The Finishing School

The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman

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The Finishing School – murder mystery? Coming of age story? This reminds me of an interview I heard with Marg Delahunty on CBC Radio recently!

An easy read with a somewhat predictable ending, yet she was pretty good at getting the reader to head down another path briefly.

Not wanting to spoil anything for anyone considering reading the book…

All I really want to say is how much it disturbs me that these kinds of scandals get covered up for so long in the real world. Speak up! Speak out! Inaction is only supporting the action whether or not you agree with it internally.


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Company Town – a book response

Company Town

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Company Town is a book that reminded me of an Atwood style novel. A little challenging at first, but once the momentum gets going, very difficult to put down. The dystopian/futuristic theme is fascinating and creates great thought/discussion about issues of today as well. It reminded me also of the Hunger Games, which I didn’t read – but my girls did, and then insisted I watch the movies with them.

I read Company Town as part of my 50 Book Pledge, however I was drawn to it because it was also on Canada Reads for 2017. That said upon reading it, I wasn’t sure I’d ever recommend it as one of the books *everyone in Canada MUST READ today*.

I think there are some important themes addressed in the novel, but not as clearly as some others have done with them. I enjoyed this book and am thinking about which Atwood novel I should pick up next J

Kobo:

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Book list for 2017… (Books read so far)

I used to document each  book I’ve read and responses to them. I’d like to get back to that. Once I get caught up, I may work backwards and share some of the responses I’ve had to books I’ve already read this year.

Self Portrait, Reading, Book

To start I’ll share my book list read so far in 2017:

 

The Right to Be Cold, Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Elephants in My Backyard, Rajiv Surendra

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

One Hour in Paris, Karyn L. Freedman

Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer

Fifteen Dogs, Andre Alexis

Better Than Before, Gretchen Reuben

The Postmistress, Sarah Blake

The Brightest Star in the Sky, Marian Keyes

The Art of People, Dave Kerpen

The Fibromyalgia Coach, Tami Stackelhouse

, Simon Sinek

Stones into Schools, Greg Morgtenson

Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos

Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre

Take Back Your Life, Tami Stackelhouse

Punishment, Linden MacIntyre

Stolen Lives, Malika Oufkir

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks

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The Book Thief – To Be Read pile – 50BookPledge

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Unfortunately this book came up at a time when I was stretched thin and unable to remain focused. This was a book club read, but I was unable to finish it in time for our monthly meeting, and I didn’t want spoilers as I was really enjoying this read. So I missed out on food, wine and chit chat for June.

 

It’s such a great read, which I picked up intending to read with my children soon. The appeal for me is in the portrayal of life during the Holocaust from a perspective rarely heard about. Not only do we learn more about what it was like to be someone sympathetic to the cause of Jewish people during this time, but we also learn about how words were used to tear people down.

 

It was uplifting still, to become engrossed in the family (and extended family) life of the characters. To see how, even what was not necessarily a conscious decision to stand up against the Nazis, was still a dangerous choice… to simply stand for belief in humanity. What a terrible lesson to learn early in life: that showing compassion and caring for those most unfortunate is punishable and will turn many friends against you.

 

Through Liesel and her friendships we get a grasp of life and its lessons. Liesel is a likable character who has had a lot of tough breaks, beginning with being placed in foster care after losing her brother to illness during the train journey to the foster parents’ home. She grows to love her foster father especially, who shows her that the true compassion he has for her extends throughout life even to the Jews who are targeted by the Nazis. Her best friend Rudy is full of mischief and keeps her grounded in what childhood they have. Her Jewish friend Max teaches Leisel an appreciation for life even in both of their difficult positions. I especially like the relationship formed with the mayor’s wife who in her strange way encouraged Liesel’s love of books.

 

 

 

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The Bride Collector – 50 Book Pledge – Book 8

I haven’t read Ted Dekker before, but a new friend had just read The Bride Collector, and I was looking for some insights into the life of a homicide detective. Why? Why not.

 

This was a light read compared to my last few, in fact I gave up reading one of my non-fiction books for a while and took this in during the week my friend was away on vacation. It reminded me of all the John Grisham books I’ve read in a way.

 

I was surprised at the start when a love interest (or so it would seem) was introduced early in the story, as it turned out she was a decoy, which is what I’d suspected given the timing of her introduction. I waited too long to write this book response, so I haven’t got a lot to say other than I could see I needed more insights. 🙂

 

I’ll read Ted Dekker again. I’ll ask my friend to tell which of his books are best.