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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Nineteen Eighty-four

Nineteen Eighty-four

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Nineteen Eighty-four

 

George Orwell was certainly ahead of his time. He envisioned a future much like it became. Although I find beyond the references to Big Brother and how surveillance physically took place that there is so much different (thankfully).

Manipulative Politics

Another very poignant and disturbingly familiar theme is that of manipulation. Politicians and Politics which usually aim to address the needs of society at the start, become more and more manipulative in nature as Government becomes more Knowledgeable and prescriptive in what is best for the People.

Citizen surveillance

It makes you wonder though – could we be headed down the path lead by Big Brother (thankfully NOT a reality TV show) since we are using technology that so closely resembles and in many way surpasses his visions of surveillance? OR can we learn from the book as well as from history and prevent the worst of it?

One thing is certain, Nineteen Eighty-four could have been written much more recently and would still become a classic.

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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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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Making a difference, one little thing at a time… according to Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”

The Tipping Point:

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Since posting my 2017 Books Read list (read so far that is), I have finished nine more books.  I hope to give my response (not review), to the books, and how they have some impact on my life.

Most recently,

I finished the audio version of  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Malcolm is an author who was referenced in a couple of different podcasts I’ve been listening to. In The Tipping Point the author talks about how epidemics occur. He provides many examples of the multiple factors that have to accumulate before a difference is made thus reaching a Tipping Point that sets the epidemic in motion. It is an interesting perspective to consider.

What’s the difference?

I’m not sure if it was the topic, the stories or how at times the next story was well in hand before the connection became clear, or perhaps it is simply the soothing nature of the author’s voice, but I found myself losing my focus and missing bits & pieces of the book. That said I found myself interested in reading his other books to see what other insights the Malcolm Gladwell imparts. I am currently reading “Outliers” in ebook format.

Kobo:

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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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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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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1982 – Jian Ghomeshi – a book response

Something about music has a way of transporting you back in time. Jian Ghomeshi uses music, and his teen obsession with it, as an illustration of what life was like for his 14-year-old self. Jian’s descriptions of the music and his experiences of 1982 are impeccable. He has a real knack for making you feel like you are right there, inside of his 14-year-old self’s head < kind of a scary thought, sometimes, no? 😉 >

 

Jian Ghomeshi & me

I had the pleasure of attending Blissdom Canada, where Jian spoke and read from his book, so I had that voice to replay in my head as if he were reading the entire book. This would make for a fantastic listen as an audiobook read by the author! <wink, wink, nudge, nudge @Jian>

 

Whether you are a product of the 80’s from childhood or teen years you’ll likely relate to Jian’s telling of 1982. After all we are the last generation that will remember the world before the internet. We are a generation of many firsts. And they are pivotal, tell all, firsts that just aren’t easily forgotten.

 

Do you remember rotary phones attached to a wall with a long twirly “phone cord”? Dixie cups? How about “taping stuff” off of the radio?…

 

[You didn’t really need the internet for illegal downloading back in the day. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was just called “taping stuff”. ] Ghomeshi, 2012

 

Jian took me back to days of my youth that I remember fondly, but not without painful memories. His youth is full of struggling to fit in as an immigrant Persion boy in the suburbs of Toronto. While I was the cute skinny white girl who likely had few challenges compared to anyone of non-Caucasian descent I know how it feels not to fit in. I think everyone felt a little out of place as a teen and pre-teen, but a victim of bullying < both as a tween living in an 80% non-white community, and as the new girl moving from said community to a small town that lacked diversity almost entirely > knows what it feels like to try to find herself and fit in.

Music was my saving grace. Initially taken in by the chart hits, I eventually was drawn to the oldies of my parents’ teens and later years. The Beatles, The Who, Elvis “the King of Rock” Presley, 1960s and 1970s classics… In my teen years I worked for A & A Records and Tapes (then to become A & A Music and Entertainment) and filled my collection with a very diverse mix. I allowed myself to become absorbed by my music collection, created my own mixed tapes for myself and friends, and used the songs to speak what I felt when I couldn’t express myself.

 

Jian’s 1982 is a glimpse into a teenage immigrant boy’s life in Canadian suburbia. It makes you think, it makes you laugh, and it makes you remember.

Fifty Shades of Grey – 50BookPledge – Book 10

Fifty Shades of Grey – 50BookPledge – Book 10

Well, here I am mid-June, and am halfway through reading book 11 – it’s not looking good for the 50BookPledge, but I’ll keep plugging away and see how close I actually get in the year. Book 9 was not a planned read by any means. I started hearing about this wildfire spreading around the controversial soft porn / erotic fiction of E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I was curious to see if it stood up to the murmurings.

 

I was sorely disappointed. I’m not a connoisseur of erotic fiction by any means. I have occasionally picked up some smut for the pure enjoyment of reading something that required no thought and very little imagination. The topic of S & M was poorly addressed in my opinion, the erotic scenes – while descriptive were not shockingly so – other novels I’ve read that were not touted as erotic fiction have been more so – albeit that was not the focus of the story. The writing was mediocre. I honestly found myself reading purely in hopes of finding the redeeming quality that would make all of the talk I’d heard seem worthy.

I won’t be reading books 2 & 3 of the series. Nor will I recommend the book to anyone who asks.

 

 

The Divine Ryans – 50 Book Pledge – Book 9

 

I enjoyed The Divine Ryans by Wayne Johnston more than most that I’ve read recently. Another book club book, and one I actually made it through before we met! I’m not one for writing reviews per say, my response to this book was that of frustration, disgust with close-minded thinking… relief that we’ve come so far. Dismay at how far we still have to go.

 

I found myself outraged and yelling (silently) at the family to open their eyes and treat one another with the respect they deserve, especially the children.

 

I love reading books by Canadian authors. I love getting that perspective of what life was like in different communities across the country. This one gives insight into a largely Catholic Newfoundland community at a time when the church and businesses seemed to be strongly linked, yet gradually separating.

12 in 12 Month 5 Unplug by 9

I practised mindfulness for April, somewhat unsuccessfully.  It seems I didn’t even manage to make a blog post indicating that was my challenge for the month.

This month my challenge will be to unplug by 9pm everyday.

My hubby will be very happy to hear this one.

Hopefully it will help me get my sleep cycle back on track too.

The hardest part about that will be that girlies’ bedtimes on week nights are 8pm & 8:30pm respectively. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for last minute checkins, etc. The second hardest part will be reading – I have three books on the go that are all ebooks. Not that I don’t have plenty of hard copy books to pick up after unplugging. 😉
*The only exception will be for a couple of work meetings that I have no choice but to do after 10pm because all of my counterparts live in earlier timezones than I.

Here on Earth – a review – #tbr2012 #50bookpledge

This year I have taken on a few challenges to help me meet a few of my goals, as I posted previously one of them is the 2012 To Be Read challenge. I am reading 12 books this year that have been on my to be read shelf(ves) for more than a year.

I completed my first one this week! I am so excited. This has also allowed me to complete book number 4 of the 50 book pledge!

Here On Earth by Alice Hoffman was one of Oprah’s picks on her show. I’ve been told of mixed reviews of it, but I truly enjoyed reading this book. There is something a little dark about it that reminded me of Steinbeck’s East of Eden (my all time favourite book). The portrayal of domestic violence/woman abuse was pretty eye-opening for those who may not have thought about it much. Without giving the story away, I felt the ending was appropriate in that this could have gone on and on, if she wanted it to mirror real life scenarios (where women leave (and return) an abusive relationship an average of 7 times before leaving for good).

A fairly quick read of a dark romance.