Tuesday 5 July 2022

The Bear Woman by Karolina Ramqvist, translator Saskia Vogel


The Bear Woman

I was fascinated by the story of Marguerite de La Rocque and how she came to be abandoned on a remote Canadian island far from her French home land in 1541.  As you can imagine, there is not much documentation about this woman nor what happened to her.  The narrator, or is it the author, provides the reader with sound ideas of what might have happened.

This is also the story of how an author researches and creates a book.  It would have a been a mistake for the author to assume that women in 1540's were identical to modern women in their approach to life and decision making.  I was absorbed as the narrator took us along her thought processes and how she reached her decisions of how Marguerite might have thought and behaved and why.  Quite an eye openerfor me.

As much as I wanted to race ahead and glean all the details of Marguerite's life, I took my time and carefully pondered the various events.  Women were but mens' chattel at that point in time, how much say would she have had in her life.  Something very difficult for me to conceive at present.

I am so glad I spent time with this book and the lives of both Marguerite and the narrator.  As women, both past and present, we are deserving of lengthy consideration.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books and Music Inc. and  Coach House Books in exchange for an honest review.

#currentlyreading  #coachhousebooks #amreading #thebearwoman

Tuesday 22 March 2022


Such a fun book.  I was looking for something a little different, particularly a unique to me setting.  When I heard about this story being set in Hawaii, I knew that I had found the one.

Set during the current pandemic, Leilani is finding herself adrift.  University on the mainland didn't quite work out and she returned home.  Re-vamping the family business was going well until the pandemic and it's resulting lose of business hit.  This all changes the day she and her sisters find a body, actually a woman on the beach who is mercifully still breathing.  

I'm not going to get into the plot as it is a mystery.  I will say that this book goes beyond a cozy mystery.  There is wonderful character development as well as learning about the island society.  I do feel that as well as being entertained, I learned something about Hawaii and how people there are coping with the current situation.  I definitely would read a future book about Leilani and her extended/chosen family.

I received an advanced reader e copy of this book from Ingram Publisher Services in exchange for an honest review.

Friday 12 November 2021

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao


I loved this story.  It was everything I wanted it to be and then some more.  

Set in a world where women are only valued for what they can do and be for men.  Young women pair up with men to pilot war machines.  The women routinely giving their lives so the men can win glory.  Zetian has other ideas in mind when she volunteers for the program.

Loved the character of Zetian.  Though her plans start as a means of getting revenge, she soon learns that their is more, much more going on than lead to believe.  Working with the very men she sought revenge on, she gains strength and power far beyond what was ever envisioned.  Along with this power, comes responsibilities she hadn't expected.

This is  an the edge of the seat kind of tale.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by Trevor NOAH

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African ChildhoodThis book was amazing. At every turn Mr. Noah revealed yet another blow against him. Thanks to the undying support of his mother and the many lessons in strength that she included in his upbringing, he not only survived but became the man she knew he could be. Well told in the story format that young readers can embrace. Young readers may find it difficult to believe how challenging a life the growing Trevor faced, which is all the more reason they should be reading this book 

Sunday 12 April 2020

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

It was the cover that first attracted me to this book.  It makes me envision what it was like to be a teenage girl (oh so many decades ago).  Finally, after seeing the book on the shelf for months in the store where I work, I decided to read it and find out about it's continuing appeal.  I am glad that I did.

This book is sweet and honest, like a fresh breath look at romance.

Lara Jean is the middle daughter in a single parent family.  For years she has handled relationship issues by writing breakup letters to the boys involved.  She has never mailed them.  Soon after her eldest sister leaves for college overseas, she learns that these letters have been delivered to at least two of the boys.  These events change her life in ways she could not have imagined.  She begins to question what she wrote and how she feels about those boys in the present.

I loved this story.  It was fresh and imaginative. Having the family lead by a busy male parent who loves his daughters unconditionally but is yet a little clueless about girls was good.  He didn't jump in with all the answers to resolve their issues, rather let them work things out.

Lara Jean is a bit insecure about lots of things in her life; driving, running the household, but the what high-school junior wouldn't be.  She need the opportunity to climb out from under her older sister's enormous and very competent shadow.  It was great to watch her blossom.  I could see where this story was going, but couldn't predict how it would get there.  I must read the follow-up P.S. I still love you and see want happens next.


Friday 10 April 2020

The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision by S. J. King

Great science based adventure for middle school readers.  While based on hard science, it has just enough magic to make these adventures come alive the  eight students involved.  Love the idea of Roshni's tent turning into a portal to the Exploration Station.

This is the second adventure of the Secret Explorers; eight students with different skills and interests who help to solve scientific dilemas.  Don't worry if you haven't read the first book, you can jump right in an start learning along with the explorers.

This book and series should appeal to all with an inquiring mind.  The kids have to use their powers of observation, their imagination and their background knowledge to discover and solve the problems that they meet.  There are no adults to help them, just a wacky shape shifting dune buggy that converses with them in beeps and boops.

This book is planned for release on July 7, 2020 along with the first book in the series The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales.  Additional titles are to be released in October 2020.  It will make a great additional to all classroom libraries where students can't get enough STEM materials.

* I received and advanced reader ecopy of this book from DK Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday 3 December 2019

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

This is the sweet, but humbling story of how a school and church learned the true story of Christmas.

The Christmas pageant was the big highlight of the season.  The same church lady had arranged it for years and she chose the same children to the play the roles year after year.  This year she was sick and another mother volunteered to organize and run the rehearsals.

Meanwhile, at school, the Herdmans were running/ruining everything.  They were the worst kids at school and their mother had no control over them.  Inadvertently they were invited to church by a classmate.  When the six Herdmans learned about the pageant, they took over and ended up with  every role.  That is when the learning and fun started to happen.

Every one else knew the story of Mary and Joseph and trip to Bethlehem except for the six newcomers.  They asked all sorts of questions which made the rest stop and think about the true meaning behind the play.

This is one of those books that you are going to want to keep at hand and reread every year even when your own children think they are too old to be read to.