The Sea Was a Fair Master

TheSeaWasaFairMaster_Cover

Author: Calvin Demmer

My Rating: 5/5

 

I prefer one-piece horror stories versus mini stories. Correction, I used to prefer one-piece horror stories. Today that thought has changed.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 short horror stories varying from murder to androids. Given the 5/5 rating, I was not just pleasantly surprised but amazed how polished and addictive the stories were.

I also tend to find including humour in horror stories to be a risky move, but the humour in these stories were executed very well and added something extra to the stories instead of it falling flat and unneeded.

My favourite stories in the collection were Restroom Finds, Letting the Dead Grow and The Guests.

This was the first book I have read by this author and I certainly will be looking into his other works. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves horror, spooky short stories or is looking for something unique in the horror genre.

And guess what?! This is a brand new book that just came out today! You can order your copy here:

Be sure to follow Calvin Demmer on twitter @CalvinDemmer and check out his website at www.calvindemmer.com
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This is Not My Hat

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I recently finished a Readers Advisory for Children’s class in my Library Technology and Information program.

This course had a wide range of topics from ABC picture books to the Nancy Drew mystery series. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the course overall.

Looking back, my favourite book we covered in the course was Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat. 

It is a tale of a fish with a hat that fits him perfectly. Because this is not his hat, trouble begins to follow him.

The illustrations were entertaining but different as the colour scheme overall was not bright and cheery like a typical picture book.

While the story has a likeable protagonist, has a clear beginning, middle and end and a funny story, there is an extra element in this picture book that makes kids love this book.

While our little fish protagonist swims his way through the story, he is completely unaware of the problems lying ahead for him while at the same time the reader is fully aware of this through the illustrations and are clued into this well before the protagonist has any idea.

Kids love being “in on the joke” and this is why I think This is Not My Hat is such a hilarious and classic picture book to consider reading to any young child.

A Quiet Place

a quiet place

I haven’t been to the movies at all lately. Since school has ended for my sister and I we decided to go see a movie last night.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this movie. How can a movie be good when the main characters have to be silent in order to survive?

I was pleasantly surprised. For one, I think the length of the movie was just perfect. I’m not keen on 2 1/2 hour movies in theatres. This one was only about 1 1/2, and it was great. There was no lulls or pointless fluff.

Visually, it was great. Though it was quiet, it kept my interest from the very beginning to the end and I automatically fell in love with the characters.

Overall, it was a great movie, and was way better than I expected.

All Things Serial Killers – A Pathfinder

Check out my new pathfinder on serial killers!

A Serial Killers Pathfinder

Introductory Materials:

serial killer

Brogaard, Berit. “What Defines A Serial Killer?”. Psychology Today, 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201705/what-defines-serial-killer. Accessed 16 Apr 2018.

So what does define a serial killer? Check out the article to learn what characteristics are involved in defining a serial killer.

Search Terms:

When using google, try these terms:

Serial Killers  (Highly Relevant)

Serial Killings  (Highly Relevant)

Spree Murders  (Relevant)

Mass Murders   (Related)

Serial Murderers  (Main subject heading)

Subject Headings:

When choosing subject headings, consider using the following ones:

Serial murderers

Women serial murderers

Serial murderers in popular culture 

Call Numbers:

Dewey Decimal System: 364.15232

The True Crime section is mainly 364.1. However, there are many different kinds of…

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The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir

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Author: Maddie Ziegler

My Rating: 2/5

 

Okay, so for the record, I am a MASSIVE Dance Moms fan. I’ve been watching the show since the very first season and have been following Maddie, McKenzie, Nia, Kendall, Chloe, Kalani and JoJo on Facebook for quite a while now.

So, I just had to buy Maddie’s new book. While purchasing this book, I was fully aware this was a memoir written by a young teenager, so I did not expect incredible life stories and experiences in this book. Instead, I was eager to read about Maddie’s perspective on rising to fame while she was on Dance Moms, as well as working with Sia.

First of all, I would like to make it clear this book is geared towards children and young teens. This is an excellent book for young girls, tweens or teens who are fans of Maddie, Dance Moms or dancing in general. Because of this, I didn’t find the content that interesting. I did like how Maddie had several chapters filled with advice to other girls her age when it comes to dealing with family, friends, school and boys. So hey, if this book was written when I was ten years old, I am sure I would’ve loved it.

Now….for the major downside:

I became quite annoyed that many of Maddie’s friends, dance teachers etc wrote short essays about her and they were sprinkled all throughout the book. Each essay felt the exact same. Every single one involved constant praise about how talented, friendly, mature and hardworking Maddie is. Um, I’m sorry, I didn’t buy this book to listen to Maddie’s BFF’s gushing about her. These essays came up frequently; and to me, they became very irritating.

I don’t know, perhaps I am just too much of a Dance Moms freak and wanted to read more about Maddie’s experiences when it came to being the center of such a popular reality tv show. Maybe it is because I am just not a dancer. I am not sure.

In the end, this memoir began with promise but ended with me being disappointed. But hey, I would still recommend this to any young girl who wants to follow their dreams.

Cozy Mysteries Master List!

Recently I have been getting into the cozy mystery sub-genre. Cozy mysteries are essentially a section for mysteries that are on the lighter side. While murder is a common theme, violence and grotesque descriptions are usually not mentioned or very lightly touched upon in these books.

I especially have gotten into the paranormal side of cozy mysteries, which I first found on this awesome website. 

It is a master list of all cozy mysteries that are split into different themes. Besides paranormal mysteries the website gives you suggestions on specific topics like pet cozy mysteries and holiday cozy mysteries. Looking for something spooky to read for Halloween? You will find many on The Cozy Mystery List. 

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

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Author: Barbara Demick

My Rating: 5/5

 

It all started when I was watching the ABC 20/20 episode about what happened to Otto Wambier. (If you’re interested in watching the episode, you can look it up on YouTube.) Before, I knew North Korea was kind of a crazy country, but I had no idea it was an extreme communist country; and after watching the episode I just had to learn more about this “hermit kingdom.”

Nothing To Envy is a nonfiction book in which the author tells the stories of six North Korean citizens who managed to escape the most secretive state. This book is an incredible source of information of what life is really like in North Korea.

I really enjoyed this book because before, I had finished watching lots of documentaries on North Korea. It is not only hard to get into the country, having permission to film and interview citizens is even more difficult. When I watched the documentaries, I saw that the North Korean government wanted the films to only show the very best that North Korea has, not the bad and ugly. When you watch a documentary on North Korea that interviews the citizens, you do not get the personal opinions from the citizens; you get a propaganda machine spewed from the mouths of the citizens who claim to have a perfect life and have “nothing and nobody to envy.”

This book tells the true stories of so many North Korean citizens who do not live comfortably in the city Pyongyang, the wealthy capital of the country. A cushy and rich city where health care, food and shelter is easily accessible. This is the only city North Korea will let foreigners visit and documentary crews film; simply because they do not want people to know the poor and awful standards of living the rest of their country suffers in. This book engrossed me, and it read like a novel. The author extensively interviewed and researched the topics she covered. Because of these points, I easily gave this book a 5/5 star rating.

I honestly believe everyone should read this book, especially those who moan and groan about the evils of capitalism. Now, before I get your panties up in a twist, I am not all pro-capitalism or pro-Trump. All I am saying is, after reading this book, it gave me a fresh perspective on the advantages of capitalism, and above all, reminded me how fortunate I am to live in a capitalist country with internet access and free speech. Something, North Koreans, would be killed if caught participating in.

I recommend this to anybody and everyone. I strongly feel this is an essential book to read.