Tag Archives: reading

What I’ve Been Reading : The Home For Unwanted Girls and My Absolute Darling

my-absolute-darling-woods

I’ve been reading books very quickly lately.  My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent was a page turner for me. I was drawn into this strange world and even stranger circumstances and hoped for a happy ending. I read this book in just a few days and I recommend it if you’re up for reading through uncomfortable and unimaginable situations. Curious?

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman was read in 3 days, thanks to my new reading chair. This historical fiction had me in its grasp almost immediately. The story is interesting enough but the whole part about the Quebec orphanages turning into mental institutions, and its orphans into patients, in the 50s was fascinating and sad. It’s a book I highly recommend if you can stomach a heart-wrenching story of abandonment and greed.

Reading anything good? I’m on a roll!

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Fernie Family Literacy Day – January 24th

Fernie Family Literacy Day - Fernie Heritage Library

From Facebook:

“A special event to celebrate family literacy for ALL AGES – from early years to seniors. Join us for a night of pizza, writing, storytelling and making! We will be creating books with family stories, written from our roots. Writing stations, prompts and all materials provided. Brought to you by the Fernie Heritage Library and Fernie Early Years Team
REGISTRATION REQUIRED (or for more info) email fhlprogrammer@gmail.com. Limited spaces available.”

January 24th, 5:30-7:30pm
at Fernie Heritage Library

Music Break : If You Really Love Nothing (Reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder)


I got home from school drop off and came to my computer, like I do every morning after drop off, and opened Spotify. Looking for something different to listen to, I clicked on the Release Radar mix. The first song I heard was this and I felt it was just the perfect song for this morning.

I’ve been reading a book called Road Ends by Mary Lawson. It’s about a family who lives in northern Ontario, set in the late 1960s, and the struggles they deal with from their past and present. The mother locks herself in her room with her newborn and slowly fades away, completely obliviously to the rest of the family, the father lives a life of regret and fails to step up to his role as father, and the kids, well, the kids are surviving the best they know how. About 15 pages from the end I put the book down and I cleaned up all the toys on the floor I’ve been ignoring, put away all the drawings my kids have 1/2 finished that just sit around the house, I put away clothes on the floor that I pretend aren’t there and threw out a banana peel from under the coffee table that looked like I caught it just in time. Life can get away from you. I get it but I don’t want that. I want to step up. My kids deserve to be kids and I should be there to support them and show them how to love even when things aren’t going our way. Gosh, books, I love them. I love music, too. Now it’s time to draw!

Hail To Davidson

Craig Davidson's The Saturday Night Ghost Club New Book

I was just online browsing for images of this crazy hail storm on highway 22 when I found this other link and then another link. In the second link I found some really good information that I feel compelled to share. The same author who wrote Precious Cargo has written a new novel titled The Saturday Night Ghost Club and it comes out this August. Well, look how things turned around there! From hail to a new Davidson book. Things are look up!

What I’ve Been Reading : The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Book I've Read - The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksWow. What a book. This one had me from page one. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cancer cells that were taken from her body, and how they took over the world.

This book is about much more than just some cells that won’t die. It’s about how the Lack family (a poor, uneducated black family from a tobacco farm) felt when they found out Henrietta’s cells were still alive and making some people very rich.

Ah! But the book is also about who has rights to cells once they’ve been taken from a body, whether that body is dead or alive. It’s a very interesting question that I would never have thought about otherwise. I had a mole removed a few years ago, do I have any rights to that sample once it leaves my body?

The author does an astounding job of showing as many sides of the story as she can. The doctors, the Lacks family and friends, the scientists, the people cured from various diseases thanks to HeLa cells, the journalists and the hospital where Henrietta Lacks went for cancer treatment and died.

Read it. You won’t regret it.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry By Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - A Novel - Rachel Joyce I recently joined a new book club called Accidental Book Club, a sort of book club for beginners (since a few of us have never been in one before), and this month we were supposed to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, as well as, the Judy Blume book I recently talked about. Not that we are supposed to compare the two books but I thoroughly enjoyed this one more than the Blume book. I have a soft spot in my heart for old men, especially nice old men.

My Grandfather was a quiet man. He was playful with us kids but he also enjoyed his solitude. He would go on long walks in the morning by himself and, once in a while, I was able to go on walks with him. He would always walk holding his hands behind his back, which I have always thought was a very friendly way to walk. He had a past but he didn’t talk about it and never took out any stresses on his family members or anyone else … although, maybe it would have been better to at least mention some problems to his wife as he died from cancer very suddenly, or, at least, suddenly for us. I mention my Grandfather because Harold Fry reminds me of him and although I knew my grandfather for only a short 18 years, I will always think of him with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. One could only hope to have such an impact on another person once this life has ended.

Harold Fry lived a life believing he had made no such impact on anyone’s life and caused only pain and suffering. Imagine believing you are one big mistake for 70 years of your life and to finally do something spontaneous and treacherous and seemingly impossible because you believe you need to do something worth while in this life time. We’ve all heard the line that goes something like it’s not about the destination but the journey, well, nothing could be more true for Mr Fry. Harold was not only walking 500 miles for a dear friend who was dying but for his own life and what happens to him on this pilgrimage is life changing.

I loved this book. I loved the simple idea – a man going for a walk to save a friend. The different emotions Harold feels and people and places he encounters along the way seem so real and honest. You are on this journey with him. I’m not sure I would have handled certain situations and people the way he did but I understood his choices.

If you’re interested in the book, I borrowed it from the library and it’s going back today. I recommend it.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : Irma Voth By Miriam Toews

Irma Voth by Miriam ToewsMiriam Toews really knows how to write a book that is both hilarious and sad. That’s an amazing gift. Irma Voth is a story about Irma Voth, a mennonite girl shunned by her family (her father), left by her husband and feeling very alone. Still, I’m laughing on every page! It reminds me of the debate that goes on between some middle aged comedians or writers throughout Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda. Depending on how the story is told and I guess largely based on perspective, the same story could be a tragedy or a comedy. Irma Voth could have been a really dark and depressing novel but it was strangely the opposite. Perhaps, it was the naive main character and her wild imagination that kept things so light or maybe it was because people, even in the worst situations, can rise above and carry on. I like the idea of the latter.

Irma Voth is a young women who doesn’t have much going for her, not by choice, but throughout the book she finds people who show her a life beyond what she’s grown up with. From each person she encounters, she realizes a truth about herself and the world and most importantly, she sees what is wrong in her world. When we’re going through a hard time, how amazing is it to just have someone see your potential and give you hope? Some people just need a chance to shine.

I love Irma Voth. You might too. I recommend reading this book if you want to read about a girl who doesn’t give up.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.