Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Snob's High Summer Read-a-Thon Reading Challenge

Saturday morning, my friend Colleen will be on her way to my place for a day of reading.  We each have our piles of books set aside ("Call me when you get here, so I can help you carry your books up," I said), and I have plenty of lamps, pillows, and blankets, in the living room, so we can each build our reading nests.  I'm going to have both the tassimo and the drip coffee maker ready to go, and fresh fruit and bagels for fuel.  I'm setting up the blow up mattress in the library for myself and making up my bed for her, so either of us can take a nap without bothering the other.

The read-a-thon is for the entire week, but both of us have been working the whole week, so we're doing a blitz.  I am quite excited.

For the Reading Challenge, I'm reading Caitlin Moran's "Moranthology".  It's none-fiction, so I'm not certain this will count, but she writes about an interview with Keith Richards, and an entire evening with Lady Gaga.  Well, I found a pic with both of them in it.

Gorgeous Gaga proving vertical stripes do no one any favours.
Incredibly straightforward.  Sorry.  :P

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday morning reading update

Now reading:

Caitlin Moran's Moranthology

Blurb from amazon:

The follow-up to Caitlin Moran's breakout hit, How to Be a Woman—A hilarious collection of award-winning columns, available to American readers for the first time ever.
Possibly the only drawback to the bestselling How to Be a Woman was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. Moranthology is proof that Caitlin can actually be "quite chatty" about many other things, including cultural, social, and political issues that are usually the province of learned professors or hot-shot wonks—and not of a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar and got it stoned. Caitlin ruminates on—and sometimes interviews—subjects as varied as caffeine, Keith Richards, Ghostbusters, Twitter, transsexuals, the welfare state, the royal wedding, Lady Gaga, and her own mortality, to name just a few. With her unique voice, Caitlin brings insight and humor to everything she writes.

I'm about halfway through now, and I'm really enjoying it.  It's a series of articles/essays, mostly funny.  The tale of her interview with Keith Richards was quite good.   Also, she makes a good case for declaring that Ghostbusters is the best movie ever made.  

Man, how good was Ghostbusters? So good. 

Of course, this is all for my first read-a-thon!  

Sign up is here
This read-a-thon is being hosted by Michelle, who will be updating her progress here

My friend Colleen is participating as well - (no updates there yet, but possibly this weekend.  Or via her twitter -

If you found your way here through the read-a-thon, please take a moment to say hello!  Always nice to meet a fellow reader.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This week, I'm participating in a read-a-thon!  This read-a-thon started Monday morning, and lasts all week, but on Saturday, it'll last allll day.
My friend, Janeycanuck (that's her online handle - her blog can be found here.) This year, instead of our standard "go for dinner, then go to a bookstore" date - which we're both big fans of - I suggested we do a read-a-thon.  Sometime ago, she suggested I join one with her, and I had to decline.  This will be her third, but my first!

I must say, I'm a little concerned that I'll get on her nerves.  I don't know how many breaks is too much, how long they're supposed to be (I'm guessing 5-10, once an hour? I just don't know).  I've been known to talk up a storm sometimes (we can be quite guilty of it together, actually).  Also, I had said I was going to create an itinerary of things to do, but I just don't know what I'm doing.  I should go for Lean training, so I'll be better prepared on handling social situations, such as this.

I've set aside some books for Saturday:

I'm sorry, you may have to turn your head.

I've got my kobo on the left hand side (top of the pic, with this justification), which is full of goodies.  I'm not a huge fan of my kobo, but I'll probably have it out for some duration of the event.  Then there's:

  • Charlie McDowell's "Dear Girls Above Me" (humour, and... I think it might actually be a novel)
  • Katherine Dunn's "Geek Love" (fiction, recommended by a friend a long time ago, finally picked up)
  • Caitlin Moran's "Moranthology" (in progress)
  • Preston & Childs' "Cemetary Dance" (a Pendergast novel)
  • Joseph Conrad's "Tales of Hearsay" (published posthumously, I believe)
  • One of Jeff Smith's graphic novels, from the "Bone" series (I wanna be as laid back as Smiley Bone)
  • Canadian finance guru Gail Vaz Oxlade's "It's Your Money" (website)
  • Harlan Ellison's "Over the Edge" (short stories)
  • Roland Barthes' "Mythologies" (essays)

I know that may seem like a very ambitious pile, and I don't actually intend to read all of them.  I felt the need to narrow things down a fair amount, so I didn't spend 20 minute hemming and hawing on Saturday morning.  I tried to include a lot of very light stuff as well.

At any rate, I still have a lot to get done before Saturday!  Happy reading!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Probably more pathetic than I realize

I was on hiatus for awhile there, but I think I'm back.  Last week, the heat here was ridiculous.  It was around the 32 mark ("but it feels like 40," the weather jerks say) midday, and then dropping to 23 at night.  I have a little window air conditioner in my bedroom, but the cool just wasn't reaching the rest of the apartment.  At about 8 o'clock every night, the temperature in the living room would get unbearable.  I had two options: take my computer into my bed with me and shut the door (which ended with me falling asleep at 9), or leave the apartment for adventure elsewhere.  It was about a 50/50 split throughout the week.  More often than not, I'd end up at Chapters/Indigo/Coles, although never the same one twice.

I was brushing my teeth on Wednesday morning when I was filled with a special kind of dread.  The thought occurred to me that I've become an incredibly boring person.  Unfortunately, I was running late, so I just finished brushing my teeth and then rushed off in the general direction of my 5'x5' cubicle.  I was still the first person in the building.

This feeling crept up again as I was pulling a document together at work.  One of the nice things about my job is that we can listen to our portable music players while we work (not sure if that's an official thing, or just that no one has complained).  I had my iPod on shuffle and felt restless.  I feel like I've been listening to the same musicians since high school.  My iPod has a grand total of 5688 songs on it - guilty pleasures included, because who doesn't like Jessie J? - and I still feel like I have nothing to listen to.  Don't get me wrong, I still think Blur/Radiohead/Matthew Good Band are great, but I'm definitely stuck in a rut.  I'm listening to songza today, in the hopes that I'll find something new that I like.  I just heard a Panic! at the disco song that was nice, but I just don't know what I'm doing or how to find good music anymore.

I saw The Conjuring this weekend.  It was good, very scary.  I went with a new friend, who I met through a dating site.  This is very clearly just a friendship, though.  He'll probably be headed out of Canada for his post-doctorate work.  Hi-ho.  It's nice to make a new friend, though.

I think part of my boredom can be directly related to the proximity of my friends.  Most of my close friends are those from high school.  This came as some surprise; I had thought that my university friends were the ones that would stick.  I thought this prior to going to university.  I wish I could re-do university.  I was about 20 pounds heavier than I am, and awkward as hell.  I clung fiercely to the friends I had, and I would be a little embarrassed to bump into a number of them now.  After university, I went home, as did a number of my high school friends.  Fast forward a few years, and those friends are now scattered a few hours away from me.

Other than 'work friends' (who sometimes you really don't want to see outside of work), I officiallly have two friends in my city, one of whom used to be a work friend at my last job.  The second is the guy I just met yesterday.  They don't know about each other.  I need to take some courses or something to meet people, but I worry there's a hint of desperation about me that will just get me in trouble: "HAHAHHA, we are having a good timeWESHOULDGETCOFFEEANDCHAT!"

University, all over again.