Month: May 2015

Book Recommendation of the Week: All The Light We Cannot See

What It’s About: A cursed jewel, a locksmith, a blind girl who traces wooden streets in her room to navigate the real ones. A radio program, a boy and his sister who listen in the dark, an army of boys chasing the weakest, a boy who loves bird. Marie Laure is twelve when the Germans occupy Paris, and with her locksmith father who works at the Museum of Natural History, they flee to Saint-Malo to stay with her Great Uncle. With them they might carry a cursed and coveted jewel. Werner is a gifted German teenager who can build radios and attends a prestigious Hitler Youth school where he loses sight of himself. Werner spends the war tracking down illegal radio broadcasts, which leads him to Saint-Malo. Who Will Love It: Everyone? It’s literary historical fiction, but can be loved by those who don’t usually read from either genre. Humanity is captured so beautifully in this novel that it’s bound to hold mass appeal. Comparisons to The Book Thief are inevitable, not just because of a story of war and …

Doors Open Toronto 2015

This weekend is Doors Open Toronto, which gives locals and tourists alike a chance to visit buildings in the city (some of which you usually would not be able to enter at all) for free. Because I am an idiot my camera ran out of batteries, all photos are from my iPhone.

Top 10 Pivotal Albums In My Life

Not necessarily my favourite albums (although many are), here are ten albums that have played a big role in my life so far. Blue by Joni Mitchell (1971) While the first Joni Mitchell album I listened to obsessively was Hits, Blue just feels like every emotion I’ve ever felt contained in ten songs. The quote from Love Actually about Joni Mitchell teaching Emma Thompson’s character how to feel comes to mind. It’s hard to choose, but my favourite song from the album is “All I Want.” Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor (2006) In tenth grade I was driving to school with my mom and heard “Samson” on the CBC, and it made me wonder why on earth I was listening to whatever I had been listening to before I heard that song. While some albums exemplify my teenage years (From Under the Cork Tree), Begin To Hope was a big change in what I listened to and started a shift, inching me toward the sort of things I like now as a adult. It’s REALLY difficult to choose, but my favourite …

City in Pictures: Bruges, Belgium

When I arrived in Bruges in October 2013, I was half asleep and not quite sure what language they even spoke there (I had heard French at my 5am stopover in Brussels.) This was on my second Euro Trip: my first had been inspired by my long term ‘dream destinations’ list: London and Paris. This next trip, a year later, was more based on things I had learnt since. I had actually never heard of Bruges until I talked to other travellers. But everyone loved the beautiful Bruges.

Book Recommendation of the Week: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

What It’s About: Ari has always been a loner, never letting himself get close to anyone. A Mexican American growing up in El Paso in 1987, he was born after his father returned from Vietnam with a part of him broken. While the war still casts a shadow over Ari’s life, the absence of his older brother does the same, ever since he went to jail twelve years ago. Ari’s brother is never mentioned, and Ari has learnt to take after his parents and never discuss things. Ari is a master at distancing himself from those around him. But when he meets Dante at the local pool, he finds someone he can connect with. Dante is nothing like Ari. He loves his parents and art, reads big books and seems to be able to do anything. To Dante, the world is a great place and he can’t understand Ari’s darkness. Dante is a boy who knows so much and still wants to know more, and would risk his well being just to rescue a bird. Ari …