Born a Crime (Trevor Noah)

crime

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime New York Times bestseller about one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humour and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

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I recently listened to Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which is read by the author, Trevor Noah. His narration is smooth and his accent enchanting.

I found this collection of essays to be thoroughly engrossing. They completely changed my perspective of who Noah is, which was formed by admittedly minimal viewing of The Daily Show, which he currently hosts. Noah isn’t uptight the way I imagined him to be. Nor is he the shining example of his neighbourhood, to have risen out of poverty and oppression in Apartheid South Africa and made it big in America. Or if he is, he isn’t ‘the golden child’.

Noah was one naughty kid and I bet he still is a bucket full of trouble (and laughs) as a grown man. I also had no idea that he has a comedy show and just recently learned that he was in the 2018 film Black Panther.

The description pretty much tells you everything you need to read about this book. It is a collection of stories from his childhood. It was not as heavily focused on oppression in a police state as I expected. The stories flow together so smoothly that I didn’t realize it was considered a collection of essays until I finished the audiobook and was reviewing the synopsis on Goodreads.

If you like memoirs, this is definitely one that I would recommend.

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xx

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Get to Know me Tag

You see these 20 things about me lists on social media all the time and I thought it might be fun to do something like that on here. So here are 20 random facts about the author of this blog…

  1. If I could wish for any superpower, it would be the ability to breathe underwater (while still being able to breathe above as well!)
  2. I am the youngest of three girls
  3. I plan to homeschool my children, at least through their elementary years
  4. I have a ginger cat named Meow Meow. He has a temper.
  5. I work in a public library – branch life for me!
  6. I have tattoos
  7. I am pretty old-fashioned I guess?
  8. I am almost always early to work and usually late to everything else
  9. Other than libraries, I have worked as a server, a nanny, a cashier, a groundskeeper and for an engineering company
  10. My favourite season is Autumn, spring is second.
  11. The most difficult thing I have ever achieved is my undergraduate degree. I had to work through financial issues, the breakdown on my family and emotional disorders. I eventually completed it online, part-time. It took me 9 years but I persevered and earned that degree!
  12. I constantly dream about home renovation and what I would do if I won big in the lottery (which I don’t play…)
  13. The places I am most excited to travel to are NewFoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand
  14. My next trip will be to Mexico in 2019 for my best friend’s wedding
  15. I want to have a larger family, at least 4 kids
  16. I cannot leave the house without some form of payment card, lipgloss/lipchap, my phone, and keys
  17. I have had two near death experiences
  18. I do not drink coffee or tea
  19. I prefer Youtube to TV. Currently, I mostly watch this gathered nest, this gathered schoolhouse, this is how we bingham, jesssfam, and joyful chaos
  20. I prefer to sleep with my closet doors shut and my room tidy, but leaving them open wouldn’t prevent me falling asleep either.

Bonus: I am a leader with Girl Guides of Canada and I actually maintain another blog about that aspect of my life. If you are interested, you can follow me here.

xx

Callie & The Cats (The Wolf’s Mate #3)

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Callie Hunter, best friend to alpha half-wolf Cadence, has had enough of the pack life. Setting her sights on anyplace without wolves, she heads north only to be sidetracked by a devastating car crash that brings her face to face with twin mountain lions.

Ethan and Eryx, small town sheriff’s deputies, knew the moment they touched Callie that she was the mate they’d always wanted. But mountain lion females don’t take kindly to sharing their males with anyone else and will do anything in their power to discourage Callie from sticking around. Will Ethan and Eryx’s desire for Callie cost them everything, or will Callie find her inner wolf and the home she’s always dreamed of?

This novel contains menage-a-trois, hunky cops, handcuffs, an on-the-run she-wolf, sex in every room in the house, and inappropriate use of the phrase “assault with a deadly weapon”.

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Not gonna lie, I hated this book. I started this series on the recommendation of a friend, and thought that I would push through even though I didn’t love the first two. Not everything has to be a five star book right?!

Nope, should have trusted my instincts on this one.

Callie is a bitch!

Her whole life, she has hidden behind her best friend Cadence. I understand that “Cades” is an alpha and Callie is extremely submissive, and unconfident, but she is still her “best friend”. Cadence was willing to fight with her Alpha and husband over Callie, but as soon as Callie leaves town she turns on back on the one person who has been her true friend and supporter all these years.

Callie forgets to invite Cadence and anyone else from the wolf pack she grew up in to her wedding, even though she has only been gone for a few weeks. When they invite themselves and travel across the country to attend, things go so badly that the Pack leaves without attending the wedding and their friendship ends.

I also hated that the author has Cadence question her relationship with her mate Jason in this book. They were the hero/ine of the first novel. It is super weird to start tearing their relationship apart in the third book of a romance series.

The author finishes off the book by suggesting that we outgrow our friends and that this is the natural order of things. She is right that this can happen, except that isn’t the case in this instance and to suggest otherwise is insulting. I truly feel like Cadence is better off without Callie and her cats in her life. I won’t be returning to this series either.

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All The Breaking Waves (Kerry Lonsdale)

waves

From the bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes a gripping tale of long-buried secrets, the strength of forgiveness, and the healing power of returning home for good.

After a harrowing accident tore her family apart, Molly Brennan fled from the man she loved and the tragic mistake she made.

Twelve years later, Molly has created a new life for herself and her eight-year-old daughter, Cassie. The art history professor crafts jewelry as unique and weathered as the surf-tumbled sea glass she collects, while raising her daughter in a safe and loving environment—something Molly never had. But when Cassie is plagued by horrific visions and debilitating nightmares, Molly is forced to return to the one place she swore she’d never move back to—home to Pacific Grove.

A riveting exploration of love, secrets, and motherhood, All the Breaking Waves is the poignant story of a woman who discovers she must confront her past, let go of her guilt, and summon everything in her power to save her daughter.

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I discovered this book through the recommendations that Goodreads makes on its homepage. Something about the cover intrigued me and I am so glad I decided to click on it and read the description.

I loved it! This book has the perfect blend of mystery & intrigue, romance, paranormal, and familial love. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan, only it is more comprehensive and less focused on a romantic relationship.

For those audio lovers reading this, I fell in love with the narrator (Dara Rosenberg) and would definitely listen to other books she records. Her voice is melodic and she does a great job of performing the different characters. I especially loved her “Nana” voice!

I felt that the plot in All the Breaking Waves is rather predictable but that didn’t bother me at all. I just enjoyed listening to the story unwrap, often lingering in my car a few extra minutes to hear more. In this way, it reminded me a lot of The Alice Network.

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xx

Linus & The Angel (The Wolf’s Mate #2)

angel

He thinks he’ll be alone forever:
Linus Mayfield has a lot of good things in his life: fourth ranked in the Tressel wolf pack, nice house, decent job, and plenty of friends. What he doesn’t have is what he longs for most – a true mate. His first foray into marriage was a disaster and he’s certain he’ll never be free to love again.

She’ll prove him wrong:
Karly is an Angel, a supernaturally perfect mate for one special werewolf. She’s spent the last 15 months looking for her mate, only to nearly die before she ever meets him. One icy winter night changes both of their lives forever.

When their past interferes with their future, will all be lost in the darkness, or will he find his perfect angel in time? This book contains plenty of claws and fangs, possessive werewolves willing to move heaven and earth for their mates, red hot werewolf sex, a sweet wolf with a heart of gold and an angel made just for him.

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I had mixed feelings to the first book in this series, but decided to give #2 a try anyway. It was not one of my favourites; I couldn’t relate to the lead characters at all.

I appreciate that the author was attempting to write a male werewolf who wasn’t a complete Alpha, but I thought he was completely wimpy. Not my cup of tea at all.

In addition, the heroine Karly is his supernatural soulmate, designed perfectly for him by the Gods. She is the descendent of a werewolf and an angel and will conceive female angels and male alpha wolves with her true mate, Linus.

The soul mate storyline doesn’t bother me, but Karly seemed like a weird Stepford wife. She had no personal aspirations other than to take care of her mate and raise babies. She doesn’t care where they live or what her mate decides for their future, as long as they remain together. I don’t mind Mf relationships in my books (in fact I prefer it), but this went well into the realm of creepy in my opinion.

This is not a book that I would read again or one that I enjoyed. However, keep in mind that you may have a completely different opinion, especially if you are tired of alpha male heroes.

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xx