Review: Rick Mercer Final Report

Title: Rick Mercer Final Report
Author: Rick Mercer
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Canada’s pre-eminent satirical commentator brings down the curtain on his hugely successful show in this instant #1 national bestseller. 

Rick Mercer can always be relied on to provoke a strong reaction–but what he said one fall day in 2017 truly shocked the nation. In a rant posted on social media, the great Canadian satirist announced loud and clear that the current, 15th season of the Rick Mercer Report–the nation’s best-watched and best-loved comedy show–would be the last. After more than 250 episodes, 250 rants and countless miles spent travelling the length and breadth of Canada to do everything from bungee jumping with Rick Hansen to whale watching with Measha Brueggergosman, it was time to move on. What he will do next is still unknown, and Canada eagerly awaits future developments. But meanwhile, we have this book to keep us going.

This volume brings together never-before-published rants from the last five seasons of the show, plus a selection of the very best rants from earlier years. And throughout the book, in a series of brilliant new essays, Rick shares his hilarious, moving and at times hair-raising memories from the past fifteen years. Remember when he and Jann Arden travelled by helicopter to a terrifying bat cave in a mountain? No–because that trip went so horribly wrong it never made it to the screen. Pierre Berton–what was really in that joint he rolled? (It wasn’t oregano.) What catastrophe took place in Norman Jewison’s bathroom? And can the show still go on when your director in charge is delirious from an allergic reaction? (Yes.) All this and more is revealed by Rick in some of his sharpest and funniest writing yet.

Review:

I was so excited about this book! I’ve loved watching Rick Mercer on TV since I was a kid. He’s hilarious!

This book collects his best rants from his show. He has a segment on The Mercer Report where he does a 90 second rant about something. It can be about anything from politics to celebrities to how people drive. I loved reading the rants. I have heard many of them on TV but they’re so great to read. They are short, with each one only about about a page long, so it is easy to flip through this book.

There are also some personal stories from Rick about filming the show included in the book. I love these kinds of behind-the-scenes stories about him and the show. It really makes you feel like you were part of the show.

I loved this book! It’s a must-read for fans of Rick Mercer!

What to read next:

A Nation Worth Ranting About by Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer Report: The Book by Rick Mercer

Have you read Rick Mercer Final Report? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – January 19

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received two books from a friend:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

I received two books from Penguin Random House Canada:

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonja Lalli

The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Genesis Begins Again

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Title: Genesis Begins Again
Author: Alicia D. Williams
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who is filled with self-loathing and must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.

What’s not so regular is that this time they all don’t have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It’s not that Genesis doesn’t like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight—Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she’d married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren’t all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she’s made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.

But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won’t the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they’re supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?

Review:

This is an emotional story about a young girl who learns to love herself.

Genesis goes on a journey throughout this book. She starts out with friends who bully her and her family being evicted. She has to learn to love herself, but she makes many mistakes along the way, such as changing her hair, choosing the wrong friends, and even bleaching her skin.

Genesis is also bullied by her father. It was heartbreaking to see how her father yelled at her and put her down because she had his dark skin instead of her mother’s light skin. It was really difficult to read at times. Her strength was put to the test with all of the abuse, and she can’t be blamed for the things she did.

This book really tugged at my heart. It is an emotional, but powerful, story.

What to read next:

Blended by Sharon M. Draper

Tara Takes the Stage by Tamsin Lane

Have you read Genesis Begins Again? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – January 18


This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“‘You’re not obsessed. You’re projecting.’
‘Projecting?’ Tessa looked up from the thick coil of long brown hair that she’d been braiding and unbraiding for the past half hour. She met eyes uncertainly with her psychotherapist, Dr. Regan, sitting on the other side of the bedroom.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

Have you read Follow Me Back? What did you think of it?

Review: Sincerely, Harriet

Title: Sincerely, Harriet
Author: Sarah W. Searle
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Harriet Flores struggles with boredom and an unrequited crush while learning to manage her chronic illness through a long, hot, 1990s summer in Chicago. She uses her imagination to cope, which sometimes gets her into trouble, as she makes up fantastical fibs and wonders if there are ghosts upstairs. One neighbor, Pearl, encourages Harriet to read and write, leading Harriet to have a breakthrough and discover the power of storytelling.

Review:

This story was really emotional. Nothing too dramatic happened, but some of the things that happened were really heartbreaking.

Harriet has Multiple Sclerosis. It isn’t revealed until close to the end of the book, but she has symptoms throughout the story. She drops things and stumbles sometimes, so I knew something was happening with her. She becomes close friends with a neighbour whose son had polio when he was a kid. They bond over this shared history with chronic illness.

One of the saddest parts of the story was when Harriet would send her friends postcards, pretending to do things in the city. She mostly stayed home, but she made it seem like she was doing lots of activities. The girls didn’t return her feelings, and told her to stop sending letters. It was so sad to see her be rejected like that.

This is an important story because it has a main character with a chronic illness, which isn’t common, especially in children’s books.

What to read next:

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk

Have you read Sincerely, Harriet? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – January 17

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: An Unwanted Guest

Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up.It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm. 

Review:

I was so excited to read this book when I found out it was similar to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. That has always been my favourite book.

It is similar to that story in the way that a group of people are stranded for a couple of days, and someone starts murdering them. However, it doesn’t have the same ending. There was a little twist at the end which I loved!

This is the perfect book for a cold winter night. It was a fun mystery, but terrifying to imagine being part of it.

What to read next:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Have you read An Unwanted Guest? What did you think of it?