Saturday, August 31, 2013

What I'm Reading ~ End of August 2013

I'm currently in a started-but-not-finished stage of reading a lot of different books. I think I'm not yet acclimatized to using the reading with my Kobo on the 3-week library loan period. I didn't have so much of a problem with that with tree books, but with ebooks I've not quite found the rhythm yet. I also find it harder to gauge how long a hold will take to come through, so I can get a whole bunch arrive at once and oddly if feels like you can't requests that many with only being allowed 15 holds (and only 15 borrowed items) at a time. Why that feels like 'only' I don't know, as I never make it through them all! But, I'm going to keep working on it though, and hopefully will find the way!

Finished Reading

Last time I wrote, I was still in the middle of both GSP: The Way of the Fight by Georges St-Pierre and How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff but now I have finished both books. I absolutely loved GSP: The Way of the Fight, and was very inspired by Georges St-Pierre and his extreme dedication to continually honing his craft. I loved how he drew on both classic and new philosophies, and always was looking at things from from a perspective of where he could learn and apply this learning to his fight. I found this fascinating, and it made me really think about whether or not perfection exists, because there is always going to be the drive to improve in different ways and different directions. Perhaps things really are every changing, and perhaps that is a good thing.

On a completely different note, I also finished the young-adult novel How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, which was an extremely challenging read from an emotional perspective. I was drawn to read it as it's received loads of acclaim as well as an upcoming film adaptation. Once I get an inkling that I want to read them, I don't tend to read synopsis or descriptions because I often feel they spoil the experience of letting the story unfold. This book challenged that choice, made me feel differently on the importance of knowing what you are getting into as I was completely unprepared for the harsh, realistic content in contained. This also makes discussing this book very complicated because I still feel strongly about not giving out spoiler-y information, but I also feel like it I can't recommend it without sharing what I believe it's really about. For a book that starts with a YA and mildly romance feel, I wasn't expecting an emotionally gutting experience.  It's way heavier that I had any idea it would be.  It is very well written, and I thought the characters were fascinating but it was way too heavy for me. As such, I'm at a loss of what to say about it (if you want a synopsis, Wikipedia can hook you up), other than I felt I needed to recover from reading it.

Currently Reading

The Selection
by Kiera Cass

For 2 years in a row, The Selection has been on tap to be a TV adaptation and for 2 years that hasn't panned out. Oddly not that the adaptations isn't going ahead, I've started reading it. Weird timing, but that is how things go sometimes. I initially was going to describe it as either utopic or dystopic, but it isn't either although it does have that feel.  It depicts a very scaled society where people have a number rating that equates to the work they can do, and therefore the amount of money they can make.  There is also a monarchy element that plays front and centre to the story as a young prince doesn't have any princesses to marry, and therefore The Selection is created for 35 women 'of the people' to compete to be his bride. The description doesn't actually appeal to me, as it feels like it's a future set but rights-wise is a total throw back. But I started reading it out of curiosity and the highly organized society always piques my interest, and I was suprzied to be swept into the world very quickly and was able to fly through it at a very fast pace. Sadly, my library copy expired so I'll have to catch up with again when it's available again.

Hello, Harlequin!

The other books I've started are both Harlequins. I needed something refreshing after the heavy emotional experience of reading How I Live Now, and I discovered the library has a bunch of Harlequin bundles to choose from.  I opted to go with Copper Lake Encounter by Marilyn Pappano from the Harlequin Romantic Suspense August 2013 Bundle and Claimed by the Immortal by Rachel Lee from of the Harlequin Nocturne August 2013 Bundle.  I've enjoyed both of them a lot. A lot.  It's total escapist reading, and I actually ended up picking one where I'm 100% the target market (Nocturne) and completely not the target market (Suspense), and it's been wild to see how I react to the different-by-similar stories/character introductions/conflicts/etc. for the two stories. I've found that really engaging from a storytelling perspective. I also find it a lot of fun to look at what kinds of stories are grouped together from historical to millionaires to want-a-or-have-a-baby-centric (that's a new one), and the classic ranch/cowboy themes which seriously has a total Canadian opportunity for a setting just waiting in the wings for that one.  

Next on the Horizon

Someday, Someday Maybe
by Lauren Graham

I was so excited when this came up on my library queue (the hold list was quite long!), it's based on, but a fictional version of, her experiences in the acting scene during mid-90's New York. Yep. I'm ALL OVER THAT. I did a Gilmore Girls watch last year, and was very impressed with Lauren Graham in that show so I'm really curious to see her efforts as an author. This book only recently was released but already has a TV adaptation in the works with The CW.

The Returned
by Jason Mott

Keeping with the TV adaptation theme, The Returned is also being adapted into the 2014 mid-season TV series Resurrection. The book (and series) are about a what if scenario, and that is what if people who were dead and buried one day appeared if no time had gone by. I feel like I'm missing a piece of the adaptation puzzle though, as the TV series appears to be based on this book which just released Aug 2013, but there is also a French TV series called Les Revenants, which has almost the same plot but is based on the film They Came Back. Perhaps there isn't a connection between the two series and it's just a current hot topic to explore.  Bizarre side note: The Returned is *also* a Harlequin, I just found it on their site quite by accident.

Those are the books I'm currently reading, and getting ready to chomp into next. What are you reading these days?

Want to stay connected? Let's be friends on GoodReads!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Hero ~ Spoiler-Free Episode List

One of the shows I really loved watching this summer was the reality series The Hero hosted by Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Not only did it have quite a different dynamic and format than other reality shows, and it really stood up for it's exploration of what defines and makes a hero. And did I mention Dwayne The Rock Johnson is the host? :)

I watched a lot of the show online, and recently looked it up for a friend that missed a few episode at which point I discovered that the entire 8 episodes are online to watch over at As with all reality shows, you certainly don't want to accidentally get spoiled by the outcome, so I've made one of my handy-dandy spoiler-free episode lists for you to catch up, or watch the whole thing.

If you are new to the series, here is a little more about The Hero:

"Making its daring debut on Thursday, June 6 at 9pm ET/PT is the epic new series, The Hero, headlined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nine everyday contestants will be put through a series of challenges testing their brains, their brawn and even their morality as they try to prove that they deserve the title of “The Hero” and the life-changing prize that goes with it. With a chance to win up to a million dollars, competitors are pushed to the limits to see what they are willing – and able – to overcome, undergo, or even sacrifice for the sake of their fellow contestants. Johnson will serve as The Hero’s mentor and motivator, encouraging the contestants to reach far beyond their personal limits."

The Hero ~ Spoiler-Free Episode List

Friday, August 09, 2013

Beauty and the Beast ~ Spoiler-Free Episode List

Beauty and the Beast debuted in the Fall of 2012 and it won me over in the very first episode, which is a very rare feat. It's a re-imagining of the 1987 series of the same name, and was a welcome addition to the regular TV line up. There are many things I love about the show, from the chemistry between Cat and Vincent to a depiction of two female cops as partners. It quickly became one of the shows I never wanted to miss, and was swept away by the story and characters. But overall, there is a tenderness and sweetness to it that I really appreciate. I am not alone in my love for it as won the People's Choice Award for Favourite New TV Drama in 2013.

Here is a brief description of where Beauty and the Beast begins: "Catherine “Cat” Chandler (Kristin Kreuk, "Smallville,” “Chuck”) is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective, who is haunted by her own tragic past. When she was a teenager, Cat witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Cat would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…though it was strange and terrifying, it was human."

Alongside Kristen Kreuk, the show stars Jay Ryan as Vincent (the "Beast"), Nina Lisandrello as Cat's partner Tess, Max Brown as medical examiner Evan, Brian White as Cat's boss Joe, Austin Basis and as Vincent's friend J.T. and Nicole Gale Anderson as Cat's sister Heather.

I'm thrilled to see all the episodes of Beauty and the Beast are available to watch at the Showcase website; in addition to series information, episode guide, cast bios, photos and a fabulous blog (I love the "Beauty and the Beauty" series).

As all the episodes are available, I decided to make this spoiler-free episode guide for new and old fans to enjoy the Beauty and the Beast. It's equal opportunities for early adopters and mega-fans like it to first time viewers to have a resource to watch, or re-watch, the series as many times as we like. Enjoy!

Image Source

Beauty and the Beast ~ Season 1 Spoiler-Free Episode List

Image Source

Beauty and the Beast ~ Season 2 Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
Season 2 began Sunday October 6, 2013 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Showcase and Monday October 7, 2013 at 9pm/8pmC on The CW; Season 2 will have 22 episodes.

Monday, August 05, 2013

What I'm Reading ~ August 2013

This year has been a rough one so far, but as things start to get less bumpy I'm trying to ease back into enjoying that which I enjoy.  This includes getting back into my reading habits. Oddly the first thing I've done is ignore my reading habit of sticking to one book at a time, as now I'm reading several books at once.  I'm sure this is greatly influenced by the fact I'm now reading via a Kobo and adjusting to the whole e-reader thing (note: being able to carry what feels like an infinite number of books at a time is ridiculously awesome).  I'm not sure how I feel about reading several books at once yet, but that's a whole other topic.  For now, I'd like to share about about the titles I've cracked the e-spine on.

Currently Reading:

GSP: The Way of the Fight  
by Georges St-Pierre

I have found this book to be very inspirational. George St-Pierre is a name that most people know, and I was first impressed by him when watching him as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. He never lost his cool, always had confidence in his fighters and often took an unusual, yet effective, way to coach them. When I found out he had written a book, I requested it right away and have really enjoyed it so far.  He is always thinking, learning and incorporating new elements to better his technique in his life and in his fight.  It's got a 360 feel to it as he often discusses the people who have impacted and helped him, and then we get to read passages from those people who in turn discuss Georges.  It's a fascinating approach to hear his story unfold and I look forward to reading more.

How I Live Now  
by Meg Rosoff

I started this book ages ago and picked it up again recently. It's one where it's so hard to say what it's about because all the descriptions I've heard made me respond like "WHA .... I didn't know that happened!". Let's just go with that it's about an American teenager who goes to stay with her British cousins. But the thing that, you can totally tell its' a British book. I haven't quite put my finger on how you can tell that, but you can. Or rather I feel like I can. I love that it breaks convention in several different ways, and although it easily could be upsetting to many readers it's also very intriguing. I'm hoping to finish this one up pretty soon.

Next on the Horizon:

by Bram Stoker

I'm already a few pages in to this one (although it's hard to tell how far you are in a book when you read via e-reader), and I already wonder why I put it off for so long. I don't read classics that often and the last one I read was The Three Musketeers which, well, might be the reason I haven't picked one up in years! But with the upcoming TV adaptation of Dracula, I finally got the push I needed to pick this one up and give it a go.   It will be interesting to see how much feels interesting or new, given that I've seen at least 5 film adaptations and am very familiar with vampire lore. Here's hoping it will be an enlightening, enjoyable read.

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

I have gotten this one out of the library without starting it several times, and I swear this time I am going to read it before it expires. It is another book to film adaptation on my reading list (to be released February 14, 2014), and the film stars Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf) in the lead role. I keep trying to avoid hear what it's about (I know its dystopic YA), although I pretty much have heard what it's about, and have even watched some of the hype from this years Comic Con (hear Marina & I chat about that over at Before the Dawn), I still "pretend" I only vaguely know what it's about. Anyhow, blinders on, and I'm going to dive in to the world and see what it's all about. I hope I like it!

Those are the books I'm currently reading, and getting ready to chomp into next. What are you reading these days?

Want to stay connected? Let's be friends on GoodReads!

December 2019 TBR

Happy December All! It's time to look at the books I plan on reading in December. I have three different things I'm working on...