Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Please follow me back to my oldest home . . .

As many of you know already, I have become quite ill over the last two years and in the last week and a bit, I have been diagnosed with brain cancer (which we are fighting with all our might!).

I expect to deteriorate a bit till all finally settles down in my body, so I am trying to just reconcile all my blogs into one big mush-up.  I need to simplify my life.

I started blogging in 2009 already (I cannot believe it!) and my first blog was ALL THE DAYS OF - very inspired title for today, don't you think . . .  :)

Anyway, I have decided that it is the one I will continue - everything will be there.  My book and movie reviews (which I hope to continue) as well as all my crafty stuff and just the good old rant too.

If you decide to come on over, I would love to chat.  Nothing is off limits.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Audiobook Challenge - April to June 2015 update

I love audiobooks!  As I have mentioned my goal is to listen to 50+ audiobooks (Look ma, no hands!) this year.  

At the six month mark, I have listened to 29 books - not too bad.  I might just make it :)

These three months have brought a mixed bag, some high points but also a few disasters.  I have listened to only three five-star reads which is disappointing.   

17. We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver (07/04/2015) - 5 stars
18. UR by Stephen King (08/04/2015)
19. On Writing by Stephen King (15/04/2015)
20. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (27/04/2015)
21. Cell by Stephen King (08/05/2015)
22. Testimony by Anita Shreve (15/05/2015) - 5 stars
23. Dracula by Bram Stoker (26/05/2015)
24. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (28/05/2015)

25. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (05/06/2015)
26. Authority by Jeff van Meer (08/06/2015)
27. The Geunsey Literary and Patato Peel Pie Society (08/06/2015) - 5 stars
28. Hitler by A.N. Wilson (10/06/2015)
29. Veronica Mars: Thousand Dollar Tan Line (19/06/2015)

Would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions :)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

My Real Children

My Real Children
by  Jo Walton

Genre:  Fantasy; Alternate History; Women Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books on 
20 May 2014
Reading with my ears:  Unabridged 
9 hours 30 minutes
Narrator:  Alison Larkin  

It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles? Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.
My thoughts:
I loved the first half of this book but it was the narrator that helped me through the last part that became very slow. If not for her, I might have started skimming or even giving up. The ending was not a surprise - the book starts with the main character's days in a nursing home - but I did want to read about the final stages of her life. I was hoping for a meaningful ending that did not come.

LGBT is a large part of the story and it was just another relationship without much whoo-ha in this book, which was great. In fact it was the better relationship of the two but at times I felt it was a bit far fetched and not realistic at all. No relationship is roses and rainbows ALL of the time. 

I also felt that the author could not decide if she wanted to make this a religion based story or if it was more about the main's character's search for God. Every now and then there was sections where she had inner monologues with God but it did not add to the story in my opinion. It was just slid in without any follow up.

In the end I just felt a bit cheated . . . 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Unleashing

The Unleashing (Call of the Crows #1)
by Shelly Laurenston

Genre:  Paranormal Fantasy; Mythlogy
Publisher: Kensington on 31 March 2015
Thank you NetGalley
Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.
In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.
But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.
My thoughts:
I have to admit that I was afraid to start this one.  Shelly Laurenston is my favourite (auto-buy) author but I was nervous that somehow her new series would not live up to THE PRIDE series which I love.   I should not have hesitated.  This new series features the same feisty, kickass women and the same humor all wrapped up in a new package.  

This is Kera and Vig's story but I can tell some of the other women's stories are going to be awesome.  There are lots of friction between the girls as the story starts but by the end of the book, they are a tight unit that would do anything for each other.

Even thought the sub-plot of the story are Kera and Vig's relationship (which I loved), the romance is light and does not take over the book - which is what I enjoy in my books.

The Unleashing is almost a guilty pleasure as the all male characters were automatically the supporting cast.  This book was all about the women - The Crows.  I am sure we will learn all about all of them and I can't wait.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Audiobook Challenge - January to March 2015 update

This year my goal is to listen to 50+ audiobooks.  At the rate I am going, I might have over extended myself a bit.  So far I have only listened to 15 books.  

The problem is not finding time to listen to books.  In fact I have been home for about three weeks after an operation and I have only listened to three books this whole month.  And now I have almost a month left of my sick leave but I am not listening to any books!  Finding the right book for my mood is my problem.   I am definitely a mood reader and to find something that I enjoy at a certain time is a problem for me.  I have started so many books but have changed to something different after a hour or so for many, many books.   

Here is my list so far:

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown (03/01/2015)
2. Open and Shut by David Rosenfeldt (04/01/2015)
3. The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison (07/01/2015)
4. The Truth is a cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaimen (11/01/2015)
5. Horns by Joe Hill (13/01/2015)
6. Wolf in white van by John Darnielle (16/01/2015)
7. The Ruins by Scott Smith (21/01/2015)
8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (23/01/2015)

9. The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald (06/02/2015)
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (10/02/2015)
11. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (18/02/2015)
12. Revival by Stephen King (25/02/2015)

13. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (audiobook 57 hours and 13 minutes) - 05/03/2015
14. Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King (19/03/2015)
15. In the tall grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill (27/03/2015)

My favourites so far this year are The Ruins by Scott Smith and Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.  Two very different books but I loved them.  

I might have to find a favourite read and re-listen to it :) I have to do something to get myself listening again!