August 30, 2009

What he said

by Timothy Findley

Maybe it would be best not to read this until The Diviners has had a chance to sigh and to settle; until you, yourself, have had a chance to sigh and settle.

My friend and I have a rule when we go to plays and movies: neither of us is allowed to talk when the play or movie is over if we perceive the other has been upset or moved by what we've just seen. Surely there's nothing worse than somebody breaking in on your own reflections with: "Wow! What a piece of garbage!" Or even with: "Wasn't that terrific!" It doesn't really matter whether the voice breaking in agrees with you or disagrees. The point is, the only voice that matters when an experience is over is the voice of the experience itself.

A psychologist once remarked that what we experience in dreams can be just as affecting - whether for ill or for good - as what we experience in what we call "reality". Books can hit us hard - or leave us cold. We can set the book aside and say: "I forget." Or we can close the covers and know we will always remember what is between them. Books, like dreams, are essentially private realms. Nothing should be allowed to detract from each person's right to read a book privately and to interpret it freely in the light of what each person has experienced and knows of life. This is why what we receive from critics can be so dangerous. Not that critics are inevitably wrong; only that critics forget, too often, to remind us they speak only for themselves.

That's what I was trying to get at here, and managed to say so poorly. The fact that everything I have to say has already been said, been said more clearly and articulately....strangely liberating. And this right here is why I feel so sorry for those people who don't read, who deliberately chose not to dream, not to experience, not to seek out those rare moments when the words on a page reach out and give your soul the gentle fist bump of understanding. If more people would just pick up a good book - not "a book that lies: a book that clouds or obscures the truth with sentimental claptrap or mind-easing platitudes", maybe there would be less Dr Phil and Prozac, a little more sigh and settle.

August 10, 2009


The winner of Julie & Julia is.....Trace! Woohoo! It's easy when you're the only one to enter. So, just email me at or you can contact me through Etsy if you prefer, at, and I'll get that out to you asap. Enjoy the book, and prepare yourself for crazy food cravings while you read it. Maybe stock up on some cheese before you start.

August 06, 2009

Julie & Julia giveaway

So sometimes, just when you are whining and complaining about your stupid job cutting into your book buying time, you get lucky and win a book from Pickles on Pizza (she's having another giveaway, go enter!), and it makes the whole day better. Especially since it was Julie & Julia, which I've wanted to read since I saw the movie trailer - because the book is always better than the movie, and the movie looks pretty good.

The book arrived yesterday, and since I was working in the quiet, air conditioned peace of the bookstore, with hardly any customers, I read almost uninterrupted and I finished it this afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and desperately want to cook something - maybe those garlic mashed potatoes with garlic cream sauce. There is no such thing as too much garlic.

Now comes the hard part, because this is absolutely a book I'll read again, but I'm bound by the laws of the blog book giveaway to pass it on. Leave a comment below and I'll draw a winner on Monday, and send it on to the next lucky blogger.


Last Saturday I got called in to work, because a coworker had water in his lungs, a legitimate medical emergency, or because said douchebag wanted to spend the weekend at 'the cottage'. If you've got a cottage to go to, why are you wasting your time - more importantly my time - pretending you want to work at a minimum wage job that you can never be bothered to show up for?

I wasn't supposed to be there, sweating in impossible heat, swatting flies off of food, and dealing with dickhead teenagers - I was supposed to be having a late brunch with Gord, going book shopping and sitting in the shade at Westmount park reading one of my new books all afternoon. Add to that the fact that it was the busiest day ever, non stop for 8 freaking hours, and I got nauseous from not eating all day, and I was pretty much Dante from Clerks, screaming "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" in my head for 10 hours.

The only thing that could have redeemed that day is if my ex had accidentally had sex with a dead guy in the bathroom. In fact, pretending that he had got me through the evening.

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