What I Read
Quirk by Hannah Holmes. Ever since finishing my degrees, I’ll admit it, I’ve (kind of) missed studying. I’ve missed pouring my energy and brain power into learning new things and bettering myself. Sure I do that on the job, and in my spare time, but it hasn’t really felt the same. Until Quirk. Quirk has the information of a psychology textbook, but is written in charming story form. It takes the big 5 approach to personality theory (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness), and uses scientific study combined with interviews and stories to help the reader identify their own personality make-up. Quirk helped me understand why certain personality traits come about, and helped me see the not-so-obvious advantages in some not-so-desirable qualities I may or may not have.
Station Eleven by Emily St.John Mandel was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. It asks a question that most dystopian novels miss: how do the survivors of a worldwide epidemic learn to enjoy life after they’ve learned how to survive? What happens to art when 99.9% of the world is dead? Emily St.John Mandel weaves convincing characters together with the most intriguing elements – Shakespearean theatre, a traveling symphony, cults, kidnappings, a very fluffy puppy, secret poets, sci-fi comic books, the life of the rich and famous, and the life of a paparazzo. Station Eleven is one of those books that sits in your mind, begging for attention, long after it’s over. A dazzling revamp of a popular genre, and the best book I read in 2014.
El Deafo by Cece Bell is an adorable, meaningful story about a girl growing up with impaired hearing. It really walks you through the emotions and reveals experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise imagined. A cute, inspirational, quick read from the children’s comic book section.
I just finished We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I don’t always read YA novels, but since this one made the shortlist for a few big prizes this year, and was described as a “thriller” even though the cover makes it look like a summer romance, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did – it was a gripping and enjoyable read, with a well done plot twist. It explores issues of wealth, pride, and forgiveness; love, youth, and recklessness. Cadence suffered a traumatic brain injury during her 15th year on her family’s summer island. During her 17th year she struggles to piece together what happened to her and her 3 closest friends who retain their memories, but are definitely holding back a dark secret. While I usually find myself a bit tired of the first crushes, first mistakes storyline in YA novels, I can see why it appeals to teens, and there was a lot more going on in this book to keep me hooked.
I can’t wait to read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (formerly Amy Silver). It came out of nowhere, and all the libraries in my region still have it on order. I am 5th in line on the holds list. Will report back.
What I Made
I decided to experiment with the die cutter at work. We have a Silhouette Cameo that patrons can use for free in the Digital Media Lab. It’s fairly simple to use – you can insert preapproved images from a library in the software, or create your own image. I was able to type a phrase and then move the individual letters so that they touched and would be cut out as one shape. I as also able to type out the phrase “Make Something” and add little circle cut outs so I could hang them on my wall. This tool is perfect for card making and scrapbooking, but I think there are so many other possible applications for artists and decorators. I can’t wait to see what people make!
What I Ate
Debrodnik’s Donuts are edible artwork. Believe it or not, they taste even better than they look. This pop-up is only open 4 hours a week (Saturday and Sunday 12-2) at 175 Borden St. Kitchener, which is both sad and thrilling. Sometimes there’s a line, and sometimes they’ve run out of all their donuts except one, but it’s worth it anyway. The donuts will make you swear off Tim Horton’s for life. Which is probably for the best. Favourites so far? Maple Apple, Green Tea, and White Chocolate Walnut Berry.
What I (Surprisingly) Loved Watching
Brooklyn 99! I was so turned off by the trailer for this show that when Danny suggested watching it, I groaned. But then I laughed and laughed and laughed. I thought it was going to be a dumb, crass show about a whiny, dysfunctional police force. But I was so wrong. It’s hilarious, in a smart way, and I love the characters. They’re good people. I love when the character are good and sincere, but still super entertaining. Very silly, very fun.
Where I Danced
I enjoyed the tightest and brightest night of dancing and laser shows at The Museum in Kitchener! I love that the Museum is redefining itself with amazing events like this one. Up next is a headphone disco party – completely silent until you don a pair of headphones, and chose a station!
What did you love this month?