All posts filed under: books

What I’m reading — The Fault in Our Stars

I recently finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The book was OK at best. The writing was a little immature for my liking and although there is this youthful conversational overtone to the book, it all felt a little forced to me. A little empty. There was though some really good lines in the book! Bookmarked passages: I missed the future. Obviously I knew even before his recurrence that I’d never grow old with Augustus Waters. But thinking about Lidewij and her boyfriend, I felt robbed. I would probably never again see the ocean from thirty thousand feet above, so far up that you can’t make out the waves or any boats, so that the ocean is a great and endless monolith. I could imagine it. I could remember it. But I couldn’t see it again, and it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again. On the flight home, twenty …

The Adventures of Guille and Belinda

My entire childhood was documented on video by my aunt. Captured soundlessly on a vintage camcorder are those first years where I’m wobbling around on shaky legs in a big world without sound. Years 4-6 still make me cringe when I’m forced to listen back to my mini self and her slurred and screechy speech. The really awkward moments still live on with a push of a button. On any given day, it’s the early 90’s and my prepubescent self sits perched on my grandparent’s back porch, the sun is out and I’m wearing my pink and green neon BodyGear bathing suit. My lanky limbs, looking too big for my tiny torso, speak of boredom with my sulky body language. When I first came across Alessandra Sanguinetti‘s photography series The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams, it reminded me a lot of my own evolving, fragmented moments that can still be visited. The series captures the playful and imaginative lives of two Argentine cousins over the course of a decade. The series has been captured into two …

What I’m reading – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I read a lot. My books are riddled with notes and my favourite lines can be found underlined with pencil. I recently got a Kobo and have been reading like crazy but the biggest issue I have with my new convenient reading companion is that I can no longer take part in this beloved reading ritual (The highlighting tool is just not the same). I’m going to start posting my favourite passages from the book that I’m currently reading (minus the really embarrassing books). I finally got around to reading Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle — and I’m lovin’ it! It reminds me a lot of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. Bookmarked passages: “Which is better” I asked, out of simple curiosity. “Above or below.” “It’s not that either one is better,” he said. “It’s not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re suppose to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re suppose to go up, find the …

Touching Strangers

Photographer Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs since 2007 which focuses on two or more strangers physically interacting with one another, creating a strangely intimate series entitled, “Touching Strangers”.  His subjects’ poses are directed of course, yet nothing about these photos feel forced or awkward to me. While researching this project, I came across a fabulous quote from a video produced by Live Leak: “Most photographers capture life as it is. With these strangers, Richard Renaldi has captured something much more ethereal and elusive. He shows us humanity as it could be. As most of us wish it would be. And as it was, at least for this one fleeting moment in time.” A book of Touching Strangers is apparently in the works after being group-funded on KickStart for $80,943. (God, I love the internet!) I’m so excited to get my hands on this book when it becomes available. I think it would make for an incredible coffee table book, yes? Oh, and this video is just awesome! Enjoy, S.

You’ll never be this young again

“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “mum and dad’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is …

Deep childhood memories painted across books

Rome-based Russian artist, Ekaterina Panikanova uses open-faced books, carefully aligned with one another, as a large canvas for each of her paintings in a series titled Errata Corrige. Her work explores deep childhood memories such as images, traumas and experiences that we all uniquely endure and then later carried over into our adult life.  This excerpt from My Modern Met sums up Panikanova’s work nicely: “Like a hidden message or puzzle, her works are applied across unspecified pages on each book. Furthermore, with some of her paintings (which are more like installations), there is a puzzling three-dimensionality to them as the pages are not bound down. Instead, they flow freely and add not only layers, but also a sense of texture to the piece.” I think Panikanova’s work is absolutely magnificent, wouldn’t you agree? Check out more of her work here. S.

Awesome people reading

We all know that reading is awesome but when we see awesome people reading, well, that’s just double awesome!  Check out the Tumblr blog, Awesome People Reading and tell me your thoughts. Some pictures from the blog below. James Dean reads. Robert Ebert reads. Jackie Kennedy Onassis reads. (Via Cup of Jo)

Date a girl that reads

A friend sent me this post the other day and I just loved it. My brother always makes fun of me because, “all you do is read, Stephanie”. The other day, we were watching Matilda and the scene came on where Matilda is hanging out in the library alone, reading and laughing to herself, and he said, “Look, Stephanie – it’s you!!” ha ha ha. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. S.

The 50 book challenge

At the beginning of the year, my friend Kristin and I decided to take on a reading challenge together,  attempting to each read 50 books in 2012. So far I’ve managed to read 17 and I have more than enough novels scattered throughout my apartment to fill the quota. A couple weekends ago after drinking a copious amount of coffee, I was browsing through the hot new release section on and came up with a brilliant, caffeine induced idea:  I would order in Amazon’s top 2012 books  at the Toronto Public Library, allowing me to stay on top of the latest in literature without going broke. Convincing myself that these books would take eons to come in, I ordered in 32 of them. ((What’s wrong with me?)) Well, I just got back from the library with 6 of the 32 books and it appears that my brilliant idea has indeed backfired on me. I wonder how many times you can renew your library books online? 2 or 3 times? Hmm… I think I’m about to backup the …