ARC Review: 150 Years of STATS Canada!: A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country by Julia Davidovich

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I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: 150 Years of Stats Canada!: A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country
Author: Julia Davidovich, Andrew Bondy, Thomas Eric Taylor, Samantha Montgomery
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Canada’s funniest online sensation is back to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary–bigger, bolder, and only 10% reused material!
Want to know what the hottest new Canadian apps are? Need a handy chart to help you decide what Can-Con music to listen to? How about the top Google searches across the nation? In this handy guide to Canada, the tireless experts at @stats_canada reveal all the must-know quirks from coast to coast to frigid coast. From helpful tips on the Vancouver housing market to planning the ultimate Montreal bachelor party, Stats Can is on the case. And discover just how Canadian you are with the official checklist, not to mention the Tim Hortons etiquette quiz. With crucial updates about Canada on its big birthday, and all the stats, charts, and graphs to back them up, 150 Years of Stats Canada! is the perfect way to celebrate everything we love about this great country.
Disclaimer: still 100.6% not affiliated with Statistics Canada

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If you have followed Stats Canada on Twitter, and not the actual Stats Canada, the parody account, you will already have an idea of what this book is all about. There are some funny moments that poke fun at all things Canadian, and while I did find myself chuckling a few times, there were also a few groaners. As with any satirical work, there is a tendency to go a bit too far and I found that some of the jokes were a bit offensive.

At first glance, and from the synopsis we are given a taste of what this book has in store for its readers. The top Google searches are hilarious, and I won’t spoil them here, as it is best to read them for yourself. There are also quite a few laugh-out loud Canadian Tire jokes that will have you reminiscing about your own experiences in Canada’s infamous store. Not only that, if you aren’t familiar with the Canadian tuxedo, the Stats Canada authors have got you covered.

Sometimes the book contains hypothetical stories, such as the Montréal  bachelor party, that are a little bit over the top and are not my cup of tea. One person’s sense of humour (mine), may not be the same as another’s, and I just don’t find vulgarity funny. Also, there were some jokes about Canada’s first female political activists and I really found this section to be in poor taste and was quite offended. There are other examples that I can name, but I think that these two examples give an idea of what to expect.

Anyone who enjoys satire and has an open sense of humour should give this book a try. Canadians have an interesting and unique culture that can be humorous at times. If you have enjoyed following Stats Canada on Twitter, then I encourage you to pick it up.

ARC Review: Adventure Cats by Laura J. Moss

Book cover for Adventure Cats by Laura J. Moss

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest
Author: Laura J. Moss
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about cats comes the ultimate—and unexpected—guide to taking your cat into the wild. Here are cats walking on a leash. Cats hiking on a leash. Cats tramping through snow. Cats camping. Cats kayaking, canoeing, even surfing—yes, cats who love water.

When animal writer and active hiker Laura Moss couldn’t find an online resource for hitting the trail with her cat, she created one. AdventureCats.org took off like wildfire, with attention from Wired, the Huffington Post, Outside magazine, BuzzFeed, and much more. Now, the book Adventure Cats—a collection of jaw-dropping photographs, inspiring stories of real-life cats, and all the how-to a cat owner needs—will take readers and their cats well beyond the backyard. Learn how to leash-train a cat. What to do if you encounter wildlife on the trail. Plus, winter safety tips, and how to bring a little bit of the outdoors to an indoor cat.

The stories themselves are catnip for animal lovers, from Nanakuli, the one-eyed cat who hangs ten; to Georgie, a four-year-old gray tabby who lives on a sailboat; to Quandary, who not only insists on hiking with her family but also teaches them a valuable lesson: When you follow your cat’s natural tendency to wander, you experience the outdoors at a slower, richer pace. This book will delight every cat person, regardless of whether their pet is inclined to adventure. (Take the quiz at the beginning of the book to find out!) Continue reading

ARC Review: This is Really Happening by Erin Chack

Book cover for This is Really Happening by Erin Chack

I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: This is Really Happening
Author: Erin Chack
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation.

Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it’s her first kiss (“Sean’s tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.”) or her struggles with anxiety (“When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan”).

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother’s own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid “un-normaling” everything. Continue reading

Book Review: Botanical Beauty by Aubre Andrus

Book Review: Botanical Beauty by Aubre AndrusTitle: Botanical Beauty: 80 Essential Recipes for Spa Products
Author: Aubre Andrus
Publisher: Capstone
Publication Date: March 1, 2017

four-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Soak, scrub, and soothe your way to relaxation with simple homemade spa recipes from award-winning author Aubre Andrus. Using some of nature’s best ingredients, such as beeswax, sugar, coconut oil, shea butter, avocado, sea salt, essential oils, and more, craft everything from a Cooling Peppermint Hand Cream to a Vanilla Honey Body Scrub. Make practical products, like your own all-natural Bugs-Be-Gone Insect Repellent, Minty Homemade Toothpaste, and Natural Shaving Cream. Or pamper yourself after a long day with a Re-energizing Tub Tea, Lovely Lavender Bath Salts, and a Deep Conditioning Treatment. Nourish your body from head to toe with these organic, handmade recipes and crafts, or package them as a gift to share a fresh, fun spa experience.

Amazon “Book

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: Botanical Beauty

Botanical Beauty by Aubre Andrus has a multitude of great recipes and ideas to make your own bath bombs, lotions and many other beauty products. This book is gorgeous and contains very simple instructions and tips. The only criticism that I have is the fact that some of the required items, such as essential oils are quite expensive. Continue reading

Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman

Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel HoffmanTitle: Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess
Author: Rachel Hoffman
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 3, 2017

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Finally, a housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who'd describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we're desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems: The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and people with mental illnesses or physical limitations, and many others. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.

Interspersed with lists and challenges, this practical, no-nonsense advice relies on a 20/10 system (20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break; no marathon cleaning allowed) to help you develop lifelong habits. It motivates you to embrace a new lifestyle in manageable sections so you can actually start applying the tactics as you progress. For everyone stuck between The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Adulting, this philosophy is decidedly more realistic than aspirational, but the goal is the same: not everyone will have a showcase of a home, but whatever your habitat, you deserve one that brings you happiness, not stress.

Amazon “Book

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat

If you are looking for motivation to get up and get cleaning and organizing your environment, then Unf*ck Your Habitat might provide you with the encouragement that you are looking for. While, there are some great suggestions and a good foundation with the 20/10 system that Rachel Hoffman has developed, this book seems to spend more time talking than actual doing. I was hoping that there would be more concrete ideas and actual time saving techniques to improve upon my own housekeeping endeavours. I just came away from this one wondering what I had achieved in reading it. Continue reading