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review 2018-03-14 11:17
Amazing Origami Boxes
Amazing Origami Boxes - Tomoko Fuse

by Tomoko Fuse


Origami has interested me since childhood but these 20 original designs take it to a new level. Tomoko Fuse has achieved recognition for her modular designs and these intricate boxes and dishes show why.


This is not a beginners book. However, the instructions are clear and although I think practicing on cheap paper is a good idea before using the beautiful, decorative origami papers shown in the colorful illustrations, at least most of them should be possible for anyone with patience and prepared to practice.


If you have no experience with origami, I suggest an easier beginner's book would be better to start, but some of the square boxes are reasonably easy and once those are mastered, the harder ones should be doable. As I said, practice with cheap paper first. Common printer paper can be squared by folding it over and removing the excess. When you've got the hang of a design, then the origami papers will make it beautiful.

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review 2018-03-11 04:25
Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley
Find You in the Dark: A Novel - Nathan Ripley

A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Martin Reese digs up murder victims from cold case files he buys from the police.  He calls in his findings anonymously to the police but Detective Sandra Whittal is suspicious of her caller and his motives.  As she moves in on discovering who her 'Finder' is, Martin is being hunted by someone who is not happy with his discoveries.  With his family's safety on the line, Martin must go even deeper into the dark realm of murder.  


Hailed as a cross between Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, I thought this book was going to be a mesmerizing study in character development.  Well...some comparisons just shouldn't be made.  I got completely lost in the story, and I don't mean that in a good way, I literally mean that I couldn't flesh out the actual story from the messy plot.  I really had to push myself to finish and this was because I didn't connect with the characters—they weren't believable.  Nathan Ripley's Martin Reese lacks the depth and likability factor of Dexter Morgan, or the creepy brilliance of Highsmith's Tom Ripley. 


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review 2018-02-19 01:56
Here So Far Away by Hadley Dyer
Here So Far Away - Hadley Dyer Here So Far Away - Hadley Dyer
A special thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I don't like to give negative reviews, especially to a Canadian author.  My mother also taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all.  But here is my dilemma...as a reviewer, I am obligated to provide feedback. 

So here goes...I couldn't relate to the main character, George, at all.  The dialogue was trite, and the story itself was simply not engaging and at times bordered on ridiculousness.  For me, it was a struggle to even finish. 

Dyer really needs to up her game in this genre.  There are so many outstanding YA novels out there that are deserving of your time.  Here are some of the ones that have left me completely gutted and honoured to have read them: The Hate U Give, All the Bright Places, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, A List of Cages, One Half From the East, and Andrew Smith's Winger and Stand-Off.  

That being said, Dyer is a champion of literacy here in Canada, and I admire her efforts and contributions to the children's book industry.
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review 2018-02-19 01:30
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson
How Hard Can It Be? - Allison Pearson How Hard Can It Be? - Allison Pearson

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is Pearson's part two of the Kate Reddy series—oh how I've missed you, Kate!  I actually liked this book better than the first, which I think is an anomaly to like the sequel better than the original.

Kate Reddy is re-entering the work force after being at home with her children because her husband, who appears to be suffering an identity crisis, has gone back to school.  To bag the job, she lies about her age.  She is feeling the pressure from the much younger workforce, from her demanding mother, ailing in-laws, her contractor, and from her sullen teenagers.  And to top it all off, her marriage is F-L-A-T, flat.

How hard can it be to face 50, your husband's mid-life crisis, and to restart your career?  Pretty hard I would say, especially when you are shouldering the entire household workload as well because your husband is useless, and you are also feeling strangled not only from your shaping garments, but from your obligations.  

Kate is every woman, whether old or young, as she embarks on this often hilarious journey of self-discovery—she's more than just a career woman, mother, sister, friend, or wife.  She is as smart as she is funny, she is sassy and strong, and above all, resilient.  With every turn of the page, you will be rooting for Kate and wishing she was your friend.

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text 2018-02-16 18:51
Landmarks - Robert Macfarlane,Roy McMillan,Penguin Books Ltd

Why did I read it?  When first published, several people recommended this book to me, and it was recommended more than once by some.  I imagine those recommendations came because of my like of the natural world, and of language.  I have no idea why, but I put it on my 'wish list' and then my 'to be read</i>' pile, but never actually started it; these decisions I now regret.

What's it about? With the Oxford Children's Dictionary removing words relating to nature, e.g. acorn, in favour of technological terms, Robert Macfarlane explores the United Kingdom in search of those words to describe, and connect us to the natural world.  Connection.  That is the key to this book.  In a time, and place which seems to breed disconnection, this book seeks to reunite us with a deep love for landscape, and language.

What did I like? Every single word, and most especially the glossaries.  Rich in words and landscape, there is so much to enjoy, and explore in this book.  I listened to the audio book, which is rather nicely done.  I did query a few of the Gaelic pronunciations - being a learner of the language, not a native speaker, I may not completely comprehend the dialectal nuances.  I am very pleased I opted to purchase the Kindle edition, too, so I can explore those glossaries at my leisure.

Oh, the joy I found in this book: learning new words for phenomenon I had no idea might even exist; remembering 'childish' the way children use language to describe their surroundings; and discovering new Gaelic words I wanted to include in my (ever-expanding) vocabulary.  

The narrator, Roy McMillan|, did a splendid job.  I'm afraid I have no idea of the name of other gentleman whose voice was used to read out various words, but his voice gave  luscious contrast to Mr McMillan's smooth tones.

What didn't I like?  I could find no fault with this book.  I find fault with myself for not reading it sooner.

Would I recommend it? Yes! Yes! Yes!  Not necessarily the audio version though - not because it is not well read, but because once you've read the book, I'm pretty sure you'll want to keep it to hand to pore over the word glossaries, and then add to your own.

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