Friday, July 29, 2016

Kill the Competition by Stephanie Bond

Kill the Competition by Stephanie Bond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 358 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by NeedtoRead Books
First published January 1st 2003
Source: Kindle freebie

This book is pure and simple fluff but I admit I had a ball with it. Chick Lit with capital letters, this is not my typical type of read. I was attracted to the southern setting, Atlanta Georgia, and the fact that it was labelled "romantic mystery". The mystery isn't much but it does keep you guessing and surprise you because everybody has secrets that don't get told until the very end. Mostly, though this is a character book. Typical southern fiction with the quirky characters. The book revolves around Belinda and the three women she carpools to work with every day. it was a lot of fun I really enjoyed them all. Yes, it is a romance but it's pretty light and both guys she liked had their moments for me. An all around fun, light read!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Books on Marianology: The Perfect Woman by Fr. Leo. A. Pursley & CEM Eucharistic Marian Centres First Scheme of Meditations on the Rosary

The Perfect Woman by Fr. Leo. A. Pursley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Booklet, 30 pages
Published by St. Paul Editions
Source: yard sale

A short essay copyrighted "Our Sunday Visitor" but with no date. The latest date mentioned in the book is 1954, but that is referred to as in the past. Not exactly thrilling reading, the writing is a little dry. The information is interesting though and certainly worth the read. Fr. Pursley takes a quote from a non-Christian source, a Wordsworth poem.

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command."

He explains that this woman could only be the Blessed Virgen. She is not perfection as only God is, but she is the perfect woman. He then goes on to expound each of these roles applied to Mary: nobly planned, to give warning, to give comfort, and to command. If you have no idea what Mary stands for to us as Christians, this booklet will provide that knowledge in a convincing manner. Many people are quoted from scripture and their books, plus literary persons. Father Purley also gives an excellent description of the valuable and powerful place women have within the Catholic Faith. I'll end with this quote:

"... Men may study to be learned; women should study in order to be wise. ... Woman is not, by nature or grace, the mere echo of man. She is truly free only when she is free to be herself, to envelop herself those qualities that make her more womanly. She is not emancipated when she is gifted the dubious privilege of being less womanly. Whether she is destined for marriage or not, she is alway a mother at heart; she is always a fountain of life, not only in a physical sense but in a moral and spiritual self...."

CEM Eucharistic Marian Centres First Scheme of Meditations on the Rosary by C.E.M.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Booklet, 70 pages
Published 1986 by Central Secretariot, Roma
first published 1973
Source: yard sale

This is an interesting little booklet. It is for members of the CEM, Italian for Eucharistic Marian Centres. The book gives a brief history saying the movement is worldwide and celebrating 42 years, as of 1973. I can't find any information on these centres or groups so am thinking it has been disbanded or had a name change. The booklet has a signature within a signature. The outside wrap explains the history, purpose, rules, and prayers of the centres. The most interesting thing to be found in this section is an Exorcism prayer/ritual. The text proper introduces a special way of reciting the Rosary as a group. It covers the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. It explains the procedure and each decade has an introduction to be read by the leader giving thoughts of reflection. This is the meat of the book and I liked it very much. The rest of the main signature concludes with many prayers including popular ones such as the Angelus and Litany of The Blessed Virgin, but most are new to me. Not an exciting book but instructional and I'll use it for the unique Rosary approach.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski

Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 288 pg
Published June 8th 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Source: Purchased the kindle eition

Foreverland (#2)

This was absolutely fantastic! At first, I wasn't feeling the vibe as much as book one in the series, but I was still liking it and then it hit a point of no return for me. And the ending! OMG, the ending! Wonderful dystopia. This book takes place immediately after book one but it switches to the girls' story which is very different and has completely different characters. So it does take a bit to find the groove but it's set in the same "universe" so there is that familiarity. It is really very good. I have bought the final book, plus the freebie prequel) and can't wait to continue reading!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Choose Your Own Comment Adventure!

I just found out about this and it is a way to counter the book blogging trend of no comments these days. I'm as guilty as anyone else but I miss the old days where we were a smaller community and everyone knew everyone either from following their blogs or just seeing their names regularly in other people's comments.  This "Adventure" is hosted and conceived by Megan at Leafing Through Life. Click here to join the fun.

1. Bloggin' Bout Books - I found out about this challenge when I clicked on her comment on my blog. Susan and I have followed each other for years. So I went back and found her first post where she blogs about "Never Missing, Never Found—a new YA novel by Amanda Panitch. It is definitely my kind of book and added to the tbr. Susan laments about the fact that thrillers have never been a popular YA genre and like myself has recently found several coming out these days. Here's to hoping it's a new trend.

2. The Book Mine Set - Nobody had commented on this post yet so I went to my blog feeder and my first (non-strictly comic book related) blog is John's who I have been following for at least ten years. We even both got interviewed in the newspaper when he gave them my name when his Canadian Reading Challenge became popular! John is an interesting fellow for many reasons, one being that he lives in the Canadian Arctic! His latest review is on an Arctic explorer which is one of my favourite topics:  "The Man Who Mapped the Arctic by Peter Steele".

3. kay's reading life - Oh dear, nobody had commented on that post either so I'm back to my blog feeder and my next book blogger. Again, I've been following Kay for years. She used to blog under a different name. She's given up blogging for the time being but still pops in from time to time and her latest post tells us all about Litsy the newest reading app. I'm so jealous about it and want to join but it's US only at the moment so no go for me yet. ETA: Oops Litsy is worldwide. The reason I can't join is they only have an Apple app at the moment. I'm waiting for an Android app!

4. read_warbler - Kay's first commenter was Cathy. I've read Cathy from time to time. Her latest post is a list of the books she read in June. I haven't read any of them but 4 of the six are mysteries so right up my alley. One was a Georges Simenon book and he's one of my favourite writers. I read his psychological books, though, not the Maigret ones.

5. Here, There, and Everywhere (2nd edition) - Cathy's first commenter was DesLily who I used to read all the time when there was only a first edition! She's a big fantasy fan which I used to be (still am actually) but have not read that genre seriously in years now. Her real name is Pat and it looks like she's on a mystery/thriller run these days. Her latest post is about "Since She Went Away by David Bell". I've never even heard of the author but this is just the type of thing I like to read. Pat's read seven of his books now. I'll certainly have to put him on my list.

6.  Tea Time with Marce - Pat's first commenter was "read-warbler" again so I'm back to my blog feed. Next book blog is Marce's; I love everything she reads as she's big on mystery/thrillers and she has kept my tbr full ever since I started reading her a few years back. She lives in Bermuda of all places! Marce talks about Andrea Kane's latest book in a series I've not read, "The Murder That Never Was". I did read the author once though and liked it. This series is some sort of forensics/intrigue theme which sounds to die for!

7. Alternate Readality - Marce's first commenter was Jenny. This is my first ever visit to her blog. Her latest post is on "Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella". I haven't read this author as I do not like chick lit at all and unfortunately, Jenny didn't find this one very satisfying either giving it only 2 stars. But she reads other types of books and I'll be back to visit again.

8. On the Wings of Books - Jenny's first commenter was Marce again but since she got so many comments on this one I went to the next commenter, Kimberly. Another first time ever blog visit! Kimberly posts about the second book in a series "Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton".  This is a romance that doesn't interest me but one of the main topics is cheese, which I adore! I loved Kimberly's review though and will be back to read her reviews,

9. The Written Word - Kimberly didn't have any comments yet on this post and the next post had Jenny again ... soooo I'm back to my blog feeder. I've been reading Kelly's blog since I started book blogging. She's had a tough time blogging the last couple of years and this year tried out a "Week in Review" format and has been 100% successful. It is so nice to read her regularly again. Her week in review includes a novel, an audio book, and several comics/graphic novels. Kelly is a great commenter so always has lots of comments on her blog.

10. I Wish I lived in a Library - My final stop heading over from Kelly's is another new-to-me blogger. Katherine P has probably the best-named book blog I've ever heard! Katherine blogs about an author I've heard of but never read, "Better Get to Livin' by Sally Kilpatrick". This book sounds so me! It takes place in a funeral home and the main character is a beautician there who can talk to dead people! That book fits the theme of this blog so much I just have to read it!!

Well, that was a lot of fun. I'm so glad I participated!

Investigation Discovery: The Vanishing Women edited by James Ellis

Investigation Discovery: The Vanishing Women edited by James Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Magazine, 98 pages
Published July 2016 by Topic Media Lab
Source: Purchased print edition

A feature magazine about the six missing women from Chillicothe, Ohio since May 2014. I had not heard of this case and ID's presentation is very respectful to the families. In fact, it is also somewhat of an ode to the six women. We are told all about who they were, how they disappeared and in four cases, the finding of their bodies. This is all and well and hopefully, will serve to bring further tips and information to the police. However, from a true crime reader perspective, it is not satisfying as nobody has been caught, no suspect is named and in reality, we don't even know if the six disappearances are related. One is already labelled a suicide though the police are willing to look at any future evidence contrariwise. The photographs show lots of pictures of scenery and architecture mostly. The best part of the magazine from an entertainment perspective for the true crime reader are approx. the last 20 pages which feature other missing women cases, some solved, some not, some rescued, others only bodies found. This part includes Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard and the Cleveland Three along with other perhaps less known cases. For reading, I preferred ID's previous magazines, but we can at least take heart that this feature may lead to new information coming forth.

PS - The day after I wrote this review Jason McCrary was convicted of the murder of one of the women featured here, Timberly Claytor! Yeah!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill

Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Dundurn Group
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Cordi O'Callaghan (#4)

I don't usually start with book 4 of a mystery series but the plot of this one just sounded too good to pass on. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.The whole plot and the characters were too far-fetched and just not plausible. I just can't imagine real people reacting the way these characters did. The ending is very weird and totally unsatisfying. I'm not sure if it is a "too be continued" or it signifies the end of the series.I kind of feel like I might be more clued in if I'd read the first books, but on the other hand, the book read well, not ever hardly mentioning the previous plots or characters. The whole book is a bit of a mess, really. Though something tells me that if I happened upon the first book in this series I'd probably read it just to make sure it wasn't because I starting in the wrong place with the books.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Problem with Socialism by Thomas Dilorenzo

The Problem with Socialism by Thomas Dilorenzo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 18th 2016 by Regnery Publishing
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is probably the first book about politics that I have read. I am however an extremely political person :-) The greatest evil facing us today from within our own governments and authorities in power is socialism. This is a tremendous book written in layman's language by a man with a PhD in economics. Most of the chapters I knew the topic being discussed but I've learnt a wealth of history, quotes and names of those worthy of reading and quoting. While not written for students I think every young person graduating high school should read this book to help temper the socialistic ideology taught in public schools. There is a strange fascination about socialism from today's youth; those who didn't suffer the Cold War or live behind the Iron Curtain honestly haven't a clue about what it really is. Socialism = Communism = Fascism and this book in simple terms from a professor of the subject will tell you the history of where socialism came from, how it's been implemented and the escape from it in the 80s. That history may repeat itself in this way is unforgivable. I learned a lot of information about the more political topics such as unions, centralised banking, economic repercussions, and while I've always known minimum wage is a joke used to placate the masses, that chapter was very enlightening. My favourite chapters though were the one on "The Socialist Roots of Fascism".I had figured this out on my own several years ago but finding a well-written concise essay such as this was refreshing. Secondly,the chapter on the socialised public school system was very well put-together. As a believer in alternative education and the voucher system, this chapter again sends me to other people to read and quotes to remember. An excellent book that should be read by anyone of any age who wonders what's wrong with socialism and certainly by the youth entering the adult, voting public so they can learn the history of this ideology which falsely presents itself as charming to the "working" class. I underlined so many passages and added so many notes to the book, I'm bound to be referencing it many times.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd

Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2015 by Chatto & Windus
American publication to come: October 25th 2016 by Nan A. Talese
Source: egalley via edelweiss

A Brief Life series

Superb! I am a huge Hitchcock fan and have read much about his movies and life. Yet I still knew I must read Ackroyd's "Brief Life" of the director because of the enjoyment I got out of his brief life take on Poe. This is not an extensive biography, hence the name of Ackroyd's biographical series "A Brief Life", however, it is tremendously full and detailed. Ackroyd takes the "auteur" approach of a director by telling Hitchcock's life story chronologically movie by movie. It is as much a history of his work as it is of himself. Written in an engaging narrative the author manages to give detailed information on every movie Hitchcock made always including screenwriter, what book (story) if any it was based on, cameraman, music writer and actors. Starting with a brief section on his early life from birth, it doesn't take long until the book moves on to Hitch's first movie. The information is comprehensive and does give spoilers on plot for every movie and most books. Through reading this I've found that I've seen every Hitchcock movie, at least once, except for one silent film and one early British movie which didn't ring any bells for me either by name or plot. Even if you know a lot about Hitchcock already this is a must read for fans as it includes fantastic information on his personal life, relationship with daughter and wife and his many obsessive relations with some of his female stars.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim by Shane Peacock

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim by Shane Peacock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 334 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Tundra Books
Source: Received a review copy from LibraryThing Review Program

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim (#1)

I adored the author's Boy Sherlock series and was delighted to hear about this new series. High Victorian Gothic horror and mystery abound in this tale set in approx. the same timeframe as the Sherlock books. Victorian era, but this time mostly set in the Scottish highlands. Very dark and eerie. The paranormal elements come from a boy who can literally feel the emotion and action in tales of fiction. He finds out there are others like him and that the monsters are real. The literary connections make the plot even more exciting for book lovers. "Frankenstein" and Polidori's "The Vampyre" are spoken of a great deal, while Goethe's "Faust" and "Dracula" become main plot elements. Bram Stoker is himself a secondary character as is a famous stage actor of the time. I found the story highly atmospheric and entertaining. The pace was a little slow, but it was a great beginning to a new series.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ebook, 239 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by Open Road Media
First published 1951
Source: received an egalley via netgalley

This is sort of the British equivalent of the depressing Irish novels. I like those Irish books better. Obviously somewhat biographical this short novel takes a couple of years in the life of young 21yo Arthur Seaton. The majority of the book contains Part 1 Saturday Night and tells of Arthur's life as a man about the neighbourhood. He works in a bicycle factory; is good at his job and gets paid well, spending his money on classy clothes. He's a drunk and a ladies man. Most of the action takes place on Saturday nights when he goes pubbing, gets blindingly drunk, has affairs with married women, gets beat up by their husbands and gets into general mischief in the "yard" where he lives being a prankster and having a temper for revenge. Part 2: Sunday Night has Arthur realising at 24yo that carefree days are over, he's working on marrying a woman a few years younger than himself and coming to terms with routines of life when settling down. I felt a certain charm for the book as it reminds me of my heritage, with my father growing up in the same era not far away and hearing war stories from my Gran. None of the characters are likeable as they have internal moral codes they make up as they go along, but family is always strong. A small redeeming factor about the characters. This is a slow read as it plods along with certain episodes happening now and then but there is no real plot, action or climax. Just a slice of life in a 1950s council tenement street full of working class people. Not a thrilling story though I do find a bit of allure from it and will read the author again.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Darkness Rising #1:The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, First Edition, 359 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Harper
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher

Darkness Rising (#1)

Unfortunately, this was very slow in getting started. I stuck with it because I had enjoyed her previous paranormal YA trilogy and was expecting something. But it took up to about page 220 for that something to happen. The first 200-odd pages are simply teen school life, crushes, hates, bullies, friends, yadayadayada. There are tiny hints of what is coming so it is no shock when it does. But finally the plot gets going, the paranormal aspects arrive and the action is fast-paced; the reading page-turning. I liked the ending and will read the next book, hoping it will jump straight into the plot where the characters have been left at this point. This book could have been better if the first two hundred pages had been reduced to perhaps two chapters, seriously.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski

The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published December 31st 2011 by Bertausk
Source: purchased as a kindle freebie

Foreverland (#1)

Fantastic YA dystopia! I don't know why I hadn't heard of either this series or the author before, as this is a must read for fans of the genre. I can't really talk about the plot as it is slowly revealed as the book moves forward. We do have a group of boys on a deserted island, their memories have been wiped clean and inserted with many conflicting false memories. They get to do what they want most of the time except they must play video game tournaments and go to classes which are pure discussion, no tests or paperwork. Sounds fun, right? They even get to go to Foreverland where the impossible can happen. But getting to Foreverland is a nightmare. It's an interesting, exciting and somewhat frightening world they live in as the reader along with a couple of rogue boys tries to figure out what it going on. I pretty much guessed by the middle of the book but only the basic concept there were many more secrets to be revealed right up to the end.The writing is great, teen dialogue is realistic. Both the suspense and the pure curiosity of what the heck was going on had me turning pages all day long into the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately, sleep overtook me and I had to read the final 10% as soon as I woke up. I've already added the sequel to my line-up of future tbrs.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Magic Tales (Told-again tales from many lands) by Adelaide Holl

Magic Tales (Told-again tales from many lands) by Adelaide Holl
Illustrated by Pat & Paul Karch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published 1964 by Charles E. Merrill Books
Source: bought secondhand

Told-again tales from many lands (Grade 3)

As my regular readers know, I read a short story every morning with my coffee. I went for a change of pace these last two weeks and chose an old book of fairy tales instead!

A soon as I saw this book at a used book sale, I had to have it. I used to get the same book out of my elementary school library all the time! In fact, there was a row of these books I read. The book is from a textbook publisher and obviously intended for schools. There are three stars on the cover and spine; markings such as these usually referred to the grade level making this a Grade 3 reader. I googled more information and indeed did find grade 1 and grade 2 exist as do some supplemental readers. These would have been for those finished this grade 3 volume. I haven't rated the individual stories as I usually do with short story collections as these are all written by the same author at a certain reading level. They are well-told but reading level controlled. There are some famous and not-so-famous stories included and the author has taken out any gruesome bits from the originals but not tampered with them much. I really enjoyed reading it as it brought back childhood memories but from an unbiased pov it's not great literature and doesn't even try to be. However it does the job of entertaining the intended audience and I'm personally proof that it (or the series) lead me to a life of interest in fairy tales. The art is nice and typical of the sixties. I'll keep this one for my shelves.

1. The Bojabi Tree (African) - Very traditional tale. All the animals are hungry but the fruit (plums) won't fall from the tree. Then someone remembers that you must say the tree's name to make it give up its fruit. Of course, no one remembers so three animals are sent to the wise man. The first for its agility and the second for its power, but each time they come back they have forgotten the name. Finally, tortoise goes with a trick to remember a long name and though he is slow he accomplishes the task and is honoured by the others.

2. The Wishing Gate (Scandinavian) - Blunder sets off to find the wishing gate so he can wish for two shetland ponies and a red cart. This uses the typical trope of journeying on and asking each creature you meet along the way for help who then each send you off to someone else. Blunder is such a "blunderer" he makes mistakes all the way. And unlike tales of this kind he gets no reward in the end, but of course, he didn't deserve it.

3. The Cat and the Parrot (East Indian) - A fun one I hadn't heard before! Follows the formula of "The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly". Only we have a greedy, hungry cat who eats the parrot who invited him for dinner, then an old lady, a man and his donkey, the King's entourage including elephants. But finally, it is little crabs who are his out doing! LOL

4. Cinderella (French) - Very nice retelling. Even though it's been simplified all the original elements have been included with only very minor changes such as Cinderella rushing forward to try on the slipper instead of being hidden and coaxed into it. Of course, the typical scene of the stepsisters trying on the shoe and it simply not fitting is included instead of the gore of Perrault. Since this is the first story that I've read before it gives me an indication of the accuracy of the others.

5. Five Peas in a Pod (Danish, Hans Christian Andersen) - Five peas in a pod have aspirations, except the last smallest one. A boy comes along and sends them into the world with his pea shooter. The fifth pea's story is told.

6. The Flying Ship (Russian) - A nice retelling of the peasant boy who brings the king a flying ship in exchange for marriage to the princess. He picks up passengers along the way who help him with the trick the king tries to play on him.

7. The Golden Pears (English) - The typical fairy tale trope is used here of three brothers who one after another try to deliver pears to the king. The youngest, least clever one is who eventually succeeds winning spoils from the king and setting his first brothers free from the dungeon.

8. East of the Sun (Scandinavian) - A popular tale, it's more often called "East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon". This is a Beauty and the Beast type story, only the beast is a great cuddly fun polar bear. The girl breaks the rules, of course, and then goes off to save her prince by travelling with the four directional winds. A good retelling, only I'd like to know how one can see a man sleeping in bed and know he is a prince. LOL

9. The Lost Ax (Greek, Aesop) - I think this is mislabeled. I certainly don't recognise it as Aesop and secondly since when did he write about woodsmen and fairies? Anyway, a typical fairytale style. An honest man receives his own ax plus gold and silver ones from a fairy in a lake. After telling his story to a lazy man, that man goes and throws his ax in the same lake with very different results.

10. The Monkey's Heart (East Indian) - This is a tale that has been told around the world in different renditions. A greedy monkey wishes he could taste the fruit on the other side of the river, but can't swim. A crocodile hears him and offers him a ride across; halfway there the crocodile tries to drown the monkey because he wants the monkey's heart. In this tale the monkey tricks the crocodile and stays safe, never wishing for what is on the other side of the river again. Other incarnations of the story's main character are mostly not so lucky as in the gingerbread man being eaten by the fox on their journey across the river.

11. The Troll of the Cave (Scandinavian) - Popular tale using the device of three siblings; this time daughters of a widow. Each daughter is tricked by a troll and kidnapped to do his chores. The youngest is the cleverest, of course, and devices a plan for them all to escape and capturing the troll to boot.

12. The Silver River (Chinese) - A tale of unrequited love. A cow shows his cowherd that he is meant to wed one of the maidens forever. After they marry this becomes an origin story as they are a doomed couple and create the Milky Way (Silver River) in the heavens.

13. The Prince of Uppland (Swedish) - Two baby boys are out in a sea chest while the ship goes down with their mothers, the Queen and the cook. Years later the King must decide which is his son and a wise man puts them to a test.

14. The Rabbit and the Monkey (East Indian) - A monkey throws a rabbit into a tree for a prank. A rhino helps the rabbit down and the two go off on adventures. Later rabbit meets monkey and plays a trick on him to pay him back for getting stuck in the tree. The moral is that practical jokesters usually only amuse themselves.

15. Rapunzel (German) - A typical retelling of the popular tale that leaves all the nasty bits out, such as the prince being blinded. This one is all very happy and they trick the witch easily. This is one of those tales where the villain demands the first born child in exchange for punishing the parent.

16. The Straw Ox (Russian) - A straw ox covered with tar catches some fine goods for a poor man and his wife. Rather silly.

17. Snow White (German) - A good retelling of the popular tale with some not-so-familiar elements such as the Queen trying to strangle Snow with some lace before poisoning her with the apple and this tale ends with no kiss. The Prince decides to take Snow to his castle and the piece of apple falls out of her throat awakening her. Interesting.

18. The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Danish, Hans Christian Andersen) - Another good retelling of a classic. It's been a long time since I read HC Andersen's originals but it feels like something is missing from this. However, it keeps the melancholy mood and the not-very-happy ending.

19. The Tinderbox (Scandinavian) - A soldier comes upon a tinder box that summons three different dogs. He gets rich and shares his money with the poor. After what is basically kidnapping the princess every night, he is caught and to be hanged. The dogs save him. Weird tale, I felt the soldier was more of a scoundrel than a hero.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder

Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 425 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Bantam Press
Source: Purchased print edition

This is Mo Hayder's most recent standalone and now means I have caught up with her and read every one of her books. I have to admit that this was a slow read and comparing it to her other books I was going to give it a three. That is until the ending! Wow, what a rush the last third was and what a shocking twist ending!! She needs to hurry up and write a new book as I don't see anything coming up yet.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Book Day Callenge

Today is the beginning of John's Canada Book Reading Challenge, which I've participated in every year. I don't really do challenges anymore, but this one is a *must*. The goal is to read 13 books by Canadians and the challenge runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

Since I easily read the 13 books, I've been assigning myself personal challenges the last few years to consider myself officially finished the challenge, one year I did 13 Dear Canada books, this year I did 13 mysteries by Canadians. For the 10th year my theme will be "books in a series". 2017 is going to be my work-on-series-I've-already-stated year, so I'm carrying the theme along with me here.

Canada Book Challenge
read 13 books including 13 books in a series
1. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (1 SERIES)
2. The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim by Shane Peacock (2 SERIES)
3. Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill  (3 SERIES)
4. The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe  (4 SERIES)
5. Mister X: The Modern Age by Dean Motter
6. The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary Tales by Maria Leach
7. By Gaslight by Steven Price
8. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
9. The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem by Laura & Jake Gosselin  (5 SERIES)
10. The Pinkaboos: Belladonna and the Nightmare Academy by Laura & Jake Gosselin  (6 SERIES)
11. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage
12. Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush by Carol Shields
13. Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard

personal goal 6/13 'books in a series'
14. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley (7 SERIES)
15. Double You by Shane Peacock  (8 SERIES)
16. The Shame Trilogy by Lovern Kindzierski
17. A Murder for Max: A Maxine Benson Mystery by John Lawrence Reynolds  (9 SERIES)
18. The Wolf and Me by Richard Scrimger  (10 SERIES)
19. Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
20. Terminal City Deluxe Edition by Dean Motter