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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Audiobook Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate by M.C. Beaton @mc_beaton @BlackstoneAudio @PeneKeith1

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #13
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: June 5, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 35 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin is going through a man-hating phase and is unmoved by news of a captivating new curate. But when she meets the golden-haired, blue-eyed Tristan Delon, she is swept off her feet...along with every other female in the village. She is positively ecstatic when he invites her to dine with him, but the next day Agatha is left with a hangover from hell and Tristan is worse off: he's dead.
MY REVIEW: 

Oh, Aggie! Will she ever learn? I loved her new attitude in the last installment, Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came. In the 13th book of the Agatha Raisin series, she is back to chasing men and this time it is the Adonis-like hunky curate who is assisting the vicar, Alf Bloxby. She is delighted to capture his attention, but the budding romance is short-lived when he turns up dead. The men in Agatha’s life just have the worst luck, don’t they? Agatha’s new neighbour who we met in the last novel, John Armitage, lends a hand again as the two pair up to solve the case.

I think Agatha really shines in this one. Her fondness for Mrs. Bloxby has always been apparent, and she is willing to do what she must to clear the name of her beloved friend’s husband. Even though Alf has been less than kind to Agatha through-out the series, she still wants to help and that says something about her character. Say what you will about Agatha’s brusque demeanour and pushy disposition, but the woman does grow on you and you can see her softer side underneath the tough exterior! I also really enjoy Agatha’s friendship with Bill Wong and their interactions. There was no shortage of action and Beaton had me fooled as to who the culprit was, and the ending was something that I definitely didn’t see coming! This is why Beaton always has me coming back for more!

Narrator Penelope Keith truly brings Agatha to life. I just love her!!

MY RATING:

5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

#13 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Favourite Books That I Read In School


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is Favourite Books That I Read In School.

There are a few that immediately come to mind:


Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman: This is at the top of my list of favourite books that I read in school. I remember my Grade 6 teacher read this aloud to us, and I was so engrossed in the story. It's about a teenage boy who sets out to conquer Switzerland's greatest mountain, the one that claimed his father's life. It was an adventure and a survival story.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: I remember this read-aloud from Grade 4. The teacher even had us create our own book about Bilbo Baggins. I actually still have it in a box somewhere! I had never read any fantasy books with magic in them at that point, so I remember thinking how neat it all was and I think this is what sparked my interest in the fantasy genre!

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: We did a novel study on this one in Grade 10 English. Charlie was the first human test subject to have surgery to increase his intelligence. It is a powerful story, and it is an emotional read as Charlie begins to change. 


Lord of the Flies by William Golding: This was another novel study from high school. I loved this survival story.


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: This was another novel study from high school. I don't think anyone could ever forget Lennie!


Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: This was another novel study from high school. My English teacher was so passionate about Shakespeare that he made this book memorable for me. Thank you, Mr. Archer!

I want to re-read all these books that I loved!

So, what are your favourite books that you read in school? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm still reading:

TITLE: Beg for Mercy
SERIES: Dead Wrong, Book #1
AUTHOR: Jami Alden
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: June 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 413 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780446572804

He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching . . . And once he has you, all you can do is. . .

Beg For Mercy

Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.

Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.


I'm listening to:

TITLE: Looking for Alaska
AUTHOR: John Green
NARRATOR: Jeff Woodman
PUBLISHER: Brilliance Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 21, 2008
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs, 11 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

I just finished:

TITLE: Reached
SERIES: Matched, Book #3
AUTHOR: Ally Condie
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs, 15 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781611761023
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising - and each other - Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the number-one New York Times-best-selling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.



What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Audiobook Review: Chasing the Dead by Joe Schreiber

TITLE: Chasing the Dead
AUTHOR: Joe Schreiber
NARRATOR: Renée Raudman
PUBLISHER: Tantor Media
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 14 mins
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9781400102969

A stranger has kidnapped her daughter, Veda. But he doesn't want Sue's money, only her suffering -- and he will kill Veda if Sue doesn't follow his every command. With detailed instructions, the faceless abductor leads Sue into a blinding snowstorm on the longest night of the year, to a place she has not traveled to since childhood. The voice on the other end of the line somehow knows Sue's deepest, most chilling secret, an ominous incident from her past, buried long ago.

Across the loneliest back roads of Massachusetts, in the black expanse of a New England winter, Sue is forced to confront her most awful fears. She is met at each step by ever-increasing horrors created by a monster who is surely something less than human. In the hope of saving her daughter from a kidnapper whose origin seems darker than anything she could ever have imagined, Sue will discover just how much trauma and fright the human body is capable of absorbing.

Set over the course of a single night, Chasing the Dead is a fast-paced, ferociously tense supernatural thriller. With skill reminiscent of masters like Dean Koontz and David Morrell, Joe Schreiber has created a tableau of shock and horror, death and destruction, that will draw you in and never let you go.

MY REVIEW: 

This book was not at all what I expected. My local library categorized this is a mystery, but it actually falls into the horror genre. I picked it up because the synopsis was about a mom whose daughter was kidnapped, which is every mom’s worst nightmare. I was looking for a mystery, so I was a bit disappointed when the story played out with paranormal themes. Now, I love the horror and paranormal genres as well, so the book still ended up working for me.

The protagonist, Susan Young, receives a mysterious telephone call from a stranger, who claims to have her young daughter. The infant, Veda, was supposed to be in the care of her nanny. The caller gives Susan very specific instructions on what to take with her and sends her on a road trip, and she must do exactly as he says if she ever wants to see Veda again.

The pace of the book was quick, and the story takes place during a single night and Susan has 12 hours to complete the mission. Schreiber did develop an interesting paranormal element to the story, which I thought was unique. Even though it wasn’t the mystery that I was expecting, I still enjoyed the book. Schreiber is a new-to-me author and this is his debut novel. I intend to check out more of his work.

Renée Raudman is a new-to-me narrator, and I thought she was just “okay.” If I was Susan and my daughter had been kidnapped, I would have been much more frantic and I wish that Raudman would have conveyed that in her voice.

MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it.


View all my reviews

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #12
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 9 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504701150
Abandoned by new husband, James, Agatha Raisin hops on a plane to the South Pacific in the hope that an idyllic holiday will bring some consolation. There, she befriends a honeymooning couple but, tragically, the young bride is accidentally drowned. Returning home to the Cotswolds, Agatha finds herself involved in a strangely similar situation - a woman, dressed in a wedding gown, is found floating in the river. The police say suicide, but Agatha sets out to prove them wrong.
MY REVIEW: 

This 12th installment in the Agatha Raisin series had lots of action! After her brief sojourn to Robinson Crusoe Island (which turned out to be something completely different than what she was expecting but ended up being exactly what she needed), Agatha visits the salon in Evesham where she encounters a young engaged couple. Her spidey senses tingle as she feels that that groom-to-be is a bit “off.” Later, the young bride-to-be is found dead floating down the river in her wedding dress and clutching her bridal bouquet. Agatha feels obligated to look into the mystery. Was it a suicide, or was it murder?

I love the new (old?) Aggie! With James out of the picture, he sells his home and a new man moves in next door. Dear Agatha mistakes her younger, handsome neighbour, John Armitage, for a Mormon when he rings her doorbell with a Bible in hand. Unbeknownst to her, John had come across the Bible belonging to James and thought Agatha might like to have it! Eventually, proper introductions are made and John helps Agatha with her sleuthing.

Agatha’s usual sidekick for the past few books, Charles, is also absent for the most part since he is now married off. Bring in Roy Silver! He is quite a character, and it was nice having him back. I love Agatha, and Beaton had me in stitches with this one. She is always entertaining!

Listening to Penelope Keith narrate the story is like listening to a dear friend! She is wonderful and a delight to my ears.

MY RATING:

5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

#12 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Love From Hell by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Love From Hell 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #11
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: AudioGO Ltd.
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 18 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504614818
Recently married to James Lacey, Agatha quickly finds out that it’s not all "happy ever after" - before long the newlyweds are living in separate cottages and accusing each other of infidelity. After a fight down the local pub James vanishes completely, leaving a bloodstain as the only clue to his fate. Naturally, Agatha is Prime Suspect. Determined to clear her name and find her husband, Agatha begins her investigation - and promptly finds a murdered mistress...

MY REVIEW: 

This eleventh book in the Agatha Raisin series is one of my favourites!

Agatha finally gets her man, but the marital bliss does not last. After a very public argument, James disappears and a woman is murdered which brings suspicion on both him and Agatha. Charles comes to the rescue, and the two of them search for James to try to find out what really happened.

Even though I prefer Agatha with Charles, I was rooting for Aggie to finally get her happy ending but it was not to be! I felt sorry for Agatha, with James’ constant criticism. She is better off without him! I hope that she can finally put James behind her! Somehow, I doubt that will happen.

Penelope Keith is such a dramatic narrator. She makes me laugh out loud and smile while listening.

MY RATING:

5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

#11 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf (Or TBR) From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven't Read Yet


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf (Or TBR) From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven't Read Yet!

Wow, that's a huge list for me!! I started blogging in 2010, and I thought by joining online reading challenges that it would give me the accountability that I needed to tackle my bookshelves! Well, you all know how that goes. Once you start book blogging and become immersed into the community, you add more books to your ever-growing TBR piles and then you start receiving review copies and the books that you intended to tackle are still there unread!

Here are ten books that I have randomly picked off my bookshelves (and they are all quite dusty!):

Insomnia by Stephen King

The Homing by John Saul


Mortal Fear by Robin Cook

Audrey Rose by Frank DeFelitta

Stillwatch by Mary Higgins Clark

Whispers at Midnight by Peggy Roberts

If I Should Die by Judith Kelman


Primal Fear by William Diehl



The Need by Andrew Neiderman

Winter Moon by Dean Koontz


So, what books have been sitting on your shelves since before you started blogging? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm reading:

TITLE: Beg for Mercy
SERIES: Dead Wrong, Book #1
AUTHOR: Jami Alden
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: June 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 413 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780446572804

He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching . . . And once he has you, all you can do is. . .

Beg For Mercy

Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.

Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.


I'm listening to:

TITLE: Reached
SERIES: Matched, Book #3
AUTHOR: Ally Condie
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs, 15 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781611761023
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising - and each other - Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the number-one New York Times-best-selling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.



I just finished:

NARRATOR: Todd Haberkorn
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 16, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 3 hrs, 25 mins
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781101913857
A sensational memoir with all the emotional power of The Fault in Our Stars, The Yellow World is the story of cancer and survival that has moved and inspired readers around the world.

My heroes don’t wear red capes. They wear red bands.

Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about cancer - so he didn’t. Instead, he shares his most touching, funny, tragic, and happy memories in the hopes that others, healthy and sick alike, can draw the same strength and vitality from them.

At 13, Espinosa was diagnosed with cancer, and he spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals, undergoing one daunting procedure after another, starting with the amputation of his left leg. After going on to lose a lung and half of his liver, he was finally declared cancer-free. Only then did he realize that the one thing sadder than dying is not knowing how to live. In this rich and rewarding book, Espinosa takes us into what he calls "the yellow world", a place where fear loses its meaning; where strangers become, for a moment, your greatest allies; and where the lessons you learn will nourish you for the rest of your life.


TITLE: Scars
PUBLISHER: WestSide Books
PUBLICATION DATE: May 25, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 233 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
ISBN: 9781934813577

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.


What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!
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