Books

Witching Savannah Trilogy by JD Horn

Happy Pride Month!

That means I’m going to try to read as many books on my shelf as I can that have LGBT writers, themes, characters etc. In fact I have quite a few on my *hashtag* unread shelf tbr that fit the bill. But I started with a re-read by a gay author, with a gay secondary character.

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The covers of these books kill me every time. Such simple but awe-striking illustrations.

Mercy Taylor hails from a long family line of Savannah Witches but, she herself is completely powerless. Her twin sister Maisie, however is bubbling over with the stuff and is the family’s favorite to take over for the matriarch in her role of “maintaining the line” (hey! thats the title of the book). In the mythology of the series the 12 families of witches created the line to keep demons out of our world and then one member of each family is chosen by drawing lots to be the one to keep the line in check. They are typically the one with the most power and skill, who shows the most promise and aptitude.  But when this lot drawing comes around for Taylor’s again, its Mercy and not Maisie who is chosen.  All kinds of chaos and a lot of twisty turns that I don’t want to spoil.

But the whole series is just really dang readable. It checks so many of my boxes for a summer read. A little Southern Gothic, a little romance, a lot supernatural, easy to read in a lawn chair.

 

 

 

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Books

Packing for a trip.

“Welcome back” I say to myself. It’s been a crazy year since I last took blogging, and writing seriously.  But now that I’m looking at a year off in a few months it feels like time.

So why was the year so crazy? Well…

I got married.

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I made a huge career change from Animal Rescue to Early Childhood Education – which meant school, job hunting, settling in to a new career.

And then I got knocked up.

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Hence the year off.

So here I sit. Plotting out my packing strategy for an upcoming trip to see my friends and family in 3 different provinces. There are so many factors to consider. First: I am cheap as hell – read as carry on only plus stopovers. I am pregnant, so alas I have to keep the weight down to a minimum.

Second: I am traveling to Ontario. Forecast says to expect temperatures of at least 25. But I am also going to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where they still have frost on the ground in the morning.

Third: I am going for my own baby shower, and my lovely aunt’s wedding. So that is 2 cute outfits, makeup and probably some sensible but cute heels.

Aside from all that the biggest worry I have is how many books to pack. Since becoming pregnant, I find reading on my ipad for more than a few minutes to be migraine inducing. I have a fight from BC to Ontario with a 1 hour stop in the middle, then a flight from Ontario to Halifax with an hour in Montreal before I am reunited with my stored book collection at my parents place.  So how many books to bring….

I’ve settled on 3. Sadly, one is hard cover.

I’ve been meaning to read Maude for ages. It is a fictionalization of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s life and its the perfect book for a trip to the maritimes, since that is where it’s set.

I’m also carting along Love and Other Words. It comes highly recommended and I love a good simple love story for a long journey.

Lastly, the new Ruth Ware. I can get a bit antsy on a long trip (especially now with having to pee literally every 45 minutes) so a thriller that will completely absorb my attention is a must!

What is your book game plan when you hit the road?

 

 

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Books

Why I wish I hadn’t read The Princess Diarist

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I’ve spoken before about my deep connection and life long relationship with Star Wars. I was eager to again dive deeply into Carrie Fisher’s brain.

I loved how vulnerable, honest and unfiltered Wishful Thinking and Shockaholic were. But her new work feels like more of the same, and because of that it feels like a money grab. Considering the timing, I worry that that is an accurate assumption.

There was still so much of that precocious and self conscious girl I had found on her other books… but but but something about reading her frank retelling of her time on the star wars set hit a sour note with me. Did she even want to tell this story?

Star Wars is one of those things that many of us feel BELONGS to us and any other narrative other than what of ourselves we put into it is unacceptable. It is such a beautiful and selfish way to love something. And its hella wrong of me to put that onto this book. SO, I am trying hard not to. Please note: This is a wholly personal opinion.  I feel that the content was perfunctory and slapped together for the sake of putting something out to coincide with the release of new films. Carrie partially admits this. It became very clear after re-reading passages from her previous books.

I am incredibly saddened that she has not lived to write something else. In the light of the rumors that circulate her passing, I am curious to know her mindset at the time of writing The Princess Diarist.

But no matter what, Carrie and Leia will hold a place of high esteem, love and respect in my heart. And her worlds will serve as lessons I take with me. Especially those she taught us as Rosemary on 30 Rock, “don’t sit around while your junk goes cold,” and  “never go with a hippy to a 2nd location.”

 

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Books

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

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I am a sucker for anything that cites Pat Highsmith* as an influence. Seriously, if there is a blurb on the back comparing a thriller to Strangers On A Train I. Am. There. For. It.

Books with this quality have successfully pulled me out of my last 2 book slumps. The first was Abroad by Katie Crouch which I read in a single sitting. But I want to talk about Unbecoming.

Not only does the book have a southern pastoral quality, but it also has this jet setting Oceans 11 thing going for it. A woman on the run from her past who has a gift with antiques. It really speaks to the artsy, preservationist, old lady in me.

You, as the reader are never sure of anyones true intentions/feeling as the narrator is not proven to be honest or reliable. I found myself questioning her recollections. I don’t know if that was the authors intention or my interpretation but there was something so unsettling about it that I could not stop reading.

To be honest, my rating system for books should be based on how sunburnt I get when reading outside.

White as a ghost = I watched netfix instead

More Beige = Constant re applications of sunscreen, getting up to find a sun hat, brush dogs, make nachos. Just basic distractedness due to a lack of interest.

Deep Glowing Tan =  Good enough that I spend a few hours in a lawn chair but not so good that I forget to rotate.

Lobster Girl = A book so good that I am red on the top and white on the bottom.

Unbecoming was a Lobster girl book. Wear SPF 110 if you intend to make this a beach read.

*Patricia Highsmith is one of my favourite writers and in general one of my favourite people. I am wildly fascinated by her work, private life and eccentricities.

 

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Books, Uncategorized

The Psychopath Test

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Howdy, its been a long dang time hasn’t it?

I’ve been doing a ton of reading and have not taken the time to write ANYTHING down.

It is rare that I want to discuss a book before I finish reading it, but this book is an exception in that it is a very episodic approach to the world of psychopaths. Now I don’t want people to get excited and think “holy cow, its going to be all Ted Bundy and famous serial killers” because it is not. The Psychopath Test at 100 pages in is a mystery about a cryptic “found” manuscript, experiments done in the 60’s and 70’s which involved marathon nude therapy, LSD, violent electrical shocks and also dives into Scientology’s war on the mental health profession.

Quite a lot of what I’ve read so far happened in Canadian prisons, and mental institutions. So…Happy Canada Day.

I cannot wait to see the next turn this book takes and I can’t help but wonder if it will all become interconnected and lead back to the initial discovery of a strange manuscript. To be honest though, I don’t care if it does. As I am so enraptured by all the roads that have lead to our current understanding of psychopaths.

As an avid reader who is frequent slumps that leave me searching for the next book that I can’t put down, I am so grateful to podcasts like Teen Creeps and My Favorite Murder! They constantly recommend awesome content for me to devour.

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Books

Furiously Happy

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I loved this book. A lot.

It’s the first book in a very long time that made me laugh out loud. I went into it not having read Jenny Lawson’s first book, and with out knowing anything about it. All I knew was that the squirrel on the cover made me smile every time I passed it at work. Under that cover I found someone who struggles with a lot of the same things I do. It is full of frank discussions about depression and anxiety. But it is incredibly funny. As I come from a family that is always inappropriately laughing through life I felt so at home. Reading a book that makes you feel a little less alone in your struggle what ever that may be is like an hour of good therapy.  Furiously Happy isn’t a self-help book, but it got through to me better than any Brene Brown or Sarah Knight ever could.

 

 

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Books, Wedding

Weddiculous by Jamie Lee

img_2079Many of you know that I’m getting married this year… I took my engagement as an invitation to dive deep in to the pinterest world and have allowed myself to get wrapped up in a lot of the minutiae Big Bridal tells me to worry about. Reading Jamie Lee’s book Weddiculous has been both grounding and hilarious.

Her honesty has really helped me refocus on what matters… My partner and our families. We are throwing an awesome party to celebrate our love and it really doesn’t matter to me if some one shows up in cargo shorts.

Jamie Lee will feel like a new friend and will become your honorary bridesmaid. She will also make you toss our all those $30 bridal magazines because her advice is just so much fucking better.

 

 

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