My Summer Books

I like any excuse to curl up and spend the day immersed in a good story. Last weekend, for example, it rained rained rained and I read read read. But what I like best is summertime reading. Whether it's beach reading, dock reading, reading outside on a lounger, or hiding inside from a wild summer storm, being with a good book on a hot day and having nothing more important to do is one of the best feelings. … [Read more...]

On Becoming a Reader of Books

I know many adults who enjoy YA literature, but today I'm looking at the opposite effect -- that moment when a young person discovers real grown-up lit! Do you remember when you left your kid books behind and started reading novels for adults? I'm pretty sure the summer I turned 14 is when it happened for me. I can't recall much of my early independent reading, but I do remember this dorky French series at my school library about a little elf-type guy called Oui-Oui. Even then, I knew it wasn't any good, but we had mandatory library time and it was what was on offer. Outside of school, I discovered my first Nancy Drew book, The Mystery of the 99 Steps. It had it all -- a feisty female main … [Read more...]

Generation X

Blame it on a Millennial. It was a colleague's casual comment that got me thinking about the markers of my generation. She said that she was born in 1980 and so wasn't sure if she was really a Millennial or more of a Gen Xer like me. Flashback to a work party a couple of Christmases ago -- I was chatting with librarians my age when The Knack's My Sharona came on. Of course, we started doing a little dance. An older colleague walked by and commented that we were too young to know this song. Without missing a beat … [Read more...]

The Best of 2016: Beauty among the ruins

If I was the type of person who looks for signs of the apocalypse, 2016 might have blown my mind. As it was, I had to turn off the world from time to time in order to salvage my sanity. The first big shocker was Prince's death. Yes, I know … [Read more...]

Scotlaaaand!

You know how sometimes once you notice something, suddenly it's everywhere? That's what's happening with me and Scotland these days. I don't know if Scotland is having a moment, or if it's just that I'm having a private Scottish renaissance -- I suspect it might be the former. A few years ago, it was all Iceland all the time. Something about that sparsely populated island with the fiercely independent spirit had definitely captured imaginations. And now it feels like Scotland's turn (even if it isn't the most exotic locale for many Canadians). But there is something in the air... and it's not sheep shite. … [Read more...]

Ambivalent Advice from a 40 Year Old

Here I am, I am 40. This didn't happen today but a few weeks ago. I had fully intended, in the days leading up to my July birthday, to write a brilliantly insightful post about getting older, imparting all the wonderful wisdom of my 40 years. Ha! Staring at the screen in defeat, I was forced to admit that I was more confused than ever. … [Read more...]

Top 5 Reasons the New Ghostbusters is Magic

While I have fond memories of watching the original Ghostbusters at a sleepover party when I was 10 years old, I've never really had the urge to revisit it. So when this new all-female ghost busting movie came out, I was only mildly curious. Then I watched the trailer and thought, hmm, that looks like fun. Well, I went to see it on Sunday with a girlfriend and... OMG I did not know how much I needed this movie … [Read more...]

Tiny Pleasures, Beautiful Routines

When was the last time a book changed your life, or at least your perception of it? Last month I found myself deep into two books that took me to places I hadn't visited in a long time. I struggled to put my finger on what it was that I had been missing and that was revealed to me in these books. The best I can do is this: I was reminded of what it was like to live in a not-connected world. I wasn't sure what to expect when my turn came up on the library waitlist for Patti Smith's M Train. To be frank, I didn't think it would be … [Read more...]