Subscribe: an adventure in reading
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
book  books  click quickly  load click  moment load  nonfiction  previous lost  quickly previous  read  series  story  year 
Rate this Feed
Rating: 2.8 starRating: 2.8 starRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: an adventure in reading

an adventure in reading

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. ~Mary Wortley Montagu

Updated: 2018-03-17T10:09:34.300-04:00


UPDATE: February Reads Vol 3


Hey look at this - three female detectives in some great historical fiction. All very different in their eras and style.Urn Burial by  Kerry Greenwood (ebook) 201 pagesBook #8Set in 1920s Melbourne, nobody kicks butt like Phyrne Fisher.  She has enough money to not care what anyone thinks and is progressive enough to upset everyone around her. A Chinese lover? Don't dare tell her it is not acceptable. Plus she is smart and fearless. Quite amazing heroine.The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley 9 h 53 min,  narrated by Jayne Entwistle, Book #9Flavia deLuce is back in 1950s England and her sidekick Dogger is looking out for our teenage busybody.  The series seems to be back on track after a few weird outings.Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart, 320 pagesBook #2 This second volume is the series is based on a true story of a lady cop as she tried to solve crimes in 1910s New Jersey. She still has a sheriff who believes in her, but there are some other problems, like an escaped prisoner on Constance Kopp's watch. I didn't think the follow up was quite as strong as the first book, Girl Waits With Gun but I will try another one for sure. I particularly like the other two sisters and enjoy seeing how they interact with Constance. I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

UPDATE: February Reads Vol 2


Some times you get in a little run of great books. My problem is I read them too fast because I am so engaged in them, that I don't get to prolong the experience. These three were all pretty covers and fabulous reads! Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, 15 h 56 minnarrated by Caroline LeeUsually when I see an audiobook that is 15 parts long, I shy away. For some reason, probably knowing the TV show (I haven't seen though) is supposed to be very good, I gave it a try. I burned through this book in probably 3-4 days - I could not stop listening! Such a great story - funny, topical, suspenseful, and great characters. The three main characters were strong women. The back and forth, before and after an unknown crime has occurred, the comments by community members was just so well done. I'll be looking for more Moriarty novels in the very near future. Fun, fun read!The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso, 288 pagesBailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2017Two cranky neighbours, each unhappy in their own ways, are forced to get along. Sounds pretty usual, but setting the book in South Africa with a white and black neighbour adds a few more layers. Besides the apartheid background, the novel focuses on the marriages and expectations the women had for their lives. Easy to read with characters that while not likable, are understandable. As the layers peel back, much of their motivations come clear. Solid, enjoyable read, it's the kind of under-the-radar book I like passing on to friends.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, 12 h 31 minnarrated by Cassandra CampbellI loved this book the first time I read it eight years ago. I don't often re-read the books my book club picks, but I knew the audio version was raved about as an example of a great audiobook (Cassandra Campbell as narrator explains this!) so I decided to listen. Again, such a great book. So frustrating to see how ignored her family was, and how hard they tried to get their mother some recognition. Actually, all her poor family really wanted was some health care. (Get your act together US republicans, it's not that hard) Skloot does a wonderful job of getting to know the family and while she's been criticized for inserting herself in the story, it makes the reader feel like they are with her, discovering this great injustice.I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

UPDATE: February Reads, vol 1


I read 12 books in February. After my great last year of reading nonfiction, I only managed one this month, and it was a re-read for my book club. Half my reads were audiobooks, probably because a number of the paper books felt like they took forever to finish. Today I'll review some of the slower and problematic reads of the month. Some other categories I hope to get to include my favourite reads of the month, some continuing series books, and a few featured on the Tournament of Books at themorningnews.The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder, 363 pagesI read and loved Hayder's Jack Caffrey series. Jack was a great if troubled police detective, and the books veered into super creepy. I tried this stand-alone that revolves around the Nanking Massacre from the 1930s. Two stories occurred in two time periods and I could never decide which if either, story I was liking more. If I thought the Caffrey series was creepy, Hayder ventures into new taboo areas. I continued reading even while it was a very slow set up because I have liked Hayder's writing. I'll give Hayder another chance.Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, 150 pagesHow such a short book could take so long to read was very disappointing. I liked the Jane Eyre book, I really liked the movie, and I also enjoy reading women writing about their love of Jane Eyre. I missed this whole oeuvre in my younger days and I wanted to read this prequel of sorts, the story of how Rochester's first wife ended up the crazy woman in the attic.Mostly set in the Caribbean, it was slow, the writing didn't flow for me, and the characters did not evoke any attachments for me. I didn't get a good sense of what the point of the book was, even though I did know. It picked up a bit when Mr Rochester arrived, but not enough to explain to me how she ended up in the attic.Planet of Exile by Ursula Le Guin (4 h 30 min)After the death of LeGuin, I looked for an audiobook that was available and fairly short. I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but I have read some famous ones that I have enjoyed. Two tribes of people have lived for generations on a planet. They stick to their traditional ways, but of course, some one is trying to change things. There's a battle. I know now that general sci-fi is not for me. Sorry fans of Ursula K LeGuin.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 288 pagesI finally read this multi-award winning book for young adults. Then in the next month, Alexie gets called out for very bad behaviour. I also read and enjoyed Al Franken last year. Stop ruining good reading experiences by being assholes, guys.This was an easy read, but frustrating at the same time as the narrator deals with racism and trying to take control of his life. Being a teenager isn't easy, and one living on a reservation has extra problems. Alexie writes a thoughtful and engaging book with a great narrator.I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

BOOK: The Lumberjanes, Vol 6 and Vol 7


Lumberjanes Vol 6:  Sink or Swim

The campers of  Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types are having another adventure, this time on the sea. New counsellor, Seafarin' Karen is battling some selkies and the girls must work together to deal with these magical creatures. Graphic novels are quick reads (for me) and as usual, my favourite part is the exclamatives based on famous women, some of whom I have to look up. But any book that gets you researching is probably a good book.

Annie Edison Taylor - American school teacher, went over Niagara Falls in a barrel

Ching Shih - Chinese pirate in early 19th century

Grace O'Malley - lord of the O' Maille dynasty in west of Ireland, in 16th century

Gertrude Bell - English writer and traveller, archaeologist

Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz - first woman to sail single handed around the world

Vol 7: Bird's-Eye View
I like the mix of supernatural that happens at the camp and that everyone just accepts, after freaking out somewhat. The High Council is coming to inspect the camp, the neighbour campers have kittens  but they are not your ordinary kittens. Hijinks ensue. I feel like I missed a few of the famous women exclamatives but these were three very good ones!

Agatha Christie - wrote mysteries

Katie Sandwina - circus strongwoman from Austria

Valentina Tereshkova - first woman to fly in space, Russian

UPDATE: January Fiction Reads


I feel I was all over the place in my January reading. Paper books are taking me longer and longer to read, yet I can zip through an audiobook in a few days. I realized in my end of the year recap that I hadn't read many/any short story collections, and I usually enjoy short stories. Somewhere, once upon a time, I marked some books at Goodreads from a list of connected short story collections, so I hope to find some of those this year.Emerald City by Jennifer Egan is not one of those books.  I don't think. But some of the stories have the same type of characters (con men, models, daughters of adulterers) enough that made me question whether they were the same characters. None of the stories are happy, everyone has something to hide or reveal. I like short stories that are a little diabolical.(5h 32 min, narrated by Richard Waterhouse, Madeleine Lambert, Charlie Thurston)A couple of graphic novels series I have been following are the Lumberjanes and FBP (Federal Bureau of Physics)FBP Vol 3: Standing on Shoulders by Simon Oliver is a science fiction world where something is happening on earth that defies the laws of physics and the FBP investigators. The series is only four long I believe, so I'm getting near the end. Each so far, besides detailing some of these black hole/dark energy issues, backstories the main investigators. Now that all of them have been thoroughly introduced, the final edition should be a doozy. The Lumberjanes Vol 6: Sink or Swim by Shannon Watters was, as usual, excellent. I've got Volume 7 out from the library, so will review them together next month.There are some classic novels I have no interest in reading, like The House of the Seven Gables, or Ulysses by James Joyce and there are some that seem intriguing (and short. That helps.) Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is one of those classics that seems worth reading. I was pleased that it ended up being a free YA Sync book last summer. It was readable, and a guy actually woke up turned into a giant bug. His family has to figure out what to do with him. It's the kind of book that makes me go look up Sparknotes to find out about themes and motifs and such. (2h 12 min, narrated by Martin Jarvis)While I'm getting better, I still get pulled in by books that win awards or get lots of praise. There has to be more than just prize-winning (in this case,  Booker Prize) to make me get it. I've read George Saunders' short story collection, Tenth of December so was predisposed to like him. Then, Lincoln in the Bardo was selected as one of the Tournament of Books. The cast of narrators is much too large to name, and it's more of a cast recording, so I chose to listen to it. Ghosts surrounding Abraham Lincoln's son after he died tell lots of stories. Distractingly, real quotes about the person or event are included. I had to look up "op. cit." which was just a bibliographic reference to a book that had been previously quoted. I actually think the paper edition might have been better for me as I didn't recognize hardly any of the famous voices, and all the real quotes didn't help my listening. Parts dragged, but parts were humourous and interesting. Overall, Saunders created a unique style to tell a story, and for those interested in American History. I can see why it won the Booker Prize.And finally, two books to round it out will get their own reviews later. The Dud: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and The Best: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (audiobook)I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

UPDATE: January Nonfiction Reads


Still keeping a good percentage of nonfiction books into 2018. A couple of perfectly fine memoirs that  were engaging and entertaining and made me look up information as I read. Lion by Saroo Brierly, which the movie was based on covers a little boy who gets majorly lost in India, and eventually adopted in Australia. He uses what little he remembers to eventually search for his family in India. So many good people in this one, very hopeful and the author maintained such a good approach to life even after surviving as a five year old on the streets of Calcutta.(7 h 29 min, narrated Larry Buttrose) Similar to Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the story of Nike. It's hard to believe that Nike was once considered an underdog. A tad too much business information and money battles, but it was fascinating to see how an empire was built based on a few guys and a dream. I remember when the waffle sole sneaker came out in the late 70s. The afterward addresses somewhat the sweatshop factories in Asia.(13 h 22 min, narrated by Norbert Leo Butz) Two books were carry overs from 2017, and still took a long time to finish.Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben was okay. Wohlleben's love of trees was clear, but the anthromorphication of their behaviour was a stretch for me. (They feel pain? They send messages? Not buying it. All I could think was what will the vegans eat?) I felt like I had read some of this before; maybe from Lab Girl? I guess it mainly felt too long, and repetitive. I get it, trees are amazing.(288 pages, library)Thunderstruck by Erik Larson also needed a bit of editing. I got it for the Marconi/radio story but it bored me far more than it should have. Larson does impeccable research and seems to not want to leave out any minor fact after learning it. The parallel story, about a murder in London was much more interesting. I could not figure out why the stories were paired, but once I realized (far too late - editing!) it was a very good pay-off.Poor Erik Larson - the first book I read was by far his best (Devil in the White City) and each time I read another one of his, (Dead Wake, In the Garden of the Beasts) am slightly disappointed.(480 pages, own book)My final nonfiction was Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay, a real gut-wrencher. Gay writes heart-breakingly about when she was raped as a teenager, and the subsequent weight gain, so she could feel unapproachable to men. She is brutally honest and it was a difficult read, but seeing inside someone's head is always an aware-making experience. The stream of consciousness style led to, for me, some contradictions. Is everyone looking at you and judging you, or are you invisible and not paid attention? Clearly can be both on different days but still felt weird. I will read more Gay.(320 pages, read on e-book)I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About


This is my first week participating with Top Ten Tuesday now that it is hosted @ThatArtrsyReaderGirl. This topic was easy to research - I looked up my top rated books at LibraryThing, and found ones that I liked, but I could barely make a one sentence plot summary. Certainly not enough to rave about it to someone, but I know I liked them all. Some I consider my favourite authors - how can I forget books I loved? Do you remember any of these better than me?Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinsonsomething about a familyA Prayer for Owen Meany by John IrvingOWEN TALKED LIKE THISBlack Swan Green by David Mitchellyoung kid, 80s EnglandHow I Live Now by Meg Rosoffteens at a boarding school, maybe dystopianThe Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barrywas funny and touching about something at ChristmasGirl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalierit's the story of how the painting came about, 1500s BelgiumThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafonchasing books in BarcelonaBroken For You by Stephanie Kallosthere was tile being broken, and laidWhat Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynnmaybe a newsman has a breakdown? I know I read two of her books in a row because I like one so much and both were very goodA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engleit's a classic, maybe time travelI have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017


For the last week of Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish, our topic is Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!) I'm going to list books that were from 2017 to be able to limit this. I believe this was the same topic from last year and I only did okay getting them all read last year. Oh well, try try again!Thanks for all the great weeks of Top Ten Tuesday.Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Gail HoneymanLittle Fires EverywhereCeleste Ng  Manhattan BeachJennifer EganWord by Word Kory StamperHunger Roxane GayThe Hate U GiveAngie ThomasBellevue Square Michael RedhillA Gentleman in MoscowAmor TowlesThe AnimatorsKayla Rae WhitakerSing, Unburied, SingJesmyn WardI have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

LIST: Best of 2017


Here's my recap of my top books for 2017. It's really hard to pick when you have read a lot of books! I changed a lot of how I read by increasing my nonfiction incredibly. total books 15292 fiction60 nonfiction65 audiobooks,  42 library books(+ all the audiobooks)77 female, (+2 by Robert Galbraith who I'm not sure where to put)75 male1 bothBest MysteryMagpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz Honourable Mentions Best Mystery (because I read a lot of mysteries)Icarus by Deon MeyerThe Silkworm AND Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith Best Start to a Series My Brilliant Friend by Elena FerrenteBest End to a SeriesTangle of Gold by Jaclyn MoriartyBest Historical MysteryDark Fire by CJ SansomBest Recommended Book Field Notes by Sara Jewell as recc'd by lavenderlines and Debbie at ex-urbanis Best Childrens The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (audiobook)Best Young Adult The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez  Favourite Charactersthe Lumberjanes! from the graphic novel series Best Science Fiction/FantasyRedshirts by John ScalziBest Book by a New to Me AuthorCitizen Vince by Jess Walter Best Historical FictionA Single Shard by Linda Sue Park Best  Book by a Tried and True Author The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'NeillFamily Matters by Rohinton Mistry Best ApocalypticWorld of Trouble by Ben H Winters(The Last Policeman trilogy) Best Short Story Collection Although I read a few SS collections, none stood out. Goal for next year is to find one that does!Best Short Story To Everything There is a Season: A Cape Breton Christmas story by Alistair MacLeod Funniest Based on a True Story by Norm MacDonaldMost HeartbreakingMarch graphic novels by John Lewis  Creepiest NovelThe Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich  Best Debut BookGirl at War by Sara Novic Most Unique Book Finding Wonder by Jeanne Atkinsa novel in blank verse, that contains biographies of female scientists from across the world and the ages Best AudiobookI Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and A Grander View of Life by Ed Yong  (nonfiction)An Irish Country Courtship by Patrick Taylor (fiction)Best Nonfiction (since I read so many nonfiction this year, I have broken this down a little more) Best Nonfiction: scienceThe Dorito Effect by Mark SchatzkerBest Nonfiction: historySisters in Two Worlds: A Visual Biography of Susanna Moodie and Catharine PaarArgo: How the CIA and Hollywood  Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez   Best Nonfiction: memoir/autobiographyLab Girl by Hope JahrenBest Nonfiction: feminist essays Shrill by Lindy West Best Nonfiction: self-help Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed Best Nonfiction: contemporary/socialHillbilly Elegy by JD VanceA few books I loved by couldn't find a category for!Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Pluto Files by Neil Degrasse TysonEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert     And the Three Books I Rated a Perfect 5 Stars as soon as I read them (which is very rare for me)Finding Wonder: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeanne AtkinsCanada by Mike MyersMarch: Book Three by John Lewis      I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Favourite New Authors from 2017


This week's theme from The Broke and the Bookish people is Favourite New Authors from 2017. I like these end of year type lists, especially when they are in January so I can include the full year. Lots of great new authors this year, some I read more than one after starting, some I will definitely read more of. Any of your favourites here?Daphne duMaurier   The House on the Strand  Candace Savage      Crows: Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World - Jeanne BirdsallThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and One Very Interesting Boy Elena Ferrante   My Brilliant Friend Ed Yong    I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life Caitlin Moran   How to Be a Woman Atul Gawande   Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Hope Jahren    Lab Girl Jess Walter     Citizen Vince and Beautiful RuinsAl Franken    Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

VIRTUAL ADVENT TOUR: Decking the Halls with #PhysicsHaikus


This one is a little different! A few weeks ago, Perimeter Institute, a reknowned research center in Canada, posted some #PhysicsHaikus on their tweeter feed. I always like when the arts and sciences can be combined, and I took note. I decided I'd get my grade twelve physics students to write a haiku.Now, students who take physics are not usually fans of English, and especially poetry. They like our formulas and numbers and rules in physics - that's why they take physics. However, I figured if there was ever poetry designed for scientists, it's the haiku. I mean really, it has rules with numbers in it! How perfect is that?Saying that physics students are not fans of English is not quite right. A good number fit that category, but I have had over the years, a fair number of music/band students who take physics as the only science course they take, and just because they like it. I'm pretty sure there is a great connection between physics and music; I know there is with math and music. We actually have two math teachers on staff who are also music majors.If you don't remember, here's a haiku on how to write a haiku. The haiku is a Japanese based poem, with specific number of syllables in each line - five syllables, then seven syllables, then five again. They are pretty easy to write.So I found some glitter tree decorations and stuck them on the wall, making a tree shape. A bow for the top and voila! The big space on the hall outside my classroom was now ready for some haikus.Our recent topics were electric fields and forces, and the last chapter was planetary motion. The inspiration for many was clearly the ideas we've been studying.One aspect that was particularly tough for some of my students was just the language. We have a large number of EAL students (English as an Acquired Language) and while they are pretty good at physics, having to create in English was very hard. I was super impressed with the effort they put in to figuring out what a syllable was and then trying to make a haiku that made sense. I have students who have only been in Canada for less than a year who found this task challenging.Some students are into modern physics, not a topic we cover, but Schrodinger's cat is pretty famous even for people who aren't into physics.And then one fella took it pretty literal about writing a haiku about physics. He wrote about physics - the high school course. Surprisingly, he is a student who does pretty well, and I don't think he works a lot to stay on top of things, but he summarized the over all feeling of probably a lot of students, lol.So Happy Haikufrom  outside Room 203!and the Advent TourI have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017


This week's theme from The Broke and the Bookish people is Top Ten Favourite Books of 2017. Nope, not nearly ready to think about favourite books of the year. I read a ton of books this year, and I can easily make a genre top ten list of mysteries from this year, in no particular order. Silkworm by Robert GalbraithI thought maybe I liked the first in this series, The Cuckoo's Calling, because it was a new detective and I was surprised how much I liked it. Nope, the series is top-notch and the second book was just as strong as the first. Ms Rowling can write and plot and create characters you feel like you know.  Career of Evil by Robert GalbraithUsually when I find a series I like, individual books are rated four star out of five, but I think of the series as a 4.5 or 5 star series. The sum of the parts are greater than the parts. But every time I finish a Cormoran Strike book, it's a 4.5. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.  Icarus by Deon MeyersBennie Griessel, the South African detective, must have nearly hit rock bottom. Man he has a hard time with life. He's fallen off the wagon in Icarus and trying to solve a high profile murder. Again, it's the plotting and the characters that stand out in these books. If you haven't read any Deon Meyer mysteries yet, what are you waiting for? Countdown City/World of Trouble by Ben H WintersI read The Last Policeman last year and it was fabulous. Combining two of my favourite genres - cop mysteries and dystopian/apocalypsic fiction was definitely going to catch my eye. This trilogy of life as a known asteroid is heading to Earth on a known date means life if a little upside down. Add in a police detective who doesn't know how to do anything else, and he's fighting against the anarchy around him. Another series where each book got rated 4.5 and the individual books had stand alone mysteries but the over arching story was tragic. Magpie Murders by Anthony HorowitzI've raved about this one already. Different from my police detectives, this one is an homage to village mysteries in England and Agatha Christie. I think part of the appeal was that it was just last year I read all the Miss Marple mysteries for the first time, and appreciated the style.  Oblivion by Arnaldur IndridasonJust like my favourite TV show, This is Us, Indridason has realized that a dead character doesn't limit the stories you can tell. While present day Erlendur can't solve any more mysteries, he was a police detective for many years and the new books look back at old cases. One case is set in the 70s, while Erlendur is also looking into a cold case from the 60s. The conflicted history of American army bases in Iceland is explored as well. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline WinspearI was getting ready to give up on Maisie Dobbs after the last two books but Winspear has returned Maisie to all the parts I like best. She's in London, working with Billy and Inspector Stratten, and her father is around again. A new war has begun, but the first war is still having repercussions, as it has in all the good Maisie books.  Queen of Hearts/Malice in the Palace/On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys BowenI'm really not a fan of cozy mysteries but I make an exception for Georgie, 35th in line to the throne in 1930s England. The mix of historical information, high society hob-nobbing, and silly romance just works for me. None of the books actually stand out, but here's an example of the whole is greater than the parts. Plus, I've been watching The Crown and David and Wallace Simpson are in both, and they are so much fun when they appear. Glass Houses by Louise PennyI've been listening to this series and Penny's latest addition is a stellar read. [...]

#AMonthofFaves: 3 Popular Books Worth the Hype


Fri. | Dec. 8 – 3 Popular Books Worth the Hype #AMonthofFaves– and/or Not Worth the HypeJoin hosts  Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for the 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was.Three books I read this year that I picked up because I've heard about them and read rave reviews and that lived up to expectations? That can be tricky, because sometimes beginning something based on great expectations (copywrite Dickens) can backfire. You are expecting to enjoy it so much, that you can't help but be let down. This is not the story with these three books.My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (12h 38min)I listened to this first in a quartet originally wondering what all the hype was about. I quite enjoyed it, got very much into the story of two friends in Naples, Italy in the 1950s. I wish my library had more on audio, but I will be reading the next installation, The Story of a New Name next year for sure, wanting to find out what happens next for these poor yet ambitious frenemies.Redshirts by John Scalzi, 320 pagesI loved this crazy science fiction romp through the galaxy! So funny, so meta for fans of Star Trek. Not that I am even a fan, I've seen the original series episodes. But the series is very much a part of our cultural knowledge. Each time I realized what was happening and how it all connected, I'd just think, wow. So much fun.Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz, 496 pagesI can't decide whether to consider this a book worth the hype, or an underrated book. It certainly was a fantastic read, an homage to golden age mysteries. I saw it around in the spring/summer and then loved it when I read it. It is actually two books in one - a manuscript for a mystery, whose author then disappears , sending the editor on a wild goose hunt for the second mystery. So well done. If you are any kind of an Agatha Christie fan, you must read this!I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

VIRTUAL ADVENT CALENDAR: O Holy Night by the Beck Sisters


I was browsing around social media, trying to think of an Advent Tour post when I landed on this sweet video. There are many aspects of this that make it a Christmas post to share. First of all, what a beautiful song! Amy and Rachel Beck are sisters who sing the loveliest harmonies and everytime I hear them, I remind myself I should see them perform more often. To make this a more typical Island story, Amy taught at my school two years ago and was a great addition to our staff. Second, it reminds me how talented our little Island is with singers. While I haven't seen all of them perform, I've heard of all of them. If you ever get a chance to hear Lennie Gallant, he's super amazing on this album of amazing singers.Finally, no surprise that these performers donated their talents to a fund-raiser album, A Special Island Christmas, for Special Olympics. Christmas is all about charity and giving and sharing our blessings. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="" width="320">Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to sprite for hosting and organizing the Virtual Advent Tour again. Did you know, Sprite, that you commented on my very first Advent post in 2007? Happy ten year friendaversary! Merrty Christmas! Here's some of my old Virtual Advent Tour posts with some great books, recipes, and riddles. Thanks for stopping by again this year. Having the Virtual Advent Tour is now a tradition at Christmas for me. Here's my past posts:In 2016, I shared the lights of my town, and a recipe for Spumoni shortbreads In 2015, I shared my Christmas decorations in our new homeIn 2014, there was no tourIn 2013, I shared a Christmas series of novellas by Anne Perry that I listened in audioIn 2012, I posted some favourite Christmas mystery  booksIn 2011, I posted a 'recipe' for fruitcake that my grandmother had given me.In 2010, I took a humorous look at some local events on Prince Edward Island.In 2009, we played 'guess the carol'In 2008, I played a game of 'guess the movie', and my favorite Christmas picture ever.In 2007, it was the original 'guess the carol' game, with your vocabulary tested, and my whipped shortbread cookie recipe.I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

#AMonthofFaves - This is How We Read


Mon. | Dec. 4 – This Is How We Read #AMonthofFaves– eg. Number of books read so far, genre you read the most from, picture of favorite (or most often used) reading location, most read author, % eBooks, hardcovers, paperbacks and/or audiobooks, hint at what your favorite read of the year is (let us guess), types of books you wish you read more of, month you read the most and least)# of books read - 144# of audiobooks - 60# nonfiction reads - 56best month - July (20 books) [no surprise as I'm on summer holidays]least read month - November (6 books) [no surprise, school is super busy by Nov]My goal this year was to read more nonfiction and I succeeded. At one point, half of what I read was nonfiction. I read many types of nonfiction - science, memoirs, history, graphic novels, feminism, and essays. Audiobooks contribute to my reading a lot. Getting the free YA Sync audiobooks adds almost 30 books available to read, many of which I would never have picked up. My library is full of all kinds of great books so I generally looked to the audiobooks first for nonfiction options, a simple way to read NF.I kept up on some series that I like and finished a few excellent trilogies (The Colours of Madeleine and The Last Policeman.) Ongoing series seem to release a new addition each year and I stayed current on  Louise Penny, Deon Meyer, Arnaldur Indridason, Rhys Bowen, Karin Slaughter, Jacqueline Winspear, and Susan Elia MacNeal. Cormoran Strike, the PI  written by Robert Galbraith, aka JK Rowling is probably the best new series I've read in a while and I can't wait for the next book to be released next year.Some non-mystery series like The Penderwicks, Lumberjanes, March and The Colours of Madeleine by Jaclyn Moriarty were excellent. Every time I read from the Irish Country Doctor series I get immersed and want to read more.Another part of my reading was to make sure to read Canadian authors. I decided for Canada 150  to read (at least) 13 fiction and 13 nonfiction books. In eleven months I've read 14 nonfiction books:Canada - Mike MyersCaptured Hearts: New Brunswick's War Brides - Melynda Jarrett David and Goliath - Malcolm Gladwell (audiobook)The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Country - Charlotte GrayOutliers - Malcolm Gladwell (audiobook) Field Notes: A City Girl's Search for Heart and Home in Rural Nova Scotia - Sara JewellPumpkinflowers - Matti Freidman (audiobook) Based on a True Story - Norm Macdonald Susanna Moodie; Roughing it in the Bush - Carol Shields and Patrick CroweNot Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying - Wayson Choy The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavour - Mark Schatzker Sisters in Two Worlds: A Visual Biography of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill - Michael PetermanMarshall McLuhan - Douglas CouplandCrows: Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World - Candace Savageand 15 fiction booksGetting Over Edgar - Joan Barfoot Family Matters - Rohinton MistryThe End of the Alphabet - CS RichardsonAn Irish Country Courtship - Patrick Taylor (audiobook)Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood (audiobook)The Age of Hope - David Bergen A Tap at the Window - Linwood BarclayKnucklehead - Matt LennoxThe Lonely Heart's Hotel - Heather O'NeillAirborn - Kenneth Oppel (audiobook)A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki (audiobook)Bachelor Brother's Bed & Breakfast - Bill RichardsonGlass Houses - Louise Penny (audiobook)The Betrayer - Michael Hennessey The Disappeared - Kim EchlinThe other main kind of book I read would be books people are talking about, whether online or in real life. So, a stand alone [...]

#AMonthofFaves: [The 2017 Favorites Edition]


Fri. | Dec. 1 – – eg. to eat, drink, wear, smell, see, do, enjoy, best purchases, most used gift received etc, favorite concert, outdoor activity, place visited, most squee worthy moment of the year.Clothes:These Josef Seibel sandals in olive were my go-to fall back to school shoes. My feel love Josef Seibel shoes, and much like Mma Matsuki's shoes talk to her, my feet will tell me to buy the Seibel's when I try them on. please buy these! So I did. I still may be wearing them on days above zero degrees.This cozy burgendy hoodie from American Eagle was a supposed to be a shared purchase with my daughter, but it matches everything and is super cozy and I wear it all the time. Not too heavy and with no writing on it, it's perfect. My favourite store to shop for work clothes is Cazza Petite. Part of the appeal is that the store is not in my province, so getting there is a big treat, and I only get there a few times a year. They have crazy sales at end of season (70% off) and I stock up. I like that it is not a common store, that no students will be wearing the same thing, and that the clothes fit me so well, as I am only 5'2".How about a margarita and taco on the deck in downtown Charlottetown? Yes, please! I didn't get there very often, but just knowing this darling restaurant was downtown waiting for me was enough. It really represents all of downtown Charlottetown and how wonderful summer is on PEI. Huge events like Divercity, Farm Day in the City, and Art in the Open are must attend events, and the weather this summer was perfect. Local artisans, cultures, products and foods eaten outside keep me buying local. The restaurant options available in a city our size is really incredible.Speaking of buying locally, my favourite soaps are made in PEI from Moonsnail Soaps  a local shop downtown. When they combined with our favourite craft brewery, Upstreet, to make Upstreet soap, all my favourite local shops combined into one. I love PEI and the great businesses growing here.It took me a few tries, but I settled on the Leuchtturm1917 for a daily journal. I'm not as consistent as I'd like, but I love the teal colour and the size, and the elastic wrap that keeps it together. Plus, Sharpie fine tip markers are so much fun.I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books on My Winter TBR


This week's theme from The Broke and the Bookish people is Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR List. I love making this list every few months - not that I get everything read, but it narrows down the choices for my next read. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival               by John Vaillant (nonfiction, Canadian author)Dark Fire CJ Sansom (mystery series)The Hidden Life of Trees Peter Wohlleben (nonfiction, library)Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI David Grann (audiobook, nonfiction)Eligible Curtis Sittenfeld (book I bought)The Woman Next Door Yewande Omotoso (Bailey's Prize Longlist)Federal Bureau of Physics Vol 3: Standing on ShouldersSimon Oliver (book I bought)MetamophosisFrank Kafka (audiobook, classic)  How to Start a Fire Lisa Lutz (library, favourite author)Lady Cop Makes TroubleAmy Stewart (mystery series)I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]



Week 5: (Nov. 27 to Dec. 1)  Host-: Lory @ Emerald City Book Review:  New to My TBR: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!It's been a great Nonfiction November once again. I was sick last week and didn't get much done, but I'll finish off the month. Today it's about what new books we have discovered. I had already heard of a few of these but the good recommendation adds to the book. I think I am most looking forward to Colour Bar, to go with the Number One Ladies Detective Agency books. I went back to last year's post of New to My TBR and I read 4 out of the 8 I listed last year. Not only that, they were great reads: Lab Girl, When Breath Becomes Air, Shrill, and Dear Sugar. Thanks to all the hosts for organizing this again and letting everyone share all their great nonfiction reads.Option B by Sheryl Sandberg  saw at Unruly ReaderThe Outrun by Amy Liptrot (paired with Island of Wings) at Curiosity Killed the BookwormLife Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman at Booksaremyfavouriteandbestabout the 80sBorn a Crime by Trevor Noah saw a few times including NYT Notable Books 2017, and at Words And Peace   The Family Gene by Joselin Linder at  Sophisticated DorkinessColour Bar by Susan Williams from Heather at Based on a True Story- Botswana founderWorking Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, MD and T.J. Mitchell  from Always DoingI have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

BOOKS: audio mystery series update


Maggie Hope Series by Susan Elia MacNeal  books #6&7
The Queen's Accomplice 
The Paris Spy
 It is still WW2, and Maggie Hope is still earnest and perfect. She is working for SOE as a spy. The Queen's Accomplice takes place in London, with a serial killer on the loose. The Paris Spy sees Maggie heading undercover to Paris to look for her missing half-sister and lost spy Erica Calvert.
I think I've figured out what is off about Maggie. I first thought it was her earnestness, or perfection, but I think her reactions to social situations (homosexuality, women in the workplace, etc) are all prefect present day reactions, perfectly politically correct. She is so ahead of her time that is seems a tad off in 1940s wartime London.

Glass Houses - Louise Penny (image) (audiobook) #13
I've enjoyed this series since I started listening to them from the library. I also like that Gamauche is retired and living in Three Pines full time now.

This one had a different type plot - starting with Gamauche testifying at a murder trial, and then flashbacks take us to Three Pines and the murder that occurred. It takes til the very end to discover who is on trial and who was murdered and why. The story continues in a past and present manner, slowly dropping clues and letting the reader discover what happened. Lots of art and philosophy, and symbolism, as per usual. And of course, things are not quite as they seem. Luckily all the regular characters are around, even stupid Jean-Guy, my least favourite character in these books.

BOOK: Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil


Nonfiction November book review:
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil, (6h 23 min, read by the author)

This book reads like a crazy conspiracy theory - hidden algorithms that you have no idea about are controlling your life. Your credit score, your college admissions, your insurance rates. Does it seem reasonable for companies to base rates on mathematical models? How about if you get to keep your job?

The author was a math professor who joined Wall Street and began working for hedge funds, developing algorithms for making money. After the financial crash, she recognized the damage the algorithms had wrought. Looking further, she concluded that these algorithms or models are biased against the poorest and contribute to keeping them poor.

The story of the teacher, who by all accounts was an excellent teacher (parents and principal and colleagues) who was fired based on the hidden criteria intended to weed out the poor teachers is an example O'Neil provides to support her concern about these Weapons of Math Destruction. (lol, clever title). Any time an algorithm has characteristics of opacity (those affected can't see the criteria), scale (how widely it is applied) and damage (when factors contribute to incarceration or poverty cycles) she calls them WMD.

The examples were fascinating and scary. These algorithms are why 17 year old males have crazy expensive car insurance rates, why your Facebook feed can drive you batty, and can be as extreme as deciding who to hire based on your social media followers. Deciding things by proxy - basing the individual on the group characteristics, can be what makes assumptions dangerous.

Real life examples being used to make the point, from the small to the large, make this an enjoyable read, much in the style of Malcolm Gladwell. Plus, getting to read a book written by a smart, math female was awesome.



Week 3: (Nov. 13 to 17) – Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness:  Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).I was able to find several themes in my nonfiction reading in 2017 so I am being the expert in recommending some great nonfiction reads around Feminist Theory 101, Biology Topics, and Black History Month. Feminist Theory 101 A list called 40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read from late last year informed some of my reading. The list included fiction books as well, some I've really liked, like The Woman Upstairs.  Not all of the books below are from that list.How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - funny, memoir, and a guide to growing up female I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - inspiring, historical the Lumberjanes Vol 1-5 - wonderful graphic novel full of feminist references, but also funThe Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt (audiobook) - one of several stories finally shining light on the contributions of women to space scienceShrill by Lindy WestI really enjoyed Lindy West's voice, and have since read articles by her through FB or Twitter. (see Brave Enough to Be Angry from the NYTimes) Together, the essays are also memoir-ish, but they also stand alone. I would certainly reread these again. Biology BooksI often read science books, skewing toward physics and space, but this year I found some great biological based nonfiction. I Contain Multitudes and Lab Girl were among my favourite reads of the year.  sI Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (audiobook) - all about microbesLab Girl by Hope Jahren - well-written memoir of being a female scientist, but really, applicable to all working women Crows: Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World by Candace Savage - brief but enlightening look at those crazy smart crowsComplications by Atul Gawande (audiobook)I remember long ago reading a Michael Crichton nonfictionbook about his time as an intern, Five Patients, and really liking the insider view of life in an ER room. Gawande's book reminds me of that book, and I definitely want to read more by Gawande, like Better, Being Mortal, and The Checklist Manifesto. Very readable, and informative.  Black History MonthThe March books are must reads.  I wasn't aware of a lot of this history (I am Canadian, in my defence) and the hullabaloo around John Lewis in January during the inauguration was what first brought them to my attention.   March 1,2, and 3 by John Lewis - fabulous graphic novel about the Civil Rights fight in the 1960s.  The Souls of Black Folk - WEB DuBois (audiobook) - hard to believe this was written over 100 years ago, not enough has changedBetween the World and Me - Ta-Nahisi Coates (audiobook)Excellent essays regarding race relations in the United States. I saw Coates on The Daily Show and knew I wanted to listen to this book. I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]



Doing Dewey, one of the hosts of Nonfiction November, posted some mini reviews of nonfiction books, which reminded me that I still have some NF books I'd like to review on my blog. If Monday's theme was Book Pairings, finding fiction and nonfiction that go together, these three books I read this year have absolutely, absolutely nothing in common. A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite (6 h 41 min, audiobook, read by the author)A woman, after the fact, discovers she had married a sociopath. This memoir recounts how they got together, how it all fell apart, and what she learned about her awful husband.The structure is good with back and forth, present and past. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke (YA Sync free audiobook)Irene Gut was a young Polish girl during the German invasion of Poland who manages to save a number of Jews. The depravity, and the slight hope, in humanity that Holocaust books always have is certainly here.  Not everyone was as dedicated to the German ideas, as Irene ends up working for a German major who, because of his love for her, lets a lot of things slide in the house.  If you liked The Hiding Place, I'd recommend this one as well.Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli, 96 pagesApparently, this was a best seller in Italy, which just goes to show how different Europe is from North America. I teach physics, but I teach high school, Newtonian physics and modern physics is presented in the book. The ideas are interesting, bit also pretty high level and abstract. As usual, when I read quantum physics articles, I kind of understand it as I go, but couldn't explain any of it, or replicate any information within about two minutes of finishing. That said, it is short, and not indepth, and quite interesting. I have installed IntenseDebate commenting on my blog. Please wait a moment for the comments to load, if you click too quickly, the previous comments get lost:([...]

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Fiction + Nonfiction pairing


Week 2: (Nov. 6 to 10) – Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves:  Book Pairing: This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.Great topic - I love looking for books that fit the pairing idea and I was pretty literal. My guideline was to pick books I've read this year if I can. The nonfiction are all from this year, and I was able to match a couple with fiction reads from this year.  Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo and Family Matters by Rohinton MistryThe nonfiction Behind the Beautiful Forevers and the fictional Family Matters go very well together as a look at life in India. It probably should have been A Fine Balance by Mistry, but I read both of these books this year so it seemed too perfect. The narrative voice in Katherine Boo's book is perfect for people who don't like nonfiction as she wrote it like a story, but it was all based on interviews and observations in a slum area of Mumbai. Family Matters is set a little earlier, but has Mistry's wonderful style and writing, following a family and the trials and tribulations of surviving in India with very little. Both were excellent books.  Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel SwabyFinding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine AtkinsI actually read these two books very close together and was rewarded as they really go well together! I started with the nonfiction Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science - And the World. It was exactly as described - short biographies highlighting the life and contribution to science of some great women. It included everyone you've never heard of, but no Marie Curie as she is always the first woman scientist named. It was inspiring and humbling to realize how few I'm familiar with.Finding Wonders is classified as fiction, mostly because it is written in blank verse, but all the information in it was factual and I remembered the girls from the Headstrong book. The ability to summarize and detail in blank verse all the information about Mary Anning, Maria Merian, and Maria Mitchell was remarkable. One of my favourite books of the year.The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Country by Charlotte Gray Alias Grace by Margaret AtwoodTwo books both about an early 1900s murder in Ontario, one fiction and one nonfiction. It's been a long time since I've read Alias Grace, but I liked it at the time, and it is timely as a movie has been recently made. The Massey Murder was my this year read and it was a great look as all aspects of the history of the time. Two great Canadian books!    A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold (audiobook) and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver or Nostradamus by Douglas CouplandSchool shootings is a harrowing topic. I've previously read the fiction books by Lionel Shriver and Douglas Coupland and so in this, my nonfiction reading year, I tried A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, a Columbine shooter. There is nothing easy about any of these books, and reading Klebold's account was heart-breaking. But understanding what happened in horrific even[...]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Halloween Freebie


 Dewey's Read-a-thon was a few weeks ago, and one of the challenges was to list your favourite books published each year that the readathon has operated. I didn't participate in the readathon, but I would like to make my list! This was tricky, because I was picking books published in that year, not when I read the book. It turned out I picked quite a few books that I read this year. I wonder if it was because the memory of them is so recent, or were they great books I've had on my radar since that year and just finally got around to?2017 Magpie Murders by Anthony HorowitzA mystery for mystery lovers. If you've read your fair share of Agatha Christie books, you really need to read this. It was excellent! 2016 Lab Girl by Hope JahrenReally well written memoir of a scientist for people of all interests, not just science. But science people will really like it. Also touches on mental health, and working women. 2015 Girl at War by Sara NovicVery well done recent war novel, set during the Serbian-Croatian dispute war. 2014 The Martian by Andy Weir (I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short)I'm not sure when to consider The Martian published - it was self-published in 2011 and then redone in 2014. I picked another 2014 book, Martin Short's memoir as an alternate. I've always liked Short, but found he could be exhausting at times. This book will make you appreciate him all the more. 2013 The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert GalbraithSuch a well done mystery with great characters. I read the next two in the series soon after this first one and am eagerly awaiting the fourth. JK Rowling is no one-trick pony. The only author to make my list twice.2012 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan CainIntroverts will identify so much and be able to put into words all their feelings after reading this book. Also good for extroverts with introverts in their lives. It feels like so many people are introverts even though extroverts seem to control the discussions. It's pretty much a problem inherent to the two types of people. 2011 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline/ Heads You Lose by Lisa LutzI absolutely had to include both of these books from 2011, and is why I couldn't put The Martian in 2011 consideration. Both are unique in their point of view and in their structure. Ready Player one is science fiction with a dash of 80s nostalgia, but Heads You Lose is a rollicking good time of mystery/meta fiction.2010 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonI still have extremely fond memories of this book as a gentle yet fun look at older romances and British life. If you get mixed up and accidentally read Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, you won't be disappointed either.2009 Twenties Girl by Sophie KinsellaYou can't go wrong with a Sophie Kinsella novel. This one was lovely, funny, and poignant. A ghost inhabits a young girl and wrecks some havoc before everyone learns to appreciate what they have. 2008 The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsWorld building extraordinaire along with dystopian future. It's hard to believe this book is almost a decade old. On the other hand, the characters and story are an ingrained part of popular culture. 2007 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickHP and the Deathly Hallows by JK RowlingThe Deathly Hallows itself was good, but the inclusion on my (and everyone else's) list is as much a tribute to all seven books as its own merits. Agai[...]

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Your Year in Nonfiction


(Oct 30 to Nov 3) – Julie @ JulzReads: Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?I really enjoyed Nonfiction November the last two years, and in each of those years, I read thirteen nonfiction books. Each year, I was disappointed with the number and quality of books especially when I'd read all the other reviews. I'd see nonfiction books each year that I wanted to read, but I never seemed to get around to them. This year, I decided would be my year of nonfiction books (and Canadian authors and mysteries.)  And read them I did! So far, I've read 53 nonfiction books, 24 of them were audiobooks, and some of them were crazy good.What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? I don't think I can pick one favourite. Obviously the ones I recommended (in the question below) were excellent reads. I read many, many fabulous nonfiction books this year and some of the very best were:The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet - Neil DeGrasse TysonFrom 2005 when the whole 'Pluto is no longer a planet' debacle hit. Actually not a debacle, and this is the story, with lots of photos and science, from TysonLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Al FrankenAnother old one, but history repeats itself. If you've been forgetting how unsettled things were with George W Bush, this will remind you. I must read another Franken!Argo - Antonio MendezAmerican historical story of getting some American hostages out of Iran in 1980.March Book 3 - John LewisAgain, this was timely like the Franken, but the civil rights fight from the 60s done in graphic novel form was almost overwhelming. All three books need to be read together.Field Notes: A City Girl's Search for Heart and Home in Rural Nova Scotia - Sara Jewell Collection of essays of a girl who changed her life by moving to rural NS. This was done very well.Susanna Moodie; Roughing it in the Bush - Carol Shields and Patrick Crowe A Carol Shields written graphic novel based on a classic Canadian historical settler's book? Yes please.Sisters in Two Worlds: A Visual Biography of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill - Michael PetermanThe graphic novel on Susannah Moodie sent me to this beautiful book with more detail and background. Did I really never take any history courses in university?  The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavour - Mark Schatzker This is the food book I've been waiting for, discussing the science about the flavours that have been invented and their effect on our eating habits.Tiny, Beautiful Things - Cheryl StrayedAn advice book? Only Cheryl Strayed could pull this off, written when she was Sugar, and on-line columnist.There were other books that could be on this list, but I'll highlight them later in the month in different prompts.What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? Lab Girl by Hope JahrenI passed around the science department at school, because we are all lab girls. This was such a well-written memoir, with lots of plant science if you are into that sort of thing.Canada by Mike Myers  The perfect book for pe[...]