The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I heard about The Library at Mount Char through my book club. We always do a little what-are-you-reading-besides-the-club-book round table. One of the girls talked about Mount Char a couple times. I was immediately attracted to the name. She could never really describe what the book was about, but said it was worth the read. So when I saw the audiobook pop up on hoopla, I immediately downloaded it and settled in, prepared for a certain kind of read. This book club focuses on young adult books. Even though I knew this wasn’t YA, you know, I had perceptions (that were totally made with no supporting documentation). Have I mentioned that I’m also terrible at reading book blurbs? Especially on books that are recommended to me? I typically read the first line or two and then just open and read the first paragraph of the book. I was unprepared.

What the fuck did I just read? I now understand why she couldn’t explain the book when she was recommending it. For the first 2-3 hours of the book, I wasn’t sure that I was going to keep listening. Not that I didn’t want to keep reading it, but there was so much going on and there were so many characters that I didn’t know if listening was the best way to imbibe this particular novel. But I persevered and it got easier. Kind of.

This is not an easy book. Maybe it is for people who read a lot of fantasy and are used to all that information being thrown at them, but for me – holy crap this brain made my brain hurt in the best possible way. The reader is dropped right into this world – which is finely balanced between our own world and the fantasy world – there’s no gentle submersion here. This is hard and fast.  This is not a book for the light hearted. It is full of death and destruction and people doing terrible things to each other, even their family members. Continue reading

Friday Music Roundup

If you have any kind of access to the internet, it’s pretty much impossible to not know it’s Black Friday. So, you know, spend your money or whatever. Or listen to today’s topically influenced music roundup – songs with colours in the title. I was going to do songs with the word black in the title, but then I realizes that I like a lot (a lot I cut out a good chunk of them for variety) of songs with Blue in the title. So, colours, not just black.

This list includes a little of everything – songs I know every word of, songs I used to play on repeat, songs that remind me of people, songs I don’t listen to anymore, and my if-I-absolutely-had-to-choose-one favourite song.

Blue Orchid – The White Stripes

Continue reading

Read the Secrets

I’m currently working on some reviews, but at the moment, nothing is finished. The last few weeks have been insanely busy! I don’t know where all these events have come from. So, instead of a review, I want to spread the word on a recently released series of books.

I say series, but that is the loosest way to describe these seven books. However, it is the easiest way, so series it is. These books are written by seven different authors about seven different protagonists but all take place in the same setting. They can be read as stand alones but also have interconnecting storylines. Coordinating the writing of these books sounds incredibly complicated. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Winter TBR

Today’s theme from the ladies of the Broke and Bookish is thankfulness. I’m Canadian. Our Thanksgiving was last month. I am thankful that it is over (even if it was entertaining). So, I’m going rogue this week and picking my own topic. We haven’t done a To-Be-Read post since September. I like these lists, they remind me that I said I would read some books I’ve forgotten about. And we got our first real snowfall last night (it’s really late this year) and that means lots of curling up inside and reading over the next couple months.

There are some books from my autumn list that still need to be read and some that I have chosen not to read. But here are the books I’m considering reading over the next few snowy months.


Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The classic story of a young boy who seeks his fortune on the streets of London. After Oliver Twist asks nasty Mr Bumble for more food, he has to flee the workhouse for the streets of London. Here he meets the Artful Dodger, who leads him to Fagin and his gang of pickpockets. When a thieving mission goes wrong, Oliver narrowly avoids prison and finds himself in the care of kind Mr Brownlow. But Fagin and the brutal Bill Sikes go in search of the young orphan, determined to drag him back .

Continue reading

Boring Girls by Sara Taylor

I found this book the old fashioned way – wandering the bookstore looking for nothing in particular. There it was, sitting on an endcap among a bunch of other books touting strong female protagonists. Something about it drew me in. I’d already picked up more books than I had planned that day, so I tossed this one on my library list and waited. It came in just in time for vacation. A trip to the mountains in the autumn – a perfect time for a dark book about dark music. I really wasn’t sure what this book was even about from the synopsis, except heavy metal. So, when I started the book and the first paragraph was one of the best openings I’ve ever read, I was excited. It was so compelling that I immediately read it aloud to my friend. She had the same reaction. I began to devour it. I had eight days of vacation. That was plenty of time to finish this book. And for the first third of the book, I was mostly sold.

I understood this girl. Not her metal inclinations, but her feeling of not fitting in. She was a girl in a smallish town that couldn’t really find her footing. She didn’t know what she was looking for, but she knew it wasn’t what the people around her were offering. She had no exposure to the media she would eventually connect to, so she floundered. And then one day, by accident, she hears the music. Those dulcet tones of screaming and playing hard. I don’t get it. It’s never been my kind of music, but for Rachel, it was the thing that gave her direction. Here she found an outlet for her emotions. She channeled her anger and inability to fit in into these lyrics. She no longer cared about the typical way because she had found her way. She found her way in the pounding beats and violent imagery. In her early exploration, she channeled these feelings into graphic, angry poetry. It makes sense for a girl of fifteen with no other outlet.

She does what many young girls do – finds a pop culture icon she can connect to and becomes obsessed with it. For Rachel it’s more than just the music. It’s the scene and the bands. Especially this band called DED and its lead singer. She fantasizes about their future together. About meeting and falling madly in love. This is not abnormal for teens. Obsession is part of that whole brain development thing. As adults we look back with embarrassment and are thankful that most of us are too nervous/shy to act on those obsessions. Rachel is not that girl. At least not after she meets Fern. Continue reading