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Top 5: Horror Novels

Top 5: Horror Novels

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Hello All,

Happy October and happy horror month for those who love everything spooky and Halloween! Fall is my favourite time of year for so many reasons! I am a huge horror buff whether it be movies, T.V. or books, hence my favourite author is Stephen King. Now looking forward into this post I have decided to make a top 5 horror novel blog excluding King novels. Now I know for all of us King and Horror go hand in hand but if I included his books they would just take over and this would turn into another Stephen King favs- see my post on April 29 for my top 5 King books!. I have chosen novels that are also in the horror genre and also scared the bejeebers out of me. All of the following books promise to give the reader all the palpitations and scares of any good horror story! Enjoy!!

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly Goodreads 3.78

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A super popular classic fiction novel Frankenstein was published in 1818!!! This story has been redone so many times in the cinema and theater it’s mind boggling. This thriller/horror novel follows main character Victor Frankenstien who is studying to become a doctor. He becomes obsessed with the meaning of life and death, more specifically the giving/origin of life. He decides to construct his own human being and give it life!!!! Totally disgusted in the monster he made he abandons the creature. Faceing extreme loneliness, betrayal, rejection and burning questions of why he was created the creature then goes on a blood soaked revenge. Haunting Victor’s entire future the struggle of deep emotions and life questions is the center to this novel. This novel and its concepts were way before its time!

  1. World War Z but Max Brooks

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World War Z was made popular in current society by Brad Pitt’s movie adaptation. P.S. novel is completely different than the movie. This story is an oral history of the zombie war in 2006- haha, hence the name. It follows main character Max Brooks… yep… who works for the United Nations. He journeys all over the world to get first hand experiences of survivors. The zombies in the novel are your typical slow moving flesh hungry undead. The POV however is what gives this novel a unique twist. Most zombie apocalypse books – even the movie- are focused on fighting the plague while this novel is told through stories and survival.

  1. The Exorcist by William Blatty Goodreads 4.16

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There should be a common theme popping up. Every book on this list has been made into a super famous movie! Being one of the scariest movies of all time this books does not disappoint! It was inspired by a true story of child possession in 1949 Blatty. The Exorcist was published in 1971!. Another oldie but goodie! The only difference that I found was the demon in the book was more touched on and discussed which gives the novel a way more scary feel! The descriptive language Blatty has almost outshines the visual effects of the movie. This a great read for all you satanic/ demonic groupies out there!

4, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin Goodreads 3.99

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Here is another great Satanic cult horror novel for you! And yet again another great movie was made based on this book. Levin published this in 1967 and who knew it would develop such a great following. Not only was a movie made but more recently a TV show as well! A young married couple in New York rents an apartment. Guy is an actor and Rosemary wanted to start a family. They seem to have the perfect relationship. When they meet their eccentric and bizarre neighbours things start to change. Guy’s career picks up with some big acting parts and Rosemary gets pregnant, however this is not a normal pregnancy. Is Rosemary being paranoid or is there a more sinister plot a foot? What an awesome suspense/horror read with a crazy ending!

5. Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice Goodreads 3.99

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Literary genius Anne Rice is the queen of witches, vampires and all things creatures! One of her more famous books, also a famous movie is such a thrilling and spooky read. Interview With a Vampire is full of scares, goore and of course vampires. It is the tale of Louis and follows him from being mortal to his immortal life as a vampire. He was turned by the blackhearted Lestate. Louis goes from historical city to historical city trying to come to terms with his new life. Having some spark of humanity and morals still in him this is a hard change. From meeting Claudia to seeing that there are many vampires throughout this world Louis’s tale is sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in fear!!!

So who has read any of these and what did you all think? Do you have any horror books that are your favourite? I would love to hear from all you bookish ghouls out there! Stay tuned for my top 5 books to read for Halloween post coming in a few weeks!!!

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Happy Spooky Reading!!!!!!!

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book blogger, book review, book review, Books, books, fiction, Fiction, Literature

Book Review: We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla

Book Review: We All Fall Down by Daniel Kalla

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Hello All

I am coming to you will a great book review for an under hyped book. I love me a pandemic, doomsday novel and this was a great pick. We All Fall Down is just the book for those like me, it follows a modern day black plague story!!! YAY – no zombies attached. I have never read Daniel Kalla but I will def read more from him ps Canadian Author and a doctor woo woo!! Also by this author includes: The Far Side of the Sky and Pandemic.

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This story starts off with Vittoria who is in charge of a construction site. She has a wet cough and boils, passes out at work. She is supposed to tear down a monastery to build new condos and shopping centers.

Now enter Dr. Nico Olivia who is involved in caring for Vittoria. He called Alana to come and help with this patient in Genoa. Alana goes on many trips for her job to outbreaks around the world looking for the contamentent. This patient has been positive for a thought it be extinct ‘disease’ the black plague.

Now the second part of this book are journal entries from a Dr. Pasqua who treated the black plague back in 1348. He goes to the monastery that is being torn down- this is where his journal is found. Somehow Dr. Pasqua is immune to the disease and this arises suspicion from the archbishop – thinking maybe it is witchcraft.

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Present day the plague is spreading outside the construction site. It is starting to hit the community and the number of sick patients is adding up. It has now started to transfer with the briefest of contact which is different from the original strand. We see Alana’s boss is having a hard time believing it is the plague and wants to pull Alana out. It is outlines that the fast spread with even with antibiotic use is happening which brings into question possible bioterrorism. It turns out that NATO has samples of the Soviet’s plague bacteria they were weaponizing back in the day, Alana wants to help ahold of these to compare to their strand.

They find rat droppings at the construction site, which is how the original black plague was spread- fleas on small animals. It seems that there is a history between Nico and ALana- they once were co-workers who fell in love. Nico now has a family and he is drunk texting Alana causing mixed feelings that make this situation harder.

Nico and Alana start to be little detective and want to find a missing construction site worker who was supposedly sick before Vittoria- possible patient zero. They meet with Emilio who knows Yasin – he believes he disappeared as well.

Back to the journals. Dr. P finds out the same monastery which is being torn down in present in the past had these rats touched by the hands of god. These particular rats are immune to the plague. He wants to make a makeshift vaccine from these rats but the monks are not allowing this as they were ‘touched by God’. He at this time is now sick and drinks the blood from these rats. And he lives – the first vaccine ! He goes back to collect more rats and now there is a rat keeper because the monks believe they are a gift from God.

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So all the results come back in the present day. It turns out that the rats are immune to the strand but the fleas they carry are not. Is this the perfect bio weapon? We learn that the monk present at the beginning of the story sitting outside the construction site is really the person releasing the ‘infected’ rats into the city. He is releasing them into the slums because he believe God is stelling him humanity needs salvation and cleansing.

Dr. P’s journals paint a picture of hysteria among man when the outbreak was at its peak. They all wanted someone to blame, just like what Alana was seeing in present day. Dr.P. learns that the monastery set up crypts for the rats in case of a future plague outbreak thus protecting the rats throughout the centuries. For the following years the monks unknowingly fed these rats as they threw their garbage down a chute that led to their crypts.

This monk who hears the voice of God – Stefano- is receiving mysterious emails from someone telling him to follow the voice he thinks is God. God is out for vengeance because so many people have fallen out of religion.

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Alana finds out that Nico really wants to work on his marriage and ends up hooking up with her co worker on this case Byron- who has given her trouble throughout.

Enter Don Arturo who spend years are the monastery and is upset it’s being torn down. Alana learns that he is the one sending the emails to Stefano. He convinces Stefano to get off his psych meds because he worked so closely with Stefano there was great trust. He justifies this so STefano can hear the Lord’s voice more clearly and he took that the treating down of the monastery was a sign that humankind needed correcting- kind of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons style.

Alana and Byron pursue Stefano onto a ship where he was going to release the rats into Asia. He decides to hide in the food bins on the ships so the rats have food and no one would look for him there. Alana finds him and tries to convince him that what he was doing was cruel, he was hurting children. Stefano caves as he is a good person deep down.

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Overall it was kind of your typical religious doomsday novel but I enjoyed being an old plague to haunt modern day. I will look forward to reading more of his novels in the future. Have any of you read this one? What did you think? Please feel free to leave comments below. I would love to hear from you. What are some of your fav disaster books – ps look for my top 5 natural disaster and man made disaster posts in the future!!

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Happy Reading!!!!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature, self development, top 5

Top 5: My Favourite Self Development Books

Top 5: My Favourite Self Development Books

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Hello All,

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! I received such great responses from my last post on self development books I first off want to say a huge thank you. I appreciate all the love and support out there in the book blog community. I never could have imagined all the positive feedback and the number of views I received for Self Development Thursday! It is truly humbling to see and I am excited others enjoy these genre of books as much as I do. I have decided to continue on with the Self Development Thursday theme. I bring to you today my top 5 favourite self development books of all times. Each book in their own way has touched my soul and helped me reach my potential- even in areas I did not think possible. So without further adieu, here we go!

1. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Holli

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What a great women powering book!! Rachel outlines that it is okay for women to have aspiring goals that go outside the family group. Rachel also gives lots of tips and tricks to help you stay motivated and reach your goals! Some of these include having daily practices such as a gratitude journal, writing your goals down every day and the 5 to Thrive! If you listen to the audio book it is read by Rachel herself so you can hear the enthusiasm which empowers you even more!

2.Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

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This wouldn’t be a top 5 self development book if there wasn’t a Tony Robbins shout out. The king of motivation and self development Tony Robbins has inspired and helped millions. This short read will be sure to motivate and inspire you to be the best version of yourself! My husband loves Tony Robbins. He has read a bunch of his books but highly recommends this one and I have to agree with him.

3.The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

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Probably one of the more famous books on this list most people have heard of The Secret. Maybe you’re more familiar with the movie but hey it’s actually a book. Not everyone may agree with the Laws of Attraction. Self development is the ability to take in knowledge and see what suits you the best. I enjoyed the Laws of Attraction for the main reason that it’s based in positive thinking. You get what you put out into the world!!

4.The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

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Another oldie but a goodie on this list is the Four Agreements! It is a self powering book that increases self awareness. The 4 agreements with yourself include: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. These seem so simple and we would already do these but hey it’s a lot harder than it appears. Don gives us tips and tricks to try and incorporate these into our everyday lives. All of these books sound like they promote daily habits – seems like my first Self Development Post!

5.The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

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This is a great book to learn to live in the moment and be present. It follows the mindfulness movement and outlines that our current emotional stresses are a result of our thoughts not who we actually are at the core. It’s a lot to wrap your mind around but its a super great and eye opening read. Worry and anxiety are a product of our thoughts and it’s our job to learn to live in the present moment and allows our thoughts to pass through our mind without reacting to them.

I hope these have opened your eyes to all the possibilities out there in book form to help you change your life- if this is what you are looking to do. If you have any self development books you would like to recommend I would love to hear from you. Also if you have read any of the above books please feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts and feelings regarding the content!

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Happy Reading and Development!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature

Book Review: By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

Book Review: By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

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Hello All,

If you have been following my blog you know that I have mentioned this book in my top 5 memoir books! I just recently started to enjoy reading WW2 books so I thought why not give this one a try. Man am I glad that I did! It was so emotional and eye opening! This personal perception of concentration camps was shocking and I found as I read more I was more and more shocked. I was utterly appalled at the sheer disrespect for human life. I know we have all studied the Holocaust in school and maybe some school went into more depth than mine. I guess I never really thought too much about the people affected just that it was a tragic point in human history. Well this book clearly changed my view and I am very glad that Max was brave enough to share his story with the world!!!

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By Chance Alone started off with the prologue of Max in present day going to Poland with his Toronto students to participate in the March of the Living. He goes back to Auschwitz and the barracks where he was held as well as Auschwitz II where the crematoriums were . What would that even feel like? He knows this is where he lost his family to a horrible death. What a brave man.

Now the story starts and we see Max’s childhood in Czech. He lived in a Catholic dominate village but most of the shops were run by the Jewish families. His grandfather taught him a great deal but of course like any little boy he had a rebellious streak. We see just how tight nit his family was with his extended family as well. The summer of 38 was when the Nazis invasion started. Britain and France at this point signed rights away to Hitler to avoid a war. March 1939 the Nazis troops invaded Czech and Max and his family find themselves thrust into a fascists system.

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1941 hit and Jewish males 18-45 were taken to labour camps. Max’s family is finally torn apart by the war. In the 5th year of the war 1944 we see that the Hungarian Jewish people did not know about the death camps. His grandfather said no to the ferester because it was passover – how their lives might have been different if he had just yes. Max was finally taken to the concentration camps. After being taken from his mother and sister he along with his father and uncle got tattooed and put on their uniforms. These made them feel like nothing as all of them were the same – all in order to control a vast number of people.

Throughout the weeks there Max’s father learned of the fate of his wife, 3 young children and his parents. Max was sent to Auschwitz 1 the bigger of the camps. There he saw the falling ashes coming out of the crematoriums. He realized it was human ashes from the extermination. The manual labour he faced here was astonishing. At this time he was the only living member left of his family as his father and uncle were sent to the chambers.

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During one of his laborious days he suffered a devastating blow to his head that in reality saved him. Up until now his father would send him scraps of food so Max was completely by himself. Dr. Orzesko saved his life by giving him a job in the surgery ward, not having to go back to the labour fields. Max saw all sorts of crazy heroic things here. One day a Polish woman was brought in and an abortion was preformed but Dr. O said she needed an appendectomy. Some humanity left in the world.

The next horrific journey for Max was the death march. Max describes 10 days of humiliating, degrading and cruelty of the Nazis. They had no food, minimal clothing and many died. Once again out of the camps Max was saved by the small kindness of others, Misha giving him a job.

At this time, after everything was over Max was still left in limbo in Marienbad . This allowed the survivors a safe place to heal both physically and emotionally – as much as they can.

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Now in Prague Max and his new friends tried to find forged passports to make to move to Canada. They got caught and sent Max to jail. At this point it’s hard to believe that this could really happen to someone who survived the Holocaust. How insane is life. After all this only to end up in jail most people would give up, not Max.

He got out and on his way to the American camp he had to pass through the area he had 5 years ago as a Jewish prisoner. He made it to Canada and got married, had a successful job. The resilience and determination to live that Max showed us through is memoir is a true triumph for humanity. Even through all the adversity Max was able to have a happy life.

At the end of the book he recalls the Nuremberg Trials and specifically a Nazis soldier he personally remembered. They amount of brain washing these soldiers had is sickening. Even after being caught and knowing how the world reacted to their actions this soldier did not accept his part in the killing of many. He simply said he was following orders.

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So for those of you who like reading about the strength of the human spirit Max’s story is for you. The amount of bravery not only to endure what he went through but to be able to remember it and tell the whole world is mind blowing. I hope that by sharing this review it will inspire more people to want to pick up Max’s story and continue the sharing.

I did leave out quite a lot of details. Max just went through so much I tried to pick out as many main details that people could link to history as possible. There are so many extra in his book I did not want to ruin it for future readers. If anyone else has read this book I would love to hear how it affected you! Please leave a comment below!! Thank you Max for being brave and sharing your story!!

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Happy Reading!!!!!

book blogger, book review, book review, Books, books, fiction, Fiction, inspiration, Literature, top 5

Top 5: Book vs Ebook

Top 5: Book vs Ebook

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Hello All!!

I bring to you one of the most controversial tops 5’s I have yet to publish. I know people have their preference when choosing the material they read with. I want to outline factors for each paper books and e books. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t agree with anything that follows that a okay! I am by no means saying one is better than the other. Everything is personal preference I simply want to put out there the factors I consider when choosing which avenue to read through. If I have missed any factors please feel free to leave a comment! Also what one is your preference? Do you have different choices for different situations? I would love to hear from you!

  1. Convenience
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Ebook: they are easy to carry as they are light. You can put a whole library on them and not break your back or weight down your bag. They are my choice when I travel because they are lightweight and do not take up a lot of room in my suitcase or carry on. You can now also borrow most books in the e-book forum from the library. This makes it is convenient if you don’t have time to go pick up your book from the library. When you buy an ebook its downloaded directly to your device, no waiting for the mail to come.

Books: paper books are easier to borrow from your friends and family. It is also convenient to show off your collections if this is what your into. Also you can have the convenience of going anywhere and buying a paper book.

2. Experience

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Ebook: the new ereaders have awesome options from the colour of the paper, print size and awesome fun skins. They have great options for night and daytime reading which enhance the reading experience greatly!. You can stick to black and white book covers or some e-readers are colours now!

Book: The smell and feel of a paper book is something that no other experiences can compare to. I love the feel of physically turning the page. I also love the feel of a floppy paperback! The covers of paper books are spectacular as you can see all the textures some authors add to their books as well as cover inserts.

3. Price

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EBook: so relatively speaking e book prices are lower from the research I have done if not the same as books. I have found some amazing sites that offer free to super cheap books. Kobo has daily deals where you can find some great books for $2-5. They also offer some classics for free!. Bookbub sends you daily deals as well.

Books: We has all then there, when we are at our fav book store, we have a pile of books and have to put half back because the bill will be too expensive. Books do tend to be on the more expensive side. Now yes you can find great deals at places like the salvation army, book depository and others. Libraries are great for the people who are not wanting to spend money however the wait times tend to be longer for the more popular books.

4. Buying Experience

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EBooks: So the ebook buying experience has come a long way from when they initially came out. There are a great number of sites to purchase books from now! Even libraries like I have mentioned previously have jumped on the ebook trend and you can borrow online. This makes everything instantaneous and you do not have to wait to enjoy the book you want.

Books: One of my fav things is perusing a book store. I make it a date with my man or just a jaunt with my BFF. Looking through a book shelf after book shelf for my next read has a unique feel. It gives readers great joy to be able to physically look at something before buying it.

5. Different Generations Want Different Things

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EBook vs Books: so there is the most difficult part of my blog. I talked to a lot of people about their preferences. Younger people are torn because they like the look and feel of books but they like the convenience and ease of an ebook. The older generation was torn as well. Some find it hard to learn new technology but others like the challenge and like the instant access to magazines/ papers. They find going to the store harder for them than just clicking on a link and having things directly accessible!

So here are the factors I thought of when choosing a book over an ebook. For me it’s completely situational preference. Travelling and work I love my ebook. Curling up at home I do love me a book though. What do you all think? Have I missed anything when considering a book vs an ebook? Please tell me your preference and why!

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Happy Reading!!!!!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, Literature

Book Review: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

Book Review: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

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The Lost Night has not gotten a lot of hype around the bookish community. This was a friend’s recommendation and I must say I didn’t hate it. It was not the most mind blowing book in the world but it was an enjoyable read. Andrea Bartz was an unknown author for me to read and to be honest I don’t know if I would read anything else from her. She was originally a journalist and co-author of a book called Stuff Hipsters Hate. Her other fiction novel is the Herd and its sounds meh.

The story starts off as a self narrator Edie reveals that she is not the happy go lucky socialite everyone thinks she is. It’s a diary style entry that also tells us she is not very connected with her friend Lindsay anymore. Then bam Edie is dead, thought to be a suicide!. Fast forward to present day. Lindsay and Sarah- a friend from Edie days, reconnect around the time of Edie’s death anniversary. Lindsay finds out that Sarah didn’t think Edie’s death was a suicide. She found Edie in her underwear which was very strange to her as Edie was always put together. She also found a gin drink in her right hand however she was left handed.

This sparks Lindsay to feel nostalgic and she starts to read over all her old emails from Edie. The reader notices the power difference between the two in the friendship. Turns out Lindsay was actually going to ‘break up’ with Edie. Edie was overbearing and bossy. Lindsay then found her flip cam and watched everyone bad mouthing Edie the night she died! Alex- Edie’s ex boyfriend at the time was also vocal about his dislike for Edie. Doubt seems to be creeping up as to who was responsible for Edie’s death.

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Greg- another friend from the group- point of view comes through. He met Edie by chance and became instantly infatuated with her over Craig’s list. Greg thought that Lindsay was a creepy brunette roommate. At this point the reader is starting to get suspicious of so many people in Edie’s death, especially Lindsay. We find out that Lindsay grew up in a right wing family very comfortable with guns. The gun that killed Edie belonged to another friend from the group Kevin and was easily accessible.

We find out that Edie had a miscarriage and Kevin was the one who took her to the hospital. She was dating Alex at the time and cheated on him with Lloyd, whom Lindsay liked. Linday found out about Lloyd by talking to Edie’s mother. Lindsay is being a little detective trying to find the truth of the night no one can remember. This book outlines each circle of friends have dirty secrets and brings to light the question of how well you can really know someone.

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Edie was dating this older gentleman for along time – Greg. While Lindsay was stalking him to find out what he knew about Edie’s secrets she stumbles upon Josh. He is cute and asked her out ! More detective work goes on and Lindsay thinks that Alex is being shady when he says that he was okay with his and Edie’s breakup- especially since she has seen the lost footage of everyone trash talking Edie. Is she being paranoid as everyone seems guilty of having a beef with Edie. Which beef is big enough for murder?

So the video clip where everyone was bashing Edie had some inaudible parts in a different location. Lindsay’s friend put it through filters and where they heard’ heavy senile skies’ turns into be ‘ have you seen Alex!”. So Alex was missing the night Edie died. Now as a reader my suspicion is so confused. I started off thinking it was Lindsay and now I may think it was Alex. Great writing technique!

Talking to Kevin Lindsay found out that after her miscarraige Edie confessed to him it would suck to die young because you have not truly lived. Why would she then commit suicide. Trying to find the truth Lindsay confronted Alex. He said that Edie had flunked out of the spring term and her mother found out and showed up trying to convince her daughter to come home.

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So trying to figure out Edie’s death Lindsay, Sarah and Alex are all having lunch together. Sarah thinks that Lindsay is being paranoid. Sarah says Edie was just a shitty friend and she told Sarah Lindsay’s deepest secret. The Warsaw incident was that Lindsay clawed someone’s face while she was drunk. We also see her anger come out when Lindsay goes out with Josh gets drunk and pushes him into traffic.

Teresa is Lindsays good friend and is trying to help Lindsay with all this confusion. She helps hangover Lindsay and tries to comfort her asking her to give up this wild goose chase. Lindsay finds an email on her computer sent from Edie? Teresa puts a tracker on her computer and finds out Lindsay sent it to herself. Now Lindsay is crazy and blows up at Teresa. She is pushing people away just like Edie did. We also learn from Teresa that Lindsay was a troubled child and pushed her mother down they stairs. Seems like Lindsay has a violent past. Now my suspicion is placed back on Lindsay. The author is great at redirecting the murder suspect keeping the reader intriuged.

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We are now at the climax of this book and what a twist we read. Teresa goes all psycho on Lindsay. It seems like Teresa is trying to make Lindsay paranoid and blame herself but we learn that Teresa is really Jenna – Edies old roommate!. She killed Edie because Edie dropped her from the friend group then moved out. She started dealing drugs for a local named Anthony. This is how she was able to get close again to Edie asking for forgiveness then bam shot her staging it as a suicide.

Jenna/Teresa then befriended Lindsay to keep tabs on her- Lindsay saw everything that night but was too drunk to remember. Jenna used Lindsay’s sketchy past to keep the suspicion on Lindsay and off her. Drugged Lindsay goes to shoot Jenna and blacks out ending up in the hospital. Here is where things get really confusing for Lindsay. When she wakes up ‘Teresa’ says she had another drunken moment like Warsaw and Josh and shot Teresa by mistake. What do we believe as the reader. Is the previous event just a figment of Lindsays’ imagination or did they really happen?

Lindsay spills water on her laptop. She takes it to a Geek squad to get fixed and learned that Teresa is actually tracking her every move. She confronts Teresa about this and we learn than once again Teresa is really Jenna! Jenna is arrested and Lindsay now tries to heal from all this craziness.

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So this book was really good at confusing the reader. It made use distrust the voice of the narrator- Lindsay- by making us question the dependability of Lindsay’s perspective. By making up question the sanity of the narrator it also made us question whether she was a reliable storyteller. I really liked the twist at the end which made me even more confused and the suspension was great. What did you all think of this book. Yay or nay? Please feel free to leave comments below! I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading!!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, inspiration, Literature, self development, top 5

Top 5: Self Help books for Healthy Habits

Top 5: Self Development books for Healthy Habits!

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Hello All

I know this does not look like a typical blog post and it’s not!!! I am so excited to roll out something new on Bookfestishsite! I love reading – ha! I love reading all kinds of books and self help/motivation books are right up there. I know my page has focused on fiction and non fiction mostly but I really want to bring to you posts that could help with your daily lives and be a healthy individual. So I invented ‘Self Help Thursdays!” The self help book trend is so big right now I hope to intrigue at least some of yo out there! If you are self help book guru or new to the genre I hope you find the information on my Self Help Thursday’s useful!.

For the new fall season, back to school and back into a routine I thought I would kick off the Self Help Thursdays with my top 5 books to help you develop healthy habits. I have read ⅗ of these books and the other 2 come with great recommendations and are now on my TBR or shall I say TBL (to be listened) to list. My preference for self help books is listening to them. My husband and I have an audible account and love it!!

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear Goodreads 4.31
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First on the list is a book called Atomic habits. This was one of the first books I listened to on habits. James covers how small daily habits that you don’t think really matter when practiced consistently make a huge difference in your future. He breaks down the importance of habits in order to live a happy successful life. He outlines how to make good habits and break bad ones. He takes a system approach that is easy to follow. After this book I started off making my bed every morning and doing the dishes before bed not thinking it would make a big difference. I can honestly say that now practicing this for 4 months these habits have given me a sense of calm and made my morning more enjoyable!. If you visit https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habit his website elaborates on his concept and offered printable worksheets that he discusses in his book! Run time is 4 hours, which is a shorter book on this list so great for those trying out personal development books for the first time!

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Goodreads 4.09
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This is a great read/listen! Both my husband and I have listened to the 7 habits and found this book extremely helpful! It has been a popular book for 30 years and people are still finding it relevant today! It is a lengthy listen 11hours in total but think of all the knowledge that you receive!!! It followed 3 major areas in life where we can develop great habits: independence, interdependence and continual improvement. The 7 habits outlines and elaborate each one which include: be productive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw/growth!. The may seem abstract or too simple but with the explanation in this book it sets the reader up to be the most productive/successful version of themselves.

  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Goodreads 4.08
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The Power of Habit is one of the more popular books on this list. This book follows success stories of people building success from nothing. Charles explains how habits have helped all these stories end with a huge success! He takes a holistic approach to habits and how we can rewire our neuro state to develop healthy habits! It soo great that he gives examples of how these habits help successful people come to fruition. It also is a longer book 10 hours but pop those earbuds in and listen on your bus ride to school or your daily run!

  1. Rewire : Change your brain to break bad habits by Richard O’Connor Goodreads 3.8
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I have not listened to this book yet but it’s definitely on my wish list on audible. I have just recently finished another rewire book – for anxiety- so I thought I would enjoy this one as well. Richard explains why bad habits are so hard to break. He then goes on to discuss how to ‘rewire’ your brain to break these and make new ones. I do believe this book is a bit more technical on the science and neurology side so great for the super nerds like me out there! Once again it is a run time of 10 hours. I know this can be daunting but hey I think you get the most for your money with audio books. I play them when I am cleaning or hook it up so I can play them on my long drives. My husband gets stuck in daily traffic so he loves these to pass the time over the radio!

  1. Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life by William McRaven Goodreads 3.96
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A shorter book on this list with a run time of roughly 2 hours is great again for the readers newer to self development books. This one follows the basic principles as the others that small daily habits truly change your life for the better. Admiral McRaven outlines the 10 principles he learned while in training to be a Navy SEAL! He discusses his stories as well as others throughout the book covering healthy habits and change.

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So what did all of you think about this new Self Development Thursday’s post? Yay or nay? If you like this and want more please please comment below so I know. I have a lot of ideas for future post! If you have any self development genres you want to know more about please also leave a comment below! I am open to great discussions. What are some of your healthy habits or even bad habits – no judgement here. A bad habit that I have and find hard to kick is definitely binge watching Netflix when I could be doing more productive things oh and too much screen time haha! Also if you have read any of these I would love to hear what you thought on the books!

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Happy Reading!!!

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Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

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Hello Readers!

This week I bring to you a book review by author Emily Giffin. This is the first book I have read by Giffin and I totally enjoyed it! A lot of fellow readers at work read her so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I found the social issues covered throughout this story very prevalent and relatable to present day. I love discovering a new author- Emily Giffin is not new but new to me! I can’t wait to read more from her!

Other book by this author: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, First Comes Love

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The story starts off following Nina and her description of how her relationships with her husband has changed. Nina’s husband has made a lot of money and they live a very lush lifestyle. Their son Finch has applied to Princeton and they actually wrote a cheque to help him get in. Second family this book follows is Lyla who goes to the same private school Finch does but she does not come from money. She is a super smart kid who received a scholarship to go there. She was raised by a single dad -Tom- who is a carpenter.

Finch and Lyla are at a party and Finch snap chatted a photo of Lyla drunk, passed out with her clothing partially off exposing a breast. Lyla is Hispanic and the caption for the photo read- Looks like she got her green card” There was a green uno card beside her.

Now in today’s social media age this is a huge issue. With the Me Too movement in full swing, what better time to read a book like this. The rest of the book follows there characters trying to figure out how to deal with the repercussions of this event on so many levels!

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When the parents of each side find how mad chaos ensues. Kirk and Nina approach this different ways. Kirk tries to throw his money around to get Finch out of trouble. Nina is more towards the moral side saying Finch should be punished. Behind this also is Nina’s experience while she was in college. She was drugged and raped so she sympathizes with Lyla. Tom is beyond furious and wants Finch expelled. Lyla tried to talk her dad out of making a big deal of this. She does not want the other kids in school to treat her different.

All these different approaches makes you wondering A) what would you do in this situation being the parent and B) Do you think all of these approaches actually happen in real life!!! It kind of makes me a bit uneasy but I believe that all these happen. I read this book back in May before the Me Too movement really took off. It just goes to show that some people in today’s society really think money and power can buy anything.

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Nina feels so guilty about what her son did she goes to apologise to Tom in person. Little does she know that Kirk bribed him to keep silent. Disgusted Nina takes Finch to apologise to Lyla in person. He then says that Polly- his ex girlfriend- took the picture and now he really wants to hang out with Lyla. Finch takes Lyla to a concert being Nina’s back. All of this covers can money really buy happiness. Nina’s son does not respect her and thinks money will solve all his problems as does Kirk.

The tangle webs we weave get deeper. It initially looked like Finch set up Lyla to win her over but now he promises to come clean with Polly and tell her to come clean about the photo. Poor Lyla is so confused but just likes the feeling that a ‘cool’ guy is into her. They all have a meeting with the principle and everything gets more confusing. Polly is saying she did not take the photo. Is Finch lying or is he telling the truth?

Nina decides to get a divorce from Kirk. She asks her top notch Lawyer best friend Julie to represent her. The end of the story Lyla finds out that it was really Finch who maliciously took the photos. He had been lying to her this whole time. She gets worried about Polly and approaches Nina. Together they go and find that Polly tried to commit suicide!!

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So it turns out that money really can’t buy happiness in Nina’s case. The epilogue is 10 years later. Lyla is a lawyer and Nina and Tom start a business together to build custom tree houses. They also open homes for abused women with some of the money. Tom and Nina do not appear to be a couple- boo I really wanted them to end up together. Lyla admits that Nina saved her life in the end. They are at an award show and Finch shows up. He finally realized his mother was right after he finds out his father gets caught up in a financial scandal.

So for those of you who have read this book about did you think. The core concepts of this book are deep and controversial! I really enjoyed how this book make me think about money, privilege and true happiness. Please feel free to leave comments below. Also I would love to hear if any of you have read other books by Emily and what are your favs!

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Happy Reading!!!!

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Top 5: Fall Reads 2019

Top 5: Fall Reads 2019

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Oh wonderful fall my most favourite time of the year. From the beautiful colours, the cozy sweaters to pumpkin spices everything the only thing I do not like about fall is its too short 😦 This fall also promises to be a killer for anticipated reads. The following 5 are just a few on my not anticipated reads list. There are so many more! I would love to hear from you guys as well. Please comment on the books you are most looking forward to!

  1. The Testament by Margaret Atwood September 10, 2019
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There is not too much information out in the book world. From what I could gather, it is a continuation of Margaret’s Handmaid’s Tale, a classic. This story takes place 15 years after Offered steps into the mysterious van on her way to an unknowing future. It follows the testaments of 3 females from Gilead. I cannot wait to read this book!! I loved the first book and I love the TV series. I will be so interesting to see if the TV series and the second book connect somehow.

Also by this author : The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Oryx and Crake

2. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell release September 10,2019

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A nonfiction book for the conspiracy lovers!!! Malcolm Gladwell has a well known podcast called “ Revisionist History”. This novel covers the scandals from Fidel to Hilter and everything in between. He discusses about our true understanding of historical events. This guidebook covers how our understanding of these events may be riddled with doubt that is caused by our misguided way we interact with people. I think this will be such an interesting read even if your not into conspiracy theories.

Also by this author: Outliers, Blink, and What the Dog Saw

3. The Institute by Stephen King release September 10, 2019

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September 10 is a huge day for book releases and this one has to be my most anticipated read of 2019!!. This is a kid group orientated book that seems to be a mix of firestarter, It and the new mutant movie. It is set in Minneapolis and follows a by named Luke. One night his parents were killed and he is kidnapped. He wakes up at the Institute and his room looked identical to his own back home, except it has no window. There are lots of other rooms all that house kids. All these kids have special talents and the director Mrs. Sigsby tries to find the source of these powers. A group of kids band together with Luke and try not only yo find a way out but also try and stay out of the Back Half- kids go but never come back!!! Love love love it!

Also by this author: It, The Stand, The Shining, Green Mile

4. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo release October 1, 2019

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Not my only fantasy novel on this list Ninth House deserves a look into! It follows a girl who drops out of school and makes one bad decision after another. After surviving a homicide she is in the hospital when some strange people come to give her a second chance. She must now go to Yale and watch the students of Yale in their secret societies. She finds out just how sinister they are and how far their read goes …magic!!! What a great twist on an old theme of secret cults.

Also by this author: Six of Crows series, Nikola Duology

5. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstein release November 5, 2019

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AAAAAA she has finally release another novel!!! I loved loved loved the night circus, so imaginative. (See my blog top 5 books that should be made into movies for a description of the Night Circus). This is another love story with a magical setting. Zachary reads a book with a story based on his childhood. He then goes on a quest to find out more. Along the way he uncovers a secret library hidden underground. It is a secret realm. Zachary and a guardian Mirabel somehow join together on this quest!! What a great fantasy mystery book.

Also by this author: The Night Circus

So which ones are you looking forward to. I would love to hear your picks and add to my ever expanding TBR.

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Happy Reading!!!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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Better late the never I say. Yes I just recently read one of the best selling suspense books of 2018. It was worth the wait. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews but I really enjoyed this book. There were a few predictable ‘scares’ but all in all, I enjoyed the building suspense and chaos filled climax. As a lot of the books I review this was the author’s debut novel. With so many talented writers coming out the next few years seem to be a reader’s paradise!!!!

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We are introduced to the novel by the narrator who we learn is looking out her window and spying on her neighbours. She is watching the wife have an affair with the handyman in one house and a kid playing a cello in another house. The narrator (Anna Fox) talks about Ed and Olivia who seems to have left her. Anna has agoraphobia from some episode which is pinnacle in the backstory of this novel. The reader learns that before she was stuck in her house Anna was a prominent child psychologist. Now she helps out fellow agoraphobic people on a website.

Some new commotion goes on across the neighbourhood, a couple and their teenage kid move in! Enter Halloween Anna is of course at home watching her old movies. Kids start to throw eggs at her house. Anna becomes so enraged she actually tries to go outside to stop them. She becomes dizzy and disoriented from the open space causing her to have panic attacks. The new neighbor comes to the rescue. Jane Russell ushers Anna back into her house and a strange connection is made between the two.

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The next day Jane’s son comes over and brings a lavender candle from his mother. Anna makes a connection with Ethan as well. She psych senses tingle and she guesses Ethan is troubled at home, possible with an abusive father. In the next few chapters the reader gets a glimpse into Anna’s backstory. Her therapist Dr. Fieldings brings up a trip. All we get is that Anna thinks if they did not take that trip their family would still be together… bababa. We also see that through the Agora website she started to form a relationship with a user called GrannyLizzie. All key information to understanding the story’s ending.

She admits to herself that she spies on the neighbours not to be nosey but its a window for her into the world. A way for a recluse to keep in touch with what’s going on outside in the real world. I could not imagine how it would feel to be kept inside and not be able to go out and experience things. Having panic attacks myself I know the debilitating feeling so having a panic attack triggered by open spaces, horrible. We also see that she drinks a lot, I mean way too much. She mixes her meds and alcohol with she knows it is not good. I love the fact that this book opens up the foe paye regarding mental health that as a society we do not like talking about all the time.

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Jane comes over and the girls bond over booze and chess. Jane’s controlling husband comes over to see if she was at Anna’s house. Then catastrophe hits, Anna hears a scream coming from the Russell house. She sees Jane bleeding with a sharp object protruding out of her chest. All this time Anna has been drinking and mixing her pills as she usually does. Police called and no one believes a drunk recluse. Mr.Russell says that Anna has never met his wife. ‘Jane’ comes over and to the readers shock this Jane is not the same Jane that came to play chess. Is Anna delusional ? It does seem fitting to the reader because at this point we know she heavily drinks with very potent pills.

As the plot thickens Anna/s basement tenant and her get cozy, well sleep together. She goes into his room and finds a pearl earring that looks like the one Jane was wearing when they had the chess day. So much confusion is thrown into this story which makes for a great mystery read. Anna then follows not Jane into a coffee shop – leaving the comfort of her house because she is determined to find out the truth.

The plot thickens as Anna finds a picture of herself sleeping on her phone. The police still does not believe her and actually thinks she took it to look for attention. Anna has hit rock bottom. This is when we learn the true backstory of Ed and Olivia. It turns out that Anna had an affair on Ed and this northern trip was supposed to bring them together. However, Anna had driven off a cliff in a storm ultimately killing Ed and Olivia. She has such bad PTSD she developed agoraphobia. She was actually talking to Ed and Olivia’s ‘ghosts’.

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Now the climax of the book. We find out that Ethan, the innocent troubled child is severely mentally unstable. He was the one who took the picture and it was his biological mother that was stabbed – he was adopted. Wow it was a good twist. He is also GrannyLizze! There is a fight scene where Anna has to go outside in order to survive Ethan’s attacks. She ends up killing him and gets the help she needs to come to terms with her agoraphobia and PTSD. The end of the book was very hopeful as Anna was venturing out on her own terms into her garden.

So for all of you who have read Woman in the Window what did you think of the book? Yes it did have some predictability in it but there was some great twists like ‘Jane’ being Ethan’s biological mother, I did not see that one coming. What did you like and did not like about the book? It kind of reminded me of Gone Girl in some way. What other books were along these lines? I also thought it was a great mental health book. Please feel free to leave any comments below I would love to hear your thoughts!!!

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Happy Reading !!!!!