A Year in Books: Born a Crime

29780253I was a huge fan of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart; it was smart, insightful and hilarious. Change is hard for me. I didn’t think a South African native would be the best choice for such a political show. But I decided to give him a chance. His insight into American politics from a South African perspective was fascinating. He lived through apartheid. He knew first had how dictators manipulate their population. He was explaining it to a country who only ever knew democracy,what was coming. He made it less scary.

I then listened to him on NPR’s Fresh Air. Trevor Noah discussed his book  ( although the host is the most is biased and judgemental presenter, I enjoyed how he came back at her with intelligent and thoughtful commentary) and he had me hooked because the man loves his mama.

His life story (he is only 32) was terrifying for a white girl who grew up in socialist Canada where the government looks after lot of things for you. This is not the case for a coloured boy – his words not mine ( which must be prefaced because I am white) growing up during a time that I read about but did not understand until he gave me an account of his life. I could not relate to anything he spoke of which reiterated the fact that I needed to read it. I learned about perspective.

I knew a girl in elementary school who arrived from South Africa and enrolled into my class. She was white, and spoke of her black servants. Telling me everything about south Africa was better because you had servants. Black Servants no less. I met her while North America was watching Roots every night, I knew about slavery and I knew it was wrong. She was trying to tell me servants were not slaves, they were there because they wanted to be there. I didn’t by it. Even at that age, I knew what white privilege was. I had been to school in the Arctic, I was one of a handful of white kids and I knew my white teacher treated me differently. I didn’t understand why my First Nation peers didn’t look me in the eye, now here I was back in Sherwood Park – a white suburb of my Province’s Capital talking to a girl who is telling me the servants chose their life? What? Who chose’s to be a servant? That is a class issue. I bet they wanted to have their own business, go to University became professionals but were not allowed to. She told me I was wrong and I called her a liar. We were never friends. Her name was Susan. Through no fault of her own, she grew up in a situation that clashed with my values and I couldn’t accept her as an equal.

Moving forward, I try to read books that give me someone else’s perspective. I want to understand how other people think given their circumstances. Noah explains his life in a way that is obviously normal to him, completely unbelievable for me. But it helped understand what was going on during apartheid. He spoke of something I think I knew but didn’t recognize it until he spoke about it. Language is a bigger barrier than race. He is fluent in several languages. He used this to his advantage to fit into different groups and tribes because although he looked different, he spoke their language. This confused people but allowed a fast acceptance into their social group. He may not look like us but he understands us, therefore he is one of us.

I think this is an important read for people who are struggling with today’s political climate and racism. Give it a read.

 

Read With Me: Paul’s Case

Five Stories (short story collection)
Five Stories (short story collection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am discovering the delights of a short story. When I was in school, it was mandatory to ready them for comprehension tests and literary examinations. I loved O.Henry, J.D Salinger, and Washington Irving but somewhere along the way I stopped reading them. Then I became that old fuddy duddy who read Reader’s Digest out of desperation while waiting copious amounts of time at a friends cabin. I found old mouldy copies in a box in the corner and began reading short stories again. Then I discovered the delights of Maeve Binchy, W.P. Kinsella and Alice Munro. Stories so masterfully told that I would think about the characters long after the 30 minutes was up. I still can fondly recall characters years after I put the story down. Short story authors have a magical way of developing characters in an instant and telling a story about a brief moment in time that sticks with you.

 

My son is currently studying Canadian Short Story Authors and is not enjoying it. I suspect it has to do with the language usage. Older English reads differently than the contemporary literature he currently is enjoys. If you ever read Mark Twain or L.M. Montgomery, then you understand what I mean. I am not referring to Shakespeare, but rather the turn of the 20th Century where language was more formal and slang used in that era is lost on my 17-year-old. I could see him struggling. He suspects he is ADHD, I suspect the content doesn’t interest him. When I was his age, I had a great-aunt who came to live with us for about 6 months. She sat with me and helped me understand the poetry that I despised. While I am still not a great fan, I do know how to make sense of prose because of her. I sat with my son and together we read and analyzed his short story.

 

Paul’s Case by Willa Cather I rate this story 4 stars out of 5. My son gives it a 2.

 

You can find the entire text here.  The story takes place in modern times for the author, 1904, in Pittsburgh and New York. It is the story of a boy who doesn’t fit into society. Although it doesn’t say it, I suspect the author writes the boy as a homosexual. This is not unusual for this time period, Virginia Wolf also wrote about lesbian attractions although for the times, it was discrete and not obvious to the unaware.

 

Paul was unable to feel normal in his surroundings but found peace and excitement in the theater and arts. He fantasized about a life of luxury and had a distaste for the mundane. His mother had died when he was young, and his father worked hard to provide a stable life for Paul and his sisters, yet Paul felt his father was stingy with the money. He thought he deserved a more luxurious lifestyle. His choices and movements were self-absorbed and ultimately changed his life forever.

 

Symbols are a huge part of short stories and I had forgotten that when I did a first read through of this story. I recognized consistencies and was reminded of the prominence of the symbols, the red carnation, money, and the snow.

 

I could not relate to the main character himself, although I could empathize with him. My son couldn’t believe how narcissistic he was.

 

Take a quick read and let me know how you view it.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Read with Me: Orange is the New Black

Did you ever do something risky or foolish when you were younger and lived to regret it? Not me…well, I never did anything illegal, I did you risky and foolish things. My grandfather always said that the reason everyone isn’t dead by the age of 5 is because our Guardian Angels work over time. This is mine, she works pretty hard and I do not pay her enough:

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Sure I made bad choices, but I learned from them. Sometimes it took me several passes at the same mistake…Hello Man Choices! But eventually I got my life sorted out.

images (1)I read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I couldn’t put this book down. I am rating it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Most people have seen the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. I watched one episode and it bothered me SO MUCH that is was different from the book I could watch any more episodes. Why? Because I loved the book that much. Why are characters names changed? Why are plot lines different? Why can’t I over look that?

At any rate, for those of you who haven’t seen the show – or even if you have, read the book. It was somewhat akin to rubber necking at a horrific accident and you just can’t look away.

Piper Kerman had a reckless lesbian youth where she was a drug mule and did money laundering because she was in love with a women who convinced her to follow her around the world. By the time Kerman snapped out of this infatuation, she realized she needed to move on, change her life and live according to some of the morals and values that she was brought up with. She gets back to the states and meets a guy, moves ahead by locking up her past.

Fast forward several years into the future and her former lover rats her out. Piper Kerman has to confess to her family and fiance about her past because she is about to go to prison for her crimes.

What I loved about this book was her honest raw account of prison details. How dignity was left at the door and how she met people on the inside who she never would have been friends with in Manhattan, yet they bonded. Through her experience, you could tell that she made the connection between her crime and how it affected these people. To Piper it was just a fun kick..to the women in prison, it was a way of life. A life with limited choices. That hit hard.

Although it is hard for us to make the right choice in the moment without life experience to guide us, I love that the possibility of changing or learning from these moments are possible at any time during our life time. Thanks goodness for my Guardian Angel. I obviously go more out of the book than a story.

Perhaps you will too. Read it. It is different from the series…and better.

Read With Me: Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron

bookshotI read a lot. Everything from memoirs and fiction to text books and journals. I try to keep current with news but news is boring unless is is actual REAL news, like the stuff going on in Syria or the way the Americans are talking about sending troops to Syria when they have a huge pile of mess in their own backyard and no money to fix anything…but I digress.

I have been on a memoir kick recently and am in the middle of some great running books. I am currently trying to gobble up any and all information about extreme running events. Things that the crew or people have to do to support the runner in their quest. I go through obsessive phases. I will read everything I can about a subject and then move on. Running currently is my obsessive focus, but I sprinkle other books into that mix.

I have 3 books on the go right now. I had 4, but just finished one. Then I will finish my running book. I have a book on my phone that I will save for appointments and such. The last book on the go is fiction. I am not in the head space right now for fiction. Maybe when it gets colder and I will snuggle under my down comforter with my nose peeking out while I read, that to me is a fiction kind of night.

The latest book I read was Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son by Lori Duron.

4 stars out of 5

I would have given this 5 stars except I am a regular reader of her blog. She started it a few years ago as a way to talk about what was going on for her and her family and by doing so, was hoping there were others out there to connect with. We all want to feel like we belong and are accepted when we know we are different from the norm. Some of the stories in Duron’s book  are right from her blog. It felt repetitive for me but to her credit, she went into a depth that was not previously seen on her blog. I am fascinated with this family and have been for years. Not in that creepy way of staking someone, but in that empathetic and understanding way. I like knowing there are other moms out there who will move heaven and earth to protect their child while trying to find that balance to raise a healthy and loved child. Parenting is tricky and damn hard. It’s not like there is a set of instructions that come with the baby. We all are doing the best we can with the skills and knowledge we have. The Duron Family is no different, except they have a child who is gender non-conforming.

So what does that mean?

Sex is in your pants, gender is in the brain. Her little fellow knows he is a boy. He is physically a boy. He likes all the girly stuff that has ever been created. He appears to be transitioning into a girl through clothing and hair change. I think it takes courage to be the parent who supports your child’s choices no matter what. This book is full of courage because it is written about fear. The Duron’s fear and love is evident throughout this book. The choices they make may not have been the choices I made but I will never really know because MY children are different. Every family has it’s own challenges. Every parent tries their best to figure out how to meet these challenges. The Duron’s are no different. I like that. I like that she seems normal, as if we would have been friends. I can respect her choices. I can’t say I can respect everyone’s choices because I think families need to put the well being of their minor children first. But that is a personal value of mine and I understand that everyone’s values are different.

I loved the way this book would make me smile. Its a good day when you are reading with a twinkly in your eye and a smile on your lips. I loved having an insight to the LGTBQ community. I have friends who belong to this community but they are guarded, and rightly so, the world is a tough place and is currently not very kind to this community, HELLO RUSSIA I am looking at YOU! It is moms like Lori Duron who are changing the world one corner at a time.

I love that.

Read the book.

 

 

Read With Me

CSLP_DreamBigFor the first time this century, I will not be going back to school as a teacher. I will however, be going back to school as a student. I enrolled in my final class before I graduate December 13 and am waiting for my book list so I can spend the last of my dollars on school text books.

Not that I mind, I love books. I have books shelves full of them. They are my favorite gift to give. I have written authors asking to purchase one of their books but asking them to sign it so I can give it away as a gift. Occasionally the author will offer to do it for free if I make a donation to their charity. More often than not, I find authors to be just flattered that someone likes their work enough to share it. That surprised me. I thought authors might be along the lines of Divas, the kind of people who expect accolades and fame. But that has not been my experience. In fact, the more authors I meet, the more humble I find that breed of humans to be. This makes my heart happy.

I had a summer of interesting interactions. I was approached by a couple of authors to read their work and review it on Goodreads. I am not a professional reviewer so I was flattered, but then I realized I don’t want to spend my time reading a book and reviewing if the book does not interest me. My reading time is precious to me, I read enough University Journals for papers that when I read on my own time, I want it to be for fun. If I like the book, then I want to share with friends or others who read who I think might enjoy it. Lately I find myself pursuing memoir type genres. I am particularly fascinated with running memoirs but I have enjoyed bizarre life moment reads as well. Mondays are going to my regular book review days for those of interested in knowing what books I am enjoying. I have decided to write about books that I enjoy. I no longer will slog through a book I find dull or boring. My time is too precious for that. My ereader is filled with books that I can’t wait to read so why would I waist time on books I don’t want to read? Right? Tell me I am right!

Last week I went to visit my old comrades. I popped into their classrooms while they were preparing for this new school year. It was so great to see everyone, but I have to tell you, I am very happy I am going back to University and not waiting for the new charges to come to me. Sure I will miss their funny stories and perspectives, and I will miss telling them great stories and reading to them. That was my favorite part of being a teacher, story telling and reading. Sharing my favorite books with new generations of littles.

Read With Me with Moles_1As a tribute to my favourite preschool authors, I am starting off my Reading Monday series with my personal selection of favorite stories for young ones – the PreK to grade 3 set. The kind of stories that demand a cuddle on the couch and conversation to talk about new vocabulary words and what ifs. Here we go with the list in no particular order:

1. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin

Pete has new shoes and loves them. But like all young cats, he gets them dirty. Yet as dirty as they get, he loves them still. This book is great for rhythmic repetition to create full engagement of the reader. LOVE THIS BOOK!

2. The Big Red Bus by Judy Hindley

This Bus gets stuck and needs the cooperation of many people to help keep it moving on its way. I love how children with very little language become fascinated with STOP and worry about the bus’s welfare. This book is light on text and big on pictures yet the meaning is obvious to all who read it. A great book to act out as well.

Cover of "SOMETHING FROM NOTHING"
Cover of SOMETHING FROM NOTHING

3. Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gillman

Gillman is a favorite author of mine, from Jillian Gigs to the Balloon Tree, so picking just one of her books was tough. Her illustrations are captivating and I love how the boy’s Grandpa is loving and understanding about the need for this blanket to always be in this boys life until he he ready to let it go on his own. Both my children had a blanket attachment and I love how it was honored in this story. A great read for families.

4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Max was me as a kid, huge imagination and often using it to amuse myself when in situations that were boring, like stuck in my room as punishment. I love the scary Wild Things and the way Max was in charge. This light text and the beautiful illustrations keeps everyone captivated until the end, when he discovers his mom still loves him. All children can relate.

5. The Cow that went Oink by Bernard Most

This was the first book that helped me explain bilingualism to children. It is done in such a charming way with the cow and pig teaching each other to speak their first language. My students laughed as the animals struggled with new words, because they could relate. This is a fun story.

6. Grandpa Dan’s Toboggan Ride by Suzan Reid

Not every one gets to toboggan, but chances are if you live in Canada you have or will at some point. Not every book is meant for a bedtime story. This is not a quite and calm book, this is an interactive, fun and crazy book that makes you want to run out and slide down a mountain. It always brought up lots of conversation about snow crashes which is a rite of passage for many young Canadians.

6. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

I read this story every-night for a year to my son before he turned 1. This was his favorite story because he loved naming objects and saying good night. He loved the predictability of the story and knew what came next. It is important to read WITH your children and not TO your children so they can develop the critical thinking skills and can have conversations about what the see and predictability skills. I have a special soft spot in my heart and book shelf for this book, I often gift it to new babies and can’t wait to give it to a future grandchild.

7. No David by David Shannon

This is obviously a biography by David Shannon who had adults tell him NO all his life. Kids laugh because it is real, silly and shocking. They love to yell NO DAVID every time he brakes a rule. This was my daughter’s favorite book, perhaps because she grew up being ADHD herself and was a lot like David.

8. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

I loved this book as a child. I didn’t need an adult to read it to me because I would get caught up in the imagination of Harold and the things he could draw. It matched my favorite TV show, Simon’s chalk drawings. Give me a box of crayons and plank piece of paper and the world was at my disposal.

9. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

This book is for those little girls who are brave and smart and self reliant. If they aren’t these things, then read them this book so they can be.

10. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

I don’t know which I enjoy more, the book or the movie. Both are delightful and fun. I love the concept of magical dreams and extraordinary fun.

 

These are by no means the only books I love, but they were the ones that popped into my head without thinking too hard. Tell me what YOU would ad to the list!

Book Moods and Reality

If you are a reader like I am, you will understand how diving into a book can affect your mood while you are pacing yourself through it. Most of the books I have read this year have been a bit desperate. Meaning, I have loved reading them they have left me feeling like the world is a wee bit depressed. I hear ya. Everyone is a wee bit depressed, including me. I think that is why I am attracted to these books. They make life feel so normal because lets face it, no one lives in a LaVyrle Spencer novel, everyone lives in a Maeve Binchy novel.

 

 

 

I loved Maeve Binchy (except her Father Flynn Series) because she wrote about average people doing mundane things in a way that left my heart aching for more normalcy. Evening Class made me want to go back to school and meet people. I did go back and met a lovely chum who is sarcastic and dark like me. We chuckle and complain yet we are the smarty pants of the group. Evening Class was plausible and that is why I liked it.

 

 

 

As much as I love watching Sci-Fi, I despise reading it. Books need to be plausible for me and quite frankly I have a hard time wrapping my head around worlds I haven’t been to. This includes countries where I have no frame of reference. I have tried the Sci-Fi genre and it just isn’t my favorite. For example, I have Read Never Let you Go and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and while I was reading them, I kept thinking…huh, not loving this so much. So, I made the choice to save Sci-Fi for TV and Movies because it becomes an EPIC adventure and save the Sci-Fi books for other people.

 

 

 

The books I have read so far this year seem to have a common theme. Their life kinda sucks and it doesn’t really change by the end, other than they are accepting of the sucky life they are living. Fair enough. I think that is real. The key is to embrace what you have and accept it for what it is and be grateful for the good stuff, because life isn’t all bad. It isn’t. There are awesome snippets of time that make up for all the crap we deal with. It’s a shame we have to deal with anything but that is what makes us smart. That is why I like reading these books. I like learning from other people’s choices. Not that I always agree with what they do, I think my moral code plays a role into these scenarios, but sometimes learning what NOT to do is just as valuable. And sometimes being a victim of circumstance all you can do is cope. I have been lucky – although luck might not be the word I am looking for. Karma has been fairly kind to me. I have done things I am not proud of, but the outcome has been the best possible scenario I could hope for…well, I hope for more but am satisfied with what I have.

 

 

 

Then I read books like The Book Thief. I am not through the whole thing yet but I suspect the family is harboring Jews during Nazi Germany. The young girl is fostered by

 

Cover of "The Book Thief"
Cover of The Book Thief

 

this family and, well, I foresee bad things. It is WWII after all and life wasn’t great then. A great insight to civilians living through WWII in both Germany and England is Life After Life. It gave me a sad, yet vivid perspective of what life must  have been like. The Book Thief is different, it is narrated by Death himself and he seems like an okay fella. I don’t fear death like I did when I was younger but reading about death has become a bit of a theme for me. I am fascinated about it and how people handle it. Perhaps it is because it surrounds me more frequently than it did when I was younger and living with a tumour makes me face it head on. Wrapping up all my personal endings for ‘just in case’.

 

At any rate, I am feeling the moods of the characters I read about. I love that about books. I love how real these characters feel to me. I know I will love Hans long after the Book Thief is over and I will think of him often, just like I think of my Grandpa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did you not tell me there is a Harry Potter Prequel?

Apparently I live on a different planet than most geekdom fans. Although, I can tell you all about the Disney Star Wars sequels and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, I had NO IDEA THIS HAPPENED! Why did no one tell me???

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This apparently came out in 2008 and I was… hmmm… I was… I have no idea what I was doing but it wasn’t reading the prequel to Harry Potter, that’s for sure because NO ONE TOLD ME! I am pretty sure I wasn’t on Facebook yet and my kids were still young-ish. Had I known, I would have read it immediately. Why you ask? Because Sirius Black is a delicious male character. Not Gary Oldman from the movie because the same sex appeal is just not there. But Sirius Black from the books? Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

He is the ultimate bad boy with a good heart. Every girl’s dream when I she isn’t dreaming about George Clooney or Mark Messier or Doctors or Mr. Big or Mr. Darcy… anyways….

This prequel was too short, but so smart-ass fantastic, just like you’d expect James and Sirius to be. Only 6 pages long, it left me wishing for more. The worst of it? J.K. Rowling writes a note ” Not the prequel I am working on, but this was fun!’

DUDE! Ouch! I am sure it would be WAY better than A Casual Vacancy, that was just boring. At any rate, I had a taste of what I had been missing for a while. Now back to my regularly scheduled book Solar by Ian McEwan – with a little Pride and Prejudiced on the side.

You can get a free copy of the prequel here.

Mindless Reading creates Mindless Creatures

Yesterday was a huge milestone for my boy and  me. He passed his Driving Learners Test and now has a permit to drive with a licensed driver in the car. He came out of the test office, stood in front of me an did a little happy dance jig. Wow… 17 years ago, I whined about wanting a baby – not this man-child with the deep voice, goatee, size 13 feet and giant that stands before me. I look at him through mother’s eyes and melt. I look at him through strangers eyes and feel pride. His dad and I did good.

It made me think about all the books I have read and characters who were bad parents and characters who were great parents.

Best parent character award goes to Atticus Finch – from To Kill a Mocking Bird

Worst parent award goes to… hmmmm There are SO MANY!! From Scarlet O’Hara to the Evil Step Mothers in fairy tales, from Old Nick in Room to Mum in Hidden. Robert from 101 books agrees with me. He is on a quest to read great literature and is learning great is subjective. He also is learning that parents in books make bad choices. He has a great commentary about it so click here to read more.

Characters in books usually offer bad parenting advice, so my advice is to learn from them in the “what not to do” category. That is what is great about books. They teach you things, shock you, make you smile and even laugh. Take the time to learn critically from books, don’t just absorb them and think because it was published, it makes it a great read. It doesn’t.

The prime example is Shades of Gray. Read more books if you think this one was great. There are better books out there, I promise you!

This leads me to the Goodreads Giveaways I have received. The latest book I read was Alys, Always by Harriet Lane.

This book is about a newspaper editor who comes upon a car on a country road in England. The car has turned on its side and there is a women trapped. The editor approaches the car to help and her life changes forever from that moment forward.

The first chapter was EXCELLENT! It was a short story in itself, and quite frankly should have been kept that way. The rest of the chapters were dull, boring and I would have stopped reading if two things did happen:

  1. I won it with the implied intent I would review it.
  2. It was billed as having a twist and being suspenseful.

I can assure you there was no plot twist, there was no suspense and I could care less how it ended. It was predictable. The people reviewing it are giving it rave reviews  – mostly because it is a romance – blech – a poor one at that, and they won this book and likely feel obligated to give it a good review. This book took me forever to get through because of dullness. Read the first chapter and call it a day. OR find a great book and read that one.

15852479I have started my second Goodreads Giveaway book called We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. It is slated for publication 5/21/13. 19 pages in and I cannot put it down. It is about the life of 10-year-old Darling and her friends living in Zimbabwe. The culture will shock you North Americans. I am hoping this riveting read will continue throughout the book. The reviews are consistently stellar. Alys, Always had spotty reviews, so I am hopeful.

I am also reading the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This one is more for work and personal growth. It talks about how the brain develops habit and how you can use this knowledge in business and personal life. I am fascinated by it! For all you Dr. Bruce Perry fans, this would be interesting to you. It is for me.

So tell me, what great read is on your shelf right now?

Authors are my Rockstars and now they speak to me

photo 2 (4)World Book Day was March 7 – Thursday. Did you miss it? The strange thing is, it is only World Book Day for Great Britain and Ireland. The rest of the world gets to celebrate World Book Day  April 23 – so mark that on your calendars because it will be EPIC! If only us Canucks celebrated it like the Brits, you get to walk around dressed up as your favorite literary character. Who would I be? Hmmm

I might dress up as Anne Shirley, long red braids and freckles. I might dress up as Scarlett O’Hara Carol Burnett style with the curtain rod, or perhaps Minerva McGonagoll

Carol Burnett's “Went with the Wind” costume
Carol Burnett’s “Went with the Wind” costume (Photo credit: national museum of american history)

because she was a kick-ass teacher. My obvious choice is Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice but I might go as Catherine from Wuthering Heights to fool people. Either way, a flannel nightgown would work tied in a empire waist. Simple. Just need a longish hair to be tied back and I would be convincing.

I doubt anything fun like a dress up party will happen – perhaps in my book club, but other than that Canadians typically only dress up for Hockey games, with the exception of Saskatchewan, Rider Pride has them donning watermelons and capes throughout the football season. I could easily start a new trend.

Whose in? Tell me who you would be!

Speaking of books, I suppose I did celebrate World Book Day British Style. I won 7 books in giveaways this month and they all started arriving this week! It felt better than Christmas, because books are the perfect gift for me – books and vinylmation (my birthday is August 16 in case you are wondering what to get me).

photo 1 (6)

I started checking out the explore section of goodreads and entered for some book draws. Then I went over to NetGalley and signed up as a professional reader. Cool title. All it means is if the publisher is willing to give me an advanced copy of a book, I will read it and review it. I will post it here on my blog, amazon and goodreads. NetGalley sent me two books right away. So my total for that week was 6, actually 7 because Amazon was giving away a free download for a book launch The Fallen Snow. I count that book into my free ones. So here I am with a list of books I already want to read and now I have been given several books I need to read and review  The good thing is, I put my name in for books that interested me. So it doesn’t look like I will be stuck with books that will bore me, hopefully. You never know when you crack open a book what you will find inside. The only caveat is I have to disclose that I won the book in a give-away, apparently this is FTC rules. Being a Canadian, I don’t think it applies to me, unless they are book published in The US. Either way, I will comply.

I read The Fallen Snow and wrote about it here, on goodreads and on Amazon. For the record, 4 out of 5 stars. I loved Kelley’s writing style and character development. Then an amazing thing happened. John Kelley wrote to me!!!! I must admit to being a bit star struck. Authors are my rock stars. He wrote me some lovely things and I was walking on clouds for about a week.

Then I won Healer’s Touch by Deb E. Howell. She wrote to me to explain how nervous she was. Really? She hoped I liked the book and she was posting it herself. COOL! It arrived this week and she signed it! Okay, I admit that sent me over the moon! We chatted back and forth on goodreads for a about a week and then the book arrived. It is steampunk. A genre I have never read before but it also looks great! It is next on my list. I am reading them in the order they arrived. How else will I choose?

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Then came Notes from a Coma by Mike McCormak in my email. It let me know it was placed into my kindle app. I opened up Kindle and there it was. Cool! I flipped through the first few pages and the format is something I have never encountered before. 2 stories told side by side, one in the footnotes. This may be confusing by I am a smart girl, I am sure I can figure it out.

Then came Love Water Memory  by Jennie Shortridge.  in my email. Again saying the book was in my kindle app but it was not an edited version so do not quote it. Again, COOL! The main character has amnesia and has to start a new life. I am drawn to these types of characters for some weird reason, I am also looking forward to this book!

The book that came in today’s mail was Alys Always: A Novel by Harriet Lane. A car crash survival and the aftermath. It has a cool sticker saying it was Courtesy of Simon and Schuster. They seem to like me and send me lots of books, Penguin – not so much but I shall keep trying!

Books I have won but haven’t received yet are The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper. This one I must admit to being scared to read. I was raised Catholic and have a fear of demons (Thank you Sister Annette and Sister Claudia for those nightmares!) but I am fascinated just the same by the story line. I am glad it isn’t here yet, I might jump it to the head of the queue. The other book is We Need New Names: A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo about a 10 year old African girl and her life that is so different from mine I can hardly imagine what it would be like. I am also looking forward to that one.

Now if that wasn’t enough excitement for a book lover like me, guess what else is going? Give up? You will never guess so I will tell you. Teresa Mummert and I have been in contact and I am interviewing her about her next book, Suicide Note with a March 15 Release date! She is giving away a kindle e-copy of her book to one of my lucky readers! This will happen later on this week, so watch for it. If you are the lucky winner, the book will be sent to you March 15, the release date of Suicide Note.

So tell me, what are you reading?