23 Jan 2016

internet stuff for reading enjoyment

Happy weekend! I am off-call, the sun is shining and my friends are on their way up to Guelph for a good old fashioned girls sleepover. Talk about a mood improvement! What are you all up to? I hope laying low, getting outside if the snow isn't piling up and spending time with people who fill you up. I've got a few links for you plus this hilarious video my friend Emily sent me this week. Cheers!

 Harry Potter as a Teen Comedy. Do yourself a favour and watch this.

Please say that you are also already planning this year's celebration

eat all the toast! I am very into the cucumber, hummus and sesame option...

would you listen to this podcast?

still considering how you want this year to be different? I recommend this post

I think this article is particularly relevant now that we're in the midst of the winter doldrums

8 things everyone should do before 8pm
If we can take control of our nights, we will quickly change the entire course of our lives. We will also experience the rejuvenation and joy that evenings are meant to provide. 
want to find out more about yourself? Check out one of these 5 online personality quizzes that are actually worth taking  

really, you need to listen to this all weekend, on repeat 

this is an easy way to put that crockpot your mom gave you for Christmas to good use

Have a great weekend dudes, xo

22 Jan 2016

book report // volume 7

Okay, so life is maybe not so great right now. And maybe there's not a whole lot going on worth blogging about. But there are always, always fantastic books that are crying out to be read and re-read! My holiday break was fantastic for reading. I sat undisturbed for hours at time, cold mugs of tea piling up on the coffee table, while I ploughed on in my quest to read until my eyes fall out. I started by reading Harry Potter four through seven. When that itch was scratched I moved on to fantasy, fantasy and more fantasy. I had some excellent book juju going on, it seemed like every book I picked up was completely engrossing. Don't you love when that happens? January is a great time to spend a few of the dark hours indoors reading big, fat page turners (particularly when one is in the middle of their winter of discontent, ahem) Here are a few I would recommend...

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel 
I did not know what to expect when I picked this up from the library. It kept popping up on un-put-downable lists, blogger recommendation posts and popular pick tables but the key points of the plot were never revealed. Set largely in Toronto, the book captured my heart almost instantly. It's about one of my most favourite topics to speculate on: the collapse of modern society due to [unforeseen natural event]. That in an of itself would have made it worth reading, but it's also heartbreakingly beautiful. It's one of those I-need-to-put-the-book-down-because-I-just-read-something-so-well-written-and-I-need-a-moment books. We are treated to flash backs of key characters and present day moments that are as haunting as they are intriguing. If this gets made into a movie there is no way it will do it justice because the plot while extraordinarily thought out and woven together, is nothing compared to the writing. This is a book that makes you appreciate writing (and your life as you know it!)

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 
For me, fantasy novels are hit or miss. I read about this particular book on some ridiculous blog post listing off books that you should read if you liked Outlander. It alone seemed worth picking up, with the other selections being something like this *shudders inwardly* The Queen of the Tearling is not a romance, I think it's place on the aforementioned list was earned because it's got a kick-ass female lead and it's set in a time far different than our current one. Many hundreds of years in the future humanity is reduced to a medieval lifestyle, books are a rare commodity prized only by monks and those who know how to read. Our heroine extraordinaire is Kelsey, next in line for the throne but raised away from the corruption and indulgences of royal life. She must literally risk her life to attend her coronation and take her rightful seat as queen. Thrust into something she didn't ask for she has to figure out how to outsmart frequent attempts on her life, govern a kingdom in disarray and also earn the trust of the skilled but mysterious Queen's Guard. I highly recommend you add this to your list. I just borrowed the sequel from the library and cannot wait to dive in.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 
Attention fans of 80s pop culture! You must read this book. Despite it's presence on many best-seller tables I shied away from Ready Player One because I am not into video games and it seemed like it was a book about video games. Well, it is and it isn't. I stayed up far too late on several occasions because each chapter left me with more questions than answers. It's exciting, fast paced and absolutely full of 80s pop culture. I think one of the reasons books with adolescent protagonists are so enjoyable is that they divide the world into good and bad and we so rarely get real-life satisfaction of good triumphing over evil. Real life is just too grey. Ready Player One scratches that itch in a lovely and unique way.

The Clasp by Sloane Crosley 
When I saw that Sloane Crosley was publishing a fiction novel I had a bit of a freak out. If you have not had the privilege of reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake or How Did You Get This Number? then stop reading this immediately, go to your nearest book retailer and rectify the situation. Okay, good, well done, now back to the The Clasp. I didn't even attempt to lower my expectations for this book, I just went right ahead and got over the top excited. I was not disappointed. It's chock full of hilariously flawed characters, all of whom are on the edge of entering their third decade. Each with a level of chaos and unresolved issues that we all secretly loathe but with which we identify. The book has us in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. And there's a sex scene involving an iphone. And there's a big old necklace. It's fantastic, you should read it.

What are you reading? What should I read next?

19 Jan 2016

live right in it

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under it's roof. -Barbara Kingsolver"
Supposition dudes, supposition. 

 photo of Budapest taken by me

17 Jan 2016

internet stuff for reading enjoyment

What a week. What a year! Does anyone else feel as though they've been slapped across the face by 2016? Nothing like a good, hard shoulder shaking by the hands of life to get your wheels spinning. It's been rough. I did, however, hear a great quote on CBC this weekend "the triumph of hope over experience". They were talking about dieting in the new year, but I think it applies to so many parts of life. Hope must remain vigilant, even through experience.  I've had a very low-key weekend, the cat has been excellent company. I made tuna casserole aka number one all time favourite comfort food and I'm going to watch all of Pushing Daisies. Sad hearts call for such things. I've spent slightly less time than usual on the internet this week but I still found some stuff for your reading enjoyment! Cheers to a better week!

134 ideas for random acts of kindness

Adult Hot Tip! how to talk about yourself without apologizing for it

I would read any one of the best science books of the year
What's true of great children's books is true of great science books, which must do three things for the reader-explain, enchant and elevate. 
you can't beat the original queen of sass
this outfit is totally my style, oh and this one too

a flower was grown in space! In space!

a pitcher of these next weekend is in order

Have you read any of these? 7 books that will make you a better person. Tiny, Beautiful Things is one of the best books I've ever read, I will be adding the rest to my to-read list 

why we should focus on making and sticking with habits

I am fo sho gonna make one of these!

this would be a great thing to make for yourself or give to a friend 

Have a relaxing Sunday. Until next time, xo

photo via Unsplash