Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Future of Books

Are Books Going out of Style?

Last semester I had the misfortune of attending a class where both the professor and our textbook believed that no one read books anymore and that in the future- there would be no more books. I however absolutely refused to believe that! 

Ironically enough just after the semester finished a study was released that the average book is now LONGER than the average book in the 90's. And Chapters reported that their book sales had increased. 

Books: 1, Prof: 0
The other thing I've heard a lot about is that kids aren't reading anymore, that they aren't picking up books and this is the reason why books will die out. Again, I refuse to believe this- and I think a little story will help prove why this is completely untrue. 


Last year I was student teaching in a Grade Three classroom, and every Thursday we went to the library. I got library duty- which basically meant that I read the kids a story at the start of the period, then let them pick out books, made sure they all got one and broke up fights over the two comfy armchairs. 

Every single kid listened to the story and piped up answers and filled in rhymes. If someone was being too noisy or antsy the other kids would remind them to quiet down so we didn't have to stop the story. 

My class had a wide range of readers but every single kid had books that they loved to read and look at. Geronimo Stilton and The Magic Treehouse series were super popular for everyone. Some weeks the kids would go straight for them, other times they would browse through the reference section and find a book on bugs or hockey or zoo animals. 

I got to see the joy that the kids had during library time and everyone, every kid was able to find something for them, something that challenged them just the right amount and was still fun. 

One of my favourite things was when I asked the kids what their favourite book was (for a school project) and they all paused and had to think for a moment, they all took that question very seriously. My fave answer was one of the boys whose favourite book was I Survived the Nazi Invasion (which is pretty intense stuff for am 8-9 yr old!)

In the classroom they each had a little bin filled with books that they could go to if they were finished their work. They had to have at least one chapter book and one non-fiction book.

I think that books just have that amazing, magical ability to connect with readers, to transport them to new lands or to draw them in to a story. And I think that imagination and story are so fundamentally human that books and the stories they hold will NEVER go out of style. 

What do you guys think? Do you think the future will have books or not? Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

TTT: Top 10 Favourite TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by the lovely ladies over at The Broke And the Bookish.

 Disclaimer: I didn't really watch any TV until I was about 15 or 16 and even then I watched whatever my mom was watching. Its only been in the last few years that I have started branching out and finding new favourites of mine.
Without further ado here they are! (In no particular order because I couldn't possibly actually order them!)

1. Parks and Recreation

Oh my I don't even remember how I got into Parks and Rec but it is my absolute favourite! I love Leslie and the whole crew. Probably my favourite thing about it is that the humour is so funny without bashing people or putting them down. I find that sort of humour to be distasteful but Parks does such a good job of celebrating people who are enthusiastic.
The other fun thing is that I work at the local Parks department in the summers and it is both similar to Parks and completely opposite to the show

2. Star Trek Voyager

This is one of the shows that I watched with my mom when I was a kid. We used to come home from school (and her from work) and we would help mom start cooking while we watched the show. It was also my first introduction to the idea that women could do science and that they could do it well!
To this day I still watch it when I feel like a need a little boost in my own confidence. Watching Janeway and B'Elanna and Seven rock out their science always makes me feel better!

3. Agent Carter

I loved Peggy in the Marvel movies and I loved her even more on her own show. Not only is the setting and costuming phenomenal, the characters are too.
I love Peggy and how she really is a force of nature to be reckoned with. She doesn't let anyone put her down or tell her she can't do something because she's a women. Plus the friendship between Jarvis and Peggy is AMAZING!

4.  Grey's Anatomy

I watched Grey's on and off when I was younger but it wasn't till the last few years that I really watched it all. I love the medical aspect of it (did anyone else ever claim they were studying bio when they watched it?) and the drama.
Not going to lie- it makes me feel good to watch because I mean sometimes my life is tough but its not nearly as tough or dramatic as the lives of the characters on the show!

5.  Stranger Things

I just finished watching this show this weekend and I loved it. I loved the whole vibe and aesthetic of the 80's (especially since my new apartment is totally 80's!). The young cast where absolutely incredible and where so talented at combining some humour into the tense and darkness of the show. I am definitely so excited for season 2

6.  Firefly

Sadly this was one that I didn't start watching until long after it had been cancelled. I loved the ragtag crew on their bit of a junkie space ship. There were some incredible characters (I love me some strong character arcs) and it was a super interesting premise. I'm definitely bummed that we didn't get many more seasons!

7.  When Calls the Heart

Two words. Red surge. Jack the Mountie is super cute! Plus the main character is a young schoolteacher named Elizabeth. The pioneer, Mountie and rural town era of Canada is my favourite. Plus there is a whole supporting cast that I really love and you can feel the connection with. AND THE ROMANCE! Whew!

8. Murdoch Mysteries

I love Canadian shows and Murdoch Mysteries is one of the best. One of the really cool things about this show is that it incorporates real Canadian history into its storylines. As well there have been several famous Canadians who have had guest appearances that are super funny to watch (Stephen Harper anyone?).

9. Motive

Another great Canadian show! My favourite thing about this one is its super unique spin on the typical procedural crime drama. In the first five minutes you see the identity of the Killer and the Victim. Then it flashes to the crime scene and you get to follow along as the detectives piece together the crime. It always leaves you wondering how on earth the suburban soccer mom knew the young grocery store worker, basically it always keeps you on the edge of your seat.

10. Masterchef Canada

Okay I actually love a lot of different cooking shows (but mostly the ones where it's a competition) and the Canadian versions are always my favourite because I'm very patriotic. I love that the Canadian Masterchef version isn't mean and they recognize the chefs are still learning. The treat the competitors as people and I really appreciate that.

*This post is coming to you as I am revamping my archives. It was originally written and posted in 2016*

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Unpopular Opinion- ACOTAR

So here it is- I didn't like A Court of Thorns and Roses, to the point that I know I won't be reading the rest of the series. And the thing that made me dislike it was the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand- or rather Rhysand's treatment of Feyre.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy parts of Maas's  other series Throne of Glass. But part of the story in ACOTAR (and a pretty significant part) just gave me the creeps.
I know a lot of people think that Rhysand and Feyre make a cute couple and want them to be together- which I totally disagree with. I just feel like there is such a big power imbalance between them that they cannot ever have a healthy, equal relationship. And then there's the way he treats her Under The Mountain.

Rhys drugs Feyre repeatedly and has her dance suggestively for the other fey. He makes her wear revealing garments and repeatedly "claims" her as his own (even though Feyre and Tamlin have a relationship). Again and again from him we see what is really manipulative and abusive behaviour. And yet people ship them?! Apparently ACOMAF "explains" this behaviour or justifies it but that excuse just reminds me of something Jake Perralta once said
In addition I feel that this book is particularly harmful because it is marketed as a romance towards a teen audience. Many teens may just be experience the first blossoms of love/romance and media like this sends the message that abusive relationships are romantic. The relationships in the book are just so unhealthy and it genuinely scares me that young people might think its okay- and even want it for themselves.

What are your guy's thoughts? Have you ever been hesitant to post something you know is unpopular? Any thoughts on this particular book? Let me know in the comments! 

Here There Be...DRAGONS

DragonsJust hearing the word send a thrill down my spine and puts a smile on my face. Ever since I was child the mention of a dragon in a book meant I was automatically going to pick up the book. Of course that meant that I read some really bad books but it also meant I read some pretty amazing books. This series of posts is going to be all about celebrating those amazing books! 

Today I'm going to talk about two books & dragons: Dealing with Dragons, and Before She Ignites

Dealing with Dragons/Searching for Dragons/Calling on Dragons/Talking to Dragons
by Patricia C Wrede

About the book: 
The gist of this story is that Princess Cimorene doesn't want to get married so she runs away and ends up becoming the princess companion of the dragon Kazul. She meets other dragons, and other princess who have been kidnapped or given to the dragons (so a knight can save them)

I loved how spunky Cimorene was and that it provided a new twist on an old tale. Plus the dragons were main characters so you got to see lots of them 

About the dragons:
In this story the dragons are completely sentient beings. They have their own society with a king, their own traditions, rules and punishments. They exist whether the humans are there or not. AND they are super sassy (especially in regards to their feud with the wizards). I love that they are so completely autonomous because it brings so much depth to their characterization

I love the little things, like a love for a certain dessert (which is served in buckets of course), treasure troves and intricate cave dwellings, to dragon allergies

My only critic would be that the later books do have fewer focuses on the dragons

Before She Ignites
by Jodi Meadows

About the book:
This story centres around a young girl names Mira who has discovered a horrible secret and is betrayed and imprisoned by the people she has spent her life serving. She has to figure out how to survive in her new reality while also trying to save one of the things she loves most- dragons.

About the dragons:

The dragons are a bit wilder in this series- they remind me of our dolphins or elephants. They are incredibly intelligent and you can tell that they are living, breathing, thinking, emotional beings. One thing that makes them a little bit different is that the world of dragons isn't homogenous. There is a full taxonomic scale with different species and families. Each species is unique with well-fleshed out characteristics including size, colour, mating/living habits and special skills.