About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beneath the Surface by Mike Martin

Mike Martin is a Canadian writer and sets his mystery series in the town of Grand Bank, Newfoundland.

Beneath the Surface is the 3rd in the series starring Sgt Winston Windflower.  I was given this book to review and have not read either of the other books.  Sometimes that can be a detriment in reviewing a book that is part of a series but in this case there is enough background in the book that it was easy enough to pick up the flow of the story of Sgt. Windflower’s life. 

Beneath the Surface opens with the murder of a young woman from Grand Bank.   During the course of the investigation Winston will deal with the Russian mafia; human trafficking and corrupt officials.  The story is mostly a police procedural so the focus is on how the Detachments are solving the crimes that are involved.

Sgt. Windflower is a likeable and charming main character.   Among the threads of the story is one that involves Winston’s Cree background.   There is a lot of Aboriginal  history and religious practice woven throughout the story.  There is also a lot of history and storytelling about St. John and the Province of Newfoundland.  I found these threads to be interesting and well placed throughout the story.  Another thread is one of food.  Winston likes to eat and there is so much talk of local delicacies that I thought there might be recipes at the end of the book.  A romance rounds out the story making it truly a story that has a little bit of everything in it.

This was an easy and entertaining read and I recommend it especially if you like Canadian stories set in Canadian places.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Zig Zag Path


Recently my mom found a notebook with some poems that my grandmother had collected.  My grandmother died of cancer when she was 50 so I never got to know her.  This collection of poems is a legacy that helps me get to know her better.  I thought I’d share a few of them starting with this one called, The Zig Zag Path (author unknown)

We climbed the height by the zig-zag path
And wondered why -- until
We  understood it was made zig-zag
To break the "force of the hill."

A road straight up would prove too steep
For the traveler's feet to tread;
The thought was kind in it's wise design
Of a zig-zag path instead. 

It is often so in our daily life;
We fail to understand
That the twisting way our feet must tread
By Love alone was planned. 

Then murmur not at the winding way,
It is our Father's will
To lead us Home by the zig-zag path
To break the force of the hill.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

This was the last book in the package from Get Red PR.   This is not normally my type of book so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. 
Willa Chandler’s father is a famous author with his book “Is it really your choice?  Why Your Entire Life May Be Out of Your Control.”  He doesn’t believe in free will but instead thinks that everything happens for a reason and it will happen no matter the choices you make.  Willa has had no trouble with this philosophy fully embracing everything that life has brought her way.  Then things start to happen; her husband wants to “take a break”; she loses her job and is suddenly faced with the startling realization that she could maybe have made different choices and had different results.  The story unfolds from there and we are involved in Willa’s quest to change her life.
This is a smart, funny book with quirky characters that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting.    The fact that I don’t necessarily agree with the philosophy behind the story or her ultimate choices had no bearing on my enjoyment of it.  Allison Winn Scotch is a new author for me and I think I will have to try some of her other books.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon

This was included in the box of books I got from Get Red PR.  I had high hopes for this book as I liked the premise of the novel but it fell a bit flat for me.

Alex Nicholas is a bookie and loan shark living in New York City.  He leads a life that crosses over the moral and legal limits continuously and that life eventually gets him killed.  His brother Michael is the exact opposite; pillar of society, happily married man and successful businessman.  After Alex’s untimely death, Michael is pulled into his brother’s life in an effort to clean up his messes and provide for Alex’s family.  The problem is that Alex is not as dead as Michael thinks he is!

This is a story about family, values and artificial intelligence.  It should be a fascinating read and in some parts it is.   There is good information about the development of AI (artificial intelligence) and how it could impact society over time.  But the story didn’t really flow for me.  Each scene seemed to be set in a different restaurant in New York or Paris; there is lots of eating and drinking in this book!  There is an over -abundance of swearing in my opinion.  I just don’t think it’s necessary to portray every bad character with a curse word.   At times it felt a bit one dimensional; like reading a script.   There needed to be some life put into the conversations and action.

This is Simon’s first novel so some of the flatness could just be inexperience.   I’m sure that this will be a series so I’ll read the next book and hope that the writing improves somewhat.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crystal Blue by John H Cunningham

One of the perks of having a book review blog is that I occasionally get emails from publishers or agents asking me to review a book .   Recently an agent from Get Red PR out of New York asked me to review another John H. Cunningham novel.    If you’re interested you can read  my reviews of his first two books, Red Right Return and Green to Go.

Crystal Blue is his newest book (I’m not sure if he is doing primary colour titles or just colours in general but it seems to be a theme).  This is the third in his series of Buck Reilly Adventures.  Mis-adventures might be a better term as his is definitely a good luck/bad luck story.  Buck’s ability to make strategic friendships is a continuing theme and it’s entertaining to see who he will connect with next.

Buck is the owner of Last Resort Salvage and Charters.  His latest customer has frayed his last nerve and he resolves to give up the charter part of the business.  However on his return to base he’s coerced into a well- paying gig flying celebrities around the Caribbean for a charity concert.  This seems to be the good luck part of the story.  The bad luck part comes when the husband of the couple planning the party is kidnapped.  Buck commits to helping  the wife (yes her name is Crystal) find her husband.  The adventure story unfolds with the lines between the good guys and bad guys often getting blurred.

This is a fun adventure story with likable characters continuing from the previous two books.   It’s an easy , entertaining read and I highly recommend this colourful series.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper FForde

Thursday Next is dealing with getting older and not healing so fast from her last near fatal accident in One of our Thursdays is Missing.   The opening of this novel finds her in a career crisis, dealing with memories that aren’t real and a threat to the city she lives in.  Her accident has prevented her from being able to do her detective work within the Book World so she’s faced with dealing with the real world problems.  Well, real in Jasper FForde’s sense of the word
While I missed the adventures that usually take place in the Book world, this is still a very book related story.  In fact Thursday’s new job is as chief librarian of the city’s library.  This story tackles politics and religion in a typical FForde tongue in cheek style along with some time travel anomalies. 

It all makes for a mind bending story.  There are some paragraphs that I had to read twice just to figure out what he was saying but that’s part of the charm of the book at least for me.  If you are a Jasper FForde fan you will enjoy these continued adventures of Thursday Next who does indeed die a lot in this story, or does she?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny also available as an audiobook

MacMillan Publishers asked me to let you know that How the Light Gets in by Louise Penny is also available as an audiobook from MacMillian audio.  If you click on the soundcloud clip you can hear a sample.
(Please note that despite the  'F" word in this sample there is not a lot of swearing in this book. )