Back!

We had an amazing trip and time away in Mexico. It would have been nice to read more but we ended up spending the time relaxing.

Now, I’m assistant stage manager for The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde for St. Marys Community Players. This is a group I’ve been involved with for a number of years. While the show is on I don’t have the time I would like to read either but after it’s over next week I’ll have more time to focus on my reading again.

However in the next week or so I’ll have a few reviews ready to post. Looking forward to diving right into more books too. I’m also considering hosting a reading challenge as well.

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

book

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

Mockingbord

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.

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.

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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.

Hello World!

I cannot believe how crazy my life has been nuts!  I keep telling myself I need to get back and catch you all up on the reading I’ve been doing and the show’s I’ve seen both at Stratford and abroad.  In the next month I’ll be seeing another four shows, that’s four I haven’t seen yet this season.  I’ll be seeing The Sound of Music in Toronto, Sunday in the Park with George and Born Yesterday at Shaw and the final show is Rice Boy at Stratford.  So, I’ll be posting those reviews as well as the others I saw this past summer.

On top of all this I’ve been doing some house shopping and I’m glad to say that I finally found a place today.  I’ll be moving in October and I’m really looking forward to the move.  I’ve also been working on my application for a new job at work, still be working at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival but the job will be different (if I get it).  The new job would be on the production side of things rather on the phone dealing patrons.  I’m not expecting much to come of my application but I thought it’s not going to hurt to try.

Then I have to get you all caught up on the copious amounts of reading I’ve been doing.  I have quite a few books I have to add the my list of books I’ve read this year.  There are a number of books I’ve really enjoyed but then there have been one or two that have been terrible.  In the last few days I’ve also received a couple of books directly from the authors, the most recent being 54 Water Street by Melissa Strangway.  She told me she’d give me a book in exchange for some attention to the book world.  So here it starts!!

I hope to be more vigilant in the next little while with getting some blogging done.  I’m also looking forward to catching up on what you have all been up to in the last while.

Happy reading everyone.

Wow!

I cannot believe it’s been this long since I’ve written anything on here.  I guess that’s what happens when your life becomes super crazy.  I’ve done some writing and plenty of reading in the time that has passed.  Now that I’ve done my first writing assignment for work (which should be found in the Toronto Star in August) I have some more time to focus on other things.

I shall try my hardest not to neglect my blog as I have in the last little while.  I really don’t know how time got away from me like this, because I have a lot of things to write about on here.  I don’t even know where to start right now.  We’ll I’ll be sure to get into the swing of things again with the usual thing starting tomorrow.  Until then happy reading.

Review from Stratford: Macbeth

On June first the Stratford Shakespeare Festival got it’s 57th Season underway.  It started as it always does with much pomp and ceremony, the Stratford red carpet was rolled out for several parliamentarians and other guests to opening night.  What better way is there to open the season than with what it arguably Shakespeare’s greatest work…Macbeth.  The only way to make this better is by welcoming back one of Stratford’s greatest to the stage.  Having Colm Feore back playing the title role is a really treat.

I have had the opportunity to read some of the reviews that are already out there and I have to say that I disagree with the majority of them.  Many of them disliked the show for the same reason’s I loved it.  It was right after the lights went out in the theatre and music started that I knew I’d adore this production.  

This season Macbeth is directed by the Festivals Artistic Director (Des McAnuff) who is perhaps best know for his other work, namely Jersey Boys.  The music that swells and becomes more lively before the shots go off you know that you’re in the continent of Africa (yeah, this production doesn’t take place in Scotland).  I wasn’t all that thrilled about Macbeth until I heard that the setting would be changed to Africa, and I must say I wasn’t disappointed by this change.

Colm Feore was amazing as Macbeth but then was out done by Yanna McIntosh’s portrayal of Lady M.  The sleepwalking scene was the most amazing thing I’ve seen on the Festival stage.  As she walked out on the stage violently rubbing her hands I was on the edge of my seat.  The other person worth mentioning is Tom Rooney (this is only his second season at the Festival) as the Porter.  I enjoyed Rooney last season but as the Porter he has out done himself.  I’m interested to see how he takes on Puck later this season in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This is really a show that shouldn’t be missed.  Take the opportunity to come to Stratford and see this amazing production of Macbeth.  It runs until October 31 at the Festival Theatre.