July Book Round-Up

Summer is a great time for reading. Whether you’re relaxing at the beach, the park, or a cabin in the woods, life just feels a little more low key. I like to keep my reading low key as well, light and easy and quick. I want to feel like I’m in control of the book, the book’s not in control of me. I’ll keep the heavy tomes for winter fireside reading. I made the mistake of reading Gone With the Wind last summer and while I loved the book, it felt like it dominated several of my summer weekends. This July my reading has a distinct, mystery/crime focus, although I wouldn’t call all of them light.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The latest addition to the Millenium Series was the first not to be authored by Stieg Larsson, the original author. This book is written by David Lagercrantz a Swedish author and journalist. Initially I had assumed  that this book was based on notes or plot developed by Stieg Larsson but it turns out that the material all belongs to Lagercrantz. Apparently it has been slightly controversial as Larsson’s estate is controlled by his father and brother who okayed the project, while Larsson’s long-time partner was against the idea. Additionally she possesses a partially completed fourth book in the series. Obviously the success of the series meant that there was significant motivation to continue the books. It is clear though that Lagercrantz, while staying true to the characters, didn’t attempt to simply mimic Larsson’s style, which may or may not have been successful. He imparted his own style onto the book and while good, to me it was not as good as the originals (that may just be nostalgia talking though). 

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Countdown to Rio

I love the Olympics. I get so excited for it every time, researching obscure athletes in sports I would never watch otherwise. I even had the opportunity to attend the Sochi games in 2014. Usually the Olympic ads start months before (at least in Canada) and you begin to be introduced to the latest crop of athletes who we will cheer for. But this year, it all feels a little bit deflated. It seemed Sochi had lots of problems leading into the games, but Rio is playing a whole different ball game. It’s just been one controversy after another. It’s actually hard to choose which issue is the most alarming. Of course there’s the Zika Virus which health officials are now saying is not a major concern to visiting athletes. A few high profile athletes have already dropped out of the games, notably golfers which is marring Golf’s Olympic return.  Continue reading

Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated recently by Em over at Em’s Beauty Blog for a blogger recognition award, which I am very excited about and honestly very surprised. I haven’t been blogging for very long and I can sometimes feel insecure about it. It’s nice to be told by someone else that they like what you’re doing. I do have a lot of improving still to do (like learning to make headers, I can pretty much only manage text at this point…) but I’m going along for the ride at this point.

The Rules

  1.  Write a post to show your award
  2. Thank the person who nominated you
  3. Briefly describe your journey as a blogger
  4. Give advice to other bloggers
  5. Nominate a deserving blog

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Top Ten Tuesday

I’ve decided to do something new this week and participate in the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve never done one of these before, so bear with me here. They post a new top ten list every week and you have to answer the top ten of whatever the category is for that week. This week it’s books set outside of the US. I find that many novels, even though they are fiction, can tell you a lot about the culture and feeling of a place. So reading books set in different places in the world can add another element of interest for me, so here goes, my top ten books set outside of the US (and Canada, I’m Canadian so I’m excluding Canada to go a bit more international).

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30 books to read before you turn 30

I am continuing on my trend of 30 before 30 because why not? I’m not necessarily going to actually read all these books before I turn 30 because I really don’t have that much time left to go. You can find countless versions of this list in every corner of the internet but I went with the list posted at Goodreads because I figure it’s voted by multiple people and less likely to be skewed by one persons opinion. Or by one person showing off how intellectual and well-read they are by picking the most pretentious books possible. I suppose  it’s all down to what you consider must reads. Is it the most lauded books of all time? The classics? Or books that you should read because everyone else has read them and you’ll be left out (has anyone not read Harry Potter?). So here goes the list from Goodreads, there is actually more than 30 books on the list, I’m just going with the first 30.

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30 Countries Before 30 and other life goals

With my 30th birthday fast approaching I’ve been trying to distract myself with some before 30 challenges. I’m not really one to freak out about birthdays and getting older, but for some reason 30 is coming at me hard and fast. I don’t think it’s the number per say as much as this idea in my head of what life is supposed to be like when you’re 30. When I was younger and thought of a thirty year old I thought of someone who owned a house, was settled into a reliable career and probably had a baby or two. Maybe they lived in the suburbs and they probably had no fashion sense and a mom haircut. Obviously reality is always different than what you imagine when you’re young, I once thought 20 was old after all. But I also think the world is changing, at least if you live in a city in a western country. People have kids much later now, out of all my friends, only two have kids and one of them is a few years older than me. This idea of settling down doesn’t exist in the same way. People in their 30’s still care about fashion and go out for dinner at hot new restaurants. Not to mention that the real estate market in Toronto is insane, so you’ve got to be making well into 6 figures in order to buy a house. Continue reading

Amazing Race Canada S4 E2

Episode 2 of the Amazing Race Canada played last night on CTV and things are looking up for the series. After the mishap of one of the detours on the first episode they bounced back with some good challenges in Calgary and even a close sprint to the finish.

The episode began with them in Jasper receiving their first clue of the leg. Three buses were departing for Calgary and only three teams could get on each bus. No one managed to get lost so the bus order stayed the same as the previous finishes. Jill and Emmett, Steph and Kristen, and Stephane and Antoine were the first bus load. They arrived in Calgary to be greeted by the Mayor, the ever popular Naheed Nenshi. Continue reading

Amazing Race Canada Season 4

The biggest question for me heading into this season is whether they will finally go for a full international season. I get it, Canada is a great country, there are lots of amazing and varied places to see, but for me one of the most interesting parts is the travel around the world. I’m sure they’re trying to promote travel and tourism in Canada but to me by keeping it all within Canada they’re eliminating interesting aspects from the game. It’s one thing getting lost in your own country, it’s a whole other dynamic trying to navigate the streets of India, or China. Perhaps it’s a budgetary issue, the US is obviously a much larger country than Canada. However Amazing Race Canada is touted as one of the most successful Canadian television shows of all time, I think they can probably afford it. Not to mention there was an Australian version of the show that went for a few seasons and that series was international for every season. Fun fact: Australian actress Rebel Wilson’s brother and sister (Ryot and Liberty) were on the first season.

It becomes apparent within the first ten minutes that this season won’t be international *sigh* hopes dashed. It’s not like I won’t still watch it though…

It’s also apparent within a few minutes that the Amazing Race producers have once again attempted to make the contestants as diverse as possible. And they seem to want a girl-girl team to win. Of the ten teams there are five girl-girl teams, two guy-guy teams (now only one), and three mixed girl-guy teams. In three seasons so far only guy-guy teams have won, with Mickey and Pete somehow topping the very dominate Natalie and Meaghan. It took the US version of the Amazing Race seventeen seasons to have a girl duo win, I think the producers don’t want to wait that long. But maybe I’m reading too much into this… Continue reading