The Martian: How Would You React To Being Stranded On Mars?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m going to start right off the bat by admitting that I have yet to actually read The Martian. Everything I knew about it, prior to seeing the film, came from my boyfriends raving reviews, insisting that I should make this book my top priority once I finished reading through the Mistborn series. Well, my list books I would like to read in my lifetime is kind of full at the moment, so it might be a while, but after seeing the movie I will definitely be bumping up much closer to the top.


So, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the premise is fairly simple: a botanist ends up being stranded on Mars by his team, who assumed he was dead after being pummeled by a piece of equipment during a really bad storm. So, now he has to find some way to survive until he can get in touch with NASA, who also believe him to be dead. That’s the gist of it, although my summary really doesn’t do it justice.

Right from the start, his reaction to realizing that he was alone on Mars, with no way back to Earth, was perfect. I mean, what better word to sum up that harsh, cold realization than f***! And it just keeps getting better and better from there. They could not have chosen a better actor to play the role of Mark Watney than Matt Damon. I know, I haven’t read the book, but based on the description my boyfriend gave me, Damon’s acting was very much in sync with what Andy Weir, author of the book, had in mind.


 I think that what I loved most about it was that, despite the horrible situation he found himself in, he still maintained a certain level of wit and humour that kept the movie from becoming too depressing. I mean, there were moments where you could tell he was on the verge of losing it, but he still managed to turn every set back to his advantage. Or at the very least, find some way to get a laugh out of it:

“This will come as quite a shock to my crew mates. And to N.A.S.A. And to the world. But I’m still alive. Surprise!” – Mark Watney, The Martian


What really bums me out about most movies of the space genre is that everyone and anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about space and the inner workings of the universe feel obliged to swarm on these kinds of movies like crows on a carcass, poking holes in it until there’s nothing good left. Obviously, there is still a limit on how realistic we can make something look, especially something like an entire planet that humans have only seen from still images and through a telescope, and sometimes you need to bend the rules of logic just a little bit to make something in the story work.

I don’t really understand the need to point out everything that’s wrong in someone else’s work, but it can be really off-putting for those who haven’t seen it yet. So, I just want to reassure all of you who haven’t seen it yet, that it is DEFINITELY worth it. So what if the dust storm isn’t entirely realistic? Perhaps it was an extremely rare event that happens once every thousand years or something. I’ve always been of the opinion that until you fully understand something inside and out, anything is possible.

For the most part, though, I’m sure you’ll be seeing mostly raving reviews posted all over the internet, and for good reason. This is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of the year… which may or may not change when I see the news Star Wars movie, but until then, it’ll stay in the top spot. Just in case this wasn’t enough of an incentive to go see it immediately, watch the movie trailer below, and then try NOT seeing it :)

Oh, and I hope you like disco music… that’ll make a lot more sense once you see the movie. Read the book, or see the movie – or both – and until next time, keep on reading!




Book Review: A Mistborn Novel Book #3 – The Hero of Ages

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I just want to start by saying that I have never experienced such a thought provoking and emotionally overwhelming from reading books before. I mean, sure, a tear or two may have squeezed their way out after reading each of the later harry potter books – you know, the ones where somebody dies in each one – but those were a reaction to isolated events. Reading Mistborn was entirely different: you felt every emotion they felt, you experienced their every pain, and when faced with a life altering decision, you were damn near convinced that it could have an impact on your reality as well. That’s the kind of writer Sanderson is: he doesn’t just pull you into the book, he pulls your entire world into it, a rare talent that I heartily applaud.


The Hero of AgesThe Hero of Ages: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson


The world is ending. It is a terrible truth that many citizens still refuse to believe, but the signs are there: the ground is nearly invisible beneath the sea of ash, buildings are falling victim to the quaking of the earth, people are growing ever more fearful of the mists, and there last hope to fix it all turned out to be the worst mistake they could have possibly made.

Elend, king turned emperor, is doing his best to bring as many people as he can under Luthadel’s protection, but resources are already being stretched thin, and there are new dangers lurking on the horizon. However, since their visit to the Well of Ascension, Elend feels a renewed confidence that he can do so much more, not to mention no longer having to rely on Vin to play the role of bodyguard.

Vin is still doing what she does best; following her instincts to decide the best course of action, but even she is beginning to doubt herself; after all, in her attempt to save the world, she inadvertently did the one thing that could lead it to its inevitable doom. Self doubt and hopelessness seem to be going around quite a bit in this point in the story, especially for dear old Sazed, who seems to have lost all faith in the religions he had striven so hard to commit to memory for future generations to benefit from, as he continues to reel from the aftermath of the battle against the Kolloss.

The Hero of Ages is where it all ends, but of course just like every Sanderson book, the question of what will ultimately befall our beloved characters remains unanswered until the very last page. It almost feels like the purpose of the books is to try and see if you can figure out what’s going to happen before they figure it out, which has proven next to impossible for me. This time, I was actually able to figure out one of the key plot points before it was revealed, for which I felt rather proud of myself when faced with Sanderson’s writing genius.

I must confess, I almost didn’t finish the series. After what happened to Kelsier in the first novel, I just didn’t think it would be worth my time to continue through the other two. I mean, Kel was my favourite character, and then he had to have THAT happen to him. But in the end, Kelsier’s fate served a very important purpose to the overall story, and I am incredibly thankful that I was able to carry on. After all, by the second book, I had fallen in love with a number of other characters, most notably Breeze.

Every book needs at least some comedic relief, and in this series, it comes in the form of Breeze. I feel like he is one of the few characters who remains at least somewhat optimistic throughout the entire series, ignoring that one moment of paralyzing fear he experiences during the Kolloss battle in the second book. Other than that, he’s always been the one to make others problems his business, offering encouragement in the form of his characteristic witty remarks.

Another one of my favourite characters was Tensoon. I think the only issue I had with him was trying to figure out what his voice should sound like whenever I read his dialogue, because one moment he would have the growly voice of a wolf hound, and then the next moment he’s supposed to have a more human voice, but seeing as he never had a human form before becoming a dog, I had no idea what his human voice was supposed to be. Really, though, I absolutely loved Tensoon, and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with my love for furry, four legged canines :)

I could easily go through every single character and the hundreds of reasons why they’re awesome, but for those of you who haven’t read the books yet, I shouldn’t deny you the fun of discovering them for yourselves. Going back to the novel at hand, however, I would just like to say that I LOVED the ending. I won’t say whether it was happy or sad, but I will say that everything was tied up so well in the end, leaving little if any loose ends. Usually, when I get to the end of a series, I wish they would write another book so that the story wouldn’t end so soon. With Mistborn, I had no such thoughts. The ending was damn near perfect, that anything more would feel unnecessary.

An epic adventure, which delves into questions of love, destiny, faith, religion, politics, philosophy, and the greatest question of all: how would you face the ending of the world?

I would love to hear what you guys have to say about the book, and the entire series for that matter, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs facebook page. I hope you liked this weeks review, and until next time, keep on reading!



Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new book review! I have been looking forward to reading this book for a VERY long time, ever since I finished reading Paper Towns what feels like ages ago now. Looking For Alaska was his first, the book that launched a thousand more… okay, maybe not quite THAT many, but it certainly paved the way for what I have no doubt will achieve the same level of memorability as those classic novels from decades ago that we continue to study in school today.

Going into this book, I tried very hard to avoid any online spoilers, and surprisingly enough I was successful, considering I follow John Green and his brother Hank on Youtube [it’s so hard to put that in words that doesn’t make one sound like a stalker] . This means that I had absolutely no idea of what to expect going in, and I can honestly say, it exceeded my expectations coming out.

Looking For Alaska  Looking For Alaska by John Green


How he lived his life then, and how he will continue to live it in the future have changed drastically for Miles “Pudge” Halter. He started off as a teenage boy who ended up celebrating the day he was born with his parents, on account of his friends list being somewhat empty. He was tall, not exactly the athletic type, and his greatest talent was his ability to remember the last words of those who had died. His life, for lack of a better word, was mundane. Uneventful, even… that is, until he started hi first day at Culver Creek Preparatory High School, the beginning of his journey towards a Great Perhaps.

What I always love about John Green’s books is that he manages to create characters that are easy to relate to, and are so real that you can almost picture them sitting beside you as you read their part of the story. I also love how he manages to shine a light on both the ugliness and the beauty of life, and you can’t help but accept them both because they make up both sides of the same truth; that life is both ugly and beautiful, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

Alaska Young understands this truth only too well, which is why she has chosen to live her life on the precipice between life and the Great Perhaps. At first, it seems like it’s going to be your typical romance story: boy moves to new school, boy meets beautiful girl, boy immediately falls in love with beautiful girl, boy wins heart of beautiful girl and they live their life happily ever after as boy and beautiful girl. Well, that definitely ain’t this story. Instead, it’s more like boy pines after girl he knows he can’t have, and it doesn’t help that her unpredictable nature sometimes gives him false hope that there could be something more.

But this is not a love story. I mean, it is, but at the same time, it’s not. It’s about finding friendship in unlikely people, pushing boundaries to find what lies beyond the mundane, eating fried burritos, and that we most always keep searching for a Great Perhaps. It’s also about uncovering the mystery that is Alaska Young, trying to understand why she does what she does, and what this labyrinth is that she seems to be trapped in. This is a novel that will captivate you from beginning to end, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you start asking yourself about the meaning of life when you’re finished.

I hope very much that this one will be the next one to follow in the footsteps of The Fault In Our Stars and Papertowns by making its way to the big screen. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but until that time comes, I’ll just have to keep nose in the books so I can continue offering up more recommendations for all of you wonderful followers.

Keep On Reading!


New Blog Page, Check It Out!

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, I recently added a new page to my blog, which features information about some of the editing and proofreading services I have to offer anyone in need of them. The reason I decided to start doing this professionally – and by professionally, I mean offering to give my services to more than just people I know – is because I have come to realize that there are probably so many more people out there who need someone to go over their writing, but may be having trouble finding someone who isn’t outrageously expensive or hard to get a hold of.

Now, I am located in Ottawa – that’s in Canada, for any of my international followers who aren’t familiar with Canadian geography – so this limits how much I can do face to face. Of course, between e-mail and Skype, this could prove to be less of an issue, depending on what it is you actually need. Most of what I have done thus far has been done via e-mail, follower by a face-to-face meeting to answer any follow up questions or clarify the reasons why certain changes should be made. It really depends on the person and their need, but I’m pretty flexible so location and proximity shouldn’t be an issue.

Mostly, I have done proofreading for university students who don’t speak English as a first language, but are required to write English essays for their profs. This can prove to be a challenge when you don’t have a strong grasp of English grammar and verb tense, which is where I would come in. I identified what their main ideas and arguments were, and then made it so that the language conveyed them in a clear manner, leaving plenty of notes in the margins along the way explaining why certain changes were made, and pointing out any writing habits they may have picked up that detract from the academic nature of essay writing. I am by no means a teacher, and I don’t pretend to be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any lessons to teach throughout my editing process.

I have also gone over academic journal articles for things like overall flow, or to make sure that those of us who don’t have a PhD can still grasp the finer points of their research without feeling like it’s all going over their head. My absolute favourite project was helping a friend of mine with her very first book she had ever wrote. It was a murder mystery novel, and she had incredible ideas, but again, English was not her native tongue, both spoken and written. This one took quite a bit more time, because not only was I fixing spelling and grammar errors, but I was also making sure that readers would be able to see the connections between events, and that the story remained consistent from beginning to end. This is tricky for even experienced writers to accomplish, but between the two of us I believe we were successful in bringing her ideas together in a very exciting and well thought out tail of murder, mystery and intrigue. It has yet to be published, but I was able to help her overcome the biggest hurtle for a writer, and that is to feel satisfied with your work.

  So feel free to visit my new page, which you will find in the menu above entitled My Editing and Proofreading Services. My prices are based on the size of the document, the services that you require for it, and when you need it by – in other words, on a case by case basis –  so feel free to contact me via e-mail for more information:

Before I start feeling like a salesman, I’ll end it here for today. Check back here soon, though, for my next book review posting, which will hopefully be by tomorrow at the latest. Until then, keep on reading!



An Inspirational Quote from Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn Trilogy”

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

As I continue to read my way through the Mistborn trilogy, I have come to the realization that these books contain what I think are some of the best literary quotes… heck, the best life quotes, of all time. With every page I read, my own yearning to write grows, in the hopes that I can tap into the deepest recesses of my imagination and pull out something as brilliant and thought provoking as what Sanderson has managed to create.

This quote, from Sanderson’sThe Well of Ascension“, really spoke to me as someone who has chosen to follow the writers path, which today is highly competitive and difficult to get into. At times, it feels a lot like drawing lots; sometimes you’ll get lucky with a big break, and other times you’ll encounter failure after failure after failure. You pretty much need to have a will of steel, otherwise the continual rejection could become a rather daunting, impassible wall.

However, if we were to succeed at everything on the first try, then we would be missing out on the thrill and satisfaction that comes from giving something our all until we finally succeed. This feeling is summed up very well in the following quote:      

“It’s easy to believe in something when you win all the time…The losses are what define a man’s faith.”

                                                                                                                     ― Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension      

As I read this quote, I’m reminded of when I used to play badminton with my siblings when I was little. It was, and continues to be, one of my favourite sports of all times – yes, it is a sport, all of you out there who don’t see it as such – but there was a time when I wanted to give it up altogether. Whenever I played against my siblings, I did pretty damn well, and when I found out that my school was holding tryouts for the badminton team, I was convinced that I would be able to get on it, no problem. My own confidence surprised me, since I’m probably one of the least confident people I know, yet I had a pretty good feeling about my odds.

As I’m sure you can guess, I didn’t make it. In fact, during the tryout matches, I lost every single time, and I was shocked. How could that be? What did I do wrong? Am I really not as good as I thought I was? All of these questions whirled around in my head as I dragged myself back to class, my shoulders slouched by the weight of my failure. It was one of the worst moments in my life… and yet, I have absolutely no regrets.

The following year, I decided that I was going to tryout for the high school baseball team, but unlike with the badminton fiasco, I worked hard to hone my skills, practicing every day after school, and not making the same mistake of putting the cart before the horse. I reminded myself that there was a chance I wouldn’t make it onto the team, but that I wouldn’t know unless I tried. This time, I achieved my goal, and I honestly believe that I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for my failure to make it onto the badminton team.

I know it’s a rather simple example, especially when compared to the context in which this quote was uttered in the novel – I won’t give away any details, for those who have yet to read it – but I think the meaning is clear: our faith in something, even our own abilities, is strengthened more by our failures than our successes, because if we fail yet our faith remains intact, then that is a testament to how strong that faith truly is.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this quote. Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s facebook page, and if you have any quotes of your own you would like to share, I would love to read those as well. Comment away, and as always, keep on reading!



Dragonriders of Pern Movie? Yes Please!

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m sure many of you have heard the exciting news already, but for those of you still in the dark, it has been announced that there is going to be a movie adaptation of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern!I guess this would only be exciting for those of you who have actually read the series, so for anyone who hasn’t… well, what are you waiting for? If there’s a bookstore nearby, find there science fiction section and get yourself a copy of Dragonflight, which I am almost one hundred percent certain is the very first book of the Pern universe, which began all the way back in the 1960’s, a true testament to just how amazing this series really is.

DragonflightBasically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.

What is really unique about this series is that even though your first assumption is that it’s of the fantasy genre, it turns out that it is very much science fiction. Even though technology doesn’t really exist anymore, they still come across remnants of it throughout the series, from when humans first began colonizing other planets. There is also a form of genetically engineered bugs called Grub, which were created by humans to be able to eat Thread. Even the dragons and fire lizards were subject to human experimentation, which increased their intelligence and allowed humans to work alongside them.

Anne McCaffrey, who unfortunately passed away in 2011, developed a word that embraces what I feel to be the bests aspects of both science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t wait to see for myself what kind of movie they will give birth to. Of course, I never get my hopes too high at the prospect of a book hitting the big screen, for we have seen what can happen when the responsibility is given to the wrong people. I am still getting over the disaster that was Eragon, and my disappointment in everything that was left out of the fourth Harry Potter movie. Of course, there have been many successes as well, like The Fault In Our Stars, and all of the other wonderful harry potter movies, so there is always hope.

Chronicles of Pern

 I actually got into this series after playing the video game version of it on my brothers Dreamcast Sega, which in my opinion had some of the best games I’ve ever played… even if the graphics weren’t always the best, but they were the early days of gaming after all. Anyway, I was really into the video game, which admittedly wasn’t that great voice acting and visuals wise, but was still entertaining nonetheless. I would be over the moon happy if someone were to revamp this game, because even though it wasn’t the greatest, it has a lot of potential, and we more than have the technology and the know how to makes it into one of the most beautiful and enticing games of our era.

So at the time, I actually had no idea that this game was based on an entire series of books. It also happened to be during a time when the only books I had really gotten into were the Harry Potter books. It was certainly a pleasant surprise, however, when I came across the literary Pern universe, and I didn’t hesitate to buy the first three books of the series… well, I’m fairly certain they’re the first ones. There are so many books in the series now, that it’s kind of hard to tell anymore, but they made sense when I read them in the order I did.

I was also very happy to hear that Anne McCaffrey’s son, Todd, has been continuing the series. Of course, this just means that it’s going to take me even longer to get through the whole series. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, for as I’m sure I have mentioned before, I hate it when a really good book comes to an end. For me, books are a lot like a pack of reeces peanut butter cups; it’s such a good feeling knowing that even after you’ve eaten one, there are still two more waiting for you to sink your teeth into. :)

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Dragonriders of Pern series, or on the upcoming movie adaptation, feel free to leave them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page. I would love to hear what you have to see, and as always, keep on reading!



The Things Books Teach Us That We Should Already Know

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,
I’m sure each and every one of you have had at least one person in your life tell you that you should get your nose out of the books and go out and spend more time in the real world. Of course, books just like anything else should be enjoyed in moderation, much like Halloween candy and video games – these examples were inspired by the bag of fuzzy peaches sitting on the desk to my left and the Game Grumps YouTube video playing in the background as I write this – otherwise you grow sick of them. Not that I can ever see myself growing sick of reading… or eating fuzzy peaches, for that matter, but there is a greater point to all of this.
The people who tell us that we spend too much time reading are more likely than not in need of a good book themselves, because more often than not, you can learn a hell of a lot more about the world you live in by means of science fiction and fantasy tales than you can from what the real world has to say. Before you start jumping to conclusions, I am not in any way insinuating that the world is full of nothing but lies… that’s not to say that it isn’t, but I do not share that particular opinion… well, not entirely anyway. So many things do lie to us on a daily basis, but where there are lies, there are also truths to be found. That’s right, I can be deep :)
When I was studying journalism in school, one of the most important lessons that the professors drilled into our brains is that nothing is ever black and white. The world is more than just a line which separates the right and the wrong, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. It is more like…a Megagon. No, I did not make that word up, but if you must, go ahead and take a second to look it up to quell your uncertainty…. satisfied? Okay, moving on. So basically, when we figure that we’ve seen every possible side of something, we’re surprised to find that there was another one, and there are always going to be more sides than what we can see with the naked eye.
That’s where books come in. They see things that we should have already been able to see, but for one reason or another we didn’t. I feel like the main reason for this is because our imaginations are not bound by the body’s limitations. The mind has the capacity to see so much more than what our eyes ever could, but only if we’re willing to put it to work.
There are books that have been around for decades that we can still learn so much from, which I think is why we still study them in school. Even if the terminology may be outdated, or they refer to places that haven’t existed for a long time, there is still a wisdom tucked away in their pages that we can learn so much from, even things that, honestly, we should already know. 
The value of human life, for instance. Human history is plagued with violence and death, as if that was the only way to settle differences. Even now, in a time when we are more than capable of talking things out and coming to a mutual understanding, we still resort to mass genocides to get our messages across. Honestly, I think our world leaders could benefit from taking a moment to crack open a good children’s book and re-educate themselves about some of the more effective ways to make nice, like ‘treating others the way you want to be treated’. I’m sure they all learned this as children, but I guess they forgot.
Books are such a precious and valuable resource, which is why it breaks my heart to see fewer and fewer children interested in reading, and more and more libraries being shut down, their books discarded like unwanted garbage. They say civilization is always advancing, but if you ask me, we’ve taken quite a few steps back in our progress in the past decade alone.
Books help us to not only avoid repeating our past mistakes, but they also act as a window into what the future could potentially hold based on the actions we take today. They are our teachers and our reminders, and we would be lost without them.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the issue, so feel free to post in the comments below or on my blogs facebook page via the link in the sidebar, and as always, keep reading!