Epiphany by Michael Coren (51)

This is a very interesting book too about a Christian’s change of heart and mind over same-sex marriage.  It is a book that is relevant for our times.

For many years, Michael Coren was recognized as loved and hated in roughly equal proportions. He was an eloquent champion not only of Catholic conservatism but of what are known as traditional values, including opposition to same-sex marriage.

He won a national broadcasting award for co-hosting a debate where he argued the case against equal marriage. But gradually he began to change his opinion at great personal and professional cost. Far from dissuading him, the dismissals and attacks on him, his family, and his reputation only strengthened his commitment to the cause and led him to become an outspoken advocate for gay rights in the Christian world. It also led him to leave the Roman Catholic Church for Anglicanism.

In this book, he details the reasons for his transformation, why it occurred and what happened to him when it did. He outlines the personal, moral and theological reasons for equal marriage rights and his own epiphany, interviews several gay Christians who suffered terribly merely for their sexuality, names people who acted appallingly throughout this entire debate and continue to do so, exposes some rampant hypocrisy, and outlines the future of what is the most divisive issue within contemporary Christianity.

Coren is arguably the highest profile opponent of same-sex marriage to change his heart and mind on the issue, and to do so radically.  His actions sent shockwaves through the church not only in Canada but in the United States and Britain as well. This book will create another ocean of both discontent and joy.

I love books that make one think like this and expands ones horizons.


Posted in Author from Ontario, Gay rights | Leave a comment

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra by D. L. Cann (50)

For my fiftieth book, I decided to read and review a book about Saint Nicholas. His life always fascinated me.

This book portrays the life and times of the original Father of Christmas.  It is a book that should answer any questions you may have had about jolly St. Nicholas.

This book evolved from a desire to discover the original Saint Nicholas of Myra. The ten-year effort that it took to write this book and make that discovery took the author to some of the dustiest corners on earth–the coastal mountains and rugged seaside valleys of Southwest Turkey and the shelves of Graeco-Roman history in university libraries and museums.

On that journey of discovery, the author learned a few unexpected lessons. Not the least valuable of those lessons is that one can relieve hyperthermia by drinking hot, black tea. Strange as it may seem, I guess it works!

The greatest lesson is that Saint Nicholas of Myra is a real person in history who lived a courageous and inspirational life. He lived a life that is so inviting and encouraging. I just love this figure in history. And kids can now rest assured as well as adults, that this person exists. That was the biggest revelation of the book for me.

I just love books like this. And it fits for the challenge for this month with the Book Review challenge.


Posted in Author from Ottawa, Saint Nicholas | Leave a comment

British Columbia by Andrew Hempstead(49)

This is a wonderful travel book about British Columbia.  It highlights all the attractions as well as places to stay that are affordable and memorable.

I have always wanted to visit BC.  This book has inspired me to put this place on my bucket list.

The book also includes information about the Alaska Highway.  Wow, the photos look quite breathtaking.

British Columbia is quaint and also picturesque. It can inspire artists as well as nature lovers.  Since I am the latter more than the former, I was definitely encouraged by the place. Even the photographs resonated with me and made me want to visit British Columbia.

What struck me about this guide is all the animals that are part of the Coastline of British Columbia.  Even bears reside there. So, one has to exercise caution when walking off the beaten path, so to speak.

The buildings have a unique architecture. They are very different from what we know and see here in Ontario.

I would recommend this book for the reader who loves travelling book as tools to inspire and encourage you to perhaps even visit. British Columbia is one of these places for me.

I loved the book, and will be recommending that my friends at least take a peek at it.

Posted in Author from Vancouver, Travel Book, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life Without Plastic by Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha (48)

I saw this book on the new book shelf at my local library and immediately I decided that I needed to read it.  The cover says it all. Our world is filled with plastic of every kind and stripe.  Plastic is polluting our environment and it is making us ill in many cases. So, we must all strive to get rid of plastic from our lives as much as this is possible.

There is one problem though!  Plastic is in almost everything that we buy and consume. I was shocked to learn that there is even plastic in certain materials and fabrics.

Is life possible without any plastic whatsoever?  Probably not, that is the ideal, but it isn’t realistic to achieve this all at once.  However, we have to become much more plastic conscious in this culture of plastic addiction.  Yes, that’s right. The authors believe that we are addicted to plastic. There is even plastic in our cars and beds.  Our bed frames are definitely plastic. It’s hard to fathom just how much plastic there is! I was shocked.

Even paper has some plastic products in it. This book strives to create more awareness about BPA-based products, polystyrene and other ingle-use plastics, and provides readers with ideas for safe, reusable and affordable alternatives. By removing plastic from your home, you can reduce your environmental footprint, minimize threats to wildlife, support local businesses and live a happier, healthier and simpler life.

This book is a step-by-step guide on how to reduce plastic in our lives. After reading this book, I already started to view plastic in a different way. I did an inventory of my home, and I am in the process of getting rid of any unnecessary plastic. This exercise has really showed me in detail how hard it is to live without plastic in our lives. But my mission is still the same: to reduce plastic and to reuse as many plastic products as possible so that not as many will reach landfill.

I loved this book, and I recommend it to anyone who is worried about our current plastic crisis.


Posted in Author(s) from Quebec, Plastic reduction, Plastics | Leave a comment

French Exit by Patrick deWitt (47)

This is a very funny and wonderful book.  It is sad in places. But I absolutely love Patrick Dewitt!  His books really rock!!!  And this book doesn’t disappoint.

Frances Price is a tart widow, possessive mother and Upper East Side force of nature. She is in dire straits which is beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son, Malcolm, is no help. He is mired in a permanent state of arrests and warrants.

Then there’s the Prices’ aging cat. Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband who is an immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.

Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of lights, serving as a backdrop not for love or romance but self-destruction and economic ruin.

The story is brimming with pathos and wit. It is a unique tragedy of manners and a brilliant send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother and son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive of and execute with the kind of skill that he does.

I loved this story from start to finish. I would recommend it to anyone who just loves a story that will make you turn to the last page of the story, without question.


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Aging Backwards: 10 years younger, 10 years lighter by Miranda Esmonde-White (46)

This is a book that all women can benefit from. The author offers exercises and mindsets that can help all women to be their best at any age.

This book is so important that I will make it part of my September challenge with the Canadian Book Review Challenge.

This book is a ground breaking guide to understanding how aging happens and how to repair and reverse its effects–and roll back join pain and muscle loss at any age through gentle, scientifically designed essentrics workouts developed by the star of PBS’s classical stretch series.

From her foundation as a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada an decades of work with professional athletes, dancers and ordinary people struggling with a variety of health and fitness changes, Miranda Esmonde-White has discovered that it’s never too late to slow down or even reverse the effects of aging.

The human body is designed to function for the full length of its life and has an amazing capacity to heal. If we undertake Miranda’s gentle, full-body flexibility and strengthening exercises for just thirty minutes a day, we can look and feel tremendous, vibrant and active at any age.

The typical message we get as we grow older is that we need to take it easy–exactly the wrong advice. It causes us to neglect the single most important system in the body, the one that makes al the others work: our muscles.

The old adage of use it or lose it is true. But Miranda’s fitness and anti-aging breakthrough has come from understanding that how we use it is all-important. You need to strengthen and stretch all 650 muscles in the body in a balanced way that enhances overall strength, posture, cardiovascular health and mobility, eliminates join pain and burns calories.

In this book, Miranda also shares some of her remarkable conclusions about how to keep your body young and shows you exactly how to stretch and strengthen.

If you are over 50, this book is an indispensable guide to living your best and most successful later years.


Posted in Author from Montreal, Fitness, Successful Aging | Leave a comment

The Hole: a Novel by Hye-Young Pyun (45)

This is a novel that gave me nightmares for a few days.  It isn’t the type of book that I usually read.  However, the cover of the book intrigued me. I will include it with this review.

This is a gripping psychological thriller about loneliness and the dark truths we try to hide from ourselves and others.

Oghi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife’s life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured.

His caregiver is his mother-in-law, a widow grieving the loss of her only child. Oghi feels neglected and alone. His world shrinks to the room he lies in and his memories of his troubled relationship with his wife, a sensitive, intelligent woman who found all of her life goals thwarted except for one: cultivating the garden in front of their house.

Soon Oghi notices his mother-in-law in the abandoned garden, uprooting what his wife had worked so hard to plant and obsessively digging larger and larger holes. When asked why she was doing this, she said that she is only finishing what her daughter started.

This story is superably crafted and deeply unnerving.  It is a novel about the horrors of isolation and neglect in all of its banal and brutal forms. As Oghi desperately searches for a way to escape, he discovers the difficult truth about his wife and the toll their life together took on her.

This is a sad story about a relationship gone sour and how sometimes women acquiesce in staying in marriages that don’t work. It’s hard to imagine how what starts with all the hope in the world like two people coming together in love for one another can turn into something so dark and unhealthy.

Posted in Lives of Women, Uncategorized | Leave a comment