How not to write a gothic ghost story – A Review

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vanFrom my experience of reading The Vanishing by Wendy Webb, I’ve devised this handy list of How Not To Write A Gothic Ghost Story, though it could easily also be known as How Not To Write Any Story.

First, begin with a promising premise: Julia’s life is turned upside down after her husband’s suicide and societal uproar against him conning thousands of people out of their life savings. Alone and estranged from society, Julia hides in her own home when a man shows up on her door step, presenting a solution to her situation. She is whisked away to start a new life out of the public’s eye, working as a companion to a cooky, elderly horror novelist in a haunted mansion – but strange things start happening, and Julia questions why she was really brought to the house. Once you have that, proceed to ruin it by following these crucial steps (WARNING: minor spoilers): Continue reading

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Bullet Journal and Starbucks Adventure

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I spent the better part of today going on a big walk with Sophie. First we went down to the Starbucks in the village, where we sat for over an hour at a shaded table. I had tea and a chocolate croissant – Sophie had some of the non-chocolate parts. Then we continued on down to the water where Sophie enjoyed a swim and played with the rocks (I know, she’s a weird dog). While at Starbucks I read my book for a bit, but mostly I worked on brainstorming a bunch of ideas and plans for my Leuchtturm bullet journal. Continue reading

Which genre is the best?

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art.jpgToday at the store, a customer asked me if we had a certain book in stock – a fantasy book by Robin Hobb called Assassin’s Fate: Book 3 of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. I checked the computer to find it was just released May 9th and we had 10 copies. I showed her to the section and she was so excited to see it, she picked up the book and hugged it. We chatted briefly before she left. I mentioned I had never really read much fantasy or sci-fi before – she looked at me in shock – I explained it was because I just didn’t know where to start and didn’t know what was good. She nodded solemnly, saying there can be a lot of crap to get through, but it’s so worth it because eventually you’ll find gold. Continue reading

A lesson in hipster poetry – Review

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milkI once heard someone describe this book as ‘hipster’ poetry, and I can see why. It discusses a lot of mainstream issues: love, relationships, sex and feminism, but from the author’s personal, sometimes dark experiences. Milk and Honey was written by young Canadian author Rupi Kaur and has been incredibly popular in the book world lately. Kaur, you might recall, is the young woman responsible for the photo essay that explored menstruation taboos. When she shared one of the photos on Instagram, it was deleted, proving the exact point that Kaur was trying to make: “A majority of people, societies, and communities shun this natural process. Some are more comfortable with the pornification of women, the sexualization of women, the violence and degradation of women than this. They cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that, but will be angered and bothered by this” (Kaur, Instagram post, March 24, 2015).

I fully support what Rupi Kaur stands for and what she’s trying to do with her work, and I think Milk and Honey is very relevant to today’s society for the exact reasons Kaur mentioned above. But is it good poetry?

Since I’m not very familiar with how to analyze or review poetry, I sought out the help of my best friend, Tess Lund, who has a double major in English and Writing. She gave me a little lesson in poetry and after a quick flip through and analysis of the first few poems, she informed me that no, Milk and Honey in her educated opinion, is not the amazing piece of poetic literature everyone seems to think it is. After hearing her reasoning, I have to say I agree.

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Rainbow Bookshelf: Before and After 

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I’ve seen the rainbow bookshelf trend around online quite a bit and thought for today’s post I’d do something relaxing and try it out. I think it turned out okay – yes, the “Fiction” book end is supposed to go on the other side – but it was needed more on the left. Overall though, it definitely looks neater, and more aesthetically pleasing. Any of you book nerds out there ever done the rainbow bookcase?

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Welcome to The Dallow Way!

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It’s official! I just changed The Vista Review to The Dallow Way – a play on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, which I read two years ago and quite enjoyed. I’ll need to re-read it and do a review on here sometime.

Like Mrs. Dalloway, The Dallow Way will be full of introspection, streams of consciousness about my internal and external thoughts and experiences, focusing on books, writing, creativity, art, mixed media, and whatever else comes along. I hope you’ll join me!

www.thedallowway.wordpress.com 

What’s this? A new blog you say?

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For the past few days, I’ve been toying with the idea of converting this blog from a pop culture review blog into a general lifestyle blog that still includes book reviews and the like. Something happened at work today that I thought was the perfect thing to start off the new direction for this blog.  Continue reading

2017 Canada Reads: The results are in – and they don’t make sense

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canreads.jpgI mentioned in my review of The Break that it was a finalist for the Canada Reads discussion, which just happened two weeks ago. The panel consisted of Candy Palmater defending The Break, Humble the Poet defending Fifteen Dogs, Chantal Kreviazuk defending The Right to be Cold, Measha Brueggergosman defending Company Town, and Jody Mitic defending Nostalgia.

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This book might break you – A Review

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breakThe Break by Katherena Vermette has been quite popular in the world of books lately. A national bestseller, The Break has received an abundance of literary attention, from being a 2016 Governor General’s Literary Finalist to a 2017 Canada Reads Finalist, and much more in between.

The story centres around an extended family of Indigenous women living in Winnipeg’s North End. The synopsis on the back is as follows: “When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.” From there, The Break delves into several narratives of family, friends, and police, each connected in some way to the crime. Continue reading

Learning how to swim in the pool we call life – A Review

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swimThis book was a staff pick of the month at the bookstore I work at, and wanting to be more well read and up to date on the latest book buzz, I decided to pick it up – but not just because it was staff pick of the month; I had read the synopsis and it actually sounded quite intriguing. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller is about a young woman named Flora who returns to her home to look after her father, Gil, after he has a bad fall. Twelve years previously, Flora’s mother, Ingrid, disappeared without a trace and Flora has always wondered what happened to her. Little does she realize, the answers to her questions are buried in the letters Ingrid wrote to her husband Gil. They reveal the truth of their marriage and just before she disappeared, Ingrid hid them in the massive book collection Gil accumulated over the years in the house they shared. Continue reading