Stories From The Vinyl Cafe (Spoiler-Free Book Review)

stories from the vinyl cafe.jpgStories From the Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe #1)

Published 2009 by Penguin Canada (first published 1995)
226 pages
Fiction: Short Stories, Canadian
Stories From The Vinyl Cafe is a collection of eighteen tales written by Stuart Mclean. There is a fantastic balance between serious topics and touching stories about losing pets, family relationships, marriage, overcoming fear, stinky skunks, a mom who got caught stealing sausage from the grocery store, doing the right thing and remembering Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
“Everyone should get to drive a car with everything they own piled around them. All alone. Heading towards the horizon. Driving into the future”.
These stories may be short but they are packed full of emotion and authentic Canadian culture. This one was a page-turner that left me wanting to read more of Mclean’s work.
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Mid-Year #BookTag #TagTuesday

Technically Mid-Year was a few weeks ago, but I’ve seen this tag all around Youtube and thought it would be a fun way to see how my reading is going this year. I tag anyone who wants to do this Tag: the questions are at the bottom in a list for easy copy/paste.

Original Tag Creators:
ReadLikeWildFire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y
Earl Grey Books https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Wh0rPGfRg&t=6s

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.

The Essex Serpent

 

The Essex Serpent

By Sarah Perry

Here’ s the link for my review: The Essex Serpent Book Review – Spoiler Free

 

 

 

 

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

I’ve only read one sequel so far this year!

library of souls

 

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Book 3)

By Ransom Riggs

My review Library of Souls: Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #bookreview

 

 

 

 

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Dress Codes for Small Towns.jpg

 

Dress Codes for Small Towns

By: Courtney Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Sleeping Beauties.jpg

 

Sleeping Beauties

By: Stephen King and his son, Owen King

In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?”

Expected Publication: September 26, 2017

Book Tour Updates and More: www.stephenking.com

 

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

wyrd sisters

 

Wyrd Sisters

By: Terry Pratchett

A lot of people recommended this one to me, and it was just okay. Here’s my review: Wyrd Sisters Spoiler-Free Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

6. Biggest surprise.

Outlander

 

Outlander

By: Diana Gabaldon

I wasn’t sure I would like this one, and have been putting it off for years. I thoroughly enjoyed the book AND the first season of the TV show (on Netflix). I can’t wait to continue this series! Here’s my review: Outlander: Spoiler Free Book Review

 

 

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

dianagabaldon

 

Diana Gabaldon

www.dianagabaldon.com

Diana Gabaldon on Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

August Flynn from This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab. My Review: This Savage Song #spoilerfreebookreview #borrowathon

This Savage Song

9. Newest favorite character.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-1476282246-custom-0.jpg

 

Newt Scamander from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, written by J. K. Rowling. His character is quirky, smart, and mysterious. I can’t wait to learn more about his past, and hopefully learn more about his interactions with Dumbledore and involvement at Hogwarts.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them

 

My Review: Fantastic Beasts #SpoilerFree #BookReview

 

 

 

10. Book that made you cry.

A Tapestry of Tears

 

A Tapestry of Tears

By: Gita V. Reddy

My Review: A Tapestry of Tears #SpoilerFreeBookReview

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Book that made you happy.

momswhodrinkandswear

 

Moms Who Drink and Swear

By: Nicole Knepper

My Review: Book Review: Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving my Kids While Losing My Mind

 

 

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

Jamie and Claire marriage

 

Outlander TV series (I watched on Netflix)

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

Thirteen Reasons Why #spoilerfree #bookreview

 

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

LOVE the cover of Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King!

Bazaar of Bad Dreams.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Dark Tower Book Series.jpg

I have an ARC to read:

A Bold and Dangerous Family in Edelweiss by HarperCollins.

A bold and dangerous family.jpg

Fantasy Book Bingo (Reddit) r/Fantasy Challenge:

  • Non-Fiction Fantasy Related Book
  • Fantasy Novel on “To be read” list for over a year
  • Award Winning Fantasy Novel
  • Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Dying Earth
  • r/Fantasy Big List 2016 Under-read/Under-rated
  • Horror Novel
  • Fantasy Novel featuring a Desert setting
  • Re-use any r/Fantasy Bingo Square
  • Self-published fantasy novel
  • Fantasy Novel published in 2017
  • Sequel: not the first book in the series
  • Novel by an r/Fantasy AMA(Ask me anything) Author or Writer of the Day
  • Fantasy of Manners
  • Fantasy Novel Featuring Dragons
  • New Weird
  • Fantasy Novel Featuring Seafaring
  • Steampunk
    • Five Fantasy Short Stories
    • Novel by an author from an r/Fantasy Author Appreciation Post

    Getting Too Old For This Crap: (50+) Protagonist

 

Dewey Decimal NonFiction Challenge

  • A book with Dewey Decimal 400-499
  • 600-699
  • 800-899
  • 900-999

 

A TO Z CHALLENGE — LOCATION EDITION

Book with location starting with the letter J, K, U, X, Y, Z

 

The questions:
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
5. Biggest disappointment.
6. Biggest surprise.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
8. Newest fictional crush.
9. Newest favorite character.
10. Book that made you cry.
11. Book that made you happy.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year. (Booktube version: Favorite video you have done so far in this year)
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

 

Fantastic Beasts #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them.jpg

Photo from Goodreads

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Written By: J.K. Rowling

Illustrations by Minalima

Published 2016

This enchanting tale begins in Europe, 1926. We then meet Newt Scamander, the chaser of truth, as he arrives New York. He claims he came to New York to buy an Appaloosa Puffskeins. We later find out he’s really there so he can bring Frank the Thunderbird home to Arizona. Newt stumbles across a crowd who are watching Mary Lou Barebone’s lecture about how we should be fearful of magic, and the wizards who are all around us. She has three adopted children: Credence, Chastity, and Modesty. I like the creative naming of the children, their meanings being the complete opposite of what Mary Lou Barebone is;

Credence: belief as to the truth of something

Chastity: the state of being pure

Modesty: being humble, free from vanity

As Newt is watching Mary Lou, he’s being watched by Tina Goldstein. She works for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). She spies the latch of Newt’s case opening on its own, and suspects he is entering America with dangerous magical creatures. She’s recently lost her auror status at MACUSA, and is intent on finding out exactly what Newt is up to in hopes that she can regain her status.

MACUSA are concerned with the dangerous magical activity that’s been going on in the city, and are also extremely worried about an evil wizard named Grindelwald. Percival Graves, who also works for MACUSA, suspects it’s the work of an Obscura, which is an unstable, uncontrollable dark force that busts out of a witch or wizard who has been trying to suppress their magical abilities. Percival’s been secretly pushing Credence to try and figure out where the obscura is.

A Niffler escapes from Newt’s case and they set off on a wild goose chase, running into Jacob Kowalski who was on his way to the bank in order to inquire about a loan so he can open his own bakery.

Newt carries a briefcase which, like the TARDIS, is much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. In this case Newt carries extraordinary creatures:

Niffler

Occamy

Thunderbird

Graphorns

Fwooper

Bowtruckle

Mooncalf

Nundu

Diricawl

Erumpent

Swooping Evil

Swooping_Evil_concept_art.png

Demiguise

Newt’s case is accidentally switched with Jacob’s case when they run into each other. He tracks Jacob down, and discovers many magical creatures escaped from the case while he was separated from it. Jacob, agrees to help Newt find his missing creatures. Tina hunts Newt down, suspecting him of breaking magical law, thinking if she can land a big arrest she may be able to regain her auror status. She thinks it’s one of his creatures that have been wreaking havoc on the city, so she agrees to help him find his creatures and recruits her sister Queenie (my favourite character, she can read minds).

There are parts of Fantastic Beasts which are quite comical. But at its heart it’s an enchanting, adventurous, dark, page-turning mystery. You don’t need to read, or know about Harry Potter in order to be able to enjoy this story.

Happy Reading!

 

 

Wyrd Sisters Spoiler-Free Book Review

wyrd sisters

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld #6) by Terry Pratchett

Originally published: 1988

A magical/paranormal, science fiction fantasy comedy, inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear.

Goodreads blurb:

Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics. The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne. At least, that’s what they think…

I chose to read this book because it was the r/fantasy Goodreads Group book of the month for May (which satisfies one of my Fantasy Bingo squares).

1st paragraph: Wyrd Sisters #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Characters:

Nanny Ogg

Granny Esme Weatherwax: most highly regarded witch

Magrat Garlick: junior witch

DEATH

Verence the Fool

Tom John

Takes place in Lancre, within Discworld. Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax agreed to Magrat’s proposition and they form a coven. King Verence, Monarch of Lancre is dead, and replaced by Duke Felmet and his wife, the horrible Lady Felmet. The three witches see how horrible this new king is, and try to dethrone him. While watching the theater the witches are reminded that words can be powerful – and hatch their plan, which includes altering time itself.

The banter between the witches was quite amusing, and I did laugh out loud quite a few times. The first half of the story is a little slow – but the second half makes up for it. It’s been many years since I’ve read Macbeth or Hamlet, so a lot of the jokes whizzed right over my head. In fact, I found the first half of the book confusing – so much so that I went back to the start and re-read it more slowly. I know many readers love Pratchett and his Discworld stories and it’s highly rated on Goodreads, however it’s a 3 star read for me…maybe even 2.5 star. This may be due to the fact that it’s the first book I’ve read from this world, perhaps I need a little background on the characters before jumping in. I’m willing to go back and read some previous novels, and maybe some newer releases as well.

Have you read any Terry Pratchett? What did you think?