Sunday, October 17, 2010


The Sunday

It occurred to me that I haven't done a Sunday Salon in a million and a half years, so I thought I would check in! 

Okay, so reading....I have started my ARC of Kate Morton's The Distant Hours and so far it's pretty good.  I have a few things on a deadline at the moment, I am reading that (to be done before Nov 9th), I am knitting a helmet liner for a feature film here in Calgary (deadline Oct 26th) AND I'm taking my clicker training course through the Karen Pryor Academy (which is my priority as it was VERY expensive, but worth it!) and have a whole crap load of course work and training I have to put on my dog and cat by the 3rd week of November.  Not to mention I have been deathly ill (a horrid reaction to antibiotics) but now my little wee 3 year old is sick so I am up to my eyeballs in stuff to do and no time to do it.  I know I'm preaching to the choir, right?

I love fall, though, there is something very comforting when the weather gets colder and a good book and a cozy corner seem to beckon me.  I am also reading Rot and Ruin which is another ARC, and it is pretty good and pretty funny in a zombie-like way. 

On the non-fiction front I am reading a few dog training/clicker animal behaviour books:  Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor (FANTASTIC!),  The Thinking Dog by Gail Tamases Fisher (Also fantastic!) and Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor, this is a CLASSIC and is not just about dog training, it is about the use of positive reinforcement in every aspect of you life from animals to husbands to children!  I'm telling you, since taking this course my life is slowly changing.  Intead of just hollering at my kids in frustration, I find I am looking at ways to positively reinforce what I WANT them to do instead of constantly nagging them about what I DON'T want them to do.  As parents I think we all do this naturally, but as kids get older and your relationship with them gets more complicated, it becomes much more difficult.  Imagine when your toddler is first learning to walk, most people would never dream of scolding a child for falling down or not taking a second step, instead the whole walking experience is framed in a positive way looking for what you can encourage not condemn.  But in a completely ironic twist my 10 year old in her very typical way, just waltzed in here and started talking to me about I'm not sure what and I just gave her heck for not having the consideration to see if A) I was busy B) could she not hear me typing as she entered the room and C) to please just ask if I have a second before she rudely interrupts me for the millionth time today. 


See?  Not so easy. 

Okay, I am now officially rambling.  I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and I so appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to pop in!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Looking for you next great read?  Trying to find a quick recommendation list all in one place?  I have now compiled all of the books I have reviewed thus far under the tab TOP PICKS in order of their rating.  I have also included my suggestions for Book Club Picks!

Hope you enjoy the new feature! 

Friday, October 15, 2010


One of my readers and friends asked me if there was a way to search my blog for all of my books rated 5/5, and I said "No, but great idea!"  I have now changed my Book Buzz tab to Top Picks and am presently compiling the list of books that I have reviewed in order from highest rating to lowest.

I LOVE it when someone who reads my blog comes up with a terrific idea and it makes me feel so great to think that someone is actually using my blog to help make some reading choices!  This is one of the main reasons I started my blog over a year ago!  I love getting reading recommendations from people and that is almost always where my most favourite reads have come from, and this is what I hope to do for folks out there who happen by my blog.

So, THANKS again, Deb, and anytime anyone has suggestions on what they would like to see here on Book Blab feel free to message me at or comment.



THE WINNER OF CLOCKWORK ANGEL IS...........................


Congrats!  I have sent you an email and also posted  a comment on your blog.  Please email me at as soon as possible with your snailmail so I can order your book! 

And after numerous attempts and an extension on the winner of Behemoth I was forced to redraw and the NEW WINNER IS.......................


And same goes for you, Kathy, please email me as soon as possible with your snailmail address, I will be shipping this book myself. 

Both winners have one week from today to contact me with their details or I will have to re-draw.  

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who entered and have a WONDERFUL DAY!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Paperback: 560 pages

Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (Feb 16 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416550550

First I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Anneliese from Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this georgous book!

This was my first Kate Morton novel and I will say that it will not be my last.  This book is a lush telling of a little girl who is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913.  All she has in her possession when she arrives is a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a book - a book of fairytales.  She is found by the kindly dockmaster and his wife and they raise her as their own daughter.  On her 21st birthday Nell is told about how she was found, and with only vague memories of her past she sets off on a quest to find her true identity.  Her journey leads her all the way to the Blackhurst manor in England, the lavish home of the Mountrachet family.  Each corner digs the mystery deeper, and not until her granddaughter takes up the task after Nell's death is the puzzle finally solved. 

This tale is so rich and beautifully woven together, there is no other way to describe it!  I personally happen to love historical fiction, and also stories that interweave the past with the present.  Along with Nell and Cassandra escavating Nell's past, are two other parts of the puzzle.  One is of the woman known as The Authoress, Eliza, when she was a child and how she fits into Nell's life story.  You will find yourself not predicting the outcome, but being gently led along the path to uncover the clues along with the characters.  The setting is fertile and breathtaking what with all of the ocean breezes, misty mornings and the seaside cliff cottage.

This book could easily have gotten waaaay to complicated with all of the jumping around in time and the perspective changing from one person to the next, but it didn't .  I don't know HOW Kate manages to keep it all straight and beautifully unfolding the narrative bit by bit without confusing us, but she DOES.  I was constantly astounded at her skill as a writer.  Every once and a while I would come across a passage and think, "And there it is."  a detail brought up that was important to the overall outcome but was afraid that it would have been forgotten or not brought up again.

BRAVA!  To Miss Morton!  I cannot WAIT to dive into my ARC of The Distant Hours, and will hopefully be doing a giveaway of it at the time of my review.  I believe it is being released on November 9th so watch for it then!

RATING:  5/5

Friday, October 8, 2010


Firstly a HUGE THANK YOU to Michelle over at Simon and Schuster Canada for not sending me one but TWO ARC's of Behemoth!

As most of you know by now I friggen LOVED Leviathan.  LOVED.  My expectations were pretty high for this book, actually that's not totally true.  I picked it up just assuming I would love it and it would be of the same pace as the first book, but I have to admit that even though I am clearly an anomaly in the book blogging world, I really can't say it was all that great.  About half way thru I found myself bored, and not connecting well with what was going on.  Now that being said, the last week I have been extremely beyond ill with a lung infection, and really wanted to finish the book before the release date, so maybe that took away from it.. I don't know.  That being said, virtually every single review out there is raving about it, so clearly I am missing something.

Here's the blurb from the back cover:

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.
Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

If you loved the first one there is a great chance you will love this one too, I wish I had, but for whatever reason it fell short for me.

I am still looking forward to the 3rd book in the trilogy and welcome any suggestions for other great Steampunk novels to fill the void while I am waiting.

RATING:  2/5

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The winner as determined by RANDOM.ORG is...

Wanda I have sent you an email and if you could reply with your snailmail by Tuesday October 12th, that would be great! 

Thanks to all who entered, and don't forget we still have our OTHER giveaway happening!  A BRAND NEW copy of The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare which I will be ordering for the winner from Book Depository.  This contest is worldwide!  The contest ends October 15th so hurry!  :0)  Click here to enter.