"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite 2016 Releases Thus Far

I almost skipped this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic, because I don't have much of a list. We're posting about our favourite 2016 releases, and I've only read three books that were released this year, so that's not much of a list, but in the interest of keeping connected, here goes.

1. The Name Therapist by Duana Taha: I am a secret name nerd. I love names. I can spend half an hour deeply contemplating what I would name 10 children, even though it's looking less and less like I'll even have one, let alone ten. This book was all about names, and as a bonus, the author is around my age and grew up in Toronto, so I felt a kinship with her.

2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: I was really stoked to read this book, and I wasn't disappointed. The book deals with a group of refugees during World War II, and the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff, which was a massive sailing disaster that almost no one has ever heard of. I found the frequent switch of perspectives a bit difficult at first, but overall really enjoyed the book and blew through it quickly because I couldn't put it down.

3. Quantum Night by Robart J. Sawyer: This book was pretty meh for me. My dad introduced me to Sawyer years ago, and we have continued to read his books because he has some interesting concepts and he is a local author, but this book fell flat with me. I had trouble liking the characters and the premise seemed too far-fetched for me to get into it.

Well, that's all I've got for 2016 releases, but I'd love to hear some of your picks for best reads from this year!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

For the Love of Sadie

This past week was bittersweet. There were some ups: I graduated from my Master's program on Thursday and got to celebrate with friends and family, but a day before, my sweet cat Sadie passed away.

Sadie was my roommate's cat. I moved in with Dana in early 2006. She had a cat, and I had a cat. Somehow, when she left, I had both kitties "temporarily". That was nine years ago!

Sadie and Scout

She was a quirky little feline. She had the most delicate bones and features of any cat I've had. She was extremely skittish and afraid of men. When I started dating Gil, she would hide every time he came by. He didn't believe that I actually had two cats. She gradually got curious, and would sneakily try to check him out. In my old condo, the kitchen and living room were at street level, while the bedrooms were downstairs. We would be sitting on the couch talking or watching TV, and she would stand on the stairs and poke her little head up like a periscope, scoping out the situation but able to run away at the first sight of danger. The only male that she never seemed wary of was my mom's partner Brian. Somehow she loved him from the get-go.

Sadie taught me things about myself, and about love. She had a weird habit of sticking her butt in your face if you were patting her. This made it difficult to cuddle with her and have anything in your hands. I remember one time, she was walking all over me and sticking her bum in the air, and I blurted out, "Why don't you just let me love you?!" It made me think about how easy it is to love those who do what we want them to do, but the nature of real love is selfless, loving others even when we don't understand them or their motivations or they drive us crazy. I'm so blessed to be loved by people even when I am not always the most lovable.

Hiding in a box, as one does

Some people might say that she was only a cat, and I guess that's true. In the past few years, however, she was just what I needed. Sure, she didn't speak or understand my situation. But because she didn't speak, she couldn't say things like, "Sure you're infertile, but at least you get to sleep in on weekends" or "Don't you know that parenting is hard?" She didn't understand, so when I was weeping about my infertility and she walked away, I knew it wasn't personal and she wasn't choosing not to care. She never made me feel like I couldn't be sad over my infertility unless I'd exhausted every single option, or like I had to justify my infertility decisions before I could get any sympathy. Unlike people, she never snubbed me or ignored my pain any more than a cat does naturally. Unlike people, she loved me for who I was. She didn't say anything, but her presence was more than enough. So she was just a cat, but sometimes that made her the best friend I could have had in this messy, ugly, lonely ride through infertility. She was just a cat, but she was my cat, and I will miss her terribly.

I love you, Sadie Lady.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2016 Releases

Today's topic at The Broke and the Bookish is anticipated new releases for the second half of the year. I don't typically follow a lot of release schedules, unless it's an author that I love or a series that I'm really into, so I had to do some digging to find enough for a list.

1. Saga, Volume 6 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples: I love this series!

2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany: I was a bit on the fence about this, but let's face it, I won't be able to help myself.

3. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson: I'm so into this series after reading the first book last fall.

4. Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer: I enjoyed Everything Is Illuminated, but never read his second release; however, I found this on a list of releases for the year, and a very intrigued.

5. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: Sounds intriguing.

6. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty: Somehow, I missed out on Big Little Lies, but I've read a couple of her books and really enjoyed them, so I'll definitely check out her newest book.

7. Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English: A true story that looks completely fascinating.

8. Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison: The Russophile in me is doing scissor kicks about this release! It comes out in October, so I'm crossing my fingers for a book store gift card for my September birthday to buy this book.

That's all I could come up with! What books are you looking forward to?