Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: Into the Darkest Corner: A Novel

Into the Darkest Corner: A Novel Into the Darkest Corner: A Novel by Elizabeth Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just gave myself up to this book and didn't come up for air until I was finished. psychological thriller it certainly is.

Cathy Bailey is a young woman whose parents had died in a car accident and she was on her own without any other family. Most likely because of this, she was making some decisions that might not have been for the best. She was doing a lot of drinking, partying and admitted to taking drugs. She also was not adverse to one night stands and this made her even more vulnerable.

Cathy was a professional woman with a degree and is an HR executive. Basically, I guess you could say that she was looking for love and a good relationship. Until the night she met Lee Brightman, a policeman and a very handsome and seemingly wonderful catch.

The story moves back and forth between 2003 and 2007 seemlessly and in a way that allows the story to unfold brilliantly.

An excellent read.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review: Fifteen Dogs

Fifteen Dogs Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

a moral fable, especially one with animals as characters.

I listened to this audio book that was narrated by the author. Hearing the voice of the author helps tremendously in understanding what the he wanted us to take away with us through the story. I especially loved the setting of the story as it was where I was raised and went to school in Toronto, the Beaches area. The streets named were all familiar to me and especially their mention of Prince at the end who moved in with a family on Neville Park, which was my street in my primary years.

The story itself was amazingly imaginative. The gods Hermes and Apollo make a bet regarding dogs and how they would react if they were given the intelligence of humans. They took fifteen dogs from a veterinary hospital and allotted them human abilities.

It was not actually a huge stretch for me in believing what the dogs could do because I have been the very lucky owner/companion of four dogs in my lifetime and have always been aware of how smart dogs truly are.

The book made me laugh at times and it brought me to tears more than once.

I loved this story.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Into the Water

Into the Water Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story was a murder mystery. It started out as three suicides over a period of thirty years, but eventually the plot changed.

It was written in my favourite way in that each chapter was written first person from each character in the story. This is a great way to really know the characters and what makes them tick.

I love the setting which is in a rural area in England and you can just picture the beauty while reading the book. I didn't see any sign of the previous book by this author, The Girl on the Train.

In the early stages I felt that it was slightly scattered, but then I remembered that you should just immerse yourself in your book and trust that the story will unfold as we go.

A very good read.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review: Bossypants

Bossypants Bossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio version of this book and I loved it and got quite a kick out of it as well as learning many different things about the television business. Tina was very open and sharing about her life. there was a nice mix of personal and professional themes and with a humorous tone.

In the seventies I watched SNL with my children but I confess that I never watched 30 Rock. But I still could understand what she was saying about it and I am thinking of looking it up on older tv channels and have a look.

We are Canadians here and she did call us a bad name, but I have a sense of humour and it was all in fun.

It was good to re listen to the episodes where Tina portrayed Sara Palen. Like I said, we are Canadians and not too involved in the politics of other countries, but we can see humour in these skits and got a great laugh from it all.

It seems to me that Tina is a woman that would make a wonderful friend. She appears to have all her priorities in line and that is the type of person that I find I admire.

All in all an excellent read/listen.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Review: Home

Home Home by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Win is Back! He needs Myron's help and of course Myron is always ready to help his best friend. Win is even more than a best friend so they say. It is called a bromance.

Ten years ago there were two young boys kidnapped, one being the young cousin of Win. At the time of the kidnapping they were being cared for by an au pair who was found tied up in the basement of the home where the kidnapping took place.

After all this time, Win received an anonymous email regarding the boys whereabouts and of course Win is right on the trail.

So off we go on another trip with Win and Myron plus all the usual cast including Zorra the crossdresser, who really gives me a laugh.

A great read as always with the Harlan Coban novels.

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Review: At the Water's Edge

At the Water's Edge At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started this book I thought, oh no, I won't like this. Mainly it was due to the spoiled, rich, entitled, Gatsbian characters, Maddie, Ellis and Hank. I thought I would just keep reading for a bit longer. Before long I was pulled into the story and what a delicious story it was.

The three, Maddie and Ellis (husband and wife) plus their friend Hank head off from the US on a search for the Lock Ness monster. What makes this extremely awkward, and there are many issues, is first of all it is during the war with bombing and fighting all across the Atlantic. Secondly, Ellis and Hank had managed to avoid war duty by means of lies and trickery to their families and their doctors.

The marriage of Maddie and Ellis is really not a normal union and it is implied, but very secretly, that possibly Hank and Ellis are more than just good friends. Maddie feels that she became married to Ellis due to a coin toss by the two men.

In Scotland they basically abandoned Maddie to search out their monster.

The Scottish backdrop and Inn are wonderful venues for our madcap story. There are some unanticipated events that were a surprise to me.

An excellent read, or should I say "listen" and it was an audiobook.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: The Nature of the Beast

The Nature of the Beast The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listen to this series via audio book recordings and had fallen in love with the voice of Ralph Cosham. I actually identified Inspector Gamache with that voice and always felt that I was "home" when listening to him.

It was with deep regret that I learned that Mr. Cosham had passed away. Ms. Penny needed a new and wonderful voice for these recordings. I was very happy to hear the voice of Robert Bathurst in the seat. Mr. Cosham's were big shoes to fill.

Mr. Bathurst is well knows to my husband and I as he has played in many shows and series originating from Britain. He can be funny and also very serious and even a villain. It was wonderful listening to his in this recording. On this side of the ocean you might remember him from his role in Downton Abbey where he played a suitor for Edith, an older fellow who just didn't cut it for poor Edith.

Ok, the book; it was a surprise for me, a Canadian, to learn that Gerald Bull was a real person, a Canadian scientist and an arms designer. During the mid 1990's he had designed a missile launcher and it was installed in the eastern Quebec province on the border of the US. It was named Baby Babylon. It was thought that this had been built for Saddam Hussein, however this launcher didn't work. They built an even bigger one called Big Babylon. We take it that it also didn't work.

Gerald Bull was murdered (assassinated) in Europe with five bullets to his head and it was thought that is was connected to this non working missile launcher.

Anyway, the story of The Nature of the Beast is built around the assumption of a gun in the woods near Three Pines. What a wonderful ride to listen to this story.

Excellent read.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I couldn't engage in this story. The characters left me flat and I had to keep turning the pages back to see if I had missed something. I may try this book again later, but for now I guess it's just not my cup of tea. I was probably the only one that found Gone Girl the same.

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Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn My rating: 5 of 5 stars In an enthralling new historical novel from nati...