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Showing posts from May, 2014

Whisper by Chris Struyk-Bonn

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Whisper by Chris Struyk-Bonn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This has been sitting on my shelf for a few months and I wish I had read it sooner because I just adored it! At first it feels like the usual YA dystopian fare, this time with the outcast society of deformed people, with children, especially girls being abandoned at birth. Our narrator is an older teen girl, on the brink of womanhood, with a cleft palate being raised in a camp for outcast children way out in the woods, with only a couple of others and an elderly caretaker. I fell in love with the main character right away and the beginning setting of the camp, which at first reminded me of the society in Wyndham's "The Chrysalids" but without any of the religious themes. This changes though as the world expands beyond the camp. What I particularly liked about this book and what makes it different and unique in this, somewhat overdone genre that is still a favourite of mine, is the absence of any government, rebel group…

Welcome To Camp Nightmare (Goosebumps, #9) by R.L. Stine

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Welcome To Camp Nightmare (Goosebumps, #9) by R.L. Stine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is a good one! Starts out totally creepy and doesn't let up until the end. Billy narrates his own story of summer camp and weird things happen right from the bus trip out there, things get dangerous, spooky, kids disappear, etc. until the final twist ending. Which is pretty good even though I did figure it out but what you don't see coming is the extra, extra twist on the last page, last paragraph that cues that awesome Twilight Zone music for a super horror story ending. Fun!



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The Running Man by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King

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The Running Man by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reason for Reading: I'm in the process of of re/reading all of Stephen King's works in chronological order.This is the last book in this collection I had to read.  After having read through the entire book over the time period of a few years I've concluded that "The Long Walk" is my favourite novel here, which I do remember enjoying a lot the first time around also. My least favourite was "Roadwork", though I'll say I didn't not like any of them. Taken together on average I rate the complete collection a 4 out of 5. Click the link for the review of the whole collection in one place.

The Running Man - This is the book that I was most looking forward to re-reading in this collection. The first time I read it, the movie hadn't been made yet and I found this an incredibly scary tale as it felt so real. More real than The Long Walk at that time, which is also a deadly…

It's Monday What Are You Reading This Week

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This is what I'm reading this week. 
Row One:  From The Bachman Books I am reading the last book in this collection "The Running Man".  This is part of my ongoing reading of Stephen King in chronological order project.  It's the book I've been looking forward to re-reading the most in the collection. The SK Universe is a standby which I read the section on each book after I've read it; so I'll be reading the Running Man section this week. The Edgar Allan Poe is my current short story collection, as usual I read one story a day.  I'm currently on story #8.  The highlight of the week was a humorous tale called "The Angel of the Odd"
Row Two:Empty Mansions has been on my tbr for ages and I'm so glad I've finally started it.  It's a big book but it is turning out to be a fast read.  It is doing double duty as qualifying for my current non-fiction and my current ebook. The Bible is a year long project, am reading this study Bible and c…

2014 ARC Reading Challenge - FINISHED

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FINISHED MAY 17
I join Teddy's ARC challenge every year since I read so many of the darn things.  I have a self-imposed rule that I only include books with 100+ pages and Teddy has adjusted the levels a bit this year but I'm still joining the last level as usual. For more information and to sign up go here.
I will be joining the top level and listing my books below:
Post reviews here.
Jan.1-Dec. 31 (2014) Goal: 40 books Level Platinum: Read 40 or more ARCS 1. Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny by Nick Nicholson, M.D 2. Button Man: Get Harry Ex by John Wagner 3. Judge Dredd: Mutants in Mega-City One by John Wagner 4. Typhon and the Winds of Destruction by Joan Holub 5. Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 06 by John Wagner & Allan Grant 6. Magi Vol. 3 by Shinobu Ohtaka 7. The Future of Catholicism by Michael Coren 8. The Sandman and the War of Dreams by William Joyce 9. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Vol. 18 by Hiroshi Shiibashi 10. Dragon Ball (3-in-1), Vol. 3 by Akira Tor…

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

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The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have a great interest in neuroscience, specifically the psychology of the brain and the title of this book grabbed me from the beginning. First, though, this book is not about serial killers. Yes, there are a few mentioned throughout and the book ends with a small section on them but this book is about people who are not criminals. People who possess the same qualities as psychopaths and thus, can be labelled psychopaths, but are functional within society. It then goes on to discuss how these people operate in society and the professions they succeed at. While the book does mention serial killers, and saints and spies, (as in the title) it mostly concentrates on the business, government and medical fields; talking to and taking case examples from CEOs, stock market traders, MI5 agents, lawyers and surgeons. Dutton's writing style flows nicely and th…

Surviving Home by A. American

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Surviving Home by A. American

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The follow-up to "Going Home" doesn't disappoint. An action-packed read with a continuous pace that doesn't let up. The three male characters from the first book return, each back to their "home" and the book's narrative continuously shifts from one to the other. I've grown invested in the characters though I don't know if like would be the correct word to use as they are all morally reprehensible to me. Well, I guess I do like them in spite of their morals. LOL. This is just such a fun book and reads like a TV show to me; I can just see it all playing out in my head. The pace is fantastic and it was a page-turner. The book ends on an exciting note and I can't wait to read the next book. If you like military, gung-ho, survivalist themes you'll love this series.



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Author Mary Stewart Dies

It's Monday What Are You Reading This Week

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This is what I'm reading this week.

Row One: The two Stephen King books are kinda in limbo.  "Running Man" from the Bachman Books is coming up this month, perhapsby the end of the week. The SK Universe is a standby which I read the section on each book after I've read it. Started the Edgar Allan Poe as my short story collection yesterday, will be reading one story a day as usual.

Row Two: Surviving Home is the sequel to Going Home and I'm loving it. This is my current ebook read. The Wisdom of Psychopaths is awesome and is my current non-fiction read, rather heady and science-y but I love neuro-science. The Bible is a year long project, am reading this study Bible and completing the four Gospels, just getting into Luke now.

Row Three: Grimm's Oz, finished this last night, review to come on my other blog. Current manga Zatchbell #13.  Current graphic novel Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Weibe, so far I have loved his work!

Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from…

Little Tales of Misogyny by Patricia Highsmith

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Little Tales of Misogyny by Patricia Highsmith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


What a bunch of complete and utter rot. I have always wanted to read Patricia Highsmith. Strangers on a Train is one of my favourite movies, Ever! and I really enjoyed the Mr. Ripley movie. I have a lot of her books and just haven't got around to them yet. The back of this collection of extremely short, short stories labels them as "mystery/fiction". This is not mystery in any shape or form. I do not know what to make of these stories. If you read my notes that follow as I read the book you'll see my confusion and distaste for the material progress as I went along. I presume these stories are some sort of farcical feminist literature. I found them vulgar, stupid and not in the least humorous at all.

1. The Hand - Gruesome little parable as to the inappropriateness of referring to marriage as asking for "her hand". (4/5)

2. Oona, the Jolly Cave Woman - Don't get this. A "cave wo…

Bang by Lisa McMann

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Bang by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I'm a great fan of Lisa McMann and while I was a little underwhelmed with the first in this series, "bang" more than met my expectations. I found the story much more believable this time around and had another page-turner in my hands. Not as good as her "Wake" trilogy but certainly for the YA audience also as the content is very mature. The teen characters make for good reading even though the adults are a little less than believable. The ending is finite but it sets up the next book and I'm pleased with where it leaves us dangling. I had worried the plot was going to go in a predictable direction for the third book but this ending has us pointed in a completely different direction. Also, while I had thought it would be cool for the 3rd book to be titled "Boom", I now know that the final book in the trilogy will be out next month and is called "Gasp".



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The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

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The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Wow! The most beautiful book I've read in ages. Very simple, but amazingly tender and powerful. Creech tells a tale with a lot of unanswered questions that leaves the reader wanting to know so much more about what happened. And yet there is a feeling of accomplishment, that lives have been touched as in real life we don't always know how, but it *does* make a difference. We are shown a small part of that difference when the lives of a couple cross paths with an abandoned boy on their porch. Splendidly written. It is with shame that I admit I have not read this award winning author before. Two things particularly stand out for me. The first is the timelessness of the story. It has no time period. We know the story takes place in the past as there are no modern conveniences, no one uses a phone and yet it is not that long ago as there are cars and attitudes feel closer to today than ages past. Is it the 40s, 50s or is…

The Backwash of War: The Classic Account of a First World War Field-Hospital by Ellen N. La Motte

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The Backwash of War: The Classic Account of a First World War Field-Hospital by Ellen N. La Motte

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


AUG 5 - Opens with an introduction by the publisher setting up a background on the author and the circumstances under which the book was written. Is then followed by the author's introduction to the 1934 edition which discusses the books suppression during the war years. Then includes the original 1916 author introduction. This is an interesting first hand account of the WWI French front from a field nurse's point of view. It is a short book and makes fast reading with each chapter being a vignette of a different patient and the medical case he represents. Ms. Motte is very candid in her discussions of the wounded and the treatment making the book probably graphic for its time, though not so much for the modern day reader. While I found the book interesting as a contemporary piece of history from the war, I didn't connect with the author's voice at …

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

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Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ambrose captured my heart! I love him so much, like a mother and as a vision of myself when I was 12/13. Ambrose is a nerd, gets picked on at school, has an overprotective single mother, wears strange clothes, speaks without thinking, has no social graces but can play a mean game of Scrabble. Ambrose probably has Asperger's but why he is this way isn't addressed; it's simply the story of a boy learning to be who he is, get along with others, and actually be happy. I fell in love with Ambrose right away as he reminded me of myself. I'm an aspie and saw myself in Ambrose in so many ways. He is a dear, tender child who often says the most awkward things as he has no filter before speaking. This isn't the story of his problem though, it is a story of a mother and son who, after thirteen years, finally learn to get on with there lives since the death of the father/husband. Ambrose uses Scrabble to get out into the worl…

9000 Miles of Fatherhood: A True Story by Kirk Millson

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9,000 Miles of Fatherhood by Kirk Millson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I always enjoy good travelogues whether they be about the people who travel or the places they go. Sometimes, like Kirk Millson's book, the story is more about the travellers than it is about where they travelled. A recently "down-sized" man and his average son take a 4-month journey south through Mexico to reach Panama's Darien Gap, The End of the Road. By today's standards this is not exactly safe country to travel through by oneself and could be likened to having a modern day "wild west" atmosphere and philosophy of life. The two travel through Mexico and Guatemala. Then bus it to Costa Rico where they finally travel to their destination in Panama. The blurbs from the book mention an "emotionally estranged", "timid" "D Student" to describer Kirk's son, Peter. However, as soon as the book starts I found through Kirk's own voice that Peter really was…