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review 2018-04-20 00:49
Black River Falls
Black River Falls - Jeff Hirsch

The town has become a place where groups roam trying to get dominance, the one kid who is uninfected and a group of other children who were infected are all hiding up at a camp, to be away from the predatory adults. The government came in to try and help but turned over everything to another group. 


This book was assigned to my girls for their book club and at first, it seemed interesting, but as the time went on, I just couldn't get into and stay in the book. 

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text 2018-04-18 20:05
April belongs to "The Chalk Man" and CJ Tudor! Book Club & Ask the Author Your Question


What are your reading in April? We're reading The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor! And we have a surprise for BookLikes readers. CJ Tudor agreed to answer questions from her fans and readers!


Make sure to leave your question to the author below and share your book review. If you haven't read the book yet, please JOIN the Book Club and the discussion groups. Links are below:


⭐ Ask a Question with C.J. Tudor, CLICK TO leave your question for the author 






The Event is also on Facebook, share it among your friends :)

Click to go to the Event on Facebook

 Click to go to the Event on Facebook



⭐ CLICK to go to The Chalk Man Buddy Read Book Club

CLICK to go to The Chalk Man discussion group

⭐ CLICK to share your answers in The Chalk Man Questionnaire - 10 Questions about the book


We'd love to know how did you like the book and what are the best (and the worst, if any) parts and characters in it. We've prepared a set of questions and we'd like to ask you to share your views :)


You can share it in the discussion group OR on your blog with The Chalk Man 10 Questions tag. Thank you! 

1. How do you like the characters, their personalities and motivations? Are they well developed or one-dimensional ? 
2. How do you like the twists & turns, did they meet your expectations, did they make you guess, did they glued you to the book?
3. At what point in the book you solved the mystery secret or at least you thought you did ;)? 
4. Did you pick out some clues hidden by the author?
5. They say the book is Stephen King-like, do you agree? 
6. What lines struck you? 
7. Did the book ending fulfill your expectations?
8. To what kind of reader would you recommend the book? 
9. Was it a good mystery read? 
10. Have you reviewed the book on your blog? If so, please add a link to your review. 

Psst. Please remember that some readers haven't read the book yet so if you'd like to reveal more facts, please use the spoiler tag. 


The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor 

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?


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text 2018-04-12 19:19
TBR Thursday
Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn
Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor
Unbuttoned : a History of Mackenzie King's Secret Life - Christopher Dummitt
The Dirty Book Club - Lisi Harrison
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami,Alfred Birnbaum
Lion in the Valley - Elizabeth Peters
Magic's Price - Mercedes Lackey
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Høeg,Tiina Nunnally
Tithe - Holly Black
The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices - Xinran

My TBR pile has got a bit out of control!!


First ones due at the library are Heir to the Empire, Just One Damned Thing After Another, and Unbuttoned.  There are also holds on Smilla's Sense of Snow and Tithe, but those dates are further away.  Plus The Good Women of China is an interlibrary loan, so I will have to pay attention to it.


Heir to the Empire, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Magic's Price are all part of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project, which I am enjoying getting back into.


My guilty pleasures are Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peacock, I want to see what you're doing in Egypt this time) and Tithe (Holly Black's world of the Fae is calling to me).  But neither of them will count towards any of my reading challenges for 2018.


My other task for this weekend is to take a load of books to the used book store to trade and to sort out books to donate to the Calgary Reads Book Sale which will happen in May.  I've got to find some boxes that I can part with to pack, too.  (And then in May I'll attend the book sale and undo some of the good that I have done for my bookshelves).


I've also got to bake something to go to brunch on Sunday--I'll probably either make a tried-and-true Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (http://www.lazyglutenfree.com/2013/06/gluten-free-cinnamon-swirl-banana-bread.html) or I'll try an experimental Pumpkin Pie Crumble (https://www.calgarycoop.com/cooking/pumpkin-pie-crumble). 


Have a great weekend, friends!



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review 2018-04-11 00:17
Memory of Water: Lyrical but not Deep
Memory of Water: A Novel - Emmi Itäranta

The writing in this book is absolutely lovely. It's lyrical, almost meditative, and really pulled me into a sense of place and tone. I could feel the heat pushing down on me, and the bugs buzzing in the air. The descriptions were lush and evocative, especially when describing the tea ceremony. It is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've read in quite some time. While I was reading I was absolutely engrossed and transported. Whenever I set the book down, however, things would niggle at me. And now that a little time has passed since I finished the book I find I've cooled on it even more.


The actions of the main character, the science, the way the world operates, it all just fails to make sense upon inspection. And this book wants you to inspect. It pulls you close, and very clearly wants you to think about the messages and themes it presents. I can't remember the last time I read a book that had such lovely prose, but at its core such uneven storytelling. The main character was so naive it went beyond the point where I would have disliked her, and instead went into territory where I could no longer suspend disbelief in her. There were points where I actually found myself exclaiming aloud at her poor decisions. It didn't feel like the actions of a dumb girl - it felt like the author manipulating the flow of the story to reach a certain conclusion. Since the story toys with being a character study this is pretty damning.


In the end I'm torn on this one. I enjoyed reading it, and I loved the prose, but I'm left frustrated. There are just too many plot holes and story crafting issues for this to be the sort of read I can solidly say I love. That said, I very much want to read more of Itäranta's work in the future. I think she could become brilliant if her storytelling can catch up to her writing skills.

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text 2018-04-09 13:40
Interview with CJ Tudor, author of "The Chalk Man" + Book Club and Ask a Question


C.J. Tudor, author of the bestselling and widely acclaimed The Chalk Man, talks to us about her debut!

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.


Well, I’m 46. I live in Nottingham with my partner and little girl. I left school at sixteen and I’ve had many, many jobs over the years – from television presenter to dog-walker. But I’ve always loved making up stories. When I was very small I lived in a complete fantasy world. Then, in my teens, my English teacher, Mr Webster, really encouraged me. He once wrote on the bottom of an essay: ‘If you do not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author I will be very disappointed!’


The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor 

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?


How did you start writing?


I didn’t properly knuckle down to try and write a book until my mid-thirties. I was too busy having fun in my twenties! The first thing I wrote was rubbish, but at least I’d proved to myself that I could actually finish something. It still took me over ten years to get published. There were many rejections and failed projects along the way!



What are you writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?


Well, now I’m lucky enough to write full time I usually go and sit in a coffee shop for a few hours. I don’t stick to rigid word counts or anything like that. I write for as long as I feel like and then go for a walk or head to the gym. Something to clear my mind. Then, it’s usually time to pick up my little girl from school and chaos descends until she goes to bed! I might squeeze in another hour or two in the evening.


Did you love The Chalk Man? Want to ask the author a question? Hop on board! Leave your question(s) in The Chalk Man discussion group and we'll forward them to C.J. Tudor! 




What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were, maybe a year or more ago?


Never give up. It isn’t too late - I’m a debut author at 46. Don’t get disheartened by rejections. We all get them. You don’t need expensive courses – the slush pile works. Don’t try to write what you think publishers want because that changes all the time. Stick to your guns and write what you love. Oh, and a good agent is everything!



Your first book is a mystery-thriller - is this your favorite genre? What do you like to read?


I like anything dark and twisty. Crime, thrillers. I’m partial to a bit of sci-fi. Horror is good too.



Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?


Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben. I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was twelve. When he tweeted and recommended The Chalk Man recently it was a dream come true. I’m still grinning!


What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about you and your first book? Is it very, very spooky?


It’s creepy rather the scary. The story is set in 2016 and 1986. That’s when we first meet twelve-year-old Eddie and his friends. They invent a game, drawing chalk figures on the ground to send secret messages between their gang. But the game turns sinister when the chalk men start to appear on their own and lead them to the body of a girl in the woods.


Thirty years later, Ed thinks the past is behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things – a drawing of a stick figure and a piece of chalk...





Reviews of The Chalk Man are stunning, I mean among regular readers, not just the press. What do you think makes the book so attractive and unique?


Blimey – I wish I knew! I think it’s different to a lot of recent psychological thrillers. There’s a dash of horror. It’s been compared to Stranger Things and IT, and 80’s nostalgia is big again right now. Not that I could have predicted that when I wrote the book back in 2015!



I heard that you have a two-book deal, is this the case? Are you now writing book number three? Are the books interlinked in any way?


No, they’re all stand-alone but the stories do all exist in the same universe, so readers may spot some subtle references. I haven’t ruled out linking them or returning to some of the characters in the future! Watch this space!


Haven't read The Chalk Man yet? Want to re-read? Great! Join The Chalk Man book club!


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