Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson (11)

This is another story from an award-winning author in Toronto.  It is a story that will keep you engaged and reading until the end.

Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is called in to lead the investigation after a shocking mass murder occurs during a wedding outside a small church in the Yorkshire Dales. An exhaustive manhunt ensues and the shooter is run to ground as the investigation follows its inevitable course.

But Banks, his colleague DI Annie Cabbot, and the newest and youngest team member DC Gerry Masterson are plagued by doubts as to exactly what happened in the churchyard that day, and why. Have they apprehended the right suspect? Is there more to uncover?

Struggling with the death of an old flame and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller, a former love interest, Banks is compelled to dig deeper into the suspect’s past and motivations.  As he does, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to long forgotten secrets. It’s possible that eventually they’ll provide the answers he is looking for, but will he piece together the clues in time?

This story is chilling, suspenseful, and deftly plotted. It will keep the reader guessing until the end. Robinson is  crime writer at the top of his game.

Posted in Author from Toronto, Award Winning Author, Crime Writer | Leave a comment

Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (10)

This is a book by an award-winning and bestselling author. This story is a darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity–and then her life when she learns that her Doppelganger has appeared in a local park.

Jean Mason has a Doppelganger. She’s never seen her, but others swear they have. Apparently, her identical twin hands out in Kensington Market, where she sometimes buys churros and drags an empty shopping cart down the streets, like she’s looking for something to put in it.

Jean’s a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving bookstore in downtown Toronto, and she doesn’t rattle easily. But after two customers insist they’ve seen her double, Jean decides to investigate.

She begins at the crossroads of Kensington Market. There is a city park called Bellevue Square. Although she sees no one who looks like her, it only takes a few visits to the park for her to become obsessed with the possibility of encountering her two in the flesh.

With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she’ll pay for information or sightings.

A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers, and vagrants are eager to contribute to Jean’s investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, she fears her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate much stranger than death.

I don’t usually like stories like this. But this one gripped me. It has an innocence and danger to it that I haven’t experienced before reading this type of novel.

Posted in Author from Ontario, Award Winning Author | Leave a comment

Beyond Soap by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki (9)

This book is shows us the real truth about what we are dong to our skin and how to fix it for a beautiful healthy glow.

We all love to wear a LOT of make-up.  And most women literally buy hundreds of skin care products every year.  But they are not necessary. Simple and clean methods of keeping your skin clean is best.

Women, men, and kids are having more skin problems than ever. Sensitive skin prevalence has skyrocketed, and the number of people reacting to cosmetics is climbing.

The reason for this is because of our contemporary lifestyle. We have bad grooming and beauty habits that the advertising and personal-care product industries have encouraged us to pursue. Those miraculous cleaners, creams and balms we’re buying to protect our outer layer may actually end up harming the body’s largest organ: the skin.

In this book, Dr. Skotnicki argues that the best state for normal skin is the natural state–the one that avoids disturbing the skin’s protective barrier and the bacteria that accompanied the body throughout its evolution.

This book shows us a way to overcome our skin problems through a combination of diagnosis and prescription. She explains the problem with society’s current cleansing and beauty habits, then provides a practical guide on how to fix things with a 3-step product elimination diet that will help you remove unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients from your beauty and skin care regime, returning the skin to the condition nature intended it.

This book also offers some indispensable advice on how to wash and care for the skin of adults, babies and children, followed by a common-sense beauty regimen intended to stave off aging, reduce skin problems and return the face and body to its natural glow.

I loved this informative book!

Posted in Author from Toronto, Beauty And glow, Soap | Leave a comment

Ru by Kim Thuy (8)

This is another great book by Kim Thuy!

As a young girl, Ngugen An Tinh escapes Vietnam with her family, leaving behind her palatial home in Saigon, and the less tangible riches of her country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup vendors.

She goes by boat to a Malaysian refugee camp, then onward to a new life in Quebec, where she experiences the difficulties and joy of the American Dream — yet always feels afloat.

The book is composed of short vignettes. This book is a classic immigrant story told in a breath-taking way: singing itself into a dream, flowing and gathering power.

I loved the book!  It is another great book by Kim Thuy!  I have now read all of her books, and I rejoice every time I find another new one.


Posted in Author from Toronto, Immigrant story | Leave a comment

In the Black by B. Denham Jolly (7)

This is a story about getting your own voice in a community. It is a book with breath and depth that will make you think and that will lift you up and inspire you to be your best.

From Hanover Parish, Jamaica to Toronto, Canada, Jolly has been at the forefront of social activism for many years. His entrepreneurial ventures in Canada have been challenged by instances of systemic and casual racism since he immigrated to the country in the mid-50’s.

Unjust discrimination, however, has only fuelled his ambition to strengthen the voice of the Black community in Canada.

Among his many accomplishments, in 2001, Jolly successfully launched the first entirely Black-owned Canadian radio station called FLOW 93-5, which went on to act as a model for urban radio stations across the country. FLOW helped to launch the careers of artists like Shad, Jully Black and Drake, and created a voice and platform for the Black community in Canada.

This book is part memoir and part manifesto, documenting Jolly’s personal struggles while also chronicling the stories of an entire generation of social activists.  It is a passionate narrative about personal ambition, a community’s hardships and successes, and its search for a voice. It is a story about the search for social justice.

I loved this book from the beginning to end. I hope everyone who wants a serious yet uplifting memoir will read it.

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All Beauty is Now by Sarah Faker (6)

Well, here I am taking a reviewer’s vacation to Cape Breton. By reading this book, I am fulfilling by Canadian Book Review Challenge. It is also on the East Coast.  So, I am just going to keep reading from east to west during 2018-2018 for the Canadian Book Review Challenge.

This story is set in 1962 in Rio De Janeiro.  A young woman walks into the waters off a crowded beach and vanishes.

A year later, her family–once a golden family of their privileged community, now prepare to leave behind the seeming paradise of Brazil in the wake of their eldest daughter’s presumed drowning.

As they attend a series of goodbye parties and count down the days to their departure, we are taken into the heart of a family whose many charms belie more troubling truths.

There is the family’s charismatic father whose bipolar extremes are becoming increasingly disturbing. His long-suffering wife has made a mistake that has shattering consequences for the family she was meant to protect. And their two remaining daughters, both on the precipice of joining the adult world with all its secrets and lies. Then there is the lost daughter herself, a woman undone by her attempts to grasp at happiness.

This story captures the soul of a family living in the shadow of tragedy, one on the brink of a new life, if only they could make peace with the past.

This book is captivating and beautifully written.  It is so characteristic of East Coast writers.


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Get Real: 26 Canadian Women Share the Secrets of Authentic Success by Patricia Lovett-Reid (5)

I love books about successful Canadian women. There is nothing more uplifting than that.  And I always follow Patricia Lovett-Reid even on television every evening when she used to do the business report.

But this book is about something different.  It is about how women can achieve authentic success, and 26 accounts from women who have done just that. The book is a powerful testament to the fact that you can do anything that you put your mind to if it is authentic and real and not fabricated.

Another main theme of the book is that if you do what you love, and love what you do, you will be successful. This is TD Waterhouse senior Vice-President Patricia-Lovett Reid’s new guide to achieving happiness and success in both your personal and professional life.

While most women follow a conformist track in life, this book is about getting you on the authentic track in life–one that will lead to personal happiness and fulfillment, professional satisfaction and financial prosperity.

From finding your passion to getting real about relationships, career, money, lifestyle and life, Lovett-Reid offers valuable advice and real-life success stories from sports figures to CEOs to artists and broadcasters.

In this book, she shares their secret to authentic success for the very first time. These 26 Canadian women, along with Lovett-Reid herself, show how money, lifestyle and happiness are all part of the same package. Her message is that all of this is achievable for anyone looking to get real and stay real.

What a great message for all women, young and old. We tend to be followers and we never believe in ourselves enough to really think that we are good enough to do any great things. But we are.  Each and every one of us.  The trick is that we have to believe in ourselves first and foremost.  And this should be achievable, right?

Posted in Acceptance, Authenticity, Lives of Women, Ontario | Leave a comment