Thursday, 31 January 2013

Appointment With Death

                Appointment With Death, written by David J. Dundas, is a short novel about a sadistic serial killer and the detective intent on catching him. Murphy is a young man whose dream to become a cop is realized and he quickly rises through the ranks to become a detective. When a serial killer starts leaving victims everywhere and is taking the eyeballs as trophies Murphy must use all of his skills to find the murderer as soon as possible. Joining Murphy on the case is a colorful cast of characters that, at times, make the story more confusing than it would need to be. The best thing about this whole story is that it’s only fifty-one pages long on an ereader. The story idea is a good one and could make for a good read but the way it is set up doesn’t work. The glaring lack of attention paid to a timeline was a constant irritation. Many of the scenes were not written in sequential order and therefore made the story quite hard to follow at times. The identity of the murderer is extremely easy to figure out which defeats the purpose of a mystery. A lack of editing is also very evident throughout the story.  Appointment With Death just ended up giving me a headache instead of enjoyment.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I just finished reading a great little novella called TDX2 (too dull to die) written by Dani Caile. It's one of those ones you can just sit down, enjoy a glass of wine (okay so I don't drink wine but juice worked too) and have a good laugh at the antics that a recently dead young man gets up to as he travels the afterlife with the Grim Reaper (also known as Graham). It's just a lot of fun to read, lots of humour and easy and quick. It's a great way to introduce the cast of characters and from what I've read on the author's blog there may be another one. I can't wait!
The temperatures have finally warmed up. I got lots of reading done last week being stuck inside but I'm told that I get more than a little cranky being cooped up.  I can't wait to get my next needle in my back to ease the pain. Today was a day I cursed cancer big time!

Monday, 21 January 2013

I figure this colour looks cold because that is what I am. It's -27 with wind chill and I'm ready for spring. The good thing about the cold is that I get lots of time to read. I was just perusing the website for Goodreads, a great place for fellow book lovers to gather and discuss and discover great books. Gives the reader a chance to talk with the authors which is always lots of fun. I just finished A Year In the Life of a Duchess by Ian Lloyd. If you enjoy royalty then this is a fun look at Duchess Catherines first year as a royal with loads of photos. The War on Women is also a good read about Violence towards women in Canada. It's written by Brian Vallee who also wrote Life with Billy. That is one heck of an excellent book although disturbing. Happened an hour or so away from me. Anyway, I must be off. Need to warm up a bit before the storm. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Life's What Happens

                Life’s What Happens, written by Kathy Clark and Alex Parker, is an emotionally intense novel about a group of friends who attend Kent State University during the historical year of 1969-70. This is the time of the Vietnam lottery draft to fight in the war. Having happened before I was born I wasn’t familiar with anything but the basics of the draft and was mostly told about how cowardly the draft-dodgers were to take off for Canada. This book opened my eyes to how much being drafted into an unwanted war caused incredible upheaval, sometimes destroying young men and women’s lives as well as their loved ones and families. The book starts in a “Big Chill” (the movie) way with a death bringing former frat boys back together for the reading of the will. Almost immediately the reader is taken back to September, 1969 and introduced to the lives of the same frat boys as they try to make it through university, deal with their love lives and, finally, get dealt the blow of the lottery. I have to admit, I found the book a bit monotonous at times until the draft lotto happened. From then on I couldn’t put it down. The writing is so superb that I became totally invested in the futures of each character, in particular those called up to go to war. I couldn’t wait to find out if everyone went to fight, who made it home alive, who got deferred and who dodged the draft. The sights and sounds of that time are so well written that it’s like watching a movie. Perhaps the book should be made into one. This book took what was for me a little known time and made it real. Superbly written!

Building Long-Term Relationships

                Building Long-Term Relationships is a thick textbook-like read that provides the foundation for building and maintaining a lasting relationship with your partner. It’s full of information about how to understand ourselves and therefore better our relationship skills and each chapter concentrates on one building block to establish and work on. At the end of each chapter are questions to ask yourself and maybe discuss with your partner and also an essay question. I found the book quite interesting and surprisingly easy to read considering the length and subject. Although some parts seemed a bit monotonous, overall the information was very insightful and written in a way that made it quite relatable to my own life. The author, John Loeff, references pop culture and newsworthy events often when giving examples which kept my interest piqued. I particularly liked the sections on listening and communicating where Mr. Loeff explains the different forms of each, including the ones we are familiar with as well as ones we really don’t think about but are using anyway. I also liked the chapter about different personality types and how to identify and deal with each one.  Also intriguing was how our birth order affects our relationships. Building Long-Term Relationships would make an ideal book for required reading in a psychology course or relationship counselling because it is filled with lots of information about us and our relationships. It is very much worth taking the time to read.
 So far I'm not doing so well with this blog writing. It's a bit like my diary, I keep forgetting it. Anyway, I've been reading a huge amount lately, especially since January started. I've just finished An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington. I've watched the series on TV and listened to his and Ricky Gervaise's podcasts and they are hilarious. I used to think there was no way that a person like Karl actually existed but yes, he is real. This book is hilarious. The whole way through I heard his voice in my head reading it. Sounds a bit weird doesn't it? I always wondered if other people did that when they read. The book is actually acted out like a movie in my mind's eye as I read. I also see words that people say or some that I read in certain colours. I've since learned that is called synthesthesia and contrary to my belief, most people don't have it. My husband has also informed me that most people don't picture books in their minds like movies and that I am just plain strange. Does anyone else do any of these things? It makes reading much more exciting! I also read The Racketeer by John Grisham. I know this is a huge one for lots of people. Lord knows the waiting list at the library for it was huge. I didn't really like it. I find once you've read one of John Grisham's books then you have the blueprint for them all,  much the same as James Patterson who just seems to put his names on books as a co-author lately. You can always tell if he's don't much with them or not. He has a true talent but when combined with authors...well they aren't my favorite. Like I said before, I like to read graphic novels and recently read Interview With A Vampire: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter. It wasn't bad. The illustrations were great and the back story of Claudia was well done. I'll stop rambling on for now. I've read lots more but will add it on each time I blog. Another snow storm coming. I had just found out that there was still a driveway under all the ice out there and now I'll be knee deep in snow. I guess I'm not a true Canadian because I hate snow, hockey and Tim Horton's coffee!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Here I am at 2013 and so happy to be here...mostly. Lord knows I wasn't supposed to be (ovarian cancer, chemo complications) but I am and with lots of time on my hands I tend to read a ton of books. I figured I would try to blog about the books I read and maybe a bit about my life over the next year and see how I did. I was never great at keeping diaries. When my older brother would try to read my diary he always said it was the most boring thing he had ever read. Also, I'm a pen and paper kind of girl so typing drives me crazy. When I worked everyone else used computers but I generally stuck to pen and paper. I'm a bit old fashoined that way although I do love my laptop. As for reading, I love discovery new authors, especially indie authors because I figure they put all that time into writing their books and should get as much advertising as possible so hopefully a few people will read this and look up a book that sounds good to them. In the next few days I'll get some reviews up I've done for some books since the New Year began and go from there. I love having books recommended to me so that would be welcome too. If anyone reads my blog then aces for me! :))