in - and that my friends is such a wonderful thing

The Not So Good Stuff

  • A bit jumpy at times and confusing at times - but keep in mind that I am still in the midst of moving into a new house, However, I felt like it was missing a cohesion of story
  • I wanted more, I wanted everything tied up which is making me think McKay is going to write a sequel and if she doesn't I may be disappointed

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Time and progress had caused these unfortunate souls to be forgotten, but their restless echoes had lived on, rising up through the cobblestones and pavers, acting as ghostly ether, provoking fear and dark thoughts. This is what happens when the dead don't get their due. This is what happens when the past is ignored."

"The middle-aged doctor was far from being without sin, but he liked to (no, he needed) to feel that things he did and said and thought served to subtract from the overall chaos of the world.  There was enough nonsense to go around these days without him adding to it."

"She'd never thought of writing as an act of defiance, but those two marks proved it to be so.  Her need to leave something of herself was overwhelming.  If she was to die here, she wouldn't let him forget she'd live,"

4/5 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in return for an honest review 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Just One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor

Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1)Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you Jen, I adore this series so far. Max is a fun and feisty heroine and the world Taylor has created is fascinating and filled with memorable characters. A fast paced story that you will not ever want to put down (Ok Well I was listening to it, so I guess I should say, didn't want to turn it off) Its sweet, snarky, sexy and fun, and you will actually learn a little bit of history too. The realistic look into history shows you the honesty and horrors of the past. It made me laugh out loud and cry and sorta wish I could be a Historian too . My only two complaints would have to be, it's time travel and that shit hurts my brain LOL! And umm, I am a little worried though if I ever meet a woman named Barclay I am going to want to call her bitchface Barclay. Cannot wait to listen to the next installment. Max is up there with my favorite heroines like Flavia de Luce and Lady Georgie Rannoch

Favourite Quotes (sorry was enjoying the story so much I forgot to highlight quotes so this is it - I promise to be better next time - I swear there were so many awesome one liners & many using the term bitchface barclay)

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8)Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh you impish minx Flavia, I have missed you dearly. In my hearts of hearts, I so wish you were real and of my own flesh and blood. Bradley has done such a magical job of creating this world of Flavia de Luce. Each and every character is flawed and so richly developed that you have a hard time believing that they are not real. Each and everytime I finish one of these tales I feel bereft and counting down to the next installment.

This tale starts very soon after the end of the previous novel, with the delightfully frank Flavia returning from her adventures in Canada awaiting an epic homecoming. Unfortunately, she is to be disappointed as her father has fallen ill and the whole house is in turmoil. So much change for our little charming imp of satan. Nothing is as she was expecting and she is unsure of her place and of who she has become. Thank goodness she once again stumbles upon a corpse and immerses herself in the mystery, which takes her mind off of all the changes going on around her. There are plenty of fun hi jinks and some delightfully true observations of life, love and family. And as always it is the characters in this series that have me coming back for more. Not one feels like a caricature

I can't go into much more as I would give away too much of the story but I do suggest some tissues. Please Mr Bradley, I need more right away. Please if you haven't read (or even better, listened to) this series, get thee to a book store asap, you will not regret it.

Alas, I find it always so hard to write an eloquent review on stories that I feel so passionate about.

Favourite Quotes/Passages

"Real life is messy, and it's probably best to keep that in mind. We must learn never to expect too much."

“You can learn from a glance at anyone's library, not what they are, but what they wish to be.”

"Faith and hope are a piece of cake but charity is a Pandora's box: the monster in the cistern which, when the lid is opened, comes swarming out to seize you by the throat.”

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)The Last Star by Rick Yancey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Yeah its going to be hard to right this one without being insulting. I mean, seriously if you read my reviews you know I have absolutely no talent in telling a story. So me, judging an established and obviously gifted writer, is kinda not cool (See what I mean about my talent) But that being said this one was a hot mess and honestly I was confused a lot of the time about what was going on. The first book was brilliant and I enjoyed the second installment, but I have a feeling the author stopped giving a shit about the characters in the series. Cassie became all wussy and her constant comments about Evan made me gag -- and for the love of god do not get me started on the sex scene - ick. I did enjoy Ringer and Zombie but even then not enough to care about them at the end. I think I just expected better from Yancey whose other books I have truly enjoyed. Umm maybe this is once situation in which the movie will hopefully be a lot better. Also Yancey, I love you but I have to be honest.

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Rapid Fire Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy hell this series just gets better and better and the character development is brilliant. This installment will have you on the edge of your seat and tears will also be running down your face. And plenty of snarky fun dialogue too. I love Celaena (ok Aelin -- but she will always be Celaena to me) and have really enjoyed getting to know all of the secondary characters and the background to this fascinating world that Maas has created. And this is from a girl who previously hated any stories dealing with the Fae. Maas takes the genre and turns it on its heel and makes me want more and more. Ok heads up this is one naughty installment, almost everyone gets a little bit of detailed action. (Some of it might be a wee too much for some of the younger YA readers) And hello I have a sudden urge to find a Fae lover (Dont worry Tennant - you are still my first choice). Really enjoyed some of the characters from Celaenaès past coming back and once again I so enjoy the dialogue between all the strong and feisty female characters. However, the ending is gasp worthy and killing me right now, as I have no idea when the next installment is coming out -- Maas give me more NOW!

Just some of my favs

“You know, you ladies can let us males do things every now and then.”

“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sardothien. One survives her”

“Rowan’s always looking for an excuse to show off. Dramatic rescues give him purpose and fulfillment in his dull, immortal life.” There”

“The fear of loss . . . it can destroy you as much as the loss itself.”

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Rapid Fire Review: Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife (The Midwife Trilogy, #1)Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A truly fascinating biography that hooked me right away. The stories are heartbreaking, funny and completely eye opening about giving birth in the east end of London during the 50s and 60s. Jennifer is candid and honest about the conditions she worked in, the poverty and abuse she saw. But also the beauty she found in the simple joys of people who did not have much. Some of the stories are quite funny and others so painful to read, you will find tears running down your eyes. You will fall in love with the nuns she worked with and her patients. You will also learn so much and truly be grateful (and somewhat saddened strangely enough) by the changes in medical practices dealing with childbirth (Done it twice myself, and holy hell thank you I cannot imagine what would have happened to Jacob if I had giving birth during that era) I really enjoyed the story about Princess Diana's bodyguard and also the one about the husband who accepted another mans child as his own. I will be picking up the other books by her before I sit down to watch the series.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and StoriesThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such a wonderful introduction to this posthumous collection of essays and short stories by someone who admired her. This hooked me right away and made me want to delve into her writing right away. After reading her exquisite writing, it made me feel such loss for those who loved her and to what she could have created with more time. She seemed to be a force of nature and makes me think that the brightest lights shine so bright that the world isn't big enough for them and that some higher power wants them back. The essays are filled with such insight for someone so young and filled with a wonderful sense of hope and enthusiasm. The short stories are also fabulous filled with everyday characters in everyday situations, and an incredible insight into the human condition. It will lead you tears because she had potential. The stories and essays aren't perfect, but they showed the beginning of something special.

Favorite Quotes/Passages

“High on their posthumous pedestals, the dead become hard to see. Grief, deference, and the homogenizing effects of adulation blur the details, flatten the bumps, sand off the sharp corners.”

“something about the stillness or my state of mind reminded me of the world’s remarkable capacity to carry on in every place at once.”

“I worry sometimes that humans are afraid of helping humans. There’s less risk associated with animals, less fear of failure, fear of getting too involved. In war movies, a thousand soldiers can die gruesomely, but when the horse is shot, the audience is heartbroken. It’s the My Dog Skip effect. The Homeward Bound syndrome.”

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Rapid Fire Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

CoralineCoraline by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read this book. Ok, well I listened to it as it was read by Neil Gaiman himself and his voice is perfection (though FYI listening to this one as you are walking home from work on a dark and dreary night might not be the best idea - I'm a 46 year old women and I was spooked). This is THE perfect book (Just like his other middle grade title The Graveyard Book) for the middle grader. Gaiman is a truly gifted storyteller who never writes down to children, he treats them like the intelligent beings they are. That being said, kids who do not like darker tales, may want to stay away from his work. But I think they will be missing something by skipping this one. Gaiman has created a brilliantly magical world filled with dark creatures, unusual adults and one of the most delightful little heroines. I have to say my favorite parts of the novel included any part that the Cat was in (Yes Gaiman must have cats, as he truly understands them). I also got a kick out of the two retired actress', especially as the one mentioned all the roles my Mother in Law has played. I truly believe the child that picks this up will turn into an adult who loves to read. I am ending this review as it truly saddens me that I cannot express in more articulate and brilliant words how outstanding Gaiman's middle grade novels are. This is a classic my friend

Favorite Quotes/Passages

“Because,' she said, 'when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.”

“Coraline wondered why so few of the adults she met made any sense.”

“The cat dropped the rat between its two front paws. "There are those," it said with a sigh, in tones as smooth as oiled silk, "who have suggested that the tendency of a cat to play with its prey is a merciful one - after all, it permits the occasional funny little running snack to escape, from time to time. How often does your dinner get to escape?”

“I think most things are pretty magical, and that it’s less a matter of belief than it is one of just stopping to notice.”

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

Crowned and Dangerous (Her Royal Spyness, #10)Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FYI this review is for the audio version. Got hooked into this series when Jen L. suggested I listen to Her Royal Spyness on audio. I was ruined from reading this series from the first word Kathrine Kellgren spoke. She breathes even more life into each and every deftly written character that you are totally convinced it is more than one person reading you the story.

This installment was a pure delight as always. Though I would have enjoyed a little more Belinda and Granddad. That aside I really enjoyed the addition of Darcy's family and most of the story being set in Ireland. The highlight of this series are the characters, and again this installment does not disappoint. Bowen introduces some new and memorable characters that you fall in love with, or detest wholeheartedly. Fabulous characters, hilarious dialogue and a well crafted mystery, what is not to enjoy. I felt quite bereft when the story ended, and know I will probably have to wait another year until I get me some more Georgie.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Dewey's

Very slow to start and I won't lie, it really took a long time for me to get into this one. But once I did, it was intriguing and well developed. I even ended up enjoying the tale, eventhough I didn't really love most of the characters. Well, with the exception of Nena and Jesper who get most of the best lines. The author really has done a thorough job in developing this world and all of the characters that inhabit it. Great character development and she is obviously setting this up as trilogy. Lots of twists and turns and could be described as a Russian, dystopian crime heist. I will definitely pick up the next installment and hope it doesn't drag like the first quarter of this one. But lets face it she is really letting you get to know the ins and outs of all of the characters

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Rapid Fire Review: Leonard: My fifty-Year Friendship with a remarkable man by William Shatner

Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable ManLeonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this is basically a story about Shatner, more than about Leonard, but I was kinda of expecting it so I wasn't really surprised. That being said, I still enjoyed it, but would have loved to have a more in depth biography about Nemoy. His son is writing one as well that I look forward to reading it. Don't get me wrong I kinda like Shatner, I met him once and he was very sweet to me and told me I was too pretty to be a nerd, but Spock was always my favorite. Shatner has obviously done some research into Nemoy's life other than just his what he learned during his friendship with the man. I get the sense that Nemoy was an extremely private man and not one for taking about his inner emotions. This is also brought more into light when Shatner talks with Adam, Leonards son. I did get the sense that Shatner also feels quite bad about their falling out near the end of Nemoy's life. Though who really knows what truly happened. Shatner says he has no real idea, but well he is an actor, so you never really know. I loved the pictures and their is a truly delightful one with Shatner and Nemoy doubled over in laughter - which shows that they did indeed have a friendship. Shatner is all about Shatner and he doesn't hide that, which I somewhat appreciate. But I can imagine for Nemoy, that might have been a little hard to deal with all the time. Like anyone, it must be hard for Shatner to really deal with his own failings in their friendship. At times you can sense his openess about his own shortcomings, but he is definitely still holding back. To me its a bit of an apology and love letter to the Nemoy, laced with Shatner trying to explain his side. Truly fascinating to learn about how similar their upbringings were. A must read for any Star Trek Fan. And the best part of the book is that is starts with the scene at the end of The Wrath of Khan - truly one of the truly most beautiful heartbreaking scenes that most of us geeks cannot even talk about without balling our eyes out. LLAP my friends

Favorite Passage

"I suspect Roddenberry felt I was the perfect choice for the lead roel in a show because I wasn't too intelligent for the audience and he didn't have to pay me a lot of money."

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard byJonathan Auxier

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard (Peter Nimble #2)
by Jonathan Auxier
Puffin (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-670-06775-2
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionIt’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far and wide in search of adventure. Now Peter and Sir Tode have been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: find a 12-year-old girl named Sophie Quire.
Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she works as a bookmender and dreams of leaving the confines of her city walls. But when a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up searching for a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an adventure beyond anything she has ever read. 
The Good Stuff
  • A deftly written fantastical epic tale for 9-12. Filled with magical creatures and eccentric characters
  • Full of heart and intriguing characters that never act in the way you expect them to. This my friends is a wonderous thing
  • Never talks down to kids - author understands that children can handle a wee bit of the dark, as long as there is a light at the end of the tunnel
  • Wickedly funny at times, with plenty of cheeky asides for the reader
  • Auxier is a master of his craft and his books should be in every childs library (and of course their mom's as well, because I was on the edge of my seat, and laughing along while reading)
  • Believing in ones self, the ability to change  - sacrifice for what is right
  • Deadly battles, talking tigers -  hello - what could be better than this. The language of the book reminded me of The Princess Bride on many occasions.  This is a compliment - for if you do not love The Princess Bride, I fear there is no hope for you 
  • There is something for everyone, as long as they can just believe
  • The importance of stories and the magic within the stories to transport you
  • Positively brilliant and one of my favorite opening passages of a book.  A book truly for those who love books, big and small.
  • I'm a grown women, but I was actually bawling with tears rolling down my eyes while sitting in the back room at work (BTW, nice to know that where I work no one would think it was weird that I was crying while reading - my god I am going to miss you guys - you have truly made living here bearable  - ok the mountains are purty too)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • My copy is an ARC so no pictures, : (
  • Lots of big words and dark themes may turn off readers 
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It has often been said that one should never judge a book by its cover. As any serious reader can tell you, this is terrible advice. Serious readers know the singular  pleasure of handling a well-made book - the heft and texture of the case, the rasp of the spine as lit the cover, the sweet, dusty aroma of yellowed pages as they pass between your fingers. A book is more than a vessel for ideas: It is a living thing in need of love, warms, and protection. And above all, a book must be read."

"She had read many exciting stories about fugitives and runaways, and something that has always annoyed her was how little attention was paid to sensible preparations."

"Among a certain population, there is no greater way to demonstrate affection than by recommending a book." (reviewers note: there is nothing better to me in this world than getting the right book to the right reader)

"This was not how her adventure was supposed to go. People--real people that she loved- had died."

5 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and LossThe Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A deeply personal and intimate discussion between a mother and son. Before reading, I knew very little about both Anderson Cooper and his mother, other than watching the movie, Little Gloria Happy at Last. It is a truly fascinating and at times very heart wrenching book to read. I admired how they discussed their differences with love and respect and such openness and honesty. It's the type of discussion all children should have with their parents. I personally wish my parents were still alive so that I could get to know them as human beings, not just as my parents. Fascinated by Gloria's unusual upbringing , the trials she faced, and how no matter what she was able to still be such an optimistic person. Such pain and rawness when she talks about the fact that she thinks life for the boys would have been better if she had died and not Anderson's dad. She also has some very wise ideas about forgiveness. The book did leave me feeling rather bereft at times for the many lost opportunities and talks left unsaid for Gloria as a child and young adult that could have resulted in so many positive changes. But Anderson has benefited by opening up the dialogue and showing us that it is never too late to open up and talk. Also showed me how lucky I was to be raised in the meager, but open and loving family that I was.

Favorite Quotes

"I've at last come to know that forgiveness is much simpler than I could ever have imagined: whatever problems you have with someone, project yourself into the other person and seeit from their point of vies." "When you do this , good and evil shuffle into patterns and you are capable of forgiving trespasses."

"None of us chooses the situation into which we are born. To think that if you are from a rich family you should not want to achieve something on your own is foreign idea to me."

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4 Dewey's

Didn't have to review - just looked interesting and you know I like to share

Rapid Fire Review: Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie Was HereBritt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a marvelous quirky and deliciously sweet ( without the saccharin) hidden gem . Backman doesn't get as much attention as he deserves. His books are filled with flawed authentic humans and such wise words about life, love and forgiveness. And the dialogue is so brilliant and hilarious. Each and everyone of his characters is so real you feel like they could step right out of the book. This one made me laugh and cry, often at the same time. I am so glad he wrote this one, as I had a very hard time liking Britt-Marie in My Grandmother sends her regards and says she's sorry. Now I still don't truly agree with some of her actions, but I now understand why she does what she does. Still dislike Kent, but at least he is growing a little and changing in his own little way. I strongly recommend you pick up his other books as well as this one, you will not be disappointed. Or better still grab an audiobook version, his narrators are brilliant. The only bad thing about this one is that I felt a constant need to clean my house and find me a bottle of Faxin.

Favorite Quotes

"It was an effective system always having people there to blame for everything without ever having to define who they really were."

" I Happen to have the wheelchair. I not wheelchair that happens to have human in it."

"Because if we don't forgive those we love, then what is left? What is love if it's not loving our lovers even when they don't deserve it."

We read this as part of our book club and as a gift I got each of the girls a box of bicarbonate soda for each of the members - trust me you will never look at bicarbonate soda in quite the same way

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5 Dewey's

Rapid Fire Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series is just purely delightful and just what I needed to get me through the stressful time of selling a house. Charley is such a sassy little imp, you cannot help but fall in love with her. This one was a tad slow and repetitive at times (& Reyes isnt as interesting as in the debut novel), but its not that big of a deal because its really the characters and dialogue that keeps you interested. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know each and everyone of the secondary characters and cannot wait to pick up the next installment to learn more. I highly recommend this series for those who just need some fun escapism with lots of heart. And the dialogue is worth the price of the book (or audiobook in this case)

Favorite Quotes

“Make it quick," I said when I picked up.
"Okay. Two men from the FBI are here." Cookie said. Quickly.
Crap. "Men in black are at the office?"
"Well, yes, but they're actually in more of a navy."
Crapola. I so don't have time for men. In any color. "Okay, two questions. Do they look mad, and are they hot?"
After a long, long, pause, Cookie said, "One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you're on speakerphone."
After another long, long pause, I said, "Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff.”

“For the first time in my life, I was in a shoot-out. A real, honest-to-goodness shoot-out with a bad guy. And, apparently, we both sucked.”

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4 Deweys

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

The Reason You WalkThe Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very powerful memoir and one that really made me think about my own ignorance of my fellow Canadians. This one has been really sticking with me and makes me want to discuss with others. The abuse the Indigenous people of Canada have suffered at the hands of the priests and nuns - both sexual, physical and mental have such long reaching consequences. It sickens me that someone who is supposed to be a messenger of god could do such harm. I know people around the world think of Canada as a place of peace where there is no prejudice. I really wish that was true my friends, but we are not saints here. The fighting just to be done to actually use the term survivor makes me feel deep disgust for my fellow Canadians and our government. This book speaks quite plainly about the abuse, but it also talks about forgiveness, change, and most importantly - hope. This was truly an eye opener for me. I won't lie, its not well written, but that is really not that big of a deal as Wab is truly a storyteller, which is more important to me. Wab is a flawed and human just like the rest of us and I appreciated his self deprecating humour. This book is also a raw, honest look into a father and sons relationship.

Favorite Quotes

"More than any inheritance, more than any sacred item, more than any title, the legacy he left behind is this: as on that day in the sundance circle when he lifted me from the depths, he taught us that during our time on earthy we ought to love one another, and that when our hearts are broke, we ought to work hard to make them whole again."

"The police in Kenora used to come and round us up at two in the morning, if you were standing on the street corner, and take you to the drunk tank. Didn't matter if you were drunk or not. Just if you were Indian."

"The Residential schools were institutions of cultural genocide."

"Whenever Indigenous people stand up to safeguard their hormelands or sacred sites, it seems the prospect of job losses is ueed to whip up opposition to them. It's as if the people cannot have both jobs and spirituality. I would like to think we can make a living and still respect the earth."

"The combined weight of the churches and the Canadian state has been set on crushing children like him when they were just little - barely five, six or seven years old - but they did not break. They survived. They may have lost some of their friends, and may have been damaged along the way, but they did not give up."

"Over a lifetime of internalizing the message that you are "less than", you start to believe some of the lies you hear about yourself. It lowers your sense of self-worth and influences your behaviour. You begin to censor your own thoughts and actions or make choices because of the way you expect to be perceived as an Indigenous person."

"The First Nations youth suicide rate is five to six times the national average, and the rate for Inuit youth - is even higher - about eleven times the national average. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Indigenous , and no one is able to explain it completely. Part of the cause has to do with learned behaviour and dysfunction, most notably from the residential school experience. I saw that play out in my own family. Generations were raised by strangers, and in some cases abusers. When these generations came home and started families, they treated us, their children, as they had been treated in those institutions."

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4 Dewey's

Rapid Fire Review: Unstoppable by Bill Nye

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the WorldUnstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill  Nye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A must read for everyone. So many people are so full of doom and gloom about the environment and think that it is beyond our repair. For all of you pessimists I encourage you to read this ASAP. Nye gives us hope that we can change and recover from all the damage we have done to this beautiful world. Throughout the book he discusses all of the rapidly changing technologies that will help us and most of all encourages us to make these changes. He also highlights that we could do more if governments would just put the money into research. As usual it is full of his delightfully sweet and self deprecating humour. I especially enjoyed when he discusses how he and Ed Beagley Jr, have been healthily competing to make their respective homes more environmentally friendly than the other . I really wish I had been exposed to men like him when I was learning science in school, he makes it fascinating and sexy. Hmm wonder if we can get him to run for President of the US, imagine the changes he could bring about. Truly inspirational and full of hope.

Favorite Quotes

“so long as we each focus only on our individual decisions and their short-term consequences, we will act like renters, not owners of this Earth.” —

“We can be a lot smarter and more capable than a lot of the technology doubters and climate deniers assume. The people who dismiss concerns about global warming seem to be the pessimists who would rather give up than own up to the problems we have all created. The people who worry most about what we are doing to the planet are the optimists who believe we also have the intelligence—we, as a species, working together—to come up with powerful solutions to the problems we’re working on that will change the world for the better. Which way of looking at the world is going to produce a Next Greatest Generation? Will it be the ones who give up, or the ones who get going?”

“The less we do to address climate change now, the more regulation we will have in the future.”

5 Dewey's

Didn't have to review this one - as usual just gotta share my opinion on books

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Recommended from Jen L.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey

FellsideFellside by M.R. Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderfully well written intriguing supernatural thriller full of fascinating characters. Really dont think it should be categorized in the horror section at Indigo though. The horror in this tale is more the evil that we can do to each other and how our pain can turn us into monsters. I was a wee bit disappointed only because I was expecting something more creepy like The Girl with All the Gifts. This has nothing to do with the talent of the author, just my expectations of what this was going to be. I was just expecting something more creepy, and this is more of a Prison drama. Again, not a bad thing, just I was expecting something very different

Jess is a unreliable narrator and very damaged, but you find yourself intrigued by her and hoping she will make it. She's oh so very human and her development from someone to be pitied to, well I cannot go into more as that would ruin the story, is fabulous. The secondary characters are also fully developed, no one is a caricature or acts in ways that you see coming. The plot is interesting, with some wondrous moments of true uniqueness but I felt like it was trying to be too many things.

The pacing of the story is a little off, and the story drags a wee bit, but the writing is what keeps you interested. Though I didn't love this one, I will still pick up his next book.

Favorite Quotes

"Clearly there was no God, no justice, nobody at the switchboard. The universe was a badly written soap opera where every plot twist strained credibility just that little bit further.”

"Only our souls were made not out of wood and nails but out of the good or bad things we did."

3.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this one from a friend, and am in no way required to share my opinion

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity (Reckoners #3)
By Brandon Sanderson
Random House
ISBN: 9780385743600
Buy from Indigo

Description: When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

The Good Stuff
  • It's been a while since I read Firefight, but Sanderson does a brilliant job of reminding you about what happened in previous books, without boring the hell out of you with repetition 
  • Hard to mention this part without spoilers but the one part made me ache for my deceased father so bad that I had tears in my eyes 
  • Forgot how much I adored David and  his truly unique metaphors - I kinda wish he was my son
  • Dryly funny and mostly fast paced 
  • Audio version has a perfect narrator 
  • Truly unique spin on Super Heroes
  • Ok, I am such a Canadian - any mention of Abraham, Trenton, Canadian and Toronto made me smile
  • Ok I loved the moral about facing your fears and working through them - now if the rest of humanity could just understand this 
  • Enjoyed the snappy witty dialogue between characters
  • Want to thank Sanderson for writing this series as there are so few YA books that I can recommend to male readers
  • Have a soft spot for Cody - his Scottish stories always make me giggle 
  • The highlight of this series for me has always been David - I just love him so much - no matter the talent of the writer and the incredible world development - if you don't have a character that you feel a connection too you won't enjoy the story 
  • I liked the ending, clears up things nicely so if he never writes anymore about the series you will be satisfied, but at the same time leaves himself the option of writing more
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Some of it just didn't make sense to me - its the other dimension stuff - I just cannot get around it (yes that is my problem, not the authors)
  • A tad (and I mean a wee tad) too much inner angst - again I am a 46 yr old women - but as I always mention my reviews are based on MY enjoyment of the story and not on the talents of the author - this book is written for teens & I slightly remember all that angst 
  • Yeah -- spoiler alert - don;t listen to the audio version while walking the dog  - um the part with David's Dad - tears rolling down my face - people staring at me 
  • Some parts made me go --- huh - I know its been a while, but I am feeling like something doesn't make sense here
  • Would have like more of Abraham's back story
Favorite Quotes/Passages

“Yet—in all of infinity—I don’t think I’ve ever found a dimension where you can kiss worth a hill of beans.”
“That’s unfair,” I said. “You didn’t complain last night.”
“You stuck your tongue in my ear, David.”
“That’s way romantic. Saw it in a movie once. It’s like…a passionate wet willie.”

"Cupcakes are too dainty for a Scotsman. Give him one, and he'll ask you why didn't you shoot the wee cake's parents instead and serve that."

“Damn, I miss the internet. You could always find people doing stupid stuff on the internet.”

3.5 Dewey/s

Borrowed the audio from Jen - so once again I don't have to review - I just have a sick need to share my opinion on every book I read - well I do get paid at Chapters for telling customers my opinions but I don't get paid to tell you all - please feel free to send cash - I am awesome, have a fabulous family and I am grateful for all I have but I really would like to be out of debt 

Rapid Fire Review: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren
Knopf Canada (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 9780345809865
Buy from Indigo

Description: Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

The Good Stuff
  • I never thought I could become so engrossed and truly mesmerized with a book that talks about plants and flowers 
  • BILL - I won't be able to plant a tree right now, but I will be putting Bill's name on the tree in the park just outside my gate
  • Such a fascinating, truly complicated women
  • She made trees, plants and weeds come alive and made them feel human - you will finish reading this book with a true appreciation of all plant/tree life and want to do all you can to protect them
  • Her writing is extremely poetic on many occasions
  • Extremely honest and raw
  • Her description of a depressive episode are so bang on and raw - the courage to be so open about something so personal is so brave
  • Hopefully will inspire girls to enter the male dominated sciences field
  • Makes you want to learn more - why oh why must our teachers make science so bloody boring - her passion for her work is thrilling and inspiring  
  • I love the relationship between her and Bill - this is my idea of true friendship
  • Bill!!!
  • Loved the kids story Bill made up  - twisted but love it
  • Umm the story about Hope's intern who worked in the zoo and had to put antibiotic on the monkeys genitals - yup worth the price of the book
The Not So Good Stuff
  • The audio version was hard for me to listen to as the author reads the book and while extremely passionate, it was hard to listen to her overwrought voice.  This is just a personal observance and no judgement - it was just painful to listen to at times - I had to listen in installments
  • I now have profound grief about how many plants I have killed over the years and have vowed to change that - bugger do you know how little of a green thumb I have
  • Her pronunciation of the word "root" is jarring
Favorite Quotes/Passages

“Working in the hospital teaches you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”

"We were interrupted by a good natured offer from a drunkish student who was dangerously armed with a guitar."

"Within certain social circles of the married, a  single women over the age of 30 inspires compassion similar to that bestowed upon a big friendly stray dog.

4 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Leslie and I don't have to review but well we know I have to share

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
by Carmen Aguirre
Penguin Random House
ISBN: 9780345813824
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionA gripping, darkly comic first-hand account of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile.

On September 11, 1973, a violent coup removed Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, from office. Thousands were arrested, tortured and killed under General Augusto Pinochet's repressive new regime. Soon after the coup, six-year-old Carmen Aguirre and her younger sister fled the country with their parents for Canada and a life in exile.

In 1978, the Chilean resistance issued a call for exiled activists to return to Latin America. Most women sent their children to live with relatives or with supporters in Cuba, but Carmen's mother kept her precious girls with her. As their mother and stepfather set up a safe house for resistance members in La Paz, Bolivia, the girls' own double lives began. At eighteen, Carmen herself joined the resistance. With conventional day jobs as a cover, she and her new husband moved to Argentina to begin a dangerous new life of their own.

This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the eventful decade from 1979 to 1989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet's Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. 'Something Fierce' is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life.

The Good Stuff
  • Truly fascinating 
  • She never feels sorry for herself or lays blame on her parents for her - um - wow  unusual- childhood
  • So fucking brave for opening herself and laying everything raw and bare
  • Learned so much and never even realized that I was learning so much. Talked to many people about this one after I was done
  • Darkly funny
  • No holds barred
  • A truly admirable women - have already downloaded her latest book
  • Made me feel like I was truly blessed to live in the country I do, but at the same time guilty for my lack of knowledge on what is going on in different parts of the world
  • Would be a really good one to read for book clubs, as so many issues and themes that could be discussed
The Not So Good Stuff
  • I am mixed on this one in terms of the audio version.  I love hearing her pronounce names and places the way they were meant to be said.  But at the same time the reading was almost bland at times. I imagine this was hard for her to read and she probably was trying to protect her self by reading it this way, but for a listener it lacked the passion to go with the tale
  • Disjointed at times in terms of flow - but hello it was her first book and well obviously I cannot write either so who am I to judge
  • Jesus Christ people do despicable things in the name of power
  • As a mom it was hard to read this one as my natural inclination is to protect my child at all causes and never put them in such a dire situation.  I  don't understand how Carmen's mother could put her children ins such a volatile situation.  But these are my feelings and I am no experrt so it is not my place to judge and who is to say what she did was wrong 
Favorite Quotes/Passages

" She took the opportunity to remind Ali and me that organized religion had been invented  by the rich and powerful to keep the poor down."

“A façade is when you make up a story because it’s dangerous to tell the truth. … It’s a story you make up when you are involved in something bigger than yourself and you don’t want to risk your life or the lives of others.”

4 Dewey's

Another one I didnt HAVE to review, I purchased this from audible with my limited funds - ok fairy godmother - you gave Cinderella a spectacular dress - all I want is to be out of debt, I already got my court jester which is soooo much better than a prince

Rapid Fire Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (Court of Thornes and Roses #2)
By Sarah J. Maas
ISBN: 9781619634466
Buy from Indigo

Description: Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

The Good Stuff

  • Fast paced, exciting and unique
  • As mentioned on many reviews, I am not a big fan of Fae story-lines, but Maas's writing and characters are so bloody brilliant I will read anything she writes
  • Wow - fae sex sounds awesome, gotta find me someone like Rhys (love me a naughty boy with a good heart -- yeah Han Solo was my first love)
  • Character development is bang on, Maas writes characters that are constantly evoloving
  • And my favorite thing about her books are her female heroines are kick ass and don't want some namby pamby Prince to save them.  Feyre is someone I would be proud to have at my side or to to marry one of my boys. 
  • Rhys - what can I not say about how fantastic he is - he encourages and supports Feyre for who she is and who she will become - he just doeskin want to protect her and keep her in a gilded cage (just realized that maybe I should have put spoiler alert on this)
  • Incredible world building 
  • Loved the new characters added and really want to know more about them
  • Maas is a brilliant storyteller - when you read her you become lost in her world and when you stop reading , you feel lost and want to jump right back in 

The Not so Good Stuff

  • Umm please parents don't ask me about the content in this one, cause I have to be honest and your teen is going to give me the evil eye when I tell you and then you get all prudish and won't let them have it (also if you are 12-14 it might be a little much for you and then you are going to think the only good sex will come from a fae lord and than no man will ever come close) 
  • Listened to this one and had to turn it off when the kids were home cause of the naughty bits (However, well done and seriously hot)
  • Really want myself a fae lord now
  • Now this one is just my opinion and remember I am a 46 year old women - the chick reading the audio version  has a beautiful voice but it is a tad too angst y for me. 
  • When the hell is the next book coming out -- momma wants more and maybe more Throne of Glass series too - you are my new favorite author and can I adopt you 

Favorite Quotes\Passages

“He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

I felt Cassian’s spirit beside me in that moment, and could have sworn I heard him say, ‘If you don’t marry her, you stupid prick, I will.”

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken.

4.75 Dewey's

I purchased this one and am under no obligation of reviewing - just love to share my opinions on books

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Calgary Comic Book Expo

The Calgary Comic Book Expo is usually the highlight of my year as I get to get my geek on and since I work for Chapters, get paid to do it.  I wasn't as in to it this year as, to be frank, I have no money and there weren't a lot of guests that I was interested in meeting.  I knew I was going to have a good time, but I wasn't counting down the hours till the event.

I did end of having tons of fun.  Mostly from hanging out with fellow Chapters/Indigo employees from my store and other stores.   It was nice being able to see Chelsea and Richard again, who have gone on to other stores and I really enjoyed chatting with Tanner and his fabulous wife Caitlyn and Tom (Thanks for he weeping angels bag I use it all the time!)

Chelsea, Tanner and Richard
Highlights this year was chatting with John Barrowman - hope his hubby likes the socks I got him.  Trust me even if you don't watch Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow, etc (and yes I think there is something a little wrong with you if you don't know who he is) you have to meet him.  He is hands down one of my favorite performers because he really does give each and everyone of his fans, his full attention.  Not to mention he is seriously handsome and hilarious! Also much to hubby's dismay, he is the reason I started watching Doctor Who. Though Jeff does love him in Arrow 

Another highlight was my eldest son, Jake and I getting a photo op with Alan Tudyk -- Jake was dressed as dead Wash and Tudyk had fun with that.

Jake, Alan Tudyk, Me
I took crap pictures this year and any of the good ones you see in this post are courtesy of Richard.  I love and hate the picture of Me, Billie Pyper and John Barrowman.  I was so flustered and unready for the picture, you can see on my face that I am thinking - what the fuck.  Wish I had just relaxed and gone with it -- but love the photo cuz its fucking hilarious.  A photo op with Barrowman is never boring

Most of our crew survived on the cereal from this one booth, Seriously Cereal.  In fact Richard bought us a round of cereal on the last day as a thank you for all our hard work.  It's fun, but fuck balls (my favorite Chelsea phrase) it is exhausting on your body -- especially your feet.

Looking forward to next year -- that's right Richard, I am in & again will bribe you with my crack for the opportunity.

As I mentioned, we had no money this year so we were very frugal.  I purchased a Doctor Who wine glass - yeah two of my favorite things all in one.  And some adorable 10th Doctor coasters. I Have to be practical and only buy things that are useful.  Trust me if I had the money I could have dropped a huge load of cash.  These events are not cheap my friends.  It will cost you a fortune just for photo ops & if you want them autographed - even more.  I really wish the talent didn't charge so much as many of us geeks - are not exactly wealthy.  Some guests are fabulous and let you chat with them without purchasing an autograph or a photo, but many are not.  

Random Photos

John was fab asked guy all sorts of questions and genuinely wanted to know everything about the man 

I hit these guys everyday - you pay a couple of bucks to get photo and all money goes to charity


Obviously John had fun here

My fabulous first born dressed as dead Wash - I am so proud

This Jawa was hilarious - made my day

Just a few of the fabulous Chaptesr employees - these guys rock

Favorite Costumes (Yup most are Richards pictures)

These girls were stunning and also a lot of fun - thanks for trying to not me feel old either 
Who doesn't love an Ash 
Dude even had the tunes playing

Our very own George RR Martin (Pat) 

No idea what he is but damn he put some work into his costume

The little Harlequinn was perfect - she had serious attitude

Sorry this isn't as detailed as in past years, but its been a while since the event and I didn't take notes like I have previously. Not to mentions its fucking hot as hades here in Calgary as I type this.