"Just the habits of a copper who's found it pays to trust nobody."

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I just finished Beware this Boy by Maureen Jennings (my latest Random House read). As I’m not an avid reader of Mystery I thought it might be nice to give it a try.

“The telephone clicked off, leaving Tyler to hang onto that morsel of news like a starving man, (page 13).

That’s how I felt throughout the entire novel, I clung onto every story, every character, every morsel of evidence, and felt hungry for more. I felt sorry for Jack and the situation that the war thrust him into, I was in awe of the strength and unity of the Abbott family, and I was truly moved by the depiction of Birmingham in 1940. There is much to say about this novel but I don’t want to give anything away. It felt like 294 pages of the game Clue and I enjoyed every moment of it.

I don’t know if I can say this for all Mystery novels but I liked the fact that I didn’t feel the need to underline important quotes or find the meaning of life – I was too sucked in by the plot to do so. Sometimes I feel so drained at the end of a novel because I try my very hardest to get something from it that will change and impact my life. Today I wondered, whatever happened to reading a book just for the pleasure of a good great story? Beware this Boy allowed me to do just that, enjoy an addicting, wonderful, emotional story.

“‘I exchanged only happinesses.’ Tyler thought he meant pleasantries, but he rather liked Wolf’s version.” (Page 105)

I quite like that line.

Today let’s exchange happinesses instead of the small-talk of day-to-day life.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo
__
Synopsis (from the Random House of Canada Limited website)
November, 1940. Tom Tyler, Detective Inspector of the small Shropshire town of Whitchurch, is a troubled man. The preceding summer had been a dark one for Britain, and even darker for Tom’s own family and personal life. So he jumps at the opportunity to help out in the nearby city of Birmingham, where an explosion in a munitions factory has killed or badly injured several of the young women who have taken on dangerous work in support of the war effort.

 

At first, it seems more than likely the explosion was an accident, and Tom has only been called in because the forces are stretched thin. But as he talks to the employees of the factory, inner divisions — between the owner and his employees, between unionists and workers who fear communist infiltration — begin to appear. Put that together with an AWOL young soldier who unwittingly puts all those he loves at risk and a charming American documentary filmmaker who may be much more than he seems, and you have a page-turning novel that bears all the hallmarks of Maureen Jennings’ extraordinary talent: a multi-faceted mystery, vivid characters, snappy dialogue, and a pitch-perfect sense of the era of the Blitz, when the English were pushed to their limits and responded with a courage and resilience that still inspires.

“Just the habits of a copper who’s found it pays to trust nobody.”

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I just finished Beware this Boy by Maureen Jennings (my latest Random House read). As I’m not an avid reader of Mystery I thought it might be nice to give it a try.

“The telephone clicked off, leaving Tyler to hang onto that morsel of news like a starving man, (page 13).

That’s how I felt throughout the entire novel, I clung onto every story, every character, every morsel of evidence, and felt hungry for more. I felt sorry for Jack and the situation that the war thrust him into, I was in awe of the strength and unity of the Abbott family, and I was truly moved by the depiction of Birmingham in 1940. There is much to say about this novel but I don’t want to give anything away. It felt like 294 pages of the game Clue and I enjoyed every moment of it.

I don’t know if I can say this for all Mystery novels but I liked the fact that I didn’t feel the need to underline important quotes or find the meaning of life – I was too sucked in by the plot to do so. Sometimes I feel so drained at the end of a novel because I try my very hardest to get something from it that will change and impact my life. Today I wondered, whatever happened to reading a book just for the pleasure of a good great story? Beware this Boy allowed me to do just that, enjoy an addicting, wonderful, emotional story.

“‘I exchanged only happinesses.’ Tyler thought he meant pleasantries, but he rather liked Wolf’s version.” (Page 105)

I quite like that line.

Today let’s exchange happinesses instead of the small-talk of day-to-day life.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo
__
Synopsis (from the Random House of Canada Limited website)
November, 1940. Tom Tyler, Detective Inspector of the small Shropshire town of Whitchurch, is a troubled man. The preceding summer had been a dark one for Britain, and even darker for Tom’s own family and personal life. So he jumps at the opportunity to help out in the nearby city of Birmingham, where an explosion in a munitions factory has killed or badly injured several of the young women who have taken on dangerous work in support of the war effort.

 

At first, it seems more than likely the explosion was an accident, and Tom has only been called in because the forces are stretched thin. But as he talks to the employees of the factory, inner divisions — between the owner and his employees, between unionists and workers who fear communist infiltration — begin to appear. Put that together with an AWOL young soldier who unwittingly puts all those he loves at risk and a charming American documentary filmmaker who may be much more than he seems, and you have a page-turning novel that bears all the hallmarks of Maureen Jennings’ extraordinary talent: a multi-faceted mystery, vivid characters, snappy dialogue, and a pitch-perfect sense of the era of the Blitz, when the English were pushed to their limits and responded with a courage and resilience that still inspires.

Shh shh shh… it's the winds of change

Categories, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

 

Reading Not A Model’s latest blog post about change has really got me thinking about how I deal with change. Let me start by saying I’ve had the same job since I was sixteen, I didn’t live on residence during university, and the biggest changes in my life are simply a result of someone else’s decision (i.e. my sister getting married and moving out).

Not A Model’s biggest fear in change is the before; just the hint of the thought of change nauseates me. Changing my blog’s appearance or its content, changing my style or the frames of my glasses, changing the paint that covers my bedroom walls, or the colour of polish shining on my nails – I don’t even think twice. Thinking about applying for a job in a faraway city, or renting a place downtown and living on my own, or even taking a solo trip to New York leaves me breathless. No really, I am hyperventilating as I write this. So it would seem that only completely life-altering changes scare me… at least I’ve narrowed it down? 

And now it’s written, my greatest fear is forever on the Internet for you to see.

I can’t let it haunt me – I need to make a change.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Shh shh shh… it’s the winds of change

Categories, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

 

Reading Not A Model’s latest blog post about change has really got me thinking about how I deal with change. Let me start by saying I’ve had the same job since I was sixteen, I didn’t live on residence during university, and the biggest changes in my life are simply a result of someone else’s decision (i.e. my sister getting married and moving out).

Not A Model’s biggest fear in change is the before; just the hint of the thought of change nauseates me. Changing my blog’s appearance or its content, changing my style or the frames of my glasses, changing the paint that covers my bedroom walls, or the colour of polish shining on my nails – I don’t even think twice. Thinking about applying for a job in a faraway city, or renting a place downtown and living on my own, or even taking a solo trip to New York leaves me breathless. No really, I am hyperventilating as I write this. So it would seem that only completely life-altering changes scare me… at least I’ve narrowed it down? 

And now it’s written, my greatest fear is forever on the Internet for you to see.

I can’t let it haunt me – I need to make a change.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Boo! Ahh! It's Haunting. It's Daunting.

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve come across the saying INNOVATE OR DIE several times in the past few months and it’s haunting me.

INNOVATE OR DIE! It leaves you with a lingering feeling of fear in your heart and nausea sitting in the pit of your tummy. I’ve been searching for different ways to innovate/improve the content on my blog so that My Pen, My Voice.;* doesn’t die.

Last week I was contacted by the assistant online marketer of Random House Canada and asked if I wanted to start reviewing books on my blog. You all know what I’ve said about opportunities knocking once, right? That’s the first thing I thought about after I read the email (and jumped around a little bit). The second thing I thought about, was an email I received from my Grade 12 English teacher.

“Take advantage of whatever opportunities are presented to you. It’s surprising how one thing leads to another.”

 

Obviously I said yes – books are my number one love after all! I just picked out two books that I’m interested in reviewing so stay tuned for that – I’m anxiously awaiting for them to land in my mailbox. For now, I’m reading an ARC of Moira Young’s Rebel Heart and I’m having trouble putting it down! So I guess I’m on the road to innovation, to change.

Here’s to improving my beloved blog and still keeping it very ME

*raises coffee mug*

Cheers!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

P.S. Suggestions on how I can INNOVATE? Leave ’em in the comments! HAPPY FRIDAY!


This is me.
Check out Random House Canada on Pinterest!
http://pinterest.com/RandomHouseCA/bookish-things/

Boo! Ahh! It’s Haunting. It’s Daunting.

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve come across the saying INNOVATE OR DIE several times in the past few months and it’s haunting me.

INNOVATE OR DIE! It leaves you with a lingering feeling of fear in your heart and nausea sitting in the pit of your tummy. I’ve been searching for different ways to innovate/improve the content on my blog so that My Pen, My Voice.;* doesn’t die.

Last week I was contacted by the assistant online marketer of Random House Canada and asked if I wanted to start reviewing books on my blog. You all know what I’ve said about opportunities knocking once, right? That’s the first thing I thought about after I read the email (and jumped around a little bit). The second thing I thought about, was an email I received from my Grade 12 English teacher.

“Take advantage of whatever opportunities are presented to you. It’s surprising how one thing leads to another.”

 

Obviously I said yes – books are my number one love after all! I just picked out two books that I’m interested in reviewing so stay tuned for that – I’m anxiously awaiting for them to land in my mailbox. For now, I’m reading an ARC of Moira Young’s Rebel Heart and I’m having trouble putting it down! So I guess I’m on the road to innovation, to change.

Here’s to improving my beloved blog and still keeping it very ME

*raises coffee mug*

Cheers!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

P.S. Suggestions on how I can INNOVATE? Leave ’em in the comments! HAPPY FRIDAY!


This is me.
Check out Random House Canada on Pinterest!
http://pinterest.com/RandomHouseCA/bookish-things/

Just around the river bend…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

 

Some days I get this feeling – this feeling in the pit of my gut, fluttering towards my heart. This feeling that something good is going to happen, just around the river bend. Call me crazy, call me naive, call me overly hopeful, but that feeling is there. It’s not there all the time, it’s not there every day but that doesn’t give it any less value. It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. I just wish I knew what exactly this good thing is so that I could figure out if I’m taking the right steps to get there. I wonder if anyone else feels this way sometimes.

P.S YOU WERE MEANT FOR AMAZING THINGS. 

DO THEM. 

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

making ideas HAPPEN > not doing ANYTHING

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve been reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and I love it.

“Imagine being this artist, creating masterpieces up here…that no one will ever see. I think it’s kind of sad.”

That’s one of my favourite quotes so far. Many people go through their lives doing things that they love, being creative. Making music, writing stories, painting, gardening, making wonderful food, and yet they don’t share their masterpieces with anyone. If you love something and you put your heart and soul into it, I think it should be shared. If you have ideas, they should be turned into something.

All that music, artwork, CREATIVITY stored in your closet isn’t doing the world a favour.

Make your ideas happen today.

Don’t be afraid to share them either.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

So, What’s New?

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Is it sad that I feel embarrassed when people ask me what I’m doing now? I’m talking about people I haven’t seen in years asking me about school, and work, and plans for the future. Not that people make me feel like I should be embarrassed, I just start thinking about the choices I’ve made and wonder if they were the right ones. I wonder if I’ve been taking the right courses, if I’ve chosen the right career, etc etc.

Then I wonder if I should still be working at the pizza place or if I’ll ever leave there. I wonder a lot of things, all because of the question “So, Vanessa, what have you been up to?”

Then after all the wondering I remember something Papa told me…

That Papa Vince is one smart cookie and he always makes me feel better about the choices I’ve made. I want to be a writer and the choices I’ve made are stepping-stones to get there. I’m not moving backwards or forwards, I’m just doing what I feel is best for me in every single moment – and that’s all I can do.

So don’t beat yourself up too much. Don’t ever go back on your dreams. If you’re working towards your dreams then you should never have regrets. Sure, it may have been easier for me to become a teacher or at least a bit more practical but is that what I’ve dreamt about since I was twelve? No.

Embrace your choices and keep working hard to get where you want to be.

There’s a reason why hardworking people appear lucky.

Good things happen in the pursuit of happiness.

Good things happen when you work hard for what you want.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo 

So, What's New?

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Is it sad that I feel embarrassed when people ask me what I’m doing now? I’m talking about people I haven’t seen in years asking me about school, and work, and plans for the future. Not that people make me feel like I should be embarrassed, I just start thinking about the choices I’ve made and wonder if they were the right ones. I wonder if I’ve been taking the right courses, if I’ve chosen the right career, etc etc.

Then I wonder if I should still be working at the pizza place or if I’ll ever leave there. I wonder a lot of things, all because of the question “So, Vanessa, what have you been up to?”

Then after all the wondering I remember something Papa told me…

That Papa Vince is one smart cookie and he always makes me feel better about the choices I’ve made. I want to be a writer and the choices I’ve made are stepping-stones to get there. I’m not moving backwards or forwards, I’m just doing what I feel is best for me in every single moment – and that’s all I can do.

So don’t beat yourself up too much. Don’t ever go back on your dreams. If you’re working towards your dreams then you should never have regrets. Sure, it may have been easier for me to become a teacher or at least a bit more practical but is that what I’ve dreamt about since I was twelve? No.

Embrace your choices and keep working hard to get where you want to be.

There’s a reason why hardworking people appear lucky.

Good things happen in the pursuit of happiness.

Good things happen when you work hard for what you want.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo