Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Anthologies, Novellas and Short Story Collections

via That Artsy Reader Girl
I haven't too many anthologies or short story collections. I have read a few novellas, but this post will focus on anthologies that I want to try... it's not 10 books (I actually found more and edited the post before it went live), but the ones that look interesting to me. Mostly I feel interested after seeing Kayla from BooksandLaLa talk about her love for anthologies. Check out her posts - Guide to YA Anthologies & 2018 Anthologies.

Any suggestions for me on other anthologies I should check out? 

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes | Review (Audiobook)

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: April 1, 2018
Narrator: Angela Dawe & Arthur Morey
Received: for honest review via Thomas Allen & Sons

A spellbinding novel about an unspeakable secret that could destroy a family, from the New York Times bestselling author of Finding Emma.

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.

Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who came to the house one night and never left.

As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the family’s secrets forever.

"Love isn't always pretty or clear cut. It can't be wrapped in a nice little box and presented with a bow. Sometimes it's ugly and hurtful and does more damage than good."

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and quite enjoyed the dual narration in it. It's told from two point of views, Elle and her dying grandfather. Elle is a nurse at a hospital who learns that her "long dead" grandfather is in fact alive and in the very hospital that she works at, but is sadly really dying. 

Over the course of the story, we find out about David's life, Elle's mothers life that she always hid away and the secrets that caused them to stop speaking to one another many years ago. The deep dark secrets hold a lot more than you can imagine. 

Elle has a hard time knowing if she should believe David's story because her mother has such a strong reaction to her having found him. Her mother warns her that not everything he says can be true or taken as gospel, but Elle starts to wonder as her mother's mental health deteriorates yet again.

The story triggers her mother to start her slow spiral again and the more that Elle pushes to find out the truth - speaking with people who knew her grandfather back then, searching out the old homestead, putting her trust in David. Learning about her past, about her grandmother's life with undiagnosed mental illness and the miscarriages that troubled her all add to the mystery surrounding her family's past.

The things we learn are quite intense and surprising to say the least and mental health plays a big part in the history and secrets as well, not just with Elle's mother, but also her grandmother. It makes you question how well you really know people, how well they remember their own pasts and it deals a lot with forgiveness and love. As the quote above states that love can do more hurt than good - it's about turning a blind eye when you love someone so much that you don't want to see the ugly truth. It's about thinking you are protecting them, when really you just might be loving them too much and not getting them the help they need. Love can make people do incredible things, both good and bad and this story shows both sides.

My review is not doing this book the justice it deserves, I'm afraid of spoilers, so I'm sure this seems vague in some ways.

I will definitely be looking for more books by Steena Holmes in the near future. I've added her to my must read Canadian author list.

Sidenote: Arthur Morey was the perfect David in this narrative. His voice, his inflection and his cadence added to the mystery surrounding David and his past. Well done.

About the Author:
Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology.

In 2012 she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes was inspired to write Finding Emma after experiencing a brief moment of horror when she’d thought her youngest daughter was missing.

She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Unhauling! Letting go...


I'll admit it... I love the look of so many books piled on my bookshelf. BUT... I think it's time I cull a ton. It makes me sad, but at the same time it's overwhelming to have so many on my shelf that are unread or that I don't plan to reread - ever. So I've decided to just cull them all. I'll be slowly donating books to the Little Free Library near my mother in law's house and maybe even boxing some up to donate to the library book sale.

So many books that I wanted to read at the time, but either don't feel the same about anymore or don't think I'll ever get to. And I think I only want to keep those that I loved, want to reread or will for sure get to in the next 2 years. That seems like a good time frame. Even review books that I was once interested in, but now so much time has passed that I'm just not feeling them - best to pass along to someone who will enjoy them!

Netgalley - cull out ones I'll never get to - DNF the ones I'm no longer interested in. And stop requesting so many books on there. Only a few at a time... I can eventually get books from the library if I'm still interested in the titles.

Have you ever done this? Did you feel guilty for culling unread books or did you feel relief? I'm hoping it helps me deal with my blogger shame of having so many older review books that I just never got to.

EDIT: I didn't know that unhauling was a thing, but I do it often. Who knew? I'm new to watching BookTube and love BooksandLala and that's where I learned about unhauling books. 

UPDATE: I unhauled 46 books from my shelves. I still need to do the ebooks, but I'm not in such a hurry for those as they are not taking up physical space.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Library Lovers Book Tag

Found via As Told By Tina

1. How often do you visit your local library?
For a while, I was going weekly, but since going back to work after my maternity leave was over, I generally go once a month? I like to use Overdrive which allows me to borrow audiobooks all the time, so it allows me to use my library when I know I can't make it there physically.

2. Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you know you can read or are you someone who only checks out the exact amount of books you intend on reading before they are due?
I go back and forth on this one. Sometimes I just grab one or two that I know I'll get to and other times I end up grabbing everything that looks amazing and end up returning some unread.

3. How old were you when you got your first library card?
  I don't actually remember when I got my first library card. I know I was young and in primary school, because our Mom would take us to the library every week or so to pick out a ton of books to read. 

4. Do you go to your library looking for a particular book or do you check out anything that peaks your interest?
Both. When I want a certain book I definitely go in search of it at the library, but I also like to browse and just grab something that look interesting.

5. Do you use your library to check out just books or do you also check out DVDs, audiobooks, etc?
I check out lots of items: mostly books, audiobooks and DVDs, but they also have museum passes, bicycles, telescopes, GPS units and more. Our library is full of amazing items to borrow.
6. From what section of your library do you check out the majority of your books? (YA, middle grade, adult, nonficiton.)
Adult, YA and children's books (for my toddler - though she has her own library card that we check those out with).

7. What is your favourite part of using your local library? 
Our local library has an amazing childrens play area with a train table, giant Connect Four game, weekly crafts, blocks, lego, musical instruments, puzzles and more. My toddler loves visiting and checking it all out. Oh and they do "blind date with a book" for adults and children and they extended it from Valentine's Day to all year long... kids loved unwrapping surprise books that went with different holidays and seasons so they keep doing them. My toddler loves these and so do I!

This isn't this first library tag or library post I've written, but I just love talking about my local libraries that I have access to... to read more click this link.

What are your favourite things about your local library?

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