The View from Saturday

A heart full of love and a bookshelf full of hope and some books.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Best title pun found while weeding the romance section today: Tender is the Knight.

Even better: When I was searching amazon to find the cover image (which only helps increase the hilarity of the title) I found that there are actually 2 books with this title.

Here they are.

As you can see, I am getting a lot of reading done these days.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November Resolutions.

Given my madcap sense of timelines and the fact that I am not bound by the traditional strictures of start-over periods like New Years and Back to School, I'm giving myself a November rebooting of epic proportions. Not really, though. But lately I have been reading all manner of crap, from Martha Stewart Living to cookbooks, instead of REAL BOOKS which are IMPORTANT for LITERACY. I have also been doing a lot of messing around, which is something that we do not usually do here in our nation's capital. So in the spirit of positive change, I give you...

November Resolutions for 2K6! (Tara, how scary is it that 2K6 is nearly done...remember when it was only 2K5? Where does our youth go?)

1. Find a better hobby than lying on the floor listening to You Never Give Me Your Money by the Beatles on repeat. Acknowledge that this is in fact the greatest song ever recorded, then move on.

2. Brush up my Shakespeare. Seriously, kids come in all the time asking for help and in spite of the fact that I took like a million drama classes in undergrad, all I can do is stand there and stick my finger in my nose and say "Sonnet? Whaaa?" I feel like I squandered a whole lot of knowledge there. BBC DVD production of King Lear, here I come!

3. Start living my life like the protagonist of The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank, arguably the best literary chicklit ("relationship novel") I have read in the last few years. She also wrote The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which I adored when I read it a few years ago. Her style is dry and unbelievably funny, and she will totally make you feel like less of a singleton loser and give you an amazingly strong, self-deprecating heroine to emulate. Plus it takes place in New York City. The Wonder Spot follows Sophie from adolescence to her mid-30s and frames episodes of her life with her female friendships and her botched-up boyfriends, her bad apartments and weekend trips out of town, all anchored by her awesome brothers who are everything a brother should be--protective and funny and annoying and encouraging (just like mine). If you like family fiction or just a clever, thoughtful story about an average life, you will love this book.

4. Sleep more. Aaaaand, I'm done.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My brother's a rock star...does that make me cool?

Yup, the Ride Theory are on the road, and the People's Little Brother is kicking ass and taking names on the West Coast. I am so proud. Check out their kickass tour blog at

In honour of all things rock, here's my number one music-related book pick. On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini of the Rheostatics is by far the greatest of the road story/tourbus/poetic travel memoir genre. It's chock-full of Bidini's trademark deadpan writing and beautiful, troubadour-like storytelling about his life with the Rheos, all leading up to an amazing climax in his description of their opening show with the Tragically Hip at Maple Leaf Gardens. It's made people who were at that show CRY for god's sake (sorry to give you away, Freya, and also sorry for exagerating if you didn't actually cry, I just know you liked it). The book's also full of Hidden Track memories from other CanRock veterans, from Goddo to Trooper to that scourge upon humanity, the Guess Who (impeach Bachman). Try it. You'll rock it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

you've lost interest, haven't you.

An open letter to the four people who read this stupid blog...

Dear Comrades,

Sorry for never updating. I have a sinking feeling you totally don't care but that's okay, I'm still sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I have been working hard to become a better reader and I even attended a professional development workshop to help me be a more knowledgeable recommender of romance books. It was one of those scenarios in which you wonder how you ended up in the spot that you are in, carefully writing notes about which time travel love stories are the best.

ANYWAY, the one thing the facilitator said that really made me think was that everyone has a sort of finger-snapping moment with reading, a book they read when they're little that is so good that it shapes the rest of their reading life. I pathetically realized that for me, this would have to be either The Babysitters Club series (as evidenced in a previous entry), or the books of Beverly Cleary, especially Ramona. Seriously. The Ramona books are all about love in the face of mundane disasters like parental unemployment and breaking an egg on your head and fighting with your siblings and being a misunderstood 8-year-old kid who loves to play with tin can stilts. I defy you to find more universal literary themes than those. Mostly though, the Ramona books are about family, and as Tara will confirm, I love things about families, from Seventh Heaven (a never ending font of sensible wisdom, although the new season kind of sucks. and no, I'm not afraid to admit I watch it.) to Beezus and Ramona to all those amazing books by Carol Shields and Anne Tyler (Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant will always be in my top five) and Bonnie Burnard. I feel cozy just thinking about them.

And now I'm being pulled from my cozy feeling by a library full of rowdy teens. Dear kids, please stop playing violent YouTube clips on your speaker-enhanced cell phones and sit quietly with a copy of The Amber Spyglass or something.

Okay! In the interests of interactivity, tell me about your own "YES GUY!" reading moments!

I love you all.