Tuesday 31 December 2013

Top Ten Fiction Books 2013

Top Ten Fiction Books 2013

1. Game - I Hunt Killers # 2 - Barry Lyga

2. Doll Bones - Holly Black 

3. Crush. Candy. Corpse - Sylvia McNicoll 

4. Damage - Stephen Shea - aka Arthur Slade

5. Rapunzel Let Down - Fairy Tale Retold #6 - Regina Doman

6. Bookmark Days - Scot Gardner 

7. The Not So Simple Life - Stephen Shea - aka Arthur Slade

8. Tin Star - Cecil Castellucci

9. Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

10. Johnny Hangtime - Dan Gutman 

11. The Testing #1 - Joelle Charbonneau 

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year: 

88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Monday 30 December 2013

Top 10 Books Second Half 2013

Top 10 Books Second Half 2013

1. Redacted

2. Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health - William Davis 

3. Rapunzel Let Down - Fairy Tale Retold #6 - Regina Doman

4. Death by Living - N.D. Wilson

5. Tin Star - Cecil Castellucci

6. Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

7. Independent Study - The Testing #2 - Joelle Charbonneau

8. The Forbidden Stone - The Copernicus Legacy 1 - Tony Abbott

9. The Circle Maker For Kids: One Prayer Can Change Everything - Mark Batterson and Antonio Javier Capara

10. Bane Chronicles - Cassandra Clare et all 
The Midnight Heir - The Rise of Hotel Dumort - Saving Raphael Santiago - The Fall of Hotel Dumort

(Reviews will follow over next month or so.)

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

 Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year: 

88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Sunday 29 December 2013

A Chance Encounter, Prayer and Life

A Chance Encounter, Prayer and Life

A few days ago I was donating blood at Canadian Blood Services I had an interesting conversation with three young people after donating. And by young people I mean early to mid 20's. During the conversation I found out historically they are from Wolfe Island, which is near Kingston. One young man David is studying for the priesthood. I asked for his name so I could add it to my prayer list. I have found myself praying for David's studies and his ministry often over the last few days and reflecting back on life. Five years ago I wrote an article called Life, the University and Everything reflections on 20 years as an undergrad. For back in 1989 when I first started at Queen's University I too was studying for the priesthood. A lot has happened in the last 25 years, a lot has happened in the last year.

First it has been a very inconsistent year for writing. I find that with three children 7 and under I am not reading or writing as much as I did. And also with 2 promotions at work in under a year and all the new responsibilities that involved. Over the past 18 months I have done 4 virtual class room courses, 6 self-paced courses, 3 self-study book courses and 7 certification exams. So now I find that time is now limited. But that being said I am setting more modest goals for 2014. I am going to aim for 2 blog posts a week instead of three plus. Six years ago I had the chance to donate bone marrow through the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor registry (now One Match). We found out that the recipient has succumbed, but he was very thankful for the 5 extra years of life with his friends and family. Over the years I thought about and prayed for Guy often, once we were in contact I usually got an email at Christmas and on the anniversary of the donation. You can read his side of the experience of receiving bone marrow here. This past October we lost my Father in Law. Kerry never said a lot but when he did I always paid attention. I miss him, and this first Christmas without him was harder than I expected. So I have been reflecting on what I pray about, who I pray for. What I focus my energy and time on and who.

Over the last few years my prayer life has really expanded again. I have started keeping a prayer list, people and things I pray about. Recently I received a prayer request from a friend who has adopted 2 boys, the boys little sister is now in the system but cannot yet be adopted. Praying for that to happen. Praying for David mentioned above. Praying for a friend who was accused of something they did not do and the immense impact it is having on his family. Praying for another friend named Eric, kept being woken up early to pray for these two specifically. Praying for another friend Hawk\David who in November was walking again after a few years in a wheel chair; defying all odds. Praying for my children and for protection of them and wisdom in raising them. I find that now I pray many times throughout the day. I pray when prompted, I pray for who the spirit prompts. I praying first thing in the morning in bed and last thing before going to sleep. Mark Batterson's books, Praying Circles Around Your Children and Draw the Circle the 40 Day Prayer Challenge really changed how I pray. The other book I read this past year that was amazing for prayer was A 40 Day Spiritual Workout For Catholics - Bob Rice it also has a corresponding iOS app.

So with that being said some of my goals for 2014 are:
Pray with more focus
Read a different translation of the bible this year
Finish my DDP Certification
Read 1 book a week
Minimum 1 blog post a week.

One of my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is "Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth." The past year has a been a year of much change and I believe much growth. Thank to those who have been support for the journey. And for those I supported thanks for accepting the help I could offer and allowing me to serve. But as I stated at the beginning these thoughts were prompted by meeting a young man, while donating blood, he is studying for the priesthood. His name is David. Please pray for his studies and ministry!

Yours learning to be;

p.s. As an addendum, have deleted all games from FaceBook, iPad and iPhone in order to be more disciplined and focused in 2014. Starting now.

(Special thanks to Jared Zimmerer author of The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights for allowing me to use the image above.)

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas
From Book Reviews and More.

Hope you have a blessed holiday season, and may you find many good books under the tree, or sent to you device for eReading.

Thursday 24 October 2013

You - Stephen Michael King

Stephen Michael King
ISBN 9781443107228

This is the best picture book I have read year to date. Amazing illustrations, wonderful story and a book that will leave an impact on both children and those around them alike. This book really does an amazing job of summing up what life will have in store and be a reminder of the most important things. I loved reading this story and know you will enjoy sharing it with children in your life also!

Thursday 17 October 2013

This Little Light Of Mine - Shelagh McNicholas

This Little Light Of Mine
Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)
Little Shepherd Books an imprint of
ISBN 9780545477680

This board book takes the words of the well-known hymn and puts a story around them of friendship and fun. The illustrations are wonderful and will delight children time and time again. There are so many little details in the pictures that children will poor over the pages repeatedly. It is the first book illustrated by Shelagh that our family has encountered but we will be sure to track down more.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Rapunzel Let Down - Regina Doman - A Fairy Tale Retold

Rapunzel Let Down
A Fairy Tale Retold
Regina Doman
Chesterton Press
ISBN 9780982767771

I have enjoyed all the books by Regina Doman that I have read. But this one is to date the best! The story was so powerful I read it twice. It is raw, powerful and riveting! As a reader we can see the train wreck coming but have no idea how the crash will happen and if there will be any chance for a recovery.

It all begins with a secret! A secret summer romance between Hermes McCaffrey the conservative catholic senator and Raphaela the adopted daughter of an extremist reclusive scientist. Scaling the tower of the property next to their summer home to win a bet Hermes discovers Raphaela and soon their friendship blossoms. For different reasons they each want to keep their friendship a secret from their families. And that first deception soon leads to others all heading towards a disaster but neither realizes how dire the consequences will be.

Be warned this book deals with numerous issues, premarital sex, debate about abortion. Prison and the reality of that environment. And the many conflicts between a Roman Catholic and a post modernist world view.  But with that being said.

Rapunzel Let Down is an amazing Read. It is a unique twist and modernization of a tale we all know. Two young adults raised in radically different environments meet because of a dare. And soon find they have a great love of books, learning and life. Each sparks something the other did not know was missing. But can traditions, and family pride keep them apart? Read this riveting new novel by Regina Doman, the  sixth novel in the Fairy Tales Retold series is an enthralling read. Once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.

Book by Regina Doman:
Fairy Tales Retold:
Snow White and Rose Red (1997)
Shadow Of The Bear (2002)
Black As Night (2004)
Waking Rose (2007)
Midnight Dancers (2008)
Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (2010)

Rapunzel Let Down (2013)

Other Books:
The Story of Job

Contributed to:
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut
Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong
The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide
The Chestertons and the Golden Key

Picture Books:
Angels in the Water (2004)
Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls (2009)

Our Fairy Tale Romance - Andrew Schmiedicke (2009)

Thursday 10 October 2013

The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever! - Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett

The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever!
Steven Kroll (Author)
Jeni Bassett (Illustrator)
Cartwheel Books an imprint of
ISBN 9780545402859

This is another great picture book from Scholastic. Every page has a number of flaps that lift and change the picture. The illustrations are bright, colorful and fun. The story is amusing. With everything from visiting a market, to a farm at night, getting ready for Halloween to Halloween night fun. An entertaining book to share with little one's in your life.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Hugaboo, I Love You - Hans Wilhelm

Hugaboo, I Love You
Hans Wilhelm
Cartwheel Books an imprint of
ISBN 9780545115100


This is a great little picture book. Full of warmth, fun and great illustrations. With each page is a new animal and how they would hug you. With furry hugs, prickly hugs, tall hugs, wet hugs jumpy hugs and finally a hugaboo just for you. Children will love it and ask for it over and over and parents will love sharing this little gem with them. 

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Randall Banner - Author Profile and Interview

Randall Banner is the world famous author of such books as Flash/Back, Down/Town, Night/Light , Come/Back and his forth coming book Untitled Manuscript. … taking time from his coffee addiction and keyboard pounding he recently took some time to answer a few questions for the readers here at Book Reviews and More.

1. Randall it has been said that author's do not like answering question. The reason they are writers is because they have questions to ask. Considering that why would you agree to a 20 questions interview for a blog from Canada?

I'm not 100% sure. How's that for honesty? Someone in my publicist's office forwarded the request along and I agreed. I don't remember why. But I don't think it matters at this point, does it? Here we are. Have at me.

2. What is the stupidest question you have ever been asked in an interview?

Jesus. Probably "Where did you come up with the idea for" and then fill in the blank. Believe me, if writers knew where their ideas came from in the first place, do you think for a minute we would actually TELL you? This is precious stuff we're hoarding and we're not about to reveal the location of the pot of gold. That said, I have no idea. I don't understand people who have to ask that question in the first place. I can't help getting ideas. They assault me all hours of the day. If you're asking that question, then there's no answer I can give that will satisfy you.

3. You are known as an author that has a cult following, and loyal fanbase, with each new book there is indication that your star is about to rise. How do you handle the disappointment each time when it fails to happen?

You know, I'm just really grateful for my fanbase. Those people just keep reading away and I'm glad my work connects with them.

4. You consider yourself just another keyboard pounder sitting in a Construct Coffee, somewhere in the world, banging away at the keys, dreaming of the best seller. Once you achieve that goal how do you think it will feel?

I imagine it's going to feel like I've been held underwater for a thousand years...and then someone finally lets me breathe.

5. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from  idea to publishing?

It's been different for each book. The only common element, really, is this little bit of admittedly juvenile superstition - I don't title a book until it's finished. Until they're done, they're all just called UNTITLED MANUSCRIPT.

6. What was your favorite book to write and why?

Probably Come/Back. I feel like I really nailed the mother character in that one, and people had been saying, "When the hell is Banner going to write a female character who isn't a male fantasy figure or a bitch-on-wheels?" And I think I did it in that book.

7. Can you give us any hints about your current work Untitled Manuscript?

Are you kidding? I can't even tell you the title!

8. You are known to be a regular gym guy, you have a regular schedule and program. What if your favorite aspect about physical fitness or gym life?

I have every last damn second of it, to be honest with you. I've never been particularly athletic or physically inclined, but I just turned 35, and I'm told that everything goes downhill at that point. From a sheer paranoia perspective, I figured it was time to start taking care of myself.

9. What is your relationship like with your parents? Were they early supporters of your creative leanings?

They were fine. I mean, I think it's tough for parents to look at their child and see that kid going off in a direction that they know could be difficult. Writing books is hard; selling them is harder; making a living at it is harder still. So they never really discouraged me, but they never really encouraged me, either. It was a lot of, "You're very talented, dear" - which is what all parents should say - but also a lot of, "What are you REALLY going to do with your life?"

10. What is your biggest personal goal you have achieved? How did you go about pursuing that goal?

Getting my second book published. Because it's one thing to get that debut - you're still new and shiny and the publisher loves you because there's infinite possibility in a debut. But once that first book comes out, you've suddenly got a track record. For good or for ill, there are expectations now, and that second book can be tough to get moving.

11. What is your biggest first? Why?

Well, the first book, I guess. That's where it all started.

12. Do you have any unpublished earlier writings that if you were to achieve international stardom you plan on going back and publishing?

Nah. Most of my early stuff is shit. It was all turned down, and quite rightly.

13. If so can you tell us a bit about them?


14. Which authors and books could you recommend to readers who have already read your complete published works?

That question always sounds to me like, "Who else writes like you?" And I'll tell you a secret: Authors like to fool ourselves that we're all unique, special snowflakes. So it's a tough one. But someone once said one of my books was like a combination of Tom Perrotta and this children's author Barry Lyga. So, maybe give them a shot.

15. If you could have a conversation with any person historical or fictional who would you pick and why?

Well, this may sound strange, but… My great-grandfather. He came over from France after WWI and by all accounts was just a fascinating guy. I would love to write something about his life.

16. Your books are available digitally and that leads to bootleg distribution. What are your thoughts on digital rights and suggestions that eBooks should have slight changes so they can trace leaked copies back to a specific buyer?

I try not to think about the nuts and bolts of the business too much. I write books - other people deal with that other stuff. But, you know, to me it comes down to simple decency. It's not even a matter of law. It's just about being polite: I didn't give you permission to copy my work, so please don't do it. How difficult is that? I mean, really?

17. Which book and authors have inspired or influenced your work?

Um… Chuck Palanihuk. Don DeLillo, man. Oh, man, yeah. Wallace, there's a big one… And let's see… Probably Paul Griffin, too.

18. If you had not become an author what do you think you would be doing these days?

Whatever it is, I'd be bad at it because I'd be drifting off into daydreams about writing.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

Well, as crazy as it sounds, the first four would have to be mine. Because I would want to fix them, assuming I have all that time! And then probably INFINITE JEST and WHITE NOISE. The three LORD OF THE RINGS books. Might as well teach myself Elvish, right?

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?

Be damn sure this is what you want to do with your life. It's not easy.

Very interesting conversation Randall, thanks for taking the time. Oh and by the way Randall Banner is the main character in Bary Lyga's first adult fiction novel Unsoul'd.

Books by Randall Banner:

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:
Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

Monday 9 September 2013

What Really Happened in Peru - Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan - Bane Chronicles #1

What Really Happened in Peru
Bane Chronicles #1
Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
McElderry Books an imprint of
Simon and Schuster
ISBN 9781442494787

This series is an interesting concept. 10 short stories focusing on the life, exploits and adventures of Magnus Bane. Coauthored in a collaboration between Cassandra Clare and with either Sarah Rees Brennan or Maureen Johnson each piece published separately for digital consumption as they are written and then combined and republished as a whole.  Having read the first 5 twice now it will be interesting to see how the final book comes together, will it just be the stories, will they be separated and pieced together chronologically or yet in some other whimsical combination. But let's get back to the story at hand.

What Really Happened in Peru is an interesting story or series of vignettes in the life of Magnus Bane. The story is broken into four tableau's each a different event set in different times, 1791, 1885, 1890 and 1962. As we have come to know and love the over the top flamboyant character of Magnus in Clare's other series it is interesting to see stories focused solely on him. It the preface we are told that Magnus was saddened when he was Banned from Peru by the High Council of Peruvian warlocks. These stories are some of the reason why. But taking them as a sample and comparing them to other adventure of Magnus it is surprising he is not almost universally banned from both downworlder and shadowhunter society.

Magnus and Ragnor Fell sort of a Peacock and a Pigeon they have an encounter with a holler monkey, ships full of guano and pirates. What could go wrong?

On this escapade we find Magnus along with Ragnor and their friend Catarina Loss.

Magnus decides to take up music. A charango specifically. But with all Magnus does he has an ulterior motive, and often it is about someone he is lusting over. A very drunk Magnus does much he regrets.

Another adventure with another interest. And will we find out why he was banded?

This was a great short story and a wonderful into into this new series all about Magnus, and really would he have it any other way?

Books by Cassandra Clare:

Mortal Instruments:
City of Bones - Book 1
City of Ashes - Book 2
City of Glass - Book 3
City of Fallen Angels - Book 4
City of Lost Souls - Book 5 (May 2012)
City of Heavenly Fire - Book 6 (September 2013)

Infernal Devices:
Clockwork Angel - Book 1
Clockwork Prince - Book 2
Clockwork Princess - Book 3

Bane Chronicles:
1. What Really Happened in Peru
2. The Runaway Queen
3. Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
4. The Midnight Heir
5. The Rise of The Hotel Dumort
6. Saving Raphael Santiago
7. The Fall of The Hotel Dumort
8. The Course of True Love (and First Dates)
9. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway)
10. The Last Stand of the New York Institute

The Dark Artifices Trilogy
Lady Midnight
Prince of Shadows
The Queen of Air and Darkness

Magisterium Series: (with Holly Black)
The Iron Trial 

Vacations From Hell
Eternal Kiss
Zombies versus Unicorns

Monday 26 August 2013

Death By Living - ND Wilson - Life Is Meant To Be Spent

Death By Living:
Life Is Meant To Be Spent
N.D. Wilson
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9780849920097

This little book is an amazing mix of theology, philosophy, memoir, pense and story. The main premise is that we really live by spending our life. They paint is brought home to us again and again through different vignette's. Wilson is open and transparent. He shares his struggles, joys and disappointments.  Both Tolkien and Lewis believe that stories were truth in as much as they taught and showed us that there is more than what we see. Wilson has managed to extend that insight by sharing his own stories. Also Madeliene L'Engle stated "I am using myth in its ancient meaning - That which was true, that which is true, that which will be true, that strange truth which is as elusive as home." Wilson has shared his myth and how he uses myth making to give life more meaning and unravel the meaning in life.

This book was an amazing read! I have started only giving 5 start ratings to books I would like to read again, or books I look forward to sharing with my children. This book falls into both categories. So give it a chance. 

Note: Contest Giveaway
As I stated earlier this is an awesome book and you can win it just by leaving a comment on this post, second ballad for following on me on twitter, third for retweeting the contest. Winner will be announced on September 7th 2013, check back and email me you mailing address. Contest open to North America.

Books by N.D. Wilson
100 Cupboards:

The Door Before - 100 Cupboards Book 0.5
100 Cupboards - 100 Cupboards Book 1
Dandelion Fire - 100 Cupboards Book 2
The Chestnut King - 100 Cupboards Books 3

Ashton Burials:
The Dragon's Tooth
The Drowned Vault

Leepike Ridge

Right Behind

Picture Books:
The Dragon and the Garden - The Old Stories
In The Time of Noah - The Old Stories

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl
Death By Living

Author Profile Interview with N.D. Wilson

Monday 19 August 2013

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau - Book 1

The Testing
The Testing Book #1
Joelle Charbonneau
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 9780547959108

This book surprised me, plain and simple. I must admit when reading about the book I knew I would end up comparing it to the Hunger Games and know that many other would also. And to be honest for about the first third of the book I was asking myself 'How would Katniss handle this?' or 'how would Collins have written that'? But soon this story grabbed me and took me to places I had not yet imagined. It was an amazing read and I cannot wait for the next installment in the story.
In a world devastated by the Seven Stages War, no one is really safe. There are zones or colonies where the survivors try and survive and try and repair the earth and the environment. Yet even there things are not as they seem, as Cia Vale discovers when she is selected to be a testing candidate. On the eve of her selection her father warns her that the testing would be devastating, he warns her to trust no one.

From the beginning I found myself trusting Cia. Cheering her on. It was an excellent read. But I must warn you the ending is very suspenseful and leaves you wanting the next book right away.

Books by Joelle Charbonneau:
Time Bomb

Dividing Eden:
0.5 Into the Garden
1.0 Dividing Eden
2.0 Eden Conquered 
2.5 Forbidden Fruit 

The Testing:
The Testing Guide - Short Story Prequel
The Testing - The Testing Book #1
Independent Study - The Testing Book #2
Graduation Day - The Testing Book #3

The Skating Series:
Skating on the Edge
Skating Over the Line
Skating Around the Law
Skating Under the Wire

The Glee Club Series:
Murder for Choir
End Me A Tenor
A Chorus Lineup

Contributed to:
Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light
Terminal Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Crime Factory Issue 7

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Updated 2016-04-13

This post has been redacted because of personal conviction. I would appreciate if you say a prayer for me. 

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Monday 12 August 2013

Crush Candy Corpse - Sylvia McNicoll

Crush. Candy. Corpse.
Sylvia McNicoll
eISBN 9781459400641
ISBN 9781459400627

This book took me completely by surprise. I was intrigued from the first time I saw the cover and title. I found that I kept thinking  about it and once I finally read it I found that I thought about it for weeks after finishing it. The story is amazingly well written, it is told in two parts a trial and Sunny remembering the events that led up to the charges. It all started with required community service hours to finish school.

From the very beginning we knew a tragedy was coming, but we did not know how. We had no idea what got us from where we were to a corpse. Sonja Anna Ehret aka Sunny has been charged with manslaughter, the story takes place a year after the events. The trial begins and Sunny is living through the trial and remembering the story as she experienced it. Sunny was volunteering at Paradise Manor because she had to for school. But while there she meets Cole Demers a young man about her age that comes almost every day to visit his grandmother. They develop a friendship and often spend their time at the manor together helping the older people. Cole shares with Sunny that he promised his grandmother that he would help he pass if it was needed. After an accident Sunny feels responsible for, she is faced with questions or loyalty, commitment and following through.

This is one of the best books I have read in the last year. It will make you think. It will stir your heart. Give it is read it is truly a gem!

Books by Sylvia McNicoll:
Blueberries and Whipped Cream - 1988
Jump Start - 1989
The Tiger Catcher's Kid - 1989
Project Disaster - 1990
More than Money - 1990
Facing the Enemy - 1992
Bringing Up Beauty - 1994
The Big Race - 1996
Walking a Thin Line - 1997
Double Dribble - 1999
Smoky and the Gorilla - 1999
Grave Secrets - 1999
Caught in a Lie - 2000
A Different Kind of Beauty - 2004
Beauty Returns - 2006
Last Chance For Paris - 2008
Slam Dunk Robot  2007
crush. candy. corpse. - 2012
Dying to Go Viral - 2013

Body Swap - 2018

The Great Mistake Mysteries:
The Best Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Artsy Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Snake Mistake Mystery - 2018
The Diamond Mistake Mystery - 2019

Books Written as Geena Dare:
Stage School Series:
Dan Clowning Around #5 - 1998
Matt Heartbreak Hero #6 - 1998
Lauren Dating Dreams #7 - 1999
Abbi Secret Stranger #9 - 1999
Jenna Standing Tall #10 - 1999
Dan Double Drama #11 -1999

Book Ghostwritten as Sharon Siamon:
The Spellbound Sleepover 1999

Mom and Dad's Guide to Martial Arts 1999

Foreign Editions unavailable in English to date:
Zannas vanskelige valg  2007 (Alpha Wolf)
Zanna - mellom barken og veden 2007 (River of Ice)
Snøras   2008 (Avalanche)
Zanna i fare 2008 (Victim's Impact)
Redningsaksjonen  2009 (The Nine Minute Disaster Zone) 

Author Profile and Interview with Sylvia McNicoll