Category Archives: Reviews

How To Be a Woman

In the last six months I’ve read a bunch of books, many of them by funny women, but none of them have impacted me as much as How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran.

Book cover for

She lays bare many of the underlying reasons of the angst I feel about being a woman in these modern days. At least as a woman into her late 30s, because admittedly she hasn’t reached middle age yet. Best of all she does so in a thoroughly readable, entertaining, and often laugh-out-loud funny manner. The things she points outs here is so on point and truthful that I am going to make my daughters read this book when they are about 12. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any woman who thinks about her place in this world, and any man who wants to understand more about real women.

Continue reading How To Be a Woman

Hot yoga

Ah Groupon, you with your siren songs of cheap deals. Because of you I finally tried this hot yoga thing. Or as real yogis call it, Bikram Yoga.

I must admit I was very tentative at first. Sweating profusely isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. But so many friends and acquaintances claim to enjoy it so I took the mantra I give to my daughters and applied it to myself: just try it at least once and give it a chance. Or try it 8 times, since I have this newbie pass for the month for unlimited visits. Continue reading Hot yoga

Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

Lately I’ve been on a reading kick, and particularly autobiographical books from funny women. Amy Poehler’s contribution to the collection is one of the best. Part memoir (from her “middle-years”), part words-of-wisdom, part collection of funny stories, it was a real treat to read.

You can tell that this was a book written as snatches of stories in stolen snippets of time, but masterfully edited together. Seriously, kudos to her editors. The 3 sections/themes of the book likely weren’t planned on the outset, and yet it works.

Not only is she very funny, Poehler is thoroughly quotable with some very wise words regarding working and career that really resonated with me.  Continue reading Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

National Ballet of Canada review: Manon

I have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to recalling details and opinions about shows, concerts, ballets, books, movies, etc that I’ve seen. So to start doing something about it, here goes my inaugural ballet review post so I’ll have it for posterity, and for notes to compare future productions against.

Manon is the first show of the 2014-2015 season. This production has now earned it’s place as one of my favourites of the National Ballet of Canada (NBOC). It’s funny to think that this did not have a successful run the previous time that the National Ballet mounted this ballet in 1999. And to be honest I didn’t know about this ballet either when it was announced, but then when NBOC featured the rehearsal of the pas de deux on World Ballet Day, I got excited. After seeing the show last week, it was for good reason. Continue reading National Ballet of Canada review: Manon

Book review: Death Comes to Pemberley

Jacket cover for

I do love a good mystery. I thoroughly enjoy Jane Austen’s novels as well. P.D. James has gone and put the two together in Death Comes to Pemberley, and does an astounding job of it. This really is a murder mystery done in the tone and style of Jane Austen, using the familiar characters from Pride and Prejudice. It would totally be believable as a shocking sequel to Pride and Prejudice if Jane Austen a)were to write any sequels and b)were to write something as gory and ugly as a murder.

I admit that I didn’t remember all the characters that had already been introduced in Pride and Prejudice (ahem, Captain Denny, the poor victim), but it was kind of delightful “catching up” with these characters six years after the events of P&P transpired. Indulgent, sure, but it definitely enables James to easily establish our sympathies for these characters, their actions and their motivations without having to spend a lot of time with backstory. Continue reading Book review: Death Comes to Pemberley

Two things I’m excited to watch this fall

1. Pacey Witter is back on TV this fall!! I mean, Joshua Jackson, in The Affair on Showtime.

By its’ own rights this looks to be a highly intriguing show. Lots of talking, nuanced performances, and the exploration of how multiple people perceive the same thing in different ways. Add in a mystery, which I love. Oh and there is the titular extra-marital affair and the impact on the 4 people within those relationships. The human condition revealed.

Topping it all off is the inclusion of Joshua Jackson in the leading cast. *girlish sigh*

Watching Joshua Jackson on Dawson’s Creek was one of my must-see TV back in the late 90’s.  (I also had the pleasure of rewatching the whole series on Netflix this past summer.) Charming, funny, secure in his love of his girl but so insecure about himself, the character Pacey Witter was someone you couldn’t help loving. He could pull off lines that made you swoon, yet you know any other guy repeating those same words would sound utterly corny.

This new show and character looks to move completely away from the teen soap character into a more complex and potentially unlikeable character. But I’ll be watching anyway, because I know Joshua Jackson will give a compelling performance.

2. Gone Girl, adapted from Gillian Flynn’s book of the same name, is likely the movie I’m most excited to see this fall. Even more so with David Fincher helming the movie.

I read the book, and could not freaking put it down. Sleep was definitely further deprived for the few days I spent reading this book. As a mystery book it already has me, but the character motivations in the book are what made this jaw-dropping for me. The word “psychopath” comes to mind, and yet a part of me has to admire the psychopath’s meticulous plan and execution. The brilliance of Flynn’s book is not only was I kept guessing as to whom the real psychopath is until well past half-way through, but also that I was disturbed by my admiration for the character.

It will be fun to watch/discuss this movie with people who haven’t read the book before, provided the movie plot doesn’t stray far from the novel. I read the novel before hearing the casting announcements, and I think the casting is spot-on perfect. While I’m still very uncertain about Ben Affleck as Batman, as Nick Dunne he’ll be awesome. And everything that Rosamond Pike has done that I’ve seen, I’ve loved.

Anyone want to meet me on the couch and movie theatre to watch with me? 🙂