FROM THE ARCHIVE: As an activity that takes up a large proportion of our time, getting a job that doesn’t send you over the brink of insanity is probably a good thing. But given that most people tend to have several occupations over the course of their lives, you’re almost assured to have to endure at least one or two tough jobs.
A Not-So-Secret (Cove) Seaside Rendezvous
Only a 30-minute floatplane ride (or a 90-minute drive and ferry ride) from Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia encompasses 86 scenic kilometres of beautiful beaches, quiet forests, and small, colourful communities. And it’s here, just north of the town of Sechelt, that you’ll find Rockwater Secret Cove Resort.
Sleep No More
The premise of Sleep No More sounded nonsensical, like rantings born of a fever dream, but it was intriguing enough that I bought a ticket. And several weeks later, I waited in a thunderstorm for what would be one of the most phenomenal artistic experiences in my life.
Off the Shelf: Flights of Fantasy
Few things in literature are as effective at capturing the imagination as meticulously detailed worlds.
Welcome to Night Vale
Gone are the glory days of the mainstream radio serials, but the concept has been revived in the form of Welcome to Night Vale. The popular podcast takes the form of a community radio show that describes the unnatural goings-on in the fictional, absurdly humorous desert town of Night Vale.
Whether you are travelling or staying home, at the beach or on a patio, the summer’s surplus sunlight makes it the best season to read more. Here are a few favourites that will make the extra hours of daylight fly by.
Off the Shelf: Masters’ Works
There are few attributes that I admire more than productivity. I am captivated by those with the ability not just to create, and not just to create well, but to create well and often.
The night after I completed Gone Home, I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, preoccupied as much by the story I’d consumed as by the fact that it was not a novel or a film but a video game.
It is nearly inevitable, when discussing writer Elizabeth Spencer, to avoid remarking on her extensive career; the 92-year-old’s first novel came out in 1948, and she has published works in every decade since.
Comfortably Out of Place
There is a feeling that is entirely unique to the challenge of moving to a new city where the locals speak a foreign language. It is a sense of ersatz belonging, of feeling comfortable yet oddly, perpetually, out of place.
Off the Shelf: CanCon Roundup
The thrill of becoming acquainted with a hitherto unfamiliar writer is singular.
That suave gentleman in the Dos Equis commercials might have some competition for the title of most interesting man in the world in Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who achieved widespread popularity on social media after tweeting from the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year.
Not With a Bang
The world of the near future, already environmentally devastated, is further destroyed by an intentionally released supervirus that kills most of the population
There were several sections of David Sedaris’s latest book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, that made me laugh out loud, but one paragraph in particular stands out.
Off the Shelf: Tales from the Hermit Kingdom
The term hermit kingdom is an odd one. There’s something almost fantastical about it—which is fitting, since the country it usually describes, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is frequently presented as being so enigmatic.
Off the Shelf: Long Journeys
Seasons in the book world, as was inevitable, have been branded. Not quite as much as in the movie business, where winter is the preordained time of star-powered, tear-jerking award winners and summer is filled with popcorny blockbusters. I propose a change in thinking: seasonal reading based on page count.
Off the Shelf: Non-Fiction
The ease with which we are now able to access so much information can be disconcerting. And that’s one reason why non-fiction writing has maintained its importance. No matter its subject, the best writing should allow for much deeper insight into the topic than the surface level of understanding that is so easy to come by.
The 12-12-12 Concert
This year, Paul McCartney will turn 71. Mick Jagger is going to be 70. Pete Townsend will reach a relatively young 68 years of age. Time is catching up with the rockers of old—but so too is technology.
Off the Shelf: Books for E-Readers
For as long as there are different ways and devices used for reading—or at least until Chapters and Amazon figure out a way to transmit stories directly from the imaginations of authors into the minds of readers—there will be debates about the best form in which books are delivered, whether that’s on Kindles or hard covers, on Kobos or trade paperbacks.
Off the Shelf: Crime Fiction
It would be misleading to say that detective novels and mystery stories and thriller books have undergone a renaissance of late, but it does seem as if they’re taking up more shelf space in bookstores these days.
Off the Shelf: Going Places
From Homer to Kerouac, is there a literary element more popular in Western culture than the trope of the journey? There’s a reason for the ubiquity in movies and books of that old chestnut of a plot, the road trip: even if it doesn’t reach high art, at least it probably won’t be boring.
Off the Shelf: Wages and Pages
Given how much of our time is consumed by work, it’s surprising how much we enjoy reading about occupations. How many back-cover blurbs describe not the personality traits of the story’s protagonist, but rather the job—“a successful doctor”, “a retired detective”, “a young lawyer”, and so forth.
Off the Shelf: Musings on Mortality
The next time you have the urge to do some reorganizing, try emptying out a shelf of books and using it to display, in order, those you’ve most recently read. Yes, it may be a challenge for those alphabetizers among us, but it can be an illuminating experience. Of late, my reading trail has meandered through the forests of mortality and inevitability. Sombre subjects for the dog days of summer, perhaps, yet appropriate as the days grow darker.
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa
Location, legend has it, is everything. That’s certainly the case when it comes to resorts. Unless you opt never to leave the room—which, in some places, is definitely an option—the surrounding environs play as much a part of the experience as the in-room amenities.
On The Road in Maui
The view is magnificent as the plane circles the island. Looking down, I imagine I can see a winding road cutting its way across the volcanic slope. Maui is Hawaii’s loveliest island, in my opinion, and I am en route to experience a singular attraction: the Road to Hana, which has been called one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
The Toronto International Film Festival
On Bloor Street by the Manulife Centre, there is a display that has been set up outside the William Ashley store during the last few years of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Ideas, Inventions, and Innovations
Flying cars. Robot servants. Jetpacks. Of all the science-fiction dreams that permeated the genre during the last century, few have been realized. Although innovations like the Internet are by no means insignificant, there has been a dearth of wow in current innovations.
One&Only Palmilla Resort
There is something in the air at the One&Only Palmilla resort, a certain distinctive scent. It’s heady with a bit of a kick, and it vaguely recalls some sort of exotic flower.
It is impressive that the only thing more distinguishing than the name of a new speaker designed by Israel-based sound system company Morel is its design.
Transit Maps of the World
Ever wanted to compare the labyrinthine twists and turns of the London Underground with those of the New York City Subway? Or take a peek at what’s involved in tooling around Tokyo?
With starring roles in two hit sitcoms, and two films set to come out later this year, Canadian actress Sarah Chalke is definitely on a roll in Hollywood.
It is Montblanc’s 100-year anniversary, and to celebrate the company is premiering a variety of exquisite new pieces.