Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

...but you sure as heck can make lists of them! I'm a big reader and since I commute via public transit, I have approx. two hours every day of (relatively) uninterrupted reading time so I go through books right now faster than I ever have before.

The upside to this is that I can avoid eye-contact with the escaped mental patients sitting in my vicinity. The downside to this is that I'm spending more money at Chapters every month than I probably should, but what can I say, new books make me happy! I don't know what it is but I don't get the same feeling from older books at the library. There's something about buying a new book - you own it, it's shiny and new-smelling, the material is current, and there's a grand anticipation that builds thinking about cracking those first unmarked few pages and reading those first few lines. It's like an adventure waiting to happen! (at least it is for dorks like me)

Anyway, here's a few books that I'm thinking about buying right now:

1. A China travel guide and a Mandarin/Chinese language book + learning cd (I am determined to at least have a basic knowledge of this language before I leave in August - brain pain be damned! My brain already hurts from the TEFL coursework so I might as well keep digging the hole)
2. River Town by Peter Hessler (a suggestion from a fellow blogger - apparently a good account of teaching in China)
3. How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy (have been toying with the idea of taking graphic design if I do decide to go back to school once I'm done this Chinese adventure - have heard this is a good resource for deciding whether or not it's for you. Written by designers for designers).
4. A Bedside Book of Beasts: A Wildlife Miscellany by Graeme Gibson (anything related to animals immediately attracts me, as well as anything that includes colourful, whimsical and beautiful artwork and this book checks all of these boxes. I can imagine it's a feast for the eyes).
5. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (these are listed together because they are sort of related. I find I've been struggling lately with what I eat and the ethics of it all; I've never been a big meat-eater and I'm certainly not a supporter of killing animals, but I also felt that becoming a vegetarian or vegan would be too restricting. I have been reading and seeing various reports about food and the food industry lately {including the intriguing doc, Food Inc - an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature} that have given me pause and have made me realize there is so much about this industry that is questionable. Foer's book illustrates many of these questionable things and Silverstone's seems like a good resource for someone who does wish to at least try to eat more ethically and therefore healthier. I figure they will at least be good for helping inform my thoughts on this topic and maybe make a final decision). The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen is also a possible buy along these lines.
6. Just Kids by Patti Smith (this book has been getting a lot of press. I love musicians from the 60's and 70's and stories from that era plus it just sounds like a very sweet story; a tribute to friendship and moral support and remembering the people in our lives that provide these things to us).
7. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra (Ok, let me preface by saying I've never been one of those people that goes within even 10 feet of the "Self-Help" section of the bookstore and in fact I can usually be found casting judgmental and pitying thoughts/looks at anyone who would. However, I bought Chopra's book Perfect Health at the recommendation of my yoga teacher {this would be the one that comes into our office once a week to do yoga with us; I certainly don't have the money or prestige to have my OWN yoga teacher, note. Someday.} and have been enjoying it. I think there is something to the principles behind Ayurvedic Health, natural medicine, and listening to your body's signals. Since I'm in the middle of what I like to refer to as my "quarter-life crisis", any guidance regarding what my dreams might be and how to fulfill them is welcome, so I thought this book might provide some useful tips in that regard. I figure if Mr. Chopra can't help me with my spiritual quest than I'm completely hopeless).

As always, I will be on the look-out for any new or as-yet-unread books by Tracey Chevalier (whose new book will be out soon - yay!) and Bill Bryson as they are my favs. I try and read everything they write (have done so thus far and have enjoyed every one to date!).

Though the question of affording this list is another matter. Looks like I should make another, more general list of things I want and include such things as "Sugar Daddy*", "inheritance", or "$1,000,000 Chapters gift card".

*fingers crossed, as ever, for this one. My nana would be proud. I know this because of my Valentine's Day gift from my mom. Observe (I know it's completely unrelated to the above, but just shut up and look):
Ah, the perfect man. Finally...and in case you can't read the caption at the top left:

Hardy har har. When I pointed this passage out to my grandmother, she said "Yup, that's how they want them nowadays", or something to that affect. Yet another entry into her thesis entitled "kids these days and why they are so much more stupid and silly than we ever were".


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Thank you so much for reading!