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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!!!!

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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 !!!!!

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Book Review: The Silence By Tim Lebbon

Book Review: The Silence By Tim Lebbon

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This is a creature feature apocalyptic book which is right up my alley! I first saw this on netflix as a movie – based on a book as always! I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. Spoiler alert the book is better than the movie as most books to movies adaptations are. Interesting fact about Tim Lebbon he wrote a novel that connects the movie Alien to Aliens starring Riddley! Can’t wait to read that one! Other popular books by this author include : The Edge and Coldbrook! I went into this book with no expectations just what I saw on the netflix preview. I was quite surprised by the story even with the common theme of prehistoric creatures taking over the world. Lebbon puts a great twist on a timeless theme.

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So this story starts off with a news broadcast of a discovery in an uncharted cave system. The main family watching this discovery includes Ally who we find out is deaf. Throughout the story we learn that she was not born deaf but was in a car accident with her grandparents who died. She had to learn a totally new way of life. Ally showed resilience that will play a key factor in the family surviving throughout the story. The other members include a brother Jade, father Huw and mother Kelly, and Lynne Kelly’s mother. As they watch the horror of the new discovery unfold on the TV they see creatures from the dark rip apart everything on the screen. They soon realise it is not a stunt or prank but a real life episode.

Thinking they are safe as this cave system is all the way in Moldova they don’t take it so seriously in the beginning. However as time goes on they see that these reptilian creatures called Vesps hunt by sound and are spreading quickly over the continent. Lebbon really plays into the social media aspect here. It is interesting to think of how connected we are today and how if this really happened the speed in which we would all receive live data. We would be way more prepared to anticipate the ‘end of the world’ than say 20 years ago.

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They also learn a lot of life saving information from others posting on social media, not so much the news. People post on Facebook and Twitter that Vesps hunt by sound, they lay eggs in the dead and this is how they spread which are both vital points for the family surviving the Vesp Plague. They decide along with Huw’s friend Glenn to move across the country side to where there is no noise, away from the cities. Live feeds show mass hysteria in the cities, fighting, looting, and people killing each other over supplies. This is a typical apocalyptic scene which I totally believe would happen in real life. It would start off as an every man for themselves attitude. What so you all think? Would humanity help out each other or have the cut throat survival attitude?

We see humanity break down as a man attempts to steal the family’s car and points a gun at Ally. This in turn forces Huw to steal a car in order to get to their destination. The suspense is building at this point as they are nowhere close to their destination and Ally is keeping track of where the Vesps are on social media. The time crunch is on!

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As the pressure to get to safety sets in because Vesps are now in London a horrible turn of events happens. Glen rolls his SUV pinning him in. Moral dilemmas set as Huw and his family decide not to leave him even though the Vesps are almost upon them. They barricade Glen in the best they can and take shelter in their SUV. Ally gives her family a prep talk 101 on how to be silent, her forte now. Her experiences help them understand what to anticipate and how they are going to feel now being able to verbally communicate. As the Vesps descend upon them their dog Otis, who is Ally’s helper, starts to bark. Vesps swarm their SUV and try to break in. Glen can hear the commotion and in a shear act of selflessness he starts shooting his gun to attract the Vesps to him. This is the ultimate sacrifice that restores the readers faith in humanity for a while. Otis however keeps barking and Huw has to make the hard decision to kill their beloved family pet to save themselves. Turn on the tears! At this point they need to draw the Vesps away. Huw blows up Glen’s SUV and the family hightails it for the forest.

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The family comes across a farmhouse. The occupant tried to ward off the ‘intruders’ and ends up attracting Vesps and dying. Everyone finds shelter and safety in the house since the first broadcast of the cave discovery. Huw and Ally try and go to town to find supplies. Two major things happen while they are on their trip. 1. They find out the eggs do not hatch until they are stimulated by noise 2. They find out when it rains the rain disoriented the Vesps giving them a chance to get away. They are slowly finding the Vesp’s weaknesses which gives the reader hope they may defeat their enemy!

On the way back to the farm Huw and Ally meet a different kind of enemy: The Reverend. It is one of the themes in the post apocalyptic stories, the crazy religious cult who justifies what happened as a matter of judgement day. Huw and Ally see first hand the lengths the Reverend will go to survive, he cut his own tongue out!!!! The Reverend now wants Ally so she can teach them sign language, which is the best way to communicate in the silence!!! Huw of course says no and they go on their merry way.

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As night falls the Reverend attacks and throws ringing cell phones into the farmhouse. I thought this was a brilliant crisis causing event! How well thought out of Lebbon. Mayhem ensues as Vesps get in and each family member tries to fight them off. During the chaos the cult followers steal Ally away. Lynn, the reader having learned she has end stage cancer, also self sacrifices and tackles the attackers, screams and sends them all to their death to save Ally. The story ends with the family being on the road again to find their quiet place- haha . Winter is coming and hope is restored that the cold weather will kill off the Vesps.

The Silent was in some ways your typical creature feature but with a modern twist of silence and social media. I really enjoyed this book. Now the movie – meh. It was good, some deviations from the book. Not my most favourite book to movie adaptation but not the worst either. Have any of you read it? What are your thoughts? If you would like me to do a top 5 fav apocalyptic books please let me know!! Please feel free to leave any comments below !

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Happy Reading!!!!!!!

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Book Review: The Silent Patient By Alex Michaelides

Book Review: The Silent Patient By Alex Michaelides

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This is Alex’s debut novel and what a debut !! I read this back in April and it still is my favourite of this year. This psychological thriller will definitely deliver all the shocks and on your seat reading! He is a screenwriter that wrote The Devil You know (2013) and The Con is On (2018). If Alex keeps pumping out books like The Silent Patient he will move up fast in the bestselling author world. I can’t wait to read what he puts out next!!!

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We start off with a bang, literally. Alicia is a well known artist who lives with her successful photographer husband Gabriel. Years years ago Alicia shot her husband in the face, then refused to talk. Alicia was found with her wrists slit and Gabriel was tied to a chair. She is sent to a psychiatric hospital in hopes with therapy she will talk, think again. Enter Theo a new psychiatrist transferred to the hospital where Alicia is residing called the Grove. He does this because he says he was interested in her case 6 years ago and he thinks he can help her talk now.

Theo discovers through his digging that after the murder Alicia’s painting changed. The one immediately after is based on the Greek Mythology called -self sacrifice . Was this her way of coping and expressing her feelings after the murder?

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We see that Theo himself has some mental health issues. He has addictions like smoking and marijuana use. He also has some past issues. Early psychoanalytic therapy has saved him. Alicia also has some childhood issues so maybe he sees himself in her broken psyche. Is this what would happened to him if he did not get help? Does he want to save Alicia because someone has saved him? His view on psychotherapy is that it is his job to feel the patient’s feelings then send them back to the patient. Does he feel Alicia’s feelings?

We get a character view of Alicia through these mysterious journal entries. We see that she loved Gabriel very much but this may have turned into an obsession – she started painting him in Jesus’s image. Theo is also exhibiting an obsession with Alicia even after she attacks him after a 1:1 and he has her medications decreased.

Obsession seems to be a common theme throughout this novel. Theo is obsessed that Kathy is cheating on him. Instead of talking things out with her he proceeds to stalk her and read through her computer. Alicia becomes obsessed that a man is stalking her and she cannot tell anyone.

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We find through the journal entries and through Theo interviewing Alicia’s friends and family Alicia had previous suicide attempts. After her father dies to tries to kill herself, she has had many suicide attempts at the Grove. We learn further in the book that her mother drive herself and Alicia into a wall, killing the mother but not Alicia. Alicia’s father then blames Alicia for killing her mother and she is dead to him – where her mental health issues started.

While reading this book I was thinking of so many different possibilities for the ending – which makes this a great thriller. When the reader cannot guess the ending because there are too many possible endings it’s a great book. The endings of this book is freaking amazing. Huge spoiler alerts ahead. So we learn that the person Kathy was cheating on Theo with was Gabrielle. Yes it gets better. Theo then stalks Kathy and Gabrielle and he is the man that Alicia sees outside her window. Wow And Theo goes bat shit crazy , breaks into into Alicia’s home to tell he that her husband is cheating on her. He ends up tieing bot Gabrielle and Alicia up and gives Gabrielle a chance to choose between saving himself or Alicia. He chooses himself. Theo then gives Alicia the gun and tells her she has a choice, shoot a man who does not truly love her and is extremely selfish. (Hence the greek mythology Alcestis reference). She ends up shooting Gabrielle but what a twist to get us there!!!!!!!

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So what did you all think of the Silent Patient. Did you love it as much as I did or was it not your favourite? As always feel free to leave comments below ! If you have any suggestions for psychological thrillers please leave them below.

Happy reading!!

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Top 5: Books for Book Club

Top 5: Books for Book Club

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Hello all. Here we go with another top 5 list! May I say I really enjoy researching and writing these! This list I have chosen to do a book club approach as I have recently started a book club at my work. I love discussing the books we read each month with my co workers. However each month a new person chooses a book to read and sometimes they have problems choosing this book. They want to choose one that opens up the conversation and is a really great read. I have researched the following books and actually have read all of them. I can see how they are great books for great conversations. I have included questions that may help you open the conversation up in your book clubs are just questions to keep in mind while reading the book yourself. I hope you enjoy!!!

  1. Educated by Tara Westover
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I really enjoyed reading this memoir by Tara Westover. Tara recounts her life growing up in a strict mormon household that also is a doomsday prepper family. She especially highlights that they do not go to school and they are so off the grid they do not have birth certificates. The reader watches as she constantly struggles to follow her parents teaching but also to try and live a normal life and learn. Her father’s beliefs are so ingrained into Tara that even in adulthood she has a hard time coping with regular day activities of a ‘normal’ person.

Questions/discussion topics

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  • how your childhood experiences follow through with you to adulthood and how these affect the man/woman you are becoming.
  • How would you feel if you broke away from your family to have the life you wanted
  • How would you think it feels to not even know what the Holocaust was
  • How would you feel if your parents did not believe you when you told them your own brother was abusing you?

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird has to be one of my absolute fav books and it is definitely one that I would take with me to a desert island. The shear innocence of Scout is heartbreaking and invigorating at the same time. It truly is a classic masterpiece outlining the rampant racism and privilege on the old South in the 30’s. Also new for its time outlines what it is like to be a single dad as it was not as common as it is now. Scout’s dad Atticus is a lawyer wh0o defends a local ‘black’ man accused of raping a local white girl. Scout depicts her upbringing and is an awe-inspiring coming of young age tale.

Questions/ Discussion Topics

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  • What parts of this novel did you really like? Which parts did you not find interesting?
  • How do Jem and Scout’s view of Boo Radley change throughout the novel?
  • How do you think Atticus managed the role of being a single parent? Compare what it would be like for a single dad in the 30/s and present day.
  • How did the trial change the town? Did it change the town?

3. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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For me the Life of Pi ranks up there with To Kill a Mockingbird. It follows Pi and his family while they immigrate to Canada (go red and white!!!). They ship capsizes and the story then follows Pi trying to survive when all is lost. He is stranded or 227 days and to his account he is stranded with a bunch of animals from their family’s zoo.

Questions/Discussion Topics

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  • Are the animals real or are they metaphors of real people in Pi’s life that his brain concocked to deal with the trauma?
  • What if any are the religious cross over into the storytelling?
  • How do the people in your life reflect any of the animals and their characteristics?
  • How is the concept of Richard Parker echo that of overcoming one’s fears?

4. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

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Still Alice was a very different read. I do not think that there are too many books out there shining a light on what a person with Alzhimer’s experiences- first hand. Alice is a cognitive psychologist at Harvard and she recognizes that she is exhibiting signs of Alzhimer’s disease. The story expressing her journey of from the signs to diagnosis to progression of this relenting disease. It also lets the reader see how her family cope with the news and how this changes their lives and relationships.

Questions/ Discussion Topics

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  • How would you feel/react if you did not recognize the place you where in?
  • What do you feel or think it would feel like to recognize what is happening to you, knowing you were getting the devastating disease and the horrible outcome?
  • How do you feel about the family’s reactions? How would you react if someone in your life received this diagnosis?
  • What do we gain from seeing this story through Alice’s eyes? Does her job play into this view?

5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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I loved loved loved this book! I have read this one soo long ago but instantly thought of it as a great book club book! The setting is a circus. The story is told by Jacob who is 93 and lives in a nursing home. Jacob recounts the years he lived in the circus as he watches a circus set up camp beside his home. He becomes a vet to the circus and becomes romantically attached to the star Marlena who has an equestrian show. She had a jealous husband August who is the animal trainer. He also forms an attachment to an elephant Rosie. It gives the readers all sorts of feels!

Questions/ Discussion Topic

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  • Is this story an adventure, love, or survival story and why
  • Does this book change your point of view of the circus, especially in the recent light of the Ringling Brother’s shut down.
  • Who where your favourite characters, animals included
  • Where you surprised at the ending? Why? How would you have liked the book to end?

For all of those out there in book clubs or thinking of starting one (I will have a blog post at a later time regarding how to start a book club) I hoped these books and questions have helped. Even if you are not a member of a book club you can always keep these questions floating around your mind and answer them while you read the book. It may help to bring a deeper understanding of view of the book you are reading. Some of these questions are standard so they can be applied to any book not just the 5 I have mentioned. As always feel free to leave comments below. If you are in a book club what are some exciting book that sparked a great discussion with your members?

Happy Reading!!

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Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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So there was a lot of hype around this book in 2017. I was a bit late to read this as it is now 2019 lol. Better late than never I guess. I found this book a bit slow at times but all in all I really liked the story. This book is a trilogy called the Winternight trilogy. It incorporates mythical folk tales into reality. The tale follows Vasya a wild child who’s stepmother and local priest want to rid their town of her ‘devilish’ ways all the while the winter King a frost demon has his eyes on her. It has a lot of terms I did not understand. Arden was smart and added a glossary of terms to help the reader discover the magical Russian folklore background.

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The story opens with Vasya’s nanny Dunya telling the tale of the winter king who brings death. The tale is told to children to scare them into behaving….. Or is it. Maria, Vasy’s mother was the daughter of the Grand Prince of Moscow. Pyotr Vasya’s father is a lord on the outskirts of the forest a long way from Moscow. Maria died in childbirth leaving Vasya motherless and free to roam wherever as she grows up.

Vasya spends all of her time in the forest talking to the folklore forest nymphs and fairies. These creatures are said to protect the houses of the people who worships them and leave food out for them. The Domovoi is the oven creature who helps protect the house. She comes across a weird tree one day and meets the elicude Frost King who saves her life.

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Her father who is worried that she is growing up wild decides it is time to remarry. He travels to Moscow to find a wife who ends up being the Grand Prince’s daughter. Anna also see these mythical creatures just like Vasya can. They set out on the long track home. Sasha, Vasya’s brother meets a priest in the city and asks to stay but Pyotr says no.

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Once back in their village Anna does not fit into the hard labours life. The only time she feels safe from seeing the ‘demons’ is in the church. The sightings have gotten worse since coming to the forest so Anna becomes estranged from the villagers and her new family. She seeks solace with the new priest Konstantin that has come to look over the village. The priest sees Vasya as unclean or evil as she spends so much time in the woods. He thinks he hears ‘God’ talking to him one night. This voice tells him that the villagers have lost their way and he needs to instill fear and doubt. The voice says their worship of the chyerti is wrong and to discipline this villagers in the way of God. Spoiler alert here the voice is really the brother of the Frost King. He is an evil one eyed bear that wants to take over the earth in darkness.

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Here the book picks up and the story unravels faster. I found the first part of the book a bit slower but necessary to set up the last part. Pyotr tried to wed Vasya to Kyril – a very brute and ‘manly’ villager. He is cruel to his horses. Vasya knows this because she can read the horses as she was taught by one of the cheryti. He finds Vasya’s behaviours hard to deal with and calls off the wedding. As the reader I would have hated to see Arden marry Vasya off and chain her up in a house.

So the 3rd part of the book is the battle between Vasya and the Bear devil. We see that the people of the village grow to hate and blame Vasya for all the people dying. Really it is their lack of believe and offerings to the Cheryti that allow the Devil to come into their homes. Finally the frost king saves Vasya from the Bear and brings her to his frost home. An aside- why are there a lot of frost kings and beings in fantasy novels. We see the frost ‘white walkers’ in the Game of Thrones books.

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In the end Vasya fights the bear Devil, known as Medved. We other cheryti originally follow Medved but Vasya was able to persuade them to follow her as she has been nice to them. Konstantin brings Anna to the forest as bait because Medved needs a ‘seer’ to be killed to free him. In the end Vasya’s father dies offering his life to save his daughter. At the end she leaves the village, be able to drive Konstantin off first. The villagers still think she is a witch and Vasya does not want to make trouble for her brother who is now taking over the village. The last scene was very interesting as she goes back to the frost Kings home and he lets her in.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything like it so it was nice to read out of my comfort zone. What did you think of this book? Like or dislike? Feel free to leave a comment below> I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading Everyone!!

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Best Places to Read

Hello All

Lets talk about some of our favourite places to read.  Sometimes the choice of our reading location is just as important as the choice of book we make.   The ambiance of our reading environment sets the mood for our entire reading experience.  I find that I read faster and I am able to imagine the world in which I enter while I am reading more vividly if I am in a comfortable place.  The following are just some of my recommendations for reading nooks that I enjoy and find enhance my adventure.

  1. My go-to reading spot is my couch accompanied by a blanket/pillow and my most valuable reading accessory , my cat  !  Who couldn’t snuggle with this little one !

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2. Another comfortable spot that a blanket and pillow complement is my bed.  I try and make it a habit to read for at least 30 minutes to a hour before bed.  This cuts down on my screen time and helps me fall asleepbeverage-bible-book-64775

3. One of the best spots to read if you prefer a quite scene that does not have the distracts of home is your local library.  I know the one close to my house has great couches that are super comfy.  Not having the distracts of endless to do list at home makes it a whole lot easier to get into my book.

4.The Bus or local transit may be how you get around in your city.  Depending on the length of your ride this may be the prefect time to delve into your current read.   I find that loosing myself in my book is a great way to make the transit time go by so fast.  However I have been known to miss my stop on occasion 🙂

5.  What would be better than to curl up at the waterfront/ park with a blanket and picnic basket? The answer is probably nothing.  Being out in nature is refreshing and what better way to enjoy it than with a book?

6. The beach is where I spend most of my time on vacation.  I love pulling up a beach chair, umbrella and book while i build ‘sand castles’ with my toes.  Listing to the waves in the background while soaking up the rays has to be one of the most relaxing ways I think I can of to escort my reading mind

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7. A coffee shop kills 2 birds with one stone.  You get to enjoy a great cup of java and enjoy a great book!

8. The gym is a great place to listen to a book for those who love audio books.   Popping in my headphones and listening to some Stephen King or Ann Rice is a great way to make your workout fly by!

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These are my favourite places to read but I would love to heard from you guys!  What are your favourite places to pull up a book and unwind?

Happy Reading!!!!!

book review, Books, fiction, Literature

Review: Then she was gone by Lisa Jewell

Hello All

 

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I know it has been a very long time since I posted my last blog.  I am back on tract now and oh what a book to be my first review of 2019.

I read Then she was gone in 2 days.   It was a super fast, easy and page gripping book.   It is not for those who are faint of heart.  It does not have any extremely violent scenes but is more of a sick and twisted psychological thriller.

First off the point that left me the must unsettled was the way in which Ellie died.   After giving birth to Poppy she was just forgotten in the basement to wither and waste away.  For me this would be worse than being murdered.   All those countless hours with no interaction, not knowing what is to come next is psychological torture.   I would rather be shot or stabbed as this would end my suffering faster.  It is heart wrenching to think that not only did Ellie physically suffer what the psychological aspect of being ‘forgotten’ is appalling.

The second aspect that made me a bit sick to my stomach was when Laurel figured out that Ellie was in Noelle’s basement and she walked right past her daughter without knowing she was suffering.  Everyone talks about the link between a mother and a child.  In a lot of novels this link eventually leads the mother to the child and all is well with a happy ending.  This is not real life.  Real life unfortunately is more sinister.  By having Laurel walk past  Ellie Lisa made this book more realistic for the reader.

The way in which Lisa wrote this book made the event of a child being lost/ kidnapped more practical in real life.  The fact that she portrayed Laurel in the beginning as a ‘bitch’  to her family and withdrawn is probably more factual than the whole family coming together.   Everyone deals with loss and stress in different ways.   Not all tragic events bring people together.  The fact that Laurel can’t stand the way her ex husband Paul deals with Ellie’s loss is more practical and relatable.

The one aspect of this book that I could have done without was the character Blue, Laurel’s son’s girlfriend.   I found that as the reader my suspicion of Floyd was growing enough without the use of psych and aura seeing.   I found that her ‘warning’ Floyd was hiding something was tacky and not needed – my opinion only.   Lisa could have had Laurel increase her suspicion another way.

As characters go I really liked Poppy.   She started off as an annoying single child syndrome character, whom I did not like in the beginning.   As the story progressed her character grew and she went from being a daddy’s needy girl to a girl who wanted larger family interaction.   She was a nice relief from the other intense characters of Laurel and Floyd.   I also liked Noelle was the ‘villain’.   She was someone you loved to hate.   I went from loathing her selfish craziness to feeling sorry for her when we learned of Floyd playing her for his sexual satisfaction.   As for Floyd I have mixed feeling about him.  My views change depending on who is narrating.   In the end though I did feel sorry for him and almost didn’t want him to blow his brains out.

All in all what a slimy sick thriller that kept me glued to the pages.   I will definitely be reading more from Lisa Jewell as I feel we all need to experience the uneasiness that Then she was gone dishes out!! As always feel free to leave any comments and/ or Lisa Jewell recommendations below.

 

Happy Reading!!!

Books, fiction, Literature

How to get cheap books!

Hello  all

I thought today I would go over a few resources that I have found to feed my book addiction for cheap.  I hate spending full price for books.  Reading can become a very expensive hobbie.  Hopefully these resources can help ease the pocket book but still allow you to enjoy your craving for reading

  1. Libraries– so the obvious first choice is to support your local library. They are a great source of all type of reading options whether it be physical books, ebooks or audio books.   The only downfall is the timeline they give you for new releases – which generally have to be back to the library much sooner than other books you sign out.  Another option your library may offer is through the app called overdrive.  You just download this app and sign in with your library number and you can sign out ebooks and audiobooks right onto your ereader.  Libraries often have books sales as well so you can get used books for pretty cheap.untitled.png
  2. Thrift stores/ second hand books stores- thrift stores offer a great price on used books.  I do understand though that some of the books they offer are quite old and they do not often have new releases.  The thrift store is somewhere you can go if you are looking for books that are not main stream and usually really good finds.  Also local second hand books stores are a gem for decently prices gently used books.  The store owners often can get in books you are looking for and are a great resource for book suggestions.  If you are in the Hamilton\ Burlington area in Ontario may I suggest a book store called J.H. Gordons in Hamilton.  The owners are amazing and are able to pretty much find any book you may be interested in. 81d09f3ac600b68b7a43b852c99b623b
  3. Bookoutlet- I know a lot of book tubers have suggested this site and I must admit I have found a lot of great book deals on new and older releases.   Sometimes the only catch with this website is the amount they charge for shipping.  Sometimes when you include the shipping fee the book is just as expensive as in store.  You just have to be careful and when figuring out the price always include the shipping price as part of the book price.

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4. Paperbackswap- this is a new website for me and one that I have not used a lot.  The premise is that you sign up, post a book that you would like to swap for.  You pay the shipping fee to the person requesting the book from you.  Then you go back onto the website and pick a book that will be shipped to you for free- in the same manner.  This is a pretty smart idea and a good way for bookies to connect with one another.

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5. Boobbub- this is a website I probably use the most.   It is for ebooks only so for those who do not like ebooks this is probably not an option for you.   You make an account and then select the genres that you are interested in reading.  The website then sends you daily deals for books that are within the genres you have selected.  Some of these books are for  FREE and some are insanely cheap.  Also not a website to use for new releases but has some amazingly good finds on other books. This website has expanding my reading repertoire and I have found some of my favourite reads on this site.

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I hope these resources  may help you guys in saving some money but allow you to still enjoy a good read.  If anyone has any other suggestions or have any comments on the sites I have listed please feel free to leave a comment.   Happy Reading !!!