Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Fictional Worlds I’d Love to Visit

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I’m guessing that a lot of people are going to pick the Potterverse, Narnia, and the (safe) portions of Middle Earth this week. Count me in for those places, too, but I’m going to spend most of this post talking about worlds that may not get as much attention this week if my predictions are correct.

The Land of Oz.

Something tells me all of you will catch this reference immediately. I’m the sort of person who senses danger early on, so I’d like to think I could visit Oz without running into any of the witches or other dangerous folks there. It would be so cool to see the yellow brick road in person and meet some munchkins.

The Gatsby Mansion from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”

While I’m not actually a fan of this story in general, I do think attending one of the parties at the Gatsby Mansion would be a marvellous way to pass a warm summer evening. The one good thing I can say about the Gatsby family is that they sure did seem to know how to throw a party!

In my imagination, every morsel of food and drink there would have been delectable and the live music would keep everyone dancing until the wee hours of the morning.

Pandora from the 2009 film “Avatar” 

Simple things like spending time in nature and exploring new places makes me happy. I’d love to go explore the bright, colourful world that the main character of “Avatar” got to know so well during his stay there. The fact that so many of the creatures there were bioluminescent only makes me more eager to see them for myself!

Pemberly From Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”

Once again, I was not a fan of the novel where this fictional country estate is from, but that wouldn’t keep me from wanting to visit Pemberly anyway. I value spending time in nature, eating delicious food, dancing, and having some peace and quiet at times. Based on the descriptions of this place, I think I could do all of that stuff with ease there.

Jurassic World (but only after the dinosaurs stopped attacking people)

Honestly, how could you not want to see real live dinosaurs in person? I’d definitely wait until all of the safety concerns had been ironed out, and I’d avoid the Tyrannosaurus area in general. I’d be thrilled to see some Triceratops, Gallimimus, Velociraptors, and other species in person once those precautions had been taken.

How about all of you?

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.


Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last week I unfortunately didn’t have time to leave comments on everyone’s Top Ten Tuesday posts. Thank you to all of you who commented on mine! I’ll be back to my regular commenting habits again this week.

I’m a frugal, minimalistic, and environmentally conscious person, so this week’s list is going to be pretty short. The vast majority of the authors I enjoy are people I can wait to read until the library has a copy of their newest book waiting for me or until I can get it in e-book form.

(If all writers were immortal, this list would be much longer! Sadly, many of my all-time favourite ones are no longer around to give us new stories).

To be perfectly clear, in no way do I judge what others do. These restrictions are ones I only place on myself because of how much I value being mindful about the resources I use. Buying paper books is a better decision for some people for any number of reasons, and I completely respect that.

With that being said, I find it hard to say no to the following authors. Click on their names to go to the Goodreads lists of their books or keep reading to discover why I enjoy them so much.

Sarah Waters

Most of her books are set in the Victorian era and feature queer women as the main characters. They are richly detailed stories that I read over and over again. She produces new stories so infrequently and I adore her writing style so much that I immediately buy whatever it is she comes up with.

Margaret Atwood

In my opinion, Margaret Atwood is the best living novelist here in Canada. Most of what she writes is speculative fiction, although she has branched out to other genres on occasion. Right now I’m impatiently counting down the days until the release of her next book, The Testaments, this September because it’s a long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and I can’t wait to see what it will be like.

Who else had a short list this week? Are any of my followers also into being frugal, minimalistic, and/or eco-friendly? If so, I’d love to know how you balance those ideals with keeping on top of your reading habits…other than regularly visiting the library, of course!


Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favorite Nonfiction Authors

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

There’s something about summer that makes me want to read nonfiction. I still read science fiction, fantasy, and similar genres, but I really enjoy learning about things that really happened.

Here are several of my favourite nonfiction authors. How many of them have you all read?

Barack Obama.

Example: Dreams From My Father.

Why I liked it: President Obama had an interesting childhood for more reasons than I should put into a single blog post. To mention just one of them, I would have been hurt if my father had played such a small role in my daily life when I was growing up. I was impressed by how understanding he was about the role his father did play in his life.

Stephen Hawking.

Example: A Brief History of Time.

Why I liked it: Physics is one of those topics I have a hard time wrapping my mind around but still enjoy reading about quite a bit. Please don’t ask me to give you a full explanation of why time doesn’t always move consistently (especially when those pesky black holes get involved), but I did always enjoy hearing his thoughts on this topic when he was still alive.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Example: Nickle and Dimed: on (Not) Getting By in America

Why I liked it: Ms. Ehrenreich has a conversational writing style that works well for her investigative approach to nonfiction, social justice, and social class. I’m also impressed by the fact that she’s spent so much time literally walking in other people’s shoes while researching her books.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Example: We Should All Be Feminists

Why I liked it: The older I get, the stronger my preferences becomes for writers who know how to get to the point as succinctly as possible. Not only does Ms. Adichie do this, she manages to pack a lot of important information into the things she writes without simplifying it too much. I also appreciate her inclusive approach to social justice. It’s so much more effective to call people in to caring about injustice than it is to call them out for not using exactly the right term(s) while trying to make the world a better place.

Stephen Colbert

Photo credit: Montclair Film.

Example: I Am America (and so Can You!) 

Why I liked it: Satire is such an underrated form of comedy, especially when it’s done well. I adore Mr. Colbert’s tongue-in-cheek approach to everything, especially once I learned that he apparently teaches Sunday School in real life and allegedly has been banned from acting like the persona he plays on television when he’s at home relaxing with his wife. Seriously, how funny is that? She must be such a patient woman.

Michael Pollan

Example: In Defence of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Why I liked it: I always appreciate Mr. Polland’s simple and intuitive approach to eating. No food or food group is forbidden. Instead, we’re all encouraged as much as is possible to eat the sorts of unpackaged ingredients that our ancestors would have recognized.

That is, roast a whole potato instead of eating french fries. Pack an apple instead of an apple-flavoured fruit rollup.  The closer something is to the way it was when it was still growing in the field, swimming in a pool of water, or running around in a pen, the better it is for you in the majority of cases.

This is the sort of healthy eating that really speaks to me. I’m always excited to see what he’s written next.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Wish Existed

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I rarely if ever meet characters like the ones I’m about to describe to you, but I dream about reading about them someday. If you know of books in any genre featuring characters who match these descriptions, please do speak up!

A Hero Who Doesn’t Succeed

No, I’m not saying the antagonist absolutely must win. Maybe he or she could win! Or maybe someone else in the storyline defeats them instead. Either way, I’d be quite interested in meeting the Chosen One, investing in their journey, and then seeing what happens after their best shot at winning doesn’t work.

A Genuinely Unlikeable Protagonist

Think of someone who is not only an antihero but who just doesn’t seem like they’d be a pleasant person to spend time with in general. Perhaps they regularly meddle in other people’s affairs, have low emotional intelligence, or regularly offend people by never thinking before they speak. I don’t know why I’m so interested in reading about such unpleasant characters at the moment, but I am.

A Non-Canine Animal Protagonist

I’ve read several amazing books like The Art of Racing in the Rain that show the world through a dog’s eyes so convincingly that it almost felt as though actual dogs had been consulted during the writing of it. I wonder if there are any books out there written as though a cat or some other creature was telling the story?

A Magical World Based on Science

Okay, so obviously there is no scientific basis for magic in our world. I’d still love to read a fantasy, sci-fi, or similar book about a world where magic has a scientific explanation that is explained to the audience and that logically works with the particular physics/chemistry/biology of whatever planet it is set on.

Magic is an incredible thing to read about….I just wish the mechanics of it were explained better. To tie this better into this week’s prompt, maybe the main character could be a scientist who also performed magic?

Ideas, anyone?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Should Be Made into a Movie and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I have several answers to this week’s prompt! It’s always nice when that happens. To the best of my knowledge, none of these books have or are currently scheduled to be made into films. If any of you have heard differently, I’d sure like to know.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Why: Racism is one of those topics that is always relevant and timely. I’d love to see how this book’s descriptions of what it feels like to be a black man living in a society that discriminates against him would be updated for life in 2019.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Why: Neil Gaiman is a talented writer who has had other books of his made into amazing films and series. I think The Graveyard Book would be a wonderful thing for children to see at Halloween because of how unusual it would be for ghosts to raise a baby in a graveyard. The comedic possibilities there are endless!

Unwind (Unwind, #1)  by Neal Shusterman

Why: Between the forced childbirth and the forced organ/issue donation (among many other human rights violations), this is the scariest dystopian novel I’ve ever read. It would make a terrifying movie that I’d be both excited and a little nervous to see.

The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7)  by C.S. Lewis 

Why: The first few Chronicles of Narnia have been made into films often. Every time Hollywood decides to retell the first few books, I cross my fingers that audiences will be interested enough to keep the series going until the end. The Last Battle is filled with action-packed battles and other scenes about the end of Narnia that I think would look amazing on the big screen.

I’d especially love to see the scenes in this book when everything on Narnia withers away or blinks out of existence, including the plants, animals, and stars. It was a very interesting thing to read about for reasons I can’t discuss here without giving away spoilers. Maybe someday we will get to see the film version of this, though!

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)  by Susan Beth Pfeffer 

Why: This is going to give away my age, but I was young enough to be worried about the world as we knew it shutting down for a long time – and maybe even forever – when the Y2K bug was hyped up in the late 1990s.

My mom and I had a few reassuring chats back then about how she and dad would take us to go live on my grandparents’ farm if all of the computers in the world shut down and we had to go back to a low or no-technology existence. Farming is a lot of work, but we always would have had food to eat and a safe place to live in that scenario.

The cool thing about the Last Survivors series was how much detail it went into about how people would band together to survive after a natural disaster that severely affected the balance of life on Earth. Their problems were different than the ones I worried about back in the day, but I loved seeing a fairly realistic and peaceful “end of the world” type of novel.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favorite Things to Do in the Summer

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. I’ve been looking forward to this prompt for ages! I can’t wait to get to know all of you a little better. While spring is my favourite season in Toronto, the wonderful thing about summer here is how many different types of events are scheduled during it. I’m frugal… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favorite Books Covers & Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Interestingly enough, I have not read any of these books. I chose them for this week’s prompt based on their beautiful covers alone. My Blood Approves (My Blood Approves #1) by Amanda Hocking What I like about it: Blue is such an eye-catching colour. The gravestone and bird are… Read More