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Showing posts from July, 2014

8th annual Canadian Book Challenge - FINISHED

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I've already signed-up but I'm a little late getting this post up.  I had plans to read a bit more than I got around to this month but oh, well.  Here we go!

I've been in this challenge of John's since day 1 and while he always mixes things up and makes it fun for us every year the challenge is always the same.  Running from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 read 13 books by Canadians, about Canadians or set in Canada.  I don't usually have a theme or anything that organized but this year I am going to try and read a "Dear Canada" book each month, doubling up once for a total of 13 Dear Canadas.  Big fail for July, though technically it is July 31, and I've just started my first one :-)

Post reviews here.

1. Two Issues of Teen Titans Go! by J. Torres
2. Dear Canada: Winter of Peril : The Newfoundland Diary of Sophie Loveridge, Mairie's Cove, New-Found-Land, 1721 by Jan Andrews  (DC 1)
3. Trillium by Jeff Lemire
4. The Hollow Tree by Janet Lunn
5. Dea…

Children Are Naughty by Vincent Cuvellier

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Children Are Naughty by Vincent Cuvellier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I adore the illustration of this book. It is just like something done in the 40s or 50s. The text is very droll and tongue-in-cheek so it is the art which brings out the humour and has you looking at all the details on each page. This is a translation of a French book and as such is probably cultural in its approach to humour. I can see it not being to the taste of all English readers. There is no moral or lesson here. We simply go through pages of various ways in which children misbehave themselves. All very realistic, but the illustration makes it funny as does the dry humour of the text. Finally, at the end, with tongue firmly planted in cheek we are told that parents, of course, were not naughty when *they* were children and to finish it off we conclude that the only good child is a sleeping one; then, of course, they are just lovely! I thought this was very fun and cute in a non-cute way, if you know what I mean. B…

Mid-Year Favourites Jan-Jun 2014: Short Story Collections & Misc

Now that we are in the middle of the year I thought I'd gather together my favourites so far for the year from Jan to June 2014.  Since I read soooo many books I've divided them up into categories and am keeping track of them that way.  So far I've done

Nonfiction (Adult/Juvenile)
Fiction (Adult/YA)
Juvenile Novels
Picture Books & Easy Readers

Today I finish off with my last category which is Short Story Collections.  I read one short story every day.  Sometimes a short story is not so short and it will take me two days and there are a few days here and there when life interrupts and I don't read a storyat all, but I am pretty consistent.  I've been doing this since 2009 off and on but it became a regular thing in 2011 and now it's just habit.
It's pretty much impossible to give a (5/5) to a collection of short stories because invariably there is going to be a dud or two amongst the gems of even the best collections.  I prefer to read books which collect st…

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

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The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My Newbery Reading Project

This is a re-read for me. The first time I read it aloud to my eldest about 15 years ago and we both loved it so much. I went on to read several more of the author's books after that, also enjoying them. I was looking forward to this re-read. I was a little disappointed as the story was much slower than I had remembered and at first I actually thought it was boring. So it did take me some time to get into it this time, though I hardly remembered the story except the basic plot. I did find my groove though, and settled down with this old-fashioned story, set in a different time in a different world, pre-WWII Netherlands. This is a sweet story about children and their love for animals, storks in this case. It's a time when children roamed the countryside all day long, unsupervised. The first good chunk of the book sets up the plot and not a lot of events h…

Mid-Year Favourites Jan-Jun 2014: Children's Books

Now that we are in the middle of the year I thought I'd gather together my favourites so far for the year from Jan to June 2014.  Since I read soooo many books I've divided them up into categories and am keeping track of them that way.  So far I've donenonfiction (Adult/Juvenile)andfiction (Adult/YA) . Today I will do my favourite children's books which I have divided into two groups Juvenile Novels and Picture Books/Easy Readers.  Next time I will post my last list of favourite short story collections and a few books that defy categories.
I've read 20 Juvenile novels from Jan-Jun 2014 and these are the ones I've rated a full 5/5. Since there are only three these are easily put in order.
1. The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech (5/5) 2. The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla (5/5) 3. The Sandman and the War of Dreams by William Joyce (5/5)

I've read 27 Children's Picture Books & Easy Readsers from Jan-Jun 2014 and these are the ones I've rated …

Mid-Year Favourites Jan-Jun 2014: FICTION (ADULT/YA)

Now that we are in the middle of the year I thought I'd gather together my favourites so far for the year from Jan to June 2014.  Since I read soooo many books I've divided them up into categories and am keeping track of them that way.  Last time I did nonfiction, today I will do my favourite fiction books which I have divided into several groups today I will do Adult and YA.  Next time I will finish up with children's books.
I've read 20 Adult novels from Jan-Jun 2014 and these are the ones I've rated a full 5/5. This is in no particular order.
1. Little Joe by Michael E Glasscock III (5/5) 2. The Kept by James Scott (5/5) 3. Apocalyptic Organ Grinder by William Todd Rose (5/5) 4. The Son by Jo Nesbø (5/5) 5. Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave (5/5)


I've read 8 YA/Teen novels from Jan-Jun 2014 and these are the ones I've rated a full 5/5.  Very successful choices so far!  This is in no particular order.

1. Jump Cut by Ted Staunton (5/5) 2. Devil's Pass by Sigmund Bro…

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

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The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Astounding! If I hadn't already read her latest book "Torn Away" I'd give this 5 stars, but that one was so good the bar is pretty high in my expectations for this author. This is Brown's first book and one I had wanted to read but the school shooting theme sort of made me roll my eyes as that's mostly been done and finished in my book. However, "The Hate List" is different, really quite different. The focus is not on the shooter, nor on the student body's recovery afterwards. Yes, those things are certainly there and important to the story. But those aspects are shown through the eyes of the girlfriend, the shooter's girlfriend. This is her story. How she met Nick, fell in love, became his girlfriend. Sure Nick talked about death a lot, so she did too, but that was just their "thing", wasn't it? Sure she was the one who started the Hate List but it was just a game. Who kn…

Mid-Year Favourites Jan-Jun 2014: NONFICTION

Now that we are in the middle of the year I thought I'd gather together my favourites so far for the year from Jan to June 2014.  Since I read soooo many books I've divided them up into categories and am keeping track of them that way.  Today I will do my favourite non-fiction books which I have divided into two categories Adult/YA and Juvenile/Children.

1've read 12 NonFiction (Adult/YA) books from Jan-Jun 2014 and these are the ones I've rated a full 5/5. This is in no particular order.

Best Nonfiction (Adult/YA) Jan-Jun 2014 1. Way to Inner Peace by Fuller Sheen (5/5) 2. Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (5/5) 3. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman (5/5)
4. DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2014 edited by DC Comics (5/5)

I read 6 NonFiction (Juvenile/Children) books from Jan-Jun 20…

RIP : Louis Zamperini & Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

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Not many people go through any of the events that happened to Louis Zamperini in his life and lived to tell about it.  And not only that he was an Olympic runner before he started his army career: a fighter pilot in WWII, crash survivor who spent 47 days adrift at sea, endured the harsh realitiy of being a Japanese POW.  Hi psychological torments upon returning to civilization had there affect and he almost lost his marriage, but they stayed strong through the worst of it and remained married for 54 years until her death in 2001. After getting his life back together he returned to Japan as a missionary, came to the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano as a Torch Bearer.  He wrote two memoirs of his life, one in 1956, the other in 2003.  He remained physically active until his death participating in skiing, mountain climbing and, of course, running.

Louis Zamperini died July2 , 2014 and the grand age of 97.

Read his Obit in the NYT

And I thought now would be a good time to bring back my revie…

Harry Hole #5: The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

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The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Harry Hole (#5)

I hate rating this a 3 and it is not because the book is inferior but because of me, the reader, and my experience with Nesbo and the whole Harry Hole series. Bit of background: I have now read the entire Hole series. This is a series that is best enjoyed in order, at least from book 3 onwards. I had an awkward start, beginning with 4, then 6, then reading in order up to the present book. Then I went back and filled in the spaces by reading the missed books in order.

So here I start reading "Devil's Star" and it did take me quite some time to get into as I was remembering the death from a previous book and this book was populated with characters I knew would eventually be dead further down the series. One of the plots was long running and had been discussed previously and in books further along so I knew what would happen to the bad guy (and who he was) but was glad to "finally" read the b…