Showing posts from 2017

Venetian Blood - Christine Evelyn Volker

Title: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City
Author: Christine Evelyn Volker
Pages: 329
Published: 2017
Genre: Mystery
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal library

Description: To escape a failing marriage, Anna Lucia Lottol goes to Venice to visit an old friend-and becomes a suspect in a brutal murder echoing a gruesome homicide that happened decades ago. Fearful of foreign justice and hoping to prove her innocence, she gathers clues before the real murderer comes for her. At the climax of her journey, she discovers a secret that will change her life. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really enjoyed the engrossing nature of the book, but for whatever reason I just was unable to connect with the book in a way that I really wanted to.  Partly I think it was that I felt that the beginning of the book happened a little too quick for my liking and I didn't like that there wasn't a set up for the murder.  As a result, I felt lost from the get go, even though by the end of the book I…

2017 Thankfully Reading Weekend

I am going to do this again, since I have most of the weekend off (have bookclub on Saturday and a shift at my job on Sunday).

I am going to work a few books, but mainly Venetian Blood by Christine Evelyn Volker and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  I will also read Outlander.  

I will read a combination of print and ebook, but mainly print.

Hope you all have a great weekend of reading.

Wanderers No More - Michelle Saftich

Title: Wanderers No More (Port of No Return Book 2)
Author: Michelle Saftich
Pages: 303
Published: 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: E-Book
Source: I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Description:  The war may be over, but the fight to belong is just beginning.

Left homeless, starving, and almost killed by the Second World War, the Saforo family are refugees fleeing Italy for a better life. The shores of Australia are calling to them and they head off, packing dreams of jobs, a home and … soccer.

But from the moment they get off the boat, adapting to the Australian way of life is harder than it seems. Their family doesn’t speak right, eat right or even look right. As they struggle to build a simple life against the backdrop of 1950s racism, they start to wonder if they will be outsiders forever.

A true family affair, Wanderers No More will make you laugh, remind you of your family, and war…

24 Hour Readathon Opening Meme #readathon

Good morning readathoners

Hope everyone has their coffee/tea beside them and is ready to go.

1) I am reading from Abbotsford, BC
2) I don't know which book I am looking forward to the most to reading, but probably What Happened later tonight.
3) Probably the golden arches that I will get later tonight or the homemade soup I made yesterday.
4) Spent 2 years living in Brazil as a child
5) I'll be working later this morning for a few hours and then volunteering at my church afterwards, which will hopefully give a little more jump later on this evening.

Path of Lucas - Susanne Bellefeuille

Title: Path of Lucas: The Journey He Endured
Author: Susanne Bellefeuille
Pages: 350
Published: 2015
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Lucas Clarkson is a simple man, a family man, and a hard working farmer's son. From a small town in Eastern Ontario, the author, Susanne Bellefeuille, brings us on Lucas's journey through the trials and tribulations of his life. Lucas's path is not as simple as the man he's portrayed to be. From the days spent working on his dad's farm to becoming a successful mechanic, with a genuine heart and his incredible strength, Lucas faces many difficult decisions. The choices he makes may be the difference between realizing his dreams and keeping his family together. (via Goodreads)


Bout of Books 20

It's almost that time of year again. Time to get on with Bout of Books and a week of reading bliss. 

If you have forgotten what Bout of Books is, here is a little reminder:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th 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 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Here are my reading goals for the week:
The Fellowship of the RingWinter (Luner Chronicles #4)By GaslightOutlander I will likely expand my reading goals as the week progresses.

I hope you are able to join me.

High Summer Readathon 2017

I realize that this is really late, but I am doing this nonetheless. 

Here are the book I hope to read during the readathon:
Victoria by Julia BairdThe Sun is also a Star by Nicola YoonThe Essex SerpentThe German Girl by Armando Lucas CorreaBrooklyn by Colm toibinSaint Anything by Sarah DessenThe Lost City of Z by David GrannOutlander by Diana GabaldonFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
I don't know how much I will get done out of the books, but I hope most will be read.

20 Books of Summer 2017

Welcome to the 20 Books of Summer reading event, hosted by Cathy of 746 Books. This event involves reading 20 books over the course of the summer. It runs from June 1st to September 3rd. Learn more about the event here.

I realize I am a few days late on starting this challenge, but I suppose that better be a little late is better than discovering this on September 4.

I have more than enough books to get me through the summer.

Here is my list:
1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
3. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
4. Voyager by Diana Gabldon
5. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
6. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
7. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
8. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
9. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thein
10. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
11. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
12. Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow
13. Neurotribes  by Steve Silberman
14. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
15.  Saint Anything by …

The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

Title: The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Published: 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, on…

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware

Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Pages: 352
Published: 2017
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong… (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I thought it was a good read.  It wasn't Girl on the Train or Gone Girl by any means, but it was still tense enough to keep me reading at a …

The Truth According to - Annie Barrows

Title: The Truth According to Us
Author: Annie Barrows
Pages: 528
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including …

Ashes - Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Ashes (Seeds of America #3)
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 298
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I quite enjoyed the book and thought it was a nice conclusion to the series.  Sorry for the lack of thoughts; its been a while since I read the book, but I thought it was well written.

Bottom line:  Recommended for young readers who enjoy historical fiction.

Rating: 3/5

The Tempest - William Shakespeare

Title: The Tempest
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 92
Published: 1610
Genre: Drama
Edition: E-book
Source: Serial Reader

Description: Prospero—a magician on an enchanted island—punishes his enemies, brings happiness to his daughter, and comes to terms with human use of supernatural power. The Tempest embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: Not my favourite Shakespeare play.  Thought it was okay; probably would have thought better of it if I had read it more regularly or had taken the time to read it along Sparknotes.

Bottom line: It's a preferential taste as to what play you like.

Rating: 2.75/5

Bout of Books 19

I am going to try this again and hopefully I can get my act together.  If you have forgotten what Bout of Books is about, here is a little blurb about it:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th 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 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My reading goals are to read:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryLab GirlOutlanderThe Handmaid's Tale 
These are only a starting point but I may add more books as I get closer to the date.

The Munich Girl - Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Title: The Munich Girl
Author: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Pages: 356
Published: 2015
Genre: Historical fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: I received this book in exchange for fair and honest review

Description: Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends. The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s. Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions. Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party,…

You Will Not Have My Hate - Antoine Leiris

Title: You Will Not Have My Hate
Author: Antoine Leiris ; translated by Sam Taylor
Pages: 131
Published: 2016
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description:  On 13 November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert. Three days later, Leiris, a young journalist, wrote an open letter on Facebook addressed to his wife’s killers. Leiris refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire. It was shared over two hundred thousand times and was reported on all over the world. In his beautiful and moving defiance of the terrorists who had killed his wife, …

Ghosts - Raina Telgemeier

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeir
Pages: 256
Published: 2016
Genre: Graphic Novels, Middle Grade
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I made the mistake of reading this after March, so I compared it to that book rather than judging the book on its own merit.  But trying not to compare it to March, which is so difficult to…

March: Book Two - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

Title:  March: Book Two
Author: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Pages: 192
Published: 2015
Genre: Graphic Novels, History
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before.

Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the young activists of the movement struggle with internal conflicts as well. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the la…

The Nest - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Title: The Nest
Author: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Pages: 353
Published: 2016
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.…

Dietland - Sarai Walker

Title: Dietland
Author: Sarai Walker
Pages: 272
Published: 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal copy

The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a s…

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

This is similar to another alphabet soup challenge I am involved with and it is pretty simple: read a book where the starting letter of the title corresponds with each letter of the alphabet, taking out A and The when you need to.

If you wish to join, there is more information here.

Alphabet Soup:
A -
B -
C -
D - Dietland by Sarai Walker
E -
F -
G - Ghosts by Rania Telgemeir
H -
I -
J -
K -
L -
M - March: Book Two by John Lewis
N - The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
O -
P -
Q -
R -
S -
T -
U -
V -
W -
X -
Y - You Will Not Have My Hate - Antoine Leiris
Z -

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

I have tried to do this challenge but for some reason I have been unable to complete it.  It basically is reading classics that fit the various challenge areas.  If you want more information, you can find out more information here.

Here are the categories:
1.  A 19th Century Classic
2.  A 20th Century Classic
3.  A classic by a woman author

4.  A classic in translation
5.  A classic published before 1800
6.  A romance classic
7.  A Gothic or horror classic
8. A Classic with a number in the Title
9. A Classic about a animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title
10. A Classic set in a place you would like to visit
11.  An award-winning classic
12. A Russian Classic