An Absence Of Honour (A Jack Larsson Story - Book 2)

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Initially met with silence and indifference, her tragic murder resonates loudly today. Betty represents one of almost 1, Indigenous women in Canada who have been murdered or have gone missing. She targets the mega-wealthy, yet damaged, Olivia Sumner as the one to take her there. Then handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the administration and charms his way into students' lives — especially Olivia's. It becomes clear that Redkin poses a threat to Kate — or should she beware of Olivia?

Elia is a fugitive, on the run from the Imperial Guards who have launched a city-wide manhunt and offered a reward for her capture. Hokk is also on Elia's trail — one step behind and all too aware of the mortal danger she is in. As their worlds drift ever further apart, Elia and Hokk will have to decide where it is they truly belong and what it means to be reunited.

This book features stunning Native Northwest Coast illustrations of animals both big and small common to the region. Artists from five different Northwest Coast First Nations contributed to the creation of this visually appealing board book featuring animals such as the owl, bear and whale. An entertaining tale, featuring a girl who doesn't want to share her mom. She sits her father down for a talk, presenting her idea that he should sleep in a camping cot! A comical twist on the classic parental struggle not to let kids sleep in their bed.

In , a blue whale washed ashore in PEI and in , her skeleton was transported 6, kilometres and reassembled for display at the new Beaty Biodiversity Museum in BC. From the Torngat Mountains of Newfoundland to the pingos of the Northwest Territories, this captivating title explores many of the fascinating places that make up Canada. Historian Christopher Moore brings each province and territory to life, drawing together the history, politics, people, places and industries that have defined a nation.

With an introduction by Janet Lunn and lavishly illustrated by award-winning illustrator Bill Slavin, this title was originally published in Our Choice Starred Selection. This bestselling volume has been redesigned, revised and updated! This second edition includes updated stats and records, new content about careers in hockey, the latest on equipment, expanded information on women's hockey plus twice as many photos as the original edition!

After a fire destroys the orphanage, Malou follows a single clue that takes her to the small town of Parry Sound. There she finds many young brown faces like hers. Are they relatives? Meet Maximus Todd! He's the kid who can't sit still! Of course, as soon as the match starts, Max gets a case of the Super Fidgets.

If Max can't invent a secret game to calm those fidgets, it might cost his team the championship. Has fame changed Georgie forever? Will true friendship win out? Seventeen-year-old Christina, grieving the loss of her twin to consumption, has run away from home. But a violent storm rises on Georgian Bay, and the steamship sinks. Now Christina and the only other survivor, a brooding young man with a criminal past, must work together to survive.

The last time Thomas saw his mother was on his fifth birthday, when she made him poutine in which she stuck five green candles. On his 12th birthday, Thomas decides to win a Guinness World Record for the biggest poutine in the world, in order to bring his mother back. This title is also available in French as La plus grosse poutine du monde.

Many people are interested in adopting, and soon two puppies are placed in loving homes. But will they find a home for shy little Bijou? This title is also available in French as Bijou cherche une maison. Biomedical engineering is a fast-growing engineering field. This book explores the ways biomedical engineers help diagnose, treat and prevent problems found in human body systems. Real-life examples bring the engineering design process to life for readers.

Practical, hands-on activities encourage an understanding of scientific and engineering principles. Welcome to the amazing world of biometrics, where many of the things that make you unique — your fingerprints, voice or eyes — can prove your identity! Biometrics can even identify people based on ear shape, scent and vein pattern! This fascinating book explores the science and its possibilities, as well as concerns about what this technology means for our privacy! In this title, young readers are introduced to the story of the Black Loyalists of Birchtown, from slavery to the American Revolution to settlement and struggle on Nova Scotian soil in Birchtown, and finally to mass exodus to Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Their legacy, carried on through Black Loyalist descendants, is an enduring spirit despite a history marked by hardship and loss. Gordon's birdy senses are tingling like crazy! All over the city of Fowladelphia, chickens are acting strangely. Evil villain Birdbrain has been snatching citizens and putting zombie-like clones in their places. Kung Pow Chicken is hot on Birdbrain's tail feathers — until an army of free-range zombie clones birdy-snatches him! Everyone has a birthday — but not everyone celebrates the same way.

Meet 17 children from around the globe who share their own birthday traditions, including how they say happy birthday in their native language. Young readers are invited to compare their own birthday traditions with the ones they've learned about in the book. There are so many ways to have a happy birthday! Everybody has a birthday, but not everyone celebrates it in the same way! In fact, there are many different birthday customs and traditions around the world.

In this bright and accessible title, readers will learn about the Name Day celebrations in Greece, special birthday festivals in Japan, different coming-of-age traditions and more about how children across the globe celebrate their birthdays! Bloodthirsty creatures are real well, maybe not Dracula , and there are trillions of vampires creeping, crawling, swimming, buzzing and even flying among us.

Vampires come in a variety of shapes, sizes and species. You may know about fleas, vampire bats and leeches, but how about bloodsucking birds, butterflies and snails? Sink your teeth into the world of these important creatures! British Columbian-born Tsimshian artist and mother Morgan Asoyuf makes her publishing debut using familial crests of the Pacific Northwest that depict the deeper story of familial ranks and migratory paths as her artistic inspiration.

This book of high-contrast images of Northwest Coast art is designed to stimulate brain growth and visual development in young babies. He remembers beating Shaun up the night of his death, but nothing else — except the nightmares. Falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down. Two is trying to understand why her bright and talented brother has taken his own life. During school detention, she meets three other teens who seem as lost as she is. They each grapple with depression and anxiety and become an unlikely source of comfort to one another.

As the four unite to battle teachers, parents, therapists and their own demons, their promising futures begin to reveal themselves. In this third book featuring the adventures of Cyrus and Rudy on the farm, the brothers are spending the last days of summer running a roadside stand. When a friendly neighbour gives them a bin of red wrigglers, earthworms that break compost down into fertilizer, Cyrus and Rudy become worm moguls as they discover just how in demand the Eisenia fetida are!

This informative title explores the causes of the stock market crash on October 29, , and the resulting Great Depression. For more than 10 years, the effects of Black Tuesday were felt worldwide. Fascinating source material, including posters, political cartoons, books, interviews and articles reveal the devastation of the mass unemployment, epidemic real estate foreclosures and crushing poverty of those years. Her moods range from confusion and sadness, to fear and rage. Returning to school is a nightmare. When a new friend presents an alternative to staying in her old life, Jessica must confront the reality of what it means to leave her past behind.

This graphic novel explores the grace of family and the power of the Great Mystery. December 6, , Halifax. Twelve-year-old Livy and her older brother, Will, still mourning the loss of their father, are in separate parts of the city when there is a flash of light, thunder from underground and then an explosion. Instantly, Halifax is unrecognizable. Alone in the dark, destroyed city, can the siblings find each other? Where is their mother? How will they rebuild their shattered lives? Jakub and Lincoln are best friends and graffiti artists.

Then Jakub is targeted and Lincoln must decide — save his friend or embrace his life as a gangster. Alice, caught drinking underage, and Caleb, who assaulted his abusive stepfather, are dropped off on a remote island for a week-long treatment program with six other troubled teens, a psychologist, a social worker and an ex-cop. When a girl goes missing and then the radio is sabotaged, panic sets in. Now the kids must take matters into their own hands.

She let nerve and imagination defy critics and doubts! As a little girl in Rome, her own mamma called her brutta. So, Elsa decided to seek out beauty around her, and she found it everywhere — then used art and her imagination to make creative, marvellous fashion. When Tuk is born on the mountain, life is simple for a young bighorn.

However, the herd is in jeopardy and soon it will be up to Tuk to lead them to a mountain he has seen far to the west. It will be a long journey filled with dangers, but Tuk has seen the blue mountain and his herd mates are counting on him. On a crowded city sidewalk, a child discovers a book. At home, in her apartment, the child begins to read and is immediately carried beyond the repetitive sameness of an urban skyscape into an untamed natural landscape, sparking a transformation of the cityscape.

This wordless book speaks volumes about how art can transform us beyond the sometimes-dreary world of the everyday. From tugboats to ferry boats, cargo ships to clippers, children discover 15 different nautical crafts. Each two-page spread includes a brightly illustrated maritime vessel with a simple description written as read-aloud text.

The boats and ships also display a nautical flag, whose message is decoded as a secondary text. Bob wants a dog for his birthday, but instead he gets a ghost named Fluffy. Fluffy doesn't sit or fetch, but he does eat everything, and soon all of Bob's things and even Bob himself end up in Fluffy's belly. After reading this story, everyone will want a birthday ghost! Heam is the hottest drug around.

It smells like strawberries and looks like liquid silver. People say when you take Heam your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only 11 when drug dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. And her only friend died. Bog journeys into human territory with Small, a huge forest troll, and Hannie, a human girl.

There, the three friends learn of a rock said to bring a stone troll back to life. Their quest becomes a race of cunning, trickery and wits. While hiding his own lack of circus skills, Seb discovers he is not the only one with secrets, and that the school is falling apart. Bridges are fascinating structures and they come in all forms.

Whether they are covered or moveable, stone or wood, bridges connect countries, neighbourhoods and even families! Twins Piper and Quinn meet for the first time at their mother's funeral. Each is aware that there is a darkness inside her. One has been pampered, the other, punished. One wants to uncover the truth hiding behind the lies, the other wishes to possess the power to turn lies into truth — and a dark and deadly inheritance will destroy one of them. Inside is a mysterious leather-bound book, and, when Becca tries to read it, she triggers an ancient magic — her spirit is sent to an ancient world and she falls into a coma.

Crys vows to save her… but from what? Henry has found the most awesome book ever. The problem is, he keeps getting interrupted by the school bell. But what if Henry decides to ignore the bell and keep reading? By not springing up with the ringing of the bell, Henry sets off a chain reaction unlike anything his school or town has ever seen.

Will a louder bell make Henry move? But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin must take her nose out of her book and do something. But what can she do? With the help of friends, family and neighbours, Yasmin launches a campaign to make sure the voices of the community are heard. A fascinating read for fans of the team and the game, this book features appealing historic and contemporary images, and mixes informative text with quick-reference infographic charts for statistics buffs.

And the reward money for cracking the case would be a big help at home. But as the clues careen in all directions and the suspects mount up, Duncan finds that wrestling with the truth may be harder than wrangling a gator. On the night of a blue moon, a boy and his cat set out for a walk and find themselves on an enchanted adventure. They are carried to the blue moon, but the blue planet, Earth, calls the explorers home. Safely back in bed, the boy wonders — was it only a dream? The wind, with its many names, is a powerful, borderless force that whistles and whines, and sings and roars.

Follow along with a young boy on an imaginative dance around the world upon the shoulders of the planet's most celebrated winds — Chinook, Papagayo, Shamal and the Cape Doctor — as they blow across the Earth. An evocative journey around the globe and home again. Respect, determination and the sheer thrill of the game brought Bobby Orr from a small northern town in Canada to the NHL. This picture book celebrates hockey — from the backyard rinks to the big leagues.

A book for hockey enthusiasts of all ages! Evelyn and Queen become friends and, although she cringes when he draws attention to himself, he is the most interesting person Evelyn has ever met. When suspicious disasters suddenly start happening all over the globe, Conrad and Piper McCloud join with their former classmates and create a secret group that use their gifts to save people in trouble. Can Conrad bring them together to save themselves… and the world? Jarrod can view the memories of any bug — he just has to eat it. But, when Jarrod swallows a fly while biking, he sees a room stacked full of sick dogs and puppies in crates.

Can Jarrod save them? Ashley hates getting her hair braided. It looks nice when it's done, but it takes ALL day and Ashley never has time to do anything fun. When Grandma arrives, they turn the tables and braid Mom's hair! With augmented reality, magazine content comes to life! Using fun ways to explore math, science, language, geography, history, music and art beyond the curriculum, this educational magazine engages kids through what they love — their mobile devices. Featuring articles on current science trends and tech gadgets, great books to read, contests, ideas and experiments to try at home, this is cool learning!

This fully interactive magazine offers extra digital content for kids to read, listen to and watch with the use of a mobile device and the free Blippar app. Offering a multi-sensory journey, fusing digital and print media in a dynamic and compelling way, this magazine allows kids to explore topics such as space, Earth sciences, biology, math and technology on a deeper level. When an ice storm snaps a small girl's favourite branch from the tree in her yard, she's crestfallen.

Her neighbour, Mr. And so, with imagination and Mr. Frank's guidance and tools, the girl transforms the branch into something new, giving it another purpose, and her another place to treasure! This book encourages young readers to discover the world of trees. Profiling 11 different trees from around the world, including familiar ones such as the red maple as well as lesser-known trees like the tall-stilted mangrove, it highlights the many complex ways trees are part of our society, culture and economy.

The symbiotic relationship between trees and animals is also explored. In his daydreams, Jensen is a hero, saving his friends and the world daily. But in his middle school reality, everything is hard — from math to friendships. Can Jensen find real solutions to his real-life problems? What does it mean to be brave? This is the sequel to Awkward. Join Chris, Wallow, Beth and Danny, four year-old heroes-for-hire, as they travel through the galaxy helping those who need it Enjoy these brand new missions as the Bravest Warriors go solo!

From little Beth, to poor choices regarding werewolves and magic, the Bravest Warriors have never been more helpful Eleven-year-old Parvana lives in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. When her father is arrested, conditions grow desperate for her family. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner. This 15th-anniversary edition includes a new cover, a foreword, a map and an updated author's note.

Hockey is a very popular sport around the world. But how and where did hockey originate? When was hockey first added to the Olympics? Have women and girls always played? In this book, these and many more questions are answered for hockey fans. Before her mother leaves. Before her sister betrays her. The determination to find love and comfort that lures Faith to drugs is the same force that can drive her to recover.

It only takes one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing effort to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs is the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. This book is a tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope. Nothing takes the place of splashing in a puddle or jumping into a pile of autumn leaves.

Along with the mud and sand that get tracked indoors come memories that live forever! Mary McKenna Siddals has written a joyous anthem that celebrates playing in sunshine, puddles, leaves and snow — and the treasures that get collected along the way. An ode to outdoor play. This riveting prequel to the Malediction trilogy takes readers back to the world of Trollus. Except being together may turn out to be the greatest risk of all.

The year is , and seven children from England embark on a summer sailing adventure in British Columbia. They soon discover the true story of Brother XII, a shadowy figure who is rumoured to have buried treasure on one of the coastal islands. Their vacation turns into a treasure hunt — but will they find the loot before a band of pirates does?

Britain has blockaded the fortress, and supplies for the 4, inhabitants are running short. The young men are sent on scouting missions that provide valuable information about the British troops. This is the tale of two wolf cubs found and raised in a village on the Pacific coast as human children. The wolf cub brothers are very different from one another.

They undergo a supernatural transformation that turns one into a Sea Wolf and the other into a Timber Wolf. Although separated, their howling voices unite monthly, waking up Moon and saving the world from darkness. This child-friendly volume is a wonderful introduction to an iconic Canadian artist. Includes a preface by the late Ted Harrison and many beautiful full-colour reproductions of his artwork. A dog who likes to play by the rules meets a hedgehog who knows no limits!

But when the small, prickly creature says he is a pirate — and that Buddy is a pirate, too — the two mismatched friends are off on a grand adventure. Buddy tries to explain the ins and outs of babydom to Earl, but neither of them is prepared for the havoc the small creature will wreak! Buffy Sainte-Marie is a singer-songwriter, visual artist, activist, educator, public speaker and philanthropist.

An orphan from a reserve in Saskatchewan, Sainte-Marie has become an international icon. Although she has experienced censorship because of her vocal activism against war and on behalf of native peoples, she continues to create music and art, speak out and support life-long learning through educational and scholarship programs. A bug flies into a house Sucked into a vacuum bag, this little bug moves through the five stages of grief — cleverly illustrated as household products — as it comes to terms with its fate. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel?

Will there be dust bunnies in the void? This title is also available in French as La mouche dans l'aspirateur. When you use digital technology, you are part of a community of digital users called digital citizens. This engaging title helps readers find out how to use digital resources responsibly to build knowledge, answer questions, solve problems and demonstrate their learning to others.

Accessible text and authentic examples model effective research strategies and support readers as they learn. However, after an incident in the schoolyard, the principal makes him an ambassador at an upcoming open house. Now Daniel must work with Jeff Kover, the nastiest bully in the school. Hanging out with Jeff will change Daniel's perspective on bullying and force him to examine his own behaviour. Kids deal with bullying in its many forms on a daily basis.

This newly revised and updated title includes resources, checklists, quizzes and comics to give kids the know-how to deal with bullying — as targets, witnesses or even bullies themselves. An engaging approach to a complex and all-too-common problem. Originally published in , by James Lorimer Our Choice Thirteen-year-old Chris and his family are building a bungee jump off a conduit connecting his backyard to a family-owned island.

But rumours of hauntings on the island, once the site of a hospital for children with leprosy, are getting out of control. And there are mysterious mishaps on the bridge; if the bungee jump isn't a success, his family will lose everything. This poignant picture book is based on the true story of a police horse named Bunny and his riders, brothers Bud and Tom Dundas, who were sent to the European front in World War I.

This quiet, powerful tale explores many of the hardships soldiers endured, but by focusing on the tender relationship between Bunny and the brothers, the author makes the grim details easier for young readers to absorb. This title is also available in French as Bunny, cheval de guerre. Lydia is a kindly maternal mouse who has taken Burt in, loving him unconditionally. Together Burt and Lydia tell a heart-touching tale of home and belonging from two different perspectives.

Busy Baby can play, share, paint and help clean up. Whatever Busy Baby does, the most important thing is to make some new friends along the way. This simple, interactive book features a swivelling head so that Busy Baby can show a happy or sad expression, keeping the very youngest readers busy reading, playing and learning. This little book, packed with facts and beautiful full-colour photographs, takes children on a fascinating journey into the world of butterflies.

Young readers will learn about the parts of a butterfly, the differences between butterflies and moths, the butterfly life cycle and the different families of butterflies. Children are encouraged to help protect butterfly habitats by building butterfly gardens. When a little girl moves to a new town, she finds a place called Butterfly Park. But when she opens the gate, there are no butterflies.

Determined to lure the butterflies in, she inspires her entire town to help. Soon the butterflies — and the girl — feel right at home.

Peter Summerfield

Introducing the second book in the Jack Larsson series: Jack Larsson has settled into the life of a private investigator. Whilst following a cheating wife for a client. An Absence Of Honour (A Jack Larsson Story - Book 2). by M.K. Harvey (Author). $ Introducing the second book in the Jack Larsson series: Jack Larsson.

Luminous paper-cut illustrations and an enchanting story encourage community, friendship and wonderment at the beauty of everyday life. Dekker and his sister Riley are living with their weird great-aunt in Button Hill for the summer. Dekker discovers an old grandfather clock with a skull face and he inadvertently opens a door between Dayside, land of the living, and Nightside, realm of the dead.

Then Riley disappears, and Dekker learns that to save her he must follow her into Nightside and make a difficult sacrifice. In this colourful board book, the search for a lost button takes a little girl on an adventure to a store filled with buttons. This charming story shows toddlers how imagination and creativity can make anything possible. The lilting text makes for a great read-aloud, while every page provides an opportunity to explore both numbers and colours.

Clancy, the family's lovable chocolate Lab, has disappeared and Kenzie starts to hear stories about other dogs going missing. Then Kenzie finds Clancy's ID tag and a van loaded up with dog food. With the help of Gayle, a courageous schoolmate whose dog has also disappeared, Kenzie uncovers an illegal operation that grabs dogs off the street and turns them into bloodthirsty killers. Caillou is bullied at daycare by a much bigger and stronger boy named Theo. Sometimes, Theo uses his strength to get what he wants. Caillou is afraid of him. In this story, Caillou learns to stand up for himself and say no to bullying.

Feeling like a big kid, Caillou packs a school bag and is off to first grade. He likes recess, lunch hour and drawing on the blackboard, but not all the bells and rules! With the help of his friend Sarah, Caillou makes his first snowman. The snow is perfect, but Caillou lacks experience. Sarah proves to be a very patient teacher. They finish with a delicious snack made by Mommy, and Caillou makes sure the snowman is not left out!

This title is also available in French as Caillou et le bonhomme de neige. Caillou has a busy day playing outside and getting dirty. Now it's bath time! Splashing in the tub turns out to be just as much fun as playing in the garden. Now Caillou is all clean, at least until tomorrow! Caillou is confused when Emma is allowed to have extra snacks at preschool until he learns that Emma has type 1 diabetes. Caillou worries and tries to protect her. But when Emma outruns him in a race, Caillou realizes that Emma is managing her diabetes and still having lots of fun, just like other kids.

But soon, the evening turns into an indoor camping adventure, complete with marshmallows roasted in the fireplace. Caillou is especially delighted when he gets to sleep by the hearth in his sleeping bag. This title is also available in French as Caillou: La panne de courant. The alphabet soup is much too hot! Daddy thinks of a learning game to help Caillou wait for it to cool off. Young readers can learn all the letters of the alphabet along with Caillou. Each letter is illustrated with a variety of words and pictures.

Have some fun with a game of alphabet soup! Grab your carry-along book and discover the world with your friend Caillou. Packed with illustrations from Caillou's universe and a wide variety of words organized by theme, this book will help young ones expand their vocabulary. Children will learn the words to designate animals, objects around the house, colours and much more. Kateiko doesn't want to be Rin anymore — not if it means sacrificing lives to protect the dead.

Her only way out is to join another tribe.

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Killing a colonial soldier and falling for Tiernan isn't part of the plan. Now she must choose between leaving Tiernan or abandoning others to die and decide what's worth dying — or killing — for. Calvin has always known his fate was linked to the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. As the hallucinations persist, Calvin struggles to regain control of his own mind and destiny — with one grand, incredible adventure. Will Cammie learn why she was abandoned and be able to start her new life? Or will she find more secrets? Can she ever put the past behind her?

Max knows his mom can't afford to send him to summer camp, but he really needs a break from looking after his autistic brother, Duncan. When his mom says that he can go after all, there's a catch.

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On another note Karma does not joke, you can have money but can you enjoy …leave them to life, the whole blood line will altimately be sorry when life pays them back. Pamela - Pamela ,. Publishers Weekly 11 October Combining business, psychology, science and history, Wrong has cross-over appeal. Please join me in thanking SR Garrae for engaging with me and opining up with some revealing insights into the life of an author. Izzy Spellman launches her career as a private investigator while working for the firm of her outlandishly dysfunctional family. One point, you realise that you have Andric and his book The Bridge on the Drina under both Bosnia and Serbia — was that deliberate?

There are spots available at the camp for families with special needs, and Max could attend at no charge — if he goes as Duncan's companion. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional set-up to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way. This remarkable collaboration invites readers to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.

This book explores how and where clothes are made, how the people who make the clothes are treated and how the companies who sell the clothes affect the health of our planet. Follow the book's guide to spending your money in a responsible and eco-friendly way — your outfits have more power than you realize! A 21st-century activist's guide for anyone who has access to a smartphone. This how-to manual looks at specific ways you can create social change through the tap of a screen. Filled with examples of successful hashtag campaigns, viral videos and new socially conscious apps, the book provides practical advice for using your smartphone as a tool for social justice.

From zero degrees and one flag to 10 sled dogs and 25 fishing boats, the youngest readers will delight in counting their way across Canada! Paul Covello's brilliantly bold artwork counts up all things Canada and Canadian in this board book that will be enjoyed by readers young and old. From the author of the beloved Canada ABC. From A is for Arctic to Z is for Zamboni , Paul Covello's gloriously bright and detailed board book for the very young highlights Canada's iconic symbols, animals and events. Cheery scenes of Canadiana include dogsledding, outdoor hockey and celebrating Canada Day, while Canadian symbols such as the inuksuk, the loonie and a totem pole are vibrantly depicted.

From the author of the beloved Toronto ABC. The music to this soothing lullaby is available online at babylullaby. Take a tour of Canada's fascinating history! This timely title highlights a milestone for every year from Confederation in , up to our Sesquicentennial in O Canada! Along with featured stories, the pages are filled with short biographies, important firsts, quotes and trivia. This is a compelling snapshot of the people, places and events that have shaped our country — one year at a time.

Partly a geography lesson and partly a socio-cultural journey, this charmingly illustrated volume is chock-full of fascinating Canadiana and brimming with extension activity possibilities. An exploration of what it is to be uniquely Canadian! Every Canada Day, monsters from each province and territory based on Canadian folklore and First Nations legends gather for a picnic. The monsters play games like swamp hockey and eat blackfly pie and banana slug sundaes. How does a beaver warn of danger? Where do walruses like to live? This lively poem will engage youngsters as it introduces them to a variety of Canadian animals, their habits and their habitats.

Mixed-media illustrations with vibrant colours will delight readers young and old. Candyville is ruled by the Juicy Jelly Worm, who leaves a daily path of sugary destruction for the children to repair. And the candy? They never get even a bite! Together the children sow a delicious plot to tempt the Juicy Jelly Worm — can they spark the sweetest trade ever?

In an ode to Newfoundland weather, this is the story of Kate, who is eager for summer to begin, but whose plans for bonfires and picnics are squelched by relentless rain, drizzle and fog. Doody captures perfectly the long pause that Newfoundlanders know so well as they await the capelin small food fish whose arrival is said to signal the return of summer. Monty the Malodorous is a daring pirate. He is brave! He is bold! But when his crew jump in the ocean for their Saturday scrub, Monty stays on deck bellowing, "Real pirates don't bathe! So, what or who will it take for this putrid pirate to take the plunge?

Readers will discover that the natural element, carbon, is found in all living things, including people. Detailed diagrams and an experiment help explain photosynthesis, respiration and how human activities can disrupt the cycle's balance. All the birds tease old Crow for his scraggly feathers and harsh call, especially proud Cardinal. But when Cardinal gets into trouble, only Crow is smart enough to get him out.

The writing is simple yet profound and I enjoyed reading it. I liked this one better than the last one, and I'll continue reading the series. This was my book group read for July I'm two months and eight books behind in my write up - and it's the school holidays so I don't even have an excuse. From what I remember, I enjoyed reading the book - the main character evoked a strange mix of sympathy, fascination and wariness in me - When we first meet her, she is being treated very badly by the soldiers or police?

We get to know her better with the family who are forced to take her in while the details of her execution are worked out the right axe being purchased, etc with them we are initially suspicious, but soften and warm to her as we realise she is not a monster, just a normal woman. As she tells her story, we feel more sympathetic, although there's always a hint of suspicion, especially when her version of events doesn't tie in with the police reports from the scene of the crime.

The country and the historical context are well realised and fascinating and all in all it was a good read. A japanese Canadian woman finds a package washed up on the beach containing a diary and other objects written by a teenaged Japanese girl in Japan. We get the dual story of the Canadian woman trying to research and translate various bits to get the true story, and we see things from the point of view of the diary writer, a girl who had grown up in the USA but returned to Japan when her dad lost everything in the dot com bubble crash.

She is horribly bullied by her Japanese school mates, and has a pretty rough time of it as her dad keeps trying to commit suicide and she is sucked into prostitution. Things improve for her though when she is sent to spend the summer with her aged Buddhist monk grandmother. The book was quite shocking, and even the protagonist behaved in ways that disturbed me, and I wondered if I was seeing things with my own cultural bias.

The book stayed with me though, and made me thoughtful. This is the relative rarity of a young adult book that didn't really annoy me. In fact I really liked this tale of a troubled teen with Tourette's.

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I think the writer was criticised for having swearing and sexual language in a young adult book, but obviously a book about Tourette's is going to have that, and young adults have seen way worse from lots of other sources. I found the boy's interactions with his friends to be believable, and his home family story was sweet and uplifting without being preachy or saccharine. Good book, I liked it. This is an odd fish of a book pun intended! It's the tale of a man Gould transported to Australia for fraud and having escaped, being sent to Van Dieman's Land now Tasmania where there was a penal colony for hardened offenders, run by various insane or corrupt officials according to Gould.

Gould has a talent for drawing and painting, and manages to escape death on more than one occasion by impressing those in power with his art. The book has cold hard brutality as well as humour and lightness and it descends in to a kind of kaleidoscopic hallucinogenic madness when Gould, who has been commissioned to paint an encyclopedia of fish believes he is turning into a fish, and the reader is left to decide if Gould is mad, or if he did in fact turn into a fish I think as a spiny seahorse - if I remember rightly.

I found it quite compelling reading if a little long and I enjoyed it. The book follows the life story of Holly who begins as a troubled teen in the s and continues until her old age in a dystopian future. We get other points of view as well, and it sometimes feels a little jarring at first, like, 'wait, who is this now? Then there's the supernatural magic realism side of the book, which I also loved - immortals both good and evil fighting for their own ends and using mortals as pawns - it reminded me a bit of A New York Winters Tale which I also loved as well as the better Nick Harkaway novels which is the pinnacle of praises in my book.

This book apparently started life as a continuing blog post story my son Christy, who is 18 is familiar with David Wong's blog and it is often very madcap and very puerile it never misses an opportunity to use a willy related joke. Saying that, I actually mostly really enjoyed the book. I found the characterisation, plot structure and building tension to be superb and was drawn into the plot which made a lot more sense in the book than the dire movie which I watched on Netflicks after having read the book. The friendships and blossoming romance was cute and I loved the talking dog.

There were intricacies and surprises that kept me on my toes and the ending was satisfying. I was reading it on the plane going on holiday with my book group ladies, and the look of confused horror on their faces when I explained what the book was about was priceless! He was saved from hanging by the efforts of his wife, who wrote letters appealing to various gentlemen to act on his behalf. I found the book a little slow to get into, but once I had I became engrossed and couldn't wait to get back to it. It shows both the worst and best of people being brought out in difficult circumstances, and it stayed with me after I finished it.

I do remember that I found the book to be as near to perfect as a book can be - a modern day fairy tale with real characters and magic and love and sadness and art. Patrick Ness is becoming my new favourite writer. This book is set in a dystopian future where all records of history prior to about 75 years ago have been erased and for some reason a herd or Crash of rhinos roam freely around what otherwise seems like a normal town. The chapters are told from different points of view, including the POV of the female leader of the rhinos, and deals with love, religion and politics as they butt heads and inevitably, tension rises to a cataclysmic conclusion.

I really enjoyed the book and was sad when it was over. Oh, and there's some magical realism in there too, which every great book needs. I liked this book, I think. It's starts off quite excitingly with an apocalyptic world wide asteroid shower strike. Things are pretty chaotic though, as only a few straggly junior soldiers who survived are alive, and groups of murderous teens are waging war on then.

Then it turns into a road trip like 'The Road' only not as good because most of the people are sent off by helicopter to get on a boat to somewhere I think Australia or New Zealand that wasn't hit by asteroids, but our hero is separated from his family so must travel by foot from Scotland to the south our England. They meet some creepy people and have some adventures, and the ending is kind of sad and noble. I'm having a bit of a Patrick Ness orgy at the moment, because I love The Crane Wife so much and The Crash Of Hennington almost as much but this book didn't quite hit the spot as much for me.

This one is a young adult book, and a little preachy. Saying that, it's still better than lots of other books, and the premise was really interesting and thought provoking don't want to give too much away, except to say that the main character dies at the beginning and the rest of the book is not a flashback, but rather a what happens next I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint. It's a short book more of a novella but every bit as quirky and satisfying as the first.

The Humans - Matt Haig kindle book. Yay - great book, loved it! It starts with an eminent mathematician, who seems to have been a very bad husband and father wandering naked and confused about the university campus where he worked.

7 Rooftop Bars in London With the Best View

He thinks he's an alien, inhabiting the body of the mathematician in order to prevent the human race from progressing too quickly due to the amazing mathematical proof he'd just It has all the sweetness of an innocent and confused alien trying to come to terms with humanness, which it does really well without being annoying or sentimental. The Last ever Discworld Book - waily! I was a little unkind in my review of the discworld book before this one Raising Steam but I didn't find fault in this one - lovely Tiffany Aching wise witchy lady and funny Nac Mac Feegles, wonderful story telling, heart aching sadness that this is the last time I'll read a discworld book for the first time again if you know what I mean.

My heart is as heavy as my shelf full of lovely Sir Terry Books. RIP great man. T his was my book group read for September, and judging from the emails that have gone around the rest of the girls are finding it hard to get into. I actually really liked it. The book is told from lots of different points of view, following three main story threads which all come together at the denouement. I liked it's dark humour and interesting writing and I loved the ending. Once again I'm dead late writing up what I've been reading two months and ten and a half books late I do remember this book - not as fabulous in my mind as The Bone Clocks, but still a fairly engrossing and rewarding read by David Mitchell.

A straight tale of a Dutch trader working in a tiny island off the coast of Japan because non-Japanese were not allowed on the mainland trying to fit into the customs while staying honest amidst rife corruption and falling in love with a Japanese girl, around I think, the early 20th century? The side story of what became of the Japanese love interest still stays with me in a haunting way. Again see previous review it's two months since I read this, but I do remember quite a lot about it. It's a dystopian post apocalyptic novel but refreshingly different from most in the genre.

The writing is beautiful and poetic and lyrical and the plot structure is interesting the way it switches perspective and chronology giving us pieces of the jigsaw so the full picture of the story emerges piecemeal and everything makes more sense as it goes along. It's my first book by Emily St John Mandel, and from her picture and bio she seems beautiful, accomplished and elegant, and I can't even hate her for it, because I love her writing so much that it makes me feel like a kindred spirit not that I can write like that, but that I feel an empathetic bond.

I did have a rant here about Mr Site not letting me put in any more pictures, but my clever hubby Paul did something to sort it out, so rant over. Talking of things that I hate This Book. I should learn that even if thousands of people on Amazon like a book, if it's in this genre brain dead, best-seller, pulp fiction, trashy thriller I won't like it.

Fair play to Mark Edwards, he's obviously tapped into a market that lap up this kind of drivel most people it seems but for me, I'd rather poke needles in my eyes than read this kind of book I'm wouldn't really rather poke needles in my eye - I'm not mental, but in case a fan of Mark Edwards is reading this review and doesn't understand figures of speech that aren't explained many times in small words - I just meant I hated it. This one didn't blow me away as much as Station Eleven, but I still found it engrossing.

A young American follows the mysterious girlfriend who disappeared from his New York Apartment up to Canada where he has a lead on where she might be. Like Station Eleven, the story is told from several perspectives and jumps around in time. The characters' motivations and quirks make sense only when the reader had the full picture, which turns out to be a complex and tragically sad human story. I liked it very much. I bought this because I loved Humans by Matt Haig so much, and this one also didn't disappoint.

A modern day twist on the age old vampire story with real heart and soul that doesn't just fall back on gory shock tactics. Matt Haig is becoming one of my new favourite writers! Humans: an A to Z - Matt Haig kindle book. This is just a fun little companion book to the wonderful Humans - a quirky look at all things human in a handy alphabetical format for visiting aliens. Made me chuckle. It has similar themes to her other books - people searching for lost loves who are running away and hiding. It's probably my least favourite of her books that I've read so far, but since she sets the bar high with such good writing, it is still an excellent and book, very worth reading.

He's a very prolific and well liked Sci-Fi writer, but I have to say I found this book a bit of a slog. I think it was too hard core sci-fi for my taste - lots of science and way out space stuff, with not as much gentle humour or character empathy as the Long Earth books I guess those were the bits supplied by Terry Pratchett? Great for hard core sci-fi fans, but not for me. I'm glad that JK Rowling's pseudonym of Robert Galbraith got outed or I wouldn't have read this series of detective novels. I do enjoy them. I made the mistake of reading this while eating my lunch one day as very gruesome murder details were described and I genuinely felt very sick.

The ending left me desperate to read the next book. Carey Kindle Book. The writing was fabulous, the characters were fabulous, it started well and continued well and ended well. It is a wonderful twist on an old genre I don't want to spoil it by saying what the genre is - it really is better if you come at this book not knowing what is going on. I really was bowled over by how good this book is.

I hope M. I bought this by mistake, thinking it was a full length novel and was cheep because it was the kindle deal of the day, when actually it was just a 'recommended for me' kindle book and is in fact a short story. If you've read many of my reviews, you'll know that I generally don't like short stories, but I do love Neil Gaiman, so I probably would have bought this even if I knew what I was getting.

It's a nice little story that slots into the Neverwhere book one of my favourites, and I watch the tv adaptation regularly so worth a read if you like that kind of thing. Again, see previous review I didn't realise this wasn't a full length novel. It's more then a short story - a novella I guess. I have mixed feelings about it - bits felt a bit cringe-worthy like chick-lit romance but there were things about it that I really did like.

Not as good as other things I've read by this author, though. Matt Haig is fabulous. Echo Boy is a young adult book but don't let that put you off about a girl whose family are killed by a supposedly totally safe artificial intelligence robot thingy. It reminded me of the tv series, humans which I loved and the films AI and I Robot also great but with Matt Haig's awesome writing thrown in for good measure.

Adventure, peril, love, loss etc - loved it! This book was hyped up on Amazon as being all amazing, and I was really disappointed when I started reading because I thought it was awful! It's told in lots of conflicting points of view, and jumping through time around some un-revealed terrible happening which turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax. It was okay, but not great, I thought. Bete - Adam Roberts Kindle Book. Set in a dystopian future where everything is smart chipped so wine glasses tell you when you've had too much, or mirrors tell you if you need to lose weight etc some animal rights activists put smart chips into farm animals and they somehow fuse with the animals neurological networks to become something more than just a computer chip, effectively making animals sentient.

The chips get into the animal worlds food chain so all kinds of rats, mice, birds, wild creatures etc are now sentient. The protagonist was a meat farmer, but now that animals have rights, he's out of work and itinerant with a wonderfully black sense of humour. He meets up with a sentient cat who must be one of my all time favourite fictional characters who also has a black and sarcastic sense of humour, and they form an unhappy alliance. I loved the black humour and flawed characters.

I didn't know Adam Roberts before, but will now look out for more of his books. Set in a future where unemployment and crime are rife, a solution is offered where people are sent to a highly controlled environment where they spend alternate months as prisoners and as free working people. The environment inevitably is not so great as it's made out to be, and as secrets are discovered, a daring escape ensues. I liked it a lot, but it's not on my list of all time faves.

This is a strange yet compelling book, which is ultimately disturbing I had to go and google the book when I'd finished to make sense of what I'd read and my interpretation of it. A young girl is taken by her father to a remote cabin in a forest somewhere in Europe and told by him that the rest of the world was killed in some great catastrophe.

It's a coming of age, survival story, family drama with a dark twist. I enjoyed reading it I think and it certainly made me think and ponder after I'd finished reading it. Inspired by having loved Bete so much, I tried this one. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Bete, but still liked it. It's set in a future where humans have been genetically engineered to photosynthesise through their hair.

Society has split into two classes - the ultra rich who shave their heads and still eat food and consider hair to be distasteful, and the very poor who can be made to work for nothing since they don't need to be fed, and who can live but not thrive on only sunlight. The plot revolves around the kidnapping of a rich child by the poor underclass.

It's more about inequalities and the character flaws imposed by both being very rich and being very poor than about the sci-fi element. An interesting and enjoyable read. I love Matt Haig's fiction, and this book about his own personal struggles with depression and anxiety and journey through darkness to comparative lightness was going cheep on Amazon, so I thought, why not.

I've had mild bouts of depression and anxiety myself, although reading this book put them into perspective as nothing like as bad as he went through. There are lots of uplifting and funny moments in the book. It has short chapters with lists and quote and is the sort of book you could and should dip into regularly to remind yourself why not to despair. I don't normally like this kind of modern family thriller, and yet I really did like this book. It's about a little girl who is abducted by a man claiming to be her grandfather, who is actually a travelling faith healer who is convinced she has a healing gift which he could profit from.

The book follows the girl and her mother over the years following her abduction, and it is well written and subtle and deep, unlike many similar thriller type books.

Eva Gabrielsson

Set in Scotland and following the multiple threads of interesting characters in the police force, a PhD student who is an expert in sea currents and tides and who is researching the history of his grandfather from a remote Scottish island, and a young Indian girl smuggled to Scotland as a sex slave and how their stories intertwine. I can't wait for the next book in the series. I had high hopes for this book, having loved other David Almond books I've read, and initially I didn't really warm to the structureless stream of conciousness type of narrative, even though it is suited to the point of the book, which is that sticking to plans and structures, and a 'one size fits all' approach to education doesn't suit everyone.

Still, I did warm to the style, and actually found the resolution to be very uplifting. Not my favourite David Almond, but still worth a read. This was Matt Haig's first published book, and doesn't seem to be available on Kindle so I was forced to go back to the dark ages and by a second hand paperback. Apparently it's a reworking of Shakespeare's Henry V with talking dogs. Since I'm not familiar with the plot of Henry V, I can't really comment on that side of it, but taken at face value I liked it very much.

There was intrigue and murder and adultery and family and honour and so on and it was well done and believable. One such night, I knew the only thing to comfort me would be to re-read one of my favourite books from my youth, and even though I have it on paperback downstairs I bought it on kindle via my ipad in bed at about three in the morning and read it in two sittings finishing it in the middle of the following night. I love this book and it brought back lots of memories and made me all contemplative about life and ageing and being the same person and yet a different person now that I'm 46 and not 16 when I read it first.

This book was recommended to me by one of my book group friends, and I agree with her that it is an excellent read. Told from two points of view - one a young French girl who loses her eyesight and the other a young German boy in events leading up to and including the German occupation of France during WW2. It's a story of people caught up in their circumstances and underpins the humanity and complexity of both characters in seemingly opposing roles.

The two narratives eventually come together in an unexpected and yet fulfilling way, and the story highlights the best and worst and just everyday normality of people in extreme situations. The Giver - Lois Lowry Kindle. This is the first in a series of four young adult dystopian novels written in the early nineties.

It was the kindle daily deal, so I gave it a go, and loved it. It's American, but not in the bad way. The story is creepy and draws the reader in compulsively. Everyone lives in a very controlled society with all the memories, emotions and even appreciation of colour are held by one chosen person so everyone else can get on with their pre-selected roles in a state of if not blissful ignorance, at least sleepy compliance. The hero is the next chosen keeper of memories, and with him we discover the extent of control the society has and we share his indignation. The story ends on a bit of a cliff edge, so I went ahead and bought the next book right away.

Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry kindle. Since I was desperate to find out what happened to the hero of the previous book in the series, I was annoyed at first to discover that this book while set in the same world as The Giver was about totally different people with no overlap.

196 countries, countless stories…

Once I got passed that, I appreciated that this was a totally different but equally engrossing and thought provoking book set in a village which seemed less controlling than the town in the first book, but actually the control was just more subtle and insidious.

Messenger - Lois Lowry Kindle. After reading the first two books in the Giver Quarter, I hardly paused for breath before buying and devouring the third. This one follows one of the characters from the second book, and we finally get some hints about what happened to the star of book one. Again, this book is different to the others, but equally gripping and intelligent. Son - Lois Lowry Kindle. Like the other books in the series, it follows a new main character, but we do finally get to learn what happened to the main characters from the other books.

These books are a masterclass in how good young adult dystopian fiction can and should be - not slushy or overblown with earnest romance, but full of truly delightful and devastating human emotion and motivation - love, honour, pain and sacrifice. This is a very strange surreal novel. It feels kind of old fashioned and kind of European and kind of otherworldy.

There's romance, menace, coming of age-ness and lots of oddity. I really liked it! It really wasn't what I was expecting from an older Irish writer. A strange foreign alternative healer turns up in a wee Irish town and the townsfolk are shaken up and excited by his arrival. The second half of the book is about Fidelma, who has fled to London and is having a terrible life and an array of refugees that she meet and who share their own harrowing tales with her. It got mixed reviews from the book group ladies, but I quite liked it although I found it quiet disturbing. I think this was a kindle daily deal, and because I loved The Sea Detective, I thought this might be similar, and it got good reviews so I went for it.

That really annoyed me. Saying that, the actual plot was okay, and I did finish the book and found the murder stories fun enough. The Dressmaker - Rosalie Ham Kindle. Now this book I really liked.

Set in a small town in Australia, it's about the return of Tilly, who was sent away as a child after the death of a boy in her class at school which was blamed on her. Neither Tilly, nor her wonderfully cantankerous and tactless mother, really remember what actually happened, and we discover the truth along with them as things jog their memories, or people add bits of information. Tilly is a fabulous dressmaker, and the women of the town are torn between hating her and wanting her to make them dresses. Its funny, sad and great fun to read - I also loved the film which I watched after reading the book.

I liked this book - the two main protagonists, both misfits in their own way and drawn to each other, were a female natural magician Able to talk to birds and do spells etc and a genius techy boy - who as a child designed the best ever artificial intelligence which played a major role later in the book. It began when they were children, and had a kind of young adult literature feel, but quickly becomes quite dark and adult. I'm months late as ever writing up my review, so I'm going on what lingers in my memory after so long, which is, compelling plotting and enough magical realism to keep me happy.

Overall, I really liked, but didn't quite love. It is almost but not quite as good as the likes of Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker. The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro kindle. This book read like a fable or adult fairy tale and I found it very compelling reading. The old couple who were the main protagonists lived in a world where the air or mists caused continual memory loss, and as they journey to find their son, who they vaguely remember as having moved away, hints of things they have forgotten threaten to ruin their relationship and their peace.

It is an interesting read on many levels, addressing the questions about memory and how we see ourselves - I've always been interested in the way we shape our memories to paint our own pictures of the past which may vary hugely from what actually happened, and how our memories shape who we are compared with how who we are shapes our memories. It's about a London trader who has made a very sophisticated computer programme machine that predicts ripple effects from lots of different events and how they will effect the world markets. His programme has some teething problems which causes his company to lose a fortune, and he runs away to a little isolated coastal town.

I liked that it is a lovely optimistic book with a genuinely good character inspiring others to do good. The Coincidence Authority - John Ironmonger kindle. This one is about Thomas, a statistician, who uses maths to explain away seemingly significant clusters of events as being merely random coincidences and Azalea, who came to him because her life seems to follow a starling pattern which she can't believe can only be due to random chance. It's a very interesting story - we learn Azalea's incredible backstory as her relationship with Thomas grows and the story become part sweet romance, and part a kind of detective problem solving story.

T his is number three in my John Ironmonger reading marathon, and it is quite different from the other two, while still retaining the skilled writing style and quirkiness I'm coming to expect from the author. Both characters kind of descend into madness as the plan of mapping the mind of Maximilian takes on a more sinister aspect. It was quite gripping. Slade House - David Mitchell Kindle. Loved the magical realism, loved the building tension, loved the characters - love David Mitchell. Sorry if my reviews are short and not very detailed or possibly just wrong it's because I'm working with my less than perfect memory The present time woman found remains of a 'mermaid baby' with fused leg bones when her and her partner were renovating their house and we learn from the back story about the young vicars obsession with mermaids and the selkie myths and how the bones ended up under his house.

Not on my 'wow' list of all time favourites, but not bad. This was my bookgroup read for March , and I was the only member of the group who really didn't like it. Set in Carrickfergus just down the road from us in Belfast in the early seventeen hundreds, it's the story of a witch hunt told from the point of view of a young housemaid. I thought the writing was poor, but since the other book group members all really liked it, maybe it was just not to my taste. I bought this because I loved The Sea Detective so much, and if I remember rightly sorry, I'm really late writing this up I liked it as well, although maybe not quite as much as the first book.

I will definitely want to continue reading the series though I'm waiting for the next book to go down in price before I buy it Following the death of his wife and more recently his son, Mr Cave descends into a kind of paranoic madness, he is over protective of his remaining child, a daughter and is also 'possessed' by the spirit of his dead son. The book is dark and rich and well worth reading. If he keeps churning them out, I'll keep reading them! About Grace - Anthony Doerr kindle. I thought this book was fabulous. The main character is a specialist in water specifically ice and I loved the science bits about snowflakes, he also had premonitions it's ticking all my boxes because I love books with magical realism too which always come true, and when he dreams that he causes his baby daughter's death, he runs away from his young family to the Caribbean where is hides for many years, never knowing if his baby lived or died.

Eventually he returns to the USA to search for the truth, and we feel every step of his agonising journey. Bright Young Things - Scarlett Thomas kindle. This book started really well - a mysterious newspaper ad drew 'interesting' people for an interview who then ended up on a remote island not knowing what was going on. I wasn't sure what to make of it as it went on though - not that much more happened, although it was an interesting study on human nature - how different people react to the mystery and danger of their situation.

I liked it enough to add more Scarlett Thomas books to my wishlist on Amazon. Florence and Giles - John Harding kindle. There's an evil nanny involved and some shocking violence - I liked it, I think, but didn't love it. This is the sequel to Florence and Giles, although a quite different book.

Set in a Victorian 'lunatic asylum' the book was gripping and I thought the complex flawed characters were pretty well drawn. Again it had some quite shocking violence, and quite a satisfying ending. Fallen - Lia Mills kindle book - BookGroup. As we get to know him we discover the fears and memories that shape him. I liked it. The story jumps about chronologically, and we learn quite a lot about the protagonist life outside of the prison camp as well. Very good book. Death of a River Guide - Richard Flanagan. Again I really enjoyed this book. It tells of the last few minutes in the life of a drowning man the river guide who sees visions from his own life and the lives of his family members which tell us the story of his life and history as a part aboriginal in Australia, as well as celebrating Tasmania and nature.

Medusa's Web - Tim Powers. This was a clever, creepy atmospheric, supernatural, mystery, family drama. I liked it - a good one for fans of David Mitchell or Nick Harkaway ie me! I found Tess to be quite gripping in places, but also a bit longwinded. I was outraged at the treatment of poor Tess, and of women in general as well as of the lower classes by the English aristocracy. I'm also horrified by the fact that the readers of the time it was first published thought Tess was a bit of a trollop and deserved everything she got!

It makes me glad that society has progressed as much as it has at least in some areas. Hideous Creatures - S. A fabulous book - a road trip, coming of age, historical fiction, magical realism, love story told with great beauty and skill. The Shell Collector - Hugh Howey. I generally like dystopian futuristic novels, and this one started quite promisingly, but sadly for me anyway it fell short of my expectations. Firstly, I just couldn't get that excited or empathise with the excitement of the protagonists about shells - I thought all the fuss about shells would lead to something else, but it didn't.

Just shells. However, River is later revealed as both powerful and dangerous; shooting three henchmen with her eyes closed in War Stories. This focus on plot rather than situation shows up in the general lack of scientific exposition in Firefly. Whilst the execrable techno-babble of Star Trek provided a scientific explanation for its plots, in Firefly ships travel vast distances, planets are terraformed and artificial gravity generated with no effort made to explain how. The oldest profession is still with us but no longer attracts quite the same stigma, although we discover in Heart of Gold that in a frontier society women can be subject to a high degree of victimisation.

The design and special effects employed in Firefly is another point of departure from traditional space opera. The clean lines and cruise liner ship design of the Trek-verse is ignored in favour of a deliberately deglamourised notion of space travel. This commitment to realism is carried over into the absence of sound effects: in space there is no sound and explosions and passing spacecraft are all depicted in an eerie silence.

The post-Trek s saw a dearth of notable SF TV series but did produce the first incarnation of Battlestar Galactica USA , a Star Wars inspired tale of conflict between a dispossessed fleet of refugees and the robotic Cylons in a mash-up of Mormon and Greek mythology. Largely, some might say justly, overshadowed by its hugely popular reincarnation beginning in , this first foray for the Colonial battlestar is, despite some hackneyed plotting, unreconstructed gender attitudes and occasionally appalling dialogue, a creditable attempt to bring something new in science-fiction to a mass audience.

The series also benefits from the use of motion-control camera techniques, pioneered by Lucasfilm for Star Wars , which brought a fresh dynamism to the oft-reused effect shots. I liked Hawk, he had a really cool ship, and feathers for hair. No, I stand corrected, it was awful. Deep Space 9 proved to be the darkest Trek series to date, drawing inspiration from the political uncertainties prevalent at the end of the Cold War and eventually featuring a huge interstellar conflict between the Federation, now allied with the Klingons and Romulans, and the invading Dominion.

Even darker in tone was the non-Trek television epic Babylon 5 USA , the story of a space station destined to play a central role in a cataclysmic galactic conflict. Created and mostly written by J. Babylon 5 also stands as a landmark in television history as it was the first regular series to feature entirely digital effects, allowing for a new level of visual spectacle and obliging other series to follow suit.

The last two seasons of Babylon 5 and Deep Space 9 feature space battles the equal of any SF cinema offering to date. Star Trek , in common with most genre TV shows of the period, was almost entirely episodic in nature; each episode is a self-contained story and the audience needs minimal knowledge of the background scenario of the series to understand the plot. This development has been key to the enduring popularity of the genre with fans documenting the various details of each universe published via a plethora of unofficial fanzines and websites.

Fan interest in the wider setting of each show was also a considerable marketing boon, as shown in the success of numerous tie-in novels and text books like the Klingon Dictionary and Enterprise Technical Manual as well as several computer games. By the time Star Trek: Voyager mainly notable for featuring a female captain and standing as a testament to the power of fan loyalty which can keep even mediocre television on air longer than it rightly deserves had come to the end of its run, script-writers had so exhausted the creative potential of the Trek-verse they felt obliged to go back in time for Star Trek: Enterprise , effectively a period drama set within the Trek-verse charting the early days of human space exploration.

Enterprise struggled on for four seasons, covering 98 episodes, but consistently poor ratings eventually forced its cancellation in , despite a vociferous fan-led campaign to save the show. Star Trek as a television phenomena was over, confined now to tie-in novels and fan-fiction, but TV space opera was about to receive a welcome, if sadly short-lived, shot in the arm courtesy of Buffy-maestro Joss Whedon. Firefly was about to take off, and it was, indeed, shiny.

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