22 October 2020

Human Acts by Han Kang

One of my favourite books I read in 2017 was Han Kang's The Vegetarian (reviewed in full here). I thought Kang's approach to storytelling and writing was really interesting and tried to keep her name in the back of my mind. A few months before Christmas 2019 I saw one of my old profs rate Human Acts on Goodreads and I recognized the author's name so I clicked on it. It seemed really interesting and I enjoyed The Vegetarian so I put it on my Christmas list.

9 October 2020

Maternity Leave by Julie Halpern

I got this for a girlfriend at Value Village before she had her baby last year and she gave it back to me before I had mine. I read it when my son was five weeks old and it was exactly what I needed- funny, relatable, and hope-inspiring in what were some dark new parent moments (some people don't like these types of jokes- if you're one of them, we're all fine! we love our baby!) 

1 October 2020

Dispatches by Michael Herr

My favourite movies are always Vietnam War movies. I am particularly obsessed with Apocalypse Now and Platoon. We have done Vietnam for two movie clubs already, and the group still hasn't watched Born on the Fourth of July with me.. I can narrow down my obsession with these movies to a few things: I love the music associated with this era (Ben always says I have boomer taste) and the dark humour. When I first learned about the Vietnam War in high school I remember being horrified by the concept of a draft. So it almost seems like it took me too long to get to a Vietnam memoir, but here I finally am... 

25 September 2020

Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler

I've never read any of Chelsea Handler's books before but I'm pretty sure the ones that came before this were mostly smut. I really don't know why I wanted to read this but I added it to my list after listening to her talk about it on Armchair Expert as part of her press circuit for its release. She's become more of an activist since Donald Trump was elected in 2016 and I was eager to hear about some of the new work she's been doing. I also loved the drug episode of her Netflix show so maybe that had something to do with it too...

17 September 2020

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid was another quarantine order for me and is definitely my favourite of the books I picked up. I was listening to a podcast talking about upcoming movies and they started talking about Charlie Kaufman's new project and the host mentioned how great the source material is. After googling it I knew I'd be into it. 

11 September 2020

The Game by Ken Dryden

I got this book for my husband a few years back because he told me he liked reading to impress me but I've only seen him read one book in the years we've been together... he still insists he's going to read this but in the meantime I thought I'd pick it up to learn a thing or two about his favourite team and goalie, and because I do like sports culture. It's widely considered one of the best sports books of all time.

4 September 2020

Book Adaptations at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival

We aren't making it to TIFF this year to our horror because of the global pandemic and the birth of Meg's son, but we still loving doing this list every year because it adds a few books to our wish list. The number of movies has been reduced (for obvious reasons), but here's a look at the movies adapted from books this year!

27 August 2020

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

I had been interested in reading this book for a while because of all the recommendations it had gotten. I saw it on a few "best of 2019" lists and it was mentioned on one of the podcasts I really like. It was also famously on Barack Obama's top of the year list. I ordered it in a "quarantine haul" after finishing Sally Rooney's Normal People because I felt like reading more about Ireland. Obviously this book is about Northern Ireland and The Troubles during the 1960s-1980s, but still, I wanted to stay in that area.

23 August 2020

Beautiful Children by Charles Bock

I was really excited to read this book based on how much I loved Bock's Alice & Oliver last year. Beautiful Children is Bock's first and highly acclaimed novel and I had really high expectations for it. I'll just be up front in saying it didn't hold a candle to Alice & Oliver, and I'm not even super sure I enjoyed it at all. 

15 August 2020

Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

This was the fifth book I read while stuck in the Covid pandemic and it is easily my least favourite. I put this book on a Christmas list a few years ago because Jonathan Franzen recommended it in an interview he gave. I can see why he enjoyed as it takes a pretty big, bitter bite out of millennials, but it wasn't my taste.

9 August 2020

Books for Expecting Parents

This is very off-brand for us but I've been reading a lot of baby books lately and felt it was only fair to get some credit for them in the form of a post since I haven't been reading a lot otherwise. Scott and I are expecting our first baby ~any day now~ which is so fucked, and both of us are the type to be really comforted by research and learning. Here are the books we've been reading / listening to and our thoughts on them in case you're staring at a shelf of baby books in Indigo wondering where to start.

30 July 2020

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

My obsession with Everest is pretty singular, but every so often I read about other mountaineering disasters. About two years ago Ben (with help from his father who shares a lot of similar reading interests as me) got me Joe Simpson's book Touching the Void for Christmas. The climb was on the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985 and Simpson's personal account came a few years later.