Flee, Fly, Flown by Janet Hepburn (12)

This is a wonderful story about how it is never too old to go for an adventure of a lifetime. This is the case even if you live in a retirement home.

When Lillian and Audrey hatch a plot to escape from Tranquil Meadows Nursing Home, borrow a car and spend their hastily planned vacation time driving to destinations west, they aren’t fully aware of the challenges they will face. All they know is that the warm days of August call to them, and the need to escape the daily routines and humiliations of nursing home life has become overwhelming.

Flushed with the success of their escape plan, they set out on their journey having forgotten that their memory problems might make driving and following directions difficult. their trip is almost over before it begins, until they meet up with the unsuspecting Rayne, a young man also heading west in the hope of reconciling with his family.

As Lillian and Audrey try to take back the control that time and dementia has taken from them, Rayne realizes the truth of their situation. But it’s too late because he has fallen under the spell of these two funny, brave women and is willing to be a part of their adventure wherever it leads.

I loved this story from beginning to end. What a great story that adults of all ages will love.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Nursing Homes, Old age | Leave a comment

Planning for Rural Resilience: Coping with Climate Change and Energy Futures Edited by Wayne J. Caldwell (11)

Climate change and an evolving non-renewable energy sector threaten the future viability and sustainability of communities across the country. While rural communities have a special place in the national fabric, they often lack the resources to tackle these important and evolving threats.

Planning for Rural Resilience: Coping with Climate Change and Energy Futures makes clear that communities and municipalities have opportunities to make informed and constructive decisions in the face of uncertainty: many of these decisions are “win-win” in the sense that they benefit the community in the short-term while also building resilience for the future. Case studies include a town rebuilding itself after a tornado and an individual farmer’s commitment to creating a resilient farm. They provide examples of innovative, successful, and practical on-the-ground actions and strategies.

Planning for Rural Resilience asks central questions about the nature of change and the ability to adapt in rural regions. While change is often feared, communities have capacity that can be rallied, harnessed, and turned towards planning policy and action that responds to threats to the future. This important work will assist municipal decision makers, planners, and community members as well as anyone who has a passion for the future and betterment of rural life.

This book is a must read for all Ontarians who are concerned about the rapid climate change that we are experiencing. It is a book that will enlighten as well as inform.

The book also urges to no longer sit around and do nothing about what is happening as far as climate change is concerned. Goderich’s 2011 tornado is one example of what can happen when we experience climate change. And this will continue to occur. We can’t afford to be ignorant about this any longer.

Rating: 5 stars

I loved this book from beginning to end!


Posted in Author from Ontario, Climate Change, Culture in Canada, Nonfiction, Scholarly book, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Great Prime Ministers (10)

This is an educational book for kids of all ages about our GREAT Canadian Prime Ministers!  We have had so many wonderful men gracing our landscape. And this book takes us through those times and people’s lives.

There is also an introduction to what is democracy and how it works and how our parliamentary democracy works.

There is also a chapter on how the government in Canada works.  It is a wonderful and insightful chapter that will lighten many a child’s knowledge of Canada.

Then the book discusses how one becomes prime minister of Canada and how government is formed.

This is followed by a short biography of each of our great prime ministers from Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister to Justin Trudeau.

This book will be invaluable for all elementary and high school students for school projects and essays.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Canada, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Educational book, Empowerment, Prime Ministers | Leave a comment

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (9)

From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, comes The Good Luck of Right Now, a funny and tender story about family, friendship, grief, acceptance, and Richard Gere—an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?

Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.

A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.

I loved this book from beginning to end!

Posted in Acceptance, Friendship, Grief, Travel Book | Leave a comment

A Canadian Year: Twelve Months in the life of Canada’s Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling (8)

This is a wonderful picture book for kids of all ages. It could be for the child of 8 years and for those who are doing Geography projects and the Canadian Territories.

I loved the story line in all the provinces and what each of the provinces I renowned for. There is also a language segment in each of the provinces so that kids will be able to know the kinds of languages that they speak and their hobbies.

I will be suggesting that all the kids within my circle of friends reads this book. It is a must-read for all kids who would like to find out more about our multi-cultural country.

This book can be read by the adult too.  There are many aspects of our culture in Canada that I didn’t know.

What a treasure-throve of knowledge this book is!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Book about Nature, Canada, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada | Leave a comment

Travels with my Family by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel (7)

Here is another family vacation story that is as hilarious as the previous one that I reviewed just a few minutes ago.

I read these books by the Avon River in Stratford, Ontario.  If people don’t know about it, I will post a pic here.

This is the Tom Patterson Island where I love to sit and read.  I brought my own chair and a picnic basket full of goodies where I was gone for about 4 hours. Just Bliss….

Anyways…now about the book!

This is a book about a boy who takes a family vacation.  They are supposed to be fun!  However, some parents want to turn every family outing into a risk proposition, by accident, of course.

So, instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools and water slides, these parents in this story are always looking for that out-of-the-way destination where other tourists don’t go.

Even if it means driving for hours to get to the middle of nowhere, countless back-seat games of Twenty Questions that end badly, and reading the How to Change a Tire chapter out of the owner’s manual.

Then there were the adventures in the destinations themselves–eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp.

Parent and kids who read this story may also recognize themselves in this hilarious family travelogue, and may even be inspired to pull out the road map to search for an off-the-beaten-track destination of their own.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth


Posted in Author from Ontario, Award Winning Author, Travel Book, World Renowned Author and Illustrator | Leave a comment

On the Road Again by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel (6)

This is a wonderful early reader for kids of all ages. It is hilarious and it will also make the average child think a bit–which is a great combination!

Charlie and his family are on the road again–this time to spend a year in the south of France.

Unhappy at first, not wanting to leave his friends, school and big-city life, Charlie soon finds himself caught up in new adventures in their little village of Celeriac.

He runs through the streets chased by bulls, survives an autumn flood and a winter blizzard, and discovers the pleasures of French cuisine, including snails, donkey sausage and runny cheese that smells like the boys’ locker room at school.

Most of all, Charlie and his little brother, Max, grow fond of their new neighbours. There is the man who steals ducks from the local river, and the neighbor’s dog who sleeps right in the middle of the street, and their new friends Rachid and Amhed, who teach them how to play soccer in the village square, where the goal is the open door of the church.

As a bonus, there’s a hilarious driving trip through Spain in their sardine-can-car.

In the end Charlie discovers the bitter-sweet joys of living in a new place.

Travelling stories are great for kids!  They show kids that people are all relatively the same, regardless of where you go. The only thing that really changes are their cultural mores.

I loved this book from beginning to end. And it fits the challenge that is set in the 11th Annual Book Review Challenge.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Award Winning Author, Early Reader, Fiction, Travel Book, World Renowned Author and Illustrator | Leave a comment