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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #8

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This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars.

What I am Currently Reading:

Fiction:
I'm only three chapters into this but can tell I like the writing already. A mother/daughter mystery that goes back to post WWII communist Hungary to find the secrets of the past.





















Non-fiction
I Like this author! Big book may take some weeks to read!





















Graphic Novel/Manga





















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. I have put that aside for Lent though and will be reading one chapter from The Holy Bible for the remainder of these 40 days.

What I Finished Reading and/or Posted This Week

Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones by Scott HahnBlood on Snow by Jo NesboMidnight Sun by Jo Nesbø

Manga/G…

Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones by Scott Hahn

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Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones by Scott Hahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published May 27th 2014 by Image
Hardcover, 208 pages
Source: amazon.ca


I love Scott Hahn's books. I always buy them because I read them with a pen/pencil in hand and write in them, underline, draw arrows, exclamation marks, etc. He never fails to blow my mind, as a Catholic convert myself, I love the way he speaks and always tells me something new. I am a bit underwhelmed with this book, though. The first time I won't be giving Hahn a five star rating. I think the main downfall is the book's topic is just too broad compared to his other's that I've read. The first half was the most interesting and where I found the most 'aha!' moments I come to expect from the author. Mostly I learnt to appreciate the understanding of 'saint' with a small 's' in scripture and the "Saints" with a capital "S". There wasn't a…

Blood on Snow & Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo

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Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Random House Canada
Source: Review copy from Penguin Random House Canada

Blood on Snow (#1)

Something a little different from Jo Nesbo. I'm tempted to call this a novella since it's so much slimmer in length than Nesbo's other works but there are legitimate novels of 200 pages without needing to throw the term novella at them. This is pure crime noir. Set in the Norwegian underworld of drugs and prostitution. That's the background for our protagonist, a genuine anti-hero, who is a Fixer (a hitman) for one of the two heroin "bosses" who'd like complete control of this area. We meet Olav on the job. He's been hired to take out his boss's wife as she has been cheating on him. Obviously, things don't go smoothly on this hit, so there's your plot. But mostly this is a study of Olav. We learn about him. He's not a nice guy, he's done a lot o…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #7

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This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars.

What I am Currently Reading

Fiction:

I've read *all* Jo Nesbo's books! I love him. This one is different though (according to all the reviews and the slim size) so I've been putting it off but the sequel to it was just published last month so I better get them read!




















Non-Fiction

Continuing to read this from last week. It's a short book but I'm purposely reading it slowly for Lent. Should finish it this week, though.




















Graphic Novel/Manga



















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. I have put that aside for Lent though and will be reading one chapter from The Holy Bible for the remainder of these 40 days.  In case you are interested, I am reading …

Bound by Antonya Nelson

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Bound by Antonya Nelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Bloomsbury
first published August 24th 2010
Source: LibraryThing Review Program


This was just ok for me. It sounded more interesting than it really was, having the BTK Killer always lurking in the background. The writing was good; it kept me reading, expectant. However, I found that nothing really happened in the end, no big climax. People had problems, stuff happened and it all worked out ok in the end. I like my fiction to have a plot; I kept expecting something to happen. All of the characters had secrets the reader was aware of but they never became a part of the plot, making me wonder what the point was. I didn't connect with any of the characters and I do not like this type of pointless, almost forced, happy ending.



Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley by J.D. Davis

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Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley by J.D. Davis
My rating: 4/5

Hardcover, 488 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Brown Books Publishing Group
Source: Review copy from the publisher


A totally engaging read about three famous cousins who shared an era. The book is about each of them separately but always goes back to how they emerged from their beginnings, all three playing together as boys. They were born during the Great Depression, in the American south, Louisiana to be precise, risen on a Pentecostal faith that set them apart even where they belonged, attending tent revivals full of music, preaching and speaking in tongues. I was drawn to the book because of this setting and the era; most of the drama happens from the 30s to the 80s. Otherwise, I wasn't particularly fans of the individuals to start with. I knew of Jerry Lee's controversial life but don't really like his music, I knew Mickey from his 80s hits and had no idea …

The Widow by Fiona Barton

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The Widow by Fiona Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Penguin Canada
Source: Received a review copy from Random Penguin House Canada


This was a quick read for me; very engaging and a unique psychological thriller. Not exactly a mystery as we're privy to who the killer is from the beginning just not the details or hows. The story much more concerns the perpetrator's wife and unravels her (and our) slow reveals of the whole sordid, ugly truth. This is written from different points of view, a device I particularly like and Barton has done it splendidly. She also goes back and forth in time from a unique angle, only covering a period of four years. Admittedly this keeps the reader on their toes and I had to keep looking at the dates to see what perspective we were taking the case from each time. The story starts off in the present 2010 with the widow, next it goes back to 2006 when the crime first happens, then alternates between va…

Tales of Court and Castle by Joan Bodger

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Tales of Court and Castle by Joan Bodger; illus Mark Lang
My rating: 3.5/5

Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Tundra Books
Source: used book sale


A collection of medieval tales of knights, kings and princess, mostly Welsh, from renowned late Canadian storyteller Joan Bodger. These are short tales and are meant for children, they have been captured here in print but are meant for reading aloud. The stories are vivid and full of wonder and do beg to be spoken aloud. I'd never heard of Bodger before and this is just a short sampling of her work to whet the appetite of what she must have been like to hear live. The illustrations that accompany the text are gorgeously detailed line drawings.

1) Young Tristan - Tristan's story of how he won back his land as King but gave it up to serve King Mark as a knight. A Welsh tale.

2) To the Dark Tower - a grand retelling of the Childe Roland poem, with some verses kept between the narrative. Also has Merlin in it.

3) Iron Jo…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #6

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This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars.


What I am Currently Reading

Fiction:

This is the 2nd book in his new series and I am anxious to get cracking on this today.


















Non-Fiction

Now that Lent is upon us I thought I'd turn to my favourite Catholic writer, Scott Hahn, for some theology.


















Manga/Graphic Novel

Classic sci-fi retold in graphic format.


















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. I am putting that aside for Lent and will be reading one chapter from The Holy Bible for these 40 days.

Not a lot of posting done this week as a dear friend of ours passed away. It was a sad and busy week ending with a wonderful but emotionally exhausting funeral mass. He was the Deacon of our church so we had the Bis…

A Place in Time by C.A. Hocking

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A Place in Time by C.A. Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, lulu.com, 150 pages
Published 2011
first published June 28th 2006
Source: Kindle Freebie


Written by an Australian writer, this little crime novel surprised me to be much more than I had expected. A 40-year-old man suffers depression every year on his birthday since he witnessed his father's murder by a stranger when he was 11 years old. Now living in England, after much therapy and having the financial means he and his mum go back to Australia, to the scene to either jog his memory or at least put the past to rest. A well-written and engrossing read. Not what I had expected as it ventures off into a realm of magical realism which must be worked out as the story progresses. If you like your crimes to take place fully in the real world, this won't be for you. Otherwise, it is an intriguing look at when powerful emotions collide in space and time. Whether the story involves time travel or something more mysti…

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

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All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Vintage Canada
first published April 15th 2014
Source: review copy from Random Penguin House Canada


I'm purposely being vague however, this review may contain what some would consider SPOILERS. There are a lot of reviews of this book so I won't say too much and just narrow in on my main points. I enjoyed the read, Toews is an excellent writer and her characters are always wonderful. I think I'll always enjoy any book she writes. This family, with all its extended aunts and cousins, etc, is so strong when it comes together to be a family to endure the sorrows together and I loved them as an example of family. What the (western) world has so much grown away from and lost. I loved Lottie and Yoli, such women full of fortitude, even though Yoli would have us believe she was full of weakness. Elf, the sister described as not wanting to live, I didn't like. We nev…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #5

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This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars. 
What I am Currently Reading

Fiction:
I'll be finished this shocking little crime drama before this blog even posts today but I want to write this before finishing the final chapters.  I have no idea what I'm going to read next. It will be a print book so I'll grab my pile and spend a while choosing.

Non-Fiction
I'm coming into the home stretch with this one. I've hit the 80s where Jimmy Lee's hard-living ways have ended his career and nearly his life, Jimmy Swaggart's career is about to hit the fan, and finally, Mickey will reach superstardom.




















Manga/Graphic Novel






I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. My current collection is:

Tales of…

The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce

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The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 100 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Dover Publications
first published April 1998
Source: egalley via netgalley


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a Victorian author of the weird and macabre specialing in ghost stories. Though during his life he was more renowned as a satirist, journalist, and editorialist. Thankfully, we've remembered him for his eerie tales. I've come across his stories in anthologies several times but this is the first author specific collection I've read. I had come across three of these stories before, but they make good re-reading. Bierce is comparable to Poe but easier to read. The stories in this collection have been selected from the 1909-1912 editions of "The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce" and show a mix of his ghost and, as the title calls them, "horror" stories (but I wouldn't necessarily give them that cla…

Bonita Faye by Margaret Moseley

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Bonita Faye by Margaret Moseley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2016 by Brash Books
first published May 1996
Source: egalley from Brash Books


A fantastic surprise! I would say I was hooked by the first chapter but truth be told I was hooked by the first paragraph! Bonita Faye is quite the character and if you are used to reading southern fiction Bonita is up there with the best. This is not a spoiler because I'm going to talk about the very first sentence in the book. Bonita Faye starts her story off by telling us her secret, that she killed her no-good husband Billy Roy and does in such a charming manner I was soon gasping with laughter. Bonita is writing from her golden years and goes back and forth into the past to tell us her story which centres around that defining moment that changed her life when that abusive overbearing man left her life. It's hard to describe the genre here, I wouldn't call it mystery but there…

Cobweb Walking by Sara Banerji

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Cobweb Walking by Sara Banerji
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Bloomsbury
First published 1986
Source: egalley via netgalley


I've read one other book by this author and I feel like I've stumbled upon a hidden gem. There are currently no reviews for this book on either Librarything or Goodreads and only one on Amazon but I haven't read it. I feel intimidated to be putting my paltry so-called review out there alone. This book defies genre but is imbued with magical realism throughout. One cannot offer up a summary as this is a short book, an odd tale that defies summing up without giving away the secrets. While the story is entirely realistic, it is told by a seventeen-year-old female dwarf who lives in a fairy tale world which as just been shattered by a bomb. Her real name is Morgan but her Daddy calls her Fairy. She can walk on cobwebs and leaves no footprints in the snow yet now for the first time ever she is by herself lost i…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #4

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This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars. 
What I am Currently Reading
Fiction:
I'm just starting this but it will be my third by the author.
Non-Fiction:
This is going to take me a while to read but I'm really enjoying it. I've gone from the early thirties to early 50's. Rock n roll is about to hit the scene in the next chapter! Elvis is going to hit the airwaves and Jerry Lee is finally going to get noticed.
Manga/Graphic Novel:






















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. My current collection continues to be:

The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce

What I Finished Reading and/or Posted This Week
Stopping for a Spell: Three Magical Fantasies by Diana Wynne Jones
Har…