Binge reading time of year

Caroline Vandreil

By Caroline Vandreil

Winter is coming and what else is there to do but sit inside by the fire, cup of coffee in hand, bonbons on the table (quickly disappearing down my gullet) and binge read? I’m so thankful for the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library for supporting my book habit so that I don’t go broke buying new books all the time. There is a lot to cover this month, so hold onto your hats.

‘Big Summer’ by Jennifer Weiner (2020) – If you’re looking for a beachy read and pick up Big Summer because of the cover, you will be somewhat disappointed. True, there is all the fluff of celebrity relationships, reality tv, and a party on the beach, but for the most part this novel swings from the low self-esteem of Daphne to her frenemy who is murdered. Many of the characters are not likeable, and by the end I didn’t care who killed the mean girl.

‘Catherine House’ by Elizabeth Thomas (2020) – I kept imagining Anna Kendrick as the main character of this twisted suspense thriller. I didn’t care for any of the characters, least of all the main character who has the emotional range of a brick. She barely flinched at what I saw as a huge betrayal. The plot rambles over three years, of college students driven by sex and fueled by alcohol, in an isolated school that is essentially a huge psychological and scientific experiment on all of its students.

‘Wicked Autumn’ by G.M. Mallet (2011) – Ahh, back to the cozy mysteries that I love. Former MI5 agent turned priest, Max, tries to solve the murder of the least liked woman in his quaint English village. The characters are nicely drawn, albeit somewhat stereotypical. The reader really doesn’t have a chance to solve the mystery before Max does, but all the pieces come together neatly in the end. Not a breath-taking read, but pleasant enough.

‘The Finders’ by Jeffrey B. Burton (2020) – The titular finders are Mason Reid and his cadaver dogs, trained to find dead bodies, who help the police catch a serial killer. Reid is flawed (and prone to being injured by bad guys). The pace is almost episodic, shifting between Reid and the main bad guy, which made me read one more chapter, well past my bedtime, to find out what he was up to now! I just wish that the dogs had appeared more.

‘And the Killer Is…’ by G.A. McKevett (2020) – This American-style cozy was an easy read, as the characters are breezy and bright, the plot that kept me guessing, and the subplot is sweet enough to warm the cockles of even the hard-hearted. Savannah and her cop husband are on the trail of the murderer of an ancient movie star, who was a hoarder. This novel contains a ton of love and human warmth, leaving me wanting to join them for their around-the-kitchen-table discussions.

‘A Winter’s Promise’ by Christelle Dabos (2018) – A Winter’s Promise has been billed as the French Harry Potter. Dabos has created a magical world, rich in detail of both character and setting, which contributes to a plot of intrigue and mystery. Ophelia, a nerdy, librarian type if there ever was one, is promised in marriage to a man she’s never met, on a world that she’s never been to. But she has spunk and the abilities to read the past of any object she touches and to pass through mirrors. I’m going to have to read this YA novel again before I start on the next one as ‘A Winter’s Promise’ has so much detail!

Happy Reading!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Jeffery Kraft. Photo submitted
Family of Jeffery Kraft feels ‘robbed’ after one accused discharged

Family of victim responds to preliminary hearing in homicide case

Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett is trying to enlist support from other municipalities for more equitable provincial funding for small and rural municipalities.
Photo from Town of Ponoka
Ponoka arena closing, Santa Claus Parade officially cancelled

Town of Ponoka announces new COVID-19 restrictions

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Ridge Meadows RCMP are developing a new strategic plan for the detachment. (Phil McLachlan)
UPDATED: Male wanted for Montana First Nation shooting arrested

Darcy Cattleman located in Conklin, Alta.

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Most Read