Home by Carson Ellis

Seeing as most of my reading gets done cuddled up to my son before he goes to bed. I thought I would start reviewing some of the adorable books we’ve come across and I thought I would start off with one of his favourites.

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Home by Carson Ellis is beautifully illustrated by Carson herself.

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This book portrays all the places that one might call home and that there are so many interesting and unique places to live. And some are even out of this world.

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On the final page the passage goes, “This is my home and this is me. Where is your home? Where are you?” My son yells out “My house!” I think it’s the cutest thing.

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“Shoe!!” – This is probably one of his favourite pages.

Definitely a cute read.

(Book Images Photo Credit : Drawn & Quarterly)

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Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

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I’ve heard great things about this book for a long time, but regardless of what everyone was saying, I was still hesitant to pick it up. It seemed like it was a romantic fiction for young adults and to be honest, it is. But it’s so much more than that.

It is such a beautiful story that brought me back to my high school days and what new love felt like. Love that consumes you and you can’t sleep, eat or think straight because you are about to burst if you don’t spend every waking second with your new love. Learning new things about them and discovering things about yourself, by just being near them.

This story isn’t just about love. It is about being different at a new school. Being from an abusive home. Being bullied at school and how one girl had to let her guard down to let someone new in.

This story was incredible and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend reading it, if you haven’t already.

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The Martian (Novel) by Andy Weir

The_Martian_2014From page 2 of this book I was hooked. It’s compelling, funny and very suspenseful!

It’s been called a mash-up between Apollo 11 and Castaway.

The story is about an astronaut–Mark Watney–that is stranded on Mars (not a spoiler, it’s one of the first things that happens in the book) during a horrible storm that sweep through their location and carried Watney out of sight. The book is about how he struggles to survive all alone 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) away from Earth, while his crew believes he’s dead and so does the entire planet.

I found out midway through the novel that there will be a movie coming out this year, with Matt Damon as the lead (as well as an incredible all-star cast). For the rest of the book, I couldn’t get Matt Damon’s face out of my head while imagining Mark Watney walking around the Hab (Martian habitat). This’s why I like reading the book before there is a movie (in some cases), so it doesn’t affect my vision of what I created in my mind from the author’s words.

The majority of this story is pretty believable, but there was one part I just couldn’t get onboard with. Every one of the astronauts served dual purposes, and for the most part were comparable traits. But Mark Watney was a botanist and mechanical engineer. I just don’t see how that would ever be possibly. But it did come in handy while you have a character living on Mars. How convenient.

I don’t know how I feel about Mark Watney. He’s a genius and was extremely innovative when he needed to be. But his personality seemed that of a college frat boy. I guess you could caulk it up to a man not caring about his attitude in the predicament he was in. But it did give a lot of comic relief to the novel.

I wish I could tell you more about this story, but I don’t want to give even one little bit of the story away! You have to read and it find out for yourself! You will be on the edge of your seat and loving every moment of it!

Enjoy!

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown

61L-FnuWaALWhere to begin with this book…. I feel like I must have a disclaimer before I recommend that you read this. It was very disturbing. I felt physically ill when I started to read the first couple chapters. I feel so distraught for Cupcake, for the torment, abuse and horrific experiences this woman had to go through.

She lost her mother. She was raped at a very young age. Abandoned. Beaten. Starting prostituting before she was a teenager. Gangs. Violence. Using heavy drugs at the age of 11 and continued to heavily use throughout her youth. The list goes on and on.

To read her transformation. To see this woman struggle more than most people would ever have to in their lives and to overcome and improve her life so greatly is truly inspirational.brown184

Cupcake’s story made me appreciate my life so much. It made my life seem like a cake walk (pun intended).

This book is very honest and Cupcake does not leave anything out. She is truly vulnerable to her reader. I applaud her for what she has accomplished and I wish and hope that no one has to go through a life that like.

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Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography – Neil Patrick Harris

Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Smurfs 2" - Red CarpetOnly NPH would have a choose-your-own-adventure style memoir. It was such a unique reading experience and made me a little nostalgic to my youth of reading those classic Bantam Books.

My only suggestion when reading this book, is to have a physical copy. I used my Kobo and if you’ve read a choose your own adventure before, you probably use your finger 

rs_634x980-140520152707-BoFIxFTCQAAJ0jVto hold your place so after making your selection so you could go back and read the alternate paths. With an eBook it’s not as easy.

At the end of my journey, I went back to the beginning and flipped through each page to make sure I didn’t miss a single tale. Thank goodness I did that or I would have missed out on all of NPH’s great stories with none other than Elton John. With his trip to Nice to stay at Elton’s extravagant mansion.

NPH recounts his life from Doogie to How I Met Your Mother. From his youth to his life on Broadway. From coming out to his beautiful family he has today.

This book is hilarious, touching and sincere. I only have the best to say about this book. So go pick it up today!

Enjoy!!

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Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”

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Out of everyone I’ve spoken with about this book, I feel like I am the only person who didn’t have a positive opinion of it.

I’ve been asked if I like HBO’s Girls or Lena’s movie Tiny Furniture, which I answered, “Yes”. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy this book.

I thought the chapters on the contents of her purse and her food diary were a waste of time to read. What was the point of this? To fill space because Lena is too young to have lived enough to write her memoirs? Whatever the reason maybe, I feel she was trying to get the page count up.not that kind of girl

I did enjoy some of the book. Mostly about her dealing with her OCD, but most of the stories irked me. I just want to give her a hug and tell her that she should take charge of her sexuality and not allow men to treat her so poorly. Also, if you are drinking heavily and doing a bunch of drugs have a buddy not allow you to sleep with anyone because apparently you cannot make good decisions on your own.

The chapter where she describes her rape, you might pass by as another crazy night in Lena’s life. She seems to glance over it as the act of violence that it is, and makes it seem like she just brushed it off, other than the physical pain she had to endure afterwards. It came across as an uncomfortable first sexual encounter with a guy who was way too rough in the sac and after noticing he wasn’t wearing a condom didn’t do too much about it. I do not want to dismiss her and rape is very horrific and I hope I misinterpreted how she wanted to convey her tale of rape to the world. I also hope she takes a stand against what happened to her, even though what I’ve read recently is describing Lena as she is defending the accused. I hope Lena shows young women out there that this is a situation that should not be taken lightly and makes a positive statement to those who look to her as a role model.

I guess I am more about biographies about empowering women and role models for our youth and this is definitely not the case in this book.

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Satirical Horror for the Timid Halloween Reader

There are some readers out there that love Halloween, but will not start a book by Stephen King or Dean Koontz because they are worried doing so might lead to them to hours of lost sleep. Be it over the shadows lurking in the corner of their room or the scratching sound at the window or the anticipation of nightmares that are to follow. 

For those readers out there, I have compiled a list of books for those who want to get into the Halloween spirit but would like to be able to go to sleep at night after setting their book down on their nightstand.

A Dirty Job – Christopher Moore

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith

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Married with Zombies – Jesse Patersen

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My Life as a White Trash Zombie – Diana Rowland

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Damned – Chuck Palahniuk

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This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It – David Wong

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Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

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The Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks

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ENJOY!!

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11 Literary Costume Ideas For Halloween (via Retreat from Random House)

I absolutely loved this so much I had to share it immediately!!!

If you are looking for a kick ass literary costume this year. Now you can have your pick!! I can’t choose!! They are all so good!!

Note: This is all from Retreat from Random House

Recreate Cheryl Strayed’s experience by dressing up as her on October 31st.

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Did he or didn’t he? Head out as Nick from Gone Girl.

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You can be that kind of girl if you dress up like Lena Dunham this Halloween!

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Why not head out as Canada’s favourite Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield?

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Channel your inner Bridget this Halloween!

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Prove you would survive and become one of the Gladers from The Maze Runner, Grievers not included.

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Become a Shopaholic to the Stars by dressing up as Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)

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If you’re a fan of a good mystery, you might want to dress up as one of our favourite detectives!

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You could channel one of our favourite memoirs and a NetFlix phenomenon!

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What’s red, white and black all over? YOU!

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Keep things extra gory this Halloween with a Max Brooks inspired costume.

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Books to Get You Halloween Spirit!

It’s that time of year! Fall is here and all the stores are pushing costumes and candy down our throats, which means it time to get ready for All Hallows Eve!!

My favourite part of Halloween has always been the scary movies and terrifying stories. So here is a list of some of my favourite horror novels to get you excited for October 31st!!!

The Shining – Stephen King

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Frankenstien – Mary Shelley

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Phantoms – Dean Kootz

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Dracula – Bram Stoker

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Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice

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The House of Haunted Hill – Shirley Jackson

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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories – H. P. Lovecraft

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The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris

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What are you reading to get ready for Halloween?

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