Versatile Blogger award
Miscellaneous / June 21, 2016

Thank you for nominating me, ajoobacats at Ajoobacats blog, for The Versatile Blogger Award. Rules: Show the award on your blogThank the person that has nominated youShare 7 different facts about yourselfNominate 5 blogs of your choiceLink your nominees and let them know of your nomination Seven facts about me: I was born and raised in Scotland but am now married to an American and live in Quebec As well as Scotland and Canada, I have lived and worked in Germany, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.  New Zealand really is Middle Earth! I have read Lord of the Rings in four different languages; English, French, German and Dutch.  My favourite films are the Lord of the Rings trilogy I was in Wellington, NZ for the world premiere of Return of the King and took the day off work to go wave at the stars – are you seeing a theme here? I have lymphedema in my legs, and especially in this hot summer weather it’s a real challenge to avoid their blowing up like balloons. As a kid, my nickname was Smurfette and I collected lots of figurines. I nominate the following Mogsy at the Bibliosanctum Jamie at…

Ten Bookish Questions Tag
Miscellaneous / May 31, 2016

Good morning!  I saw the 10 bookish questions tags around the blogosphere and thought it might be fun to share my answers.  OK here we go. 1) What book is on your nightstand now? A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.  This is the second in the Court of Thorns and Roses series.  I’m only a few pages in, but to be honest, so far it’s not really grabbing my attention.  I know that’s probably an unpopular opinion right now, but personally I’m far more engaged in Maas’ Throne of Glass series.  I’ll probably continue to give it a go, though. 2) What was the last truly great book that you read? I’m currently also leafing through George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, inspired to do so mainly by the TV show.  I’m reminded just how deep and complex Martin’s characters are, and how beautiful his writing is, a trait that is, sadly, not always shared by the show.  The show is wonderful in its own way, but Martin’s books are a whole different ball game.  Incidentally, I have been swapping chapter by chapter from Feast and Dance, which works remarkably well.  …

BEA 2016 Book Haul – part two of three
Miscellaneous / May 23, 2016

Welcome back to the second part of my BEA 2016 book haul.  There are lots of exciting books still to come! The first book I’d like to mention is Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Kay Kristoff.  This is the sequel to last year’s awesome YA sci-fi thriller Illuminae.  Like its predecessor, Gemina’s formatting plays an integral part in the story, and this is a cool looking ARC.  I plan to re-listen to Illuminae in audiobook format to refresh my memory before starting Gemina – the audiobook was fantastically well done and actually won an Audiie at this years Audie awards.  Go Team Illuminae!  Gemina was another of the hot books at BEA, with people starting to line up hours in advance of the ARC drop.  I was one of the last people in line to actually get one, and I was so happy.  You can pick it up for yourselves in October 2016. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank is a young adult contemporary about a young woman who spends a summer in France after her parents’ divorce and father’s remarriage.  I’m hoping it will be in a similar vein to Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss which…

BEA 2016 Book Haul – part one of three
Miscellaneous / May 20, 2016

Hello, and welcome to the first of three posts detailing all the books I picked up at Book Expo in America last week.  It was a wonderful time and I picked up some amazing books.  There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get started. Of the ARCs I picked up one of the ones I’m most excited about is Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  I was able to snag a ticket to get it signed about which I was very happy.  This is the first in a YA duology by a debut author, and it is certainly getting a lot of buzz.  The tagline for the book is Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .  This sounds really intriguing and it will be one of the first of the ARCs I picked up that I will read.  It is next on my list after finishing Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves.  Caraval will be published in January 2017. Another book I picked up was Aaron Safronoff’s Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall.  This is a YA fantasy book in which Barra and her two friends must work to prevent a blight of…

Back home from Chicago and Book Expo America!
Miscellaneous / May 15, 2016

So, as I’ve mentioned in my blog before, this year I attended BEA (Book Expo America) in Chicago.  As my books are being shipped, this is not my official BEA book haul – expect that one in a week to ten days! This was the first time I have attended, and I was both a little nervous and excited.  Although I’ve heard it described as San Diego Comic Con for booklovers, it is a trade show for those in the publishing industry as well as those involved in promoting books through blogs.  Now, I’m passionate about books, but this blog is pretty small fish compared to some and at first, I admit I felt somewhat overwhelmed and, to be honest, a bit of a fraud.  I found myself thinking, I don’t work in publishing should I really be here getting all these free books?  That lasted for about two hours! It was a great experience meeting some fantastic authors, checking out all the awesome upcoming releases and chatting with like minded bookworms.  Note to self: when waiting in line to meet famous authors, take the time to Wiki their last book if it’s been more than a few months since I…

My top three fictional relationships
Miscellaneous / January 14, 2016

Today I thought I’d tell you about my top three fictional relationships.  While I do not consider myself a hard core shipper, there are a few pairings in which I am super invested, and here they are. The Doctor and River Song (BBC, Doctor Who) Perhaps I should provide some background here for those readers unfamiliar with the BBC series.  The Doctor is a space and time travelling alien from the planet Gallifrey who has a special fondness for Earth and who is frequently called upon to use his smarts and trusty sonic screwdriver to save the world.  As a Time Lord, he has the unique trait that, when he is severely injured, his body regenerates, giving a whole new look and personality to the character.  River Song is a slightly-more-than-human time traveller whose timeline collides on a regular basis with that of The Doctor. Showrunner Russell T Davies, who introduced River to the show, has said that his inspiration for the character was Audrey Niffinegger’s novel The Time Traveler’s Wife in which a time traveller’s relationship with his wife is complicated by his meeting her at different points in her life.  The first time we – and The Doctor…

Most anticipated reads of 2016 and other news
Miscellaneous / January 3, 2016

My last entry talked about my favourite books of 2015, so now it’s time to talk about my most anticipated books of 2016. Passenger is the latest book by Alexandra Bracken.  it is the start of a new YA series and is billed as a YA treasure hunt through time.  I really loved Bracken’s Darkest Minds series, so this sounds like a real winner to me.  The publisher has released a sampler, which I encourage you to check out.  Passenger is officially released in just a few days on January 5th 2016. This is the first book in a new series by Mortal Instruments writer Cassandra Clare.  It is set in the same world of the Shadowhunters but the action takes place in Los Angeles.  At first, I’d been a little sceptical of the setting; the older cities of London and New York seemed a more natural fit for vampires and demons than sunny Los Angeles.  However, the last book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, functioned as much as a setup for this new series, introducing characters, locations and possible plotlines in the new series, and I am 100% convinced now.  I will certainly be devouring Lady…

Reading roundup of 2015
Book Reviews , Miscellaneous / December 31, 2015

Now that 2015 is almost done, it’s time to review my reading year.  Thanks to GoodReads, I have a very good idea of how I did. I had set my reading goal at 75 books, and I completed 87 with a total of 29,110 pages.  This is a little lower than the last few years, but I did enjoy many of these books in audiobook format, which does take longer. The shortest book I read was Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne which had a total of 39 pages, and the longest was Voyager by Diana Gabaldon which weighed in at a hefty 870 pages. I read some pretty amazing books this year.  So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the books I enjoyed most.  Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb is pretty much defaulted to my top books list because I am so, so invested in the characters of Fitz and the Fool and their unconventional friendship.  Of course I was going to soak up every nuance of their continuing tale.  Hobb would have had to really mess it up for me not to like it. Fortunately, she produced a wonderful continuation to…

Reading roundup of 2015
Book Reviews , Miscellaneous / December 31, 2015

Now that 2015 is almost done, it’s time to review my reading year.  Thanks to GoodReads, I have a very good idea of how I did. I had set my reading goal at 75 books, and I completed 87 with a total of 29,110 pages.  This is a little lower than the last few years, but I did enjoy many of these books in audiobook format, which does take longer. The shortest book I read was Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne which had a total of 39 pages, and the longest was Voyager by Diana Gabaldon which weighed in at a hefty 870 pages. I read some pretty amazing books this year.  So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the books I enjoyed most.  Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb is pretty much defaulted to my top books list because I am so, so invested in the characters of Fitz and the Fool and their unconventional friendship.  Of course I was going to soak up every nuance of their continuing tale.  Hobb would have had to really mess it up for me not to like it. Fortunately, she produced a wonderful continuation to…

My month with Star Wars
Audiobook reviews , Miscellaneous / December 30, 2015

Now, pretty much anyone who has an interest in popular culture is aware that the first Star Wars movie since 2005, The Force Awakens, was released on December 18th 2015.  Full disclosure: while I consider myself a fan of Star Wars, I have only dabbled in the Extended Universe/Legends supplementary material.  Like many, though, I was anxious to see what J.J. Abrams would make of Lucas’ legacy and booked my ticket to a showing on release day.  In anticipation of the event, I did a fair amount of preparation.  This blog post details my immersion in the world of Star Wars during the month of December.  Out of respect for the three of you out there who have not yet seen The Force Awakens, I will place my thoughts on the movie/audiobook itself below the cut.   The Rewatch Naturally, the main part of my pre Force Awakens preparation was a rewatch of the Star Wars movies released prior to Episode 7.  I chose to do this following machete order.  I urge you to check out the full link on why this order works, but in summary, you watch Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and then switch to the…