Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Vote for Murder (Murder, She Wrote. #22) by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. Narrated by Cynthia Darlow

A Vote for Murder 
(Murder, She Wrote, #22)
By: Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
Narrated by: Cynthia Darlow

Published: October 2004
Published By: Blackstone Audiobooks 
Format Read: Audiobook, OverDrive App. 
Genre: Mystery, Series, Cozy Mystery

Rating: 3/5

Beloved mystery author Jessica Fletcher is invited to Washington D.C. to a literary event hosted by a senator and his wife. When the chief of staff for the senator is found dead at the opening dinner party, Jessica uncovers a trail of shady politics, extortion and affairs.

A Vote for Murder is a mystery that tied in the importance of literacy with a murder the shined the spotlight on corruption. It was an interesting storyline that kept my attention, even though the literacy event did take a backseat to that of the politicians involved. Unfortunately I did have some issues with the final revelations, mostly pertaining to one character whose actions didn’t exactly line up with the initial traits given to them earlier in the novel.

Still I think that Jessica Fletcher is a wonderful character and I like how she always manages to stay poised and level-headed during the situations she finds herself in.

It is nice to come across a larger series where each book can be read as a stand-alone. Mention of previous mysteries are noted, but it isn’t necessary for the reader to have read them in order to understand the current installment.

Cynthia Darlow was a good narrator, however I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t done by Angela Lansbury herself. After-all no one would be better suited to voice Jessica Fletcher than the actress who made the character famous.

I would recommend A Vote for Murder and the Murder, She Wrote series to fans of the television show and light mysteries. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Jamie Ford

Published: January 2009
Published By: Random House Inc. 
Format Read: Kobo, eBook, Paperback 
Genre: Historical Fiction 

Rating: 4/5

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a dual time period novel that following Chinese-American Henry Lee as he recalls his experiences during the war years growing up in Seattle. In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbour and the war raging between Japan and China, Henry’s father is more patriotic than ever. And although Henry was born in the USA, his Asian features makes him a target, especially in the all-white school his father insists he attends. 

At 12 years old, life is very lonely for Henry until a new student by the name of Keiko Okabe comes to his school on scholarship. A beautiful friendship blossoms, however the Japanese (even the Japanese American’s) are seen as the enemy and his father greatly disapproves. Can the bond that Henry and Keiko made survive their separation as she and her family are forced off to an internment camp for the duration of the war?

Jamie Ford has written a beautiful tale of friendship and love. The bond that Henry and Keiko form felt so pure and genuine. It wasn’t a frivolous pre-teen crush, but something far more meaningful and strong.

The treatment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry after the attacks on Pearl Harbour was terrible. It amazed me how they persevered and fought to prove their pride and allegiance to their country.

Despite the sad subject manner, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was a quick and easy read. I enjoyed Ford’s writing style and the way he tied in the two time periods: the early 1940’s and the mid 1980’s. I also learned a lot about the differences in the traditional Chinese and Japanese cultures, which was quite interesting.

I would recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet to historical fiction lovers, especially those with an interest in life on the home front and the plight of the Japanese-American’s during World War II. Although it is technically adult fiction, I think that the subject manner would make for a great learning experience for younger readers as well. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Currently Reading: March 13, 2017

I didn't really have much of an update to do yesterday for a Sunday Wrap-up, so I decided to do a Currently Reading post instead..

Currently Reading

I'm still chipping away at The Empress Holds the Key. I'm currently at 72%, so hopefully it won't take me too much longer to complete. 

I also started reading A Man Called Ove, this past week. I am considering joined a local book club and this is the first book chosen. I'm not sure how much I will be able to commit to the club, or if I will even be able to attend the monthly meet-ups, but I like the idea of connecting with other book lovers in my community. 

Have you ever read A Man Called Ove? If so what did you think of it?

Hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Hosted by: Book Date

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4) by Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)
By: Rick Riordan

Published: May 2008
Published By: Listening Library
Format Read: Audio Book
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 3/5

In this 4th installment of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, our hero sets out on another quest. This time he joins friends Annabeth, Grover and half-brother Tyson, as they enter the labyrinth in an effort to stop the rise of the evil Kronos and his army.

I admit that I had a hard time getting into book 4. The thought of our hero’s travelling through a labyrinth initially had me intrigued. However as I listened along, I got somewhat overwhelmed by the vast difference in each room they came across. I also had a hard time picturing the monsters they battled on their journey.

Thankfully closer to the end of this audio book, I began to enjoy the story more. The pace really picked up and there was quite a bit of action. I really appreciated how the author included the God Pan to give his readers a lesson in the importance of preserving our environment.

Although this wasn’t my favourite book in the Percy Jackson series, I would still recommend it to fans of middle grade fantasy. 

Previous Books in the Percy Jackson Series:

  1. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympian's, #1) 
  2. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympian's. #2)
  3. The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympian's. #3) 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Wrap-up: March 5 2017

Today my Mom threw me a wonderful baby shower. She has been planning it for weeks and at all came together nicely. Lots of good friends and family attended. We played games and ate delicious food. I am so grateful for all those who attended and brought gifts for my little boy. He sure is blessed already.

Check out the amazing cake my friend made for my shower:

Isn't that cool? She included some of my favourite books that I read growing up and of course a baby boy and his kitten too. She is so talented.

Instead of cards, we asked that guests bring a book to help start the baby's library. I will be making a Stacking the Shelves post to share all the wonderful books soon.

My Reading Progress:
Since my last Sunday Wrap-up I completed 2 books..

The friendship between the two characters in this book was beautiful and genuine. I gave Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 4 stars and will be posting my review in the next couple of weeks.

A Vote for Murder was an interesting mystery that I gave 3 stars. My review for this one will also be posted in a couple of weeks. I listened to this book on audio via the Overdrive app.

Currently Reading

The past couple of days I have been really focusing on reading The Empress Holds the Key. Like I have said before it is quite long, but I am making good progress.

And that is all for this weeks wrap-up. I hope you all had a great weekend.

Happy reading!

Hosted by: Book Date

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Monthly Wrap-up: February 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for February 2017. This past month was another blur of doctors appointments as I count down the weeks until my due date. Thankfully everything is going well and baby is growing on schedule.

Today is my 30th birthday, which to be honest I haven't even given much thought to. I always thought that the big 3-0 would hit me harder, but since I've been so busy concentrating on my upcoming due date, its kind of taken a back seat. I celebrated with my family on Sunday, just the 6 of us with a yummy dinner at my parents house. A small gathering is just what I wanted, complete with one of my favourite meals and dessert. It was a nice night.

I have just about 7 weeks to go until my due date!

Now, lets get to the books..

I completed 3 books in the month of February, which is one more than January. Goodreads is telling me that I am 2 books behind schedule to reach my goal of 45 books in the year. I'm ok with that though. Plus I am on track to completing my goal for my first quarter TBR, which is 4 books from my back-list.

🌟🌟🌟🌟 A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware 
Rating: 4/5
Set in the aftermath of the great San Francisco earthquake in 1906, A Race to Splendor follows a young female architect as she competes to re-build the hotel her family once owned.
Favourite Part: Reading about strong independent women who fought to forge careers in a male dominated profession.
Recommendations: I would recommend A Race to Splendor to those interested in historical fiction featuring trail blazing women.

🌟🌟🌟 The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4) by Rick Riordan
Review to come.
Rating: 3/5
Percy and his friends go on a quest into the labyrinth in a bid to stop the rise of Kronos.
Favourite Part:  Grover and Tyson.
Recommendations: I would recommend this book to those who have read the previous books in the series. However I think it is best read in book format and not listened to in audio like I have been doing. After 4 books, I'm still not a big fan of the narrator.

🌟🌟🌟🌟 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford 
Review to come.
Rating: 4/5
Henry Lee, an American of Chinese descent remembers his childhood during the war years and his forbidden friendship with a Japanese-American girl named Keiko.
Favourite Part: The beautiful relationship that Henry and Keiko form.
Recommendations: I would recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet to those interested in American history during WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read From my Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 1.5
(Note: I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet in two different formats; my own eBook copy and in physical format from my library

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 1.5
eBooks: 0.5
Audio Books:

Genres Read:

Historical Fiction: 2
Fantasy: 1
Middle Grade:

Total Books Read in 2017: 5 

The Empress Holds the Key (Jack Rogan Mysteries, #2) by Gabriel Farago follows a journalist as he uncovers a lead connecting a Nazi war criminal with Swiss bank accounts, a Vatican cover-up and a middle-eastern terrorist organization. I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. So far it is quite fast paced and exciting.

A Vote for Murder (Murder She Wrote, #22) by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (Narrated by: Cynthia Darlow): follows the beloved mystery novelist as she is invited to the capitol for a literacy event, when a murder is committed. I'm enjoying this story in audio format, however I wish that Angela Lansbury was the narrator.

  • No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom, #1) by Elizabeth Ludwig 
  • Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) by Janet Evanovich 
Did you do a monthly wrap-up? If so I'd love to check out your post, so leave me a message below and I will be sure to check it out. Hope you all have a wonderful March! 

Hosted by: Book Date 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cat Thursday: February 23, 2017

Cat Thursday is a weekly meme that is hosted by True Book Addict

Last week I saw an article on Buzz Feed called "12 Slightly Weird Things All Cat Owners Have Definitely Done" and well many of the examples listed, I can relate to. Ok, all of the examples I can relate too, but most specifically the one below:


Many nights I have curled myself up in an awkward position so I don't wake my Nova up. But I have to say with my growing baby bump its getting harder to do, haha. He just looks so cute and peaceful when he sleeps.. 

How many of you can relate?