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Monday, April 30, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my Kindle library, which is a good pick for the Spring Into Horror Read-a-Thon. I very rarely read e-books, but I own a ton of them! I get the draw to them, because they don't physically take up space in my home but I still like the feel of a real book in my hands. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way! Plus, it really irks me when I see the price of a Kindle book exceed the price of the paperback version!! Ok, enough of my rant :)

SERIES: The Girl with All the Gifts, Book #1
AUTHOR: M.R. Carey
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
LENGTH: 421 pages
GENRE: Horror, Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

Not only am I a first generation Canadian, but immigration is my profession. 

PUBLISHER: Caitlin Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 7, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781987915341
Edited by Miriam Matejova, Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and world-views that underline the immigrant condition for women.

A yellow dress with ruffles, a kind Grade 1 teacher with a surname that’s difficult to spell, cockroaches in the bathroom, the contempt of strangers, and Whitney Houston on the radio–a Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. Browsing through a Polish fashion magazine at a European deli, a woman sees herself in an alternative universe of what her life might have been had she never immigrated to Canada. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive a seventeen-foot truck through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents.

Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

I completed a nine-week course with a group of people, which featured DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. The book is a lot to digest, and I'm still reading it in chunks.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Something from the library. I really enjoy this author, and I find him to be very inspirational!

AUTHOR: Joel Osteen
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781455534326
The same God that leads you through green pastures guides you through the valleys. #1 New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen shares how God uses the darkness in life for good.

All of us at some time encounter dark places that we don't understand: a loss, a sickness, a divorce, a child who breaks our heart. It's easy to get discouraged, give up on our dreams, and just settle there. We may not realize it, but when we feel buried in dark places, we are being blessed. God is using those experiences to help us grow, because we cannot reach our highest potential if we're standing in the light all the time. With Blessed in the Darkness, you will learn how to draw closer to God and trust Him when life doesn't make sense.

If we will go through the valley trusting, believing, and knowing that God is still in control, then we will come to the table that is already prepared for us, where our cup runs over.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. We are loving this series! It just gets better and better!

TITLE: A Dangerous Path
SERIES: Warriors, Book #5
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLICATION DATE: March 17, 2015 (first published 2004)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062367006
Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter's Warriors series a #1 national bestseller--with new editions featuring a striking new look! More thrilling fantasy, fierce warrior cats, and epic adventures await in Warriors #5: A Dangerous Path.

ShadowClan has chosen Tigerclaw as their new leader, and Fireheart fears that this old enemy still harbors dark plans for vengeance on his former Clan. A mysterious threat has invaded the forest, placing every cat's life in peril. And Fireheart's beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors. Fireheart can't help but wonder if she's right--has StarClan abandoned them forever?

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter.

TITLE: The Capture
SERIES: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #1
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2010 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 222 pages
GENRE: Young Adult
ISBN: 9780545253062
Soren is born in the forest of Tyto, a tranquil kingdom where the Barn Owls dwell. But lurking evil threatens to shatter peace and change the course of his life. Captured for a forbidding canyon orphanage, Soren and his friend Gylfie know that the only way out is up. To escape, they will need to do something they have never done before - fly. With owls Twighlight and Digger, they seek the truth and protect the owl world from unimaginable danger.
I'm listening to:

This is a library hold that finally came in. I'm listening to it on the Overdrive app! This is NOT a genre that I typically read, but I was interested in the topic of arranged marriages and the East Indian culture. I'm really enjoying it so far!

AUTHOR: Sandhya Menon
NARRATORS: Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam
PUBLISHER: Dreamscape Media, LLC
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 45 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance/Contemporary
ISBN: 9781520075686
Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she's ready for a break from her family—especially from Mamma's inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn't interested in doing that right now—otherwise she wouldn't have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right? Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—during which he'll have to woo her—he's totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn't planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured Why not?

I just finished:

TITLE: Rising Storm
SERIES: Warriors, Book #4
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLICATION DATE: February 15, 2005
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 336 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 0060525630
Fireheart's traitorous enemy Tigerclaw has been vanquished and exiled from Thunder Clan -- but Fireheart can't shake the feeling that he's lurking in the forest, waiting for his chance to strike.

That's not the only problem facing the young warrior in these blazing summer months, as he struggles to handle sinister omens, an apprentice with a shocking secret, and a devastated Clan leader who is a shell of her former self.

Meanwhile the forest gets hotter and hotter ... and everyone braces for the coming storm... Ages 10+.

SERIES: Flu, Book #1
AUTHOR: Wayne Simmons
NARRATOR: Michael Kramer
PUBLISHER: Tantor Media
PUBLICATION DATE: September 18, 2012 (first published 2010)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 52 mins
GENRE: Horror, Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic
ISBN: 9781452639390
There's a nasty flu going round. An epidemic, they call it. The posters say to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and throw away the tissue. But such simple measures won't stop this flu. Because when you catch the flu, armed police come and lock you in your house to die alone. When you catch this flu, it kills you in days. And when you catch this flu, two hours after it's killed you, your eyelids snap open again . . . Flu is a pacey, terrifying, frighteningly real zombie horror story.

TITLE: White Fang
AUTHOR: Jack London
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2007 (first published 1906)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 53 mins
GENRE: Classic, Historical Fiction
White Fang is part dog and part wolf, and the lone survivor of his family. In his lonely world, he soon learns to follow the harsh law of the North--kill or be killed. But nothing in White Fang's life can prepare him for the cruel owner who turns him into a vicious killer. Will White Fang ever know the kindness of a gentle master?

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post

This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Woo hoo! The Winnipeg Jets won Game 1 in the Second Round against the Nashville Predators. They also just made history, because this is the first time that the Jets have ever made a Second Round game! Our goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, had back-to-back shutouts in the last two games with 2-0 in Game 4 and 5-0 in Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild. His shut-out streak has ended, but he was on fire on Friday night! He had 47 saves. Game 2 is tonight!!

The Windicator shows that we are more than a quarter of the way there!!

Go Jets Go!!

Ha ha, gotta love Homer!

I bought this Daily Deal at Audible this week:

by Andrew Mayne

And this was one of the Daily Steals at Downpour that I picked up (I still need to listen to the first one in the series!):

by Rin Chupeco
(The Bone Witch, Book #2)

I used one of my Audible credits for this one, since I really enjoyed the first one in the series:

Away from the Dark
by Aleatha Romig
(The Light, Book #2)

Yay!! SYNC is back!! If you are not familiar with this program, you can download two audiobooks FOR FREE every week for the next 13 weeks. The only catch is that you have to download them before they are replaced with a new pair every Thursday at 7:00 a.m. EST. Once you download them, you can listen at your leisure and they are yours to keep forever!

Here is some info on this week's offerings:

Week 1 of our 2018 season is here! Both titles of our first week’s audiobook pair offer fiction rooted in history with which teens are familiar and arrive with author and narrator names many will recognize. What better way to introduce the new season?

THE GREAT WAR, from Candlewick on Brilliance, is a collection of short stories by a group of award-winning young adult authors, including Printz-winning David Almond and multi-award-winning Michael Morpugo, whose novels have also won acclaim on stage and screen. Each story in this collection was inspired by one or another artifact found from World War I, or the Great War, as it was called when it ended in the 1918 Armistice. Bringing these stories from page to ear is a full cast of equally acclaimed narrators, including JD Jackson, Sarah Coomes, and Nick Podehl. Short stories are an excellent way for new listeners to discover audiobooks, so share the news of this title with teens you know who may be new to listening, as well as young writers who will enjoy discovering how a single artifact can give rise to a good story.

Paired with this is the first in a trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro, who has borrowed her main characters from Arthur Conan Doyle. In A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE, from HarperAudio, we meet Sherlock Holmes’s 21st century descendant and the schoolmate who happens to be the descendant of Dr. Watson. These two new characters come to life thanks to a joint narration by Graham Halstead and Julia Whelan. Here’s a mystery, a boarding school setting, and a pair of teenagers whose family histories, albeit fictional, are themselves fascinating.

Happy SYNC season to all! Now download this first pair and start listening! Go HERE.

by Brittany Cavallaro
(Charlotte Holmes, Book #1)

Did you grab this month's FREEBIE from Penguin Random House Audio:

by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
(Fox and O'Hare, Book #1)

Thanks again, PRH Audio!

Here's another FREEBIE for you. This month's pick should still be available until the end of the month to download from Tantor Audio:

Leaves of Grass
by Walt Whitman

Thanks again, Tantor Audio!

Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do you still accept review requests?

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Consumed by J.R. Ward

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, April 27, 2018

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers @courtney_s @StMartinsPress

SERIES: This is Not a Test, Book #1.5
AUTHOR: Courtney Summers
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
PUBLICATION DATE: January 20, 2015
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
LENGTH: 96 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror
ASIN: B00PF8197K
In this gripping sequel to This is Not a Test, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more--people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can just hold on long enough.

Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways ...

Wow, just wow! Summers has outdone herself!! When I finished the first book in this series, This is Not a Test, I couldn't get my hands on the next book fast enough. Summers totally blew me away with this one.

This novella is told from the point of view of Rhys, and it picks up right where the previous installment leaves off. Rhys and Sloan have left the safety of the school and have ventured out into the zombie-infested world in an effort to reach Rayford, a nearby town that is supposed to be safe. 

If you are thinking that these zombies are the slow-moving kind that stumble around like the ones in the cheesy B-flicks, you'd be wrong! These ones move fast, and the only time they aren't moving is when they are in a kind of stasis when there is no living food to hunt. They wait. <cue in the creepy music>

This book is one wild ride! The danger was all around Rhys and Sloane, and it was so palpable that it felt like I was living what they were going through. It was scary and intense, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! I loved the Preppers but, geez Louise, gaaaaaaaah. That's it. I won't say more. You'll have to read it for yourself. 

Memorable quotes:

"My dad always said we're at the mercy of something greater than ourselves and whatever humanity we don't show to others, we pay for."

"I'm afraid everything I was is gone and all that's left is everything I'm not."

"These days it feels like alive is an accidental state of being."

I know it's not likely to happen, but I'm holding out for the slim chance that Summers will make a prequel or sequel to this series. Please, give me more! In the meantime, I'm definitely going to check out her backlist.


5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it! You should definitely put it on your TBR if you are a zombie or post-apocalyptic fan!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers @courtney_s @StMartinsPress

PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 322 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror
ISBN: 9780312656744
It's the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won't stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn't sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she's failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she's forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group's fate is determined less and less by what's happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for so long waiting to be read, and I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner!

This post-apocalyptic story involves six teens who have holed themselves up in their high school to avoid the zombies outside. For the time being, they are safe and have access to water and food, but they know the time will come when they will have to leave the safety of their fortress. When one of the teachers is able to gain access to the school, the kids realize that their security isn't so airtight.

The main character is a girl named Sloane, whose father was abusive. She has a bit of a death wish, so she puts herself at risk time and again. I really felt for her. Each of the kids have their issues, and this book was more about them than the zombies. The threat to their safety is there, but this is more of a character-driven novel than a horror one.

I can't help wondering what led to the zombie apocalypse, and I wish that Summers would have provided more backstory on that. Maybe a prequel can be added to the series, pretty please?

When I finished, I was ravenous for more and I immediately purchased the next book in the series, Please Remain Calmso that I could find out how it all ends.

Summers is a new-to-me author, and I'm so stoked to find another Canadian author to enjoy. 


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy zombies!

This book qualifies as:
#18 for my Strictly Print Reading Challenge
#9 for my 11th Annual Canadian Book Challenge
#20 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018
#32 for my Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge
#29 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#18 for my New Authors 2018 Reading Challenge
#19 for my 2018 Try Something New Challenge
#24 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#32A for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#15 for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
#15 for my 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge
#13 for my What An Animal Reading Challenge 2018
#12 for my 2018 Paranormal Reading Challenge
#10 for my Science Fiction vs Fantasy Bingo 2018
#9 for my 2018 YA Reading Challenge
Task #2 for my Goodreads Spring 2018 Scavenger Challenge - Umbrellas
#4 for my Chapter Break Bingo April 2018
#4 for my Spring into Horror Readathon April 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Bobbsey Twins' Adventure in the Country by Laura Lee Hope #LauraLeeHope Grosset & Dunlap @WorkshopBooks

SERIES: Original Bobbsey Twins, Book #2
AUTHOR: Laura Lee Hope
PUBLISHER: Grosset & Dunlap
PUBLICATION DATE: 1961 (first published 1907)
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 179 pages
GENRE: Childrens, Mystery
ISBN: 0448080028
Join the Bobbseys as they barely escape a frightening encounter with a ferocious bull in this countryside adventure!

The Bobbsey Twins were one of my favourite series when I was a kid. I actually still have my vintage hardcover set that I saved from my childhood, and I read this one aloud to my daughter.

For those who are not familiar with this series, it features the Bobbsey siblings who are two sets of fraternal twins: Six-year-old blond-haired and blue-eyed twins Freddie and Flossie, and 12-year-old brown-haired and brown-eyed twins Bert and Nan. The books are usually categorized as "mysteries" but, as my daughter pointed out, they aren't really mysteries! They kids mean well, but they often find themselves in a pickle. As a kid, I loved how the older twins looked out for their younger siblings. The Bobbseys are a picture-perfect suburban family.

This is actually the second book in the series. I couldn't find the first one in my boxes, so I grabbed this one instead. The Bobbsey family goes to visit Mr. Bobbsey's sister, Sarah, and her family who live on a farm in Meadowbrook. During their stay, the family's prize bull gets stolen and the Bobbsey twins with their cousin Harry work together to solve the mystery.

It was fun to step back in time and read old school children's literature. I didn't realize that this was first published over 100 years ago, but then was re-written in the 60s so I guess that puts some of the language into perspective. When referencing their housekeeper, it's never just "Dinah" but the "plump colored woman." It also gave us a chuckle when Mr. Bobbsey referred to Flossie as his "fat little fairy" and Freddie as his "fat little fireman." My daughter pointed out that they weren't very nice nicknames to call his kids! I do agree with her, but it is clear that he does it with affection and the children giggle when he says it. There is an incident between Bert and Mark, a neighbour of Harry's who bullies Bert and holds his head under the water. Harry's father, Uncle Daniel, puts a stop to it and tells Mark to knock it off or he'll have to go home. When Mark starts in on Bert again, Uncle Daniel says: "You two boys had better have a wrestling match fair and square, and get this out of your systems!" I think I like the way that bullies were handled back in the day! There is something to be said for standing up to a bully and fighting back. I know that's not condoned nowadays in school, but sometimes a bully just needs to know that the person he is picking on is going to fight back! Overall, it's good clean juvenile fiction and it was like a walk down memory lane for me. This series is dear to me, because I loved it so much as a kid and it made me a bookworm!

It's tough to rate this, because my child-self would give it 5 stars hands-down. However, my adult-self isn't quite as enamored as when I was a child. This was less of a mystery than I remember, so that part of it was a disappointment. Still, I liked it and would probably rate this one 3 stars if I were reading it for the first time. I'm going to settle in the middle, with 4 stars.


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy old-school children's literature!

This book qualifies as:
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