Monday, March 28, 2016

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keene

Title: The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Narrator: Laura Linney
Published: June 2007 (Originally published: 1930)
Published By: Listening Library
Format Read: Audio Book
Genre: Middle Grade
Date Read: February 26 2016
Rating: 3/5

The Secret of the Old Clock is the first book in the classic mystery series by Carolyn Keene, which was first published in 1930. Readers are introduced to the beautiful blonde Nancy, who at the age of 18 is eager to help those in need. In this specific case, those in need are the supposed beneficiaries to the estate of a deceased man whose inheritance was wrongfully claimed by a greedy family. Nancy works to uncover a missing will to set things right. 

Growing up I loved to read just as much as I do today, but for some reason I never did pick up a Nancy Drew mystery. So now as a grown woman, after all these years I decided to give the first book in the series a try. 

The Secret of the Old Clock was an interesting mystery that kept my attention. Although I found it quite convenient how the clues would just fall into Nancy’s lap. For someone who didn’t partake in gossip, strangers sure did give her all the dirt, ha. It was a simple story, yet enjoyable and has certainly stood the test of time. 

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this book was narrated by actress Laura Linney. I thought she did a good job and look forward to listening to the others she is attached to.

I gave The Secret of the Old Clock a 3 star rating, however I think that had I read (or listened) to these books during my childhood, I would have loved them even more. I would recommend it to its intended audience; ,middle grade readers and to those who enjoy classic children’s books.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: March 27 Part 2

And welcome to part 2 of my Sunday Wrap-up for March 27. Number 1 ran a little long, as I talked about the recent ice storm that hit my area. Click the link below to read that post:

Now that I am warm, fed and back online here are my reading updates for the past week..

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get my Mary Kay beauty haul post up, but I am going to try to make that a priority for this week.. Fingers crossed.. I owe you all the second part of my shelf tour as well. Get it together Melissa!! 

Now onto the books:

My Reading Progress 

Books Completed:
I gave this one a 3.5/5 rating. Hopefully I will get it reviewed and posted in the next few days.

Recent Posts:

Monday: Book Review: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin RATING: 4/5
Wednesday: ML's Worth a Watch: Commonly Mispronounced Author Names

Coming up this week:

Monday: Book Review: The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keene

That is all I will promise for now. But I do hope to get at least one more post scheduled.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter!

Hosted by: Book Date


Sunday Wrap-up: March 27 2016 Pt 1: Southern Ontario Ice Storm

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter. I hope that you all are having a wonderful weekend.

This is part 1 of my Sunday Wrap-up where I will talk about the recent ice storm that hit my area. In part 2 I will update my reading progress. 

If you read my wrap-up for March 13-20 you may remember me mentioning that I was longing to go away for a night. Well it happened friday. Only it wasn't exactly the get-away I had hoped for..

This past week we kept hearing of a winter storm that was heading our way. A lot of people didn't think it would hit us very hard (if at all) and others had even taken their snow tires off with the start of "spring". Well it hit us. Very hard. Thursday evening it started to snow.. then it turned into freezing rain. It wasn't long before the power outages began all over southern Ontario.

So that night we had cold cereal for dinner and just read our books by lantern light.

I am so thankful for our LED battery operated lanterns! You can adjust the brightness, they are safe and lightweight. We've even brought these camping with us. We used some candles too, but for the most part these gave us the light we needed.

Friday morning we woke up still without power and the bad weather continued. By this time everything was a sheet of ice. The trees were so coated with ice that they began to snap, bringing down large trunks and branches onto power lines, which created fires and even more dangerous conditions. 

Here is a video I found on Youtube that shows all the ice on the trees:

It looks kind of pretty, but scary at the same time. All we could hear throughout the night was the snapping of branches from the trees all around us. By morning it was starting to get pretty cold inside due to the lack of heat and because our stove/oven is electric as well we couldn't even cook anything.

Image from The Weather Network (Susan Casey)

So we packed up and headed to my parents house where we were very thankful for a woodstove and a gas range. It wasn't until late friday night that power was restored to the area where my parents live. Unfortunately it took a lot longer for other areas to get theirs back. Some may be in the cold and dark until monday!

Here is another video which was posted on the Weather Network that shows some damage and the electrical explosions that were seen throughout the night:

While we were very fortunate to have a warm meal and a cozy fire, there were many others in my area and all over the region who were not so lucky. A lot of damage has been done as a result of this storm. I would like to take a moment to think of the first responders: the firefighters, paramedics and the OPP, as well as all the hydro crews. Many of which have been working non-stop to make sure that residents are safe.

So like I said it wasn't exactly the get-away I hoped for, but we made the most of the situation. Sometimes it is nice to be unplugged. We both got a lot of reading done, played some Jenga and just enjoyed some quality time together in front of a warm fire.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my sunday wrap-up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ML's Worth a Watch: Commonly Mispronounced Author Names

A few weeks ago I was looking through my suggested videos on Youtube and I came across the two videos I am sharing with you today. These videos are brought to us by BookRiot and clear up some commonly mispronounced authors names.

So what do you do when you are reading and come across a name that you can't pronounce? Well for me I usually try to make up my own pronunciation. Then when I hear the correct way to say that specific name it just doesn't seem natural to me, ha. So even though Jodi Picoult's name was clarified I will still be pronouncing it "Pie-colt" in my head.

What are some authors names that you have been pronouncing wrong? Leave me a message in the comments.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin


Title: Heart of the Matter
Author: Emily Giffin
Published: March 2011
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Contemporary
Date Read: February 10, 2016
Rating: 4/5

As a wife to a prominent pediatric plastic surgeon, Tessa Russo has become accustomed to her husband being paged to attend to emergencies. So it came as no surprise when her husband Nick had to cut their anniversary dinner short, to race to the hospital. Little did she know that the emergency he would race to would affect the entire future of their marriage. 

Meanwhile, single mother Valerie Anderson is trying to stay strong after an accident that left her young son with devastating injuries. Her only solace is the connection she forms with his caring doctor.

 Drawn in..

It should come to no surprise that Heart of the Matter is a book about infidelity. It is a typical contemporary and pretty obvious from the start, what would develop. Yet, there was something about the Emily Giffin’s writing that drew me in. Although I have (luckily) never been in a situation like that of Tessa and Valerie, I was able to empathize with these characters. And poor little Charlie’s terrible injuries were heartbreaking and at times difficult to read about. 

Tessa and Valerie 
Both Tessa and Valerie were strong characters, who shared some common similarities. Both were highly educated, trying to fit into a posh neighbourhood where appearances are everything. I think that many dedicated mothers and wives, from all walks of life will be able to relate to their struggle to balance the daily responsibilities of their hectic lives. 

Alternating narratives..
Personally I found that as I reader I made more of a connection with Tessa. Not only because she was the woman scorned, but because of the first person narrative of her character. Valerie’s story was equally heartbreaking as she watched her son suffer, but I felt more disconnected from her. The reason for this is based on the fact that her story was told in third person narrative. 

In closing.. 
Heart of the Matter is the first book I have read by author Emily Giffin and it certainly won’t be my last. I would recommend this solid contemporary story to fans of the genre.