Showing posts from May, 2015

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

Title: The Minaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Pages 416
Published: 2014
Challenges: Historical Fiction, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Public Library

Description: Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…"

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized…

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Pages: 333
Published: 2014
Challenges: Just for Fun, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Public Library

Description: One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between t…

The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Last Battle (The Chronicles of Narnia #7)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 229
Published: 1994 (first published 1955)
Challenges: Classics Club, Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Children's, Classic, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-market Paperback
Source: Church Library

Description: The last battle is the greatest battle of all. Narnia... where lies breed fear... where loyalty is tested... where all hope seems lost. During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge - not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to theChronicles of Narnia. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading the other 6 books in the series, I think that I expected a different end and that my expectations were somewhat elevated as to how the series ended, not that…

The Silver Chair - C. S. Lewis

Title: The Silver Chair (The Chronicles of Narnia #6)
Author: C. S. Lewis
Pages: 272
Published: 1994 (first published 1953)
Challenges: Finishing the Series, Classics Club, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Children's, Classic, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Church Library

Description:A prince imprisoned - a country in peril. Narnia... where giants wreak havoc.... where evil weaves a spell... where enchantment rules. Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, a noble band of friends are sent to rescue a prince held captive. But their mission to Underland brings them face-to-face with an evil more beautiful and more deadly than they ever expected. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  Really enjoyed this book, as it seemed to have a better flow to the story than The Dawn Treader and seemed to be less contrived than the previous book and more of what I have usually experienced with other narrative fiction that I have read.

I think that th…

Mailbox Monday (June 1)

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.

Due to the spending splurge that I had a couple of weeks ago, I got a 10% off card that I had a limited time to use the card.  So on Wednesday after work, I went back to the Chapters location in Langley and bought a couple more books.  And instead of spending about $42, I spent about $28.  And here is what I got:

I guess with my previous purchase I have my reading basically set for the summer.

Armchair BEA Day 4 - Book to Movie Adaptations

If there is one thing that I enjoy, is watching book to movie adaptations.  There are times in which I don't get to read the book right away, but do eventually do get around to reading the book.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

About a Boy - I did read the book afterwards and the movie was fairly faithful to the book and it was quite enjoyable as a film

Sense and Sensibility - while there are some aspects of the movie adaptation which seem a little far-fetched (one being Emma Thompson playing the role of a character who is probably 15-20 years younger), it is a pretty good adaptation and had a really good cast (Hugh Laurie is in the film and it wasn't until much later that I was able to recognize him in the film).  I didn't even recognize Alan Rickman when I first watched the film, as I remember him being the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Pride and Prejudice (1995) - Probably my favourite adaptation.  Personally I don't care if there are thing…

Armchair BEA Day 3 - Blogging Q & A

Today one of the topics ask us about our blogging habits and what keeps us going.

What keeps me blogging here is interacting with other readers and the community that I have created with them as a result of being apart of the community.

The blogging platform that I use is Blogger.  I think part of the reason was that it was a platform that I was aware of at the time that I started a previous blog that I haven't really blogged on since.  Since I have heard about WordPress, but I choose to stay here because I know what to expect than if I would move over to WordPress, especially in regards to adding photos and other media to my blog.

I network by getting involved in with memes, getting involved with readalongs and making sure that I have somesort of social media presence for the blog (I have a Facebook page for this blog under the same name) and by also linking up my blog posts through NetworkedBlogs.  And also by keeping up to date with book reviews (which for some reason that I ha…

ArmchairBEA Day 2: Social Media

Armchair BEA is for those people who cannot visit Book Expo America but still want to join in the fun. This week, May 27th to 31st, there are celebrations for those who stay at home rather than make it to New York. Check here for other participating blogs discussing social media. 

Today, Thursday, is about the use of social media.


I have two twitter accounts, actually.  One, @melissawiebe, is my primary twitter account and where is you can chat with me on any issue on the sun and the one that I use most of the time the second one, @mjreadings, is one that I primarily use for my book blogging


I do use it for personal reason, but I also have a Facebook page for my blog, Jayne's Books.There I link up with my blog posts here.  I also put things that might interest my readers that I might not be able to post on my blog here, but that is very occasional.


I also have an instagram account (@melissajayne80) that I post the covers of the books that I am currently reading…

Armchair BEA - Introduction Questions 2015

It's that time of year again; a time when a number of bloggers look forward to sharing the excitement of those that are heading to the BEA Expo from the comfort of their own homes.  And to kick things off, we answer a bunch of questions.

Here are the questions for this year:
Tell us a bit about yourself: How long have you been blogging? Where are you from? How did you get into blogging? Why do you loving reading and blogging? What is your theme song? What does diversity mean to you? What is one book everyone should read? Share your favorite blog post on your blog. (aka written by you!) What is your favorite genre and why? What book are you reading right now?
What is the top book in your TBR pile? What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer? If you were stranded on a deserted island, what author would you want to bring with you? Why?
1) I am from Vancouver, BC. I have been blogging for about 4 years, but probably a bit longer. I started blogging on LiveJournal and eventua…

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros; Teaser Tuesdays (May 26)

This is my choice for this week:

First published 1928
We are at rest five miles behind the front.  Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans.  We are satisfied and at peace.  Each man has another mess-tin full for the evening; and, what is more, there is a double ration of sausage and bread.  That put a man in fine trim.  We have not had such luck as this for a long time.  The cook with his carroty head is begging us to eat; he beckons with his ladle to every one that passes, and spoons him out a great dollop.  He does not see how he can empty his stew-pot in time for coffee.  Tjaden and Müller have produced two washbasins and had them filled up to the brim as a reserve.  In Tjaden this is voracity, Müller it is foresight.  Where Tjaden puts it all is a mystery, for he is and always will be as thin as a rake. - pg. 1& 2

Would you continue reading?

Musing Monday (May 25)

The last few days, due to work, I have been unable to read anything and the last few weeks my blogging has been non-existent, but I hope that will change sometime soon.  And I am starting to blog again in small steps and this is one of them.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…Up next I think I’ll read…I bought the following book(s) in the past week…I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…I can’t wait to get a copy of…I wish I could read ___, but…I blogged about ____ this past week…THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Where is the strangest place you’ve ever read a book? OR… Where is the strangest place you’ve ever found a crazy-good book,  Right now I am in the middle of a book slump, which is a bit of a bummer, but up next I will read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque (book club read that I have to present in about a week and a…

BOTNS Reading Bingo

I am a huge fan of BOTNS (Books on the Nightstand) and have listened to every episode that they have produced.  I know that I have mentioned them in an earlier post about the book podcasts that I listen to (will have to update the podcast, as there are new ones on the list).

One of the things that Ann and Michael have done for the last couple of years is a BOTNS Summer Bingo reading challenge.  Its a very relaxed reading challenge except that you have to read books within those categories and yes you do have a free space as to read whatever you like.  The fun part of the reading challenge is that you can refresh your card until you get something that you feel you like and will also challenge you.

So this is the card that I chose this summer:

I think the ones that may be a challenge for me are the poetry collection, self-help (not a big fan of the genre), finding a book in which the protagonist/narrator is over 50 years old, and the obscure novel by a famous author.
So if you wish to …

Mailbox Monday (May 18)

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 went on a bit of book buying binge this past weekend.  Never discount me and good deals that are being offered at the book store (this one was buy $40 or more at the store, not online, and get a $10 gift card from the store to be used at a later date; I won't say how much I spent, but it was definitely over $40).

So on Saturday afternoon, I went to the store and purchased about 5 books in addition to the 2 that I had just received on Wednesday from Amazon (The White Queen and Bring Up the Bodies).  So without further ado, here they are:

In order they are:

The White Queen by Philippa GregoryThe Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa GregoryThe White Princess by Philippa GregoryThe Signature of All Things by Elizabeth GilbertThe Moon & More by …

#boutofbooks Wrap-Up Post

Overall, I think I did pretty good.  I got All the Bright Places completed and got most of Vanessa and Her Sister completed and should be done on Monday or Tuesday.
As for pages read, I got about 370 completed, which is pretty good, but for me a little disappointing. Hopefully the one in August is a little better for me in that respect.  I didn't really participate in any Twitter chats nor did I do any challenges, but I did enter a contest on Saturday.

#boutofbooks Update #6

Today was a bit better reading wise, but still didn't spend the full day reading; am hoping that I will be able to that tomorrow, as I don't have anything really planned.  I hope to get at least part 2 and completed from Vanessa and Her Sister and start Book of Life and get the first little bit completed.

While I know that there is no really sanctioned twitter chat, I will try to come around and chat with some of my fellow readers at some point during the day.

Happy book dreams.

Saturday Snapshot (May 16)

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Every now and then, I spend some time with my mom's parents on Saturday mornings.  More often than not, we spend sometime at their favourite spot: Tim Horton's.   Now if you live in Canada or have spent any time here, you know what I am referring to.  The chain has also expanded into the United States under the banner Tim Horton's Cafe and Bake Shop.  I took this photo this morning, while my mom and I (not pictured) were enjoying sometime with them.

#boutofbooks Update #5

While I didn't finish anything, nor get anything really completed, I did start reading Vanessa and Her Sister on Friday and am in the process of possibly starting two other books that I am wanting to get done.  Thankfully it is the weekend and so I will probably be able to get a little more reading done after a fairly busy week.  Maybe I'll stop to watch the series finale of Mad Men this coming Sunday evening and to attend church and to do a few other tasks that I would like to get done.

Here's to a happy weekend of reading....

#boutofbooks Update #4

Thursday was a bit more successful of a reading day, in that I did actually complete a book off my list,  All the Bright Places.  I don't know how much I will be able to read today, but if things work out, I shouldn't have an issue getting some reading done.  I don't know if I will get anything completed, but I'll see.

Book Blogger Hop: May 15th - 21st

The question this week is:

If you see a book you like but see it is 400 or 500+ pages, will you still read it? 
Yes I will still the read the book, especially if it is a book that I want to read.

#boutofbooks Update #3

While I did expect not to read a lot today, I did kinda expect to read during the evening.  That didn't exactly happen.  I didn't sleep well overnight and due to some social engagements I had during the afternoon, I was exhausted.  And the last thing on my mind was sitting down and reading.  But I did go to the libraries that I have membership with and pick up materials I had requested.  The next  few days should be better, but sometimes life throws you curve balls that you can't anticipate.

Hope you all have pleasant bookish dreams.

#boutofbooks Update #2

While I didn't read the amount that I had hoped to, I did read a bit more than I did on Monday.  The reason for the lack of reading was due to the fact that I was busy for a good portion on Tuesday, cleaning in the afternoon and at my Bible study group in the evening and by the time I got home, I was feeling tired (I didn't finish the movie that I had hoped to watch prior to going to be).  Wednesday will probably look somewhat the same, as I have a number of things up in the afternoon, but I am not as busy in the evening and hopefully I can get some reading done then.  Thursday through Sunday are much more freer and looks like I will be able to read for most of them.  Happy reading.

#boutofbooks Update #1

Didn't read as much as I hoped to; was hoping to complete All the Bright Places on Monday, but due to waking up late and having stuff to deal with, I didn't really read much.  I tried to read this evening, but some reason my head wasn't in it.    I hope that this afternoon will be a little more productive.   And by not reading much, I read like 10 pages.

#boutofbooks 13 Sign-up

This is one of my favourite read-a-thon's (my other being the 24 hour readathon, among a couple of others) and the start date is creeping up on me.  If you want to join, you can still do so.
Here is some information about Bout of Books:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I hope that you will be able to join me as well.
Here are the books that I hope to read from: The Book of LifeThe Color PurpleAll the Bright PlacesAll Quiet on the Western FrontVanessa and Her SisterMoon over ManifestWhile We're Far Apartplus maybe a one or more two boo…