Monday 30 November 2020

Snow Days

Finished November 28 
Snow Days by Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato

This delightful picture book looks at all the different kinds of snow and the things that one can do with it, in it and because of it. From the first snow of the season that brings its own special delight to a child to the last sad melting snow that brings a close to the days of snowmen, from the sticky snow to make shapes and figures to the powdery snow that floats and moves effortlessly, this book covers it all. We see the snow angels and the snowmen, the skating and the shoveling, the horrid sleet and the way it makes you narrow your eyes as you walk. 
Sato's illustrations, using paper and fabric in collage, add a lovely dimension to the book. 
The book closes with five fun activities you can undertake with your child to further explore the world and wonder of snow. 

Cinderella Is Dead

Finished November 20
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

This is a completely different take on Cinderella and I loved it. Here, the story of Cinderella is one based on real people in the kingdom of Lille. She's been dead for a couple of hundred years, after dying fairly young. She and Prince Charming had no children, and the princes that followed didn't either. They choose their successor from a distant place where they are trained for this purpose. 
Every year, there is a ball and all the eligible young girls are required to attend. There, they get chosen by the men that attend. If they aren't chosen by the third year of attendance, their lives are forfeit and they either are sent to servitude or death. 
This is Sophia's first year at the ball, and her parents are eager that she make a good impression. Sophia knows that what is happening isn't right, and she desperately wants to escape and live a life that she chooses for herself, but this is not looking like a real possibility. Especially as Erin, the object of her affections doesn't want to take such a risk, but would rather comply with her family's expectations and those of the prince and his men. 
The kingdom has also developed to a situation where many men treat their wives and daughters as possessions and without respect, and many women live sad lives. 
When Sophia, on the run from a desperate situation, meets an independent young woman Constance, who knows more of Cinderella's true story, she finds strength in that knowledge and becomes determined to change the kingdom for the better.
This is a story that turns the traditional fairy tale on its head in every way. And I loved the feisty characters of Sophia and Constance as they fought the established regime. 

Never Tell

Finished November 18
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

This is a police mystery that has additional elements. It is part of the Detective D.D. Warren series, but we also have the presence of FBI investigators and a former victim who now acts as a confidential informant and seems to be doing unpaid undercover work. 
The novel starts with a crime with a man, Conrad, shot in his home office and his pregnant wife, Evelyn, with the gun in her hand. But she says she shot the computer, not him. And there is an eight minute gap between the first shots reported and the most recent ones. But she has a history. Back when she was a teenager she confessed to accidently shooting her father in the kitchen of their home when he was teaching her about the gun. And that case was one of D.D. Warren's as well. 
Flora, who was a victim years ago of a man who kidnapped her and held her as a prisoner for more than a year, has seen the story of the crime on the news, and she recognizes the victim from her time with her captor. What does that mean, and is she ready to dig deeper into those horrific experiences from her past. It is her that brings Kimberly Quincy, the FBI agent who rescued her into the case, and surprisingly another civilian, one who has extensive knowledge of his own. 
Evelyn has a difficult relationship with her mother Joyce, who idolized her father. Since his death, the two have grown further apart, with Joyce trying to bring her closer through the purchase of material things and Evie determined to build her own life. 
There is a lot going on here, with ties far into the past for both Evie and Conrad, and with Flora opening up those past traumas of her own as well. 
Many people have secrets, and those secrets often lead to more anguish and sorrow. Good intentions, but not always good outcomes. As the truths begin to emerge, this case takes on a different tone, and has more interesting dynamics.

Monday 23 November 2020

The London Restoration

Finished November 17
The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

This novel takes place in the fall of 1945, with some flashbacks to earlier times during World War II. The two central characters are a married couple who must find their way emotionally to each other. They got married during the war and have only had a few visits since then, and have never lived together. Diana Somerville (nee Foyle) is a student of architecture, church architecture in particular. She loves the churches of Christopher Wren, but is interested in all churches. She is therefore a fount of information on the churches. Brent Somerville, her husband is a professor of theology at King's College in London. His specialty is the gospels by the apostles. The two met in a churchyard, where he was eating lunch and sketching his surrounding and she was admiring the architecture and made the first move in their relationship by approaching him. 
During the war, knowing that she would be bored by many of the tasks available to young women, one of Diana's professors recommended her for secret work at Bletchley Park. They preferred single women, so even though she recently married Brent, she signed up under her maiden name. There she worked on breaking codes, using her knowledge of German and other skills from her education. Brent knew that she worked for the Foreign Office, but wasn't aware of her secret work. He worked as a medic and orderly, transporting wounded, and near the end of the war was wounded himself. He still has trauma related to his experiences and hasn't shared the extent of his PTSD with Diana. 
At the end of the war, Diana's superior Simon asked her to do some work for him relating to a new challenge that he sees for the country, the threat of communism and Russian tactics. She has gone to Austria on this mission for two weeks, missing Brent's homecoming. 
With Brent not aware of what she has been doing, nor of what she was away in Austria for, there is a barrier that has been raised between them. With Brent not sharing his own war experiences, there is also a barrier from his end. The young couple are very much in love, and very smart people, but they must feel their way into this new phase of their relationship. 
When you add that Diana's recent actions may put them in danger, this novel offers a lot of suspense. I hadn't read this Canadian author prior to this and enjoyed the book.

The Weekend

Finished November 15
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

This Australian novel is set around a Christmas season weekend, with three long-time friends in their seventies. It's been a year since they lost the fourth member of their group, Sylvie, and Sylvie's partner is planning to sell her house in a seaside town. The three women will clean out the house, taking anything they want to keep.
It's a good plan, but the women are all dealing with personal issues of their own. 
Jude has worked in restaurants all her life and never married, but she's had a decades long relationship with a married man, Daniel, with him supplying the apartment she lives in. They meet on a regular basis and she's sure his wife must be aware of her existence, but no contact with her has ever occurred. One of the meetings is due to happen at Sylvie's house after the clean-out. They've met there at that time of year regularly. 
Wendy, an internationally respected academic, lost her husband several years back and fell into a depression, one that her dog helped her to climb out of. Her dog is now old and failing, but she can't bring herself to let it die. She has difficult relationships with both her children, feeling more distanced from them that she would like.
Adele is an aging actress, one who hasn't been working for sometime. She has fallen into poverty and her most recent relationship has just ended, leaving her without a place to return home to after this weekend. She is in good shape physically and looks after herself, but is clinging to her identity as an actress and not able to find a way to move forward. 
As the three women learn how to navigate their relationship with each other without their fourth member, they also must figure out the next step in their individual lives.
I really enjoyed this book, with its strong characters and nuanced relationships.

Wednesday 18 November 2020

My Books for Classic Spin #25

 I was successful in knocking off a classic that had been on my shelf for years when I did the last Classic Spin, so I'm definitely up for another one. 

Here's the challenge host post for Classics Club Spin 25

Here is my list of books.
1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
2. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
3. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
4. The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
5. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
6. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
7. Roxana by Daniel Defoe
8. Remembrance of Things Past 1 by Marcel Proust
9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
11. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
13. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
14. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
15. Dracula by Bram Stoker
16. Persuasion by Jane Austen
17. The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis
18. The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
19. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
20. Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault

Some are definitely more of a challenge than others!

Saturday 14 November 2020

The Grass Is Singing

Finished November 13 
The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing

This novel was one I was due to read with my book club this year, but plans changed. I decided to read it anyway since I had it on my shelves. 
To me this reads as a tragedy. The main character here Mary, grew up in South Africa and Rhodesia, moving around to different stations with her parents. Theirs was not a happy marriage, and Mary escaped to the city young, and became an office worker. Her emotional growth was a bit stunted, never leaving the phase of innocent teenage flirting. She was good at her job, and it was only when she overheard gossip about herself that she became dissatisfied with her life and began to look to marriage as a solution. 
Her impetuous marriage to a veldt farmer in Rhodesia was not the solution she needed, but it is where she found herself. 
We know from the beginning of the book her end, there on the farm, through an act of violence. The book takes us through how she got to that place, the various people that had a role in that life, from her husband Dick to their closest neighbour and the black workers that were on the farm.
This is an immensely sad book, and one mourns the forces that took these characters on this journey. Mental health is definitely one of them as we see the deterioration in both Mary and Dick through their time together. 
So well written, but so so sad.
Language warning: First published in 1950, this book uses racial terms that are not acceptable now.

District and Circle

Finished November 12 
District and Circle by Seamus Heaney

I was feeling in the mood for some poetry lately, so pulled this one that has been on my shelf for some time. 
The subjects of the poems here vary widely. The title poem refers to the London Underground, with others looking at common objects, memories returned of childhood friends, food, an ancient bogman, wildlife, or the feel of a place visited. 
His writing requires concentration for me to focus on the words, consider meaning and allusion and connect the poems to my own life and experiences. 
Poetry is a great way to slow down and thus good for the times we are in. I think I shall pull more poetry off my shelves soon.
My copy of this was used, and I enjoyed the copious notes made by what appears to be a student analyzing the poems. This added to my experience in an interesting way.

A Royal Affair

Finished November 11 
A Royal Affair by Allison Montclair

This is the second book in a mystery series, but I have not yet the first one. The two characters at the centre of the book are Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge. The two women work together to own and run The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau. Iris Sparks worked in an unidentified, but hush-hush manner in the war, and has a bit of a disreputable reputation in some of the "right circles" for some of her improper romantic experiences. She is also a Cambridge graduate. She is currently in the initial stages of a relationship with a mobster. Gwen Bainbridge is a war widow with a young son, Ronnie. She had a breakdown following the loss of her husband, which necessitated a stay in an institution. She is living with her in-laws and struggling for custody of her son. Gwen is of the upper class, came out, and has all the right connections, but her breakdown has made her former acquaintances slightly wary of her. 
The story is set in 1946.One of Gwen's cousin's, Lady Patience Matheson works for the Queen and has come to them on a delicate matter. A threatening letter was sent to Princess Elizabeth regarding one of her suitors, Prince Philip. Matheson asks Gwen and Iris to look into it and see if they can clear things up. With a case of attempted blackmail, at least one dead body, and a few Greeks involved, the two women look into the situation, but find that it is much more dangerous than it seemed at first.
The office of The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau is quite small and they are hoping to expand to the empty office next door, which comes with some lovely desks, but need more funds to make it work. This could be the opportunity they need, if all goes well. As they handle this unusual request, they also continue to match couples for the agency, and encounter some interesting personal situations. 
I like both the characters, women working in a world that didn't see a lot of independent women, and smart ones at that. There is some very good humour, and some suspenseful scenes. A great read.

Invisible Murder

Finished November 8
Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, translated by Tara Chace

I've read the third book in this series and decided to go back are read an earlier one. This is book two. Most of the book takes place in Denmark with the Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, but the story really starts in Hungary, with a young man, Sándor who finds his life upended. He is a law student at university, but he has a secret. His mother is a gypsy, and he started his life growing up with her and his younger siblings, but during a time they were in a children's home, he was taken away by his biological father, given a new last name, and has lived his life in mainstream Hungarian society. When his younger brother Tamás asks a favour, he gets drawn into a situation beyond his control. He cares about his brother, but with his life also in tatters, he feels he has no choice but to follow his brother to Denmark and see if he can help.
Nina is sometimes helping with outreach to groups in need outside of her day job, but she's promised her husband Morten not to do it when he's away working on the rigs. Her relationship with her teenage daughter Ida is a fraught one, with the girl wanting little to do with her. Anton, at eight, is still a joyful child. 
There is also an older man, Skou-Larsen, who is worried about how his wife handles finances, and wants to try to put safeguards in place for after he dies. But there are limitations on what he can do, even though she appears to have fallen for a vacation property scam and lost a big chunk of money. He is also curious about the mosque being build near their home. As a former municipal employee with the building department, he is always curious about permits and details of new developments and worries about whether this one is all it says it is. 
We also see a man, Soren, who is part of PET, the terrorism side of the police force as they hear of a young Hungarian man who has been on some suspicious websites and now appears to be headed his way. His focus on similar online activity at a local university focuses on a young Muslim man who seems to have something to hide.
There is lots going on here, and as Nina gets drawn in to help with a mysterious illness affecting some gypsies squatting in an abandoned gas station, she finds herself in more trouble than she expected, and when Ida gets involved she begins to fear for their lives.
I really enjoy this series, with so many issues in a book. There is racism and religious prejudice, fear of others, domestic abuse, human trafficking, relics of the Soviet times, and so much more.

Friday 13 November 2020

Teaching Mrs. Muddle

Finished November 5 
Teaching Mrs. Muddle by Colleen Nelson, illustrated by Alice Carter

The illustrations were the best part of this book. They absolutely made the story come to life. The kindergarten teacher is perpetually confused about where to go and what to do, and the drawings of her show her confusion and ditziness. 
Kayla, the little girl shown on the cover, meets her teacher Mrs. Muddle on her first day of kindergarten and suddenly all of her worries and problems look insignificant compares to those of the teacher. She is busy correcting and helping Mrs. Muddle all day, and has no time to be worried about school.
From problems matching nametags to kids at the beginning of the day, to going to different rooms in the school as the day progressed, to using snacks as art supplies, the kids learn to work together to get things done and keep Mrs. Muddle organized. Kayla is too busy to miss her mom. 
The endpapers are filled with more illustrations, alphabet pictures of letters and animals whose names start with the letters (or for Xx end with them). 

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Raven, Rabbit, Deer

Finished November 4
Raven, Rabbit Deer by Sue Farrell Holler, illustrated by Jennifer Faria

This picture book is a beauty. The author grew up in Cape Breton, has lived in the NWT, and now lives in Grande Prairie, Alberta. The illustrators lives in Ontario and drew inspiration for the grandfather in the story from her own much loved maternal great-uncle. This process of creating this book has helped her learn more about her cultural heritage as a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
I loved how the end papers showed the three animals of the title, showed the tracks they make, and gave their names in Ojibwemowin with a pronunciation guide. 
The young boy in the story indicates that he wants to go for an outdoor adventure by bringing his boots to his grandfather, and the two go for a walk in the wintery world outside, where they spot the animals, see what kinds of tracks the different animals make and really observe the world around them by engaging with it. They also make their own tracks in the snow, and walk a special way to climb a small hill. I really liked the way they looked at the tracks and connected them to things children might be familiar with such as car tires, food, and twigs. 
Once back home, the two work together to set up their snack of milk and cookies, and then cuddle by the fire. A perfect ending to such an active adventure!
The drawings were great, with expressive faces and simple and colourful images of the world. A great book for the coming season.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

A Noel Killing

Finished November 1
A Noël Killing by M.L Longworth

This mystery is the 8th book in the series featuring Verlaque and Bonnett, but the first one I've read. The story is set in the town of Aix-en-Provence in France in December. Antoine Verlaque is the examining magistrate for the town and his wife Marine Bonnet who was a law professor, but is now doing research and writing. Antoine doesn't like Christmas, as it brings back unhappy memories for him. His parents did not have a happy marriage, his mother has passed away, his father remarried, and he isn't close to either his father or his brother. 
Marine's parents live in Aix. Her father is a doctor and her mother Florence seems to have her hand in everything that happens. Marine wants to make this a special Christmas. 
There is a tradition with the local Anglo Protestant Church of having a special service with Christmas carols in the days before Christmas, followed by a buffet meal, with the food supplied by vendors who have booths in the local Christmas Fair market, but are from sister cities of Aix in other countries. This year, there are booths from Philadelphia, United States; Carthage, Tunisia; Perugia, Italy; Bath, England and Tübingen, Germany. France Dubois is the secretary for the church and the main organizer of the event. She lives in an apartment near the town centre by herself and her story is only gradually revealed.
Debra Hainsby and her husband Cole have been living in the area a few years. Debra is working as a secretary at the private English language school nearby. Her boss and the owner of the school Alain Sorba is a self-made man who has lots of things on the go, but he isn't well liked. The school attracts international students as well as some locals wanting to have their children gain another language. Cole has partnered with a local man, Damien Petit, to run a tour company, but he seems to be always looking for new ideas, unable to focus and plan, and the company has been facing financial issues lately. 
There are many side stories in this book, that I'm guessing will be developed further in other books in this series, and we meet many of the shopkeepers and residents of this town as the story develops. 
There are definitely some I liked and would like to see more of. France Dubois, who is intelligent and resilient and kind is one of them. Four young female friends who get together on occasion socially are other. The consist of Fanny Jacquet, owner of a popular bistro in town; Rachida Hammoudi who works in a pharmacy; Jennifer Flanagan whose husband Dave is the pastor at the Anglo Protestant church and who bakes cakes for Fanny's bistro; and Brigitte Plantier who is teaching at the private school and whose husband is Quebecois. 
As is common in European mysteries the food and drink are all enticing, and many scenes take place at dinners and in restaurants, whetting my appetite for the dishes described. 
When a man dies at the carol service dinner, Antoine gets involved. He is joined by his friend, Bruno Paulik, the commissioner of police, when the death looks like is wasn't accidental. 
As people's secrets get exposed, there are many lines of potential inquiry, and some moments of suspense and danger. 
I really enjoyed this book and will look for more in the series. 

Monday 2 November 2020

Duck Days

Finished October 31 
Duck Days by Sara Leach, illustrations by Rebecca Bender

This book continues the story of Lauren, now in third grade and learning how to cope with visiting a friend's house where there might be different routines and foods. Lauren is on the autism spectrum and has various tools she uses to cope when she is feeling stressed in situations. Some of them we learned about in previous books she featured in, some are new here. 
She uses four square breathing to calm herself and her father talks to her about going with the flow. When she is faced with a challenging situation at school, she gets taught a new tool by one of her classmates, which is being like a duck and allowing comments by others to flow off her back. 
Lauren learns about what it means to be brave, and how she can have more than one friend. I like to see how Lauren grows from book to book and becomes more confident in her abilities and tackles new challenges with the help of her family, friends, and teachers. As always with this series, the illustrations show both the events of the story as well as Lauren's feelings. The facial expressions really work well to show how she feels in different situations here.

Death in Avignon

Finished October 29
Death in Avignon by Serena Kent

This is the second book in the series featuring Englishwoman Penelope Kite. Here, Penelope has settled into her new home and is continuing renovations, painting, getting more bathrooms installed, and tightening the house up before winter comes. She likes that traffic isn't as crazy as tourist season dies down. She is still trying to experience that dinner for two with the handsome mayor of her small town, but things keep arising that cancel their plans. 
When they finally have the date booked, they start the evening by attending a local gallery showing, where four artists are showing their work, all of them represented by the same agent. One of the artists is a British ex-pat, who Penelope fends off the advances of before she gets to the art of the local man that she is there to see. The ex-pat's art is kitschy and not to her taste at all. 
But before the couple move on to their planned dinner, one of the artists has a severe episode, needing CPR before being taken to the hospital. 
As Penelope observes the episode, she can't help but wonder what led to it. Was it a natural event of ill health, or was it brought on by someone wanting to hurt or kill the man? She must reach out again to her former boss for an opinion on the case.
During this time, Penelope's step-children and three young grandsons descend on her home, causing her to step up her timeline for renovations and reflect on the decision to move permanently to France. Her French has improved dramatically and she is feeling more and more like her true self. Her neighbours treat her well, even inviting her to be part of a wedding, and she finds a local group of musicians to play with. 
I liked how her life in France grew, with more friends and activities, and she became more settled. The way she handled the case and her interest in it caused some real issues with her friends and she had to reach out to them in new ways to show her motivations were good ones. I'm really enjoying this series and like Penelope who is finally living the way she truly wants to, not bending to the expectations of others.

Rough Riders

Finished October 27 
Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill by Mark Lee Gardner

This was a part of history that I didn't know much about before I read this book. The events in this book mostly took place in 1898, but there is also followup on some of the players lives following the events in Cuba. 
Congress authorized the President to recruit a volunteer army to go to Cuba to drive out the Spaniards, and assist the Cuban rebels in their fight for independence. Roosevelt had many contacts, from the president himself to newspapermen to businessmen that helped him get the impetus to put together a mounted regiment. He drew mainly from his colleagues in the West for men, but his regiment also included men of the Ivy leagues and the men's clubs. Many were friends, or friends of friends. 
The attacks on the Spanish in Cuba were very disorganized, with most of the career military lacking good plans and logistics.
There are many instances here of supplies not reaching the men at the front, and of the lack of medical support and good communication lines. This was a war where many of the leaders, such as Roosevelt, were with their men in battle, often very visible to the enemy, and many were killed, similar to what happened in the U.S. Civil War. Roosevelt himself definitely took chances, but his luck held. 
The author here is a respected historian that drew on many first-hand accounts in addition to articles of the time, letters, and diaries. We get a glimpse of many of the individual men and their motivation and character. 
There is also an interesting relationship that the Rough Riders and Roosevelt had with another contingent of men involved in the Cuban battles, the Buffalo Soldiers, and they fought side by side with them more than once. 
I also enjoying learning more history and this book tells of this episode in a very approachable narrative. 

Sunday 1 November 2020

Summer Constellations

Finished October 26 
Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny

This teen novel takes place at a family-run lakeside campground. Julia's grandfather started the campground, and now her mother runs it. Her grandfather and his main handyman Red ensured Julia was training in all the skills necessary to look after such a place, so whether it is boating, canoeing, cleaning, mending carpentry, she can jump in where it is needed. The family has had it tough lately, dealing with her father leaving a few years ago, and more recently her younger brother, Caleb's illness. 
Julia has been looking forward to this summer as regular camper Dan and his family return. Last summer, she and Dan began a romance and she's looking forward to picking up where they left off. But Dan has unexpectedly shown up with a new girlfriend, and with the additional news that her mom is looking at selling the campground, Julia is dealing with loss on more than one level.
When she goes to the dock to look at the night sky, something that has always comforted her and helped her focus, she finds a handsome young man who offers a sympathetic ear for her troubles. But while he may be cute and empathetic, he also turns out to be the son of the man who is looking to facilitate the sale of the campground. 
As Julia tries to find a way to stay at the only home she has ever known, and to draw her brother out of the self-imposed shell he has retreated into, she also finds that she wants to let hope in.
A great summer romance novel, with additional plot lines that add to the suspense.

The Book of Two Ways

Finished October 25 
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

I got this book as part of a book club subscription and really enjoyed it. The main character, Dawn Edelstein is a death doula, working with people nearing the end of their lives, but in her early twenties, she was an Egyptologist, working on her Ph.D. and focusing on a text found on the floor of many Egyptian mummy coffins. This text is called the Book of Two Ways and it serves as a guide for the afterlife, offering two paths, one over land and one over water, that both lead to the desired afterlife. The ways are not easy, with each having numerous challenges to overcome, and the book is supposed to help deal with and prepare for these challenges. 
Dawn has reached a moment in her life where she is letting herself look back to a life she abandoned during a stressful period personally. She was working on a dig in Egypt, before she was called home to deal with her mother's fatal illness and the aftermath of that. It was a turning point in her life, a time that she made what seemed like the only possible choice, but now she can't help wondering "what if". 
This impulse leads her back to Egypt, and back to Wyatt, a man she once had an intense relationship with. They began their interaction as rivals and competitors and there was a lot of animosity, but as we all know, that kind of emotion can also indicate passion of another sort. 
In her present day life, Dawn is working with a patient that was born on the same day as she was, and who is also looking back on her life as she nears her end. As Dawn helps her focus on the things she wants to achieve before she dies, Dawn is also reminded of what she has left undone. 
There is a lot going on in this book as Dawn examines her own paths as well as dealing with her husband Brian, a physicist, and her teenage daughter Meret, who is having her own identity issues.
I have never been that interesting in Egyptian history, but this made it much more intriguing to me, and I found the information on ancient Egypt quite fascinating. 
I also found the idea of a death doula interesting, especially reading it at this time that we are losing so many loved ones. The idea of having someone who can help you prepare for and navigate this time is a very appealing one.  Altogether a very satisfying read.

November Reviews for 14th Annual Canadian Book Challenge

Here's where you link your reading for November for this year's Canadian Book Challenge

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