Monday, February 23, 2015

Saying goodbye to a dear friend

Tonight I am starting to say goodbye to a dear friend.  A friend that has endured my wrath at times, has my fingerprints all over it, has a hole in it (no clue how that happened), has a few pieces of duct tape on it, has been yelled at and spat on, etc.  I am talking about a friend that I have taken to Alberta on a few occasions, took to Whitehorse a few years ago, went to Arizona a few years back and discovered The Office while in a darkened bedroom one morning when I had ran out of shows to watch, and has spent a lot of time going back and forth between my home in Abbotsford and my vacation time at Sun Peaks.  It has been there when I couldn't sleep at 2 am and when I had been banished to my bedroom and has even been hidden underneath my bed at times.  It even was taken with me one time to work one day when the fire alarm went off as I was leaving for work.  I have played many games on it for many hours and has given me countless hours of entertainment by watching videos and listening to music and podcast.  I even experienced the Olympics on four different occasions with this friend.  It saw my growth as a blogger and has been with me when my favourite team lost in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

I don't know when this friend will be replaced, probably in the next day or two, but it will be a sad moment when I go to pick up its replacement.  I had hoped to bring it to Europe in about a year and a half, but that won't be happening and only experienced Europe through the photos of my parents.  I have downloaded countless hours of podcasts through this friend and have enjoyed every minute of them and it was able to experience 4 different devices (2 iPods and 2 iPhones).  A number of the parts have been replaced and are starting to break down.

I realize that my friend isn't human, but when you get a laptop in May 2008 and its the first computer you pay for, you become attached to it and it does become a friend.

So hopefully the computer below will become just as dear to me as the one above.

Many trails, MacBook; you gave me lots of happiness and joy, especially when I watched Matthew propose to Mary back in 2012 and may you find happiness in computer heaven...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 16)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journeyin which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

Books finished this month:

  • The Silver Chair
  • The Last Battle
  • Station Eleven
  • The Miniaturist
  • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Madame Picasso
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Books reviewed this month:
Books I hope to finish this week:

  • The Book of Strange New Things
  • After the War is Over
Books I hope to work on this week:
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • While We're Far Apart

Mailbox Monday (February 16)

Mailbox Monday is a place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week.  After being hosted at a number of blogs over the past few years, it has gone back to its home base, the aptly named, Mailbox Monday.

I had a good haul over the last week and here is what I received:

• Pioneer Girl was a birthday gift from my parents that was a few weeks belated (I have already the book)
• The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches was something I was looking at for a few months before the trade paperback came out (I only get the trade for this series so it means a delay in getting the book and probably will read it in the summer)
• Such a Pretty Face is a bookclub read that I probably should read in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#wintersrespite Update

So far I have been quite successful in completing three books, but they were books that I was in the midst of reading and two that were almost done.  Still not bad.  I hope to be equally successful in the coming days, but I am not going to put too much pressure on myself to get them done before Sunday.  Happy reading.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
File size (Pages): 939 KB (104)
Published: 2010 (originally published 1843)
Challenges: e-book, Reading England, The Classics Club
Genre: Christmas, Classics, Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

The beloved holiday classic with illustrations by John Leech. A Christmas Carol is Dickens' haunting cautionary tale about Ebenezer Scrooge a miserly businessman who dismisses charity and holiday cheer with an icy "bah humbug!" One night Scrooge finds himself visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley returned from the dead with a trio of spirits and a plea for his old friend Ebenezer to change his ways and open his heart to the true meaning of Christmas... before it's too late. (via

Thoughts: Probably due to the fact that I was reading other books, I wasn't as engaged with the book this time around as I was back in December 2013.  Nonetheless, the book was worth re-reading.

I did find that some of the book was a bit dry at times, but the words that Dickens uses does help with portraying 1843 London as a place that was not exactly a place a person would want to be.

Dickens also was able to show how man can become easily enamoured with the trappings of the world rather than focusing on helping those less fortunate out and that the lesson that Scrooge is forced to learn, that material wealth isn't all it is cracked up to be.  I also liked how the book is still very applicable to us 170 years after the book was published.

Bottom line: Even though I was distracted with other books and wasn't able to appreciate the book as I did a little over a year ago, it is a book that has application to us now.  Highly Recommended.

Rating: 4/5

Pages in 2015: 2,439

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (The Chronicles of Narnia #5)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 288
Published: 1994 (first published 1952)
Challenges: Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Children's, Classics, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Church Library

Description: Lucy and Edmund, with their dreadful cousin Eustace, get magically pulled into a painting of a ship at sea. That ship is the Dawn Treader, and on board is Caspian, King of Narnia. He and his companions, including Reepicheep, the valiant warrior mouse, are searching for seven lost lords of Narnia, and their voyage will take them to the edge of the world. Their adventures include being captured by slave traders, a much-too-close encounter with a dragon, and visits to many enchanted islands, including the place where dreams come true. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: For some reason, I found this book to be difficult to get through.  Maybe it was the fact that the story seemed to be too chaotic and disjointed for liking and that maybe if I were closer to the age of the main characters, I may have enjoyed the book a more than I did.

Bottom line: For me at least, there were parts of the book that felt dull but also there were parts that were enjoyable and entertaining.  It was a nice continuation of the series and towards the end of the book, I finally could see the illusion that Lewis was aiming towards.  Recommended.

Rating: 2.75/5

Pages for 2015: 2,335

Daisy Miller - Henry James

Title: Daisy Miller
Author: Henry James
File size (Pages): 356 KB (128)
Published: 1987 (first published 1878)
Challenges: Back to the Classics, E-book, I Love LIbraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Classics
Edition: E-book
Source: Public Library

Description: Travelling in Europe with her family, Daisy Miller, an exquistely beautiful young American woman, presents her fellow-countryman Winterbourne with a dilemma he cannot resolve. Is she deliberately flouting social conventions in the way she talks and acts, or is she simply ignorant of them? When she strikes up an intimate friendship with an urbane young Italian, her flat refusal to observe the codes of respectable behavior leaves her perilously exposed. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had heard about this book through a number of sources over the years, but it was Texts from Jane Eyre that prompted me to actually read the book and to give it a chance and see what it was about.

But for me, it fell a little flat and found that I really didn't care for Daisy and found her to be shallow and superficial.  And where there was probably a point that the author was trying to point out, I was unable to find what it was.

Bottom line: I felt that the book was a little rushed and that it could have been fleshed out a little more to give the reader a little more time to understand what was going on.  Recommended, but with reservations.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pages for 2015: 2,047
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