Book Review: Purgatorium

Our external reviewer Sara is busy working in a library and running a bunch of book clubs but she still makes time to do reviews for us every little while. Here is her review of Purgatorium by J.H. Caranathon.

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Synopsis: When his watch resets to zero, his morning starts again. A handsome, young urban professional awakens inside his cavernous high-rise apartment. He is an emotionless drone of a man content with his self-structured regiment and amazing wealth, and he is totally oblivious to his abnormal lifestyle. Every day lasts an hour with the time always ending right at 60 minutes, giving him only 5 minutes to stay at one specific time zone in his structured routine. He keeps reliving the same day over and over, barely able to remember anything from the day before and unable to maintain mental order as he stumbles through his strange existence.

One day, his routine is interrupted when seven strangers separately appear. Everything slams to a halt as they tell him that his physical body is in a coma and his consciousness is currently in a purgatory-like realm. As his body lies in a coma, his mind has been living a lavish lifestyle at a price: his sinful memories and his autonomy.

After finding out his life support is coming to an end in eight hours, he must now run a race to get his life back. He must rely on this group who seem to tender on truth and violence to get him to the finish line on time. He just needs to remember who he is and come to terms with what he has done if he’s ever going to decide if he is a soul survivor ready for a second chance at life or a lost soul bound by no redemption.

The clock is ticking, and if he is going to survive, he’ll have to face his demons and outthink the clock that has constrained him for so long. For each minute that passes teeters the fine line between his life and death.

In this book, the main character is trapped in a cerebral purgatory of his own making, while his body lies in a coma. He is followed around by perhaps helpful archangels that are trying to help him realize his situation so that he can escape, as well as terrifying monsters determined to keep him trapped.

This book is a very interesting concept, but rather confusing. I think that this would be a very interesting book if you were REALLY into science fiction, as this reads a lot like the classics of this genre. I also think this book would benefit from a second read, as it would probably be more enjoyable if you could understand it a bit more in the moment.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of jumping around, and as the story is narrated from the confused point of view of the protagonist, we travel through the story in the same sense of disbelief and confusion as him. I think that I really WANTED to enjoy this book, but I found it to require a bit too much focus to keep up than I found enjoyable.

That being said, it is well written, and the character development is strange and interesting, and the concept is very cool. I think that many people would enjoy this book if read by the right person in the right circumstances. I would definitely read more by this author, and probably even try to reread this in the future.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

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Author Interview: Shelby Eileen

What is new with my favorite bookworms? I was perusing Twitter, doing Twitter things when I came upon a post about another blogger that wanted to do guest posts and in general just connect with other bloggers. So I reached out to her and am glad I did because she is an amazing person and super nice. It is always great to make new blogging friends.

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Shelby Eileen is a queer Canadian writer in a perpetual state of stress concerning her unmapped future. Eileen studied at Brock University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She uses the knowledge and skills gained from her degree throughout her daily life, even if others hardly notice that she does so. One of her many dreams is to live alone in a little apartment with a cat and good writing energy. Her published works include; soft in the middle, sunfish, Sunshine, Sadness, and other Floridian Effects, and Goddess of The Hunt. In her free time, you can find her listening to audiobooks, crocheting, or sending pictures of corgis and Jake Gyllenhaal to her friends. The next thing she hopes to tackle after another poetry collection or two: romance novellas! Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @briseisbooks.

We conducted a Q&A with her as she is a budding author with her poetry collections and we wanted to learn more about her. Without further ado, here is our Q&A session!

Author Q&A

What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

Definitely, without a doubt, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

What is your favorite book friendship? 

Ginger and Daniel from 2 of my favorite romance books by Roan Parrish- Small Changeand In The Middle of Somewhere.

Most anticipated book release of 2019? 

Oof, there’s many, but The Fever Kingby Victoria Lee, I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver, and If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann.

How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

TOO MANY (definitely 100+).

Who is your favorite author? 

Madeline Miller. She writes my favorite Greek myth/historical fantasy books; The Song of Achilles and Circe.

How did you start writing? 

I’ve always taken advantage of writing classes if they were offered at school – in high school and university. I recently did a creative writing workshop, which was amazing and helped me get in touch with how fun and therapeutic writing is. I think what got me into writing in a more serious way was the drive to depict the under-represented parts of me; my queerness, my religion, and my fatness.

Where is your favorite reading spot? 

My bed.

How long have you been an author? 

I’ve been a published author since December 2017.

What do you like about reading? 

I love how much I learn through reading, the community that comes with it, and how sentimental and comforting certain books can be.

If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

Let’s Talk About Love (by Claire Kann) … I think I just read so much romance it kind of permeates my brain lol. Also, as a writer and a human, it’s so important to me to distinguish different types of love (romantic, platonic, familial, etc), and lift them all up as being equal and significant.

Great answers Shelby! This interview was an amazing success. I am always joyed to connect with book lovers of all ages, sizes, and sexual orientations. This book blog is about honesty in reviews and having an open dialogue with other bloggers/authors. I strongly encourage you to go follow Shelby on social media to stay up to date with her books that she is writing!

Shelby was nice enough to send me copies of her poetry books for a giveaway! So if you would like to enter, just click on the image below. We will be announcing 2 winners in 1 week. Good luck!

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There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

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Bookworms : Bookmarks? — celinelingg

Hey bookworms! Check out this great post by Celine about bookmarks and all the uses we have for them and the types that we use 🙂

As a reader, there’s only one thing I need to emphasize right here and right now. Bookmark is a lifesaver. Who can relate? I can’t read without a bookmark. Before, I literally use anything to mark my reads. Guess what they are. Trust me, you don’t even want to know. Let’s see what type of […]

via Bookworms : Bookmarks? — celinelingg

And don’t forget about our current giveaway that is happening:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a6/?

We are busy over here reading a middle grade trilogy and will have a review of the first one for you tomorrow!

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Book Review: The Ambassador Of What

Bookworms! I am super excited to share this review of The Ambassador Of What by Adrian Michael Kelly. This book was sent to me by an amazing publishing company called ECW Press as part of a blog collaboration I reached out to them about doing.

Publishers Weekly recognizes ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America. ECW Press has published close to 1,000 books that are distributed throughout the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of languages.

Synopsis: Slogging through the miles of a city marathon, an eleven-year-old boy encounters small miracles; about to marry one of her patients in a home for the elderly, a nurse asks her estranged son to come to the wedding and give her away; home from university, a young man has Christmas dinner with his hard-up dad in a bistro behind a rural gas bar. Men and boys and maleness, money and its lack, the long haunt of childhood, marriage and divorce — these lie at the heart of The Ambassador of What. Driven by an ear for how we talk, how we feel, how we fail, and how we love, these are tough and tender stories that take hold, and linger.

Honestly, this book was brilliant. It was so real and showed the sides of a family in all their great times and all their struggles. No family is ever perfect and it was refreshing to see that portrayed in these storylines.

The book was completely set in Canada (primarily Ontario) which I loved because this is where I live. I am in North Bay but the book referenced Toronto, Kingston, Sudbury and then other small towns in Ontario. Books that are set in my home country always resonate with me. It’s amazing to have attention being drawn to your home; the place where you have grown and created stories and memories in your lifetime.

It isn’t too long either so it keeps you interested from start to finish. The last part was about a father and son going fishing and it was so similar to how I used to go fishing with my dad. They had the same mannerisms in their preparation for the daily catch and what bait they used (frogs on a hook). I was not a fan of the impaling of frogs on a hook as I was a kid and felt bad for the frogs so I tended to use other styles of bait or the old classic worm and a bobble lure. I felt like I was reading my memory straight out of my brain. Then I had a dream about fishing that night that was so vivid, I felt very nostalgic the next day. A book that can bring out this feeling and emotion in me is one you don’t forget so quickly.

Overall, I would suggest picking up this book for a quick, entertaining read that will bring you back to your roots.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on ECW Press and find it on Amazon and Goodreads!

Sidenote: I am running a fundraiser for our local Food Bank in North Bay to raise money and make sure that families will have something to eat over the holidays. You can donate at this link:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/2243695192532823/?fundraiser_source=external_url

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by ECW Press in physical format to read and give an honest review. 

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Shared Post – What Does Your Bookshelf Reveal About You? — The Bookish Elf

Bookshelf is pride of a bookworm and it speaks about the personality of the owner! The way you arrange your books in shelves clearly states your preferences in life as well. American novelist Walter Mosley said, “A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him,” and this is absolutely true.…Read…

via What Does Your Bookshelf Reveal About You? — The Bookish Elf

This article is fantastic and I completely relate to this! Let me know your thoughts about how you arrange your bookshelf in the comments below!


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Guest Post: Michael Clark

Awhile back, I put a feeler out on Twitter to see if anyone wanted to do guest posts for each other about being a blogger. Michael Clark saw the blogger signal high up in the sky and met me on the roof of a large building on a dark and stormy night to interview each other.

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We came up with 10 questions and answered them on each other’s blogs. His blog is http://MichaelClarkWrites.blogspot.com and he will be writing up a post with my answers sometime in the next couple of days! You can also find Michael on Twitter at @Michaelbigchees. I will let you bookworms know when it is posted. But for now, I will deliver his answers on my blog post so get ready to learn a bit about Michael!

ERIK: What is your top read of 2018 so far? 

MICHAEL: My top read of 2018 so far has been the Robot Geneticist series by J.S. Moran, he is a true genius.

ERIK: Most anticipated book release of 2018?

MICHAEL: My most anticipated release is the continued black ocean series also by Moran.

ERIK: How many books are in your TBR Pile?

MICHAEL: I have more books in TBR than there are sand grains in Georgia.

ERIK: Who is your favorite author? 

MICHAEL: My favorite author is either myself, Walter Mosley or Moran.

ERIK: How did you start blogging?

MICHAEL: I started blogging after spending 4 months waiting for an editor to get submitted to A magazine, and I started blogging to get my stories told.

ERIK:  Where is your favorite reading spot? 

MICHAEL: My favorite spot to read is my back porch.

ERIK: How long have you been a blogger? 

MICHAEL: I have only been blogging since April of this year.

ERIK: What do you like about reading?

MICHAEL:  I love the experience of being a different person for a while.

ERIK: If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

MICHAEL: “A Gentleman and a Gangster”.

And that it for our blogger interview! If you wish to be in a blogger interview with me, comment below and I will send you the list of questions to fill out. It is a great way to open up to your readers and let them know a little bit more about you! I look forward to many more of these with my fellow book bloggers!

Cheers and have a great Sunday!


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TBR Piles and how to deal with them!

Hey there bookworms.

So I have these glaring TBR piles just sitting there staring me in the face and I have decided to try and tackle them head-on with a passion. I’m dedicating at least an hr and a half a day to reading and more if I am in the mood for it. It just gets difficult to set aside time to read when you work fulltime and then try to have a social life too.

Does anyone else have this problem where their TBR pile grows faster than their eyes can read :P? I’m trying to resist buying any more books until I am done this pile of beautiful books. A lot of these books were sent to me by authors and I owe it to them to give them my time to read these wonderful pieces of work that they put their time into creating. I love being a part of this community of book lovers and giving my opinions on the various books I read.

From now on, I will be giving myself book deadlines. This means that I will be treating the current book at hand like a school assignment where it is due at a certain date. It is still my hobby because I love reading and loved writing book reports in high school. But I am trying to up my pace at which I can read these bad boys and to finally quench the thirst of the authors that are longing to know my opinion on their masterpieces.

How do you bookworms handle your TBR piles? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Talk soon guys, have to get my nose back in this book!


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Blogger Update: I’m going to Iceland!!!

Hey bookworms!

So I won’t be posting for about a week and a bit as I am going on vacation to Iceland :). I am so excited about this trip. I will be gone from June 8th to June 14th.

There are so many activities planned for this trip. We are renting a car and driving around the entire island. I will be bringing a GoPro on the trip to video document all the cool scenery we see and activities we do.

One of the activities I am excited about is The Blue Lagoon.

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It is a giant geothermal spa! We already booked our spot to go here for our first day in Iceland. It comes with a mud mask and complimentary drink! Now that is one way to start off a trip 😛

It is my first time flying with WOW Air so I will have to let you know how that goes. They have super cheap prices for flights but they charge you extra for your bags and there is no meal included unless you pay for it. I’m not too happy about that but the flights were pretty cheap so I can’t really complain.

Later on in the trip, we are planning on checking out the famous waterfalls and black sand beaches in Iceland. Once we get to Husavik (which is on the opposite side of the island we land on), we are planning to go on a whale watching excursion.

Rounding the end of our trip, we will be Snorkelling in the Silfra Fissure. Silfra is a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Thingvellir National Park. The rift was formed in 1789 by the earthquakes accompanying the divergent movement of the two tectonic plates. The diving and snorkeling site at Silfra is right where the two continents meet and drift apart about 2 cm per year. Silfra is the only place in the world where you can dive or snorkel directly in a crack between two tectonic plates.

I am super excited to do this!! I even bought contacts and am getting used to wearing them so that I can see underwater with a mask on 😛

I have been using the Iceland Rough Guides book to get ready for my trip and will be taking it with me in case I need anything or need help on the road. I love this company and try to buy all my travel books form them as they are so informative and make planning trips a breeze.

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Overall, this trip is going to be a blast and I am just excited to do lots of sightseeing and exploring. We are using Airbnb for all of our accommodations during the trip and booking them on the fly as we travel around the island. It is very budget friendly and makes it easier for us. This way we can buy food at a grocery store and then cook it at our airbnb’s because the food is very pricey in Iceland! If you wish to use Airbnb, you can use my discount code to get $40 off your first stay! It also gives me a little credit to use on Airbnb everytime someone does this so it helps out with my travels. Thanks in advance if you use the code. You can access that here:

www.airbnb.ca/c/emcmanus31

That’s all for now but I will be showing you guys all the cool photos and maybe a video from my trip when I am back! Of course, I will be reading on the plane and during downtime so there will be some book reviews coming the following week too!

Talk to you later bookworms 🙂


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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Bookworms!! Happy Holidays or whatever you prefer 🙂 I have been catching up on all my favourite Christmas traditions like watching White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and even going to a Christmas Eve service with Mom and Dad. Our tree looks really nice (Mom decorated it, I am at my parents for the holidays).

Tomorrow morning I will be on my way to Fort Frances to bring some Christmas Cheer to my good friend Jordan who had to work on Christmas. He is a paramedic so he has to make sure everyone else is being safe over the holidays and give up his own to do so. My flight is at 7am tomorrow but I have a new book to keep me entertained for the journey there and back on New Years Eve.

Also Max says Merry Christmas too. As you can see we both just got out of bed 😛

Well have a great Christmas Day everyone! Eat lots of turkey and drink lots of spirits and keep the good cheer a flowing.

Talk to you soon bookworms.

We are born to change the world, not just add to the noise.

Alright spoiler, this post is not about books! But I have been getting ready to go home for the holidays and I have been listening to a lot of music. I like all types of music but I have a sweet spot for songs that can just make you feel strong emotions. I have an entire list I could suggest but I want to know what songs make you guys feel something. Music has such a way of getting through to you. Certain songs can hold a memories or just change your day with a beginning note. It’s like how certain smells can trigger memories. So can music.

I will hear a song an be instantly somewhere else. Abbey Road by the Beatles takes me back to the first time ever hearing it on vinyl in my cousin’s basement. Feeling the record as it spun and hearing the crackle of the needle as the track went round and round.

I heard this line in a movie trailer but the music behind it gave it so much more meaning. We are born to change the world, not just add to the noise. There is so much noise but we are meant to make our own melodies. Any way we can. I just really like that line and it stuck out to me.

Here is a link to my playlist on Spotify of songs that make me feel if you are interested:

Not really sure where I was going with this post 😛 but anyway I am done with my random ramble. Let me know in the comments what songs make you feel something. Talk to you later tune worms? sound worms? Nah back to bookworms!