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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

A Bad Day For Voodoo

A Bad Day for Voodoo
by Jeff Strand

When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.”

Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen.

And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that’s just gonna be a really bad day …(goodreads.com)

I received my copy of A Bad Day for Voodoo from Sourcebooks last October as part of their Halloween give-away promotion and I gave away a copy of this book and others to one lucky reader. I am sad to say that this book sat on my TBR for so long before I picked it up. I get into these comfort zone phases and I don’t want to read anything outside of that zone. This book scared me because I was pretty sure it would be Outside The Zone.

Of course now I’m in a phase where any and every book I pick up just annoys the hell out of me and I feel like everything is just so unoriginal. Does that ever happen to you? I have a plethora of books hanging around my house that are half-started and left behind because I just can’t connect with them.

Cue this book.

This book, with its ever so obvious Outside The Zone-ness and I hoped that it would be what I would need in order to actually complete a book from start to finish. And I had just come off the disappointing read of A Discover of Witches and I wanted something that wouldn’t have anything to do with silly women pining over vampires that treat them like property.

I will say this loud and clear, in bold, so you know I mean business.

I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long time. It made me laugh. A lot. Out loud. Over and over again.

I had so much fun reading this book. Sure, it’s pretty ridiculous a lot of the time but it’s hilarious the entire read through. It’s a perfect comedic horror story. If it can go wrong, it will but you will probably burst out laughing while taking the bus to work in the morning and then have to put the book away so the other passengers stop giving you dirty looks.

This book was fun and rather creepy (OMG, that house with the Basers. I was freaking out with that creepy family. *shudder*) and I laughed. I read the book over lunch breaks. I tried reading it on the bus, but public laughter aside, I still get rather bus sick so that didn’t work so well. I didn’t even want to work because I was enjoying the book so much. It gave me a nice escape from the office during a particularly brutal week both in the office and personally.

My gods, there’s even an intermission in the story and I nearly fell off the couch when I turned the page and saw that.

Jeff Strand has an amazing sense of humour and it is very obvious in the writing of this novel. He also has some creepy stuff going on in his brain since he is also a horror writer. I believe this is his first book for teens.

I really wasn’t expecting the voodoo doll to work the way it did and the first time Tyler tries out the doll on his teacher – well, the results took me by surprise and again, I laughed out loud. The book just became way more fun from there on.

I will warn you, this book is complete humour and it can get pretty corny and you have to reeeallllyyy suspend your beliefs as things happen. It doesn’t stop. There’s no moment when you think, “well, it can’t get any worse than this” because it will and you will giggle and think “Holy cow! This is all so ridiculous, but I love it!”

I don’t know why the foolishness of the book didn’t bother me. Sometimes  I find stories this far-fetched a little over the top, but maybe I just needed this much humour in my life and I have to say that Strand’s writing was really engaging. I find he writes humour very well and I think a lot of that was why I enjoyed the book so much.

So if you need a pick-me-up and you feel like reading something that will make you laugh and wonder if any of the characters will make it to the end alive – I highly recommend A Bad Day for Voodoo. 🙂

Ruby Gloom’s Guide to Friendship

Ruby Gloom’s Guide to Friendship
by Mighty Fine Inc.

This isn’t a novel. This isn’t a graphic novel. It’s more of, um, a book of fun. A friend of mine at work gave this to me as a gift this week. She has a daughter named Ruby and I would always call her Ruby Gloom after the cartoon character. I love this cartoon, if you have never seen it, or heard of it you can check out the following:

1) the official Ruby Gloom Website (I simply ADORE the theme song!)
2) a cute video on YouTube
3) a rather long wikipedia article!

The best part about this cartoon (aside from Ruby Gloom looking cool) is that it is Canadian made and fun. Did I mention the awesome theme song? It’s shown here in Canada on YTV, I don’t know if it’s on any American channels or not. The show is quirky and witty and quite punny. Also, it has an awesome theme song.

So this here little book is one of the current bargain books at Chapigo. You don’t hear the theme song when you read it (unless you’re me and you have it constantly playing in your head) but it’s still cute and has all these reasons why friendship is good. But you know, in Ruby Gloom fashion. It’s not all just platitudes!

I have no idea what to classify this book as. Um… novelty? Children? Humour? I’ll stick it in humour for now unless someone has a better idea?

Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it – Ruby Gloom has an AWESOME theme song!

Dog Eat Doug: It’s a Good Thing They’re Cute

Dog Eat Doug: It’s a Good Thing They’re Cute
by Brian Anderson

The one book I got this Christmas was this little gem from my husband. I was so excited when I opened up the gift and realized what it was. I had no clue that there was a book out for this comic. In fact, neither did my husband! He said this was an accidental find when he went to go look for something else. He snatched it up right away knowing that it would make me smile.

It has been a long, long time since I have really enjoyed any of the comics in the newspaper. When my local paper first started printing Dog Eat Doug I was hooked (although I would only get to see it sporadically since I didn’t get the paper and now I only get it on weekends…). Took me a while to realize that the baby was Doug and the dog was Sophie. (Hey, I said sporadically!) But I would always chuckle when I read it and soon sought it out on the page as the first comic I would read.

Other reviews have mentioned a comparison to Calvin and Hobbes, and to be honest, that’s the last comic I really can say I adored (except for the deep philosophical ones, those tended to make my eyes glaze over). I have a few of the Calvin books and every once in a while I reread them and giggle.

Dog Eat Doug has made me want to cut the occasional comic out of the paper and stick it on my fridge like I used to during the Calvin era. It has certainly been while since I have felt this strongly about a comic. It helps that the dog, Sophie (whom I always thought was a cocker spaniel pup, but apparently is a lab pup) is adorable and I have a total weakness for dogs. But even Doug is cute. And generally  I am not drawn to baby-type comics or humour.

I read this book from cover to cover on Christmas Eve (when I got it!) and went to sleep with a smile on my face. A truly charming, funny and cute comic. If your paper carries it I ask you to check it out. If not – check out the website, where the author updates daily (heck, I’m even following him on Twitter!)

You’ll be smiling every morning – possibly even before your coffee!

Rick Mercer Report: The Paperback Book

Rick Mercer Report: The Paperback Book
by Rick Mercer

Thanks to the folks at Mini Book Expo and Random House Canada, I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book to read and review. I have to admit it took me a lot longer to review it since it generally takes me a while to read non-fiction – especially for this book as it’s a collection of all Rick Mercer’s infamous Rants from his shows over the years. Not really something to read all in one sitting, but a good way to entertain yourself while you’re waiting for public transportation that never shows up, or stops while you’re on it (yes, these things happened to me while reading the book.)

I have to admit, I don’t regularly watch The Rick Mercer Report. Not because I don’t like it – because I love it when I see it! – but because I have no idea when its on and I rarely have CBC on in the house (on the rare occasions I DO watch TV). Though I discovered that his website (cbc.ca/mercerreport) has video clips of all the shows. Yay! AND I just learned recently that you can get the seasons on DVD – which is something my husband and I would enjoy.

But this review is about the book, not about the TV show, although they are sort of one in the same, what with the collection of writings being the Rants he does each episode.

I used to stay away from Mr Mercer even though I found him to be hilarious. Why? Well, it was because I hate everything about politics and that’s pretty much what his entire humour focuses on and I thought I just wouldn’t get it (I don’t get quite a bit of it to be honest) or not care. But he tends to make me care about what he’s talking about. He’s just so witty, sarcastic and charming and gosh darn it if I don’t have myself a little crush on this Canadian celebrity. I would let him have my children. (Because there is no way in hell I ever want to be pregnant!)

Though his Rants don’t make me laugh until I cry like other segments on his show do, I still chuckle and smirk (gosh, Rick Mercer is dreamy when he smirks…) and most of the time I agree with his point of view.

Ooh! I know! Since we’re about to have another election or some sort of government change, I vote for Rick Mercer as our next Prime Minister! Who’s with me?