A Reading Holiday

I’m so excited for the week ahead. My lovely sister-in-law won my wife and I trip to Mexico just before Christmas. Now, it’s time to pack our bags and make the trip to the sun and sand. I have my Kobo and Kindle apps loaded with books to read on this vacation. I cannot wait to spend a week in the sun, with a drink in one had and a book in the other.

We are using this opportunity to rejuvenate and get ready for the adventures ahead of us. And that means lots of reading for me. I’ll be finishing the two books I have on the go now (The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – the Creators of Superman by Brad Ricca). And I hope to get a couple other books under my belt too.

While I’m away I won’t be posting but plan to be right back at it once I get home. I’m really excited to get to reading and posting a review or two. Enjoy the week ahead, I know I will!


Review – Finding God’s Will


This was one of the books I got through BookBub, it’s a great place to get ebooks at a discounted rate for most ereaders. I was drawn in by the synopsis of the book, and was glad I took the time to read Matte’s book.

Finding God’s Will deals with how to find what it is that God wants in your life. To provide an example for how to do this Matte uses the story of Moses.

Though I enjoyed this read it has its shortcomings as well. The biggest being that Matte seems to pull further and further from the parallels of Moses and how to find our faith as the book progresses (mostly in the last couple of chapters). Aside from that I found the book to be quite insightful.

As well as being a great read I found it to be motivational. It helped push me in my relationship with God, and the what it is I’ll be doing next in my life journey. As one job ended I now look for the next. While feeling a little down this helped me to see that I need to keep looking to God as I search for the next adventure.

2016 Reading Challenge – To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill A Mockingbird could easily fill the criteria for many categories for this challenge. I decided to pick this one for a few reasons, primarily because we lost the author a short time ago. It was sad, but solidified my resolve to read this book for this challenge.

It’s interesting that when you reread a book, or watch a movie, you pick up on things that you missed the first time around or forgot. Anyone that’s read this book is sure to remember two particular moments:
1. The trial of of Tom Robinson
2. The two times Jem and Scout have an interaction with Boo.

After this reading I realized these are just a small portion of Harper Lee‘s masterpiece. The rest of the book is similar to Stephen Leacock‘s novel Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. We have a glimpse into the small town of Maycomb. Lee introduces us to some wonderfully quirky characters, aside from the ones you all probably remember. Moments that were great to re-imagine while reading made for an exciting second read. In particular the making of the snow/mudman.

If you’re a fan of Harper Lee, or To Kill a Mockingbird I’d suggest picking it up again and giving another go. You might come across several surprises that you have forgotten about since the last time you read the book.

BookBub – Savings on Ebooks

Are you a reader of ebooks? I like to have a book with me in case I get stuck somewhere for an extended amount of time without company. So, I’ve started using ebooks for this purpose because I always have my phone with me. I’ve been using both Kindle and Kobo because some books are only available on one or the other. Now, since Emily and I have won a trip to Mexico I wanted to make sure I had some books for the time that we spend by the pool (Emily will probably be swimming most of the time). So, I wanted to stock up on some books.

To make picking up books even easier, Emily told me all about BookBub! BookBub will send you an email each day with books they think you will like. When you signup you let them know what you like to read. Each book in the email will have links for both Kindle and Kobo. Sometimes you’ll come across a bestseller, if that is what you really like. If that wasn’t enough all books brought to your email will be discounted, and some will even be free! Now who doesn’t like a discount, or free?

So far I’ve already downloaded:
Valkyrie’s Vengeance by Melissa Snark
The Emperor’s Edge Collection (Books 1, 2 & 3) by Lindsay Buroker
Finding God’s Will by Gregg Matte
Faithing It by Cora Jakes-Coleman
Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell
Frostborn Omnibus One by Jonathan Moeller
Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer
A Question of Will by Alex Albrinck

I really enjoy options, so I’ll continue to add to the library until we head to Mexico in April. I also really like being introduced to new authors and books that I might not normally pick up and read. This allows me to do just that.

If you want to signup just follow this link.


The Holy or the Broken – Review

Holy or broken

I picked up The Holy or the Broken a few years ago, at my favourite (now closed) local bookshop. The reason, Leonard Cohen‘s Hallelujah is my favourite song, and has been for quite a few years. So, when I saw Alan Light‘s book in the discount section I didn’t think twice about picking it up.

Light, one must assume, is also a fan of the song and so wanted to pay some kind of homage to the Choen’s masterpiece. However, instead of taking much time talking about the song he gives the reader a historical account of the songs assent into the realm of the everyday. As he goes through the history he compares the song to the first two records of the piece. The first, which didn’t really get much recognition until much later in his life, Leonard Cohen’s original. Jeff Buckley’s take on the song, the one I believe Light holds in the highest regard. Below is Buckley’s rendition of the song.

Overall I enjoyed the account of the history of the song, and how each rendition influenced popular culture. With that said I must also note that there were two aspects of the book that bothered me. First, Alan Light has no issues mentioning when he helped influence the world with this song. This was as an editor of a magazine I didn’t even know existed, but I’m also no one to read magazines on the subject of music. The other issue I have with the book is that it doesn’t really talk about the song itself, and what it says to the general population. It touches on this but doesn’t spend the time on it I would have liked.

Finally, I will say Light does talk about the importance of two other versions of this song. Cohen’s original and the other by a noted Canadian during the opening cerimonies of the Vancouver Olympics, k.d. lang. These are my favourite versions of the song. So, I’ve added them below for you enjoyment.

Thank You Ms. Lee

Unfortunately today the world says goodbye to an author who has touched many lives, and doing it all with one book. I’m sure everyone could say how the book has touched them, and if you’re one of the few that hasn’t read To Kill A Mockingbird I’m sure you’re familiar with the film.

Harper Lee has given us a lot to think about in her debut novel, and her second set the world abuzz. Giving us even more to think about. Thank you Ms. Lee for your literary work. It has touched many, and will continue long after we say our goodbyes.


Furiously Happy – Review

Furiously Happy

Jenny Lawson’s second book Furiously Happy was the first book I read in 2016! It was exactly what I needed to get back into my reading, and blogging, groove again. I have yet to read Lawson’s first book Let’s Pretent this Never Happend (A Mostly True Memoir) but my wife gave it to me for my birthday this year so I’ll be opening this one up sometime soon.

Two things make Furiously Happy an exceptional book:
1. It will make any ready laugh, and make others wonder what you’re reading
2. Lawson deals with some serious issues

On a number of occasions Emily asked me what I was doing because I was laughing so hard at what Lawson put to the page. Her writing is really sarcastic, at times quite biting. Rather than talking about others and their issues Lawson dives into her own issues, poking fun at herself and her many, many, many mental disorders. If you’ve read anything by David Sedaris you’ll have a good idea of Lawson’s writing style.

While finding yourself laughing you’ll also realize Jenny Lawson has you thinking and dealing with some of the issues society has labeled as taboo. She isn’t concerned about dealing with mental disorders, particularly the ones she lives with daily. Talking about mental disorders has become less taboo over the years thanks to #bellletstalk.

This is one book that I’ve found myself reading large portions to Emily, so we could both share in the laughter and the issues brought up by Larson. It’s also a book we have booth been recommending to others, and have a list of folks that want to borrow my copy. Pick it up and give it a read, you will not regret it!

Time to Read Again

I have fallen away from reading in the last number of years, well since I’ve moved back to Canada really. I haven’t taken the time to immerse myself into books again. Since 2016 is a new year I’ve decided to set aside more time to read and to get back to this blog. I’ve already read a few books and have started reading my fourth book for the year. So, I thought it was time to get back into writing here again.

I hope that I can help share my love of books and theatre. Most of the time on here will be used to talk about the books I’ve read or the books I’m currently reading. You’ll also find links to purchase the books, and a compendium of all the books I’ve read throughout the year. I hope that I can build on the following I had when I first started this blog. It was great being a part of a group of avid readers.

So, you’ll soon see a post on the first book I read this year. Furiously Happy was given to me by my wife for Christmas, so I dove right into this treasure. Look forward to my post about this book in the next day or so.

In the News: Red Riding Hood

It’s been a while sine I’ve jumped into the papers and pulled something out of there for discussion.  I’m not sure if that’s because I couldn’t find anything interesting or I’m really slacking here.  But I found something that was really interesting in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.  This one all about Little Red Riding Hood and where fairy tales come from.

The debate, and it sounds like a heated debate, is how did fairy tales originate.  One side of the debate claims that fairy tales were created by a particular author.  The other side believes there is a long oral tradition that dates back much further than the printed sources.  I will say that I side with the second group, most stories have some sort of oral history.  And that group also claims that due to the oral history you can find similar stories with slight twists to suite the region.

Have a look at the article and weigh in on this interesting debate:

Little Red Riding Hood’s not out of the woods yet – debate ensues over origins of fairy tale

Review from Stratford – West Side Story

The hype around Stratford all summer has been Stratford Shakespeare Festival‘s hit production of West Side Story. This is a show I’m sure you’re all familiar with, for all intense purposes the show is a musical version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  This time the rivals are the Sharks and Jets two gangs and the lovers are Tony and Maria.  A couple of songs from the show are America, Cool, Tonight and I Feel Pretty.

Before I get very far into my thoughts of West Side Story I should say that I’m not huge fan of the show, the song I Feel Pretty is enough make someone want to inflict pain on themselves.  With that said for West Side Story is this is a good production.  It’s far from the greatest show ever done at Stratford, unlike some of the reviewers are saying, this year alone I would say A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is better.  Paul Nolan and Chilina Kennedy are both fabulous as the leads in this show.  The balcony scene is wonderful especially when Nolan pulls himself up the side of balcony for their big kiss.

The show has been getting so much attention that a commercial was made:

I had the opportunity to be a shadow for the show last night and it was a wonder experience. I got to spend the night with stage management during the run of the show. Because of my involvement with theatre as a stage manager I was really looking forward to doing that. It was a great experience.