Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mini Hiatus

I am off to Orlando for a few days to visit Universal Studios with family so that means a mini hiatus from the blog.

Regular posts will resume next week but you can expect a Weekly Obsessions post this weekend (Sunday most likely).

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Yes No Maybe So

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance. 

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely. 
Becky Albertalli always writes really cute and adorable books. I have pretty much loved everything I have read from her so I was immediately interested in checking out what her new co-written book is about. I haven't read anything from Aisha Saeed yet but I am excited to discover her style and how her and Becky's writing meshes together.

The premise sounds really adorable and it'll be out just in time to read for Valentine's Day.

Expected release date - February 4, 2020

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Another Sunday post. A lot of trailers to share this week and a new podcast that I am absolutely loving.

I binged the second season of Mindhunter and absolutely loved it. I am debating reviewing it so you might see one on here next week.

Speaking of next week... this might be a little sparse as I am heading to Orlando for two days and it is going to be a quick, packed week but I am going to do my best to have regular posts on the blog.


Trailer For Little Women

This trailer had been much anticipated by fans of not just the actors involved but Greta Gerwig as well. It was finally released and was well worth the wait.

Those who are fans of Little Women seems to really love the trailer. I was certainly charmed by it and cannot wait to go see this. As long as it is showing in Ottawa on Boxing Day I think that is going to be how I spend the afternoon after Christmas.

Trailer For Last Christmas

This trailer certainly garnered a lot of discussion on Twitter for various reasons. I'll let you watch it before getting into my thoughts.


So I have a specific theory about Henry Golding's character and none of them are indicative of a happy ending for this movie. I wanted a cute holiday rom-com and I think we're getting something else entirely. I am pretty sure it is going to have more in common with It's A Wonderful Life than people were anticipating. The script was apparently inspired by the Wham! song Last Christmas.  Unrelated side note - how charming is Henry Golding in this?!

Last Christmas Poster

The poster for Last Christmas was also revealed and it's super cute. It makes me wish we were getting the rom-com I wanted this to be.

The tag line makes me even more convinced we're getting something more in line with It's A Wonderful Life.


Lover By Taylor Swift

Taylor released another song from her upcoming album and it is PERFECTION. It is romantic, and sweet and exactly what I hoped this album would have on it.

It's got some amazing lyrics but these may just be my favourite:
And there's a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear
Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?
They capture so perfectly the kind of connection people want to have. It's a beautiful song.

You Must Remember This Podcast (link)

I came across this podcast after having it recommended to me and I am absolutely obsessed. It's a podcast that tells the 'secret or forgotten history of Hollywood's first century' as the host, Karina Longworth, explains at the opening of every episode

Anyone who is into Hollywood, particularly classic Hollywood, should listen to this. It's well researched, well presented and edited, and entirely entertaining. It's made me want to watch some of the movies discussed, read some of the books mentioned, and dive deeper into stories being told.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Books I Cannot Wait To Read This Fall

How is it almost the end of August? This summer seems to have flown by. We're about two weeks away from the end of the month and with it comes my favourite time of year. I cannot wait for cozy blankets, pumpkin spice everything, beautifully coloured leaves, and sweater weather. It's honestly my favourite season and for many reasons but one of the biggest reasons is that it is the best time for amazing books, movies, and television. We're typically treated to an abundance of goodness during this time from all of our entertainment sources and I cannot wait to dive in.

There are some books that I already have on my radar and that I think should be on your radar too! I am going to share the ten that I am, perhaps, the most excited about.

1 The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

New Orleans, vampires, and a murder mystery. Enough said but throw in the fact that it is also a historically set novel and I am fully on board. I am so glad that vampires seem to be making a comeback and cannot wait to see Renee's take on them.

2 Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The fact that this is written by Leigh Bardugo is kind of enough for me to want to read this one. That is also happens to be her adult debut is just icing on the already tempting cake. This one is about secret societies, the occult, and what seems like possible supernatural/paranormal components (if I hear correctly). It is basically perfect for October.

3 American Royals by Katharine McGee

What if instead of a President America had their own version of royalty? That is the exact premise of this new book from Katharine McGee. Her books usually have a lot fun drama, and some great twists. It'll be perfect for those wanting to offset all the horror, and spooky entertainment on offer during the season.

4 The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

A romance novel with the fantastic premise of a guy joining an all male romance reading book club in an attempt to save his failing marriage. It sounds funny, fun, and entirely unique.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

A forbidden romance between a witch and a witch hunter was the big draw to this book for me. It also doesn't hurt that this will be perfect for Halloween with witches and magic taking the main focus.

6 Crier's War by Nina Varela

Automae have risen against their human owner's and humans now serve them. Naturally an Automae and a human are falling in love and a rebellion/war might be brewing. This sounds like a fantastic start to a series that could be filled with action, adventure, and romance.

7 Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

The final installment in the Stalking Jack The Ripper series that is basically made for the Halloween season. This one take some true crime inspiration in the form of H. H. Holmes and offers up a Chicago setting this time.

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

This series takes famous rom-coms and gives them a twist. This is inspired by "How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days" and is the start of a series of companion novels. It sound fun and again offers something for those not into all of the spooky stuff on offer during this time period.

9 Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

I have loved all of Jasmine Guillory's other books and I am confident that this is going to be no exception. A story of a woman who goes with her daughter (who we've met in previous books) to Europe for a work trip and ends up falling for the private secretary for the royal family is sure to be the perfect way to end a day of holiday shopping. I cannot wait to read this and get into the holiday spirit.

10 Disgraceland: Musicians Getting Away With Murder and Behaving Very Badly by Jake Brennan

I love the Disgraceland podcast and this book that will look at both musicians covered on the podcast and those haven't been is going to be perfect for anyone interested in true crime. Jake's writing is so good on the podcast that I have no doubts this is going to be amazing.

What books are you most excited to read this fall? Any of mine make your own list? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Anna K

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I also realize it is Thursday but this did not post properly yesterday and I wanted to make sure I shared it. Sorry for the delay.

This week's pick is Anna K by Jenny Lee

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna's brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather an sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy's timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.
I have another retelling to share today! This time it is a retelling of Anna Karenina that comes with a fun cover and a delightful synopsis. I love the more modern take and the New York setting.

This book doesn't release until March so we have a bit of wait, but I expect it'll be perfect to bring on those winter breaks.

Expected release date - March 3, 2020

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen

Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen
Release Date - August 13, 2019
Publisher Website - Sourcebooks / Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You'll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You'll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara's pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you've read before.
This is a story of a true crime journalist who went from reporting on unsolved cases to helping solve them. Anyone who has a interest in true crime has probably heard the name Billy Jensen before. Maybe it is from his work helping to finish the brilliant Michelle McNamara's book on the Golden State Killer, or perhaps you are a Muderino and know of him thanks to Karen and Georgia, or perhaps you are familiar with his work on Crime Watch Daily.  The point is that he, obviously, has a lot of experience. It is this experience combined with his passion that makes Chase Darkness With Me so compelling.

The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the voice. There is a fair amount of humour mixed in and I feel like the reader really gets a sense for who Billy is. If you listen to his podcast, The Murder Squad, you'll immediately notice that Billy writes like he talks. This is someone confident in his voice as a writer and that makes for a strong read.

There is also an empathy that steeps out of the pages of this book. Billy is a man who cares deeply about the victims and the loved ones trying to get answers. You get the impression that some of these cases haunt him because of how much he cares. Any voyeristic or sensational tendencies that true crime tends to lean to are stripped away.

Billy takes the reader through various cases he has worked on and the different methods he used to try to solve them. Most fascinating is the way that Billy uses targeted ads to help solve cases. The same algorithms and technology that helps companies target potential customers is also being used to get particular details about a crime in front of the right people.

It's a must read for anyone with an interest in the true crime genre and entirely different from most of the books you would have read. It's a fascinating, and engaging, look at the good one man tries to do and the cases he's helped solve in a way that shines a light on how we look at and discuss true crime. It highlights the work that still needs to be done and gives the reader to tools to safely, effectively, and most important, ethically help if they so wish.

Billy has said before that the villains in true crime are so often the focus because they are larger than life but we need to shine a light on the heroes. He's pointed to Paul Holes as one such hero. I suspect that Billy would be too modest to consider himself to be among the heroes but this book proves exactly that. Billy's passion, dedication, and drive to help not just solve unsolved cases, but to also be an advocate for victims everywhere makes him one in my opinion. Thank you, Billy for not only striving to make the world a little bit safer but for being a voice for the voiceless.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Mindhunter season two releases on August 16th and that is pretty much all I care about right now (other than Succession returning this weekend for its second season).


Mindhunter Season Two Trailers

Netflix has released both a teaser and full length trailer for the upcoming second season.  Both are incredible and only make me want to watch the next season immediately.

I especially love our first looks at some of the new serial killers being interviewed. This show's casting is always spot on when it comes to the interview subjects.

I was particularly glad to see Cameron Britton back as Ed Kemper. He and Holden are going to have lots to discuss after that first season finale.

Succession Season Two Trailer

Succession is returning this weekend and I could not be more happy. I was late to season one and didn't watch it until after the season had already aired so I am excited to be part of the conversation each week for this season.

Everyone in this show is horrible. I have seen it described as Game of Thrones in boardrooms but everyone is a Lannister and that is pretty accurate. 

The finale of season one was bananas in the best possible way so I am excited to see where the story goes in season two. I am laughing already at the Cousin Greg and Tom scene. I also look forward to see Kieran Culkin deliver another amazing performance (still bitter that he is not up for an Emmy this year).

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

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