Blog Posts

Sharing the knitting knowledge

Today I showed someone how to long-tail cast on, and I can’t help but feel like I did a good thing for the world. I was working in the evening at the gallery, and had just taken the vacuum cleaner out. Winter is upon us, which means people track…

What's the point of education?

Last week The Globe and Mail ran an opinion piece calling for coding to become a mandatory subject in Canadian schools. I’m sympathetic to the idea, for I agree that computer literacy and an awareness of how the algorithms and programs that increasingly influence our lives is crucial to…

Entrelac is my new favourite thing

I knit entrelac now. Entrelac is cool. You can read the linked Wikipedia article for all the details, but entrelac is basically a knitting technique that involves working a series of rectangles (and triangles) to create a patchwork effect. Instead of knitting across all the stitches on a row, you…

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…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why cover image

Trainwreck was published on my birthday, so it was kind of like Sady Doyle was giving me a birthday gift. Not really, at all, in any way. But still, a great coincidence. I’ve enjoyed reading her writing on various sites for years now, so when I heard she had an honest-to-goodness actual book coming out, I was elated. Fortunately, Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear … and Why does not disappoint. It appoints. It appoints very much. Doyle’s criticism of media and the consumer habits…

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita cover image

It’s the penultimate read for the Banging Book Club! Arguably the most well-known of this year’s selections and easily the most controversial from the moment of its release, Lolita is definitely complex and not an easy book to read.

Lolita reminds me of Lullabies for Little Criminals , one of my favourite books and one that I revisited this year in preparation for teaching it to my adult learners (I’ve since taught it twice, to good reception). Both books deal with the sexual abuse of a pub…

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) cover image

It always tickles me when people criticize progressive portrayals of social justice in historical settings as being “unrealistic” even when those books have magic in them. Leaving aside the fact that there have always been radicals in every era, if you can stomach sorcerers and fae in your story, you should be able to accept that some men in Georgian England might want women to be educated.

I’ve had an ebook of Sorcerer to the Crown for ages but am only now getting around to reading it after rece…

Zero History (Blue Ant #3) cover image

It’s strange, because Neuromancer is over 30 years old and relies on concepts of technology that have diverged from our own world (Gibson’s cyberspace and the visualizations it birthed seem remarkably quaint these days)—yet in almost every respect, it holds up far better than Zero History, which is only 6 years old.

It was the constant use of the word iPhone that got to me. Every character kept taking out their iPhone—not their phone, but their iPhone. These days, of course, unless we parti…

The Mutation (Animorphs, #36) cover image

OK, been a while since I’ve dropped one of these into the rotation. The Mutation is the first Jake-narrated book since #31: The Conspiracy. Whereas the previous book focused heavily on the tough decisions Jake must make as a leader, The Mutation instead explores more broadly the toughness required of all the Animorphs. This book is like a bizarre mash-up of James Bond and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The Animorphs discover that Visser Three has a shiny new toy to use to find the sunken Pemalite…

Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online cover image

Oh man, I did not pick the right time to start reading Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online (yay Oxford comma!). I started this two days before the American Election Day, and then after those results, I just had to kind of … put it down a bit. I was planning to read it over a week or so, because like Indigenous Writes , this is an academic-but-accessible book about some heavy stuff, and reading it in one or two sittings wasn’t going to do me any favours. Bailey Poland speaks knowl…