Category Archives: Thursday Book Talk

This was originally Tuesday Talks, based off of a group on Goodreads. I repurposed it on Aug 27/2018 to Tuesday Book Talks. Once a month I look back on the books I’ve read (and hope you’ll let me know what you’ve read, too!) Tuesday Book Talk became Thursday Book Talk on Nov 19/18 when I changed #WriteMonday to #WriteTuesday.

December 2021 – What Are You Reading?

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate, and a very Happy New Year!

This month, my reading really wasn’t going very well.  After finishing The Diary of a Young Girl, (and reading All About Anne, which filled in some of the history surrounding Anne Frank’s life), I intended to get back to reading Company Town.  But I wasn’t really enjoying it – I had just sort of started getting into it before stopping to read Anne Frank’s book for Remembrance Day, and couldn’t bring myself to go back to it afterwards (I firmly believe I would have finished it had I not stopped).  So I wasted a few weeks of thinking I should go back to it before I ultimately decided I wasn’t going to.  After finally making that decision, I started reading some graphic novels, which got me back into reading. 🙂

Nonfiction books:

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • All About Anne by Menno Metselaar and Piet van Ledden

Fiction books:

  • Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge (graphic novel)
  • Estranged: The Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge (graphic novel)
  • Oddball by Sarah Andersen (graphic novel)
  • Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

I don’t even know where to start in terms of a “favourite” this month!  The Diary of a Young Girl really surprised me with how good it was.  The rest of my family has read it, but I hesitated because I thought it was going to be really depressing.  While the ending is (and the depressing part is more the afterword, not the end of the diary itself) it is a super good read!  It makes me so sad that we lost Frank during the war – what else would she have written had she lived???

Then I read Estranged, a super fun graphic novel about changelings.  When the faerie court is attacked, the human changeling (“the Childe”) escapes and seeks help from the only person he thinks can help him: the fae child who was swapped in his place!  It’s a fun read that I really, really enjoyed.

And then there was Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook.  Wow.  It reminds me a lot of Brom’s The Child Thief, which was an earlier super dark version of Peter Pan (which I also recommend, though I haven’t read it in years).  In this tale, Jamie (who we know of as Captain Hook) was the very first Lost Boy Peter brought to his island.  Through the events of the story, Jamie starts to see through Peter’s glamour, growing up and becoming the “villain” we know of today.  It’s an excellent read that I couldn’t put down. 🙂

So what have you read over the last month?  Did you have a favourite?

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November 2021 – What Are You Reading?

This month was not a very good reading month for me.  I currently have two books on the go, Company Town by Madeline Ashby, which I started before Remembrance Day, and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, which I chose to read for Remembrance Day this year.  I’m really enjoying The Diary of a Young Girl, but I ended up on a bit of a video game kick lately (I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley in French, which has been a lot of fun), and so haven’t finished it yet.  The other night when I was thinking about this post, I was a bit worried that I hadn’t read anything this month, but thankfully I actually did finish something before starting Company Town.

Nonfiction books:

Fiction books:

  • The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

I absolutely loved The Rose Code by Kate Quinn! I didn’t know a whole lot about the Enigma Machines and Bletchley Park, so I wasn’t sure what I would think when I started.  But it was so fascinating!  As usual, she also had some fantastic characters whom I was rooting for all through the book.  I loved it, and really recommend it!

So what have you read over the last month?  I hope you’ve had a better reading month than I have! 🙂

Hopefully I’ll finish both The Diary of a Young Girl and Company Town soon!  And once I’m finished with Stardew Valley in French, I’ll have to start reading something in French, too.

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October 2021 – What Are You Reading?

Last month, I mentioned putting aside Lean Out by Tara Henley so I could read Unreconciled by Jesse Wente.  Unfortunately, at the point that I put Lean Out down (about one quarter of the way in), I was losing interest in it, and after finishing Unreconciled, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I chose not to go back to Henley’s book.

Nonfiction books:

  • Unreconciled by Jesse Wente

Fiction books:

  • Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani
  • RWBY by Marguerite Bennett, illustrated by Mirka Andolfo (graphic novel)

Other Languages

  • 100 Easy Ukrainian Texts by Yuliia Pozniak

And some older magazines (two Chatelaines and a Family Circle).

As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed Unreconciled by Jesse Wente.  I wasn’t familiar with Wente at all prior to reading his book, so I was quite delighted by his humour.  While at times it is a bit difficult to read (it deals with hard subject matter regarding residential school survivors/their families/intergenerational trauma as well as the racism and slurs Indigenous people in Canada are subjected to), I found I couldn’t put it down.  It’s definitely something I recommend, especially to everyone living in Canada.

I also quite enjoyed Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani, which was a book of fairy tale retellings, often with a darker bend (they reminded me a lot of the original Grimms Fairy Tales). I love fairy tales, and retellings are often fun, so I was very pleased that this book didn’t disappoint.  (Full disclosure – I cried at the end of the Peter Pan retelling).

This was also the month that I finished my first book in Ukrainian!  I’m still very excited about that – if you want to see the video I made talking about it (I start out in Ukrainian too!), you can find it in my last post. 🙂

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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September 2021 – What Are You Reading?

picture of four Maclean's magazines
The first four Maclean’s I read this month

Last month I decided I was going to get myself caught up with Maclean’s magazines.  In August I read four, and just kept reading them into September.  But as I was finishing the October 2020 issue, the eighth issue I read in a row, I was in major need of a break.  It didn’t help that the issues I had just finished were all dealing with Covid-19 (which I honestly wasn’t able to read last year because I was not in a great place mentally due to the pandemic), Black Lives Matter, Indigenous injustices, the WE Scandal, and a shooting in the Maritimes (plus repeated requests for a public inquiry as a result) – all heavy and depressing things.  

At that point, I took a break to read a fiction book. That gave me the energy to read a few more issues of Macleans, though not as many as I originally planned to (I was hoping to get completely caught up with them before the election on September 20th). But I did manage to finish all of the 2020’s prior to the election, so that was something at least.

Going forward, I’m going to try to read an issue of Maclean’s, then a book (or two, depending on how well I’m doing mentally after each issue), in an attempt to get caught up with them (and hopefully keep more on top of them than I have been, too!)

Nonfiction books:

  •  none!

Fiction books:

  •  Dungeon Eternium by Dakota Krout

I also read six issues of Maclean’s Magazine.

I was really excited to fit in finishing Dakota Krout’s Divine Dungeon series this month, too. The friend who recommended it to me wants me to start another series set in that universe, but I’m going to go and read some other stuff before I come back to this world. 🙂

I put aside the nonfiction book I’m currently reading (Lean Out by Tara Henley), in favour of Unreconciled by Jesse Wente, which I decided to read for today, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation here in Canada. Unreconciled sounds really good (and was highly rated on Amazon), so I’m really looking forward to it.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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August 2021 – What Are You Reading?

covers of the 6 magazines I read in August
The magazines I read this month!

I had a great start to August with reading.  I even managed to only read books that I own, which was great as that is one of my goals for the year.  But then the Canadian election was called, and I decided I need to put reading books in English aside until the election at the end of September.  Instead I’m going to be reading through the many issues of Maclean’s Magazine that I’ve been putting off reading for over a year (I started off with 13 and my brother says he has 2 or 3 more) in an attempt to be more informed prior to the election, so that’s going to keep me busy!

But I will continue reading books in French and Ukrainian as I go through all the Macleans back issues. 🙂

Nonfiction books:

  • Narrative Designer: Fabulator Ludus by Stephen E. Dinehart IV

Fiction books:

  • An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire
  • Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
  • Dungeon Desolation by Dakota Krout

I also read two local magazines (Northwest Nosh from 2019 and a copy of The Walleye from earlier this year) and 4 issues of Maclean’s.  I really hope I’ll be able to keep up my momentum with reading them in September!

I think my favourite book this month was An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire.  I really liked the idea of where Blind Michael, the master of the faerie Hunt, gets his new hunters and their steeds from.  I do wish the book had upped the horror factor a bit though.  The story revolves around a childhood bogeyman and the main character gets turned into a child – this just screamed horror, or at least a much darker vibe, a la Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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July 2021 – What Are You Reading?

Well, I am proud of myself: this month I finally finished reading Patrick DeWitt’s Undermajordomo Minor,  I started reading it back in March (!!!)  At that time I read about 10 pages because I really wanted to start it on that particular night, then promptly put it aside and didn’t touch it again for almost four months!  I even had to reread those first few pages to make sure I remembered what had happened.

Nonfiction books:

  • How to Maintain Languages by Robin MacPherson

Fiction books:

  • Championess by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas, and Amanda Perez Puentes (graphic novel)
  • Goddess of Vengeance by Jackie Collins
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Lost Chronicles Volume 1 (graphic novel)
  • He-Man: The Eternity War Volumes 1 & 2 by Rob David, Dan Abnett, and Pop Mhan (graphic novels)
  • Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt

I’m not really sure what my favourite book was this month.  I enjoyed How to Maintain Languages.  It was a really fast read that was interesting.  But it also said a lot of things I already knew (a lot of the book reminded me of Atomic Habits, but not as meaty of a read).  Of the fiction, I think Undermajordomo Minor was my favourite.  I enjoyed it for the most part, particularly the quirky characters, but I didn’t feel like the story came together in a satisfactory whole for me.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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June 2021 – What Are You Reading?

I was very happy to fit in some fiction reading this month!  It was my birthday, and my major plan for that weekend was to read Karen Osborne’s Engines of Oblivion, which I’ve had on my Kindle for a few months.  But then a new Murderbot book, Fugitive Telemetry, came out, so I had to read that first (although I still managed to finish Engines of Oblivion right after)!

Nonfiction books:

  • None

Fiction books:

  • Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
  • Engines of Oblivion by Karen Osborne
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Volumes 4-10 (graphic novels)

My favourite was Fugitive Telemetry.  It wasn’t the book I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed it all the same.  Rather than following up on the threads from book five in the series, it ended up a really fun murder mystery!  I recommend it (and honestly the whole series) if you’re interested in a fun science fiction.  As a bonus, the books are fairly short too!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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May 2021 – What Are You Reading?

May was another heavy graphic novel month!  I’ve been working a lot on other projects (mostly editing the book I’ve been working on for quite some time), so graphic novels have been a great way to fit some reading in right now.

Nonfiction books:

Fiction books:

  • Dungeon Calamity by Dakota Krout
  • Covid Chronicles: a Comics Anthology (graphic novel)
  • Join the Future by Zack Kaplan, Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreakers by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (reread, graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 2: Split the Party by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (reread, graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 3: The Great Game by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (graphic novel)
  • Aquaman: Echoes of a Life Lived Well by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jordan Clark, Miguel Mendonca and Robson Rocha (graphic novel)
  • Masters of the Universe: The Shard of Darkness by Val Staples, Emiliano Santalucia and Enza Fontana (reread, graphic novel)
  • Masters of the Universe: Dark Reflections by Val Staples, Emiliano Santalucia and Enza Fontana (graphic novel)

Other Languages

  • L’heure de Munsch by Robert Munsch (5 Robert Munsch stories translated into French)

My favourite was definitely Die.  I’ve read volumes 1 and 2 before.  At that time, I didn’t like volume 2 as much, but I also didn’t bother to reread volume 1 at that time.  Reading volumes 1-3 all in a row made volume 2 way better!  I can’t wait for volume 4 (which I am hoping will be out by the end of the year).

The back pages of volume 3 were really interesting as well (I enjoyed the back pages of volumes 1 and 2, but didn’t reread those at this time).  Gillen interviewed some game designers, and I got really excited to try some of their games out, particularly from a design perspective.  They talked about doing some interesting things with games, particularly RPGs, that I had never considered doing before, so I’m quite intrigued to try them all out!

I also really enjoyed Dungeon Calamity.  This was a different book in the series because Cal didn’t have Dani to help him out, but it also showcases just how crazy and awesome Cal is!  I also liked that it wrapped up a lot of the ongoing story arcs, so it was a good place to stop the series for now.  But I won’t wait too long because I want to know how it ends (and there’s still 2 books to go!)

I’d also like to note that I had a super hard time reading Covid Chronicles.  For me, it was way too soon to be looking at comics about life during the pandemic.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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April 2021 What Are You Reading?

Wow, this really was a month for graphic novels!

Nonfiction books:

  • To Touch a Wild Dolphin: A Journey of Discovery with the Sea’s Most Intelligent Creatures by Rachel Smolker

Fiction books:

  • Conan: Serpent War by Jim Zub (graphic novel)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse by Tim Seeley (graphic novel)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Volumes 1-3 (graphic novel)
  • Dungeon Madness by Dakota Krout

I really enjoyed He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse.  It reminded me of Power Rangers: Shattered Grid, but hilarious and amazing because it was He-Man.  It also reminded me of the movie Turtles Forever, which had a similar cross-over of older and newer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with a similar hilarious vibe to it!)

I also really liked the first three volumes of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.  It starts off pretty much right after the Green Ranger joins the other Rangers and deals with some really interesting things as they struggle to become a team with the new dynamics (and also with Tommy dealing with the aftermath of being under Rita Repulsa’s control).  It’s a really good series!  I’m just sad that each volume has ended on a “to be continued” cliffhanger (and that I need to wait to read volume 4!)

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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March 2021 – What Are You Reading?

March turned out a better reading month than I expected!  I started reading Life of Pi (actually back in February) and it was turning into another Starless Sea: I made it about 100 pages in then completely lost interest in it.  After it sat for weeks without me touching it (I read Atomic Habits and the two Starcraft graphic novels during this time), I had just decided to give up on it once and for all when I grabbed it again and actually finished it!

Nonfiction books:

  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  • Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Fiction books:

  • Starcraft by Simon Furman (graphic novel – and apparently a reread! I read it years ago but didn’t remember it at all until I found it marked as read on my Goodreads page!)
  • Starcraft: Survivors by Jody Houser (graphic novel)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout

Other Language books:

  • La Gentillesse, C’est… by Pat Zietlow Miller (French translation by Edith Cordeau-Giard
  • French Short Stories for Beginners and Intermediate Learners: Engaging Short Stories to Learn French and Build Your Vocabulary by Language Guru

I really enjoyed reading Atomic Habits.  I thought it had some really great advice for anyone who wants to be working on creating better habits for themselves.  I also really liked Dungeon Born, at least once I got through the big rules dump at the beginning of the book (that part felt like I was reading an RPG manual rather than a fiction book).  Once the story took off, it was really fun, and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series!

I’m also really sad that the second arc for the Starcraft series was apparently cancelled – I really wanted to know what happened next with these characters! 😦

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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