Summary I have read a few Jack Reacher novels now, it is my “go to” series for a quick, thrilling read if I don’t have too much time. In this instalmenSummary I have read a few Jack Reacher novels now, it is my “go to” series for a quick, thrilling read if I don’t have too much time. In this instalment, Reacher finds an ad in a newspaper that is targeted to him - he is being called in to help on a case - a sniper has tried to kill the French president and Reacher has put away one of the very few men who could take the shot like the one at the French president. This time, he has to work with a team to find the sniper.
The Good As in my prior reviews of Jack Reacher novels, Child is a consistent writer, and the story moves along.
The Hmmmmm With this novel, I did not find it as tightly written as some of the others, and I was wondering at times about detours into other characters and situations. Child also introduced a rookie agent, Casey Nice, that Reacher had to work with and frankly it just seemed a bit too much. The fact that she was a rookie being teamed with him, and we are told about a former member of Reacher’s team, Dominique Kohl, who had an unfortunate end - it just seemed a lot of writing around things that didn’t contribute as much to the story and plot. Maybe it was providing more backstory, but still.
Recommended for I would still recommend this to anyone who wants a quick read thriller, although maybe one of the other Reacher novels in preference to this one....more
Summary Set in a dystopian near future, the power grid has gone down, the economy of the US is in freefall and the government is nowhere to be found. LSummary Set in a dystopian near future, the power grid has gone down, the economy of the US is in freefall and the government is nowhere to be found. Lars Lindgren, the protagonist of this novel, has to find a way to survive and thrive, not only for himself but for his friends and family. This novel is about surviving the unthinkable and how Lars did it and some of the challenges he faces - strangers making trouble, deciding if to attack neighbours pre-emptively if they are not cooperating to keep everyone safe, deciding when to explore beyond his locale to investigate what has gone on and the status of society outside his immediate vicinity.
The Good The author clearly knows what he is talking about regarding surviving on the land, hunting, fishing and building/making whatever he needs to survive. The book is written in a very simple style and covers a lot of time.
The Hmmmmm I was hoping for learning more about survivalist skills in a fictionalized setting, so I was a bit disappointed that there was a lot more telling rather than showing. While there are many points where the author talks about how some things are done, there were still many opportunities to get into the detail of the “how” - things that the author said rather than just showed in action and/or conversation. More dialogue would have also made the story flow a little faster.
Recommended for I have personally met the author, Larry Landgraf, at the Texas Book Festival in 2016 where I bought a copy of this book, and he is very engaging and personable. I enjoyed speaking with him and enjoyed reading this book. This book is recommended for anyone interested in envisioning what life might be like in a lawless future, but if you were looking for specific survivalist details, this is not the book for you....more
Summary A memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert chronicling her time following divorce and depression. Her memoir is broken out into 108 chapters (based on the 1Summary A memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert chronicling her time following divorce and depression. Her memoir is broken out into 108 chapters (based on the 108 beads of the japa malas, or beads worn by Indians especially those at holy sites). She travels to Italy, India and Bali and talks about her experiences, both worldly and other-worldly in those countries and yes, about finding love at the end of it.
The Good There is no doubt that Gilbert is a very lyrical, smooth and gifted writer. I enjoyed reading her prose very much and wish I had a fraction of her talent. It made the book very easy reading.
The Hmmmmm There is no getting around the fact that her memoir highlights what a privileged life she enjoyed - not many could experience what she had, had the wherewithal to take control of her life and write so eloquently about all of it. But this is her memoir, and this is her life and her experiences.
The biggest “Hmmmm” for me was the fact that she appeared to achieve some sort of spiritual enlightenment but for such a talented writer I don’t actually finish the book knowing or understanding what that was. That for me was the biggest disappointment in this book - here is someone who explicitly sets out for enlightenment, works at it, yet when it occurs, there is precious little prose to show for it. I had such high hopes in anticipation of what she would write and how well she would be able to articulate her experience, but it was not to be.
Recommended for Recommended for anyone who would not be put off by the privilege described in the book, and for anyone who enjoys a well-written, very witty and light account broken up into bite-sized pieces. ...more
Summary A little girl goes to the playground with her mom and imitates many different animals. The illustrations are collages which are engaging and thSummary A little girl goes to the playground with her mom and imitates many different animals. The illustrations are collages which are engaging and there is an element of “guessing game” as you can guess which animal the girl is imitating. A sweet book!
Recommended for This is a good book for the pre-school child, to introduce them to different animals and there is also an element of a guessing game that you can play with your child to guess which animal the little girl is pretending to be. ...more
Summary Carmelita goes to visit her Abuela Rosa and on the way she says hello to all the different people she meets in her neighbourhood in their own lSummary Carmelita goes to visit her Abuela Rosa and on the way she says hello to all the different people she meets in her neighbourhood in their own languages. The colours are vivid with a lot of opportunity to explore the images, signs etc. with your child. There are 9 different greetings in the book.
Recommended for Any parent who wants their young child to be aware of different cultures and to hear the sound of the language. Many kids find knowing how to do or say something others cannot, exciting, so that may be an additional attraction for your child....more
Summary This story is about Katie, a dog who loves the 3 kittens her owner brings home, but despite her best intentions something happens to hurt or scSummary This story is about Katie, a dog who loves the 3 kittens her owner brings home, but despite her best intentions something happens to hurt or scare the kittens when Katie tries to play with them or show how much she loves them. The pictures are simple and there are a lot of movement in them. An enjoyable story. Recommended for families with young kids and pets and are trying to explain to the children about how dogs and cats could play together.
By extension, it can also be used as a parallel for those families looking for a way to help an older sibling understand how to interact with a new baby without necessarily talking about children.
Recommended for Families with young children, who are adding new family members, either of the 4-legged or 2-legged kind. ...more
Summary Oscar is 6 months old, and his parents can’t wait for the whole year, so they’ve decided to celebrate his half-birthday. His parents pack OscarSummary Oscar is 6 months old, and his parents can’t wait for the whole year, so they’ve decided to celebrate his half-birthday. His parents pack Oscar up and his big sister and they head to the park for a picnic and cake. Eventually the other park goers join in with Oscar’s family to sing “Happy Birthday”. Oscar is biracial, and you see Oscar’s mother in dreadlocks. Very nice story recommended for any mixed family looking for picture books for kids who look like them. But even if you are not, the story is warm and the illustrations very detailed. I can imagine sitting with my youngster going through the pictures! ...more
Summary This is the story about Vasya Kandinsky, a Russian boy and artist who did what proper Russian boys did, until he could bear it no more and painSummary This is the story about Vasya Kandinsky, a Russian boy and artist who did what proper Russian boys did, until he could bear it no more and painted the sounds he heard. He suffered from synesthesia and interpreted sounds as colours and colours as sounds. It is well-written and the illustrations captivating.
Recommended for Any family with a family member who has synesthesia but can also be used to extend into broader themes for parents about being different, pursuing you dreams despite doing what “you are supposed to do”, budding artists, etc. I believe this is for slightly older kids than Kinder, maybe 1st - 3rd grade. ...more
6 little “ninjas” get dropped off at Dojo Daycare and mayhem ensues. They give their master a hard time as they get up to mischief until one niSummary
6 little “ninjas” get dropped off at Dojo Daycare and mayhem ensues. They give their master a hard time as they get up to mischief until one ninja realizes how unhappy they have made their master. This little ninja enlists the others to clean up and help. The noises in the book will make it a very entertaining book to read out loud.
Recommended for Very young children PreK - grade 1. I did find it very light on honor, respect and kindness considering that is what they were supposed to be showing in the dojo, but at least they did learn some examples of that by the end of the story. ...more
Summary Does the early bird really get the worm? This is the story of a little chick who is trying to get the worm and has to get help. And then more hSummary Does the early bird really get the worm? This is the story of a little chick who is trying to get the worm and has to get help. And then more help and is surprised at the end. An enjoyable little story, with great illustrations!
Recommended for Young children, pre-kinder to kindergarten. Not only will they enjoy the ryhthmn of the story, but also the counting and the surprise ending!...more
Summary The authors both have PhDs in computational neuroscience and this book is about their findings on the complexities and nuances of sexual desireSummary The authors both have PhDs in computational neuroscience and this book is about their findings on the complexities and nuances of sexual desire, why do we like what we like? The data is based on anonymized internet search data as well as some survey data. They provide some interesting analysis that could lead to specific academic research. This is not an academic treatise on the subject, but does identify themes about desire and proposes some explanations.
The Good This is a very well-written book, very dense but extremely accessible and even funny in parts. It is quite a feat the authors have accomplished to make such dense material readable, and even enjoyable.
The Bad Some reviewers find the use of the metaphor of Elmer Fudd to describe male sexuality and Miss Marple's Detective Agency for female irritating - I didn’t.
The Hmmmmm I didn’t feel comfortable with the authors using actual user handles as they talked about the searches. Also, the research methodology may not stand up to scientific rigour. I also understand that some groups who were contacted to respond to surveys, were not impressed at all - neither by the approach, intent nor the structure of the actual survey.
The Interesting Well, the book is full of insights. I understand more about MILF and GILFs and why that is a “thing”.
Recommended for Any person who wants to better understand their sexual selves or their partners’. This is not a light read though, even though the book is very well-written, it will take some time to get through. I found myself having to take breaks and noodle on ideas from time to time. To wit, there are over 100 pages of notes and bibliography in this book! Definitely there were things that resonated with me....more
Summary For a soldier, Chris Ryan writes well! I found this book after looking at the series, Strike Back. This is the story of John Porter, ex-SAS whoSummary For a soldier, Chris Ryan writes well! I found this book after looking at the series, Strike Back. This is the story of John Porter, ex-SAS who, after a hostage rescue goes wrong, finds himself turning to alcohol and ends up living on the streets. After 17 years (!) he is given a second chance when he realizes he could help the regiment on a mission to rescue a kidnapped journalist that he alone could do, and he takes that chance even if it could mean his death in order to redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter.
The Good Fast-paced, action-packed and a good story line. Chris Ryan knows his weapons, the territory, the military operations in the Far East, the geography, and it all makes for good fun reading. For sure this is not literature, but it is such an easy and gripping book, that I read it through quite quickly.
The Hmmmmm I did find John Porter’s ability to manipulate Hassad (the kidnapper in the novel) and Hassad’s cooperation to be a bit far-fetched when Porter needed his help to escape.
Favourite Quote “ ‘Like I said earlier, it sounds like I’ll need a plan B’, said Porter. ‘Because I can’t see them going for any of that bollocks. They’ve had more peace plans than I’ve had bottles of vodka, and if they wanted money, they would have asked for it by now.’ “
Recommended for If military action is your thing, then Chris Ryan is your author guy. His characters are simple and the world is very real that he writes about. Real, believable and after having read The One that Got Away you know he has lived that life of a soldier and survived....more
Summary I like the slow-pace small town thriller and this is one of them - another Jack Reacher novel. Some reviewers have talked about not liking theSummary I like the slow-pace small town thriller and this is one of them - another Jack Reacher novel. Some reviewers have talked about not liking the uncertainty of Reacher’s fate at the end, but that did not bother me. As usual Child has a good story up his sleeve and is not shy about using the tactic of stating the remaining time on the clock at the end of chapters or sections in the book to keep the tension up.
The Good Lee Child is a consistent writer and Reacher a likeable character who wants to do good and has the skills and intelligence to do so as he finds it. I found this novel, like others by Lee Child, to have plots and turns that make me go “Wow” but at the same time while far-fetched could be possible. I also liked that we got some of the back-story on Reacher.
Favourite Quote “I don't want to put the world to rights... I just don't like people who put the world to wrongs.”
Recommended for Anyone who wants a quick read thriller. I would read through this one a bit faster than I would something by Daniel Silva (Gabriel Allon), John Le Carre....more
Summary Like other diet books, Dr. Fuhrman stresses nutrient dense food, that is, food that have a lot of quality nutrients per calorie consumed. ThereSummary Like other diet books, Dr. Fuhrman stresses nutrient dense food, that is, food that have a lot of quality nutrients per calorie consumed. There are some items that the author points out specifically, that raw fruits and vegetables offer more/better cancer protection than cooked in a “good” oil like olive oil; and that the best diet is one that has a lot of raw foods (fresh fruit and vegetables). There is a fair amount of this book that talks about cancer and cancer prevention as well as sounding an alarm over meat protein, especially since high-protein diets do advocate protein from meat sources (albeit “quality” meats). For my other reviews of diet books, look here It Starts with Food and The Paleo Approach
The Good This diet book does not offer any unusual advice, and seems fairly mainstream. It does remind readers that vegetarian alone is not a good diet (so a nutrient-poor vegetarian diet is not good). The author includes a “Nutrient-density” line which helped me understand the relative ranking of foods based on his analysis. For auto immune diseases, the author also supports a dairy-free, gluten-free and predominantly plant-based diet.
The Bad Some of the recommendations is directly in contrast to Whole 30. So it will be very confusing to figure out what works for you. Also while the author includes recipes, he does not include the calorie count or nutritional content of the recipes.
The Hmmmmm In the beginning there is a discussion of waistlines and ideal weight, so not sure that will really encourage anybody because I imagine it may be quite a big goal for most people, even those who are fit and eat well.
Recommended for Anyone who is interested in a general understanding of good food choices and understanding some of the multi-causal root of cancer. I would recommend this as a first read before some more radical diets like Whole30, although if you read Whole30 first, you may be inclined to follow that. In the end, eat the best nutrient-dense food you can, be aware of your own family history of disease and make tweaks based on that. Food and impacts to an individual’s health and well being is a very complicated story. ...more
Summary I loved this book for the style and the language. Some books I enjoy for the plot, the story, the idea, and some for the way the story is told. Summary I loved this book for the style and the language. Some books I enjoy for the plot, the story, the idea, and some for the way the story is told. Kate Morton is a very good writer!
The story is about Laurel, who as a child had witnessed a violent crime involving her mother Dorothy. Now as her mother is dying, Laurel is trying to understand her mother’s past and what she witnessed, and how Dorothy’s story was so intermingled with her friend’s Vivien. So this is both a family story with a little mystery to it
The Good The author has a very easy style and is able to interweave past and present very easily. Usually I find it hard to read books that go back and forth, but Morton does a great job of filling out history and personalities with little stories.
The Hmmmmm I did wonder why Vivien said she could not have children. Looked like a deliberate red herring.
Favourite Quote There are a number of golden nuggets scattered throughout the book: “Life could be cruel enough these days without the truth making it worse.” “A true friend is a light in the dark. Vivien”
Recommended for Anyone interested in historical fiction and popular fiction with a little twist. ...more
Summary I had borrowed both Eat Right 4 Your Type and the cookbook specific to my blood type. I’ve provided a review of the author’s book Eat Right 4 Y Summary I had borrowed both Eat Right 4 Your Type and the cookbook specific to my blood type. I’ve provided a review of the author’s book Eat Right 4 Your Type which I did not think credible. I took a quick look through the cookbook, (read would be too strong a word), and the recipes weren’t horrible (that is, full of bad fats and dairy and red meats), but they did lack some key items I look for in any cookbook - nutritional content and preparation time. The latter I will forgive, but not the former. Doesn’t really qualify as a cookbook without that. This is basically a collection of recipes if you want to try something new since I don’t believe the case for blood type diet.
Recommended for If you are really interested in the best food for you, try an elimination diet, or read It Starts with Food and the Whole30 diet as a first step....more
Summary The author posits that blood types evolved based junctures in human development and that certain types of foods are better suited to specific b Summary The author posits that blood types evolved based junctures in human development and that certain types of foods are better suited to specific blood types. Each blood type has particular antigens and the lectins (a type of protein) in food can react to start the agglutination process (or clumping of blood cells), in order to reject it. So best case, some foods are neutral and some are actual harmful depending on your blood type. I’ve been reading a lot about diet and to be frank, I am not impressed by the lack of scientific support for either the evolution of the blood types or data regarding the food/blood type link. Although he gives references at the back, he describes the list as a collection of “the most important influences”. Well, I want data. I’ve looked around and there is no scientific study that says this diet works, and if it does, it may just be because of the diet itself (low-carb, generally healthier) rather than any relationship to your blood type. For example, if your particular blood type suggests you stay off wheat, and you feel better gluten-free, you may believe it is because of your blood type, but another blood type may also benefit from this.
I was told about this by a friend, so I borrowed this book from my library. I am glad I did not purchase!
The Good Couldn’t find good things to say.
The Bad No scientific basis for claims. It is all anecdotal.
The Hmmmmm Recommendations for exercise based on blood type? So tai chi for specific blood type but vigorous exercise for another? Makes no sense to me.
Summary The book is divided into 2 sections, and in Part 1, The Cause, the author introduces some background information on autoimmune diseases, and inSummary The book is divided into 2 sections, and in Part 1, The Cause, the author introduces some background information on autoimmune diseases, and introduces the Paleo Approach diet. In part 2, The Cure, she talks more about the details and also provides some easy references.
I have vitiligo which has spread, so I was interested in understanding dietary impacts to my condition. The approach is similar/same as the Auto Immune Protocol. I would recommend this book if you have a specific issue or even if you are trying to improve your overall health and are open to trying a diet modification. It can’t hurt!
The author goes into a lot of detail, and I sometimes stuck to the summary blocks since I’d already read It Starts with Food
The Good Easy to read, but it does include quite a bit of science detail. Most of which I skipped over. I wasn’t as concerned about how I got to where I was as much as I wanted to know how to fix it. The author also includes a number of testimonials where diet resolved a number of ailments.
The Bad The Auto Immune Protocol, or Paleo Approach as she calls it, is a very tough diet to follow. I'm on my second start, so we'll see.
The Interesting I mentioned in the review of “It Starts with Food”, some of the food recommendations to help with autoimmune disease may be inconsistent with what my doctor would recommend to reduce my cancer recurrence risk. In those cases, I will always prioritize cancer risk reduction.
Recommended for Recommended for anyone looking to try an alternative way to handling autoimmune disease if they have not tried diet previously. ...more