Author Archives: expressedbyemily

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith


This book is the second in the Cormoran Strike detective series. The stories are not interlaced but the events of the first novel are mentioned in them. I guess you wouldn’t have to read them in order but I have so far and probably will continue them in order.

In this second case, author Owen Quine goes missing and his wife calls Strike to find him, even though she believes he has just disappeared for a few days which is a common occurrence with him. As he investigates further, it turns out that Quine has written a book that would literally ruin everyone he knows if it were published and those people would perhaps want him silenced because of the manuscript. Strike discovers him to have been brutally murdered and must understand the killer’s motive in order to find out who he or she is.

This book, like the first in the series, kept me hooked from beginning to end. It’s nice to find a book series that keeps the same enjoyable pace in at least the first two books. So, if you choose to read it, enjoy!

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith


SO for those of you that don’t know this, Robert Galbraith is a pen name for J.K. Rowling. There has been a lot of hate towards her because of things she has said online that were not acceptable. I did not buy this book (or others in the series) after she made her transphobic comments online, nor do I support the things she said, but I did surprisingly enjoy this book and the one after it which will come in a later review. I’m not sure why I felt the need to write that, I could have just gotten straight into the book review but I felt that was important to say so if you don’t like it then you can stop reading my page.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series. Cormoran Strike is a private investigator barely getting by after he lost his leg in Afghanistan. Cue the entry on one John Bristow who’s sister is the famous Lula Landry. She fell to her death from a balcony, which the police ruled as a suicide but her brother does not believe that in the slightest so John hires Strike to find out what really happened.

After falling love with Harry Potter as a child and rereading it several times, I was skeptical about reading this series because the “adult” novel J.K. Rowling released under her own name did not receive good reviews at all. I don’t even remember the book’s name. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised when reading this. I recommend it if you like a good whodunit book with comic relief from Strike’s wonderful character.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson


So, this book came onto my radar because of the Netflix show. I am a huge fan of all scary stuff and I DEVOURED the show. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the part of the credits where it said it was based on a book. I’m kind of crazy with things like this and prefer to watch the show/movie AFTER reading the book/books but clearly I messed up for this. I also now realize that I did this with the show YOU but I have heard that the books aren’t very good. I will probably still read them because I am addicted to reading. Plus, I like to see the similarities and differences between both the book and the show. Do not even get me started about Game of Thrones. I will do a complete blog post about that one day when my anger simmers down. I am still salty about the TV show.

The Haunting of Hill House book and TV show are very different, so if you’re coming into the book after watching the show, you’ll be in for a bit of a surprise. The show is about a family that moves into Hill House which does not happen in the book, even though some of the characters are the same.

Dr. Montague is an occult specialist looking for evidence of a haunting at Hill house. He decides to recruit people to spend time with him, including Theodora, Eleanor, who has communicated with spirits and Luke who is the heir of Hill House. The book is not, in my opinion, scary, but more spooky. I enjoyed it because of the way the characters interact and the personality of the house. I find the basic storyline of a haunted house can be sometimes boring because it can be the same story over and over again whereas Hill House has a personality in both the book and the show (because of the inhabitants) and I guess that is part of the book’s charm.

I also enjoy the character development between everyone involved. In the show, Eleanor and Theodora are sisters and in the book, they develop a friendship that brings them close until it unravels thanks to Hill House. I won’t give to much away about that because then there’s no point in reading the book yourself. The house literally confuses everyone in it and while Eleanor is the main character in all of this, she is the most affected by the house and all its bizarre elements. It really does a number on your psyche because of the feeling reading this book gives you, it’s spooky and a perfect fall read to get you in the mood for Halloween! I definitely suggest you read it and give yourself a little scare!

Summer is Ending!

Does anyone else feel drained? I have always been a sociable person, if you don’t believe me, ask anyone I know! I’ve never been able to sit still, I have to always be doing something with minimal relaxation. Whether it’s travelling to a different country, a weekend away somewhere around Montreal or just a dinner or a night out at a bar. Even roaming aimlessly around downtown Montreal. Now, it takes all of my strength to go grocery shopping. I feel like I really haven’t done much with my summer and that’s okay. I’ll update you all on that in another summer wrap up blog post but if anything, I have learned to relax more during this pandemic situation. It’s forced me to stay in and not do anything.

One major thing I have hated the most about the pandemic is talking about the pandemic. I realize that this is hypocritical as I am talking about it currently but I am so frustrated about everything. I like to follow news channels on social media but have mostly snoozed them all because literally Covid is all they can talk about. I like to stay involved with what’s happening in the world but when it’s been the same shit for almost TWO YEARS it gets a little repetitive. If you are suffering from this kind of mental exhaustion I would suggest muting the news also. It’s lifted so much negative shit from my daily life it’s awesome. The only problem is, you can’t mute people in your every day life who constantly talk about it. I have gotten really good at saying I don’t want to talk about it anymore or like CAN WE NOT TALK ABOUT COVID. Sorry I really needed to get that all out of my system because I am having a moment of frustration. On to other things.

While I have felt unaccomplished with my summer, I am looking forward to kicking into high gear for the fall which is my favourite season. I wish it could be fall all year long. I love the temperature, the clothes, the food AND you better believe that I’ve already had 3 pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. I know it sounds extremely basic but I loved fall before it was basic and I did it without the UGG boots. Those were for winter and I bought only two pairs before I realized how stupid it was to wear boots that aren’t water proof in cold and wet Canada. Sorry to all the people who still wear them. Sometimes I feel stuck in this place of being young and trendy (I never really was to be honest) and older and comfortable. I mean I guess I can be kind of trendy and comfortable these days because athleisurewear is going to be the norm for people on a daily basis thanks to staying home all the time. I mean I didn’t but I work in yoga pants so it doesn’t really bother me because I’m used to it.

Something I have been doing a lot is reading. I’m way behind in my book reviews but they are coming. I honestly cannot believe that I’ve been reading so much this year. It actually gives me a bit of anxiety knowing that I won’t be able to read as much now that things have opened up. I could make the conscious decision to read and not go out but I think that I’ll try and make a pact with myself to at least read a half an hour a day and do whatever I feel like doing other than that whether it’s dinner or a sports game or some sort of event like a concert. I am going to try not to be so hard on myself for not doing stuff. It’s hard because I want to always do so many things because you never know what can happen or how much time you have. I think that’s why I’m so anxious about not doing a lot this past year. It was nice to do nothing but I really missed my friends and family. It honestly was the hardest part. Now I’ve started seeing more people and it’s lovely but I just have to get my momentum going again which will happen more and more as time goes by! Small steps is key. Can’t wait for some normalcy again!

It’s Almost Summer!!!

So, it’s June and a lot has been going on around here. I know a lot of people read my book reviews and I’ve been slacking with all kinds of posts and I’ve just been out and about living life as well as I was getting severe migraines and dizziness and therefore was trying to not go on screens a lot and here we are three months sans post.

First of all, in May it was my birthday and I tell you, it’s definitely weird having a covid birthday, not once but twice and not really doing anything. It’s a weird thing because I mostly had quiet birthdays both times when usually I do dinner and drinks. This year’s birthday was different because 2 new people were in my life that weren’t in my life last year. My boyfriend and my niece. Marvin always makes me feel loved in all the ways he can and he’s super cute about it. He knows what I love and actually went above and beyond and got me a gift certificate to the spa and we went to his cottage for some well deserved time off and to celebrate our 1 year anniversary as well which was at the end of May. Hurray for covid romances hahaha. Then there’s my niece who is the cutest child ever and I am so proud and happy to be her Zia. It’s been refreshing to have a baby in our lives this past year even though we haven’t been able to see her all that much. I’m happy that restrictions are starting to lift and we will be able to spend more time with her. She waved at me and said Hi to me on Sunday and I almost cried. She’s 9 months and I am so amazed by the little person she is already!

In other news… the HABS have made it to the semi finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As a crazy fan, I couldn’t be more happy and excited. We beat the Leafs and the Jets and now we’re in the semis against Vegas!! Now the bars and restaurants are opening and it will be nice to go out and watch games hopefully until they win the cup! They have also placed and giant Budweiiser Buzzer in front of a Cage au Sports downtown that I NEED to see. Honestly these playoffs are giving me so much life right now!! I really hope they make it all the way! This Habs fan will be VERY happy!! GO HABS GO!!!

Hopefully more exciting things will go on now that the city is more open but until then, go outside and enjoy yourselves and see your friends and family!


The People Code & The Character Code Book Review

The People Code & The Character Code by Taylor Hartman Ph.D.


As an author, psychologist, and leadership coach, Dr. Taylor Hartman offers an incisive system for improving your understanding of yourself and others and strengthening your day-to-day relationships. In first The People Code and then The Character Code, Dr. Hartman introduces the Color Code Personality Profile, explaining why people do what they do by identifying four basic personality types and showing you how to use “color profiles” to cultivate rich and balanced character and relationships.

All people, reveals Dr. Hartman, possess one of four driving “core motives,” classified by color: Red (“power wielders”), Blue (“do-gooders”), White (“peacekeepers”), and Yellow (“fun lovers”). Once you understand your color code—and the color codes of others—you can analyze your own innate personality and use that knowledge to balance your relationships, both personal and professional.

The essence of character is the ability to enhance not only your own life, but the lives of others as well. Together, The People Code and The Character Code provide a universal message, simple and profound: life is about relationships.

This book was given to me as a gift and a year or two later, I finally read it. I won’t lie, it took me a long time to read this book because there was a lot of information in here. At first I felt like I was reading a textbook but as I read on I learned more about myself and the people around me. The book explains personalities in four different colours which I won’t explain here, I’ll let you read to find out more. It’s the first time I read something where I was bored at the beginning and super interested afterwards.

This book taught me a lot about my personality and my limitations as well as the people around me. First you take a quiz to find out what colour you are and then you read all about yourself and your relationships and limitations. I found it to be quite interesting and it gave me a lot to think about. If this sounds like something interesting to you, I recommend giving it a read. I wasn’t convinced at first but after finishing it, I was glad I read it.

The Henna Artist – Book Review

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi


Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

Genre: Historical Fiction

This book is a historical fiction novel which I don’t normal read. This was the third book we read in my book club. The thing about book club is that we can go out of our comfort zone and read things you wouldn’t normally read. This book was beautifully written, the author did a wonderful job. The book took me to a place I’ve never been to, Jaipur, and it felt like I was there. The story was interesting and all the characters were well developed but I found the main character Lakshmi really annoying. I think it was because she cared so much about what her wealthy clients thought of her instead of taking care of her family. Thankfully the story evolved and eventually I was able to tolerate her and be happy about the choices that she was making.

I rated this book three stars because while it was good I didn’t find the story very captivating. During our book club meeting about the book, I found out that this is the first book in a series. The other books aren’t out yet but it makes much more sense now and this new fact made me appreciate the book even more. I do recommend it though and I cannot wait to read the second book!

TikTok Tomato Feta Pasta

So if you’ve been living under a rock during the past few months, you won’t be aware of this viral recipe. Basically it is exactly what it sounds like and it is delicious. I’m never sure of these trendy recipes but being an Italian pasta lover I had to try it at least once and let me tell you it will definitely be a repeat recipe! Let’s get to it!!!


– 8 ounces of feta (I used about 9)

– 2 containers of grapes tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

– Pasta of your choosing ( I used penne)

– garlic (as much as you want)

– fresh basil (as much as you want)

– olive oil

Cooking Instructions

– Preheat oven to 400° F.

– Measure out 8 ounces of feta.

– Place tomatoes in a Pyrex or some form of cookware for the oven and pour olive oil over them, making sure they are all lightly covered in oil.

– Place feta in the center of the tomatoes.

– Bake for 35-40 minutes.

– Chop garlic and fresh basil.

– Cook your favorite pasta.

– When the sauce is done baking, remove from the oven and add the garlic and fresh basil and stir. It could be watery but as it cools and is stirred it will thicken.

– Mix with pasta and enjoy!!! Don’t forget to add Parmesan cheese on top!

Late Night Blog Post

So, it’s 2am and I cannot sleep. It’s been awhile since I’ve had trouble sleeping but I kind of welcome it because mostly I go to bed at like 9 every day these days. Pandemic life am I right?

This week had been a busy week but it has gone by super quickly! I cannot believe that it’s April next week!!!! Soon it’s my birthday and then my boyfriend and I’s one year anniversary! I can’t believe how fast the year has gone. It’s been a great year! I can’t wait to be able to go out and about again! Also I just got a new cookbook in the mail today so I can’t wait to cook all kinds of things! It’s “True Comfort” by Kristin Cavallari. I never watched Laguna Beach but 2020 made me appreciate reality TV for needing it to turn off my mind. I watched Love is Blind and Tiger King. I need more shows but like I prefer stuff with more… substance. I am currently watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race and while it’s interesting, the queens are exceptionally bitchy and catty and it is really annoying. Like shut the fuck up already. I feel like if I started watching real housewives or something I would lose more brain cells and get annoyed at the bitchiness on there as well.

Anyways, glad there’s no drama in my life. If you know me, you know I’m a bluntly honest person. If you don’t like it don’t talk to me. I don’t really care if you don’t like me, it’s your loss. You gotta have that mentality or you’ll get walked over all the time. I learned that not long ago and I tell you I am much happier for it. It provides for a better more enjoyable life :).

This weekend it’s my mom’s birthday. She wanted a barbecue but it’s supposed to piss rain all weekend so that has been replaced with us ordering in! I can’t wait to see where she decides to order from! I hope she’s able to enjoy her birthday! It’s her second quarantined birthday and it’s going to rain so that really sucks but my sister and I will make sure she has a great day regardless. My birthday will also be in quarantine again this year. Last year I got drunk in my backyard with an outdoor socially distanced birthday and then on zoom haha. What a time ! Hopefully I could have a backyard chilling for my birthday again this year! It was like 30 degrees on my birthday last year! Great weather!

I know some people don’t like their birthday but I do. You are celebrating life! I believe in celebrating you and if I love you, you deserve to be celebrated ! Without you being born, you wouldn’t exist (obviously) and you wouldn’t be able to bring happiness into my life or the lives of others. So be happy you exist and celebrate yourself because you are friggen awesome!

I’d just like to say also, that I will be trying to post to the blog way more with recipes and product reviews. So far I’ve only been adding book reviews but seriously there are not enough hours in a day to write everything I want to write but it is coming. I’m not stressed about it or anything but since the site is still new, I feel like I haven’t added enough. I shouldn’t feel this way though because I’m using this site as a place of expression first and foremost and second to entertain you reading this! Sometimes the posts will be happy, sometimes they will be sad (shoutout anxiety, depression and panic attacks), sometimes informative and sometimes funny. You will get every form of expression around here ladies and gents ! With that I bid you a good morning and hopefully I will be able to sleep now haha.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Book Review

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

So, I loved this book. It is the first comedy book I have ever read and I can’t wait to read the rest of Mindy’s novels. When reading this book, I felt like I was her friend sitting in a room just listening to her talk. If I were ever to write a book, I imagine that it would feel like that, as if I’m talking with a friend.

If you have ever seen “The Mindy Project” or “The Office,” you already know that Mindy is hilarious. She talks about her life and all of her experiences and constantly keeps you laughing. It was a great pick me up during this drab year of the pandemic and it made me wonder how come I had never read a comedy book before. I definitely 100% recommend you read this book for a laugh, you won’t be disappointed.