Boycotting American Authors

“We read to know we’re not alone.” ― William Nicholson

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If you’ve been around awhile you will know I am a pretty big bookworm – I always have been. In high school I would go early to sit on the floor in front of my locker and read before class. Or if there was a spare moment in class I would be reading. Even in elementary school, I was constantly reading – winning monthly reading competitions. Even when I was way younger, I used to take my Dr. Seuss books and copy them out. I very much lived (and still do) in a world consumed with books. Books, books, books. They truly give me so much happiness and fulfillment.

However, I have reached a crossroads with my books. I had the idea to map the books I have read this year, and it was quite insightful. I created my own Google Map, and plotted where the author was born (or currently living if place of birth was not listed) as well as if they were of non-european decent.

This was quite eye-opening. A good 80% of the books I have read this year (100 and counting!!!) were from the US. I didn’t like that number at all – especially since only a handful of books I’ve read were by Canadian authors.

So I have started boycotting American authors – mostly. I am trying to read more diversely. I am trying to find a balance between getting better ‘well read’ and reading for pleasure. I think it is a definite fine line between the two – I don’t want to feel like I am back in school getting ‘forced’ to read books I really, really don’t like – I’m looking at you Animal Farm, boy did I not like you…

The problem I am facing is finding books which I am interested in, that are translated into English, accessible to Kindle, and preferably NOT long dense classics such as War and Peace.

Below is my map, and it is quite clear to see where I am lacking, mainly from Russia diagonally to South Africa..

Colour code – light pink female of North American/European decent, Raspberry – Females of Non-European decent, darker blue – males of NA/European decent, light blue – males Non-European decent, and lastly Purple – American Females who’s biography just states “American”

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So, to my Bookworm buddies….

* Do you have any favourite books I should check out by non american authors? 

* Do you read diversely, or am I just overthinking this and should really just read what makes me happy?

Little Bookworm

“In my mind, I am this awesome, adventurous badass. But in reality I am just a bookworm that really likes wine.” – SL Jennings

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I like big books and I cannot lie.
So when I found this little book tag I had to do it.
The books made the little bookworm do it.

Favourite Childhood Book
Where could I even start? There are children’s books and novels for kids.. So..
Picture Books – Something From Nothing, Guess How Much I Love You, The Giving Tree, Stellaluna, Miss Nelson Is Missing, The Polar Express..
Novels – Anne of Green Gables, Tales Of The 4th Grade Nothing (plus the rest of the series), Frecklejuice (yes, I LOVED Judy Blume), Ramona The Brave (And the whole series), Sideways Stories of Wayside School,

Least favourite book by favourite author 
I don’t really have a favourite author. The one author I have read the most would be Jodi Picoult, the one book I despised what “Harvesting The Heart”

One I always give as a gift
The Help – Katheryn Stockett
Suzanne’s Diary For Nicholas – James Patterson
The Chirstmas Shoes – Donna VanLiere

Have more than one copy
Two Kisses For Maddy – Matt Logelin

Film or TV tie in
Neither. If I read and loved the book I am far too critical and almost have to hate the movie/show. It is always ruined and never gives the book justice. In addition, I hate when people RAVE about the movie/show and are ignorant to the fact it was even a book and have no desire to read the book or even care about it. BUT if I had to pick, I would say a 13 episode series. And yes, I have been called a book snob.

Series you hate
I hate this question, I feel like people are going to easily attack me and plan my death.
Harry Potter
Twilight
Divergent
Hunger Games

Pretend to have read it
Sound and Fury – William Faulkner. I attempted to read it at least 15 times and cannot get into it.

Makes me laugh
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling

Favourite fictional father
Is Atticus Finch too cliche?

Can’t believe more people haven’t read

Future classic
Based on its fan following, I would have to say “The Fault In Our Stars”

Bought on recommendation
Consequences Series by Aleatha Romig – LOVED.

Favourite cover
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Made to read at school and loved it
The Great Gatsby – Grade 11 U English

Hooked me into reading
See all the children’s books I listed. I always loved books, but the novels which really stuck out in my head from my childhood were Judy Blume’s Fudge series, Jean Little’s “Different Dragons”, and Patrick Skene’s “The Chocolate Touch”

Never finished
Too many to name. I don’t force myself to read a book I hate. If I start to think about food, or weekend plans while reading a book, or if I ‘read’ 4 chapters and have no idea what happened, I will stop reading it.

Want to be one of the characters

Would save if my house burned down
My Kindle. Aside from a few books which I still have in print, everything is on my Kindle.

Fun fact, I RARELY will read a book twice. I hate rereading something I already read. There is no surprise, the initial “love” is gone. There may only be a handful of books I have ever reread.

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&  What was your favourite children’s book?
& What book covers do you think are beautiful?
& Do you reread books?

My Right To Die With Dignity At Age 29…

“I’m dying, but I’m choosing to suffer less…I believe this choice is ethical, and what makes it ethical is it is a choice” – Brittany Maynard

I read this article on Monday on People’s website about Brittany Maynard and that (as of today) has 21 days to live as her decision to end her life with dignity at age 29 will be on November 1. She has been on my mind for the past week after reading the article and watching the moving video discussing her decision.

She was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor and was given a mere 6 months at best to live; so she and her husband – after carefully thinking it out – decided to move to Oregon which allow patients to die with dignity. Essentially her doctor prescribed her with a pill which will allow her to fall asleep and then pass away peacefully, painlessly, and surrounded by the people she loves most, in the bedroom she shares with her husband.

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Reading her story I couldn’t help but throw myself into her situation. She is only 7 years older than I am; 2 years older than Jamie. I don’t know if I would be able to display the same amount of courage and grace that she has. I do not for one second believe that she ‘doesn’t want to live’ or that she is being ‘selfish’ or that this is a ‘suicide’. I think when faced with something so frightening she was able to pick the option which so many people wish they would have been able to pick. That being said, I don’t think it makes it any easier, or any less terrifying.

Death is not something which bothers me. I do not fear death. It is inevitable. But saying that, it does not make it easier. I could not imagine going into a doctors appointment and being told this bright future which you are looking forward to, is essentially crashing down and have 6 months to do whatever it is you can do.

The whole story just put everything into perspective. She knows she has 24 days left on this earth and is making the absolute best of it – she is not wasting a minute of it. She knows, in less than a month she will be gone. I spent the day on the couch, I did nothing. I “wasted” a day. The truth it, in all likelihood, I probably do have more than a month to live, but in reality I can get hit by a bus tomorrow and be killed. If anything, I believe her story is a reminder to live, you don’t have to be told you have X amount of days left for you to soak in any amount of life you have.

I applaud her.
I admire her strength. Her husband’s strength.
I pray she has comfort. I pray her family has comfort.
I thank her for reminding me to live.
I thank her for displaying her strength.

 I am not quite sure how to end this. I am beyond moved.

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

Cheers to 4 years!

“New year is living life in a new and fresh time on the same path of destiny” – Mohammed Abad Alrazak

4 years

Last night Jamie and I celebrated 4 years of being together. It is kind of crazy, I feel like I was just writing this post last year….
I was thinking today on how significant 4 years really is, even though in some aspects it’s not long at all. I was thinking back on the past 4 years and everything we had done and everything Jamie has been by my side for.
I was barely 18 when we started dating. He was there as I graduated high school (in spirit, because we were still ‘new’ and my parents didn’t meet him yet).
He was there as I dragged him across the border into the US to get vanilla coke after spending the day in Niagara Falls.

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He was there as volunteered for the sexual assault centre. He was there when I would be up at strange hours answering phone calls.
He was there as I started college. When I contemplated switching my major, he was there when I ultimately did switch.

He was there when I turned 19. He was there as I went into a casino for the first time; he was there when I proudly got to use my ID.

He was there when I lost all the money I bet. He was there when I bought alcohol for the first time with my ID.

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He was there to wake me up for the second year in a row NYE after having a little too much to drink.

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He was there when I finished my first year of school a week before starting my second year (Note to self, never condense 3 years of school into 2 years).

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He was there when I completed my second year, went hardcore knitting while being off, and causing permanent nerve damage.
He was there when I went to the Hockey Hall Of Fame for the first time, and had to endure that.

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He was there to pick me up after Shannon and I would decide to day drink and craft all afternoon.


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He was there to see me start this little blog of mine, and he was there to watch me fall in love with, and talk about all my new friends.

He was there when I graduated college.

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He was there when I had the daunting task of finding a job.

He was there when I went to my first ever hockey game.

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He was on the other end of the phone when I got to pet my first donkey.

He was there to make sure I would stay awake after donating blood, passing out, and being told I cannot go to bed before 10:00

He was there when I got a job.

He was there to get up with my and make me breakfast and dinner before and after work.

He was there for any momentous moment in my life for the past 4 years. He is still there.

He is there to give me a Monster and chocolate when I had a bad day.

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He is there to text me if it is past 9:00 and hasn’t heard if I made it to work on time.

He is there to tell me not to put wet towels on the bed.

He is there to make me go to the gas station with him so he can fill the air up in my tires.

He is there to listen to me talk about characters in a book, or a show like they are real people.

He is there to remind me to be a better person.

He is there to drive me around the country to take pictures of cows.

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He is there to teach me about sports, even though I really don’t care.

He is there so I can vent about traffic, gas prices, and the damn cottagers who insist on coming home with me every week.

He is there to make me laugh when I really need it.

I don’t know where or who I would be if it weren’t for Jamie. He keeps me grounded, teaches me patients and kindness every day, and shows me how to be a better person.

So here is to another year of memories and of firsts.

Two On Tuesday

“I’m lactose intolerant. I have no patience for lactose and I won’t stand for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld

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7. Lactose Intolerant Journal. On my iphone, I keep a journal of when I get really bad lactose intolerant pains.. Not the minor ones which are tolerable, but the heaved over “I’m about to die” pains. The funny thing is, I am well aware I should stay away from dairy. Then when I am wishing to die, I ponder how I ended up in that situation – it’s not that I really had THAT much dairy.

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8. I need earbuds in my ears. I have no idea why I do this, or what makes me do this. But a lot of the time while on my computer I have my earbuds in. No music going, not listening to anything, but I like the feeling of having the eadbuds in my ears. I must say, I was so happy when I got my iPhone 5 and they came with the new and improved earbuds – I can have them in longer without my ears starting to hurt.

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Week One
1. I love pimples
2. I obsess over UPS

Week Two
3. I hate dried fruit – Kind of.
4. I am addicted to coloured pens.

Week Three
5. I am my own lead singer
6. Gel pen collection

My Bedroom Tour

“My bedroom is my sanctuary. It’s like a refuge, and it’s where I do a fair amount of designing – at least conceptually, if not literally.” – Vera Wang
Last weekend I found myself in a bit of a rut. I wanted to update my bedroom. My mom and I spent a full weekend getting to just how I wanted it ….. When I was 16. As much as I still love it, I wouldn’t mind a change. This comes with a slight issue though. I graduate college in April, meaning, I will probably be leaving soon. I feel like it is a waste of money, the minute I paint, there goes my comforter, lighting and everything else in order to match the ‘new’ room.
I have complied photos of my room in hopes some of your very smart people can give me a few ideas. It will give you the opportunity to see what I have to work with!
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It was hard to take a photo of the overview, so I made this 2D and 3D layout of my bedroom for those who need to visualize it. My room is by NO MEANS large, it is pretty small, and I have big bulky furniture (queen size bed, bookshelf, stand mirror, desk, dresser, vanity)
overviewThis is the over view of my bedroom. The view from the door, the opposing corner, the “hidden” corner, and a close up of the circles. We actually used 3 different sized mixing bowls to trace on the circles. Large – brown, medium – dark pink, small – yellow.
bedvanityI complied the photos from right to left, starting with the first thing you would directly see when you walk into my room – my bed. Jamie bought me the “little monkey” for our first christmas together – he calls me “monkey”. The first thing beside my bed is my vanity, which has a filing thing. I use it for my vast collection of every single scent of hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works, along with lotions, body wash, soaps, and other things from Bath and Body. Moving to my vanity, it is an organized mess. It hold the rest of my Bath and Body products, hair products, and nail polishes which did not fit into my nail polish rack.
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My dresser is interesting. It is on the adjacent corner that the vanity is on. On the same wall that the vanity is on, looking onto the dresser, I have this board that houses photos of Jamie and I, mainly our ‘travels’. The plate holding my Tiffany and Co. boxes and pouches, I actually decorated, and baked. Fun and cheap little art project! (Dollar store plate, sharpie marker, 350 degree oven for 30 minutes). My dresser also holds random things like belly rings, my barn yard friends, and other miscellaneous items.
deskOn the opposite corner of the dresser I have a desk. It pretty much just holds my every day make-up. I also have a bottle of Malibu and cups for jello shooters. You never know when you need to make a jello shooter. Under the desk – I am almost certain it gives my OCD mom a heart attack when she walks in – is all my knitting stuff. Bags upon bags upon boxes upon boxes.
polishwindowOn the adjacent corner I have my full body mirror, with my nail polish rack leaning on it. It is supposed to hand on the wall, but that thing is SO heavy, I am afraid to hang it. Beside the mirror is my closet door which I hang an extra Coach wristlet (Madison Collection) from it. I forgot the wind. It separates the dresser from the desk.
miscEnding with a few miscellaneous item, I have a book shelf which essentially just holds school work and my Gilmore Girls DVD boxed set, and the OC DVD boxed set. On top of it I have all my perfumes and body sprays. It is difficult to see it, but the crystals hanging from my chandelier almost perfectly match the pink on my walls. Lastly, I forgot to show this with my vanity – I store my makeup brushes in this wooden holder.
That is my room. That is what I have to work with. I would love some ideas!!!!