Sunday, 30 April 2017
Jane thought she had found the perfect house even though she had to go through an elaborate interview process and follow a rigid set of house rules. As she found herself loving living there, she started to learn about Emma, the previous tenant. The little clues were starting to build up indicating that living in this house was not all it had promised to be.
I enjoyed the way this story if told in alternating chapters between the present with Jane and the past with Emma. Several times I got mixed up with whose time I was in and that served to make the book even more creepy than it already was. I don't think I could ever comply with the owner's minimalist lifestyle rules, though I did appreciate the thought processes by which the two women came to accept and then thrive within them. Once they stripped away the surplus belongings, they both learned a lot about themselves. It certainly did make for an interesting thought experiment as I considered what I couldn't live with out and what I could easily part with.
I enjoyed following along with Jane as she tried to understand her landlord. Each time I felt I had a handle on him, there were new revelations that set me back. This book kept me guessing at the truths up till the end. It was creepy and had me looking over my shoulder at bumps in the night, but it was also reassuring with the new strengths that Jane found within herself. A very good read,
You might enjoy this New York Times article about the author and the book.
Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House
Friday, 28 April 2017
The differences in gender and understanding gave much to ponder. We are so reliant on gender identification that I find it hard to overlook. Even though it doesn't really matter, a person's gender, it is something I naturally assign. It takes conscious thought for me to avoid.
The second part was much more captivating; a three month long trip over a glacier is the stuff of nightmares or Antarctic exploration. This I read with rapt attention eager for their next days travel. Averaging the two parts, the book makes for a reasonable read.
To learn more about author Ursula K. Le Guin visit her website
Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House Canada
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
This is an odd story. It is the tale of two sister, the younger who indulges in flights of whimsy and is unable to connect with her neighbours and whose older sister never goes beyond the gardens in their yard. The entire story was stilted, and never seemed to settle into it's telling. Perhaps it was the wording that was often awkward with some passages required several readings to make sense of them.
I didn't enjoy this book but kept reading with the hope that it would improve, but it didn't. I had had this book on my reading list for quite a while, and moved it to the top when a favoured character in a recent read proclaimed this was her most favourite book ever. I figured there must be something I was missing if that author loved it so very much.
If you choose to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, do so with a friend and discuss it along the way. It might help to make sense of some of the happenings.
For those who finished the tale, does it never rain in their village?
Learn more about the author Shirley Jackson at this link.
Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House Canada.
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
|An even brighter version than mine|
|My bargello fabrics|
|Patricia's bargello fabrics|
Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.
Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.
Monday, 24 April 2017
At the urging of his uncle, he enters The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest. Even though it's not easy for Jamie to stand in front of his peers and cajole them into laughing, he finds himself doing just that again and again.
This was an entertaining and funny book. I don't like to read about bullies in stories, but in this case, I learned something by the way Jamie responded/fought back. Way to go Jamie.
The story contains lots of jokes and I found myself cracking up with laughter at more than a few points, and this is coming from a person whom my kids say has no sense of humour. This would be a great book for kids who have graduated from the Captain Underpants books by Dave Pilkey.
I listened to the unabridged audio book as read by Frankie Seratch. 3 hours 3 minutes. He did an amazing job of making me thinking I was listening to a middle school student and his friends.
Books I have reviewed by James Patterson
Along Came a Spider
House of Robots
Books I have reviewed by Chris Grabenstein
House of Robots
Home Sweet Motel: Welcome to Wonderland #1
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
She quickly learned that the purpose of the camp was for the kids to explore their new reality and powers and for them to forge strong ties with member of the other races. To complicate matters further, teenage hormones came into play. Kaylie had to come to terms with her supernatural heritage, accept the differences of her new friends and figure out this boy thing.
I really enjoyed this novel. For me, summer camp stories tend to invoke fond memories of camps I attended in the past.
It was inspiring to see people who would naturally be mortal enemies instead become friends and in fact become fierce protectors of each other.
I listened to the unabridged audio book as read by Katie Schorr. She dis a good job of both the female and male voices. I had no trouble telling them apart. It was a little harder to tell that the camp leaders were older than the kids, but then again, they weren't all that much older...
The Shadow Falls series continues in Awake at Dawn.
C. C. Hunter is the pen name of Christie Craig.
Cover image courtesy Macmillan Publishers.
Friday, 21 April 2017
At only fifteen years old, Zits has already lived in over 20 foster homes. He's lost hope of any one ever truly caring for him and of becoming a member of a family. The only person who seems to care about him is Officer Dave.
As he is about to commit a heinous act, something happens and Zits finds himself somewhere else, some time else and some one else. What follows reminded me of the late night trips Mr. Scrooge took in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, though I found the events and emotions provoked in Zits' trips more poignant.
I was captivated by this novel and by the trips that Zits found himself trapped in. He was confronted by some serious situations which he found he couldn't control. By the time I reached the final trip, I was so caught up in the tale that I could hardly see the words on the page due to my streaming tears.
Zits thought he knew much about life and why his was so rotten. As he travelled into other lives, he had the opportunity to learn that other people who's lives might look great have secrets within that an outsiders can't know and that because of them we each have serious decisions to make. In the end, Zits has to think about what he is doing and learn how to make his own decisions. Thanks to author Sherman Alexie for making me care about a character who didn't care about himself, for leading me to cheer for him and wanting him to find his way.
First Nations Friday is an occasional post where I review books by First Nations, Metis and Inuit authors.
Cover image courtesy Grove Atlantic