19 November 2020

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

I really got into Ondaatje when I studied English lit in university but my attempts to read his books since have been hit and miss. I love The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion but wasn't a big fan of Divisadero. I found this book at Value Village earlier this year and finally had some time to spend on it. 

13 November 2020

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

This was my first time reading an essay collection by David Foster Wallace. In the past I have read a couple of short story collections and Infinite Jest, so I was excited to check out his non-fiction. I was so moved by his interviews with David Lipsky and I knew I would get something similar in his essays. Unfortunately this essay collection struck me at the worst time, I had just been laid off from my job and was having a hard time concentrating on the first few essays. I loved the final three essays (pages 146 to 353) and they really got me out of my funk. I'm going to mostly cover them below: 

5 November 2020

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

We're not sure if we can't believe it's the holiday season already or if this year has felt like 10, but either way, it's time. As per usual we've got 10 books we think would make excellent gifts this year. People are either doing a lot of reading or they're about to start...

29 October 2020

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell (with Patrick Robinson)

Following with this year's trend, this is another book I once got my husband that he's never read. We both really love the movie adaptation and I thought I'd see if reading the book was as intense of an experience. 

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.