What am I Reading?


January 2017


At the End of the World by Lawrence Millman

#karlikes rating 2 *WBRL

I have very mixed opinions on this book. I did not care for the writing style, which I can only describe as short sentences, almost as in a diary or notebook. The story is described as Lawrence Millman’s way of retelling a true story of murder in the arctic. Millman’s experience in collecting the story was a captivating portion of the story, his connections with the Inuit of the area provided a very unique story telling vantage. The book is littered with his complaints and comments on technologies overwhelming presence in the real world. I appreciated his point of view, but I felt it often almost over powered the murder story. I may have missed the point of this book, and it’s possible he was trying to link the murder and loss of the Inuits way of life to technology. This quote by Lawrence Millman in At the End of the World I felt was worth writing down in my quote book, “If you don’t see Nature, why would you want to preserve it?” The point is clear, and it describes my view on getting people exposed to nature so that they have the desire to protect it for themselves and loved ones to experience. Some gold in this book, I just do not think its an amazing retelling of the true crime story hidden among its pages.

The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Sandahl

#karllikes rating 5 *WBRL

I LOVED this book. As a new parent, I have been trying to keep myself exposed to literature on parenting, which I may admit is hard to dig through. There are a lot of books and articles out there trying to tell you what to do and not do to be a good parent, this book also has elements of that. If you look past the fact that every ‘help’ book is trying to get you to buy into their way of doing things and just take the ideas that work for your particular situation, I think there is a lot of gold in this book. I personally enjoyed the anecdotal style of the book with many references for further reading at the end. The book goes through PARENT, which stands for Play, Authenticity, Reframing, Empathy, No Ultimatums, and Togetherness. My favourite chapter was on reframing, and I have actually found this has been helping me in my adult life as well as in parenting. I was introduced to HYGGE, a danish word whose rough translation is coziness (really its hard to explain, read this book!, and it has majorly sparked something in me. I was so interested in HYGGE I had to read more, and thus I read The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.

The Little Book of Hygge-The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

#karllikes rating 5 *WBRL

I wanted to learn more about Hygge, and honestly this book by Meik Wiking explains almost all you could want to know about the subject. The author is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and she believes that hygge is the secret ingredient that makes the Danes the happiest people in the world. To prove her point she explains so much about Hygge that I felt I had the ability to re-create some of the ideas. This book will be one I reference back to, and already have used some of the ideas for things in my life and home. I think I may have been Scandinavian in another life, as many things about their lifestyle appeals to me.

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty

#karllikes rating 3 *WBRL

This is the second book by Robert Beatty about Serafina. Serafina is a strange girl who is the CTC (Chief Rat Catcher) at the Biltmore Estate. Not to give many spoilers to the first book, this second book is another mystery that needs to be solved by Serafina and Braeden to keep Biltmore Estate and their loved ones safe. These books are what I would call junior novels, however the books are rated for 8+ (30 is technically 8+ hehe). The first book, Serafina and the Black Cloak is soon to be released as a movie, check out the trailer!

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

#karllikes rating 3 *WBRL

The Wonder is centered around Anna O’Donnell, an eleven year old girl who claims she no longer needs to eat and is living off manna from heaven. To determine the legitimacy of the claim nurses are stationed to monitor her for 24 hours, and slowly a mystery is unfolded. I was shocked as the book unfolded, and was also stunned to learn that this story was based on real events in Ireland. Emma Donoghue also wrote The Room, which I am going to put on my ‘to read list’.


Death The Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman

#karllikes rating 3

If you are a reader of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comics, you may remember Death as the Dream’s older sister. This deluxe edition includes Death: The High Cost of Living Collected and Death: The Time of Your Life which are all solo stories featuring Death. If you sensitive to death in general, I would recommend picking up another comic. The easiest way to explain Death, is that she is a sort of grim reaper, the one who meets you as you leave this world for whatever comes next. I enjoyed Death’s mild humour and  way of dealing with human beings during some of the lowest times of their lives. I am excited to read more of Neil Gaiman’s comics.

Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemine

#karllikes rating 4

I was inspired to get my hands on this after reading Wenjack by Joseph Boyden. The Secret Path is a graphic novel which also tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, who was a 12-year old boy who died while running away from a residential school 50 years ago. Gord Downie has created a series of 10 songs (which come as a free download with the purchase of the book) which creates a very unique reading experience.  This is a quick read however I would pick a time where you can digest this book and album fully as I found it incredibly emotional. I do not often keep books to re-read but this will be something I will be holding onto to show my son when he is old enough for the subject matter.


Canadian Rockies Annual Vol. 1 by Crowfoot Media

#karllikes rating 4

Seriously what isn’t to like about Crowfoot Media’s Canadian Rockies Annual? This creation by Dee Larosa and Meghan J. Ward is full of amazing photographs (many featuring one of my favourite photographers Paul Ziska) and articles cover to cover on beautifully weighted paper. I loved each article so much that I cannot even pick a favourite. If you are an explorer of the Canadian Rockies, you will want to get your hands on a copy. The next edition, Vol. 2 will be released May 1 2017.

Faerie Magazine the Naughty & Nice Issue No. 37 Winter 2016

#karllikes rating 3

The Faerie Magazines are absolutely amazingly beautiful. The pictures from cover to cover look and make me feel enchanted. This issue features the usual fantastical short stories and poems, with a naughty and nice twist. The Winter 2016 issue also features some fun wintry treats and craft ideas. The only issue with this magazine it is only available through subscription from their United States office (unless you are near a Barnes and Noble, or prefer emagazines) and thus are on the more expensive side and take a long time to arrive to your Canadian mailbox.

National Geographic Special Issue Gender Revolution January 2017

#karllikes rating 4

National Geographic had a very effective social media campaign leading up to the release of this special issue. The title really indicates it’s contents, gender revolution. I found the articles very thought provoking and introduced me to complexities about gender I had never thought about. Having a young son, I feel this type of reading is essential to try and inform myself about the gender revolution that he will grow up in. Some of the articles I have to say were particularly hard to read, especially involving the terrible ways some people are discriminated against and some traditions which are performed on young girls and boys around the world.

*WBRL- this book is available at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library as of January 2017-Magazines may be available but I have not personally checked and you must read them on location. Memberships are free.

Wood Buffalo Regional Library has a great selection of comics on the second floor.

We have an amazing local comic shop Nerdvana, if they do not have what you are looking for, they will special order it for you 🙂

#karllikes book rating is done on a 1-5 scale. The scale ranges from 1-I personally did not enjoy the book and see absolutely no chance of recommending it or re-reading it-to 5-I personally thoroughly enjoyed the book and see every chance of recommending it or re-reading the book.


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