#BookReview Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is a seriously funny book that will take you on one wild adventure.

Books like these are always my favourites – they tell fun and inviting stories and welcome you into someone else’s world. I also identify as an ‘old soul’ so I get a real kick out of reading books about the past. This book, Carrying Albert Home, is about Homer’s parents taking a pet alligator back to Florida. Yes, you read that right, they are transporting an alligator. Along the way they get themselves in lots of trouble and difficult situations, all of which are hilarious!

This book did feel like it would fit into the niche market. It’s a fictional comedy based on true stories that weren’t exactly true… It’s so weird, but lovely. If you’re looking for a book that’s out of the ordinary, I think this book would be one excellent fit!

To be honest though… this book isn’t my type of novel. I did enjoy reading it as a change from my normal selection, but it just didn’t hit me as well as I wanted it to. The book is long and at times feels like too much. I had to put it down and pick it up a few times to really get through the story. It’s not boring and it’s written in a beautiful manner, it’s just not made for me as a reader. There will be readers out there who are dying to read this book, but it just isn’t my style. My rating for this book reflects the fact that it wasn’t a book for me. In reality, I think this book is a solid 4.0 for the average reader, but based on my rating score it’s a 2.

Overall, if I had to describe this book in a series of words they would be: quirky, spontaneous, eccentric, outlandish and zany.

2.0 out of 5.0 stars – it’s just not my type of book, but it is absolutely lovely and I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop

 

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#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year.

Family drama, generations of Irish men & ladies, comedy, tragedy and character growth. What more could a girl ask for in novel? Not much else!!

I was truly surprised by how amazing this book was, considering it has so few reviews. It’s by far one of my favourite reads and it will sit high atop my shelves. Kathleen MacMahon has a beautiful sense of writing style and her prose is just magnificent. I can’t get enough of this book and I want more by her.

This story follows the MacEntees – an Irish family with four generations of men and women trying to deal with a long, hot summer. Deidre and Manus were once married, but Manus is now with his male lover and at Deidre is grasping with the fact that she is now “old” and in her 80s. Alma, Acushla and MacDara are their children and they all have to grasp with their own choices too. Alma and Acushla married twin brothers, and somehow their lives are echoing each other. The girls’ children, Constance and Nora, are also dealing with their own lives choices. The entire book follows these characters one by one and lets us into a world of family drama, insanity and growth.

I would have loved to read a book like this in high school, when you have the opportunity to pick apart lines and themes within the story. I loved seeing how each character interacted and how life didn’t end up the way they quite expected it. Lots of humors is thrown in with the tragedy, family drama is addressed in a very real way, and this book shows just how tough life can be (yet also how fruitful and silly we can make it). In summary, it’s all about perspective.

Kathleen does a great job showing the differences between the generations and how they interact with one another. The conflict felt so real and the book felt like it could have been a non-fiction retelling (but it’s not!). I really want to read more by Kathleen because she has a real knack for story telling. I was so attached to these characters and I was furious that this book had to end (and in the way that it did! I cried! I never cry at books!).

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love fictional dramas, stories set in Ireland, and books about being a family.

Five out of five stars! I would give it more if I could.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out another book (or review!) that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

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#BookReview The Pharaoh’s Builderb y Heather Perrywinkle Smith

 

 

The Pharoah’s Builder was an interesting read to say the least.

I thought this book had a lot of potential – Pharaohs, magic, Egyptian lore – all of those can make a super interesting story! Think The Mummy vibes! Unfortunately, this book just didn’t hit all the notes I wanted it too. And I don’t think the second book ever came out? I’ve been looking for it but I just haven’t been able to locate it.

My first big issue with this book was that 5 year old Milla (daughter to the Pharaoh) talks more intelligently than every adult I’ve ever met. She has class that no child I’ve ever met has (and I work with a LOT of kids). That tore me right out of the story. Sure, maybe it was a different time and kids acted like mini-adults, but it was just so hard to sink into this story when I pictured the many five year olds I’ve met.

The book itself ended on a cliffhanger, while I’d rather it have ended as a closed story that could have been continued. There were so many loose ends that had just been introduced only to be ditched. Bilal’s love affair with Lilli didn’t go further, the Pharaoh’s wife’s plans didn’t go into fruition, and the magic introduced into the story was only briefly touched upon. It reminds me of movies that are ready to start a franchise but forget that they are telling a story within the movie itself.

I seriously loved Heather Perrywinkle Smith’s writing and I wanted to see this story do well. I love Egyptian lore and the book sounded SO FREAKING COOL. I see so much potential with this story and with Heather’s amazing writing, I can only imagine how great it’ll get! Hopefully she writes the next book (or I’m able to find it!) and it continues this really interesting story.

My low score is because of two reasons: Milla speaking in a more mature manner than the adults of the story and the loose ends. This book would be a four out of five if it was a little more realistic but I just couldn’t get past those points.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

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Amazon.ca

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Check out some other books or reviews you may enjoy:

#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

#BookReview Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell

#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

 

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#BookReview The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that I have been debating over since high school. Everyone I know from high school absolutely HATED this book (with a ridiculously strong passion) yet I had this feeling that I should read it anyways. After watching the 2017 television adaptation and LOVING it, I decided it was probably best to just bite the bullet and pick up this book. Of course, I had to remember to buy it to be able to read it and that took some time.

So, during this wonderous break from school and work I decided to indulge myself a little and pick up a book I REALLY wanted to read. Luckily, this book was within sight and reaching distance so I devoured it in under two hours. I binged this book SO HARD and it was SO WORTH IT.

If you’ve watched the television show, you know the basis. The show expands a lot more on the content (and changes some) but you’ve got the jist of the story. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander and Serena Joy. Her “goal” is to get pregnant and give them a baby, and that isn’t going to well. So she hatches a plan with Serena Joy to be able to have a baby to get out! But… nothing ever goes to plan, and chaos ensues. That is the non-spoiler synopsis.

This book feels all too real even all these years later. It faces political, environmental and religious tones in such an amazing way that it really blew my mind. Margaret Atwood’s writing just adds to this story and gives it way more depth than I ever expected. Every little twist and turn makes me question who you can trust, if Offred is a reliable narrator (at times) and if this world can ever change. Unfortunately, you don’t find that last point out in this novel. The book ends rather abruptly and leaves me feeling cheated. I want to know what happens OH SO BAD. That’s the only reason I enjoy the television show just a little bit more – it expands a lot on the narrative and we will most likely get some kind of ending (eventually… it’s only at two seasons currently at the time I write this review).

You could definitely tear this book apart for “plot holes” – like… how did society crumble so fast? How could these women not over power some of these leaders? How did people let this happen? There’s so many questions that I want answered, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of this book. It felt like a warning tale, like 1984 by George Orwell or any of the Shakespeare tales. It’s a different take on society as a whole and is criticizing it in some way (and it’s also just really good fiction, let’s be honest).

My biggest flaw is how short this book is – I want more and I want to understand more. This world is just way too good, complex and big to not explore! I hear there’s another book coming out soon (oh please give us a sequel I want mooooore) but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is a book that makes you think. I love books like that because I can sink into my chair (or couch… or bed…) and just let myself fall into the story. I escape this world and all of my worries and just take in this whole new world. I think Margaret Atwood is a seriously good author with ridiculous amounts of talent and I will for sure be looking for more books by her. Books like this make me SO happy that I love to read and have the time and ability too. Books like this make reading an absolutely breath taking hobby!

Seriously, if you love dystopian fiction, books that you can theorize and form conspiracies over or books that you probably would have read back in your high school English class- PICK THIS BOOK UP!

Five out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

#BookReview I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I am Radar by Reif Larsen is a character study of a black man born to white parents.

This book was very slow and hard for me to read, I have to be upfront about that. The book is written beautifully and Reif Larsen is a terrific writer, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It took me months to get through because it’s so packed full of narrative. It is packed full of science, relationship drama, history and major character conflicts and soul searching.

I wish I would have loved this book more, because I am amazed at Reif’s writing style. I fell in love with these characters, but then the story would switch up and go somewhere else. I just got devoted to Radar and his parents and then the story switched around and took me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I wanted to watch Radar’s life tumble in front of my eyes, but I didn’t get that. Honestly though, Radar and his parents were my favourite part of this story. Watching them grow and react to life was a real gem. I wanted way more of that, because I absolutely loved them.

If you like books that follow the entire story of a person, including their backstory and their family’s story – you’ll love this book. It truly is a cool character study. Following Radar is the main purpose of this book, but we learn so much more about other characters as well. It’s a fictional drama story that is written beautifully. That’s where it stands with me. It also includes great illustrations and historic notes making it feel more non-fiction than fiction at times. Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of science and radio waves?

I would definitely suggest this as a book for an English class. I’d love to see someone pick it apart and explain it to me. I was just not invested enough to re-read sections and to go back and understand a lot of the book. It’s not a book to just sit down and binge – it’s too full of knowledge and information. You have to be willing to go back and understand everything that’s happening to really get it. So, it’s just not for me at this point in time.

Overall, the over 600 pages were not my cup of tea. I think Reif is a wonderful writer and I hope he finds his readers! He’s too talented, I don’t want it to go to waste! Pick up this book if you love a good drama full of science and knowledge. I’m honored to have read this book, because it is really cool. I’m just not his ideal reader.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Goodreads

 

Check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy:

#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

Quick Book Review: Escape Vector and Other Stories by Bryan Young

 

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#BookReview A Cup of Redemption by Carole Bumpus

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If I had to describe this book in one word, I’d use the word “journey”.

This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women’s Fiction novel that would be a great ‘on the side’ read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I’ve ever read! It’s an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was!

A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie’s Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again.

There’s a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There’s a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn’t right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past – and I loved that aspect. I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious like some mystery novels.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman’s life. Seriously, it’s that good.

The downfalls of this book are as followed:
1. There’s a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me – you might forget who’s who!
2. There are some plot points that don’t end up resolved, but they aren’t major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that’s a bit of a positive…
3. This book can be quite…upsetting. There’s rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren’t for the light of heart.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven’t picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I’m utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Kobo

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – eBook

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Paperback

Barnes and Nobles – Paperback

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carole Bumpus on:

Goodreads – Carole Bumpus

http://www.carolebumpus.com/

Twitter – @CaroleBumpus

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While you’re at it, check out another book review you might enjoy! #BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt

Hotwives and their Dirty Desires is packed full of stories for every steamy romance lover to enjoy!

This R rated book is full of sexy scenes, not intended for a young reading audience.

The first short story, Berlin and Cody, features a young 21 year old painter named Cody and the beautiful Berlin who meet through a dating agency. Ms. K runs a super sexy dating agency where older women can meet younger men, which starts out story off. This pair is straight to the point about what they want, which is a fantastic and unique quality for the romance novels I usually read.

This story is super hot, sexy and full of steamy scenes. I wasn’t even a couple pages in and the heat had already been turned up to 100! If you’re the type of reader who likes to get right into the action, then this story is for you! The one thing that really got me about this book, though, was that they were getting hot and heavy in a cab and the driver didn’t notice?! Maybe my city’s taxi drivers are just too into chatting with the customers, because they were getting it on and not a single word was said to them! Seriously, I’d love to see the comedy side story of that guy explaining to someone how his day went.

Story number two – The Post-Marital Lesbian Affair. This time, a lovely woman named Autumn wants to welcome Berlin into her marriage with open arms. Berlin and Autumn take center stage for this steamy love affair. This story is a bit darker and a bit steamier, cranking up this room to a sauna.

Story number three, Berlin and Cody’s First Menage, brings Cody in on the action with the ladies. Story four continues on with Autumn’s husband and story five introduced Casey and Paul.

Each story got bigger and more full of erotica. I would definitely label this book under erotica and not romance, if you’re particular about your genres. Kay Brandt can clearly write an erotic scene and make it hot and dirty.

I did have one major worrying point from this set – Cody and Berlin didn’t use protection. That’s, you know, their choice and all, but it seemed mighty weird for a story to not even bring it up. They just jumped in, not knowing one another and hoped for the best. It’s not a downside but it’s not an upside either.

Overall, this book is super raunchy (in a good way). If you like hot, steamy, erotic books that go right into the action then you’ll love this book!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Check out Kay Brandt’s Amazon page, Twitter, Facebook and publisher Excessica.

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Rakuten Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

 

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**Photos courtesy of the author.