Cold As Ice: Forty Words For Sorrow Review

“Take a drive up Airport Hill at four o’clock on a February afternoon, and when you come back half an hour later the streets of the city will glitter below you in the dark like so many runways.”

I decided I wanted to read Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt because when I was home for the holidays, I kept seeing a commercial on television about a show called Cardinal based on this book series by a Canadian author. Being I am into mystery, I decided to look into it and discover the author grew up in North Bay, where I did, and the show was also filmed in North Bay (as my mother informed me). So needless to say, I was excited about not only finding Canadian content that interested me, but content closely connected to my personal roots.

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Discussing Avengers: Infinity War (Spoilers)

There’s one thing I need to get out of the way before diving into what I would like to discuss. If you have not seen Avengers: Infinity War and do not wish to know spoilers about it (it’s better if you don’t), stop reading now and come back once you have seen the movie. I may not discuss every little bit of it, but there will be major spoilers after the cut.

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Knock On The Door: Give Me The Child Review

“Evil is just a gap in the research.”

With one knock on the door, Cat Lupo’s life changes forever. She had been yearning for another child for awhile, but her previous psychosis means it could be dangerous. But when Ruby, a young girl, arrives at her home in the night, things shift. As secrets are revealed, things shatter. Cat’s research tells her there is no such thing as evil…but is her research right? Something is wrong with the children…there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath is certainly a gripping page turner. I started reading this book in the evening on a Saturday, and did not leave my bed in the morning until I had finished reading the last few pages. The mark of a good one, in my opinion.

This book is one of those mysteries where, just as you think you have a handle on the situation, something happens to turn it on its head. My mind keep whirring until the last few pages, and even on the last few, things happened I did not expect. I have said it before on this blog, but I think it merits another one. When I simply cannot figure out the ending of a mystery, I almost always love the book. Figuring something out before the ending is not something I can stop. My need to think about what I read is a reflex, and given I read so much, it is a well-oiled machine and is quite good.

I think how much children play into the content of Give Me The Child ups the thrill and unease throughout reading. One part wants all of the children to be okay, but then I also found myself very wary of just about everyone in the book, including Cat herself. This book, frankly, is full of unreliable narrators. In some respects, I am reminded of The Girl On The Train as well as Gone Girl, but at the same time my feelings were different, although for the longest time in the book I could not pinpoint why. I, unfortunately, cannot explain why they were different (I understand now), as it would spoil certain portions of the book for you.

I had warning bells go off seemingly all the time throughout this book. Sometimes I knew what they were warning me, or thought I did in some instances, and other times I had no idea what the warning was about but I knew something was wrong. Has that ever happened to you during a book? I don’t think it has for me, not in this way at least. The last time I read a gripping mystery the warnings bells weren’t going off all the time—but I don’t think they should have, not for that one. For this? It makes sense.

I really enjoyed how this book grapples with the topic of whether or not true evil exists. It’s an interesting topic and one I have seen other stories grapple with this topic and it seems they always come to a tentative conclusion at least one individual is not one hundred percent comfortable with. This conclusion, by the way? Not always the same one from story to story.

I know I am being vague, but what it all comes down to is in terms of mystery novels, Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath is an excellent choice. I do not think you will regret picking up this one if you are interested in thrillers and mysteries in any form. If you have read it or decide to after reading this, let me know! I want to hear all your thoughts.


Title: Give Me The Child

Author: Mel McGrath

Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

Harry Potter: A History Of Magic Review

As the cover of Harry Potter: A History Of Magic states, it is “the spellbinding companion to a unique exhibition.” Right about now I really wish I lived in London, or at least had the opportunity to visit in the near future. Everyone who knows me knows about my love for Harry Potter. I’d go so far as to say the series defined my childhood and had a significant hand in the person I am now, given that this series was the one that catapulted me into the realm of books. Seriously—I have not put them down since.

This book is not a collection of stories, nor is it the Hogwarts, A History textbooks we hear about in the main series. No, this book is a textbook companion to an exhibition about Harry Potter currently going on in London, England, as a part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone’s publication. As I understand it from this book, the exhibition details information on the development of the series and some real-world historical connections it has.

It might not be for everyone given it is akin to academic texts I read during my years in university. This is something you should know going into it. However, if you simply love Harry Potter and want to consume as much material on it as you possibly can, definitely give this book a read. You will not be disappointed! I would also like to mention those interested in historical influences on literature, legends, historical art, and other related topics, you would also enjoy this book.

One of the major highlights for me was reading the short drafts of certain scenes from the Harry Potter series as they were in development (e.g. there were some that didn’t make it in, others that did but in a new form, et cetera). This was particularly interesting for me because I am a writer, and seeing an author I absolutely adore does have to go through a significant editing process is a great thing to see. I think it is only too easy to decide the authors we love, our favourites, simply write and the first draft is what we eventually see as a published book. Harry Potter: A History Of Magic reminds us this is actually not the case. And in this specific instance, I think the snippets we get of earlier drafts also show us just how extensively J.K. Rowling thought about what she was writing and just how interesting her process actually is. I won’t say too much more, since I want you to read and experience the book for yourself.

So I guess what this comes down to is Harry Potter: A History Of Magic definitely gets my stamp of approval. The information combined with the illustrations makes for a treasure worthy of a place on the bookshelf of any avid Harry Potter fan.


Title: Harry Potter: A History Of Magic

Author: The British Library, J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Bloomsbury

A Conversation: Depression & Other Magic Tricks Review

“mom says where did anxiety come from?
anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town
depression felt obliged to bring to the party.
mom, i am the party.
only, i am a party i don’t want to be at.”

Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim is an excellent example of why I knew I had to change the way I approached reading—in a good way. I loved reading this book of poetry. I believe I have heard of Sabrina’s most famous poem, explaining my depression to my mother: a conversation, before, but I’m not 100% sure at the same time. In any case, I am glad I got a hold of this book of poetry. I don’t normally read poetry on a regular basis, but I just felt as if I should read this one.

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