It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

As always thanks to The Book Date for hosting!

I wasn’t quite able to find enough time to finish Ready Player One last week like I had hoped. So I’m going to be finishing that one up this week.

I did finish The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert though, so that’s something! It was a really good book. I’m probably going to post a review on it at some point.

Other than finishing Ready Player One, this week I plan to read Key of Light, because I wasn’t able to get to it last week.

The audiobook I will be listening to this week is Dust. A post apocalyptic YA novel about comet fragments hitting the earth and causing some major changes to the world. In addition to changing life as he knew it, Dust, our protagonist, comes to realize he has developed mysterious new abilities. It sounds like it will be an interesting adventure story!

I often wish I had more time to read and less responsibilities! Alas, adulting sometimes takes priority. Do you guys struggle to fine enough time to get through your TBR pile? For me, it helps to read on my lunch break at work and before I sleep each night.

What are you reading this week?

Starlight Tour: The Last Lonely Night of Neil Stonechild by Susanne Reber and Robert Renaud

Short Synopsis

One cold winter morning, the body of Neil Stonechild was found on the edge of town where he had frozen to death after having been left there by the police. This is the story of the investigation into his death.  An investigation that spanned more than a decade.

Review

Right away I knew this story was going to break my heart. It didn’t take long either, within the first few pages my empathy wells were overflowing for what these people endured.

A Starlight Tour is the practice where indigenous people were taken by police to the edge of the city limits and leaving them there to walk back.  Perhaps the only thing more shocking then this happening at all, was how long it had been happening.  There is a picture in this book of a notice that had been posted in a police break room, detailing an instance in the summer of 1976 of this happening to a woman who was 8 months pregnant.  She survived her ordeal and must have made a complaint for such a notice to be posted at the station. This tells us the practice of dropping off indigenous people outside the city had been happening for at least three decades before Neil.

I was outraged and heartbroken as the pieces of Neil Stonechild’s case were knitted together.  I was also encouraged by the bravery and persistence of Neil’s family and friends.  Starlight Tour paints a gruesome picture of the hard realities faced by the Indigenous population of Saskatchewan. An incredible real life account of the horrors of racism in Canada. From the shocking opening scene to the end, this book drew me in, held me tight, and then left me questioning human nature.  An absolute page turner, I finished this book in about three days, but would have been done much sooner if sleep wasn’t a thing I needed.  Or you know, going to work.

I have nothing but respect for Neil Stonechild’s mother as she endured this terrible tragedy and steadfastly sought justice for her son.  More than punishment of the guilty, she wanted the truth of her son’s story to be told. I was shocked at the minimal initial investigation, and the obvious hiding and disregarding of evidence.

When the investigation finally came to its end, over 10 years later, I was happy for the Neil’s family and friends. But I was severely disappointed by the punishment meted out to those responsible.  I can only hope that this is not something that ever happens again.

I feel like the racism Canada’s indigenous population faces is often overlooked if not simply ignored.  Just like all victims of cultural genocide and racism, a large population of Saskatchewan’s indigenous peoples are trapped in a cycle of violence not started by themselves.  This cycle often includes violence, substance abuse, and poverty. The situation is tense on all sides, but ultimately Canada is seeking to correct this by working together with indigenous leaders by reviewing and implementing suggestions put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Raising awareness can help foster understanding.  It will be a very slow process, but I hope to see positive change and a drastic reduction of racism like what Starlight Tour describes, within my lifetime.

Click on the image below to find a copy on Amazon


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

As always, thanks to The Book Date for hosting this meme!

This week I am reading Ready Player One. I usually try to read the book before I watch the movie, but this time around it happened backwards. I saw the movie last year. I watched it again last night. I love that the book is so different!

Videogames have always been a pretty integral part of my life. I grew up playing games with my family on the Colecovision, then later the NES and SNES, and eventually the N64 and Gamecube. Now as an adult my hubby and I regularly play videogames together. So it’s fun to imagine a future where there us a worldwide Easter egg hunt in a gigantic videogame system. Also, I too am obsessed with 80’s pop culture and enjoy D&D. Halliday is my hero!

The audiobook I’m listening to is The Hazel Wood. The best way I can think of to describe it is as amodern fairy tale about fairytales. Very interesting!

I’m hoping to start the Key Of Light and maybe the second book in the trilogy, Key Of Valor by Nora Roberts this week, time permitting.

That’s it for me! What are you reading?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Short Synopsis

Rachel Hollis deconstructs a series of lies that once governed her life, believing that by bringing the lie into the light one can stop believing it and take steps to live their best life.

Review

Oozing with enthusiastic positive vibes, Rachel Hollis makes every effort to be completely open and honest with the reader.  Her target audience is women of all walks of life.  Her candid approach was refreshing, and the humor she infused into each of her tales was fun. While reading this book, it felt like I was sitting at a coffee shop chatting with a good friend. She spoke about everything from peeing her pants in public to her insecurity as a writer. She is up front about her Christian faith and how it affects her life and colors her decisions, but makes no effort to convert her readers.  In fact just the opposite, she encourages people to seek to be open minded about that which they don’t understand, and details her own journey about learning how to do just that.

As much as I appreciated her story and her encouragement, I did take issue with a few things.  The first was her sections on motherhood and children.  But this was not anything to do with her or how she wrote this book.  It was simply because I am not a mother and do not have kids, so I could not relate.  (Unless you count three mischievous rabbits!) The second was Chapter 6, where she talks about not accepting “no.”  Ultimately, this chapter is about following our dreams and powering through rejection and obstacles in order to make every attempt to realize them.  But when she says we shouldn’t take “no” as an answer, I cant help but disagree.  I understand her overall message in this chapter, and my issue here is just a matter of semantics. Even so, I believe that in order to have healthy boundaries in life, one must learn to say and accept “no.”  Of course, she wasn’t talking about boundaries, but about not allowing naysayers to throw us off track in the pursuit of our dreams.  So like I said, semantics, but it made this chapter difficult for me to take in.

I am a firm believer that people don’t care what you know, unless they know you care.  Rachel Hollis does an excellent job of communicating that the whole reason she wrote Girl, Wash Your Face was because she cares about helping women who may be struggling with the same things she did. She seeks to help women understand that they can overcome and rise above their doubts.  Her core message is very simple.  She emphasizes over and over again that our lives are up to us.  I have read some reviews of this book where people feel that this message is inconsiderate and ignores things out of our control like illness, poverty or social status. But I have to disagree with those reviews.  Rachel Hollis makes it quite clear that it is true we cannot control some of the things that happen during the course of our lives.  But we can control how we choose to react.  She encourages us to be honest with our emotions and to grieve the hard times in our lives legitimately.  But not to stay there.  She encourages us to allow a season for this, but then to wash our faces, take a deep breath, and get back in the game, striving to live our best lives.

All in all this is an uplifting read. You can learn more about Rachel Hollis by visiting her blog. And you can get a copy of Girl, Wash Your Face from Amazon by clicking on the image below.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Shout out to Book Date for hosting this meme!

This week I’m finishing up an old favorite of mine. The book adaptation of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. It’s a re-read, that brings me all the warm fuzzies. If you have never seen the movie I strongly encourage you to do so. It is a fantastical coming of age story featuring a young teenage girl named Sarah. In a fit of teen angst she wishes her baby brother away to the goblins. When the her brother disappears, and the Goblin King himself appears before her, she realizes that she needs to correct her mistake and rescue her brother. She is given 13 hours to make her way through the King’s Labyrinth and find her brother in the castle. If she fails, she loses her brother forever. On the way she is faced with realizations about herself that she needs to confront. All the while a jazzed up David Bowie who plays the Goblin King sings and dances for us.

It is an older movie, made in 1986, and features the puppetry Jim Henson is so well known for. It flopped upon release, but has since become a major cult classic with a massive fan base.

I am also reading Le Morte D’Arthur. And probably will be reading this one for some time. It’s a French to English translation of one of the oldest accounts of King Arthur and his adventures. I have actually been picking away at it for a few years now. It’s a great book, but the french to english translation makes for a tricky read. My goal is to finish it by the end of this year. Wish me luck!

Elevation by Stephen King is a book I will be starting this week. It is his newest release. Looking forward to reading it, I have heard many good things.

As for audiobooks, I am listening to Bird Box. First impressions can basically be summed up with, “Holy crap!” I am excited to see how the movie looks. It’s one of those stories that center heavily on the protagonist’s inner monologue. Always interesting to see how a movie works with that.

How about you? What are you reading this week?  I would love to hear all about it!

That’s it for now. Have a fantastic week everyone!

Why I’m Starting A Blog

Let’s Do This!

I feel like there are not enough readers in the world.  I know this isn’t strictly true because book stores and the library still exist. I suppose I feel this way because, in my immediate spheres of influence, there are only a handful of people who I can talk to about what I have read. My husband is a good sport and makes an effort to listen to me when I blather on and on about what I’m reading. It’s not really his thing…but…I recently discovered that book blogs are a thing, so he is off the hook (mostly)! I started following some of these blogs and it looked like fun. So I started this one! I’m super excited to talk about books…with the other book people scattered through the world…you guys! 

I decided on the name Bookshelf Bunny for three reasons. 

  • I love books
  • I tend to read quickly and very rarely in my life is there any significant time between finishing one book and starting another (I “hop” to the next book)
  • I have three rabbits who helped inspire me. By loudly demanding that I feed them in that adorable passive-aggressive way when I was staring into space thinking about blog names.  Also, there are little bunny figurines on my bookshelf.  So. It was clearly destined

I’ll be straight with you, most of my time is spent at my full-time job…and reading…also writing short stories and stuff…and doing married wifey things like clean my house occasionally. But promise I will do my best to create fun, quality content and get it out to you as often as possible. My hope is to share thoughts on books, reading, and related topics at least once a week on Fridays. I wouldn’t mind looking into a few memes that I could participate in also, “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” seems like a fun one.  

I will post reviews on books as I read them. I’m hoping for a couple times a month at a minimum.  Any reviews I post will be based on my personal opinion, I will not be shy about sharing both positives and negatives. I take into account things like:

  • Overall story flow
  • Any emotional impact the book had on me
  • Characters, character relationships
  • Was it a page turner? Or did it feel like it went on forever?   

When I review non-fiction, I will be taking into account things like:

  • Was the subject matter thought-provoking?
  • Did I learn anything new? Did I gain new perspectives on life the world and everything?
  • Was I encouraged by what I read? Discouraged?
  • Did I agree or disagree with the ideas presented? Why?

I’m a first-time blogger, so I’m wide open to suggestions.  Please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me and let me know what kind of things you want to see, and what you don’t want to see. I’m not just doing this for my own personal entertainment (though that is totally part of it I won’t lie!), I’m doing this for you guys too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and plugging into the amazing bookish communities online!

This is going to be awesome!