Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Translated by Katherine Woods) Mini Book Review

The Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Translated by Katherine Woods)
Harcourt, Brace and World
ISBN: 0-15-246503-0
Buy from Indigo

Desciption: Antoine de Saint-ExupГ©ry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

Mini Book Review: My goodness what an absolutely delightful and wise story. I cannot believe I had never even heard of this one before.  The author has a true understanding of children and what children think of adults.  The language at times is a little difficult for modern younger readers, but you have to remember this was written in the 1940's. I do recommend this one as a story that you would read with your children and explain to them some of the language.  I don't have the words to describe why you should read this or why I enjoyed it so much, so I will leave you with a quote from the book, that really explains the main idea of the story

"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."


4.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from the collection at the North Campus of the Humber College Library (And read it in my office without checking it out -- shhh don't tell Natasha). I read it as part of my BBC Challenge

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2) by Melissa De La Cruz: Mini Book Review

Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2)
by Melissa De La Cruz
Hyperion
ISBN: 978-142310127-7
Suggested Ages: 13 + for mild sexuality and violence (And way too much underage drinking - sorry, I'm a Mom LOL)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can helpher grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhumana true Blue Blood affair.But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.
Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.

Mini Review: Fantastic continuation of the series. I enjoyed this one even more than the first novel in the series.  The history of the blue bloods is more fleshed out and there is  a lot better character development in this installment of the series.  There are tons of twists and turns in the plot and it keeps you guessing about what is going on. I like the heroine Schuyler as I find her rather sweet and real. I also enjoy her connection with her best friend Oliver as it really is an honest portrayal of what happens when friends start to grow up and the change in feelings that can occur. I am still irritated by all the mentions of designer clothes and beautiful people, but I do know that these books are not written for frumpy middle class moms like me.  But it does affect my enjoyment of the story, hence why I give it 4, not 5 Dewey's.  The intended audience for these books will probably enjoy this and give it a higher rating, but just wanted to be honest for those in the same category as me.

4 Dewey's

My neighbor's daughter Keira lent me this and the the next book in the series.  I am not required to review this at all, just really enjoy the series and want you all to know about it too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: Mini Review

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Alfred A. Knopf (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-375-81526-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: When Charlie Bucket finds himself the proud winner of a Golden Ticket in a chocolate bar, he knows he has the greatest treat in the world in store for him. Join Charlie on his fantastic world-famous adventures in Willy Wonka's miraculous chocolate factory, where he sees strawberry-juice water pistols, luminous lollipops, a chocolate river, and rainbow drops -- and has the time of his life.

Mini Review: I wanted to like this one more, but to be honest, I just didn't love it.  I have seen the original movie with Gene Wilder (Who I adore) as well and didn't like that particularly either.  I feel sort of bad saying I really didn't like either the book or the movie, since so many people love both, but honestly it just freaks me out. I do really like and appreciate the moral of the book, but I am sorry the story itself it is just plain odd and it creeps me out.  I found it overly cruel, strange and I have to say I was a tad irritated by the over moralizing of kids who watch too much TV or chew gum -- but than again it was written a long time ago.  I think I will give it to Jake to read, it will be interesting to hear what he thinks of it.


3 Dewey's


I got this through interlibrary loan from Loyalist College (Thanks Marlene!) and read it as part of the BBC challenge I am taking part in

Entwined by Heather Dixon: Mini Book Review

Entwined
by Heather Dixon
Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-200103-0
Suggested Ages: 12 + (But a younger mature reader would enjoy too, nothing offensive or too scary)
Buy from Indigo

Description:   Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.



Mini Book Review: It took me a while to get into the book, but I am really glad I kept with it. It turned out to be a lovely fairy tale with magic and intrigue and sweet romance. Halfway through the book, I just didn't want to put it down and ended up finishing it at 1:00 in the morning( Miss Dixon you owe me some coffee - it has been a tough day today).  It reminded me of those wonderful Grimm fairy tales that I used to read as a child, not the disneyfied ones (Not that those are bad, I loved them too) I won't lie some of the constant mentions of dancing and relating things to how you feel when you dance, sort of irritated me, but not too bad. I loved the relationship between the sisters and their father and felt it really gave the story some realism.  I think those who enjoy something a little different will enjoy this.  It is a lovely enchanting and truly imaginative tale for the more sophisticated YA reader. Honestly, I would not be surprised if this was made into a movie

4 Dewey's

I picked this up from the HarperCollins booth at the OLA conference and did not have to review it or nothin -- Don't you just love that

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mom and Me Monday's: Big Nate Strikes Again by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate Strikes Again
by Lincoln Peirce
HarperCollins Childrens
ISBN: 978-0-06-194436-9
Suggested Ages: 8-12
Buy from Indigo

Description:  Big Nate will surpass all others!
But it wont be easy. He's stuck with Gina, his all time enemy, who just might ruin everything! Will Nate win or lose? Pass or fail? Or end up in detention . . . again

Jake's Review:  This book wasn't as good as the first book, but I still really liked it.  These books are so funny and they really remind me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I know Nate doesn't like him, but I think Arthur is pretty cool and he is a really talented illustrator.  Ellen is still an annoying know it all and I wish she wasn't in it at all, I can see why Nate is bugged by her.  There was too much Gina in this, I don't like her at all.  I thought it was really funny when Nate dropped food on Jenny, it totally made me laugh.  I think my friends will feel the same way as me, that it was a good book, but the 1st one was much funnier.  I love the things that Nate says to himself, he reminds me of me sometimes, except for he has a better imagination.  So Mom when are you buying me the next book -- you're going to Chapters on Saturday right (Mom's note: Darn, I was only going to buy Mommy books)

Jake's Rating: 9/10


Mom's Review: Honestly didn't even need to bother reading this since Jake told me the whole story when he was writing up his review. Must remind him about spoilers.  But I read it anyway and I agree pretty much with Jake's opinion on this one.  It isn't as good as the first book, but still definitely worth the price.  Nate is a fun character and I really like the friendship between him and his two buddies. It is very realistic the way they diss each other.  Trust me, I have watched Jake with his buddies Brian and Matthew and they love the dissing.  Like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, this is an awesome series for reluctant readers.  There is a good mix between illustrations and writing to keep even the most reluctant reader interested.  I really recommend these be part of all school and public libraries. Hopefully they will get the same attention as the Wimpy Kid books.   BTW, there is a Librarian in this and really could you not have made her a little less stereotypical -- I know picky, picky.
Mom's Rating: 9/10

We received this from the HarperCollins booth at the OLA and wasn't required to review it, we just really liked them

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz: Mini Book Review

Blue Bloods (Blue Blood's #1)
by Melissa De La Cruz
Hyperion Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-142310126-0
Suggested Age: 14+ (Due to sexuality and violence - not judging, just suggesting)
Buy from Indigo

Description: When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz's legion fan


Mini Book Review: This was a truly unique and fascinating take on the Vampire genre. Exciting and unusual storyline keeps you engrossed in the story and makes it hard to put down. A good strong female lead, who doesn't just sit back and believe everything she hears, and doesn't want to be like all the popular kids. My only real complaints are that it is a tad high schoolish at time, but you have to remember I am a 40 yr old Mom, these books aren't written for me. Also I was a tad irritated by all the name dropping of designer brands and all the skinny beautiful people -- again I am not a teen, this may interest them more.  I have already phoned my neighbors daughter to borrow the rest of the series though, so I am hoping the books get even better.  I am intrigued and need to know more about the back history of the Blue Bloods

3.75 Dewey's

I purchased this and had it signed at the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour at the Chapters in Brampton. This is another signed book that will be part of my Spina Bifida Raffle

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Scholastic
From Random House Canada (Already have people begging me for it)



Borrowed
From Natasha (Must be very gentle with)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready: Mini Review

Shade
by Jeri Smith-Ready
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9406-0
Suggested Ages: 14+ (Due to sexuality)
Buy from Indigo

Description:  Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart. Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understandingand so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Mini-Review: I really wanted to like this one more. I loved the premise and I do want to read more to find out about the shift and why it happened. However I found the story rushed and disjointed.  I never really got a feeling for the characters and I didn't buy the love for Aura and Logan, she seemed to get over him quite quickly after he died. I also don't buy the cliff hanger ending, it just doesn't ring true or quite frankly make any sense.  Also the description on the back says that Aura is devastated -- yeah she doesn't act like a devastated girl to me. I do think that the teens will like this and I urge you to check out other reviewers opinion on this, since this isn't written for 40 yr old moms. I was just sort of disappointed. I will try some of the authors other works and honestly will probably pick up the next book when it comes out just to find out more about the shift. 

3 Dewey's


I bought this from Chapters at the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour and it is signed by the author, it will be one of the prizes in my Spina Bifida Raffle

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: Mini Review

Finally I managed to cross off one of the books from my BBC Challenge

The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown
Doubleday (Random House)
ISBN 0-685-50420-9
Buy from Indigo

Description: An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries . . . unveiled at last.

While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinciclues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Siona secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinciand he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzlewhile avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every movethe explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever



Mini-Review: Honestly going to have to research the copy I originally tried to read. It was a long time ago and don't really remember much, all I remember was the beginning going into the history of the bible and the Templars and being bored out of my teeth. I tried to read it twice and gave up, but many people over the years have suggested I try again. So when I saw the BBC list I figured what the hell, I vowed to make it through it this time.  It really is a well written (if at times convoluted & confusing for someone with no religious background like myself) fast paced intriguing story.  As a women you can imagine I really liked the idea that the "church" has been suppressing  and twisting the role of women in religion.  I also liked the implication that Jesus was a mortal man who fathered a child.  As a women who was raised by a truly decent moral man who had no interest in organized religion I felt it very comforting.  At times the story keeps going on and on about the female symbolism and other bit about codes that I was thinking -- OK, I get it, move along -- which irritated me at times.  It has actually motivated me to do some research into the subject matter, which quite frankly I have never had any interest in doing before. I do recommend that if you have given up on this book before, to try again. Dan has obviously put a lot of research and creativity into this and I think I will pick up a copy of Angels and Demons now.  One other small point, very positive portrayal of a Librarian -- kudos to Dan for this --but did she really have to have thick glasses?


3.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from my sister Tracy

A Lesson in Secrets (A Maisie Dobbs Novel) by Jacqueline Winspear: Book Review

A Lesson in Secrets (A Maisie Dobbs Novel)
by Jacqueline Winspear
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-172767-2
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs career goes in an exciting new direction when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yards Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities not in the interests of His Majestys Government.

When the colleges controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicotes death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance.

To unravel this web, Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britains conduct during the war, and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparteithe Nazi Partyin Britain.

A pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs, A Lesson In Secrets marks the beginning of her intelligence work for the Crown. As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, Maisie will confront new challenges and new enemiesand will engage new readers and loyal fans of this bestselling mystery series

The Good Stuff
  • Lovely slow but interesting mystery story which sort of reminded me of Agatha Christie
  • Delightful inquisitive heroine with tons of perseverance and dry wit
  • Very British which I adore -must be why I married a man with British parents --even when they swear they sound so polite
  • Lots of twists and turns in the mystery so keeps you guessing on whodunit
  • I was really impressed with the fact, that you didn't have to read the other books in the series to know what was going on and a sense of who people are
  • Maisie is a very realistic heroine
  • Enjoyed the message about Woman and War and of Peace
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Won't lie, it was a little slow at times for me
  • A little too overly proper -- but hey that was how it was like in that point in history
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"She's like a good many women, Maisie; they toe the line very well until someone they love-a child, a spouse - is threatened or harmed, and then you see a completely different side to them.  Had that not been so, then this country would never have come through the war. Wars are fought by men, Maisie-but the winning is down to women who are prepared to break windows for their own."


"A man who stands up for what he believes in instead of fighting for what someone else believes in is a threat -- people cannot bear someone who has that sort of strength and fortitude."


 " You should know, however, that I do not work for His Majesty's gratitude, honor that it is. I prefer my payment to be more tangible."
" Are you sure you're not a Scot?" MacFarlane smiled as Huntley passed a series of documents to Maisie."

What I Learned
  • about conscientious objectors
  • Some history of the war - especially the period between the two World Wars
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Perfect for mystery lovers and fans of Agatha Christie
  • Definitely not for those who need constant excitement

4 Dewey's


I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review

Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong: Book Review

Tales of the Otherworld
by Kelley Armstrong
Vintage Canada (Random House Canada)
ISBN: 978-0-307-35900-1
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: Have you ever wondered how lone wolf Clayton Danvers finally got bitten by the last thing he ever expected: love? Or how the hot-blooded bad-girl witch Eve Levine managed to ensnare the cold, ruthless corporate sorcerer, Kristof Nast in one of the Otherworlds most unlikely pairings? Would you like to be a fly on the wall at the wedding of Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne, as their eminently practical plans are gradually upended by their well-meaning friends? Or tag along with Lucas and Paige as they investigate a rather gruesome case that looks to be the result of a rogue vampire?

Now, Otherworld reader can share these moments with some of their favorite charactersas well as catching welcome glimpses into the minds of some of the lesser-known players. But even readers new to the Otherworld universe will find much to love in these seven tales of friendship, adventure, and enduring romance.

Anthology contains: Birthright, Beginnings, Ghosts, Expectations, Wedding Bell Hell, The Case of El Chupacabra and a new story narrated by Eve

The Good Stuff

  • I've only read one other Kelley Armstrong book so far (The Gathering) and I was a little worried that I would be lost reading this anthology, but was pleasantly surprised.  I wasn't lost at all, it just really whet my appetite to read the rest of her stories in order to find out more about their stories
  • ALL proceeds from sale of book goes to World Literacy Canada - that is worth the price of the book alone
  • Kelley just knows how to craft a good tale.  I always feel slightly out of touch after I am reading her stories, because I become so engrossed in her world
  • Favorite stories were Rebirth, Bewitched and Beginnings
  • Intriguing, fast paced stories
  • Love her dry humour
  • Strong kick ass female characters
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Now I want to read more books by her and I have some books that HAVE to be reviewed first, before I can read more by Kelley -- damn responsibilities
  • Brought it to work with me one day to read at lunch and ended up reading for almost 2 hours -- and I only have a 1 hour lunch -- phew didn't get busted though
  • As a new reader I was a little confused at what exactly the Cabal are
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It was like seeing a mythical being come to life -- a real parent, the kind I'd heard existed,  but never met. Certainly never had myself."


"Some women just aren't cut out to be mothers, and unfortunately it had taken Susanna three kids to realize she was one of them."

"I wasn't stupid enough to piss off a guy like that. Just stupid enough to do business with him and expect a fair deal."

"Vampirism is simply another state of consciousness" she said. "You will find that vampires do not appreciate being called--" Her lips twisted. "Undead".

What I Learned
  • Tons of background information about various characters in the Otherworld
  • That I NEED to get more books by Kelley -- hmm I know the babysitter and Keira have all of her books, think I will be borrowing from them for a change.
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Pretty much anyone who is interested in a good tale with paranormal twists
  • I would say 14+ due to some sexuality and violence - but it is not me to judge
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review -- thank guys for introducing me to such a spectacular author and she's Canadian : )

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1) by Lauren DeStefano: Book Review

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1)
by Lauren DeStefano
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0905-7
Suggested Ages: 14+ (Due to sexuality and violence)
Published: March 22, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?

The Good Stuff
  • Sort of reminded me of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for the younger set. 
  • Intriguing premises, would be a great book for YA book clubs to discuss
  • Fascinating and in some cases, seriously creepy, characters
  • Complex but realistic relationships between the sister wives
  • Very realistic dystopian landscape, damaged, but still recognizable
  • Was extremely impressed with how sensitively the author has told this tale.  Much of the sexuality is just hinted about and not described in detail, which is very fresh.
  • Love the cover
  • Even thought the subject of the book is bleak and disturbing their is a faint hint of hope throughout the book
  • Heartbreaking at times, cried my eyes out when reading
  • Secondary characters are also intriguing and hopefully some of them will be fleshed out in the rest of the series
  • Interesting commentary on the consequences of science and research
  • Beautifully written, an author whose descriptions are so vivid you feel you are there in the book with them.
The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little bleak and disturbing at times
  • How long am I going to have to wait till the next book comes out
  • Would have liked a little more back info and development of character for Jenna, although it does work for the story
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I'm relieved, because this means nobody can look up my dress. And something tells me some of these House Governors would try."


"Hello," she says, in a tone that's gentle as only a child's can be. "How are you feeling?"
My answer wouldn't be kind, so I don't say anything."


"All we were taught of Geography was that the world had once been made up of seven continents and several countries, but a third world war demolished all but North America, the continent with the most advanced technology."

What I Learned
  • Man it really sucks to be a women in this version of the future
  • Seems I like dystopian YA novels
Who should/shouldn't read
  • I would really recommend this for the more mature YA reader. Young or sensitive readers may have a hard time with the subject matter.
  • Fans of Dystopian YA fiction will love this
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster at the OLA conference.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mom and Me Mondays: Big Nate in a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate in a Class by Himself
by Lincoln Peirce
Harper Collins Children's
ISBN: 978-0-06-194434-5
Suggested Ages: 8-12
Buy from Indigo

Description:Nate knows he's meant for big things. REALLY big things.

But life doesn't always go your way just because you're awesome.

Trouble always seems to find him, but Nate keeps his cool no matter what.

He knows he's great. A fortune cookie told him so.

For fans of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: Here comes BIG NATE, accidental mischief maker and definitely NOT the teacher's pet.



Jake's Review: Mom, this book is awesome, it reminds me a lot of those Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  Can I start reading the next book tonight (mom's note: nice try its 9:45 -- get thee to bed NOW).  This book is hilarious, I have to lend it to Brian, he doesn't really like books, but I think he will like this one.  It's got the perfect amount of story and sic (this is a good thing old people -- it's our version of Cool) pictures. They totally have to make this into a movie. I like Nate, he is sort of sarcastic like Daddy but in a nicer way and he gets in trouble as much as I do (Mom's note: ahh Jake, that is not a good thing btw). 

Jake's Rating: 9.5/10


Mom's Review: Wait a sec -- this book is written about Jake (Jake's note: nice Mom).  I can see why Jake enjoyed this one. Filled with witty writing, sarcastic kids and clueless adults, what's not to like for a 9 yr old boy --- o.k., Mom totally thought it was funny too. But I think we all know by now, that I am not your typical Mom.  This will be one the middle school kids will really get into, sort of on the same lines as Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  A good mix of writing and illustrations to keep the kids interested, and fabulous for reluctant readers.  I recommend that all middle school and public libraries get a couple of copies of this one, I think it will be a huge hit. I look forward to reading more about Big Nate, his buddies and his hippie Dad. BTW, when I was asking Jake about the book before we wrote up his review. I was asking him what his parents were like -- and he goes well Nate only has a Dad,  you know not every family has a Mom and Dad -- families are made up of all kinds of groups. Some kids are raised by their grandparents or by two mom's or two dad's -- think about that before you ask that type of question (yup Mom being lectured to by 9 yr old boy)

Mom's Rating: 9/10

We received this from Harper Collins Children's (From OLA conference)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Final Reckoning by Sam Bourne: Book Review

The Final Reckoning
by Sam Bourne
Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-187574-8
Buy from Indigo

 Description:Tom Byrne has fallen from grace since his days as an idealistic young lawyer in New York. Now he'll work for anyone - as long as the money's right.So when the United Nations call him in to do their dirty work, he accepts the job without hesitation. A suspected suicide bomber shot by UN security staff has turned out to be a harmless old man: Tom must placate the family and limit their claims for compensation.In London, Tom meets the dead man-s alluring daughter, Rebecca, and learns that her father was not quite the innocent he seemed. He unravels details of a unique, hidden brotherhood, united in a mission that has spanned the world and caused hundreds of unexplained deaths.Pursued by those ready to kill to uncover the truth, Tom has to unlock a secret that has lain buried for more than 60 years - the last great secret of the Second World War

The Good Stuff
  • Fascinating intense mystery inspired by a true story
  • Intriguing smart thriller with tons of twists and turns
  • Introduction grabs you and doesn't let go until the very last page
  • Keeps you second guessing yourself about what is going on
  • Really makes you think
  • Powerfully intense and emotional and quite frankly uncomfortable at times
  • Author has obviously done his research and his passionate interest in the subject matter is obvious
  • I won't lie, there are many scenes that are horrific, but they are a part of history that we should never forget -- obviously many haven't learned since this still happens in many parts of our world
  • Some sticky moral issues brought up that really make you think and will bring up some fascinating discussions. 
  • Very realistic portrayal of revenge
  • I wish I was a better writer so I could explain how fantastic this book is, I really am at loss for words -- just go buy it
The Not so Good Stuff
  • I was sickened by the atrocities described, but that has nothing to do with the authors writing, just hard reading for someone like me. I truly cannot understand, and I guess that is a very good thing, the horror of what the Nazi's did and those that stood by and watched it happen
  • I could not put this down and therefor we had to order Pizza for dinner
  • With all the characters and historical information I felt a little lost at times, but hey I am a Mom and slightly brain dead
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"And this, you see, is the dirty little secret of the second World War. We're told over and over again, that the attempted extermination of the Jews was the greatest crime in human history - and yet hardly anybody was punished for it. The guilty men got away with it. It was a crime that was unavenged, a genocide for which there is no reckoning."


"You think I'm proud of what we found out today? You think it was OK to go around killing and killing and killing like that?"
"They were Nazis for Christ's sake!"
"What if they got it wrong, Tom? Eh? What if they accidently killed the wrong man?"

"Besides, cleaner's overalls? That's a regular invisibility cloak in this town. Fuck Hogwarts. Just gotta be a black man dressed as a cleaner; no one sees you then, trust me."

"When a man burns with rage as white-hot as this rage, made hotter still by the knowledge that the rest of the world is ready to shrug its shoulders and move on - he is prepared to do almost anything. If it will sate his fury, he is ready to do it. As I was ready to do it."


What I Learned
  • There are some sick bastards in this world
  • Too much historical information to bring up here -- go read the book and you will understand
  • Auschwitz was the only place that the Nazi's branded the Jewish people with a number
  • How many Nazi's were never made to pay for their crimes
Who should/shouldn't read
  • This may be a little difficult for those who are sensitive, put please do not let this stop you from reading
  • Great for fans of political thrillers and historical fiction based on WWII
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review -- thanks guys this was incredible!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Random House
For my review of Big Nate Books from HarperCollins

From Mom Central Canada
Cannot find my pic - My kit included 2 boxes of Vitamins plus a lot of free coupons which I will be giving away to anyone who requests one - From Bzz Agent
Won
From Gwen Cready's Monthly Contest

Purchased
Postmistress for my niece Tanya - the rest for me - yup bought magazine just for Nathan on cover
 Borrowed

Borrowed from my sister - must try and get through it this time!

My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top by Jon Glaser: Book Review

My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top
by Jon Glaser
HarperPerennial
ISBN: 978-0-06-174962-9
Purchase from Indigo

Description: An irreverent and ridiculous collection of "found" documents that will change everything you thought you knew about rock and roll, by the creator and star of Adult Swim's Delocated

Jon Glaser delves into the unknown and highly secretive histories of dozens of rock and roll's greatest bands with sometimes spectacular, sometimes heartbreaking, always completely made-up results. In this book, you'll discover the following:


Handwritten letters by Glaser's own father, which reveal him to be an early member of the band we now know as ZZ Top

Old lyrics journals of, among others, Bob Dylan and David Bowie, featuring a collection of songs they probably hoped would never see the light of day

A letter from Ringo to the rest of the Beatles, the week after their breakup, informing them of his plans to start a Beatles tribute band

Formerly classified government documents with shocking revelations about the Navy SEALs and the Butthole Surfers

Prince's set list for the bat mitzvah of Steven Spielberg's daughter Rachel, including the songs "Purple Oy Vey," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Rabbi," and "When Doves Kvetch"

My Dead Dad Was in ZZ Top is for everyone who loves absurd, made-up stories about their favorite bands. It's also for everyone who doesn't love absurd, made-up stories about their favorite real bandsthey just might not enjoy it as much.

The Good Stuff
  • Truly unique, I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like this before
  • You will snort out loud at times - obviously still have not learned to read stuff like this on public transit
  • Prince's set list for Spielberg's daughters bat mitzvah is hilarious
  • The reason behind the naming of the Butthole surfers will make you snort coffee out your nose -- trust me DO NOT read this bit in public
  • The before they made it section is funny
  • Quick short read when you are looking for something to pass the time
The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little too obscene at times & I am not prudish
  • Expected it to be funnier
  • lot of it lost on me since I am really not the intended audience for this one
  • The Rod Stewart bit grossed me out!
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"And your suggestion of "several slices of Lindsey Bucking-ham, white cheddar cheese that represents the cocaine Stevie Nicks is addicted to, Mick Fleet-wood smoked bacon, and John and Christine McVie-al (veal)" does sound yummy." But two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun seems to work very well for us, so we're going to stick with that."

"The father of the Butt-hole Surfers' lead singer Gibby Haynes, was a Navy SEAL who was killed in the line of duty while surfing the butthole of Idi Amin."

What I Learned
  •  About Paul Anka berating his band and some of the quotes from this recording were used in Ocean's Thirteen
  • Nothing else since it is all fake -- but it was fun
Who should/shouldn't read
  • This is one for fans of rock and roll, especially classic rockers
  • Not for prudish, there is a lot of obscenity and naughty descriptions
  • Great coffee table book, will start some interesting discussions 
  • Again if you are easily offended by off colour language, this will offend you!
3 Dewey's

I received this from HarperPerennial in exchange for an honest review

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winners of Blogoversary Contest

First of all I just wanted to thank everyone who dropped by and left nice comments.  I really wish I could give everyone a prize -- but I can't-- unless I end of winning the lottery - and than I promise I will send you each something : )

I know blah, blah, blah, just get to the winners already. I used Random.org to pick all my prizes since it was the easiest and fairest way to do it

I will email all the winners now and you will have 48 hours to respond or I pick again

Prize #1 (out of 22 entries)

The winner is Asenath


Prize #2 (out of 27 entries)

The Winner is Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

Prize #3 (Out of 42 entries)

The Winner is Stella (Ex Libris)


Prize #4 (Out of ONLY 16 entries -- seriously kids these are signed I figured there would be more )

The Winner is Chantel

Wish there could be more, but keep following I will be having more contests this month

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jen's TV Time

I thought it would be fun if I introduced you to my other passion - TV.  As a parent most of you will understand that we don't have the time or energy (not to mention the lack of cash due to how costly the little heathens are) to go out.  So since my hubby is not a reader I have slowly become a fan of the TV.  These are my favorite shows that are on now.  I also think this will help you in your decision whether to read some of the books I have reviewed, as it will help explain what entertains me.  If you haven't seen some of these, I recommend you check em out.

I've edited this since it was too freakin long!

Bones

Synopsis: A forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent build a team to investigate death causes. And quite often, there isn't more to examine than rotten flesh or mere bones. Brilliant, but socially inept, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperence Brennan works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington DC. After consulting for him on a FBI case, she is approached by cocky yet charming ex-Army Ranger turned Special Agent, Seeley Booth to help the Bureau solve crimes by identifying human remains that are too far gone for standard FBI forensic investigations. Brennan's empirical, literal view of the world causes friction with Booths emotive, instinctive attitude creating a volatile relationship. However as their case load increases the symbiotic partnership produces results and with the support of Brennan's Squint Squad, murderers, past and present should be on the look out

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Fascinating story-lines
  • Attractive cast
  • David Boreanaz actually smiles (which if you were a fan of Buffy or Angel, knew didn't happen very often) 
  • Seeley Booth (Boreanaz) is such a wonderful character you will fall in love with him
  • Wacky and fun secondary characters.
  • Extremely witty dialogue
  • Warning: some of the stuff they deal with is quite icky, if you have a sensitive tummy,  you might want to keep your finger on the fast forward button.
  • Reality check: They solve crimes way too quickly  



Glee

Synopsis: The one-hour series follows an optimistic high school teacher as he tries to transform the school's Glee Club and inspire a group of ragtag performers to make it to the biggest competition of them all: Nationals.

McKinley High School's Glee Club used to be at the top of the show choir world, but years later, a series of scandals have turned it into a haven for misfits and social outcasts. Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison, Broadway's "Hairspray") has offered to take on the Herculean task of restoring the Glee Club to its former glory.

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Lots of signing and dancing
  • hilarious dialogue
  • multi-cultural attractive cast
  • Positive image of gays and lesbians
  • Kurt's Dad is one of the most wonderful characters ever written and the relationship between him and his son is real and honest
  • The things that come out of Sue's mouth will have you snorting out loud 
  • The show does have a  problem with uneven character development
  • Reality Check: Sue's ass would have been fired years ago in the real world




Big Love

Synopsis:  the story of a man, Bill Henrickson, living in Salt Lake City with his three wives, three houses, and three families. Basically a story about Polygamy

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Really not sure why this one fascinates me so much.  It is extremely slow at times and I really dislike (Nicky) one of the main characters. And quite frankly the idea of Polygamy sort of pisses me off, but I can't help myself I will watch it until the end (which is this season supposedly)
  • I personally cannot watch it without saying misogynistic bastard once or twice



Burn Notice

Synopsis: Michael Westen, a seasoned US spy, is suddenly 'burned', i.e. discredited, without any form of procedure. He survives by doing impossible jobs for desperate people in Miami, where his mother lives. Michael is usually aided by trusted former FBI informer Sam and his ex girlfriend Fiona

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Started watching based only on the fact that Bruce Campbell was in it, he's great, but I would still watch this one without him its so good
  • Dry humour
  • Edge of your seat action and fabulous cliffhangers
  • Wonderful quirkly secondary characters like Michael's mom and brother
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Bruce Campbell 
  • Attractive actors
  • Reality Check: Like I know anything about the real life of spies - but I'm thinking not everyone in the biz is that attractive
  • Gabrielle's accent comes and goes



Californication

Synopsis: A writer tries to juggle his career, his relationship with his daughter and his ex-girlfriend, as well as his appetite for beautiful women. Hank Moody may be a talented author, despite his gift of the gab, especially for live seducing, his private life is a mess. Repeated attempts to have a stable relationship with Karen, also for the sake of their daughter Becca, fail because of their extreme libertarian infidelity. Hank's sexual appetite also infects talent agent Charlie Runkle, who indulges in all kinds of naughtiness too. More 'victims of hormones' contribute to the lustily lust-loaded plot.

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Hank Moody is such a wonderfully damaged and truly fascinating character to watch
  • It stars David Duchovny and he is yummy
  • The Daughter is truly interesting character
  • Relationship between Hank and his daughter is lovely and genuine
  • Laugh your ass out loud inappropriate dialogue
  • Great cameo by Rick Springfield and some other fun stunt casting
  • Funny secondary characters
  • Moody is a rascal but you cannot help but feel for him
  • Warning: Not for those who are in anyway prudish. Serious amounts of nudity, hilarious and creative foul language, sexual situations, drugs and alcohol!!!
  • I hated the season finale of Season 3 it was a huge downer and made me cry


Castle

Synopsis: Meet Richard Castle: he's a successful murder-mystery writer who has just killed off his main character. However, it seems one of his fans liked his books just a bit too much when a copycat murderer starts running around killing people as described in Castle's books.

After being questioned by the police Richard joins forces with Detective Kate Beckett to solve this case. The two become partners begin working together to solve other murders in New York along with other detectives Javier Esposito, Kevin Ryan and Captain Roy Montgomery. They also work with medical examiner Lanie Parish. Richard's family includes his mother Martha Rodgers, who was a broadway diva and his daughter Alexis

Why you should/shouldn't watch:
  • All you really need to know is that Nathan Fillion is the lead for you to watch
  • The camaraderie between Castle, Ryan and Esposito is hilarious
  • The relationship between Castle, his daughter and his mom is just so fun and sweet and they are played by fantastic actress'
  • Great chemistry between Castle and Beckett
  • Awesome dialogue 
  • Esposito and Ryan have awesome comic timing
  • Nathan Fillion
  • Interesting story-lines
  • Reality Check: you really have to suspend your belief at times, because many of the situations are so unrealistic -- there is no way cops would let him be involved so much in the cases and the detective work and coroner stuff is way too quickly done
  • Oh yeah and it has Nathan Fillion in it - hands off he's mine!


Chuck

Synopsis: One hour action-comedy series about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent.


With the government's most precious secrets in Chuck's head, Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin) of the National Security Agency resumes his responsibility of protecting Chuck. Casey's partner is the CIA's top agent (and Chuck's dream girl), Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski). They try to keep him safe by trading in his pocket protector for a bulletproof vest.
Also starring are Joshua Gomez as Morgan Grimes -- Chuck's best buddy, Sarah Lancaster  as Chuck's ever-supportive sister Ellie, and Ryan McPartlin as "Captain Awesome," Ellie's fiance. Chuck's Buy More team consists of Big Mike and the Nerd Herd, which includes Lester Jeff and Anna

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Nerd becomes a spy, what's not to love
  • Adam Baldwin was what got me to watch this one
  • Chuck is an adorable character that you cannot help but love (and I personally think he's yummy)
  • Great relationship between Chuck and his Sis
  • Awesome secondary characters who often steal the show
  • Nice chemistry between Chuck and Sarah
  • Chucks Mom and Dad are portrayed by Scott Bakula and Linda Hamilton -- how awesome is that
  • Timothy Dalton plays a reoccurring character that is just plain delightful (I still think he sucked as a Bond though)
  • Quirky storylines
  • Fun dialogue
  • Great action sequences
  • Warning: This season has been up and down in consistency.  A couple of times I thought they were running out of ideas and it was too gooffy



Dexter

Synopsis: An American television drama series that centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a forensic bloodstain pattern analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer.Dexter structures his killing around "the Code of Harry", a body of ethics and procedures devised by his adoptive father Harry Morgan (who was a Miami cop) to make sure Dexter never gets caught and to ensure that Dexter kills only other killers.

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Yup a tv show about a serial killer and  you cheer for the serial killer to get away with it -- seriously
  •  Awesome secondary characters
  • Intriguing story-lines that really make you think
  • A brilliant portrayal of a fellow serial killer by John Lithgow. He was so creepy I could barely look at him when he was on screen 
  • Dry humour and brilliant dialogue
  • The finale for season 4 was so brutal and unexpected it really affected me for a couple of days
  • Season 5 was only so so - it started out great but sort of faltered near the end
  • Warnings: Very violent and its about a serial killer so it is not for the faint of heart or extremely sensitive


How I Met Your Mother

Synopsis: Created by former Late Show with David Letterman writers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the 30-minute CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother was, per its title, related entirely in flashback, from the vantage point of 2030. The hero, Ted (his "old" voice provided by Bob Saget) was endeavoring to regale his children with the stories of how he wooed and won his wife and their mother. 

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Watch for Barney's dialogue alone - Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant as Barney and really is the main reason I watch
  • Alyson Hannigan is hilarious as usual
  • Hilarious dialogue
  • Quirky storylines
  • I love the friendship between the main characters, it is very genuine
  • Very beautiful and sweet at times




Mad Men

Synopsis: Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), creative director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, as well as those in his life, both in and out of the office. As such, it regularly depicts the changing moods and social mores of 1960s America.

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Visually stunning to watch - the costumes are so beautiful and authentic
  • Don Draper is a fascinating character
  • Extremely authentic and historically accurate
  • Intriguing secondary characters
  • Love Roger and Joan
  • Story-lines really make you think
  • Warning: Slow at times, misogynistic and plenty of alcohol and smoking. As a women you will gasp at how outrageously women were treated during this era



Shameless

Synopsis: The series follows the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. While he spends his days drunk, his kids learn to take care of themselves.

The show's producers sought to distinguish it from previous American working-class shows by highlighting the effects that Frank's alcoholism has on the family. Paul Abbott, creator of the original, said, "It's not My Name Is Earl or Roseanne. It's got a much graver level of poverty attached to it. It's not blue collar; it's no collar. Then John Wells, the showrunner, began pitching the show, he had to fight efforts to place the show in the South or in a trailer parkcomedic clichГ©s. He explained, "We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds. The reality is that these people aren't 'the other' they're people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over.

Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • This is a new series that has really got my attention
  • Great title sequence and theme song
  • wickedly funny and so incredibly sad at times
  • William H Macy is INCREDIBLE as the dysfunctional alcoholic father
  • Hilarious secondary characters
  • Joan Cusack deserves an award for her portrayal of the wacky Sheila
  • The kids relationships between each other are realistic, genuine and very sweet at times
  • Hilarious and totally inappropriate humour and you will laugh despite yourself
  • Warnings: This is not for the prudish. Tons of sexual situations, drug and alcohol use & these kids live in poverty & have to be extremely creative to get by


True Blood

Synopsis: Vampires not only exist, but the entire world knows about them. Since a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many people remain apprehensive about vampires living amongst them in Louisiana.

In the southern town of Bon Temps, a local barmaid named Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) understands what it's like to be an outcast. Cursed with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires. She is especially intrigued by Bill Compton(Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But as Sookie is drawn into a series of mysteries surrounding Bill's arrival in Bon Temps, that tolerance will be put to the test.


Why you should/shouldn't watch
  • Based on the fab Sookie Stackhouse novels by charlaine harris 
  • Love the characters of Lafayette and Pam
  • Very sexy
  • Extremely beautiful and multi-cultural cast 
  • Lots of paranormal stuff which I am a fan of
  • Unusual story-lines and quirky dialogue
  • Love the theme song
  • Warning: Tons of sex, nudity and violence - not for the sensitive or prudish
  • Even-though the guy that plays Eric is hot, I still prefer the fictional Eric from the books



Shows no longer on the air, but still love

Firefly

Synopsis: The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things". The show explores the lives of some people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of the society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures as well. According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today
 19th century American West, with little governmental authority.

Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • It was friggin awesome
  • Created by THE Joss Whedon
  • Nathan Fillion is the lead &  his character Mal Reynolds is one of my fav characters ever
  • Incredible cast who obviously enjoyed working together and their love for each other comes across throughout the series
  • Fabulous dialogue
  • Unusual storylines
  • One of the best tv shows ever made and I am still pissed at Fox for canceling it
  • Also you must go rent the Movie Serenity that was made after the show was canceled
  • Nathan Fillion -- once again  hands off he is mine!




Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Synopsis: The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as "Vampire Slayers" or simply "Slayers". In the story, Slayers are "called" (chosen by fate) to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches, and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang".

Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • Joss Whedon created it and he is my master!
  • Brilliantly funny dialogue
  • Strong female lead
  • Vampires
  • Beautiful cast
  • Ass kicking Librarian
  • The episodes Once More With Feeling and Hush are TV at its very best
  • Buffy's mom dies of a Brain Aneurysm and Buffy finds her & My mom died of a Brain Aneurysm and I found her 
  • Fabulous secondary characters 
  • Incredible character development for all of the characters
  • Season 7 has Nathan Fillion in it and he is extremely creepy!
  • Fav Buffy Quote:  "He's like super librarian, y'know? Everyone forgets, Willow, that knowledge is the ultimate weapon"




Angel
 
Synopsis: The show details the ongoing trials of Angel, a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel's restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. During the first four seasons of the show, he works as a private detective in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles, California, where he and a variety of associates work to "help the helpless" and to restore the faith and save the souls of those who have lost their way. Typically, this involves doing battle with evil demons or demonically allied humans, primarily related to Wolfram & Hart, a demonic law firm. He also has to battle his own demonic nature.


Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • Hello Joss Whedon again, have a sense I like his work
  • Fantastic secondary characters absolutely loved Lorne, Fred and Doyle
  • Exciting and unique story-lines
  • Spike was in a couple of episodes
  • Loved watching Boreanaz when he portrayed Angelus - just delightfully fun and wicked
  • Series Finale was brutal and brilliant!!




M.A.S.H


Synopsis: The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is stuck in the middle of the Korean war. With little help from the circumstances they find themselves in, they are forced to make their own fun. Fond of practical jokes and revenge, the doctors, nurses, administrators, and soldiers often find ways of making wartime life bearable. Nevertheless, the war goes on 


Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • If you  don't know about the brilliance of this series you are either hopelessly clueless or really young
  • Brilliant writing
  • Love-able characters
  • Hilarious and heartbreaking at times -- I dare you to not cry when you find out about Henry Blake
  • This was the first series I really remember getting into - alot of it was beyond my comprehension at the time, but I still got so much out of it
  • It has stood the test of time, you can still watch it and love it


Magnum PI


Synopsis: Thomas Magnum is employed on the Hawaiian estate of a wealthy absentee owner name Robin Masters. The estate is run by Jonathan Higgins who mostly tolerates Magnum's presence as head of security on the estate. Magnum is also a private detective whose cases frequently have a humorous overtone and always just enough danger.

Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • Selleck was so handsome back than, he was my first TV crush
  • Great characters who had fabulous chemistry with each other
  • Exciting storylines
  • Loved Higgens 
  • Fun to watch it now and see famous actors
  • One of my favorite episodes had Sharon Stone in it
  • Anytime I see episodes on TV I will watch them for old times sake



Synopsis: The basic premise of the series centres on an Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) constable named Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) who travels to Chicago to solve the murder of his father; this is how he first meets his soon-to-be partner, Ray Vecchio (David Marciano), a tough, streetwise cop. Accompanied by his half-wolf Diefenbaker (who adopted Fraser after saving his life, and is deaf, but can read lips), the investigation leads Fraser to uncover a plot by a company building a dam that is slowly killing the environment. This leads to the dam being shut down and many people losing their jobs. He also implicates corrupt members of the RCMP in the affair. This along with the loss of so many peoples' jobs makes him persona non grata in Canada, and he chooses to live in Chicago. This plot line is referred to repeatedly during the series, and from season three on he introduces himself to many by saying:
I first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of my father and, for reasons which don't need exploring at this juncture, I have remained, attached as liaison to the Canadian consulate.
Why you should go find a copy of the series
  • Canadian series about a Mountie in Chicago -- what's not to like
  • Paul Gross - yummy!
  • Quirky and sweet and just plain hilarious at times
  • Incredibly funny Canadian dialogue that pokes gentle fun at us and our American neighbors
  • The reason I giggle anytime someone says Thank You Kindly
  • It got me to go to a Due South convention - Seriously!
  • I miss this show so much
  • Leslie Nielsen was a reoccurring character
  • Bob Frasier (Benton's dead Father) reminds me so much of my Dad
  • Has one of my fav quotes of all time " So since their formation our two countries have found a peaceful way to coexist. Except for the War of 1812 where your country invaded ours and we sent you packing, but that's hardly worth mentioning"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Indigo Tweet Up

Just over a year ago, the college library that I work for offered all its workers some courses on some of the various social media sources that our students are into.  One of them, Twitter,  I balked at first because, well it seemed sort of pointless, but figured what the hell I need to know about it so that I can help our students if they have any questions about it.

Well as most of you know, I became hooked on it right away. It was great for updating my pals, family and co-workers about where I was or what I was doing or just giving them a heads up about what was going on on my blog.  I also loved it because it was a great outlet for my inner monologue when dealing with irritating students at our reference desk. Instead of getting in trouble by letting that monologue out on the students, I could just type what I REALLY wanted to say to them on twitter -- and bingo my stress would be gone without getting fired. It's also been great because it is a way of finding out about contests and events and passing on info about contests or events.   BTW, it is also an amazing way of meeting fellow moms who know and understand your crazy life. 

And thanks to twitter I was invited to a very special Tweet Up with Cammy (Jeremy Cammy, National Director of Events & Field Marketing for Indigo) and some of the other indigogreenroom twitter followers.

I was really looking forward to the event mostly because -- um -- I could escape the hubby and kids for a while and chat with fellow book/social media nerds.  My hubby and I also decided since I was probably going to be really late, that I should stay the night at a hotel instead of trying to get back to the boonies that late at night.   Yup that is right folks --  no snoring hubby and no 2am wake-up call from my toddler - pure heaven I tell ya.  I also wanted to chat with Cammy because his tweets always make me laugh, and I wanted to thank him for getting me into the closed line for the Jamie Oliver event.

I figured the event would be something like they would buy us a Starbucks and we would hang around one of the Chapters/Indigo's and chat about Indigo and social media -- and was hoping we were going to get one of those Indigogreenroom shirts.

So I was totally blown away when I found out that they were taking us to Luma at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.  We met up at the Chapters at the John/Richmond and walked over to Luma where we were led up to a stunning private dining room.

Guess you aren't a Vampire Cammy - Cammy is on the right

Chef Jason presenting one of the courses

Then over the course of the evening we got to nosh from an incredible tasting menu prepared AND presented to us from Executive Chef, Jason Bangerter!  The dishes were out of this world, especially the Willy Wonka dessert which included chocolate pop rocks -- yup you heard me correctly CHOCOLATE POP ROCKS. It was one of the best desserts I have ever tasted. It is on the restaurants  Creature Comforts menu (tribute to the Tim Burton exhibit at the Lightbox)

Yummy!
The most divine mushroom soup I have ever had - photo courtesy of Melissa Mateus

The famous and to die for Willy Wonka Dessert

Tasting menu

And if that wasn't extremely generous we than received a visit from "3 Chefs";  Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra, and Jason Parsons.  Melissa (also from Indigo) and Cammy than presented us with our own copies of the "3 Chefs" cookbook that we could have signed personally, as well as have our pictures taken with them.

The 3 Chef's with Sara - thanks Sara my pic was too awful for words
Chefs with Zoe (photo courtesy of Melissa)
Casey with the chefs (photo courtesy of Melissa)
Chefs with Leora (Photo courtesy of Melissa)
Chefs with Jaclyn (picture courtesy of Melissa)
I had a wonderful time over dinner getting to know some of the other girls and discussing with Cammy and Melissa about social media and what is working and not working.  Cammy was charming, self deprecating and intelligent, just like I expected him to be.  Honestly, Cammy's indigogreenroom is a perfect example of social media that is working. To quote Sara, one of the attendees at the tweet up, "the indigogreenroom account is everything that I look for when it comes to a brand account. Cammy is funny, has a highly engaging voice and does an excellent job of balancing that personal voice with business side of things"

The gang - ick I look much better in my mind
From Sara's post
Courtesy of Melissa

Just as we were about to go home -- they surprised us again by giving each of us a gift card for Indigo.  Hubby wasn't impressed with this -- he said it was like giving crack to an addict!



After it was all over I headed back to my comfy hotel bed, grabbed a book and my little bottle of baileys and just sat back and relaxed without interruption. It was a perfect evening.  Thanks Cammy and Melissa -- I will never forget the evening -- and hey if you ever want to set one up again -- I'm there for you

And girls it was great meeting all of you  -- especially crazy EvilAndie and I think we should all get together again!

For a much more articulate and well written version of this eventing check out Sara's blog at They Call It Gumption or Elizabeth's blog at I'm Not in Newfoundland Anymore

Tweet Up Attendees

Cammy
Melissa
Sara
Jaclyn
Leora
Zoe
Sarah
Andie
Casey
Elizabeth
Me