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Saturday, November 18, 2017

HoHoHo Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post @kimbacaffeinate #HoHoHoRAT

This is my Wrap-up Post for the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon!

I Finished:


by Debbie Macomber
[on my iPod]

Christmas Jars
by Jason F. Wright
(Christmas Jars, Book #1)
[on my iPod]

Snow Cones and Dimes: A Christmas Jars Story
by Jason F. Wright
[on my iPod]

Seven Days of Us
by Francesca Hornak
[on my iPod]
Finished Nov 16th


Still Reading:

by Heather Graham


Thanks again to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer for hosting!

Friday, November 17, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Shining by Stephen King @StephenKing @SimonAudio

TITLE: The Shining
SERIES: The Shining, Book #1
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Campbell Scott
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2, 2005 (first published 1977)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 15 hrs and 56 mins
GENRE: Horror
First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary director Stanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson -- The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.
MY REVIEW:

This deliciously creepy tale is my new King favourite!

Jack Torrance is a former alcoholic and struggling writer. After losing his job as a teacher after getting involved in an altercation with a student, the family is forced to move from Vermont to Colorado. He takes a job as the winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel in the mountains. Due to its remote location, the hotel is shut down for the winter from October to mid-May as the snow usually makes the roads impassable. The hotel’s manager is a little concerned that Jack intends to stay at the Overlook Hotel with his wife, Wendy, and their five-year-old son, Danny. His preference is for a single bachelor to look after the hotel, after what happened with the last caretaker who killed his wife and twin daughters before committing suicide. The isolation can be hard on people. However, an influential friend of Jack’s recommended him for the job, and the manager hires Jack against his better judgment.

The family arrives at the Overlook Hotel just as it is closing down for the season. They meet the hotel’s chef, Dick Hallorann, who immediately takes an interest in Danny. Before he leaves, he has a word in private with Danny. He tells the boy that he knows he has “the shine” which is a special ability to read someone’s thoughts. Dick has “the shine” as well, and he tells Danny that he never met someone who shined as strongly as Danny did. They were able to communicate telepathically, and Dick told Danny that if there was any trouble at the Overlook to reach out to him and that he’d come. 

Danny sees things in the hotel that aren’t really there, and his father’s behavior begins to change. Before Jack sobered up, there was an incident where he lost his temper with Danny and accidentally broke his arm. Wendy was going to leave Jack and file for divorce, but he gave up the booze and they worked it out. However, things start getting rocky again as the seclusion and confinement appear to be working against Jack.

I loved the isolated setting of the story, which added to the spookiness of the story. Knowing that no one is going to come and save you if there is trouble would be pretty scary. I was fascinated with the hotel’s history, which was revealed through the boxes that Jack found in the basement.

I enjoyed the narrator Campbell Scott more and more as the story went on. I thought he portrayed all of the characters well, especially Dick Hallorann who is my favourite. Here is a sample of the narration:



I saw the 1980 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson when I was just a kid myself! It left quite an impression on me. Who can forget the “Here’s Johnny!” scene? That actually isn’t in the book but was ad libbed by Nicholson. I thought Nicholson was cast perfectly, but King described Wendy as a good-looking blonde so how the heck was Shelley Duvall cast for that part?! I’m looking forward to watching the movie again.

MY RATING:
5 stars!! It was superb, and I loved it. I will likely re-read it in the future. You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy horror!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Beauty and the Beast adapted by Elizabeth Rudnick @lizrudnick @DisneyPress

PUBLISHER: Disney Press
PUBLICATION DATE: January 31, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 288 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9781484781005
Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. When Belle's father is captured, she takes his place as a prisoner of a fearsome Beast. But life in the enchanted castle isn't as terrible as Belle imagines, and she ultimately finds friendship and love. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!

MY REVIEW:

This is one of my favourite fairy tales, and I took my kids to see the Beauty and the Beast film adaptation starring Emma Watson earlier this year. We were awestruck seeing this movie brought to life and much prefer it to the Disney animation. When we saw this novelization of the movie, my younger daughter asked me to buy it for her and I read it aloud to her. Normally, I shun watching the movie before the book but, since we were already familiar with the tale, it was okay to do it backwards!

Belle and her father live in a quaint village in France. While all the other girls in the village pine for the town stud Gaston, Belle rebuffs his advances and would rather have her nose in a book! This makes him all the more determined to make Belle as his wife, as he loves the thrill of the chase and the challenge. 

Belle’s father leaves with his horse and cart on a journey to sell his handmade music boxes in neighbouring towns. Before he goes, he asks Belle what he can bring back for her. She asks him to bring her a rose, just as she does every year. When the horse returns to Belle’s home without the cart or her father, she knows that something must be wrong. She mounts the horse, Philippe, and urges him to lead her to her father. They go through the woods, and Belle finds the upturned cart and broken music boxes so she knows that her father must be close. She sees a castle and enters it, and she calls out for her father. She hears him and finds him locked in a room. Belle’s father implores her to leave before it’s too late, and then it is…the Beast finds her. He tells Belle that her father is a thief for trying to steal one of his roses, and Belle feels horrible for knowing that her father was imprisoned because he was only trying to fulfill his daughter’s wish. Long story short, Belle begs for the chance to say a proper goodbye to her father and pushes him out of the cell and locks herself in. She takes his place. Little does she know that a spell has been put on the castle and its inhabitants. The only way to break it is for the Beast to fall in love and be loved in return before the last petal falls on an enchanted rose kept under a glass dome in the Beast’s quarters. Time is running out, and it’s up to Belle to break the spell.

I absolutely love this story! Belle is the perfect heroine. She always thinks of others before herself and does kind things for others. She is a responsible young woman, and she adores her father. She knows that she is different from the other girls in the village and that they think she is strange, but she is okay with that. I love that she marches to the beat of her own drum and can stand tall under the criticism of others. She is a wonderful role model, and I also love that she’s a bookworm!

I love the transformation of Belle’s and Beast’s relationship, how they became friends and how their love blossomed from that. Belle sees the Beast’s inner beauty, and she no longer even notices what he looks like on the outside. I love the effect this has on Beast, and how it softens his heart. It’s such a perfect and romantic tale.

MY RATING:
5 stars!! I loved it and will likely re-read it! You should definitely read it if you enjoy fairy tales.

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Year One by Nora Roberts @NRoberts_atHome @StMartinsPress

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

TITLE: Year One
SERIES: Chronicles of The One, Book #1
AUTHOR: Nora Roberts
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: December 5, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 432 pages
GENRE: Fantasy
ISBN: 9781250122957
It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.


This sounds like a great apocalyptic story! 



What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Books That Every Kid Should Read #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is Books That Every Kid Should Read.

The Paper Bag Princess
by Robert Munsch
Every little girl should receive this book as a gift! She will learn that she doesn't need a prince to save the day, like those "other" stories.

Love You Forever
by Robert Munsch
Munsch does it again! Every little boy should receive this book as a gift! Such a sweet story about the love between a mom and her boy.

Little House in the Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Little House, Book #1)
In this age of technology, reading about a simpler time before modern inventions is even more important! These kids appreciate the simple things in life, which is family.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
by J.K. Rowling
(Harry Potter, Book #1)
I think this series single-handedly turned non-readers into readers! This magical world with good versus evil themes also emphasizes the importance of friendships.

The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis
(The Chronicles of Narnia, Books #1-7)
Before Harry Potter, this was the ultimate fantasy good versus evil series.

The Adventures of Bob White
by Thornton Burgess
(The Bedtime Story Books series)
Burgess' animal stories were my favourites as a kid! I love these vintage books.


So, what books do you think every kid should read? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf, and it's a good choice for the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon!

AUTHOR: Heather Graham
PUBLISHER: Harlequin MIRA
PUBLICATION DATE: October 23, 2012 (first published 2011)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 224 pages
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Holiday/Christmas
ISBN: 9780778313946
Christmas has never brought out the best in the MacDougal family. Still, year after year they gather together in the Blue Ridge Mountains to try to make the season merry and bright. But this year is an especially strained one, with Shayne's impending divorce, Morwenna's slavish devotion to work and Bobby's reluctance to face what life has to offer. They've never felt less like a family.

Then, in the midst of a sibling shouting match, a mysterious stranger appears. He could be a criminal, a madman—or something far more unexpected. Despite their fears and the growing danger in the dark woods around them, the MacDougals take a leap of faith. But when another stranger arrives on the mountainside, they don't know which of them to believe. One of these men can't be trusted. And one is about to bring Christmas into their hearts.

I am taking this nine-week course with a group of people, which features DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. I'm looking forward to this! I've heard the book is great.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter.

TITLE: Into the Wild
SERIES: Warriors, Book #1
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: Harper Trophy
PUBLICATION DATE: January 6, 2004 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 288 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780061284205
For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying-- and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary house cat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

I'm listening to:

From my review pile, and another good choice for the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon!

NARRATOR: Jilly Bond
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 17, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 34 mins
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction, Holiday/Christmas
A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays...

It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity--and even decent Wi-Fi--and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive...

I just finished:

TITLE: The Troop
AUTHOR: Nick Cutter
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PUBLICATION DATE: July 22, 2014
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback
LENGTH: 520 pages
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9781476717722
Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected...and one another.


TITLE: The Shining
SERIES: The Shining, Book #1
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Campbell Scott
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2, 2005 (first published 1977)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 16 hrs
GENRE: Horror
First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary director Stanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson -- The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.

NARRATOR: Em Eldridge
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 3, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 4 hrs and 20 mins
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Holiday/Christmas
Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances.

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She's taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry's well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her--minus her photo--and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects--or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

AUTHOR: Jason F. Wright
NARRATOR: Jason F. Wright
PUBLISHER: Shadow Mountain
PUBLICATION DATE: October 1, 2006 (first published 2005)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 3 hrs and 57 mins
GENRE: Holiday/Christmas, Inspirational
Where had it come from? Whose money was it? Was I to spend it? Save it? Pass it on to someone more needy? Above all else, why was I chosen? Certainly there were others, countless others more needy than I...Her reporter's intuition insisted that a remarkable story was on the verge of the front page.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Woo hoo, we are in the Western Semi-Finals! My kids and I will be braving the cold (-8 degrees Celsius) to cheer on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this afternoon! #GoBlue!!

We got some more snow this week. That large mound behind the picnic table is the start of a snowman.




Have you been following Audible's 20 Year Anniversary? Here are the freebies that I grabbed this week:

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

The Good Girl
by Mary Kubica


I received this goodie in my mailbox:

The Night Child
by Anna Quinn

Thanks again, Blackstone Audio!


Recap: Last Week On The Blog



Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

Wednesday: HoHoHo Read-a-Thon Starting Line

Thursday Audiobook Review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Friday Audiobook Review: Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco

Saturday: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Wrap-up Post

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!
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