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reading list

What I’ve Been Reading

The library has inspired me lately.

Their latest post on their website is of 5-word book reviews of some of their favourite books. I simply love this idea of 5-word reviews. (Perhaps I’ll start using it in my Goodreads? Hmm.) I loathe long wordy, overly descriptive reviews that rehash the plot line and characters. Someone has already done the job of writing the book jacket description, no need to repeat it. As I’ve mentioned before, we have some witty librarians here whose recommendations I trust. So from the most recent post I have added a few to my to-read list, as most of them had already been checked out.

After reading that post I went back and read some older posts, to add more to my to-read list. On this post of Ockham Book Award finalists (also 5-word reviews, hooray!) I picked up Baby by Annaleese Jochems (“intense, disturbing tale about millennials”). Overall, not my favourite. The beginning caught me, but I kept waiting for it all to come together to mean something. Or to at least give me some insight into millennials. I went away thinking perhaps I didn’t want the insight, or that my Gen-X self (though I recently read I’ve been changed to ‘Xennial‘ – I even took the quiz) just can’t relate to the disconnected millennials. Because that is how I would describe this book – disconnected. Or maybe it’s that millennial characters are self-absorbed?  Slightly narcissistic? Anyway. The author shows promise and I think as she matures she could write some very good stuff.

As I wandered the non-fiction section searching for a few books on my list, a book set out on display caught my eye with an intriguing title – The Woman Who Wasn’t There by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo G. Guglielmo, Jr. This is an astonishing story of a woman who not only faked being a 9/11 survivor, but became a ‘celebrity’ of the survivors. While the story was interesting, I would have liked it to include more discussion of the psychology behind someone who could do such an unfathomable thing and perhaps more about the stories of the other people in it. It was ok.

A few books that gave me the creeps…

84K by Claire North – A dystopian story where crimes are assigned a money value to repay the debt to society and maintain a certain balance. While I can appreciate her unique style, it didn’t work for me. The storyline was good, the writing somewhat irritating.

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – I wanted this to be something bigger. I was turned off by the descriptions of gore and felt it was a generic story.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – another winner from Gillian Flynn, easy to read and easy to get absorbed in, as well as to be disturbed by people’s behaviour while somehow finding it relatable. Overall a good read that makes me want to watch the TV series.

After the creepy books I needed to lighten the atmosphere in my brain, so I picked up Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson. A quick humorous creative read in the trademark style of the author. It did the trick for restoring my mind to a lighter state of being.

From there I chose to read The Grand Hotel by Scott Kenemore. Another easy read, this one clever and enjoyable, containing many stories within the story. I will have to look for his Zombie series.

That catches us up on what I’ve read… feel free to comment any of your recommendations below!

Here’s my quiz result:


You are a true xennial. Well done. You understand modern technology but are not so emotionally needy as to need constant validation from strangers you will never meet.


Dystopian Book List

Oh, BookBub – you got my attention now.

20 Dystopian Novels to Read with Your Book Club – except I’d take out the book club part. Too many people, not enough books.

I was surprised to find that I had only read three of the books on this list – so I have added a few to my TBR.

Have you read any of these?

Spreading the Goodreads love

I am a huge fan of Goodreads. I use it to keep track of what I’ve read and find new recommendations, and to see what my friends read (I believe seeing someone’s reading list is a fairly intimate glance into their mind). I highly recommend it to all booklovers. I recently learned a few new tricks, including how to add a link to my local library. Now when I find a book I want to read, I can with one click see if it’s available at my library. How exciting!

So to anyone interested in Goodreads, or already signed up, here is the link to the article where I learned a few new things. I will say I am not generally a fan of BookRiot because their site is full of ads and not at all easy to read, so apologies for that, just do your best to focus on the content and ignore the flash and nonsense.

By the way feel free to add me as a Goodreads friend– let’s see what each other is reading!

10 Charles Dickens Novels Everyone Should Read

In the new year I must get to reading Bleak House – it’s been on my shelf since I picked it up secondhand months ago. I’ll admit I was a little put off Dickens after attempting Nicholas Nickleby, afraid I’d waste my time slogging through hundreds of pages before giving up. Confidence renewed.

Interesting Literature

The best Charles Dickens books, and why you should read them

When he died aged 58 in 1870, Charles Dickens left behind fifteen novels, five Christmas books, several volumes of travel writing, and dozens of journalistic pieces and short stories. But what are the ten books that best exemplify Dickens’s genius, his unique comic achievement, and those qualities which we tend to think of when we hear the word ‘Dickensian’? Undoubtedly a fool’s errand. But we’ll give it a go anyway, if nothing else because it’s an excuse to share some great trivia about Dickens’s finest books.

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An Awesome List of Short-ish Books

A worthy list indeed; I may add all of these to my To Read list! I’m usually not interested in book reviewers. This is the first time I’ve come across Maureen Corrigan, and I think I’m a fan. From the way she writes it’s evident she is intelligent, a prolific reader and lover of books.

No Schedules, 100 Notable Books and My Top Ten Books of 2015

Well. I’ve been away from my projects for awhile but life is just like that and I’ve decided I don’t have to make myself have a schedule that will only result in my feeling bad when I don’t adhere to it, because feeling bad for no good reason is something I try to avoid. I prefer to live in an undisciplined, do-as-I-please and take-it-or-leave-it style. Just had to get that off my chest.

As a result of being away from my projects, I have a head filled with things to get out into the world! I foresee a smattering of posts getting done today.

To start with, the title “100 Notable Books of 2015” really caught my eye. Oooh, how many have I read? I was admittedly a bit surprised to find that I have not read a single book that the New York Times editors deemed the most notable of the year (as a side note, 2015 is not over yet – poor authors who have not yet published and missed their chance). Needless to say I found a few to add to my To Read list so it was worth a look anyway.

However it inspired me to create my own list as a means to look back on what I’ve read this year. I set a goal to read 50 books and am currently on numbers 44, 45 and 46 so I reserve the right to change depending on what I have yet to read in the next 33 days. In no particular order (that would take me ages to decide) I present to you:

My 10 Favourite Books of 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Worst Person Ever by Douglas Coupland

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

The Dog Stars by Peter

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St John Mandel

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This is the Life by Alex Shearer

The Gallery of Vanished Husbands by Natasha Solomons

The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry

Cooked by Michael Pollan

There you have it. Apparently I was big on Fiction in 2015. What books are in your Top 10 of 2015?

This week’s list from USA Today is an interesting mix, a couple to add to the To Read list (Whoopi Goldberg – always good for a laugh, and Elvis Costello – don’t know much about him but a singer/songwriter’s life should be a good story) and one to add to the Gift Ideas list – Humans of New York. If you’re not familiar, I urge you to check out Brandon’s site ( and follow HONY on Facebook. He manages to capture real life, people’s triumphs, fears, personalities, emotions, with a photo and a snippet of conversation. The Facebook comments can be nearly as inspiring as the stories.

List: 11 Books to Read for Peace of Mind

Book lists are useful as a tool of quick perusal for finding your next read. Often I find a handful of books of interest on any given list. Mostly I find a lot of unimaginative lists (thus the ‘quick perusal’). Any lists I include here will be ones that either appeal to me, think outside the box or have unusual topics.

This list – 11 Books to Read for Peace of Mind When Things Get a Little Fuzzy (found at – impressed me with the number of books I would add to my reading list, mainly because they seem to go beyond the self-help genre (or maybe it’s just because of the Neil deGrasse Tyson gif). I think I’ll start with Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Lori Deschene.

Have a look for yourself, comment if you find something you like.

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