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Autobiographies/Biographies Archives - Canadian eReader

Genre: Autobiographies/Biographies

Reading roundup – August 8th 2015

Hello, yes I know it’s been a while since I blogged – work and life keep getting in the way!

This last couple of weeks has involved routine doctor’s visits for both me and my cat, Isis.  Now, most cats don’t enjoy going to the vet, but Isis takes it to the extreme psycho-cat-going-to-shred-your-hands-and-tear-your-face-off mode complete with screaming, hissing, yowling and hyperventilating (that last, all three of us, the cat the vet and me).  My normally quiet, reserved kitty became so upset the vet had to fit her with a Hannibal Lecter Silence of the Lambs mask, which she STILL managed to remove to sink her teeth into the vet. 

IMG 0009

Poor kitty.  She’s now on meds which fortunately are a little easier to give!

Anyway, onto reading-related matters.

This week I’ve been rather obsessed with the upcoming release of Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Quest, the second in her Fitz and the Fool trilogy.  I enjoyed book one, and more importantly, I’m heavily emotionally invested in the characters of Fitz and the Fool and their unconventional relationship.  Some of the early non-spoiler reviews I’ve read have said that it’s a fantastic return to form by Hobbs, and to my mind she was never off form.  I really can’t wait for release day.  I’m on nightshift on August 11th so I’ll anxiously await the audiobook to hit my Audible download queue at around 3am and start immediately.  From where we left book one, I’m anticipating Fitz going all Liam Neeson in Taken on the Servants of the Archive:

During my nightshift I made excellent progress on some of the series I need to complete, thanks to audiobooks.

Reading roundup – August 8th 2015Magician's End by Raymond E. Feist
Series: Chaoswar #3
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: John Meagher
Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

Since my last post I’ve read/listened to books one and two and am half way through the third book in Raymond E. Feist’s Chaoswar saga.  I must admit I’ve been somewhat less than excited about this series.  Although we have Pug and Magnus, I don’t feel as connected to the newer characters as I have in previous Feist series.  I’m also not wild about the whole religious angels/devils Fall from Heaven storyline that seems to be creeping in.

Despite my love for some of the unexpectedly returning characters, I am not too impressed that Feist chose to bring them back.  Their previous plotlines, to my mind, gave good closure to their character arcs and wonderful character development for others.  To bring them back now seems to negate all of that.  Admittedly though, in Feist’s hands, it’s handled in a much better way than a lesser storyteller might have been able to achieve.

I’ve still not completed the entire series, so I will reserve full judgement for when I do.

Reading roundup – August 8th 2015Trapped by Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid #5
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

The next book I listened to on my nightshift was Trapped, book five in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.  As I’ve said before on this blog, I adore this series.  The characters, (Oberon!) worldbuilding and plot are all wonderful.  This is a series best enjoyed in audiobook format thanks to Luke Daniels’ wonderful audio narration.  I can’t say enough good things about this series, so I’ll strongly urge you to go check it out for yourselves. I gave Trapped five stars out of five.

Reading roundup – August 8th 2015Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Amy Poehler
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Genres: Autobiographies/Biographies, Humorous
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Evelynne's rating: four-stars

I was looking for something a bit different to listen to during a recent nightshift, something funny, so I decided to listen to Yes Please written and narrated by Amy Poehler (with guests.)  In terms of audiobook production Yes Please is pitch perfect.  The producers have chosen to go for a less “polished” version leaving in snorts and giggles so that it really does feel as if you’re hanging out with Amy and friends.  I believe the text has been adapted slightly to fit the audiobook version.  I also did get a chuckle out of her guest stars.  Hearing Sir Patrick Stewart deliver some of Poehler’s down-to-earth and earthy words in his cultured British accent did give me a few giggles.

That being said, I didn’t necessarily always appreciate some of the language and the jokes, but I can honour Poehler’s commitment to get her laughs from making fun of circumstances or herself not other people’s misfortune.  

I gave Yes Please four stars out of five.

That’s all for today folks.  Expect a review of Fool’s Quest as soon as I have finished it!

Have a  good week.

three-half-stars

Epistle by Max Thompson – Review

Epistle by Max Thompson – ReviewEpistle by Max Thompson
Format: eBook
Pages: 113 pages
Genres: Autobiographies/Biographies, Humorous
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Evelynne's rating: four-stars

Epistle by Max Thompson is the latest in a series of fun cat memoirs written by handsome feline Max, aided and abetted by his human caregiver Karen.  I follow Max’s blog and love reading his musings on life as a house cat.  I was excited this morning when he announced that the digital version of his latest book was now available from Amazon – hard copy to follow soon – and immediately picked it up and devoured it.  This particular instalment was written as a letter by Max (who is now a senior kitty) to his younger self giving his kitten self tips and tricks.

What I liked

The format.  I felt this works very well.  The letter to Young Max gives a cohesive structure and approach to the book.  It contains a mixture of amusing and practical tips for Young Max, often ways of “persuading” the humans in the household to give him more food, as well as more philosophical thoughts on human nature.  I am certain my cat has been talking to Max on the sly as she uses many of the same tricks.  He also attempts to educate Young Max in his new role as a house cat – he is responsible for looking after the physical and emotional wellbeing of the humans.  I’m not 100% convinced that this is truly altruistic – he does remind Young Max on more than one occasion that humans are needed to open the cans of stinky goodness.

The introduction from Buddah Pest.  Max’s feline partner in crime, Buddah Pest, is a major part of Max’s life, yet we’ve heard very little from his point of view.  It was really fun to hear from him in the foreword.

The humour.  Max is hilarious.  He has a unique way of looking at the world and I snorted several times reading his musings.

What I didn’t like

Repetition.  Many of the events to which Max makes reference were already familiar to me from his previous books.  Ah well.  I suppose there are only a certain number of major happenings that can happen to one well loved kitty.  Fortunately, the structure of explaining these to Young Max did add a bit of variety.

I would recommend Epistle – and Max’s other books to all cat lovers.

I gave Epistle four stars out of five

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four-stars

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman – Review

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman – ReviewOrange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hours and 14 minutes
Genres: Autobiographies/Biographies
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Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

Orange is the New Black is the memoir by Piper Kerman detailing the year she spent in a women’s prison.  The drug related offences date from 10 years prior to her incarceration and in the meantime, Kerman had built a life for herself with a rewarding job and supportive fiancé.  The book has also been adapted into a successful Netflix Original television show, of which I have seen season one, and plan to binge watch season two in the very near future.  It should be noted that the TV series and the book, while both excellent, are very different beasts.  There is a lot of dramatisation in the TV show not present in the book, which, on the other hand, gives a very thoughtful, measured introspective into Kerman’s emotional journey during her incarceration.

I listened to the audiobook during my coach trip from Montreal to Toronto – a trip of about eight hours – and not only did it hold my attention through the trip, but I wanted to continue listening when I got home.  

What I liked

The narration.  Cassandra Campbell does an amazing job of providing the voiceover for Kerman’s emotional journey as well as creating distinct voices for each of the people Kerman meets during her stay.  You could easily tell who was talking by the voices.

Kerman’s emotional journey.  I really liked the way Kerman took responsibility for her actions that led to her indictment and imprisonment.  She made no excuses for her actions.  This was especially apparent when she was recounting her interactions with fellow inmates whose challenges included drug addiction.  It came across clearly that she was finally making the connection between her own actions and their consequences for those dependent on drugs.  

Voyeurism.  I admit to definite feelings of voyeurism reading this book.  I have never spent time in prison, and I hope never to do so, so it was fascinating to read about the details of day-to-day life in prison.  

What I didn’t like

Abrupt ending.  I felt the ending was rather abrupt – it ends literally as Kerman walks out of prison after having served her time.  I would have welcomed a chapter or two narrating how she adapted back to life as a free woman.

I would heartily recommend Orange is the New Black, both the book and TV series.  I gave the audiobook four and a half stars out of five.

buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible, eBooks.com

four-half-stars

Reading Roundup – Friday 13th December 2013

Reading Roundup – Friday 13th December 2013The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith
Format: eBook
Pages: Print Length: 484 pages
Genres: Autobiographies/Biographies
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

One book I added to my library recently was The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith.  This is the book on which the movie Philomena is based; it’s the story of a middle aged Irish woman who is looking for her son having been forced to give him up for adoption as a teenager.  The film stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and is excellent.  Indeed, Dench has been nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for her role as the titular Philomena.  For me though, the real surprise was Coogan – who not only starred in the movie as but co-wrote the screenplay.  In Philomena, Coogan plays Sixsmith, the journalist who helps Philomena trace what happened to her son. In general, I’m not a fan of Coogan in comic mode, but he played excellently against Judi Dench and their growing friendship was one of the real highlights of the movie.

Although I’ve not read the book, the first few chapters I have read were very interesting and well written.  That is hardly surprising as Sixsmith is a former BBC journalist.

As I’m starting three weeks of nightshifts next week I have been planning my audiobook consumption.  Currently, I’m planning on marathoning Marie Lu’s Legend series.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about the series and am looking forward to starting it.  I’m also thinking of continuing some of the other series I have on the go, such as the Mortal Instruments or The Darkest Minds.  Another option is to listen to the BBC Radio production of The Lord of the Rings which I also picked up from Audible a while ago.  This is a brilliant production, and even now Robert Stephens’ voice as Aragorn still sends shivers down my spine.

In any case, it’s clear I won’t be short of things to listen to!

This week I’ve been struggling to read Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong.  It’s just not gripped me yet, but I will persevere.

Added to my library this week

Having loved Cinder so much, I added Meyer’s sequel, Scarlet to my library in both Kindle and Audible formats.  Incidentally, if you’re keen to start this series, Amazon has the first five chapters of the first three books in the series.

In order to celebrate the season I picked up Debbie Macomber’s 1225 Christmas Tree Lane in Audible’s daily deals this week.

Other than that it’s been a quiet week.

five-stars
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