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MacFly (Regina, Saskatchewan)

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Noah's Compass
Noah's Compass
by Anne Tyler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.36
12 used & new from CDN$ 6.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What is a life if you can't remember it?, April 3 2010
This review is from: Noah's Compass (Hardcover)
This book centres of Liam Pennywell who has been downsized from his teaching job, moves to a smaller apartment to economize, and, after going to bed one night, wakes up in the hospital unable to remember being attacked in his own bed. As the novel progresses, he becomes obsessed with remembering the attack because, what is a life if you can't remember it? A woman he thinks to be single enters his life and we meet his three selfish daughters. As he goes through the motions of life, he seems to be rudderless or, as the tile implies, without a compass, as was Noah on his ark because he wasn't really going anywhere so a compass wasn't required. While the plot of this book wasn't terribly strong, it was still an interesting read. My favourite quote from it is: "The trouble with discarding bad memories was that evidently the good ones went with them."

That Old Cape Magic
That Old Cape Magic
by Richard Russo
Edition: Hardcover
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Character Study, April 2 2010
This review is from: That Old Cape Magic (Hardcover)
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo.This book is about a man who is travelling to Cape Cod to scatter the ashes of his father and to attend a wedding. The book actually covers a large time span that allows for some interesting character development. Fundamentally, it is a story of a grown man coming to terms with his relationship with and understanding of his parents. Sometimes the things you think you know about people aren't always the truth. Especially when seen though the filter of a childhood. This was really an interesting book and I found it difficult to put down. I wanted to know what was going to happen in the present and see what additional information would be revealed about the main character's parents. Not a suspenful mystery but a wonderful character study.

The Hole We're In
The Hole We're In
by Gabrielle Zevin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.00
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not So Good, March 27 2010
This review is from: The Hole We're In (Paperback)
This is a book of modern fiction that delves into what a family looks like from the outside and how it can be very different on the inside. During a midlife crisis, the father goes back to school, has an affair, and eventually becomes a minister. The mother tries to handle the finances and starts to hide the bills throughout the house when she is unable to pay them. One of the children is basically normal while the other two are completely dysfunctional. As the years pass, two of the three children don't even talk to their parents. The main problem I had with this book is that I didn't like or care about any of the characters. They were all so odd and self-centred that you could easily understand why they ended up so far apart from each other. It was interesting to the point that I wanted to read it to see what happened but I won't be recommending it to anyone.

The Weight of Silence
The Weight of Silence
by Heather Gudenkauf
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.24
138 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, March 21 2010
This review is from: The Weight of Silence (Paperback)
In this book, each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the 6 main characters. The characters don't really cover the same ground so the book moves along at a good pace. Most of the book does cover only one day, though. Pretty amazing when you think about writing a book - that it can all be compacted into 24 hours. One great aspect of having each chapter being from a different perspective is that it is hard to figure out where to stop and take a break while reading. As a result, I read this book rather quickly because I couldn't find a spot where I wanted to stop. I've not read other books by this author but would pick them up (assuming there are others). The book is actually about two little girls who go missing from their individual homes. Seemingly unrelated disappearances, they come together as the day unfolds into a single story.

The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Played With Fire
by Stieg Larsson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.06
19 used & new from CDN$ 2.67

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex Characters, March 21 2010
I believe this book is number two in a set of three books written by Larsson before his untimely death. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a very good book. There were lots of references back to events that took place in the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I wish I had read that one first. I am certain, however, that I will go back and read that one at some point as well, and will also read the third one when it becomes available. This book was longish and had a very involved storyline. My only struggle was to keep all the characters and places straight due to their Swedish names. The book tooks lots of twists and turns and, while I should have seen the big one coming, I completly missed it and it took me by surprise. That doesn't always happen in a book. The story was compelling after the first hundred pages or so. A good solid read and a bit of a branch out book for me.

The Angel's Game
The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 2.48

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - But a Tough Read for Me, March 21 2010
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
I confess, I was drawn to this book because of its cover. What reader could resist a cover that looks like this? It actually took me quite a while to read this book (well, a while in my world which is less than a week). It was a complex story which, at times, I struggled to understand. Even by the end of the book, I think I missed things. In fact, I think I may have been unfair to the book by taking a break from it and reading other books. If I didn't have so many books on my To Be Read list, I would actually sit down and read it again. But, with so many new books to explore, I know that I won't revisit it. So, while I only enjoyed the book, I think it was well written and a very interesting story. In one part of the book, the main character visits a place where all the forgotten books of the world are kept. Just imagine that for a moment. How a reader would love to get lost in there!

Red, White & Dead
Red, White & Dead
by Laura Caldwell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery, March 21 2010
This is the third book in the Izzy McNeil series and the third book I have read by this author. I actually enjoyed this one the best as well. (The first two are Red Hot Lies and Red Blooded Murder.) These books are an easy read and likely fall into the Chick Lit genre of books. But Izzy is smart, funny, and a completely modern woman not without her problems and baggage. I like Caldwell's writing style - it's funny, intelligent, and witty. These books are not going to make it to a list of great literature of the century but they are entertaining and well written. A great weekend book!

The Lost Symbol
The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.16
216 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown Doing What He Does Best, March 21 2010
This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Hardcover)
actually pre-ordered this book long before it came out but put off reading it until some of the early hype died down. I tend to do that with books that are hugely popular as I want to make my own decision about the book. Having said that, I certainly heard lots about this book before I picked it up to read. I've read every other Dan Brown book that he has written. He has a formula to his stories and this one is true to the Robert Langdon style. But what a style to have. The book is compelling and spellbinding. It was hard to put down once I got going with it. I learned a great deal about the Masons and what about all that crazy science that is in the book? I had to go look up some parts of it because I know that he uses a lot of fact in his books but he was referring to science that I have never even heard about! I found the ending a bit of a let down. It will be interesting to see what the movie makers do with the ending...because, you know, it WILL be a movie.

Shanghai Girls: A Novel
Shanghai Girls: A Novel
by Lisa See
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.14
71 used & new from CDN$ 0.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning about China, March 21 2010
About a year ago, I started to listen to audiobooks as another way to "read" more. The selections I usually make in this category are books that I think are probably really good but that might take a bit more effort to read. That it, they are of a subject matter of which I know little, are really thick, and so on. Shanghai Girls is about two girls living a wonderful life in Shanghai before their father gambles away their futures and they enter into arranged marriages and move to the United States. I learned a great deal about China and the Chinese way of life and experience of moving to America in this book. The story itself was very, very good. I was engaged right from the very beginning to the end - and, in the end, I wanted more. I don't know that there will be a sequel of any sort, but there is still a lot more story that could be told. I really enjoyed the writing style - the story just seemed to flow with the right amount of detail while, at other times, longer periods of time could be covered more quickly. I will definitely seek out other books by this author to learn more about China and a Chinese experience of which I know very little.

Remarkable Creatures
Remarkable Creatures
by Tracy Chevalier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.80
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.58

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Historical Fiction, March 21 2010
This review is from: Remarkable Creatures (Hardcover)
Based in the early 1800s, this is the story of Mary Anning, who was a real life person who was one of the best fossil hunters ever. She, and her friend, Elizabeth Philpot, another real life character, formed a friendship in a world dominated by men as they discovered fossils and bones of dinosaurs which their society, in that day, struggled to understand. Religious views held that all the animals that God had created must still exist so dinosaur bones were tough to explain. While I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book, I valued even more the story of the friendship of the two women. I learned a great deal from this book about the importance, and limitations, of women living in this period. I never would have survived. Overall, quite a good book that I enjoyed even more knowing the characters were, although novelized, based in fiction

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