Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan

The first book I finished in February, the thirteenth book for 2017, is Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Anna and I listened to this together using the OverDrive app. I grew up with this story and I'm sure had it read to me and read it myself as a child. Anna had heard the story before but she was the one that really wanted us to listen to it together. She loved it.

Good Reads says that Peter Pan is a Series of seven works, which include three primary works.
I was interested to discover that Peter Pan was first mentioned in a book by Barrie called The Little White Bird. I haven't read this book yet but I hope to.
I was also interested to read that Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up was adapted from a play performed in 1904

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

The twelfth book I read in 2017 is Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.

Here's my review from GoodReads:
I heard about this book on a What Should I Read Next podcast. I listened to an audio version on the library app. It took me longer to finish it than it should have because I didn't manage to finish listening to it in the time allowed for a check out and when I went to renew it, it had already been checked out by someone else and I had to be put on a waiting list to finish it. I really enjoyed the story.
View all my reviews

Because I was listening to it, and not reading it, I didn't take any notes, but there were moments when I considered stopping and taking a note. It was interesting to  see Major Pettigrew struggle with his old fashioned ideas and watch him grow to be more accepting of people.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

CloseReads - A Book Club Podcast

If you like to read and discuss books you might be interested in CloseReads.  The podcast is hosted by David Kern and in each episode he, Angelina Stanford and Tim McIntosh discuss portions of a book they have chosen to read and discuss together.

I discovered CloseReads around March of 2016 when I discovered the Circe Institute Podcast.

From the Circe webpage:
The CiRCE Institute is called to promote, model, and support classical education in the school, within itself, and in the home.
CloseReads is just one small part of Circe and recently they decided to set up a separate podcast feed for CloseReads for those that may only be interested in the CloseReads podcast.

I love listening to the book discussions on this podcast. Last year I read The Wind in the Willows and Pride and Prejudice so that I could better appreciate the discussions they were having about those books. They discussed The Wind in the Willows from May to September and Pride and Prejudice from September to December, so they take a while to get through books, but that gives you time to read so you can follow along with their discussions. I looked forward to each episode.

Presently they are discussing Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers, which is part of a mystery series. I'd never heard of the series but I'm thinking I just may have to check out more when I'm done this one. I'm loving it!

I'd love to hear from you if you decide to join in.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Today I Learned it Was You by Edward Riche

Today I Learned It Was You

The eleventh book I read in 2017 is Today I Learned it Was You by Edward Riche. I read this book because it was on the long list for Canada Reads 2017. It is written by a Newfoundland author and is set in Newfoundland, so that also caught my attention. I had heard a little about it from a friend that had heard the author read a passage from the book at an event. It didn't sound like my kind of book but I decided to read it anyway.

I felt lost after reading it. I'm not really sure what it was about. I thought the ending was weird. I don't know where in the world the title came from or how it fits the story. I may do a search for some information about the book to see if I can make better sense of it, or I may not.

I did find some parts of the book funny and I wonder if the author might have been trying to make a statement in them. Here are a few sections that made me think that:

I don't think any such alliance exists in reality but one scene referenced the NALSL - The Newfoundland and Labrador Sinus Alliance, a group who "argue that since we provide scent-free change rooms at municipal recreation facilities we should accommodate people who are sensitive to pollen in our public spaces." I wonder if this is to poke fun of all the different groups that society has to consider nowadays.

Another scene, actually most of the book, is about a man who is supposedly transitioning into a deer. In a council meeting about this someone says, "He needs to be who he wants to be. Who he always was. Or might have been if allowed." I wonder if this is a reference to the gender identity issues that are so much a part of society today.

Also, I think there is a dig at the media and internet in the scene where Lloyd reflects on how the story he started has taken off and he says, "The medium wasn't the message, it was the mania...You couldn't tell people out there in television land a better new story than their own."

This quote near the end of the book was interesting: "Maybe chaos was a force of nature and trying to stop anything a futile waste of energy that would merely, at best, delay the inevitable."

My overall impression is that this book is weird, but parts of it still made me think.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Get Well Wishes, Prayers, Poems and Blessings by June Cotner

Get Well Wishes: Prayers, Poems and Blessings

The tenth book I read in 2017 is a poetry book - Get Well Wishes, Prayers, Poems and Blessings by June Cotner.

We set aside 15 minutes of every weekday to read poetry. In those 15 minutes we each sit silently reading from whatever poetry book we are presently working through. Sometimes it's not so silent, if someone happens to be reading a book with funny poems. When our time is up we sometimes read aloud a poem or two that we just read and really liked.

I wasn't sure about this book when I started it but I actually liked, and recorded, a number of the poems.

Here are a few of the notes I took while reading:

I Will Not be Overcome
by Julian of Norwich (1342-1419)
I know at times I will be troubled,
I know at times I will be laboured,
I know at times I will be disquieted,
but I believe that I will not be overcome.

Here's a quote from a writing titled So You Mustn't Be Frightened by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926):
"Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transition and you wished for nothing so much as to change."

Live Quietly
by Jim Croegaert
God help us to live quietly
Amidst the clamor,
To find that slower pace
that gentler place
Where our hearts can listen,
Where we can listen to 
Our hearts.

I recorded lots more, but I'm going to stop there.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

What I read in January

With my nifty new way of tracking my reading I can quickly see lots of information about what I read in January.

I read 12 books in total:
  • 5 audio books
  • 4 ebooks
  • 3 paper books
The shortest audio book was just 2 hours long, the longest was 16 hours.
Total time spent listening to audio books was 40 hours.
The shortest book was 192 pages, the longest was 368.
Total number of pages read was 1,657.

Here's where I learned about the books I read this month:
  • 4 were from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist
  • 1 from the Hackmatack 2017 fiction nominees list
  • 1 from a What Should I Read Next podcast
  • 2 from friends lists of their top reads of 2016
  • 2 caught my interest while browsing the library
  • 2 I can't remember where I heard about them from but I think it may have been from the Read Aloud Revival podcast. 
Four of the twelve books were children’s books, one poetry, two non-fiction, and five fiction.

I've already blogged about nine of the books and I will blog about the other three soon.

My geeky mind likes tracking all that info. I know, I'm weird. :-)

Last year I totally depended on Goodreads to track my books, but I couldn't do all I wanted with the info there, so I'm trying this new system this year. I set up a spreadsheet in GoogleSheets so I can track more info, like where I heard about the books.  So far I am loving it. I'm still recording my books on GoodReads and GoodReads is where I get much of my information about the books for my spreadsheet.

How'd you do in January? I'd love to hear about what you read.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

Touch of Gold

The ninth book I've read in 2017 is Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham. It is one of the books nominated for the 2016-2017 Hackmatack Fiction award. I got my librarian to order the book in for me through interlibrary loan so that I could check it out and see if I wanted my daughter to read it. I loved it and handed off to my 11 year old who devoured it. We both highly recommend it.

If you haven't heard about the Hackmatack awards yet here's a blurb from their web site:

The Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award is a literary program designed for young readers in Atlantic Canada. Each year, thousands of children aged nine to twelve (grades four to six) read from the selection of outstanding Canadian books and vote for the winners.

I will be sharing more about the Hackmatack Awards in a future post, so stay tuned.

Canada Reads 2017 Shortlist!

The shortlist and the people defending the books was announced this morning on a post titled Meet Canada Reads 2017. Here's a screen shot from the page with the list.

I am so happy that I have already read three of these!

The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Break by Katherena Vermette

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Ashby

Click on the titles to go to my posts where I tell you what I thought about the books.

I'm listening to the authors of these books share about their books on a FaceBook live event while I'm typing this. So interesting!

I'm still hoping to read the other two before the debates start on March 27.

Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts?