Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: February 28, 2016 and Small Book Haul

Hello everyone,
Well its the end of February already! Had another boring week on my end, but tonight I did have an enjoyable time. I went out for a nice dinner at one of my favourite Irish restaurants to celebrate my birthday. An early birthday celebration actually. I turn 29 on Tuesday (March 1). The last year of my 20's! YIKES!

I am currently participating in a Spring Break Read-a-thon, along with my fellow members of the Goodreads group Bookworm Bitches. I am keeping track of my progress on this master post. So far I am happy with my progress, although it has kind of took a side track due to today's busyness.

After dinner tonight I took an unplanned visit to Chapters. And well I couldn't walk out without buying anything.

Here are the new additions to my shelves:

And a closer look..

I also added the following ebooks to my TBR:

Reading Progress 

Books Completed:

Recent Posts:

Upcoming Posts:

Tuesday: Book Review: TLC Blog Tour: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy
Wednesday: Monthly Wrap-up: February 2016
Thursday: Book Review: Minor: Volume One (The Journals of Meghan McDonnell Book 1) by Meghan McDonnell 

Hosted by: Book Date

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar and Jinger Duggar

Title: Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships
Author: Jana Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar and Jinger Duggar
Published: March 2014
Published By: Howard Books
Format Read: eBook, Kobo
Genre: Non-fiction, Christian, Young Adult
Date Read: January 30 2016
Rating: 2.5/5

The Duggar family came to fame from their TLC realtiy show chronicling their much larger- than-normal family. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are parents to 19 children and as devout Christians they follow some convictions that seem very strange to people outside their lifestyle. In a bid to share their beliefs with other likeminded girls, the 4 oldest daughters decided to write this book. In Growing Up Duggar, Jana, Jessa, Jill and Jinger explain their relationships with their parents, siblings and friends. They discuss their reasons behind dating with a purpose and courting, while following the teachings of the Bible. 

Why I chose to read this book..

First of all I would like to explain why I chose to read this book and what my thoughts are regarding the Duggar family in general. I remember back when the early TLC specials aired and the world was first introduced to this growing family. Although it was very clear that they were different than me, I became very intrigued with them all. I was interested in how they managed their day to day routines with so many children, how they managed to support them all and why they chose the lifestyle they had. I looked forward to watching the new episodes each week and I continued to do so until it was taken off the air as a result of the recent controversies. 

Growing up Duggar was released in 2014, before the disturbing details regarding the oldest son was made public. This book had already been on my TBR for quite some time by that point, but had yet to come to the top of my pile. Ironically it did come to the top of my pile shortly after the controversy broke. At that time details were still emerging and I decided that it wouldn’t be the best time to get into the book, so I moved onto another. To be honest I was conflicted whether or not I wanted to read it at all by that point.

That being said, although I am disgusted by the events that took place, I am still fascinated with this family. 

A proper mindset..
My goal all along was to go into this book with an open mind and without judgement. I knew that I wouldn’t agree with everything they said, but I was still curious even after all that had been released. So when Growing up Duggar came to the top of my TBR pile again, I decided to just jump in and read it. 

Duggar convictions.. 
Reading this book I could picture each of the 4 girl describing their piece in turn. I could hear their voices in my head and picture them describing it all with such conviction. It is obvious that they believe in these convictions with all their hearts. The tone came across as very personable and was definitely wrote with a younger female audience in mind. 

The pro's..
Although the Duggar sisters and I share very different beliefs, I was able to take away some valuable tips. Most specifically parenting related pointers about dealing with conflict. Things I hope to be able to remember when I have children of my own. The girls also mentioned how important it is to “love the girl in the mirror”, which I thought was a great lesson to today’s impressionable youth. 

The con's..
Unfortunately I did have quite a few disagreements and dislikes regarding Growing Up Duggar, which is obvious in my rating of the book. 

First of all the writing and the organization lacked editing. I thought that the sections where a specific Duggar shared a story could have been better divided and noted. Also examples that were shared felt quite vague and without description. 

I was put off by the mention of negative thoughts being a sin and the work of Satan. Although I knew that the content would be preachy, I felt like they spent a lot of time telling their readers what not to do.

In closing, Growing Up Duggar would appeal to a very select group of people: young Christian girls. I believe that that specific audience will enjoy this book and would be able to take away a lot more from it than I did.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: February 21 2016

Not much to report again this week, so onto my reading progress..

Reading Progress 

Books Completed:
The Girls from See Saw Lane is the first 5 star book I've read so far in 2016. I just loved this book and couldn't put it down.

Recent Posts:

Upcoming Posts 

Thursday: Book Review: Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana, Jessa, Jill and Jinger Duggar 

Hosted by: Book Date


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Steak in a Drawer by Eric Conroy

Title: Steak in a Drawer
Author: Eric Conroy
Published: 2012
Published by: Markplan Inc.
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Non-fiction
Date Read: January 6 2016
Rating: 4/5

In the summer of 1963, at the age of 17, Eric Conroy would take a summer job that he would cherish long after his last shift. With the help of an acquaintance and claiming to be a year older, Conroy got a job waiting tables on the CPR passenger liner SS Keewatin. 

“The Mighty ship Keewatin” sailed between Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) to present day Thunder Bay (Lake Superior) from 1912-1966. Steak in a Drawer chronicles the two summers Conroy spent on the ship and what life was like sailing on the great lakes. 

In 1967 the SS Keewatin was saved from a scrapyard by a Michigan man by the name of R.J. Peterson and turned into a floating museum. In this second edition of Steak in a Drawer, Conroy includes the journey it took to bring the ship back to its rightful home in Port McNicoll, Ontario. 

I left home at 17
Ran away with a Great Lakes Queen
Prettiest girl I'd ever seen
The Might Ship Keewatin

                              -Albert Hall

It started with a tour:
A couple of years ago I went on a tour of the SS Keewatin, which is now open to visitors as a floating museum. During the tour our guide led us through the beautiful dining room. Near the back, just outside the kitchen entrance was an ornate hutch that the servers used. The lady began to tell us the story of how a certain waiter would use a drawer in the hutch to hide an extra plateful of food, which he would save for himself to eat after his shift. The waiter she mentioned is one Eric Conroy, author of this book and the story being its namesake. After the conclusion of our tour, I took a look in the gift shop and found this very book for sale. I was eager to learn more about what it was like sailing the Great Lakes and wanted to help support the operations of the museum, so I picked up a copy.

Full to the brim
Steak in a Drawer is full to the brim with Conroy’s experiences serving on board the SS Keewatin in the early 1960’s. Although he only served for 2 seasons, he learned many lessons and always kept a space in his heart for her. Aside from his own personal stories and the ships history, he has also included numerous pictures of the SS Keewatin from her glory days, to her most present use as a museum. 

My reading experience
As a lover of history (especially that from my own province), this book was of great interest to me. Having been on the ship itself I was able to picture each of the locations mentioned. Conroy weaved some witty commentary in with historical facts which made for an entertaining reading experience. 

Remembering today
Unfortunately faster and more modern modes of transportation have replaced these beautiful old ships, like the SS Keewatin. However it is important to remember their roles sailing the Great Lakes, a task Conroy successfully has done with this book and his work in the museum. 

I would recommend Steak in a Drawer to people interested in Ontario history including transportation and educational attractions. 

 For more information on the SS Keewatin visit the website: