5 stars · book posts · fiction · read-a-thons

Reads of Spring 2018

So apparently I read another 22 books this spring (which is exactly the same number of books I read in winter of 2018). I couldn’t have done better if I had planned.


Top Four of this Period

Four, not five? Just because.

(Every book read this spring was a new read – except for Inferno – so they [almost] all are counted.)

Continue reading “Reads of Spring 2018”

5 stars · book posts · Challenges · Education · fiction · nonfiction

Reads of Winter 2018

I haven’t really felt like writing a full-length review yet, but I thought it would be good to do a post about the books I’ve read so far this year – and show y’all how I’m absolutely not on track with the challenges I was thinking of taking up this year (I really don’t know why I thought I would since once I announce I’m going to read a book, my brain just does not want to). What better time to stop and look over the books I’ve read than just at the beginning of spring!

First, I’ve read 22 out of the 60 books I wanted to. I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m back on track with reading like I wanted to be – reading lots!!!

Continue reading “Reads of Winter 2018”

a reader's life · book posts · Educate Yourself · reading tips

How to Read More Books


Well, hello. It is I, Anna, the person who rarely posts on her blog.

I thought it was about time I post again. When trying to think of something to blog about to get back into the flow, I thought – why not something about reading that I’ve seen in a blog/vlog before?

So without further ado, I introduce to you my list of how to read more books.

Continue reading “How to Read More Books”

5 stars · a reader's life · Book Reviews · Books · Christian/Catholic · Classics · fiction · nonfiction · oscar wilde · Reviews · YA books

My Favourite Reads of 2017


Before anyone thinks that this is a list of books from 2017 that I liked – stop right there. I don’t read many new books. Ergo, the title is “My Favourite Reads of 2017” not “My Favourite Books of 2017.” See?? Alright, we can continue.


I definitely didn’t read as many books as I am usually prone to doing, but that means I can just move on up from here and read more next year!

Without further ado, here is my top ten list (the ordering could probably be shifted around a bit as always).

Continue reading “My Favourite Reads of 2017”

a reader's life · Books · Challenges · read-a-thons

2018 Reading Challenge

December’s only just started, and everyone is already getting excited about their TBR piles for next year, it seems. I usually wouldn’t post about this so soon (I mean, I haven’t even finished my pitiful Goodreads challenge of 40 books yet. I have no idea what happened – actually, I do, it’s school), but I wanted to save the challenges I like before I lose them, so I thought that I would just go ahead and post.

I came across this amazing list from one of the reading groups on facebook I’m on, and it sure gave me many ideas from which to choose. First of all, I’m going to try to read 60 books. I read quite a much wider variety of books this year – from teaching books like The Elements of Teaching to political books like Ann Coulter’s Adios, America to some Victorian YA (Libba Bray) with even a little poetry (John Keats) mixed in.

Along with the Goodreads challenge, I want to try and do the Books ‘N Tunes challenge because when I read a book I really enjoy, I usually associate certain songs with it. Why not try to do it with all, or most, of the books I read this upcoming year? I’m also going to keep the A-to-Z Challenge (because it would be interesting to try to cover each letter of the alphabet) as well as the POPSUGAR Challenge (I’ve already printed it out) in mind for some reading inspiration, but I won’t be too sad if I can’t complete them because I’d rather focus on reading the books on my shelf that I’ve wanted to read for a long time.

Another sort-of-related-to-reading goal:

  • I’d like to try to improve my phone photographs and make my instagram a bookstagram. I took a couple pictures I’m pretty proud of (namely this and this and this and this and this), but those were far and few between.
a reader's life · Anna's Life · Uncategorized

The Man Who Spoke

Due to the fact that I hardly ever blog on here (since I feel like I have to have long, intellectual posts in order to make blogging worthwhile), I decided that I’m going to try something new – short, little posts about my day, what I’m reading, etc.

So, without, further ado, here is my little happy moment of the day. [originally posted here – with grammatical mistakes and all]


This morning on the train on the way to school, there was an older man with a cast. Despite his injured leg, he moved from bench to bench, talking to people about how he was trying to quit smoking, how he was going to the doctor’s, about Calgary in general, etc. I was slightly annoyed, but more amused.

I was immersed – or trying to be – in reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. I hope the man wouldn’t try to come and bother me after all the other people left the train (I get off at one of the last stops, and it often happens that I am the only one left in the car). He didn’t try to initiate conversation, however, and I felt almost…. disappointed?

As he got ready to leave the train a few stops before me, I looked up and gave him a smile. He smiled back.

“That must be a good book you’re reading,” he said. “You were so into it. Have a good day.”

Just thinking about it now makes me smile.

a reader's life · Books · Uncategorized

Ten Books I’d Buy Now (if I had a gift card)

Oh look! I’m not dead. You can thank thebookavid for inspiring me to come back with that latest post. Here are ten reasons why someone should buy me a gift card for Chapters! (Or at least the books on this list.)


1)) Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Several friends have recommended this one to me and it looks really intriguing! I love fairy tales retold and a sci-fi one?? Sounds pretty neat!

2)) The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. I got this from the library and I’m in love with it. It’s perfect and I want to keep it forever and read it all.

3)) Collin’s Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. I have this one from the library, too.

4)) American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I still have yet to read anything by Gaiman but this looks like a perfect one to start with!

5)) Paradise Lost by John Milton. I really loved reading this work in university and I would love a nice copy of it.

6)) The Divine Comedy by Dante. I’ve read Inferno and I would really like to read the rest of this great work. Maybe the nice illustrated version?? 😉

7)) Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. I love this novella a whole lot and it would be perfect to add to my bookshelf, along with all my other Gothic favourites. (I just really love Gothic literature.)

8)) Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I loved the movie and I really need to read this one. Soon.

9)) The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacchs. I read a couple excerpts from this book in my psychology class last year and I really want to read the rest! They’re so interesting and very humorous, too!

10)) Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. This one sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. I’ve had it on my to-read list for a very long time.

a reader's life · book quotes · read-a-thons · Uncategorized

Day Four of Read-A-Thon: Favourite Quotes

I’m pretty sure these favourite quotes are supposed to be from books we are reading now, but to be brutally honest, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and read yet. The weekend was completely full up and I got lazy Friday. I am planning to just read today (fingers crossed that this headache will let up). So I’m going to provide some of my favourite quotes from my favourite books.

“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.” (Blue Lily, Lily Blue)

“Hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he thought perhaps he liked it.” (about Neil Josten, from The Foxhole Court)

“Better not to give in to it. It takes ten times as long to put yourself together as it does to fall apart.” (Finnick from Mockingjay)

“When we were together, I felt breathless. Now you are.” (for Beatrice – a dedication from one of the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events – I forget which one)

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” (The Book Thief)

“You might say I’m a lock pick.”
“You must be a very gifted one.”
“I am indeed.” Kaz leaned back slightly. “You see, every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings. Now, there are those who take the brute’s way, but I prefer a gentler approach – the right pressure applied at the right moment, in the right place. It’s a delicate thing.” (Six of Crows)

“Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the harp on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?” (The Two Towers)

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things only means Beauty.” (the Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray)

a reader's life · Challenges · read-a-thons · Uncategorized

Day One of Read-A-Thon: TBR & Goals

Since the Read-A-Thon is only covering June 25 – July 3 (which is less days for me since I can’t ever seem to get any reading done on the weekends) AND I am also working on my novel, I didn’t choose very many books for the Read-A-Thon.

The books you plan to read…


As you can probably see, I’m already partly into The Exiled Queen. I think I can count, it, however, as I’m going to have to take some time off reading a nonfiction book I promised to write a review for. I doubt I will complete either the Father Brown or Oscar Wilde books – I’m planning to read at least some stories from the Father Brown, and I want to read The Picture of Dorian Gray and perhaps some poetry from the Oscar Wilde collection.

Why did you choose these books?

I’ve wanted to read the Father Brown stories for a long time now. The same for Oscar Wilde, especially since I very much enjoyed reading a few of his short stories and his play An Ideal HusbandThe Exiled Queen is the second book in a series I am borrowing from a friend. The Tolkien book is just one book in my list of books to read as part of my research for my capstone project.

What do you look forward to reading the most?

The Exiled Queen – since I am already enjoying it – and The Picture of Dorian Gray.


And now for the reading goals. I want to set aside at least an hour or two every day to read. (It’d be great if if I could get three, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen.) As stated above, I’m not so sure I’m going to get through either the entire Father Brown or Oscar Wilde collection, but I want to at least make a good start. If my reading goes well, I may add in either the third book of the Seven Realms series or the Rick Riordan  Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard that I have been wanting to read for a long time.

I’ll try and see if I can do daily updates, but weekends are usually insanely busy for me and I don’t really get much, or any, computer sit-down time.

a reader's life · a writer's life · Anna's Life · read-a-thons · Uncategorized · WIP: Curiouser & Curiouser · WIP: Curiouser and Curiouser

just a few thoughts

Well, I’m finally finished with my short story writing course. It went well, so I’m happy about that. I’m even happier with the fact that I can spend the rest of my summer reading and writing.

I decided to join Trees of Reverie Read-A-Thon – I’ve got plenty of books for that, what with my books of Tolkien criticism, a stack of books from my sister, and a BAG from Emma (mostly fantasy there). Of course, I’m also planning to read The Lord of the Rings to decide whether I am really willing to devote my capstone project to my favourite trilogy.

As for writing, I’ve got a thick portfolio from my short stories course. I passed the 20,000 word count last night. I feel like I need some kind of reward for that (I’ve never written that much on one project before), although I’m not sure what. I’m also considering on making a book of short stories, all having something to do with Greek mythology. I already did a retelling of the Icarus myth for my short story course, which I really enjoyed.

As an aside, my friend Gina’s boyfriend Vincent Frankini did a really neat interview which I thought I’d share. Here.

~        ~        ~        ~

For some reason, I find myself very intrigued with a suburbia aesthetic ever since reading The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic – which has definitely been on my mind and becoming a part of the novel I’m working on. Characters sit on flat rooftops and watch the sun going down. The main character, Alice, works in a little corner store in a bit of a risky area. The people are on the poorer side… and yet, they’re the kinder people. They’re the type of people who would invite you in for dinner even if you are almost a stranger and they barely have enough for themselves. It’s the rich families, like that of Alice’s best friend, who wouldn’t give you a cup of water if you were on fire. I feel like I’ve always been interested in this side of humanity – the dichotomy between the rich and the poor. Living in a middle-class family myself, it’s definitely going to take some research… but I’m excited to work on this project.

Here are some songs that are in the back of my mind as I’m working on Curiouser and Curiouser (my WIP name – at the moment, at least): spotify playlist