October 20, 2014

Evil Book Bloggers: Everything You Heard Is TRUE!

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First things first, just like Canadians, all book bloggers know one another (Shout out to all the Bobs in Saskatchewan!).


We are all part of a Super Secret Society and have monthly meetings.


A virgin is sacrificed. Virgins are so hard to get these days. It’s a hardship.


We dance around a Fire of Vengeance and burn the books of our enemies. Sometimes there are marshmallows!


Through a complex ritual, we decide the fate of authors. Who will be destroyed? Who will be revered?

nancy the craft

I’m not saying book bloggers eat babies but…

alison doesn't want to know

In case you didn’t get it, this is a (hopefully) humorous response to some authors’ ideas about what book bloggers do. Like we sit around plotting the demise of writers and books because we hate them so much. Or we’re all drunk with some imagined power, a power we do not actually have.

big time blogger

But really we’re just sitting here like…


Well, maybe not the stealing part though.

Shock-tober: Good Lady Ducayne

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good lady ducayne

I actually paid cash money for this audiobook ($1.95 on iTunes).

Spoilers, but really there are no surprises here.

Bella (another Bella in a vampire story!) Rolleston is just poor girl, she needs your sympathy. She’s looking for a job as a companion to help her Mama pay the rent. Her only option is to pay an employment agency to find her some work. Although the Superior Person at the office takes her money, she informs Miss Rolleston that finding her a job will be near impossible since she has no skills. Bella, ever optimistic, hoofs it to the agency every week in hopes that someone will give her a job.

Being at the right place at the right time pays off, when she happens to be at the agency upon the arrival of Good Lady Ducayne. The old lady takes on Bella immediately, despite her lack of accomplishments. Like an employment ad on Kijiji, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Bella fails to see the red flags. Old Lady Ducayne wants to take her to Italy (red flag). She asks the following, “Have you good health? Are you strong and active, able to eat well, sleep well, walk well, able to enjoy all that there is good in life?” (Red Flag). She needs a healthy girl because all her other companions became too ill and had to leave her employment (RED FLAG).

In Italy, everything is fine until Bella starts feeling tired. She’s having strange dreams and has mysterious cuts on her arms. Lady Ducayne’s Italian doctor tells her those are mosquito bites. Yeah, that’s it, mosquito bites. What kind of crazy-ass Italian mosquitos leave bites that look like cuts? Bella buys this hook, line, and sinker. I began to question this girl’s intelligence. She’s like that girl in Mean Girls with the psychic boobs.

fifth sense

Oh and then she learns that no one knows how old Lady Ducayne is. She could be over a hundred. And by the way, all her former companions didn’t just get sick: THEY DIED. (RED FLAG!!!!! GET OUT NOW, GIRL!!!!)

Bella doesn’t get on the first coach to Splitsville because the money is good and Mama doesn’t have to knit mantles or whatever it is she does anymore. Plus, Lady Ducayne is sooooo easy to work for!

Eventually, Bella is rescued by a young English doctor because, surprise, Lady Ducayne has been syphoning off Bella’s plasma to keep her alive.

This isn’t a very scary story, really. Lady Ducayne doesn’t turn into a bat or a wolf or anything. She’s just using questionable scientific methods to stay alive indefinitely. The deaths of all those girls was just collateral damage. It’s a trope of the sensation novel that the Italian doctor, or count, or French maid is totally evil. Obviously Bella hasn’t been reading Wilkie Collins or she’d know this. Poor, stupid Bella needs a man to get her out of this one because she is too dumb to realize she’s in trouble. No one ever tells her what was really going on. 

Even though I found Bella too stupid to live, I did love that she didn’t just sit around waiting for her luck to change. She went out and tried to take charge of her own destiny. I had to admire her for that. It was a short one too so I didn’t have to put up with her for long.

About the Audio: Good Lady Ducayne by Mary Elizabeth Braddon was narrated by Anne Rosenfeld and she did an excellent job. It was very entertaining and over the top. This audiobook is just over an hour.


October 18, 2014

Start Me Up: Readathon (Update)

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Scroll down for update

I’m awake. It’s time to get the readathon started. I’ll be posting and updating throughout the day. Here’s a small pile of books I’ll be reading. I also have to go to the library so I might get more there or download some graphic novels.

readathon books 2


  • The Stratford Murders by Agatha Christie
  • The Last Policemen by Ben Winters
  • Pirates! by Celia Rose
  • Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder


  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Veggie Tray
  • Hummus and chips
  • Lays BBQ chips


Meme #1:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Nova Scotia, Canada
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Last Policemen
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Chocolate cupcakes!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I like to run, I do it a couple of times a week, but I do not enjoy races and rarely participate in any.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I might take a little walk this time (weather permitting) to clear the cobwebs.

That’s it for now. I think I’ll start with The Last Policeman. I’ll start after I’ve been caffeinated.

Oh, hello! It’s Hour 13. I know, right! Where have I been?

I’ve been reading, The Last Policeman specifically. I also took a break to go to the library for books (How to Tell If Your Cat Is Trying to Kill You by The Oatmeal and The Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger: graphic books) and the liquor store for beverages.


It’s been a good day.

Hour 12 Challenge

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? I think I’m moving onto the Oatmeal book.
2. How many books have you read so far? Just the one, Readathonerinos!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Definitely the Oatmeal one. I need some humour.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Just a few. Once I had to fix a sewing machine, but that’s about it.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Not many surprises. I keep getting distracted by Twitter though.

Well, I think I need another snack. The husband is watching the hockey game (Canader!) so I think I’ll play a little music, eat some chips, and read my books.

October 17, 2014

Readathon Crasher: Readathon Oct 2014

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I hemmed and hawed but when I saw all the excitement about the 24 Hour Readathon happening on Twitter, I finally decided to join in. I’m super late, a party crasher, really, but I couldn’t resist. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy anyway, the perfect weather for reading.

wedding crashers

So I threw my name on the reader list. I’m not expecting to be visited by anyone though I always love visitors. I’m just going to do my thing and check out Twitter too. Did you know that there are literally almost 1000 people signed up for the Readathon? I remember when we had just 50!

I’ll post my reading list, if I make one, tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

October 15, 2014

Shock-tober: Aurora Floyd

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Successful banker, Archibald Floyd, owner of Floyd, Floyd, and Floyd, surprises everyone when after decades of bachelorhood, he marries a mediocre actress by the name of Eliza Prodder. They have a happy year together until she up and dies, leaving Archibald to raise their only child, Aurora, alone.

Aurora, with “black eyes and blue-black hair,” is doted upon by her father, he lets her live a wild country life with horses and dogs as companions.

She said what she pleased; thought, spoke, acted as she pleased; learned what she pleased; and she grew into a bright, impetuous being, affectionate and generous-hearted as her mother, but with some touch of native fire blended in her mould that stamped her as original.

Aurora sounds like a bad ass girl I’d like to hang out with, actually!

But all good things must end and Aurora “disappears” from her home for fourteen months after which she reappears, serious and grave. Her father asks, “Is he dead?’ “Yes,” she replies. Oh, a mystery!

Aurora may have changed but she still has obligations, including attending balls with her rosy-cheeked cousin Lucy. At Aurora’s birthday ball, she catches the attention of Captain Talbot Bulstrode, a dude with attitude. He will not be snared by some calculating female out to get his title. As the son of a baronet, he thinks he should have a high quality wife. He’d look down on the Virgin Mary if she was in the room. Aurora has no interest in this guy other than to ask him, “Do you know if Thunderbolt won the Leger?"

He is appalled! Disgusted! How dare a woman be interested in racing? How vulgar! Of course, he falls madly in love with her but he has a rival in the good-hearted Yorkshireman John Mellish. Talbot gets there first and asks her to marry him and it’s all good until he hears a rumour about that mysterious fourteen months. He confronts her and she tells him that she can’t reveal her secret and he must trust her. Imagining that she must have been dancing naked at the Moulin Rouge, he dumps her.


A much better man marries Aurora. John Mellish doesn’t care that she has secrets. He loves her the way she is. He and Aurora are blissfully happy together, breeding horses and dogs (not to each other), until a stranger appears. Dun-dun-dun!

This was the soapy-est! Secrets! Blackmail! Murder! I actually thought Aurora’s secret would be way more scandalous than it turned out to be. Oh well. These were also the richest of rich people who at times behave badly. They pretty much just go to horse races and play Master of the Manor, which they literally are. It was like Dallas without the oil.

lucille banana

I’m happy to report that Not All Men in this Mary Elizabeth Braddon novel are terrible for a change. Archibald is the best of dads, even Talbot turns it around at the end. John Mellish is slavishly devoted to Aurora, although some of the things he says are a teeny bit creepy.

"I would rather see your coffin laid in the empty niche beside my mother's in the vault yonder"—he pointed in the direction of the parish church, which was close to the gates of the Park—"than I would part with you thus. I would rather know you to be dead and happy than I would endure any doubt about your fate. Oh, my darling, why do you speak of these things? I couldn't part with you—I couldn't. I would rather take you in my arms and plunge with you into the pond in the wood; I would rather send a bullet into your heart, and see you lying murdered at my feet."

Er…simmer down now, Heathcliff. A murder-suicide is not the answer. There is a lot of allusions to Othello by Braddon too and with her penchant for foreshadowing I thought there’d be trouble in this area. Aurora seems to know that this is all just talk. She forgets Talbot fairly quickly once she marries Mellish. For once a Braddon heroine marries the right man. Two people could not be better suited. They’re both a little wacky.

Somebody gets murdered but whodunit isn’t hard to figure out. The Scooby-Doo gang could have it solved without even leaving the van. I suspect there will be some issues for the modern reader around who did the deed. Also, there’s not a lot of sympathy for the corpse, who was not a nice person, but someone died, people.

Anyway, it’s no Lady Audley but it ain’t bad. The surprise relative was the best!

About the Audio: This was another Librivox recording. It was a compilation of many readers. Some were very good and some were…. not at all. Maybe read this one with your eyes.