Blog Posts

When they speak

I had an excellent class this morning. Previously I blogged about how, in this combined ENG3C/NBE3C Grade 11 English course, we looked at various texts to help students article their identity. We’ve now moved on to looking at the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We have watched three…

Exploring Self and Identity Through Short Stories

I have two book reviews I really should be writing instead, and some planning to finish, because I’m off tomorrow afternoon to Sudbury (of all places) for a two-day workshop. So of course I’m blogging instead! In the previous session (March to April) at the adult education centre, I taught…

Surprisingly good television these days

Should I be posting a knitting update? Probably. But I wanted to tweet some thoughts about The Magicians, and Orphan Black, and Supergirl, until I realized I should really just expand them into a summary of my thoughts about television shows! So this is a round up…

Algorithms are not the answer

Oh, look! It’s another article about discovery vs rote math! Here we go again…. I thought I had solved this back in 2011 (twice!), but apparently a couple of people in the world didn’t listen, so now here I am, back at it again. It seems like every five…

My first exploration expedition: success

I have returned from my first exploration expedition in Elite: Dangerous. I'm putting a checkmark here: huge success. Financially, I made over 7.8 million credits. I spent about that much buying and outfitting my Asp Explorer for the trip, so I’m very happy with that. Exploration is not an…

Boldly going forward, because I can't find reverse

I started playing Elite Dangerous over the Christmas break. Now that I have a shiny new computer (which I still have to blog about), I can actually play PC games again. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well my XPS 15 can play such a demanding game, graphically—once I figured out…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us cover image

Are you a perv? Of course you are, you pervy perv, you. At least, that’s the explicit (pun intended) promise in Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us. Jesse Bering grapples with that truism that the only normal is that there is no normal. He catalogues, comments upon, and otherwise investigates the various types of sexual behaviours that are or have previously been labelled as deviant. The purpose of this exposé (pun intended), if you will, appears twofold: firstly, Bering wants to remind and…

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1) cover image

As I reflected in my review of The Sleeper and the Spindle , fairytale retellings are all the rage. With The Wrath & the Dawn, we have a new take on One Thousand and One Nights. Unlike the original, the stories within the frame story fall by the wayside, for the most part, as Shahrzad’s relationship with Khalid intensifies. Renée Ahdieh’s reimagining, then, is less about retelling the stories from One Thousand and One Nights and more about exploring that dynamic between a supposedly-cruel…

Wintergirls cover image

This was a difficult book to read, and not just because of its subject matter. Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing is highly stylized in Wintergirls; I mistook the cover copy’s description of her writing as “lyrical” as being metaphorical, but it’s more accurate than not. Normally I dislike gimmicky or unconventional experiments in narrative style, even when they attempt to bring verisimilitude to a narrator’s stream of consciousness. For some reason, though, it seized me here and didn’t let me go. I…

The Heart Goes Last cover image

Shall we have a discussion about how, at this point, no one, not even Atwood herself, is pretending she is not writing science fiction, yet libraries and bookstores are still going to shelve these books in the “literary” or “general” sections because genres are bullshit marketing labels?

What, you just want me to skip all that noise and go to the review? Fine, fine. Don’t say I never listen to you, reader.

Also, you’re looking nice today. Hats suit you.

I don’t know how to summarize The Heart Goes…

The Sleeper and the Spindle cover image

Fairytale retellings are sooooooo in these days, and probably with good reason. Fairytales are, in some ways, cultural bedrock. They are meant to be adapted, retold, reimagined with each new generation and new age. The popularity of such a practice fluctuates, but they are always there, beneath the surface, lurking and awaiting their next moment in the spotlight. Hollywood is incredibly talented at messing up its attempts to retell fairytales (although I have to admit, I really enjoyed Disney’s new…

Time Now for the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange cover image

This will be a short review. I don’t have a lot to say about Time Now for the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange. If you are familiar with the Vinyl Cafe, then you know what the Story Exchange is. If not, then while you might still enjoy this book, it probably won’t have the same resonance for you.

There are some gems of stories in this book. I’ve heard most of them (because I’ve listened to The Vinyl Cafe for that long, and some have been re-broadcast because they are just that good). Reading them, however…